COULD REBUILT HEAD FOR 98 SATURN SL2 BE OUT OF ALIGNMENT?

  • Tiny
  • tharrison
  • 1998 Saturn SL2
  • 205,000 miles

To Saturntech9, I read through postings with JM. From March 2011, Great info. I have a 1998 Saturn SL2 DOHC. Had to replace cracked head. Got a rebuilt one from Ebay. Head is bolted down and torqued. Also, got new timing chain PCI TS13126. Made alteration to pivoting guide bolt hole, just like you noted with JM. Now moves freely after tighting. My problem is I bolted new cam sprockets to cam. Moved crank CCW back to TDC from 90. Using 3/16 drill blanks to check alignment. The left side cam sprocket hole lines up with hole in cylinder head, right side is off. I used 7/8 wrench on cam body flats to move cam enough to insert alignment pin. Then I put timing chain over top and bottom sprockets lining up black links in chain with dimples in cam sprockets. And 2 black links to bottom tooth on crank sprocket. Installed the guides and now can barely get tensioner in place. It is fully retracted and can't get bolts in to hold in place. It seems like the slack in chain is between the cam sprockets. Could the rebuilt head have alignment problems? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks Tony

Thursday, June 28th, 2012 AT 6:07 AM

3 Answers

  • Tiny
  • saturntech9
  • Expert
  • 28,864 posts

Heres what might have happened in 1999 the twin cam engines they narrowed the heads bringing the cam gears on the head closer together. In doing so they also elimnated the top guide above the cam gear in 1999. You have a 1998 so that is the wider head. Count the links on the chain how many links?

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Thursday, June 28th, 2012 AT 2:11 PM
  • Tiny
  • tharrison
  • Member

Saturntech9 Interesting info about 99 head.I got mine from Odessa cylinder head on ebay. I gave them casting number and other info from my old one. I feel pretty confident that this rebuilt is a 98 or older. The timing chain has 126 links, I gave it another try today. I had a helper hold the 7/8 wrench on the flats of the cam and applied pressure with the alignment pin inserted. This gave me enough slack to get bolts into tensioner and torque them. I was able to release tensioner by removing plastic insert to free it. I then removed alignment pins and turned the crank 360 degrees. It went real smooth. I then rechecked both alignment holes and the pins went right in. The chain is now snug but the black links dont line up now. Is this normal or is there anything else I should check? Thanks, Tony

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Friday, June 29th, 2012 AT 6:24 AM
  • Tiny
  • saturntech9
  • Expert
  • 28,864 posts

After you make atleast one turn around the colored links wont line up untill. Some many more turns around dont know the magic number but that would be normal. Also 126 links would be the correct number of links. Glad to hear you got it installed and figured out.I just installed a saturn remanufactured short block in my 1999 saturn SL2 had my head completly rebuilt and installed a pci timing set.I like the pci kit but dont like the fact they only counter sink one side of the hole on the tenisor guide so it wont move freely without tapering the other side of the hole. But for the price you cant beat the timing set.

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Friday, June 29th, 2012 AT 6:37 AM

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