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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2007 Buick Lucerne with a GM 3800 V6 3.8L series 3 engine. Recently I heard a knocking noise in the head and after partial tear down, I discovered one of the roller lifter was damaged. Engine is out and I'm doing a rebuild. I tried Hanes manual but they don't have a manual for my car. Anyone know where I cam get a manual or even another gm car with the same engine that Hanes repair manuals would have. I tried online manual but i don't like the limited info they supply. I'm and old school and would prefer a book in my hand.
 

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You can also buy the GM manuals for the car, if you find a set on eBay or elsewhere. Less common than years ago, and I wish I still had my set from my GTP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I got the specs and have everything laid out to reassemble. I want to check the main and connecting rod bearing bearing clearance before final assembly. I thought I could use plastic guage for the clearance just to find out my clearance are .0007 - .0016 and .0009 - .0018. Plastic gauge don't have that range. Any other alternative or suggestion? I'm hoping I don`t have to purchase a bore guage for a one time use.
 

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You can use "PL-A" (0.001"-0.007") and you'll know if you're under one thou. Also, if you're over 0.0016", you'll know that for sure. No interpolation needed. FWIW, you can actually scotch-brite three10ths off Cleveite--or any Tri--Metal bearing--quite quickly if the machinist actually nailed 7 ten-thousandths (Though I wouldn't call it ideal by any means for road use). It is a common practice on certain race motors with wide clearances--like drag motors that run 0.003" or more--just to take off any irregularities and give some tooth for run-in.
I've had motors machined by several different "Real" machinists in my time (I ain't exactly a kid anymore) and only once was a rod too tight. Took it back and they honed it to spec. All the others were almost exactly in the middle of the spec. for rebuild, which is what most shops aim for as it's the safest option if they aren't assembling the bottom end themselves.
If it were me, I'd rather see 0.001" to 0.0015" from the start, as even the best align hone (They DID align hone the mains, right?) can result in some small degree of "radius ride" due to how these blocks take a set after initial use. The cylinder bores don't have to be off by much at all to cause 7/10ths misalignment at the crank-pin.
You probably know this, but unlike most American Iron, these blocks need to be align honed anytime the main caps are off. Failure to do so will likely result in a "200 Mile" rebuild.
Hope this helps some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You can use "PL-A" (0.001"-0.007") and you'll know if you're under one thou. Also, if you're over 0.0016", you'll know that for sure. No interpolation needed. FWIW, you can actually scotch-brite three10ths off Cleveite--or any Tri--Metal bearing--quite quickly if the machinist actually nailed 7 ten-thousandths (Though I wouldn't call it ideal by any means for road use). It is a common practice on certain race motors with wide clearances--like drag motors that run 0.003" or more--just to take off any irregularities and give some tooth for run-in.
I've had motors machined by several different "Real" machinists in my time (I ain't exactly a kid anymore) and only once was a rod too tight. Took it back and they honed it to spec. All the others were almost exactly in the middle of the spec. for rebuild, which is what most shops aim for as it's the safest option if they aren't assembling the bottom end themselves.
If it were me, I'd rather see 0.001" to 0.0015" from the start, as even the best align hone (They DID align hone the mains, right?) can result in some small degree of "radius ride" due to how these blocks take a set after initial use. The cylinder bores don't have to be off by much at all to cause 7/10ths misalignment at the crank-pin.
You probably know this, but unlike most American Iron, these blocks need to be align honed anytime the main caps are off. Failure to do so will likely result in a "200 Mile" rebuild.
Hope this helps some.
I did end up purchasing a micrometer and dial bore gauge seeing I'm not as experienced as you are with the measurements. The block was sent to the machine shop and was honed and checked over for correct specs. I had no issue with the engine except 1 roller bearing went bad and the only damage it did was damage on the cam. I stop using the car as soon as I heard the knocking. I'm rebuilding it back to stock and even though some may say I don't have to worry too much about specs, I disagree. I believe in doing thing right the first time (if possible). The Block and all the piston and connecting rods was sent to the machine shop for inspection and cleaning. I'm working with 3800 Series III 3.8 and I believe its a L32. That said I have read in other post that the rod cap bolts are torque to yield and should be replaced. The manual only require replacing the head and flywheel bolts. I'm ok with replacing the rod cap bolts however, they are held in by a sleeve that is pressed in. Any idea on how to remove the sleeve that hold the bolts in? or would it be ok to just reuse the bolts that are there?
 

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A long time ago I had a warmed over Big Block Ford prepped for nitrous, and so the safe move was Crower rods and ARP bolts. Even though the machinist (who built sprint car motors) knew my Father, he wouldn't "Release" the rotating assembly to me unless I showed him that I DID have a rod bolt stretch gauge and not just a torque wrench!
I guess he was just trying to protect against a potentially incompetent 20 year old. Anyway, that motor always used some oil because you have to run a big ring end gap on a sprayed motor, but I put over 80 thousand miles on it without anything more than oil and spark plug changes.
The right tools are worth it--but they aren't cheap.
I'm not sure about the rod bolts on the 3800, but I'd find out if they're reusable--I'm guessing they're pretty good based on how much stock bottom ends can take, but someone here can tell you for sure. Best of luck on your rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Say wpod, Im trying to locate a set of ARP rod bolts with no luck. Also a set of ARP crankshaft bearing cap bolts if they make them. I want to just chang them and be done so i dont have to do another lower rebuild if im lucky
 

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My best guess would be to measure the stock bolts and see if they match up with any other stock ARP item.
ZZP has a $99 kit that requires some machine shop work>ARP Connecting Rod Bolts - Series II
Than there's DP, they make bolts to spec for top fuel, and other high HP apps. Probably real pricey-But who knows, maybe they have a stock size that will work...>Rod Bolts
INTENSE also show ARP's for $99...>INTENSE Racing: ARP Connecting Rod Bolts If you scroll down, it says "series III" (Yours presumably) are an extra $30. So they're out there, it's just a question of price for the bolts and the big end hone...

Beyond that, there's high end shops that could surely supply bolts, but they would probably be in the hundreds. Hope this helps some, Regards Mike

P.S. I'm not in Canada, I just connect my VPN to Cloudflare servers in Toronto for speed and privacy. I'm in central coastal NJ.
 

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Sorry it took so long, I was out-of state last week. BTW, I have a mostly complete series II 2000 GTP with all drivetrain parts and the motor with 100k on it ran when I bought it for parts. If there's anything you need or could use off it, I'll send it out for the cost of shipping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I might be intrested in the crank shaft. My crank shaft measurements are at the low end. I have to see if i can get oversized bearings to get the oil gap i need. I would rather have the crank lobes at the mid thickness. I was looking for a new one but their hard to find. I have a series III would the crank be the same? You said you lived in NJ. I curently commute to South Brunswick if thats close to you
 

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Yeah, you're less than an hour away, I'm in "Beautiful" Toms River--The Jewel of New Jersey and home to the "Cancer Cluster".
I'm just guessing here, but I think the block/bottom end of the gen II and gen III are likely identical. Perhaps a call to INTENSE would help. when I spoke with the owner, he was quite friendly and knowledgeable, and sent me a re-programmed PCM that really woke up throttle response and performance overall.

As to the crankshaft...Well, the Engine is still in the car, and it's kinda blocked in by other parts cars (my neighbors love me /s). But we could drag it out if you want it, and you can either take the whole thing, or if you feel ambitious, you could pull the motor (I've got all the tools needed-Jacks, stands, Air guns, Engine Hoist- a Real one, not a Harbor Freight $99 spacial--Cutting torch and some BIG hammers ;)). If you want I can take a bunch of pictures of it and where it sits to give you a better idea of what you might be getting into (also, if you email me and have an iPhone we could FT a tour of my mini junkyard.
I'm thinking dropping the Cradle/front sub-frame might be a more expedient option than pulling just the motor--of course, if you just take the whole car you can do what you want. Depending on your Town/ neighborhood/ neighbors, a parts car might at least need to be hidden by a car cover if you can't hide it behind a fence or in a garage--or perhaps even that would result in an "Anonymous" neighbor calling Code Enforcement on the "Bat-phone". I'm just speculating here based on my personal experience over the past 30+ years...:).

BTW, the price on any all parts/cars is just your labor. I would just like to pull the front seats and the CAT($) plus maybe the steering rack/pump if you don't need either. You can PM or Just email me.
Yes, I know putting your email out there invites trolls and worse, but I have several that I use for casual / important /business, etc.--and I check them regularly. So, at the risk of a barrage of spam and trolling, here's my casual account: (Hope I can help one way or another) PM or email And I'll give you my phone number.
[email protected]
Regards, Mike

P.S. I should have mentioned it earlier, but ANY "Torque to yield" bolt is an abomination! Maybe OK from the factory, But certainly NOT for re-use, and new ones are still ~half the price of "Real" bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tour right about the neighbors and a parts car in the yard. I would be an issue but if push comes to shuv, I can cover it up along with the 3 other cars in my yard .LOL. If I have to go that rout I will definitely let you know. Also in regards to the bolts, I was going to go with ARP but I see too many post including what you said about machining if I install ARP`s. I'm already over a 1 1/5 grands on this engine so I'm trying to avoid any other machine work If I can. I am replacing the crank bearing, and rod bolts with new OEM TTY bolts. I am using the old bolts to get my clearance and the final assembly will be with the new ones. All I have to do now is continue search the manual to see what kind of lube if any to use on the bolts to torque them down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You can use "PL-A" (0.001"-0.007") and you'll know if you're under one thou. Also, if you're over 0.0016", you'll know that for sure. No interpolation needed. FWIW, you can actually scotch-brite three10ths off Cleveite--or any Tri--Metal bearing--quite quickly if the machinist actually nailed 7 ten-thousandths (Though I wouldn't call it ideal by any means for road use). It is a common practice on certain race motors with wide clearances--like drag motors that run 0.003" or more--just to take off any irregularities and give some tooth for run-in.
I've had motors machined by several different "Real" machinists in my time (I ain't exactly a kid anymore) and only once was a rod too tight. Took it back and they honed it to spec. All the others were almost exactly in the middle of the spec. for rebuild, which is what most shops aim for as it's the safest option if they aren't assembling the bottom end themselves.
If it were me, I'd rather see 0.001" to 0.0015" from the start, as even the best align hone (They DID align hone the mains, right?) can result in some small degree of "radius ride" due to how these blocks take a set after initial use. The cylinder bores don't have to be off by much at all to cause 7/10ths misalignment at the crank-pin.
You probably know this, but unlike most American Iron, these blocks need to be align honed anytime the main caps are off. Failure to do so will likely result in a "200 Mile" rebuild.
Hope this helps some.
OK, her is where I am with my rebuild. I agree with you about running 0.001-0.0015 from the start. I wanted to be more precise so I used a micrometer and a bore gauges for my measurement. I`m at the high end on my crank journal and rod journals. I would like to see midway around 0.0015. Specs are 0.0005-0.0026 on connecting rod and 0.0007-0.00018 on the crank journal. I want undersize to be in the mid. My question is, (for example) if my oil clearance is 0.0026, how would I know what size bearing (undersize .010,.020 etc.) to get to bring it back down. Would I subtract .010 from my oil clearance? What would be the right way?
 

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I'm not entirely clear on your question. I think you may be conflating the clearance and the desired--or needed undersize. I'll proceed with the assumption that your crank is still on Standard (STD.) and hasn't been ground undersize.
If you used a Micrometer on the journals, and a bore gauge on the individual properly torqued rods and mains--WITH the bearings installed--and you are just under 26/10,000ths on the rods and 18/10,000ths on the mains, then the only way you can change the clearance (Tighten it, that is) would be to have the crank re-ground and then use the next undersize bearings that will work. If you're still on STD., then that would be 10/1000ths under. (.010")
If you were on STD. and then installed .010 under bearings, you wouldn't even be able to install the crank as it ~.008" (8/1000ths) Too large to fit the bearing.
In other words, the machine shop needs to have the rods, block, and bearings in order to re-grind the crank to your desired oil clearance. Hope this makes sense.
Regards, Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm not entirely clear on your question. I think you may be conflating the clearance and the desired--or needed undersize. I'll proceed with the assumption that your crank is still on Standard (STD.) and hasn't been ground undersize.
If you used a Micrometer on the journals, and a bore gauge on the individual properly torqued rods and mains--WITH the bearings installed--and you are just under 26/10,000ths on the rods and 18/10,000ths on the mains, then the only way you can change the clearance (Tighten it, that is) would be to have the crank re-ground and then use the next undersize bearings that will work. If you're still on STD., then that would be 10/1000ths under. (.010")
If you were on STD. and then installed .010 under bearings, you wouldn't even be able to install the crank as it ~.008" (8/1000ths) Too large to fit the bearing.
In other words, the machine shop needs to have the rods, block, and bearings in order to re-grind the crank to your desired oil clearance. Hope this makes sense.
Regards, Mike
It make plenty of sense. I was under the wrong impression that you can get a undersized bearing to bring your clearance to the desired number. LOL ( i feel like the trany I rebuilt was more easy). I understand your explanation and I`m going to contact My machine shop. More machine work. Its one of those project that get started but its too far to turn back. I recall when I was driving the car the oil light came on several times and when I check the oil level it was fine. After sizing the crank and bearings, the clearance is at the max, or above. Perhaps I was loosing oil pressure around the crank journals.
Thanks for the reply and explanation.
 

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I may have misread your first post. It's possible that if you are still on STD. on rods and mains, and you are also at a minimum of ~.0008 Bigger than the minimum oil clearance, you Might be able to run a set of 1/1000th under bearings. Sealed Power makes -.001" sets for the 3.8L engine, but ONLY if your crank is still on STD. journals.
Keep in mind that you can also "Select Fit" your clearance this way by running the major load bearing (rod top, main bottoms) -.001" and the other halves on STD.(GM factory assembled 6.5 Diesels this way--Nothing wrong with it). A full set is ~$40, so this would be far more desirable from a cost perspective than an unnecessary re-grind. A quick search turned up a good article on many aspects of bearing choice/fitting so I thought linking it would be better than trying to quote all the points. Regards, Mike
Tech: Choosing The Proper Bearings For Your Engine
 

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You can use "PL-A" (0.001"-0.007") and you'll know if you're under one thou. Also, if you're over 0.0016", you'll know that for sure. No interpolation needed. FWIW, you can actually scotch-brite three10ths off Cleveite--or any Tri--Metal bearing--quite quickly if the machinist actually nailed 7 ten-thousandths (Though I wouldn't call it ideal by any means for road use). It is a common practice on certain race motors with wide clearances--like drag motors that run 0.003" or more--just to take off any irregularities and give some tooth for run-in.
I've had motors machined by several different "Real" machinists in my time (I ain't exactly a kid anymore) and only once was a rod too tight. Took it back and they honed it to spec. All the others were almost exactly in the middle of the spec. for rebuild, which is what most shops aim for as it's the safest option if they aren't assembling the bottom end themselves.
If it were me, I'd rather see 0.001" to 0.0015" from the start, as even the best align hone (They DID align hone the mains, right?) can result in some small degree of "radius ride" due to how these blocks take a set after initial use. The cylinder bores don't have to be off by much at all to cause 7/10ths misalignment at the crank-pin.
You probably know this, but unlike most American Iron, these blocks need to be align honed anytime the main caps are off. Failure to do so will likely result in a "200 Mile" rebuild.
Hope this helps some.
Do the Series 2 also require align honing if main caps are off?
 

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Do the Series 2 also require align honing if main caps are off?
If you want the rebuild to last more than ~200 miles, yeah. There used to be a lot more info about this online, but many of the forums have died off over the years.
 
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