Head gasket on 96 3.8 l camaro


Asked by Apr 29, 2013 at 07:23 PM about the 1996 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a camaro I was driving it home
started to heat up oil pressure
dropped then died let t cool then
jumped it. It started up and oil
pressure was low but ran it failed the
compression test could this be a
intake gasket or is it the head

12 Answers

hmmm....just the headgasket?....zero PSI oil pressure forces me to think that additional problems are there~ Intake gasket would make it Idle shitty for a vacuum leak, and unevenly head gasket would put oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil or both....looksee for this additional complication~

hardly think an oil pump could be the problem, they are regulated down, and if the regulating spring was removed would be a "heavy duty" oil pump and CAUSE oil leaks now....but if you've got the pan off, inspecting for bits of motor that don't belong in the oil, you could switch the oil pump to a new and fresh one, but I think that it is fine....crikey..you could not have worn the gears down that way (pump) leaving you with no pressure, but suspect the sensor for oil pressure isn't reading the pressure correctly~


The pressure is there just really low and also at idle when I press the gas the pressure jumps and there's no knocking or nothing (excepts the exhaust) lol

Oh, the main crank bearings.....need oil....must have oil....how come you're not givin' me oil?....blockage? did someone open the oil cap and put a fistful of road dust into the crankcase? how do we end up with oil troubles....please explain~


Just got the car for 400$ and it took a quart of oil the the oil pump may have went out in just trying to figure out where I start to figure out the issue

that's cool Josh, you're lucky to have an actual car, and not someone elses~ just here to help, you know the basics by now air, fuel, spark, timing----run with it man~


Yea it turns over runs and everything just having the overheating an low oil pressure ad the car fail the compression test so just trying to figure it out instead of a crate motor to fix a simple problem

got the oil pan off? you could put a new oil pump in for funzies~

oil in coolant coolant in oil....this would tell us to crate or not to crate...actually jasper remanufactured engines are cool, hand reconstructed from new parts guaranteed for 100,000 and painted a cool- lookin' green color


Well should find out tomorrow if its crate tomorrow when I get it in the shop

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Most likely head gasket. The 3.8 s known to blow quickly. With that said oil in water and vise versa is not always the case it really depends on where the gasket blew. The overheating issue was most likely caused by either air in the cooling system. Leaving a air pocket and notflowing well. Or by a plastic elbow that runs from heater hoses to middle of block just over water pump. This is a weak link in cooling system but is litterally a $5 part if your tearing down to investigate be sure to have heads magnfluxed as they are prone to cracks and warpage. Hope for the best prepare for the word u will be fine. You may find that a oil change.after repair will sol e the oil pressure issue. I have had this same issue and found 1 cracked head and a stuck lifter was result of overheating but I guess I'm rambling so ill let it go at that. Hope you get her fixed and happy hope this helps.


The 3.8L V6 were a shitty engine, nothing but noise, headaches, and low power. Great as a daily driver though. You'd be better- off putting in a slightly newer 4.3L V6 or going back to a 305/327/350 block or even a detuned 400 SBC as a 377 or a 305 stroker as a 334. And with a decent TH350, TH400, or 700R4 you're set to go with some decent rear end gears for highway use as well, and decent gas consumption.

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