View Full Version : 97 SLS engine problem

09-28-08, 07:22 PM
I've been having problems with my car for almost 8 months now. After replacing nearly everything in the car, and reading on the forums, it seems the likely problem is the headgasket. Am I better off selling this amazing car or getting this replaced? My friend talked to two mechanics recently who said its really not worth it, and the bug engine will keep messing up.

I talked to a dealer from another forum, and he suggested filling the tank, letting it run to running temp, filling again... and repeating a few times and it got one of the cars he was selling to run fine (didn't say how long, again he is a dealer so he probably just got it to run good enough to sell). I am trying this now, if anything it'll be in good shape for a while I guess.

09-28-08, 07:40 PM
It's a choice only you can make. Plan on $3000 - $3500 to fix it unless you do it yourself or live near Ontario. i think there is a guy up there who will do it for $1200. I know of a guy near Chicago who will do it for $2200.

09-28-08, 07:48 PM
Actually I live right across the pond from Ontario (about 20 mins to an hour from Detroit depending on traffic).

I guess a better question is; How much do you think I could expect to sell this car for with this problem? Its probably of average condition, excellent interior, with 130,000 miles.

I'll look into the Ontario guy, I think I read a thread about the $1200 deal but I didn't see where he was.

09-28-08, 08:16 PM
No idea on the value. Check http://www.kbb.com and http://www.nada.com

Mark C
09-28-08, 08:58 PM
I've bought 2 97 STSs in the last year for less than $1000 a piece. One with 116K last year that is my daily driver now and the other with 125K that I picked up this weekend. Both had (have) a blown headgasket, but no other major issues.

09-28-08, 09:31 PM
.................it boils down to "Do you like the car and want to keep it, or would you rather junk it and start over ?"

NADA, kbb, and dealers have no bearing on what the car means to you. There are no more classic Sevilles being made. Either restore and keep a classic or move on to a dime-a-dozen Lexus/CTS. (and the CTS has a LOT more aftermarket goodies than a Seville will ever have.....)

09-28-08, 09:52 PM
IF you are honest about the headgasket issue you may get $1k. Ask yourself if its worth putting $3k into fixing a $1k car and you will have your answer.

10-01-08, 09:04 PM
but it will be worth 3k when its fixed so its not a total bust.

10-01-08, 10:13 PM
but it will be worth 3k when its fixed so its not a total bust.MAYBE!. Still, while some will tell you I'm trolling (a site I've been on regularly for 5 years mind you) or that I'm just a disgruntled ex N* owner (dissapointed rather), I'll tell you what I did. In this EXACT same scenerio I decided to sell my wifes '98 Deville because I felt the car was not worth the repair. I paid $4200 for the car put in about $3800 in repairs and some custom touches and then blew the HG's. I was about $8k into the car and instead of dumping another $3k++ into more repairs I decided to chalk it up as a loss and sold it for a mere $1600 after only a year of ownership. This with a set of '06 STS wheels/tires and a host of other repairs including new rear air suspension and a host of other things. My reasoning was that it wasn't worth putting more money into a car that isn't worth much to begin with. Still glad I made that decision, it was the stepping stone which began a love affair with the DOHC 4.6 Ford motors.

10-02-08, 06:13 PM
It really depends on what you think of the car. If the Seville was some kind of childhood fantasy for you, or a car you always wanted to have and you enjoy THIS particular example that much, then yes it is worth fixing. However if the car isn't in terribly great shape I must say these things (ESPECIALLY the SLSs) are a dime a dozen out there and you can get another one for about what you're about to spend fixing headbolt problems in REALLY nice condition that a prior owner may already have fixed *OR* do like the guy above.... Sell YOURS for 1k with the bad H/G, then go buy ANOTHER one in NICER condition with a blown H/G and restore THAT one. I paid 2600.00 for my '98 *STS*, in a whole new body style, and according to the previous owner he had the H/Gs done at one point and he paid 27000.00 for the car in 2000. So that should give you an idea of the value a 97 SLS has.

So yea, up to you. Ford 4.6 is a great motor but... It's still a Ford and none of the Lincolns are anywhere near as pretty as the Seville and Deville are. That is the unfortunate toss-up with these two great American brands. Seems like youre always giving up one thing for another between the two.

10-04-08, 04:19 PM
Thanks for the advice. I was eying the car for years before I got it.. It is my second Cadillac, first being an 85 Seville. After this experience honestly I'm kinda turned off. Cadillac had such good rep, and for me two cars in a row were nothing but me tossing money into them constantly.

I'm most likely going to sell it either way, but I really have to try to figure out whats more beneficial; selling it how it is or driving 3 hours to pay the Ontario guy for the fix. I'd rather do the later, but the boss is convinced we'll get more than a grand for it how it is.

10-12-08, 06:33 PM
Theres a guy in Lapeer Mi (about an hr north of Detroit) who will timesert all 20 head bolt holes for 2000$ and will go through and reseal the whole bottom end for 2500$