: 99 Park Ave hit 250k this week



rodnok01
09-12-12, 11:10 PM
Well the wifeys 99 Park Ave hit 250k this week, the freaking AC and drivers window promptly quit of course... the rat bastard heard me talking about getting a Caddy to replace it in the spring I think.
Overall the car has been exceptionally durable, considering she beats it like a step child most days. Just a few issues over the years, power seats break if you look at them wrong, the infamous GM vibration at speed which took me 5 years to nail down the cause(rotors get turned and tires get balanced every 6 months and no vibrations), frt hubs have gone out a few times but I can live with that. I maintain it very carefully and I guess it has paid off. Almost everything is stock except for struts, shocks, intake and usual wear items like brake and tires. Considering we paid less than 13K out the door in 2001 for it with 65k miles I can't complain a bit. It gets 25+ on the highway easy(except the last year or so) and 22+ around town.
It's been hit twice in the back(drunk drivers) and she backed into my F350 one morning and only has a small dent and a cracked moulding to show for it, I hate to say it but the stupid plastic bumpers have saved me alot of money. The one drunk hit me and knocked me forward a car length, no bag deployment either time and luckily they hit it square. When she hit my truck she ran the car half way up the door... yes she was hauling ass late for work as usual. It's hit at least 3 dogs and god knows how many possums and racoons and survived with just a few scratches, until some turd hit it at work a year ago and broke the headlight mount... and of course we were leaving for vacation the next morning.
Hopefully it will make it until the early spring when I can replace it, but I think 250k is starting to push it and I know stuff is gonna just wear slap out soon. She wants a Seville to replace it so it's not a "family looking car".... figures I get the family car...where did I go wrong I wonder...

brandondeleo
09-12-12, 11:12 PM
Congrats on the milestone! I drove a Park Ave of that generation recently and I fell in love with it...

creeker
09-13-12, 12:25 AM
The 3.8 was a great engine, I've owned a 90 olds. touring sedan and a 90 olds. regency 98, both were great cars, I wonder how many years g.m. used the 3.8?.

CadillacLuke24
09-13-12, 01:25 AM
They used the 3800 for FREAKING EVER. I think the latest gen Impala had it at first. They are durable engines, that's for sure.

talismandave
09-13-12, 01:46 AM
My dad's 98 Le Sabre had it and gave 30+ on the highway too! Great engine.

97EldETC
09-13-12, 01:30 PM
Or 01 Lesabre 3.8 Series II hit 85,000 yesterday... Needs lights all over the interior, key scratches need painting, new ELC needed in rear, and more. But the engine is bullet proof! After a tuneup of course, which in the end cost $1200 last week.

cadillac kevin
09-13-12, 01:35 PM
The 3.8 was a great engine, I've owned a 90 olds. touring sedan and a 90 olds. regency 98, both were great cars, I wonder how many years g.m. used the 3.8?.

I'd guess somewhere around 20 years. They started using the 3800 in the late 80s (not related to the 3.8 used prior to that, I believe) and used it into 08 maybe?
Edit: it was used from 1988 to 2009 model years.

rodnok01
09-13-12, 02:36 PM
The 3.8 has gotten noisey over the last few years, valve train chatter so I switched to 10w40 high mileage QS oil and helped some believe it or not(no oil bashing here please). I change the oil whenever the oil life monitor says to, at first it was every 3k but it was clean looking so I let it go longer. It uses a quart just about when it's due for a change now. I was going to rebuild it and get a rebuilt trans last year, but the car isn't worth the money anymore.
I forgot I changed the injectors about 5 years ago to try and improve mileage... didn't make a bit of difference in mileage or performance in anyway. Plug and wires every couple years makes a big difference in how it runs. The trans has a valve that sticks sometimes and makes it shift hard, been doing that since we got it pretty much. Of course it's the hardest to get to valve in the trans. I change the fluid every few years and it helps.
I forgot the worst thing about the PA of these years... changing the serp belt. Have to remove the engine mount that the belt goes around. Takes me about 4 hrs to change it, I change it every 2 years as a precaution. Freaking genius thought that one up.
When I was shopping around for a diff vehicle last year I wanted another PA 2000 or newer mainly for the engine, but also because they handle incredibly well for a full size car and ride as good as my Deville. Couldn't find one around here for a decent price that wasn't beat already. I guess I can thank the N* engine in Caddys for not holding their value as well as the PA's for providing me a good car at a cheap price :)

drewsdeville
09-13-12, 06:32 PM
I forgot the worst thing about the PA of these years... changing the serp belt. Have to remove the engine mount that the belt goes around.

This one still amazes me. Very poor design. If you ever take one of these cars on a road trip and have a belt problem, you're f---cked.

The belt is such a vital maintenance item - when it breaks, you're stuck (no water pump, no alternator, no power steering). I can't believe that this was the only way they could successfully mount things. To me, this is the same as mounting the battery and it's terminals behind the dashboard (or somewhere else where it wouldn't be readily accessible).

talismandave
09-13-12, 06:59 PM
Or like mounting the battery inside the fender like on the Sebring I had. Had to remove tire and inner fender well to get to it! Got in an argument with Sears at replacement time over their quote.

orconn
09-13-12, 09:44 PM
The 3.8 in my wife's 1997 Regal got 34 mpg in Interstate driving on a trip from VA to Decatur, IL and back in 1998.

Why am am I not surpised that the battery of a Sebring would be located in the fender behind a plate? The true wonders Of "Superior German Ebgineering1" The Germans just could be outdone by English Jaguar engineers of the 1950's so decided to take this "superior" idea directly from the XK Jaguar cars of the 1950's and put it in their Sebring of the 21st Century! The guys at Chrysler must have been so bold over by the "brilliance" of this design move that they were laughing all the way to the restroom!

brandondeleo
09-14-12, 03:23 AM
Eh, it only takes a couple of minutes to get to it. Annoyance, yes. Not a big deal, though.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-14-12, 11:14 AM
Gotta love the 3800, truly one of the greatest engines of all time.

Started production in 1988, used up until 2009 in the Lacrosse. Was not used in the last generation Impala, those were only the 3.5, 3.9 or 5.3.

truckinman
09-14-12, 12:31 PM
Gotta love the 3800, truly one of the greatest engines of all time.

Started production in 1988, used up until 2009 in the Lacrosse. Was not used in the last generation Impala, those were only the 3.5, 3.9 or 5.3.

I believe they started in 87. I had a 1987 Lesabre that had it

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-14-12, 12:39 PM
No, the 3.8 Buick V6 has been in use since 1975, but it was revised and smoothed out for 1988, when it was officially handed the "3800" moniker.

CadillacLuke24
09-14-12, 01:56 PM
Gotta love the 3800, truly one of the greatest engines of all time.

Started production in 1988, used up until 2009 in the Lacrosse. Was not used in the last generation Impala, those were only the 3.5, 3.9 or 5.3.

Thank you. I thought, but thinking and knowing are two different things. That's a pretty good run for an engine like that. Shoot, they shoulda just DI'ed it and kept it around!

talismandave
09-14-12, 05:44 PM
All the car mags were always ragging on it, "oh it's such o ld technology, oh it's push rod, oh it's harsh" usual crap! People who owned them kept buying them again so they must have been terrible! Side note, Peter Egan bought one as a winter beater in the late 90's and had a couple of columns where he had nothing but praise for his old beater!

97EldETC
09-14-12, 06:04 PM
Upload a picture of you Park! An join Buick forum too. All other car forums seen to be dead... Cadillac is Alive and Well! Until I find out what is grinding :ouch:

orconn
09-14-12, 06:09 PM
If you are interested in the latest fads in auto gadgetry and want an opinion formed of short term experience from guys that basically make their living from hyping the "new" regardless of how impractical, useless or downright annoying the "technology" may be, then look to the auto mags and the carmaker pimps who write for them.

drewsdeville
09-14-12, 06:18 PM
All the car mags were always ragging on it, "oh it's such o ld technology, oh it's push rod, oh it's harsh" usual crap! People who owned them kept buying them again so they must have been terrible! Side note, Peter Egan bought one as a winter beater in the late 90's and had a couple of columns where he had nothing but praise for his old beater!

The beater is a car as a whole, not just an engine :thepan:. Lots of engines run good, but not all cars are good beaters.

The 3.8 always got ragged on because it's reign was short lived, even in the GM family, yet it lived on. Shortly after the 3800 came out, the MPI 60 degree V6 was introduced. It was more advanced overall, and it's characteristics reflected that - unmistakeably smoother, quite efficient, and much more compact/light than the dinosaur 3800. It was such a success that it was installed into nearly every passenger car line. Eventually, the 60 Degree would kill the 3800 entirely (3.5/3.9).

talismandave
09-15-12, 12:20 AM
1975-2009 not that short a run.:hmm:

Don't really get your point on engine vs whole car. I mean, I understand that, I just don't see how it applies to the discussion? The discussion was about the engine, not to find a good beater?

His praise in the editorials I read were covering the car and singling out the engine. The fact he bought it as a beater was not the point, he didn't discuss it as being "good as a beater". He was however shocked that for a car he had no regard for prior turned out to be so good.


The replacement engine may be smoother and lighter but from the mileage ratings I have seen in full sized sedans it isn't any more efficient even with the advancements made since 1989 in engine management and transmissions.

drewsdeville
09-15-12, 01:51 AM
1975? The 3800 didn't debut until 1988. The regular 3.8 V6 before that was a pathetic rattling, knocking, sad little engine - and almost completely unrelated to the 3800. Don't let the similar displacement confuse you. They shared nothing.

brandondeleo
09-15-12, 04:11 AM
1975? The 3800 didn't debut until 1988. Don't let the similar displacement confuse you. They shared nothing.
:yeah:

talismandave
09-15-12, 10:17 PM
1975? The 3800 didn't debut until 1988. The regular 3.8 V6 before that was a pathetic rattling, knocking, sad little engine - and almost completely unrelated to the 3800. Don't let the similar displacement confuse you. They shared nothing.
Thank you for your concern, but I am not confused, unless you mean about where you got your information on the history of the Buick V6.:hmm:

I sold the 3.8 V6 from 1981-1986. WHILE It would not compare to the engine designs of today (but then what decades old product design would) for it's day it was a solid and award winning engine. I am also not surprised that your experience with them found them to be "pathetic rattling,knocking, sad little engines". By the time you were old enough to drive them the newest one would have been at least as old as you were. :lol:

I also have two relatives who built the 3.8/3800 in Flint MI. I am familiar with the engine and it's history, going all the way back to 1962 when it was originally built as the 231 V6. The 3800 is the evolution of that 231 V6. At no time did GM start with a clean slate. It was redesigned and updated many times, construction materials changed, and improvements were made, but it was always based on the original design. :yup:

While I understand that it is hard for you to be knowledgeable on an engine designed almost 40 years before you were born, it might be wise to do a little research before stating opinions instead of facts.:thepan:

*Here are just a couple articles I found.


ENGINE OF THE DAY
BY MURILEE MARTIN OCT 10, 2009 5:00 PM

Engine Of The Day: Buick V6
If we ever get around to doing an Ultimate Engine Survivors list (to accompany the Survivor Cars list), this engine will surely be near the top. 47 years and counting!

If you like weird twists and turns in your engine-history plot, you'll like the Buick V6. Buick engineers took their aluminum 215-cube V8, lopped off a couple of cylinders, and cast the shortened block and heads in cast iron. The result displaced 198 cubes and made its debut (as the "Fireball V6") in the 1962 Buick Special. Oldsmobile and Buick dropped the 198 and later 225 into their A-bodies, but The General made the decision to use the Chevrolet I6 250 as their six-banger of choice. The V6 was sold off to ready for this? Kaiser-Jeep! When those Kenosha swashbucklers at AMC bought Kaiser-Jeep in 1970, the bulletproof AMC Straight Six shoved the Buick aside.
Fast-forward to the dawn of the Malaise Era: "Rat turds!" screamed The General's suits up on the Fourteenth Floor, "We need a V6, like, yesterday! So, all the Buick V6 tooling traveled back from Wisconsin to Detroit and the world was introduced to the 231-cubic-inch "new" Buick V6, which was installed in such stellar machines as the Skyhawk. The funky "odd-fire" crank setup made the engine rough, but reliability was very good (and The General eventually loosened the purse strings enough for his engineers to make a smoother "even-fire" version).
Keep fast-forwarding, and you'll find this engine surviving through the Malaise Era, through the Oliver North Era, and all the way up until the present day. Displacements have come and gone, but the 3800 aka 231 has proven itself to have the real staying power; not only did a turbocharged version power the legendary Buick GNX, but Eaton superchargers started getting bolted on during the 90s. What was the most powerful factory Buick V6? Well, that depends on whether you believe The General's numbers about the GNX! Hate away, you pushrod-phobes, but you're looking at a success story.


Written by Aaron Severson
Sunday, 02 March 2008 14:14

THE BORN-AGAIN V6

The Fireball V6, meanwhile, was beginning a strange odyssey of its own. In the early sixties, Jeep was still using an antiquarian F-head four-cylinder engine, which was barely adequate for the heavy CJ5s. A dealer in Salt Lake City, Utah with both Buick and Jeep franchises started offering a V6 conversion for Jeeps, replacing the overtaxed four-cylinder engine with a new Buick V6. Word of these conversions eventually filtered back to the engineers at Kaiser Jeep, who were very impressed with the results. Not only did the V6 offer much improved performance, it scored extremely well in a set of grueling durability tests.

Kaiser Jeep purchased the manufacturing rights to the Fireball V6 in 1965. The Jeep version of the engine, known as the Dauntless 225, was essentially similar to the Buick version, although it had a heavier flywheel to dampen more of its second-order vibration. Jeep used the Dauntless V6 until 1970, when Kaiser sold Jeep to American Motors. AMC quickly replaced it with American's own straight-six, and production ceased. The tooling for the Dauntless engine, coated in Cosmoline, was stored in the Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio.


A late-sixties Jeep CJ-5 powered by the Buick-designed "Dauntless 225" V6. (Photo 2008 Christopher Ziemnowicz; released to the public domain by the photographer)

Surprisingly, that was not the end of the road for the V6, either. The first OPEC oil embargo, which began during the Yom Kippur War in October 1973, had a devastating effect on auto sales around the world; Buick's sales for 1974 model year fell 50%, as buyers again turned to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. That was bad news for Buick, whose smallest 1974 model was the Apollo, a clone of the Chevrolet Nova, powered by Chevy's big 250 cu. in. (4.1 L) straight six. Buick chief engineer Phillip Bowser quickly realized that Buick needed a smaller, more-frugal engine.

While on vacation in early December 1973, Bowser began thinking about the old Fireball V6. He placed a long-distance call to Cliff Studaker, now Buick's assistant chief engineer, and asked him to investigate what had happened to the V6's tooling. Studaker made some calls, and discovered that while AMC no longer used the V6, the tooling had been stored intact. Bowser and Studaker agreed that the V6 would be well suited to their needs, and they scoured local junkyards for an intact engine to test.

The idea of reviving the V6 soon attracted the attention of GM president Ed Cole. Cole was interested in the V6 for the new H-body car (Chevrolet Monza/Buick Skyhawk/Oldsmobile Starfire), as an stopgap in case the H-body's planned Wankel rotary engine was delayed. He and Studaker drove the engineering test mule, powered by a refurbished junkyard engine, to Toledo to open discussions with AMC.

Cole asked AMC management to restart production of the V6 so that GM could buy completed engines, but the two companies were unable to agree on a unit price. In April, GM simply bought back the tooling, which was hastily reinstalled in the same space it had originally occupied in Buick's Flint engine plant. Production began only four months later, and engines were ready for public sale by the start of the 1975 model year. (In a 1975 interview for Motor Trend, automotive writer Karl Ludvigsen asked AMC vice president Gerry Meyers why American didn't revive the 90-degree V6 for its own use. Meyers replied that AMC engineers considered it too rough, and said that making it acceptable for passenger cars was beyond American's resources.)

Initially, Buick's once-and-future V6 was little changed from its original configuration, except for a slight increase in bore to match the dimensions of Buick's small-block V8 -- itself still a cast-iron descendant of the original aluminum 215. The change brought the V6's displacement to 231 cu. in. (3.8 L), offering a meager 110 net horsepower (82 kW).

Buick engineers immediately set about addressing some of the V6's inherent limitations, something that had never been a priority in the previous decade. In late 1977, Cliff Studaker developed a novel split-pin crankshaft that provided even firing intervals, along with a new flywheel design to reduce vibration. Buick also developed a turbocharged version, which went on sale in the Regal and LeSabre in 1978; it went on to a storied career in the fearsome Grand National and GNX coupes. A de-bored, 196 cu. in. (3.2 L) version appeared in 1978, followed in 1980 by a 252 cu. in. (4.1 L) version, and in 1982 by a short-stroke 181 cu. in. (3.0 L).


In the mid-eighties, Buick's ferocious Grand National had a turbocharged version of the 3800 V6, with a claimed 235 to 240 hp (175 to 183 kW). The final limited-production GNX version was rated at 275 hp (205 kW) and 360 lb-ft (486 Nm) of torque. Based on the GNX's performance, both figures were significantly underrated, which may have been to protect the nominal performance supremacy of the Chevrolet Corvette.

Over the next two decades, Buick made changes to the V6 nearly every year, reducing internal friction, cutting weight, adding features like fuel injection, and whittling away at its intrinsic vibration problems. In the eighties, it became one of GM's corporate engines, shared by every division-- including, briefly, Cadillac. It was renamed 3800 following an extensive 1988 makeover, which finally added a balance shaft. A cheaper, short-stroke 3300 (204 cu. in.) derivative appeared in 1989. The turbocharged version died in 1988, but a new supercharged 3800 bowed for 1991. Further redesigns followed in 1995 and 2004. The final version, known as the 3800 Series III, offered up to 260 net horsepower (194 kW) in supercharged form. Production ended in August 2008.

The venerable V6 survived in various forms for 47 years, often outliving newer engines originally intended to replace it. As of this writing, it appears to have finally reached the end of the line, but it's been pronounced dead at least twice before, so we wouldn't be surprised to see it rise again, perhaps in the service of some smaller, foreign automaker.


Note: These are just a couple of the first articles that came up when I searched 3800 V6 history for you. If you would like to learn more about the engine just ask, I'm always glad to help.:)

drewsdeville
09-16-12, 02:31 AM
So then, since the '88 3800 was merely an upgrade of the previous 3.8 V6 design rather than a complete redesign, would you be kind enough to inform me of the shared characteristics between the two?

To save you some time, I already know that they are both 90 degree V6's, with similar displacement. That doesn't tell us much though, details are nice.

Nevermind, I'll save YOU some time, and I'll be slightly more detailed than your cute little copy/paste job up there. Getting down to the nitty gritty comparison - the 3800 doesn't share the early 3.8's bore spacing nor firing pattern (this says a lot right here). That said, the block is new, heads are new, crank, rods, pistons are new - the entire bottom end is new. The balance shaft was brand new and never existed on the 3.8. You can't swap hardly a single internal component between the two.

Why the significant changes? Because, as stated above, the 3.8 was a turd. It was an odd fire engine with no balance shaft. It shook, it knocked, it rattled. In the late 70's a new crank was added to create an even firing engine, but it was still rough. There was no way to save the design - it had inherent limitations, hence the eventual introduction of a brand new, even firing V6 with balance shaft.

Perhaps we are arguing semantics, but to me, this is a new design - far beyond a mere upgrade to the previous. The 3.8 is as related to the 3800 was the new Ford 5.0 is to the old 302. Yeah, the Ford engines are both 90 degree V8's of similar displacement, but they are NOT the same engine whatsoever.

BTW, who is Murilee Martin and Aaron Severson? You are trying to challenge credibility with some no-name editors that tell us the GNX was powered by a turbo-charged "3800"? :thepan: The RWD GNX was done in '87, and the 3800 never debuted until '88, when it began in GM's USA lineup as a FWD ONLY engine until the Series II in the '90's.

brandondeleo
09-16-12, 04:23 AM
Here we go... :lol:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-16-12, 05:11 AM
I've driven countless 3100's and 3800's. 3100's don't compare. The only advantage they have is they're a better sounding engine. Other than that, the 3800 is more powerful, as good on gas...if not better, as well as more reliable.

Did the 3100 ever make it onto Ward's 10 Best Engines list?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward%27s_10_Best_Engines#20th_century

Jesda
09-16-12, 05:32 AM
Murilee Martin is a known name in automotive circles. He writes/has written content for C&D, Jalopnik, and TTAC.

I have no other interest in this discussion.

drewsdeville
09-16-12, 11:11 AM
He writes/has written content for C&D, Jalopnik, and TTAC.



Yeesh...that explains it. Jalopnik is one of the worst offenders.

rodnok01
09-16-12, 11:53 AM
And here I thought I started this thread to celebrate a milestone.... If you all would like to circle this back around I would appreciate it or feel free to go start another thread.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-16-12, 11:55 AM
I hit 250k miles in a '00 Chevy Astro for work. Was a pretty monumental milestone, I think I've got a picture somewhere of the odometer.

CadillacLuke24
09-16-12, 06:30 PM
LOL that is a milestone, considering some people (like Dad) never clear 6 digits!

orconn
09-16-12, 07:16 PM
I can't imagine what one Detroit's finest would be like with 250, 000 miles on the clock. Back in the "good old days" when they really knew how to build them, we used to dump them at 50,000 mile or 3 years, whichever came first. Now admittedly this was one of the most painless redistributions of wealth in the twentieth century!

Now that cars are made from better materials, and all the accessories actually work, and the doors and windows don't rattle, not too mention the upholstery still looks decent, I've been keeping our cars till they reach 100,000 miles regardless of age.These cars are not receiving better care, but just as good care, as those of the more disposable vintage, but they do seem to stand up to the ravages of time better than the "they don't make 'em like they used to" cars of thirty and forty years ago!

truckinman
09-16-12, 07:37 PM
I can't imagine what one Detroit's finest would be like with 250, 000 miles on the clock. Back in the "good old days" when they really knew how to build them, we used to dump them at 50,000 mile or 3 years, whichever came first. Now admittedly this was one of the most painless redistributions of wealth in the twentieth century!

Now that cars are made from better materials, and all the accessories actually work, and the doors and windows don't rattle, not too mention the upholstery still looks decent, I've been keeping our cars till they reach 100,000 miles regardless of age.These cars are not receiving better care, but just as good care, as those of the more disposable vintage, but they do seem to stand up to the ravages of time better than the "they don't make 'em like they used to" cars of thirty and forty years ago!

I've always been taught cars now days can go for as many miles as your willing to change fluids on basically. My dad buys his jeeps n trucks brand new and puts 300k on them b4 selling them. He had his last jeep from 86 to 2011. 300k on the clock. But that was an 87 wrangler which was the last or one of the last years AMC owned Jeep b4 Chrysler got their hands on em.

EChas3
09-16-12, 07:43 PM
And here I thought I started this thread to celebrate a milestone.... If you all would like to circle this back around I would appreciate it or feel free to go start another thread.

Congratulations on reaching the moon (figuratively speaking).

Based on my experience with several 3800's, are you planning on driving back?

More seriously, if a few repairs will get the car shipshape, that's cheaper than trading.

firstimecaddi
09-18-12, 10:03 PM
I've got a 1992 Olds D88 that will soon turn 250K...presently 238xxx. And once had a 1994 Le Sabre with 190k before I wrecked it.