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Second Generation Repairs: Servicing the GM 3800 Series II Engine

May 12, 2009
The GM 3800 Series II engine, introduced in 1995, is quite a different engine from its predecessor, the Series I engine. While the stroke for the 3.8L engine remained at 3.4" (86 mm), and the bore remained at 3.8" (97 mm), the engine architecture changed dramatically.
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The GM 3800 Series II engine, introduced in 1995, is quite a different engine from its predecessor, the Series I engine. While the stroke for the 3.8L engine remained at 3.4” (86 mm), and the bore remained at 3.8” (97 mm), the engine architecture changed dramatically.

The deck height is shorter than the Series I, which reduced its weight and total engine package size. To make this change, GM engineers required that the piston connecting rods be shortened 1” (25 mm), and to redesign the crankshaft. A new intake manifold improved breathing, while a redesigned cylinder head featured larger valves and a higher compression ratio. The result was a 205 hp and 230 lb.-ft. powerplant that had better fuel economy.

To meet emissions standards of the ’90s, an EGR tube was placed in the intake manifold to reduce combustion temperatures. This increased fuel mileage by a substantial margin and provided GM some engineering success. In fact, the 3800 Series II was on the Ward’s 10 Best Engines list 1995 through ’97.

However, in April, 2009, GM issued a recall on 1.5 million vehicles with this engine due to an oil leak issue that could result in a fire. (See the sidebar at the end of this article).

Figure 1
Did You Know…
The Buick 3.8L has evolved from its humble beginnings as a cheap, easy-to-build, economy motor in 1962, into one of the best pushrod motors in the world.

But did you know that the engine started its “life” as a Buick V8 that had two cylinders “missing”? That was to allow GM to machine it on the same line as their V8 with common tooling. Unfortunately, that meant it had two cylinders missing in the firing order — making it a strange-sounding, rough-riding, odd-firing engine.

While that was fine for the 1960s, it wasn’t good enough in the ’70s and in 1977, Buick split the crank pins to make it into an even-fire motor with smother performance.

Unfortunately, the engine still had a severe primary imbalance because it was a 90° block with a 120° firing order. GM engineers realized that the 3800 would still need a balance shaft to make it suitable for the upscale FWD cars later on. As the engine evolved into the Series I, a gerotor oil pump and roller lifters were added in ’86, on-center bores were added in ’88 along with the balance shaft, and a one-piece rear seal was introduced in ’90.

The 3800 was completely updated in ’95 when it became the Series II motor that was lower, lighter, smoother and more powerful than any of its earlier variations.

Amazingly, it’s been installed in more than 6 million vehicles since 1995. Production of the renowned 3800 V6 engine was officially ended in August 2008, nearly 10 years beyond the automaker’s original plan to cease 3800 engine production in 1999.

That’s quite a tribute to any pushrod motor, let alone one that started in life as a rough-running, odd-firing V6 in the ’60s.
Source: GM media and Engine Builder magazine

Regardless of the recent recall, the 3800 Series II has been a workhorse for GM and has provided years of dependable service. Because of its longevity and use in various GM vehicles, it’s probably an engine that you have become accustomed to seeing in your shop for routine service.

The following are a few common service repairs for the Series II engine.

Abnormal Engine Coolant Consumption or Coolant Leak
Models: 1995-’97 Buick Riviera; 1995-’99 Buick LeSabre, Park Avenue; 1996-’99 Buick Regal; 1998-’99 Chevrolet Lumina, Monte Carlo; 1995-’96 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight; 1995-’99 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight; 1998-’99 Oldsmobile Intrigue; 1995-’99 Pontiac Bonneville; and 1997-’99 Pontiac Grand Prix with the 3.8L engine.

Note: This bulletin, issued in September 2007, is being revised to add to the 1999 model year. You should discard the previous GM Corporate Bulletin Number 01-06-01-007B (Section 06 - Engine).

Condition: Some customers may comment on excessive engine coolant consumption, or an engine coolant leak near or under the throttle body area of the upper intake manifold.

This could be related to upper intake manifold composite material that may degrade around the EGR stove pipe and could result in an internal or external coolant leak.

To make the repair, follow the upper intake manifold removal instructions found in the Engine Unit Repair section of the service information manual.

Figure 2

Refer to the arrow in the illustration of the upper intake manifold (see Figure 1).

Inspect the inner diameter of the EGR passage for signs of material degradation. Degradation will appear as “pitting” of the composite material in the EGR port passage.

If degradation of upper intake manifold composite material is found, replace the lower and upper intake manifolds with the following part numbers:

Part Number    Description
89017554    Gasket Kit, Upper Intake Manifold  
89017272    Manifold Kit, Upper Intake
89017400    Gasket, Lower Intake Manifold  
24508923    Manifold, Lower Intake  

Follow the lower and upper intake manifold installation instructions found in the Engine Unit Repair section of the appropriate service manual.

If degradation is not apparent, evaluate the vehicle for other causes of excessive coolant consumption as noted in the Engine Diagnosis section of the appropriate service manual.

Revised Crankshaft Balancer Service Procedure
Next up, you may have an engine that requires service to the crankshaft balancer on the following vehicles: 1995-’96 Buick LeSabre, Park Avenue, Regal, Riviera; 1995 Chevrolet Lumina APV; 1995-’96 Chevrolet Camaro; 1995 Oldsmobile Silhouette; 1995-’96 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight, Ninety-Eight; 1995 Pontiac Trans Sport; 1995-’96 Pontiac Bonneville and Firebird with 3800 engines.

Be advised that the procedure used to service the crankshaft balancer has been revised. Use the following procedure to properly service the crankshaft balancer on these engines.

According to GM, there has been a running design change in the crankshaft balancer. This change affects 3800 engines built late in the 1995 model year (L27 and L36) and all of 1996 model year (L36 and L67). Refer to the appropriate section in the service manual if you have the previous design crankshaft balancer. Refer to the following procedure using (J 38197-MOD) for the revised design crankshaft balancer. The crankshaft balancer designs can be easily identified by a dimple stamped in the face of the crankshaft balancer (see Figure 2, view B).

This dimple aids in the alignment of J 38197-2 and also identifies the crankshaft key location in relation to the slot in the crankshaft balancer. The special tool (J 38197) and the service procedure used to service the previous design crankshaft balancer have not been revised. Refer to applicable service manual and section for correct service procedures.

For the revised crankshaft balancer design, you will see a round hole drilled in the face of the crankshaft balancer (see Figure 2, view A). This hole does not aid in the alignment of J 38197-2, like the dimple on the previous designed crankshaft balancer. The hole is used to identify the crankshaft key location in relation to the slot in the crankshaft balancer.

Figure 3

The special tool (J 38197) has been revised to reflect the design changes and the new tool is
J 38197-MOD. (If you already have J 38197, it is necessary to only order the J 38197-MOD). The revised crankshaft balancer requires the use of three bolts (J 38197-4). Note: These bolts are 1/4” longer than the previous design. The J 38197-4 bolts are silver, while the previous tool uses black bolts.

Note: The J 38197-4 tool should not be used to service the previous design crankshaft balancer as damage to the balancer may occur by using the longer bolts.

The revised crankshaft balancer may have burrs on the slotted access holes that do not allow the proper alignment of J 38197. If burrs are present, remove them by using one of the following methods:

• File the access hole using a rat-tail file in the proper location.
• Drill an access hole using a drill in the proper location.
• Bend the access hole using a screwdriver in the proper location.

Removal Procedure
1. Hold the flywheel using  J 37096 (see Figure 3).
2. Locate the crankshaft balancer bolt.
3. Remove the crankshaft balancer using J 38197-A and J 38197-MOD (see Figure 4 on page 30).
a. Invert the J 38197-2 so that the leg of the tool is facing away from the crankshaft balancer.
b. Install the silver screws (J 38197-4) to the crankshaft balancer.
c. Turn the J 38197-1 to remove the crankshaft balancer from the crankshaft.
d. Remove the J 38197-1, 2 and 4 from the crankshaft balancer.

Important: The crankshaft balancer is serviced as an assembly. Do not attempt to separate the pulley from the balancer hub.

Figure 4

Tools Required
J 36660 Torque Angle Meter
J 37096 Flywheel Holding Tool
J 38197-A and J 38197-MOD Crankshaft Balancer Puller
J 38197-A Includes:
J 38197-1 Pilot Screw
J 38197-2 Puller Plate
J 38197-3 Puller Screws (Black)
J 38197-4 Puller Screws (Silver)
J 38197-MOD includes:
J 38197-4 Puller Screws (Silver)

Installation Procedure
1. First, lubricate the crankshaft and the inside of the balancer with clean engine oil.
2. Lineup the crankshaft balancer using the small hole to aid in the alignment of the crankshaft key.
3. Install the crankshaft balancer bolt and hold the flywheel using
J 37096.
4. Tighten the bolt to 150 Nm (111 lb.-ft.) + 76° using J 36660.
Source: ALLDATA

General Motors Issues Recall on 3800 V6 Powered Vehicles
General Motors is recalling nearly 1.5 million 1997-2003 vehicles equipped with the 3.8L V6 naturally aspirated engine.

Affected vehicles include: 1997-2003 Buick Regal; 2000-’03 Chevrolet Impala; 1998-’99 Chevrolet Lumina; 1998-2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo; 1998-’99 Oldsmobile Intrigue and 1997-2003 Pontiac Grand Prix. 

GM said some of these vehicles have a condition in which drops of engine oil may be deposited on the exhaust manifold through hard braking. If the manifold is hot enough and the oil runs below the heat shield, it may ignite into a small flame and may spread to the plastic spark plug wire channel and beyond, increasing the risk of an engine compartment fire.

GM said dealers will remove the spark plug wire retention channel at the front of engine and install two new spark plug wire retainers free of charge. The recall is expected to begin this month and owners and technicians can contact Chevrolet at 1-800-630-2438, Oldsmobile at 1-800-630-6537, and Pontiac at 1-800-620-7668.
Source: General Motors 

Submit a Comment   Comments (100)
Comment by:
broken
9/14/2011
7:06 PM
I have a 2002 Impala with the 3800 engine and leaking head gaskets. Can i repair myself? Instructions?
Comment by:
chevymann
9/9/2011
8:14 PM
I own a 1997 camaro with the 3800 series 2 engine...i have my camaro over five years now ...it has 141,000 miles on it.....i run lucas synthetic oil stabilizer in it with mobil one synthetic oil and a a/c delco factory oil filter in it......this engine runs like a perfectly oiled sewing machine.....i have had a few problems in the five years ive owned my camaro....but me being a ASE CERTIFIED AUTOMOTIVE TECHNICAN WITH GM TRAINING HELPS.....when working on my camaro....its all been a piece of cake ...its a joy working on this engine when things go wrong...........i still havent had nothing major go wrong with this engine... and it still runs like new...and pulls like a freight train when the pedal gets put to the metal.....ive raced my camaro against some very quick cars and gave them a serious run for there money........smooth as silk and powerful engine..........im glad i bought my 30th anniversary camaro when i did... got it for 4 grand and no payments.......thats the best part.....btw this coolant leak does not apply to the camaro3800 because it has a metal intake manifold.......mine is starting to leak a little oil.... time to change the valve cover gaskets...big deal...easy.......plan on keeping my camaro for as long as i am on this earth ...i love my camaro ......great car great engine...nuff said.
Comment by:
chevymann
9/9/2011
8:08 PM
I own a 1997 camaro with the 3800 series 2 engine...i have my camaro over five years now ...it has 141,000 miles on it.....i run lucas synthetic oil stabilizer in it with mobil one synthetic oil and a a/c delco factory oil filter in it......this engine runs like a perfectly oiled sewing machine.....i have had a few problems in the five years ive owned my camaro....but me being a ASE CERTIFIED AUOTMOTIVE TECHNICAN WITH GM TRAINING HELPS.....when working on my camaro....its all been a piece of cake ...its a joy working on this engine when things go wrong...........i still havent had nothing major go wrong with this engine... and it still runs like new...and pulls like a freight train when the pedal gets put to the metal.....ive raced my camaro against some very quick cars and gave them a serious run for there money........smooth as silk and powerful engine..........im glad i bought my 30th anniversary camaro when i did... got it for 4 grand and no payments.......thats the best part.....btw this coolant leak does not apply to the camaro3800 because it has a metal intake manifold.......mine is starting to leak a little oil.... time to change the valve cover gaskets...big deal...easy.......plan on keeping my camaro for as long as i am on this earth ...i love my camaro ......great car great engine...nuff said.
Comment by:
rocketman
9/9/2011
10:43 AM
Well, I have found the problem. It seems that there is an interference in the axial direction between the harmonic balancer and the crank sensor of about 0.1 inches. When the balancer is secured with the crank bolt (200 ft-lbs) the Hall Effect interupter teeth are cutting into the sensor. When the engine is cranked, the interupter teeth act like a saw and cut into the sensor ruining it and preventing the engine from running. Takes about 2 seconds. I appears that a spacer is required between the balancer and crank to eliminate the interference and properly position the balancer with respect to the sensor and to ensure that all the pulley wheels are in-plane. I hope the machine shop can find the spacer, if not I will have to make one from the old crank gear.
Comment by:
rocketman
9/8/2011
6:17 AM
I have just put a rebuilt 3800 II long block in my 1995 lesabre. After reinstalling (new plugs, new wires, etc), and prelubing the engine with the fuel pump fuse removed, I started the car and it ran for about 10 sec at idle before dying. I have not been able to restart it since. To the ear, it sounds like a timing issue, by the way it cranks. The 1995 has a OBD 1.5, so I can't read the codes. As a part of my diagnostic efforts, I have replaced the CAM sensor, checked the fuel pressure at the rail (40 psi) and visually verified the spark. During this process, I discovered that the number 2 and 5 plugs aren't firing (I just checked 1,3,5 at first, thinking it was coil module). I swapped the coil modules and plug 5 still did not fire. Swapped the plugs, 5 still did not fire. Swapped the wires, 5 still did not fire. At this point I checked 2 and discovered that it was not firing. I went to the junkyard and got 2 ECM and 2 ICM from 1995 lesabres. Swapped them in and no change. Any ideas?
Comment by:
Larry Carley
9/6/2011
6:29 PM
For Jamie: Unbolt the power steering pump and reposition it out of the way. No need to disconnect any of the PS hoses.
Comment by:
Jamie St.Onge
9/6/2011
5:44 PM
I'm changing the waterpump on my monte carlo ss (3800 series II) 2002. One bolt is obscured by the power steering pump pully. How do I take off that pully or do I have to remove the power steering pump as well?
Comment by:
curtis
8/24/2011
12:41 AM
do you have to set rockers on a 97camaro 3800i need advice
Comment by:
Randy Ritter
8/22/2011
6:32 PM
My son hit a pothole in the road and now i have water coming out of the front of the intake manifold.What could it be?
Comment by:
Brock
8/20/2011
12:52 PM
I have a 1997 Chevy Camaro with the 3800 series motor. Recently I had to pull over due to smelling antifreeze and smoke coming up from under the hood. When I opened the hood I noticed that the front of the engine was covered with antifreeze. I looked but couldnt see any leaks from the radiator hoses. I let it set for a couple days and then I started the car and let it warm up. When it got up to temp i noticed there was a leak around the water pump. I am not an experienced mechanic and wondering how easy or difficult it would be to change the pump or would it be cheaper to take it to a shop?
Comment by:
Brock
8/20/2011
12:52 PM
I have a 1997 Chevy Camaro with the 3800 series motor. Recently I had to pull over due to smelling antifreeze and smoke coming up from under the hood. When I opened the hood I noticed that the front of the engine was covered with antifreeze. I looked but couldnt see any leaks from the radiator hoses. I let it set for a couple days and then I started the car and let it warm up. When it got up to temp i noticed there was a leak around the water pump. I am not an experienced mechanic and wondering how easy or difficult it would be to change the pump or would it be cheaper to take it to a shop?
Comment by:
Brock
8/20/2011
12:47 PM
I have a 1997 Chevy Camaro with the 3800 series motor. Recently I had to pull over due to smelling antifreeze and smoke coming up from under the hood. When I opened the hood I noticed that the front of the engine was covered with antifreeze. I looked but couldnt see any leaks from the radiator hoses. I let it set for a couple days and then I started the car and let it warm up. When it got up to temp i noticed there was a leak around the water pump. I am not an experienced mechanic and wondering how easy or difficult it would be to change the pump or would it be cheaper to take it to a shop?
Comment by:
bill smith
8/19/2011
6:14 PM
I have a 1996 buick lasabre and I relaced the lower manifold gaskets and put a new plenum on .I started it and it ran good for about 20 seconds then died.I changed the oil,no coolant there .It still wont start and it sounds really bad.It will turn over for a couple seconds the freezes. I.m stumped. It sounds like a bad starter or the flywheel .but the motor doesn't urn over except for a second or 2
Comment by:
bill smith
8/19/2011
5:50 PM
I have a 1996 buick lasabre and I relaced the lower manifold gaskets and put a new plenum on .I started it and it ran good for about 20 seconds then died.I changed the oil,no coolant there .It still wont start and it sounds really bad.It will turn over for a couple seconds the freezes. I.m stumped
Comment by:
Carl A.
8/18/2011
1:33 PM
the plastic elbows under the pcv valve connect the tensioner pulley assembly to the lower intake manifold. They are available at chevy dealer. You have to take alternator and tensioner pully assembly off to get them out. I paid $17 for the pair. they just push in. each end should have a rubber o-ring. if missing you prob have to dig it out of tensioner assembly and lower intake manifold.
Comment by:
nadia
8/16/2011
5:09 PM
my bf have a 1997 pontiac bonneville, under the hood where the air is pushed through there is a 3 way hose connected to the engine and we have to duct tape it cause we cannot find the part or the name for it to seach for it. when we are driving, we have to wait for the air to push though and for it to change for it to get into gear, i do not know the name of it but there is a hose that is split three ways which is being held by duct tape and that is what i was told is giving me the problem, what is the name of that hose and can i find it on the gm website? i know it is not the transmission cause we recently got that dont but its the 3 way hose and i can not find the name of it! please help
Comment by:
phillip
8/11/2011
3:42 PM
I have a 99 olds intregue 3.8L.The electric fan doesnt run causing the engine to run hot in town and at stops.I have the same problem with my 1997 olds cutlass. Where could the problem be .
Comment by:
Drew
8/11/2011
11:43 AM
I have a 2002 Monte Carlo, 3800 series engine. Just under the alternator mount, there's is port where a 90 degrees plastic elbow is connected going into the engine where coolant flows through the bottom assembly under where the alternator is mounted. How do you change it that plastic elbow?
Comment by:
Mark
8/10/2011
8:14 PM
Have a 97 Firebird 3.8. Antifreeze is pouring out of a hole that is approximately 1/2" at the front of the lower intake manifold. Is there some type of plug that should be in this hole? what is it called? A freeze plug? Auto Zone can't find any type of part that goes into this hole.
Comment by:
Amber
8/9/2011
4:35 PM
1995 Olds Ninety Eight - surges while driving, dies sometimes while driving (starts right back up). Crank Sensor replaced, harmonic balancer replaced, tensioner replaced. Now idles rough (vibration) and check engine light is on, although battery unhooked during above process. Now there is some plastic stuff in the oil pan. Help!! Different Problem - The cooling fans (both) only run when AC is on after changing the relays. Any ideas???
Comment by:
Toborus cunningham
8/8/2011
9:57 PM
I have 2000 buick lesabre i knew the car was running hot so i changed all gaskets and the upper intake car still ran hot.So i took the head off and found a blown headgasket. And seen the head was cracked. So i bought new heads and gaskets put it back together and the engine started tapping sounds like the top end. So i bought a bottom end kit minus the camshaft and timing chain we hommed the block and put it back together motor still tapping i don't know what to do the engine is new except those few things i list.Please help me Also the #6 piston the coating is coming off all the other ones look brand new still please help me!!!!!!
Comment by:
tommy
8/6/2011
10:05 PM
I have a 2003 Just under the pcv valve is a 90 degree elbow with coolant running threw it. What is it called, how do you change it?
Comment by:
sam
8/4/2011
10:59 PM
I have a 2000 buick centery 3.8 series 2 engine that develope a knocking sound in the engine after running hot.when the engine starts the knocking sound is minimal as engine reves the sound gets greater.What is causing the knocking sound in the engine?
Comment by:
trent
7/30/2011
10:25 PM
98 monte 3.1 LS, took all oil pan bolts out, anchor, AC condenser and starter, won't move a millimeter
Comment by:
chris
7/6/2011
11:45 PM
i have a 97 buick lesabre with a 3.8l v6. there is a squalling noise that sounds like a belt. i have replaced the belt with a gates belt. new water pump, harmonic balancer, power steering pump, the entire tensioner pulley mechanism. i had the alternator and the a/c compressor checked. it only does it intermittantly, especially when someone who knows what they are doing it quits..... help
Comment by:
Steve
7/2/2011
3:31 AM
I have a 96 3800 II Camaro. I'm burning oil from a few leaks at the valve cover seals. But there are these engine puller hooks that get in the way of getting the valve covers off. Can some one tell me how I can get these engine puller hooks off? Thanks for the help.
Comment by:
Trey
6/26/2011
7:25 PM
I have a 97 bonneville se 3800 series II motor that recently started making a knocking sound in the motor and loses power during acceleration what would cause it?
Comment by:
bob
6/21/2011
10:40 PM
I have A 1999 Buick Park Avenue , And MAF Sensor. Make my car stop after 5 to 20 minutes. Help
Comment by:
Mark Uzzell
6/7/2011
12:32 AM
'90 bonneville w/ 3800 cranks but will not start when cold(20F)and backfires through intake when accelerating hard.
Comment by:
Jeff Stockton
6/4/2011
11:45 PM
I have a 1998 Oldsmobile Regency (Olds 88 based car) with a 3.8 motor. I would like to install that engine in my 1999 Mote Carlo that has a 3.1 engine now. What all would be involved including the transmission compatibility?
Comment by:
Erik
6/2/2011
4:20 PM
97 Firbird 3800 V6--hesitation and ocasional misfire when accelerating...no check engine light, runs good at low RPM with min acceleration...doesnt happen all the time ??? Any ideas??
Comment by:
rich b
5/24/2011
8:36 PM
hope you can help our 96 bonneville 3.8 vin k we r&r'd upper intake but detected a vacuum leak at tbi mntg area seems like the o-ring is leaking and can see a gap tween tbi and mani-seems like an actual gasket should be there but GM and fel pro show a simular prod an o-ring, would the vin 1 gasket fit? or did we screw something up?...thanks.
Comment by:
symons
5/8/2011
12:32 AM
I have a 1996 3800 it makes a wisteling sound after it run for a few seconds and if you remove the oil fill cap the engine will kill. I have already installed new pcv and new orings this did not help.Took it to a GM dealer they also have no idea what is wrong. Could this be the plastic tube that goes to the pcv bad up the intake?
Comment by:
George Williams
4/25/2011
12:40 PM
Have a 99 Chevy Monte Carlo Z34 3800 series 2 V-6, Having a problem with oil pressure sending unit, on the second one in a few months they keep leaking oil after a while, this time I am using a GM part no after market
Comment by:
Bill
4/21/2011
2:38 PM
For Jeb: My 2001 Grand Prix had a similar issue. Turns out the catalytic converter was clogged up to the point the engine couldn't breath. Replaced it (could've had it 'cleaned out') for $600 and all is well. found out later that there is a factory recall type of thing on it, applies if under 120k miles. Look into that and see what shakes out.
Comment by:
JescoWhite
4/18/2011
12:39 PM
Jeb - I have a 99 Firebired w/ 3800 II V6. I experienced the same problems. The mechanic took the throttle body off, cleaned it really well and took off the fuel injectors to see how they sprayed. My car has ran great since I had this done (over a year).
Comment by:
Devin
4/15/2011
10:19 PM
My wife's 3800 Series II (Buick Regal LS) started running rough the morning after driving stop and go for eight hours the previous day.



At a stop on the second day the engine water locked.

Prior to that there was no smoke at all.



I understand that one of two things happened.



1: The head Gasket blew

2: Upper Intake Melted



How do you tell a carpenter (non-mechanic type) how to differentiate or distinguish between the two very different problems?



If the upper intake failed would there be water on all cylinders?

If it were the head gasket wouldn’t it most likely be just one head gasket?



Devin1@vizbuilt.com



Many thanks!



Devin

Comment by:
Larry Carley
4/2/2011
3:49 PM
For Keith: The low oil pressure warning could be due to a bad oil pressure sending unit, a worn oil pump, or possibly worn crankshaft bearings. You can also try using a thicker viscosity oil such as 10W-30 to see if that helps.
Comment by:
keith leger
4/2/2011
1:07 PM
i have a 99 regal with the 3800 series 2 when i first start it does great but after oil gets hot oil light comes on. would this be the oil pump? i need help
Comment by:
Larry Carley
4/1/2011
10:29 AM
For Jeb: The engine might have a intake manifld vacuum leak or an EGR valve that is not closing due to a buildup of carbon under the valve.
Comment by:
Jeb
4/1/2011
9:33 AM
Have an issue with a friends Gran Prix with the 3800. Rough idle, poor acceleration and limited speed. Plugged in a diagnostic scanner and the only thing that came up was a misfire on 1 and 4. Figured it was a no brainer seems 1 and 4 are on the same coil pack. Replaced it, still have same problem. Replaced the plugs, still no good. Now I'm left here scratching my head not knowing what to do. Any help would be great!!!
Comment by:
jj scolastice
3/13/2011
7:57 PM
95' park avenue 3800 overheated today. filled radiator back up and started. Looking at engine from outside "L-shaped tube/hose on left side of engine spewing out fluid. What is it called and how do I fix/replace it?
Comment by:
Larry Carley
2/27/2011
8:59 PM
For Scotty: No spark from the coils could be a bad crank sensor, a problem in the wiring harness, or even a bad PCM.
Comment by:
Larry Carley
2/27/2011
8:58 PM
For Mat: Your oil consumption problem is probably due to worn valve guides and seals, or you might have a piston with a broken oil ring.
Comment by:
scotty
2/26/2011
8:32 PM
i put an engine in my 97 grand prix gt 3800 eng and it has no spark coming out the coil
Comment by:
Mat
2/26/2011
7:48 PM
I am looking for some advice, I have a 03 Impala with a 3800 series 2 motor with 96,000 miles on it. I am noticing that it uses a quart of oil every 1500 miles. I have already replaced the PCV valve about 5,000 miles ago. I was wondering if the intake could be the cause or is there something else that may be causing the problem?
Comment by:
julio garcia
2/23/2011
9:24 PM
whats up every body i just got a 2002 chevy impala ls 3.8 series im having a problem with it sometimes when i go to turn on the car it gives out like it doesnt want to turn on im not sure if is the starter giving out just wanted to know if you might know what it could be i need someone elses opinion on this one if you might know please let me know thanks........
Comment by:
grai
2/20/2011
1:59 PM
my 95 buick wit 3800 has 113000 miles. Driving the other day it started to misfire and lose power with a lot of smoke coming from exhaust. i had it hooked up and they said #1 cyl misfire. The engine light came on . after i left there it quit and light went out. It ran fine. Buttt now when i start it i have lifter clicking for about two min until it quiets down. Oil press is about 40 when it starts and stays steady. any ideas what it could be.
Comment by:
J L Smith
2/14/2011
3:39 PM
Have a 96 Buick Park Avenue V6 3800 II. Been sitting up for awhile, but with new batery can't get any kind of noise out of starter. Pecked on starter few times, but still nothing. Thought I would take starter out and test it, but discovered steel plate over it. How do you get the starter off and how many bolts are holding it on?
Comment by:
Larry Carley
2/10/2011
9:58 AM
For Jim: Sounds like a misfire problem possibly due to a lean fuel mixture, weak spark or worn spark plugs. You need to have someone hook up a scan tool and check the fault code(s).
Comment by:
Jim Cregger
2/9/2011
7:31 PM
I have a 99 camaro,3.8 the service engine lite is on.when I put engine under load, lite flashes.Can change gear, stops flashing!Have to feather gas pedal!Some loss of power! any help out there ,please??
Comment by:
Will R.
2/6/2011
5:33 PM
i drive a 1997 camaro RS with this engine and i have problems whenever i burn out with it and stuff of that nature. i can feel it kick in the transmition and stick. do you know what might cause this?
Comment by:
John
1/27/2011
6:21 PM
Doug,



Thanks for the help, I found the problem, it was un-related. It was an ignition wire causing the crankshaft sensor go hirewire and also caused cylinder 3 to misfire. This was actually a long running problem prior to the severe issue. At low RPM under mild acceleration the car would struggle around 2000 rpm, if I drove with a led foot it wouldnt be an issue.
Comment by:
Doug
1/27/2011
1:21 PM
John,

I have a '98 Buick Regal with a 3800 series II and am also having coolant problems. I've researched and found that both the upper intake manifold and its gasket, and the lower intake manifold gaskets are troublesome on these motors.

I'm planning on replacing the Upper intake manifold with a kit like you, but will also replace the lower intake manifold gasket during the procedure. I've heard multiple people say to do both at the same time.



Samuel - NO!!! The stick with the "Series I", they are much better. The "Series II" arose as a cost-saving initiative by GM. Too much plastic in the Series II
Comment by:
John
1/26/2011
3:09 PM
I have a 97 Olds 88 with the 3800 motor. A few months ago I replaced the intake because I had a hydro seize due to the metal EGR stovepipe melting the plastic on the intake. The intake came from advance and remedied the issue by using a smaller egr tower that does not run flush with the plastic intake. However, today right before I got back to my place the engine started to run a little rough and the car is blinking a check engine light. I think I might see some oil in the bottom of the coolant tank. Any Idea's? Head Gasket? Intake again? Anyone see this yet? Thanks,



John
Comment by:
albanypark
1/18/2011
10:29 PM
2002 Camaro V-6 with Y-87 "performance handling" package. I want to upgrade the very soft suspension, not spend a lot.
Comment by:
keith faulk
1/18/2011
9:20 AM
the 90 degree pipe above the water pump on a 3800 series engine is this a press fit? or other.
Comment by:
Samuel
1/14/2011
12:21 PM
I have a 1992 Buick Regal and it has the 3800 engine. Could I replace that engine with the 3800 Series II?
Comment by:
henry
1/10/2011
7:54 PM
I HAVE A LEAK UNDER THE THROTTLE BODY BUT IM NOT SURE IF ITS THE PVC TUBS OR JUST THE GASKET I DONT HAVE THE PLASTIC INTAKE. I GOT A 96 3800 2 CAMARO AND ALSO IT TAKES A FEW SECONDS LONGER TO START WHEN I TURN THE KEY WHAT UP WIT THAT?
Comment by:
Larry Carley
1/9/2011
10:36 PM
Jack, it sounds like your engine is running out of fuel under load. Probably a weak fuel pump. Have your mechanic do a fuel volume test.
Comment by:
Jack Lion
1/9/2011
6:05 PM
I have a 98 lumina with the 3800 series II engine. approx.. 117,000 miles. engine bogs down if flooring it or climbing a hill. It drives well any other time. Mechanic changed the MAF sensor. He thought he had it fixed but the problem reoccurred. Any ideas?..converter??
Comment by:
Albert
12/15/2010
9:50 PM
I have a 3800 in a 97 olds 88 and have blown 2 motors due to a sudden loss of coolent into the intake, from the EGR pipe melting throught, into the coolent passages,, i have made a block off plate to fit under the egr valve to disable it, dont want to blow up another motor, so far so good, just have to remove the plate to do my smog test when that comes up..
Comment by:
joyce
12/10/2010
6:48 PM
I have a Pontiac Grand Prix and I keeping replacing the Mas Air Flow Sensors. I need a new hose that runs from the Air Filter box to the motor. Where can I find It?
Comment by:
Kyle Erickson
12/2/2010
12:35 PM
I have a 1997 Buick Park Avenue with a 3800 series II that keeps breaking off the nose cone on the starter. Any ideas?
Comment by:
RC
11/30/2010
6:05 PM
cooling leak near front of motor above water pump , there is a plastic right angle pipe where the leak seems to be coming from .
Comment by:
vinnie
11/18/2010
10:39 PM
okay, yes antifreeze in the oil can be from the infamous intake warpping problem, but most likely a head gasket, the ticking near the number one cylinder is most likely the fuel injector my number 3 does it, to supercharge an originally non-supercharged motor you need to have the computer reprogrammed as well as a wiring harness off a 98 or 99 lumina ltz-3800 equipped-and the camaro gtp swap will work but will need to use the original gtp computer ans you have to change EVERYTHING from the heads up over to the gtp supercharged parts, the noise in the pully system if it is rattley and grinding tin sounding it is probably the air conditioning pump, if anyone has other questions I can help out I have 4 of these motors, two built and on supercharged, working on a 400+hp s/c build now for a lumina LTZ vincecarrozza@gmail.com
Comment by:
cody
11/11/2010
7:34 PM
I have a 97 camaro rs witht the 3800 series II motor in it and i am puttin a LS1 in it but my buddie wants the motor for his 99 grand prix gtp he has the supercharger and everything but he blew up his 3800. So my question is will the motor from the camaro bolt up no problem to his tranny on the gtp? if not are there any kits? thank you
Comment by:
nick
11/6/2010
6:51 PM
I believe I have a bad intake manifold on my '98 Pontiac 3.8 engine. But what is throwing me off is that there is coolant in the oil. Is that also a symptom of the famous intake problem? Has anybody else seen this? Please help before I get new head gaskets.
Comment by:
Wayne
11/6/2010
5:45 PM
I aquired a 1998 Olds Delta 88 through marrriage that had a bad engine. I installed a 2002 engine in it but this engine starts hard and is very cold blooded and seems to backfire through the intake until it gets warmed up to normal operating temp. I changed oxygen sensor, but still starts hard. Any ideas what could be wrong?
Comment by:
Eric griffin
11/5/2010
3:16 PM
Can anyone tell me if I can put a supercharged 3800 engine out of a 1999 pontiac grand prix into a 1997 buick lasabre custom with a 3800 series 2 engine.(not supercharged). If so do I have to change the trans and the computer and also have the chip on the key programmed
Comment by:
Tim Mcdavid
10/31/2010
4:08 PM
Can someone please help me in removing the oil pan on a pontiac grand prix with a v6 3800 series II engin? I am trying to replace the oil pan gasket.
Comment by:
vince
10/30/2010
8:33 AM
i have 99 olds 88 3.8, the car is making a noise like a bearing is going out on the pulley system. I have replaced the belt, tension pulley, power steering pump, alt, noise is still there. Could it be the harmonic balancer, the noise comes after driving a while then if you shut the car off and then start it back the noise goes away for a while. the car runs fine. i have taken it to four different mechanics. No answer yet, can you help? thanks
Comment by:
Paul Hansen II
10/25/2010
7:25 PM
I have a loud noise coming from the drivers side of my 1997 grand pirx se. could it be the crankshaft itself, the bearings or the pulley is bad?
Comment by:
Hoover
10/25/2010
2:55 PM
My '99 Bonneville w/127k mi will start and run after completely cooling down, like all night, but only runs for approx 10 min.starts hesitating and then just dies. Will re-start, only to die instantly. This is the case until it has cooled off. If I unplug the MAF it will start again for longer then a loud sucking noise for some seconds till it dies again. HELP PLEASE
Comment by:
jacob
10/19/2010
4:49 PM
i have a very noticable tick coming from what seems to be around the #1 cylinder lifters. how are these replaced. IE. is it possible to replace with out pulling the heads?
Comment by:
John
10/19/2010
1:11 AM
My dad just bought a 2002 camaro with v6 3800 series II. It shakes and sounds like a rod rattling. We took the valve cover off and you can literally twist the spring. What can we do?
Comment by:
Larry Carley
10/15/2010
3:50 PM
for Brenda: The MAP sensor is located on top of the engine, under the big plastic cover, right next to the ignition coils.
Comment by:
Brenda James
10/15/2010
3:37 PM
where does the mapping sensor go on a 1998 chev 3800 series II motor?
Comment by:
oneal johnson
10/11/2010
12:09 PM
will a 3800 motor out of a 1999 grand prix gt fix in a 1997 grand prix gt
Comment by:
Larry Carley
9/29/2010
11:26 PM
For Jordan: The oil burning and misfiring is probably due to worn valve guides. Oil is sucking down the guides and fouling the plugs. Only fix for this is to pull the heads and have the valve guides replaced, or reamed to oversize to accept new valves.
Comment by:
Jordan
9/29/2010
8:33 PM
HELP PLEASE! i have a 99 regal series 2 supercharged. it uses oil really bad. about a quart per tank and recently has been fouling out number 1 and 2 cyclinders. if i stand on the motor at about 3000 rpms for awhile while driving i have my service engine light flash at me. code showing is my no1 cylinder missfire. could this be valves? or what? please reply if you have any ides for me i would greatly appreciate it!! thank you
Comment by:
parks
9/14/2010
8:33 PM
i have a 2000 buick with a 3800 i bought it new it has 215000 miles and to this day i have not turned a wrench on it i cant believe what a great motor it is ill never buy another car with another motor in it
Comment by:
t.mullaney
9/4/2010
10:33 AM
my 210K 3800 just thru a rod(#4) overspeed, I put a cam in it last year, love the motor, will get another, I did the intake thing too, no biggee.
Comment by:
gary page
8/29/2010
9:26 PM
replaced the the upper intake manafold on my 1998 oldsmobile intrique. the plastic manafold came with 2 different size pieces of alumium which they claim is to replace the stove pipe on the lower intake egr ??? is this a correct part that comes with the upper intake are can you use the stock stove pipe in the lower intake. the new upper intake has a warning that comes with it and claims you need to stake it (which i dont know what staking is ) and add heavy duty locktite here. can you shead a little light here. many thanks and have a blessed day.
Comment by:
Giovanny
8/13/2010
2:51 PM
own a 2002 bonneville ssei with 77k Miles on sunday i turned the car on, to a loud knock on the firewall side of the motor, and real bad idle, and blinking service engine. Diag. gave me a p0300 code. This has never happened before. help please.
Comment by:
Tom white
8/13/2010
3:28 AM
can a 1995 park ave. 3.8 motor fix in a 1999 park ave.
Comment by:
IVAN WINDOM
8/11/2010
11:47 PM
I HAVE A 2004 GRAND PRIX ENGINE STARTS OK ATFER 24 HOURS. BUT ATFER ENGINE GET HOT ITS HARD TO RESTART,HAVE PRESS THE GAS
Comment by:
Larry Carley
8/9/2010
10:08 AM
For Terrel: If your battery is not holding a charge, the alternator might be bad or the battery might be old. You should have a shop check out the charging system. This could also be affecting how the engine runs if the fuel pump is not getting rnough voltage.
Comment by:
Terrell Douglas
8/8/2010
1:16 PM
I just had my intake gasket on my 99 LaSabre replaced, and when it starts and drives, it drives fine, real smooth like a buick should. But often it wont hold a charge and I need a jump to get it running. and sometimes when I put it in drive and give it a lil gas, it'll seem to lag or almost choke, in reserve i dont get this problem. It was like I was braking softly at the same time i was giving it gas. My mechanic came over at looked at it, and he didnt know as well. But a few minutes after, it ran normally, no sign of trouble. When Im going up hill and trying to accel. it does nothing or sometimes stutters or something. Any thoughts???
Comment by:
Larry Carley
8/6/2010
9:12 AM
For Patric: Sounds like a weak fuel pump or fuel line restriction that's limiting fuel delivery at higher rpms.
Comment by:
patric
8/5/2010
5:38 PM
2003 monte carlo 3.8l got about 130000 miles on it just replaced the spark plugs and wires about 2000 miles ago and now the motor stalls or sputters at 4000 rpms. I havent put a diagnostic device on it yet.
Comment by:
Larry Carley
7/30/2010
9:44 AM
For Chris & Frank: If you need repair help, go to www.alldatadiy.com. They can provide you with all the details you need -- or take your car to a repair shop and pay a professional to install it for you. That way you'll now the job has been done correctly.
Comment by:
frank
7/29/2010
11:10 PM
need advise, I plan to replace the timing chain on my 96 rs camaro 3800 engine, the car has about 145k miles on it and finally gave up, can this be done in one weekend? any special tools? what else can I replace while i'm at it...thanks
Comment by:
Chris Saunders
7/29/2010
2:05 PM
I have a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix GT and i have a coolant leak. Looks like its coming from right behind the water pump, also have a bit of a Whining noise when driving. If the water pump is bad would this cause leaking behind it? plan on replacing my self so help would be Much appreciated.
Comment by:
Chris Saunders
7/29/2010
1:51 PM
I have a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix GT and i have a coolant leak. Looks like its coming from right behind the water pump, also have a bit of a Whining noise when driving. If the water pump is bad would this cause leaking behind it? plan on replacing my self so help would be Much appreciated.
Comment by:
marc
7/27/2010
11:01 PM
just bought an 01 regal has 160k car runs great looking to replace crankshaft sensor.. is this a hard job?
Comment by:
Larry Carley
7/27/2010
9:22 PM
For Rick: If the smoke is blue, it's oil, probably coming down worn valve guides or past worn valve guide seals.
Comment by:
rick
7/27/2010
9:05 PM
i have 03 grand prix gtp 3800 it has blue smoke coming from exhaust pipes but does"t smell like burn"t oil compression is 120 on all 6 cylinders plugs are not fouled
Comment by:
Travis
7/23/2010
3:24 PM
My mother has 95 olds 88. repaired upper intake(Dorman makes the intake kit avail most parts stores 110.00)ran great for 3 weeks. thermostat stuck few days ago engine heated up quickly before i could get pulled over almost to the 300 mark. shut it off right away. cooled done open up stst engine ran bad and knocked.put lucas oil additve started it up ran great no noise for 3 min knocked once and died wont hardly turn over. ia it possible oil pump lost its prime from overheat? pulling oil pan later see what damage is done. so far no mettallics in oil.
Comment by:
Richard
7/21/2010
3:45 PM
I've a 2001 Monte Carlo SS. My problem is high engine temps. The cooling fans do not operate while in traffic, and I don't know why. The fan relay was replaced, engine temp sensor replaced, checked all connections (which are OK) but still the fans won't run. I have the car at the repair shop and they think the PCM is bad but are reluctant to change it since it is a pricey part and may not even be the culprit. Have you any suggestions?
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