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Yes a broken chain could sound like and cause a 'no start' condition.
Unfortunately I believe this is what's called an 'interference' engine. In other words, if the chain slips or breaks it COULD cause the tops of the pistons to come into contact with the valves. Bending the valves and possibly causing piston or cylinder head damage.
Also if I'm not mistaken the water pump is also run off of the same chain. So IF you find the chain broke or slipped it may or may not have caused serious damage to other engine components. The water pump isn't a big deal but the valves, pistons, or cylinder head could add up real quick expense wise.
Being attempted starting has already occurred (which is understandable as that's the first reaction when a vehicle stalls) any damage that may have happened is already done. Now it's a matter of diagnosing to see how bad it is.
When attempting to start the engine it will turn over with a rather non-rhythmic sound if the chain broke or jumped time.
Sorry for the 'gloom and doom'. Simply trying to give a straightforward answer.
Sounds like a timing chain , worst case, Would you say it's turning over almost too freely?? Look under your cap, and turn motor over, the rotor shouldn't turn if the timing chain is gone, but may turn if it jumped it's timing. Then you'll have to have a look under the timing cover . let me know if this helps
Go to Auto Zone and get a repare manual to see how it is installed. Chances are, if that timing chain broke, the crank could've kept spinning, making the pistons hit the valves then bending them. This would happen if your engine is an interfearance-motor, an interfearance-motor is were the valves are really close to the pistons, this is done so the motor gets more horse-power. The timing chain keeps the cam and the crank shaft in time with eachother so the pistons don't hit the valves. Alot of compact cars and import cars and trucks of the 90s and up have these kind of motors in them. Therefore, you may have to get a valve job done by taking the heads off and bringing them in to some kind of repair shop.
no you don't need to pull the mtor, the front of the motor must come apart after removing the radiator and all belts. There is a chance if the timing belt broke the cylinder head's valves may be damaged call the chevy dealership and ask to speak to the service dept. ask them if your year make and model car has an interference motor in it, if it does have one there's a good chance you bent a valve or two at the time of the belt breakage.
chances are you smacked a valve when it broke so it is going to require the removal of the cylinder head and a proper valve job performed. these kinds of repairs are better left to professionals due to the fact if you dont get the right torque it will not work, or turn the engine left while the chain is attatched you stand to bend valves again.
not to worry. if timing belt broke your engine is fine. it is an overhead cam engine. although there is a good chance depending on your motor size. that one of the composite sprockets the belt runs on broke also. it is common.
If the engine is turning over Quickly or sounds like there is no compression is a fair bet to assume the cylinders have touched on the valves and bent them. It could be the Cylinder Head gasket but Unlikely. As far as i am aware th X and Y enines are not The same Think the crank case is different so if it's a new motor it will need to be the same as yours that you replace it with. Steve in the UK P.S I am a Mechanic over here and work for Ford uk We HAve the Explorer over here They Can be Problematic like this.