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Old 03-17-2003, 04:57 PM   #1
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Hi guys. I'm new to this forum. I have a 1998 Olds LSS (3.8L K) and can not find an Olds 88/LSS site for information exchange. So here I come. Wish your guys welcome amn Olds owner. A little bit about my "Bonny" LSS. It has about 62K miles. It has given me a lot of problem recently. At 59K, I had to have a new belt installed, as the old one worn out. New transmission fluid was put in after flush. At 60K, fluid leak from rear brakes, and cost me over $300 to have it fixed. Also it gave the missing fire alarm (check engine light on). I thought it due to the old spark plugs and wires. I changed those myself, using the Bosch +4 platinum plugs. They worked beatifully. At 62K, another missing fire alarm. I used a bottle a fuel system cleaner to quench it. At 62.5K, again missing fire alarm when I drove on highway. This time I surely felt the loss of power and shaking of the engine. I carefuly drove it home (2 miles away). Initially I thought it needed a new air filter and fuel filter. But when I openned the hood, I found the coolant was low. When I started the engine, the coolant was losed quickly. Then I openned the oil cap, I saw steam out of it. The oil level had rised, and the oil had a watery feeling. I thought the head gasket was bad. After refilling the coolant, I drove 3 miles to a mechanic I trust. He discovered the leak in the coolant system. After reading your forum board and other GM V6 problem boards, I was convinced that it must be my intake gasket. Surely, my mechanic discovered the intake gasket was bad. He replaced with a new set of gasket from local Chevy dealer. But after he finished the whole job, he found the coolant system was still leaking. He took the intake out again, and found the plastic intake had been corroded at the main coolant entrance. He got a new plastic intake for me for $300. After all of this done, he could not start my car. He discovered the Bosch +4 plugs were black and not usable. He installed the Delco regular plugs. They wroked very well. Then he changed my oil. The total bill was $1000 for the labor (twice taking off the intake!!) and parts. The car run quite well when he finished the job. However the engine was noisy two days (50 miles) later, with a sound of "tick-tick-tick". I thought it must be the oil change job was not well done, which cost the engine not enough oiled. I therefore changed the oil 3 times (first two times with Gunk flush, with 5W-30 Exxon). Finally I put in 10W-30 Castrol. The enigne now works as well as before. I like the ride of the LSS. I wish to drive it for a long long time. I am not sure if my engine has been permanently damaged now because I did not give it repeated oil change immediately after the engine job. My mechanic told me "not necessary" and my next oil change was due in "3000 miles". Now I am upset about him, but have not told hime yet about this because I used to trust him and don't want to upset him now. But his advice almost kill my engine. Should I use 180 thermostat? I thought about changing it and all the hoses myself. But it is difficult to access the rear hoses from the top. I just spent $1000 on my LSS, and don't have money to surrend to a mechanic to do the job for me now. Any suggestion on how to access the hoses? Do I need what tools (pliers) to move the hose tighener? Thank you.
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Old 03-17-2003, 06:17 PM   #2
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First of all, Welcome to the club! Althought this club is the "BonnevilleClub", we welcome all H body cars--yours being one of them. The LSS is the sportier version of the LS and is a very nice ride.

As for your intake problem, you are now aware of the one flaw of this engine. As long as it is running well now, you should be okay. I have never heard of having to change your oil multiple times after an intake failure, so don't get too mad at the machanic just yet. In order to help prevent this failure in the future, I would definately encourage you to change the T-stat to a 180. As for the hoses, if they look like they are in good condition, I wouldn't worry about them yet. I would suggest an engine wash (degreaser when the engine is cold) before you start any work. It makes the job more pleasant and keeps dirt from falling into the engine. If the hoses do show wear after the engine is cleaned, but they are not yet leaking, wait until you recover from your $1000 set-back and then do the repair yourself. I know that California gets very hot in the summer (I am a native Californian myself), and this may contribute to cracking hoses, but if they are not leaking, there is no imminant danger.

As for changing them, look at the type of connector. There are two common hose clamps: spring loaded pressure clamps and screw clamps. With the spring loaded clamp, there are no screws present on the clamp whatsoever, and these are removed with plyers by sqweezing the metal tabs together with the plyers while twisting the hose off the male receptical. The screw type is simply loosened with a screwdriver and then removed in the same manner--twisting the hose back and forth while pulling away form the male receptical.

To get to the rear hoses, it may be easier to remove the black bar that goes between the two inner fenders. Just remember to replace it when you are finished. There are four nuts that hold that on.

I am moving this thead to the "Other H Bodies" section so that other LSS owners can find it more easily.

Good luck.
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Old 03-17-2003, 08:42 PM   #3
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Thank you 95BonnevilleSESC
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