Head gasket failed
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Cadillac Catera and Cimarron Forum Discussion, Head gasket failed in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; So, my 97 with 137k finally showed me the sign of a failed head gasket. It seemed a long time ...
  1. #1
    R-Caddy's Avatar
    R-Caddy is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 2 1997 Cateras: black&ocean green
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    Head gasket failed

    So, my 97 with 137k finally showed me the sign of a failed head gasket. It seemed a long time ago that at least one of them was leaking. Now I have a cylinder misfire, leaking coolant, white smoke coming out of the tailpipe. I did an oil change, put new plugs in it for cheap insurance. Oil looked OK, but the coolant may be leaking in small amounts directly into the cylinder and burning off. Didn't help.
    Now I am looking at a couple options.
    OPTION #1- I have the shop manual, some friends that are willing to help me, and a second car I am thinking of tearing that thing apart, replacing the timing belt in the process. I would hate to have to pay somebody $1000 (!!!) just for labor, when I am not in a rush to get it fixed (that would be OPTION#2). Head gasket set- around $165, timing belt set- around $170, 2 head bolt sets- around $52. Shaving the heads- around $150 for both. These would be the main expenses. I may also replace the thermostat. I am sure there will be more stuff to replace.
    OPTION #3- that Lingenfelter LS1/LS6 Conversion kit minus exhaust manifolds for $1000 is starting to look more and more attractive...
    Any opinions, input and experience would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Aras

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  3. #2
    catdogracing is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Head gasket failed

    Well im intrested if you find out any additional info on this please let me know, I am at the same crossroads..... I found water on my spark plugs today well atleast on one bank working to check the other bank....

  4. #3
    Jamies97Cat is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): Cadillac Catera
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    Re: Head gasket failed

    i have a brand new timing belt in the box with a timing belt tensioner pulley that i dont need i could sell you cheap, its direct from gm its no after market crap thing, if you decide to fix the motor let me know i'll sell it for $60 bucks free shipping!

  5. #4
    R-Caddy's Avatar
    R-Caddy is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 2 1997 Cateras: black&ocean green
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    Thread Starter

    Re: Head gasket failed

    Thanks guys. I will keep everybody posted. I cranked up the car yesterday just to see and keep it wet, and it ran fine. I didn't drive it, but I let it idle and gave it gas once in a while. There was no white smoke, exhaust pulse was even for both banks. But then again, I didn't let it really warm up- just for about 2-3 minutes. But yeah, I am still looking at doing the job.
    I appreciate the offer Jamies97Cat, hang on to that kit, I may need it.
    Thanks,
    Aras

  6. #5
    cateraowner is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): Cadillac
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    Re: Head gasket failed

    too bad you weren't closer. I'd be willing to swap engines before the insurance company towes the car away

    sounds like you have a lot of work a head of you.. good luck

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