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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, I have decided to do the LIM gasket because I am tired of the car leaking like a sieve a coolant and oil mixture all over the place. So LIM gasket it is. I'm also doing the Valve cover gaskets as well as the SC coupler so I am in for a trip. Gonna do it all while it's all apart so I don't have to take it apart again. Anything tricky I need to watch out for? I think I got it under control. I watched a couple instructional vids out there. I was contemplating doing my own... I was thinking of starting a youtube channel myself (out of work quarantining thoughts haha) and becoming a youtube star so we'll see how this goes...

Wish me luck! I'm gonna do it overnight tonight in the parking garage... I have to do it late at night so all the grumpy old strata geezers don't give me **** about working on my car in the garage... apparently not allowed haha whatever. I am gonna start at 11pm and as long as I am done by 7am I should be ok. No one ever goes in or out between those hours. So like 8 hours... Should be done by then. I took apart a gtp engine in the pick n pull so I kinda practiced up to this point. but I didn't put it back together so... We'll see if I make it. If worse comes to worse I can just shut the hood and leave it for the next night if I don't finish, but I think I will be ok.I am enjoying the time off work. Giving me the chance to do the things I need to get done.
 

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Wellllll... that didn't get very far. So I was on my way home from running errands and for dinner, stopped at the local auto parts store (was contemplating if I had all necessary supplies to get this job done and while I was in the parking lot idling and on my phone for roughly 5 or so mins... all of a sudden the car shudders super quick, then dies. I was like oh no... now what? Went to restart it and the thing is making a horrible racket from the supercharger (like tumbling and stumbling rocks lol) and idling really rough. Took a quick peek under the hood, wiggled some wires and hoses - nothing changes so I slam the hood and head home. The car sounded like it was driving on 4/5 cylinders. Pulled the codes - got some kinda random misfire error message (forgot what specifically it was) but the car didn't sound good. I at first thought that the s/c coupler I was about to do just got worse or let go, but that wouldn't explain the random misfire code. So to make a long story even longer... I troubleshooted a few different things, but came to the conclusion I wasn't getting spark at plug / coil / cylinder 1. Even changed the plug / wire / coil with known good working ones from my Reatta 3800 and ya. Verified no spark from the bottommost coil serving both 1 and 4. So no sparky sparky to 1 or 4. Tried that coil on my Reatta and it worked. So using my super deductive reasoning skillz I have determined the fault could be anywhere before the coil. Bad ground for that coil? No signal to that coil? No power to that coil? Something faulty in the base of the coil pack? Wire harness short?Any thoughts where to go next? The injectors are pulsing. So ya, bottom line no spark. Just 1 and 4 but it is both. Help! Haha should I get a new base for the coil packs? Could it be a bad ground / power for just that coil pack?A short in the signal wire that commands the coil to fire? I dunno what to do now. Gonna grab a new base first and see where that goes.

Any thoughts?
Thanks in advance
 

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Check the grounds for the big coil bracket. They need to have a clean connection to the studs going into the block/head. Hopefully, that's it, which should be the case if you were just messing with all of those things during top-end work. The ICM (under the coils) is pretty crucial for having spark work correctly, so you want to make sure the wiring is re-installed without pinching or having weak ground connection. It's easy to spot engines that have been worked on, because almost nobody re-routes that harness in the OEM path, since there's 1-2 easier ways that may/may not work without messing it up.

Also, it would be good if you had done a little drizzle of oil down the valley to clear any coolant residue from the LIM removal. Not sure your process, or if you kept the drain plug open after that step, etc. Hope you did RTV in the corners, etc. Link your videos, if you got any, too. Even boring ones describing your issues could be helpful, with comments on the issue and updates with what fixed it later.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey Dezidave... Thanks for the input. I haven't done the gasket yet. The car started acting this way suddenly while I was idling for a few mins in front of the parts store on my way home. So it's not like I disturbed or changed anything when this happened. I was just idling, then the car suddenly quit. When I started it back up that's when the misfiring started. So unless something suddenly quit then I'm stumped as the cause. I will attempt at looking at it tonight. I have a spare ICM and mount that I will swap in to see if anything changes. I didn't want to start the gasket until the car was running properly first, unless somehow the effects of the leaky gasket caused the problem it's having now. We'll see.
 

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Just be sure your oil is clean while you're still running it. Don't need a spun bearing to turn it into an engine swap. That's $500 you can use on toilet paper!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Will do. I actually haven't checked the oil yet. Good idea. I have full oil and coolant change products available for when I finish the job. Gonna go swap in this ICM now and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So I swapped out the ICM with another unit and mount plate that I freshly cleaned up and car ran properly. Phew. That's a relief. Got half way through taking the manifold off and drained the fluids and will continue tonight.
 

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Good deal. Keep up the good work.
 

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Took it all apart. Gonna do the prep work and clean all the pieces today and put it back together overnight tonight. See how far I get.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well Houston, We have a problem...

I thought that these two pieces separated, but apparently not quite... have a look and tell me...

Right here... notice the red circled hole...

10933


is supposed to be connected to:

10934


I got a little overzealous and thought they supposed to disconnect... I am gonna try and see if the local pick n pull will have this alternator bracket/water pump housing. I don't know if I can JB weld / RTV the snot out of it but if this bracket can't be found I may try. I have been getting parts off this 01 GTP (mine is a 98 Regal GS) both supercharged, but I think that the GTP and GS accessory locations are slightly different so I may bot be able to use one from that car, but they have a pile of Buick Centuries / Regals (non supercharged) and hope one of these will have this. Just sucks because I don't know if it had to come off. Oh well... Tack another day onto this project... Good thing we have time to do this stuff...Thanks Covid! lol

Any suggestions from the peanut gallery?

thanks
 

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Not a huge deal, those break all the time at that o-ring groove during removal.

1999+ have the different style alternator and bracket, so you'd have to swap to that, too. That newer design also uses 2 plastic elbows for these water connections instead of 1 on the older style. Your choice which one you want. I updated my '98 by choice, but didn't have to.

You can also use eBay or car-part.com to get junkyard parts shipped to you. I've bought a LIM, brake booster, radiator fans, and some others in the past month this way, since I'm not near a U-pull.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh ok. thats what I was wondering. I only found one elbow. I was looking for the other and then this. Still couldn't find the second so I thought that this must be different from what I saw in a video online. So I didn't make it to pick n pull today will have to go tomorrow. I just did the water pump too lol... I guess In will have to swap that over to whatever new way I decide to go depending on what is available at the PnP. I will grab a new gasket. So to get this straight, no matter what setup I get it will work correctly right? I bought the elbows already They came in a 2 pack. I opted for the welded metal ones as I read they are less prone to failure. Man this is becoming a pain lol... I am gonna work on the supercharger coupler tonight and also clean my injectors well. Gonna degrease as well as possible while everything is taken out of the way.
 

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Water pump can stay together. The alternator bracket and coolant connections are outside of that. If you can get the alternator from a '99+, do the tensioner bracket swap, if you want. You can get the aluminum elbows to replace the plastic ones at the parts store, just be sure the o-rings seat well.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ya. I already got the aluminum ones. 2 of them. I will see if I can get the setup off of the GTP that has been my donor for a lot of things. Though the water pump I think will have to come out because it's attached to the housing that has the other end of the broken connection. Gonna head there this afternoon to have a look.
 

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The elbow goes into the front/timing cover next to the water pump, which takes a bunch more work to get off (just did my race engine's on the stand, and ran out in the garage to confirm for you)...

10935


You'll want to get a strong pick or angled tool in there, and maybe some PB to help, but not too much, since it's a water passage. It should budge once you break the corrosion on the aluminum free around a couple sides of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok. I see. So you're saying that the cast metal comes out of that hole on the water pump housing... I get it now. Got the alternator bracket. Gonna try and pick out the metal piece that's stuck in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ok... So I got the metal out. No prob. put the valve covers back on, also the idler pulley back non as well as the supercharger coupler changed.I had to swap the alternator tensioner pulley over from the old one to the new one. Took me a good 20 minutes of fiddling with it to realize that bolt is threaded backwards to remove it. Duh... lol so its ready to go in tonight. Hope to finish tonight. So with the aluminium elbows, should I still use a small dab o RTV on them? by the o-ring? Or not? If not, then I will use some vaseline as a lubricant to seat them while assembling. I have two sets of fuel injectors so I am gonna rig up a fuel injector tester/cleaner contraption to clean ant test flow and spray pattern and pick the best 6 to use.
 

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Ya, that bolt gets everyone. The H-body (Bonneville/Park Ave/etc.) supercharger tensioner is that way, too.

If you clean the holes for the elbows with a Scotch Brite pad or something light, you should be good with light RTV or Vaseline. Your choice. Could go with jelly first, to see how snug they feel, and RTV then if it feels like a weak grip. I think I do RTV to ensure o-rings aren't all it relies on.

Make a separate post for the injector thing, sounds fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
OK, will do. Going to get supplies now.
 

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OK, soooo ran into a few snags. There is a phrase "If it ain't broke, don't fix it..." that I need to learn. Took the supercharger apart to do the coupler. easy preazy... decided to take the impellers/rotors whatever you wanna call them out and look into greasing the bearings... No problem. Decided to clean them off with some degreaser, but they had some teeny tiny scratches on a couple of the lips/edges and when I went to rub off the degreaser (used seafoam which worked great) but maybe a bit too great as it got underneath and soaked into a couple of the small chips in the coating and seeped through under it and made it start to peel. So now there is huge chunks of the coating missing in places from the rotors.

Like this:

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10938


So now what do I do? I can see it now becoming pretty unstable and more flakes coming off and then what? ingest through the intake and the valves? I don't think so. I can see the blower losing compression due to the tight tolerances and possibly losing boost because of the increased gap where the coating was. Do I strip the whole thing and take it to bare metal? I have to use this s/c for now until I can find a replacement. But you can get them fairly inexpensively. I actually had a good one from pick n pull a couple of weeks ago from the GTP I have been pillaging but I didn't have my credit slip with me that day so I hid it to pick it up the next afternoon but didn't make it back until the following afternoon and found that someone had swiped it haha all after I pulled it and everything. Bugger. The thing is I know all the staff at PnP and no one remembered selling a supercharger the day before or since. So it's either somewhere else hidden or someone found a super creative way to walk out with it in their pocket. To this day it still bhothers me and I keep my eyes open for it...

Regardless I want to get another one, but what should I do in the meantime? Thoughts?

Second question: did the coupler, and want to grease the needle bearings. What grease to use? Is this stuff ok? I was researching it and supercharger specific grease is super pricey, so this stuff comes up as a suitable option:

3 in 1 White lithium grease for bearings - high temperature

Thoughts? or should I just replace the bearings and they will already come greased...

Waiting at this step scratching my head contemplating life...
 
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