: Vent on recent oil cooler work!!!!!

Mike in Ohio
01-31-06, 08:26 PM
Ok, so I read up and prepared to fix my coolant leak at the oil cooler this Sunday. I get my 4 washers for the oil cooler, my RTV and start tearing the engine apart. Feeling pretty good as I get to the oil cooler (have done this far before when I changed my valve cover seals - guess I should have planned better then!) then after I took off the coolant bridge - seals were completely shot! Didn't know I needed seals here!!!! When ahead and fixed oil cooler and reassembled - waited to Monday to get the coolant bridge seals.

After the dealership had to fax me pictures to find the coolant bridge, I found out that he can't get just the seals but can sell me a $189 coolant bridge kit with a bunch of useless extra stuff!!!! I went to Autozone and found an appropriate replacement and finished up last night. After I get everything back together, oil back in the engine and coolant back in, started everything up. Worked great - no apparent leaks (yet!). Although I waited for the engine to get up to temp and then noticed the !@#!@#$!@# temp gauge wasn't moving.

Now I know I checked the wire (which is on the sensor on evil coolant bridge) twice but must have pulled it out when I was putting everything back together.

Personally, being an engineer myself, my opinion is that they should take the engineer who designed the layout of components on this engine and shoot them! I love how the car drives and handles, but the layout of the engine compartment is abosolutely pathetic!

I'll be glad when I'm rid of this thing. Now I have to spend about 2 hours taking the intake off (you'd think I'd get faster?) and reconnected the stupid wire in the middle of the !#@$!#$!@#$ engine!

Sorry to rant - just my frustration on this thing!

02-02-06, 02:11 AM
It's a great rant and useful to others, e.g., ME, to read. And that's for multiple reasons. Thanks for posting!

If you were willing to post the year of your Catera, and present number of miles, it would offer an important context for fellow sufferers. Thanks.

If you are trying to elicit comment from American engineers (I R 1) re their German counterparts, fuggetaboutid! As Sgt. Schultz used to say:

Ich weiss nichts. NICHTS!!! ;-)

Mike in Ohio
02-02-06, 09:39 PM
98 Catera with 52,000 miles.

Next weekend I'm going back in . . . send in the troops if I don't make it back . . .

02-03-06, 05:54 PM
Too many engineers never work on their own cars and don't have a clue about serviceability. Many are fairly young and just go by what they learned in college.
I worked on computer equipment and saw it there too.

02-04-06, 04:41 PM

Let me ditto Gaurdian. I intend to dig into my wife's oil cooler soon and 'fix' this problem before it occurs. If you have anything else about your experience to post, I'm sure there are a number of us that would like to read it.

Thanks, Jeff

02-04-06, 05:11 PM
When one is confused, confession is often the best course of action.

I am confused and apologize for any misinformation I might have conveyed to this group.

My earlier post implied the Catera engine is German. Now am seeing indications engine may be of English manufactutre. Does anyone know for certain??

All Cateras (late '96 through 2001, at the latest) were ASSEMBLED in Ruesselsheim, Germany. But the parts apparently were not ALL manufactured in Germany.

Mike in Ohio
02-05-06, 08:58 AM
For what it's worth - Here is my list of watchouts:

Parts you'll need:

4 washers for the oil cooler itself
Some facsimile washers for the coolant bridge (4 total)
Big tube of high temp RTV sealant
Coolant (Dexcool only)
Coolant flush
Blue Locktite for the "spacer" plateOther suggestions:

Do the valve covers at the same time (add set of gaskets from www.autopartsgiants.com (http://www.autopartsgiants.com) and gasket sealant)
Make sure you get all the old oil and coolant cleaned up
There are 3 spring type hose clamps on the intake manifold that are easy to get off, but a pain to get back on - bet I spent over 30 minutes trying to close these - Channel Locks work, but go to Autozone and buy some easier replacements
Keep up with your bolts and tools - when I did the valve cover gaskets, I droped an important bolt and took me 1.5hrs to just find where the sucker fell. For some reason the designers crammed everything possible in the engine compartment so you can see or reach anything!!!!!!
Verify your oil cooler doesn't leak!
It really is easier on your back if you sit in the compartment for most of the tasks! Everything is so far back, if you're on the ground, your back will kill you the next day!
Take your time and don't try and rush it!That's about all the wisdom I can come up with! Good luck to all those who try this. And by the way - watch out for that temperature sender wire . . .