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Everything posted by pitzel

  1. pitzel

    3.6 LFX Oil Catch Can installation

    When did you change oil last? Any possibility of, for example, in the summer months, driving for a month, checking the catchcan. And then driving the next month, for a relatively similar distance/time, and then checking the catchcan again? I highly suspect the GDI intake problems are largely due to "enthusiasts", and people who think they know better than the manufacturers, doing oil changes far too frequently. So if you collect a much lower quantity of fluid on the 2nd (summer) month of catchcan use, after an initial oil change, that would go towards proving that theory, that its the extra oil changes that enthusiasts often do, that is significantly at the root of the GDI intake issues. Just as an anecdote, I acquired the vehicle in the tagline from an old man who had his oil changed at Wal-Mart with the cheapest 5W-30 they offer every 1000-1500 miles, basically 4X a year. The throttle body and intake plenum was absolutely filthy with caked on motor oil. Requiring solvents for cleaning. Changed to a high quality synthetic on very long oil change intervals, and every time I've inspected it since, the little bit of oil that's present is easily wiped away with a rag.
  2. pitzel

    3.6 LFX Oil Catch Can installation

    I have to disagree here. The problem is actually caused largely by changing oil too often, and tends to hit enthusiasts and those who 'religously' maintain their cars far more frequently than those who little maintenance (cars that adhere to the maintenance minders basically don't seem to have the problems!). The first thousand or two miles of virgin motor oil has the greatest amount of volatilization from the lubricant as it is essentially distilled under vacuum in the crankcase. With the distillate going into the intake through the PCV, creating the deposits. So if you minimize the use of fresh lubricant, there is less deposit-causing material to be distilled from the lubricant, and hence, fewer intake valve deposits. So engines with the GDI problems absolutely scream for long drain intervals and the best quality synthetic oil money can buy (which may or may not be the most expensive). Of course, one doesn't want to run the lubricant so long that it loses its lubricating properties. But the GM 60-degree V6 NA engines tend to be extremely easy on oil, and drain intervals, such as my 92k km's / 57k mile to date interval with proper top-ups and filter changes can keep intake deposits to a minimum.
  3. pitzel

    Oil change intervals, what do you guys suggest?

    The XD-3 0W-30 that I specifically used was dual rated for gas and diesel engines, and as such, had extra additives to deal with potentially higher levels of acid particularly arising from the use of higher-sulfur diesel fuel. But the sulfur spec on the fuels has been tightened up in the past 10-15 years as well. Which is where most of the 'acid' comes from. In a nutshell, as long as the oil is kept at proper levels, and isn't contaminated by coolant, or fuel I've yet to hear of anyone killing a 3.1 or even a 3.4 due to bad oil. Heck, I drove a few thousand miles with coolant contamination until I could repair my LIM (just kept adding coolant, it was a slower leak) and that still didn't do anything major except creating a mess in the lifter valley and underneath the valve covers.
  4. pitzel

    Oil change intervals, what do you guys suggest?

    No, I should though one of these days. I had the oil pan off, and there was no glitter nor sludge. Put the same oil back in the engine and kept running it. No decrease in MPG per the DIS or manual calculations on long trips. I started doing the long drains in 2004 after seeing some very good results with the 60degree 3.1/3.4 engines on Bobistheoilguy. Unfortunately my first attempt was cut short by the dreaded LIM problem in early 2008, but once that was all fixed up and a brief course of flush oil run... Haven't changed oil since 2008.
  5. pitzel

    Oil change intervals, what do you guys suggest?

    Which engine? I haven't changed oil in my 3.1 in over 92,000km. Or in excess of 57k miles. Esso XD-3 0W-30 full synthetic. Filter changes every 15k miles or so per the manual and use of the double-sized filter. 3k miles, good lord, what a waste if you have a 3.1.
  6. pitzel

    Welding coolant pipes.

    Wow... Crazy, crazy overkill.. But it'd never rust out again, that's for sure :).
  7. pitzel

    Welding coolant pipes.

    Yup. That's what I put it on. The LH0 engine.
  8. pitzel

    Welding coolant pipes.

    Yeah no reason why you couldn't weld it, although you may just be playing 'whack-a-mole' with the leaks if the thing is significantly corroded. If I recall, the replacement isn't that expensive, about $30-$40 as a Dorman part that comes in a huge box. Probably more of a hassle to remove the old one intact without damaging it further, than to just cut it out in pieces and fit a new one. Was pretty easy to fit on the 3.1, especially with the engine rocked forward and the main engine wiring harness connector disconnected. Part number on the 1992 was Dorman 626-100. $37 from Amazon w/free shipping, comes in a giant box that probably costs that to ship. Strange that I can't even find it on Rockauto, but still seems to be available on Amazon. edit: Canada link, a little more obviously.... Gone up $20 since I ordered mine back in 2014. The whole bottom of mine was rotted, the metal was so thin I could basically deform it easily with my fingers. Basically running it through the wheel well almost was not GM's most brilliant moment, although the rest of the car has minimal rust other than the rocker panels are rusting from the inside out.
  9. pitzel

    1A Auto parts?

    Watch Rockauto for close-outs on the struts. KYB is preferred around here. Lots of nice videos of routine W-Body repairs from 1AAuto's youtube channel. They've helped me out immensely.
  10. Long story short, my entire strut tower assembly had to be replaced in the middle of nowhere in North Dakota by some hack mechanics with one from a junkyard off of a newer car with the bigger front brakes. Unfortunately I wasn't able to supervise the repairs. They re-used my existing 1992 calipers, rotors, slide-pins, bearings. But the caliper doesn't really ride properly in the assembly, and only makes about 2/3rds contact with the brake rotor. And everything is all bound up. My questions: 1) Are strut tower assemblies identical and interchangeable between the "small brake" and "big brake" models? 2) Could it be possible that the shop kept the 'big brake' bracket, but swapped my small-brake calipers and rotors? 3) Would going to a junkyard, finding a "small brake" caliper bracket, and fitting it fix the issue? Braking-wise, performance is perfectly acceptable, although I think it is burning up pads faster and longer-term it'll probably kill the rotors too.
  11. Yeah there's still a few kicking around in Saskatchewan, Canada (where I live..), the newer Luminas in the yards. Probably would have to buy a ball joint and a pair of rotors to complete the bilateral upgrade. They're quite the PITA to remove in the junkyard though as its hand-tools only around here, and separating everything down to just the knuckle isn't easy. And those T60 caliper bolts are a giant pain in the butt. On the bright side, very little salt used here (way too cold for salt to work), so not much rust.
  12. Ok i'll keep that in mind... I have to drive from Minneapolis to Albany sometime over the summer or early fall, so picking them up might be a possibility too... Thanks..
  13. Yeah I'm gonna have to get the part numbers off of those strut towers and see if I can get to the bottom of it... Because the donor car didn't seem like a 1996, as I'm pretty sure it still had the 'old' interior. I was hoping it was just a different caliper bracket... Would've saved me a lot of work.. But if the greater offset was implemented by way of the strut tower, then its obvious that the only way to fix the problem would be to make sure that the strut tower matches the rotor.
  14. Yeah its crazy, nothing this old in the GTA when I drove there last year (live in Western Canada). Too bad you're not closer, we could do a trade, at least for the drivers side. Well if I junkyard it next spring and end up getting the older one, I could perhaps drop the upgraded old part off for you as I have to drive by there next summer. Used to be more Luminas than you could shake a stick at in the yard, now they're rare. Are you absolutely sure the calipers and brackets are the same?
  15. Yeah about 10k miles / 2.5 years ago. I don't really notice any asymmetry or loss of performance braking-wise, but brake pads that previously had only about 1/3rds wear after 70k miles wore down extremely quickly on that side (and not on the untouched side) only making about 50% contact with the rotor's outer edge. It doesn't matter to me whether its an upgrade or not -- I'd just like it to wear the brake pads evenly, and of course, get through an inspection properly. The 1990s W bodies are starting to become rather scarce at the local pull-a-part, so whether I do the upgrade or it becomes a downgrade would be dependant on what I can actually get on the day I go. EDIT: I've been using 'strut tower', but I actually mean "strut knuckle" which I believe is the more appropriate term.
  16. Long story short, the spring seat failed catastrophically due to rust on a trip to Minneapolis. The hacks who worked on it didn't realize that the spring seat could be ordered as a separate part, so they found a 1995-ish wreck, swapped the spring/strut tower/strut assembly, and fitted my existing bearings, caliper bracket, rotor, calipers, etc. to the "new" strut tower and sent me along. Because it was in small town North Dakota, there wasn't really a lot of good options otherwise. I've since gone in and replaced the spring seats on both sides with brand new ones (the other side was pretty bad too, and not far from failure), so I've had the strut towers apart. But the brake alignment problem with the newer tower has been quite vexing.
  17. Yup, a 1995-ish strut tower assembly was put in place of the 1992 factory original. Everything else remained identical. Of course predictably it doesn't really work properly. So you're saying that the strut tower, where the holes are drilled, is different between a 1992 and a 1995? Darn... So basically I need to have identical strut towers on both sides. Which means basically I have to go to a junkyard and pull a strut tower assembly to down-grade my setup to the 1992 caliper bracket positioning? Or alternatively, upgrade the other side to the 1995-ish spec?
  18. Anyone experienced a fiberglass leaf spring failure with the spring pads installed? Or ever had to actually replace them? I think some people were previously concerned that there would be some excess wear of the spring ends when they're installed.
  19. pitzel

    1994 vert. LED Light conversion

    What parts did you use?
  20. pitzel

    Oil Change in LQ1 with 120k

    LH0, not the LQ1 engine here, but last oil change I did on it was in 2008, approximately 90,000km ago (56k miles). Had the oil pan off, no sludge whatsoever. Carefully drained the oil prior to removal into a clean container, and simply poured it back in. No, just in case someone asks, there is not a typo in my post. So modern oil in an otherwise mechanically sound engine can last a *long* time.
  21. pitzel

    3.1 LH0 exhaust manifold leak

    I have exhaust coming out of the exhaust manifold in the engine compartment, probably from the gasket failing, in the cylinder that's behind the engine mount. Is there any way of correcting this short of removing the engine?
  22. pitzel

    3.1 LH0 exhaust manifold leak

    Just looking at the service manual, to remove the front engine mounting bracket to access the left-most cylinder's manifold bolts, I have to remove the A/C compressor. Any way around this?
  23. pitzel

    3.1 LH0 exhaust manifold leak

    Ah okay. Not much salt used up here, but i'm just scared of breaking a bolt off in the head and having the job get exponentially more involved. I'll take a look in the spring.
  24. I highly suggest a proper inspection of the coil spring seats in the front ends of these cars. Even on minimally driven vehicles, water gets in there, gets underneath the powder coating, and eats the metal as there is nowhere for it to drain properly. Unfortunately the only way to inspect is to actually remove the entire front spring/strut/ball joint/bearing assembly .
  25. pitzel

    Rear suspension

    Are you sure the leaf spring still has its end pads? They tend to fall off over time. You can either get replacements, or you can get plastic "pucks" that go into the spring seats and stop the metal to metal contact. The 'pucks' are controversial though -- some claim that they will wear at the leaf spring fiberglass ends and eventually cause failure.