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Discussion Starter #1
Im curious if anyone knows if the 3.6l V6 has a timing chain or belt, and if it were to break, is it an interference or non-interference engine? Basically, if the chain (I assume) breaks, will it mess up the engine?
 

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I dont believe so. The only engine GM ever made that was like that was in the old Saturn L300s with the 3.0L and if I remember right it was a DOHC engine. I think those are the only ones that are possible to be interference engines.
 

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fyi old saturn = not gm
They were GM, and the 3.0L with a timing belt was used in more than just that car, but also the Saturn Vue, Cadillac Catera/Opel Omega (and a lot of other Euro-market GM vehicles), Cadillac CTS as a bored 3.2L variety for the first model year, etc.

Otherwise, all North American GM engines use a lifetime (essentially...I've known people to go hundreds of thousands of miles and never touch it) timing chain except for the--again, Euro sourced and unique--Saturn/Opel Astra with a timing belt 1.8L 4-cyl.

The timing chain is always something that often mystifies Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc., etc. past owners who are used to their timing belt/water pump change at a certain mileage interval. A timing chain breaking, especially on a GM vehicle engine, is so far out of the ordinary, that it's rarely even thought of. It can happen, yes, but if anything and only after many, many, many miles would the chain even start to wear at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I dont believe so. The only engine GM ever made that was like that was in the old Saturn L300s with the 3.0L and if I remember right it was a DOHC engine. I think those are the only ones that are possible to be interference engines.


They were GM, and the 3.0L with a timing belt was used in more than just that car, but also the Saturn Vue, Cadillac Catera/Opel Omega (and a lot of other Euro-market GM vehicles), Cadillac CTS as a bored 3.2L variety for the first model year, etc.

Otherwise, all North American GM engines use a lifetime (essentially...I've known people to go hundreds of thousands of miles and never touch it) timing chain except for the--again, Euro sourced and unique--Saturn/Opel Astra with a timing belt 1.8L 4-cyl.

The timing chain is always something that often mystifies Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc., etc. past owners who are used to their timing belt/water pump change at a certain mileage interval. A timing chain breaking, especially on a GM vehicle engine, is so far out of the ordinary, that it's rarely even thought of. It can happen, yes, but if anything and only after many, many, many miles would the chain even start to wear at all.
That's not entirely true. I don't know about other brands, but I'm 99% sure my Nissan Sentra had a timing chain, not a belt.

I don't think that an engine had to be DOHC to be an interference motor either, but I guess I don't know that for sure. I know a lot of older engines were non-interference and I believe more & more newer engines are interference type engines.

What happens is if the timing chain/belt breaks or malfunctions, your valves either do or don't have enough room, when not timed properly, to clear the valves. If there isn't enough room then serious damage can occur when the parts knock into each other. Newer engines often have less clearance because space is reduced for increased power & efficiency, though not all newer engines are interference type motors. This really is more of an issue with timing belt applications as they're more likely to fail, but it's something I always like to know anyway. With a non-interference timing chain motor I'll let it go until there is a problem with the chain as there isn't a worry for damage. If it is an interference engine with a timing chain, I will be much more diligent in checking the chain at certain service intervals to be sure there isn't a problem.


edit: Isn't this a DOHC VVT engine anyway? Further review shows Nissan has indeed switched back to timing chains. Toyota is a mix, and I didn't see anything about Honda.
 

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I never meant to imply Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc. never use timing chains--they absolutely do, in some designs--but it's not overly common, or their norm. For instance, the Toyota 3.0L & 3.3L version V6 always used a belt, then in the last couple of years when they came out with the eventual replacement for both with a new 3.5L it now also used a chain. But that's not overly widespread, by any means, and certainly nothing like the GM "norm" of timing chains.

So it's still a very common question from anyone coming from years of Accords, etc. that have never used anything but the mainstay timing belts, when coming to a GM or any other vehicle that doesn't.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I never meant to imply Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc. never use timing chains--they absolutely do, in some designs--but it's not overly common, or their norm. For instance, the Toyota 3.0L & 3.3L version V6 always used a belt, then in the last couple of years when they came out with the eventual replacement for both with a new 3.5L it now also used a chain. But that's not overly widespread, by any means, and certainly nothing like the GM "norm" of timing chains.

So it's still a very common question from anyone coming from years of Accords, etc. that have never used anything but the mainstay timing belts, when coming to a GM or any other vehicle that doesn't.
That may be true. I don't know much about Honda or Toyota's use of chains vs. belts. It still isn't true for Nissan. My understanding is that chains are the default with Nissan, and have been for a while now. It didn't used to be that way, but they changed because of issues with belts breaking and their interference engines.
 

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They were GM, and the 3.0L with a timing belt was used in more than just that car, but also the Saturn Vue, Cadillac Catera/Opel Omega (and a lot of other Euro-market GM vehicles), Cadillac CTS as a bored 3.2L variety for the first model year, etc.

Otherwise, all North American GM engines use a lifetime (essentially...I've known people to go hundreds of thousands of miles and never touch it) timing chain except for the--again, Euro sourced and unique--Saturn/Opel Astra with a timing belt 1.8L 4-cyl.

The timing chain is always something that often mystifies Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc., etc. past owners who are used to their timing belt/water pump change at a certain mileage interval. A timing chain breaking, especially on a GM vehicle engine, is so far out of the ordinary, that it's rarely even thought of. It can happen, yes, but if anything and only after many, many, many miles would the chain even start to wear at all.
mY SON HAD A 1995 HODA WITH A 160,000 ON IT. TIMING CHAIN REPLACED AT 100,000. ENGINE DESTROY DUE TPO ZERO CLEARANCE DESIGN. CARR GET JUNKS AFTER THAT. nEVR DROVE A gm TO THE JUNK YET.
 
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