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Old 09-01-2004, 05:20 PM   #1
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Okay.. as you guys probably know, my oil pan is comming this week [I think]. And a few days ago, I removed the PCV valve, it was cracked, and wasn't exactly in the best shape. I shook it, and it made a rattling noise [I thought it was broken], but I referred back to may haynes manual, and of course my eyes decieved me. Its if it DOESN'T rattle its broken. So I was ****, this isn't good. So, I thought my oil leak was caused by this clogged PCV valve, but it wasn't. Now, I know the oil was comming out somewhere, and now I am contemplating if the head gaskets or lower intake gaskets are gone. I have finished cleaning up some of the mess, but I still have tons of cleaning to do. The car never seemed to have a problem, except of course the oil leak, but if it does have a problem, I am not going to just let it sit, it must be fixed. How should I do this? I mean, I had pretty much cancelled out taking out the intake and heads, but now I am wondering. I am just really confused right now, and any help is much appreciated.


-justin
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Old 09-01-2004, 05:34 PM   #2
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De-grease the engine VERY well, or have it done. Drive it for a day or two and try to spot the leak. You really need to do this before tearing into it.

I suspect your leak is on one end or the other of the block. In one of the 4 corners where the head, intake, and block meet. This is NOT a pressure leak, but rather a 'splash' leak, and is common on 3800'* over 120k. Going after this would allow you to change every gasket except the head gaskets. The HG'* or the LEAST likely. They rarely fail. Jseabert'* were pristine at 188,000 miles.
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Old 09-01-2004, 06:39 PM   #3
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okay, well, she probably won't get more than 10 miles, due to me not having a license, and my mom not trusting the car, but if she proves good, we'll be running to michigan city this weekend for plywood in her, which will be a 45-50 mile scavenge. I have to go to autozone tomorrow anyways, should I go for some dye then, and put it in the oil right away? Or should I just do a real thorough cleaning and inspect? The pool of oil underneath the intake is worse than I thought, it looked like just 1/8" to 2/8" deep, but its really 1/2" deep. Should I try to get that as clean as possible? because what happens is I have to take a paper towel and stuff it between the ports which lead to the heads, which is slow, and uses up a lot of paper towels. Also, I was inspecting the engine a little more, it seems as though there is no oil on the wires, or any of the wire covers, and it seems just like a greasy mess on the rear end of the block, but the front has a huge puddle, if that is realative. As far as the leaking on one of the four corners of the intake, does that mean i wouldn't have to touch the heads, just the intake, and some of the mounting brackets for the alt, power steering, etc..? Because that would probably be a several hour job [underestimating that figure probably], and shouldn't be too expensive. And when you say "splash leak" does that mean it only happens at a certain rpm, or when you hit a bump? Or is it something which is a constant leak, and it just slowly leaks?


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Old 09-03-2004, 09:14 AM   #4
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anyone?


-justin
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Old 09-03-2004, 12:05 PM   #5
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Justin, the leak I'm talking about is when the ends of the block/intake seals erode at the corners. The valve train splashes oil around under the lower intake. It can dribble out there.

Jseabert had never even changed his own oil, and was able to tear it down, replace the gaskets and seals, and re-assemble in 1.5 days. Saturday and part of Sunday, using my Chiltons #28200 (didn't need or understand the FSM'* ). Get a good torque wrench for the re-assembly.

Look at this pic:

For reference, you're looking at cylinders 1, 3, 5 at the front of the engine bay. The heads are removed, but you don't need to. See the blue seals? They're the new ones. The ends closest to you and farthest from you erode with heat over time, exposing a gap for the lifters/pushrods to splash oil out. Your lower intake would sit righ on top of those. Does this look like where your leak may be coming from, or is it higher up on the intake? (This is Jseabert'* L27 from his 93 SSE).
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Old 09-03-2004, 12:58 PM   #6
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That is a possibility as to where it is leaking, unfortunatly I can't seem to get a good look at it, but now, how does this explain the puddle which is under the intake plenum? It seems the worse on the front bottom side, but there are just obstructions for the others, so I can't get a good look. The engine needs other parts [which I can't afford at the moment], so she won't be running still, even though the oil pan is probably comming today. So, the downtime is no problem [plus its not like I drive her.. much, since I am only 14]. Its just the fact, I have nobody to help me, and no support what so ever is what scares me. But you saying he had never changed his own oil, and did it in two days does shed light on my situation. Have you ever seen any other cases like Jseabert, or something similar but really a different problem? But what you are saying, really does make a whole lot of sense, except it doesn't explain the puddle under the intake plenum. I guess my biggest question here is, is there anything else this could be?


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Old 09-03-2004, 01:45 PM   #7
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Valve cover, oil migrating from the airflow through the engine while you're driving?

PCV valve seal leaking somewhere? You really need to clean it and watch carefully.
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Old 09-03-2004, 01:50 PM   #8
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hmm.. okay, will do. Hopefully Autozone will have a new EGR valve gasket, and then I guess I could finish putting her back together for this weekend. Guess I will just have to wait and see.. thanks man!


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Old 09-03-2004, 01:52 PM   #9
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Keep us posted, and take pics if you can. I'm really curious about this one.
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Old 09-03-2004, 02:43 PM   #10
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someone came into the parts store i worked at this summer and he had an '86 olds (i think it was an 8 and it had the 3.8L v6 too (olds got it in theirs a year or so before pontiac dropped it in the bonne) and it looked so much like my '87s 3.8L! specially the intake. It had a different air filter.
Anyway
he had a HUGE little oil puddle right between the intake air passages for cylinder 3 and 5.

I was like holy hell! I'm thining this sounds like yours I dont know if he ever got it fixed but i gave him as much tips as i could. for his car'* other problems.

Does this shed any light to your situation... i guess not really.... so why am I posting? i dont know.. to get a better idea of where your oil is leaking from?

p.*. if that image didn't load right ( it prolly wont,)
see it at
http://miken123va.tripod.com/sitebui...take-model.gif

Here is a pic i made real quick.





The indigo (blue) = injecto
r, the grey is intake (upper intake shown) the
Violet = valve cover
Brown = oil

thats what the guy'* engine was like, i'm wondering if thats what yours is like.
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