96 Cavalier Timing Chain/bent Valve

  • 1996 HONDA
96 Cavalier 2.2 automatic w/ 98,000 miles

Background: City driving only last 6 months

What happened: Driving at 25 mph and car started bogging down, like it was out of gas. Stalled when I put it nuetral. Put in 1/2 tank of premium gas, drove it home and it started backfiring into engine on acceleration. Took it to Autozone, diagnose was 106, 1 of 3. Vacum hose, throttle body intake or barameter, MAP.

What I did: Changed map sensor, checked vacum hose and tighten clamps, changed spark plugs, changed serpatine (thought it was timing belt, but I have chain), new air filter. Still running bad. Then
drove it to have someone look at it (about 1 mile) and it began making knocking AND a tickticktick noise w/ backfire. Was told it was most likely timing chain slipped and caused a valve to bend. The car is still drivable and starts right away. OK.

Called shops and was told to get a new engine or dump car. Cost of repairs for both about 2-3 grand. Looking at my book it doesn't seem that diffuclt to get to timing chain and how hard is it to replace a bent valve?

My questions: Is it really that expensive to do this job? One guy said about 5 hours labor. And is it true that I would be better off dumping the car because of bent valve. From what I've been reading it's top engine work and doesn't look that difficult to get too. Is this something my brother and I could do ourselves? Or am I too optimistic?

Thanks in advance,
Do you
have the same problem?
Friday, August 18th, 2006 AT 2:51 PM

1 Reply

Ok, let me see if I can shed some light here. The timing chain jumped a tooth, so we know that will need replacing. That is 5-6 man hours and roughly $150 for new chain and sprokets.
You hit one or more valves with the pistons to bend the valve/valves. So, to remove the cylinder heads that is a 8-10 man hour job. You will need to replace the bent valves, and lets consider the two pivot points for the bend. One is the piston itself. If it hit hard enough to bent a metal valve, it most likely hit hard enough to damage the piston. Also the bend and where the valve is located is the valve guide and cylinder head. Probably need both of those replaced. If you damaged the piston, the whole engine will need to be taken apart.
Now there is nothing stopping you from removing the head and looking to see what got damaged. And if the piston doesnt look that bad, and the cylinder head is not damaged, then the price in parts might be bareable. But this is something that to make it cost effective, you must do the work yourself.
Estimated prices:
Cylinder head $750
Valves $25
Seal Kit $125
Timing chain and sprokets $150
Piston $125 (Will need overhaul if replaced)
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Sunday, August 20th, 2006 AT 8:51 PM

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