WTF??? Have to pull the engine for oil pan gasket leak?
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, WTF??? Have to pull the engine for oil pan gasket leak? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; This is on a 1999 STS, and I just found out that the engine needs to be pulled to fix ...
  1. #1
    Sharp is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Angry WTF??? Have to pull the engine for oil pan gasket leak?

    This is on a 1999 STS, and I just found out that the engine needs to be pulled to fix the problem...

    This is a ridiculous design!!! couple grand worth of labour in order to replace a $25 part that would take anyone 30 mins to do on another car

    Any suggestions as to what to do for a leaking oil pan gasket? do you guys suggest changing anything else at the same time?

    What about a oil treatment that may stop the leak???

    anyone modify the subframe so that the sub frame can be bolted in and out making access to the oil pan possible?( i'm a metal fabricator so just thinking a little outside the box)

    Just not sure what to do....my car is pristine, and i'll be lucky to get $5k on trade but it's also hard to justify the cost of such a fix, especially for such a minor problem(on any other car)

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    tateos's Avatar
    tateos is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: WTF??? Have to pull the engine for oil pan gasket leak?

    As I recall, and I could be wrong, but I think the problem is not so much the cradle, it's the cross-under exhaust pipe coming from the front/left bank of the engine that get's in the way. I think I did read that someone once cut that pipe, dropped the pan, and then re-installed the pipe or another replacement piece and welded it back up.

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    cl1986's Avatar
    cl1986 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: WTF??? Have to pull the engine for oil pan gasket leak?

    if the oil pan is leaking, most likey the half case is also, engine has to come out, i dont see anyway someone could drop the pan without doing so, even with cutting the exhaust.

    The fix is to throw away the silicon seal (while it worked for 10 years) and replace with gm rtv, which is in no way anything like regualr rtv, i think some people dont realize that, its more like a glue than an rtv.

    I quoted people $1000 to do the job, it isnt really all that hard, one day to get motor on stand, day to seal it, day to put it back in. And there isnt much in parts cost either. Most shops quote between $2000 and $3000 which is just rediculous, and no special tools are required either.

    And im not quite so sure than any "other" car you can just fix the oil pan on any fwd vehicle, maybe im wrong.

  5. #4
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: WTF??? Have to pull the engine for oil pan gasket leak?

    I hate to say this but it has been that way since about 1992.
    I am kind of surprised that in 18+ years of production that any of this kind of thing comes as a shock to someone.

    I don't do them anymore but when I did I would use an engine support fixture and remove the transmission.
    Remember there is a difference between a "leak" and "seepage".
    I wouldn't waste time and money on a seeping one, but if it is dripping and hitting the floor I'd probably go after it.

  6. #5
    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: WTF??? Have to pull the engine for oil pan gasket leak?

    ...........and it's not a "gasket" - it's a formed silicone seal - sort of like an irregular O-ring.

    Here's an example, but on a much smaller scale. Click to enlarge.

    Also, remember that the oil pan is one seal, the halfcase has another: the halfcase with oil pan attached is actually the lower structural member of the block as well as being the main bearing cap (all 5 mains) as well as a stud girdle for the 4-stud mains.

    There are no magic potions to pour into the oil. Don't try it. Your Northstar will hate you..........and make you pay for it........

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    Sharp is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: WTF??? Have to pull the engine for oil pan gasket leak?

    Guys thanks for the info, i'm just coming from other vehicles that are much easier to work on....

    Does anyone have a link to a factory service manual or a write up on how to do this, i'm not afraid of digging into jobs like this and have done similar work on my Jeep however I would need to acquire an engine hoist and such tools....along with the time needed to do it.

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    Re: WTF??? Have to pull the engine for oil pan gasket leak?

    The engine, transmission, and cradle, along with the steering rack and struts comes out the bottom - you lift the car off the drivetrain. Down in here there are several threads on drivetrain removal - pour a brew and start going back through old Northstar Performance threads..........

    Look at www.alldatadiy.com and subscribe your car or try www.helminc.com for the GM Service Manual - $135, 2 huge volumes. Maybe eBay - cheaper.

    Use the User CP, up in the blue bar, to update your login header with your location and car model/year/engine..... like mine ^^^. It sure makes diagnosis easier.

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    SeVEEyA is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: WTF??? Have to pull the engine for oil pan gasket leak?

    Can't believe you bought one of these without knowing about the half-case thing. I recently bought a '99 and made damn sure the seals had been re-done. Now just wondering how long that will last and sure hope the seller (Cad dealership) was telling the truth!

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    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: WTF??? Have to pull the engine for oil pan gasket leak?

    This is the benefit of FWD...What!?!?!? it's not a benefit?

    FWD packs everything in a small area. If it's not that is something ekse you can't get to. Not my favorite design unless it's snowing.

  11. #10
    Sharp is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: WTF??? Have to pull the engine for oil pan gasket leak?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeVEEyA View Post
    Can't believe you bought one of these without knowing about the half-case thing. I recently bought a '99 and made damn sure the seals had been re-done. Now just wondering how long that will last and sure hope the seller (Cad dealership) was telling the truth!

    I actually bought the car new.... and didn't hear of any of these issues back then...

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    Re: WTF??? Have to pull the engine for oil pan gasket leak?

    Quote Originally Posted by zonie77 View Post
    This is the benefit of FWD...What!?!?!? it's not a benefit?

    FWD packs everything in a small area. If it's not that is something ekse you can't get to. Not my favorite design unless it's snowing.
    Can I have an AMEN BROTHER!

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    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: WTF??? Have to pull the engine for oil pan gasket leak?

    Amen !!!


    Even in 1960, ordering a 98 hp (!!!) 4-speed Corvair from Chevy Chase Chevrolet in Bethesda, MD, I had done a slew of homework at local dealerships and repair shops.

    In 2005, looking for a late 2002 STS, I had done the same, although it was made easier by the Internet.

    NEVER buy anything mechanical without knowing all the pro's and con's. Our instant gratification services make it simple....................If I were considering plopping down $46,000 to $55,000 (new Seville TS prices) I'd know a whole hell of a lot about the car before dynamiting a Money Market.

    Even my 1992 FWD Taurus 3.8 LX was a PITA to work on - ever seen an engine that dumped every ounce of oil in the filter onto the starter motor during a routine oil change ? Wonderful engineering - the 3.0 was the same way.

  14. #13
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: WTF??? Have to pull the engine for oil pan gasket leak?

    Quote Originally Posted by submariner409 View Post

    Even my 1992 FWD Taurus 3.8 LX was a PITA to work on - ever seen an engine that dumped every ounce of oil in the filter onto the starter motor during a routine oil change ? Wonderful engineering - the 3.0 was the same way.
    Ugh! I almost forgot that. I'll have nightmares for a week now.

  15. #14
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    Destroyer is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: WTF??? Have to pull the engine for oil pan gasket leak?

    Holy crap. I was going to make a new post about mine. My oil pan actually has a crack in my '99 Eldorado and it is leaking. Not whole lot but a decent little puddle after being parked for a few days. I suspected it would not be an "easy" fix because nothing else on these cars seems to be. Ah well, just more oil I'll have to add on top of the normal oil consumption of these cars. Cadillac style all the way baby!

  16. #15
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    Re: WTF??? Have to pull the engine for oil pan gasket leak?

    Oil pans don't just crack. It must have been bottomed out. Is the crack easy to access? Perhaps if you clean it up real good a little JB Weld will seal it if it is easy to get at.

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