: 99DeVille_NrthSt*r's Project Thread

06-24-12, 03:15 PM
Well I have been reading everyone else's project threads (eyewonder & Bills have been spectacular) and I'm deciding to start up my own, just to keep all my pics and questions in one place as to not muck up the forums.

Just to quickly catch everyone up on the projects long history, 4 years ago when I was 16 I bought this 99 DeVille with 130k on the clock and fell in love. Well when she hit 135k she started over heating, I went through the phases of denial replacing the radiator, water pump, surge tank, etc. until I just accepted, it had a blown head gasket....
Anyway, pulled the motor out the top studded the heads and sealed the lower end, put it back in, timing was off, no spark...
Dropped the cradle, opened up the timing case 1 of the tensioners were blown. Rebuilt the timing case (new tensioners, new shoes the works) put the motor back in.. No oil pressure........
After that I was out of funds and out of gas, I packed the car away and there it has sat for the past 3 years.

Now I am resurrecting this project and dropping the cradle once more, I'm going in and redoing pretty much everything aside from the head gaskets. Re-sealing the bottom end, replacing parts that have been ruined due to sitting (electrical harness is shot, air ride is probably shot, fuel rails are pretty bad)

I'll be posting pictures of the projects current state later on tonight so look forward to that.

QUESTION -- is there anyway to get that damn rear main seal out without dropping 150 200 bucks on buying the tool? My normal tool rental outlets don't have it, last time i did this I had access to an old GM techs tool collection, this time I'm not so lucky.

If there's not a backyard way of getting this thing off, are there any forum members in Arizona near the Glendale area that would be willing to rent one to me?

Thanks so much in advanced guys, it's been a long time since I have wrenched on the Caddy and I'm finding it's not just like riding a bike, I'm sure you folks will be answering quite a few questions for me so thank you all so much

Faded Crest
06-24-12, 03:55 PM
If you are separating the lower case, you can do that and simply pluck out the rear main seal... Otherwise you will need the extractor tool or devise one of your own.

06-24-12, 06:10 PM
Just a few pictures from both last weekend and earlier today, I'm removing the half case now, will report back later..








bill buttermore
06-24-12, 08:10 PM
My 98 had an older-style lip seal when I tore it apart. It just slid off the crank when I split the case. If you have a newer type seal that has been pressed onto the crank you can buy a removal tool on e-bay for about $25. Or, you can use a few self-tapping sheet metal screws along the axis of the crank and apply a slide hammer or careful leverage to pry the seal off. Be careful. Think how much it will cost if you mess up the sealing surfaces on the block or the crank. Makes $25 seem cheap.

The $150-200 is for the tool that presses in the new style cartridge seal. You can replace whatever you have with an old-style lip seal that will just tap in, but nobody does this. Why? Because the old lip seals were notorious for leaking.

Faded Crest
06-24-12, 10:01 PM
Wow, you're moving fast! :thumbsup:

06-25-12, 12:03 AM
Thanks for the replies guys, it sure is awesome to be working on this car again I got the oil pan and the half case separated today but it got to dark to take pics I'll try and get some tomorrow before work.

Basically the plan now is to put some work into drilling and tapping out quite a few holes that I mucked up back when I was 16 and moving way too fast. Then I need to get together a parts list for the motor do I can start ordering parts the next few pay days. Then it's on to cleaning up all the gasket surfaces and re-assembly.

After the motor is situated I'll start addressing body issues, the motor compartment has broken plastic everywhere, also I need to look into some suspension issues really gonna lean on you guys hard when it comes to the air ride, I've never worked on something like that before.

Also for those of you that saw my Electrical Harness thread I got ahold of Jake and he says he has a 97 that he is sending to the scrap yard and he said he could probably pull what I need off of that car, problem is we are only 90% sure everything is the same on that harness, can anyone confirm?

Thanks guys!!

06-25-12, 05:29 PM
Quick pics before work!





Studs still in place and they are gonna stay there, if I never see the tops of those pistons again it will be too soon.


And the 4t80e to top it all off.. Seems like I spent a lot more time separating this time around


Faded Crest
06-25-12, 05:38 PM
Yikes, the crankshaft counterweights look a little crusty, how long did it sit? And what is that black grease around the lifters?

I gotta hand it to you, at the pace you're moving you will have it back on the road this weekend!

06-25-12, 05:43 PM
I hope the black goop around the cam followers is assembly lube...........and that crank needs serious careful cleaning.............

06-25-12, 08:37 PM
It's sat for the past 3 3 and a half years, definitely a lot of cleaning to be done, that and getting up the funds to order parts will be the longest part of this repair I imagine.

As for the black goop you hit the nail on the head sub, that is 3 year old assembly lube, of course all that will be gone and replaced with new when I start putting everything back together.

Thanks for the compliments on the pace guys, tryin to keep it up, gotta start drilling and tapping these bolt holes later this week or this weekend so more pics to come!

06-26-12, 01:35 PM
Little more progress today, pulled the rest of my harness (what a nightmare that was) also removed the remainder of the AC system (also a nightmare) as it has sat open for years and will need to be replaced.

As I pulled away the black plastic housing against the firewall it basically disintegrated in my hands, hopefully I can find a replacement.. Is this piece still produced new?

A couple pics of the morning progress...

The housing...


The harness..




AC and Firewall with everything removed...




That's all for today folks!

06-26-12, 02:46 PM
As I pulled away the black plastic housing against the firewall it basically disintegrated in my hands, hopefully I can find a replacement.. Is this piece still produced new?

Not that I am aware of. I think you are going to have a LOT of trouble finding a replacement.

06-26-12, 03:18 PM
I figured it would be an issue... Thanks Ranger.

bill buttermore
06-27-12, 12:07 AM
That's a junkyard item, for sure.

06-27-12, 12:28 AM
When I do scrap that '97 I'll let you know if the HVAC cover is in good condition.....that is if you do have the time to wait.

06-27-12, 02:22 AM
Yeah bill that's what I was thinkin, the only problem I see with that is those cars have probably been sitting longer than mine, I'm beginning to feel like I have a better chance at finding a unicorn. Then if I do find one in good shape, it's gotta be a bear to pull with the motor in the car and the car sitting on the floor (is that everywhere or just here that junkyards pull the wheels/tires off of a majority of the vehicles?)

Hey jake! I appreciate that sir, im not to concerned about the wait, it looks like I have been moving quick however I am running out of things to do that don't cost money hahaa.. So now things might slow a little as I get the project done one pay check at a time.

Worst come to worst I'll get out to a junkyard and pull what I need, the junkyard is just not where you want to be in Phoenix during summer let me tell you, hit 109 today before lunch!

09-01-12, 02:11 AM
Hey guys it's been a little while, the caddy has been on the back burner lately as I've had some problems with the Dailey drivers..

Mine (04 ford explorer with the 4.0) blew a harmonic balancer which apparently is a pretty common problem with that motor otherwise the truck has been rock solid at 140,000 miles and I bought it with 110,000 just under a year ago.

Then the girl friends (00 Honda accord V6) fried an alternator (she has a subs in the truck and that alternator just couldn't hold on any longer) so replaced it with a unit from a Honda Odyssey which puts out a few more amps also upgraded all the grounds to 2 awg.

But enough about all that, since I last posted I have decided that since the car has sat so long in semi poor conditions Im just going to go ahead and pull the crank for a good cleaning (just can't get at it with it installed in the block) as well as replace bearings and the piston rings, a couple of my cylinders had standing water in them so there is some rust and I'm concerned it may have gunked some things up. My main goal this weekend is just to clean up and inventory all the parts I will be reusing so I can put together a parts list.

My question tonight is what do you guys recommend for cleaning the cylinder walls and the crank? I have been going at the crank journals with some WD40 and an old tooth brush but it doesn't quite do the job. The cylinder walls I just don't know, I don't want to use anything too abrasive but I just don't know how delicate the walls really are, last time I tore the motor down it had been running a few days prior so the cylinders were nice and shiny.

I'll be sure to take before and after pictures for everyone!

09-01-12, 02:44 AM
Browsing eBay I came across this,


What do you guys think? It sure would save me some dough and all the brands seem to be the same ones I would get on RockAuto. That being said I know you usually get what you pay for.

09-01-12, 09:34 AM
Whatever you use, DO NOT use Scotch-Brite pads.

09-01-12, 10:34 AM
Browsing eBay I came across this,


What do you guys think? It sure would save me some dough and all the brands seem to be the same ones I would get on RockAuto. That being said I know you usually get what you pay for.

I bought a set from Rock Auto, but it was only a partial upper set. Which was ok for me because I wasn't going to dig into the lower half. God knows the upper half is giving enough problems. So I think my set cost me about $60, had head gaskets, a flat gasket for the plenum/TB, the two reusable plenum gaskets, and a ton of valve stem seals, water pump rubber, valve cover rubbers, and other stuff I ended up not using. I'll have to take an inventory of what I didn't use maybe I can sell it to someone for cheap. Pretty good value if I had used everything. So I would think the bigger kit would be just as good, that is if you plan to use most of it.

09-01-12, 11:43 PM
Alright guys, got a few hours of quality time with the caddy today.

So I started out wanting to pull the crank and pistons,





So I removed all the connecting rod cap bolts 2/cylinder 16 total, it seems like these didn't have a whole lotta torque they came loose pretty easily I'm sure that's not normal. After the caps came off the crank lifts right out to expose the main and connecting rod bearings, some looked good @ 130k but others were scored pretty badly, the main bearing all the way to the timing side of the motor actually had ridges I could feel.


Here's a couple of the mains,



Rod bearings,





My pictures of the pistons didn't come out real great but they are pretty gummed up. I feel a lot better about the decision to pull the pistons and bearings, i think it is going to add a lot of piece of mind to the repair.

I began cleaning the bock up with some diesel, rags and old tooth brushes it's working quite well everything is shining up real nice. It got too late to take pictures of where I left off but I'll check in tomorrow.

09-03-12, 05:33 PM
Yea good decision to change those bearings... those are not healthy at all.

09-03-12, 06:46 PM
Hey thanks for the reassurance, I'll be ordering the set in the eBay link either this Friday or more likely towards the end of September when that paycheck comes in.

Can't wait to start reassembly!

Will check in later with a couple pics of the block now that I have cleaned it. I also think I'm gonna send the crank to a machine shop to be polished, I'll post pics but I think it's the best option.