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Old 01-23-2012, 11:03 AM
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Milkshake in the crankcase

My son's 97 Monte Carlo (3.1L, V-6, 130k miles) went from a very slow coolant leak, to loosing a gallon in less than an hours run time.

Got the car home and drained 13 quarts of milkshake from the crankcase.

Suspect the intake manifold gasket (known to be a problem on this yr/engine);
I will know soon enough when I remove it for inspection.

Assuming that he drove this car less than ten miles, stopping frequently to add coolant, and did not overheat the engine.

What is the prospect that the bearings have survived well enough to just fix the gasket, flush the crankcase with oil and the radiator/plumbing with water?
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starnest
What is the prospect that the bearings have survived well enough to just fix the gasket, flush the crankcase with oil and the radiator/plumbing with water?
Providing the engine was under a minimum load and didn't knock, the chances are good enough that I would gamble a gasket set and et cetera and my labor to try it. Odds? Maybe 70/30 to the good?
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:02 AM
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I had a 96 buick with the 3100 in it. It had a lifter that tapped when I did the first oilchange (hmm wonder why) and continued to tap until I sold the car 5yrs later. Anyway, the only reason I bought that was because the previous owner (PO) had the intake gasket replaced under warranty. This was a defect in the gasket I believe. If memory serves, its a royal pain in the butt to get all the junk out of the way to strip the top of the motor. You might want to call around and get a few estimates and decide how much time you're willing to invest in this. My brother used to work for a dealership and he warned me about the intake gasket problem before I went to look at the car.
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:07 PM
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It is very common for the intake gaskets to leak on them. Once you have done a few they can be done in about 3 HRS. When you take it apart be sure to keep the push rods in the proper order, they are not all the same length. You also do not need to remove the rear valve cover. We had a tool that would push the valve down so you could remove the push rods without loosening the nuts on the rear. Didnt remove the coil packs either , just unbolted the bracket from the intake and bent it up out of the way. The biggest hassle is the coolant connections by the throttle body, there are several different styles and they all suck. Make sure you get new o-rings for the big coolant tube and a new fitting, most likely it will break.
Be careful lifting the injector rail out or you will damage or lose the O-rings. I have found it best to keep the injectors in the rail if at all possible. If you go easy and use some lube it is possible to keep the injectors in the rail.
On most you do not need to disconnect the fuel lines either, you can just flip the rail up off to the side to get it out of your way. All these small things add up to a lot of time saved. The first one it did took about 6 hrs, now as I said about 3hrs
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:50 PM
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Milkshake

I had 20,000 miles on an engine I rebuilt when it decided to make a milkshake. I thought about flushing the oil passages but I decided to tear the engine down to the block after talking to some folks. Everyone told me the antifreeze would damage the bearings so I replaced all of them. The consistency of the milkshake caused my to doubt the possibility of getting all of the milkshake out of the engine.
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:37 PM
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Thanks for all the great responses.

I went ahead and tore it down and removed the lower intake.

I found two places where the lower intake gasket is broken (assuming I didn't break it lifting the intake out) so I feel confident the head gaskets are OK.

Next problem, I went to loosen the rocker arm retainers, using a 10mm socket, I pulled as hard as I could and they didn't budge.
I'm afraid to pull any harder because I might break something. I expected these to turn easily, I read that they are torqued to 115 in-lbs (about 10 ft-lbs) which is just beyond finger tight. What gives? Did I miss something?

I know to keep the push rods straight (different length intake/exhaust).

Other than the fussy specs for torque (low numers for rockers, intake bolts, etc), I feel confident that I can put this back together if I can get the push rods out.
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starnest
Thanks for all the great responses.

I went ahead and tore it down and removed the lower intake.

I found two places where the lower intake gasket is broken (assuming I didn't break it lifting the intake out) so I feel confident the head gaskets are OK.

Next problem, I went to loosen the rocker arm retainers, using a 10mm socket, I pulled as hard as I could and they didn't budge.
I'm afraid to pull any harder because I might break something. I expected these to turn easily, I read that they are torqued to 115 in-lbs (about 10 ft-lbs) which is just beyond finger tight. What gives? Did I miss something?

I know to keep the push rods straight (different length intake/exhaust).

Other than the fussy specs for torque (low numers for rockers, intake bolts, etc), I feel confident that I can put this back together if I can get the push rods out.
They can be tight. Just use a long ratchet and a good 6 point socket and they will come right out.

the tool for the rears is a Lisle 48500, less than 20 bucks and will save you an hour at least
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:36 PM
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Milkshake

That V6 sounds like a wierdo. I found out the hard way with no damage done to torque the rocker nuts to whatever the shop manual specifies. I was more familiar with the Chevrolet way. The Pontiac manual specified 20 ft-lbs without bothering to take up the slack between the push rod and the lifter.
If someone misread the specs and torqued the nuts to 115 ft-lbs instead of 15 ft-lbs, it might explain why the nuts won't come loose easily.
Sounds like you have to take a chance with a pull-handle. I wonder what interference pressure holds the rocker arm stud in the heads or are they screw-in studs?
Sometimes nuts will loosen if they are tightened a little. Sometimes tapping the wrench while the counter-clock-wise pressure is applied will "shock" a nut lose.
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:38 PM
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Update

Got the push rods out, cleaned, prepped and put the new gaskets back in with the rockers torqued properly (I hope). Got the lower intake back on and torqued.

Ran out of daylight, so I'll finish tomorrow.

Hope the rest is okay. I know some suggested pulling the heads while I had the intake out, but if it needs any more repair then I'm going to part it out. My son is all ready to buy another car anyway.
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starnest
Update

Got the push rods out, cleaned, prepped and put the new gaskets back in with the rockers torqued properly (I hope). Got the lower intake back on and torqued.

Ran out of daylight, so I'll finish tomorrow.

Hope the rest is okay. I know some suggested pulling the heads while I had the intake out, but if it needs any more repair then I'm going to part it out. My son is all ready to buy another car anyway.
As long as you didnt get it real hot the head gaskets are probably ok. The intake is the most common issue.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:02 PM
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Milkshake Machine Runs!

Update:

Got it all back together (even found a nut I dropped - bottom alternator bolt).

Wouldn't turn over at first, so I put my breaker bar on the crank bolt and spun her by hand. Then the starter solenoid fussed a few times before engaging and turning over. By then the battery was weak so I recharged and tried again.

Finally she spun, fired, and started to run. Rough at first but she smoothed out within a couple of minutes. Some fairly harsh sounds from the valve cover areas, and a wierd vibration to the crank pulley (another job for later).

I let her run for an hour, monitored oil and coolant levels (oil started high - still some milkeshake in there); temp was good up and down at tstat temp; the noise under the valve cover diminished, but didn't go away. I may need to readjust the valve lash. Let her run at temp for a while to evaporate some more of the water from the crankcase. Checked oil and coolant levels after running, they held steady so I think the gasket stopped the leak(s).

Hopefully my son will change the oil and replace water with coolant, then drive it for a couple days to see where we are at.

I can't believe that we didn't kill the bearings running her with milkshake instead of oil.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:12 PM
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Its not unusual for the lifters to be noisy for a while. I have done a few that sounded pretty bad but they seem to settle down after a while as long as you have the push rods in the correct positions.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:17 PM
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I lost a 1986 Escort engine the same way

I later pulled the engine apart and found a cracked head between number 3 and 4 cylnders the aluminium head had a square cut out there and that's where the crack started. Change your oil and filter put in 2 cans of good stop leak also
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