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Buick LeSabre Engine help

I have a 1998 buick lesabre body style k. It has a 3.8v.3800 series 2 engine in it.Wondering if i could put a 3800 series 2 with supercharged in. To replace the old one.If so do i need to change anything like trans or anything eals to fit the 3800 spercharged.Any help would be good.


  • I bought a 1976 LeSare two years ago from my was wrecked with frame damage so i decided to pull engine and transplant it into another LaSabre. I want it to be original but can't seem to figure out what size engine it is. Can someone help me?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,507
    I assume it's a V8. I think the V6 showed up 1977.
    LeSabre Custom had 350 standard and 455 optional.

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

  • dewc3dewc3 Posts: 35
    I have a 1997 Buick lasabre Limited and I took it to get the oil changed, and the tech came to get me and showed me some oil on the bolts of the intake manifold and he wasnt completely sure if the oil was coming from the intake or the valve covers. The valve cover bolts are also oily and I have lost a little more than a quart of oil over a longgggg period of time. I was also told by another source that If my intake was leaking then the car would not run very well, is this true? The car runs like a scalded runs very well...So I figure I would use degreaser on these areas before I go into any major work on it myself. Does anyone have instructions to taking the intake manifiold off if it ends out to be that, I have never taken one off this car and I am determined not to pay the 400 labor these idiots want, so I need help on how to get this off if anyone has instructions. But I also need feedback on whether the car would run right or not if the intake manifold was leaking :mad:
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,507
    If there is oil in the low spots it comes up the threads of certain bolts after aging. I'd have to research just which and where, but it is common. Dry it out with paper towels and see if it's all oil or contains coolant. If it is coolant, I'd still not worry. I have two sitting out there and both have seeped a little oil into those areas. If you're using a quart of oil in 1500 miles or longer, you're fine. A little seeps around the valve cover seals on some cars and a little seeps on the oil pan gasket after aging on some cars. Not worth trying to fix.

    What's the mileage on the car and whether you've owned it since new. If the DexCool was changed out after two years or 36000 miles all through its life, you're in better shape than if ANY coolant were left in to age.

    If the coolant hasn't been changed, drain it now and refill with DexCool or Prestone Mixes with any color type coolant. If you are not losing coolant more than a trivial amount in a couple weeks or month of driving hundreds of miles, there's no problem. The upper intake can be replaced easily by someone with mechanical skills. You have to keep track of bolts and screws. Many shops have done enough that they are rather quick and the price is not near $400 labor. I'd guess at $250 for a 5-hour job to do upper only with $99 for a quality, APN replacement including new gaskets.

    I can give you more info if you're interested, but don't let the slight amount of coolant over years scare you without definite indications of internal or external leaks.

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

  • dewc3dewc3 Posts: 35
    Thank you for your reply but actually I am not losing any coolant at all. Its only oil on the valve cover on backside of firewall and the front valve cover. I had a new intake manifold put on several months back and maybe thats why the bolts look like something was leaking, prob after they put it on. I keep a check on radiator and I am full to the rim since the intake was fixed, so maybe I just have valve cover gasket leaking up front and backside.
    I also have another problem going on if you can give me feedback on it also. several months back I replaced my rotors and put on new brakes because when I would brake, the front left tire would shake like it was coming off. After I put on the brakes and rotors it seem to stop alot compared to what it was doing, but then that same crap started again. Now the car shakes and shimmies when I am coming to a stop. I have inspected the front end parts and everything seems to be the way it suppose to be, nothing is loose and looks good so I am stumped. Can calipers if they are bad cause this kind of shaking? I know this is a double question and I respect what info I can get.....thankyou....Joey :confuse:
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,507
    My suggestion is don't try to tighten the valve covers. I read about people having trouble with leaks and wanting to stop it. They remove the covers and put on new gaskets. On one version of the motor there's something that blocks one bolt on the back cover IIRC.

    Calipers give more trouble. They drag. Heat up the rotor then when you step on the brake it's already hot and warping. If you don't mind spending a little, get rebuilt calipers and put them on both sides and be done. Otherwise you have to try to clean up and figure out what's dragging, the piston or the bolt slides. The bolt slides have rubber sleeves that go inside the ears of the calipers. The inside of the caliper ears corrode and shrink which squeezes the rubber which makes them drag. You can replace calipers without new pads and without new rotors. You might find your rotor isn't damaged.

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

  • I have a 1991 Buick LeSabre and I have to put water in the radiator several times a day, but the engine never runs hot. When you start the car you can see the water leaking out of the side of the engine where the plugs are. I haven't been able to get anyone to tell me exactly what the problem is. Is there anyone here that can help me?
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    There are several possibilities. Without being able to see exactly where the water is coming from, I can't really tell you for sure. Can you describe exactly where it seems to be leaking?
  • bob252bob252 Posts: 48
    OK.But the one thing a lot of people seem to miss is actualy the front BRAKE HOSE.for some reason there is a condition caused by the brake fluid which deteriorates the hose only allowing one direction of the fluid, and that is a lock up, it won't return and causes the caliper to remain in the pressure position, it is easy to tell by grabbing the hose at the caliper, you will feel the resistance. Another way to check this is to have someone step on the pedal while observing the caliper for retraction after it is released. This should not require a lot of work, the only problem potential here is the bleeder.Hopefully it isn't frozen. This situation has fooled a lot of people. hope this helps.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,507
    When you say it's where the plugs are, I assume that's the spark plugs you're talking about. It could be one of the core plugs which some people call freeze plugs. They are metal discs that are forced fitted into the hole in the block where the machining was done. They can rust away and start leaking. They can be removed and a replacement fitted in but driving the new metal plug in.

    There are some that are not solid metal like the original but are rubber edges and are put in place and then tightened which swells them out to make a force fit sealing the hole.

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

  • can anyone help me with the organial question.or do we keep adding on nothing to do with it.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    We've been trying to help you, but since you haven't answered any of our questions we haven't been able to narrow the problem down.
  • bob252bob252 Posts: 48
    Hello, I hoe that this comes to you, yesterday I posted a solutionfor the $1600 Brake job, don't know how it came to you...but, look at the reply in this section if it is your question about a water that yours? if so his reply is correct, hopefully you will be able to access the expansion plug and use his advice, if that is the situation...Bob.
  • bob252bob252 Posts: 48
    I am sorry this situation is being redirected to me, not to this post! the individual is responding to me, I posted a reply for a brake problem yesterday, not to this post.AGAIN I DID NOT REQUEST < I replied to assist..hope he or she is reading. Bob.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,507
    First I've not heard of someone doing this.
    Second the 3800 supercharged never came in the LeSabre so I suspect it would be a real problem to put one it.
    You'd be better buying a Park Avenue or Bonneville with the supercharged motor in it already.

    That's my opinion.

    You could look at the motor mounts on a supercharged Park Avenue or Bonneville and see if they appear to be the same as the 98 leSabre. I would assume a change in computer would be required for the PCM and some other controls may need to be added for the supercharger portion.

    The transmission is different for the supercharger version. I don't know exactly what those are but I recall one is related to the stovepipe connector engaging 4th gear. I believe they said in 03 all got the sturdier piece.

    I assume the transmission includes the final gearing pieces which may be different for the standard leSabre than the supercharger versions (higher ratio for more power rather than cruising and economy).

    I apologize that I didn't realize your question hadn't been answered. I recall reading it and thinking I don't have much if any direct knowledge.

    If you send an email to my carspace account from your carspace email account (carspace is in the upper left corner where it says "my carspace") and I'll link you to some pages where enthusiasts have done such things and you can ask questions and search for previous posts.

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

  • 17thabn17thabn Posts: 10
    If your overflow flucuates and you are adding coolant and see none on the ground,your intake EGR tube has burned thru the plastic plenum and releasing
    coolant into your cylinders and will cause hydrostatic lock,ruin of main bearings,total destruction of engine if not fixed.Mechanics charge $800-1400 to fix.You can do it for less than $100.You will find directions on bought
    replacement plenum from price anywhere).1 footnote when
    you get the black plenum off you will be looking at the top of the intake manifold,
    you will see a piece of 5/8 pipe sticking out about 2 inches tall.This has to come
    out,you will get a new one in the kit,take a large pair of locking pliers,lock on from the top and rock forward and back and it will come out.After that follow directions included in the kit.Took my time(slow)16 hrs.Saved Big Money.Wish you luck,and this is not hard.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,507
    The loss of coolant may be due to other causes than the intakes. The intake problem was helped in 1999 when the size of the EGR tube was reduced leaving more airspace between it and the ABS plastic around it.

    There are several things that can leak coolant. There are angled tubes connecting the LIM to the tensioner pulley bracket that carries coolant to the heater. The water pump can leak without showing a dribble until it gets bad. You can have leaks around the seals between the UIM and LIM which seal the tubes carrying coolant into the UIM and to the throttle body. There also are leaks at the gasket with the throttle body. The radiator hoses can seep. The radiator itself can seep. The tube connecting the reservoir to the radiator can seep. The reservoirs develop cracks and leak.

    The loss of coolant requires troubleshooting. One thing to watch is for large amounts of water on the oil cap. Small amounts occur normally. Another is to check the gallery under the oil filler while it's off. Change of color in the oil on the dipstick right after driving to a milky look indicates moisture in coolant.

    The treatment of the cooling system early in the car's life is a factor. Not changing DexCool very 2 - 3 years causes more problems, especially if the car were not driven often and heating the coolant above 140 def. F.

    One tip is clean off the underside of the radiator cap so the one way check valve works correctly. It often gets gooped up.

    The 2000 on motors have a much lower problem rate with intake leaks.

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

  • 17thabn17thabn Posts: 10
    I agree with your assesment of the cooling system,but for those whose EGR tube
    has burned thru and looking at a good size bill,this was the way to go.That was an
    inherent design flaw from GM and they didn't start putting on the redisigned plenum and tube till 2005.Even now there is a class action suit against GM.Still from 2000-2005 they are still burning thru.Even on the plenum you can read when
    it was made from day,month,year.Look at the coin size circle on the plenum,the arrow points to 1-31days,95-?year-and 1-12Month it was made.
  • cfd110cfd110 Posts: 3
    I have a 1991 Lesabre on the drivers side of the engine is a black plunger with a cable running to it also on the side is 2 hoses the one on top is smaller than the one on top. The cable is broken off along with the larger hose. The engine will turn over but not start. I need to replace the plunger part what is the name of this part.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,507
    > and they didn't start putting on the redisigned plenum and tube till 2005

    That is wrong. The LIM and EGR metal tube that came with it were reduced in 1999/2000 from GM. Other suppliers of intake manifold uppers shipped with their replacement uppers a metal tube that replaced the one in the lower intake manifold that had a reduced diameter allowing more air space around it for the incoming air to flow and keep things cooler. There are failures of EGR areas after that but they are fewer. It's sort of like Honda's problems with transmissions and toyota's with engine/transmission shifting problems, they never get completely cured. It is a design weakness.

    I think you may be confusing the Series III motor which had a metal UIM which has been used for a few years, perhaps it started in 2005.

    People still confuse the issues. There are NO suits re the upper intake manifold deterioration of which I'm aware. If you have a link, please supply it. There WAS a class suit re DexCool which ended in October IIRC. The DexCool allegedly deteriorated gasket materials allowing seeps. This is NOT the EGR area leaking through the crystallized ABS. The DexCool is an improved coolant and provides excellent protection in systems with multiple metals and the electromotive force they may generate leading to corrosion. However some people believed the 5-year and 100,000 mi meant they could add green antifreeze (old formula) and not change out the DexCool. Also the DexCool apparently underwent forumula changes early in it's life. That improved the protection of the gaskets. Earlier DexCool had an antioxidant that deteriorated when the coolant was abused which allowed bacteria or chemistry to deteriorate the nylon-66 gasket material. Hence the apparent success of the DexCool class action lawyers--who will make more on the deal than any GM owners will make.

    Plenums from other manufacturers do not use the circle method for dating their manifold. I'm not sure where, if any, date appears on replacement from the various companies.

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

  • 17thabn17thabn Posts: 10
    The issue of the class action suit,if there wasn't one there should have been one
    because of the millions of cars from GM fron 95-98 didn't have the "Redesigned"
    plenum and smaller tube.That took anywhere from 4 to 6 years to show up.What about all the cost to the owners of those cars??If the plenum on your car is the ORGINAL, it has the month,date,and year on it when it was made.The new plenums do no have the date of manufacture on them. So if it was made 95-98 you got a burner.The only thing I was trying to do was to inform the little guy about repairing his car without getting shafted by cost of this repair.So you acknowledge it was a design flaw.Great.Have you changed yours yet??Or do you work for GM??
  • djc7djc7 Posts: 2
    The car has been dying; it spent 4 days at one garag & he could not find anything he suggested another garage with more computer technology. Spent 5 days there they replaced the Mass air flow sensor picked up car drove it about 20 miles and the car started dying again. It will start back up may run a little while or may die immediately. It kind of back fires when it starts back up. Of course this happened after the garage had closed and it is closed on Saturdays. A new fuel pump has been put on the car; new plugs etc. Can someone give me an idea what this could be. It cost $311. today and the car and I will be there first thing Monday morning.
  • 17thabn17thabn Posts: 10
    I would replace the fuel filter and then the fuel pressure regulator.Probably $150.
  • bob252bob252 Posts: 48
    Hi, I am concerned that there is something wrong at this site, I have had many replies to someone else's question, and that is not helping them! somehow due to my posting a "helpful" reply about $1600 Brake job...well from there I get replies about fuel, engine, etc. and they are accurate...but I did not reqest anything...Hope people are reading this.there is some kind of misdirection at this site. But thank the helpful people here..they are great..Bob.
  • djc7djc7 Posts: 2
    Thanks, but the fuel regulartor and fuel filter has replaced twice; the regulator was under warranty so made them replace it since it was acting like it was not getting gas and then replaced the filter again but it was not stopped up that time either.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,507
    I don't know much about the earlier engines before 1992. I do recall MAF sensor problems caused many difficulties or something like that. I believe a test was tapping ont he MAF sensor with a screwdriver handle and if it made the engine skip or be uneven, the MAF was a problem.

    Yours could be connections to the spark system and coils Could be fuel pressure.

    You need to have a test spark plug and when it kicks out put a spark plug on one wire and lay it on the metal part of the motor. Have someone crank the motor and see if it has spark at the beginning before it fires.

    If you can put a fuel pressure gauge on the car and drive it and watch to see if the fuel pressure drops when it stalls would be a big help. Duct tape the gauge to the windshield. The replacement fuel pump may be giving problems. The Delco replacements are best. My garage would only use a Delco because they had many return problems with other brands.

    Crankshaft position sensors are a popular replacement item--not that we like doing things just because they're popular, but it's something to watch. The fact the car starts right back up after stalling makes it a problem to troubleshoot. The backfire doesn't help me much.

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

  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
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  • I have a 93 LeSabre, 3.8, 145K miles. Yesterday I just took a look to the oil level, and found fresh, more or less concentric oil leak signs under the cylinder head, forward cylinder line...I guess it is bad...The car is in good shape, runs well no sign of any problem and like it.
    Just I would ask for your opinion.
    What should I expect?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,507
    I don't quit follow what you mean by under the cylinder head. I do know that valve covers do start leaking more with age. Do some cleaning and then rechecking with good lighting to see where the oil is coming from.

    The valve covers are problematic as far as resealing. You might tighten lightly, but it's not going to cure it most likely. Removing, cleaning, new gaskets, probably are required.

    You didn't happen to run synthetic oil in it? That often supposedly opens seeps and causes leaking.

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

  • imidazol97, I rechecked as you mentioned. It is not under the cylinder head, but from the inlet manifold itself. Hm. Plus, the two trans hoses going from the trans to the cooler, they seep/leak...
    I run it with mineral oil, no synthetic.
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