: New owner of 1997 Eldorado, many questions



eldorodo
08-24-11, 08:09 AM
HI all, I just bought a 97 Eldorado, I was told it had a blown head gasket and was overheating, she was an older lady and said she never got it really hot. I drove the car, it definetly has a miss, has the check engine light on, the car runs better as the engine warms up, still has a miss if you press the gas petal hard. First thing I noticed is the cooling fans only come on with the ac. I drove it a couple of miles and the temp gauge stayed at the 12 oclock position until I decided it's just an old ladies car that had been idled around and needed to be "cleaned" out buy running the rpm up to about 5000 rpm. The temp went to half way between 12:00 and extreme right. It still didn't boil over, some coolant was dripping from the overflow tube onto the ground. My first question is about the exhaust, I hope that is not a catalytic converter between the engine and transaxle, is there only one catalytic converter? also engine has 93000 miles and compression reads between 150 to 170.

Submariner409
08-24-11, 10:03 AM
You need to do a LOT of homework in these Forums.

Your cooling fans run any time the A/C is set. With A/C OFF fans go to SLOW at 224 degrees and FAST at 236. The thermostat is set to begin at 186 and fully open at 206. The gauge will normally sit at about 12:00 but it is perfectly normal for it to go to the next tick mark in heavy traffic or lugging up mountains in hot weather.

The tick marks on your gauge are: 90-115-140-165-(188/215)-234-240-250-263.
The center tick at 12:00 is highly damped so the gauge needle will hardly move over that 25 degree temp swing.

Compression is fine, so is the cat. Coolant level should be halfway up in the reservoir, COLD. No more than that. Do some searching for "purge line" - that line which runs from the top side of the coolant reservoir to a hollow bolt/nipple at the rear of the water pump cover (the water pump is on the driver's end of the engine). If that purge line/nipple is clogged the cooling system can air-bind, causing water pump cavitation and overheating.

Go up ^^^ to the black bar and read the ENTIRE Cadillac Technical Archive. There are articles there which directly affect your car. Then go down to Discussions, Item Specific: Cadillac Tech Tips and wade through all pages - read threads of interest: it's all in those pages.

At 93,000 miles and 15 years it's time for new AC Delco #41-950 Platinum plugs and a new AC Delco ignition wire set - use AC Delco, nothing else. Talk to Chris in Parts at Rippy Cadillac up ^^^ in Vendors. Make sure you re-connect the plug wires exactly correctly - it's important - Google "waste spark ignition" to find out why.

At the top of this page of threads is a sticky post - "How to pull codes" - from your car's built-in code reader system. Learn how to use it. You may find your engine miss. The front (left) cylinder bank is 2-4-6-8, the rear (right) is 1-3-5-7.

The engine and transaxle are bolted into one unit. The exhaust manifold pipes run to a Y just ahead of the single cat, resonator, exhaust pipe, Y, phony duals.

vincentm
08-24-11, 11:41 AM
:yeah: and :welcome: im a proud owner of a 97 Eldorado ETC. But one thing i have to ask is:


POST PICS!

eldorodo
08-24-11, 10:12 PM
Thanks for the info sub409 and thanks for the welcome vicentm. I have read about some of the things you mentioned Sub, the built in code reader is new to me, will check that out for sure, I was about to purchase one of the hand held types. I had already decided that I was going to change the catalytic converter so just for a test I pulled it and drove a rod through the center and reinstalled it, the reason i suspected this is very little exhaust was coming from the tailpipe and had a congested sound. I drove around the block and it ran pretty well without any missing, but the temp again climbed to high, I opened the coolant reservoir and smelled it, smells like exhaust. I opened the radiator of my wife's 2005 Impala with 172,000 miles and it smelled like coolant, I've owned the Impala since 26,000 miles and have never changed the coolant, I think it's time. I was already prepared to drop the drive train out the bottom and pull the heads, I kind of knew what I was getting into before I bought the car, I'm having fun with it so far. Another thing that alarmed me, it has green coolant in it. If this thing has a blown head gasket I just don't understand how the compression can be so good, and no white smoke, no water in the oil. Vincentm I will try to post some pics of my $600 Eldorado, It's the Pearl white color, lady I bought it from called it "white Diamond", needs repainting due to paint pealing off the drivers door below the window, I think it was in a minor fender bender and part of the car was repainted. The interior isn't too bad, drivers seat is not torn but the leather is coming unsowed at shoulder height, steering wheel has wear, the tan is worn off in areas and looks kind of bad along with the top of the console where your arm rests, the shifter handle is kind of worn also. Again I appreciate the advice.

eldorodo
08-24-11, 10:27 PM
Also, my next thing I'm going to try is testing the thermostat.

eldorodo
08-24-11, 10:33 PM
I must thank you again sub, the info on how to check for a blown head gasket by pressurizing the cooling system and pulling the spark plugs sounds really neat, thanks so much for directing me to that area.

Ranger
08-24-11, 11:16 PM
I drove it a couple of miles and the temp gauge stayed at the 12 oclock position until I decided it's just an old ladies car that had been idled around and needed to be "cleaned" out buy running the rpm up to about 5000 rpm. The temp went to half way between 12:00 and extreme right. It still didn't boil over, some coolant was dripping from the overflow tube onto the ground.
:welcome:


Not a good sign. Keep an eye on it.

tateos
08-25-11, 12:24 PM
White Diamond is the correct name for the paint. The factory catalytic converters are quite good, and do not often fail - too bad you punched a hole in yours, but I have heard horror stories (codes) from people that have replaced their cat with aftermarket ones. I'm not saying that there are no good quality aftermarket cats, but it seems like the factory cats are the most problem free

eldorodo
08-26-11, 12:23 AM
If anyone is interested here is the latest, I tested the thermostat and it was good so I refilled the cooling system and drove around the block, parked it, let it cool, refilled the reservoir and drove it around the block, then took a 20 mile drive on the interstate without any overheating, needle stays at 12 o'clock position. When I turn on the ac the temp gauge goes to the mark after 12 o'clock so I turned the ac off, I might have to look into that. The lady who owned it said something about having the ac serviced recently.

eldorodo
08-26-11, 12:38 AM
In the cooling section it is recommended to add these cooling tablets and some bars leak. Do any of you guys use the bars leak? I raced circle track about 15 years ago and we had that stuff at the track in-case of a radiator being damaged in an accident, I used it one time and it worked, and also clogged the radiator, and when I went through my engine it was all in the heads looking like it was clogging water passages. The engine cleaned up ok but the radiator was trash. Was my radiator clogging not related to the bars leak?

Submariner409
08-26-11, 09:57 AM
The tablets (Bar's Leaks #HDC) (the powder, #G12BP, is identical) were added at the assembly line to prevent nuisance weeps and dealer comebacks. If the system is not leaking now, don't risk clogging any small passages.

Bar's liquid system sealants are not needed - ever.

If someone refers to "Bar's Leaks" that's the company - they make quite an array of cooling system additives.

If the temp gauge/needle moves up off 12:00 when A/C is set, open the hood and verify that both fans are running in SLOW. They should run any time an A/C or DEFROST function is set. Otherwise they go to SLOW at 224 degrees and FAST at 236. On a hot day in town with A/C it would be normal to see the needle move toward the next tick mark past 12.

eldorodo
08-28-11, 11:46 PM
I drove my car to work Friday, ran fine as long as I stayed around 1500 rpm. If I load the engine any at all it starts to misfire, turning on the ac or loading it on a steep hill causes the misfire and then the temp gauge starts to climb, if I turn off the ac and let the car idle it will return to a normal temp. I checked the fuel pressure, it is at 40 and when I race the engine will jump to 50, that seemed a little odd. I'm going to look over the ignition, I had already changed the plugs, wires looked good but looked like the original ones. I know in the past on a early 90's Camaro I would plug a screw driver into a plug wire, place it near chassis ground and turn the engine over to check the color of the spark, if it was yellow or white meant low voltage, really looking for a blue spark, is it ok to do this with this car or am I risking hurting the PCM or Ignition module?

Ranger
08-28-11, 11:54 PM
I drove around the block and it ran pretty well without any missing, but the temp again climbed to high, I opened the coolant reservoir and smelled it, smells like exhaust.
I completely missed this in post #4. Don't waste your time (or money) doing anything else until you get a block test kit and test for exhaust gases in the surge tank.