1993 Olds Eighty-Eight Cylinder Head leak - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 05-09-2011, 09:04 PM   #1
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Default 1993 Olds Eighty-Eight Cylinder Head leak

Hey guys

I know that the Bonneville, LeSabre, and the Eighty-Eight have the same engine. I'm not a N00B at cars. I have a 1993 Olds Eighty-Eight with a 3800 Series 1 and at about 168k miles the gasket blew and it makes a really loud air escaping sound. The engine overheated once because the radiator was plugged. So, I cancelled the Heater Core since that was clogged and flushed the engine about 3 hours after. I took it to a mechanic, my Auto Tech teacher, and he said the gasket is blown and possibly the the cylinder head is cracked. Now, I haven't opened the engine but I want to know if this is serious and if I need to replace my engine entirely? Or do I have to replace the gasket/head assembly only, 'cause I don't have the cash to buy the engine but I do for a pair of cylinder heads. I need an answer soon because I don't want to leave my car at the shop for 3+ months and it'* the only car I have.



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Old 05-09-2011, 09:54 PM   #2
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Post moved to it'* own thread.

As long as the block is not damaged you can change out the damaged head and new gaskets. But the short block should be in good condition.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martinnhs12 View Post
I took it to a mechanic, my Auto Tech teacher, and he said the gasket is blown and possibly the the cylinder head is cracked.
Firstly, welcome to GM Forum! Thanks for entrusting us to help you fix your motor.

Now, I'm no expert on the Series I, but from what I've read during my years here, it'* pretty rare that you blow a head gasket or damage a head on any 3800. (Of course, given extreme heat, any gasket will fail. Been there, done that on a couple of easy-to-reach gaskets.)

Cast-iron heads don't easily warp like the more common aluminum ones. But since you can hear air, I'll assume you're failing the compression test, so you may have a damaged head gasket, a warped valve, or maybe a couple blown valve seals.

You can either troubleshoot, tear it down for inspection, or grab the nearest short or long block and go at it. Whichever route you go, you'll find plenty of knowledgeable members here. Keep us updated.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:37 AM   #4
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you wont know if the block is damaged until you tear it apart. you can check the deck surface with a strait edge and theres specs in the service manual as to what feeler gauge shouldnt fit
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:44 AM   #5
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Colin...Is warp a valve, an industry term?

It'* rare to blow a head gasket. Do you have the metal or plastic upper intake manifold? If you have the plastic, there might be a chance it is the issue. There could be a chance that your lower intake gaskets are blown out. Head gaskets are very ...very ...very rare. Being a gasket though, it can be bad. I'd ensure you do a lot of testing to triple check that the compression and leakdown tests show it'* a head gasket. Being in autoshop, you should have all those testers available and the teacher could probably get good lessons out of your car.

Testing is typically free. Replacing non-broken parts hurts my wallet too.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:49 PM   #6
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Thanks, I also consulted youtube for help and I found a video where this one guy had a rod knock in his Pre-Series 3800. Here'* the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1_go...h_response_rev. My engine sounded like that but my teacher said it wasn't that.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:52 PM   #7
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Oh good, thanks man
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:56 PM   #8
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Yes, but the car vibrates when the engine runs and I'm afraid that if I drive it for more than 15 minutes, it could cause damage to the small block. By the way my school is 15 minutes away by freeway and I like to drive fast 75-80 MPH cause I live in southern AZ
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:26 AM   #9
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Maybe you'll need alternative means to get this done then.

Have you considered easy things like a bad plug or wire?
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Old 05-28-2011, 09:15 PM   #10
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Default **update**

**UPDATE**
I took the engine apart and upon inspection of the cylinder heads, they weren't cracked.(whew! dodged a bullet there) When my dad and I removed the 'heads' we saw that the head gasket that faced the firewall blew out and the one that faced the nose of the car had already began to show signs of failure. Upon further inspection, the cylinders were in tip-top condition and the pistons were flawless.

I want to thank all of you GM gurus that helped me out. I'll keep you guys posted when I begin to put the engine back together.

Peace,
Martin
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