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Old 02-12-2017, 01:24 AM
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This one is getting me confused and irritated... engine diagnosis

So we have a 98 Buick Century beater car. Daughter runs it but doesn't pay attention to gauges, as well as doesn't apparently realize that H is not a good place for the needle to be...

Anyway, as a result, the heads warped badly, so I replaced them. Had a parts car sitting, motor was locked up but had coolant in it. These motors are notorious for broken cams, and all that. Took the heads off, seemed fine. Nope, one had a bent exhaust valve, #5. Pulled it back apart (foolishly assembled it...) and bought another head to put on. Ran good for a while, then it developed a shudder and now it trips cylinder #4 misfire. Took it apart, found oil in the intake runner, so though maybe just intake gasket troubles... New high end Felpro gaskets which have never been an issue before, still has #4 misfire. Compression test shows good, all cylinders are at about 150. I can hear a little bit of a ticking in the exhaust manifold which has the offending misfire, but if you take the oil cap off, which is directly over the offending cylinder, quiet there. Is there something funky going on with the exhaust valve?

Never really had one work me over like this, just about ready to swap the whole damn motor since I have a few available to me, down side is they are nearly twice the mileage on them as the one in the car now.
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:29 AM
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i remember this engines having some rocker arm issues, bolts coming loose or just plain pulling out of the head.

might be time for a 3400 upgrade
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:19 AM
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Could be the injector bad.just a wild guess
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:52 AM
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I haven't had troubles with the rocker bolts coming loose, and I had tightened them literally an hour before... Also I am told the 3400 has cam breaking issues as well.

Another little tidbit, it seems to run slightly better when I have the plug wire disconnected... and the exhaust sound is a little "puffy", kind of like when the valve was bent.
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My trucks:
The workhorse, 86 F250 4x4 6.9 nat aspirated, 3.25 exhaust, custom intake, electric fuel pump, otherwise well used stock... not real pretty but just loves to work!

The other heavy hauler, 92 F350 2wd dually crew cab, flatbed/toolboxes, 92 Cummins VE 12V with intercooler, NV4500 manual

The beater: 88 F250 4x4, 5.8 5 speed
The project ... 1978 F150 4wd shortbed 351 auto

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Old 02-12-2017, 02:05 PM
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How much difference is there in the length of the head?
Not sure if I said that right
Did you Mill the new head for true flat?
Could be the head is shorter and bending the valves on the pistons
I would bore scope through the plug hole
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:44 PM
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Do a cylinder bleed- down test.Its more precise than just a compression test.
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:52 AM
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Charlie, the had in question was a used take off. It was checked for flat but that was it.

I will have to try the leakdown and see what it shows me. Also may try the injector first as I have plenty of those around...

The engine ran fine for a week or so, then this code and obvious misfire came up.
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My trucks:
The workhorse, 86 F250 4x4 6.9 nat aspirated, 3.25 exhaust, custom intake, electric fuel pump, otherwise well used stock... not real pretty but just loves to work!

The other heavy hauler, 92 F350 2wd dually crew cab, flatbed/toolboxes, 92 Cummins VE 12V with intercooler, NV4500 manual

The beater: 88 F250 4x4, 5.8 5 speed
The project ... 1978 F150 4wd shortbed 351 auto

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I do most all of my own work so I know who to complain to..Roger

Last edited by Fellro; 02-13-2017 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 02-13-2017, 12:52 PM
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i use to have a 92 lesabre (pretty much the same vehicle different name).. thing was nothing but an electrical nightmare...

i almost wonder if your problem isnt a short pushrod causing the tick.. or maybe a bad hydraulic lifter.. buick liked them finicky things..
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fellro View Post
I haven't had troubles with the rocker bolts coming loose, and I had tightened them literally an hour before... Also I am told the 3400 has cam breaking issues as well.

Another little tidbit, it seems to run slightly better when I have the plug wire disconnected... and the exhaust sound is a little "puffy", kind of like when the valve was bent.
You sure that's a 3400? Thought Century's had 3100's. Worst case scenerio- motor should be dirt cheap in a wrecking yard.
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:54 AM
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Yes, all 98 Centurys have the 3100. The 3400 will plug into the same hole with minor harness adjustments... that was in response to Lorddurock.

Sparky, the Lesabre would have a 3800 typically. The 3100 does have varying length pushrods, and I was very careful about keeping them in order. I made that mistake once... only once. That was on the first version of the 3100, the 3.1, which replaced the 2.8. The 3100 has an inherent intake gasket problem, so I have gotten very skilled at swapping them. Much of the time that someone thinks a head gasket is the source of the coolant in the oil, it is actually only the intake gasket.
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My trucks:
The workhorse, 86 F250 4x4 6.9 nat aspirated, 3.25 exhaust, custom intake, electric fuel pump, otherwise well used stock... not real pretty but just loves to work!

The other heavy hauler, 92 F350 2wd dually crew cab, flatbed/toolboxes, 92 Cummins VE 12V with intercooler, NV4500 manual

The beater: 88 F250 4x4, 5.8 5 speed
The project ... 1978 F150 4wd shortbed 351 auto

ASE certified parts specialist
I do most all of my own work so I know who to complain to..Roger
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