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Discussion Starter #1
** open to all suggestions of what to check/change/update so please fire away

i was planning on getting an 07-09.

then this car came along and i dont know how....but its got no body rust.

being very familiar with the lq4/9 platform from an 06 denali being our faithful family mover over the past 7 years (t-boned) ....i couldnt say no at the price point even though it has 375000 klm (233014 miles).

its getting all shampood and leather cleaned and the small coating bits that have peeled off the dash are being spot repaired.

its a second row bench car. denali was captains. wife insists captains is required over the bench seats so kids can easily move to back. we’ll see. the suburbans i grew up in were all bench,,,come to think of it though we never tilted the seat fwd so we likely trashed the seat hopping over all the time.

mechanical needs:

  • backup sensor (didnt it had these)
  • scanned, check engine is on.
  • its running rich, i can smell it
  • its exhaust sounds much different than our denali. like its cat has been gutted or an exhaust leak.
  • passenger side heater wire drips a few drips on startup from the plastic fittings at the firewall. the ds one was swapped out to brass barbed already. will finish the job. did this on my denali.
  • air ride.....doh. someone built a mechanical schraeder port at the liscense plate. once i get the truck up on my hoist if its really this clean ill invest in repairing it properly as we are loaded down frequently.
  • windshield
  • will check all fluids but its shifts GREAT. no flairing which we have had on our denali for years. will inspect for colour in trans but thinking inwill leave untouched.
  • any fluid suggestions over factory fills that offer better performance and durability?
cosmetic needs:
- leading edge of hood spot repaired then i think ill get some 3m wrap in silver applied as protectant

  • so much bling on this thing. wife and i are not blingy people. chrome rims have to go. will put fresh rubber and hopefully some comp grey or black spoked rims on it. havnt looked into that yet but the chromes gotta go.
  • seriously considering swapping chrome handles for body panel matched.
  • driver door interior pulls losing chrome. more chrome eck.
- tinting front windows

thats it so far. will post photos after i get it back from detailers.


will update as i go. i enjoy makingbthese threads for my vettes so figured id do it here too.

fire away on all suggestions.

Thanks. VikingTrad3r
 

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What are the codes for the check engine light? I'm sure that's the reason for the rich condition. Probably an O2 issue giving inaccurate readings.

Exhaust leak could be at the exhaust manifolds. I know the rear bolts like to break and there's that clamp "fix".

I'd dump the air ride and go with regular shocks. Much cheaper. All you need to do from there is remove the RTD fuse and the standalone relay in the engine bay outside the fuse box on the driver's side. No more "service air ride" message.

There's a way to decipher the back up sensor codes based on the 3 lights in the passenger side rear "d" pillar. It will tell you what sensor is not functioning, or what the issue is. I guess make sure they are plugged in first.

I just use whatever GM recommends as far as differential/transmission/transfer cases are concerned. Oil I use a high mileage full synthetic.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi again everyone.

So my wife just slipped off the edge of the driveway into snow. the front passenger tire was in deep snow and slightly dropped down as it was into the swale/ditch beside driveway.

something funky appears to be going on because when i was trying to reverse it out, i got zero assist from the front wheels. its a 6.0 litre awd model.

ive done plenty of googling here and tried to devipher how the awd system functions.

is there something in the transfer case that could have failed that would stop any power intended to be at the front wheels to be mia?

cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
regarding the the fact that i couldnt get any power to the fromt wheels at all. something isnt right because my interpretation of how this system works is that its a constant 60/40 split.

the rear driver was totally spinning. no other wheels were turning. i wonder if the rear wheels had zero traction and were spinning on the ice, would any power be delivered to the front at all?


here is a description of how out tcases are supposed to work.


Transfer Case Description and Operation
The Borg Warner (BW) model 4481, RPO NR3 transfer case is a one-speed, full time, all wheel drive (AWD), transfer case. The transfer case provides power to both axles, through an external planetary type differential, which has two different sets of pinion gears. The planetary differential provides a 40/60 torque split, front/rear, full time. This means both axles are constantly being driven for maximum traction in all conditions.

The transfer case external type planetary differential functions the same as a typical rear axle differential. The transfer case differential pinion gears function as the spider gears, and the sun gears function as the side gears.

The following actions occur because of the planetary differential:

If the vehicle is on a hoist, the front propeller shaft can be rotated by hand.
The vehicle cannot be driven if one propeller shaft is removed.
Operating the vehicle on the hoist can damage the differential pinion gears, by over-spinning.
Operating the vehicle with one propeller shaft removed causes over-spinning of the differential pinion gears.
The BW 4481 design of the planetary differential allows the use with the Vehicle Stability Enhancement System (VSES) vehicles. The VSES takes use of the planetary differential, by applying braking to a tire that has less traction and dividing the engine torque to the other axle.

The BW 4481 case halves are high-pressure, die-cast magnesium. Ball bearings support the input shaft, the front output shaft, and the rear output shaft. The transfer case requires DEXRON®III ATF GM P/N 12346143 (Canadian P/N 10952622), which is red in color.


When the BW 4481 is operating in the AWD mode, the power flows from the transmission to the transfer case input shaft (1). The input shaft (1) delivers the power to the planetary differential (4). The case of the planetary differential (4) is splined to the input shaft (1). The planetary differential (4) splits the torque 40 percent through the front differential pinion gears (3) to the front sun gear (8). The front sun gear (8) is engaged with the drive sprocket (2), which drives the chain (9) to the front output shaft (10), and power is delivered to the front propeller shaft. 60 percent of the torque to the rear output shaft (6) goes through the rear differential pinion gears (7) and rear sun gear (5), which is connected to the rear output shaft (6) and to the rear propeller shaft
 

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Most likely the transfer case is shot. But I'm surprised you don't have any lights in the dash. Check if there's fluid in the transfer case. Open up the fill plug (3/8" drive ratchet extension), and check for fluid. A little should come out, or should be very close to the underside of the bottom of the fill plug. Of course, if the transfer case is really low on fluid, or empty, that would spell doom for the transfer case. Also, if you open up the fill plug and fluid shoots out, it means the transmission is leaking fluid into the case, and the fluid gets frothy which means the same thing as low/no fluid.

I know the rear differential is open, so it shouldn't be a surprise for only one wheel in the rear axle to spin.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It sure seems like its not even there. but its odd because no leaks and no noise. will get under and have a look.

our 2006 awd denali has a new transfer case in it. i assume the exact same as the 05 awd esky. both have the nr3 on the rpo sticker.

the 2006 denali is going to the wreckers as it was written off due to body damage. i may just swap the transfer case!!!!

there is a check engine light on the dash of the esv.
 

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The Denali and the Escalade are identical mechanically 2002-2006. Same engine, transmission, transfer case, gearing, etc. Escalade differs with xenon headlamps, and the Bulgari clock.

The 07+, the Escalade had a higher output 6.2L, but not sure what else was different. Of course that's not relevant for your vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again for the prompt. brainstorming and dialog.

Here is my plan when wife returns.

Jack front wheels off ground, jackstand, attempt to spin front driveshaft. if ZERO resistance, then viscous clutch inside tcase must be hooped. i will swap to the written off denali.

if i do encounter resistance, implies the tcase is allright, now i need to lower one front wheel and spin opposite fromt wheel. if i can spin wheel freely, i believe an input spline to front diff may be stripped. But this one...very low probability as im getting zero noise.


any thoughts on my diagnosing process? the tow truck comes for my denali this monday so i have to bang this out quickly.
 

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When I replaced the CV axles, I know I could spin one front wheel without having an impact on the other front wheel. Both wheels were off the ground, but I think you can spin the front wheel without worrying about whether the other wheel spins. I know I was spinning the front axle with the car in park. So I'm not sure if your front diff test will be conclusive.

If you get all 4 wheels in the air, you could just put it in drive, and see if front and rear spin.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
now that u mention it i think u right. i rebuilt my front diff on the old denali and i recall the same.

yeah i will possibly try the 4 wheel lifted tecnique. im not sure if under zero resistance a blown viscous coupling woulnt cause movement still.
 

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You said the check engine light is on. Do you have a scanner that can read the other modules? The cheap bluetooth dongle ones and the free AutoZone ones only read engine codes. Before you dig deep into replacing transfer cases, it would serve you well to find out what codes are stored.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
tokuzumi, thanks again for the continued brainstorming.

As a matter fact I realize now that my prior up thread diagnosis of having a viscous coupling or some sort of viscous clutch is 100% incorrect. There is no such viscous clutch. Everything in our system is controlled by the brakes. Well I do not have a ABS light on the dash, there is as mentioned, the check engine light. Wife is stopping at autovalue on the way home to have codes read. Possibly, seems actually quite likely, the whole situation is caused from a bad wheel speed sensor Which messes up the computers ability to apply brakes during slip situations.

Should be getting photographs of the codes momentarily.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
ohere are my codes. the exhaust smelled rich immediately upon looking at the vehicle so not surprised to see a lean code. will start by cleaning the maf first as there is a k and n filter on this truck. lets forget about the fuel code for now. im mostly concerned about the lack of any awd in the vehicle. i will start by looking underneath to ensure someone didnt do some awd to rwd conversion!!!

i find it very hard to imagine that the awd can have zero front power with no clanging grinding mechanical noise if the internals of the tcase are faulty. it would mean a chain has to be broken.

there were no wheel speed sensor codes...

577171

577169
577170
 

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Discussion Starter #15
ok update,

transfer case: i went back and drove the escalade into the ditch on purpose. Back out no trouble. This was after the wife and i stabbed the throttle on snow to observe the front wheels spinning. We did make them spin but it’s definitely not as much as the rear. to be expected. after the successful ditch extraction test, we took it 4x4 in our field of deep snow and tried to get stuck. wouldnt happen. So.....NOT sure what happened this morning.


On the lean issue as per the check engine light. it was both banks so i expected it to be global rather than isolated. went to get some maf cleaner and while i was there i grabbed some seafoam. went into tank at 3/4 full.

came home and pulled maf out. cleaned it out. didnt look visibly dirty. this vehicle has a k and n. i will look at going back to stock i could swap my denalis over before it goes to wrecker.

Then i put fuel pressure gauge on and at idle its btwn 30 and 32. doesnt lose pressure after ignition off.

stabbed throttle and temporarily drops to 25ish then rises up with sustained rpm. All of this at idle. Hose not long enough to reach window and take it driving.

Also used a propane bottle, couldnt find any vac leaks.

But the idle has now completely smoothed out. and the exhaust no longer smells rich.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
just tested denali. 56psi at idle.

something is up. may swap over the regulator from the denali.

haha. convenient having a car that insurance hasnt picked up for wreckers yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
yeah will try. wife already called for pickup.

on these trucks the filter and regulator are built into pump.

wonder if the injectors are being commanded max duty cycle would pump be able to keep up?

new scanner coming for trims etc shortly
 

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Fuel pressure should be 50-something all the time. You are probably looking at a faulty fuel pump. And since the 04+ vehicles have the pump/fuel pressure regulator/filter all in one unit, you get to drop the tank and replace them all!
 
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