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Old 09-01-2008, 10:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2002 Chevy Tracker Timing Chain Carnage

I'm not sure where the failure started, but I got the typical Camshaft Position Sensor code, after the car stalled at 45 mph... As you can see, it wasn't just the sensor...

(2.0L engine, 4wd)

$600 in parts so far, since many of the sprockets are only available through the dealer.

See the hole in the front cover?


Idler Sprocket is totally hosed.


Metal Chips Everywhere!!!


Upper Timing Chain Guide relocated

Last edited by sbelden28; 09-01-2008 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 09-01-2008, 01:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow...

I guess that it's too late, since you've bought numerous parts, but I would have done a full damage accessment first. Pulling the head off and inspecting for bent valves, piston and cylinder damage would be more than appropriate.

I'm seeing aftermarket parts available (gaskets, chain, guides, etc) at RockAuto...
2002 CHEVROLET TRACKER Engine Parts

How many miles on this engine? From outward appearance I'd say MANY. What has been it's maintenance history? It's time to look at the big picture and determine if further repair efforts (to include a bottom end inspection) are in order as well. At a minimum, you'll need to pull the pan and clean out the debris.

I wouldn't rule out simply replacing the entire engine with a good used replacement, especially if it's a currently high mileage engine AND you plan on keeping the vehicle.
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Another option is a new / reman engine complete w/warrantee for about $4500...

http://webapp.jasperengines.com
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have not bought the parts yet, and I do realize that some parts are available in the aftermarket, as you mention, but being I need all the sprockets and cam gears, the prices I found online for the OEM versions were within a couple dollars of the aftermarket versions. $600 is for everything from an online parts dealer.

The tracker has 80,000 miles on it. Maintenance - eh...well, this was my fiance's car for a couple years before we got tother, so all I can say is that it has had regular oil changes, etc for the last 25,000 miles.

I can't justify sinking 4500 into a reman engine, into a car which is worth about the same, if not less.

As far as pulling the head, this is an interference engine? CRAP...I wouldn't have that was the case.

We don't plan to keep this vehicle, we just want it to last until this coming spring...(Late-April in Maine...LOL)

So, if this is an interference engine, and I pull the head, I'm into this at least for a set of gaskets on top of the $600...not cool...

There is definitely debris in the oil pan. I stuck a magnetic pickup tool into the pan in the gap created by the front cover being off, and it picked up lots of chunks...
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
So, if this is an interference engine, and I pull the head, I'm into this at least for a set of gaskets on top of the $600...not cool...
It is, and I hear ya'. But LESS cool is a probable new / reconditioned head. Add another $600. That's assuming that pistons and cylinders aren't damaged

I'd still keep a local used / boneyard engine in mind.

Those Maine salted roads are hard on an engine accessories and external appearance, huh. I almost forgot as a born and raised Massachusetts Yankee myself.
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Here's a good read on a similar Tracker 4-banger repair...

https://www.suzuki-forums.com/1g-1999...ing-chain.html

In that thread is also a good parts source..
1.8 J18A 2.0 J20A DOHC Timing Chain Kit (GEO - Suzuki) Aerio, Esteem, Sidekick Sport, Tracker, Vitara
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Old 09-01-2008, 03:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max View Post
Thanks very much! That should definitely cut down the cost some, by comparison to buying them individually.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm very sorry to that I did not get to post this message sooner. I had a complete computer crash after fixing our tracker, that I never got to post about it or share in the process. Unfortunately I did lose the pictures of the repair process in the computer crash, and couldn't justify replacing the computer until recently. I got lucky, after tearing it down to the block. I did not need to drop the oil pan to do my repair. I did not have any valve or piston damage. This repair was my first foray into taking an engine down this far, and putting it back together and getting it running again. I had only torn down non-running engines before, and only re-assembled one.

If you are an intermediate home mechanic, you can do this repair yourself. I could not locate a Haynes or Chilton's book for the 2002 model year, so didn't really have a step by step instruction.

If you have a flexible wrist - you do not need to drop the oilpan, just remove a couple oil pan bolts where the pan is attached to the timing cover. No suspension components need to come off, in this repair, aside from the skid plate. (not really suspension)


JB Weld fixed the hole in the timing cover, after sourcing a replacement was difficult/expensive, and too much to justify spending on a COVER, not a moving part. over 7k miles later it's still holding fine.

Much appreciation to partsdinosaur.com - The parts were correct, exactly what I needed, and the best price I found. The timing diagram includedn the shipment was way more valueable than the one in the Haynes manual I bought for a previous model year.

Do's:
1) Seperate and Label your fasteners as you do this teardown. I didn't, and wasted alot of time reattaching something I just took off, due using the wrong length bolt, but the proper thread.
2) Have good lighting! I wasted alot of time try to get the timing cover off, even though a bolt was still holding it on, hidden under a layer of oil/road grease.

I'm already getting worried about the length of this post, so I will do my best to answer PM's about this process, I had one sitting that I didn't know about for a long time. Selfishly, this process gave me more confidence in myself doing home auto repairs, that I am now looking and building up a Jeep XJ... Sorry suzuki folks...
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Glad to hear back from you and to know that all came out well.

Congrats!
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Old 03-28-2009, 03:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ehnihl View Post
What happened to that?...What a mess...
Nearest I can tell, the upper timing chain let go first, allowing the cams to stop in a position where no valve was all the way open, then the upper chain then broke everything in the timing set.

I was amazed that I had no valve or piston damage. I spent the same amount as a junkyard engine (approx $600), but I know the condition of everything by doing the teardown/rebuild process, unlike a junkyard engine.
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