Last post on Apr 19, 2013 at 9:03 AM
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Buick Park Avenue
#431 of 460 Re: 1998 Buick Park Avenue engine problem - redux [bowfan]
Mar 18, 2013 (7:33 am)
I've never been clear on which years in which H-body used the metal sleeve as part of the tenioner and which used a 2nd plastic elbow to carry the heater water.
Good thing is the packages usually have both tubes and 4 o-rings and you use which you need.
>needle gauge in the red zone.
The 3800s are somewhat resistant to overheating damage to the heads and gaskets. But I'm concerned that the radiator water was really low and no coolant was being pumped--the temp gauge going to 130 sounds like it was reading air instead of coolant at the top of the engine for atime.
I suggest the sleeved UIM and the metal gaskets for the lower because spending more now over the standard replacements means spriteman won't have to redo this in 75,000 miles. I still laught about my conversation with Dorman when I did the UIM on my 98. It had been replaced by dealer at 75,000 and I was replacing it again at 150,000. Dorman said about 75,000 is the nominal time.
The metal sleeve stuff started years ago on Bonnevilles where a person was putting sleeves in that he made himself. He was asking for used UIMs to be sent to him to try the sleeves he was milliing.
I did the 98 2nd UIM myself and I was sore and in terrible shape by the end of 2 days of leaning over the engine. I recommend unless someone is used to working in that position, that they plan to go slow with breaks to do this work.
I really recommend separating the bolts and screws into separate containers withs labels as to where they go. I even used label stickers on some parts.
#432 of 460 Re: 1998 Buick Park Avenue engine problem - redux [imidazol97]
Mar 19, 2013 (3:49 am)
imidazol97 / bowfan
Okay - here's the latest on the diagnosis.
Shut down A/C - disconnected neg batt - drained oil/coolant - oil did not look like it had any water in it
Removed motor cover and other components to allow access to the plug wires and plugs - disconnected spark plug wires
Removed spark plugs - had some minimal coolant drainage
After I finally got all the plugs out I turned the crank shaft with a large socket - at first it didn't want to turn but after the first piston hit the top I got a big coolant flush - I went ahead and turned the rest of the pistons through by hand just to make sure all of the major coolant was cleared
The spark plugs were a little oily but did not look that bad
I then reconnected the batt and turned the engine over with the starter. The engine turned smoothly and I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary with the cycling. I did hear a high pitch whine - the noise was coming from the starter. At first I was concerned but I was thinking that that's just the sound a starter makes but you never hear because the engine starts so quickly. Let me know if you think that whining noise is something to be concerned about.
Based on what I'm seeing and hearing it sounds like the engine is okay - do you both agree? Any info I can supply to make sure in your minds just let me know?
So, today I plan on refilling the engine with the cheap oil I got from Wal-mart and changing out the oil filter as well. I think one of you said something about cycling the engine a few times to distribute the oil throughout the crankcase - any recommendation on how many times it needs to cycle?
Regarding the new gaskets - I called the INeedParts folks and they said that it would take three days to get the parts to me. I didn't ask about it but I'm considering doing an expedited delivery.
QUESTION - it looks like the INeedParts gasket parts are about $80 more than what Autozone offers - I just want to make sure that it's worth the extra money. I'm a big believer in quality and if you think there is a significant difference I'm okay with that.
QUESTION - my brother was saying I should be very concerned about the heads warping - have you seen a problem with this after overheating? I believe the heads are aluminum - correct?
I'm going to go ahead a place my gasket kit order unless I hear otherwise from either of you. I am also going to go ahead and break down the engine to the point where once I receive the parts I can begin the rebuild.
I am labeling everything by matching a component with the appropriate fitting with the same number.
I have the Haynes service manual but I'm finding it a little light on directions - do either of you have any more detailed instructions that I can follow?
Any tips on breaking down the intake manifold and cleaning out the old gasket material? Seems like the key is to label label label.
That's all I can think of right now - I'll post more as I have more info.
Thanks again for your help.
#433 of 460 Re: 1998 Buick Park Avenue engine problem - redux [imidazol97]
Mar 19, 2013 (4:17 am)
PS That "going to 130" drop in temp reading was a typo on my part - that should have read "going to 230"
#434 of 460 Re: 1998 Buick Park Avenue engine problem - redux [spriteman]
Mar 19, 2013 (5:55 am)
If you put the oil into a milk container where you can see the bottom, is there water? Even if none showing, I'd turn the engine over with plugs out for 5-10 seconds a couple of times after oil pressure is up. On mine, I'd wait to let starter cool and I'd do that several times. That will flush the oil between the bearings and crankshaft to reduce damage from coolant in the oil that doesn't show the water.
If it were mine I'd try testing compression to see if there might be a head problem. But they are rare on these engines.
I don't think you have to remove the crossover pipe to get to the one small bolt for the throttle body.
If you want to drop me an email to yahoo.com with my user name here in front of the "at" sign, I can send you more help. If you don't see actual water in the oil that's a good sign that it was early in the leaking of the lower gaskets that you've caught it. Good luck.
#435 of 460 Re: 1998 Buick Park Avenue engine problem - redux [spriteman]
Mar 19, 2013 (6:09 am)
Yep, the engine will definitely sound different without compression when your starter turns it over. Glad to hear it's turning. In the worst case of hydrolock, you may break or bend a connecting rod or piston.
The heads are iron, the Lower Intake is aluminum.
I wouldn't worry about changing the oil until you swap the parts.
In my experience, I think all the parts (I've used Dorman) now supply the smaller size stovepipe, and the metal sleeved UIM or Intake plenum. If you are going to replace the LIM gaskets, I've used the AC Delco and heard good reports on them. They're about $42 at Amazon currently, and the UIM kit carries all the o-rings for your injectors, MAP, etc. I don't think it includes the Permatex RTV sealant like the one imidazol97 linked to.
part for AC Delco is "ACDelco 89017816 Intake Manifold Gasket Kit"
regarding warpage, I haven't seen it in my experience, and my temp indicated HOT and my radiator was only holding steam. And I had it happen twice. Car is still running smoothly with 315,000+.
If anything is prone to warpage, I'd think it would be the plastic LIM gaskets. *see my pics in link of earlier post.
#436 of 460 Re: 1998 Buick Park Avenue engine problem - redux [bowfan]
Mar 19, 2013 (11:35 am)
Do you recommend that I change out my spark plugs? They look good to me - I think they were changed out about 4 or 5 years ago. I know I have to change my wires because I caught one of my wires and the connector head came off.
Anything else I should consider changing out while I've got everything opened up?
#437 of 460 1998 Buick Park Avenue engine problem - redux - 3-20-13 update
Mar 20, 2013 (11:07 pm)
Okay folks - here's the latest.
After a mess of labeling, unplugging, bolt loosening, and draining I've got the plenum and intake manifold removed.
Once I confirmed the parts I needed I placed an order online which should have everything to me by Thursday or Friday at the latest.
In the mean time I spent most of the day cleaning the intake manifold. It was pretty gunked up but the results were good. It would have been so much easier with a parts washer.
Thursday will be more clean up and if the parts arrive I will probably install the short block gasket pieces so they will be cured and ready for the intake manifold.
I'm including a link to the pics I've taken so far - I'm not sure if you'll be able to view them so if you can't just reply and I'll see how I can change the settings on the album so you can see them. Let me know what you think - and if you have any questions let me know that as well.
1998 Buick Park Avenue - Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement Pics
#438 of 460 Re: 1998 Buick Park Avenue engine problem - redux [spriteman]
Mar 21, 2013 (2:01 am)
I've tried to reuse my spark plugs the last time, but I ended up replacing them. I think it wouldn't start, but I'm not sure.. it's been a few years now. It's gonna be up to you.
#439 of 460 Re: 1998 Buick Park Avenue engine problem - redux - 3-20-13 update [spriteman]
Mar 21, 2013 (2:09 am)
Great pics! You look like you've almost got this done. Did you look up inside the stovepipe channel of the UIM to see if it was cracking or rotted? It does look like your LIM gaskets were deformed some around the little square ports. You're LIM looks great, can I bring my next one to you?
Yeah, now I look for cars with the 3.8L with description "blown head gaskets", etc. Picked up a nice Lumina LTZ for my son that way, let him do the repairs while I held the light and gave him guidance.
#440 of 460 Re: 1998 Buick Park Avenue engine problem - redux - 3-20-13 update [bowfan]
Mar 21, 2013 (9:18 am)
The only thing I'm concerned about finishing up the repair is applying the gaskets correctly - as far as adhering them to the head/IM surfaces. Are the only areas that get some gasket sealant the two strips that sit on the block? Or do you have to follow the pattern around all of the holes (bolts and ports)?
In the pics that I've seen I only see sealant on the end strips.
I mean this is the reason the engine failed and I'd hate to do it wrong and start all over.