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Thread: New Buick

  1. #1
    Presidential Ride L1011tristar17's Avatar
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    Default New Buick

    Bought another car a few days ago to replace the Lincoln as my daily driver. Sorry panther mangs, but it's not another panther! I wanted to drive something different for a change, so I found a nice Buick for sale on Craigslist. I met with the seller, test drove the car, and made them an offer. I picked up the car at the DMV a few days ago.

    It's a 2002 Buick Park Avenue with 114,000 miles. The owner who had this car before me kept track of every repair down to oil changes and bulb replacements. A new engine was put in at 79,000 miles (2010) and the intake plenum was replaced in 2012. The car is mechanically sound.

    Unfortunately it's a base model so it doesn't have all the extra toys or the supercharger. I was surprised at how clean the car was when I first saw it. The white paint is in excellent shape and with the exception of a few scuffs on the doors the exterior is in very good shape. The interior is also really nice and I like the gray leather. The car drives flawlessly. It corners very well and has enough get up and go to pass other cars (the get up and go in my Lincoln had already got up and left). I think the base 3.8L V6 made 205hp, which is more than adequate. Also, everything on this car works, including the power locks and windows. No more reaching in to open doors from the inside!

    Here's some pictures:

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    1989 Lincoln Town Car 249k miles, current project car
    2018 Toyota Tacoma bone stock, daily driver

  2. #2

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    Panther or not, thats a nice one...congrat's
    I'm wondering, what went wrong at only 79k that it needed a new engine?

  3. #3
    Presidential Ride L1011tristar17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcninetyone View Post
    Panther or not, thats a nice one...congrat's
    I'm wondering, what went wrong at only 79k that it needed a new engine?
    That's a good question! I was wondering that too. According to the records, the engine developed a knock and the shop recommended a replacement engine. I'm guessing the coolant could have mixed with the oil and ruined the bearings, but your guess is as good as mine!

    1989 Lincoln Town Car 249k miles, current project car
    2018 Toyota Tacoma bone stock, daily driver

  4. #4

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    The Park Avenue is a beautiful car, always comfortable. I'd buy one myself.
    1994 Lincoln Town Car

  5. #5
    I post a lot... turbo2256b's Avatar
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    Wounder if it had DEXCOOL in it.
    Scars are tatoos of the fearless

  6. #6
    Member LithiumCobalt's Avatar
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    DexShit malfunction would be my guess. That stuff is like a death wish for a car. If you still have it, I'd get it flushed out. Looks like you scored a good one. Although I'm not a GM fan, I think the 3.8 was a decent engine. I had a 92 Regal and that car would just go forever. Never had engine trouble other than piston slap which was a "feature" of the Series I 3.8 that year. I've actually considered getting one of these Park Aves for a daily driver myself. I like the 95-96 Ultras too with the touring suspension and 16" wheels.
    Last edited by LithiumCobalt; 12-25-2014 at 09:28 PM.
    Nick


    Past: 1967 Continental convertible, 1987 TC Cartier, 1996 TC DAE & Signature, 2002 LS V8, 2006 Zephyr, 2010 MKZ AWD, and many more.....
    Current: 2010 F-150 Platinum Supercrew 4x4
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  7. #7
    I post a lot... 88Vic's Avatar
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    I think the 3.8 is the second most common engine in North America after the SBC, they put them in just about every FWD car they made from the late 70's to the late 00's, you can't go to a junkyard without stepping on one. And the best part is they're simple, easy to fix, parts are cheap and they're very reliable.

    A guy I work with has a dune buggy he built, he uses a bored out Volkswagen engine but he says a lot of guys use the 3.8 for it's power and it's availability. They can abuse the hell out of them, they last forever and when they do finally let go, they just grab another at a yard and start over.
    88 Town Car (wrecked, for sale)
    Walker OEM duals with muffler deletes

  8. #8
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    More than likely the LIM gasket failed on it at 79K and it spun a bearing or 2. Common failure point on the GM 3800, along with the Upper intake cracking internally and hydrolocking the motor (which can often be cleared out and keep running). Yes, I would flush out all the Dex and just run conventional green in it. Just be damn sure ALL of the old Dex is out or it will sludge up on you.

    I have 2 GM 3800 cars that I DD and have no issues with them. My 95 Bonne has 225K on the motor and my 00 Grand Prix GT has 335K on it.

    If you have any issues or questions on it, take a look over at gmforum.com or grandprix.net Both of those sites are a great source for info and having questions answered.
    These are highly engineered precision vehicles, the first step in diagnosing the problem is to strike the suspected offending part sharply and repeatedly with a blunt object, then re-test.

  9. #9
    Member LithiumCobalt's Avatar
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    Had a 99 Grand Prix GT and should have never sold it. Great car other than the cheap ass interior panels that never wanted to stay attached.
    Nick


    Past: 1967 Continental convertible, 1987 TC Cartier, 1996 TC DAE & Signature, 2002 LS V8, 2006 Zephyr, 2010 MKZ AWD, and many more.....
    Current: 2010 F-150 Platinum Supercrew 4x4
    Wanted: 1967 or 1969 Contnential sedan
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  10. #10
    Mostly harmless. rezwrrd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LithiumCobalt View Post
    Had a 99 Grand Prix GT and should have never sold it. Great car other than the cheap ass interior panels that never wanted to stay attached.
    I see a lot of Grand Prix at work, and the interiors are almost all terrible. The 04+ ones are pretty nice, I have to admit.

    Nice score on the Park Avenue! My family had a '95 when I was growing up, and it was a dream on the highway. I was looking at a few Buicks last time I was car shopping, but couldn't beat the price on the Mercury. I could see driving another Park Avenue someday, but it'd have to be one without the seatbelt goiters next to the front headrests.

    1995 Grand Marquis GS
    - 156k miles, three-tone until I find my paint
    1990 Toyota Camry DX - 211k miles, someone else's future barn find
    1994 Saturn SW2 wagon - wife's car

    Quote Originally Posted by SVT98t View Post
    I'll make it fit.
    I own hammers.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FordMan77 View Post
    I have 2 GM 3800 cars that I DD and have no issues with them. My 95 Bonne has 225K on the motor and my 00 Grand Prix GT has 335K on it.

    If you have any issues or questions on it, take a look over at gmforum.com or grandprix.net Both of those sites are a great source for info and having questions answered.
    Thanks! I was on gmforum before I bought the car to do some research on Park Avenues. They seemed to have lots of good information. My friend had a '00 Grand Prix a couple years back. He considered it to be a fairly good car.

    Quote Originally Posted by rezwrrd View Post
    I see a lot of Grand Prix at work, and the interiors are almost all terrible. The 04+ ones are pretty nice, I have to admit.

    Nice score on the Park Avenue! My family had a '95 when I was growing up, and it was a dream on the highway. I was looking at a few Buicks last time I was car shopping, but couldn't beat the price on the Mercury. I could see driving another Park Avenue someday, but it'd have to be one without the seatbelt goiters next to the front headrests.
    The interior on my friends Pontiac was really cheap. Worse than my sister's Dodge Stratus! The newer models are much nicer.

    The interesting thing with those seatbelts mounted to the seats is that the height of the mount is power-adjustable. Pretty neat! They did take some getting used to.
    Last edited by L1011tristar17; 12-26-2014 at 06:39 PM.

    1989 Lincoln Town Car 249k miles, current project car
    2018 Toyota Tacoma bone stock, daily driver

  12. #12
    Member LithiumCobalt's Avatar
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    As I mentioned before, I really like the 95-96 Ultras, but I have found its almost impossible to find them with low mileage. People drive the hell out of them and I always find them with about 150k+ on them already. I'm not really interested in buying something with that amount of use already on it, though.
    Nick


    Past: 1967 Continental convertible, 1987 TC Cartier, 1996 TC DAE & Signature, 2002 LS V8, 2006 Zephyr, 2010 MKZ AWD, and many more.....
    Current: 2010 F-150 Platinum Supercrew 4x4
    Wanted: 1967 or 1969 Contnential sedan
    Only in my dreams: A Continental Mark II

  13. #13
    fuck no, not today, thank you kindly 1990LTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88Vic View Post
    I think the 3.8 is the second most common engine in North America after the SBC, they put them in just about every FWD car they made from the late 70's to the late 00's, you can't go to a junkyard without stepping on one. And the best part is they're simple, easy to fix, parts are cheap and they're very reliable.

    A guy I work with has a dune buggy he built, he uses a bored out Volkswagen engine but he says a lot of guys use the 3.8 for it's power and it's availability. They can abuse the hell out of them, they last forever and when they do finally let go, they just grab another at a yard and start over.
    The 3800 is one of the best motors an American car company ever made.



    - 1990 Ford LTD Crown Victoria P72 - the street boat - 5.0 liter EFI - Ported HO intake/TB, 90 TC shroud/overflow, Aero airbox/zip tube, Cobra camshaft, 19lb injectors, dual exhaust w/ Magnaflows, Cat/Smog & AC delete, 3G alternator, MOOG chassis parts & KYB cop shocks, 215/70r/15s on 95-97 Merc rims

    - 2007 Ford Escape XLT - soccer mom lifted station wagon - 3.0 Duratec, auto, rear converter delete w/ Magnaflow dual exhaust

    - 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis Ultimate Edition - Daily driver - 4.6 2 valve Mod motor, 4R75E, 2.73s. Bone stock

  14. #14
    Member purplebomb302's Avatar
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    Nice Buick! That's all my uncle has bought was Buicks and Park Avs.

    I can't remember if it was the 3.8 S/C or plain 3.8 but one of them was prone to engine fires due to a bad front valve cover gasket.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1990LTD View Post
    The 3800 is one of the best motors an American car company ever made.
    So were the 3.1s. They also had the LIM gasket problem that the 3.8's had. My '98 Lumina was one of the best cars I've ever had. Very low maintenance and was great in the snow.


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  15. #15
    Presidential Ride L1011tristar17's Avatar
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    Changed the oil and detail-cleaned the interior of the Buick today. It's about to roll over 115,000 miles and I'm driving it to Daytona Beach in a couple of weeks for spring break!

    1989 Lincoln Town Car 249k miles, current project car
    2018 Toyota Tacoma bone stock, daily driver

  16. #16
    Presidential Ride L1011tristar17's Avatar
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    I'm now at about 127,700 (almost) trouble-free miles. Since I bought the car with 114k, here's what I have replaced:

    -Fuel level sending unit
    -Four new tires
    -Front brake pads and rotors
    -Both front wheel bearings
    -Both rear air shocks

    I had to replace the shocks when one of them seized on me while going over a bump. I didn't know that could happen, and the right rear corner of the suspension was stuck in the compressed position.

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    Normally the suspension would hang down as the car is jacked up, but the one side wouldn't drop since the weight of the suspension on that side was being held by the seized shock. A pair of new shocks and two hours of my time fixed that.

    1989 Lincoln Town Car 249k miles, current project car
    2018 Toyota Tacoma bone stock, daily driver

  17. #17
    SUNSHINE, KITTENS, AND RAINBOWS!!! Chuck Norris's Avatar
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    They are good cars. My wife drives a 1989 Bonneville that is still in good condition, running and shifting strong with 198xxx miles on her, ice cold air, hot heat. The various 3800 cars were so good!
    Back in the saddle again!

    2004 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor in Unimaginative Bureaucratic Brown
    Bone stock... for now.

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