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Oldsmobile Forum: Good Car, blown engine.
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Old March 5th, 2018
mr_duks mr_duks is offline
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Good Car, blown engine.

I have a 1999 intrigue GLS 3.8 with 91k miles. I just put 1200 into a new leather interior and the engine blew. Dealer wants 6300 for an engine swap. I don't really have the ability to do a full engine rebuild. Any ideas?
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Old March 6th, 2018
Cutlass350 Cutlass350 is offline
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Dealers don't want to do a engine replacement on a car that old. Their mechanics are more familiar with the newer cars.

Go to an independent, or local mechanic. Yea, it can be hard to find one that is honest and that you can trust. That's why *I* often suggest that people go to Dealers.

For a tranny, there are other places that are better than the dealer.

For an engine, it gets harder. Try the phone book - the real printed phone book. A place that pays for an ad, is "more likely" to be reputable - but it's not guaranteed.

Try to find a bigger place, that is also licensed/certified to do engine replacements.
Look for ASE certified mechanics.
Look for the DATE of the certification. ASE requires regular tests to remain certified.
Look for clean service areas.

A rebuilt 3.8 goes for ~$3K. Figure another ~~$1K-$2K for the engine removal and replacement.
Imho, you're looking at ~$3K to $5K.

Getting an used engine that old is a BIG risk - many ways. I strongly advise against that, if you're paying for a mechanic to do the removal and replacement.

With a very quick search, I found the following:
NOTE: Just because it's a 3.8, that does NOT mean that it's a fit for your car and year.
Buick/GM 3800 Series II V-6 Engine
Buick/GM 3800 Series II V6 Engine with 230 hp and 240 ft-lbs of torque. This engine features the following parts:

GM Crank
GM Rods
ARP Rod Bolts
GM Heads - NEW valves
Series II block bored-decked-honed
Custom grind 270`-.470" lift roller cam

You need to get the correct engine for your model and year. That engine has been used in a lot of cars. There are a LOT of minor differences over the years and for each car.

So, the correct rebuilt engine for your car, may be higher higher in cost. They often are.

Those general replacement engines often need a number of mods to fit in a particular car (ex: oil pan, maybe even the heads!).
If you're paying a mechanic for their time, then, that often does not make sense at all.

If the rest of the car is in good shape, then, imho, getting a rebuilt engine makes sense.
You save on insurance, and property taxes (if your State has them).
Plus, stealing a 1999 Olds is far from a thief's mind. It's not worth much in parts, or value.

Good Luck.

Last edited by Cutlass350; March 6th, 2018 at 02:26 AM.
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Old March 6th, 2018
Cutlass350 Cutlass350 is offline
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BTW, even Autozone sells rebuilt engines ( http://www.surefireengines.com/ ).
So, it's not hard to find a rebuilt engine for your car. Especially since it's a very common 3.8.

For what it's worth, **imho**, MOST of those general rebuilt engines are good for ~~8 years or ~~50K miles. Those rebuilt engines are bought based on cost. So, they do things as cheap as possible.
So, do the math, and see if a rebuilt engine makes sense for your needs. It seems like it would. But, you know best what your needs are.

Last edited by Cutlass350; March 6th, 2018 at 02:36 AM.
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Old March 8th, 2018
mikeaurora mikeaurora is offline
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I'd look for a decent 98 or 99 or Intrigue, they are everywhere on Craigslist for very reasonable asking prices. Then it's a matter of finding a shop that can do the swap, these are really not that difficult since you drop a cradle and hook up sensors, harnesses and exhaust-a good shop would have no problem doing this, I've done them in my 2 car garage. It's easily done in less than a day, and can be done for less than $700 around here (Philadelphia area). You might even find a decent running Intirgue that might make you want to transplant your new interior into it instead, certainly easy enough to do too.
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Old March 12th, 2018
wolfvan88 wolfvan88 is offline
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Sorry for the loss

If you are going to buy or get a engine out of a salvage yard, I would look to get the series 3 L26 engine, 2005 to 2008ish. the 3.8l use in the Buick's, grand prix's etc. The block is the same, the exhaust manifolds, crossover pipe are the same. So basically you swap accessories with yours, change the pan, add a new 3.8l plastic plenum.

These 3.8l engines do not have the plastic lower intake gasket leaking coolant issue that leads to destruction of the engine. While the upper in aluminum and not transferable, there is usually no upper gasket leaking issues.

You will need a new upper intake plenum though. I would just the factory one rather than the aftermarket. I tried several different ones and they all had issues with fitting.

All your accessories should fit on the engine, plus you usually get most accessories with the engine to sell off on ebay. the only major thing to swap would be the oil pan since yours is stamped steel and the L26 is cast aluminum.

Make sure the engine has the black valve covers and not the grey one. The grey are weaker material and lead to warping and leaking oil out.

Find a shop you trust and save money.
Engines under 1K and labor to install 1K = 2K

Any mechanical minded friends that you could pay?

Last edited by wolfvan88; March 12th, 2018 at 01:07 AM.
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Old March 19th, 2018
mr_duks mr_duks is offline
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Thanks for the tips.

Thanks for replying to the post, I appreciate the helpful tips.
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