: Down To The Wire: last minute thoughts please

07-20-04, 10:41 AM
97 Eldorado ETC with 92,704 miles
I am starting to lean towards the option of replacing my engine, it seems every mechanic ive spoke with dont want to deal with the head gaskets again, since this will be the second time. What are the chances of the heads going bad after a second time? I think the dealership screwed me over with their expertise because the heads gave up 15,000 miles later. They did a check on it over a month ago and said that the heads are leaking internally, something about bolts, threading, something being pushed upwards. I didnt know what they were talking about.
Im going to try some bar's leak and see if that will fix it, there is no external coolant leak, its just being shot out the tube when the car is idle or running. There is no milky or orange sludge, just sweet smelling steam coming out the exhaust. Do yall think the bars leak could save me time and money or its just a temporary fix. Im going to get it pressure tested again since i dont think the dealership performed the test, they charged me 108 for an hour's labor, but i seen them pull my car in and return it in less than 20 mins.
Well for all the cadillac experts, please give me your assessment on the situation and also i would like to know what engine would be compatiable with my car. It will have to be a used one because i cant afford a new one. Know any good places in GA? I looked at this place online jasperengines.com and they have two type of eldorado engines. Which of the two will work for my car?

zonie77, i got your reply in my other post, that is what i want to do but the mechanics im dealing with just seem to want to replace the engine. Im not a DIYer so im basically screwed. How much time and labor is involved in taking the engine apart?

If you guys need more details or have any questions please feel free to ask, i got another post "DEALER SAYS I NEED A NEW ENGINE" that has some more info. Once again, thanks, all help would be greatly appreciated
Have a blessed day


07-20-04, 11:14 AM
I would be willing to bet the dealer did not timsert the block when they did your head gaskets. Bbob has always said if you don't timesert when it is apart you'll be back again in 10-20K. What they were talking about is the threads in the aluminum block being pulled up (because it wasn't timeserted). Bars Leak will not fix it. You do not need a new engine but the job needs to be done right or you do it over and over. The heads need to be pulled and ALL the bolt holes timserted and the engine will last a long long time.

07-20-04, 11:23 AM
Thanks Ranger, i always knew the dealer messed up, but is there anyway that i can get them to reimburse me or redo the job? They didnt want to help and their only suggestion was puttin in a new engine for $8000. Will cadillac customer service be any good in this situation? The dealer also told me that the heads can only be done once, which i know is not true from posts on this forum. I have looked in the invoice for the time they supposely did the heads and i see timeserts in there, but i dont know if they only used a few or the proper amount of them. I need to get these folks back. They will keep screwing people over until someone sets them straight. Thanks alot once again

07-20-04, 02:52 PM
If the engine is getting pulled out anyway (to swap it) it only takes another hour to pull the heads once everything is stripped off. Then you can see if the block was timeserted. It would be worth the extra hour's labor to verify it was timeserted the first time. If it wasn't, you have a claim against the dealer that charged you for doing it.

07-20-04, 03:09 PM
In the other post you mentioned the company supplying the engine didn't want it opened up. My limited experience with this is their concern for missing parts/swapped parts (a mess of odd parts returned as a core).
Find out who is supplying the engine and ask them about inspecting it to verify the previous service. They should be OK with it if they get your original engine back complete. Then you can verify the timeserts were all replaced.

07-20-04, 03:14 PM
Thanks zonie,

Now i may get chewed up for asking this, but as stated before im not a DIYer and really have no knowlege on the northstar, just what i learned on this board.

How can i tell if the block was timeserted? What am i suppose to look for, on the invoice i seen timeserts, but how can i check to see if it was properly and fully timeserted as oppose to a quick fix that a lazy mechanic at the dealer decided to do.

Once again thanks


07-20-04, 06:06 PM
Here's a 'how to' on timesert installation. It doesn't have an after pic but you'll see what they're doing. You should see the steel timesert in each and every of the 20 head bolt holes in the block. It will be a steel ring in the hole. The threads being the inside of the ring.


Please take some pics if you see anything strange.

07-20-04, 08:45 PM
On your reciept for the engine work how much did they charge you for the timesert? This might be a clue as to weather they just did a few or the whole engine. I believe you would have been charged for 20 timeserts at $xx.xx if they did the whole thing which is what should have been done. They did itemize the bill right?

07-21-04, 09:56 AM
Hey guys, my day out looking for a solution didn’t turn on well yesterday. It seems one of the mechanics that I planned to have look at my car is a shade tree mechanic that does patch up work. And there are a lot of conflicting things that I have been hearing.

1) People that say bar’s leak is not good for the car and it shouldn’t be used unless there is problem. I told them what I read on this board, that it suppose to be used everytime the coolant is changed and that it is used off the factory line when the car is first made. I don’t have the service manual so I couldn’t confirm any of this, but they looked at me like I was crazy.

2) Thanks to your link zonie77 I now know that the engine is repairable and maybe I don’t need a new engine. But one of the mechanics kept saying there could be hairline cracks in the block and that is non-repairable. Is this true? If I do a timesert job, do I have to get the heads checked out to see if their still good. What if the block is damaged, how can I tell? What circumstances for the engine would make this type of repair pointless?

3) Has anyone ever dealt with GM/Cadillac customer service and was successful in reimbursement or getting any type of help from them? I honestly don’t see how I could of cause the heads to leak in under 20,000 miles since the day the dealer did the heads. I talked to this guy at a engine shop that said, the thread pulling out the block has nothing to do with my driving but all in how the threads were inserted and the design of the engine.

4) Ok I don’t know if this will help access the situation but, this the info on the invoice from every visit to the dealership

Visit 1) $2229.76
A Cust states oil leak Mileage IN/OUT 74000
100***ENGINE REPAIR******
315 CP6 19.00 1793.79
74000 Lower crank case leaking 19.0 resealed the lower crank case then
test drove to Hudson bride and back and rechecked it for leaks found none

B Cust states traction control comes on code C1738 (This still comes on)
407 CP6 0.50 47.21
C Cust states dr. door panel loose at bottom
467 CP 1.00 75.16 (damn I didn’t even know they charged me 75 bucks to screw in some missing screws

visit 2) $3017.51
100 ****ENGINE REPAIR ****
461 CP6 28.30 $2521.99
1 12560632 GASKET KI 46.13
1 12560633 GASKET KI 46.13
1 3536900 GASKET 8.88
1 3536903 GASKET 8.88
8 3536904 GASKET 7.52
2 12562046 GASKET 8.64
2 12562047 GASKET 8.64
4 3522352 PIN 18.00
1 1647477 SEAL 6.50
1 12561245 GASKET 5.22
20 11155 TIME CERTS 28.20
1 12346290 COOLANT 11.25

76388 Head gaskets blown 28.3 461 replace head gaskets install time certs

B Cust states oil leak
Oil filter and oil 12.95
C Cust states noise in engine area
1 10464079 W-GENER REM 179.77
76388 ALT BAD 00 461 REPLACE ALT

last visit) $108.70
Cust states car is overheating
100 *****ENGINE REPAIR****
201 CP6 1.00 98.82
92704 Head Gaskets leaking 1.0 COT TECH 201 Needs engine customer declined

Please let me know if you guys see anything fishy. These are some quotes I got from some shops
Randy’s Auto rebuild engine-$4500 headgasket-$3200 rebuld engine +install $4700
Jasper engines reman northstar $4980
Auto Precision Machinery reman northstar $3875

The most I can afford is $2000, and everyone is telling me not to bother with a used engine.

Sorry for the long post but I had to get this off my chest or im goin to die from cardiac arrest at 23. Once again, any reply is appreciated. Have a blessed day fellas


07-21-04, 10:28 AM
Hmm, since it says on your recipt that they timeserted the block it's weird that they should go again in 20k miles, I think they did a shoddy job. You might want to talk them up and down on that one as it's kind of disturbing. Relax dude and hang in there. I would give the dealership you had the HG job done from a call or meet in person and start talking with them about a 3k+ fix that is major to the engine, and which may have totally f*cked your engine after only 20k miles of additional driving...

Oh and i'm sending you the manual for the engine/transmission today as a 2-3 day so hopefully it'll get to you by friday.

07-21-04, 04:35 PM
Based on my experience and what is said on the forum the heads are very robust. I don't believe anyone has had a head or block crack. Probably due to the limp home mode and the good design of the heads.

The cyl walls on the two we did were excellent...no ridge and still showing hone marks. We carefully looked them over for cracks and took a chance that they were OK and they were.

That leaves a timesert not installed properly or a head bolt failure. One thing I don't like on the torque to yield bolts is the fact you cannot check them if you are interrupted and lose your place in the sequence. That happened to us with a phone call. Bbob said to restart the sequence (which we did) but...if the mech got interrupted and didn't redo the sequence he could have under or over torqued one or more.

As you saw on the timsert how to, a pretty simple process but the loctiting of the inserts is critical. If not done properly a timesert may not be locked in.

I think the headgaskets could be changed again. Pay attention to the timeserts and the straightness of the deck and heads. If nothing seems wrong I'd look for the leak (there should be evidence on the headgasket). If you can't find a bad spot on the gasket I'd consider having the block and heads checked. The bad spot may not be real obvious, you'll have to carefully examine the sealing areas for signs of leakage.

The valves should be fine on the heads the only concern should be straightness of the sealing surface and no cracks. You do not need the heads rebuilt.

A good mechanic shouldn't have any problems doing this but finding a good mechanic can be a real problem!

07-21-04, 07:01 PM
Man you guys dont know how much hope yall have given me. Everyone around me tells me its the end of the world but talking wit yall, i know better.

Raze, preciate that, with the manual i will try to do it myself or with a mechanic friend.

zonie77, your input is priceless, you nailed the coffin for the cadillac dealership that did the head job. Im goin to use that as testimony against the dealership

I called Cadillac customer service today and spoke with a rep, they are going to do research on the dealership and what they think happened with my car. Hopefully everything works out for the better. I told them that two service adivsors lied to my face sayin that "You can only do the heads once and my only option is to get another engine". When i told the rep that i knew about timeserts he seem suprised and shocked. 1 point for the home team, lets hope we can pull away with a win guys.

Thanks and god bless :want: