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Not truck related but, I have an engine?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by jekquistk5, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. jekquistk5

    jekquistk5 Weld nekid Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    The engine in my grand am will not run. I tried looking at Grand am forums, but they are freaking stupid as hell talking about spark plug wires, cold air kits and body kits. No real good faq section at all. Engine is a 3.4L V6 3400 SFI. Here is the deal.... g/f was driving by herself and she said the cars oil light came on, then the battery light, then the car got hard to steer. The alternator was just replaced less then a year ago. I can get the car to start with a jump but it sounds like its only running on 3 or so cylinders, and the oil pressure light is on(its not a gauge so I really do not trust it). Here is the confusing part. When I did start it, I checked to see if oil was getting to the head so I peaked in the oil fill on the valve cover and the two valves that I did see were not moving. Other then the normal small lifter tic I had, and the engine running rough as hell I couldn't hear any knocking or grinding. The oil is a little dark but no metal in it at all. Its Sequential Fuel Injection so I assume its a single cam pushrod, but I could'nt find any info on it. I am going to do a compression test on all cylinders as soon as I found my tester, and I'm going to pull the valve covers to check as well. If anyone has any ideas please let me know. Also the engine will not run more then 30-40 seconds.


    Sorry for asking but If I asked this at the Grand Am board they would probably say something like "whats a lifter?"
     
  2. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    The 3.4 engine is a 60* V/6 pushrod motor. If you don't see some valves moving then pull the covers like you said and have someone help you turn the engine over as you watch all the valves to see what's happening. Compression check is always a good thing but it will show good even if the valves aren't moving correctly assuming there isn't a bent valve or a bad piston.
     
  3. obijuan

    obijuan 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    my gf pontiac did this too. its a 96grand am with a 4 cyl. though

    we replaced the "distributor" like thing on it and the plug boots. its a large white plastic distributor thing. it was cracked, so anyways we replaced it and viola! it worked for about 3 weeks then the engine jumped time or something, but got that fixed and it drives good now. just gotta sell it! get her a K5.
     
  4. jekquistk5

    jekquistk5 Weld nekid Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Scott,

    Thanks for the help, so you think it may be bad or crack piston? The plugs and wires were replaced 4 months or so ago so I know its not that. I guess I know what I have to do, I just didn't want to have to do it if I didn't have to... Lol.
     
  5. Jason4x4

    Jason4x4 1/2 ton status

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    kinda sounds like she overheated it to the point that the engine died. Those engine's love to leak coolant at the intake manifold, I would check coolant level, and with the cap off and crank it, see if it spits at you, but that doesn't make sense if the valves aren't opening.
     
  6. ssped

    ssped 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Ok you said the valves are not opening? That says valve train not piston. You know we are all just guessing here with that limited info. pull a rocker cover and see what is hapening. if something is not moving compression will not tell you anything you cant see.
     
  7. Slapperbar

    Slapperbar Retired Navy NDT Examiner Premium Member

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    Timing belt? Is it an interference motor?
     
  8. jekquistk5

    jekquistk5 Weld nekid Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I thought that as well. I believe its an interference motor but I'm not 100% positive. I'll post up later tonight after I pull the valve cover tonight. Also I'm 100% positive it has a coolant leak from the lower intake gasket. I have never had a problem with this car running hot or anywhere near it. I did ask my g/f this and she said that the temp gauge was right were it should have been. She knows what the gauges are and what they monitor and she says she is 90% positive that the only light that came on was the low oil pressure light followed by the battery light then service engine soon. And the coolant level is a little low but its still within operating range.
     
  9. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Like someone else already said, these engine are prone to having the intake gasket leak coolant into the oil valley. It is an inherent problem with the 2.8, 3.1 and the 3.4 engines. I almost bet that it did overheat to the point that the engine stopped running and thats why the dash lights came on. This engine is an interference engine so if the timing chain did jump a few teeth and or break the valves will hit the pistons and bend. The few rockers you can see not moving doesn't make sense unless the timing has jumped a few teeth and those valves hit the piston and bent the pushrods so that those valves no longer move. The reason i say this is because you said the engine still runs. I'll bet this is what you'll find when you pull the covers. Be very carefull if you need to pull any rockers and pushrods on this engine as the intake and exhaust pushrods are different lengths and are fairly close in length and easy to get mixed up.
     
  10. vortec

    vortec 1/2 ton status

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    even assuming there was no oil in the engine, a hydraulic lifter should act like a solid one and provide some lift, even though it will allow excessive lash. bent pushrods could explain the lack of valvetrain motion. and on the more disgusting side, the cam lobes could be severely worn. that can happen very quickly if oil pressure is too low. quite a few other possibilities, too, but none are great.
     
  11. jekquistk5

    jekquistk5 Weld nekid Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Ok... well I haven't pulled the intake or heads yet, but I did pull the valve covers. Only cyl 1,2 and 5 valves/ rods are moving. I'm guessing lost oil pressure then wore down the cam lobes. I pulled the plugs to see if the pistons were still moving and they were, just no valve movement. I spit out some fluid from the #6 cyl but I haven't got to much into it since then. I will pull the intake and heads find out what fluid it is, and check the cylinder walls. Oil is clean and not a milky color. Oh well hopefully I can rebuild this thing.
     
  12. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    if it needs a rebuild you are better off getting a long block and swapping the accessories.
     
  13. Slapperbar

    Slapperbar Retired Navy NDT Examiner Premium Member

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