Opinions on the 3.1 V6

I just recently got a used 94 Grand Am with the V6 3.1 litre engine. I was just wondering what positive or negative comments you all had regarding this particular engine.
I had a Quad 4 DOHC previously that had a nasty head problem, and eventually cracked the block so I won't be going back to that ever again. The 3.1 engine has 120,000 km which isn't alot really. (75,000 miles) Runs smooth and has pretty good power.
Just a few questions.
Should I stick with 5w30 oil as printed on the oil cap ? Does this car require any special coolant like Dexcool or anything. ? Is the premixed generic green stuff OK ? Does this engine have a timing belt or chain ? If it's a chain, do I have to change it every 100,000km
Any other thoughts or opinions people have about this car are welcome as well.
Thanks for the imput,
KDawg
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I have a 94 Grand Prix with 175,000 miles on it and am selling it used tomorrow. Problems with this engine were minamal. It did have the green stuff for coolant. Great engine in my book.
Now I have a 3.1 in my Monte Carlo 1999 with the red coolant. Had to have a head gasket ($475.00) done at 82,000 miles. GRRRRRRR!
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I think it's a good engine when maintained.

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Look out for Piston Slap issues.

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I just gave up on trying to wear mine out; It had 172,000 miles on it and still going strong, with the original transmission. It fried the ignition brain board a couple times, but no other problems.

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I can beat one with a 2.5 if you don't pay attention. 3.5 Chrysler is overrated on an aside if you ask me.

have
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Hmmm I'm only getting this one message for the whole thread...
If these questions have been answered already, my apologies.
The 3.1 has a timing chain. 5w-30 would still be fine for this engine.
My '90 Grand Prix with 3.1 has over 200,000 miles and it's still runs very well. It has the original timing chain.

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I've got 225,000 on my transport with a 3.1. I change the oil maybe every 30,000 to 40,000 miles or so. Some times I just add 2 or 3 quarts when I go around corners and the oil light flickers on. What I guess I'm saying is that I beat this minivan but it just keeps running. The engine (short block) was replaced at about 65,000 miles because of a recall for piston slap. But I would highly recomend the 3.1. The 3.8 in my bonneville is a different story.
Glen

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welcome
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net says...

An oil change every 30,000 to 40,000 miles???? Did you make 2 typos and hit Zero one to many times there??? Thats like 10 times the number of miles you should go between oil changes! No wonder you need 3 quarts after making a turn! Man you valves guides, rings, and cylinder walls must be shot to hell and not to mention your catalytic converter!
<shakes head in disbelief>
I dont know what your gripe is about the 3.8 but it is a proven work horse so long as its "properly" maintained.
I hate crossposting but this was a shocker to me...

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I guess I'm cheap. My 3.1 rattles and sounds like a diesel when it starts up,my a rod knocking, but after a couple of minutes when the oil starts taking up the gaps it sounds pretty good. Oil pressure shows 60 lbs. We took it on a 2000 mile vacation last summer. Next year may California (4000 miles). If it breaks down Call Enterprise car rental. They pick you up. Then I'll just have it towed to the junk yard. If you add 2 quarts when it's low, that's almost like an oil change.
Glen
Oh yah 3.8 is pretty good too, but that internal water leak that hydro locked up the engine because of gm's poor design didn't make me happy.

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120,000
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Glen Szpot wrote:

I hear the 3.3 is much better than the 3.1. Too bad it's getting hard to find. 170hp and 2mpg better than the 3800 isn't so bad considering that's just below(5hp) what the original 3800 put out.
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:o that's a lot of miles between changes! I guess the engine is tougher than I thought.
My mother had a '92 Corsica with 3.1 in it. She changed the oil about every 10-20 thousand miles. The engine did not last 200 thousand miles. In fact, it was rebuilt and sold to me. The engine still had a knock after being rebuilt (speaks to the quality of work, IMO). It didn't last 10 thousand miles for me (with regular maintenance). The crank broke in 2 places (on either side of #5) while I was cruising down the road at 60 MPH.
There's a shiny orange block sitting in the scrap heap... just needs a crank.
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I have a 97 GA with about 107k miles, to be honest it pretty much runs like new. Beware of intake gasket failures at about 100k miles causing coolant leak at the engine. Its an expensive repair. Its a gasket that connects the coolant sys to the engine. I cost about $800 to fix, I think the fuel injection, throttle body and other engine parts need to be removed to get to the repair which makes ir expensive to fix.

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wrote:

Assuming you don't have serious oil consumption problems, stick with 5w-30.

Green works fine. Change it every two years though.

Chain. No need for periodic maintenance.

Keep a close eye out for coolant leeking into the engine. Sign of a poorly designed lower intake maniforld gasket setup.

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GM didnt start using dexcool until about 95 on cars. Lets make it clear, if it has dexcool do not switch from dexcool. If it has the green based coolant do not attempt to switch to dexcool for the residue left over from the green coolant will only contaminate dexcool.
------------------------------------------ -Bonneville -Formerly known as -Bonnevilles R Kewl ------------------------------------------
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I have a 1991 Lumina with 300,000 hard kilometres. Uses no oil, but oil has been leaking from the top on the oil pump cover. This was a bit annoying, but found that they all seem to leak here...the beauty is to fix it is a $3.00 gasket and about 40 minutes work with minimal tools required. The GM dealer wanted $600.00 to fix... Steve

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Keep an eye on the upper and lower intake manifold gaskets for leaks.
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