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Discussion Starter #62
FINALLY had time to get the timing chain cover off over the weekend. The level of crud inside the cover and around the chains and sprockets isn't a surprise, but it's disappointing. Clearly the previous owners were't big proponents of regular oil changes (or using quality oil.) I have some more cleaning to do, obviously. I should also note I've removed no tensioner or guide parts yet - the missing guide had come completely apart, as you can see from the pieces on the leg of the engine stand in the picture of the cover. :oops: I am amazed this thing hadn't jumped time.

The inside of the cover won't be a big deal, it will just take some elbow grease. What about the area around the chain and sprockets? Is there any reason I can't spray it down with brake cleaner, given I'm taking all the plastic pieces out anyway?

Same question goes for the top of the heads. It's not too bad in there, but I do need to clean it up some. If I flip the engine upside down so nothing will flow down into the oil passages, am I safe to use brake cleaner there?

As an aside, I'd just like to say that the sadists at Suzuki that designed this engine should be flogged publicly. It's ridiculous that you should have to remove the intake manifold to get the valve covers off. Just sayin'. :mad: I'll be darn sure that the valve covers are well sealed before the engine goes back in. It would infuriate me to have to drain the coolant and pull the intake to fix a small oil leak at the covers.
95088


95089
 

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Discussion Starter #63
I forgot to mention - through sheer carelessness, I put a big hole in the screen covering the mouth of the throttle body. Is that a part that can be bought separately?
 

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Yuck. :confused:

Pay close attention to internal Valve Cover cleanliness, particularly the out-of-sight baffle area. See the FAQ for details there.

Your brake cleaner use ideas should work OK in general.

Can't help you on the screen issue, at least not at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter #66
After reading those threads I can see I need to remove the baffle to properly clean it and reattach. Knowing how the oil pans and timing chain cover looked, I can't imagine I'd have any success cleaning the valve covers without removing the baffle. Thanks Max.
 

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Don't forget to change the water pump while you're in there too.

Brake cleaner itself won't do any damage, it will mostly evaporate and fresh oil will dilute any residual. Bigger issue is the crud it will wash off, that stuff you certainly want to prevent from entering the engine.
The crud on the covers is about what i'd expect, the engine block itself doesn't look too bad. Just be methodical and clean things carefully and take plenty of pics when you do the chain removal to make sure the marks are correct.
 

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Discussion Starter #68
Oh, definitely. I bought the water pump and oil pump at the same time as the timing set. I don't want to have to go through this again.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #70
It's not all sludgy like that up in the crankshaft/piston area, fortunately. I've already cleaned out the upper and lower oil pans. Before I reassemble, I'll clean the timing cover, the valve cover gaskets, and around the timing chain & gears. I also need to replace the PCV valve, as I can see some oil/residue in the surge tank pipes. Once I have it reassembled and running again, I'll put in conventional oil and a treatment of Marvel Mystery Oil to try to clean things out. That oil fill will only get two hundred miles or so on it before I change it again. After that I'll go to full synthetic, but I'll still change the oil every 3000 miles just as if I was using conventional. It will be more expensive, obviously, but I hope to clean out any build up in the oil passages that I can't get to. This poor thing clearly wasn't maintained as well as it should have been. I just hope some TLC now can stave off any future issues.
 

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Man 2000GV, I'm with you on how that chain stayed on without the tensioner ANYWHERE in sight!!!!! Crude looks very similar to what was in my valve cover way back in 2013. I am going to be tackling this job soon, but am looking at finding a 2.7L, doing a "bench" chain check, water and oil pump, and re-gasket before pulling the 2.5.

Best thing for breaking up the crude is Diesel fuel. I would use a paint brush to apply, try to do some scrubbing, and open the oil drain plug if your not removing the pans for it to drain out. I ran Shell Rotella T6 5w-40 after my valve cover cleaning for about 4 years. Oils made for Diesel vehicle service carry more "detergents" to help clean and breakdown oil crude so it doesn't build up in the engine, and to be caught in the oil filter.

Good luck on the rest of your job here and keep us posted, love the pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #72
Thanks for the tips Shrimpy. Out of curiosity - if you did yours 6 years ago, how many of your 183k miles have you put on since then? Mine only has 116k on it now, and I really hope I can coax another 150k-200k out of it. Much to my wife's chagrin (this will be her car), it's taking longer than I'd hoped mostly because every time I work on it, I find something else that falls under the category of "that would probably be fine but really ought to be fixed now". 🥺
 

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Thanks for the tips Shrimpy. Out of curiosity - if you did yours 6 years ago, how many of your 183k miles have you put on since then? Mine only has 116k on it now, and I really hope I can coax another 150k-200k out of it. Much to my wife's chagrin (this will be her car), it's taking longer than I'd hoped mostly because every time I work on it, I find something else that falls under the category of "that would probably be fine but really ought to be fixed now". 🥺
If I remember correctly, I believe there were around 105K - 110K miles on mine when I did the Valve Covers. My Tracker was my middle daughters first vehicle. Bought it with 78K, third owner, was used as a flower shop delivery vehicle, and records stopped after warranty ran out.

My problems started with heavy blueish white smoke on start ups at random. Burnt less than a quart between oil changes (5K to 6K interval, conventional oil). When the vehicle was driven for extended periods at highway speeds, it would burn oil. Found this out after my daughter drove somewhere with friends and she called to say it was making "noise" when she started it o_O. I told her to check the oil level........3 1/2 quarts later, it's at the proper level. Only time it was ran low that I know of. Started checking different things as she was getting ready to go off to College (3.5 hrs away) and changed PCV. The hose was FULL of Oil. From there, tracked problem of smoke on start up and burning oil at freeway speeds to the plugged baffels on the valve cover(s).

Since I fixed it, I now have 188K, and it did duty in So Cal this summer for my son's internship. It was shipped out, and then driven back by me to Texas in the August heat with zero problems. It has now developed oil LEAKS in all the suspect places.......front and rear crank seals, timing cover, upper and lower oil pan(s), possibly the valve covers but can't be sure. It marks it's spot wherever you park it :ROFLMAO:. It needs to come out to correctly fix the problem areas, but as it's or stand by car, it's really hard to justify cost. It runs very strong, A/C and heat work great, and gets 20+ mpg around town...............but it's going on 16 years old. I believe if you use quality name brand gaskets, and OEM or better parts, you should see another 100K easy. Proper maintenance could easily coax another 50k to 75K.

As you stated, "finding things and fixin it now" is the way to go if you want the time and mileage your looking for.

Hope I answered your question(s), good luck!!
 

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For the valve covers on Bazuki,I dropped them off at the machine shop with heads, and asked them to see if they could clean em. They came back clean, and only added $10 or so to the cost. I used my borescope to inspect and sure enough all the gunk was gone. Something to think about before going through removing the baffles.

Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk
 

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Good Point Skills, that's what I did. Back in the day, they called that "Hot Tanking". It was used to de-grease engine blocks, heads and other automotive parts. When I had my issues, a new valve cover from Suzuki was $375........NO WAY I'm doing that. Old High School friend owns a machine shop close by. Bought a used valve cover (looking back I should have just used mine, but was hoping I would get a good used one) and they "tanked" it for several day. Todays Hot Tanks don't use the same cleaning chemicals of years past that would literally dissolve the crud/carbon that was in the Valve Cover. Today it's basically just a cleaner similar to dishwasher detergent according to him. Mine came back clean and I would recommend everyone get their VC cleaned (or Tanked) if possible.
 

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This is what I use, with water on the surface to stop evaporation. Everything comes out squeaky clean. No way is it detergent, does the same as the old hot tank stuff, just takes a bit longer but it works.

 

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My shop still has a hot tank, but he said they'll just eat aluminum. With all the Al blocks and heads he had to invest in the tools to clean them properly before he does his work.

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