Why do so many people do it the hard way.
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Why do so many people do it the hard way. in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Lately so many people have been doing different repair job that would normally require engine removal without removing the engine. ...
  1. #1
    codewize's Avatar
    codewize is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Why do so many people do it the hard way.

    Lately so many people have been doing different repair job that would normally require engine removal without removing the engine.

    Dropping the cradle on these N* cars is an hours job or so and saves countless headaches. Not to mention is provide numerous opportunities while the drive train is on the ground.

    It's interesting because even back in the day I thought nothing of yanking the engine out of my camaro over the weekend for nothing more than a good cleaning and a gasket here and there just because it was easier than busting my hands all up.

    I realize these are far more complex than a camaro but it's really not that big of a deal.
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  3. #2
    ponyboyt is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Why do so many people do it the hard way.

    might depend on the case. So far every one ive done we have dropped the cradle. My newest project is a 99 STS thats getting an engine rebuild. Maybe im looking at it the wrong way but.... this car is so nice, everything works so well.. i dont want to mess with anything. I only want the engine out. The engine is getting sent away to get done * cause i want it done right, this one isnt an experiment. Since it will be gone at least a few days, i want to be able to move the car back outside the shop as soon as the engine is out.

    Makes sense to me, but like i said, maybe im lookin at it wrong.

  4. #3
    YueIBM is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Why do so many people do it the hard way.

    I pulled my front camshaft by cutting a piece of the radiator support to clear the valve cover instead of dropping the cradle because my garage is fairly small and my driveway's on a slope.

    Also, the subframe bolts look pretty big and hard to get off after 226,000 miles in Michigan. The Seville STS is a low enough car that I couldn't see much without jacking up the car and that was further discouragement from dropping the subframe. Brake lines also looked rusty and I didn't want to disturb them.

    If I had the hoist and a bigger garage, I think I'd try dropping the cradle.

    Good question! -Yue

  5. #4
    Krashed989's Avatar
    Krashed989 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Why do so many people do it the hard way.

    Quote Originally Posted by YueIBM View Post
    ... Brake lines also looked rusty and I didn't want to disturb them...
    So you're waiting for them to rupture (putting you, anyone in the car and anyone on the road around you in danger) before you change them?... I've had a brake line rupture which caused me to rear end someone. It's not fun. The line didn't even look very rusty. Don't forget that brake fluid is hygroscopic (ie. it absorbs water). That means that your lines can be rusting on the inside as well, especially if you haven't had the brake fluid flushed out in a while.

    I think it's better to be safe than sorry on that kind of thing...

    When you change them, make sure they/you spray paint the new one(s), that way they last a lot longer.

  6. #5
    bigtone's Avatar
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    Re: Why do so many people do it the hard way.

    Quote Originally Posted by codewize View Post
    Lately so many people have been doing different repair job that would normally require engine removal without removing the engine.

    Dropping the cradle on these N* cars is an hours job or so and saves countless headaches. Not to mention is provide numerous opportunities while the drive train is on the ground.

    It's interesting because even back in the day I thought nothing of yanking the engine out of my camaro over the weekend for nothing more than a good cleaning and a gasket here and there just because it was easier than busting my hands all up.

    I realize these are far more complex than a camaro but it's really not that big of a deal.
    Everybody's situation is different. I have an attached 2 car garage but with 2 motorcycles, bike lift and other assorted items I did not believe I had the room to lift the front and slide the cradle out from under the car, while still keeping the doors closed here in a PA winter. I pulled many engines in my Challengers and Cuda's I used to own out the top, can't compare that to a FWD Caddy. Besides, like I mentioned before, it really wasn't that hard to do the HG with the engine in the car

  7. #6
    YueIBM is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Why do so many people do it the hard way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Krashed989 View Post
    So you're waiting for them to rupture (putting you, anyone in the car and anyone on the road around you in danger) before you change them?... I've had a brake line rupture which caused me to rear end someone. It's not fun. The line didn't even look very rusty. Don't forget that brake fluid is hygroscopic (ie. it absorbs water). That means that your lines can be rusting on the inside as well, especially if you haven't had the brake fluid flushed out in a while.

    I think it's better to be safe than sorry on that kind of thing...

    When you change them, make sure they/you spray paint the new one(s), that way they last a lot longer.
    That's a pretty good point. I'll try sanding it down to see how bad they are after figuring out why the valve keepers fell off. I never thought about painting them!

  8. #7
    Sevillian273's Avatar
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    Re: Why do so many people do it the hard way.

    So, just curious... How does one pull the cradle in their garage? How do you get the car that high to clear the engine without a lift? How much do you need? 2-3 feet off the ground?

  9. #8
    tateos's Avatar
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    Re: Why do so many people do it the hard way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sevillian273 View Post
    So, just curious... How does one pull the cradle in their garage? How do you get the car that high to clear the engine without a lift? How much do you need? 2-3 feet off the ground?
    You leave the cradle near ground level, and use an engine hoist to lift the body high enough to roll the cradle out form under the body - yeah, it's around 2-3 feet.

    It was a lot more than an hour's work for me, but maybe I'm slow.

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    STSS is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Why do so many people do it the hard way.

    I did it in my garage with a standard 2 ton cherry picker. I had the bottom of the front bumper at my forehead (about 6 ft) in order to clear the cradle. You can do it without lifting it as high if you remove the springs/suspension from the cradle before you pull it, but I had plenty of clearance to lift the body.

  11. #10
    ponyboyt is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Why do so many people do it the hard way.

    have done 7 out the bottom now. First one i did on my own took a week lol... now we have a bigger shop and some backyard tools. Last 2 we did in under an hour. Im hoping the next one (doing my 97 AGAIN!) will still take under an hour. After that.... pulling the 99 out the top... should be fun :O

  12. #11
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Why do so many people do it the hard way.

    Quote Originally Posted by YueIBM View Post
    I pulled my front camshaft by cutting a piece of the radiator support to clear the valve cover instead of dropping the cradle because my garage is fairly small and my driveway's on a slope.

    Also, the subframe bolts look pretty big and hard to get off after 226,000 miles in Michigan. The Seville STS is a low enough car that I couldn't see much without jacking up the car and that was further discouragement from dropping the subframe. Brake lines also looked rusty and I didn't want to disturb them.

    If I had the hoist and a bigger garage, I think I'd try dropping the cradle.

    Good question! -Yue
    You should not have to remove the brake lines. ABS module and calipers stay with the body.

  13. #12
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    Re: Why do so many people do it the hard way.

    well for starters, these guys dropping the craddle in an hour is just bogus

    Hell it took me almost an hour just to get the wheels off, battery out and all the fluids drained

    If your just unbolting it, fuilds running all over the place, nuts and bolts all a mess, maybe two people could drop one in an hour if you had done it before

  14. #13
    ponyboyt is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Why do so many people do it the hard way.

    98 deville in 40 minutes mang.

    Its amazing what you can do when you are scrapping the rest of the car.

  15. #14
    ejguillot's Avatar
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    Re: Why do so many people do it the hard way.

    Quote Originally Posted by zonie77 View Post
    You should not have to remove the brake lines. ABS module and calipers stay with the body.
    Not in my experience with the 2000 Seville (YueIBM's 99 would be the same way). The brake lines to the rear are between the cradle and the tie rod + right axle, it's not doable.

  16. #15
    Sevillian273's Avatar
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    Re: Why do so many people do it the hard way.

    I'd have to agree with cl.... I think just getting set up would take an hour! Especially if you plan to put said cradle back into a vehicle.

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