Need Major Advice - intake gasket/valve lifters


splitgd503
12-26-2005, 01:30 AM
I have a 98 blazer(2 door). Took the truck into a shop last week due to a repetitive "clicking" noise that was coming from the engine area. I thought it may have been simply a belt problem or possibly a water pump due to the fact i had a little bit of a problem with losing antifreeze back in sept/oct. After looking the truck over, the mechanic tells me that there is a problem with the intake gasket and the "clicking" noise was coming from the Valve lifters. He also tells me that there was some antifreeze in the engine because the oil was milky and thin. So bascially from what i understand, he is going to probably replace the intake gasket and he said he will have to drain all the fluids out of the engine and put fresh oil in and such. The cost he is giving me for this repair is $650! Now I understand that engine work isnt easy and it costs a lot, but I'm curious to know what anyone might know and if the price he is giving me sounds about right or if it is off the wall. I appreciate the time and advice.

gentlemanjak
12-26-2005, 01:54 AM
I would think you may have a head gasket problem due to anti-freeze loss you mentioned and the milky engine oil. It could be leaking anti-freeze from intake gasket into engine which is a much cheaper option to repair. Valve lifters could be noisey due to the thin oil in engine, depending on the mileage the Blazer has done you may be better off replacing them anyway seeing as he has the inlet manifold off anyway.
If you have a sludge build up on the inside of you oil filler cap, you'd be advised to run a engine flush through the engine before oil change.
Is the engine running smooth, or does it idle rough? Does it overheat at all? Are you still loosing coolant from engine?

I assume this is a V8 engine!!

splitgd503
12-26-2005, 02:04 AM
The blazer has 93,000 miles on it. For the most part, the engine does run smoothly. I did notice that the temperature gauge went very very high a few times back in early sept through early october. If i went to fast after standing still, the temperature gauge would go up, and then it would go back to normal after taking it easy on the gas. Thats what lead me to check the antifreeze level, somthing unfortunaly i havent done as well as i should. The first time i checked the radiator, it was bone dry and ofcourse the resevoir was too. So i filled the resevoir up numerous times and the antifreeze/water mix would continually suck down. The clicking noise developed after the overheating experiences that i had. It is weird because i went for a stretch of about 2 weeks where it didnt click, and at times the clicking would go away after the truck was warmed up and running for awhile. But when the clicking was constant, i decided to keep the truck at home and i started driving another car. I had a friend start the engine a few times the past month that it has been sitting at home. Last week before taking it to the shop, the antifreeze level was fine, the radiator was full. The clicking was still there though and it was constant. Also i should mention that when i started the car last week, a bunch of white smoke was continuously coming out of the exhaust for about 5-8 minutes.....i believe it went away after driving the car to the shop.

gentlemanjak
12-26-2005, 06:19 AM
Sorry to say but it is sounding more like a head gasket problem to me, as the coolant level has not dropped since you stopped driving it, there's a 75% chance you can rule out a water leak from radiator or hoses.
The white smoke you mentioned from the exhaust when you started it up, quite possibly condensation (steam) from moisture in exhaust system. Classic head gasket symtom. Have you every tried to start the engine and had it sound like it has a flat battery? Has your mechanic done a cylinder head leakage test? A fluid test that is in a special container and allows you to draw air through it while holding it over the radiator intake while the engine is running. It would sense exhaust gases in your cooling system.
You could check yourself by running the engine at idle with the radiator cap off, keep water level topped up and watch consistantly to see if bubbles keep appearing. Once normal operating temperature is reached, stand back and gently bring the rev's up to 1500 and perhaps a few quick jabs on the gas to see if water is pushed out the top.
If it is blown head gasket, you'll be up for more than $600 perhaps double that as you will have to replace radiator and thermostat if mechanic is to guarantee his repairs.

Good luck

GMMerlin
12-26-2005, 10:31 AM
What has happened is the intake was leaking coolant into the engine.
The clicking is a classic sign that coolant has mixed with the oil.
Now the fact that the radiator was dry tells me that you probally overheated the engine. (white smoke is a good indicator)
These engines do not like to get hot. Most likely you will need to pull the heads and have them checked for warpage.
In my humble opinion, this engine would be a good candidate for a replacement.
If coolant has gotten into the oil system, your bearings are probally not looking to good right now, so replacing the head gaskets and lifters would not be cost effective.

splitgd503
12-26-2005, 07:42 PM
Sorry to say but it is sounding more like a head gasket problem to me, as the coolant level has not dropped since you stopped driving it, there's a 75% chance you can rule out a water leak from radiator or hoses.
The white smoke you mentioned from the exhaust when you started it up, quite possibly condensation (steam) from moisture in exhaust system. Classic head gasket symtom. Have you every tried to start the engine and had it sound like it has a flat battery? Has your mechanic done a cylinder head leakage test? A fluid test that is in a special container and allows you to draw air through it while holding it over the radiator intake while the engine is running. It would sense exhaust gases in your cooling system.
You could check yourself by running the engine at idle with the radiator cap off, keep water level topped up and watch consistantly to see if bubbles keep appearing. Once normal operating temperature is reached, stand back and gently bring the rev's up to 1500 and perhaps a few quick jabs on the gas to see if water is pushed out the top.
If it is blown head gasket, you'll be up for more than $600 perhaps double that as you will have to replace radiator and thermostat if mechanic is to guarantee his repairs.

Good luck

Right well I can see your point as far as there not being any loss of coolant fluid in the past month that it has been sitting in my driveway. Although is it possible that I was losing the fluid when i was actually driving the truck? Speaking about a flat battery, when i tried starting the car a couple weeks ago, it was very slow to start. And last week when i tried starting it, the battery was dead.....but ofcouse thats what batteries do when you just leave them there hooked up and you rarely run the car. From everything I know, the mechanic did not do a cylinder head leakage test, atleast he did not inform me of doing so. Can you tell me a little bit about the "head gasket"........its starting to sound like a much worse problem than I need it to be. I dont have the money to be replacing the entire engine, and I dont want to be repairing certain parts if it just isnt worth it anymore. As it is, Im in the market for new tires, shocks, and a front allignment:(.

dmbrisket 51
12-27-2005, 12:55 AM
if its a head gasket, that was checked, chemical test, pretty neat to watch the first few times (then it becomes work) losing coolent is a classic sign of your plastic intake gaskets are shot, 650 is a good price, but if oil and anti-freez has mixed the moter could be tost, and most (99%) of the time we wont do intake gaskets on a contaminated moter, theres nothing you can do to get the system 'clean' again, short of a remove and rebuild, or a new moter, sorry for the bad news, but the machanic isnt lieing and giving a good price for gaskets, but it may be to late for that, it wouldn't of been back in sep/oct. ... and just an FYI for every one, the new plastic intake gaskets (GM, im not talking about felpro or victor, im talken the true blue gm gaskets) are now ALUMINUM with rubber, and not Plastic!!!

gentlemanjak
12-27-2005, 09:27 PM
It does seem that others are set on your fault being the intake gasket, I would think that if the intake gasket was able to leak water then it would also leak air causing substantial miss fire. But cars are strange at times and and nothing can ever be ruled out.
When I asked if it had symtoms of flat battery, I was meaning more of the engine not wanting to turn over at all and then strangely turning over and starting as if no problem, (cylinder hydraulicing) caused by water in cylinder. If its running for some time and you have a continueous dripping of water from the exhaust pipe, again a sign of blown head gasket.
It is all a mute point anyway, if your up for all the repairs you say and you can't afford to do those and a head gasket/intake gasket or what ever the problem, trading it in could be best option. Get yourself a newer car and shift the problem off to car dealer.

tom3
12-27-2005, 10:32 PM
Our Blazer did the same exact thing at 12K miles, so for sure, it's possible. Price for the repair is not out of line, dealer cost would be a couple hundred more.

dmbrisket 51
12-27-2005, 11:33 PM
It does seem that others are set on your fault being the intake gasket, I would think that if the intake gasket was able to leak water then it would also leak air causing substantial miss fire..
sorry gentlemanjak, it doesn't work that way, of the dozens of intake jobes ive done in the last 6 months, not one had a miss fire because of a lean condition... the plastic breaks internally on the lower plenum, not the upper, but the uppers can fill up and look like a punch bowl when the upper plenum is removed

splitgd503
12-28-2005, 02:48 PM
sorry gentlemanjak, it doesn't work that way, of the dozens of intake jobes ive done in the last 6 months, not one had a miss fire because of a lean condition... the plastic breaks internally on the lower plenum, not the upper, but the uppers can fill up and look like a punch bowl when the upper plenum is removed


haha......man i wish i knew as much about cars as i do the human body. Hearing some of this stuff gets confusing. Im an Anatomy major. But anyway......the mechanic is going to try and do the $650 repair with what he still believes is the intake gasket, because he has not yet called me back. If it ends up being any more than that, I will try and sell the truck for parts more than likely.

gentlemanjak
12-28-2005, 04:38 PM
sorry gentlemanjak, it doesn't work that way, of the dozens of intake jobes ive done in the last 6 months, not one had a miss fire because of a lean condition... the plastic breaks internally on the lower plenum, not the upper, but the uppers can fill up and look like a punch bowl when the upper plenum is removed
This I will have to quite willingly admit that you have the inside edge due to added experience on these vehicles. Chevrolet vehicles are quite rare in these parts, although the engines are very similar to the Holden 5litre V8.The last time I did gaskets on a Chev V8 they were made from a steel and fiber pressed together. Unless the plastic to which is referred is the plastic seal around the inside lip of the water ports, I otherwise have not seen plastic gaskets in this part of the world.
I admit to having been generalising with regard to possible cause and offering ways for the concerned owner to make discovery's of his own.
The last Chev I worked on was a 1968 SS 350 Camaro, and that was all suspension repairs and upgrades.
Cheers

dmbrisket 51
12-28-2005, 06:02 PM
lol chevy is my job security, i work on and see more GM vehicals with problems then any other make, on things like break and fuel lines, i see those all equil, due to the rust belt of the US, but drivability issues is plain rediculas in the general moters vehicals, the new gaskets have the same basic shape as the old graphite ones, but, they are plastic on the outside, and rubber glued to the middles of them

splitgd503
12-30-2005, 11:38 PM
Well the work is done.....

Intake Gasket: $79.07
Thermostat and seal: $11.03
Serpentine Belt: $56.10
Belt Tensioner: $55.69
Oil change/filter: $17.95 parts and $6.00 labor
Coolant: $18.00
Replacement of Intake Gaskets: $375.00
Shop supplies: 5.95

....came out to be $636.98:( ....the truck actually slighty "clicks" at start of engine, but goes away after a few seconds or after driving it for a minute or so.

It was basically a crap shoot getting the work done, but im hoping the I wont have any further problem.

dmbrisket 51
12-31-2005, 03:24 AM
new gaskets aluminum or plastic? that seams kinda cheep for the parts on gaskets... didnt get the upper plenum?

Jeremy Fitch
12-31-2005, 07:40 AM
Actually thats high for the gasket, heres is what the job ran for me at the GM dealer.

1---89017460----GSKT-MANF 3.270----25.28
1---10108445----GASKET 2.363--------1.01
1---12346141----ADHESIVE 8.800------11.82
2---12378392----CLEANER 8.800-------4.95
1---PK52--------25171377 FILTER------13.95
1---25171377----FILTER 1.836
5---88901743----OIL 8.800
2---12346290----COOLANT 8.800-------15.39
1---1163--------COOLING FLUSH--------37.43

Total Parts - 130.17
Total Labor - 291.14

dmbrisket 51
01-01-2006, 04:32 AM
actualy he got charged the ass hole tax, same as the dealer charges, parts are cheeper from the dealer because there is no 'middle man' but they get you with added labor of 85 an hour, the dealer sells the gaskets to aftermarket shops, making a profit even though we get a discount, the gaskets are our cost about 80 bucks for just the lower set, and im personally not a fan of dealer work, because the guys are on commision, meaning if the labor book says the job is a 5 hour job thats what they get payed is 5 hours, i beleve the book calles for 8.5 for most vehicals intake job, if it takes them 10 they lose an hour and a half of pay, so they do the job as quick as possible, no extras such as injecter o rings, sealing oil pump drive, new clamps and etc. a good aftermarket shop will treat you better then a dealer service writer ever will... most of our intake jobs are what weve come to call a gm tuneup, plugs, wires, cap and roter (if equiped) oil change, and lower intake mainifold gaskets... which by the sounds of it is what we got here, and 650 is the low going rate for that kinda job, if you got it cheeper good job and congrats, but the low average in my area *some areas are higher some are lower* is 650, just for the intake some get up to over a grand after all tuneup and or tie rods and ball joins are done...

gentlemanjak
01-04-2006, 07:39 AM
Glad to here you've got problem sorted, also that it wasn't such a major. A cylinder leakage test would have prooved headgasket not to be the problem anyway, perhaps your mechanic had done one or then again if he's working on these vehicles all the time he would get to know all the common faults or problems they have. As I have done with all the japanese cars in our local market here in New Zealand.

Have a great New Year everyone.

dmbrisket 51
01-04-2006, 01:29 PM
you can usually see them leaking or seeping right at the end rails of the moter, the major problem with the 4.3 is that sometimes (they come in rashes) the cyl head craks between the valves on cylender 5

gentlemanjak
01-04-2006, 02:14 PM
you can usually see them leaking or seeping right at the end rails of the moter, the major problem with the 4.3 is that sometimes (they come in rashes) the cyl head craks between the valves on cylender 5
Like the Toyota diesel 2L-T engine which cracks between the inlet and exhaust valve seats on all cylinders. Or the early Mitsubishi 4D52 2.5 diesel which are known for exhaust valve seats cracking. Or how about the Opel Vectra, where everything will fail as soon as your warranty expires, they are known as a hand grenade with the pin pulled the day you buy it. Its just a matter of time.

dmbrisket 51
01-04-2006, 02:34 PM
lets not even start with the mitsu's, they are either great vehicals or absolute piles of steaming cow crap

gentlemanjak
01-04-2006, 03:10 PM
lets not even start with the mitsu's, they are either great vehicals or absolute piles of steaming cow crap
Agreed!! If someone wants a mitsubishi, they should buy a brand new one and be able to replace it every 2 years. Don't ever get a tiptronic trans model, you'll drive the dealers loan car more than your own, but that does keep the mileage down which could help resale value!! Ha Ha
Trade in value more like, the only dealer who wants one is a Mitsu dealer, or a dealer about to make a crap load of money off the car they willing to trade it on.
Mazda's and Nissan's are getting a much better name for themselves. Toyota have been No.1 seller's in New Zealand for more years than all the others put together over the last 15years.
BMW, Audi and Mercedes, nice to drive occassionally but could never afford to repair or maintain one in this country.
Fiat and Alfa, just 4 letter words equally as rude as all the other obscenities.
We have Holden Commodores, you will be familiar with the 2 door version which is called the "Monaro" down here. It gets a different nose cone, left hand drive convertion and badges so you'll know it as the new Pontiac GTO. 5.7L of alloy V8 with a 6 speed manual cog box. MMM thats a car, next models have the "gen4"? i think thats where they're up to, with a 6L 350Kw power plant. The Holdens have a great rival in the Ford Falcon, but I don't have enough time to right all the bad points they have built in from the factory.

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