Chevy 2.4 Ecotec VVT Sprocket loose/bad?

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Working on a ‘12 Malibu with the LE9, Ecotec 2.4 engine and I just replaced the timing set; I noticed that as I turn the engine over by hand, the exhaust vvt sprocket has about a 1/4 turn of play before it actually moves the camshaft. Turning the cam itself using the flats yields the same results…1/4 turn of movement of the cam before the sprocket teeth actually engage and move the chain.

Are these things supposed to be locked while not running? The intake vvt sprocket teeth move directly with the camshaft so I’m curious if that’s how they’re supposed to operate.
 

TXCarGeek

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Was it throwing a code?
Was working on it for a buddy. The main thing I was in there repairing was a jumped timing chain and destroyed guides after the car quit running. There were plenty of codes on it! Should have known to order new cam phasers when doing this job but wasn't thinking!

Didn't realize the phaser was toast until I was rotating the engine by hand with the new chain and heard the phaser assembly popping. Here's hoping the engine actually runs after this considering it is an interference engine. Buddy just needs to limp it along for a couple more months until new EV credits go into effect after the new year. He works from home as well so doesn't leave much either.
 

TXCarGeek

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The LE9 wasn’t a bad motor. These Ecotec’s don’t do well with neglected maintenance, which is what happens to most of them.

The 2.4 SIDI Ecotec had many problems, however.
Yeah, this buddy wasn't as strict on oil changes as these engines probably require to preserve their timing set. I'm repairing it for him to limp along for a few more months until he can get something new. He really likes the Mustang Mach-E and I told him that one benefit of an EV is that he never has to worry about oil changes again!
 
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I had a 2012 Equinox with the 2.4 and changed the oil every 3,000 miles with Rotella T5 10W-30. Never had any issues with consumption and timing components. I think these D.I. engines need more frequent maintenance.
GM confirmed your thought when they reflashed the OLM to a shorter one. I always changed wife's Nox 2.4
around 2K miles. Oil was always black. She did "A LOT" of short trips.
 

TXCarGeek

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GM confirmed your thought when they reflashed the OLM to a shorter one. I always changed wife's Nox 2.4
around 2K miles. Oil was always black. She did "A LOT" of short trips.
What did they change the OLM to? And what was it before?
 
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