Intake Manifold Gaskets vs Head Gaskets - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-20-2006, 05:28 PM   #1
Junior Member
Posts like a Ricer Type-R
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Missouri
Posts: 21
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
mattsh is on a distinguished road
Default Intake Manifold Gaskets vs Head Gaskets

To make a very long story short......it would appear that I am getting air into my cooling system, no matter how many times I have tried to get the air out of the system I always end up with more in it. The symptoms are: coolant getting pushed into the reservoir and the temp gauge has large fluctuations from the 1/4 mark all the way to the red line. It never reaches the point of setting off the dummy light for overheating so I am not convinced that it is getting too hot. I have just replaced the thermostat, coolant temp sensor, water pump, lower radiator hose and radiator.

I have been reading alot on the forums and I think I may have read too much. I am somewhat bewildered at this point and I am not sure if the intake manifold gaskets are the issue or if a head gasket is failing. I have no signs of coolant in the oil.

Any way to test which condition actually exists?
mattsh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2006, 06:53 PM   #2
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Three Oaks, Michigan
Posts: 4,879
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
opensourceguy is on a distinguished road
Default

First you need to do a cooling system pressure test. Pressurize the system to 15lbs and see if it holds pressure. If it holds pressure [30-60min], then nothing is wrong. You just need to fill up the system when it'* fluctuating like that, because it is probably just low

If it doesn't hold pressure and there aren't any external leaks then it would get into the oil. If it doesn't smoke then it'* not the head gasket. It would show physical signs on the dipstick... a chocolate milk looking colour and the oil would be overfilled, if there were coolant in the oil.

Sounds like you just aren't getting it full. When you talk about the major temp fluctuations you mean it will go from 1/4gauge right to red very quick, then at some point drop very quickly back down to 1/4gauge? That is air, but usually air in the system doesn't make coolant rush into the overflow tank.

Did you replace all those parts to try cure this problem or were they replaced for some other reason?

EDIT: your radiator cap is on tight right? The arrows should align to the overflow hose. A failed cap could possibly be the culprit; that would explain the overflow rushing.
opensourceguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2006, 07:07 PM   #3
BANNED
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 0
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
banned3800 is on a distinguished road
Default

The system does need a pressure test... But at 283,000 miles the lower intake gaskets on this engine are more than due for replacement.. Also check to make sure you have no leaks

__________________
Best Car Insurance | Auto Protection Today | FREE Trade-In Quote
banned3800 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2006, 01:17 AM   #4
Senior Member
Posts like a Northstar
 
bastard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 694
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
bastard is on a distinguished road
Default

Sounds like head gasket failure to me.
bastard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2006, 01:45 AM   #5
Junior Member
Posts like a Ricer Type-R
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Missouri
Posts: 21
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
mattsh is on a distinguished road
Default

Here'* the update guys.....

I went out tonight and checked all the plugs and found no traces of coolant. I then pulled the oil pan plug and again I found no coolant. I pulled the radiator cap and started the engine. As the engine started to warm up the coolant started to swell and a few air bubles came to the top. Seems like no big deal. Eventually the electric fan kicked on and then the coolant started puking out of the radiator. It seemed to calm down so I thought maybe I would add some more coolant, thinking that I just had not gotten all of the air out of the system. Everytime I tried to add some the radiator would puke it all out. It was not like a geiser or volcano errupting it just would gurgle really good and puke it out. Since it was somewhat humid here tonight and the temperature was somewhat cool I am not certain that I was getting any smoking. The exhaust really only smelled like exhaust. However, I did notice that later my hands did smell like hot antifreeze.

I am going to check with a couple of local shops to see if they have any of the sniffing equipment to test for coolant in the exhaust and combustion gas in the radiator. I'll see how much it costs first and then decide whether it is worth it or not to be 100% certain that I have a blown head gasket. All indications would lead me to say I am fairly certain that the head gasket has gone. I am glad however that it did not cause a catastrophic failure of any kind. I still have good oil pressure and the engine sounds as good as it ever did. So with a lot of labor and new gaskets it should be running fine again. I do think though that I will be looking for another car with a few less miles to get me to work and back. Other than gaskets and sensors and wear items I havent had to do anything to this car and it runs beautifully and the tranny is in great shape. Hopefully I will get it road worthy again. Its too good of an engine and tranny to not have it going down the road.

I really appreciate this web site and everyones help. Hopefully in the future I will be able to contribute more and not just be on the receiving end of the knowledge.
mattsh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2006, 01:52 AM   #6
BANNED
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 0
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
banned3800 is on a distinguished road
Default

If you decide to do the head gaskets.... Get the Fel Pro head gasket kit... It will have all of the seals and gaskets you need for the whole top end.. Also you may have to order a set of head bolts( Fel Pro also makes those )...

Let us know what you find

__________________
Best Car Insurance | Auto Protection Today | FREE Trade-In Quote
banned3800 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2006, 11:56 AM   #7
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Ames, Iowa
Posts: 3,066
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
bill buttermore is on a distinguished road
Default

It really does sound like a bad head gasket. The exhaust gas sniffer in the coolant recovery tank will tell you for sure, but you have all the typical symptoms. We always try to eliminate every other possibility first, as head gasket failure is a rare thing with this engine.
bill buttermore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2006, 11:46 PM   #8
Junior Member
Posts like a Ricer Type-R
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Missouri
Posts: 21
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
mattsh is on a distinguished road
Default

Bill .... I sent you a PM. Thanks.
mattsh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2006, 04:45 PM   #9
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Ames, Iowa
Posts: 3,066
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
bill buttermore is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsh
Bill .... I sent you a PM. Thanks.
See PM reply, Matt.
bill buttermore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2006, 03:49 PM   #10
Senior Member
Posts like a Turbo
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Posts: 380
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Timothy's Buick is on a distinguished road
Default

You say you bled the cooling system, but is the air out of the heater core????

I remember when i did a heater core change, and when i filled it up, ran it for 10 mins. Temp guage kept running funny, and I figured it might have air in the core. Put the front on an elevated surface, (a set of car ramps did the trick) and the air should come out of the core, and you might hear some bubbling. I know as soon as I got the car on those ramps, I heard it, lol.

Might be something to consider?
Timothy's Buick is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
99 Jimmy 4.3 intake manifold gaskets/check engine stonum GMC/Chevrolet Truck/SUV 17 09-12-2012 08:57 AM
97 ultra Intake Manifold gaskets ole fart Buick 9 01-14-2012 12:09 PM
FYI on lower intake manifold upgrade gaskets lunchboxx General GM Chat 17 02-01-2008 12:44 AM
replacing intake manifold gaskets on LG3 3.8l V6 roman 1987-1991 12 08-21-2007 02:50 AM
Head gaskets and all intake gaskets Jason C. 1992-1999 10 02-07-2006 12:10 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:17 PM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.