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1996 Pontiac Grand Prix / Harvest King All Fleet 10w-30 / 390 mi. #5457217 06/18/20 07:17 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
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92saturnsl2 Offline OP
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I have a 1996 Grand Prix I purchased with a bad head gasket-- had a bunch of coolant in oil, coolant burping from overflow tank, overheating issues. Was probably abused something hard, previous owner had the cooling fans jerry-rigged to run 100% of the time, so was likely overheated a bunch.

I tossed the heads and put re-manufactured heads from Rockauto on there, replaced head gasket and every other gasket I came across. Engine runs fine afterwards but at the time of this sample I was very concerned it might still be getting coolant in the oil-- oil appeared to be getting brown very quickly and I was seeing a lot of what appeared to be steam under the oil cap. Could detect combustion gas / exhaust smell in coolant overflow.

I've since driven it another 500 miles or so since this sample and haven't lost a drop of coolant, so my fears of the new head gasket not taking have mostly subsided. I suspect the "steam" I'm seeing under the oil cap is normal oil mist and/or possibly excessive blow-by. The coolant still smells a bit "off," but I think it just needs another flush or two, perhaps due to how long the engine operated with the bad head gasket.

I should note that prior to this sample I changed the oil twice-- new oil immediately after the repair, then again after 5-10 miles with this fill in an attempt to flush all the residual coolant out. So I consider this UOA to be a baseline-- I'll have another UOA performed after about 2k and if there's no coolant contamination in that sample (or numbers are still declining) then I should be able to put the head gasket issue to bed. Presently the engine runs just fine, no overheating and has been returning 26-27 mpg mostly highway miles. I was probably just being paranoid, but if nothing else you can treat yourself to a near virgin analysis (VOA) of Rural King's Harvest King All-Fleet (CK-4 rated) 10w-30 oil. I like what I see in the oil, lots of phos & zinc, always thought that CK-4 oils were neutered in that regard, but I guess not.


[Linked Image from iili.io]


96 Grand Prix SE 150k Chevron Delo 5w-40 Synthetic
04 Odyssey EX 205k Shell Rotella T5 10w-30
96 Maxima GLE 275k Mobil Super HM 5w-30
07 Chrysler Pacifica Limited 4.0L 151k Rotella T5 10w-30
Re: 1996 Pontiac Grand Prix / Harvest King All Fleet 10w-30 / 390 mi. [Re: 92saturnsl2] #5457387 06/19/20 01:11 AM
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Gasbuggy Offline
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You've made quite an investment in that grand Prix. I always liked their look vs the next generation. Hopefully it gives you plenty of trouble free miles.

Also, something I've done, save the oil from another car for these short flush runs. I have a jug of Pennzoil with 3k on it from another one of my cars just for this purpose


Cadillac CTS-V 6.2L 10w30PP
Volvo P1800 Euro L
76 Mercedes 300D Rotella T4
Series III Land Rover VWB
02 Yukon 10w30 PP
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95 Accord - 386k. Mobil 2 RIP
Re: 1996 Pontiac Grand Prix / Harvest King All Fleet 10w-30 / 390 mi. [Re: 92saturnsl2] #5457436 06/19/20 05:47 AM
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Interesting UOA, being I don't follow Diesel intended UOAs. Low Calcium numbers have reached into the low viscosity diesel oils.


Pennzoil Ultra Platinum // Mobil-1 EP // Valvoline Synthetics
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Re: 1996 Pontiac Grand Prix / Harvest King All Fleet 10w-30 / 390 mi. [Re: 92saturnsl2] #5457456 06/19/20 06:41 AM
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caprice_2nv Offline
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One of my ex's had a 94 years ago. It had really bad piston slap and needed intake gaskets but otherwise ran and drove like new. I kind of miss that car. They weren't exactly put together really well (fit and finish) but it had a unique interior and comfortable seats. Always started.


84 Olds Cutlass - 350 Olds
83 Chevy Caprice - 305 Sbc
05 Silverado 1500 4wd - 4.8/4L60E
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Re: 1996 Pontiac Grand Prix / Harvest King All Fleet 10w-30 / 390 mi. [Re: 92saturnsl2] #5463265 06/26/20 11:37 AM
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Doublehaul Offline
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They were good cars...back when GM could still make em good


2019 Toyota 4Runner 4x4 TRD
2019 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 TRD*

Mobil 1 0w40


The specs on the back are more important than the label on the front
Re: 1996 Pontiac Grand Prix / Harvest King All Fleet 10w-30 / 390 mi. [Re: 92saturnsl2] #5463727 06/26/20 10:22 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
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Originally Posted by 92saturnsl2
I have a 1996 Grand Prix I purchased with a bad head gasket-- had a bunch of coolant in oil, coolant burping from overflow tank, overheating issues. Was probably abused something hard, previous owner had the cooling fans jerry-rigged to run 100% of the time, so was likely overheated a bunch.


That’s like picking up a stray cat with one eye and one and one half ears. Good on you.

Originally Posted by 92saturnsl2

a near virgin analysis (VOA) of Rural King's Harvest King All-Fleet (CK-4 rated) 10w-30 oil. I like what I see in the oil, lots of phos & zinc,


Yes strong zinc at 1200 ppm, a nice drop of Moly at 60 ppm, and a modern Ca + Mg LSPI friendly detergent package. It should be shear stable too, being a 10W30 HDEO. Looks like a good oil for an old school car. I bet you paid a good price for it too.


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Valvoline DuraBlend 10W40 SN & A3/B4 semi-synthetic + Valvoline V06 synblend media filter
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