cracked block in our 3800 buick engine after the 98 factory recall

Took our 98 perfect running lesabre limited in to accomplish the recent factory recall for the fuel pressure regulator....shortly thereafter (one day) we had the check engine light come on...we
returned to the dealer who indicated that after putting the computer check on it that there was a momentary problem in number 6 cylinder but it is OK now. They reset the computer . The next day we got another check engine light returned to the dealer. This time we were advised that we had two (2) blown head gaskets in number 1 and number 6 cylinders and they verified that with a blow down test inducing air into number 1 cylinder. The engine is now apart and there head gaskets are fine but we are advised that the block is cracked and we need a new engine.
Does this make sense to anyone out there? I did notice that when the technician did the blow down test he did not locate top dead center thus the valves were probably not both closed....but even so what would that have to do with a cracked block in september?
Thanks for your help
Kruggerand
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kruggerand wrote:

None of what you wrote makes any sense.
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Another word, the problem you are having right now has nothing to do with factory recall.

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Unless extreme coincidence, it would seem that something happened to that engine when it was in to get the fuel pressure regulator fixed. Since it doesn't sound like the dealer is owning up to anything, I would have an independent mechanic give you a 2nd opinion.
On 25 Sep 2004 13:56:34 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@worldpath.net (kruggerand) wrote:

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On 25 Sep 2004 13:56:34 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@worldpath.net (kruggerand) wrote:

A "leak down test", where air pressure is applied to the cylinder in question will help to show where a pressure leak is occurring. if the "mechanic" isn't equipped enough to determine TDC on the requisite cylinder perhaps he should be finding another line of work. Being that as it may,.. a Leak down test/blow down test will only give you an indication of that cylinder & the adjacent cylinder/s. To do a leak down/blow down test on one cylinder of one bank of an engine & determine a fault in the cylinder of the opposite bank at the opposite end is beyond gifted,.. that's psychic

The engine is now apart. (in for a penny, in for a pound) and it is determined that the block is cracked. I'm assuming that this was determined without magna fluxing the engine & that the crack is so large it is visible with the naked eye. The question is when/how did the crack occur. (some folks may consider hiring a lawyer at this point) I'm assuming that you're not. Usually (depending upon the State/Province that you're in) a mechanic is allowed to charge a fee for diagnosing the problem in order to arrive at an estimate to repair the problem. The mechanic is then allowed to charge up to 5% above the signed cost of the estimate to repair. Anything above & beyond 5% above the estimate you signed to repair they "eat"

It is extremely unlikely that the recall resulted in your cracked block. I would even be surprised if you had a cracked block prior to the disassembly of your engine. (But that's just me being cynical).
If it where my car (which it is not) and it was my money (which it is not) I would send a tow truck to the shop, pick up my car & bring it to someone that know's what they're doing. You'll have to pay for the "work" that's been done to this point. but if you want to have this vehicle running again you will have to get someone who know's what they're doing or you'll just be paying someone to break your vehicle further for you.
The 3.8 is a very rugged engine & is common enough for most mechanic's who work on GM's to quickly diagnose problems. Every engine has it's weaknesses but for an engine that frequently see's the far side of 300,000 a cracked block this early in the game seems "quite unusual" especially a crack so large that it's mistaken for a head gasket failure.
As you've now got a f*cked up engine in pieces & a repair bill rising faster than Oprah's weight after one of her diet's, I'd get a proven, warranted used engine installed. Some mechanics can rebuild engines as good as the factory, but I'm not sure, based upon the experience you've described above that you'd be able to find one in your area.
Continuing with this mechanic just sounds like a way of ensuring that you'll be driving a jap scrap car in a month or two.
Long & short, I don't think that crack is recall related.
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(kruggerand)

Two additional things based on your responses: 1) the car is at a Buick dealer in NH, the car has been serviced every 3000 miles without fail, and the crack was not magna fluxed but the heads were. So the crack was so small they did not see it in number 1 cylinder. The service manager indicated they used a scotch pad to find it in the cylinder. He speculates that as the temp rises in the block the crack opens and allows anti freeze to enter the cylinder. Should also say there was no fluid (anto freeze) in the crank case.
They suggested that I consider a short block, a rebuilt or a salvage yard engine but have not yet provided the numbers and my condidence wanes. What would you think about trying to involve GM representative in the matter? We are both seniors over 65 and have never had any rough treatment of the car mostly highway miles to 90K....also have a 92 with 140K on it that is perfect engine wise....but will forgo any recalls.
you folks are great thanks
Kruggerand

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kruggerand wrote:

If everything you wrote is really what the dealer said and meant, and not misinterpreted, then, IMO, you are getting taken by the dealer for big bucks. Did they really magnaflux the heads? How did they find the crack with a scotch pad? How much antifreeze were you losing? What was the results of the combustion product sniffer test at the radiator cap (overflow bottle)? Cracks into the water jacket often work both ways... Did anything on the cooling system explode? (literally) Antifreeze in the crankcase is virtually guaranteed under the conditions you describe. What was condition of the egr tube into the intake? Lastly, What were the codes that were set? (be specific) IMO, you are getting taken. You might want to involve GM on this matter.
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"kruggerand" wrote: ( 98 Lesabre Limited)
1.) Customer receives recall notice. Dealer replaces fuel press regulator. 2.) Customer has CEL warning next day. Dealer: Maybe #6 cyl; Trust me; reset and ignore it. 3.) Customer has CEL warning next day. Dealer: Test shows #1 & #6 gasket blown. Trust me; engine must come apart. 4.) Customer asks to see blown gaskets. Dealer: Gaskets were okay. Trust me; you have a cracked block. Engine must be replaced. 5.) Customer asks to see cracks in block. Dealer: Trust me; ...................................... 6.) Customer asks ......................... Dealer: Trust me; ...................................... ________________________________________________
Please continue to post your progress. This has the makings of a long, expensive saga. Trust me.
Wendy & John _________________________________________________
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My aunt has a 99 LeSabre that had the fuel pressure regulator replaced under recall a few weeks ago, she's got 10,000 miles on it.
========Harryface ======== 1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE 3800 V6 ( C ), Black/Slate Grey _~_~_~292,024 miles_~_~_
~_~_~_~_U.S.A._~_~_~_~_~_
~~~The Former Fleet ~~~ 89 Cavalier Z 24 convertible 78 Holiday 88 coupe 68 LeSabre convertible 73 Impala sedan
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