GM 2.9L Engine Crazyness - What were they thinking?

Being a Ford tech now for around 5 years, it's been awhile since I have had the pleasure of working on General Motors vehicles. After my run in with this 2.9L Chevy Colorado, er I mean 2.9L GMC Canyon, my brand loyalty has been a little bit more fortified. I have completely forgot what it was like working on such architectural wonders. I hope you can taste the sarcasm in my words. Come on, I'm sure your just dying to continue reading this story...

It all started out on a lovely fall day. The wind was blowing, leaves were falling, and the temperature was a comfortable 70 degrees. Then I get a phone call from my brother. He describes this horrendous noise, a ticking rattling sound, from the hood of his 2010 GMC Canyon. He already had taken it to a local shop and got a grim diagnosis.. it needed a timing chain. The estimate he got was only a measly $2200! So, I decide to tell him to bring it on over and I'd do it in my free time. I'm just a nice guy like that, and of course he'd gift me some money for my time.

I really didn't realize what I was getting into. I mean I completely understand why the labor calls for 17.5hrs to swap this chain. I have to say that removing the front cover on a GMC Canyon is completely ridiculous. Why in the world did engineers design it this way? It looks like some sort of collaboration between GM and Isuzu. Maybe a GM tech has a quicker, better way of attacking this job. Me being a guy that only works on gravy Fords, I felt a little lost.

I think I wasted more time scratching my head pondering why it was made the way it was instead of actually working on it. Removing the intake through the wheel well with a long extension and flex sockets just to remove the valve cover was a bit annoying, but dropping the front differential out, steering rack, and oil pan just to get the front cover off is a joke. You can hear a little bit of my ranting by watching youtube video TechTales - GMC Canyon Timing Chain or by watching the embedded video at the bottom of the post.

Two main points at the end of the video... I mentioned I would be writing a detailed guide to Replacing the timing on a Colorado Canyon 2.9L engine. You also get to hear the sucker run again!!!