97 Olds 88 won't start

Tiny
ROBAUCOIN
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 OLDSMOBILE
Hi. My dad's oldsmobile has 120,000 miles and is a 3.8 liter regular engine. It turns over but won't start. He made it home with the overheating lamp on, but when he went to try and start it again it wouldn't go. No smoke coming from exhaust. I took the coolant cap off and it was very low. We put a lot more in and then had to add more later. We filled it up and tried to start it with the cap off but it didn't spit up. The oil looks reasonably clean. I pulled a spark plug off and there is spark. I changed the fuel filter and pressure regulator. One other thing, there seems to be a lot of oil around the head covers. I am out of ideas. Can you help?
I just checked it again and the coolant looks like it's gone again. There's no puddle under it? Weird.
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Friday, June 29th, 2007 AT 5:03 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Need to verify that it has the correct amount of fuel pressure to run the engine. Does it sound normal when cranking'? If it is losing coolant with no leaks, it probably has a blown head gasket, and the coolant could be messing with the o2 sensor reading.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, June 30th, 2007 AT 8:40 AM
Tiny
ROBAUCOIN
  • MEMBER
Can I check the head gasket with a compression tester?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, June 30th, 2007 AT 2:23 PM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Usually that will only help if th egasket is blown between 2 cylinders, causing the compression to be passed back and forth between the two. Pull the plugs and see if they are wet with coolant
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, July 1st, 2007 AT 8:11 AM
Tiny
ROBAUCOIN
  • MEMBER
Hi. So the head gasket is blown. I have a few last questions. I've never changed a head gasket before so I'm wondering if I should change any other parts while I'm at it and should I do both heads? The car has 120000 miles and the plugs were coated in oil. The compression was 185 psi after 3 revolutions on all the cylinders. I plan on taking the heads into a shop for an overhaul but is there anything else I should change? And can I do this using a Haynes manual? Or should I get a different manual?
Thanks
Rob
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007 AT 12:24 PM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Head gaskets on ohv (pushrod) engines are pretty straight forward, shouldnt be a problem for you with a manual for guidance. Before you rip it apart, did you verify fuel pressure and it might be a good idea to test for injector pulse, just to rulke out the coincidence of a sensor or the such shorting out
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, July 4th, 2007 AT 7:27 AM
Tiny
ROBAUCOIN
  • MEMBER
Yes I did. Fuel pressure was good. After I replaced the plugs and the wire set, l got it to run but the tell-tale blue smoke started pouring out the exhaust. Thanks for all the advice, it really helped.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, July 4th, 2007 AT 11:56 AM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
You're welcome
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, July 5th, 2007 AT 8:00 AM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides