: (Finally) Going to get work going on my FWB



Stingroo
07-30-09, 10:24 PM
Okay so, I've been lurking around these forums for months, talking to you guys, asking questions, and helping with little input whenever I could. Heck, if it weren't for the thing under my username that says what car I've got, half of you would probably never buy it from all my questions. :P

So... here's a recap of the situation:

I've got a 94 FWB with what I assume to be under 100k miles (the oil change sticker on the winshield says next change at 9x,xxx (It's blurry from the sun). The only problem is, I can't start the car to verify this. It definitely needs a starter, because currently it sits on the passenger seat, waiting to be put in.

However, here's the problem: I'm afraid to put the car on jack stands. It's obviously really, really heavy, and I think ramps would just be safer. But I don't know anyone who OWNS ramps, or where to go to borrow a set or something kind of like tool rental or whatever.

However, assuming I can get ramps, I have the money to buy a battery for it, so I can start it, and run it around town for a bit and then run codes. I was told it needed a head gasket... but my dad, who's worked at GM dealerships for over 20 years basically, thinks it's more likely to be a water pump, because the oil appeared to be clean. What does that even mean? lol

How would I know the difference between the two problems once I get it running? And most importantly: what would a head gasket cost to have fixed? I found a water pump at Napa for $55. I'm assuming a head gasket is much more expensive.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I want this car to live. :)

thefleetwoodguy
07-30-09, 11:28 PM
if you have oil in the coolant
, but no coolant in the oil
its an easy fix!, the engine oil cooler is in the drivers side
of the radiator, they can leak,
I have seen this on 3 lt1 fleetwoods recently
including my own, replace the radiator!, if thats your symptoms
I use truck jack stands, they are fine
never get under any car if your not
100 percent sure its safe!!
good luck gettin her go'in!!

Stingroo
07-30-09, 11:41 PM
Where do you put your jack stands when you lift? I just want to be sure.

Also, when we last looked at the car, there was no coolant in the oil, but there was also no coolant in the tank either.

sven914
07-31-09, 12:55 AM
However, here's the problem: I'm afraid to put the car on jack stands. It's obviously really, really heavy, and I think ramps would just be safer. But I don't know anyone who OWNS ramps, or where to go to borrow a set or something kind of like tool rental or whatever.

I was told it needed a head gasket... but my dad, who's worked at GM dealerships for over 20 years basically, thinks it's more likely to be a water pump, because the oil appeared to be clean. What does that even mean? lol

How would I know the difference between the two problems once I get it running?



You put the stands at the jack/lift points; basically on the front frame rail or pinch weld. I'm not sure exactly where the rack points are for your car; some cars the pinch weld holds and on others it gives way. There should be information on jacking the car up in your owner's manual or on the trunk lid (on the spare tire information label).

I've held my car up on jack stands, for a four wheel rotation. They just have to be on level ground. Shake the car few times before you get under it, so you know it will not fall.

The fact that there is no water in the oil doesn't mean anything. My car has a (maybe 2) blown head gasket(s) and my oil isn't contaminated. You can pressure test the cooling system to see where coolant comes out; put a large piece of cardboard under the engine. You can also use a UV flash light to find coolant leaks.

Stingroo
07-31-09, 01:13 AM
I've got the level ground to do it, I guess. Just kinda worries me. I can check the owner's manual later to look for the lift points. Can't open the trunk though, because then the auto closer won't engage since I have no power.

I'm really hoping and praying that it's not the head gaskets, because that'll put me car-less for a few more months if it is. I can get a small UV flashlight for like $5-10 online I found. It says that there are 3, 6, and 12 LED lights. What's best for this? Or do I need something more heavy duty?

How would I use it to detect leaks?

sven914
07-31-09, 01:19 AM
Can't open the trunk though, because then the auto closer won't engage since I have no power.

Just close it harder. It works like a regular trunk lid that has no electronic assist. You won't damage the motor.

Stingroo
07-31-09, 09:34 AM
Okay, so I can open the trunk, cool. lol

After I replace the starter and battery, do you think it would be best to replace the oil and the coolant anyway, then run the car for a little bit and check again?

It's been sitting for awhile. At least 1 month at my house, and if the tag on it is any indication, possibly since January or earlier at my uncle's. (It says 1/09, and he's really not the type of guy to ride around on expired tags).

Lazarus_Rooney
07-31-09, 09:49 AM
I'd like to reinforce the lesson here of not going under the car unless its safe. I almost learned the hard way once. USE HEAVY - DUYT STANDS THAT WONT DO THIS:
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d33/GEARHEAD426/P7311178.jpg

Stingroo
07-31-09, 10:37 AM
Yeah, that's why I'm scared of stands. I would really prefer ramps, they'd just make me feel better. lol

Lazarus_Rooney
07-31-09, 12:24 PM
i dont know if anyone makes ramps that will hold such a heavy car, i borrow jacks simmilar to these from a friend when i lift my car for any amount of time
http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/400/5a/5a168e0b-c8a7-410c-bc9b-451c61531a83_400.jpg
if you prefer ramps, these seem like there is no way they can fail
http://www.discountramps.com/images/drive-on-car-ramps-2.jpg

EndlessRyd
07-31-09, 01:39 PM
Even with a dead battery, or no battery at all, you should still be able to jump it and turn on tha acc. mode to see the mileage. We jump cars with no batteries all the time at my work, and even drive them around to test them.

Stingroo
07-31-09, 02:19 PM
True. I'm going to see if I can get my hands on a good sturdy set of stands, and I'll check the owners manual to see where they go.

thefleetwoodguy
07-31-09, 03:28 PM
sven19 wrote.."The fact that there is no water in the oil doesn't mean anything. My car has a (maybe 2) blown head gasket(s) and my oil isn't contaminated. "

doesnt mean anything? lol

we are talking about the lt1 motors, with the optional engine oil cooler,
not ALL caddy's,
again this is very common on the lt1's
when the oil cooler hoses are replaced , often they are difficult to get off ,
when you apply enough force to get the nuts to turn, the tank can crack
, it takes a while before you see the oil in the coolant
again I have seen this 3 times very recently
I would also say it is not a typical problem to have a head gasket go on an lt1
iron head, unless it was overheated quite a bit
doing the leak down is a good idea, you can pull the rad and any radiator shop can check the oil cooler tank , my first two moves before considering a head gasket job$$$$

Stingroo
07-31-09, 03:39 PM
Fleetwood Guy: When we checked the car last, the coolant reservoir was empty, and there was no coolant in the oil. So I should just change the oil and fill the coolant, then see what happens?

thefleetwoodguy
07-31-09, 04:21 PM
Fleetwood Guy: When we checked the car last, the coolant reservoir was empty, and there was no coolant in the oil. So I should just change the oil and fill the coolant, then see what happens?

for sure thats the first things to do:thumbsup:

Stingroo
07-31-09, 05:00 PM
Well no, first is a starter :P Then a battery, THEN that. :P

sven914
07-31-09, 05:22 PM
I can get a small UV flashlight for like $5-10 online I found. It says that there are 3, 6, and 12 LED lights. What's best for this? Or do I need something more heavy duty?

How would I use it to detect leaks?

Coolant lights up under UV light. The best way to find leaks is from the under side of the car, because it glows in the dark (with a UV lamp) and you can trace the source of the leak better. You don't need anything "heavy duty," just something small enough to fit in your hand and get into tight spaces.

Stingroo
07-31-09, 06:30 PM
Okay so... small checklist:

1. Jack stands (I guess ramps won't be strong enough)?
2. Replace starter
3. Change oil and fill coolant
4. Battery
5. Start car, drive around the block a few times
6. Use UV Light to look for coolant leaks, check coolant for oil

And go from there I guess?

The symptoms I'm describing, do they point to a water pump problem at all, or is that totally off base?

Stingroo
08-01-09, 03:24 PM
http://www.discountramps.com/truck-service-ramps.htm

What about the $30 ones? They say 6500 lbs per pair. That's way more than the Fleetwood.

sven914
08-02-09, 02:27 AM
One question; are you going to be able to push a 2.5 ton, car up two thin ass ramps, with just enough of running start to get the car on the ramps, but too much that you overshoot them, and then have quick enough reflexes to jump into the driver's seat to stop the car, before it rolls back off the ramps?

A friend of mine, from high school, bought "Heavy-Duty Truck Ramps" from an online store. They were glorified ATV ramps, which buckled when he parked his S-10 on them. The store had an iron-clad warranty disclaimer, which he didn't read, so they wouldn't refund his dad's stolen credit card.

Stingroo
08-02-09, 01:07 PM
Yeah true. lol

I found a pair of 3 ton jack stands at Lowe's for like $30. I could pick those up, and hope that my car still has the jack in the trunk. (I still haven't opened it, kinda forgot lol)

sven914
08-02-09, 01:34 PM
You can get a 2.5 ton floor jack (http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00950165000P?vName=Tools&cName=Auto&MechanicsTools&sName=Lift%20Equipment%20&%20Jacks&psid=FROOGLE01&sid=IDx20070921x00003a#descriptionAnchor) from Sears for about 50.

Remember, the floor jack is only to get the vehicle onto the stands, and not to hold the car in the air while you're under it.

Stingroo
08-02-09, 01:38 PM
Yeah. No way would I ever even TRY and get under that car with just a floor jack. That's a death wish practically.

Stingroo
08-07-09, 10:39 PM
Not to double post or anything but...

Could it be? From the god's above?!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Torin-Floor-Jack-Stands-Creeper-3-Ton-Cap-15-1-8-Max_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp3286Q2em20Q2el1116Q QhashZitem414810ba21QQitemZ280381930017QQptZMotors Q5fAutomotiveQ5fTools

I'm thinking when I get paid on the 15th I know what I'm ordering.. lol

jayoldschool
08-07-09, 10:43 PM
They sell the Torin stuff at Costco. I have some of it in my garage. Cheapest price you will find ANYWHERE.

bicentennialcadillac
08-07-09, 10:55 PM
One question; are you going to be able to push a 2.5 ton, car up two thin ass ramps, with just enough of running start to get the car on the ramps, but too much that you overshoot them, and then have quick enough reflexes to jump into the driver's seat to stop the car, before it rolls back off the ramps?

I've used a heavy duty set for years, and I always drive onto them.

http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/in+your+garage/jacks+%26+stands/low+profile+ramps+with+extension+kit.do?search=bas ic&keyword=ramps&sortby=newArrivals&page=1

Stingroo
08-07-09, 10:59 PM
Jay: is it good though? Will it last me awhile?

Bicentennial: he means PUSH literally, because my car has no battery or starter. I think he's onto something there this time. Ramps might be in the future though. (Like at the start of next semester of college when I get another $1400)

bicentennialcadillac
08-07-09, 11:02 PM
Sorry for the reading incomprehension fellas.

jayoldschool
08-07-09, 11:03 PM
Yes, it is a good jack. I use it on all my cars, and my wife's... so someone with one or two cars will be ok :D

Stingroo
08-07-09, 11:26 PM
Awesome, I've only got the one car (obviously, even though if I ever strike it rich I have a laundry list of cars I want lol). This'll be good then. I should be able to have my car on the road by like, October at the latest now. :D

No worries bicentennial, that was earlier in the thread anyway. :D

jayoldschool
08-07-09, 11:45 PM
If it comes down to the jack or a starter/battery, skip the jack. I got by for a few years when I was younger with factory jacks and a pair of stands. It sucks, but they work.

Stingroo
08-08-09, 01:03 AM
Nah. My car doesn't have a factory jack in its trunk (I checked), and I already have the starter (it's sitting in my front seat now lol). I've got like $70 atm, and I'm getting another $120 from my ghetto freelance writing job. So that'll be enough for that set there. Then my sister owes me $50, so I'll use that, plus the other $50-ish left for a battery (or whatever I need for it). Then, in September when I get my $1400 from school, I'll replace the radiator (if needed), DEFINITELY buy a FSM, and find a heater core (for some reason, there isn't one in this car, and it was bypassed. I found that out looking under the hood with dad).

So, to recap:

1. Buy jack, stands, creeper off eBay.
2. Replace starter and battery.
3. Change oil, fill coolant
4. Start and run car around the block a few times.
5. Check for coolant leaks with UV light and check for OIL in the COOLANT.

Gah I'm so excited and wish I had the money NOW! I would have LOVED to drive the car up to school... Oh well, at least I'll be able to for Thanksgiving :D

Bro-Ham
08-08-09, 11:39 AM
Sting, Start the countdown timer..... :) I can't wait to hear how everything works out for you and how you like driving the car after all this anticipation that must be testing your patience. Like being a kid at x-mas time - - you can see those presents under the tree but you have to wait until the magic moment. Have fun with your car no matter what. Dave

Stingroo
08-08-09, 12:13 PM
Dude it's even WORSE than Christmas. lol Cause like, I know what I got, I can see it, look at it, sit in it, but not use it. Gaaaah.

This is like, the 10th level of Hell. The book lied, there are more.

Bro-Ham
08-08-09, 01:13 PM
I know I would be feeling the pain if I were in your position. Hang in there! You're going to have a very cool car! How far away is school? :)

Stingroo
08-08-09, 01:29 PM
School starts on the 19th. I'm leaving that morning and will be there around lunch-ish.

Bro-Ham
08-08-09, 01:47 PM
are you staying in FL?

jayoldschool
08-08-09, 01:49 PM
You are on a budget. Go to a junkyard and ask for a jack. If they don't give you one, it will be very cheap.

Stingroo
08-08-09, 08:56 PM
Yeah Dave, I'm going to Jacksonville.

And on the jack, it's $130 shipped, I'd rather just buy the whole kit and kaboodle and be done with it, in case the car ever needs something in the future.

Then again, I don't know how much a radiator will cost me (with this being worst-case scenario). So maybe.

Bro-Ham
08-08-09, 09:47 PM
Sting, Some nice person on this forum turned me on to rockauto.com. Are you familiar with them? I found some amazing deals on items for my car. Hope you can save as much $$$ as possible to make your car as fabulous possible. What made you decide on Jacksonville? Do you know what you want to be when you get big? :)

Stingroo
08-08-09, 09:57 PM
Yeah, I was looking around at rockauto.com the other day. Found some parts for my dad's car. lol

I checked water pumps on there, cause that's what I initially thought it was, turned out it was cheaper at NAPA. I'm going to comparison shop for radiators now though, since that seems more likely.

Also, I want to be a lawyer, but I can't decide on my major. Right now I've picked Political Science, but I think I'm going to change that to Psychology. I picked Jacksonville because it was close to family, and they offered me an $18,000 a year scholarship, on top of other government grants and things like that.

Basically, it's costing me $3,000 a year for school. Way better than what most people get, and easily manageable after I graduate. :)

Bro-Ham
08-08-09, 10:12 PM
Wow! That's great! Sounds like you have a plan and a great opportunity. Go get 'em!

Stingroo
08-08-09, 11:03 PM
Thanks. :) It should be an interesting 4 years, that's for sure.

It'll be a lot more fun with a car though. LOL

Stingroo
08-18-09, 02:27 PM
Slight bump.

I'm off to college TOMORROW. So I've got a week of busy stuff, then it should cool down, then about a week later I should, SHOULD have the cash to fix the Fleetwood and get it on the road.

Oh happy day!

So to all you forum folks, fond farewell for now.

Bro-Ham
08-18-09, 05:17 PM
Don't tell us you're not going to have access to the internet to keep in touch with us!?!? :) You go get 'em Sting and shoot for the moon! All the very best to you!!!!! :) :) :) Dave

Stingroo
08-18-09, 06:12 PM
I might not have internet for the next 2 days. I don't know when we're getting access to the wireless.

Then again, it may be a public network so I might have it on the 20th. :) This should be interesting.


Also, apparently one of dad's friends looked at the car and he's thinking head gasket. What's that going to cost to get replaced? I remember the tow truck driver said it'd probably be cheaper to put another LT1 into it than it would be to get a head gasket repaired. Is there truth to that? Anybody know about prices for both? (I'd look them up myself but I figure you guys might know good shops, etc. etc. and I'll be semi-away too)

Thanks for the help.

sven914
08-19-09, 01:37 AM
You have a garage right? If you do, then cheapest alternative for you car would be to get an engine stand (http://gainesville.craigslist.org/tls/1320135089.html) and cherry picker (http://jacksonville.craigslist.org/tls/1286354107.html) and do the work yourself, over winter break. You don't have to pull the engine, but it will make it allot easier to work on, and you can always add a little extra G-force:burn:.

Stingroo
08-19-09, 07:09 AM
Unfortunately no, I don't have a garage. That's why this is so depressing. lol

And really, I don't think I have the know-how to do a head gasket. I was talking to my dad, and he was saying like I had to send the heads away to see if they were cracked, and if so get them machined and all that good stuff.

I don't know though. Blah.

Well, I figure I have 3 weeks until I get the money anyway.

There's also 3 schools in my town that have automotive tech programs, and I was thinking about calling one next week about the car.. because isn't that usually a "you buy parts, labor is free" type deal? It was at the tech school in Massachusetts at least... I remember they did an engine swap on my friend's Camaro for zero.

Stingroo
09-17-09, 05:32 PM
Massive topic bump.

Why?

Because as they say in the biz: THE EAGLE HAS LANDED!

I pick up my check tomorrow and I can finally start working on this thing. However, first I'm going to be a responsible (semi)adult and pay off my credit card first. So I'm estimating my total budget to be around ~$1000 (after I purchase an MP3 player, I'm sorry, but walking 2-3 miles a day with no music is TORTURE!)

Wish me luck everyone! I'd like to thank everyone on this forum for all that I've learned, and I think I've made a few friends along the way too. I love this place. :)

77CDV
09-18-09, 02:42 AM
Best of luck, Sting!

Stingroo
09-18-09, 07:30 AM
Thanks Craig. :) I'm about to run to English class then I'm going to cash the check and send the money down. It feels like Christmas morning over here. lol