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Old 11-28-2002, 02:30 PM   #1
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Default HELP

First - I just joined in, so I hope this is being done right. This will be lenghty but I feel it'* needed to properly evaluate my problem.
I have a 1995 Pontiac Bonneville SE. Ran GREAT when I first purchased it. Couple of years down the line I noticed a rough idle. Had it looked at and tuned up. Rough idle was still there. I replaced spard plug wires, spark pluugs, cleaned throttle body with no results. .......Now comes the fun part......... This happened over a day and a half period. I noticed the temperature of my engine increasing. Come to find out, I was loosing anti-freeze coolant. Mmm! Re-added coolant and (well) checked my hoses. They appeared ok. Then I noticed moisture coming out my tail pipe . Oh Great! Steam! You guessed it. I was getting coolant into my engine. WAIT!!! This gets better. I determined it was a head gasket. Seems reasonable. I ended up re-building the upper end of my engine. Ok.......Had my heads redone by a reputable business which came highly recomended. This included regrinding valves and seats, valve guide seals AND
having them pressure checked at 80 psi AND had 6,000 of an inch shaved off each head because of slight warpage. I also had my intake manifold checked. It was also pressure checked. Are you still with me Everything cleaned up now and ready for re-assembly. Engines was reassembled according to specs using "new" gaskets . When the engine was complested I started it up. I was getting moisture out of the tail pipe and figured this was from residue trapped in the tail pipe. It finally subsided. My car was running GREAT and purred like a kitty with NO ROUGH IDLE . I suspected I had been leaking coolant into the combustion side of the engine and that was the reason for the rough idle I was getting. BUT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stay with me........ I drove my car for about (um) 30 - 40 miles and noticed a hesitation in the engine . When I got home, I checked the radiator and noticed my coolant was down. So.......... I refilled my radiator knowing I would have to go to work in the morning. As I was driving to work, the engine started to hesitate even more. ( I was able to make it to work). When I checked the radiator the coo;ant was down. Couldn't see it in the radiator - BUT I did turn the car off - as it was running. I was going to re-fill the radiator after work and drive it home. Now listen up.................I added coolant. Went to start the engine and it would turn over ok but would not start . After having my Bonny towed home to my garage I took a pressure check of each cylinder yielding me 185 psi for all 6 cylinders. Sound good!? I have spark to my spark plugs. I eliminated any coolant from the engine by turning over the engines without the plugs in it. (There was coolant i could notice from #1 and #5 cylinder. Mm. Rememer - I have 185 psi on all cylinders that holds pressure. And I didn't notice any increase to my oil level. THE ENGINE WILL STILL NOT START. I feel that the engine should at least start if there is nothing in the cyliders except gas and spark with good compresion. This is my delema. I should be able to address the coolant problem seperate from the starting problem. I would like to at least see if my engine would run (even if it is for a couple of minutes) and
then hunt for my coolant problem. ----------------------If there is a crack in my engine block somewhere that opens up due to "heat" - the engine should start. Am I correct with that statement I am trying to avoid tearing my engine back down before seeing if I can at least start it again. I don't think the timing has changed but that can be an issue. There is no coolant in the cylinders at this point. The engin turns over ok with no pressure due to hydro pressure that I can see. ( Hydro pressure = collant that is in the cylinders creating high pressures in the engine and preventing it from turning over causing resistance.) What I need to do is too hear from some of you Top Dogs out there or engine Garues that can give me direction in this matter. :(
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Old 11-28-2002, 02:40 PM   #2
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Ok, we're gonna take the methodical approach and assume you have 2 different problems. The leak is gonna be tough to nail down for certain without ripping the top end off again, but I do have to ask.....did you re-use the original head bolts, or buy new ones? Also keep in mind that a contributing factor to your gasket failure was how hot these things run. Drop your Thermostat to 180. Almost everyone here has. I'm pretty sure if the plastic upper intake isn't cracked (and it probably is), you're gonna have to rip the top end down again. The NA bonnevilles are notorious for heat stress and cracking of these wonderful plastic gizmos.

As far as the lack of starting is concerned, there'* really only one place to start. Get your PCM codes scanned. We'll go from there. That will keep the frustration level down, and make sure you don't spend any more money where you don't need to!

You're not the first, and you won't be the last. We'll do what we can to get you through this.
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