2003 Grand Am 3.4L Head gasket?

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Old 12-06-11, 09:52 AM
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Question 2003 Grand Am 3.4L Head gasket?

Looking at several sites and reading up on this engine, a common problem with these is a faulty intake gasket.

My question is this: Will a faulty intake gasket result in pressure being built up in the radiator/surge tank? I have all the symptoms of a bad head gasket: white smoke, bubbles and pressure in surge tank....no water in oil (yet).

Haven't torn it down yet, but if it is the intake gasket, it would be easier/faster to repair than doing the heads. Just wondering what my chances are that it is the intake and not the heads!?!?!?
 
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Old 12-06-11, 10:20 AM
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More likely head gasket I think. Leaky intake manifold will allow coolant to be sucked in and burned (white smoke, water useage) but won't put excess pressure in the catch tank; that would come from cylinder pressure leaking past head gasket into water jacket. Lack of water in the oil just means the break is between the cylinder and water jacket rather than water jacket and oil passages. If you can beg, borrow, or steal a compression gauge you could do a more in depth troubleshoot.

If you pull it apart for head gaskets, send the head out to a good machine shop for inspection; really sucks to replace a head gasket and then discover the head was warped/cracked.
 
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Old 12-06-11, 10:40 AM
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Thanks Tow-Guy. That's what I thought also, was just hoping there was a way for it to be the lesser of two evils!!

Have a compression gauge and all the needed tools, just need to get out there and do it!! Will diffentantly take heads to be checked. Have replaced head gaskets, before and been the victim of warped/cracked heads (not a fun time). Live a little, learn a little.

Guess, I will be marking wires and vac hose's tonight....what happend to the good ole' days when you could "see" the engine when you opened the hood!?!?!?
 
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Old 12-06-11, 01:42 PM
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You're dating yourself if you can remember that!

You have a USMC connection? (I may have asked that in the past)
 
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Old 12-06-11, 02:49 PM
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Wink

Yeah, I think we may have had this conversation before, maybe not. Age barriers! LOL

Radar Maintenance Technician 1977 - 1993 worked on the AN/TPQ-10 and AN/TPS-1D. Both were part of the Air Support Radar Team (ASRT). Used for aircraft guidance to drop points or helo evac's. "We tell pilots where to go."

Computer Maintenance Technician 1993 - 1997: Just what it says. Smart bombs put our radar out of bussiness; we could tell what house we would hit, they could tell you what window.

Still working for DOD training young Leathernecks the fine art of electronic repair. Learning their thumbs are good for other things besides pushing buttons and moving joy sticks!!!
 
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