Need some information...engine shot!
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Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, Need some information...engine shot! in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; My 2003 CTS timing chain went out driving down the interstate at 80mph. White smoke boiling out the back and ...
  1. #1
    BC1973 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Need some information...engine shot!

    My 2003 CTS timing chain went out driving down the interstate at 80mph. White smoke boiling out the back and all . Well it ruined the engine. Mechanic says another engine and timing chain needed. Still owe $8k so I'm getting it fixed. So here are my questions (I'm no mechanic by the way). Do I have to get another 3.2 V6 it came with or can I get the 3.6 V6 the 2004 used without extra install costs ? I know the Spec-V engine isn't a practical switch because of the electronic/wiring/tranny difference. Should I get a re-manufactured engine or just rebuilt. Does the timing chain come with a rebuilt/reman engine? Anyone else had to get another engine installed and who did you use, costs, reman or rebuilt? Just need some direction and idea of what I need to keep in mind. CTS had 197k miles when it happened so its been a good car until now. Thanks for the input.

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  3. #2
    Kingoftypos is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Need some information...engine shot!

    Since you have a 2003. Only the 3.2 will fit. The 2.8/3.6 are a totally different engine design. Someone already tried it and ran into part problems. Not that he couldn't afford it, but the parts to make the switch were on several months back order nation wide. That was a couple of years ago, I wouldn't want to know what it's like now.

    And just to let you know, the 3.2 has a timing belt. Not chain.

    KOT

  4. #3
    J W
    J W is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Need some information...engine shot!

    If he got a rebuilt or re-man engine, would'nt it already have a timming belt in it.?

  5. #4
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    Argent1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Need some information...engine shot!

    Before he does anything, he should educate himself more about what he has or what he needs. Otherwise he could be severely ripped off & scammed.

  6. #5
    BC1973 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Need some information...engine shot!

    So that answered the engine choice (3.2) question. Now just need opinions on re-man or rebuilt options. And to Argent... The whole reason I posted this was to educate myself. So I take it the engine will come with a timing belt? As I stated in my OP, I am no mechanic or hard core car buff. Just a guy who loves his CTS and wants it fixed the smartest way.

  7. #6
    Calgary03's Avatar
    Calgary03 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC1973
    So that answered the engine choice (3.2) question. Now just need opinions on re-man or rebuilt options. And to Argent... The whole reason I posted this was to educate myself. So I take it the engine will come with a timing belt? As I stated in my OP, I am no mechanic or hard core car buff. Just a guy who loves his CTS and wants it fixed the smartest way.
    It will be hard to find a rebuilt 3.2 engine I would think. I've never looked for one though... If it were me, I'd search for a low mileage used one. Only major problem I've heard of on a 3.2 is what you have already experienced. I haven't heard of piston rings or connecting rods dying ever so the bottom end is pretty sound on these engines in my view. As for a timing belt on the "new" engine. Rebuilt or Re-man will have new timing belts, used will not(obviously). After that, change the belt every 100,000 miles/160,000 km. In the 5 years of driving a 3.2, I've only had 2 repairs. Valve cover gaskets and oil cooler. Past that, preventative maintenance is all I've done.

  8. #7
    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
    RippyPartsDept is online now Hi, I'm Chris - Please Read My Signature
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    Re: Need some information...engine shot!

    the 3.2L in the 2003 has a timing belt, not a chain ... it is supposed to be changed at 90k intervals (or maybe 100k... check the owners manual)

    if you jump time or lose timing you will bend valve and the engine will definitely need major work

    usually it can be fixed without a new engine ... send the heads off to a machine shop to get fixed for around $300-$400 usually in these types of situations
    plus gaskets and bolts and a new timing belt (maybe a tensioner too)

    you're looking at almost $2k probably ... a lot less than getting a new/rebuilt engine ... a used engine might get you out cheaper (if you can find one) but that's always a gamble since you don't know the history
    Chris Heath (RippyPartsDept) is an ASE Certified GM Parts Consultant at
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  9. #8
    jran0823's Avatar
    jran0823 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Timing belt is part of the 100k maintenance. I would have the heads sent out to a reputable machine shop and have new valves and guides installed as well as any other work required to fix the damaged caused.

  10. #9
    amunderdog is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Need some information...engine shot!

    I can not get a clear answer
    http://answers.edmunds.com/question-...les-82739.aspx
    "The 3.2 L V6 This is an interference engine"
    If that is correct I would replace the engine.

  11. #10
    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
    RippyPartsDept is online now Hi, I'm Chris - Please Read My Signature
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    Re: Need some information...engine shot!

    interference engine just means that if the timing is not correct the valves will hit the pistons (and bend the valves)

    no need to replace the engine just because of some bent valves
    Chris Heath (RippyPartsDept) is an ASE Certified GM Parts Consultant at
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  12. #11
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    Calgary03 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    At this point, just have the heads taken off and look at the pistons and cylinder walls. If the bottom is fine then head rebuilding is fairly cheap. It's just from your OP, white smoke blowing out the exhaust says to me that the block or head cracked with the valve to piston impact and is flooding the cylinder with coolant... If dex-cool burns white? Not sure... I hope it's an easy fix for you, relatively speaking. I'm pulling an engine out of a 3.2 CTS as I type this. It's not bad since the trans is already out. Wouldn't want to do it if it wasn't.

  13. #12
    amunderdog is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Need some information...engine shot!

    That is what I read also.
    "driving down the interstate at 80mph. White smoke boiling out the back"
    Reads to me as catastrophic failure

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