3800 Engine Typical Wear and Tear - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 08-09-2004, 12:50 PM   #1
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Default 3800 Engine Typical Wear and Tear

Im looking to buy a 1988 Bonnie SSE, what are some signs of a dieing engine, she has 186,xxx miles on her, and the tranny is now just starting to slip.
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Old 08-10-2004, 01:28 AM   #2
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I am no expert but I'll post the little I know anyway. Definitely get the transmission fixed right away. My dad and I redid the one on my Regal that had almost 200,000 miles on it at the time and after we took it apart we realized it was right on the verge of getting ugly. As far as the engine goes, the Series I 3800s seem to last forever. It seems like I always see cars with that engine in them on the road all of the time. My Regal had 200,000 miles on it when I sold it and the engine still ran pretty good.
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Old 08-10-2004, 01:41 AM   #3
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The 3800, if cared for, is one awesome motor
My Bonneville didn't knock, didn't leak, and it didn't consume any oil. It still had 160 LBS of compression on all 6 cylinders. and it had 156,000 miles on it. Pretty impressive..even more impressive, i had a 86 Park Avenue with 407,000 original miles on the 3.8 LG2, it ran, leaked alot, and it had a bit of a knock to it...wasn't care for by my uncle very well at all. Still, it ran! lol
Get a compression test done. Can tell you lots.
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Old 08-10-2004, 01:54 AM   #4
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meh and smoosh were talking, and I think I can better describe what he'* asking. its got the vin 3 engine first off. And its got a vibration at idle in all gears, and after the car is going down the road it stops.. I know the vin 3 engine is notorious for the unbalence of crank or something.. but is that the problem? He may post up more info.. it is his car.. he may know more than me .


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Old 08-10-2004, 01:27 PM   #5
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'88 SSE with a VIN 3, eh? Wouldn't those be something rare?
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Old 08-10-2004, 01:35 PM   #6
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naw, I think its like 88 1/2 is when they put in the vin C engine..


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Old 08-10-2004, 08:22 PM   #7
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basically it all come down to how well the previous owner took care of it You might be able to repair some of the neglect, but sometimes not all of it.
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Old 08-11-2004, 12:21 AM   #8
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I have been fortunate with my 1992 bonne, She has over 200k on her and I've hardly had any trouble with her (knock on wood). I've owned her for 2 1/2 years and just had basic maintenace repairs. No where near the problems we've had with the 1994. But then again it does boil down to how other owners maintained them. We get the oil changed every 3k miles.
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Old 08-11-2004, 10:48 AM   #9
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My '93 had 197,000 miles on it when the tranny died. I just replaced the tranny, and will most likely be good for another 200,000 miles. Investment that'* worth every penny.
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