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Old 09-04-2010, 06:17 AM   #1
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Default 2001 Oldsmobile Alero, 2.4L Twin Cam

Four years ago, my sister needed a car and wanted something better than she could outright pay for. Unfortunately, she was 16 and couldn't take out a loan. So, we went to a dealership together and I bought the car in my name so that "we" could take out a loan. She drove this car for 4 years, and now she bought a 2008 Nissan Altima coupe.

With the Altima, she no longer needed the Alero and let me "get it back." I am now using it until I fix my 99 SLO'* transmission, and it will either be sold or will be used as a during-mods car so I can take down the SLO for days and try out new camshafts.

Today, or yesterday, I tried to do some preventative maintenance and found that the car was in genuinely poor condition. Here are pics with captions to explain what'* going on.

Here, I've taken off the intake. You can see that the "upper" intake manifold is to the side of the head. The head has the spark plugs in it, and that corrugated cover with "Twin Cam" written on it is a huge ignition coil.
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Old spark plugs covered by stock boots... These boots wear over time, and the sparks start hitting the camshaft holders as well as the plugs. This is a common cause of misfires on the 2.4 Twin Cam
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Professional-grade tools:
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You can see that the camshaft covers (and the timing cover) are leaking vehemently. But inside that mess are 4 brand new plugs!
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The air intake was broken. There'* a large plastic tub that fits over the throttle body, and it acts as a horrible air duct. That got chipped, so it was time for a new Auto Zone-provided intake!
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Next, it was time for a new ignition coil. I took a 2000 Dodge Neon ignition coil, rewired it with the Alero'* ICM box thing, and ran a 1998 Chevy *-10 2.2L spark plug wire set from the coil to the plugs. Here'* the wiring process:
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I used the soldering gun to cut the connector part off of the ignition coil. That 100W gun went through plastic like a thick stick through butter! That metal/plastic thing where I was soldering is the 1994 Bonneville'* ignition coil plate, by the way.
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After I took this picture, I moved the coil to the back, above the fuse box, and I rerouted the wires. Also, I needed to use that red coupler because Auto Zone was out of black ones.
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So, here'* how the story ends for now... I started the Alero, and it worked! However, the idle was very rough because I let the ICM ground out by freely resting on top of the engine. I went to the back to listen to the exhaust when the door shut. Heading back to open the door, I heard the engine stall out.

The Alero has an amazing security feature in that it locks the doors when the engine dies. I don't know which genius thought that up, but I hope he gets locked out of every car every day for the rest of his life. Anyway, I called AAA, they unlocked the car, I tried starting it, and it didn't work. It turns over, but then the dash goes black and nothing happens. Feels like the battery is dead. I'll give you an update tomorrow (later today).
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Old 09-04-2010, 08:35 AM   #2
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Nice work!! I like the idea for the intake
She def. Needed some work, I'm sure you'll get it back in shape in no time.
I should do a FWI for my gxp using that ahahaha
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Old 09-04-2010, 11:38 AM   #3
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Main thing I hate about 4cylinders (other than the fact they're ball-less) is the single huge ignition coil. Had a friend with a Cavalier that was running weird and found out one coil was bad, but the entire thing had to be replaced since you couldn't just replace a single coil
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Old 09-04-2010, 02:30 PM   #4
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nice work hope you get it up and running the way youd like it
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:27 PM   #5
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Well, it'* not starting! Shucks. I think the starter is dead. I completely disconnected the igntion coil, reconnected it, unplugged the fuel pump, did everything just to get the engine to turn, and it simply won't. I don't know how that happened. Perhaps a messed up firing order spun the starter the other way and mauled it? It does catch on the flywheel, but it doesn't spin. I can get it to turn every now and then, though.

The important thing is that I did get it to start and run, though for whatever reason it'* just not starting now. Ideas? Thoughts? The starter is right on the front of the engine, but I'm afraid I'll have to remove the intake manifold to get to it.
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:34 PM   #6
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Nope, it'* fixed! Just letting the subscribers know. Also, I have a couple more pics with a fluorescent light. There'* even a video. Because this has a speed-density tune (i.e. no MAF sensor), you can run just the throttle body. If I were slightly more insane, I'd cut a hole in the hood and stick a conical filter directly onto the throttle body. Oh dear golly miss Molly.

First, the broken air intake:
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Second, I can't get the other pictures to show up. Photobucket is glitchy. Well, enjoy your update!
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:18 AM   #7
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I needed to put on a new catalytic converter because the old ones were clogged up. This is much better, though, so no worries. It'* a Magnaflow high flow cat, but I needed adapters to fit its 2 1/4" goodness over my 2" pipe. This, more ignition coil stuff, and lots of homework is what I've been doing recently. It'* fun, but not as fun as enjoying this forum. I'll be back soon! Here are some pictures:

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And the last picture didn't make it. I'll take one tomorrow, but all in all, there'* a new plate that'* riveted on to the firewall area, and it holds the ignition coil. There is now a wire loom wrapped over the wires, and I used one continuous piece of electrical tape to cover some wires and then go out to the loom, and now it won't slide off and looks like it'* from the factory. Also, I have a high flow cat on the car! It'* great! I think I'm basically done with it, and I even have a buyer now after all these nice mods were done to it.
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:54 PM   #8
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Nice work! My old friend has a green 2000 Alero
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:58 PM   #9
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A lot of work, but looks great.
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:11 PM   #10
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looks good man
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2.4l, alero, bracket, coil, ignition, oldsmobile, pinout, plug, spark, tuneup, twin cam, wiring

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