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Discussion Starter #1
My first post on to the Forum, I would like to say Hi.

Having issues with my 1996 3.8,

It's been doing this on and off for about a month, and I think it's in for it.
Today I went out to start it, go to crank it and the starter/motor barely starts to crank then I hear a thump. everything just stopped and it wouldn't Turn over so I turned the key off and tried again it did it a Little bit but fired up, then it Started missing, gave it a little gas and it stopped missing, so I started down the road and White smoke started rolling out the back. not a Mist.. a lot. and they say if it's white It's your anti freeze burning, but it smells like oil. I got about a block away from the house and turned around and it did this the hole way home.

I think it's a gasket or a head, but the way it acted when I tried to start it could it be ceasing up? It's my day to day driver. and need a fix.
( Also, there is Oil/black in my reserve. but it's been like that for over 7 years)
I have a 302 but I was saving it for my project car. Id like to try and fix this motor without replacing it.

if you have any Ideas or have seen this before maybe give me your opinion?
Thanks.

Nick.
 

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Dragfan said:
My first post on to the Forum, I would like to say Hi.

Having issues with my 1996 3.8,

It's been doing this on and off for about a month, and I think it's in for it.
Today I went out to start it, go to crank it and the starter/motor barely starts to crank then I hear a thump. everything just stopped and it wouldn't Turn over so I turned the key off and tried again it did it a Little bit but fired up, then it Started missing, gave it a little gas and it stopped missing, so I started down the road and White smoke started rolling out the back. not a Mist.. a lot. and they say if it's white It's your anti freeze burning, but it smells like oil. I got about a block away from the house and turned around and it did this the hole way home.

I think it's a gasket or a head, but the way it acted when I tried to start it could it be ceasing up? It's my day to day driver. and need a fix.
( Also, there is Oil/black in my reserve. but it's been like that for over 7 years)
I have a 302 but I was saving it for my project car. Id like to try and fix this motor without replacing it.

if you have any Ideas or have seen this before maybe give me your opinion?
Thanks.

Nick.
Welcome Nick. Doesn't sound too good for your ride. Check your radiator fluid. Then your engine oil level. Something says the two have mixed. Hope I'm wrong!
 

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Had happened to my olds years ago. Car over heated,wouldn't turn over. After getting it started it was blowing some white smoke and dripping water from the tailpipe. I changed the thermostat and it fixed her right up.
 

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the rolling white part sounds like a blown head gasket...or at the worse end a cracked head. i'd start with the cheap fixes and work your way up the list...keep us up to date and welcome to the site
 

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My first post on to the Forum, I would like to say Hi.

Having issues with my 1996 3.8,

It's been doing this on and off for about a month, and I think it's in for it.
Today I went out to start it, go to crank it and the starter/motor barely starts to crank then I hear a thump. everything just stopped and it wouldn't Turn over so I turned the key off and tried again it did it a Little bit but fired up, then it Started missing, gave it a little gas and it stopped missing, so I started down the road and White smoke started rolling out the back. not a Mist.. a lot. and they say if it's white It's your anti freeze burning, but it smells like oil. I got about a block away from the house and turned around and it did this the hole way home.
I think it's a gasket or a head, but the way it acted when I tried to start it could it be ceasing up? It's my day to day driver. and need a fix.
( Also, there is Oil/black in my reserve. but it's been like that for over 7 years)
I have a 302 but I was saving it for my project car. Id like to try and fix this motor without replacing it.

if you have any Ideas or have seen this before maybe give me your opinion?
Thanks.

Nick.

It probably is a head gasket, but it could be a cracked head or block too, hope for the best.
If it won't turn over then maybe the cylinder is filling with coolant? If it is you do not want to keep trying to start it or you could possibly bend a rod.


Check your oil and see if it is overfilled and/or contaminated with coolant.
Run a compression check if it will start and run long enough to warm up.
If you have oil in the coolant reservoir that is almost a sure sign of a blown head gasket, cracked head or block.
The 3.8 engines used to be bad about blowing head gaskets and yours may have done so before and the coolant tank was never cleaned out?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Had happened to my olds years ago. Car over heated,wouldn't turn over. After getting it started it was blowing some white smoke and dripping water from the tailpipe. I changed the thermostat and it fixed her right up.

Thanks for all of your Opinions. Upon further observation I fount coolant under the Thermostat housing. went up to local auto parts store, got a new one, took apart the old housing/thermostat and the thermostat smelt Exactly like the smoke. I don't know if this will fix it yet I still got it apart waiting for the store to go get a couple Gaskets that I need. But you guys helped me a-lot so far!
 

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Thanks for all of your Opinions. Upon further observation I fount coolant under the Thermostat housing. went up to local auto parts store, got a new one, took apart the old housing/thermostat and the thermostat smelt Exactly like the smoke. I don't know if this will fix it yet I still got it apart waiting for the store to go get a couple Gaskets that I need. But you guys helped me a-lot so far!
Good to hear Bud. Let's us know how everything turns out. :good:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So, Turns out I either have a cracked head or it's a Head gasket. I put the new thermostat on, fired it up. for no longer than a Minute, Still smoking bad, and dripping water/oil content from the Exhaust.Checked oil level and it's half court to a court over full with Probably Anti-freeze most likely. so my next option due to it being the weekend. is it's time to tear into it. starting on it in the morning, I will post pictures? taking it apart and finding the actual issue on this thing. Just hoping it doesn't Turn out to be a cracked head.
 

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So, Turns out I either have a cracked head or it's a Head gasket. I put the new thermostat on, fired it up. for no longer than a Minute, Still smoking bad, and dripping water/oil content from the Exhaust.Checked oil level and it's half court to a court over full with Probably Anti-freeze most likely. so my next option due to it being the weekend. is it's time to tear into it. starting on it in the morning, I will post pictures? taking it apart and finding the actual issue on this thing. Just hoping it doesn't Turn out to be a cracked head.
That sux. :( I was afraid that would be the issue. I would get that coolant/oil out of it as soon as possible and try to get it repaired and running on fresh oil as soon as possible too. Antifreeze is hard on the rod, main & cam bearings.
 

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if it does turn out to be a head you might think about upgrading a few things since you'll be tearing into the engine anyways...consider looking into a split port swap from a 99-04 v6 instead...if you can find a junk yard or salvage yard with an in tact engine it would be easy to get the needed parts off of it for cheap. plus you'd get a nice power increase by doing this.

hit up David in this section...if i recall he has a list of needed parts. i lost mine when my comp crashed last year lol
 
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