GM Malibu/Cutlass 1997-2000

Timing Chain Cover and Seal

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



2.4L Engine
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the coolant recovery reservoir.
  4.  
  5. Remove the serpentine drive belt using a 13mm wrench that is at least 24 in. (61cm) long.
  6.  
  7. Install engine lift hook onto the alternator stud-ended bolt, and engine support fixture.
  8.  
  9. Remove upper cover fasteners.
  10.  
  11. Detach the cover vent hose.
  12.  
  13. Remove the right engine mount and the engine mount bracket or bracket adapter. Whenever the engine mounting bracket adapter is removed, the bolts MUST be replaced.
  14.  



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Fig. Removing the engine mounting bracket adapter



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Fig. The timing chain cover is retained by 23 bolts and three nuts-2.4L engine

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the right front wheel and tire assembly and splash shield.
  4.  
  5. Remove the crankshaft balancer assembly.
  6.  
  7. Remove the lower cover fasteners.
  8.  
  9. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  10.  
  11. Remove the front cover and gasket. Inspect the gasket for damage and replace if necessary.
  12.  



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Fig. Timing chain cover and gasket-2.4L engine

  1. The installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. Tighten the timing chain cover fasteners to 106 inch lbs. (13 Nm). Tighten the balancer attaching bolt to 129 ft. lbs. (175 Nm) plus and additional 90°.
  2.  



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Fig. Make sure the oil seal is seated in the timing cover correctly-2.4L engine

3.1L Engine
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Drain and recycle the engine coolant. Drain the engine oil into a suitable container.
  4.  
  5. Install a suitable 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. If equipped with A/C, loosen the top two compressor mounting 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. Refer to for more information.
  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 Position (CKP) sensor.
  46.  
  47. Remove the lower front cover bolts.
  48.  
  49. Lower the front of the vehicle.
  50.  
  51. Separate the coolant bypass 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 a seal 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. Install the CKP sensor.
  20.  
  21. Install the oil pan following the procedure in this section.
  22.  
  23. Attach and secure the starter motor.
  24.  
  25. Attach the engine-to-transaxle brace. Install the engine strut bracket, and referring to the accompanying figure, tighten the bolts as follows:

    Bolt 1: 44 ft. lbs. (60 Nm), plus an additional 90°
     
    Bolt 2: 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm)
     
    Bolt 3: 89 ft. lbs. (120 Nm)
     

  26.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Explode view of the front cover assembly and related components-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 securely.
  26.  
  27. Install the power steering pump and serpentine drive belt.
  28.  
  29. Install the engine mount bracket support bolts and tighten as follows:
    1. 8mm bolt: 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm), plus an additional 45°
    2.  
    3. 12mm bolt: 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm), plus an additional 75°
    4.  

  30.  
  31. Install the engine mount assembly and remove the engine support fixture.
  32.  
  33. Fill the cooling system.
  34.  
  35. Fill the engine crankcase.
  36.  
  37. Connect the negative battery cable.
  38.  
  39. Start the engine and top off all fluids, as necessary.
  40.  

 
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