: New to Site, New to Cadillac



Drparj
08-08-07, 03:27 AM
Well This is my first Cadillac, so thus first time on here. I have no picked up vehicle yet, but will be doing so next week. I purchased a 1999 Seville SLS. As I have noticed there is alot of overheating issues. I have not done a full check on the Caddy yet, but the guy said it hits the red mark on the gauge after about 30 minutes. I have already read lots of your threads and plan to do a few checks as to find out the problem. Hopefully its not a head gasket or water pump. I heard there was a problem with the 99 -00 radiator caps. It has a few dings and a odd rim but got it for real good price and has a nice interior. Wish me luck and you will see lots of questions from me in the future. I am a good mechanic, just never worked on Caddys before.

These are pics of the new car.

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x80/drparj/NewCaddy.jpg

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x80/drparj/NewCaddyinterior.jpg

RightTurn
08-08-07, 07:39 AM
:welcome5: to the forum. Great ride!

EcSTSatic
08-08-07, 08:07 AM
Welcome !

I'd drop any car with a history of "hits the red mark on the gauge after about 30 minutes" overheating. They may be downplaying the problem. You may end up with some major expenses real soon!

http://www.moviewavs.com/0095461785/MP3S/Movies/Monty_Python/mp12.mp3

lawfive
08-08-07, 08:19 AM
Howdy!

:welcome::welcome5::welcome:

Drparj
08-08-07, 01:44 PM
The person I am getting it from is an auction person, they don't look at anything on the car or check it out, he has about 20 cadillacs in his lot. He works mostly with Caddy's. He pretty much buys them and just resells them to make some money. He only takes them out for a drive and then writes down everything he see's wrong with it. So hopefully it will not be a big problem. I plan to do a few checks to see if it is the head gasket or not. If not the thermostat or head gasket maybe a clogged line. Overheating usually is fairly simple to fix, but as a read the Northstar seems to have a mind of its own.

Drparj
08-08-07, 01:45 PM
I got this car for only $1625 so I figure even if I spend another $1000 I am well within resale value.

Cadillacboy
08-08-07, 01:55 PM
Welcome !

Playdrv4me
08-08-07, 02:52 PM
I got this car for only $1625 so I figure even if I spend another $1000 I am well within resale value.

Trust me, your mechanic skills have never been up against northstar headgaskets. If you have a weeks worth of time (at minimum) and 300.00, you can do the headgaskets yourself. However, more than likely depending on how miles on the motor, and whether or not the block is cracked, your probably looking at closer to 3k for a rebuilt Northstar with timeserted headbolts and RTV'd case half seals. Many members have done the HG's themselves, and many would not ever do it again.

Good luck.

EcSTSatic
08-08-07, 03:19 PM
Trust me, your mechanic skills have never been up against northstar headgaskets. If you have a weeks worth of time (at minimum) and 300.00, you can do the headgaskets yourself. However, more than likely depending on how miles on the motor, and whether or not the block is cracked, your probably looking at closer to 3k for a rebuilt Northstar with timeserted headbolts and RTV'd case half seals. Many members have done the HG's themselves, and many would not ever do it again.

Good luck.


:yeah: The fender and bumper cover are going to cost you a few Ben Franklins. Be reeeeaalll sure you don't have some serious N* heat damage.

Drparj
08-08-07, 04:20 PM
the bumper cover I found for $200 and the fender for $120. I also do auto body so not worried on that. Overheating only problem I care about. I have done head gaskets before. How much harder can this be. I have a full line of tools do to mechanic background. I can't do air test on cyclinders where he has it. Can only do test to see if overflow tank bubbles. Is there any other test I can do onsite with limited tools to check for a bad head gasket? Any suggestions on tests I should do to check for any major problems. This engine purs like a cat and revs nice. I plan to spend a little more time next week to look over engine.

MN-STS-LOVER
08-08-07, 07:33 PM
Just to chime in. I still would'nt buy one with a "history of problems" These things have enough problems pop up every other day as it is, even with a clean history. I bought my '98 STS from a one owner with full docs and have still spent a couple grand! I would still reccomend the car though. Gotta Love-em!

70eldo
08-09-07, 02:54 AM
Welcome and good luck on the research & repair!

Drparj
08-10-07, 04:12 AM
Has anyone done the heads? Does the engine cradle include the whole assembly, transmission, wheels, basically the front end? I can probably get the front lifted to slide it out, but is it hard to get it unbolted from the body? Worst case, I may still back out of the deal. I hope I see no bubbles in the overflow can upon test. I really want it to be something simple.

Playdrv4me
08-10-07, 01:52 PM
I have done head gaskets before. How much harder can this be...

oooohhh my.... You have no idea how many times those *exact* words have been uttered on this forum...

Drparj
08-10-07, 03:26 PM
Ok I get thats its harder. But is it worth it. I will do it myself, what do I need to get it done any special tools, do I need a hoist of sorts to lift the front of the car to clear the motor assembly. How high do I need to get the front end to clear it. I have limited time to decide to complete this sale and I really do like the car. If I can do the heads myself in the course of a week with about $300-$500 then I will probably do it. I only paid $1600. Up in the air on this decision.

EcSTSatic
08-10-07, 03:34 PM
this thread may help. There are probably others in the tips section
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-tech-tips/31831-n-head-gasket-repair.html

Playdrv4me
08-10-07, 05:17 PM
I think with what youve got to invest in the car you should be alright, though I dont think you ever told us how many miles it has on it.

With 300.00 you should be able to buy the timesert kit and do it yourself. The cradle MUST MUST MUST be dropped (you will try to rationalize that you can just work around it until you finally give up and drop the cradle), then you have all the associated harnesses etc to disconnect, and then over and above anything else those headbolt holes need to be timeserted, if you dont timesert them, you will be doing this again in a matter of weeks to months.

Good luck.

Drparj
08-11-07, 03:26 PM
There is 170k miles on the motor. Had it running and did some up and down reving of the motor, no knocks or actually any noise. Sounds like it runs like new.

Drparj
08-11-07, 08:29 PM
The more I read things on here and thanks for the link to what it might involve, the more I push towards actually doing it. I have had plenty of experience with cars and the only thing that really worried me was raising the car to clear the cradle, some nice pics showed it being down with just a picker. If I go through with this magical journey, I plan to do a video of it, I have seen many post asking about one. Then there would be a clear description and break down of each step and might help others in there challenge. Please keep tips coming if you have any.

Playdrv4me
08-11-07, 08:42 PM
Would be invaluable if you actually got a video!! Thered be tons of people in your debt.

Jesda
08-13-07, 03:50 AM
Welcome to CadillacOwners.com. Now that you know how much Cadillacs suck, we hope you stick around. You'll pretty much have to. :)

[Kidding]

robs42
08-13-07, 01:51 PM
welcome. this site rocks! i'm hooked.
out, tucci

Drparj
08-13-07, 07:03 PM
I've found loads of good info on here so far and its great. Scared to do the head gaskets if thats what it takes, but If I did make a detailed and descriptive video of the process, you think $20 a DVD would be fair for selling. Try to make some money back for the work. I would also include detailed paper instructions to go with the video with all the specs needed for the job.

Drparj
08-16-07, 11:28 PM
Okay so I go to pick up the car this weekend. Still not certain on the problem, will find out on the drive home. WIsh me luck

Drparj
08-21-07, 08:10 PM
ok so I got the car today. I made it about 20 miles before it started to overheat. Think I figured out problem though. I found 2 problems, a small metal hose that seemed to have desintegrated that is leaking coolant and then a crack in the plastic end on the radiator itself. It will hold the water for about 10 minutes before it pushes it all out. Easy fix if that if that is the reason it is overheating. I can only hope.

codewize
08-21-07, 09:26 PM
They're not kidding. An overheating N* is NOT good at any level. First off, if it wasn't the HG, the overheating has probably cause a HG to fail at this point. I'm not sure you can even talk about a N* for $1000 let alone repair one.

At a guess you're probably looking at an easy $3000 - $4000 repair. A good HG repair correctly timeserted will cost you around $2800.

I hate to scare you away from a nice car but facts are facts.

I don't know what metal hose your referring too. Maybe the one on the water crossover? The cracked radiator neck is a common problem but I think it stems from someone having things apart at one time.


I'll also include this which has been said many times. The N* is NOT a small block Chevy. As a matter of fact it's not really like anything ever made. V8, all aluminum, dual overhead cams. Not an easy job by any stretch of the imagination. I may be speaking out of place but I think you're getting in WAYYYY over your head.



I got this car for only $1625 so I figure even if I spend another $1000 I am well within resale value.

Drparj
08-22-07, 01:37 AM
You guys seem to miss the point that I am trained to do this. I have had two years of school for mechanics. The N* my be a different animal but none the less it is still an animal that can be taken apart and put back together, you just need a different manual. I've already done all the prelim test for headgaskets and they all pass so no leak there. You guys seem to assume the worst. I plan for the worst but hope for the best, it so far seems the hoping is working. The metal pipe I will determine upon closer inspection it is top visual looking down passenger side right near the bottom of the radiator, looks like it protudes from a rubber hose and then does a 90 bend to under the motor, not sure where it comes from or where it goes till I get the car in the air and can look under it. I have every tool but the special specific caddy tools, and this just gives me a reason to buy another tool for the inventory:) The only thing I care about is time, hg cost me time as a radiator and hose do not, so thus I hope this is the only problem. We will see in the next few days.

derrty_deville
08-22-07, 01:55 AM
Its not that you're not qualified. Its just too many people are spooked by the N*.

Nice deal on the car. Well worth a head gasket problem which doesnt seem to be the case now. Have fun with it.

codewize
08-22-07, 08:23 AM
If it's not the HG's then you probably got a great deal on the car.

Maybe I spoke prematurely. I personally am not really spooked by the thing I just know that it's a very different animal requiring specialized tools and equipment to work on.

I've rebuilt many SBC in my sleep too but for the amount of aggravation and time it would take to do a job like that I would rather pay someone and have them to blame if it goes south on them.

It can be done but it's no joy ride for anyone, even the pros.

But it doesn't sound like that's the problem anyway.

Keep us posted, maybe you got an outstanding deal.

Playdrv4me
08-22-07, 12:23 PM
You guys seem to miss the point that I am trained to do this. I have had two years of school for mechanics. The N* my be a different animal but none the less it is still an animal that can be taken apart and put back together, you just need a different manual. I've already done all the prelim test for headgaskets and they all pass so no leak there. You guys seem to assume the worst. I plan for the worst but hope for the best, it so far seems the hoping is working. The metal pipe I will determine upon closer inspection it is top visual looking down passenger side right near the bottom of the radiator, looks like it protudes from a rubber hose and then does a 90 bend to under the motor, not sure where it comes from or where it goes till I get the car in the air and can look under it. I have every tool but the special specific caddy tools, and this just gives me a reason to buy another tool for the inventory:) The only thing I care about is time, hg cost me time as a radiator and hose do not, so thus I hope this is the only problem. We will see in the next few days.

I dont know what tests youve done, but the only conclusive tests for headgasket failure on a N* are cylinder leak-down and exhaust-gas inspection of the coolant. A simple pressure test alone is *not* reliable.

Destroyer
08-22-07, 01:27 PM
I'm betting its the H/G's BUT if it isn't and you can fix it cheap do yourself a favor and flip it real quick to make a couple of bucks. :thumbsup:

Playdrv4me
08-22-07, 03:30 PM
You guys seem to assume the worst.

Thats because we're trying to HELP you, we're not just some blind to the facts die-hard fanatics here. We see people come through here day in and day out with headgasket complaints, we've been there and done that, and many here have experienced the pain of doing the H/G's themselves. Do we love the cars any less? No. But we are not going to blindly lead someone considering one of these vehicles into peril either. For the most part, this is the most level-headed, intelligent and helpful group of *true* car-guys you will find on the internet. We are here to educate and share, not to sugarcoat.

codewize
08-22-07, 03:47 PM
^^^^ Well put. :thumbsup:

Destroyer
08-22-07, 07:30 PM
Do we love the cars any less? No. Heh, speak for yourself!:thumbsup:

Drparj
09-09-07, 06:49 AM
Ok so just got done replacing radiator, alternator cooling lines, spark plugs, oil and filter, air filter and fuel filter. Did a full coolant system flush and system all back and running. No more leaks and no more overheating. Still got a few bugs to work out. Door module I think is bad. shake at about 75mph. need new side mirror. But still happy and looking up. Anyone know where I can get a switch cover/assembly for driver seat controls