Somebody help me please? - 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 06-21-2006, 04:09 PM   #1
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Default Somebody help me please?

I bought a 1997 Bonneville SE two months ago and it was such a beautiful and nice driving car.

It has 55,000 miles on it and I was driving it yesterday and the oil pressure went almost to the red and the engine started making a horrible noise. I shut her down in a parking lot and had her towed and the guy said the engine is gone.

I read the forums here since the day I got the car and read as much as I could understand about the intake problems and had my ex take the engine cover off (back then)and look at the dates and it appears this Bonneville already had the repair made at least once about a year or so ago.

I have kept up with all the fluids and checking them weekly and everything was fine. Have never had to add coolant or oil or anything. There was never any oil or coolant leaking on the ground.

Why would this happen since they did the "fix"?

If I dump 3 grand into another engine (with 53,000) what is to stop it from happen again in six months? I can't afford to keep putting engines in every year.

Should I just scrap the car instead (i paid 5 grand for it and she is so pretty)?

I don't know what to do. :(
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Old 06-21-2006, 04:10 PM   #2
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Oh btw, does this only happen with the Bonnevilles or is the intake problem happening with Firebirds and other non Pontiac models?
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Old 06-21-2006, 04:24 PM   #3
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This is not an issue on the Firebirds as they have an all alluminum intake.... Totally diffrent set up...

This is a 3800 Series II L36 issue( FWD )... This runs from 95-05 depending on the model line....

I would be tempted to find a junk yard 3800 with low miles and have it installed with a new upper intake and new alluminum frame lower gaskets...

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Old 06-21-2006, 04:25 PM   #4
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Hi jojo, welcome to BC!

Sorry you have an engine problem, but what exactly makes you sure that the engine died because of the UIM? Who was "the guy" that told you the engine was bad and what exactly did he say caused it?

Do you know the history of this car before you bought it? If a UIM or LIM gasket failure was fixed too late or incorrectly, there could have already been damage to the lower end. But that is just speculation unless you have more information.

In a partial answer to your last question, all GM vehicles with the 3800 N/A engine and a plastic UIM have the potential to develop this problem and likely will eventually. I was not aware of this issue before joining BC and had mine replaced at about 120,000 miles for the first time.
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Old 06-21-2006, 04:37 PM   #5
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He said the same thing you just said about maybe the repair happening too late to save the engine. But I put a couple thousand miles on her since I bought her and the engine failure just happened yesterday.

I don't know anything about the history of the car because the used car lot I bought it off of threw away all the paperwork from the previous owners. I do believe it had the intake and all fixed though as looking through your thread on the repair the date on mine was, I believe '02 or '03.
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Old 06-21-2006, 04:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr's3800
This is not an issue on the Firebirds as they have an all alluminum intake.... Totally diffrent set up...

This is a 3800 Series II L36 issue( FWD )... This runs from 95-05 depending on the model line....

I would be tempted to find a junk yard 3800 with low miles and have it installed with a new upper intake and new alluminum frame lower gaskets...


What is the most I should spend on a junk yard 3800 with installation and all that you suggested I have done? Where would I go to get the new upper intake and new alluminum frame lower gaskets? I fear the mechanic will buy junk parts and not follow these directions.
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Old 06-21-2006, 04:44 PM   #7
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Hey guys! My ex is wondering if we could use an engine out of a firebird or camaro instead of having the mechanic get one out of another car that could have had the same sort of problems.

I guess what I am trying to ask is if we should avoid getting a used engine out of another bonneville that could have had issues starting.
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Old 06-21-2006, 04:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jojo
Quote:
Originally Posted by jr's3800
This is not an issue on the Firebirds as they have an all alluminum intake.... Totally diffrent set up...

This is a 3800 Series II L36 issue( FWD )... This runs from 95-05 depending on the model line....

I would be tempted to find a junk yard 3800 with low miles and have it installed with a new upper intake and new alluminum frame lower gaskets...


What is the most I should spend on a junk yard 3800 with installation and all that you suggested I have done? Where would I go to get the new upper intake and new alluminum frame lower gaskets? I fear the mechanic will buy junk parts and not follow these directions.
Read this..

http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...e=article&k=38

I need to update this for Bill Buttermore, but most of the info you need is there...

On the engine it will depend on the junk yard... and the newer motor will have to have parts brackets and exahust manifolds switched out... I'd look to pay $500-$1000 for a good used motor... And then the labor for the install..

All of the parts you need for the intake and lower gasket replacement will be in the above link...

What is you location? May have some members that can help you out

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Old 06-21-2006, 04:47 PM   #9
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JoJo... like mentioned..sorry we need to meet this way.

There are a couple options for the upper intake.
Bob Dillion is a member that is sleeving intakes and providing a better reinforcement and air gap than stock. Low cost as well.
Dorman makes a good new upper intake and is the replacement of choice. The kit comes with gaskets, pcv, throttle body gasket..it'* very complete.

The aluminum lower intake gaskets can be found at the pontiac dealership.
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Old 06-21-2006, 04:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jojo
Hey guys! My ex is wondering if we could use an engine out of a firebird or camaro instead of having the mechanic get one out of another car that could have had the same sort of problems.

I guess what I am trying to ask is if we should avoid getting a used engine out of another bonneville that could have had issues starting.
That could be a possibility... We replaced a 3800 II in a firebird that had snaped a rod.... The engine that came from Autozone had a FWD oil pan on it....

This is something that will need to be researched as I am not sure if there are casting diffrences between the FWD and RWD blocks....

If you find a FWD 3800 II, in a buick, Olds, Pontiac, even a Grand Prix, Regal... And with very low miles you may have something goo there...

You may also want to check with autozone, and see what price they want for a Reman 3800 II engine for your car... I believe when we replaced the engine in the firebird the guy paid $1000-1100 totall, but there was also a core charge on the old engine which he returned and got his money back for... I believe that he had a 2 or 3 year warranty... He'* been driving it for 2 years or so on that motor

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