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PostSlut
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, anyone have any experiance on the 3800 series engine from GM?
Reason, I just aquired this car from my grandmother, and the engine locked up on it(I was actually driving it to figure out the missfire she had). I was lucky to only be a couple blocks away from her house. She had the car towed to a shop, shop said the engine is locked up, and a replacement would be around $2500 for a used engine. I said fv$% no! Get the car towed back home. The car sat in her driveway for a couple months. Well, my brother and I have been slowly working on it. We pulled all the plugs, and turned the motor over which resulted in water coming out of all the cylinders...well, no more locked up motor. So, next we checked spark, that was good. So, the car should start right? wrong. okay, maybe the cat got clogged up....no, when cranking the car, you can feel air coming out of the exhaust. So maybe its not getting any fuel...no, you can sure smell it. We did change oil(which I can't remember if it was milky or not....been to many months now), so oil level is good...so then we thought, maybe it has a low water sensor(water was alomost a gallon low), nope, no dice hear either....car just cranks.
So for sh1ts and giggles, I said hey, you think the air filter may be wet? (I did a little research a while back on these motors, and they have a failure on their plastic intakes kinda like Ford did...they have a little engine coolant consumption, or an engine coolant leak near or under the throttle body area of the upper intake manifold). So, we pull the air box off, and the filter was dry, but inside the intake tube, it had water in it.....so, we pull off the throtle body/mass air, and low and behold the whole upper intake has about an inch deep of oil and water mix in it...no wonder it would never fire over! Kinda hard to ignite a water and oil mix!

Now, it seems that Dorman has released a manifold that has been updated to fix this problem. Has anyone had this same experiance? Or had any luck with the Dorman manifold? I would get an oem one, but it seems, that it will just do it again in time.

thanks for any help.
 

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Fugg greedy mechanics...

And yeah, if anyone has done this intake swap or that has experienced this first hand, that would be great if we got a response from them...
 

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PostSlut
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Discussion Starter #3
Fugg greedy mechanics...

And yeah, if anyone has done this intake swap or that has experienced this first hand, that would be great if we got a response from them...
I found the dorman intake on rockauto, for 93 bucks shipped, before a discount(which i think is only 5%..but still).
 

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I found the dorman intake on rockauto, for 93 bucks shipped, before a discount(which i think is only 5%..but still).
Cool, that's good price on that... Not as cheap as Ebay, but I don't trust ebay sh*t sometimes. Like I said earlier, it's probably not the updated version of the intake.
 

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PostSlut
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Discussion Starter #5
Cool, that's good price on that... Not as cheap as Ebay, but I don't trust ebay sh*t sometimes. Like I said earlier, it's probably not the updated version of the intake.
yeah, I saw that one....just might get that one for $60 shipped.
 

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My parents Buick had a cracked intake, but my father insisted that his mechanic would take care of it. Said mechanic found some other small problem, charged 'em $150 and sent them packing. Two years later, maybe 8,000 miles, the engine seized. Same mechanic made more money from them replacing the engine. Your grandmother is very lucky - it's good that she isn't as blind and stubborn as my parents!
 

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PostSlut
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Discussion Starter #7
My parents Buick had a cracked intake, but my father insisted that his mechanic would take care of it. Said mechanic found some other small problem, charged 'em $150 and sent them packing. Two years later, maybe 8,000 miles, the engine seized. Same mechanic made more money from them replacing the engine. Your grandmother is very lucky - it's good that she isn't as blind and stubborn as my parents!
yeah, it was one of her "mechanics".
I don't trust them.
They were probably just going to replace the intake, charge her for the whole engine, and send her on her way.
 

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yeah, it was one of her "mechanics".
I don't trust them.
They were probably just going to replace the intake, charge her for the whole engine, and send her on her way.
And we wouldn't have thought twice about it.... Too bad we always seem to find out crap the stupid way. And then to find out that reputable shop seems as if they did not even take one look at the engine and did no diagnostic checking what-so-ever, they would have found water in the engine.
 

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It is a very common issue, along with the Deathcool gunking up the cooling passages, it also eats away one of the passages and causes this.
 

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My winter car is a 98 lesabre. About 5 years ago my father had the intake replaced for that same reason. About six months ago I put another one on as the replacement started leaking again. I used a dorman unit as it was cheap. The car has 243k miles on it and runs like a top.

Another coolant issue these cars have is the coolant elbow near the tensioner, they like to explode. While you are replacing the upper intake I would also replace the lower intake gaskets. I have seen those fail and while you're down there it doesn't take much more to pop the lower intake off. Mine started weeping around one of bolts near the injectors, which was kind of odd to see. Other than those problems the motor is fairly bulletproof.

I would say throw the dorman upper on, pull the lower, put a new plastic elbow on and you're ready to rock.
 

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PostSlut
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Discussion Starter #11
My winter car is a 98 lesabre. About 5 years ago my father had the intake replaced for that same reason. About six months ago I put another one on as the replacement started leaking again. I used a dorman unit as it was cheap. The car has 243k miles on it and runs like a top.

Another coolant issue these cars have is the coolant elbow near the tensioner, they like to explode. While you are replacing the upper intake I would also replace the lower intake gaskets. I have seen those fail and while you're down there it doesn't take much more to pop the lower intake off. Mine started weeping around one of bolts near the injectors, which was kind of odd to see. Other than those problems the motor is fairly bulletproof.

I would say throw the dorman upper on, pull the lower, put a new plastic elbow on and you're ready to rock.
I call this post of the year!

:tongue:

thanks man, I apreciate it.

:cool:
 

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Pedal Faster
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Okay... you're going to rag on "mechanics" but you found water in the cylinders but went ahead and put the plugs back in and expected it to fire?

EDIT: If it hydrolocked while driving, you probably have some bent con rods.
 

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PostSlut
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Discussion Starter #13
Okay... you're going to rag on "mechanics" but you found water in the cylinders but went ahead and put the plugs back in and expected it to fire?

EDIT: If it hydrolocked while driving, you probably have some bent con rods.
guess you have never worked on engines before......
 

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The LIMG in the 3x00 gm motors are NOTORIOUS for leaking. Do yourself a favor and get a metal Felpro. They are more expensive but in the long run it's well worth it.
 

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Get your Buick back together?

What's with all the GM sucks talk, I have a lot of respect for the 3800 motor. I'm a Ford guy through and through, but when you actually work on cars for a living you come to the realization that they're all sh**boxes. Every carmaker has their problems and quirks, it's just a matter of dealing with the retardedness of your chosen favorite. I choose to overlook Ford problems. Chevy guys overlook Chevy problems, and so on...
 

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I say go with the dorman kit. I have installed a few and they work great. Be sure to install the updated EGR "tube" in order to prevent having to do this again down the road. If you run the stock egr "tube" with the new stuff you will melt/warp your gasket again. The new one is a smaller diameter to keep it further away from the gaskets.

Also if you are going to pull the lower intake (crap plastic lower intake gaskets are also notorious for leaking) X2 on the plastic elbow, that thing WILL break one day if it isnt replaced. on a side note...I know felpro started doing 3.1/3.4 gaskets in metal, but AFAIK 3.8 still are plastic gaskets.
-Rob
 

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PostSlut
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Discussion Starter #19
not yet.....my wife got apendicitis (sp), last week....I have not had time to do anything!



and thanks guys for the help....I saw a place on line that had a new smaller "stove pipe" that I will be getting.
 

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PostSlut
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Discussion Starter #20
well, I drove the car yesterday.
I have not replaced the manifold yet.
We got the water out of the engine, and started it without water.
We drove it down the driveway, and back up....just wanted to get the fluids moving again.
I still have to order an intake and lower intake gaskets.

I'm just glad the engine runs.

Would anyone be able to tell if this is the updated version?
Or is it a Dorman?<-----I believe the dorman intake is the updated one....just not sure if the one in the link is the dorman or not.
From looking at other pics and info online, it seems to be the dorman.

http://www.am-autoparts.com/AM/Intake-Manifolds/Buick/LeSabre/1998/AM-26470686/
 
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