If it's a 3.8L/231 CID 90-degree Pushrod Enging ( based on the original Buick V6... Possibly...
We had an older Buick Century with the smaller 3.0L version of that engine. I was able to change the camshaft by removing the passenger side strut, loosening the driver side subframe bolts, and removing the passenger side bolts. Then lowered the "front" (passenger side) of the Engine. I had drained coolant and oil, removed Intake manifold, timing case cover, and oil pan. I don't remember how the bottom of the timing case sealed to the pan. Also forget if I had to disconnect the steering shaft from the rack
You have a different car and different year, but this was my experience. Hope it helps. If I recall, the inner fender on this unit body car is part of the welded body.
Yeah, did a 3.8 in a lumina 1998 plastic thing with 7 bucket seats, what a joke.
Pulled balancer shaft, just above the cam, I lowered the cradle. Pull out passenger side knuckle to strut bolts (does NOT affest alignment, the bolts are extremely taper), remove axle shaft nut. Leave strut in place as you run the risk of setting it out of alignment that way as the top plate studs have way more camber play that the knuckle to strut bolts, then hang tie rod on hand made hook/bungee cord to coil spring, remove two rack and pinion bolts to cradle, let hang (there is plenty of room to remove the 18mm bolts and nuts while dozing on a creeper). Do same with caliper, hook on spring, pry back the knuckle, pull out outboard CV shaft, then pry out inboard of shaft from trans.
When lowering cradle that way, be sure to disconnect any harness/connectors/tubing/fittings/attachments, etc, that are getting to to tight from SLOWLY lowering the front of engine down enough to let pass the cam shaft.
It is sure a tight fit. If you have access to a lift, just lower the whole thing. That way, a cleaner, better, safer job will result. But I would NOT attempt to pull the cam bearing with the road side version of wanting to know if a cam job this way is a good idea, but sure, it can be done, but if your pulling the cam, I wonder at how you are going to get the bearing in and out clean and measure properly. BUT If JD and I did it one those two other v'6's. The 3.8l in mine, the 3.0l in his. The century had pretty much the same set up, even if it was a 3.0l, who says you can't do it.
Mind if I ask? What is wrong with the cam in it? They hardly ever go bad. Those 3.8l's knock all the time on a crank, hardly ever throw a cam lobe. But have seen cooked cam bearings from lack of oil pressure due to main crank bearing going south, loose pressure there and you slowly cook the rest of the engine that needs that oil supply.
In our Buick, I created a problem trying to solve a problem, and blundered into the REAL problem and solution... Engine had a tapping sound that I thought was a hydraulic lifter starving for oil. I had rebuilt the oil pumps in a couple other V6's we had, where a new "Gear Kit" would improve flow and pressure if I also re-surfaced the worn aluminum pump cover. So, I did that. Only that! And when I started the engine, the Pump SEIZED. Broke the spiral gear on the Distributor which in turn powers the Oil Pump, AND broke a tooth out of the corresponding gear on the Camshaft itself.See Gear
I showed the mess to a mechanic friend, lifters and all. He pointed out where the case hardened surfaces on One Cam Lobe and the Corresponding Lifter had failed, leaving soft steel.
So, Oil Pump repair turned out to be Distributor Gear, Camshaft, Lifters, and a new Timing Set. The old Timing Set was WORN OUT! Could almost lift the Chain off the Sprockets. Final result was the Buick ran better than it had in YEARS since the Cam Timing was retarded from the slack in the Chain. Engine was also Quiet.
This is an example of how the skill and experience our professionals (like our Wrench Guys here!) have comes in, vs my pretty good DIY parts changing skills. The Cam Lobes have to Always Be Perfect! And, if the bottoms of these "flat tappet" lifters aren't actually a little Convex, the Set is Worn Out! Lifter standing with its Camshaft End on a glass plate, should have a little wobble because of that convexity. Heaven Forbid that surface is conCAVE.
I know JD doesn't have acces to the lounge, but just for JD, giving a shout out to the wrenches here.
This is our day job.
Copy paste from a new post I just made in the forum.
Makes for interesting reading what a technician has to deal with day in and day out. Ever had one of those days?
First, a huge electrical mess to deal with on a econoline e30 cube van. A 1995, with a 7.3l diesel with a zillion km's on it. Everything was bypassed, wire holding together with tie raps, silicone in connectors to hold them together, cuz the tabs were all broken from the last very skilled, genius even, technician who touched this gem of a truck the last time.I saved the melted fuse relay box in the engine compartment, and all who have worked electrical on a econoline, know, that those coiled brake lines are in no way interfering manually to get to that fuse box. Another . By bypassing a mega 60amp fuse to rpovide power while keeping the rest of the box intack and powering anything abs related, trans related, cluster related, exterior lighting related, that was how bad this box was shorted out. Only the grounds for this huge supply circuit were good.
Then, this afternoon, the real fun starts.
I inherit a 2012 323i BMW with a stumbling engine. Hit down button on garage door instead of stop. Yell at service guy bringing in the beemer to back up, quick. He fumbles, hyug garage door now sits on BMW roof at windsheild seam. I yell, don't move, idiot presses on gas, still in a forward motion, waits till door no longer makes a huge grinding noise on roof of beemer. Gets out of car, looks at the extent of damage, realizes, he just made my mistake a whole lot, lot, lot, worse.
If he wouldn't have went forwards, or backwards, and just waited for the fricken door to go back up, we could have managed it off with a quick compound to buff a few scratches out. But no, had to scrape to metal, and dent the WHOLE DAMN ROOF. So said idiot, proceeds to walk out side and grand chunks of snow and mud, and throws it on the roof of the car. I saw, WTF you doing? He says, once it dries, it won't show.
I said, are you f-ing nuts in the head, the roof is damn near peeled off asshole. How the F!! you going to hide that with melted snow and mud?
I fix the misfire with a TSB bmw gave out a while ago, which is common. Every time you see a bmw misfire and it has COP, bet you it's a bosch. TSB say to replace with delphi. Works everytime.
In the meantime, body guy is now at the shop to evaluate the damage. Said idiot is now in a fist fight with alignment guy. Have to break that up as the alignment guy has a 22mm wrench in his hands, and some spit flying from his mouth and blood already on the hand not holding the wrench.
I break that up by telling them, remember the cameras. You are both on tape. Settle this later, not in front of clients and such.
If you still have beef after shift, go at it behind the garbage bin, cameras don't work there,
At this point, it is 3:50pm, I go see boss and say, I am out of here. I say, Had enough, and he thnx me for stopping the fight, smiles and says that I do good work there and to not ley stuff like that get to me, he will take care of those two, and in particular, the idiot who doesn't know when to stop, MEANS stop. He also knows I pushed the wrong button, but knows all this was way out of hand when the guy says he was in no way responsible for the whole affair.
First off, I did check out the tape before leaving work in the office. I am clearly seen running in front of the car waving my hands to say "abort mission" "DO NOT PROCEED FURTHER!!"
Other angle shows me pushing stop button right after realizing it in down. Second part of tape shows service guy verbally and physically egging on alignment guy to come fight. So off alignment guy went, climbing out of pit and give a knuckle sandwich right to the things we use to smile.
We have two cameras for each service bay. So all angles are covered, unless you hide in the trunk of a car.
Only good thing to this day, is the six pack of beer I am drinking while I write how one great day can go south quick. I think I have some of that race tobacco lying around.