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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: 23,395
    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: 23,395
    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: 23,395
    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: 23,395
    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?

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,395
    edited April 2013
    >Is your manual hard copy or electronic - if electronic is there a way to screen shot and post or send via email?

    That might be an advantage to seeing if your local library does have AllData access. From what I recall the few times I used AllData at the library, their troubleshooting steps seemed to parallel the factory service manuals from GM printer by

    You might price the FSM at that website ($200 + shipping). They offer paper and digital versions for some cars--but the digital versions cover many vehicles and are even more expensive unless you're a shop needing to cover that many vehicles.

    I'd suggest looking on eBay for used FSM manuals. One caveat is to be sure you know how many volumes are in the set, e.g., 2 or 3. A few people put up one volume and you need all the parts. My 2003 FSM is 3 volumes. AND it needs to be the actual Helm FSM.

    Here is one. Appears to be the full correct set. Priced extraordinarily well. If I wanted them I'd Buy It Now for $27.99 and pay extra for fast shipping. Others are asking 2.5 times that price.

    Only note, is on the 1998 leSabre manuals, Helm issued a replacement set with ID to that effect stamped diagonally across the covers. They appeared on my doorstep with notice a year or two after I bought the originals from Helm.
    It said there had been some updates inside--I never saw anything different.
    It makes good reading about how things work as well as troubleshooting. - - TRICAL-ENGINE-BRAKE-/350583208811?pt=Motors_Manuals_Literature&hash=item51a0633b- - - 6b&vxp=mtr#ht_1443wt_676

    Greasy fingerprints won't affect the inside. I have some old manuals for 67 Mustang and 77 Cutlass with lots of prints...

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

  • spritemanspriteman Posts: 25
    So - it's been about a month since I replaced my IM gaskets and cleaned the heck out of that engine. I had strained the oil that was in the engine when the gaskets failed and changed the oil filter. The idea being that in a month I would change both.

    Put the Mobil 1 extended mileage 10w-30 synthetic and the matching filter from Mobil.

    Also, installed a new fuel filter so all of those clean injectors have nice clean gas. Anyone have an issue with the clip side of the fuel filter weeping a little around the connection? It's not a lot of gas - just enough to make the plastic clip wet.

    And, lastly, changed out the oil pressure sender that had failed before the IM gasket failure. By the way - if anyone else is going to attempt this I wound up jacking the car up and working from the right front wheel area. I removed the wheel and the splash guard. This enables you to reach to oil pressure sender from the side and get a wrench on it. I suggest using a 28 mm (check size) box end ratchet wrench to make to job a lot easier.

    Oil pressure on my base 1998 BPA is now a solid 60 psi while cruising or accelerating. When I hit the brakes fairly hard you can see the psi drop into the low to mid 30's. All looks normal and I think I should have another 100K miles out of the old BPA.

    Spriteman Out!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,395
    >Anyone have an issue with the clip side of the fuel filter weeping a little around the connection?

    Was the o-ring in place on the line when you put on the new filter? I still haven't done mine--have to get a 16 mm flare wrench--but the person at the Zone reminded me to watch that o-ring. If it is left off, then I'd have a leak he told me.

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

  • spritemanspriteman Posts: 25
    edited April 2013
    To be honest I didn't notice if there was an o-ring. I did a look-up at gmpartsgiant for the parts diagram - it does show an o-ring on the hex fitting side but not on the clip side of the fuel filter. Is the o-ring inside the hex fitting? I didn't see the o-ring on the flared end of the fuel line coming from the engine side which connects to the hex fitting.

    The strange thing is that it seems to be weeping from the clip side of the fuel filter - where the diagram does not show an o-ring. I'm going to go down to autozone and see if they can lend a hand identifying where the o-ring should be and why the clip side of the fuel filter might be leaking.
  • steve1216steve1216 Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 with 60K on it. Lately my transmission has begun to jerk when shifting from 1-2 and 2-3. There's no noise involved, just a hard jerk where a smooth shift should be. My mechanic insists that there's nothing wrong with the car, but it seems to me that it shouldn't be jerking like this. Also- for the first five minutes or so of driving the shifts are smooth. Thanks for any help anyone could offer!
  • So, picked up this '91 PA cheap, lots of miles but good shape. The heater/AC blower isn''t putting out the air it should so while doing other engine work I removed the blower fan. I found the fan housing was coated with a greasy residue which also covers the heater core and evaporator. My intention is to access the heater core and evaporator from inside and using compressed air and alcohol back blow the fins. So, I have proceeded as if replacing the heater core which is not covered very well at all by the usual manuals. Looking for feedback from anyone who has done the job.
  • Sup folks, after the many many pages of reading a lot of very helpful and occasionally difficult processes I decided to add my story as well and some history. I have been the proud owner of two '93 buick lesabre customs, ran them in the ground as every car should be(old age caught them both around 300k miles and 10 years of owning each). I tend to buy used cars and when a lawyer decided to sell his 1998 park avenue ultra supercharger for 1k(due to mostly his rocker son who drove it before was not gentle with it and wanted a real sports car). To my disgust a year later after I found such a beauty(only had to perform minor replacements on it) I found myself facing down a full blown preggo deer and she took out my hood, passenger light, and radiator....or so I thought. I was happy to have found out she had only destroyed the "coolant amount sensor" or whatever it may be. After securing the shattered sensor back(hot glue works wonders), I raced off to the junkyards. Now a more challenging part to my quest, come to find out a man with the same make, model, and color had done the same thing! So the old badger got to most of our salvage yards and acquired(to my disgust) exact color parts...... On with the story... If you are not familiar with the park avenue's rarity when it comes to salvage yards you will find out(unless you're in some hugely populated area). The Buick was reborn! Purple body and a white hood(quite hilarious most people think I am a cop on the highway!). Here comes the wisdoms I have learned from this beast, my apologies for the prelude to the point.. I believe it is 97+ perhaps 98+ park avenues, I welcome you to the painful idea of Electric parts and Irritating little devices no bigger then your thumb that will cost you at least that whole hand the thumb is attached to! If you are having issues regarding say AC is flowing on windshield and floorboard you are looking at an acuitors(I may be misspelling that) 9/10 times that's it, and lets hope that you did have just the simple 3 phillips screws to remove rather then someone's son who stripped 2/3 and replaced the other with a random screw! Prices vary, and honestly I can deal with the weather rather then shell out 85-300 dollars for such a small device, that I quote "has to be calibrated by a Buick dealership" aka be ready to hand over two legs with that hand for the part + calibration. I also see alot of people dealing with overheating issues-- When it comes to this the factory fan settings are way way high... ex: The radiator fans don't kick on til 215 degrees roughly...Lame eh? Quick fix, and old school the way I like it, there are two fixes to this. One requires you to have an OBD(pda dealy that connects to the brain of your buick and commands it to do your bidding once you figure out how to write scripts) or...plain and simple pull the thermostat. I have had many classic cars, and a few newer, I thoroughly enjoy running the highway speed limit(here its 75) and knowing at 90 degrees outside that my temperature will not exceed about 130. I was having the overheating issue from day one, sometimes from stop and go traffic, other times just general highway. I replaced copper thermostat, ripped out my thermostat, and ever since I have had zero issues with my temperature. It slightly kills my heater for the first 5-10 mins in winter, but hey! Guess what!? Ya got seat warmers... The other little nuisance I have found with these vehicles aside from all the expensive gizmos, is the window seals and well of course(never fails) buicks just are an attractor for getting cracked windshields! I have had few other issues with this little beast(knock on wood). I noticed also a fellow talking about jerking with transmission, just from my meager experience with tinkering(yes yes I am no mechanical brainiac!) that often in times when it jerks shifting despite on originally smooth take offs, I suggest your transmission housing that connects to your engine be inspected along with motor mounts, and transmission mounts. Never hurts for you to learn how to pull your transmission pan and how to swap that filter out, occasionally you might be so un-lucky to find metal shavings or lollipops in there...yes that latter part was a joke. Also in just mentioning that, sometimes your emission system(had a 91 trans am that did this) can choke your car aka replacing your catalytic converter. These are truly amazing cars, the buick breed, and easily found cheaply...however learning them is like learning a woman, once you think you know one thing about her she'll flip on ya! I'll be looking into getting an OBD or OBD2, and currently learning how to fine tune my supercharger...if anyone has some great guides for the supercharger would love it.... Oh yea and if someone could tell me the easiest way to ducktape or superglue my same ac issue will take that as well, to the fellow who uses a pair of vice grips..kudos, I bow to you.

    Yours Truly & The Purple Beast Mistaken As A Highway Patrol,
    FearedDark & '98 Park Ave

  • Just found the greatest trick(thought it was a joke) if your gas gauge does not work, with your vehicle off -> take a agriculture sized magnet(fairly big one) put it up to the gauge and rotate counter clockwise it will put it to the reset position! Sadly another fail...mine is behind the needle to allow it to I go to tear a dashboard apart! Cheers!

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,395

    @feareddark said:
    Just found the greatest trick(thought it was a joke) if your gas gauge does not work, with your vehicle off take a agriculture sized magnet(fairly big one) put it up to the gauge and rotate counter clockwise it will put it to the reset position!

    Some people have drilled a small hole through the plastic cover where they could insert a paper clip bent appropriately and use that to lift the needle of the stop post to the correct side of the post.

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

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