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Buick Regal



  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Someone may be able to give you a lead - I hope so - but please keep in mind that the Forums can't be used for buying or selling anything.

    Good luck!
  • jfalquezjfalquez Posts: 3
    I am trying to change the plugs and wires on my 91 Regal 3.8 Liter. I am having trouble removing the wire from the aluminum heat shields on the rear bank of the engine. I dont think I will have to rotate the engine but I'm not sure. My chiltons and haynes manual seem to say I need a special tool to do this (or suitable pry tool). I cant locate the tool and dont know where to pry with a small screwdriver. Can anyone describe the process to me like I'm a 3yr old? That would really be appreciated. Thanks. Jake
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Go to the home page of this site,, enter your zip code, and proceed to, an Edmunds partner. As of today, four copies of 2004 GS are listed in 300 miles radius from my zip code in CT.

    However, I would not fixate on the 2004 model. We have two Regals in our family, a 2004 GS and a 2000 GS. We found that the 2000 is a much better car. GM deleted a few good things in 2001, and many good things, big and small, during 2003-2004.
  • Karen@EdmundsKaren@Edmunds Posts: 5,024
    A reporter in Southern California is looking to interview a retiree who has been very loyal to the Buick brand over the years, right up to the present. Please send an e-mail to no later than Wednesday, March 22, 2006 containing your daytime contact information and a few words about the topic of interest.

    Jeannine Fallon
    Corporate Communications

    Karen-Edmunds Community Manager

  • jfalquezjfalquez Posts: 3
    Come on guys...I know there has to be someone who knows how to get the heat shields off the rear spark plug wires off the 91 Regal, 3,8Liter? My car is running bad and is dire need of a tune up. I really didnt want to pay someone to do it IF it's possible to do it myself. Thanks again...Jake
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Maybe someone hanging out in the Got a Quick, Technical Question? discussion will have an idea for you. Post there while we wait to see if someone here can help.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 289
    If I understand your question correctly, it is the metal shield around the spark plug wire boot you are wondering about. I believe that part simply lifts straight up along the path of the wire to expose the boot. Should be able to do it by hand. If it feels stuck you might try giving it a little twist.

    From there I believe the best course of action is to buy a spark plug boot puller to remove the now exposed boot from the plug itself. The one I'm thinking of reminds me of a pair of tongs. It provides more leverage in a tight spot. You should be able to get one at any of the major auto parts stores, or from your local GM dealer (but that will probably cost more, of course). Open the tongs, align them around the boot, squeeze the handle to close them over the boot, twist slightly and pull.

    Inasfar as rotating the engine is concerned, if the 1991 model year allows you to do that, I would recommend it. You will need all the room you can muster back there.
  • jfalquezjfalquez Posts: 3
    Thanks for the reply. Yes it is the metal shield around the spark plug wire boot I am having trouble with. I have tried pulling, rotating and prying with a small screwdriver. All attempts have been unsuccessful. My chiltons manual states that there is a special tool required to accomplish this or I can use a suitable small pry tool. So far, I have not been able to locate the tool at my local parts store (autozone and O'reilly's). I dont think I will have to rotate the engine as my hands seem to fit just fine. But I'll find out for sure when I get the wires off. I am curious of the location I should be prying (i.e. is there a snap ring or clip to release?) and what does "the special tool" look like? I know what a typical boot removal tool looks like and how it works, but I don't think that is what the manual is referring to. Thanks again
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 289
    Ok, I understand now. On my '99 Regal the heat shield doesn't cover the entire boot; there's maybe 1/3 inch of rubber at the top still exposed. Keep in mind I have yet the "privilege" of changing my plugs yet, but I wonder if the tool they are talking about is the standard boot pulling tool we've been discussing. The boot has a lip near the top that one should be able to grasp with the tool.

    I'd first try using the boot pulling tool to twist the boot sideways (not upwards yet) around the axis of the plug. If successful in busting it lose at this point, you've probably won 80% of the battle.

    The reason I mentioned in my earlier post that there might be value to rotating the engine is you will probably need the additional room to initially twist the boot lose. Some people I've read about don't rotate the engine, but instead remove the hoisting brackets around the engine, especially the one in the back.

    The boot pulling tool is usually long enough that you can pry against almost anything that isn't prone to breakage, like a valve cover. But I'd be careful of prying at an angle; could bust off the top of the plug. Might (or might not) need the other hand to position a wide blade screwdriver or something to push outwards against the tool to maintain upward (not sideward) force.

    If your '91 has a plastic cover over the top of the engine, it would probably help to remove it to find good points for leverage. On my '99, the cylindrical oil filler opening unscrews out of its opening, allowing the cover to be easily lifted off.

    By the way, I highly recommend you also replace the plug wires while you're at it. You might end up destroying one or two during the operation anyway.

    I was hesitant to reply to your first inquiry because sometimes following advice from someone who hasn't done the job before (like yours truly) can cause more harm than good. I've changed lots of plugs before, and even busted a couple along the way, but not on GM's 3.8L engines.

    Anyone else out there who has done this job already? Brian, Yuriy?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,711
    I've changed plugs on my 3800s in leSabres. My 93 had metal covers over the boots on the rear plugs due to heat. I could pull the metal sleeves up onto the wire and then grasp the rubber boot on the plug and rotate it back and forth to break it loose from the plug. Then I could rock it slightly to pull the metal snap in the top loose from the top of the spark plug. I used the metal sleeves on the replacement wires. Later had a problem with occasion miss under low speed, high load, and low throttle. Dealer diagnosed it as spark jumping to sleeve. Removed sleeve, problem gone.

    This message has been approved.

  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 289
    ["I've changed plugs on my 3800s in leSabres."]

    Now we're talking. Someone with experience!! Thanks!

    I forgot to mention in my earlier (and rather lengthy) response that we should remember to use Anti-seize on the plug threads before screwing them in, and dielectric grease on the wire ends. If installing new wires, put grease on both ends of each wire.

    Actually, even if we don't change the wires, it isn't a bad idea to refresh the grease where they connect at the coil packs, too.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,711
    I did a quick search back--but how many miles are on those wires? They're past due. Get a good OEM quality set from NAPA or your dealer or gmpartsdirect or rockauto. Don't fall for fancy, copper coated, antiarthritis, wires at the box stores. You want OEM level.

    This message has been approved.

  • gorfygorfy Posts: 1
    :confuse: i need to replace my rear struts and i'm trying to save to either do it my self or have it done ... i'm trying to figure out the best option but i cant get any... 'solid' estimates. i'm hoping someone can help me with my decision and hopefully and estimate or price for having it done by a mechanic... please help me... my one strut is already busted and i don't know how long i can drive on it before it pops through mt wheel well.... :sick:
    thank you
  • 79customd79customd Posts: 87
    Here is a similar discussion I found on Hope this is what you need :) )

    Replacing the rear struts on these cars is a pain.

    These cars use a leaf spring mounted between the two rear wheels instead of coil springs. There is a special tool that you can use to relieve the tension on the spring or you can just put one jack under the center of the spring and another under the side that you are working on to relieve the tension.

    The struts have brackets attached to them which bolt up to the wheel hub. The bolts are very tight and usually rusted. The top strut bolts can be reached through the trunk if you pull the carpet back.

    The difficult part is that the camber of the rear wheels needs to be set when you tighten the lower strut bolts. The lower strut brackets have slightly oval shaped holes in them and the camber is adjusted by tightening the bolts when the strut bracket and hub are in the proper relation to each other. The problem is that the leaf spring is always trying to push the top of the hub outward while the strut is off and the bolts need to be made very tight (I think factory spec is 125 ft/lb).

    I'm not trying to discourage you from doing the work yourself, just if you do replace the struts yourself you will have to bring the car to an alignment shop to have the camber set anyway. You might as well just have the shop install the struts and save yourself the hassle.
  • 79customd79customd Posts: 87
    My granddad bought a 2002 Buick Centry and the truck sat up for 12 months. That lead to the bad hoses and plugs. Also the 1979 technology wasn't as durable as the more modern stuff and nowhere near as refined.

  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    The dealership checked my cooling system, after I brought it in complaining of coolant loss from resevior. I've had to add about a pint every 8 months to a year. They said I had a leak on the upper intake and the water pump. Says its probably burns off before I ever notice it. They "recommended" it get repaired at $1,200. Since the leak is so light, would it harm anything if I just added Dexcool as needed? If I decide to repair...does $1,200 sound like a fair price.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    It would not pay to repair it if you are going to buy a new car in the near future. If you will drive the same car for the next 10 years, the leak, most probably, will increase, and the repair makes sense.

    I have read several times that fixing the the upper manifold leak costs about $800 at dealerships. However, it looks as the additional $400 is for fixing a separate leak at the water pump.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,711
    A few years back the upper intake manifold AND a waterpump replacement was *850$ at my dealer.

    I'd do just the intake and price shop for somewhere else to do it. Then if the waterpump actually does need replaced I would have it done. It almost sounds like the waterpump is being added to pad the bill while they're in there working.

    This message has been approved.

  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Thanks for the feedback. I'm pretty sure the car has had this problem (slow leak) since I bought the car two years ago. I posted a question about this very problem about a year and a half ago in this discussion. I'm going to call an independent shop that we've taken our vehilces to in the past and get a second opinion/estimate.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,711
    Frankly, they'd have to show me the trails of color from the coolant to prove that they needed to replace the intake manifold. A pint in 8 months or a year isn't much. Evaporation and seepage around heater hose connectors or radiator hoses could account for that. I also see some slosh come out the top of the overflow coolant bottle.

    My dealer put pressure on the system and couldn't get it to leak--leaks will be next to the throttle body connection to the intake manifold plastic. No water runs through the rest of it. We coiuld see orange dust from the DexCool in those areas. They also showed me that under the water pump there was a trail of orange from the wick hold that lets water out that gets past the seal at the bearing.

    This message has been approved.

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