Symptoms of a head problem? - Page 2 - 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 10-02-2003, 03:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jr's3800
Yes 3800 are great engines and will take a lot of abuse.... But when an engine runs hot as hell for a while it will be proned to blown head gaskets, warped and or cracked head/* or cracked block.... Usually on a 3800 it will be a blown head gasket... I have heard of a cracked head or two but its very rare... Sounds like something is going on with that car you are looking at.... I'd be very cautious.... And what do they want for the car?
Yes, but some morons think, "Ooh, ooh, overheating for the last 15 miles, better put ice cold water in it!!!" That will crack anything. I've seen/heard it happen around here way too much...
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Old 10-02-2003, 04:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jr's3800
If the bottom end of the engine is fine... Good luck..
Not very likely though. My experience tells me that main & camshaft bearings are not particularly happy when they have coolant in their oil.

Try just the heads +/or gaskets first but I would make sure you have a line on & the money to puchase a good 3800 just in case.
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Old 10-02-2003, 07:42 PM   #13
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You can guess all day long, but without diagnosing with the proper tools, that'* all you'll be doing ....guessing. I always lived by the rule that a nice looking body and interior alone is worth $500. If you have the time and tools and space of course, it could be a good investment. If you could put a compression gauge on it and see what the cylinders were running at, it would be a good indicator (two adjoining cylinders lower than rest), or I've even seen a radiator pressure gauge indicate a blown head gasket for it would jump when the guilty cylinder would go into its compression stroke. I had one that was so bad (head gasket) that it would pressurize the coolant system to where it would gurgle air bubbles into the coolant recovery tank after you shut it off. I quadrupled my money on that one. I wouldnt say it would be impossible to crack one of these heads, but unlikely.

I have seen a cracked head on a 3800, but its incredibly rare.... Usually the head gaskets will blow before the heads will crack... I think she is going to find a blown head gasket or gaskets.... But As stated by another, if there has been coolant contamination in the oil than this is something that the bearings in the engine will not tollerate too well... If the oil and coolant mixture has enough time to become acidic than the bearings in the bottom end of the engine will be pitted for sure...

And I do agree though its a good investment... Even I would be willing to but it and replace the engine in it... In really good shape, $300 than $600 or $700 for a decent engine without a billion miles on it... and still make a good bit out of it... Or keep it...LOL
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Old 10-05-2003, 06:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by willwren
I'd CHALLENGE anyone one here to TRY to crack a head on these things.

give me a sledge hammer, two concrete blocks, and a head. and i'll crack something...
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