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Buick From the Electra, Lesabre, Park Avenue, Regal, to the Grand National. Here's the place for all things "Buick"

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Old 10-07-2016, 12:58 PM   #1
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Hello everyone

I created this thread so I could ask specific questions to my build. I hope people read and comment.

I tend to ramble so let me get to the what, why. I will post my current question at the end.

My baby (Sadie) 2003 Lesabre, 5th buick FWIW. 145K miles V6 3.8 Normally Aspirated.

My last car, 94 Century went to 235k miles and I spent 4 days trying to get that engine back to life for good reasons but it wouldn't and I lost my only transportation. I do not want that to happen again.

I have read volumes of posts arguing over pull and drop vs. rebuild. I don't necessarily want to get into that. I have decided to rebuild.

Now the Who and Why I want to rebuild.

I'm a 25+ year aircraft mechanic who has never done a full rebuild. I have the skill but not necessarily the knowledge. I figure with Sadie at 145K I'm pretty good for now but she has started the inevitable intake seal coolant leak, just like the 3.1 did in the Century at 180K miles which I fixed. Looking back at that job I could have dropped an engine at the same cost and amount of time I diddle'd with the dang thing. I figure I can take the this winter and some of next spring to teardown, clean, test, shave, and bore/true anything I find.

I am going to have questions on various kits and materials during the days, weeks, and months ahead. I'm hoping this forum is visited by knowledge and friendly folks who will answer those questions.

Now my current question. Is there a set of torque wrenches I will need for the rebuild? Any particular brand favorites? My career has been with outfits who provided torque wrenches, and even let me check them out for weekend or day use at home. I never saw the need to purchase, and yes they were sold by the guy in the big white truck with red letters. I don't wanna spend that much money if I don't have to.

Best Regards
Shon
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Old 10-07-2016, 04:57 PM   #2
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One way to keep your tool cost down is to take advantage of the Loan-A-Tool program at AutoZone. I've used their 1/2" torque wrench once when I needed 200 ft.lbs on a wheel bearing nut.
I can't really comment on the quality of different brand torque wrenches, I've used my Craftsman for many years.

I would guess the torque wrenches from Lowes (Cobalt?) brand are decent, I read where people like them for the price.

Joel
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Old 10-08-2016, 12:54 PM   #3
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Those 3.8'* are iron horses...rebuild not necessary....problems arise when customers drive 3.8'* while losing coolant and just topping off the coolant....just replace the lower intake gasket, the o-rings/elbows on the tensioner, throttle body and upper plenum gasket....thoroughly clean the throttle plate and bore and IAC pintle & passageway...2003 should not have a stove pipe problem....and possibly, the water pump/water pump gasket, if original, and do a coolant flush with a new thermostat.....replace plugs/wires, and check for carbon tracking on coil terminals...replace f/p regulator......that would be the extent of an "engine rebuild".......finally, air filter, PCV and fuel filter, to finish tuneup....

You will need an inch pound(upper plenum bolts 89 inch pounds), as well as a pound torque wrench...
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Old 10-11-2016, 11:14 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies guys.

Yeah, that rebuild or not stick. HA

So I just started getting the coolant loss problem. "That" problem.

I bought this car summer 15'. Last winter the coolant checked weak but strong enough for the temps here in North Idaho so I let it go. 2 weekends ago I flushed the system including flush solution and new thermostat. I followed the option to run 10 min with heater on high and flush, flush, flush, oh heck, flush again.

Now I'm going through fluid. None into the pan thank God. In 2 days the reservoir goes from the HOT mark to below the ADD mark. I did add a bottle of Barr'* but I'm doubtful that will do anything. I have added fluid 5 times now. This was my fear when I started flushing.

Time will tell. &*#$%*(U&()*IJ^&%$@$

Shon
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Old 10-11-2016, 11:35 PM   #5
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People like pictures.

Last weekend I shopped for my new motor, pulled it, and then felt guilty for splitting it from it'* trans so I returned the next day and got it too.

"A" is on the left side and "B" is on the right. Row 1 is most near and my pull happens at B27, of course that is just the way my luck always is, only 3 more rows after mine and you hit the end.
Gonks Build thread-img_20161007_121741.jpg

Engine'* ready to go. Just showing the car that gave it up.
Gonks Build thread-img_20161007_173214.jpg

A face behind the thread. Yeah, I dropped an engine - on my face apparently.
Gonks Build thread-img_20161007_174706.jpg

7 hours me, myself, and I, start to finish.
Gonks Build thread-img_20161008_115002.jpg

I had to go back the next day for the transmission.
Gonks Build thread-img_20161009_121857.jpg
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Old 10-11-2016, 11:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech II View Post
You will need an inch pound(upper plenum bolts 89 inch pounds), as well as a pound torque wrench...
Are there many Torque-and-turn bolts? I can't remember what the real term is for that. If there are I am thinking it would be best to get a digital.

I'm just thinking here.
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Old 10-12-2016, 04:01 PM   #7
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TTY.....torque to yield bolts....what you actually need is an angle meter, for the final turn...
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Old 10-12-2016, 04:53 PM   #8
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Only TTY bolts on the 3800 are the head bolts. The rest are standard torque.
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Old 10-26-2016, 12:28 AM   #9
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Good info fellas, thanks.

I'm posting an update just because.

My coolant issue became worse, and playing with the devil by dumping Barrs in did little soooo........ grrrrr.

Wholy smokes was there a lot of oil between the two manifold halves. I did find the electrical PCV doo-hicky sensor on the upper manifold in pieces when I started disassembly. I never noticed it broken. I'm thinking it helped contribute some of the oil but I have to guess I had a bad gasket. The engine side of the throttle body (after the throttle plate) was so coked up. I was rather amazed. I have seen dirty and I have seen coked, but I have never seen something running this well so badly coked. I should have taken pictures.
Gonks Build thread-img_20161022_111004.jpg

Rear passenger side water jacket port was the worst. I'm amazed the intake itself didn't have corrosion pitting. The steel head was worse off than the aluminum intake. It must have something to do with dissimilar metals and polarity charge?? Maybe this job isn't the first time done on this car??
Gonks Build thread-img_20161022_120516.jpg

When I pulled the lower manifold up, it took no effort, the intake gaskets fell right off. Yeah, I was leaking. Just glad it didn't go into the oil.
Gonks Build thread-img_20161022_120601.jpg

I'm gonna have to call this crack as part of my leak as well.
Gonks Build thread-img_20161023_091226.jpg

Why? Why oh why do they have to always go with plastic? Is there no pride anymore. I mean.... c'mon GM. Sheesh. I made sure to get the metal replacements.
Gonks Build thread-img_20161023_092730.jpg


In conclusion, The job took me about 10 hours total with the majority of the time spent cleaning parts and threads. I committed a few sins which I will keep to myself and no one will know unless I spill the beans. I have been driving the car for a couple days. I immediately changed the oil, I was due anyway. No signs of coolant loss and that makes me pleased.
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Old 10-26-2016, 01:18 AM   #10
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Just an FYI.

I'm still going to rebuild the motor I got out of the yard. It'* my winter project. I'll also be doing the transmission.

I'm rather familiar with forums and computers so I will be logging my progress as I go. Kind of making it my challenge. Hopefully I learn something along the way and maybe even provide a resource for others as well.

I have done this type of chronicling in the past and hopefully I don't do any forum no-no'* by providing a couple links of mine which some of you might find interesting. No bad intent meant here so if it'* not allowed I'll understand a moderator stepping to change this and scold me.

But anyways.

93 Marathon Project

Gonkulor, The Project

Basically, LOL there is nothing basic about it, I took a 93 electric golf cart down to the frame, powder coated it. Lifted it and put 13" crager SS rims on it. Re-geared the rear from 10:1 to 12:1. Upgraded the controller and battery cables. Added a second battery bank to power a 700W stereo, two 36 to 12 volt DC converters, a mobile computer with monitor (yes, I added a computer), viper security system, network hub, USB hub, two digital light controllers which power approximately 1500 smart pixel digital lights. The solenoids and wires, on my have I added wires. Custom seats and steering wheel. And lastly, hand fabricating the body panels.

Of course it'* not done. Maybe someday. LOL

In the mean time, I got an engine to overhaul. Hopefully I spare myself from receiving a Darwin award.
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