Blown Engine - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 01, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
 
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Hi,
I have a non camaro question. I have had great advice for my 1988 camaro, but now I need help for my 1989 pontiac Grand am 4 cylinder. I was driving it down the highway the other day and it started burning smoke really bad. The engine started losing power. I could barely go 40. After I stopped, the engine died. When I tried starting it, all I got was a whining sound, almost like there was no compression. When I popped the hood, there was fresh oil all over the block, so It looks like the head gasket blew. Could it be due to a bad oil pump? my worst fear is that I seized the engine. Hopefully I just need a new head. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Brian
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 01, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
 
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Duh, I can't believe it?!? I was checking fluids when I realized there was almost no radiator fluid. The tempature gauge never had an overheating reading,so I never thought to look at it. OK, is my engine seized, or did I just blow my head? P:lease let me know. Thanks. Brian
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 01, 11:42 AM
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If your head gasket blew it could have lost your coolant also. Do a compression check. If you have 2 cylinders next to one another with little to no compression, you've got a blown gasket. If it's the old cast iron 2.5 you may be lucky and get away with replacing the head gasket. The 2.5 in my old S-10 blew the gasket between the #2 & 3 cylinders one time. If it has an aluminum head, it may have warped. Good luck!

I also had a 2.5 in a Celebrity that lost all power and then spun VERY freely when I tried to restart it. The engine was trashed...

Just had another memory come back. Had it been louder than usual lately? Making more of a knocking sound than normal for a 2.5? If so, I feel for you dude...

Mark

[This message has been edited by mbrekke (edited 10-18-2001).]

[This message has been edited by mbrekke (edited 10-18-2001).]
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 01, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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No extra noise until I started to feel the power loss. There is still some compression in one of the cylinders. When I crank it, it spins, then a compression spot, then nothing, then it hits the working cylinder. Hopefully its just a head gasket. I just hope the engine is intact.
Thanks. Brian
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 01, 12:33 PM
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If you tried to drive it any length of time after you first noticed the loss of power...chances are it's toast. Happened to me once in a 2.2 Chrylser, that was messy! Sorry bout your luck, man.

[This message has been edited by englemac (edited 10-18-2001).]
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 01, 02:06 PM
 
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The Quad-4 is notorious for blown head gaskets. A little info here..... http://www.carsurvey.org/review_8193.html
Tim

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 01, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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engelmac, what was the problem? Did the head gasket blow? What happened to the block. I haven't started to pull things apart yet, so please brace me for the mess I will probably get into. I probably drove it for less than 2 miles after the power loss.
Thanks. Brian
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 01, 03:13 PM
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phantmlord, was it white smoke coming out the exhaust? here is a horror story for you, i own a '95 ford (yeah, i know, boo on me. wasn't my idea) with a 3.8 liter engine. it seems that ford as usual had a very poor design for that engine that year. to make a long story short, i am on my fourth engine in less than two years. all for blown head gaskets. never got an overheat light or any indication until it hit the proverbial fan. if you have no coolant in the radiator, i think it would be safe to say it is in your oil pan and if it is it means that your bearings and every thing have been soaking in water and will soon start to rust. when the last one went, it took out my #2 & #3 cylinders. not trying to scare you, but since it is getting close to halloween i thought i would share this little episode with you. my main car (toy as my wife calls it) now is an 1989 irocz with a 350 tpi that i have overhauled.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 01, 03:39 AM Thread Starter
 
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No, when I felt the power loss, i noticed blue smoke in the rearview mirror.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 01, 05:27 AM
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Check the timing mark on the crank pulley. Bring it around to TDC on #1 and check to see if the mark is lined up. When the 2.5 in my Celebrity went, the mark was off by 90-100*. It didn't have compression because the valve timing was way out of whack. I don't know if the timing gear (fiber gear) on the cam slipped or if something broke internally. I ended up just buying a rebuilt engine.

Is it the quad-4 or just the standard 'iron duke' 2.5?

Mark
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 01, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
 
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Its a quad 4. I am just trying to get suggestions. I pulling the head looks pretty easy, I just don't want to have to pull the engine block. I don't have the time or room for such a project. If there is compression, then the pistons are moving. So the block probably in good shape? that's really what I am trying to find out. Thanks for the replies so far. Brian
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 01, 10:18 AM
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Phantmlord, look again!! A quad-4 in a Grand-AM is about the hardest GM engine in the world to pull the head on!!! The whole timing chain and case needs to be removed to get the cam towers out!!

They blow head gaskets constantly, and I'm sure you blew yours!!

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 01, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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It doesn't seem to hard. I bought the car someone who changed the head gasket, but couldn't get car started after he finished. I should have known he didn't do a good job. Anyway, I pulled the timing cover and had to reset the dual camshafts. It wasn't too hard, once the tire came off, most every bolt was easily accessable except maybe 3. I guess what I am really trying to figure out, will the block and pistons be bad? I don't want to replace the head and find out that block is ruined. Are there any home tests that I can run when I pull the head. Any certain thing to look at that will give me an Idea? Thanks. Brian
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 01, 10:14 PM
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You mentioned you had oil all over the block.You din't say if you heard any hammering, but look the block over real good and make sure a rod didn't punch through it. If it did, you don't need to worry about THIS engine! It may be just that compression got into an oil passage and blew out a gasket somewhee, but make sure!
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