blown head gaskets? Upgrade? - Page 3 - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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 11-17-2006, 11:33 PM   #21
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Are the */C heads the same as the N/A heads? Because I've been looking at an N/A head that I've got lying here at home and I don't see how a lower intake gasket failure would allow coolant into any of the six intake ports.

I have posted links to 3 pictures to show what I'm getting at. All pictures are of the head at the intake side. The first is with no coloring added, the second is a picture of the same head with coloring added to show which ports contain which liquids and air-fuel mixture. The third is a colored picture showing what the coolant would have to cross to get into the intake port...I just don't see it being very plausible. The coolant would enter the engine oil before it could get into the intake port.
The blue is air-fuel, the green is coolant and the brown is return oil from the valve train.

I'm thinking that he may actually have a head gasket failure. I know it is not a common problem with these engines, but I personally have seen it myself. It does happen.

Also, just to make a note of it with the members here, a hydro locked cylinder is a dangerous thing to have! A person can easily bend a connecting rod by trying to start a hydro locked engine. Especially if they try and try and try and try again. Liquid does NOT compress and the starter motor is VERY strong! Something has to give. That something is usually a connecting rod. When they bend, it makes the repair a LOT more expensive.

I'm sure I'll get replies of "Well, I've never seen a bent connecting rod, so you must be wrong motorhead", well I have seen it...many times in fact, and with my own eyes.

It happens more often than you might think. Most shops will not replace the bad rod because it involves removing the heads and with an engine of that age/mileage, they would rather tell you the engine is shot and just put in a new engine.

For the sake of the members here, anyone who reads a post that sounds like a hydro locked engine, please advise that member to refrain from even trying to start the engine! Explain to them why and make sure that they tell the shop (if they have a shop fix it) that the engine is hydro locked and they should not attempt to start it without taking the necessary precautions for a hydro locked engine...thank you.

Pictures:

pic 1 http://tkfiles.storage.msn.com/x1p6t...0FWHfeEmRwaqwg

pic 2 http://tkfiles.storage.msn.com/x1p6t...xwoe5c5Oeip7nA

pic 3 http://tkfiles.storage.msn.com/x1p6t...0ZYrUnym5MYEwQ
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Old 11-17-2006, 11:56 PM   #22
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Motorhead, I understand what you're saying, especially by looking only at the heads. The problem is the gasket, not the head. The gasket breaks down around the coolant passages, and the coolant starts to leak out around not only the bottom of the gasket, but also the top. Here'* a pic of an L36 LIM gasket that was taken off a 99 Olds with 48k miles.

Name:  LIMgasket.jpg
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The coolant starts to pool in the area of the gasket between the coolant passage and the intake area. Eventually, it breaks its way through that part of the gasket, and the coolant also enters the cylinder. In that pic, the top gasket on the right hand side you can see where the gasket was also starting to break down around the intake passage. Luckily it started to wick its way up the bolts first and was caught in time. The lower gasket on the left shows a similar condition, but not quite as bad yet.

Your point on the hydrolocked engine is a good one, too. Generally, the first question asked is when it happened...while running or trying to start. Most of the focus after that is for them to get the oil out of the engine, but adding the caveat to not to try to start the car again would be a good one.
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Old 11-18-2006, 12:11 AM   #23
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I don't know Archon, from those pictures, it still looks like the coolant would have gone to oil before intake. The intake seals look pretty good compared to the coolant seals.

After seeing the picture, I can't say it is impossible, but it looks more likely that the coolant would go to oil than to intake?
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Old 11-18-2006, 12:24 AM   #24
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If I had to guess...it probably often does but most people won't notice until the white smoke starts pouring out of the exhaust. Also, I don't know if it'* because of possibly more movement during heat/cooling cycles of the lower intake as compared to the head, but the leaks seem to be worse on the intake side of the gasket.
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Old 11-18-2006, 12:25 AM   #25
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Motorhead, we've seen ALOT of these failures. In EVERY single case of this that wasn't attributed to the L36 UIM, it'* been the LIM gaskets. I have a set here that I changed for a member. The coolant ALWAYS goes to the intake valve before the oil when LIM gaskets are involved.

If you had a set of failed gaskets in your hands like many of us have, you'd understand. DexCool is as much to blame as the gaskets themselves.
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Old 11-18-2006, 02:40 PM   #26
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Looking at the gasket, it'* solid. Therefore no oil passes through it. (trust me..mental block had me wondering)


If I understand properly, Motorhead is suggesting that the coolant could leak between the head and gasket, whereas others are saying the coolant can leak between the LIM and the gasket.

Both are possible, if only coolant is in the cylinder, then I would figure the leak must be between LIM and gasket. Both appear possible.
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Old 11-18-2006, 03:05 PM   #27
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Thank you Archon and Bill, it'* nice to know that there are open minded people on this forum who can appreciate a fresh look at things. People who don't automatically believe that anything unfamiliar must be impossible. I'm really starting to like this forum.
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Old 11-18-2006, 05:43 PM   #28
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You're welcome motorhead, and I don't think that most see it as impossible, just unlikely. Over the years, patterns develop with certain problems/symptoms. People are generally looking for the shortest route from point A (broken) to point B (fixed). So, off to the "common failures" of our brains we go, and start people off there. Could there be other causes? Sure, but why send people off in 10 directions on maybes when there is a greater likelihood to be something else.

It'* like coming home and turning on a switch for a light and it doesn't come on. There are many possible causes - bad switch, bad or broken breaker, bad wiring, etc., but...we start by replacing the light bulb. Why? Because it'* the most common failure.

Hang around. You'll catch on to the forum'* personality, workings, reasonings, etc. You'd find some of us more direct than others, or even the same person at different times.
Most are here for the same goal....to try to help people out!
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Old 11-18-2006, 08:59 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBoost37
To "unlock" the engine pull all the plugs and turn the motor over with the starter. However it the leak is bad enough to fill a cylinder, you need to find the cause very soon as there is too much water internally and you have a chance of bearing damage the longer it sits.
well we turned the motor over manually, and it ran for about 30min
but it hydrolocked again. so should i go w/ changing the LIM gasket
and turn her over again?
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Old 11-18-2006, 09:14 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUPRCHRGD
so should i go w/ changing the LIM gasket
and turn her over again?
I would suggest pulling the intake and lower intake off the car and looking for a reason that it is hydrolocking. Honestly if it hydrolocked that one time, I wouldn't have tried to start it and allow it to hydrolock a second time. Hydrolocking isn't the same type of thing as a bit of carbon building in the cylinder that comes out when you mash the throttle on the highway.
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