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Chevy Tracker

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  • I'm trting to replace the belts on my 97 Tracker 4wd. I can't locate the stationary bolt (as opposed to the adjusting bolt) on the a/c. The adjusting bolt is right in front but I can't see the other bolt. Any help where it might be? Thanks, Mike
  • snicholsnichol Posts: 28
    Hi,
    I have a 2001 4 door tracker with the 2.0L Engine (127 hp), automatic transmission w/overdrive, 2 wheel drive. I have high milage on it, over 207,000 miles!
    It has been a Very Dependable vehicle, except for the AC compressor going out twice. (That's another question for later!)
    Monday, the timing chain broke all of a sudden when I stopped. It won't start at all.
    I have been told by a local mechanic that they are a bear to find parts for; the parts are very expensive and he is very reluctant to work on it.
    He said that the engine is gone, since the timing chain broke, it will have bent all the valves and ruined the engine. Is this true?
    Is it cheaper to replace the engine, or overhaul it, or Junk the car?
    With my milage this high, I would like to overhaul the engine and go another 200,000 miles! (or replace it with a rebuilt/Used Engine)
    I'm told it's too expensive to buy parts for and I can't seem to find an engine replacements locally, new or used.
    I would appreciate anyone's suggestions, recommendations on what course of action I should take? (I am happy with the Tracker and would like to continue driving it.)
    Any sources on engines, rebuilt, or otherwise?
    I am in the Houston, Texas area.
    Thanks,
    Sam Nicholson

    SNichol
  • snicholsnichol Posts: 28
    On my 2001, the tensioner is on the front just under the top pulley. By putting a wrench on that tensioner bolt and a small pipe on the wrench for leverage, the tensioner can be pushed backed far enough that the belts can be removed/replaced.
    I discovered this by accident when trying to replace the main belt on my 2001.
    I don't know if it's the same, but try it.

    I'm not so lucky, my timing chain just broke. (See my post)
    Thanks,
    SNichol
  • siberiasiberia Posts: 520
    it will have bent all the valves and ruined the engine. Is this true?

    Probably, but not necessarily. Sometimes if the valves are hitting the pistons the starter will not turn the engine over. If the valves are bent allowing the engine to turn with the starter there might be some noise when the pistons hit giving you an indication. Of course, turning the engine over with the starter might do more damage - if that's possible. :cry:

    I just posted this site a few messages back:

    http://www.car-part.com/

    When I searched for 2.0 L Suzuki engines several pages of engines came up ranging from $2,000 down to $900 - some with low mileage. :)
  • davedondavedon Posts: 2
    Hi Scotter,
    I am having the same problem with a 2002 Tracker. It acts up when the weather is cold, when things warm up the trouble clears like magic. I had it in to the dealer and they said they didn't believe it was cold weather related but they would put a new air pump on for $565 plus tax plus labour, plus, plus, plus!! I think there must be water someplace in the pump or valving. Can that pump be disassembled, dried, sealed and reinstalled if nothing else is broken? If not I think I'll avoid GM like the plague and check with the Suzuki dealer for a cheaper alternative and do the work myself.
    Thanks
    davedon
  • You should have visited the Suzuki dealer first and bought the part and installed it yourself. First of all, GM will charge you $300+ more for the same part you can buy at Suzuki. I believe it's a fairly easy job...it's making sure you have the inlet/outlet hoses hooked up right to the pump.

    I too have the same problem; when it gets cold, it won't engage in 4WD. I tried telling different mechanics about it...the answer I got was; "It has to sit on the level with the wheels headed straight in order for it to engage". That's a bunch of hogwash, I tried it every which way to Sunday and it wouldn't engage.
  • trakronrtrakronr Posts: 4
    *I'm sorry this is so long, but I figure more details is better than less. About 6 weeks ago my Tracker made a horrible racket. It sounded like the exhaust fell off and was dragging the ground, but it wasn't. I couldn't find anything wrong so I drove it home. About 4 weeks ago, the oil light started flickering on. Everyone told me that if the engine was rattling that I needed to replace the oil pump and if there was no noise to replace the sensor/sending unit first. I had an exhaust leak so I couldn't tell if the engine was making a noise. I had the exhaust replaced and could clearly hear engine noise. I ordered a pump from Chevy and we replaced it. To do this, you need to partially pull the motor. When my husband removed the front motor cover (over timing chain), parts started flying. It seemed the noise I had heard 6 weeks ago was the upper timing chain tensioner, one sprocket and the chain guide breaking apart. That appeared to be the only damage. We removed the loose parts and I continued to drive it until more parts could be ordered from chevy. We replaced those last weekend, but I still had a noise. My husband noticed on closer inspection that the idler sprocket was damaged. So, needless to say more parts ordered from chevy. We replaced the idler sprocket and the bushing behind it this weekend. And, I still have a noise. Generally, if you are idling the motor (sitting still or driving), the motor is quiet. However, if you have to accelerate or decelerate, there is a noise coming from under the hood and close as we can tell. If you pick up the speed just a little bit and get the tracker to shift up a gear, the noise goes away. If I set the cruise, the noise is gone. We've sunk $750 in dealer parts in this thing and we still have a noise. Also, I might mention that the oil light will still flicker, but it only does it when the rpm drop down really low. Anybody's help or suggestions would be most greatly appreciated. And, again, I'm sorry this was so long.
  • scotterscotter Posts: 14
    The pump is sealed and it is highly unlikely that there is water in it. Although I think the Tracker is a well made vehicle, the air pump for the 4WD is the cheapest thing I have ever seen, but has been redesigned since '03 to be a bit more reliable. Anyway, the cold weather may or may not have an effect, but I had issues when it was cold the O rings got stiff and hard and wouldnt seal properly. Bottom line is you have to replace the pump.

    I bought mine from a Suzuki dealer for about $200, and it takes about 10 minutes in the driveway to take out the old one and put in the new. Just make sure you label the two hoses "upper and lower" before you remove them from the old unit, as you can possibly damage the diaphram inside the front differential if you connect them backwards.

    And as far as parts go, NEVER go to a GM dealer for parts, always go to the Suzuki dealer. Not that I have had to purchase alot of parts, but each time Suzuki is less the half of GM price.
  • Do you recall the name of the part, or assembly? Might make it easier to look it up on the internet or speak with the Suzuki parts person.

    Thanks...M
  • scotterscotter Posts: 14
    Your engine is junk at this point. The noise you originally heard may indeed have been the timing chain sprocket, tentioner etc; but to keep driving for weeks is the issue. I think bits and pieces of metal worked their way through the engine, and destroyed it from the inside.

    Honestly what amazes me is that after you heard a "horrible racket", you didnt see anything so you kept driving. And then when you found broken parts under the timing chain cover, you removed the broken parts, and kept driving. The engine needs to be replaced at this point, and the fact it runs at all is a surprise, but it is on its very last leg.

    The only reason the timing chain and/or related parts would wear out or break is due to lack of oil. These engines dont have a good oil bypass system that forces oil into the timing chain area, rather it depends on drip and splash from other components. If you get a quart down the first thing that is oil starved is the timing chain and related parts. I check my oil often, and if it gets a half quart low, I add oil to prevent what happened to yours.

    You can get a new crate engine form Suzuki for about $3200.00, but depending on the condition of the rest of the vehicle, a new engine is probably more then the Tracker is worth. Driving after hearing a horrible noise I think did you in, and then removing broken engine parts and continuing to drive, was the final nail as they say. You may be able to get an engine form a junk yard, but the risk there is that it may have as poorly maintained as yours was.
  • scotterscotter Posts: 14
    I dont remember exactly what it was called, only that it was something that sounded way to technical for what it is. Just call the Suzuki parts desk, and tell them you want the pump- pressure switch- that engaes the front differential. It's mounted on the back side of the front bumper on the passenger side. It has connections for one electrical plug, and two air lines.

    One air line runs to the front diff, and the other is the supply line, that runs up and connects to a metal "water trap" next to the radiator. This hairpin piece of tubing, prevents water from entering the supply line, and it mounted up high, above the front bumper, so it wont suck water in, if you happen to be in some water.
  • davedondavedon Posts: 2
    The part is called an 'air pump'.
    davedon
  • trakronrtrakronr Posts: 4
    Thanks for the input, but lack of oil was never an issue. Mine was faithfully changed and checked often. I had no oil leaks, so at the most I added less than 1/4 qt between changes. This is my 3rd tracker and have had nothing but good luck with all until now. 3/12/07 is the first day I really got to drive it since we changed the idler sprocket Saturday. Surprisingly enough the previous noise is almost gone. I deliberately ran it hard to see if the noise would get louder and it didn't. Not too smart I know, but I needed to find out. When I crank it up to 65mph and set cruise the motor runs just as smooth as the day we bought it 4+ yrs ago. We have come to the conclusion (after talking to several mechanics and/or friends) that the timing chain may be a little stretched or the lower tensioner may not be doing its job completely. For $400 more, I can replace the remaining parts. Luckily, some of these parts can come from somewhere other than Chevy this time. I'm ordering a chain and we'll go from there. I have been told by more than one person that my tracker shouldn't be running. But it is and honestly I have heard vehicles that sound far worse than mine. I'll post and let everyone know how it goes.
  • siberiasiberia Posts: 520
    Hi Trakronr,

    Just a couple of points:

    It is premature to assume that the engine is damaged because some metal got loose in the oil. The screen on the oil pickup should stop pieces from getting picked up by the oil pump and the oil filter should catch the rest.

    You might be on the right track with the timing chain. Centrifugal force and load might be causing the chain to take up slack and fly out against the tensioner quieting it down at speed.

    Seems like I read something about the timing chain tensioner not doing its job after a small oil port clogged and loosing pressure to a little piston that pushes it out against the chain. But, low oil pressure could also provide the same result.

    Also, I'm always a little surprised when something that pumps oil can fail. It's the best lubricated part in the car yet most people point to it first. It's been my experience that when oil pressure is lost it's usually due to something else like main, rod and cam bearings or something blocking oil flow. On point I agree with is that low oil pressure starves the top of the engine first.

    Good luck and let us know what happens.
  • trakronrtrakronr Posts: 4
    FYI,
    I have been buying timing parts for my 2000 2.0L 4wd tracker which has 134K miles. So far the majority has been special order from Chevy dealership. I ended up ordering the lower/lge timing chain from Auto Zone. I have invested around $400 just in the timing parts and have only replaced about half of them. I had a small sprocket lose a couple teeth, the upper chain guide broke in to, and the upper tensioner broke. It was part metal, part plastic. I have since ordered the idler sprocket and bushing, because the sprocket showed uneven teeth wear and one tooth was chipped. I go tomorrow to pick up the lower chain and tensioner. I hope that will take care of my problems. Good luck finding aftermarket parts in your area. And, I hope you haven't toasted your motor.
  • snicholsnichol Posts: 28
    Thanks,
    So far my mechanic can't find anything local!
    He says Chevrolet wants $3800 for a short block.
    There are no rebuilt available for this engine here in Houston. (Can you provide me with your sources of the parts other than Chevy & Auto Zone?)
    One company here in Houston will rebuild it for a little over $1850, but my mechanic doesn't trust them. He says if they re-bore the engine cylinder sleeves over .20, it will make the walls too thin and subject to blow out. (Anyone care to comment on this? (verify/discount it?)
    We are searching for a complete replacement engine to install and go.
    Anyone know where I can find a low milage engine right away? Cheap?
    Thanks,
    SNichol
  • trakronrtrakronr Posts: 4
    So far, I only can get parts from Chevy and Auto Zone. Any part store I called to me it was a dealer item. The chain was only $46.99 from AutoZone. You can get it online (I believe and get it delivered). A source for rebuilt motors is: www.marshallengines.com When I asked my chevy dealer about rebuilt motors, he told me everyone is using them. They have dealerships across the country. I don't know if any are close to you or not. I emailed them last night requesting a price quote, but haven't gotten an answer yet. It appears that they offer a 36 month, 100K mile warranty. I used a site someone else referred at www.car-part.com. I did find a motor within 50 miles of my home for $850. You might try them.

    Good luck,

    Pam
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    why does it have to be a rebuilt motor? get a salvage yard motor. i used to have a 1981 dodge colt with a mistubshi engine. It was fried by a lack of oil. i got a salvage colt engine for $115 and it lasted over 100,000 additional miles! This time i made sure maintance was kept up. My opinion, you dont need a rebuilt engine for $2000. Hell i just traded my 1999 tracker 4x4 in and its total worth was $2000! See about a salvage engine. you could get a engine from a tracker that was hit in the rear or side and totalled. we know it doesnt take much to total these things. at least it gives you another road to look down.

    chris
  • steven_ssteven_s Posts: 10
    Hi Guys, I just tried my a/c for the first time this year. It doesn't seem to be blowing cold air....maybe slightly cooler then fan air. A/c light comes on when you push the button and I believe the compressor is starting....I can feel the revs change a bit. Possible related issue...I had the vehicle krown rust proofed a month ago...I noticed an excessive amount of light oil in the engine compartment. I thought it was the rust proofing....now I wonder...could it be a/c related? Is there any oil in that system?

    Anyhow...checked fuse under hood...25 amp, looks good...where do I start with this? Thanks.
  • Funny you should post this...I had the same problem today. Although..I didn't have any rust proofing done.

    It worked okay a few weeks ago, but all of a sudden...no air conditioning.

    Any ideas...like leakage, pump gone bad, etc.?
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