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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
I have acquired a "project car" quite cheap knowing that I was looking at timing chains at the minimum. The 2008 Acadia (SLT2) has about 115k miles with no previous major work to it having been done according to the previous owner and from what I can tell and otherwise is in nice shape. I have researched a lot regarding the process of working on this engine, but am not really an engine guy, but fairly mechanically inclined. I pulled codes before the tear down and had P0011, P0014, P0016, P0017, P0018 and P0019.

I did the best I could on a leak down test and was getting air from the one cylinder I tested moving through the throttle body. I was guessing this meant I was looking at bent valves at that point so I did not test the remaining cylinders as I was expecting a thorough tear down at that point. The chains are attached and the top two have a fair amount of slack in them. I do not have the side cover off as of yet. I was expecting to change the chains, guides, etc.

In the attached photo, you can see the cracked cam cap. The one not pictured has two cracked caps. On the cracked side, the rockers are so loose they can just fall out of place. The non cracked sides, they are more snug. I am thinking that means the valves are bent to where the spring is not putting pressure on the rocker.

My thought is that I will need to take the heads in to have them machined with new valves and seats checked. My question is, is that the correct route to consider and if so, is there anything specific I should be concerned about with the crankshaft/block? I don't mind putting a few bucks into it as long as I know I will have a good engine and feel good about having tackled it. Other suggestions at this point? Thank you.
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I would like to know what cracked the caps
Or did the chain jump?

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Some of those cam lobes look like they have been ran with very little lubrication. I would be concerned with the condition of the crank and crank bearings. Some early Acadia engines were known to suffer from clogged oil passages.

If it were my project, I would be spending my money on a replacement engine.
 

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If it were my project, I would be spending my money on a replacement engine.
+1 That could be the least expensive way to go. And be sure it's an LY7 variant (eighth digit VIN code 7) of the 3.6L engine - one for a 2007-08 Acadia or Outlook would be ideal, though an LY7 from other GM models should work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all. A local machine shop said that the broken caps would indicate that the heads are more than likely not repairable and are backed up three months to even look. I am seeing a fair number of engines online that have close to 140k on them. Knowing the issues that these have and you were to swap, would you consider a timing chain kit or any other preventative things to do to avoid doing things twice? I've seen so many cases online where issues start as early as 100k it makes me nervous.
 

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Thanks all. A local machine shop said that the broken caps would indicate that the heads are more than likely not repairable and are backed up three months to even look. I am seeing a fair number of engines online that have close to 140k on them. Knowing the issues that these have and you were to swap, would you consider a timing chain kit or any other preventative things to do to avoid doing things twice? I've seen so many cases online where issues start as early as 100k it makes me nervous.
I had the same thoughts as the machine shop. Would be different if they were cast iron heads, but they're aluminum. That changes things a lot! Putting the chain kit on a 'used' engine is a good idea. Maybe you can find an engine on which the timing chains were already done.
 

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Thanks all. A local machine shop said that the broken caps would indicate that the heads are more than likely not repairable and are backed up three months to even look. I am seeing a fair number of engines online that have close to 140k on them. Knowing the issues that these have and you were to swap, would you consider a timing chain kit or any other preventative things to do to avoid doing things twice? I've seen so many cases online where issues start as early as 100k it makes me nervous.
Get a reman engine with a minimum 3 year/100,000 mile warranty.

If you were planning to do your own engine repair before, I assume you have a hoist or some other way of removing the engine. If you can do the installation labor yourself, a complete reman engine kit should be relatively "plug and play" compared to individual repairs.

You'll have to deal with shipping the engine core back though if you go the DIY route.
 

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Thanks all. A local machine shop said that the broken caps would indicate that the heads are more than likely not repairable and are backed up three months to even look. I am seeing a fair number of engines online that have close to 140k on them. Knowing the issues that these have and you were to swap, would you consider a timing chain kit or any other preventative things to do to avoid doing things twice? I've seen so many cases online where issues start as early as 100k it makes me nervous.
I would give no consideration to a used engine with 140k. I agree with @SpartyOn and would lead towards a reman engine.

If used is the only option, I would want to see under the timing cover before the purchase. My son is a service advisor and he has seen some of these engines with so much sludge that everyone in the shop was wondering how the engine managed to run.
 

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I also would go with a remanufactured engine unless, if it can be proven that the timing chain and any other repairs were properly done. I've seen timing chain and cam shaft repairs botched by both unskilled owners and careless shops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys. I'll likely be going with a reman. I like the idea of knowing I have an engine that should last a few years. So far, in the midwest, not looking like there are a ton out there.
 

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I don’t know where you’re located but there’s a shop here in Michigan that advertise low milage 3.6 liter engines for $1,750.00. The engines have on average of 36,000 miles. I’ve used them once when I had a nob-rebuildable one on a Traverse.

When I get back into the shop tomorrow I’ll try and track down that invoice and forward the information if you’re interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don’t know where you’re located but there’s a shop here in Michigan that advertise low milage 3.6 liter engines for $1,750.00. The engines have on average of 36,000 miles. I’ve used them once when I had a nob-rebuildable one on a Traverse.

When I get back into the shop tomorrow I’ll try and track down that invoice and forward the information if you’re interested.
I would be interested in knowing if you have that information. Still considering options as the remans I am seeing are $4k. Thanks again everyone.
 

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I would be interested in knowing if you have that information. Still considering options as the remans I am seeing are $4k. Thanks again everyone.
Why would you want to replace an early LLT engine that has issues (timing chains, oil consumption/leakage, early DI implementation, etc.) with a used engine that has the same problems? Seems like you're just rolling the dice to try and get 100,000 miles out of a used engine, when you could just as likely get 15,000.

A good remanufactured engine from a reputable manufacturer will have all of its flaws re-engineered. It's actually better than new in this case.
 

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I would be interested in knowing if you have that information. Still considering options as the remans I am seeing are $4k. Thanks again everyone.
I’ll track the information down upon closing. Did you check out the posting by Rexy624? He posted a link that connected to eBay that had remanufactured engines for $1,950 with free shipping. You can search eBay pert #19218023. My guy was selling used for $1,750 and you have to pay for shipping.

Check the eBay site and let me know what you think. I don’t mind tracking down my guy but it’s gonna take some time. Although I don’t mind taking the time, if it’s unnecessary I’d rather not. In fact, I wish I had Rexy624 a year ago.
 

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Why would you want to replace an early LLT engine ...
It's an LY7 engine, FYI. The LLT wasn't put in the Acadia until 2009. Enoob's Acadia is a 2008.
 

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Why would you want to replace an early LLT engine that has issues (timing chains, oil consumption/leakage, early DI implementation, etc.) with a used engine that has the same problems? Seems like you're just rolling the dice to try and get 100,000 miles out of a used engine, when you could just as likely get 15,000.
Well, I wouldn't. I guess it depends if I am keeping or flipping it as to what I do. I have found remans at $4500 and $4000. If I do it right and add a few newer things like hoses, plugs, VVT solenoids and coils (back three since the engine is out), I could be pushing $5k. It's figuring out to be about double of what a used would be. $5k not all that bad knowing that I should have a reliable engine for some time.

If I go the reman route, is there anything I could/should check on the tranny as it will be out? I know they have some issues with those years. Appreciate all the feedback given.
 
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