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Who's torn down a 3.4 top end? *Finished*

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by pvfjr, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    I've got a coworkers 98 Grand Am sitting here, and it appears to be spewing a sizeable amount of coolant out the back of the intake. Looks like it'll need a new gasket, and I don't think they want to pay a shop price for that kind of work. So what all does this entail? I'm seeing that the valve covers overlap the intake, so is this one of those motors where you have to take off the rockers and pull the push rods to remove the intake? If so, I'm assuming the rockers would need readjusted? Any specs on that? I don't think they are in a position to buy a new car, so any help here would be appreciated. If it's a pretty straightforward task, I can probably help them out. But I'd hate to say that I can do it and then drop the ball on them. :doah:
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2006
  2. dcubb

    dcubb 1/2 ton status

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    I did my '99 about a year and a half ago. You don't have to monkey with the rockers or pushrods. Took me about 4 hours start to finish. I recommend using oem GM gaskets. Be sure to use threadlocker on the intake bolts and torque to spec. This is critical. lower intake bolt torque: (115 lb in). upper intake bolt torque: (18 ft lbs), as specified by the factory service manual. It really wasn't a tough job. Hope this helps.
     
  3. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    The rockers don't require adjustment. Just torque the rockers to spec and forget it. Don't mix up the pushrods either. The intake and exhaust pushrods are different lengths.

    Don't shortcut and replace the oil pump drive shaft o-ring. Eventually it will dry out, and start spewing oil out of the back of the block.

    dcubb...I'm guessing you did a Camaro/Firebird. They don't require removing the pushrods, but the alum head FWD 3.4's do.

    Parts you'll need:

    Lower intake gaskets
    Valve cover gaskets
    Upper intake gaskets
    Misc o-rings for the various coolant pipes (GM dealer should be able to help you with this)
    Pipe thread sealant, for the 4 lower outer retaining bolts, can be used on center ones too, no need for loctite.
    Coolant
    Oil and filter

    You may also need some injector o-rings as they may become damaged when you remove the injectors from the intake.


    Let me know if you run into any problems, I used to do 4-5 a week at the dealership.
     
  4. 5280k5

    5280k5 1/2 ton status

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    Ryan22re pretty much said it all, the only thing I found helpful doing them is neat little tool I bought from Cornwell(don't think it was made by them though) it allows you to lift the rockers up enough to sneak out the pushrods without loosening the rockers. It cost like $16, don't know if it would be worth it to buy for one time use? The updated Gm gaskets come with a paper in the package with updated torque spec's, use those not a older service manual or Alldata. Good luck (it's not that bad)
     
  5. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    Well I think from the pleading of his wife (who loves her car and doesn't want to sell it) and the fact that I've got a pretty good support system here, I'll probably go ahead and do it. I'll probably be getting back to you guys some more specific questions if I run into them. Hopefully all will go smoothly.
     
  6. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    Ok, so we've collected some gaskets and o-rings, I'll be getting the car and getting started soon. I did have a some quick questions though:

    Intake gaskets - Do I use them dry or with RTV? If RTV, what type is best?

    Valve cover gaskets - Same question.

    Intake plenum - Are there gaskets there that need purchased? At the throttle body or manifold?

    Is this a common problem/leak? My 2.8 in my S10 has had a mysterious leak for some time, but the back of the block isn't as visible as this one. I hope that's not it. :doah:
     
  7. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    You use rtv for the end gaskets and the "corners" of the valve covers. The gray rtv that gm sells is the best, I think, but just about any rtv will work. The corners where the intake gaskets meet the block is also a critical area to get rtv. I put a little dab behind the gasket in the corner. Then lay a 1/4 in bead on the block sealing surface.

    The throttle body does not need to be removed. There are two coolant hoses under the throttle body that need to be disconnected to remove the upper intake. You will just need upper intake gaskets. (at least for that part).

    I can PM you my phone # if you get into a bind and need a quick answer if you want.
     
  8. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    That would be sweet. Would make for a lot less down time if I get hung up, I appreciate it.
     
  9. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    I think I just had a revelation in reference to the upper and lower intake gaskets. I'm was thinking that they were all for the intake manifold, but now it seems to me that the intake plenum is referred to as the upper intake, and the intake manifold is referred to as the lower intake. Now I see what the whole upper and lower intake gaskets are all about, which answers my previous question, which probably seemed like a stupid one.
     
  10. jekquistk5

    jekquistk5 Weld nekid Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I did my g/fs 98 grand am gt... not too hard... Replacing the head gasket on my 2.2l four banger was way harder... if you take the head bolts out buy NEW ones, dont risk it...
     
  11. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    Well I definitely won't be messing with the head.

    So I've got the accessories, upper and lower intake, valve covers, other crap that was in the way, etc all removed. I see that the pushrods don't go through the intake, rather the intake gasket. I wiped them down and numbered them with a marker so they all will go back where they belong. I haven't pulled them yet though.
    Just wondering what the torque spec for the rockers are when I put them back on? Loctite?

    And the intake gasket info says to buy new lower bolts, that they have some special "bonding agent" that maintains the proper clamping force. Is this necessary? Are they talking about a thread locker? Also, the intake gaskets didn't come with any torque values, so what are those? I've got the factory service manual values listed above, but if they've changed...
     
  12. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    I don't know the torque specs off-hand, but I think they were around 15-20 ft lbs.

    I never torqued the lower intake bolts to spec, it's some crazy spec like 115 in-lbs, I just used a 1/4 in ratchet. I never used the new bolts, they are just longer to bottom out in the head to prevent over torque. Use a little restraint and it will be just fine. I used teflon thread sealant on the bolts.
     
  13. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds good. I've got it all cleaned up now, and ready for assembly. Guess I need to head out and get a little pipe thread sealant, I can't find mine anywhere. Just as well, I got a bunch of new pneumatic tools that I need to put fittings in anyway. I discovered the source of the leak too. It was near one of the lower bolts, the one that's recessed under the intake a bit, below the throttle body. It appears that the gasket was a bit crushed. The plastic part was cracked and separated about 1/8", and the rubber was flattened and deformed. Odd, I wonder if they've had any previous motor work done...:thinking:
     
  14. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    That's how they all look.
     
  15. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    Well this one looks fine with the exception of one single corner, which is where the leak was.
     
  16. mike n

    mike n 1/2 ton status

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    Victor/Reinz makes an intake gasket with steel reinforcements in the outer corners, and Fel-Pro just released a new gasket that is metal the whole way through.

    Oh yeah, in addition to the oil drive o-ring, you should change the thermostat while you're there.
     
  17. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    Well the new GM gasket I acquired seems to be updated with two metal inserts on either side of each of the lower bolts. I guess they finally figured it out.

    So where is this oil drive o-ring located? I haven't seen anything that jumps out at me. :dunno:
    I've got 3 o-rings that the dealership gave me part #'s for, I guess they were associated with the job. I'm not sure where they go though, figured I'd find out when I started reassembling all the bits and pieces.
     
  18. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    At the back of the block near the bellhousing is the oil pump drive. It looks like a distributor with the top part cut off (it is).
     
  19. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    Now that I've found it, I feel retarded for not seeing it earlier. Right in front of my face. :doh: Same clamp and everything as a distributor. And what do you know, that's what one of my o-rings were for. :p: The old one had been RTV'd in too, is that normal? Didn't seem like it had been leaking, but it might have been thinking about it.
     
  20. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    RTV is not stock. Probably has been done before.
     

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