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Old 12-26-2006, 10:00 AM   #11
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Bad LIM'* can possibly seep some oil into the crankcase and thin out the oil. That can easily cause the noise.
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Old 12-26-2006, 10:35 AM   #12
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Its been using some coolant and I've been keeping an eye on it. This morning I noticed a good bit of white smoke coming out of the exhaust connections in the engine compartment. So far I haven't noticed it out the tailpipe after it warms up.

The oil on the dipstick doesn't look an unusual color, but this morning for the first time I saw some sooty black stuff on the dipstick with a rubbery feel. Hopefully that is part of the LIM gasket and not something else (?) Going to see a mechanic today...
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Old 12-26-2006, 10:38 AM   #13
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yes...mechanic asap.

Drive the car as little as possible otherwise. Bad things are happening and driving more will only make them worse.
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Old 12-26-2006, 11:22 AM   #14
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Get it to the mechanic and drain/change the oil when you get there. You'll be close to the lifters when you do the LIM gaskets. That'* good news. Lifters can be purchased for about 150 bucks. Make sure you soak them in oil for a couple days before install.
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Old 12-26-2006, 11:30 AM   #15
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Thanks for the good help. I already had the Dorman UIM and Felpro LIM gaskets but wasn't sure if I wanted to tackle the job with the facilities & time I have available. (frown). The Pontiac garage just told me they could use my parts and for $384 labor replace these and take a look at things. Is there anything else you guys would recommend having done while they have that apart (besides the coolant elbows and new oil). I figure new VC gaskets, since they'll have them off to look at the lifters. Don't worry its sitting where its at till I drive it 2 miles there (-:
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Old 12-26-2006, 11:43 AM   #16
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Might be worthwhile dismissing the fel pro lowers and having them use the updated aluminum frame lower gaskets from GM.

The lifters are actually under the lower intake manifold, if they change any ...then they'll have to pull the valve covers.
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Old 12-26-2006, 12:21 PM   #17
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Glad you mentioned that, hadn't read up on the LIM gaskets. Will ask for the GM 89017816 / 25'*. They offered to replace the dexcool with green at the same time. Service manager agreed that coolant could have thinned the oil, causing the lifters to leak down more than usual and chatter at startup. The odd thing is the oil looked fairly normal, although dark since it was due for a change. I'll post any info on the parts when I get them back. If I had my own garage I would do it myself, you guys probably think I'm crazy shelling out that much!
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:49 PM   #18
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Just an update. The car'* all Peachy Keene now, hopefully for a long time. :P I had the LIM gaskets replaced. Also, some information on what other things MAY have eliminated my startup noise. There is broad information here but bear with me, its all related IMO.

The car had been using quite a bit of coolant with no external leaks so I took a new Dorman intake to have put on along with the GM aluminum LIM gaskets and a coolant elbow at the idler. There were no signs of UIM leakage (the technician said the intake area was clean as could be) but the plastic LIM gaskets (returned to me) looked very deteriorated around the coolant ports. Dex was drained and green antifreeze put in. It'* been over a week and coolant level is solid. Around $380 labor. I'll put new spark plugs in soon just incase the coolant "aged" them. Whether it needed it or not, I am glad to have the aluminum gaskets in now rather than at some highly inconvenient time later.

Now, as far as the loud pinging noise at startup, I have not heard it since the day I picked it up from the repair. Assuming it was a sticking lifter, I added a detergent to the oil (Marvel Mystery). So I don't know whether a coolant leak into the cylinder and/or crankcase had something to do with the lifter noise or if the Marvel cleaned up a sticky one. It had been mentioned that lifter noise also happens when oil drains out of the lifters overnight. My old filter was a Purolator. Does anybody know if purolator filters have a drainback check-valve? The new one the dealer installed at the time of the above repair is an AC Delco. I will change the oil again in 2000 mile to ditch the Marvel.

Thanks again BillBoost for the timely reminder to use the aluminum gaskets rather than plastic FelPro'*!
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:24 PM   #19
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Well its been over a year and 20,000mi. since replacing the LIM gaskets on this '02, and it is using absolutely no coolant nor making lifter noise when it starts up.

Just wanted to say Thanks, especially to BillBoost37 for suggesting the aluminum version of the LIM'*
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:49 PM   #20
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You are very lucky. My car did the same exact thing. Coolant disappearing, loud ticking for a short time when it was cold. Turns out coolant was in my oil and thinned the oil because the LIM gasket was bad. Had the LIM replaced and the oil replaced, but once the coolant mixed with the oil, irrepairable damage had already been done to my engine. 2 weeks after replacing my LIM, my engine blew, spun my lower bearings caused by the damage from coolant in the oil and had to have another motor put in. Not even a month after this second motor was in, LIM again! But, this time i caught it on the day the LIM failed as i smelled the coolant through my vents. That was over a year ago also.

You are very lucky you didn't have permanent damage to your motor from the coolant (the ticking noise was the coolant in the oil). Maybe because i have a supercharged car and use the supercharger alot, that may be what caused my engine to fail faster? Either way, i don't want to have to go through that again.
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