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Thread: 1999 Buick Century (Please Help)

  1. #1
    Neighborhood Car Salesman thaddaeusg's Avatar
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    1999 Buick Century (Please Help)

    I just got done replacing the lower intake gasket on a 1999 Buick Century with a 3100. I used to have a 1995 Regal and and I have done the lower intake gasket on that about 2-3 years ago, then did the head gaskets about 6 months after that. Also did a lower intake gasket on a 1994 Skylark. I know these engines pretty well.

    So anyways, I buy and sell cars for a living and I just spent 8 hours doing the lower intake on a 1999 Century. I get it all back together and start it up and it cranked over, released some sort of gas or puff of air and didn't start, then all the sudden it did start and it was making a ticking noise, I mean it didn't sound horrible but bad enough to where I'm paranoid and shut it off instantly. Curiousity kicked in and I tried it again running it for about 2 seconds with the same result and a check engine light. I know I can rent a scanner tomorrow but damn I wanna know what the deal is without starting it again. I guess if I installed the pushrods wrong which is unlikely the valve damage would already be done but I'm hoping its not the rocker arm smacking the valve cover and pistons bending a valve cause that would make me cry! (not literally, well, maybe!)

    But could it be anything else?
    The cam positioning sensor looked like the wires weren't in the best shape but I taped and siliconed the bare copper but could it be that? I don't know just somebody help me please!

    I need to sell this car to pay my outrageous insurance premium by the end of the month and I already have a buyer lined up that knows about me doing this repair and is willing to buy it as I put new brakes on it and installed the upgraded metal intake gasket.

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  3. #2
    IF everything was put back together correctly and torqued properly, then maybe you have a bad lifter or it's stuck. But I don't know why your engine light came on, unless the cat. cov. was contaminated somehow or it's reading bad. Guess your codes will tell you.

    Or could be one of your sensors is not hooked up properly.

    My car ticks a little too. I thought maybe I had done something wrong (and maybe I did), but it still works after 10K+ miles.

  4. #3
    Neighborhood Car Salesman thaddaeusg's Avatar
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    The check engine light was only on cause it flashed on for a sec when it first started up. Now its harder to diagnose. This is like a tick and a rough idle. Engine is super clean and in good shape other than the gasket with 130k on it so I presume it was my fault as it didn't tick before.

    I let it run longer as to get oil to the lifters but it didn't help anyways the tick isn't super fast it goes with the idle and increases with throttle it don't seem like a bad pushrod installation cause I put my hand on the valve cover and didn't feel it hitting the valve cover which I'm sure it would if the pushrods were mixed up.

    I mean I did a sexy job I thought and I keep the shop pretty clean so I don't see a huge margin of error.







  5. #4
    Was their anti-freeze in the oil before the gasket change? Or was it a external leak?

  6. #5
    Because stock sucks... pocket-rocket's Avatar
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    That's a pretty slick pushrod holder. I like that Is that metal from shelving?

    Let's start simple. Where about the engine bay was the puff of smoke and what color was it? What is located in the area where the smoke came from? Where does the sound seem to be coming from? Did you turn the engine over by hand after finishing installing the pushrods and torquing the rocker arms down?
    -60v6's 2nd Jon M.
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  7. #6
    Neighborhood Car Salesman thaddaeusg's Avatar
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    yeah lol its angle iron me and my dad do welding in the shop too. but no it was a sound like a puff of air there was no smoke and it sounds like its internal inside the engine but there is no clanking against the valve covers but it sounds maybe valve or pushrod related maybe im just in denial it sounds like its coming from the front cylinders (cyls 2-4-6)

  8. #7
    WrathOfSocrus's Avatar
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    Bear with me but part of this sounds somewhat familiar. I have seen spark plug wires get melted by exhaust manifolds which produced a loud audible tick coupled with a rough running engine. You say you heard a puff of air followed by this condition. Is it possible a spark plug blew out of the engine? Did you loosen or replace the spark plugs during this procedure? If a spark plug wasn't tightened down or somehow stripped out it could be laying somewhere arcing to ground causing a loud audible tick.

    It could very well be valvetrain related, but after hearing the 'puff of air' part it sounds like the engine found a weak spot during the compression stroke during initial start up and the rest of the symptoms would be consistent with that. I read this before and the tick and rough idle alone at first sounded like a possible valvetrain issue but after rereading this it could be spark related.

  9. #8
    Because stock sucks... pocket-rocket's Avatar
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    And I thought I was thinking a little outside the box thinking loose spark plug. I'm glad I wasn't the only one thinking so.
    -60v6's 2nd Jon M.
    91 Black Lumina Z34-5 speed
    92 Black Lumina Z34 5 speed (getting there, slowly... follow the progress here)
    94 Red Ford Ranger 2WD-5 speed
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Leno
    Tires are cheap clutches...

  10. #9
    Neighborhood Car Salesman thaddaeusg's Avatar
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    Well I know its electrically related and the ticking was/is just a lifter that the oil hadn't made it to yet cause its now kinda going off and on fading in and out and should be fine once I drive it some.

    Basically I got a CEL codes:

    P0306 - Cylinder 6 Misfire Detected
    P0122 - Throttle/Pedal Postion Sensor/Switch A Circuit Low Input
    P0403 - Exhaust Gas Recirculation Circuit Malfunction
    P0405 - Exhaust Gas Recirculation Sensor A Circuit Low


    And I have all the wires hooked up, I know that those sensors not working properly is causing the misfire and potentially even the ticking. I am hoping that I didn't hurt the wiring harness when I reinstalled everything...

    Any suggestions?

  11. #10
    Because stock sucks... pocket-rocket's Avatar
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    Clear the codes and drive it around a bit. Some of them could have been previous codes in memory. Check that front drivers side plug too. I know the 92 ticks like it's about to blow when it's first started if it hasn't been run for a while, but taking it down the road after it warms up (still ticking at this point) usually gets the oil pressure up enough to get it to stop ticking. Is it at least running nice and smooth when it sits there running?
    -60v6's 2nd Jon M.
    91 Black Lumina Z34-5 speed
    92 Black Lumina Z34 5 speed (getting there, slowly... follow the progress here)
    94 Red Ford Ranger 2WD-5 speed
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Leno
    Tires are cheap clutches...

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