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2004 Oldsmobile Alero GL1 2dr Coupe

2004 Oldsmobile Alero
Trim Info:
Front Wheel Drive, 2 Door Coupe, Compact
24 mpg city / 34 mpg hwy
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November 3, 2012, 2:30 pm

Frank C

Question: 2.2L Ecotec Valve Question

I have an Alero 2002 with a 2.2L Ecotec, had the timing chain break, it's obvious now with no compression there is valve damage because it's an intereference engine. I Took it in anyway to have it looked at, the mechanic wanted 2,000 to replace 6 valves I believe this is a job I can do myself, I've been working on cars for a while. I replaced the timing chain myself and practically gift wrapped the car for him to look at, removed the valve cover, etc.

To be clear, if I take the head off and order some valves, is it possible I may not need machine work? shouldn't I just be able to replace the valves, do a leak test on the cylinders, get a new gasket, be sure the bolts are put in the exact same place, line up the cam marks properly for the timing chain, set the motor at top dead center lining up the timing chain mark at the camshaft?

It's my understanding I may not have to send the head out, as long as I verify the valves are properly installed, there are no leaks and using a metal yard stick to be sure the head isn't warped. Remember this is from a car that was running fine 2 weeks ago, just the timing chain broke and some valves are damaged. Shouldn't I just be able to replace the damaged valves and as long as they seat properly as I said and a leak test (Using water or brake cleaner) would ensure it's proper?

Any help would be appreciated. Also do you recommend even though the engine isn't running to put anti-freeze in the motor still. Any suggestions until it gets warm enough outside to work on it, winter is approaching.

November 12, 2012, 1:02 pm

Elizabeth K

Yes, you've got it right. If you have no reason to think the head is warped, you don't need to get it machined. A shop would probably want to machine seat the valves, but at 120k miles, I don't recommend that, since the valves and the rings have been wearing for the last several years. If you seat the valves too well, you'll increase combustion chamber pressure and could start to see some blow by. Most 'backyard mechanics' will hand-lap the valves (link to video below). If you are unsure about the process at all, the factory manual is a great help. You can get them on CD on eBay much cheaper than the paper manuals.

And if you live where it freezes and there's water sitting in the engine block, definitely have a coolant/water mix in there. Good luck!

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