My 95 3800 problems and solutions needed - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat
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1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 07-07-2004, 09:13 AM   #1
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Default My 95 3800 problems and solutions needed

I am new to this forum and hopefully I can get some help. I wish I had found this place a few years ago. I vapor locked my engine on a trip to TX from MI in MO. Assumed that a head gasket failed, so tore her apart replaced the gaskets (which I found no defects) slapped her back together, and what do you know, water everywhere and vapor locked all over again. Of course I finally found that the upper manifold was bad, and soon learned that this is a common problem, if only I ahd found it earlier. Would have been easier than head gasket replacements!!

So heres my question, what kind of damage could this do to my engine? Reason I asked is because out of no where I just blew my 3800 into pieces. I never lost oil pressure or anything, then BLAM! Pistons and block chunks all over the place.

Also is there somewhere on this forum I can find someone selling engines or at least a short block, or long block package? Also is there any other apps that would bolt up? i.e. Camaro, Riviera, 88 3.8 and what years? I'm desperately looking to get my car back on the road and buying a new engine is beyond my means right now. There is also a 98 3.8 from a camaro on ebay for sale for $200. Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks
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Old 07-07-2004, 10:45 AM   #2
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upper intake failure is what it sounds like.
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Old 07-07-2004, 10:53 AM   #3
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The real danger is the water mixed into the oil, rusting the bearings and seals in the crank area. Long-term damage can occur internally this way, that may not be apparent right away. The best thing to do when the upper fails is to immediately drain the oil to get the moisture out.

We don't have links to replacement long or short blocks, and other applications won't work as you listed. You need to stick to a SII 3800 from a 95-present Bonneville/Le/Sabre/Etc., or a 97+ GP and similar.
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Old 07-07-2004, 12:40 PM   #4
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The upper intake was the culprit two years ago. I figure the residual damage from that episode is what did me in this time. Probably some sort of bearing damage. Anyhow, I'm still going to need a block. I guess more specifically, will any 3.8 by GM from 95 work? Do I have to stick with Pontiac (Grand Am, GP etc)? WIll any 3800 from 95- present work? I've seen them and they look much different. I'm worried about bolt patterns, acc.* mounts, and computer problems. If they will still bolt up, cool, just want to be sure. Is there a website anyone knows about out there that will tell me the diff applications and whether they will work? I know thats a lot of questions, but I'm desperate.

One more thing, will the 98 Camaro 3.8 short block work? I figure the transverse and inline engine mounting would pose a prob. Thanks in advance
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Old 07-07-2004, 02:26 PM   #5
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From what I recall, the block in the Camaro is different.
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Old 07-07-2004, 03:49 PM   #6
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It is. It'* set up for a 4L60 trans. Bolt pattern is different. A few other details also. And further, the manifolds are all vastly different.
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Old 07-07-2004, 04:50 PM   #7
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Thanks for the help fellas. Here are the specifics on what happened when she went. I was driving on the highway about 70 when I started hearing a light tick. It immediately got my attention and I started slowing down and watched my gages. I wasn't slamming on the brakes at this point because it was just a light tick and would only hear it while hittin the gas. So I kept going trying to hear the tick while watching my gages for lost oil pressure or high temp, etc. Everything looked rock solid then BOOM! That telltale pop and smell of burning oil. I coasted to a stop and the rest is history. After getting it home I tore it apart to find two piston rods snapped off midshaft, and assorted parts and pieces in the oil pan. The block was falling apart around the oil pan area and it popped a hole in the front as well. As far as I can tell the pistons did not hit the heads. One of the bearings in the pan was about 5 inches long and paper thin. I took some digital pictures and will have to get them downloaded to the computer. It may take a few days since the camera belongs to my daughter, we'll see. I'll get them ASAP, least I can do for the help.
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Old 07-08-2004, 08:28 PM   #8
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Default Supercharged 3800 Motor on Ebay...

Not sure if this will work for you (or anyone else for that matter) but...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...e=STRK:MESE:IT
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Old 07-09-2004, 08:05 AM   #9
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I would love to have a supercharged 3800 but right now the name of the game is CHEAP! Thanks for the suggestion though
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