I came across a broken down 2005 Chevy Cavalier in Muncie on Craigslist last week. The lister said the timing chain was broken and the engine would not turn over. Always up for a challenge and a weekend hobby I grabbed a U-Haul trailer and headed up. Upon arrival things were worse than they appeared online. Stains all over the seats, rust around the door, and a few more miles on the engine than I would have liked (230k). Back at the shop some pictures were taken.
Back from Muncie ready to get the overhaul started! (starting with removing the Fox Racing stickers haha).
The cavalier’s new home for the next few weeks.
Dead battery was dead. No idea if it will actually work once it’s charged up, hope to not have to purchase a new one before it’s sold.
Timing chain cover removed to inspect the damage. As expected the chain tensioner was faulty and one of the guide arms was broken.
The timing chain guide was in a few pieces, bolts were laying in the bottom of the timing area. Hoping I can account for all the pieces.
Random bolts just chilling out, nothing to see here!
Plastic bits laying about.
After taking the head off of the 140HP 4 cylinder 2.2 Ecotec the damage was discovered. The timing chain was intact, but the tensioner holding the chain in place had become faulty, allowing slack into the chain which allowed it to jump off of the cam sprocket teeth. Since the Ecotec is an interference engine the intake valves happily smashed into the piston heads.
The engine was in pretty good shape considering the mileage and previous owners. Previous Ecotecs with half the mileage had been pretty disgusting.
Same place across all 4 piston heads.
Not visible from this image, but all 4 valves were bent, not able to hold compression, and in need of replacement.
The valve guides appeared to be damaged as well, there was more play than what should be allowed according to the service manual.
The oil rings were full of carbon and not doing their job properly anymore, and would need to be replaced.
Weighing the options of fixing or replacing the head leaned in the way of getting a refurbished one off eBay. The valves and valve guides would cost around $220, would require manually installing them (and hoping I could do it successfully), and needing some extra tools to get the job finished. A fully refurbished head from Odessa Clylinder Heads was only few dollars more and would ensure the head was assembled correctly.
Timing chain kit, gasket set, and cylinder head, and oil rings are in the mail!