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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Rebuilt 4.6 from Davis Auto Repair or Cadillac Doctor in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Originally Posted by robjpiel I wasn't able to find anyone to do any kind of swap out for less than ...
  1. #31
    codewize's Avatar
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    Re: Rebuilt 4.6 from Davis Auto Repair or Cadillac Doctor

    Quote Originally Posted by robjpiel View Post
    I wasn't able to find anyone to do any kind of swap out for less than $1000 in labor yet, that was some shady place too, everyone else wanted $2000. So add a new $4200 or rebuilt engine $3000(if you can find one that you can trust). The rebuilt installed for $3000 was only at the place in Ohio...haven't found that Anywhere else. Other than that it was $3000 just for the reman engines off Ebay. Sorry should have made that clearer...

    I think I see what you are hoping for though. If I had the head gasket issue I would keep the engine unless you don't mind spending an additional 2-3k. From what I have read on here the bottom end is bullet proof and if you fix the HG for $3000 I guess you would typically be in pretty good shape. But here I am.... the only idiot in the U.S. with a bottom end problem

    Where are you at in NY? I wish I still lived in Schenectady, I'd have you bring your car over and we could fix both of them for no labor$$$.



    ...And if you do have them do the HG job I would do all of post #14!!

    ----------

    I forgot, if you did go with a reman engine (or new) they seem to have great warranties out there IF its installed by a licensed or certified shop...but none of the warranties I found covered labor. Just something else to consider
    OK Fair enough. I'm upstate in Catskill. Not far from Schenectady at all.

    What's this reference to post #14?

  2. #32
    robjpiel is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Rebuilt 4.6 from Davis Auto Repair or Cadillac Doctor

    Post #14....Important things you probably should do if have it pulled out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manic Mechanic View Post
    Hey Rob, considering your predicament and have a few questions and suggestions.

    On #1, first where are you? Many of us know places or resources that may or may not be on the net that could be of great help. Those two shops have decided to specialize and therefore can reduce the price because they're set up to do it quickly with a lot of experience. What you save you spend in shipping though. And realistically when you say "around $3,000" I assume that the vast majority of jobs end up $3,500-4,200 before it's done due to unforeseen issues. Once your all in you can't say no. It's not so much that I think they are misleading it's just that I'm a pro and also I'm very familiar with these cars and Northstar's now and know that there's going to be other necessary and recommended maintenance and repairs. Esp. if you want the warranty and at least 3 years more service from the rest of the car. I'm not try to scare you or cast any doubt on those guys who I have no knowledge of. I'm just trying to be a expert realist. In your decision making unless you can find a list of impartial guys who swear they all came and went just under and above $3,000 and are still happily motoring then you should assume $3,000 is the bare minimum and rarely achieved by anyone who wants to keep the car. Just my opinion. We all have to earn a living and to keep up promised expectations everything else better leave tip-top. They wouldn't want complaints because they didn't take care of any other needed things and the power-train had another failure that parked the car.

    On #2. Assuming the salvage engine is under 100K I would at the minimum replace the head gaskets and stud or insert the block. Also reseal the bottom end with the latest materials and procedures. Meaning rear main seal, lower case half, and oil pan. Don't forget about the water cross-over gaskets as this is also a large in chassis job. While the engine is out I would shift the transmission over. Pull the side cover and install a new TCC solenoid that's going to burn up during the first month of reuse if you don't. That's the minimum but I went 5x further when I had mine out. The rest would be an as need or wanted basis.

    Taking it to a pro will go much faster. You need to balance your time vs. money. Yes it costs more to pay but you would be very surprised how much a DIY will have to spend in time and money to achieve the same results. It's not as big a gap as you think for the first timer and definitely not worth the difference IMHO. Look at some of these DIY rebuild threads and consider as a pro doing it for the first time on open Saturdays while collecting new tools and running into snags to overcome etc. it took me about 6 months and much frustration to go through mine. You'll find things you had no clue were going bad. And I still need a tighter tailshaft housing though it's back in service. Since AJ decided there wasn't enough interests in his parts to actually "dig them out" I got one coming from an Ebay vendor this week.

    Vernon


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    Quote Originally Posted by stoveguyy View Post
    Bottom end? U can get a good core motor with bad heads for 200. Any yard should have one. Than insert the block. THAN find a shop to do the swap?
    I didn't really have much luck finding them around here...$850 was the cheapest I'd seen. But that leaves me with a bunch of work to do (full time work/full time school/two little kids= no time), plus that will end up costing around $1500-$2000 by the time I'm done...then I have to drop another 1-2k on an install anyway. When I find out that piston banged up a valve or damaged the head and not just kissed the spark plug - I'd be S.O.L. If I had time, the tools, space, and help local (Dad!), I'd do it that way for sure just to do it myself.

  3. #33
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    Re: Rebuilt 4.6 from Davis Auto Repair or Cadillac Doctor

    Quote Originally Posted by robjpiel View Post
    Post #14....Important things you probably should do if have it pulled out.
    Ohh sorry DOH

  4. #34
    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Yeah, it's funny. A motor with leaking headgasket actually has good heads. U take off heads and ruin block threads. U fix block threads and reinstall heads. So any core motor probably has good heads and potentially good block IF u can repair block. Local shop here will timesert ur motor for 700. That is carry out price. U give them bad motor, they give u fixed motor.

  5. #35
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    Re: Rebuilt 4.6 from Davis Auto Repair or Cadillac Doctor

    Quote Originally Posted by stoveguyy View Post
    A motor with leaking headgasket actually has good heads. U take off heads and ruin block threads. U fix block threads and reinstall heads.
    Not quite - ruined block threads are usually the cause of the leaking head gasket(s), not the other way around. You insert or stud the block to prevent bad threads in the future.

  6. #36
    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Well, removing headbolts results in questionable block threads. Reuse block threads as is? Not generally accepted. So, u may have situation where block threads are good, bolts have not loosened, heads are flat AND headgasket is leaking? None can deny the steel fire ring on gasket cannot fail?

  7. #37
    codewize's Avatar
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    Re: Rebuilt 4.6 from Davis Auto Repair or Cadillac Doctor

    Quote Originally Posted by stoveguyy View Post
    Yeah, it's funny. A motor with leaking headgasket actually has good heads. U take off heads and ruin block threads. U fix block threads and reinstall heads. So any core motor probably has good heads and potentially good block IF u can repair block. Local shop here will timesert ur motor for 700. That is carry out price. U give them bad motor, they give u fixed motor.
    I suppose that would be OK if you weren't 1500 miles away. I'd still be sceptical of a $700 repair. That's pretty cheap. AND I don't have the facilities to pull and replace the motor.

  8. #38
    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    I see ur motor is 03. I did a quick local search and found several for 300 and a whole bunch for 500-600. All were listed as good runners, not parts motors.

  9. #39
    codewize's Avatar
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    Re: Rebuilt 4.6 from Davis Auto Repair or Cadillac Doctor

    Mine is the 02 DTS

  10. #40
    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    DTS, is that vin 9 or y?

  11. #41
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    Re: Rebuilt 4.6 from Davis Auto Repair or Cadillac Doctor

    DTS is VIN 9.

  12. #42
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    Re: Rebuilt 4.6 from Davis Auto Repair or Cadillac Doctor

    Thanks guys. I wish I had the time/tools/space to do this job myself. But, like I said before I don't. I'm going to get a rebuilt engine and trans installed by AJ. You guys all say that he's the man... I've pretty much ruled out any other options, and I need to be able to rely on this car quite a bit. Can't really afford to learn any lessons on this one.

  13. #43
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    Re: Rebuilt 4.6 from Davis Auto Repair or Cadillac Doctor

    i brought my 1997 etc to the cadillac doctor in youngstown ohio and i had very good luck with him. i had him stud my block, replace the water pump, a/c compresor, power steering pump, oil pump and of course head gaskets. i have put about 5000 miles since i had the work done. i am from boston,ma and drove my car from boston to youngstown and back with no problems.i would recomend him.

  14. #44
    robjpiel is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Rebuilt 4.6 from Davis Auto Repair or Cadillac Doctor

    Quote Originally Posted by 1997etc View Post
    i brought my 1997 etc to the cadillac doctor in youngstown ohio and i had very good luck with him. i had him stud my block, replace the water pump, a/c compresor, power steering pump, oil pump and of course head gaskets. i have put about 5000 miles since i had the work done. i am from boston,ma and drove my car from boston to youngstown and back with no problems.i would recomend him.
    Thanks man, I was surprised no one had came forward yet, they have a good price and warranty. I did decide to go another route already though.

  15. #45
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    Re: Rebuilt 4.6 from Davis Auto Repair or Cadillac Doctor

    Quote Originally Posted by robjpiel View Post
    Thanks guys. I wish I had the time/tools/space to do this job myself. But, like I said before I don't. I'm going to get a rebuilt engine and trans installed by AJ. You guys all say that he's the man... I've pretty much ruled out any other options, and I need to be able to rely on this car quite a bit. Can't really afford to learn any lessons on this one.
    Is AJ still around? I haven't heard form him in quite some time.

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