: Timing belt



star2323
11-11-05, 09:24 PM
Anybody have a timing belt go out on their catera? I have a '98 and a buddy has a '98 as well and his timing belt just went out. The mechanic said it trashed the pistons and engine would probably needed replaced or completely re-built. Does this sound right?
What would a new engine cost? Can a person even find them?

El Dobro
11-12-05, 12:42 PM
Was there any noise or lack of compression? I talked to a couple of techs that have worked on the 3.0 in Saturns and they said nothing happened when the belts went on them and it's basically the same engine.

Cat-a-Tonic
11-12-05, 05:17 PM
Sorry to disagree but interferance engines have valves and pistons occupying the same space at different times. When the timing belt snaps or spins off, valves and pistons kiss. Goodbye engine. I went through two 3.0 liter engines since last year. You can get salvaged engines through 'scrap yards' Be sure you get a 2000 or newer production engine as they made some mod's to reduce timing belt problems. Have had latest engine in harsh sevice for 5 thousand k. No trouble so far.:D :D
Jerry O

OpelOmegaB
11-12-05, 07:38 PM
Usually the timing belt is not the culprit.
It is the tensioner going bad and letting the belt slip or skip.

The Saab 9.5 V6 has basically the same engine and failure of the tensioner at
less than 60.000 miles are not unheard of.

If I recall it correctly, Opel wants you to change the TB for the Catera at 100.000 miles. I would rather do that job at 60.000 miles.

For all the people complaining about TB failure in Cateras, just read about
TB problems in the Audi A4 1.8T or VW Passat 1.8T.

It can usually be avoided if the owners are willing to pay the $600.-- or so
for this job. But then again, lots of secondhand Catera owners don't have that kind of money or rather spend it for some big wheels instead of necessary maintainance.:rant2: :rant2:

miahcornell
11-13-05, 07:16 AM
I bought my car at 78k miles at the auction, I now have 110k, im unsure if the tb has been changed or not, but I am not going to spend $300 on a tool to change my belt. Low milage engines can be had for <$1000, so my reasoning is, Why spend $600 on a tb replacement when I can buy a new engine and sell my coils, wires, intake and other sensors and possibly reclaim some of the cost, not to mention have an engine with half the miles.

ajohnson57
11-14-05, 11:33 PM
Star-Nice to see responses to inquiries. Too little of it if you are waiting for help. My son just repaired my 97. Blew the TB. All the intake valves were bent or suspect. NONE of the pistons were damanged. I'd double check if the engine is down to verify piston condition. At to the special tool. My son has concluded that if you ARE replacing the belt as a service action then the special tool will make the job easier. If the belt is BROKEN then it makes no sense to purchase the tool as all the componets have been rotated out of secquence. The shop tech manual (Available for around $85.00 on internet) gives clear specific instructions as to position of the cams and crank. As well the new belt will have the location points embossed on the inside for correct placement. Rotate the engine once after placing the belt on to assure that you are in correct placement mode.
We purchased all the parts required except the head gaskets, from RockAuto.com. Really good personal service and really reasonable prices plus quick delivery. We had to go to Mr. Good Wrench for the head gaskets.
Our only set back was the "Check Engine" lite was on and remains on following the repair. Have taken it to Mr. Good Wrench for dianostic test. We are in discussion as a result of that effort. I think I am in a "Training Mode" with the Good Wrench guy. We shall see. Meanwhile the engine is running fine.
As a new owner I would recommend that you review this total site's postings. For myself, as soon as the "Check Engine" lite is resolved this piece of work is going to be traded in on a Non Interference engined auto. These I/F engines are becoming all to common so I anticipate rolling back in years to find a good used non-interference rig.
Goood luck and I'd suggest changing the belt on any use engine you purchase before sticking it into your rig.

A.Johnson- Ketchikan, Alaska

stik6shift98
12-06-05, 12:06 AM
Star-Nice to see responses to inquiries. Too little of it if you are waiting for help. My son just repaired my 97. Blew the TB. All the intake valves were bent or suspect. NONE of the pistons were damanged. I'd double check if the engine is down to verify piston condition. At to the special tool. My son has concluded that if you ARE replacing the belt as a service action then the special tool will make the job easier. If the belt is BROKEN then it makes no sense to purchase the tool as all the componets have been rotated out of secquence. The shop tech manual (Available for around $85.00 on internet) gives clear specific instructions as to position of the cams and crank. As well the new belt will have the location points embossed on the inside for correct placement. Rotate the engine once after placing the belt on to assure that you are in correct placement mode.
We purchased all the parts required except the head gaskets, from RockAuto.com. Really good personal service and really reasonable prices plus quick delivery. We had to go to Mr. Good Wrench for the head gaskets.
Our only set back was the "Check Engine" lite was on and remains on following the repair. Have taken it to Mr. Good Wrench for dianostic test. We are in discussion as a result of that effort. I think I am in a "Training Mode" with the Good Wrench guy. We shall see. Meanwhile the engine is running fine.
As a new owner I would recommend that you review this total site's postings. For myself, as soon as the "Check Engine" lite is resolved this piece of work is going to be traded in on a Non Interference engined auto. These I/F engines are becoming all to common so I anticipate rolling back in years to find a good used non-interference rig.
Goood luck and I'd suggest changing the belt on any use engine you purchase before sticking it into your rig.

A.Johnson- Ketchikan, Alaska

how much did this cost??

carolr
12-09-05, 01:07 AM
I bought my Catera 97 on Ebay. I went to the cadillac Dealership to get a key and remote programmed and they told me there was a recall on my car. I week later I scheduled my car for 2 days work and the replaced the tensioner, all the pulleys, the cam drive idler and the water pump. They said IF it were to hurt my engine, that GM would fix the car again! It was all FREE!

ewill3rd
12-09-05, 09:26 AM
There was a recall on some years of the Catera for several components behind the timing cover.
A GM dealer would need to check your VIN for eligability. It's possible that it would be a covered repair.

General Motors has decided that certain 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 Cadillac Catera model vehicles equipped with 3.0L (RPO L81 - VIN Code R) V6 engines may exhibit a condition in which the cam drive timing belt idler pulleys and tensioner pulley and water pump may fail. This may result in engine failure and a "walk home" condition.



If the timing belt fails on a Catera for ANY reason, it causes internal engine damage. Sometimes you can get by just rebuilding the heads, sometimes the pistons break apart. The only way to definitely know the extent of the damage is to disassemble the engine.

HTH

NJ_Catera
12-10-05, 06:42 PM
My timing belt went last July and all I can say is Thank Goodness for extended warranties. I had a guy here (upstate NY) fix it, although I don't know what the price was. I can imagine the price Cadillac would charge would be ridiculous. My mechanic just acquired a '97 Catera with a blown motor and he fixed it and said that basially these are Volvo motors. Any truth to that?

Cat-a-Tonic
12-11-05, 11:08 PM
Naah. The engines were designed by Opel in Germany, manufactured in Ellesmeer England at the GM Vauxhaul Plant. They called the engine an L81 for GM but in europe it's also known as the "x 30xe". I think. Now it's been reworked as the 3.2 liter LA3 for the new CTS. :yup:

ewill3rd
12-12-05, 07:51 AM
All true as far as I know.
There is a "reworked" version in the CTS but Cadi is phasing it out in favor of their new VVT 3.6 Liter V6. Which so far has proven to be pretty reliable!
(at least as far as I know)
I have only seen 2 getting any real mechanical work done to them so far.

ajohnson57
12-16-05, 01:06 AM
STIK6SHIFT98- Sorry for the delay in reply. First let me blow off steam over the @#%$^*(& log in procedure to this site. It sucks!!!

Now- Good Wrench offered to sell the parts for the princely price of $1750.00 U.S. Dollars. Rock Auto provided the same parts for the sum of $466.00 (+-)
Our 97 is running fine at the moment but the positon of dumping it stands!. I think a non-interference Buick V-6 will be the choice. Good luck with your situation and Merry Christmas to all.