HELP! Does a 96 3.8 Series II use a lower coolant elbow? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 07-18-2013, 03:19 PM   #1
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Default HELP! Does a 96 3.8 Series II use a lower coolant elbow?

Hey I'm new and not good at the forum posts but I need to figure out if a 96 3.8 has a lower coolant elbow? Can't locate it on the engine.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:54 PM   #2
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there is just one, the coolant goes into the tensioner and it has an o ring where it goes back into the block
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwfirebird View Post
there is just one, the coolant goes into the tensioner and it has an o ring where it goes back into the block
Thanks Justin I appreciate the quick response. Do you know if I can use the o ring off of a plastic lower elbow for the o ring on the lower? Same size I figure?
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:39 PM   #4
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i dont know i havent had to take that apart but kind of doubt it
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:32 PM   #5
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There are metal versions out and I install these now.
Item Details
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:58 PM   #6
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There are two elbows total, but only one lower, the upper coolant elbow is plastic and goes from the lower intake manifold to tensioner, your lower elbow is built into the tensioner, and its elbow/nipple is aluminum.

If you are changing the upper elbow as well, just get the aluminum coolant elbow kit that Debra mentioned, do NOT go with the Dorman Help Kit Plastic Elbows, or o-rings from the Dorman plastic Help Kit.
You could take the o-ring off of the big end of the lower elbow that comes with the Dorman ALuminum Elbow Kit, it will fit your aluminum nipple coming from the tensioner, but if you want the recommended o-ring that was originally on that lower/elbow aluminum nipple, then it is GM Part# 24502846
They are (SEAL-0.799" ID,0.1.03 X-SECT DIA)

You can buy the o-ring from Nalley Buick Parts online, I'll try to find out the AC Delco part number for them, that way you can get them cheaper, and possibly from a local auto parts shop.
SEAL. Engine Coolant By - PASSENGER Engine Fan Coolant. # 24502846

Also, attaching a pic so you can see about where the lower elbow comes from the tensioner, its o ring is shown as 337

NOTE: Be careful when removing it, if you crack the aluminum nipple you will have to buy a new tensioner.
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HELP! Does a 96 3.8 Series II use a lower coolant elbow?-gm3800iicoolant-elbow.jpg  
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:41 AM   #7
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Every elbow I took off broke apart in pieces.There was no saving them.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debra View Post
Every elbow I took off broke apart in pieces.There was no saving them.
On my 96' PA the upper plastic (nylon 6,6) one broke as well, but my lower (aluminum) nipple that is part of the tensioner did not break.
With his 96' 3800 II motor the lower elbow should be aluminum, and a part of the tensioner, not a separate plastic elbow.
From 95' to 97' the Series II had only one separate coolant elbow.
The 98' and up Series II'* have two separate coolant elbows, and both are plastic, unless they have already been replaced with the new Dorman Aluminum ones.
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