: New engine in 2002 STS, is it worth it?



Tenjin
11-16-04, 02:55 PM
Hey everyone, new here. I've been searching for a week to find a place to ask this question and I finally found this forum, so if any of you could help me I would really appreciate it. My mom has a friend who has a 2002 Seville STS with 26k miles that he is selling, but the problem is there is a thrown rod in the engine that blew a hole in the side of the engine, so I would have to replace the engine. He said he would sell it to me for 10k as it was. I went and looked at it and the car is immaculate, interior still smells new. But my question is, would it be worth it to get an engine from a salvage yard and have it replaced, or would I just be getting myself into a whole lot of trouble? How much more than the price of the car should I expect to pay to have it done? I'm a college student right now, and if the expense of running the car and the risk of problems will be higher because of the replaced engine, I don't want to do it. Any help or advice you could give would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

caddydaddy
11-16-04, 03:05 PM
Well, with only 26k miles on it, it's still an almost new car! With a good engine it would probably be worth in the $22-$25k range. Even if it cost you $10k to install a new engine, which it wouldn't, it would be worth it!
With the lower price of a used engine, I would say go for it! Just find a good low mile 01-up STS engine.

Spyder
11-16-04, 04:02 PM
I just put a used engine in my 94 STS. It cost me about 2400, all told, and I did the work myself. For a shop to do it would have been another two grand. I don't know how much more an engine for a 2001+ will be, but if you can get one in for under 8 grand, it'd be a hell of a deal. Go for it, I say!

95Concours
11-16-04, 06:26 PM
I just have one question, how in the hell did he throw a rod at only 26k miles? If it was caused by his driving, you might want to make sure the tranny isnt blown too....

No More Cadillac's
11-16-04, 06:28 PM
go for a used engine Is the car under warranty Call Cadillac customer service

chevyorange
11-16-04, 06:40 PM
Not only call them but raise hell. Call the regional manager! Even if the car is just out of warranty, I think you might be able to get them to do something!

It doesn't hurt to try.

Ranger
11-16-04, 06:58 PM
That thing must still be under warranty. Check with a dealer to be sure. You may get a new engine for nothing. Then it would be like stealing it.

Spyder
11-16-04, 07:02 PM
ah, I always forget that warranties exist...never owned a car new enough to be able to even think about getting one. Yea, go with that, it should be transferable, I would think...then you're set! Sell the thing and make some cash :)

Caddy01DTS
11-16-04, 07:06 PM
It would still have to be under warranty, wouldn't it? 4 year/50k

turbojimmy
11-16-04, 07:09 PM
I don't know how you throw a rod at such a low mileage, but one of the salvage cars I was looking before I bought my car was an '01 DTS with 34k miles on it. It had a hole through the block, too - caused by a connecting rod. If I had purchased it I couldn't have had GM repair it under warranty because it was technically dead (flood total).

You should be able to pick up a used engine and have it installed and still be well under blue book.

Jim

Tenjin
11-16-04, 08:03 PM
Thanks for all the replies! That's one thing I didn't ask him was how it happened, and maybe I should now after reading these posts, or run the VIN number or something. He just said he didn't want to repair it cause he bought a new 2005 STS and wouldn't drive it anyway, but for that price there may well be something else wrong with it, thanks for the advice. Where would I go to find a used engine at a decent price? I looked online this afternoon and a new one was close to $5,000 on one site. Does the 2002 STS use the L37 northstar?

caddydaddy
11-16-04, 08:37 PM
Yeah, I'd be questioning why a 3 year old car with 26k miles isn't still under warranty?

Yes, the STS uses the L37 engine.

BeelzeBob
11-16-04, 09:32 PM
The usual cause of a failed con rod like described is water injestion from driving into a flooded area.....as mentioned on the flood car at an auction....it was full of water and someone started it and sucked the water in and it blew a rod thru the side of the block. Also, that can happen from a stuck injector flooding the cylinder. If the cylinder is full of gasoline and the engine is cranked and starts quickly on one of the other cylinders the flooded cylinder can hydrostatically lock on the gasoline in the cylinder and blow the rod. I would think that if the owner is just letting the car sit and knows that the engine blew and that the block has a hole in it then he knows something that he isn't telling you. No matter how much money he has if the failure was in any way a resonable warranty request it would have been replaced..... I bet it got drowned in deep water and hydrostatically locked so it was not warrantied.

For that kind of money you could buy a new replacement engine from GM and install it and still be ahead. Any L37 from 2000 on would replace the engine but I would go with a new replacement from GM and start with a known entity since the car is cheap enough.

dkozloski
11-17-04, 01:26 AM
Look the car over very closely for a high water mark. Cars recovered from floods are no bargain. The electrical system troubles never end. A friend of mine bought a Chrysler that you could see the scars down the roof from the outboard motor prop when the light was right. The high water mark for that one was about a foot over the top. By the time he had it for a few months he had parted it out because of corrosion and electrical troubles.

Rob Benham
11-17-04, 01:39 AM
When you discuss the engine replacement from used parts dealers, or new GM suppliers, does this include the transmission as well? It looks like an amorphous lump under there, seems it would be a lot of work to separate them.

CadiJeff
11-17-04, 03:11 AM
engine and tranny come out together from underneath this should simplify the seperation of the two.

Spyder
11-17-04, 03:57 AM
The tranny isn't that difficult to seperate...easier from taking both out the bottom, but I recently installed a motor in my 94 STS through the top...wasn't as bad as it could have been.

turbojimmy
11-17-04, 06:28 AM
Look the car over very closely for a high water mark. Cars recovered from floods are no bargain. The electrical system troubles never end. A friend of mine bought a Chrysler that you could see the scars down the roof from the outboard motor prop when the light was right. The high water mark for that one was about a foot over the top. By the time he had it for a few months he had parted it out because of corrosion and electrical troubles.

I don't want to hijack the thread but.....I already own the flood car. Got it Sunday night. I think it may have been completely submerged. If not, very close. I have the inside taken out of it and it does not appear as if it got as high as the headliner, but the moonroof has silt in it. Might have gotten there as they were hosing it out (they powerwashed the INSIDE) of it to clean it - came out nice (in appearance).

Electrically, as you'd surmise, it's an interesting combination of clicking relays and spastic flashes of light. As I mentioned in another thread, tho, I could (and may have to) replace every little black box and electrical device in the car and still be way under blue book. My uncle is in the salvage biz and there's no shortage of people driving their DeVilles into things. I can get parts cheap. It just takes a lot of time to replace everything and patience to understand how the various systems work. Every single electrical connector comes apart, cleaned and reassembled. On something as complex as a modern Deville it's a huge undertaking. There's 2001 DeVille DTS scattered all around my garage and basement. It's a beautiful car and I can't wait to drive it. Pic:


The car is from a dealer's lot - none were running when they were flooded. The one with the thrown rod probably was damaged after the flood in the manner described above. Mine is in tact mechanically.

Jim

Spyder
11-17-04, 01:43 PM
well hell...the thing LOOKS great. Good luck with that project!!!

chevyorange
11-17-04, 02:18 PM
Thanks for all the replies! That's one thing I didn't ask him was how it happened, and maybe I should now after reading these posts, or run the VIN number or something. He just said he didn't want to repair it cause he bought a new 2005 STS and wouldn't drive it anyway, but for that price there may well be something else wrong with it, thanks for the advice. Where would I go to find a used engine at a decent price? I looked online this afternoon and a new one was close to $5,000 on one site. Does the 2002 STS use the L37 northstar?

I have a few days left on my Carfax subscription, if you email me your VIN, I'll run it for you and send you the report.

Adam
allfalldown@comcast.net

Kerb
11-17-04, 04:15 PM
Go for it. I would. :coolgleam

No More Cadillac's
11-17-04, 07:42 PM
If the car was flooded, and then declared a total loss by an insurance company, in most states, the title will clearly state SALVAGE. If it is a salvage title than the warranty should be null and void. There is always the possibility that the automobile MFG is not aware of the salvage condition and unknowingly continues the warranty.

chevyorange
11-17-04, 08:09 PM
As I said, I can do a free Carfax for you.

BeelzeBob
11-17-04, 09:57 PM
I don't want to hijack the thread but.....I already own the flood car. Got it Sunday night. Mine is in tact mechanically.

Jim



I assume you have done the obvious and drained the oil, pulled the plugs and turned the engine over...or is the engine running already??

Drain the trans and make sure that there is no water in it.

Lots of things like brake calipers get moisture behind the seals in a flood and cause problems later.

Sounds like a huge project but one that certainly could turn out OK from what you say.

turbojimmy
11-18-04, 06:28 AM
I assume you have done the obvious and drained the oil, pulled the plugs and turned the engine over...or is the engine running already??

Drain the trans and make sure that there is no water in it.

Lots of things like brake calipers get moisture behind the seals in a flood and cause problems later.

Sounds like a huge project but one that certainly could turn out OK from what you say.

Yes, the fluids were changed right away and the salvage yard allegedly had the car running. I, however, can't seem to get it to crank. They did some messing with the shifter to get it on the rollback when they delivered it Sunday. I think it's a gear interlock problem. When you turn the key a bunch of relays click but it doesn't even try to crank. Normally, if the starter were getting juice everything would dim. Not the case. No big deal, though. It's par for the course.

Assuming it runs okay, the biggest time and money is going to be in making the things that make it a Cadillac work again. EVERYTHING is controlled by a "module" (a little black box) - each door lock, each power window, each heated seat element, memory seats, the suspension, instrument panel, etc. None of the interior modules are sealed so all got wet (exterior modules like the PCM and other powertrain and drivetrain modules are sealed). Some still function, some don't. Luckily I have another DeVille in the family to test parts on.

If it doesn't work out the car will just go back to auction. I can get the money back but not the time so I need to make an assessment soon. It's a crap shoot, but I've been lucky with them so far. It's just a bunch of metal, plastic and glass. It's all repairable or replaceable.

As far as the title goes, it is true that a salvage title gets issued. In this case it's a double whammy title. It indicates both a total loss and a flood loss. States vary on how they treat the titles, but here in NJ I can have the car inspected by the NJ Salvage Unit and if it passes a new title will be issued so that I can register the car. The new title will have an "F" on the top right corner indicating it's a restored flood vehicle, but the title is valid for registration and for transfer. Most states have a reconstruction policy and not all will provide an indicator on the title. I've done this numerous times and have sold the cars to still-happy owners. I would never conceal the fact that it's reconstructed, but some people do. Always run a CarFax before you buy a car whether you're suspicious or not. You'd be surprised at what you'll find.

Jim

No More Cadillac's
11-18-04, 07:11 AM
I imagine there will be a lot of these "flood" cars from the Florida hurricanes on the market.

turbojimmy
11-18-04, 10:29 AM
I imagine there will be a lot of these "flood" cars from the Florida hurricanes on the market.

Probably. The trouble with those is that they will be saltwater floods - very bad. A freshwater flood, while still bad, doesn't have the corrosion issues that a saltwater flood has (if you dry it out quick enough). Salt begins corroding immediately on contact.

My car is from the Pittsburgh area - though it was one of the Florida hurricanes that brought a lot of rain up that way.

Again, CarFax is the way to go when buying any used car. It may not pick up everything, but it does typically pick up the salvage titles. I haven't them miss one yet, actually.

Jim

dkozloski
11-18-04, 12:16 PM
Floods from freshwater can be very damaging because of all the waterborn contaminants like sewage and petroleum plus silt and dirt. It takes a little longer for the electrical corrosion problems in connectors and components to show up but they will be there. This thing is going to be like the Chinese water torture because you will think you have all the troubles whipped a hundred times and then here comes the next one. You will never have the peace of mind of having a dependable car you could turn your wife loose in. Even simple rigs like farm tractors and the like can have you tearing out your hair. Been there, done that.

Spyder
11-18-04, 02:17 PM
I wouldn't want to deal with the electrical system in a caddy. Hell, my old '60 Dodge truck gets me aggravated when the headlights flicker. Easy to work on, I just do not enjoy electrical. :)

turbojimmy
11-18-04, 02:44 PM
You will never have the peace of mind of having a dependable car you could turn your wife loose in. Even simple rigs like farm tractors and the like can have you tearing out your hair. Been there, done that.

Maybe - we'll see. Every single connector - literally - has been or will be disconnected, cleaned and reassembled. All of the connectors outside of the cabin (weather pak) are bone dry inside. Baked modules are being replaced.

The wife doesn't drive my cars anyway - the more reasons to keep her out of them the better. We have different philosophies on the purpose of vehicle. She thinks they're giant trash cans and that 17" aluminum rims make good "curb feelers".

Who knows, I may grow to really hate the thing and sell it. As it stands, it's worth more than I paid in parts. Or, I may find something major and never even get it off the ground. I really just want to get it mobile. I can do without the massage and butt warmers really.

I'll keep everyone posted....

Jim

Spyder
11-18-04, 04:27 PM
please do keep us updated...sounds like a great winter project! My project for this winter is, if I ever get around to it, rod bearings and timeserts on a 94 STS N*, and prep a 413 Max Wedge, $ permitting. :):)

dkozloski
11-18-04, 05:27 PM
Some years ago here in Fairbanks we had a huge flood that submerged hundreds if not thousands of cars to varying degrees. The insurance companies totalled every vehicle that got water up to the glove box. They gave the option of selling the vehicles back to the owner or anyone else for salvage value. Virtually every one of those rigs are in the junkyard now. Some were hauled away to the lower 48 as salvage. One friend went to the states to get a replacement car and got a great deal on a used Pontiac. He drove it back to Fairbanks only to have the former owner here point out the outboard motor propeller tracks across the roof. It lasted less than six months before it went to the landfill. What everyone found was that the water would dry out all right but it left a residue behind that attracted moisture from the air and promoted electrolytic corrosion. Remember, fresh water is not a bit like distilled water. I wish you luck. You're going to need it.

turbojimmy
11-18-04, 09:29 PM
please do keep us updated...sounds like a great winter project! My project for this winter is, if I ever get around to it, rod bearings and timeserts on a 94 STS N*, and prep a 413 Max Wedge, $ permitting. :):)

I'll let you know how it goes. If I didn't have to get it inspected by the state I'd do something wacky with it. LS1 w/ RWD maybe? I dunno. But, since I need to restore it to more or less original, I need to work with what I've got. I can spend another 3-4k and still be 7-8k under trade-in value. That kind of money can go fast so I need to take a closer look at things. I'll be working on the drivetrain over the weekend. If it's too far gone I'll turn it back out to auction.

When I peek out in the garage I feel like I need to keep working on it. It's a good looking car.

I had hoped for a quick (month or so) fix on this but I don't think it's going to work out that way. I've got a few other cars I can drive for the winter, all are barely road worthy but should get me through the next couple of months.

I'll snap some pics tomorrow. They are considerably more ugly than the one I posted in this thread.

Jim