: 2000 DTS - correct replacement engine ?

02-11-14, 07:33 PM
Im a little confused on which engine I should be looking for, for a 2000 DTS. I understand I should mainly be looking for a 2000-2003 engine. But, Do I need to get one out of a DTS or can it be any deville/Seville? I understand the dts has slightly more HP than the deville and I am not sure what is changed to obtain that. I received the car with the engine already removed so I do not have any engine parts, I am looking to get a complete used engine for it.

As far as I know it has the original transmission for the DTS which I understand has a different gear ratio. Is there any way to be sure its the DTS transmission?

Also how does on tell if the engine is originally out of a deville or a dts? I would be more interested in finding a dts engine if there are changes to it over the deville engine.

02-11-14, 07:58 PM
There is VIN Y (275 HP/3.11 final drive ratio), and Vin 9 (300HP/3.71 final drive ratio).

The differences are the intake cams, PCM tuning, and if course the differential in the transaxle.

VIN Y cars of your year range: Base Deville, DHS, DES, SLS, ESC.

VIN 9 cars of your year range: DTS, STS, ETC.

There's a thread somewhere on how to decide the code on the block into the VIN, and you can then tell which engine you have.

02-11-14, 08:02 PM
There is VIN Y (275 HP/3.11 final drive ratio), and Vin 9 (300HP/3.71 final drive ratio).

The differences are the intake cams, PCM tuning, and if course the differential in the transaxle.

VIN Y cars of your year range: Base Deville, DHS, DES, SLS, ESC.

VIN 9 cars of your year range: DTS, STS, ETC.

There's a thread somewhere on how to decide the code on the block into the VIN, and you can then tell which engine you have.

I don't currently have any engine for it. Im just trying to get info so I can find the right one for it. With the info you have given me it looks like I would be best off getting a vin 9 engine for the car since it has the vin 9 transmission and pcm.

02-11-14, 08:05 PM
Yeah. Mix and match, and it will still run and drive, but not correctly.

02-11-14, 08:07 PM
Its going to be hard to find an engine for this car that is not already blown up or "fixed" by somebody else.. I may have to search all the salvage yards for one.

02-11-14, 08:14 PM
What makes you think all the used engines are "blown up"?? :hmm: Mechanically, other than oil leaks and the blown out of proportion HG issue, Northstars are VERY durable engines.

You should stud/insert any used engine you but anyway. No way to tell if there's an issue until it's in the car and running.

02-11-14, 08:28 PM
Well maybe "blow up" was not the correct wording.. But that is exactly what I have heard about the engines.

The plan was to use studs on any engine that I buy. I just want one that has not already failed or that has already been worked on by somebody else.

If the head gaskets fail does it more than likely ruin the engine or are these easily fixed? What if they failed and the person kept driving it?

What are the issues with the oil leaks on the 2000+ models? I read something about the pre 2000 ones having oil leaking problems. I want to fix all the stuff right, before I put the engine in.

02-12-14, 02:45 PM
MC, just out of curiosity... what's a DES?

and westman,

repairing the engine (studs or bigserts/normserts) is basically a must in your type of situation unless you want to chance that your swapped engine is okay and possibly have to pull it later to repair if it does have issues (oil leaks or hg issues)

it sounds like you're not wanting to take that risk and have chosen studs as your preferred repair so that's out of the way

the question you seem to have is if it's just as good to stud an engine that has had hg issues or if it's better to stud an engine that hasn't had issues
the answer there is that it shouldn't matter either way
you're going to basically rebuild the engine and even upgrade it with studs so either way it will be in the best condition possible

now to address the oil leaks --- 2000-2005 years are almost just as bad as the pre-2000 northstars for leaking/seeping oil out the lower block seals
most of these northstars do seep some oil and normal seepage won't even register as any oil loss
seepage can get worse and develop into a leak that will prompt oil to be added between oil changes (by the oil level sensor)

my personal dividing line between seepage and leak is that a leak will leave at least one drop of oil on your driveway overnight (or maybe over the course of a few days) while seepage will never drip down

either way if you're going to stud the engine and have it out for overhaul/rebuild anyway why not reseal the bottom end?
that's kind of how i look at it... either you just put the salvage engine in and pray it doesn't have any major issues or you do a overhaul/rebuild and stud or insert it and reseal the bottom end and know that you've got a great engine in great shape

hope that helps and doesn't confuse you any

02-12-14, 03:09 PM
Yes the plan is to stud the block no matter what. I am no going to waste money on an engine that I know is going to eventually go out on me, when I know I can fix it right before it even goes into the car. So yes the stud part is out of the way.

What exactly should I be replacing to "reseal the bottom end" and any other leaks. is the rear main seal a problem on these?

Are there any other things I should look into replacing while its apart or is it going to be a solid engine after I stud it and fix the oil leaks?

I was first looking for any 2000+ northstar engine but now I see that I would be much better off with a vin 9 engine from an sts or dts, so this is going to be even harder than I thought to find a good engine.

I want to fix all the known problems before it goes into the car. I do not want to have to pull the engine back out soon after putting it in.

One other thing I was kinda of curious about is if there is a headgasket failure does it more than likely ruin the engine? Like take out the bottom end/bearings or anything of that sort? I plan to buy one that is still running good so I know its a good engine, and I will put the studs in it no matter what.

02-12-14, 03:23 PM
MC, just out of curiosity... what's a DES?Deville Executive Sedan. Slightly longer than the other models (6" IIRC), more rear leg room. RARE.

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m538/moistcabbage/5D6ACB1F-BC2F-49D8-BC92-D686282F5EEE_zpsk24b94j2.jpg (http://s1130.photobucket.com/user/moistcabbage/media/5D6ACB1F-BC2F-49D8-BC92-D686282F5EEE_zpsk24b94j2.jpg.html)

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m538/moistcabbage/8E08A018-BF92-493C-9A24-E4EDC9727C9F_zpsv0ze9vpn.jpg (http://s1130.photobucket.com/user/moistcabbage/media/8E08A018-BF92-493C-9A24-E4EDC9727C9F_zpsv0ze9vpn.jpg.html)

02-12-14, 03:39 PM
ah, yes the livery/limo Devilles... I forgot they had DES emblems on the shorties

and for westman... the lower end seals you will need to replace are pretty much everything

oil pan is rtv
rtv is also used between the upper block and lower block and also on the oil baffle/plate/manifold
also some use of anerobic sealer is suggested on the manifold as well
there's also a plate/gasket for the oil filter housing between the block and the housing
the rear main seal
the front timing cover gasket (front crank seal is not needed to be replaced usually and it's part of the cover anyway)
the water pump cross-over housing has four cross-over gaskets

when we do these jobs we also put in a new oil level sensor and oil pressure sensor

there's quite a few threads with more detail on actually doing the job if you look for them (in this sub forum)
those threads will probably deal with doing a headgasket job primarily and also doing the lower block seals (also known as the crank case half seal or something like that)

edit, i'm mixing parts for the headgasket job in ... front cover and cross-over gaskets are part of the headgasket job not the lower block seal job

02-12-14, 04:37 PM
I assume this is all small enough stuff to get separate instead of getting a full gasket set, correct?

Does anybody have a pic or a link to a diagram for the 2000+ northstar.. Since the engine was removed before I got it I have no idea where everything mounts and any extra brackets. I am familiar with a 1998 sts as I just put a motor in one and I assume this is very similar but I would imagine its not entirely the same. I know there are lots of brackets on the motor/transmission

02-12-14, 05:30 PM
New thread created for westman995 and his DTS engine questions.

You might want to look through the parts diagrams for your car/engine in www.gmpartsgiant.com - make, model, year, system, subsystem - that opens a numbered text page. The INFO tab opens a parts diagram keyed to the text page. Nalley also has a site with exploded parts diagrams.

Use the stickys as primary reference works, not as ongoing discussions for one problem/car/engine. Thanks.

02-12-14, 07:04 PM
Major external differences will mainly be with the ignition system and intake ducting. Everything should be familiar to you.

02-13-14, 09:52 AM
I assume u have a bad motor now? Or is motor gone? Like in missing? When u say u don't have any motor now, I assume u mean u don't have the replacement yet.

02-13-14, 09:56 AM
In his first post he said that he bought the car, no engine in it. Wants the info on exactly which engine to find/stud to get the car back on the road.

............ and there's a chance that - with the engine missing, so is the transmission/transaxle setup.

02-13-14, 10:34 AM
Correct, I have NO engine at all. The motor was already removed and I cannot get my hands on it, talked to the people who removed it for these guys and he got rid of it already. That's a bummer for me as I assume all the parts on it like alternator, intake, coils, etc etc. are now gone. I know there a couple parts in the trunk, like the radiator, I have no idea what else is in there.. as I have not been able to get the trunk open.

The transmission is still in the car. I assume they removed the engine from the top and did not drop the whole cradle. I assume the transmission is the original dts one, however I would not mind confirming that it is first. Ill have to look for numbers on the trans when I get a chance. I see numbers stamped right on top of the trans but I don't think those are the numbers I am looking for.


Any ideas on getting the trunk open? Long story short the guy I got the car from is a complete liar.. I do not even have the key for the car, So I cannot get into the trunk right now. The ignition is unlocked for some reason, I have no tried to move it to lock position to lock it yet to see if it even does lock cuz I wont be able to move the car if it ends up getting locked. I am waiting to see if the guy gives me the key, if he doesn't (which he prolly wont, cuz hes a complete liar) then I am going to have to get one made from a dealer if that is even possible without an original.

So I can put the key forward and open the fuel door with the button, but the trunk will not pop open. I can hear a faint clicking somewhere in the rear when the trunk release is pushed but it doesn't sound like its coming from inside the trunk. I tried removing the rear seat but I cannot get the back piece to unclip. I have the bolts removed from the floor. I can see through the hole in the seat that the radiator is in there so im hoping there is some other good parts in there that I might need.


Submariner, the diagrams in your link will be of great help when I get to putting this thing does. Most if not all mounting/brackets look really similar to the 98 sts that I had just worked on so at least I am somewhat familiar with how everything is mounted. Biggest downfall is that the engine was removed before I got it, I think I can get it done tho.

02-13-14, 10:39 AM
I shudder to think of the number of BIG hoops you'll have to jump through to get a complete engine with all accessories and wiring harnesses to run properly - the "new" PCM will need to be re-programmed by a GM dealer with the original car's VIN, for starters. For relative ease of replacement, the engine and all accessories should be from the same year and same VIN (9) as the car - build date will be on the driver's door sticker.

Trunk opening - look with a good flashlight - you should see a yellow plastic T pull cable stuck (Velcro) to the trunk lid liner carpet right next to the latch mechanism. IF you can use a set of LONG mechanic's fingers or a handicapped person type mechanical "claw" then you should be able to trip the trunk latch manually.

In the long run you'll be better off by pulling the cradle and transaxle and setting up everything on the shop floor.

EDIT: Even with the back seat (leather) pad out you can't get into the trunk - across-car bulkhead and electronics bay.

02-13-14, 12:52 PM
That car is rapidly becoming a parts car imo.

02-14-14, 10:22 PM
The guy is supposed to have the key and im supposed to have it by tomorrow so that should be taken care of. I have the pcm original from this car so I shouldn't need to get it programmed should I?

My hopes was to drop the cradle from the car to assemble the engine due to I have seen how much it takes to get an engine in one of these cars without dropping it.

Ill try and post a couple pics soon and see if you guys still think its more of a parts car.. haha

The best possible thing that could happen is a find a crashed 2000 dts that hasn't been worked on yet.. Good luck finding that tho haha.. Hopefully I can come across an engine that will work for me.

02-14-14, 10:32 PM
Its a little dirty, Its been sitting for atleast two years.. No pics of the interior but I will get some hopefully tomorrow.


02-15-14, 09:19 AM
You can restore that to its original elegance. Good looking in white.

The original PCM will run everything as-is with the correct 2000 - 2002 engine and wiring harnesses.

Not really necessary, but what is the build date of the car - on the tire specs sticker on the driver's door ?

If you get either a real GM/Helm service manual set (eBay or www.helminc.com) or a subscription for that car to www.alldatadiy.com, the different ID tags and stampings on engines and transmissions are explained in those sources.

02-15-14, 03:43 PM
I was going to say I thought some pics would change your mind, but you aren't even the one who said it was starting to sound like a parts car haha.. Its still in very nice condition or I would not even bother to try finding an engine for this thing, I would just part/scrap it out but its still too nice for that. I think it will be a very nice car when its done.

Yes the original pcm and wiring is in the car so I shouldn't have any problems with that. I will check out the sticker and let you know what it says.


12/99 is the build date on it. Does that mean anything at all or not really?

02-15-14, 04:18 PM
12/99 is solidly into the 2000 "model year" - which began in 08/99.

02-15-14, 04:59 PM
I would like to think that's in some way better? Than if it were one of the very earliest built ones? I dono haha just a guess

02-15-14, 07:01 PM
Well, there's always the paranoia surrounding Monday and Friday built cars -

Monday - "God, what a weekend ! My hangover is so bad I can't see squat !!!"

Friday - "Gotta slap these things together so we can get out of here and party !!!"

How do you tell ? You get tight with a GM Service Writer and get into the old database to decipher the build plant Line Sequence Number. Some of the body parts stampings and upholstery tags will tell you when those were made. It's all ordered and optioned into one car - and it all comes together, from MANY sources, on production line day. It may take two weeks to get a Left Frammis from the contractor/builder/supplier, into the assembly plant, onto the conveyor system to have it arrive within 30 seconds of when the moving body arrives at the Left Frammis install station on the line. The whole car slides together like a constantly moving jigsaw puzzle - where each station is responsible for one piece of the puzzle that arrives at the table precisely on time.

How would you like to assemble a 2003 STS from scratch - with ALL the body parts already painted, scattered all over the assembly plant, hanging from conveyor belt hooks and clamps ?

02-15-14, 07:41 PM
Got the keys so I got the trunk open and discovered some underhood parts that im sure will really help a lot when I put it together. Motor mounts, box full of bolts and brackets, radiator, cooling fans, etc..

I am having a problem with the ignition tho. The key will not turn into the lock position with or without the key in it. I am thinking something to do with everything being disconnected. the shifter cable is disconnected but the shifter on the floor is in park. I cant think of why the key will not go into the lock position.. Or why it is even unlocked without the key in the first place.. Im sure something is wrong with it, that would be my luck


02-16-14, 10:21 AM
Is torque conv present? I talked to seller of 2000 DTS. Got it 3 months ago and headgaskets went. Has $800 new tires. White. Car. Conv. Top. Ugh. Wants $2k for it.

02-16-14, 01:27 PM
Yes the torque converter is on the trans. The converter has a sticker on it says "remanufactured for gm" or something of that sort. I was told before I got the car that it had been rebuilt but I did not believe him cuz the guy had lied to me about NUMEROUS other things, not about the car itself but other things.

How many miles are on it? Does the engine still run or did they keep driving it and possibly ruin something in it?

02-16-14, 05:37 PM
Good news it seems like the ignition is working fine, It appears to need the battery to work correctly. So now all I need to do is find myself a motor so I can get started on this.

02-19-14, 03:56 PM
Hello Westman, if you have any questions about northstar engines im happy to help call 1-888-800-9470 or email info@northstarperformance.com, and im sure i can convince jake to get you a discount on a re maned Engine for your car.


i Just talked to Jake and i got it down to $2500 + Shipping (i see your in MN so your not that far shipping will be pretty cheap) for a brand new Engine.