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Old 10-06-2011, 05:16 PM   #1
r3dh34d
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2001 Malibu won't start after head job..

Hi!! I'm new to these threads, and figured I'd give it a shot.
I've got a 2001 Chevy Malibu with a 3.1 L V6 engine in it. About a year ago, it overheated on me due to a heater bypass hose that broke. Well, ignorant me just popped a new hose on, and (without bleeding the air...) went on my merry way. Well, I didn't make it far...and my car overheated. Here's where things get crazy...
The Bu wouldn't blow hot air (it was about November 2010 so it was pretty cold out). Totally overheated to the point the car died, but still no hot air. So I called a few friends and they said bleed the air. Well, trying to half @$$ things on a car won't get you very far..which I learned the hard way. So I ended up getting a tow.

So, I replaced both the heads on my malibu after I found that they were warped from it overheating.It had all sorts of watery oil in it, but got it all cleaned out. Once I got it all put back together, it only turns over... I've checked all the sensors I can imagine (which are fine), all the plugs and wires are new (which are all getting fire, and are routed correctly), and the oil and filter are new and clean. The fuel pump works, I can hear it engage when I turn the key on, and it's got plenty of gas in it (more than half a tank). The battery is good and strong, the alternator is new, and the water pump is new. I never disconnected the fuel injectors when I replaced the heads, just pushed it to the side (more or less) and out of the way. As for the head itself, the valves are all seated, none are bent, and it's good and flat. I put brand new gaskets on them both, and sealed them with a good layer of copper coating before I torqued the heads down to specs. I used new bolts (with a dash of silicone on the threads before torquing them down) on the heads, and everything went smoothly.

I just read about doing a compression check on all the cylinders to make sure that the engine is firing appropriately, but other than that, is there anything you guys can think of?

I'm LOST..and don't know where to turn, or what to do next...any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:39 PM   #2
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Re: 2001 Malibu won't start after head job..

Yes, a compression test is in order. Also, you say you hear the fuel pump, but is there proper fuel pressure?
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:21 PM   #3
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Re: 2001 Malibu won't start after head job..

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Yes, a compression test is in order. Also, you say you hear the fuel pump, but is there proper fuel pressure?
I don't see why the fuel pressure would be questionable, I never relived the fuel system at all. However, I'll check that as well just in case.
A little birdy told me that if the Mass Airflow Sensor is messed up, then the car won't start at all. Is this true? If so, I may look into replacing it regardless.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:58 PM   #4
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Re: 2001 Malibu won't start after head job..

should start with a bad MAF but run bad. Did you connect all the ground wires again after your head job?
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:29 PM   #5
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Re: 2001 Malibu won't start after head job..

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should start with a bad MAF but run bad. Did you connect all the ground wires again after your head job?
I actually didn't take any of the ground wires loose. I just disconnected the battery and did the head job.
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:04 PM   #6
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Re: 2001 Malibu won't start after head job..

Have you checked for spark on ALL 6 cylinders?

Have you checked fuel pressure?

Have you checked injector pulse?

Then check compression....install the push rods correctly(exhaust rods are longer than intake)?.....
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:24 PM   #7
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Then check compression....install the push rods correctly(exhaust rods are longer than intake)?.....
Totally agree this is probably what happened.

Sent from my Droid X. Typos probable.
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:56 PM   #8
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Re: 2001 Malibu won't start after head job..

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Originally Posted by Tech II View Post
Have you checked for spark on ALL 6 cylinders?

Have you checked fuel pressure?

Have you checked injector pulse?

Then check compression....install the push rods correctly(exhaust rods are longer than intake)?.....
Haven't checked ALL 6. Just one...I'll check all 6 as well.
I'm checking pressure and compression tomorrow..(i have to buy a gauge)
And how do you check for the Injector Pulse? I'm not familiar with that...
As for the push rods, I'm pretty sure I did them right..stuck them in a box when i took them out, and put them back in the same way i took them out. I'll double check that though.
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:47 AM   #9
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Re: 2001 Malibu won't start after head job..

I have seen the same problem afew times, this worked for me and others i know in the past. open front valve cover and losen all the rockers about half a turn, it should fire up but it will run like crap, then slowly tighten up the rockers you losened, they are common for the lifters to pump up when the heads are off. If nothing else it is a test with no cost in parts.
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Old 10-08-2011, 03:04 PM   #10
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Re: 2001 Malibu won't start after head job..

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I have seen the same problem afew times, this worked for me and others i know in the past. open front valve cover and losen all the rockers about half a turn, it should fire up but it will run like crap, then slowly tighten up the rockers you losened, they are common for the lifters to pump up when the heads are off. If nothing else it is a test with no cost in parts.
So just loosen them half a turn and try and start it? Hmm.. okay.
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:03 PM   #11
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Re: 2001 Malibu won't start after head job..

are you sure your wires are all on in the correct location?
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:11 AM   #12
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Re: 2001 Malibu won't start after head job..

Any progress since last post in March? results of compression test? Both crank sensors plugged in? pinched wires to fuel injectors between upper and lower intake manifolds? It happens...
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