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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2002 Eclipse RS
123,xxx miles
Stock except for Air Intake

Well, about a week ago the car overheated, i was only 2 blocks from my house so I decided to get it home and take a look... :noway: :facepalm: BAD IDEA!! I noticed about 2 blocks away like I said, it was at about 3/4, by the time i got onto my street it was RED. After I got it in my driveway I popped the hood and the coolant was boiling, got so hot it warped the overflow reservoir where the cap goes on, and blew a penhole in the side of it as well. Took off the oil cap and smoke was coming out of there as well. So I had just put a new radiator on it a month ago, and had the water pump changed 6 months ago, so I thought, "must be the thermostat". Changed that, took it down the street to check it, got up to 3/4 in the approx. 1/8th mile up and down the road. Parked it again. I waited for it to cool down and took it to my mechanic to see wtf we could figure out. I had searched the forums to see about other potential problems and saw head gasket listed, and thought nothing of it, b/c "why would I blow a head gasket???" :rant: I really just didnt want that to be the problem so I halfway ignored that. So I drive down the block to my mechanic, first thing he says after I told him I changed the radiator and thermostat after they'd already done the water pump was... HEAD GASKET! FML! :rant: So, they did a test to check for exhaust gases in the cooling system and it was positive, head gasket it is.

So I've now disassembled the engine all the way down to the head, all I gotta do now is get off the timing belt and then pull the head. That took me 3 nights. Total time of about... idk 8-12 hours maybe.

I need advice for getting off my timing belt, I've read a ton of shit about it and am still concerned about it b/c everything is hard to get to and it's very technical. I've found some posts, read through them, even the one with the alldata pics. Still having issues. :rant2:

If there's anyone in south houston area that wants to help, or watch and laugh, or get some experience by watching and hanging out lemme know.

So notes for anyone who has this problem. Get ziplock bags and a sharpie to place nuts and bolt in and label them. Masking tape is also pretty much essential to lable sensors and hoses. My mechanic charged me $30 to do the test for the head gasket. It is a FUCKING HUGE PAIN to do this yourself, but not worth the money on an 8 year old car to pay someone to do it. I work at an auto-parts store so my Fel-Pro head gasket set (includes everything needed for the job minus head bolts) cost me $53. You'll need to change the spark plugs b/c your spark plug tube seals are probably bad (those come in the gasket set), there's another $20-30 for some NGK's. You have to drain the cooling system, so you'll need antifreeze $15-20, and you might as well flush the system while you're at it, so another $5-10 depending on what all you get. Also need to drain the engine oil, so an oil change will be necessary, I use synthetic oil, usually royal purple, but Orielly's started making a full synthetic so I'm going to give that a whirl, there's another $30-50. One or more of your spark plug wire boots or coil boots may break, those were like $10 a piece for the coil boot ( I only broke a coil boot, a wire set is 20 for the cheap one and 30 for the Borg Warner Select set). That's pretty much all of the monetary snags I can think of that I ran into.

Next, the actual process. I have the Chilton Book, and it helps alot, but there's still some stuff that could be explained better. Plan on this taking about twice as long as you think it will if you've never done it on this car before, and even longer if you don't have any experience at all. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A SWIVEL SOCKET!!!! Taking off the intake and exhaust manifolds is pretty much impossible without one unless you've got an air ratchet, and even that would be difficult to use in some of the spots.

First I removed the air intake tube, box, etc. Get the whole system out of there (I have a short ram I made, so my air box system was already all removed). Then get the battery out. Then go ahead and drain the coolant and engine oil. The first big step I did was removing the valve cover (wouldn't recommend doing this first in retrospect). The exhaust manifold would be the best place to start, when doing this remove it from the down pipe first, if not you wont have any leverage as it will wobble around once disconnected from the head. Disconnect the O2 sensor from the electrical side, it's easier this way. Then you gotta take off the heat shield.(self explanitory) Now, with a swivel socket all but one of the manifold nuts are simple enough (still frustrating at times) to get to. The top passenger side nut is the hugest MOTHER FUCKER to get to :rant: !!!!! After you get everything else off this nut has a mini-shield of its own that is totally fucking pointless and prevents access to the nut. At first I bent the shield thing out of the way and tried to get at it with a open end wrench, that failed as all I managed to do was strip off 2 corners of the nut. So then I just tore the shield thing off, Use an angle grinder or similar tool to make it speedy, or if you have to it's thin aluminum so you can tear it with a little effort and wobbling. After that nut is off the manifold will be free. Once this is off, your starter is under the small sheild that's underneath where the manifold was, might as well pull it and clean up the connections while it's easier to get to. Next was the fuel rail, that was pretty simple, just have on some gloves and some small towels on hand as fuel will come out. I took off the throttle body next, this was pretty straight forward as well, (only thing remotely annoying was disconnecting the throttle cable) just be sure to label all the hoses and sensors you remove. Then came the intake manifold, another bunch of snags here slowed me down. You've got to remove the thermostat housing to get off the intake manifold. So to get that off, the lower radiator hose has to come off ( even after draning the system from the radiator drain plug I still had a decent amount come out from the lower hose-radiator connection). Once the radiator hose is off, unbolt the outer thermostat cover piece, very simple, and then get out the thermostat. The thermostat housing is pressed onto the water pipe that goes to the water pump, not one piece as I thought it was (chilton book doesnt note this). If i remember correctly there's a hose on the housing and a sensor as well. More coolant will spill when removing this piece so have more towels handy. (also when dealing with coolant spills, dogs and stuff will drink it and die, so get a water hose and dilute the shit out of it so your neighbors dogs dont get killed from you doing your project which will likely stretch into early hours of the morning on occasions and annoy the shit out of them anyway due to clanging wrenches and random outbursts of profanity and rage at snags and scraping up your hands, banging your elbow, etc.) It's a good idea to be on good terms with the neighbors during this process, and warn them about the coolant and possible late night wake ups. Once the thermostat housing is off all that remains to get off the intake manifold are the nuts connecting it to the head, and 2 more connecting it to a brace (these 2 are easy to see, kinda easy to get to with either help, or from under the car with a long extension) along with some hoses and sensors. For the sensors, there are 2 on the top in the front of the manifold, they are like a fucking chineese puzzle to figure out how to remove them. They have a metal retainer clip, which of course is on the side hardest to get to, which has to be pried off in a manner that the spring like clip doesnt fly off once you get it loose, take your time and once the retainer clip is off, they just slide right out. The only other complicated sensor is one on the bottom side which i just disconnected by halfway flipping over the manifold after getting it loose. Another pain here is the type of hose clamps used by the factory are the squeeze type which are fucking annoying to get to and remove since they compress the hose and make it near impossible to slide back over the hose, so get the smallest pair of vice grips that will still work and lock the clamps open and let the vice grips hang out of the way while you try to get the hoses free. Swivel socket the nuts off and it's off with the intake manifold. Here is where things get more complicated. This is where I would go with getting off the valve cover, or maybe even waiting till the timing belt is off. Since I havent done the timing belt yet, I'll give info on the valve cover. To remove this GENTLY remove the spark plug boots AFTER disconnecting them from the coil packs so they don't tear. Then unbolt the coil packs from their brackets, wiggle them a little to disconnect them from their boots (the tip that goes into the boot is plastic, be careful not to twist in a manner that cold break off the tip since coils are expensive). The boots for the coils are a little annoying to get out, again be careful not to tear them. Once these are off there's a hose going from the top of the valve cover to the ... intake manifold... i dont remember :dunno:. Regardless, DONT TRY TO DISCONNECT IT AT THE VALVE COVER SIDE. I started to and it began bending the valve cover, luckily I was paying attension and as soon as it moved I stopped and went about disconnecting it from the other end. The upper timing belt cover has to come off as well, it's just a few bolt holding this on, they're easy to get to as well. Once all this is off you should be home free to remove the bolts that hold down the valve cover. These are easy to get to. Remember to use those ziplock bags and label everything you're removing. Once the bolts are out give it a tug and see if it'll come loose, if not give it some blows with a rubber mallet. Mine didn't come loose with either, so I had to use a chisel to wedge inbetween and do a little prying. CAUTION!!! IF YOU HAVE TO DO THIS BE EXTREMELY CAREFULL! If you gouge the valve cover or head the gasket may not seal well, and if you pry too hard you can bend the valve cover and it wont seat back properly.

That's all the info I can give for now, I'll add more when I get more work done. Hope this helps somebody in the future.
 

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TxTuning.com
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For the issue of the timing belt. Get the car up on a jack stand and have your wheel/wheel well cover removed to get access to the crank side. You are going to want to rotate the crank until it and your cam gear is at TDC before removing the belt. Once the timing belt covers are off and ready to remove, all you do is loosen the bolt for the tensioner pulley, and it will give the belt some slack. If the hydraulic tensioner hasn't failed yet, go ahead and stick a pin in there prior to loosening the pulley in case you intend on reusing it, that way you don't have to use a c-clamp to squeeze it down again. If you don't stick a pin in it, while loosening the pulley the tensioner will extend out putting pressure against the pulley, not allowing slack.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
For the issue of the timing belt. Get the car up on a jack stand and have your wheel/wheel well cover removed to get access to the crank side. You are going to want to rotate the crank until it and your cam gear is at TDC before removing the belt. Once the timing belt covers are off and ready to remove, all you do is loosen the bolt for the tensioner pulley, and it will give the belt some slack. If the hydraulic tensioner hasn't failed yet, go ahead and stick a pin in there prior to loosening the pulley in case you intend on reusing it, that way you don't have to use a c-clamp to squeeze it down again. If you don't stick a pin in it, while loosening the pulley the tensioner will extend out putting pressure against the pulley, not allowing slack.

I talked to a buddy of mine that used to have a 3g gs (he boosted it), he suggested the same thing as far as removing the wheel and wheel well. As for the rest of the information, thanks for the info:yesway:

I'm gonna knock this bitch out tomorrow after 12:00pm when my stupid music appreciation class is finally done with. Off topic note to those in college, Music appreciation really just makes you appreciate the music we have now and the fact that we weren't screwed into listening to the "sacred", a capella garbage of the middle ages or rennisance. I have always enjoyed some baroque and classical music on occasion though. Wshew; angry, all-nighter, procrastinated too long, "I hate this class", I need a smoke but the mosquitos are fucking awful, rant complete...:rant:
 

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Nice write up.
But would you be so kind to give some more detail about how to remove the sensors with metal retainer clip? The other day i was trying to remove the throttle body but i cannot figure out how to remove the sensor.
Thanks~
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Nice write up.
But would you be so kind to give some more detail about how to remove the sensors with metal retainer clip? The other day i was trying to remove the throttle body but i cannot figure out how to remove the sensor.
Thanks~
It wasn't intended to be a "write up" at first, just a "hey watch out for this". Anyway, I got on a roll and went with it.

For those clips. The sensors are mounted by 2 bolts. One sensor is on the Throttle body, the other on the intake manifold. The sensor looks like it has 2 areas where it is connected. If you follow the wire up to the sensor, the first one you run into (mines brown) is NOT it. The whole black piece slides off. The metal "clip/spring/retainer" thing is "U" shaped and wraps around the sensor from the back, and around the 2 sides. If you can get directly vertical over it you can kinda see them. There is a groove that the clip drops into once it's in place. To get it out of there I took a knife and pushed downward and out (towards the ground and and throttle body). Once it began to come free I turned my knife so that if was flat and slid in between the clip and the sensor and pulled it out SLOWLY! IT WILL FLY OFF IF YOU AREN'T CAREFUL! Once the clip is off the sensor wiring just slides right off. Though removal is a pain, the sensors are very easy to re-install.

Well, More progress is being made :yesway: , but of course not without issues :rant: Both my Chilton book, and from talking to my mechanic who did my timing belt about 6 months ago, apparently the motor mount on the camshaft pulley side has to be taken off. IF YOU DO THIS YOU HAVE TO HAVE SOMETHING TO SUPPORT THE ENGINE OR IT WILL FALL! I used my new AC Delco 2 1/2 ton shop quality jack and a 2x4 to support under the oil pan. Well, my passenger side wheel was still on, and to get it off it kinda needs to be back on the ground... which isnt possible if your jack is under the engine where it can't be used to raise/lower the car... :facepalm: Dumbass move on my part. REMOVE THE MOTOR MOUNT LAST. You need to get the passenger side wheel off, along with the inner fender well. The inner fender well is pretty straight forward, there are a few bolts hiding that need to be removed, but I really can't explain where they are effeciently, so I'll have to see if I can find the time to take, upload, and post them to show (low likelyhood). After your tire and inner fender/wheel well are off, this gives you better (there is a pop out thing giving you access to the crankshaft sproket) access to everything you need to get to. Now you need to take off the 2 serpentine belts, the tensioner for the power steering belt was easily operated and I got the belt off no problem, however the alternator belt was the bitch. DONT JUMP TO GETTING THIS BELT OFF JUST YET. The bolts that hold on the water pump pulley should be loosened first. They're 10mm and you'll need a regular wrench for these, a socket wont fit. once you have these broke free (DONT REMOVE THEM YET) you can proceed with removing the alternator belt. You need to remove the nut for the bolt that holds on the alternator. Once this is out I had to hammer (rubber mallet) the bolt in to break it free (it was corroded/rusted in place preventing the tensioner from performing properly. Once the alternator can actually pivot on that bolt the tensioner will work like it's supposed to. just operate the rear bolt until you have enough slack to get the belt off.

And that's as far as I've gotten for now. I'm about to be in the process of removing the water pump pulley, and getting after the lower timing belt cover. Update again tonight I hope.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Allright, so I finally got the head off!
Going to bed for the night, update tomorrow with more how to-ish info and tips. If anyone has any questions about how to remove pretty much anything in the engine bay I propably have taken it off. Other than, the power steering pump, ac condenser, and alternator, everything else is currently sitting in my garage.
 
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