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2004 Colorado I5: On my way home last night, cruising along at 65 mph, suddenly noticed lack of power and knocking/clatter from engine like an engine low on oil. No check engine light present. Kept going for 5 more miles and noticed oil temp slightly higher than normal... As I turned off the highway, engine died. Coasted to side of the road and then it posted a Check Engine Oil warning. Tried to start it and it won't turn over. Almost like a dead battery. Checked the oil and nothing registered on the dipstick. Walked to nearby gas station while waiting for the tow truck and bought two quarts of oil. Poured them in, no change except oil warning is gone. Then I noticed oil has been leaking from what looks like the main crankshaft pully.

I got it home and pulled all 5 spark plugs and got it to turn over... Very slowly... It sounds like a robotic whirring noise, almost like a turbine engine starting up and cranks really slowly, yet the pistons are moving. I hooked up a diagnostic reader and it pulled a "P0014 exhaust camshaft position timing - over-advanced (bank 1).

I'm hoping that it's something like the low oil caused the timing chain tensioner to collapse and maybe it skipped a tooth on the exhaust cam gear, but is this realistic and what Am I looking at here as far as fixing it?
 

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I started my truck years ago one morning and it sounded like a diesel motor. Just horrible. Freaked me out. Took it in and all it was was a sensor. Probably the one you just listed on your code reader. Real quick fix.
Hopefully you didnt over fill your motor with oil when you put the extra quarts in? That isnt good for your motor either. Not sure why you would see oil coming from there?
 

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Just wanted to expand more because I was on my phone before. If you were out of oil you could have messed up the cam actuator or some stuff in the valvetrain. If you don't think you have valvetrain damage or anything up with the timing change then it's probably just the actuator.

Now if you do a leak down test and the air comes out the exhaust you have an exhaust cam or valve problem, intake would be intake cam or valve problem on that side. If it goes into the case below the pistons time for a definite overhaul or replacement.
 

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I started my truck years ago one morning and it sounded like a diesel motor. Just horrible. Freaked me out. Took it in and all it was was a sensor. Probably the one you just listed on your code reader. Real quick fix.
Hopefully you didnt over fill your motor with oil when you put the extra quarts in? That isnt good for your motor either. Not sure why you would see oil coming from there?
This all happened while driving, it started sounding like a diesel. Once it died, it showed a "Check Oil" on the dash display. So I checked the Oil and it was waaaay low. not even showing on the dipstick. I then added a quart, still didn't show on the dipstick, added another quart and then it was showing on the low side of the dipstick. It's definitely not over filled. I did'nt add any more oil after that, I just had it towed home.

I think as soon as I get home from work, I'm gonna start with pulling the timing gear cover to make sure the dots line up with the dark links on the chain to see if it has jumped a tooth. If it hasn't jumped a tooth then it looks like i'm gonna learn how this engine works... via a chain tensioner, guide, and shoe check along with checking the cam bearing and main bearing, which from what I'm reading is going to be a nightmare... If it has jumped a tooth, well... Same thing...

This just sucks because I'm not sure I really trust our local mechanic up here. I called the closest dealership and they said it would run about $2500 to do the tensioner, assuming that is the only problem. $4600 to put a used engine in it for me, and $5600 for a re-manufactured engine in it. After researching it, I can get a used engine for about $1500 shipped to my door and do it myself... But before I go pulling my engine out, I wanted to get input from you guys first... In my opinion, when you run an engine out of oil and it dies, it usually means it's done... But I'm finding that maybe it wasn't out of oil. More like being so low on oil causes these trucks to have a tensioner collapse which just makes for a major pain in the ass and a non-running truck, but doesn't necessarily mean the engine is shot...
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Just wanted to expand more because I was on my phone before. If you were out of oil you could have messed up the cam actuator or some stuff in the valvetrain. If you don't think you have valvetrain damage or anything up with the timing change then it's probably just the actuator.

Now if you do a leak down test and the air comes out the exhaust you have an exhaust cam or valve problem, intake would be intake cam or valve problem on that side. If it goes into the case below the pistons time for a definite overhaul or replacement.
Makes sense, I'll do that. Thanks for the info. I figure I can do what I can do for free, then I'll either know how to fix it or I'll know how much it hurts to write that check for a new engine... It is kinda coincidental that this happens right before a three day weekend... Hmmm... I guess it time to start searching for an online service manual...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Kind of sounds like you spun a main bearing,but I hope not.
That's what my gut tells me too... But I'm trying to remain optimistic.. What is entailed in a main bearing replacement? Engine out of truck and complete teardown? Better off just getting another motor?
 

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It sounds like you blew a seal if you had no oil and you said it looks like it was leaking from the crank seal. I had an oil pump go out in an s10 and it made it sound horrible. Ended up seizing the engine and breaking a connecting rod. If you ran it that low til it died. I'd say you have more problems than it jumping time. Then your more than likey going to have bent valves. The engine I bought from jakeraleigh was going 5mph when it jumped time and it had many many valves bent.
 

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Better off with a new engine if it's a main. It's the bearing surface between the rod and the crank, they are two pieces and you can cause the two halves to slide and in some cases they both sit on one side of the rod and slam the piston into the head.

It could be something in the head though but since you were low on oil it's got me worried as well. Likely culprit is cylinder number 3 on these motors because it doesn't seem to get as much oil. That would be middle cylinder for your reference.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So it looks like the plan is to tear it down and prepare for a new engine... Is it ok for a grown man to cry about this?
 

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So it looks like the plan is to tear it down and prepare for a new engine... Is it ok for a grown man to cry about this?
If it makes you feel any better I did it 3 times in the same car, all with engines less than 100K miles. Fucking quad 4's man, powerful little four bangers but they would go bang quickly if you beat on them.
 

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An '07 3.7 will work best for your '05 I think
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Ok, so it wasn't out of oil completely. It was two quarts low, which sucks, but it explains the oil on the lower front of the engine. Now, to get this valve cover off... Let the fun begin!
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Pulled out the exhaust cam actuator, all the screens are there... Covered in metal shavings... I'm assuming that this is not going my way... When I pulled it out... There is now what appears to be coarse black glitter spilled out everywhere that it dripped...
 

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Yeah that's not good. I'd pull the valve cover since it's pretty much a given something went bad and if it's full of metal chips and shavings underneath, then start looking for a motor.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah, not looking good at all. I feel sick to my stomach. Now I gotta try to figure out how to remove the valve cover... Didn't realize the intake is plastic. And it covers one of the valve cover bolts... Where is the best place to get an engine?
 

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Car-part.com lets you search local junkyards for a used one. If you want brand new I would order from GM directly because they will warranty it.
 
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