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Replacing the coolant systwm

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Hey guys. I have been recently having major cooling / heating system problems with the Grand AM. I bought a whole sh!t ton of parts to replace in hopes of fixing my leaks and getting her back to spec, I was unable to drive my car more than 6 miles without losing 2 gallons of coolant! Not good for the environment OR my wallet!

As a note, I took my car to a place to have the pressure test the system and find the leak, well they exploded my radiator and decided I was SOL. Nice huh? I know usually people frown upon the whole replace parts blindly thing but I got so pissed off I decided thats exactly what I was gonna do. It will be more reliable with all brand new parts anyway.

So without further ado and boring you guys to death, pic whoring time.



I bought new radiator hoses, new waterpump, new thermostat, new head gaskets, new lower intake gaskets, new radiator, new head bolts and a fuel filter as well for good measure. That consequently lead to..




So next pic is very early on in this process. If your going to do head gaskets on basically ANY N-Car I can think of, go ahead and ditch the hood before anything else. I've dropped the hood on my head before and well.. I can think of better things to do with my time.


I started this endeavor on the 27th of November, and am only able to work on it a few hours per day.

Here is a pic of what I consider to be the absolute most annoying thing about working on ANY newer vehicles, TONS of wiring loom.


Tucking that annoyance one wire at a time under the windshield wipers

Within the next day the lower intake mani came off with little problems, and after using words a nun has never heard of we got the heads off and are left with this..


Thanks GM for using only the WORST possible gasket materials on the N cars. You always 'think' the gasket has failed but then when you get down to this all doubt you ever had is gone.


Isn't that just dandy looking?

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So then, after being so worried about the water sitting there and getting it vacced out, it looked much more acceptable.


I come to find out a very positive note about this tear down, my cylinder walls are in absolutely excellent condition for a 115k motor. Not a single scar in any of them. 2010-11-27211333.jpg

Radiator removed 2010-11-27222810.jpg

New water pump vs. Old 2010-11-27213854.jpg

Which one do you guys think flows better? There is nothing necessarily wrong with the old pump, do you think I should reuse it?

So about a day passes and I decide we should take the heads in to a friend of a friend to see if the heads warping is what caused the gasket to go.

Another $150.00 bill later I have shaved warp free heads, and the valves, valve springs/seats and everything are brand new! Not bad huh?





Still with me? :rofl: Probably not, but for those that like this sort of thing, thats what I'm here for.

Moving on.

New felpro gaskets sitting in their new home for the first time


Heads now in place and awaiting that lower intake manifold


Lower intake now in place, as well as valve covers, and exhaust manifolds.


Will post progress tomorrow, hoping to have my baby back by tomorrow.

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Wow, you made pretty quick work of this. Nice! I hope all goes well when she's back in one piece.

Thanks I appreciate that! On of the least fun parts was getting the pushrods back into the guides correctly. My friend was doing that part and dropped the pushrod down into the engine. Had to run to meijer and buy a telescoping magnet because we were NOT tearing the thing back down again lol.

I'm becoming very familiar with the 3x00 engines. Hell I remember a few years ago replacing my power steering pump and alternator was a big job. Not anymore though! Haha.

If anybody needs help with one of these engines just ask. That includes the 2.8, 3.1, or 3.4.

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Aherm. I'm the 60*V6 guru here. :rofl:

Nice work. But it looks like you got the cheap plastic LIM gaskets. I hope it's not all back together, you need to buy the LIM gasket pack, comes with the metal LIM gasket, UIM, and thermostat seals.

Still, not bad. In the future, top swaps are the way to go for power with the 60*V6s. The L82 is rather limited, but the LA1 and LX9 motor do fit into the older N-body's chassis quite well. Just an FYI. :rofl:

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Yeah, when you are having that many major problems and stuff has a lot of miles on it, sometimes it is better to just replace a lot and rebuild it like that. That way you know stuff is good. Hard to tell from the pic but i don't see any actual failures on the head gasket. Just some gunk around the ports which is a coolant/overheating problem and not a gasket issue. But anyway, GM has improved their gasket material since those stock head gaskets were installed, as well as the water pump design, LIM gasket design, and several other things. So it was a good idea to replace that stuff anyway. i never need to take my hood off to do that though. :lol2: Might give you more light, or a tiny bit more room to work, but then you have to align the hood when you put it back on. Should run better with the heads cleaned up and rebuilt though. Let us know how everything turns out.

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