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Thread: "What could possibly go wrong?" Let's Play: GM 3100 Head Gasket Job [blind]

  1. #121
    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    Leaving shortly to get some freon. Video forthcoming.



  2. #122
    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke George V View Post
    Leaving shortly to get some freon. Video forthcoming.
    Good. That's one of the last things before giving a car 'daily driver' status!

  3. #123
    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbokinetic View Post
    Good. That's one of the last things before giving a car 'daily driver' status!
    Unfortunately, I will have to take it to a shop to have the AC inspected. Despite being a r134a system, I could not get a refill hose clipped on to the service port. Isn't that supposed to be a universal thing, not specific to any brand or model?

  4. #124
    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke George V View Post




    Unfortunately, I will have to take it to a shop to have the AC inspected. Despite being a r134a system, I could not get a refill hose clipped on to the service port. Isn't that supposed to be a universal thing, not specific to any brand or model?
    Daniel, the A/C service coupler is indeed universal. There are 2 sizes of ports. One for low-pressure side and one for discharge side. The service port for charging the system is the smaller one, the low-pressure side.

    If the hose wouldn't fit, it is probably a defective charging hose. Many of the crappy 'suicide hoses' are not very precisely made.

    Did the system have pressure in it? Or did you have to take it apart during the engine repair?

  5. #125
    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbokinetic View Post
    Daniel, the A/C service coupler is indeed universal. There are 2 sizes of ports. One for low-pressure side and one for discharge side. The service port for charging the system is the smaller one, the low-pressure side.

    If the hose wouldn't fit, it is probably a defective charging hose. Many of the crappy 'suicide hoses' are not very precisely made.

    Did the system have pressure in it? Or did you have to take it apart during the engine repair?
    No, I just unbolted the compressor from the dogbone bracket and shoved it aside. The compressor engages, but blows hot. I'm just gonna go to Pep Boys and have then check it. I am done working on this car for now.

    And by "for now", I mean that I will still be doing other things. The transmission needs serviced, because it's jerky when the TCC is locked in 3rd and 4th. It needs shocks and struts all around, and tires. But it is serviceable for the time being. I can now officially return the borrowed Bonneville to its rightful owner.

    ...However, I will admit that I will miss that H-body boat. Especially the on-demand torque of the Buick V6. It's intoxicating, for sure. The Chevy V6 just doesn't pack the same punch, and the 2.97 gearing isn't doing the engine any favors either. It really needs 3.29 or 3.33 gearing.

  6. #126
    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke George V View Post
    No, I just unbolted the compressor from the dogbone bracket and shoved it aside. The compressor engages, but blows hot. I'm just gonna go to Pep Boys and have then check it. I am done working on this car for now.
    Ah. It does sound like the charge is very low; but still enough pressure to close the low-pressure shutoff switch. Best to get it charged before some damage comes to the compressor.

    And by "for now", I mean that I will still be doing other things. The transmission needs serviced, because it's jerky when the TCC is locked in 3rd and 4th. It needs shocks and struts all around, and tires. But it is serviceable for the time being. I can now officially return the borrowed Bonneville to its rightful owner.
    I know what you mean! just getting it mobile is a great accomplishment!

    ...However, I will admit that I will miss that H-body boat. Especially the on-demand torque of the Buick V6. It's intoxicating, for sure. The Chevy V6 just doesn't pack the same punch, and the 2.97 gearing isn't doing the engine any favors either. It really needs 3.29 or 3.33 gearing.
    Yep. That's what I've found out too. The Chevy V6 is a good engine, but it is just outgunned by the 3800's larger size. It's physically a larger, heavier unit with more displacement.

    You would be good to re-gear the 3100. It would help it to have more pep, but would cut the fuel economy. That is one of the reasons the 3800 got so good milage. It only had to turn 1200 to 1500 RPM most of the time.

  7. #127
    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    Air conditioning is go, I'm a dumbass. I was trying to hook the hose to the high side port. The low side is up on the firewall next to the brake booster.

  8. #128
    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    Yay gad you got it going!

  9. #129
    Senior Member SilentWing's Avatar
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    Glad to see you got it up and running, and thanks for posting the video Here's hoping for many happy miles for you. Have you picked a name for this wagon yet?

  10. #130
    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    I don't know if I've explained my username, but I name all my cars George. This will be the ninth one I've owned, and I have been giving them royal titles since King George IV, my old Suburban. I think I'm gonna go with Kaiser George IX.

  11. #131
    Senior Member SilentWing's Avatar
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    I hadn't heard about your naming system, but I did figure out the George part from the Celebrity and the van. Kaiser George IX? I like it.

  12. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke George V View Post
    Air conditioning is go,
    Good to see vehicle going....did you suck down system first?

  13. #133
    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 85_Ciera_Rebuild View Post
    Good to see vehicle going....did you suck down system first?
    I did not, but it was done. I had Pep Boys check everything out for me this morning, and they told me that everything was fine, and it just needed to be charged. They would be happy to do it for me for $224, or I could just do it myself for far cheaper. I'll let you guess which option I chose.
    Daniel
    Kaiser George IX: 1996 Buick Century Special wagon. 214-SFI. 214k miles. Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down. First documented LX9 swap in an A-body! Click here to read my build thread!
    Goldilocks: 1992 Buick Century Special sedan. 204-MFI. 132k miles.
    Susana: 1993 Buick Century Custom wagon. 204-MFI. 121k miles. Garage ornament. Waiting for an LR4.

  14. #134
    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    I've been getting less than stellar fuel economy out of this car recently. Before this all went down, I ran two tanks of fuel through it, one on the trip back from Ontario, and one around town. The highway tank netted 24 mpg, which, while low, isn't so bad when you consider the car probably sat for a while before I got a hold of it, and had really gross oil. The city tank ran 19 mpg, which is bang on for the EPA city rating. Now though, even when factoring in AC usage, it's terrible. Anywhere from a low of 14.99 to a high of 17.3 mpg. A 3.1 V6 car should not get worse mpg than a 3.8 van (I always got 18 city out of the van no matter how I drove it).

    So I had a couple of theories. Perhaps I am not actually getting bad economy, because the miles may not be reported correctly by the odometer due to incorrect tire size. I got a GPS speedometer application on my wife's phone and drove around for a bit. It suggested that the speedo in the car is fast by 1 mph, which I believe is typical for GM cars. That reading was consistent across the whole range, from 25 mph residential, to 45 mph city, to 65 (and higher, shhh) on the highway. So yes, the miles are being correctly reported.

    The other theory is that the spark plugs are no good. This ended up being partially correct. The spark plugs I put in are ones I had laying around from when I had big plans for my old Celebrity. It had a 2.8 MFI, which is related to the 3100, but obviously not the same. They fit, and it ran, and that was all I cared about. Two possibilities: they are not working well enough because they're not specifically for the 3100, or they're not gapped correctly.

    They weren't gapped correctly... for the 3100. They were all gapped to about 0.040" or 0.045", which is fine for the old MFI engines I believe, but the 3100 calls for 0.060". Gap reset. Let's hope it helps.

  15. #135
    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke George V View Post
    I've been getting less than stellar fuel economy.... A 3.1 V6 car should not get worse mpg than a 3.8 van (I always got 18 city out of the van no matter how I drove it).
    The gearing and torque converter stall speed make a huge differece in milage. The 3800 is pretty efficient engine when properly geared.
    So I had a couple of theories. Perhaps I am not actually getting bad economy, because the miles may not be reported correctly by the odometer due to incorrect tire size. I got a GPS speedometer application on my wife's phone and drove around for a bit. It suggested that the speedo in the car is fast by 1 mph, which I believe is typical for GM cars. That reading was consistent across the whole range, from 25 mph residential, to 45 mph city, to 65 (and higher, shhh) on the highway. So yes, the miles are being correctly reported.

    The other theory is that the spark plugs are no good. This ended up being partially correct. The spark plugs I put in are ones I had laying around from when I had big plans for my old Celebrity. It had a 2.8 MFI, which is related to the 3100, but obviously not the same. They fit, and it ran, and that was all I cared about. Two possibilities: they are not working well enough because they're not specifically for the 3100, or they're not gapped correctly.

    They weren't gapped correctly... for the 3100. They were all gapped to about 0.040" or 0.045", which is fine for the old MFI engines I believe, but the 3100 calls for 0.060". Gap reset. Let's hope it helps.
    That wil make SOME difference but not much. If the plugs are igniting the fuel, it will burn the same with a large or small gap. If there is a random missfire because the plugs are TOTALLY bad - things may improve a lot more than that. But the roughness etc. would have been very noticable.

    Sincerely,
    David

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