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Discussion Starter #1
1. I used to hear this ticking noise from the engine. It would do it sometimes, and its been a while since it has done it. Should I be worried?

2. The heater is busted, and whenever I turn it on, my temperature gauge flies off the chart. Sometimes, even in very cold weather, even when I don't have the heater on, it goes up all the way to 3/4 of the gauges. Then after being there for a minute it goes down really fast... What is the cause of this? is this a common problem? Is it my engine or is the cluster going nuts?

3. The brakes are new yet they squeak. No clue why. Not a big deal though.

I really love my Impala but I being a college student can't afford to fix it up all the time. Is it a good idea to sell it while I can?
 

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1. I used to hear this ticking noise from the engine. It would do it sometimes, and its been a while since it has done it. Should I be worried?
Any tick/clunk/thud that you do not hear normally is cause for concern, I'm not saying pull it off the road, but next time you hear it, it would help if you could pinpoint the noise a little better ;)

2. The heater is busted, and whenever I turn it on, my temperature gauge flies off the chart. Sometimes, even in very cold weather, even when I don't have the heater on, it goes up all the way to 3/4 of the gauges. Then after being there for a minute it goes down really fast... What is the cause of this? is this a common problem? Is it my engine or is the cluster going nuts?
Whats busted, the blower? It could be a few things, the cheapest being a thermostat (~$10), air in the coolant system (how did it get there though), bad heater core (usually the pass carpet in front will be damp), a busted coolant elbow/line.
Best way to trouble shoot this is
1.check coolant level (cold) remove rad cap, check over flow
2. cap off start car turn on heat, if you can still see coolant in both the res. and rad. your levels should be decent, if you can see the core, looking inside the rad add a little
3. replace cap - let car warm up, if the res. empties, or goes down significantly, you could have air in the lines, and will need to bleed the system using the bleeder valve on the thremostat

If all of those are ok, then its time to start checking else where (lines/t-stat/waterpump/heater core

3. The brakes are new yet they squeak. No clue why. Not a big deal though.
Could just be the pad material. Semi-metallic pads had a tendency to squeek a bit b/c of how they are constructed, if it gets too bad, take it back to wherever installed them, they should check them for free if done recently

I really love my Impala but I being a college student can't afford to fix it up all the time. Is it a good idea to sell it while I can?
Thats something you'll have to decide, It sounds as if it just needs a little TLC and some maintainence. Keep an eye on the oil though. The 3.4's are prone to Intake gasket failure. if you start noticing coolant in the oil, the repairs are going to be expense. If you keep up on maintainence, it should last you quite a while ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I checked the water, added a couple of bottles...seems to be working a little better. but I'll keep these in mind when the problem came back. which i think (but not hope) that it will.

the ticking happened again tonight, i drove about a half a mile and I listened to it as it slowly faded away. i was told that its a stiff lifter, and it just needs to be cleaned up. not sure how accurate this assumption can be.

04DetroitLS you're helpful dude I really appreciate it...and damn you know A LOT. I shall use every opportunity to obtain some of this valuable knowledge from you. :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Did you bleed out the coolant system when you added more? It'll work better if you do ;)
I'm not sure what it means to "bleed out" the coolant system...You mean emptying it and putting coolant and water again?

The previous owner had done that recently and he said it won't need it for a while, but if I'm really supposed to do that, I'mma need some instructions. :wink:

Oh and the ticking came back, this time I "pin pointed" it right away. borrowed a camera from work and filmed it. Here's a link:

http://rapidshare.com/files/159880371/MOV00557.zip
 

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no, if you get air in your cooling system, there is a bleeder screw ( should be a standard flat head screw) on top of the thermostat (red arrow in pic above)

Warm the car up, to normal op temps.
open valve, you'll hear a hiss, then coolant will sputter out
repeat until a steady stram of coolant is released.

then turn the heat on in the car and repeat, this SHOULD remove all the air from the coolant system. If not park car on incle (if possible) and repeat
 

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Discussion Starter #8
no, if you get air in your cooling system, there is a bleeder screw ( should be a standard flat head screw) on top of the thermostat (red arrow in pic above)

Warm the car up, to normal op temps.
open valve, you'll hear a hiss, then coolant will sputter out
repeat until a steady stram of coolant is released.

then turn the heat on in the car and repeat, this SHOULD remove all the air from the coolant system. If not park car on incle (if possible) and repeat
Ok, I tried that. Took it to a mechanic shop. The guy did pretty much what you said, and once we opened the thermostat the bubbles starting coming out. Once they were gone everything seemed to be fine, the heater was working, the temp didn't go too high anymore.

For a while, my car was idling at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. After a while it started going higher, so I thought maybe I should add a little more water and coolant. And I did, and it worked, not for too long though.

Then it went bad again. Now its getting worse and worse.


That was the idling temperature. It especially starts to go up when I'm behind a red light. I hear the cooling fan in the engine kicking in when it gets really hot...thank God they thought of that. And the heater also stopped working again.

Anymore ideas?
 

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you're loosing coolant somewhere, these engine have an issue w/ the LIM gaskets, you might want to try and start there first (if you dont notice any puddles anywhere)
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Yup. That was it. LIM gaskets. The oil looks like yogurt now. It proudly went to the mechanic shop on its own feet, not showing the slightest signs of the need to repair. I had no idea how severe the case is until I actually saw inside the oil tank.

Now I'm looking at 2 grands worth of repair. The guy who's a friend told me he will do it for me for what it'll cost him, which is about $1200. But that is still way more than I can afford. A suggestion from NAIOA was buying an engine off ebay and putting it in; and come to think of it, its not a bad idea, since I heard the guy saying that he'll have to get to the other side of the engine somehow, I'd imagine he'd demount it first. So why not just swap it, you know.

Not going to make any quick decisions yet, I'm going to get quotes from a few other places. But chances are, once I repair it, I will probably end up selling it before the mileage goes from 5 digits to 6 digits.

Unless I get to do an L67 swap for less money, in which case, I'm gonna have fun with it for a while. Not likely, but its a possibility.
 

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that sux.. You SHOULD be able to find a 3400 fairly cheap from a local J/Y, If you were closer i have a L36 w/ 7x,xxx on it for sale...LOL theres a few places that will do a L67 swap for ~$2k IIRC...


Best of luck in your decision though
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Woohoo! She's aright again!

It was just the intake manifold gaskets. Nothing more. The previous owner, had idiotically used some fakeass set of gaskets, and they had failed. Now I have the newer and original GM gaskets in there, so its all good.

I found this mechanic fella, he repaired it for me for only 650 dollars. changed the coolant and oil and everything. It runs perfect now. He did give me a ton of discounts though.

As for selling it I need to wait until summer, since the prices have dropped significantly because of the holidays and winter.

Maybe its time for me to be a little more sensible instead of dreaming of high costing mods like engine swaps. How about...an intake? Does anyone know where I can get 'em for cheap and how hard/costly it'd be to install?
 
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