My 97 cavalier has developed a noise that seems to be coming from the
upper engine. It clicks particularly once it is warm.
I have taken it to two mechanics and they are too spooked to work on a
quad 4. One said there is no adjusting of valve lash in a quad 4, but
I have read that there is.
The other guy keeps giving me this horror story about having had to
replace a water pump on one saying it took eight hours and was a
massive pain and he doesn't want to work on one ever again.
My question is, how big a deal is it really to adjust, or if need be
change cams, followers etc.?
If I can find a mechanic, how much shhould I expect to have to pay?
Would it be ridiculous for a backyard mechanic like myself to try it.
( I have done a valve job on an older toyota succesfully)?
A college colleague and I once replaced a head gasket on the notorius first
generation quad 4. Not only were the specialty tools hard to get, the parts
were pricey too.....I don't remember a valve lash adjustment. It was a
lenthy task but it was because we were in vocational school and had no
choice but to go slow.
Anyway, the motor developed a tick AFTER we put it back together. We took
it back apart and found a collapsed lifter was to blame. We figured it was
because we dried out a lifter (did not let it soak long enough to get the
air out) and it never pumped up. Replaced all the lifters...VERY
expensive...but tick was gone and the car ran until his dad wrecked it....
We should have replaced the lifters in the first place, but hey...community
college students are poor!!! LOL
Since there is "no" adjustment, adjustment is no big deal. There
should be no need to change cams. It's a big deal to change
lifters on this engine, and unless you are quite a compentent
mechanic, I wouldn't go there. Without hearing the noise,
it's hard to give you much more advice. In the early models,
there were problems with an anti-drain back valve in the
block that would stop oil pressure from getting to the
cylinder head, but this was always accompanied by no
oil pressure on the dash gauge (as the sending unit was
in the cylinder head) and "all" the lifters would be noisy.
The Qaud 4 serious of engines is not to be tinkered with unless you
know exactly what you are doing. They are a complex design that is
difficult to work on. Some items require special tools, and some
proceedures can tax even seasoned Pros. The only person I know that likes
to work on them is a dealer tech I know. At the dealership he works at, he
is the only one who likes the quad 4 cars, and will ask for them.
I had my own Quad 4 horrior story dealing with a 1993 Grand Am starter
swap (high mount starter, single cam), that becaume a nightmare due to
customer involvement. Which lead to a wiring short, and many hours of
tracing, testing, and replacement of items that were already dying.
About the only thing the unexperianced with the quad 4 should attemp is
a spark plug change. I have heard horrior stories before where goober has
told a customer he could only change one spark plug.
Quad 4 parts are expensive, and at times hard to get. Right now Im
looking for a running 1994 Single Cam High Mount starter Quad 4 for a
customer. Not an easy order to fill.
Depending on the body type, I will not do a quad 4 timing chain or water
pump (again depends on year & body type) with out either Droping the
cradle, or pulling the engine. If you do that, you suddenly have room to
work on it, and it becomes more pleasent. Just like I will no longer
change high mount quad 4 starters from below. I have found it quicker to
remove the intake manifold, and replace the gasket for it then to go thru
the exercise of pulling it from the bottom. As there is little room. I
have thin, long arms, with medium sized hands, and it's crampt for me.
If you want to learn how to work on Quad 4 engines I suggest you buy a
few core units from salvage yards. Tear them apart, and reasemble them a
few times. Also get a GM factory serivce manuial for a Quad 4 car. Between
the book, and the experiance, then you would be ready to tackle your Quad 4.
Charles, having done dozens of these myself, I would recommend that
you just remove the exhaust manifold when doing a water pump. It's
quite simple when you do this, opens up all sorts of room. Because
I work flat rate, it simply would not be feasible time wise to drop
the engine out for this job. On the later models that secure the
engine to the body with a front engine mount, once you remove
that front mount, you can jack the engine way up and have a very
nice, clear shot at the front cover and timing chain.
Ian you have an advantage over me there. I have worked on maybe 7 quad
4's where I was not just pulling the cylinder heads to sell (salvage
yards). Being a dealer service tech, you have found some of the short
cuts that I probably have not heard of.
Im always willing to learn something new.
Yes, you would have to remove both on this vehicle. When they
changed from the 2.3 to the 2.4 Quad, they changed the design
of the water pump. On the older engines, the gear that drove
the water pump was part of the front cover and the water pump
shaft was splined into that gear from the back of the cover. On
the new engines, the water pump driven gear is an integral
part of the pump....so you have to remove the timing chain to
get the water pump out. The engine mount bolts to the front
of the engine and is in the way of the front timing cover, so
it has to be removed. If you have a standard trans, you could
do the water pump removal without taking the exhaust manifold
off, but for space and ease of repair issues...I'd still take it off.
When you get the gasket kit for the water pump, it even includes
an exhaust manifold gasket.
Now I know why the senior tech at work had me pull the timing cover for
no apparent reason on my first Quad 4 w.p. job...LOL
Ian can you email me your latest email address please?
My (postable here) address is firstname.lastname@example.org
I guess this type of job must be done by dealer.
I normally do all my own mechanical work from water pump/alternator/brake/CV
drive shaft or just about anything without special tools or hoist to lift
the car off the ground. This type of job concern me because I always have
problem removing exhaust manifold simply because of the rust on bolts or
nuts. My main concern now is that what would happen if the water pump
develop a leak, would you find antifreeze in the oil? How would I know when
to replace the water pump since I can't visually inspect the pump without
open up the engine?
Thanks for the help.
Actually, you can do this entire job without any
"special" tools. Other then the normal ones that
you can get at any auto parts store.
Believe it or not, this is rarely an issue with these engines.
The exhaust manifold uses studs and nuts to retain it to
the head, and I've never run across any yet that I had
a problem getting the nuts or studs out. Of course, I work
on mainly lower mileage vehicles.
The water pump is still externally mounted. Yes, part of it goes
through the front cover and into the timing chain area, but the
part of it that will leak is external. So you don't have to worry
about the coolant getting into the oil, and you can check it for
Higher Mileage Quad 4's can be a bear to remove studs & bolts from.
Galvanic Corrosion is the main cause. I have removed a number of older Quad
4 Heads where the head bolts have snapped off at the bolt head. Due to
Galvanic Corrosion between the Aluminum Block & Head with steel fasteners.
This is a problem not limited to the Quad 4 engines. I have encountered
it all too often on other GM vehicles, and other brands of vehicles.
No this sort of work does not need to be done by a dealer. Yet on the
same token, if taken to a shop, find one that has experience with Quad 4
Any special tools you might need would be outlined in the Factory
Service Manual. I Highly Recommend you purchase one, and use it. This will
give you the same information that the Dealer service tech's use. Other
publications are rather vague about Quad 4 Service & repair.
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