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Old 01-21-2008, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Blackwater Park
1,715 posts, read 6,630,948 times
Reputation: 585

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I have a '93 Olds Cutlass Supreme. It's in the shop now, so I can't remember if it has a 3.1 or 3.4L V-6.

Anyways, are these one of the worst engines from GM? I haven't talked to anyone that has one that didn't leak a ton of oil - mine leaks about a quart of oil every ~250 miles/1 week. Because of the way the engine is placed, it's actually more cost effective to just keep putting oil in it than spending $800+ to get it fixed.

Now, I'm leaking water and coolant like crazy. It's coming from the intake manifold, so it's too expensive to fix ($1,000). I only paid $1,300 for the car back in 2000! I think it's getting time to give this car to my brother since he can actually fix it himself and use it.

Anyone else have a similar model or experience?
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Old 01-21-2008, 11:24 AM
 
289 posts, read 1,470,819 times
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Yes, I was aware of this happening, which it why I avoided the Grand Am. On a side note, the 3.8 is an excellent engine.
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Old 01-21-2008, 11:55 AM
 
951 posts, read 1,456,738 times
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You most likey have the 3.1. The 3.4 was a DOHC available in special models similar to the Chevy Lumina Z34.

Puy it this way, I sold 49 of the upgraded (the problem-solver gaskets and includes the valve cover gaskets) Fel-Pro head sets last year, if that's any indicator. Most GM V-6 and V-8 engines will do this. The original intake gaskets are junk.

Dump it.
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Old 01-21-2008, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Earth
4,235 posts, read 22,924,601 times
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Yup most likely the mighty 3.1....same engine as the 2.8 that was found in cars such as the Citation and Celebrity...was also used in the Camaro around 91 or so. Not sure on the quality but it wouldn't surprise me any...seems most of GM's cars built within the last 20 years have left a lot on the table in terms of reliability.

Then again the 2.2 used in the '95 Cavaliers is notorious for cracking.
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:00 PM
 
Location: N.E. Fl.
301 posts, read 1,463,664 times
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Yes like stated before junk intake manfold gaskets.Some even needed lower intakes replaced.The ones made of composit.Not to hard a job to repair.Just remember to keep push rods in order.Mix them up and bend the valve stems when you try to start.Just get a box mark the top of box with engine firing order.Place push rods with numbered cylinder.
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:24 AM
 
Location: Knoxville,TN
26 posts, read 118,804 times
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The 3.1 is the same engine as the 3.4L. The 3.4L is a stroked 3.1, which is a bored out 2.8L with cylinder head upgrades. One thing these engines are notorious for are hotspots. Which will kill Head Gaskets. especially the right side, where the water jackets are smaller.

IF you decide to get it fixed, please use a much cooler thermostat to help prevent the coolant from getting so hot in these areas. And Thermostats are a bear to change on these vehicles. If you open the hood it will tell you on top what size engine it is on the aluminium plenum. Olds usually likes using 3.4L, but that depends on what model grade you have.

I am sorry to say, it was a engineering flaw. Not necessarily a gasket flaw. I would be looking for a car with a 3800II engine in it. Easy to find on 1995+ cars. Those things are darn near bulletproof. Buick has used them for half a century...literally.
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Mesa, Arizona
10 posts, read 73,761 times
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It is largely the later 3.1's manifold, something like 94' and later with the spider legs looking intake manifold. The earlier 3.1's like the 2.8 with the more solid brick aluminum manifolds don't have this problem.

In the spider leg style this was also the time GM went to the Dexcool coolant I believe, and I've read this coolant acts to desolve away the cheapo plasticy gasket they put in those engines later, and it's the orange coolant. I would drain this coolant and go buy the old common green style coolant.

The earlier 3.1's and 2.8's like I have, have a couple things that are really very simple that need replacing around 95,000. miles. All these engines are very good engines, many have gone well over 200k miles, I even met a guy who has a Cutlass like mine who went over 300k, so don't be quick to knock them or listen to people who will just call them junk because it has a leak, those are small problems, but if coolant is getting into the engine through a leaky intake manifold gasket, it's that damaging effect that can waste the engine. They can all have problems, even Toyota's.

I sold a Corsica with 150K miles that ran like a horse, burned no oil, that had the 2.8. It was a great engine, and now I have a 92' Cutlass convertible with the same basic engine, but the 3.1 though now at 73K miles, and I know I'll be in for these fixes again soon on this car, but it's easy.

Anywhere around 80k - 110K miles, the Oil pump drive O-ring will start leaking, and it can make a mess on your driveway. It's a very easy O-ring to replace. Depending on how clean the engine is, I usually can even just pop out all the bolts to the intake manifold to lift it, and get to the Oil pump drive, undo the clamp, lift it out and replace that gasket and put it all back. Not even change the intake gasket and it will seal back up fine. The spider leg one, you can't get away with that.

The other thing which really should be done at the sametime is replace the injectors O-rings since you'll have the manifold off. You can even have the injectors tested for good operation and spray uniformity, go ahead and replace the intake gasket is the right thing to do, and do the oil pump drive O-ring at the same time. Then button her up and she should go well over 200k if you take care of it.
Good luck
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:00 PM
 
Location: Floribama
18,082 posts, read 37,009,837 times
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I agree with the last post. The engines with the bad intake gaskets were the 3100 and 3400 SFI V6's from '94 to '03. The '90-'93 3.1L MPFI V6 is not the same as the '94+ model. They are all really good engines capable of over 200k miles.

(Side note- the '04-'05 3400 engines used a redesigned gasket)
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:36 AM
 
692 posts, read 2,956,881 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southernnaturelover View Post
I agree with the last post. The engines with the bad intake gaskets were the 3100 and 3400 SFI V6's from '94 to '03. The '90-'93 3.1L MPFI V6 is not the same as the '94+ model. They are all really good engines capable of over 200k miles.

(Side note- the '04-'05 3400 engines used a redesigned gasket)
Thanks for that little bit of info. I ordered a 2005 Chevy Venture Van near the last of their production and have 53,000 miles on the 3.4L engine.
Have been worried about that issue as I continue to add miles. This has been such a good vehicle that I will probably hold on for some time.
Maybe I should not worry so much with the redesigned gaskets eh?
I have had an intermittent thermostat hang open but I just let it idle until the temp goes up a ways and that releases it for another 5/8000 miles.

What is your thought about the Dex cool antifreeze with this engine in 2005 ?
It's about time to flush and replace anyway.

Silverfox
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Old 06-04-2008, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Floribama
18,082 posts, read 37,009,837 times
Reputation: 17450
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverfox View Post

What is your thought about the Dex cool antifreeze with this engine in 2005 ?
It's about time to flush and replace anyway.

Silverfox
Hmm, I'm really not sure. I have read so many different opinions about it. Supposedly the Dex-Cool prolongs the life of the water pump, but I'm not sure. GM sure does stand by it. I still have the "orange" in mine, but if you do decide to switch to the "green" make sure to do several flushes first. When the two kinds get mixed together I think they form a sludge. I wouldn't worry about the intake gaskets with an '05.
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