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Old 08-25-2006, 08:09 PM   #1
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Default Crank Position Sensor

Can anyone give me an idea exactly where the crank position sensor is located? Could someone let me know what is involved in removing/replacing a faulty one?

Thanks

Mark
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Old 08-25-2006, 08:41 PM   #2
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Crank position sensor is located behind the harmonic balancer

I am far from being a gearhead, but having JUST experienced this myself, see a few threads below for my 1990 LE dead again post.

Remove balancer (no way around this) I think its a 15/16th socket, probably a big breakover and a beefy arm to loosen it while someone under the car holds the flywheel stationary with a screwdriver. Once the bolt is out, balancer just pulls off.

Crank sensor is behind that, just two 13 mm bolts hold it to the engine. Once you remove those, it will still be on a locating post. If its super grimy, you might have to spray some carb cleaner on it to loosen the gunk so it will pull off.

Then unplug it.

Reinstallation can be a pain. I wrecked my new sensor because I didnt pay close enough attention to the clearance between the sensor slots and the HB (harmonic balancer) rings. I set mine at about .30 using a feeler gauge, then checked it 3 times thru both sets of my glasses LOL. THEN had my brother rotate the engine with the breaker a couple of times so I could make SURE it wasnt hitting.

Its a close fit, but if you take care to NOT bend the rings on the HB, and set the clearance properly, all will be right in your 3800 world, at least with that sensor!

Once you are happy with the fit and clearance, once again have your helper hold the flywheel while you give yourself a hernia tightening the bolt, I can look up the torque spec here in a bit, however I suspect that a gearhead may jump in and have that right off the top of their heads.

YMMV, good Luck
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Old 08-25-2006, 11:55 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. Turns out that it'* throwing a code for the Cam Position Sensor, so I need ti find someone willing to share some knowledge on the location/replacement of it.

Thanks,

Mark
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Old 08-26-2006, 12:11 AM   #4
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search for code 41 in this forum. Padgett had a cool quick fix for the cam magnet, fixes it without much disassembly. I read it and thought about doing mine that way when it threw a few years back, but I had high miles and wanted to install a new timing chain anyways.

Its worth the read actually.
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Old 08-26-2006, 04:07 PM   #5
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The cam sensor has two parts. An interrupter magnet in the cam gear inside the timing cover and a pickup that bolts into the cover in front of it. You might luck out and find it is a bad pickup which is easy to change. It sits at about 11:00 O' clock relative to the crank pully, and is held in place with a single 10mm head bolt. Once you have unplugged the electrical connector, and removed the bolt, just pull the sensor out of the hole. It should have an o-ring seal. Get a mechanic'* mirror and a flashlight; shine the light onto the mirror and move the mirror 'til you can see the cam gear inside the hole. Rotate the engine by hand until you see the little interrupter magnet (good), or the hole in the cam gear where it used to be (bad), or what is left of it (not so good either).

If the magnet is whole and in place, then replace the pickup (sensor) for $20. If the magnet is damaged or gone, replace it for $8. I like to remove the timing cover to make sure I recover the remains of the magnet. It takes some time, but is not that hard once you get the harmonic balancer off as described above.

Red arrow points to the cam position sensor. This is a '95 L36, but yours is similar. The water pump above and the crank pulley below have been removed.

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Old 08-27-2006, 04:35 PM   #6
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If ya do it by taking the Harmonic balancer off, and the timing chain cover off, and the chain assembly, and replacing the interrupter with a new one, its garunteed for 120,000 kms aproximatly. Depending how you use the engine. Mine went out arounds there. Its a shame though. Had I known these were prone to failure, i'd have replaced it with a new unit when I was installing the new engine in my Buick. Oh well.
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Old 08-28-2006, 01:29 PM   #7
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Thanks guys, I truly appreciate the info. I replaced the sensor yesterday, and it'* still throwing the 41 code, even after reset. I'll give a check on the magnet, and replace it if necessary. Is this something available across the counter at a parts store, or something a little harder to find?

Thanks again,

Mark
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Old 08-28-2006, 01:45 PM   #8
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Parts house should have it in stock. About $8 or so. If you replace it by removing the timing cover, you will need to buy at least a new timing cover gasket.
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Old 08-29-2006, 12:46 PM   #9
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Default stall

Sounds like you have multiple problems going on here. Cam sensor shouldn't make the car stall when it gets hot. An ignition or crank sensor problem will and our cars usually don't throw codes for these.
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