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Old 01-22-2020, 08:39 AM   #1
Rj 2000 LS2
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

I'm glad the saturnfans forum has returned!

I am looking at fixing or replacing the PCV valve on our V6 3.0 L engine. The repair manual is impossible to follow as it refers you to a dozen different interlaced chapters! Where the Fuk is the PCV value on my 2000 3.0L engine? And why does it cost so much?

I've found the oil leaks, it's just about any gasket on the engine. Therefore, I know the PCV valve is not working properly. I must fix PCV before changing gaskets! I remember seeing a hose rerouting as a possible fix for this problem. We live in Wisconsin where condensation can pool in the hose. Where is the this hose?

I am totally *****ed from searching for V6 LS2 PCV information. It simply doesn't exist!

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Old 01-22-2020, 10:39 AM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

If you get hold of a Haynes Manual, there is a section under Emissions and engine control systems that details the TWO different systems that the L series has. The 4 pot motor has one system and the V6 has another.

The V6 does not have a traditional pcv valve like you would find on say an S series Saturn or even my own Suburban. They look just like mini tin cans. The V6 L series has engine vent adapter, a crankcase ventilation housing and two vent hoses. The vent housing meter the flow of crankcase blow by gases from the crankcase to the intake manifold in proportion to intake manifold vacuum. There can be 2 issues; one is the hoses are blocked or cracked or the vent housing could be malfunctioning. The vent housing contains a rubber one way valve. According to haynes you can inspect this, but gives no further details.

If you cannot find online information, then investing in a Haynes Manual will pay you back many times over. As far as the cost of the vent housing, RA shows out of stock, but Parts Geek appears to have them at $17.00, which is "expensive". My initial suggestion would be to check the condition of the hoses. If they are cracked or damaged in any way or even clogged, then maybe just replace them with new ones.

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Old 01-22-2020, 10:59 AM   #3
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

I've got the manual, but the PCV section refers to dozen's of other sections and those sections do the same. After reading the entire manual 6 times, I am lost.

I did find a wonder diagram of the PCV system. https://nemigaparts.com/cat_spares/e...j/00/zj00-008/

No parts are available at GM or other. So I figure I am going to disassemble everything and try to clean it out. No wonder our LS2 V6 engines start puking oil out of every gasket!

The CTS uses the same engine with a different PCV system which also gets plugged up and causes oil to push out the gaskets.

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Old 01-22-2020, 01:47 PM   #4
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

Has anyone taking the Oil Separator off the vehicle and cleaned it? Is it possible?

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Old 01-22-2020, 02:24 PM   #5
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

I've been on this forum for over 6 years now and this is the first time I have come across any L series owner with pcv issues. So my thought is don't rush to think the pcv system is to blame. As I suggested earlier, I would look at the hoses for the system. They are going to easy to remove. If they are clogged and runny with oil, then that suggest there is an issue with the pcv system. if they are, then that suggests your oil leaks are elsewhere. Personally, I suspect the latter.

Looking at the diagram you linked to, the hoses are thankfully at the front of the engine on the right hand side. If you follow the hose from where it links to just below the valve cover that should lead you to the vent housing. Then you'll see the second hose.

In any situation where you cannot pinpoint the problem, check the easy and lowest costs parts first.

The pvc vent component is operated by vacuum, so you may even have a vacuum pipe that has broken and the valve is no longer operating. Several vehicles ago, I had a 96 GMC Safari van. The heating/ac system just didn't work correctly. Turned out that all the vents were controlled by vacuum pipes. Those thin plastic tubes had all gone brittle and were broken. The system would have never worked in a million years! Replaced all the vacuum pipes with new and the system was 100% again. PITA problem, but a simple and inexpensive fix.

I feel your pain on the refer to this chapter, refer to that chapter in the Haynes. Sadly there is no work around. It sounds like it only gets complicated when you come to want to remove the vent housing. I'd start with the easy hoses and that way you'll start to get a feeling for the geography around the system. It should make understanding how to remove stuff that bit easier.

Last edited by floridasl22002; 01-22-2020 at 02:34 PM..

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Old 01-22-2020, 04:20 PM   #6
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

Rj 2000 LS2, subscribing to either alldata or Mitchell for online access to service manuals are always better than Chilton or Haynes. You already found out your Chilton does a very good job of describing every other pcv system except your L300. Inexpensive subscription to alldata or Mitchell will give you only info pertaining to your car, not about other models that don't explain your pcv system. If I;m not mistaken, subscriptions are tailored for one week, a month, monthly, whatever. You can choose how long to subscribe and are not obligated to yearly fees. A plus are every service bulletin related to the model. You won't get that in a paper manual that leaves out info. If service manuals were treated like tools, buying a third party manual to save a few dollars is like the difference between Harbor Freight low cost multimeters and a good quality one that will be accurate and last for years.

A search for past threads will show images I posted of L300 crankcase ventilation unlike past (outdated) pcv systems. One part of the engine (all engines are internally open from castings) channels crankcase gases to the upper engine manifold entering the flat black plastic piece over the engine. This is the crankcase ventilation 'system' without a separate pcv valve and hoses feeding crankcase gases to the throttle body. My hard copy Saturn service manual describes all this in detail. Unless a very unusual and extremely poor lack of regular engine maintenance allowed internal open engine passageways to become clogged with hardened oil, Something else may be causing oil to seep out in all the wrong places. Are you certain the engine crankcase ventilation is the problem? I've removed the upper intake runners, throttle body and ancillary pieces to replace the t-stat. The service manual mentions a small O-ring that's easily missed when removing upper engine parts. I cannot recall what would occur if this O-ring were left off.

My understanding of L300 crankcase gases not funneling thru conventional pcv valves simply uses the open web engine casting design to allow all combustion gases to flow into a large piece of engine ducting, feeding gases into the flat black plastic (one or two piece) gas/oil plenum(?). Then feeds into the throttle body thru a small diameter hose on the throttle body. As you found out, your third party manual doesn't describe this as the GM manual does. I imagine oil separation occurs to allow oil to drain back into the engine instead of being fed into the throttle body and intake manifolds. At the time of t-stat replacement with only 50k miles or so, the intake manifold and runners are remarkably clean and not caked up with several years of buildup. This may have a lot to do with using synthetic oil. Even the throttle body was relatively clean with little buildup of hardened crankcase gases. The intake manifold, two intake runners, and intermediate spacer uses synthetic gaskets. I reused all of them and never saw oil leaks anywhere. With 108k miles and new timing belt, water pump, zero engine oil leaks anywhere. Oil consumption is zero.

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Old 01-23-2020, 01:28 PM   #7
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

Thanks for sharing my pain with the Haynes repair manual. They give you just enough info to thoroughly confuse a garage mechanic!

I haven't started any repairs yet. I have visually inspected all areas where oil is being pushed through the gaskets. Oil is coming out the oil pan gasket, both valve cover gaskets and the oil I see is not baked on grease, it is fresh like honey through a strainer.

The rear exhaust manifold has three holds in it which the oil was getting ignited. And I know this first by the oil burning stench and the black scarring near the holes indicating inefficient burning. Good thing it didn't torch the car!

I'm going to take off the plastic PVC pass through piece located on top of the engine for inspection.

With all the work I have done on this car, it is really sickening to have to park it so it doesn't start on fire! The oil is raining down the exhaust manifold and igniting at the holes in the exhaust manifold.

New within the last two years
- Sub Frame
- Struts all around
- New tires
- New brakes and rotors
- Timing belt replacement kit
- New water pump
- New Muffler
- Repaired exhaust pipes
- New Dash Cluster Lights
- Leaky Rims
and more...

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Old 01-23-2020, 01:39 PM   #8
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

All L series owners are dealing with keeping cars that are anywhere from 15 to 20 years old on the road, coupled with being orphan cars and a drying up parts supply.

It is difficult enough down here in Florida where rust isn't such an issue, but up north and dealing with winters and dread salt & grit is a real headache. We didn't escape the north with my son's car as we found after we bought it, it was a northern car and came to us with rust as a no cost option! it's not too bad, but it's there.

The problem with any used car that's getting old is knowing when to call it quits. Some of the older L series are in the around $1000.00 mark +/-. It doesn't take much in repairs to exceed that value. Cheap cars are cheap for a reason!

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Old 01-23-2020, 02:15 PM   #9
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

Having a $500/month 60 month deal is not an option! My wife loves this car. It looks very good for being 20 years old. It has power to waste! It has a Cadillac engine, yet it drives like a sports car. Maybe some day people will look at these cars like late 1960's Mustangs. I used to own a few stangs and I think an LS2 can take em! LOL

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Old 01-23-2020, 02:28 PM   #10
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

In the diagram I provided, I removed the number 13 clamp and separated the number 12 hose. I didn't see any debris and I can blow into the hose and can hear air coming out the intake. So does this mean the PVC venting paths are working? Obviously, I have more PVC components to check, but at least air can flow through part numbers 11 and 10. The air is a little restricted and not free flowing, but I don't know what to expect. These components seems to free of blockage.

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Old 01-23-2020, 08:13 PM   #11
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

Did you try removing the oil cap after the engine's running to observe crankcase gases and volume? What's mileage now? When was the last compression test? Once out of factory warranty, anything goes. There's no mileage or time line when rings and valves wear if compression is lower than ideal for a well used engine.

With the engine idling and oil cap off, either the engine smokes heavily, indicating more than normal crankcase gases are generated (severely worn piston rings), pressurizing the engine into forcing out oil anywhere or something else is creating excessive crankcase pressures. I wonder if exhaust plays a role here.

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Old 01-24-2020, 12:12 AM   #12
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

135,000 miles and it runs extremely smooth. The timing tensioner did die and the timing belt jumped one tooth a couple of years ago. I installed the new belt after many tries to get it setup right, but it started on the first try when I was done. Perhaps a piston has a hole in it or a value isn't closing properly. Yet, I would think not because it runs so good and it has power just like it was new.

I will continue to dig deeper after I get a gasket set. I don't want to take it apart until I am ready to put it back together. I did that over a few months when I did the timing belt. Hell, I had parts I didn't even remember I took off! LOL

I wrote the company that made the Oil Separator PCV component. I hope they respond. It would be really helpful if I could figure out how this device works and if it can be tested/cleaned/serviced because you can't buy them from what I found.

I could be puking oil out the gaskets because they are old.

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Old 01-25-2020, 07:55 AM   #13
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

A typical PCV valve is bad if you can blow air through the side from the intake. Does anyone know if LS2 Oil Separator PCV is also bad if blowing air through it from the intake?

I can blow air through the Oil Separator PCV. Does this mean it is bad?

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Old 01-25-2020, 12:23 PM   #14
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

The pcv oil separator unit which is the box by the valve cover at the front is the part that has the ONE WAY rubber reed valve in it. If you have the Haynes Manual (I think you do, then read Chapter 6-26 which details component replacement and how to remove the oil separator unit.

I recall a guy some while ago who's unit had broken and he removed it and repaired it. At the time of the thread (2014) the new unit was $180.00. He found his reed valve had disintegrated and he used a piece of Viton rubber and fixed it for pennies. Whether those units are even available new in 2020 is anyone's guess.

Here's the link to that thread:

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho....php?p=2044459

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Old 01-29-2020, 11:30 AM   #15
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

Is this site back up for good? I hope so!

I also found a YT video about a CTS which was burning oil and the guy rebuilt the Oil Separator. Same Oil Separator as a Saturn. However, the topend of the engine is completely different. I can't believe it but the Cadillac CTS's have plastic valve covers!

I still am struggling to figure out how this entire PCV system works on the Saturn V6 engine. I understand the vacuum meters the flow ofthe blow-by pressure inside the block. However, I'm sure any old hunk of rubber won't function as well as the original. I don't want to rebuild the oil separator and three months later have to do all over again.

I had previously said I found holes and cracks in the rear exhaust manifold. That was incorrect After I cleaned the exhaust manifold I discovered it was simply burnt on and built up carbon with cracks that looked like the metal had opened up. Once clean, I found there were no holes in the exhaust manifold. I would have bet my life that I saw holes and cracks, but it was just the carbon scaring. Nevertheless, this makes my duties less intense!

I also discovered both PVC hoses going to the In-take are clear and allow air to flow. I haven't yet inspected the last hose. The gaskets will be delivered soon and I will start removing parts within the next couple of days. I don't like to disassemble too much and let it stand to weeks and reassemble, because I'm not that good!

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Old 01-29-2020, 05:13 PM   #16
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

If you cannot buy the specific hoses, then the autostores sell hoses of all types by the foot length. Simply take in the old hose and then compare with they have. Rubber Fuel hose is special because of the gas its carrying. Power steering hoses are special due to the pressure they are handling. Return hoses are not under pressure, so ordinary hose will do.

Best bet is take the old hose into the store and see what they suggest. Rubber hoses do not last forever.

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Old 01-29-2020, 05:59 PM   #17
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

I think I mislead you. I was talking about replacing a possibly broken rubber Reed Valve with some type of material which will work the same as the original part. However, I don't know how the original part works. How much pressure did it take to open the reed valve to meter the blow by crank case pressure. I was hoping someone would know how the Oil Separator PCV device actually worked? There is three hoses. One small vacuum hose that connects to the intake manifold inside the butterfly just passed the Mass Air Flow sensor. A larger hose, which I assume is porting crank case pressure to the intake manifold prior to the same butterfly. And then one more hose which I haven't determine where it goes of if it is full of carbon. The first two hoses are open and air can flow through them.

Perhaps my gaskets simply wore out and the PCV component is working fine. It just seem odd that the oil started draining out of the rear valve cover and other gaskets. Makes me believe there is too much pressure in the crankcase.

Hey, I was dead wrong about cracks/holes in the exhaust manifold... so maybe I am wrong about this too and all I need to do is replace the gaskets. I want to learn everything I can to make sure I do a complete repair and not leave something out while I am in there. Should I replace the thermostat while in there? When I did the timing belt, I elected to not change the water pump. Two months later, the fuking water pump gave up the ghost!

I don't mind doing repairs on the Saturn... it's my wife that gets upset! LOL So I have to be PerFect!

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Old 02-05-2020, 05:19 PM   #18
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

I've been digging and removing parts to get to the valve covers. I am stuck and can use some help. I am looking to unbolt the ERG so I can take the upper intake off in one piece. It appears the two brass bolts are 15/16", but I don't have this size wrenches. I tried using a single adjustable wrench, but I'm worried if I put too mush mustard to it, it will break something. I really need two wrenches, one to loosen the nut and other to work against it. I sprayed the connection with pen-oil. Now what?

ps. Youtube does not have a video on how to actually unbolt the nest of shat on and around the rear valve cover. My god, it's a mess! I thought the front valve cover was difficult, the rear is a real F@!#$@ *****! I don't think they designed this engine to worked upon! I only have this one damn bolt to remove the upper intake... it's driving me crazy!

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Old 02-06-2020, 04:57 PM   #19
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Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

I'm in to the valve covers. It was a major cluster F to tear down the back side valve cover. There is very little information about it on-line.

Does anyone know if the hard line from the ERG to the exhaust manifold... is the manifold end supposed to have some slop in it? I can wiggle the hard line like a ball joint on the exhaust manifold. I don't think this is right. Anyone know?

Got the rear valve cover cleaned up and ready to go back in. I didn't take the lower intake off because I don't know if this gasket kit came with the lower intake manifold gasket or not. There sure is a lot of carbon build up. In a perfect world I would take the lower intake off and clean it, but I am losing patience with the job and a little nervous to get reassembling. I can see why the valve cover gaskets were leaking... The valve cover gaskets were as hard as concrete. I also had oil in #1 and #4 spark plugs. The other plug holes were dry or very little oil.

There is no evidence of a leak at the thermostat. So I'm not going there.

I was thinking about replacing the spark plugs, but I tried to remove one and it wasn't moving. I put these in years ago, I don't remember them being so hard to take out. I think I'll just leave them. They are Bosch.

With the valve cover gaskets in such bad shape, perhaps the leaking isn't from too much blow by. The gaskets just appear worn out. I may still remove the oil separator and give it an inspection before I reassemble. I'd have to build a gasket for the oil separator. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow before I install the new valve cover gaskets.

Any words of wisdom before I start reassembling?

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Old 02-07-2020, 02:34 PM   #20
Rj 2000 LS2
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 3.0 L PCV Valve Help?

Failure mode: The reed valve fails, then the vacuum inlet on the V545 plugs up completely, then the intake is constantly sucking in crankcase flumes and excessive crankcase pressure is occurring, which in turn causes the valve cover gaskets to fail from excessive pressure causing oil to leak every where possible. If the engine continues to run with excess crankcase pressure it will eventually die from heart disease!

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