Remedy to engine knock - 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 03-20-2005, 06:29 PM   #1
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Default Remedy to engine knock

I'm new to this forum and pontiacs in general. I just bought a vin k bonny for dirt cheap because it has a knock. To those of you who've also had an engine knock - how did you go about fixing it? I've heard that main bearing clearances might cause this in these motors. I'm going to tear it down next week to find out what it is, but I wanted to know if replacing the engine is the most common thing to do or having it rebuilt was the better route. How much $$ was spent to fix and where is a good place for parts, etc. Thanks
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Old 03-20-2005, 07:50 PM   #2
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The first thing I'd check is the rubber damping on the crank/dampener pulley. This is often mistaken for knock, and requires no tear-down.

EDIT: Second thing I'd check for is to see if the upper intake has ever failed on the car and been replaced. If it failed, and the oil wasn't immediately drained, sever rust damage may have nailed your internals.
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Old 03-20-2005, 07:53 PM   #3
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If in fact it does have a bearing knock, it needs a crank kit. Since it'* such a PITA to remove the engine on a FWD car, you might as well go through the whole engine (rings, valve job, etc. ) and make sure everything is OK.

If rebuilding an engine is above your pay grade, a Targetmaster long block might be a viable alternative.

Check the various threads here on upper intake manifold failures and solve this problem while the engine is down.
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Old 03-23-2005, 01:27 PM   #4
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Default Found it

The knock was a rod bearing that has completely crapped out. I drained the oil last night and it looked like there was metal flake paint in my oil - very bad. I'm guess that the filter couldn't catch it all and a lot of those metal shavings are now seated everywhere else in the engine. So Now I want to know if a newer (00-04) 3.8L engine will swap into my 98 bonny. They are both vin K, but are there any differences that would not allow it to work with my car? I posted this same question to the 2000 and newer crowd hoping they'll know something too. Thanks for the help.
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Old 03-23-2005, 03:09 PM   #5
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I got a rebuilt engine from Jasper. Damn fine if you don't mind it being the exact same thing... well, slightly bored, but that'* about it. When the original engine was in good shape it felt no different from the Jasper now. Of course I still have a lot of little things that could be hurting performance.
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Old 03-23-2005, 03:53 PM   #6
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Default break-in

I've heard these engines need to be pressure primed before start up for break in. I'm only familiar with sbc and how to prime the oil pumps in them. How did you prime the new 3.8L before start up? Is there a special tool?
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Old 03-23-2005, 03:59 PM   #7
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Not sure. For that, you'd have to ask the mechanic that installed the engine.
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Old 03-23-2005, 04:46 PM   #8
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The oil pump on a 3800 is a gyrator style( spelling....?) ... Usually to primb this oil pump its packed with Vasline.... I have never seen this done in any other manner as the oil pump is driven directly off of the crankshaft... The oil pump is actually part of the timming chain cover, as well as the water pump... lol

I have actually had the oilo pump off of my 91 bonnie when we went in for ther timming chain/interupter.... Once its primbed it can be removed and reinstalled... My oil pressure came right up once started after the reinstall...


1) what year is this car?

2) if this car is 95 to 99 with a 3800 series II Vin K( 8th didget of the vin ) then you may want to have a good look at the intake to see if it ever has been replaced...

And if you havent already, go here

http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/techinfo/?article=85


Also, yes a newer engine should work... But you will need to swap a series of brackets and shuch over for everything to fit properly...

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Old 04-22-2005, 08:29 AM   #9
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Car is running perfect now. I finally had enough time to put in a replacement engine from a 2002 Bonneville and the only differences were oil pressure sensor, water temp sensor, oil pan/filter location - still worked fine though, the accesory bracket that the heater hoses, alternator, and tensioner mount to was different - used my old one, and the flywheel bolts to the converter using different holes. I used my old motor mounts and accesories, thru in some nice mobil 1 synthetic and fired it right up. . . after I got the coil packs and wires in the right place I noticed when driving in OD under load there is a noticable chuging - it'* a spark problem I know, so after I find the faulty plug wire or coil pack I'll be rolling like thunder. These are pretty cushy cars - I'm very pleased with it. Rides a ton better than my go-cart Jetta.
Thanks for all the help.
BTW, the knock in the old engine was a spun rod bearing on #2. I love having spare parts!!!
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