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Discussion Starter #121
i have a total of $5k in this car thus far, including the car itself and the HP tuner, so not really bad at all. I plan to autocross this car, so I want to be sure it's as good of a condition as it can be.

How hard is it to do the delete kit?

I saw this: WERKSracing Ecotec Balance Shaft Delete Sprockets, Performance Autowerks

and this: MWR Ecotec Balance Shaft Deletes, Performance Autowerks

but what concerns me is this statement: "***Requires balance shafts to be cut and machined at the rear of the front mount housing." Does that apply if you are using both parts?
 

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That's a great question. I don't have this particular mod on either of my cars so I can't say for sure. That said, I think the MWR part completely replaces the stock shaft. I can't see how that would fit while maintaining the stock shaft.

BUT, Dave Gilbert at Performance Autowerks would certainly be able to answer. They're very good about responding quickly to email and answering their phone. (Though, who knows if they're open as today is a holiday.)
 

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From my understanding, a few have removed these and wished they hadn't. While you'll net about 20hp from it, its just not worth it unless all you're doing is racing the car. The only real advantage too it is that if you are tracking the car, you can use an electric WP instead of chain driven.
 

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Discussion Starter #124
From my understanding, a few have removed these and wished they hadn't. While you'll net about 20hp from it, its just not worth it unless all you're doing is racing the car. The only real advantage too it is that if you are tracking the car, you can use an electric WP instead of chain driven.
Does anyone here run an electric WP and can shed light on the install process and what needs to be removed? I imagine the stock water pump has to remain in place.

I have pulled the radiator fan, the hood, the charge pipes, and the upper radiator hose. Stopping for the day as I have spent way too much time on this car the last few days. I will say that the radiator fins are literally falling off with the lightest of touches, so I think an upgraded radiator is now a must. Does anyone know what modifications on the fan shroud are needed to fit the WERKS radiator?
 

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If you are looking for a "better" radiator...look at Griffin Radiators. They're custom, so they're not cheap... I dont even know if they make them for the Solstice. It's a friend of a friend that owns the company. I know they do them for older muscle cars and trucks....
 

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Discussion Starter #126
If you are looking for a "better" radiator...look at Griffin Radiators. They're custom, so they're not cheap... I dont even know if they make them for the Solstice. It's a friend of a friend that owns the company. I know they do them for older muscle cars and trucks....
I'm not looking at going extravagant with the radiator, without a working water pump, the car runs for several miles before overheating so I doubt even the stock radiator has issues keeping the motor cool. I just figured that while I had it all apart and the radiator is clearly not in good condition, I would "upgrade" it. WERKS looks much thicker and better built so I'll just upgrade to that, unless the stock radiator is pretty cheap.
 

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I have the Werks (Howe) radiator on my '06. It's a drop-in replacement, except for the fan shroud which needs to be trimmed on the sides to fit. A Dremel with a cutoff wheel, masking tape, a Sharpie and a steady hand make short work of it.

But, it's a $650-ish radiator. Not sure what the stock radiator goes for, but it has to be less than that. The extra gallon of coolant and WAY more surface area really comes in handy for road racing, but for autocross it's overkill.

Could you elaborate on fins "literally falling off?" As in, they are LITERALLY falling off?

Electric water pumps have been done by a few guys on the Cobalt forums (they also use the LNF motor). It's nontrivial. A properly installed pump should last you ~100k miles on this engine. (Though others have had different experience, so let the tomatoes fly.)
 

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Discussion Starter #128
I have the Werks (Howe) radiator on my '06. It's a drop-in replacement, except for the fan shroud which needs to be trimmed on the sides to fit. A Dremel with a cutoff wheel, masking tape, a Sharpie and a steady hand make short work of it.

But, it's a $650-ish radiator. Not sure what the stock radiator goes for, but it has to be less than that. The extra gallon of coolant and WAY more surface area really comes in handy for road racing, but for autocross it's overkill.

Could you elaborate on fins "literally falling off?" As in, they are LITERALLY falling off?

Electric water pumps have been done by a few guys on the Cobalt forums (they also use the LNF motor). It's nontrivial. A properly installed pump should last you ~100k miles on this engine. (Though others have had different experience, so let the tomatoes fly.)
Yes, the fins are very corroded and weak, even just lightly running my hand across the fins makes them crumble off.

Still trying to find a cost effective timing and balancing kit that won't crap out quickly but also won't break the bank. Anyone have any experience or can recommend a kit?
 

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Discussion Starter #129
I have the Werks (Howe) radiator on my '06. It's a drop-in replacement, except for the fan shroud which needs to be trimmed on the sides to fit. A Dremel with a cutoff wheel, masking tape, a Sharpie and a steady hand make short work of it.

But, it's a $650-ish radiator. Not sure what the stock radiator goes for, but it has to be less than that. The extra gallon of coolant and WAY more surface area really comes in handy for road racing, but for autocross it's overkill.

Could you elaborate on fins "literally falling off?" As in, they are LITERALLY falling off?

Electric water pumps have been done by a few guys on the Cobalt forums (they also use the LNF motor). It's nontrivial. A properly installed pump should last you ~100k miles on this engine. (Though others have had different experience, so let the tomatoes fly.)

Yes, the fins are very corroded and weak, even just lightly running my hand across the fins makes them crumble off.

Still trying to find a cost effective timing and balancing kit that won't crap out quickly but also won't break the bank. Anyone have any experience or can recommend a kit?
 

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Discussion Starter #131
Got the timing cover off!

So it looks like the balancer guide broke, tensioner sprung itself out into the cover, and the crank sprocket ate itself up since it didn't have tension.
 

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There are about 4 different name brand kits....ACDelco, Cloyes, Melling and 1 other I can't remember. Don't buy chinese junk knock offs. You'll be back in this same boat again in a year. Spend the $200 on one that I mentioned....It'll be like $100 for timing and $100 for balancer kit....
 

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Wow. That's... impressive.

Maybe we should make some polycarbonate timing covers. It'd save some diagnostic time.
 

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Discussion Starter #135
Luckily the timing chain is nice and tight, I think my upper guide bolt will probably come out just fine and not be a pita.

I did buy the Cloyes balance kit and then the Cloyes timing kit because they published videos on the process to satisfy my curiosity and it was a well made video; A company that is willing to do something like that, has my vote.

While I am at it, I'm going to buy the upgraded radiator (stock is about $200 and this one is horribly corroded), charge pipes, CAI, and intercooler upgrade (stock one is dented). If the car lasts more than a month after all this, I will upgrade the turbo, downpipe, and maybe the fuel rail.
 

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Discussion Starter #136
Update:

Timing and balance kits are in, time to get to work!

I have also ordered a hahn intercooler, WERKS(I think) charge pipes, radiator, and cold air intake, as well as replacement fender wells.

As long as everything holds up for 2-3k miles, I'll get an EFR, Downpipe, GT concept front bumper, and norms GTO hood.
 

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Cool.

My GXP developed a rattle at autocross today. Most likely timing chain (not surprising at 110k miles), so I'll be following in your footsteps soon. I've done a chain on the LE5. I assume the LNF is pretty much the same aside from all the extra crap connected to the valve cover.

On the up side, this is a good opportunity / excuse to swap my big radiator over from the blue car.

Keep posting updates!
 

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Discussion Starter #138
Cool.

My GXP developed a rattle at autocross today. Most likely timing chain (not surprising at 110k miles), so I'll be following in your footsteps soon. I've done a chain on the LE5. I assume the LNF is pretty much the same aside from all the extra crap connected to the valve cover.

On the up side, this is a good opportunity / excuse to swap my big radiator over from the blue car.

Keep posting updates!
That sucks, I found the easiest way to get the turbo oil return line off is actually from the turbo side. You'll have to rock it back and forth and the gently pry with something veing extremely careful and getting as close as you can tk the stem as to not bend the flange.

You know what sucks more though? That I forgot to set top dead center before releasing tension and letting the cams shift..... Now I have to slowly shift everything by hand and figure out exactly where each piston is and slowly get back to TDC.

I know that the TDC on compression comes once in every 4 rotations. Since the crankshaft hits the same points the same way (no compression, intake, exhaust stroke, as far as the crankshaft alone is concerned). Can i remove the cams, set the crank w/ #1 piston at TDC, and set the cams back in at their TDC position? I feel that would be easier than removing the spark plugs, sticking extensions knside, and slowly turning everything back into position.

Does someone know an easier way?
 

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You shouldn't have to remove the cams. The marks on the timing chain are placed such that, when they are aligned with the marks on the crank and the cam gears, they will all be timed correctly. Due to the length of the chain and relative gear sizes, there's only one way to put the chain on and have all of the marks line up correctly.

The crank will rotate two revolutions for every cam rotation. If you think about it, considering the suck-squeeze-boom-belch (intake, compression, ignition, exhaust) 4-cycle, the intake valves are only open for the "suck" part, and exhaust valves are only open for the "belch." But the pistons are at TDC for both the squeeze and the belch.

Since you already have the cover off, you can see that, with the crank key in the 12 o'clock position, #1 should be at TDC.

Another trick which should be performed *very* carefully is to put a long straw or a kabob poker or something in the #1 spark plug hole. That'll let you tell pretty easily when the piston is at the top of its stroke. Make sure the cams are in approximately the right position first to avoid having the valves hit the piston. An easy way to rotate the crank is to turn one of the rear tires by hand, slowly, while having someone watch your straw or whatever. I found that quite a bit easier than using a breaker bar on the crank bolt (which you've already removed, anyway). The car will (duh) have to be in gear, and only rotate the wheel in the direction it would spin if driving in that gear. (Just put it in 1st and rotate the driver's tire counter-clockwise.)

The following is ripped from the AutoZone site, which appears to have been copied verbatim from the factory service manual.

This is one of their better repair guides. I've included parts of the text, but their page has a lot more specific information.


2007 Pontiac Solstice Timing Chain & Sprockets Repair Guide

This is where the notches on the cams should be (visible before putting the gears back on the cams:)

Ensure the intake camshaft notch is in the 5 o'clock position (2) and the exhaust camshaft notch is in the 7 o'clock position (1). The number 1 piston should be at top dead center (TDC), crankshaft key at 12 o'clock.

WARNING

There are 3 colored links on the timing chain. 2 links are of matching color, and 1 link is of a unique color. Use the following procedure to line up the links with the actuators. Orient the chain so that the colored links are visible.




And the intake cam will be in this position:

Install the timing chain drive sprocket to the crankshaft with the timing mark in the 5 o'clock position and the front of the sprocket facing out.

Assemble the intake camshaft actuator into the timing chain with the timing mark lined up with the uniquely colored link


The crank key will be at 12 o'clock, with the chain mark at about 5 o'clock:

Lower the timing chain through the opening in the cylinder head. Use care to ensure that the chain goes around both sides of the cylinder block bosses.

Install the intake camshaft actuator onto the intake camshaft while aligning the dowel pin into the camshaft slot.

Hand tighten the new intake camshaft actuator bolt.

Route the timing chain around the crankshaft sprocket and line up the first matching colored link with the timing mark on the crankshaft sprocket, in approximately the 5 o'clock position.


Rotate the crankshaft clockwise to remove all chain slack. Do not rotate the intake camshaft.

Install the adjustable timing chain guide down through the opening in the cylinder head and install the adjustable timing chain bolt.


Exhaust cam gear mark at about 10-11 o'clock:



Ultimately, with the guide installed, it'll look like this. All colored links and gear marks lined up.

 

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Discussion Starter #140
You shouldn't have to remove the cams. The marks on the timing chain are placed such that, when they are aligned with the marks on the crank and the cam gears, they will all be timed correctly. Due to the length of the chain and relative gear sizes, there's only one way to put the chain on and have all of the marks line up correctly.

The crank will rotate two revolutions for every cam rotation. If you think about it, considering the suck-squeeze-boom-belch (intake, compression, ignition, exhaust) 4-cycle, the intake valves are only open for the "suck" part, and exhaust valves are only open for the "belch." But the pistons are at TDC for both the squeeze and the belch.

Since you already have the cover off, you can see that, with the crank key in the 12 o'clock position, #1 should be at TDC.

Another trick which should be performed *very* carefully is to put a long straw or a kabob poker or something in the #1 spark plug hole. That'll let you tell pretty easily when the piston is at the top of its stroke. Make sure the cams are in approximately the right position first to avoid having the valves hit the piston. An easy way to rotate the crank is to turn one of the rear tires by hand, slowly, while having someone watch your straw or whatever. I found that quite a bit easier than using a breaker bar on the crank bolt (which you've already removed, anyway). The car will (duh) have to be in gear, and only rotate the wheel in the direction it would spin if driving in that gear. (Just put it in 1st and rotate the driver's tire counter-clockwise.)

The following is ripped from the AutoZone site, which appears to have been copied verbatim from the factory service manual.

This is one of their better repair guides. I've included parts of the text, but their page has a lot more specific information.


2007 Pontiac Solstice Timing Chain & Sprockets Repair Guide

This is where the notches on the cams should be (visible before putting the gears back on the cams:)







And the intake cam will be in this position:





The crank key will be at 12 o'clock, with the chain mark at about 5 o'clock:









Exhaust cam gear mark at about 10-11 o'clock:



Ultimately, with the guide installed, it'll look like this. All colored links and gear marks lined up.

It's sad, I knew the procedure but in my excitement, I threw procedure out the window without thought. I was so excited to get back on the road, which won't happen until my intercooler and radiator come in anyway.

I think I actually found a really good piece of advise: remove the chain, rotate the crank till all 4 pistons are in the middle(confirm with straws/kebobs/extensions), set the cams where I need them and then rotate the crank to TDC and attach the chain at the correct marks.

I know spinning the crank backwards is typically bad, but isn't that solely because of the timing chain/tensioner? So it doesn't overextend and make it too tight? Once that's removed from the equation, I should be good right?
 
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