My 2003 Escalade 6.0 Project...
Cadillac
 

Cadillac Forums | Help Us Help You | Advertise | Cadillac Parts | Cadillac News | Cadillac Classifieds / (Old System)

Cadillac Technical Archive | Cadillac Dealers | Cadillac Reviews | Cadillac Dealer Reviews | Cadillac Vendors

CadillacForums.com is the premier Cadillac Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 71
Like Tree1Likes
Cadillac Escalade, EXT and ESV Forum - 1999 - 2006 Discussion, My 2003 Escalade 6.0 Project... in Cadillac Escalade Forums; Wanted to start a proper thread for my latest project, a 2003 Cadillac Escalade AWD. Every once in a while ...
  1. #1
    z0lt3c's Avatar
    z0lt3c is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2003 Escalade 6.0
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    172

    My 2003 Escalade 6.0 Project...

    Wanted to start a proper thread for my latest project, a 2003 Cadillac Escalade AWD. Every once in a while I came across a vehicle at a pretty good price, usually at auction, usually needing a little bit of work. I'll fix it up and drive it for a year or two and flip it for the next one. I've already previously owned a 2003 Suburban and a 2003 Yukon Denali so I have some experience wrenching w/ these GMT800 based vehicles.

    This Escalade I have now has "only" 80,000 miles on it (I think, see my thread on cluster hour meter) and the original owner had a stack of service records for the vehicle so I was hoping for an easy interior cleanup type project. The first sign of a problem is when a check engine light came on, on my way home from the auction. Clearly the reset it and sell it trick, was nervous what I would find when I finally got it on a lift. I started off by taking it to a local Chevrolet dealer, but they stopped counting at $5000, so I only had them do a few things, that I thought the dealer was better off doing, and got hell out. Here is what they diagnosed;

    ++Approved
    Replace Oil Cooler Lines @ $305 - approved
    Replace power steering pump & refill fluid $370 - approved
    Replace Mass Airflow Sensor $400 - approved but I wish I didn't
    Replace front rotors $260 - somehow they told me I approved this when I didn't
    --Declined
    Replace intermediate shaft $217 - declined, but thought I approved in place of rotors
    Replace all steering linkage $840 - declined, crazy price
    Replace rear shocks $1325 - declined, crazy price
    Front Diff Diag fee for further analysis $440 - declined
    Heat shield on muffler broken - declined
    Replace right front fog lamp $137 - decline, crazy price
    Replace all tires - declined, didnt even bother having them quoted.

    Well quite the list and way more then I anticipated but based on recent research here, all of these seem somewhat common and/or expected regardless of mileage. This does provide a good example of dealer excess labor and parts charges. I do plan to address all these items, just not at those prices or at a GM based dealer. On average, using OEM equivalent parts and indy mechanic labor at $45/hour, I have been able to reduce all the charges in half, at least, and some of these I will tackle myself. Here are the new parts I got going in;

    DTD wheels/tire package $700
    Arnott AS-2127 Bilstein rear air shocks $325
    DAPARTS steering linkage kit (tie rods, pitman/idler arms) $105
    Energy suspension poly strut bar bushing and end links $35
    GMpartsdirect OEM intermediate shaft w/ new hardware $65
    GMpartsdirect OEM interior aspirator (x2) $24
    Cadillac OEM Blank key cut by local locksmith $17
    ebay Key fob $10

    As for the differentials, I think I will just run the front differential until it blows up since the best option seems to buy a remanufactured unit for around $1000 online. For the time being I'll drop some Schaeffer's 293 gear oil in the front and rear diff and some Autrotrak II into the transfer case. The transmission I won't spend a dollar on until it quits and then I will have it rebuilt (another $1000).

    All of these parts will be getting installed this week so I will update this thread with my thoughts and feedback. In the end, even though I got the vehicle cheap, it looks like at best I can expect to maybe break even down the road. Let this be a good lesson to those who ask "what are the common problems and how much do they cost." It should really re-enforce the value of a well maintained car versus the value of low average milage.


    Thanks for now... This forum seems to be a great source of information on these vehicles so I am happy to participate while I have one.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    CadillacForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    65kaiser is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Crystal Beach Florida
    Age
    57
    Posts
    47

    Re: My 2003 Escalade 6.0 Project...

    If the 80k is correct someone thrashed the crap out of that thing!

  4. #3
    the cadillac man's Avatar
    the cadillac man is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 03 cadillac escalade
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    speedwell tn,
    Posts
    7,555
    I agree its been rough treated for sure


    It is best to have a vehicle inspected before purchase

  5. #4
    65kaiser is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Crystal Beach Florida
    Age
    57
    Posts
    47

    Re: My 2003 Escalade 6.0 Project...

    Quote Originally Posted by the cadillac man View Post
    I agree its been rough treated for sure


    It is best to have a vehicle inspected before purchase
    Not exactly possible when buying at the auction.

  6. #5
    the cadillac man's Avatar
    the cadillac man is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 03 cadillac escalade
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    speedwell tn,
    Posts
    7,555
    Quote Originally Posted by 65kaiser
    Not exactly possible when buying at the auction.
    True

  7. #6
    z0lt3c's Avatar
    z0lt3c is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2003 Escalade 6.0
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    172

    Re: My 2003 Escalade 6.0 Project...

    Yeah basically the vehicle rolls onto the block, you hear it run, can open doors, inspect interior, stick your head underneath check frame and underbody/mechanical components visually, walk it with a paint meter, carfax/autocheck it, look for service receipts and figure out how much to bid. It's all over in maybe 2 to 3 minutes. I don't want to print how much I paid for it but lets just say it was around 15% less then the typical dealer trade in value (after fees), for a low mileage vehicle with a clean carfax. I am protected against certain liabilities, such as odometer fraud, which is why I wound up at the dealer for the first round of service, and title problems.

    Nothing on my list should be much of a surprise to any owner of this vehicle... they all seem to be things that need attention at some point. 10 year old rubber is still 10 year old rubber regardless of how many miles are on the vehicle. I looked at a few other options on Craigslist and at dealers before buying this one, alot of them needed this same work and were priced much higher.

    We'll see if I still feel the same way after I get all the new components installed. Right now it driving really poorly... Will post some pictures soon.

  8. #7
    the cadillac man's Avatar
    the cadillac man is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 03 cadillac escalade
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    speedwell tn,
    Posts
    7,555
    Quote Originally Posted by z0lt3c
    Yeah basically the vehicle rolls onto the block, you hear it run, can open doors, inspect interior, stick your head underneath check frame and underbody/mechanical components visually, walk it with a paint meter, carfax/autocheck it, look for service receipts and figure out how much to bid. It's all over in maybe 2 to 3 minutes. I don't want to print how much I paid for it but lets just say it was around 15% less then the typical dealer trade in value (after fees), for a low mileage vehicle with a clean carfax. I am protected against certain liabilities, such as odometer fraud, which is why I wound up at the dealer for the first round of service, and title problems. Nothing on my list should be much of a surprise to any owner of this vehicle... they all seem to be things that need attention at some point. 10 year old rubber is still 10 year old rubber regardless of how many miles are on the vehicle. I looked at a few other options on Craigslist and at dealers before buying this one, alot of them needed this same work and were priced much higher. We'll see if I still feel the same way after I get all the new components installed. Right now it driving really poorly... Will post some pictures soon.
    Get any codes pulled and I will try and help you in the right direction on getting it fixed

    FYI 400 for a mass air flow sensor is NUTS and a RIPOFF if its not needed in the first place

  9. #8
    z0lt3c's Avatar
    z0lt3c is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2003 Escalade 6.0
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    172

    Re: My 2003 Escalade 6.0 Project...

    Quote Originally Posted by the cadillac man View Post
    Get any codes pulled and I will try and help you in the right direction on getting it fixed
    I hope I won't need to, but it's great to have a resource on these forums as helpful as you are... Thanks for the offer.

    Quote Originally Posted by the cadillac man View Post
    FYI 400 for a mass air flow sensor is NUTS and a RIPOFF if its not needed in the first place
    $258 for the part (which is full OEM MSRP) and $182 in labor. Yes they billed me 90 minutes for a MAF replacement. I complained to them, that it was a rip-off, but they did not want to hear it. At the end, they gave me a 10% parts discount across all services, so I suppose you can subtract that from the $440.


    BTW- I change my find w/ the strutmasters up front, I will be returning them. Gonna go with the Monroes, hopefully a few months from now...

  10. #9
    the cadillac man's Avatar
    the cadillac man is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 03 cadillac escalade
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    speedwell tn,
    Posts
    7,555
    Quote Originally Posted by z0lt3c
    I hope I won't need to, but it's great to have a resource on these forums as helpful as you are... Thanks for the offer. $258 for the part (which is full OEM MSRP) and $182 in labor. Yes they billed me 90 minutes for a MAF replacement. I complained to them, that it was a rip-off, but they did not want to hear it. At the end, they gave me a 10% parts discount across all services, so I suppose you can subtract that from the $440. BTW- I change my find w/ the strutmasters up front, I will be returning them. Gonna go with the Monroes, hopefully a few months from now...
    Keep in mind these trucks do store history codes in every module including the PCM even if the battery has been disconnected

    The 10% discount is ok but they really ripped you off on the maf sensor big time(182 for labor is crazy)

  11. #10
    z0lt3c's Avatar
    z0lt3c is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2003 Escalade 6.0
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    172

    Re: My 2003 Escalade 6.0 Project...

    Quote Originally Posted by the cadillac man View Post
    Keep in mind these trucks do store history codes in every module including the PCM even if the battery has been disconnected
    I asked the dealer to specifically check for other codes in history, or other modules, they said the only code was P0101 and the MAF bench tested bad. I've also confirmed that the brand new power steering pump is definitely leaking from one of the hard lines in the back of the pump. Guess I will have to go deal with this dealer again after all. Any suggestions on how I can check the codes myself? I have an OBDII/PC setup from my BMW days but what software works well w/ the Escalade?

    I thought this was an appropriate first picture in this thread, my front diff plug !


  12. #11
    the cadillac man's Avatar
    the cadillac man is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 03 cadillac escalade
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    speedwell tn,
    Posts
    7,555
    Quote Originally Posted by z0lt3c
    I asked the dealer to specifically check for other codes in history, or other modules, they said the only code was P0101 and the MAF bench tested bad. I've also confirmed that the brand new power steering pump is definitely leaking from one of the hard lines in the back of the pump. Guess I will have to go deal with this dealer again after all. Any suggestions on how I can check the codes myself? I have an OBDII/PC setup from my BMW days but what software works well w/ the Escalade? I thought this was an appropriate first picture in this thread, my front diff plug !
    That's a lot of crud

    A gm tech-2 is what is needed to gain access to every module in these trucks

  13. #12
    65kaiser is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Crystal Beach Florida
    Age
    57
    Posts
    47

    Re: My 2003 Escalade 6.0 Project...

    Thats not crud, thats metal! Not a good sign. Looks like this might become an expensive project.

  14. #13
    the cadillac man's Avatar
    the cadillac man is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 03 cadillac escalade
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    speedwell tn,
    Posts
    7,555
    Quote Originally Posted by 65kaiser
    Thats not crud, thats metal! Not a good sign. Looks like this might become an expensive project.
    Wow that's not good

  15. #14
    z0lt3c's Avatar
    z0lt3c is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2003 Escalade 6.0
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    172

    Re: My 2003 Escalade 6.0 Project...

    Quote Originally Posted by 65kaiser View Post
    Thats not crud, thats metal! Not a good sign. Looks like this might become an expensive project.
    It's already an expensive project but the plug looks no different then the one on my 2003 Yukon Denali when I pulled it at 60k miles.

    These AWD drivetrains just eat differentials, some faster then other it seems, but in my research I haven't found one yet, even a newly rebuilt one, that doesn't exhibit this kind of shavings in the fluid.

  16. #15
    Jophusp's Avatar
    Jophusp is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2003 Cadillac Escalade XS-500
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Age
    30
    Posts
    102

    Re: My 2003 Escalade 6.0 Project...

    For 80k miles, if the fluid has not been changed yet, that plug does not look too bad. Every one that I have pulled has similar shavings. If its not making any noises, then it should be just fine, I have 125k on my front diff, and it looked worse then that. Good Luck though, I will be keeping an eye on this thread.

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Register Now

Please enter the name by which you would like to log-in and be known on this site.
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.

Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Bookmarks

Cadillac Posting Rules

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Read about Lincoln | Buick | Kia Forte Forum
Need products for your Cadillac? Check out your options at the links below:

custom floor mats | Cadillac Chrome and Black Chrome Wheels | window tinting