: pulling engine, top or bottom???

03-30-06, 06:53 PM
New here, great sight! This is on a 97 deville concours. Bad head gasket, but putting in a used engine and will rebuild original later. I'm doing it in my garage, which has a 10 1/2 foot ceiling. I have an engine hoist. I never worked on a Cadillac before. I have a haynes manual and tech sheets from my buddy at GM. From what I read, it's 50/50. But i'm thinking maybe from the top because I have to unbolt the trans anyway. Should I pull it from top or bottom? What do you guys think? Thanks for any info!

03-30-06, 07:26 PM
To do head gaskets it's easier from the bottom. To replace engine it's easier to get at everything if the cradle is out. Look in tech tips section for head gasket thread. Once you drop a cradle it's easy.

03-30-06, 09:27 PM
The prescibed method is from the bottom, but you have to get the body high enough to get the drivetrain out, that's the hard part. A few guys have pulled it from the top, but say it is very difficult and did not recommend that method after doing it.

03-31-06, 12:01 AM
Thanks guys! I already read for hours on the subject, mostly here.

Zonie77, The instructions I have tell me to take off the wheels and tires, but I see in the pics you posted that you left yours on. Is there any other step I can skip to save time? Also, I guess I'll be pulling the cradle out from the side, because the engine hoist will be in the way to pull it out from the front.

I will be taking pics along the way. Hopefully, I won't run into any (big) problems.

Zonie77/Ranger, I tried sending a PM, but I need 50 posts first. I was thinking that if I could send you the instructions my friend at GM sent me (he works in the tech. support dept. and has access to ALL procedures for every GM car, cool eh) then maybe you can widdle down a few steps or at least look them over and give me your thoughts. His instructions are of course for a shop with a car lift (would it be the same?)

03-31-06, 12:42 AM
just thought i'd add,

i actually took some aluminum grate thing and bridged it across the legs of my engine hoist, and lowered the cradle down right onto that. then, i hooked the hoist up to the body and raised the front end of the car up high enough to clear the engine. once it was high enough, i put my jacks under with a piece of 4x4 and disconnected the hoist, then rolled the engine out right along with the hoist itself. after i had the engine where i wanted, i put it along with that aluminum grate thing on blocks, took the hoist back and lowered the car again. just thought i'd add this-

03-31-06, 07:42 AM
The FSM is written from a dealer service perspective. It assumes you will have a lift and all GM tools needed. Since most of us don't have all that we modify the procedures to fit what we do have. Caddy has a dolly for the cradle to sit on so the wheels can come off. It's easier at home to leave them on.

PJS made a cart to slide the engine out, chance_b used the base of the hoist, we used two jacks. You may find another way! We left the struts on to save taking a chance on the alignment changing, but taking them off lets you get the cradle out without raising the body as much.

If you read the head gasket post you'll see how I did it and a couple of links. As you do this you'll figure out what you have to do. Just think ahead as much as possible.

A neighbor just bought his son a car..he was looking for a VW at first. It amazes me that people think a VW engine is SOOOO easy to pull, but dropping a Caddy the same way is horrible! He did not get a VW.

03-31-06, 08:17 AM
My STS motor went out the top. Unbolted from the transmission. As far as I could tell, all that was done was to cut my radiator support some. It was re-welded and painted and is under the plastic shield anyhow..

03-31-06, 12:04 PM
I have never done it, so I will defer to those with expirience.

04-01-06, 12:40 PM
A neighbor just bought his son a car..he was looking for a VW at first. It amazes me that people think a VW engine is SOOOO easy to pull, but dropping a Caddy the same way is horrible! He did not get a VW.

Years ago I worked at a VW garage...first time I ever seen an engine pulled out the bottom. The Type III's (Square Back wagon) were the easiest I've ever seen. Once you've done a few of them you can drop the engine out in 10 mins as the engine is hanging on the back of the transaxle and only has one crossmember at the back of the car. 8 bolts, fuel line and a few wires is all it takes...the bugs were harder as there isn't much room to manuver an engine in that tiny little engine bay.

04-01-06, 12:46 PM
Pulling the cradle is really the way too go. Once thats out you have access to the complete drivetrain. I would definitely suggest replacing the blower housing cover if it hasn't already been done...and it's much easier with no cradle and trans in place, not to mention you can do a thorough visual inspection of the drivetrain while it's out. I took advantage of that to clean everything with a pressure washer. Also check your motor and trans mounts as well as the complete wiring harness. I spent 2 days doing a throrough cleaning of connectors (full of oil) and retaping. Found a couple bad spots in some wires.

04-02-06, 07:42 PM
Pull it from the bottom. Check out my web site. I used a skid with casters on it and pulled the body up by the bumper and slid it out. Did it in one night.


04-02-06, 09:03 PM
PJS, I admit a VW is much easier than a Caddy but the idea of dropping is is the same. People just seem to look at the two so differently?!?!?!

04-03-06, 07:17 AM
I remember blowing the motor im my 89 Grand Am Quad4 when it was a year old, that went out the bottom at the dealer too.. Must be the easiest way..

04-03-06, 06:39 PM
PJS, I admit a VW is much easier than a Caddy but the idea of dropping is is the same. People just seem to look at the two so differently?!?!?!
I think it's just a psycholigical thing....German made rear engine air cooled..of course it comes out the bottom....American made, V8...must come through the top, been doing it that way for 80 years. I rebuilt a 368 in a 82 Cad hearse last summer, I can tell you that dropping the cradle on the N* was much easier and much quicker to get the engine out.

04-03-06, 08:01 PM
I just watched the Overhaulin they did at the SEMA show. They put the engine in from the bottom on that too. 66 Charger. They felt that was easier and less chance of scratching anything.

04-06-06, 10:24 AM
I went with the bottom method, it really helps that my brother bought the proper tools. Found it on eBay $1750, cost a little more to get it into Canada though.

Good luck with your project.

04-09-06, 09:23 AM
I just took the cradle out of my Deville from the bottom in the garage. The hardest part was just hunting down and disconnecting all the wiring/plumbing. The cradle dropping went smoothly and quickly. Picking up the front of the car high enough to roll it out was another obstacle. I used some 6" X 6" under the rear tires and picked the front up with my engine hoist. I borrowed a large, low dolly from work to put the cradle on and roll it out. Now for Timeserts...lol.