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1991 Cadillac Deville
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My number 5 valve is missfiring, it failed a compression test it tested at 100 psi they said it's probably a bad oil ring or something. It has 226k on it would it be worth it to tear this engine apart and rebuild it? I really want to fix this car up possibly to pass down to a younger sibling. I just found out one of my friends has a guy that will rebuild my engine cheap, how much would a cheap engine rebuild cost me?

Thanks for any help in advance
 

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1990 Fleetwood
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106 Posts
It's not worth paying a dealership to fix it. But if the rest of the car is in pretty good shape it may be worth putting some money into. There's tons of these cars in junkyards and you can get good motors and heads cheap, but they are all just as old. You cant see how many miles are on these things with the digital dash either. I did my heads with the motor in the car and it's a pretty tight space. With gaskets, machine work, timing set, water pump, and misc stuff you'll be out 4-500. That's with no labor. How much do you like the car and how much do you feel ok about putting in it? In the last 3 months I've got more in mine than it is worth, but it is worth it to me because I know I couldn't replace it with something I like as much. This may sound totally stupid, but I like the top of the door frame where my arm rests. It is nice and flat and just the right height. I had a 99 DeVille too and got rid of it because the arm out the window was uncomfortable. I just like these late 80-early 90 FWD sedans. Where do you live?
 

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1985 Sedan DeVille
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1,883 Posts
easier and cheaper to swap engines than repair the top end of one
 

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2010 DTS
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88,158 Posts
Strictly financially speaking, no it's probably not worth fixing, but there are a lot of other considerations that only you can make.
 

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1990 Deville w/ 250,000 mi
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280 Posts
what caused you to take it to a shop? I'm just trying to figure what the real problem is... I couldn't make heads or tales of what you thought the mechanic said was wrong. engine swapping is easier said than done.
 

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1991 Cadillac Deville
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I got a tune up 3 weeks ago, when I got the car back I had multiple lights on svc engine, stop engine coolant temp, and I was still leaking oil pretty bad. So I took it to GM and had them check it out and they said that the other shop never replaced my oil cooling lines they just did a temporary band-aid on the hoses, and that my number 5 valve is missfiring and that it was only giving 100 psi on the compression test. GM said to drive it until it dies and that it's not worth replacing, I would really like to keep this car, Soo... I want to know what would be the best route for my car? Rebuild the engine or try and find a better engine to swap it out with? Also If I can find an engine I might have somebody that will put it in cheap, what would be a good price for an engine swap?
 

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1994 (4.9) & 1997 (4.6) Deville
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77 Posts
What is included in the cheap build is what you need to find out. Does that mean you are pulling and transporting the engine to this guy, and then picking up and setting it in? What is he going to replace? Is he going to plane the heads and replace all gaskets and chains? Cheap build might just be only replacing the one piston, and cutting a new sleeve. So you have some questions for this cheap builder. Cheap and acceptable in my eyes would be $400 for labor, plus you buy the parts, and remove and install the engine yourself and take off all the accessories on the top and the front including the crank pulley. Hard to say.

Engine swap, maybe $200-350 depending on the location and whether a garage is available. Two removals and one install. Never paid anybody to do it, always done the work myself. Junk yards sometimes have guys lined up to do work like this on the side or after working hours, even at u-pullit yards and they are reasonable prices (not always).
 

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Super Moderator
2010 DTS
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88,158 Posts
I have no idea what a junk yard engine would cost. Maybe someone else does, but you'll have to do some homework and make some calls. Low compression on #5 sounds like a burnt valve or worn ring maybe, but that would not be caused by what they said. BTW, the oil cooler lines are steel, not hoses. Not sure how they would band aid them.
 

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1991 Cadillac Deville
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No I believe the guy that I might be taking it to has all the tools to do the whole job there, so I just need to find a cheap engine that I can swap out for mine. I'm going to check a local junk yard, do you guys recommend any places to buy an engine from maybe a rebuilt engine?
 

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1993 Coupe Deville, 2009 XLR-V 1 of 6 Crystal Red
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2,484 Posts
Junk yard engines in So Cal go for $400. You could go to LKQ auto parts on the net, they own a lot of the junk yards out here now. They should have one or several with varying mileage and I think they have some kind of a guarantee.
 

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1991 Cadillac Deville
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah but I live in MI I don't know if they have very many 4.9L V8's lying around the junk yard that's in better condition then mine. $400 doesn't sound too bad but how much is the rest going cost like pistons, oil rings, machining, also bearings and gaskets, and possibly some sensors?
 

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69 Thunderbird | 90 Seville | 03 Corolla | 89 Marquis(scrapped) | 72 Torino(scrapped)
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2,028 Posts
Even with a brand new engine, the rest of the car still has 226K miles on it... This is especially relevant if you live in a state that salts its roads. Your transmission alone is already on borrowed time. The full power of a new/rebuilt motor would probably suck the remaining short life right out of the trans.

I'd say it's time to send her to the junkyard in the sky.
 

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92 Deville
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548 Posts
I just spent a little over $700. on my 92 Deville. Front struts and upper mounts.
All engine mounts.
Water pump and all the coolant hoses between the engine and firewall plus lower Rad hose.Flushed cooling system.
Rear brake shoes and turned drums and a new master cylinder.
I am disabled and can no longer do the work on my car so that price was for parts and labour.
About 2 years ago I did manage to do all the front breaks, rotors, calipers, pads, flexible lines.
The engine runs very well and the interion when cleaned has only the drivers door panel with cracks around the power controls. 133 k miles. It does need a paint job. Hopefully I can do that when it gets warmer.
 

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1990 Fleetwood
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106 Posts
Why junk it????? Is it still running but using a little oil and gas-down on power? Keep driving it and look for a donor car that runs good but has body damage for sale cheap. U-pull motors are 200 bucks complete here. A motor from a "they pull' will cost more, but you can learn more about it miles etc. I would be stunned if there weren't any up there. Heck if you really like the car but want to do a cheap fix do what my buddy did and drop a 2.8 corp motor in it with a carb and a regular HEI. He had to buy a controller for the tranny but it was cheap and way newer than any 4.5/9 you'll find. Like Ranger said (and me) it isn't just about the money.
 

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1990 Sedan DeVille (Sold), 1970 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
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268 Posts
I'm personally going through the same situation but my block we cracked. I did a lot of research and came across a reputable company with a 90 deville used engine with verified 45k on the motor w a warranty. I bought it for $453 after taxes. I'm hopefully getting it back tomorrow from the mechanic I trust who quoted me $750 to swap motors and all accessories. This was for labor only. Any tuneup or needed parts were on me so I did all the usual tuneup items for another $250.

Mine is a 1990 deville with the 180 HP 4.5 so the price may vary but I've seen a range of prices for used engines go from about $250 to $1100 for both 4.5/4.9s.

Hope this helps.
 

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1990 Fleetwood
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106 Posts
AND... You keep driving a car you know everything about and enjoy driving for what most people spend on car payments in 3-4 months.
 
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