Timing belt or chain in the Cruze 1.8? - Page 2
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Thread: Timing belt or chain in the Cruze 1.8?

  1. #11
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    Ecotec is just a name that covers many engine families in GM's product lineup.

    The all aluminum Family II Ecotecs have chain driven camshafts (2.2l-2.4l engines used in various cars since MY 2000).

    The 1.8 Ecotec in the Cruze is a Family 1 engine, has a iron block and DOHC motors have aluminum heads (some SOHC motors have iron heads), and belt driven cams. It is the same motor used in the Saturn/Opel Astra, and for a few years, under Daewoo's D-Tec name.

    The 1.4t is a Family 0 engine, again another Opel design phased in during the 1990's in Europe for small displacement tax friendliness. All have a iron block with aluminum heads and chain driven cam shafts.

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  3. #12
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    So I will ask again, why did GM go with the 1.8? Why not the 1.4 and a 2.0 diesel or something? I'm glad I have the 1.4. I would have a hard time buying a 2011 model that still has a belt.

  4. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer114 View Post
    So I will ask again, why did GM go with the 1.8? Why not the 1.4 and a 2.0 diesel or something? I'm glad I have the 1.4. I would have a hard time buying a 2011 model that still has a belt.

    GM used the 1.8 because it would fit and they had the plant capacity to produce the engine. That and the fact it was one of the few small displacement GM engines that had current US emission certificates.

    What is wrong with timing belts? Many auto makers still use them, and modern rubber technology is vastly superior to stuff of even a decade ago. Most new vehicle timing belt change intervals are 90-100k miles. Timing chains do not last forever, and are much more expensive to change out than a belt. The early GM 2.2l ecotecs (2000-2003) were pretty notorious for timing chain breakage. Heck on my old 1998 Nissan Altima the timing chain guide failed at 176k miles and made the chain jump a few teeth on the cams. I ended up with 12 bent valves. Just because it has a chain does not mean it will last forever and be maintenance free. Just ask any Toyota 22R owner, MB 380SL owner...

  5. #14
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    Thanks for that info Wolf. I have always assumed a chain was better because it is metal. And Shawn; "I am going to park in an intersection and put the car in neutral" was a tongue in cheek comment about my own personal emberassment about not knowing about the ecotec being such a generic engine term and you were the one who got a kick out of me not knowing about the tranny going to neutral when the brake was applied for a stoplight at an intersection. Remember? You were, quote; "lmao'ing." I thought it was pretty funny too. Just my self-deprecating humour kicking in, thats all.

  6. #15
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    I understand that timing chains break too, but I'd rather have metal than rubber in my engine. I guess I just remember my first cars with timing belts were junk. You had to replace them at 50-60K almost to the mile or they would break and cause havoc. Maybe the modern versions are better, maybe not. You said your Altima's chain broke at 176K. If I can get that kind of durability out of my Cruze, I'll be more than happy.

  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer114 View Post
    I understand that timing chains break too, but I'd rather have metal than rubber in my engine. I guess I just remember my first cars with timing belts were junk. You had to replace them at 50-60K almost to the mile or they would break and cause havoc. Maybe the modern versions are better, maybe not. You said your Altima's chain broke at 176K. If I can get that kind of durability out of my Cruze, I'll be more than happy.
    Yes, chains can be better, but they are very expensive to replace. Belts are designed to be changed, and on my 2003 Saturn L300, every 100,000 miles. Chains are usually not designed to be replaced, so there is much more labor involved. On my Altima, the engine had to come out of the car to get the lower timing cover off. My mechanic said there was going to be about 10-12 hours of labor to change the timing chain and guides. And actually my chain was fine, it was the adjusters guide that broke, causing the chain to flap around and break. Nissan uses a double row chain that resists stretching and should last a long time.

    On my previous 2000 Saturn LS1, the timing chain was stretched and the adjuster was all the way out at 135,000 miles. Luckily the aluminum Ecotecs are easier to take the front covers off, but still it was $1600 to change the timing chains and all related equipment (chains, guides, water pump, etc).

    Most of the vehicles I have had that had timing belts were usually between $300 and $500 depending on what is being changed out. The only exception to that was my GM 3400 TDC engine, which was expensive due to the amount of crap you have to remove to get to the belt and to pull the cam covers.

    So either way can cost money, but chains will generally last longer and should be less maintenance intensive. But if you lease, neither option will be a concern.

  8. #17
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    ...either way -- belt or chain -- it's a catastrophic problem when either one fails.

    ...chains seldom "jump" teeth, which can often happen with stretched belts.

    ...but, chains that use nylon "teeth" can also fail and likewise cause same problem of "jumped" timing.
    2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 1.4LT 6A
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  9. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfc70 View Post
    Yes, chains can be better, but they are very expensive to replace. Belts are designed to be changed, and on my 2003 Saturn L300, every 100,000 miles. Chains are usually not designed to be replaced, so there is much more labor involved. On my Altima, the engine had to come out of the car to get the lower timing cover off. My mechanic said there was going to be about 10-12 hours of labor to change the timing chain and guides. And actually my chain was fine, it was the adjusters guide that broke, causing the chain to flap around and break. Nissan uses a double row chain that resists stretching and should last a long time.

    On my previous 2000 Saturn LS1, the timing chain was stretched and the adjuster was all the way out at 135,000 miles. Luckily the aluminum Ecotecs are easier to take the front covers off, but still it was $1600 to change the timing chains and all related equipment (chains, guides, water pump, etc).

    Most of the vehicles I have had that had timing belts were usually between $300 and $500 depending on what is being changed out. The only exception to that was my GM 3400 TDC engine, which was expensive due to the amount of crap you have to remove to get to the belt and to pull the cam covers.

    So either way can cost money, but chains will generally last longer and should be less maintenance intensive. But if you lease, neither option will be a concern.

    Changing the Timing belt on the Audi V-6 is time consuming and expensive, because the whole front of the car (fender, radiator,etc) has to come off to access the belt. There is a Youtube video showing this.

  10. #19
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    I don't lease anymore, I pay cash, so longevity is very important to me.

  11. #20
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    the big item for timing belts or chains is the automatic tensioner. i've never seen a VW that DIDN'T need one at 100,000 miles...
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