1999 Pontiac Grand Am

Engine Mechanical problem
1999 Pontiac Grand Am 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic

Can you please tell me how to set the timing on a 1999 pontiac grand am. The timing chain broke and I have replaced it but wanted to be sure that I set the timing right before putting everything back together
Ernie Hill
November 5, 2008.

You shouldn't have to set the time. Your vehicle has an electronic ignition and it is not adjustable. Fire it up and see if she prrrrs! If she doesn't then post your issues and I will follow up.

I put the timing chain and everything back on and the car starts and runs good but I have alot of noise that sounds like its in the area of the timing chain area. Any idea what it could be, I was told that I did not set the cam shaft gears up right.

Ernie Hill
Nov 10, 2008.
Walk back through the procedures you did to install the timing chain and match them up with the procedures I have listed below.


Install or connect the following: Upper balance shaft chain guide and tighten to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm)
Small balance shaft chain guide and bolts and tighten to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm)
Adjustable balance shaft drive chain guide and bolts and tighten to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm)
Turn the tensioner plunger 90 degrees in its bore and compress the plunger until a paper clip can be inserted through the hole in the plunger body and into hole in the tensioner plunger.
Timing chain tensioner and bolts and tighten to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm)
Remove the paper clip from the balance shaft drive chain tensioner.
Install the crankshaft sprocket with timing mark at the 5 o'clock position
Lower the timing chain through the opening in the top of the cylinder head. Carefully ensure that the chain goes around both sides of the cylinder block bosses.
Install or connect the following: Intake camshaft sprocket with the INT diamond at the 2 o'clock position
Hand tighten a NEW intake camshaft sprocket bolt.
Route the timing chain around the crankshaft sprocket with the second silver link aligning with the timing mark.
Route the timing chain around the intake camshaft sprocket with the copper colored link aligning with the INT diamond.
Timing chain tensioner guide through the opening in the top of the cylinder head and tighten the bolts to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
Exhaust camshaft sprocket with the timing chain silver link at EXH triangle aligned at the 10 o'clock position.
Use a 24 mm wrench to rotate the camshaft slightly, until exhaust sprocket aligns with the camshaft.
Hand tighten the NEW exhaust camshaft sprocket bolt.
Install the fixed timing chain guide and tighten the bolts to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
Apply sealant, GM P/N 12345382 compound to thread and install the timing chain guide bolt access hole plug. Tighten the access hole plug to 30 ft. Lbs. (40 Nm).
Timing chain upper guide and bolts and tighten to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm)
Measure the timing chain tensioner. In a fully compressed, non-active state, the tensioner will measure 2.83 in (72mm). A tensioner in the active state will measure 3.35 in (85mm). To put the tensioner in a non-active state, hold the flat end of the tensioner with a wrench and rotate the piston clockwise for slightly less than one full turn.
Timing chain tensioner and tighten the tensioner to 55 ft. Lbs. (75 Nm)
Use a suitable tool with a rubber tip on the end. Feed the tool down through the camshaft drive chant to rest on the timing chain. Then give a sharp jolt diagonally downwards to release the tensioner.
Use a 24 mm wrench to hold the camshaft and tighten the new bolts to 63 ft. Lbs. (85 Nm) plus an additional 30 degrees.
Install the valve cover.
Install the engine front cover as follows: Install front cover gasket, cover and cover-to-engine bolts.
Install the water pump-to-front cover bolts. Tighten all the cover bolts to 15 ft. Lbs. (20 Nm).
Install the drive belt tensioner and tighten the bolt to 33 ft. Lbs. (45 Nm).
Install the crankshaft balancer and bolt.
Use crankshaft holding tool J 38122-A to prevent the crankshaft from rotating while tightening the crankshaft balancer bolt. Tighten the bolt to 74 ft. Lbs. (100 Nm) plus an additional 75 degrees.
Install the engine splash shield.
Install the drive belt.
Install the front wheel.
Connect negative battery cable.

Let me know if this helps the noise. If it doesn't, or if you did these steps already, the noise could be coming from another component.

Nov 11, 2008.
My engine is a 2.4 in a 1999 pontiac grand am

Ernie Hill
Nov 11, 2008.
My apologies. Here is the procedure for the 2.4 4cylinder engine.

INSTALLATION: Install or connect the following: Camshaft sprockets. Torque the bolts to 52 ft. Lbs. (70 Nm).
Camshaft sprocket alignment pin through the camshaft sprockets holes into the timing chain housing holes to position the camshafts for timing.
If the camshafts are out of position and must be rotated more than 1/8turn in order to install the alignment dowel pins, perform the following: Rotated the crankshaft 90 degrees clockwise off Top Dead Center (TDC) in order to give the valves adequate clearance to open.
Once the camshafts are positioned and the dowels installed, rotate the crankshaft counterclockwise back to TDC.

WARNING: Do not rotate the crankshaft clockwise to TDC or valve and piston damage may occur.

Install the timing chain over the exhaust camshaft sprocket, around the idler sprocket and around the crankshaft sprocket.
Remove the alignment dowel pin from the intake camshaft. Using a dowel pin remover tool, rotate the intake camshaft sprocket counterclockwise enough to slide the timing chain over the intake camshaft sprocket. Release the camshaft sprocket wrench. The length of chain between the 2 camshaft sprockets will tighten.
Leave the alignment dowel pins installed.
With slack removed from chain between intake camshaft sprocket and crankshaft sprocket, the timing marks on the crankshaft and the cylinder block should be aligned. If marks are not aligned, move the chain 1 tooth forward or rearward, remove slack and recheck the marks.
Tighten the chain housing to engine stud. The stud is installed under the timing chain. Torque it to 19 ft. Lbs. (26 Nm).
Reload the timing chain tensioner as follows: Form a keeper from heavy gauge wire.
Slightly, compress the shoe plunger and insert a small screwdriver into the access hole.
Release the ratchet pawl and compress the plunger completely into the hole.
Insert the keeper between the access hole and the blade.
Install or connect the following: Tensioner assembly to the chain housing. Torque the bolts to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
Tensioner shoe and retainer. Torque the bolts to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
Remove the alignment dowel pins. Rotate crankshaft clockwise 2 full rotations. Align the crankshaft timing mark with mark on cylinder block and reinstall alignment dowel pins. Alignment dowel pins will slide in easily if engine is timed correctly.
Install or connect the following: Timing chain guides
New seal into the front cover by lubricating the seal lip and tapping it into place
Front cover and gaskets. Torque the nuts and bolts to 106 inch lbs. (12 Nm).
Crankshaft balancer. Torque the bolt to 129 ft. Lbs. (175 Nm).
Right front lower splash shield
Front wheel. Torque the nuts to 100 ft. Lbs. (140 Nm).
Right engine mount bracket. Torque the bolts to 81 ft. Lbs. (110 Nm) plus an additional 90 degree turn.
Right engine mount. Torque the bolt to 49 ft. Lbs. (60 Nm).
Upper cover vent hose
Remove the engine support.
Install or connect the following: Alternator. Torque the bolts to 37 ft. Lbs. (50 Nm).
Accessory drive belt
Coolant surge tank
Negative battery cable
Refill the cooling system.
Start the engine and check for leaks.

Nov 11, 2008.
After haveing the water pump replaced on a 1999 pontiac grand am the engine will start makeing a loud tapping or rattling sound after it warms up. As long as the engine is cool it sounds good, but crank it up and once it gets warm it starts makeing the noise. Also its seems to use more gas that it did before the water pump was replaced. They are telling me now that I have a valve problem or lifter problem, it was not doing this until they replaced the water pump any idea

Ernie Hill
Nov 13, 2008.