GM Grand Am/Achieva/Calais/Skylark/Somerset 1985-98

Timing Chain Front Cover and Seal

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The tools required to remove and install a majority of front timing covers and seals are as follows:



Engine support fixture
 
Engine lift hook
 
Torque angle meter
 
Seal installer
 
Puller
 

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



2.3L Engine

See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4

New bolts will be required for the engine mounting bracket. Purchase these bolts prior to cover removal.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Properly drain the engine cooling system.
  2.  
  3. Remove the coolant recovery reservoir.
  4.  
  5. Remove the serpentine drive belt using a 13mm wrench that is at least 24 inch (61cm) long.
  6.  
  7. Remove the alternator, then position it aside.
  8.  
  9. Install engine support J 28467-A or equivalent. Reinstall the alternator through-bolt, then attach the engine support fixture.
  10.  
  11. Remove upper cover fasteners.
  12.  
  13. For VIN A and D engines, detach the cover vent hose.
  14.  
  15. Remove the right engine mount and the engine mount bracket.
  16.  
  17. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  18.  
  19. Remove the right front wheel and tire assembly and the splash shield.
  20.  
  21. Remove the crankshaft balancer assembly.
  22.  

Do not install an automatic transaxle-equipped engine balancer on a manual-transaxle equipped engine or vice-versa.

  1. Remove lower cover fasteners.
  2.  
  3. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the front cover and gasket. Inspect the gasket for damage and replace if necessary.
  6.  
  7. Using a suitable prytool, carefully remove the old oil seal.
  8.  

Use care to avoid damage to seal bore or seal contact surfaces.

  1. Thoroughly clean and dry the oil seal mounting surface.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Use the appropriate installation tool and drive the oil seal into the front cover.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Make sure the oil seal is seated in the timing cover correctly-2.3L and 2.4L engines

  1. Install the front cover gasket. Replace it if it is damaged.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Place the bolts and nuts in there proper locations-2.3L and 2.4L engines



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Place the gaskets between the engine and cover-2.3L and 2.4L engines

    1. Place the nuts on the studs to retain the cover, then tighten the bolts to 106 inch lbs. (12 Nm). Install the remaining cover fasteners and secure to 106 inch lbs. (12 Nm).
    2.  

  1. Lubricate the front oil seal and sealing surface of the crankshaft balancer with chassis grease.
  2.  
  3. Install the crankshaft balancer.
  4.  
  5. Attach the right splash shield and front wheel.
  6.  
  7. Lower the vehicle and tighten the lugnuts.
  8.  
  9. Install the engine mounting bracket adapter. The bolts must be replaced with new bolts anytime they are removed.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Engine mounting bracket bolt locations-always replace these bolts when removed with new ones-2.3L and 2.4L engines

  1. Install and secure the alternator.
  2.  
  3. Remove the engine support then install the drive belt.
  4.  
  5. Attach the front cover vent hose.
  6.  
  7. Install the coolant surge tank.
  8.  
  9. Add a coolant and water mixture to the system.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  
  13. Start the engine and top off the cooling system.
  14.  

2.4L Engine

See Figures 2, 3 and 4

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Drain and recycle the engine coolant.
  4.  
  5. Remove the coolant surge tank.
  6.  
  7. Remove the serpentine drive belt.
  8.  
  9. attach an engine lift hook to the alternator stud ended bolt and support the engine support fixture.
  10.  
  11. Unbolt the upper cover.
  12.  
  13. Remove the engine mount assembly and mounting bracket adapter.
  14.  
  15. Raise and safely support the front of the vehicle securely on jackstands.
  16.  
  17. Remove the right front wheel and splash shield.
  18.  
  19. Unbolt and extract the crankshaft damper.
  20.  
  21. Remove the lower the front cover fasteners.
  22.  
  23. Lower the front end of the vehicle.
  24.  
  25. Remove the front cover and gaskets.
  26.  

To install:
  1. Inspect the gaskets and replace as necessary.
  2.  

These gaskets are reusable.

  1. Place the cover with gaskets on the engine and secure the bolts to 106 inch lbs. (12 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the front of the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Attach the remaining bolts and secure to 106 inch lbs. (12 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Lubricate the front oil seal and sealing surface of the crankshaft balancer with chassis grease.
  8.  
  9. Attach the right splash shield.
  10.  
  11. Install the wheel and lower the vehicle. Tighten the lugnuts.
  12.  


WARNING
The engine mounting bracket bolts are designed to permanently stretch when tightened. The correct part number of the bolt must be used to replace this type of fastener. Do not use a bolt that is stronger in this application. If the correct bolt is not used, the arts will not be tightened correctly. Part or system damage can occur.

  1. Install the engine mounting bracket adapter. Refer to the illustration. these bolts must be replaced with new ones anytime they are removed. Tighten the automatic transaxle bolts to 44 ft. lbs. (60 Nm) plus rotate and additional 90°. Tighten the manual transaxle bolts to 81 ft. lbs. (110 Nm) plus rotate an additional 90°.
  2.  
  3. Install the engine mount:
    1. Install the bolts holding the mount to the body but do not tighten at this time.
    2.  
    3. Attach the bolts holding the engine bracket to the mount.

      Tighten the bolts in the front of the engine to 49 ft. lbs. (66 Nm) plus an additional 90°
       
      Tighten the bolts in the bottom of the engine to 96 ft. lbs. (130 Nm).
       

    4.  

  4.  
  5. Remove the engine support and hook.
  6.  
  7. Install the serpentine belt assembly.
  8.  
  9. Attach the coolant surge tank.
  10.  
  11. Double check all components are attached correctly and secure anything left.
  12.  
  13. Add a coolant/water mixture to the cooling system.
  14.  
  15. Connect the negative battery cable.
  16.  
  17. Start the engine and top off the cooling system.
  18.  

2.5L Engine
1990-91 MODELS

See Figures 5 and 6

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the belts. Remove the power steering pump mounting bolts and position it aside.
  4.  
  5. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the right front wheel and tire assembly, then remove the inner fender splash shield.
  8.  
  9. Remove the right hand cover.
  10.  
  11. Using a suitable tool to prevent flywheel rotation, remove the flywheel cover.
  12.  
  13. Unfasten the bolts and washer, then remove the crankshaft damper.
  14.  

Be sure NOT to distort the cover when removing it!

  1. Unfasten the timing chain cover-to-engine bolts and the timing case cover.
  2.  
  3. Using a suitable prytool, carefully remove the old oil seal.
  4.  

Use care to avoid damage to seal bore or seal contact surfaces.

  1. Thoroughly clean and dry the oil seal mounting surface.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Thoroughly clean and dry all mating surfaces. Use RTV sealant to seal all mating surfaces.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Apply RTV sealant around the edges as shown here

  1. Use the appropriate installation tool and drive the oil seal into the front cover.
  2.  
  3. Lubricate balancer and seal lip with clean engine oil.
  4.  
  5. A centering tool fits over the crankshaft seal and is used to correctly position the timing case cover during installation. Install the cover and partially tighten the 2 opposing timing case cover screws.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the remaining cover screws and remove the centering tool from the timing case cover. Tighten, in the sequence shown in the accompanying figure, to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Timing chain cover and tightening sequence-1990-91 2.5L engine

  1. Install the harmonic balancer and tighten the bolt to 162 ft. lbs. (220 Nm). Install the belts and the power steering pump.
  2.  
  3. Install the splash shield, then the wheel and tire assembly.
  4.  
  5. Connect the negative battery cable and check for leaks.
  6.  

3.0L Engine

See Figures 7, 8, 9 and 10

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Properly drain the coolant into a suitable container.
  4.  
  5. Detach the upper and lower radiator hoses.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the heater return hose.
  8.  
  9. Disengage the crankshaft sensor electrical connector.
  10.  
  11. Remove the serpentine belt.
  12.  
  13. Detach the front clamp on the coolant bypass hose.
  14.  
  15. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the right wheel and tire assembly, then remove the splash shield.
  16.  
  17. Drain the engine oil, then remove the oil filter.
  18.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: The crankshaft balancer (damper) is accessible through the right wheel well

  1. Unfasten the balancer (damper) bolt and washer, then remove the balancer.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: Unfasten the retaining bolts and washer, then ...



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 9: ... remove the crankshaft balancer assembly

  1. Disconnect the front cover-to-cylinder head bolts.
  2.  
  3. Unfasten the front cover-to-oil pan bolts.
  4.  
  5. If necessary for access, remove the oil pan and gasket. Remove the front cover.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 10: After unfastening all of the retaining bolts, remove the timing chain cover from the engine

  1. Remove the front oil seal by carefully prying it out using a suitable prytool.
  2.  
  3. Clean the gasket mounting surfaces.
  4.  
  5. Using a suitable prytool, carefully remove the old oil seal.
  6.  

Use care to avoid damage to seal bore or seal contact surfaces.

  1. Thoroughly clean and dry the oil seal mounting surface.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Use the appropriate installation tool and drive the oil seal into the front cover.
  2.  
  3. Lubricate balancer and seal lip with clean engine oil.
  4.  
  5. The installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. Coat all timing case cover bolts with thread sealer prior to installation. Replace the front oil seal using seal installer tool J 35354 or equivalent.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the cover bolts to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Carefully lower the vehicle. Fill all fluids to their proper levels.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable and check for leaks.
  12.  

3.1L Engine

See Figure 11

1994 MODELS
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Drain the cooling system into a suitable container.
  4.  
  5. Remove the right engine mount bracket.
  6.  
  7. Remove the serpentine belt.
  8.  
  9. Using a suitable puller, J-24420-B or the equivalent remove the balancer from the crankshaft.
  10.  
  11. Remove the serpentine belt tensioner mounting bolt and tensioner.
  12.  
  13. Remove the oil pan following the procedure located in this section.
  14.  
  15. Detach coolant bypass pipe from the water pump and the intake manifold.
  16.  
  17. Disconnect the lower radiator hose to from the front cover outlet.
  18.  
  19. Unfasten the front cover mounting bolts and remove the front cover.
  20.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 11: Exploded view of the front cover assembly and related components-3.1L engine

  1. Carefully pry the seal out of the front cover using a suitable prying tool. Discard the old seal.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Clean out the oil seal recess in the front cover.
  2.  
  3. Install the new seal in the front cover using J-34995, or an equivalent installation tool, to fully seat the seal in the cover.
  4.  
  5. Clean all gasket surfaces completely.
  6.  
  7. Apply a thin bead of sealer around the gasket sealing area of the front cover. Install a new front cover seal on the front cover.
  8.  
  9. Install the front cover on the engine and tighten the mounting bolts to 15 ft. lbs (21 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Connect the radiator hose to the coolant outlet.
  12.  
  13. Install coolant bypass pipe to the water pump and the intake manifold.
  14.  
  15. Install the oil pan following the recommended procedure.
  16.  
  17. Install crankshaft balancer. Install the mounting bolt and washer, then tighten to 76 ft. lbs. (103 Nm).
    1. Install the flywheel cover.
    2.  
    3. Install the right inner fender well splash shield.
    4.  
    5. Install the tire and wheel assembly and tighten to specification.
    6.  

  18.  
  19. Install the serpentine belt tensioner and tighten the mounting bolt to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm).
  20.  
  21. Install the serpentine belt.
  22.  
  23. Install the right engine mount bracket and tighten the bracket-to-mount bolts to 96 ft. lbs. (130 Nm).
  24.  
  25. Refill the cooling system.
  26.  
  27. Check the engine oil level and top off as necessary.
  28.  
  29. Connect the negative battery cable.
  30.  
  31. Start the vehicle and verify no oil leaks.
  32.  

1995-98 MODELS

See Figure 12

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Drain and recycle the engine coolant. Drain the engine oil.
  4.  
  5. Install an engine support fixture.
  6.  
  7. Remove the engine mount assembly and bracket support.
  8.  
  9. Remove the serpentine drive belt.
  10.  
  11. unbolt and position aside the power steering pump.
  12.  
  13. On the A/C compressor if equipped, loosen the top two bolts.
  14.  
  15. Raise and safely support the front of the vehicle.
  16.  
  17. Remove the right front wheel and splash shield.
  18.  
  19. Unbolt and remove the flywheel inspection cover.
  20.  
  21. Extract the crankshaft balancer from the front of the engine.
  22.  
  23. Remove the bolt retaining the tensioner to separate the assembly from the engine.
  24.  
  25. Unbolt and extract the engine mounting strut.
  26.  
  27. Disconnect the right wheel speed sensor and wiring for the suspension support.
  28.  
  29. Extract the right ball joint.
  30.  
  31. Separate the stabilizer shaft from the right suspension support and control arm. Remove the suspension support.
  32.  
  33. Loosen the A/C compressor bolts attached to the oil pan.
  34.  
  35. Remove the oil filter and adapter.
  36.  
  37. Unbolt and remove the engine mount strut bracket.
  38.  
  39. Unbolt and remove the engine-to-transaxle brace.
  40.  
  41. Unbolt the starter motor and set aside.
  42.  
  43. Unbolt the oil pan and lower it carefully from the engine. Watch for extra oil in the pan to spill out.
  44.  
  45. Remove the crankshaft sensor.
  46.  
  47. Remove the lower front cover bolts.
  48.  
  49. Lower the front of the vehicle.
  50.  
  51. Separate the coolant by-pass pipe from the water pump and manifold.
  52.  
  53. Separate the radiator hose from the outlet housing.
  54.  
  55. Unfasten the front cover mounting bolts and remove the front cover.
  56.  
  57. Carefully pry the seal out of the front cover using a suitable prying tool. Discard the old seal.
  58.  

To install:
  1. Clean out the oil seal recess in the front cover.
  2.  
  3. Install the new seal in the front cover using J-34995, or an equivalent installation tool, to fully seat the seal in the cover.
  4.  
  5. Clean all gasket surfaces completely.
  6.  
  7. Apply a thin bead of sealer around the gasket sealing area of the front cover. Install a new front cover seal on the front cover.
  8.  
  9. Install the front cover on the engine and tighten the upper two mounting bolts to 15 ft. lbs (21 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Connect the radiator hose to the coolant outlet.
  12.  
  13. Install coolant bypass pipe to the water pump and the intake manifold.
  14.  
  15. Raise and support the front of the vehicle.
  16.  
  17. Install the lower cover bolts and tighten to specifications. Bolts number 2 is tightened to 15 ft. lbs. (21 Nm), and bolts number 3 are tightened to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm).
  18.  
  19. Attach the crankshaft position sensor.
  20.  
  21. Install the oil pan following the recommended procedure.
  22.  
  23. Attach and secure the starter motor.
  24.  
  25. Attach the engine-to-transaxle brace. Install the engine strut bracket, tighten bolt 1-44 ft. lbs. (60 Nm) plus an additional 90°, bolt 2-55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm), and bolt 3-89 ft. lbs. (120 Nm). Refer to the illustration.
  26.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 12: Bolt locations for the engine mount strut-3.1L engine

  1. Install the engine strut brace and secure the retaining bolts to specifications.
  2.  
  3. Install the oil filter and adapter.
  4.  
  5. Attach the A/C compressor to the oil pan bolts.
  6.  
  7. install the right suspension support. Next attach the stabilizer shaft to the right support and control arm.
  8.  
  9. Install the right ball joint.
  10.  
  11. Attach the speed sensor and suspension support wiring.
  12.  
  13. Install the engine mount strut. Secure with the retaining bolts.
  14.  
  15. Install the drive belt tensioner, tighten the bolt to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm).
  16.  
  17. Install and secure the crankshaft balancer, refer to the procedure earlier in this section.
  18.  
  19. Secure the flywheel inspection cover.
  20.  
  21. Attach the right splash shield and front tire, then lower the vehicle.
  22.  
  23. Tighten the lugnuts.
  24.  
  25. Insert the A/C compressor top bolts and tighten to specifications.
  26.  
  27. Install the power steering pump and serpentine drive belt.
  28.  
  29. Install the engine mount bracket support bolts, tighten the 8mm bolt to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm) plus an additional 45°, tighten the 12mm bolt to 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm) plus an additional 75°.
  30.  
  31. Install the engine mount assembly and remove the engine support fixture.
  32.  
  33. Fill the cooling system.
  34.  
  35. Fill the engine crankshaft.
  36.  
  37. Connect the negative battery cable.
  38.  
  39. Start the engine and top off all fluids.
  40.  

3.3L Engine

See Figures 13 and 14

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Properly drain the coolant into a suitable container.
  4.  
  5. Remove the accessory drive belt.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the heater pipes.
  8.  
  9. Detach the lower radiator hose and the coolant bypass hose from the timing front cover.
  10.  
  11. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the right front wheel and tire assembly and the right inner fender splash shield.
  12.  
  13. Remove the torque converter cover.
  14.  
  15. Holding the flywheel with retaining tool J 37096 or equivalent, remove the crankshaft harmonic balancer bolt and the balancer using puller tool J 38197 or equivalent.
  16.  
  17. Remove the crankshaft sensor shield.
  18.  
  19. Detach the electrical connections at the crankshaft sensor and the oil pressure sender.
  20.  
  21. Remove the crankshaft sensor.
  22.  
  23. Unfasten the timing case cover-to-engine bolts, then remove timing case cover and the gasket.
  24.  
  25. Remove the front seal by using a suitable prytool.
  26.  

It is always recommended to replace the seal. During seal extraction, it is usually damaged.

  1. Clean the gasket mounting surfaces.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Use the appropriate installation tool and drive the new oil seal into the front cover.
  2.  
  3. Lubricate balancer and seal lip with clean engine oil.
  4.  
  5. Install the timing cover in the reverse of the removal procedure. Coat all timing case cover bolts with thread sealer prior to installation. Tighten the bolts to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 13: Exploded view of the front cover assembly-3.3L engine

  1. Install the front oil seal using seal installer tool J 35354, or equivalent.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 14: Using the correct tool to install the front cover oil seal-3.3L engine

  1. Fill all fluids to their proper levels.
  2.  
  3. Connect the negative battery cable, then start the engine and check for leaks.
  4.  

 
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