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2000 Base Deville (Now A Slightly Modified Mutt). 2014 E-250
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,
I have been pouring over topics here for weeks now. I am about to "inherit" a 2000 base Deville from my wife's God Mother.
She had owned it since new but it has not been garaged (in a parking lot of a retirement center). It has appx 42,000 miles and
is in very good condition. She has always had it serviced at the Cadillac dealership where she bought it.
I went with her this past weekend to get the oil changed at that dealership only to find out it had closed several months earlier.
She cannot remember what exactly they have done, as far as maintenance, over the past years. I do know that even now at 88
years old, she is very sharp minded and very frugal (she told my wife and I that this car is the only thing she has ever "splurged" on
in her life but her failing eyesight is forcing her to quit driving). With her frugality, maybe she did not have the coolant changed as scheduled?
I asked the "GM" dealership, that was near by, if they could provide me with a printout of all the past maintenance and they said "Only recalls or repairs that GM paid for will show up in the database. All other maintenance is dealer specific and only they would have the maintenance history"

I am also pretty sure the front motor mount has failed. I drove it Saturday and it "clunked" when I shifted from park to reverse and again
from reverse to drive. It was not really an audible sound but more of a engine movement. I have had motor mounts fail on cars in the past
and they had a very similar "feel" to this.

I think the main thing on these cars that fail is the headgaskets (or at least the most feared thing with the possible exception of the transmission).
I know of various other things such as window regulators, crossover gasket,etc but the headgasket issue is the most troubling.

Questions: I know of the "coolant losing it's corrosion protection" but what other issues cause the headgaskets to fail?
My experience comes from racing 60's big block Mustangs so these aluminum block and head engines are a little intimidating. Those old engines were tough as nails but also as heavy as a ton of nails!
I like the Northstar Performance's head studs repair but am intrigued with the Time Sert. On those old engines if you had the engine "studded", it greatly reduced the headgasket failure rate and the studs were very strong but you ran the risk of the entire stud coming off instead of just the head nut when removing the heads. Not really a huge deal with iron blocks but I think it could be an issue with aluminum blocks... I like the fact that the Time Sert actually locks itself in place.
Has anyone heard if there have been any headgasket failures, after a proper installation, of either the studded or Time Sert repair?

I know this may sound crazy, but with the possibility of a headgasket failure due to a weakness in engine design bothers me enough to
contemplate tearing the engine down and doing the repair BEFORE it blows. My logic being I may take a long trip with my wife (1000+ miles) and do
not want to be worried it will fail me far from home and be at the mercy of the local "repair" shop.
I drive a company vehicle so the vehicle being down for an extended period of time is not an issue. The parts (Time Serts, new water pump, gaskets, etc)
seem to be appx 1000 dollars so not a huge deal there.
The only thing that stops me from planning to do this is I know that on forums like this, you tend to hear from people that are actually having issues rather
than the vast majority that just drive their cars and have relatively few issues. Maybe the headgasket issue is not as prevalent as it may seem at first glance?
What do you guys think?

From what I have been able to gather, these Northstar engines are built for high performance or at least overbuilt in most areas except for the headbolt strength.
This reminds me of a 94 Taurus SHO I bought for my wife long ago. It had a high performance engine that would build up major carbon deposits on the top of the pistons and in the combustion chambers because she drove it like and old lady. I had to occasionally floor it to burn it out a little but made sure she was not with me!
I think if one would do the repair on the headbolts, reinforce the front motor mount like Ranger did or make some sort of movement limiting chain/cable on or near the front motor mount, put Amsoil synthetic trans fluid in the tranny (I am an avid Amsoil fan) and you would have a car that would last several hundred thousand miles.
I personally think the 2000 to 2005 Caddys are among the best looking ever (besides the '59 of course) and I like them much better than the 2006+ body design.

Any Advice Will Be Greatly Appreciated.
Blessings,
Brian

P.S. Ranger, Just a thought; Do you think, with the headbolt weakness issue, your bracing that is attached to the head
would increase the possibility of headbolt failure with the extra stress on the heads or is that additional stress minimal in your opinion? Thanks.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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86,627 Posts
Norm's inserts (ebay) are similar to Timeserts, but have a coarser thread pitch (like Jake's studs) and would be a better choice than Timeserts in my opinion. That said, we don't hear of too many failures if they are done correctly, though I think Jake has seen a few. The big question is what came first (chicken or the egg). Do the gaskets fail and coolant gets to the thread bolts or do the threads fail and unclamp the heads. My money is on the threads.

Studding or inserting a good engine would be my last choice. It is a big, expensive job. GM lengthened the head bolts in 2000 and while that did not completely cure the problem, the frequency has dropped greatly. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

No, the torques struts I added are mounted in the same place that the earlier ones from the factory where. That was discussed in the fabrication thread. It's been about a year now and I've not had any problems.
 

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2000 Base Deville (Now A Slightly Modified Mutt). 2014 E-250
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55 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks For The Reply Ranger,
I am intrigued by your torque struts. I think they are the solution to GM's cost cutting mistake.
Question: I am fairly certain my front motor mount is damaged/broken. Do you think with your bracing
it is still necessary to replace the bad mount?

Blessings,
Brian
 

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I can't speak to the motor mount -- I don't know how much that costs to fix, and I don't know what problems that causes.

As to the HGs -- start w/a coolant gas test and then get the coolant changed. If you drive it hard and the temp doesn't go up, you probably don't have a problem.

I don't know about several hundred thousand miles -- it will probably be worn out and bleed you dry from other things by then -- but you should be able to put 100-150 on it (depending on how much you drive in a year).

I bought a '95 Deville Concours in 2007 w/48K miles, that now has 80-something. I've had to replace the instrument cluster, fuel pump, A/C compressor, various power window problems, power antenna, and probably other things -- but I paid $6K for a near mint vehicle that ended up having some things fail. It was 12 years old at the time. Yours is 10 years old, and will have things fail.

I bought an '00 Eldorado ETC in 2008 w/42K miles, that now has 62K miles. I've had even more repairs on it: A/C compressor, hub bearings, the door panel fell apart, pretty much everything inside my steering column has had to be replaced (ignition switch, multifunction switch), power window failures, on and on....

If you want a vehicle that is going to cause you zero problems, then sell the Deville and put the money down on a new Malibu. There are definitely no certainties w/an old Cadillac. However, since I've had no HG related issues on either of mine to this point, I'd have no hesitation on taking it on a long trip (and often do ~700 miles to St. Louis there and back).
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Well, I suppose you could take the cheap (and easier) route and leave it as is if you are not noticing any abnormal vibrations or such. Personally I'd lean towards replacing, but I tend to lean towards perfection (AIR pump not withstanding). My torque strut is not a mount and is meant to prevent the front mount failure. You could give it a shot and see how it is. You can always replace it later if you need to. You'll just have to disconnect the torque struts to R&R the mount.
 
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