LIM Gasket change: How bad is this? [Archive] - Forum


View Full Version : LIM Gasket change: How bad is this?

07-15-2012, 03:30 PM
'99 3.4 205,000 miles regularly maintained.
The history:
Check the oil on a Sunday, was fine. Added a little MMO to try and get rid of a slight ticking, sounded like a lifter. Ticking went away. Wednesday afternoon (probably no more than 40-50 miles later) my wife calls and says car isn't starting. Got it started and she drove about 1/4 mile to get it to the house where it sits now. Oil comes out orange color and milky at the end, antifreeze on oil cap.

So I've got my motor pulled apart just waiting for the kit to come in. Never done this before and I couldn't find any good reference by searching the forum. These pictures show how bad the oil was. My question is: is this a normal amount of antifreeze in the motor? Can I just clean out what I can get to and put it all back together or do I need to go down to the block to clean out the cylinders etc? Also do you think it's worth changing the head gaskets while I'm down this far since I've got this many miles on it?

Thank you for any assistance! This forum is amazing and I've used it countless times over the last 8 years and 170,000 miles!

sugar ray
07-15-2012, 10:26 PM
I have a 02 GA and while my LIM wasn't that bad I was where your at at one point.
Head gasket = "ABSOLUTELY" Why wouldn't you?? I mean, your already in there. As bad as that looks, you may have a bad head gasket as well. You will come out just fine especially if you pull the heads off. You will be able to soak up any fluid that has leaked into the cylinder walls.

A couple of things to prepare yourself for. I have done two 3.4 LIM jobs on different vehicles now. On both vehicles I managed to snap 2 head studs when pulling the exhaust off the side of the heads. I also have read of others doing the same. It is "almost" unavoidable. You may get lucky but there always seems to be a stubborn stud that seizes itself right on there. This is no big deal if the heads are coming off anyways. Just tap and re-thread. Simple to do if your head is out. Replacement studs are available from a dealership only. They are special and none of my big box auto part stores could get them. The "stealership" charges about $8 per stud. I found a trick to avoiding future seized studs. When putting it back together, pick up a small can of anti-seize. Brush a small film onto the threads and if you ever have to pull the exhaust off the heads again, it will make your life easier!!

If you SEARCH these forums you will find an excellent LIM replacement article. Very helpfull!!The last piece of advice from my experience. You can see the push rods go through the LIM gasket itself. After you put it all back together and have seated the push rods back into the lifters "TEST" to make sure the rods are seated correctly BEFORE firing up your motor. It is easy to think the rods are seated correctly especially the back ones. Simple test. Leave the valve covers off. Jack up the front of the car and remove the front passanger side tire. There is a plastic splash guard under that fender that clips off. take that off and it will gain you access to the damper pulley. With a socket on the damper bolt have an assistant crank the engine by hand. It will be tough to crank by hand so you have to give her hell. While the engine is cranking by hand. Observe "ALL" lifters to verify the push rods were seated correctly.

Hope this helps??

07-16-2012, 09:05 PM
Thanks! I was thinking along those lines I just hate to put more effort into this car than I need to since it has over 200K miles. I also can't afford to wait a few more weeks until new parts come in ie head bolts, new head studs etc. Wondering if the old fluid will just flush out?
I have the LIM gasket change writeup. Whoever made it did an awesome job.

sugar ray
07-16-2012, 11:18 PM
The dealership stocks the head studs so if your close to a GM dealership there should be no ordering. There is also an aged old argument regarding head bolts. Some say you can't re-use them others say otherwise. I re-used my head bolts on both LIM jobs and haven't had any issues what so ever. The key is to use red thread lock on the threads. A new head bolt is nothing more then a treated (thread lock) bolt. Again, some may disagree but head bolts for an aging vehicle are just an added expense.

Order FelPro's problem solving metal to rubber kit and be done with. If you get the felpro set you will notice right away just by looking at it the quality difference between felpro's kit and the gasket thats in your car now