Rebuilding an 04 Deville
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Cadillac DeVille 1985 to 2005 including:
1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, Rebuilding an 04 Deville in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I am a professional Toyota / Subaru mechanic and new member. After some searching I found this super cheap crashed ...
  1. #1
    Mr.electric is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Rebuilding an 04 Deville

    I am a professional Toyota / Subaru mechanic and new member. After some searching I found this super cheap crashed Deville.
    I am trying to have a running , driveable luxury cruiser on a budget. So far I'm on target. The car was in decent condition until it was wrecked.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1364134136.738203.jpg
    The good side.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1364134164.352600.jpg
    The other side.
    I spent a few hours with hammers and pry bars getting the fender mounts in line and putting on this tester fender that came with the car.
    The stock front wheel was smashed in the crash. They put the rear on the front and doughnut on the rear.
    The shop I bought it from did a half shaft , strut and control arm in that corner. I'm praying I can align it to drivable condition.
    I was also worried about the head gasket. No bubbles in the res when I rev the engine and it passed smog. I'm worried because it has a coolant leak, smells like coolant and I found a thermostat in the trunk. Time will tell. Despite all the trouble of rebuilding this car I'm really glad I found one that has the color combo and features I was looking for. I wanted silver ext black int and the cooled seat option.
    So far my kids and dog have enjoyed sitting in the car. I hope my wife comes around soon. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1364134728.587936.jpg

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  3. #2
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is online now Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    and good luck with the project.

    FWIW, the definitive test for HG issues is a block test, not looking for bubbles. The Northstar doesn't show any of the typical symptoms of HG failure (smoking exhaust, mixing coolant with oil) until the later stages.

  4. #3
    Mr.electric is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    I have a block tester at work I'll give it a try when I bring the car in to align. I hope I can align this thing. Second looming issue would be head gasket. I brought a friend who is good with suspension when I bought the car and he thought the frame was straight.

  5. #4
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is online now Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Rebuilding an 04 Deville

    HG failure are not very common on the '04's, but a thermostat in the trunk is rather worrisome. That said, Northstars HG failures never leak externally. That fact that you can smell coolant is a good thing.

  6. #5
    Mr.electric is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Thanks for the info. The never external leaks is a relief to hear. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1364148458.406650.jpg
    This car is absolutely beautiful. I can't wait to get it on the road.

  7. #6
    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Rebuilding an 04 Deville

    P.S.
    They don't leak coolant into the oil either. When a HG goes, the coolant always goes out the tailpipe.

  8. #7
    Mr.electric is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Here is a shot of the inner fender after I adjusted to allow a fender to be installed and the hood to close. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1364190969.618103.jpg
    I had to beat the sh** out of the structure under the fender to straighten the line the fender bolts to. This is a salvage title so little resale value. I decided to do the body work my self quick and dirty. I will be getting a few more body parts from a same year same color wreck. It should look pretty good when im finished except the inner fender under the hood.
    When doing the body work I noticed how easy it is the remove the top of the air box with two thumb screws and how easily the cruise control actuator came off.
    The small water pump belt on the back side of the motor is unusual too. This car is a pleasure to work on so far.

  9. #8
    jimsbox is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Rebuilding an 04 Deville

    Until you have to replace a rear head gasket, just saying....

  10. #9
    Mr.electric is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Doing my alignment and brake and light inspection today. If these two items go well I will just need to hit the DMV and I'm ready to go!!

  11. #10
    Mr.electric is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimsbox View Post
    Until you have to replace a rear head gasket, just saying....
    Couldn't be much harder than head gaskets on a Subaru. Everyone thinks subarus are such great cars despite huge numbers of head gasket failures. Since they have a boxer motor the hg can't be done in car, engine must come out.

  12. #11
    basscatt's Avatar
    basscatt is online now Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Rebuilding an 04 Deville

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.electric View Post
    Couldn't be much harder than head gaskets on a Subaru. Everyone thinks subarus are such great cars despite huge numbers of head gasket failures. Since they have a boxer motor the hg can't be done in car, engine must come out.
    ------------------------
    the hg can't be done in car,
    engine must come out

    same with the Northstar -

    the difference is that with the Northstar -
    you drop the entire engine/trans/cradle -
    and lift the car off of it - about 8 hours labor -
    THEN you start ripping things apart -

  13. #12
    amunderdog is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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  14. #13
    jimsbox is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Rebuilding an 04 Deville

    I had a blown head gasket, became a winter project for 3 or 4 months, but I studded the engine and rebuilt brakes, power steering, suspension, etc. Not a small undertaking but I am not a professional mechanic and I was successful with it.

    Don't mean to be discouraging but that is probably the single biggest PIA you would ever have to deal with on these cars. A lot of really nice cars are dumped for scrap value over this. Scrap yards are full of clean devilles.

  15. #14
    Mr.electric is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Ok I got a wheel and replaced the stupid doughnut that was on my Deville when I bought it. After that I went straight to the alignment rack. The shop I worked at before has a nice Hunter alignment rack. I am just learning to use it.
    I set the toe which was way off. That made the car drivable. The caster was off 4 degrees- a lot. The camber about 1.2 degrees. I did not set the camber or caster but I read that caster will necessitate moving the sub frame or slotting the holes for the top strut mount and moving the top of the strut. Camber should be easy by loosening the bottom strut mount and maybe installing a cam bolt. Any alignment experts out there. Is 4 degrees caster fixable?
    I will attempt a fix regardless of the advice I get here just wondering what these numbers mean.

  16. #15
    Mr.electric is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    I also noticed my half shaft was spitting grease. Interesting half shafts on these cars. The outer has a different type of seal that I am used to seeing. There is no boot on there.
    Edit:
    I got a closer look at my half shaft. It is a regular black rubber boot that has been nicely split and evenly covered with grease. Looks like I will either need to reboot it or get a cheap rebuilt half shaft.

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