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97 3.8 vin k Plastic intake leaked, cylinders full of water.


joelm
09-18-2004, 05:34 PM
My wife's 97 Buick Lesabre 3.8 vin K with the cheasy plastic intake failed where the EGR tube overheated it and burned through to the coolant passages. Now I have an engine full of coolant and completely hydraulicly locked until I pulled the plugs and let the coolant gush out.
I have the upper (to be replaced with Dorman upper intake #615-180, it looked to far gone for the Ken-co repair kit) and lower intakes removed but was hoping to avoid the extra time and expense of pulling the heads. What is the best way to proceed from here? I would like to hook the battery up and jump the solenoid to spin the coolant out of the cylinders and do a compression test but am concerned about possible damage to the PCM since most of the sensors are disconnected. Should I shoot some kind of oil into the plug holes? Back in my high school days we would have replaced the offending gasket fired here up and dumped enough tranny fluid down the carb to smoke out an entire block. Life was so simple then.
Any suggestions to help me clean this mess up would be much appreciated.
Thanks,
Joel.

Jed Rule
09-18-2004, 07:09 PM
GM says to replace the lower manifold because it has a smaller orifice for the EGR gas. To avoid R&R the lower manifold you can use the KenCo part. Just sop all the coolant out of the passages. Disable the ignition, remove the plugs and crank her over to clear the cylinders.

Flatrater
09-19-2004, 05:36 PM
I have to wonder why GM just didn't offer a smaller tube for sale instead of a lower intake. GM wasn't thinking about the onwers on this issue.

I agree with Jed Rule. Just remember once you crank over the engine to rid the coolant out of the cylinders crank it over some more.

joelm
09-19-2004, 09:00 PM
Thanks for the help guys.
What about lubing the cylinders after I pump the water out? I can't help but think that all that coolant has washed the oil off the cylinder walls and they might score when I fire It up?
Again thanks for your guys help. These cars are so much more complex than the 60's cars that I used to wrench on. If I didn't have your previous replys to other posts, I would have treated this as your average blown head gasket. I would have replaced the head gaskets and just fired it up just to suck it full of coolant again. One other question, do you guys use a special pry bar to pop the injectors with? I struggled trying to pull the fuel rail and injectors as one piece per the chilton manual. What a pain. I finally gave up and unclipped the injectors from the fuel rail and pulled them individually. The fuel rail and manifold injector seals are really tight and I wonder if it would be OK to use some silicone lube to get them back together with?
Thanks again,
Joel.

Jed Rule
09-20-2004, 08:03 PM
I have to wonder why GM just didn't offer a smaller tube for sale instead of a lower intake. GM wasn't thinking about the onwers on this issue.

The same reason GM sells the upper manifold for $335 and Dorman for $129. GM stopped thinking of their formerly loyal customers in 1984 when they turned their backs on owners of the HT4100 and denied extending the warantee past 50,000 miles. These people went to foreign products and it has taken 20 years to win them back.

wilfie27
09-21-2004, 07:49 PM
I wouldn't really worry too much about the cylinders scoring because antifreeze has lubricants in it but some oil wouldn't hurt (good luck in the back). I went through the same process last winter with my sister-in-laws car and still running strong.

joelm
09-21-2004, 10:03 PM
wilfie,
Thanks for the reply.
Jedrule To avoid R&R the lower manifold you can use the KenCo part.
I called a bunch of the local parts houses to buy the Ken-Co repair kit but none of them had even heard of it. Not even the Buick dealerships.
They just wanted to sell me the new lower manifold or worse " you better bring that in, your motor will need a complete rebuild". I finally gave up and called Ken-Co in Canada. They don't sell to the public but they referred me to their US distributer in Colorado.
http://www.auveco.com/hni/hni-148wb.pdf
Unfortunatelly Auveco doesn't sell to the public and had no record of selling any kits in Oregon. They did give me the number of a company in Oregon that could order it from them, Viking Bolt. After about a four hours Viking bolt called me back and said they could order me the kit but it would cost $67 and have to be ordered out of Kentucky.
This is all just to say that nobody out here knows how to or wants to fix this problem for less than the price of a new manifold or worse a rebuilt engine. I think GM should have recalled the whole lot of these 3.8 vin K motors. But then again if you can sell all us dumb bumpkins new manifolds and motors why bother.
OK I feel better now. thanks for all your help.
Joel.

P.S. Flatrater how dare you insult that fine GM pickup with such a sordid past. Surely Jane Kerry drove a Pugeot.

richtazz
09-24-2004, 01:47 PM
the problem point is the small coolant passages in the upper plenum at the throttle body. They get weak and crack. The replacement manifolds are reinforced at this point to avoid future problems. I never heard of the lower intake being a problem.

Jed Rule
09-24-2004, 09:01 PM
The problem is: The EGR port in the lower manifold has no clearance to the coolant passage in the upper manifold. The heat from the EGR melts the upper manifold plastic around it. The GM repair is to replace the lower manifold with a new design having a smaller EGR nipple. The KenCo part is a replacement nipple to be installed in the original lower manifold thereby giving clearance around the coolant passage. True $60 is a lot for a nipple and epoxy but it beats the cost of a new lower manifold and additional labor. The plastic manifolds usually last 100,000 miles. I have seen them fail at 60,000. I guess just replacing the upper manifold would give you another 100,000 miles. Depends on how long you want the car to last.
I bought the KenCo part from a GM dealer in Maine. My car only has 26,000 miles but I intend to install it before 50,000 just to be safe. Also, the Dorman replacement manifold is reinforced in the coolant passage area but I heard of a few failures when it was being installed. Two of the embossed areas for the holddown nuts, ripped when being torqued to the correct amount. Don't know why. I did see a bullitin in Alldata regarding revised torque specs, but I don't have access to GM bullitins any more. Maybe Flatrater can provide that information

swordtalk
09-09-2008, 11:25 AM
I have had no problems with my 3.8 in my 97 Buick Lesabre. My mechanic suggested that I change the new formula antifreeze however. He believes that it is more corrosive to the plastic manifold.

BNaylor
09-09-2008, 11:44 AM
I have had no problems with my 3.8 in my 97 Buick Lesabre. My mechanic suggested that I change the new formula antifreeze however. He believes that it is more corrosive to the plastic manifold.

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