03 SLS - Paranoid or Problem - Cooling system, water pump, radiator
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, 03 SLS - Paranoid or Problem - Cooling system, water pump, radiator in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Got my Spectra Radiator CU 2513 as per Basscat's recommendation (thank you). In preparation to change the radiator I figured ...
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    flatback's Avatar
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    03 SLS - Paranoid or Problem - Cooling system, water pump, radiator

    Got my Spectra Radiator CU 2513 as per Basscat's recommendation (thank you). In preparation to change the radiator I figured I would flush the system. Emptied the radiator and it was dirty. Refilled / drained less dirty, the 3rd go round it was pretty clear but I noticed a very small spot of "slick" on top of the water. Just a little but my heart sank. Changed the oil and no water or milky stuff. Car runs great, very strong. Could it be normal or do i have cause to worry? Right now after the initial drain and 2 straight water flushes I have put in a bottle of Prestone Radiator Flush and ran the car. Going to empty tomorrow and change the radiator (the plastic is cracked) if the weather cooperates. How worried should I be ? Recommendations ?

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    basscatt's Avatar
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    Re: 03 Seville SLS - Paranoid or Problem - Cooling system

    Quote Originally Posted by flatback View Post
    Got my Spectra Radiator CU 2513 as per Basscat's recommendation (thank you). In preparation to change the radiator I figured I would flush the system. Emptied the radiator and it was dirty. Refilled / drained less dirty, the 3rd go round it was pretty clear but I noticed a very small spot of "slick" on top of the water. Just a little but my heart sank. Changed the oil and no water or milky stuff. Car runs great, very strong. Could it be normal or do i have cause to worry? Right now after the initial drain and 2 straight water flushes I have put in a bottle of Prestone Radiator Flush and ran the car. Going to empty tomorrow and change the radiator (the plastic is cracked) if the weather cooperates. How worried should I be ? Recommendations ?
    ==============================

    I noticed a very small spot of "slick" on top of the water.
    Just a little but my heart sank.

    slick what?

    Changed the oil and no water or milky stuff.
    the mixing of water and oil is a common symptom of failed head gaskets on most other cars -
    HOWEVER - it is exceedingly rare in a Northstar powered car -

    Could it be normal or do i have cause to worry?
    I haven't read anything to worry about yet -

    Right now after the initial drain and 2 straight water flushes
    I have put in a bottle of Prestone Radiator Flush and ran the car.

    wish you would have asked FIRST -
    I would have suggested NOT to use a chemical flush -
    some of that stuff is VERY strong and corrosive -

    Going to empty tomorrow and change the radiator (the plastic is cracked) if the weather cooperates.
    just be sure to flush the hell out of it with plain tap water -

    while you're at it -
    it wouldn't hurt to remove the hollow bolt the PURGE LINE attaches to -
    be sure water flows freely through this passage -

    How worried should I be ?
    I assume you are hinting at a possible head gasket problem -

    well - on a scale of 0 to 10 -
    around 0.1 -

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    Re: 03 Seville SLS - Paranoid or Problem - Cooling system

    Thanks for the reply Basscatt. The "slick", not sure exactly what it is but I was thinking oil since oil floats on water. Again it was not a great deal. Yes my worry was/is head gasket but didn't want to jinx myself and mention it. Ran it hard down the interstate WOT with my buddy behind me and no white smoke. I will most certainly flush the hell out of it. A lot of gunk did flush out already. Water/coolant seems to flow fine but I will clean that hollow bolt. Thank you for the direction and positive reinforcement. You guys rock.

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    Re: 03 SLS - Paranoid or Problem - Cooling system

    Use these for reference - click to enlarge, follow the prompt on the lower picture edge. My 2002.5 STS.

    More stuff for your car in my albums - click my username, open the profile, left column, scroll down to the Albums - 3 albums of 2000 - 2004 Seville/Northstar stuff.

    If you have not changed the water pump drive belt tensioner pulley (both of your cars), do it yesterday. Pulley only, not the tensioner arm. $24 at a NAPA or other decent arts house - Gates, DAYCO, AC Delco.
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    Re: 03 SLS - Paranoid or Problem - Cooling system

    Submariner done and done, water pump tensioner pulley was last month plus belt. Now I clicked on your 1st thumbnail and it highlights a butt plug Dare I ask

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    Re: 03 SLS - Paranoid or Problem - Cooling system

    Open your hood and look at the driver's side of the engine. Maintenance and fluid checks (transmission) are essentially blocked by the intake duct resonator - which is prone to pop out of its duct hole, causing mixture problems.

    Remove it, replace the rubber mount screw on the PCM cover with a suitable machine screw and use a 2" black PVC pipe cap from any hardware store with a band clamp to plug the hole.

    No, there are no so-called "CAI" modifications or cutesy boutique air filters for our cars that will make one iota of "performance" difference. This mod is for convenience only. The cars already have an efficient high-flow CAI/filter straight from the factory.

    While you're in there, check the intake ducting at and after the MAF - any air leak there causes trouble codes and fuel mixture problems.
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    Re: 03 SLS - Paranoid or Problem - Cooling system

    Got it Submariner, I saw it quickly and figured I would make a joke of it, no disrespect intended. Looked at all you albums and great info. From an Army Vet I want to thank you for your Navy service, SALUTE. The butt plug is a great mod that I will do. Vacuum and EVAP system is fine at this point having no codes, I have owned enough Northstars (this is my 4th, five Cadillacs total) and have replaced or repaired all vacuum problems at some point. I even made a homemade smoke machine for such issues. Not an auto mechanic by trade but have been a shade tree mechanic since I was a kid. Thank you and all CF members for the info and attention to detail.

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    Re: 03 SLS - Paranoid or Problem - Cooling system

    I have attached a picture of the coolant drain. This is after an initial drain and 2 straight water flush. This is the drain after one bottle of Preston Coolant flush. Can you see that small "slick" on top of the water ? I will flush this at least 2 more times with water before new radiator goes in.
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    Re: 03 SLS - Paranoid or Problem - Cooling system

    MAYBE - just maybe - the old radiator had a microscopic leak in the transmission fluid cooler. Any reason to believe the transmission fluid is contaminated? Pull the dipstick with the engine running and smell/look.

    Clean, red, sweet ? OK. Cloudy, brown, smelly - not OK. Dry sump transmission - NO fluid on the dipstick with the engine off. Check level when hot, idling in P on a level surface. Total fluid exchange takes 15 quarts, pan drop gets 7 or 8, pan drop + side tank drain gets 10 or 11. The rest remains in the passages and converter unless it's done with a shop pressure/vacuum machine.

    You can get most fluid out at home by hooking up a jury-rig hose to the the fluid discharge from the transmission and idling the engine until all the fluid pumps out and you get only bubbles. LARGE bucket - 5 gallon drywall mud bucket. Refill with 12 quarts and do level checks while adjusting the amount of fluid poured in.

    Your 2003 came with DEXRON-III fluid - the new (2006) DEXRON-VI is 100% compatible with the -III.

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    03 SLS - Water Pump what are the chances

    Put in the Radiator (sorry to start a new thread), filled with Dex coolant, started it up and looked for leaks. It's running out like a garden hose, best I can tell it looks like the water pump. I was hoping it was a hose but it looks like it's leaking from the pump in the back (nearest engine, not outward facing) and running down. I have the worst luck. Can they be related ? Just coincidence ? I was better off with a screwed up radiator. HELP

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    Re: 03 Seville SLS - Water Pump what are the chances

    Oh oh, cross over pipe leak. Seals gone or pipe broken.

    Time consuming to remove and reinstall.

    Good luck, beer and wings time.

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    Re: 03 Seville SLS - Water Pump what are the chances

    Agree with sefiro, except it might take more than one beer.

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    Re: 03 Seville SLS - Water Pump what are the chances

    Very possible but I hope not, that said I'm not so sure. Looking at the Service manual the Crossover ports seem to be a little offset from the Water Pump. This leak looks like it is running right out of the hub for the Water Pump on the inboard side (looking from underneath the car). Can a water pump leak there? If not I guess it is the crossover. I am going to get a mirror and see if I can get a better look see from the top.

    It was not leaking when I started to replace the radiator. When the job was done the leak started. Was it the flush ? If this is just coincidence I am going to play the Lottery.

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    Re: 03 Seville SLS - Water Pump what are the chances

    The water pump can and will leak there - if the shaft seals fail. Just as with any other water pump, time and tide wait for no man. It is possible but unlikely that the flush chemicals ate the last of what was left of the seal integrity. Which is one reason why we normally do not recommend chemical flushing procedures.

    Special techniques, tools, parts, installer/removal socket. Water pump special mounting orientation of lock tangs.

    Pictures in my albums or Google "cadillac forums northstar water pump replacement".
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    Re: 03 SLS - Paranoid or Problem - Cooling system, water pump, radiator

    I'm thinking with a crack in the radiator the pressure was reduced, with a sealed rad more pressure, sprung a leak (at least thats my theory) I'm going with water pump. I just got back from my buddy's shop and we looked on Mitchell's Pro Demand. Radiator was #1 and water pump #2. The crossover is way way down the list for issues. I'll scan and post the pages later. Running to get a water pump. Thanks again. If not a WP, I have a crossover in my future I guess.

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