1994 Z24 - Second Generation Forum

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1994 Z24
Saturday, February 02, 2019 10:32 AM
Well, here it is.
Short videos, if you care to check them out.

I need to clean out the fuel tank and put some fresh gas in it. What is in it is orange and stinks. Also has very little in it too. When switch is on, fuel gauge goes down to empty. Engine misses and sputters when applying throttle. Dies when letting off. Will crank and idle, only acts up after applying throttle. Noticed a good bit of smoke too after rev'ing it up some, but this may be due to sitting so long. I have a feeling the engine is toast, but will try some fresh gas.
This one my be the first one of mine to get a 3400.

Drivers door panel arm rest is ripping some. Hole in drivers seat. Other than that, interior is in very nice shape. Body has a few small dents and dings. Base/clear Maaco paint job. Chips in old paint were not filled before paint was applied. He said he paid $800 for the paint job.

Window tint needs replacing.

Long list of parts replaced within last few years. Cheap stereo/speakers that sounds okay. No external amplifiers.

Florida car with very little sun damage, no rust.

Re: 1994 Z24
Monday, February 04, 2019 9:52 AM
Looks ok, hopefully it's good in the motor also.

Is that fold down seat a Z24 only option?

The junk one over here I got the quarter window out of had one too but it was tan ( in a red car ) and the car got flooded in Maria.

Doug in P.R.

92 Pontiac Sunbird LE, 2.0, AT, Red / Black with Grey 155K miles. Hurricane Maria Survivor ! ( It takes a licking and keeps on ticking ! ).....in Salinas, Puerto Rico!

Re: 1994 Z24
Monday, February 04, 2019 4:57 PM
Yeah, the fold down seat was an option. I don't know the RPO for it off hand. It would be in the book, but I haven't looked it up. Not sure if it was only available with the Z24 or not. It also included fully carpeted trunk area, or at least the few I've seen had full carpet with the fold down seat.

I am hoping it is just bad gas. I'm going to drop the tank, blow out the lines, replace the fuel filter and put fresh gas in it this weekend. May have a clogged injector or 6. I'll put the old gas into a white bucket and get a picture of it. What came out of the fuel pressure test gauge looked (and smelled) very bad. No idea just how long this car has set. Oil is fresh and clean though.

I have nearly everything needed for a 3400 swap. So, if the engine is bad I may go that route. I have also toyed with the idea of putting the 3.1 out of the RS in it. Certainly the easiest and cheapest. Just thoughts for now though. I'll have a better idea of what to do by Sunday, hopefully.
Re: 1994 Z24
Friday, February 08, 2019 7:12 PM
Beautiful Find!! You moving on up !!

Keep going and you going to catch up with me...Hahaa

Looks like I need just a couple more and I would look like another Member on here!!

Frank can have a J-Body Bash and if no one else shows up he is still good to go.....I still haven't figured out how he chooses which one to drive on any given day???

Re: 1994 Z24
Saturday, February 09, 2019 8:28 AM
LOL, yeah, I think I have some sort of compulsion disorder.

I talked myself into simply for the fact that it is a 5spd. I figured if all else fails, I'll have everything I need to convert my 92 to 5spd properly and in a factory manner.
Sadly, I'll be losing my 94 RS. I'm stripping it for parts. Most will be stored, but wiring, dash, engine, trans, hvac, etc, etc, etc. will be going into my 88 wagon. I'll have a salvage yard come to get the hull once I've gotten everything out of it. I took it off my insurance yesterday. It is renewal time and I didn't want to pay to keep it on it for another six months knowing I would soon be taking it apart.
Re: 1994 Z24
Saturday, February 09, 2019 3:10 PM
I was getting ready to jack the car up and saw the exhaust pipe was hitting the trailing arm. I looked upstream and saw what appeared to be black soot on the pipe. I grabbed the pipe only to find this :o


I'll take the tank out tomorrow to clean out the old gas. Get some pipe to repair the leak and hopefully find all I need is a clutch to get this car running/driving.
Re: 1994 Z24
Sunday, February 10, 2019 4:59 PM
That's why I prefer to do my own exhaust work. It is nasty work but I know what I got when I get done with it.

My '94 came with an awful exhaust system when I got it back in 2014. I decided to get all the life I could out of it while I acquired the replacements. Eventually I did manage to get everything form the manifold to the tail pipe. That nasty system is still hanging on, but just about all my other vehicles have had theirs rot off in the meantime.....Hahaa. One advantage to using the old system up first is you are buying extra time for your new system - it isn't going to start rotting till it is hung on there. Of course the big dogs have custom stainless fitted on theirs......but obviousy I am much more of a wannabe!!

I did replace this wonderful piece of hanger at the tail pipe. I have no idea how it worked like that as long as it did.....

Love your videos!! Keep them coming :-)


Re: 1994 Z24
Monday, February 11, 2019 12:57 AM
Your pictures aren't showing up.

I didn't get much done yesterday. The pipe is cut and ready to put back together. But I left it loose because removing/installing the fuel tank is easier with the exhaust loose. I'm going to put a new fuel pump in it, since now will be the perfect time to put one in it.
I picked up some stuff at Ace hardware to rig up the hanger with an aftermarket insulator I got at Autozone.

If the pump is here by next weekend, I'll get it all back together and see how it runs.
Re: 1994 Z24
Saturday, February 16, 2019 7:21 AM
Dropped the tank last night.
Found pretty old gas in it, but not much, thankfully.
Here is the gas that was in the tank.

I did discover the baffling around the pump assemble is cracked. I don't know if that is something to be concerned with, of if it is mainly there to help stabilize the fuel level float?
Here is the baffle inside the tank.

Hopefully the baffling is only for smoothing out the fuel level reading. Please let me know what you think.
Plan to put the new pump in it with 5 gallons of fresh gas, later today. Just hope I don't need a new tank. If it is only to keep the gauge steady, I'm not worried about that too much. But, if it has an adverse affect on fuel delivery, well that's a problem.
Re: 1994 Z24
Sunday, February 17, 2019 6:03 AM
Gas is in the tank and the exhaust is together.

I rigged up the joint with straight/flat band clamps. Should hold it together for a little while. It needs to be welded though.
Re: 1994 Z24
Monday, March 04, 2019 12:33 AM
Found the cause of the knocking noise.

Got parts ordered. Will hopefully get it back together this coming weekend, if the parts arrive in time.

Re: 1994 Z24
Thursday, March 07, 2019 6:10 PM
Pushrod is here. Lifters are out, apart and soaking in diesel fuel.

All looked good inside, but one in particular one had some thick gummy oil in it. However, this was not the one that broke the pushrod. The oil in the others was dark, but not gummy. I need to replace one. It has a worn spot on the bottom. I'll have to check the cam lobe on that one. Hopefully it isn't damaged,,,, much.

I don't really expect this engine to last very long.
Soaking Lifters.jpg (319k)

Re: 1994 Z24
Sunday, March 10, 2019 6:44 AM
Well, this engine is shot.

I'm going to pull it today.
Re: 1994 Z24
Monday, March 11, 2019 2:36 PM
That's too bad Butch. Whatcha gonna swap in there?

Re: 1994 Z24
Monday, March 11, 2019 3:16 PM
That's too bad Butch, But you can always take it to "McFarland Machining " since you live close.......

Doug in P.R.

92 Pontiac Sunbird LE, 2.0, AT, Red / Black with Grey 155K miles. Hurricane Maria Survivor ! ( It takes a licking and keeps on ticking ! ).....in Salinas, Puerto Rico!

Re: 1994 Z24
Monday, March 11, 2019 6:28 PM
92Sunbird PuertoRico wrote:But you can always take it to "McFarland Machining " since you live close.......

Doug in P.R.
LOL, I work less than 2 miles for them. Seriously.

Not quite sure yet what I'll replace it with. Plans were to use the RS as a donor for the wagon, replacing everything. Yesterday, I was thinking I could just go ahead and use the 3.1 from the RS to replace this one. Quickest, easiest, but leaves me without and engine for the wagon.
Been considering putting a 3400 in it. I need to get it moving under its own power soon though. It is in the way and holding up the wagon project. So, most likely I'll use the 3.1 to speed things along. Since that will leave me without and engine for the wagon, it will get a 3400 when its ready for for install. No real rush on it, you see. I've lots of other work to do to it before time to set an engine in it. That's probably my best option for now, I think.

I'm going to keep the original engine, just because. Store it under the shelves in the back of the garage or something. It very well may end up at McFarland one of these days.
Re: 1994 Z24
Monday, March 25, 2019 9:07 AM
I've had some SOHC 4cyl. engines during my years with some pretty bad cams in them due to stopped up oil passages. Many times I'd replace the cam and carrier on those and didn't have any stray metal issues upon replacing back on the road. I gotta admit I haven't see a lobe as bad as this one. You still might replace the cam and get some service out of this - and save some money in the process. For the cost of a cam and some gaskets it might be worth the chance to give it a try.


Re: 1994 Z24
Saturday, March 30, 2019 10:47 AM
Thanks Orlen.
I'll have a closer look at everything when I get it out. Maybe just a cam kit and new oil pump, if everything else looks good. Was hoping to have it out this weekend, but don't think that will happen. Should have it out next weekend though, for sure.
Re: 1994 Z24
Sunday, March 31, 2019 1:41 PM
More likely the cam bearings are torn up from the metal from the cam , therefore low oil pressure will be the result later on....

They are most important to maintain good oil pressure, ask Cleatus. ( He went through it twice lately with junkyard motors for Ruby the Corvette )

I ran into that problem on my Cadillac race motor before , allways check cam bearings when metal is lost and run through the motor.I overrevved and spun a bearing, changed out the crank with all new main and rod bearings , and still had low oil pressure.Changed out the cam bearings, was all good after that.

They only way to save the cam bearings is after a spun bearing or other problem is to shut down the motor and change the oil.

Doug in P.R.

92 Pontiac Sunbird LE, 2.0, AT, Red / Black with Grey 155K miles. Hurricane Maria Survivor ! ( It takes a licking and keeps on ticking ! ).....in Salinas, Puerto Rico!

Re: 1994 Z24
Thursday, April 25, 2019 7:26 PM
Finally got the engine out today. I didn't take anything off to inspect the internals of the block, yet. It appears the oil pan has been off sometime or other. Lots of rtv all around it.
Need to rebuild the rack, while the engine is out. Saw signs of leakage. Engine mounts falling apart. All bushings need replacing. A little play in the intermediate shaft bearing. I've got much of the stuff to repair most of these things. My shopping list will be pretty short, thankfully.
Left the A/C all connected and intact. It worked, so I figured why break it.

I suppose I'll begin taking the engine out of the RS to put in it. Would love to put a 3400 in it, but getting a chip might be a problem. No idea if anyone sells them anymore. I think I've got everything I need, except the throttle cable and chip. Throttle cable might not be too hard to find, but like I said, no idea about a chip. I certainly wouldn't want to try tuning and burning my own chips, without some help. I don't know anyone in my area that could help me. Not much info on it either, as far as I've found.

I've got multiple other things going on too, so time for messing with the car is limited. Still hope to get it moving before too much longer though.
Re: 1994 Z24
Saturday, April 27, 2019 5:25 PM
http://www.a1aautoparts.com/ has a 44k mile v6 out of a 94 Lumina in Lakeland FL . Doug in P.R.

92 Pontiac Sunbird LE, 2.0, AT, Red / Black with Grey 155K miles. Hurricane Maria Survivor ! ( It takes a licking and keeps on ticking ! ).....in Salinas, Puerto Rico!

Re: 1994 Z24
Sunday, April 28, 2019 5:49 PM

There is also a 2004 33,xxx mile 3400 in an Oldsmobile Alero at A-1-A. I may call them. I'd need most everything, not just a bare engine. Be nice if I could pull it myself. Not sure if they allow that though.
Been watching videos on tuning and chip burning. I'm leaning towards just replacing the engine with a 3400. I'm not in a great hurry, though I hope to have it back together sometime this year. Also, while the car is apart, I'm going clean everything up really well. Replace all the bushings, rebuild the struts, rack, fill engine mounts, new wire looms, seal the firewall, refinish blower box, etc., etc.
Oh yeah, I'll need to get a downspout made for a 3400 too.

PLUS, the springs seats are still an ongoing project. Putting together a vacuum chamber now. Been studying urethane a lot. So I've tons of things to do. Just have to work everything in as I go.
Re: 1994 Z24
Monday, April 29, 2019 7:52 AM
I don't know a thing about the 3400's but I am not a fan of the 3100. Daughter had one in a 90's Skylark and with relatively low milage and she had all kinds of woes with that engine. In the end I could have replaced the engine in that car and used it myself (the car itself was in very good shape and even the engine was still strong) - but I had such bitter experiences with it I let it go to the scrapers. To this day I steer a wide wide path around any GM cars that have that engine it them.....and in the 1990's that covers a God-Awful lot of models. GM threw that in just about everything!!! I'm sure they were fine as new but when the seals started going they are constant trouble unless you want to pull it and replace all the gaskets in them. Hers blew the gasket at the timing cover right where the water pump goes. It would literary piss coolant out onto the radiator. I though it was the water pump at first but discovered the timing cover has water passages to the block at the pump. To replace that mess I had to pull the oil pan and to pull the pan I needed to remove the engine mounts. Well one can't prop the engine up with no oil pan so I gave up in admit frustration. Simply put the engine needed to be pulled and place on a stand and I didn't have all that or the space. I also don't like the LD9 Quad 4 with the insane water pump design. As far and the design goes I think that the LD9 was one of the most beautiful 4 cylinder engines GM put together with the separate cam carriers. I was really a shame that they hid all that beauty under a coil pack cover. Daughter had one of those engines too in an a 90's Allero and of course the water pump went south on it - I had no idea any engine needed to be pulled to replace a water pump at the time, and wondered what on earth would one do if you put all that mess back together just to find you had something bolted wrong afterwards. I had the displeasure of replacing an alternator on that engine too and wondered why on earth they buried it. Later on I tried my luck with a Sunfire GT with the LD9 in it. I found myself worrying so much about the prospect of a water pump failure that I wound up getting rid of the car! Both engines are the main reasons I have steered away from the Z-24 models as much as I'd love to have one over the years. It was a shame they didn't offer up the Buick V-6 (3000/3300/3800) in more of their cars, I have had much better luck with those.

So I have to say if you got to pull that 3100 it might serve you well to go with a different engine altogether. I have seen some with the 3800 transplanted in them and while not a powerhouse, at least the Supercharged 3800 looks great under the hood!


Re: 1994 Z24
Monday, April 29, 2019 5:39 PM
Wow, you've had a lot of experience with some of these old engines. I've only had the 2.8 and 3.1.
I kinda suspect that the engine in this car was a victim of a LIM leak. I think it may have been leaking coolant onto the #6 EXH lifter/cam lobe, washing off the oil. Not sure, but there were signs it had been leaking.
It is my understanding that somewhere around 2003 the 3400 engine got a upgrade gasket design (I believe it was) that greatly reduced the chance of the LIM leaking, at least into the engine. I'd have to read up on that again, to know exactly what was changed.
My 88's 2.8L began leaking at around the 200,000 mark. Thankfully, it only leaked outside and not into the engine.

Supercharged 3800 would be sweet, just for the heck of it. Lots of extra work, I think. Certainly beyond my limited knowledge. The 3400 on the other hand is a pretty straight forward swap. Getting it running correctly is something I'm a little concerned with. But my chances of success are much better than anything else, other than just putting another 3.1L in it. I'm still planning to open up the original engine, just to have a look at things inside it. I haven't ruled out having it rebuilt, if it is okay. I'd kinda like to keep it stock anyway. But, the other side of me wants a 3400, for the bit of extra power it has.

Anyway, I've lots to do before time to put any engine back in it. I'll decide sometime as work progresses.
Re: 1994 Z24
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 7:26 AM
I think every engine design has had it's own Achilles Heel in one form or another. Even the 2.2L..... In my '94....the fuel feeding the injectors is charged in the intake manifold itself and relies on the injector O-Rings to prevent the fuel from leaking down into the cylinder. I simple bad day with one of those lower O-Rings could potentially wreck the engine due to fuel causing a hydro-lock. Fortunately I have only had issue with the outer ones! Mainly my taste is toward the 4's due to their design simplicity....if it ain't there it can't break.

I love sharing info on here and I never fail to learn a little something everytime! Aluminum parts are just going to have issues over time when bolted to cast iron. Heat cycles are going to take their toll. I remember Paul Steep mentioning one time on the 1st Gen forum that he generally expects to need to replace his head gasket on his '84 Sunbird 1.8 Turbo about every 5 years or so. That information really changed my way of thinking about the matter. It isn't a matter of 'if' but when. If you have an engine you enjoy tearing into then you have half the job licked! Simply knowing what and where to look for and keeping an eye out is the best medicine.

Regarding your desire to go 3400 , I think is a personal choice. I have always believed it is important to follow your dreams. It would be a wonderful thing to look back upon your life many years from now and smile at having dropped a 3400 in one of your Cavaliers. I'd hate to see the opposite - for you to look back and wished you'd have gave a try and never did. Perhaps you can have cake and eat it too! Pull your sick 3100 , drop in 3400, and rebuild the 3100 without being in any hurry. I gotta say replacing the head and cam carrier on my '84 Sunbird was a blast mainly because I was able to fart around and take my time. I was able to replace all the engine & transaxle mounts , all the hoses, a new starter, water pump, heater core & radiator while I was at it. Painted the heater box and engine compartment too. A hobby ain't a hobby when you got to work at it. Certainly it would allow you the time to give the 3100 a thorough inspection and at least discover all the details in its demise state. Oh yes - and as far as getting the 3400 to run tight - I'm sure there are many experienced folks out there that have lots to share. If you can find out out what the most difficult part of the swap is - and figure that out and know you can tackle it - well then......the rest ought to be a piece of cake for a fellow like you! Enjoy yourself & Have fun!


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