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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 08-16-2005, 09:54 PM   #1
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Default Can anyone help?

I have a 98 bonneville SE I have had it about 6 months and I love it previous to that my mother owned it. Anyway I have a situation with it and im not really a car guy myself and I wanted to get others opinions.

I pull into walgreens the other day and I go to leave and my car wont start. The starter just sits there turning and turning. Sounding like it normally does just not kicking over. So it sounds like to me the car is one not getting spark or two not getting fuel. Ok so I call a tow truck and have it towed to the local pep boys. Let me start by saying I have never had any problems with it. Never overheated never knocked never smoked anything like that. So they call me around 10'clock today and tell me thier no start diagnostic didnt tell them anything. Well it still wont start so I say I will call them back later when they know more. Ok I call them back at 1 o'clock they tell me that my entire engine is blown and I need a new one. They tell me I have a warped or blow head gasket.
Ok to my knowledge a warped or blown head gasket happens when the car is overheating correct?

I ask them how they know and they say " Well we got it started and white smoke just started pouring out of it.

I ask them to put it on the rack and I will be there shortly to take a look at it myself. I think this is where I went wrong.

When I got there the car was making a completely different starting noise than it was making when left it. There was a crack in the started with obvious chisel and stratch markings. all very convienent now since we cant do a compression test to see if the gasket is truely blown.

Any thoughts?
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Old 08-16-2005, 10:10 PM   #2
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Sounds to me like the upper intake manifold sprung a leak and filled the engine with coolant. At first probably just enough to coat the plugs and keep it from firing, then at pep boys it probably started filling the cylinders and hydro locked the engine. Them not knowing any better, they kept cranking a hydro locked motor until the starter housing broke.

The connecting rods may be bent now if they were cranking a hyro locked engine hard enough to break the starter housing. So you may need a new engine now, or maybe a connecting rod or two, or maybe just an intake job. Could have been prevented if a more knowledgable shop had the car instead of a pep boys.

I'd get the car out of there and to a profesional right away....before they make things worse than they already are.
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Old 08-16-2005, 10:13 PM   #3
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Sounds like you may have an intake manifold gasket failure that allowed coolant into several cylinders at once giving the starting troubles. When they fiinally got it to go, the coolant showed as white smoke in the exhaust.

If I read correctly, you say the starter was cracked. If the coolant filled one of the cylinders sufficiently to cause a hydrostatic lock, this can result in a broken starter case. Also, bent connecting rods.

Before you had it towed, you probably could have saved the engine by simply pulling the spark plugs and taking a look-see. Now, it is hard to say what these guys may have done.

Don't know about the chisel marks, but it doesn't sound too good. I would want to check to make sure you don't have any coolant in the oil or that the engine wasn't damaged by hydrostatic lock. If not, you can replace the manifold.gaskets yourself for a couple-three hundred bucks. Add another $150 if you have to do the heads. So a junkyard engine for $400-$500 starts to look good.

But you really need to read up on the intake manifold problems of these Series II engines on this site and make sure those are good in any replacement engine you install or it'll be deja-vu all over again.

(edit: beat me to it cat!)
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Old 08-16-2005, 10:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill buttermore
(edit: beat me to it cat!)
:P
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Old 08-16-2005, 10:54 PM   #5
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First go here...
http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/techinfo/?article=85

Read all of it... May take a while...


I did the replacement of the lower intake gaskets and the upper intake recently... I was not too happy with what I found...I'm on intake #3 now...

http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...87bf3478babe64

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