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3800 Plastic Coolant Elbows

weathdl

Buick Newbie
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2007 Buick Lucerne - 3.8 V6
For those who have a 2006-2008 GM 3800, what has been your experience with the plastic coolant elbows on the 3.8 V6 that are prone to leak and crack over time that run from the intake over to the heater hose bracket? I'm wondering what the expected life of the OEM elbows are and when is the recommended time to change?

Mine is a 2007 with 48,xxx miles. No sign of leaks, but I have some long trips coming up. Thinking of changing them as a preventative measure.
 

SD73

Full Member
129
6
18
Buick Ownership
2006 Buick LaCrosse CX
I've had other 3800s with those elbows that have lasted well over 100k. My 06 has about 70k and no signs of leakage. It wasn't the elbow that broke on my other car either, it was the rubber o-ring that began leaking. That said, Napa Coolant Bypass Elbow 660-1942 is made of metal should you chose to go that route when the time comes.
 

weathdl

Buick Newbie
9
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1
Buick Ownership
2007 Buick Lucerne - 3.8 V6
I've had other 3800s with those elbows that have lasted well over 100k. My 06 has about 70k and no signs of leakage. It wasn't the elbow that broke on my other car either, it was the rubber o-ring that began leaking. That said, Napa Coolant Bypass Elbow 660-1942 is made of metal should you chose to go that route when the time comes.
Thanks guys for the replies. I will put this on the back burner for a while.

My previous 3800 Pontiac went through at least 2 sets of those elbows. I do recall the plastic Dorman brand only lasted about a year and a half before they disentigrated. Hopeful the OEM will last much longer. I will go with the metal ones next on the Lucerne.
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mojo117

Buick Newbie
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Buick Ownership
1968 LeSabre Custom 400 (RIP); 1978 LeSabre; 1997 LeSabre; 1999 LeSabre; 1999 Park Ave
I replaced my OEM elbows at 170,000 when I did the lower and upper intake manifold fixes. (I also went ahead and changed the water pump out, since it had it all exposed and it wasn't getting any newer.) I put in Dorman aluminum elbows. I've put maybe 3,000 miles on the car since then, and they have failed. The o-rings melted. I put a new set of Dorman's in the other day and smeared some hi-temp RTV on the o-rings. I have since done additional research and have found that the Dorman o-rings are just no good. I have ordered the GM o-rings from Rock Auto (GM Part #'s: 24502846 and 1534066). I'm going to pull the belt tensioner off again and replace the Dorman o-rings with these.
 

HotZ28

Full Member
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Buick Ownership
1996 Roadmaster Limited Collectors Edition 58k - 1996 PAU
I thought that Dorman resolved the 0-ring issue several years ago, but maybe not?? Did you check the code date of the elbows if there was one?? You should never have to use RTV to seal the coolant O-ring's & elbows! If everything is clean/polished in the LIM port and the correct O-rings installed, all you need is a slight coating of silicone grease on both parts to install.
 
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