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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted here for the first time a couple of days ago (link) concerning engine problems. Long story short, I had a couple of friends help me out when I told them about it. They said it sounded like a fuel problem, so we ended up squirting some starter fluid into the intake. No luck there. We then took off the engine cover, as my friends wanted to take a look at the spark plugs. Lo and behold, the spark plugs in the forward bank were covered with engine oil. I talked to the previous owner, and he said that the plugs (and plenum gasket) were changed last year. Does a blown plenum gasket sound like the culprit? I checked the coolant, and it doesn't look like there's any oil in it.
 

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The job may not have been done properly; IMO, the oil should not keep the car from starting.
The oil cooler may be leaking; a new SS one is now used.
How do the six spark plugs look ?
From that point, the usual diagnoses commences.
Spark at the plugs
Wet or dry plugs ?
Fuel pressure,etc..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
earthworm said:
The job may not have been done properly; IMO, the oil should not keep the car from starting.
The oil cooler may be leaking; a new SS one is now used.
How do the six spark plugs look ?
From that point, the usual diagnoses commences.
Spark at the plugs
Wet or dry plugs ?
Fuel pressure,etc..
The spark plugs are totally covered in oil on the outside. I never actually took the plugs out of the engine. I haven't taken a look at the rear bank (because I lack the tools to remove the manifold - can you recommend a way to check the plugs in the rear bank without taking the intake apart?).
 

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The only way to check the rear plugs is via removal of the upper inlet manifold section.

If one cam cover gasket has failed then the other will be the same [thereabouts].

This problem is caused by warped cam covers.

The only long term solution is to source the later cam covers from a Saab 9-5 V6 [petrol]or from the 3.0 Saturn Vue or Caddy Catera; these are aluminium and expand at the same rate as the head and are much less prone to warping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ragtopcav said:
The only way to check the rear plugs is via removal of the upper inlet manifold section.

If one cam cover gasket has failed then the other will be the same [thereabouts].

This problem is caused by warped cam covers.

The only long term solution is to source the later cam covers from a Saab 9-5 V6 [petrol]or from the 3.0 Saturn Vue or Caddy Catera; these are aluminium and expand at the same rate as the head and are much less prone to warping.
Interesting. This definitely explains a lot. How long would the "short term" solution last? I know it's a bit of a cop-out, but as much as I would like to do it proper, I would like to get the car back. Plus, it sounds like something I could probably do once I pony up and buy a torque wrench/all the proper size ratchets and sockets. I'm a bike mechanic, and most of what I do involves allen keys.
 

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Is it possible that the oil is from the Cassette? They are oil filled aren't they? Just throwing it out there.

P.S. Let me know if that was a stupid question and I'll delete this post and call everyone who claims to have seen it a #%@! liar.
 

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As a short term fix new gaskets on the rocker covers may last a year! might last longer if you don't overtighten the small bolts that hold the cover on, i did and squashed the gaskets,ended up fitting the metal covers, and that fixed the problem.

Its not too big a job to take off the upper air intake and gain access to the rear cover and leads, about 20 to 30 minutes, but you will need a basic socket set and small torque wrench, if your a bike mechanic and can make a modern rear derailleur work you'll have no problems doing this.

Make sure the oil thats been covering the plugs and leads hasn't damaged the spark plug cables, they don't like being left soaking in oil for long periods of time...
 
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