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Buick Park Avenue Maintenance & Repair



  • spritemanspriteman Posts: 25
    edited March 2013
    Okay folks - here's the latest.

    After a mess of labeling, unplugging, bolt loosening, and draining I've got the plenum and intake manifold removed.

    Once I confirmed the parts I needed I placed an order online which should have everything to me by Thursday or Friday at the latest.

    In the mean time I spent most of the day cleaning the intake manifold. It was pretty gunked up but the results were good. It would have been so much easier with a parts washer.

    Thursday will be more clean up and if the parts arrive I will probably install the short block gasket pieces so they will be cured and ready for the intake manifold.

    I'm including a link to the pics I've taken so far - I'm not sure if you'll be able to view them so if you can't just reply and I'll see how I can change the settings on the album so you can see them. Let me know what you think - and if you have any questions let me know that as well.


    1998 Buick Park Avenue - Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement Pics
  • bowfanbowfan Posts: 55
    I've tried to reuse my spark plugs the last time, but I ended up replacing them. I think it wouldn't start, but I'm not sure.. it's been a few years now. It's gonna be up to you. ;)
  • bowfanbowfan Posts: 55
    Great pics! You look like you've almost got this done. Did you look up inside the stovepipe channel of the UIM to see if it was cracking or rotted? It does look like your LIM gaskets were deformed some around the little square ports. You're LIM looks great, can I bring my next one to you? :)

    Yeah, now I look for cars with the 3.8L with description "blown head gaskets", etc. Picked up a nice Lumina LTZ for my son that way, let him do the repairs while I held the light and gave him guidance.
  • spritemanspriteman Posts: 25
    The only thing I'm concerned about finishing up the repair is applying the gaskets correctly - as far as adhering them to the head/IM surfaces. Are the only areas that get some gasket sealant the two strips that sit on the block? Or do you have to follow the pattern around all of the holes (bolts and ports)?

    In the pics that I've seen I only see sealant on the end strips.

    I mean this is the reason the engine failed and I'd hate to do it wrong and start all over.
  • bowfanbowfan Posts: 55
    You do not have to cover the entire gasket surface, you just want to cover the gaps where the 4 pieces of the LIM meet. Maybe put the aluminum sides on, then a dab of RTV down in the corners, then put the short rubber end gaskets down, then another dab of RTV in the corners on top, just to make sure nothing gets past the gap.

    I thought of one other thing, a little too late to help you... et_zps43c5026c.jpg

    And ion_zpsc672b729.jpg
  • spritemanspriteman Posts: 25
    edited March 2013
    Fellow BPAers,

    More progress today - I know I'm going slow here but I'm just trying to take my time so I don't have to repeat this process anytime soon.

    Removed sensors from throttle body and cleaned the heck out of it then reassembled the it.

    Ensured that all fluids were evacuated from the head ports and then set about doing the final cleaning on the gasket area on the head - scrape, scrape, scrape, wipe">link title.

    Also mounted the side rail gaskets so that the sealer will be set up by tomorrow so I can continue the rest of the installation.

    There are another 5 pics if you want to check them out on the link below.


    1998 Buick Park Avenue - Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement Pics
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,602
    Wow. That throttle body really is clean! Good pictures guy.

    Hopefully when it's all back together, you'l have an engine good for another 200K miles.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • paparenpaparen Posts: 4
    i have a buick park auv and i have had a prob with it running right if you press the gas it will cut out like it trying to quit but if tou let off the gas it will idle i have replaced the mass air flow sen and still doing the same thing anyone else had this prob help lol
  • paparenpaparen Posts: 4
    i was woundering if anyone else had this prob with the car when you press the gad peddel it will try to die but if you let off it will idel
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,602
    My first thought would be the throttle position sensor. If you connect a voltmeter across the right two leads on that connector in resistance mode, you may see it skip and not be a continuous, smooth change in resistance as someone slowly presses the accelerator pedal.

    My second would be the fuel pressure. Check the vacuum line to the fuel pressure regulator. Right after the engine has been running, you may smell raw gasoline in the line. There is a video on youtube showing someone leaving the vacuum line disconnected and after a few minutes, gasoline starts spitting out of the regulator because of the leaking diaphragm inside.

    Have the codes read at a box store, but don't jump to replace parts until someone can diagnose the problem the code might indicate.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • paparenpaparen Posts: 4
    iam no tech when it comes to cars sadly i dont even no were this stuff is on the car 350 327 351 440 426iam you guy but on this iam lost as i can be thanks for the reply but it still greek i dont know were iam looking to find whqat you told me so if you could point lol it would help
  • paparenpaparen Posts: 4
    iam no tech when it comes to cars sadly i dont even no were this stuff is on the car 350 327 351 440 426iam you guy but on this iam lost as i can be thanks for the reply but it still greek i dont know were iam looking to find whqat you told me so if you could point lol it would help
  • spritemanspriteman Posts: 25
    Hello All,

    I finished my repair on Monday after fighting with a faulty starter and convincing the salvage parts guy that even though the starter was testing okay on his test jig that it still had a problem.

    Everything finished up okay - check out pic link below. Got the head surfaces all cleaned up and the side gaskets laid down along with the corner gasket sealer. Let that sit overnight and then added another bead of the sealer and positioned the lower intake manifold.

    I did make one mistake - I was trying to use the same coolant elbow from the LIM to the tensioner port and as I was moving the LIM around the elbow was pushed in too far into the LIM. I had to remove the LIM and wrestle with the elbow - that thing did not want to come out. I was trying to avoid removal of the tensioner. Later, after an hour or so, I thought I would just try loosening the tensioner which would enable me to rotate the elbow more easily - that did the trick and the LIM was set in place. (Purchased a new elbow just to make sure I hadn't cracked the old one)

    With that done I proceeded to reassemble the rest of the upper intake and all of the other parts and sensor connections.

    While I was at it I changed out the plugs and wire set just because I was already where I could get to everything and because I wanted to make sure that the ignition system was not compromised.

    Thanks again to imidazol97 and bowfan for all of your help. I couldn't have done it without you. By the way - the engine is running great - monitored the engine temp and it's actually running at 190 - 6 degrees cooler than the thermostat. I'm taking it on the highway today - I expect it'll run great.

    1998 Buick Park Avenue - Intake manifold gasket replacement
  • bowfanbowfan Posts: 55
    Glad to hear it Tracy, those engines are pretty good, and if people had guidelines to replace the UIM the same way Honda / Nissan owners's are told to replace their timing belts, there wouldn't be any problems with them. I'm glad you did not have to replace the engine for an unknown engine.

    I hope your UIM came with a downsized stovepipe that you put to use, and your test drives have been going well.

    Congrats on a job well done! Thanks for checking back with results!
  • spritemanspriteman Posts: 25
    Okay Gents - it looks like you've created an OCD Park Avenue problem solving crazy man.

    Before the IM problem the cruise was not working but I wasn't really going to do anything about it. I just figured that I probably wasn't going to be able to fix it myself and I didn't want to spend Dealer $$ to have it repaired. But, with my new found sense of capability and some very excellent folks here to bounce ideas off of I thought I might give it a go.

    Stats: 1998 Buick Park Ave - 88,000 Miles - 2nd owner - Intake Manifold just replaced and everything looking good

    The cruise does not work at all. I move the slider button to the on position - get up to speed and depress the set button. No cruise light. I did verify that the green Cruise light does work during engine start-up. I've also tried to hold the brake pedal up as some have said has help them engage their cruise - no deal.

    Here's what I've done so far to diagnose:

    - Checked Cruise fuse in the passenger side instrument panel fuse block. It looked fine but I replaced it with a new 10 amp just to make sure.

    - Visually checked the two switches at the base of the steering column - in my car both switch plungers are compressed with no brake pedal applied - when the brake is applied the brake arm moves away from the switches allowing the plungers to extend - the gaps seem like the 1/8 - 1/4 described in an online manual I have access to.

    - Verified that the cruise control cable was connected correctly from the cruise control module mounted on the firewall and running to the throttle body. Everything looked fine there - I did find a procedure for ensuring it was correctly tightened. I will do that tomorrow. I don't think that would be a reason for the cruise not to engage at all.

    - Made an assumption that the VSS is working okay since I have no problems with my speedometer.

    - Checked all brake lights for proper function - found two burnt out lights - one in the upper middle light and one in the lower driver side. Replaced both lights with the correct lights and retried the cruise and still did not work.

    - Removed the cruise control module and attempted to look inside the box but once I had removed the 4 screws that held it closed I could not get it to open - maybe a trick there but perhaps GM made it so it really couldn't be opened without really messing it up. Although I did see one online in a video that a guy made to test his module. So I reassembled and reinstalled the module.

    - QUESTION - on narrowing down what is the offending component. I personally think that it is probably the light/wiper/cruise switch. I thought a way to prove that is that if it was working and I unplugged the plug from the cruise control module and then turned the switch to on and then hit the set button would that not cause a DTC error code? Which it does not?

    Well - that's what I have so far - any helpful diagnosis replies are most welcome. I am going to take it step by step without just throwing parts at it. By the way - from all the doco on my car I don't think I have any vacuum components - it looks like my cruise control module works on an electric stepper motor.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,602
    You are probably ready to check the circuits through the multifunction stalk.

    You will need a circuit diagram to know which circuits are involved when you push the on and the set and the resume. I suggested a visit to your library computers it they offer AllData like mine does. I can print out or save pictures and text to a USB memory stick from their computer. Our county library pays per computer for AllData so it's only available at computers at the branches or main library (or the other county with which we share resources. It's worth a call to ask them if there is access and if you can access and save data to use at home.

    I am looking at my 98 leSabre's arrangement for the cruise, but can't be sure the PA would use the same setup. It's likely but not certain. There are 3 fuses involved. The colors might help, but can't be certain those would be same as well. Only clue would be if the rockauto listing showed the cars took the same replacement turn signal stalk.

    The two brake switches are opposites; one is open when pedal is depressed and other is closed when pedal is depressed. Your fuses probably have a block under the rear seat along with under the hood, like my leSabre. One fuse is Auto AC Cruise and other is CLG FAN/TCC with this one supplying brake switch which is closed with the pedal up. The other fuse supplies power for the other brake switch which only is closed upon brake application and tells the cruise module that it has brake applied.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • spritemanspriteman Posts: 25
    Here is a link to the database I have access to via my local library -

    It has some diagrams I can post to help us diagnose.

    Here's the diagram for the cruise electrical - am_40673261219280992940470974826564984826&filters%5Bservice_information_type_pat- h_facet%5D=root%2Fmrt%2Fsit%2Fp5_diagrams&keywords=cruise

    I can also get it in PDF form if you can't access that link.

    Let me know what else I can provide.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,602
    That requires a password and ID>

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • bowfanbowfan Posts: 55
    Does the EBSCO database have the diagnostic steps in addition to the diagrams?

    My manual gives 9 steps to verify it is in fact inop, then shows about 31 more items to narrow it down.

    After making sure it's inop, it says
    1) turn CC (cruise control) off
    2) disconnect cc module connector
    3) turn ign switch to run position
    4) connect DMM between terminal F of connector and ground and look for 10-15VDC

    thats the second item of 31. 1st item was perform the first 9 steps of basic system check. Lots more to check out. Some of it is complicated or requires specialty tools to check out the PCM, scan tools to look for errors. It may take a while to chase it down.

    Unfortunately I don't have experience with that particular problem, so I can't give you a "this is what I found to be the root cause..."

    Do you happen to have any dash lights indicating problems with, for instance, your ABS or traction control system? Service engine soon/check engine light?
  • spritemanspriteman Posts: 25
    Thanks for jumping in bowfan.

    The EBSCO data does give some steps but they are fairly light on detail when it gets down into the weeds. They are definitely not shop manuals.

    Is your manual hard copy or electronic - if electronic is there a way to screen shot and post or send via email?

    I have already checked terminals a-g for voltage - all received good results.

    There are no dash lights - I was sort of hoping there would have been as that would help narrow down what I'm looking for. Two of these terminals also rule out the stop lamp & ABS switch failure I believe.

    Any thoughts on a way to test the cruise control module in a stand-alone

    Let me know what you think?

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