Question about 2003 Buick LeSabre

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Knocking in a 2003 buick 3.8

I have a 2003 Buick Le Sabre with 90,000 that has a knock that comes and goes. It seemed to be in the rockers and I found that half of them showed excessive wear at the push rod/ rocker contact area. The engine has always had regular oil changes, there is no sludge inside and it holds 60 lbs of oil pressure and oil shoots out of all the the holes in the rockers with the valve cover off. Is it normal for these parts to wear out this quickly?
The lifter/ push rod contact area shows minimal wear, machine marks are still present .

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  • gremlin82169 Feb 23, 2009

    There is excessive wear at the rocker/push rod contact point, it had a very loud tapping noise that would come and go from the rocker area. We narrowed down the source of the noise with a stethoscope, then pulled the front valve cover and had an increase it the noise. All the rockers were oiling very well. The lifter did not seemed collapsed either. We installed a mechanical gauge which showed 80 psi. We could not find any problems other than the worn rocker/ push rods.
    We pulled the motor out and replaced it with one that had less than 10,000 miles from a totaled car. Thank you for your time

  • gremlin82169 Feb 24, 2009

    We could not find what caused the excessive push rod/ rocker wear after tearing down the engine. All the oil passages were clear, the engine had regular oil changes and it had not been run low on oil. We are still puzzled by this problem, but the car's owner is very happy with the replacement engine.

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    I don't think I would have replaced the whole engine (motor's run on electricity)

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    rockers don't knock they tap when they are noisy, u are sure this is valve train related??


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This is not normal for this engine. The only oil problem that does happen with these is when the oil pick-up screen becomes clogged. The oil pan will need to come off to clean it. The only knocking problem with these 3800's is the harmonic balancer that may need to be replaced. It will make more noise with the ac on.

Posted on Feb 17, 2010

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