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2003 CTS "Ebony Maria" 2005 Cadillac STS "Grace"
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Discussion Starter #1
well this ? is for the motor heads in this forum. as some of you know i am trying the unthinkable of putting a 3.6L in my 03, but i have done some work to the heads on the 3.2L engine that came out and since i am currently playing the GM waiting game on some certain parts to finish the complete swap, i am going to put the 3.2L back in for now. i was wondering has anybody that has blown a head, or even so cracked a head or anything of such nature and put it back together, have you used copper coating on the head gaskets? i have the complete DIY manual on basically how to take the car apart down to the smallest piece, but in the section where it talks about doing this paticular job, it doesnt say that you should or shouldnt do it. so i was wondering if any of you have or havent used it...
 

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2003 CTS Manual Trans
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39 Posts
Putting a light coating of Copper spray is something I have always done when building an engine. I think as long as you don't try and reuse a headgasket, you should be good (Just my personal thoughts). I know a few people that routinely DO reuse headgaskets with good luck using copper spray. HTH
 

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2003 CTS "Ebony Maria" 2005 Cadillac STS "Grace"
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Discussion Starter #3
haha...who in the right mind would reuse a head gasket? better yet any type of gasket on a car? thanks for your reply, and i think i am going to go ahead and use the copper coating...

any of you other DIY guys out there have any advice?
 

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2003 CTS Manual Trans
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39 Posts
What are your thoughts so far on the swap, seem like a good possiblity or have you run into problems?
 

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2003 CTS "Ebony Maria" 2005 Cadillac STS "Grace"
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Discussion Starter #5
my biggest problem right now is the motor mounts. the 3.2L motor mounts stand straight up and makes life extremely easy, but the 3.^l motor mounts are like the old Cadillas's and are at an angle and they have these extra brackets to help hold the engine to the motor mounts. well, i am having problems with GM right now getting the little brackets. i can find them used, but i dont want to use, used motor mount brackets cause they are more likely to crack/break and then i would basically have to pull the motor back out to change them cause the lack of room the 3.6L gives you to work with...but the engine swap is very feasible and can be done, as long as you get the right year model 3.6
 

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2004 CTS
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37 Posts
I have replaced many head gaskets on all different makes and models. I have used copper coat only on the budget jobs where we did not send the heads to get resurfaced. I have never re-used a head gasket, so I am not sure what to say about that, but basically, I haven't used copper coat in years, it is not needed or recommended if you make sure the heads and block is flat- with a straight edge. No more than .003" is a general rule, or if in doubt, you are best to send the heads to a macine shop and get them resurfaced, replace the head bolts, new gaskets, and torque properly. If you do that, you won't have any issues and won't have to wonder about copper coating the gaskets.

-Josh
 

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2003 CTS "Ebony Maria" 2005 Cadillac STS "Grace"
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Discussion Starter #7
i am using new head gaskets and i have had the heads machined and polished...i just know on older cars where i have done similiar type jobs, it was always recommeded to use copper coating just to kind of give that piece of mind
 

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2004 CTS
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It would not give me peace of mind, It would actually make me worry. If everything is machined, why take a chance and "re-engineer" the vehicle? If it was truly better, don't you think that with head gasket replacement instructions, it would tell you to use copper coat? Don't you think manufacturers would use it from the factory?

-Josh
 

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Cadillac 2007 cts
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I the past most head gaskets were steel and by copper coating them you are sealing that gasket. new gaskets are noe manufactured not to have coatings on thwm unless as described by manufacturer. Never reuse head gasket once the seals going around the cylnder walls are crushed by torking the seal is gone for a reuse application. Using to many different types of metals on alum blocks is begging for furture problems.
 

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2003 CTS "Ebony Maria" 2005 Cadillac STS "Grace"
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Discussion Starter #11
03cts...i will let you know what i come up with when i get it all put back in there and get finished playing around...

now, let's get this straight. I AM NOT REUSING AND REFUSE TO REUSE ANY TYPE OF GASKET...i am asking if anybody has done this copper coating to there vehicles if they have replaced a head or have even taken one off before, because if you dont know, the head gaskets on an 3.2L engine is a hard plastic, not any type of metal or whatever else you may think it is. i know most other cars use alum, steel and some even use rubber gaskets, but this is the first i have ever come accross that uses a hard plastic gasket, that is the reason for the ? of using copper coating...
 

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Sedan de Ville, CTS
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First, I don't know nothin about nothin.

If I were you, I would make a few calls to some engine rebuilding shops and ask for the shop foreman or manager. He/she should be able to answer your questions about the copper. That use of copper sounds, btw, to be old technology.

or

2. Visit a local GM dealer and ask the service mgr if you can talk with this mechanic who does engine overhauls or engine repairs. He will likely accommodate you and your box of donuts.

From your profit, it appears that you are military. Thank you for your service. We all appreciate what you are doing for us and the rest of our country.

When you go to dealers seeking advice like this, let them know that you are in the military. They will generally be more than helpful. My son is military, and local service managers typically give me their cell phone numbers so that he can contact them directly. They also give me print outs on specific repairs so that he has additional info that is not normally available to the general public. Don't be shy about asking these guys for help.

You can make some neat friends for life. The service managers, btw, have personalities that typically are fantastic. Keep in mind that their job is to dance between keeping the customers happy and keeping the dealership owner happy. I have found that the more gray hair a service mgr has, the more helpful and friendly he will be.
 

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2003 CTS "Ebony Maria" 2005 Cadillac STS "Grace"
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Discussion Starter #13
thanks z06bigbird for the advice and kind comments. i will definitely give this a try, the only bad thing, is i have to go away from a military installation for help like that. the dealerships around the military installation, generally hate military member's and just want our money like we get paid millions of dollars.
 

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2004 CTS
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Again, like I said, I would not recommend the use of copper coat, I am a ASE certified master tech, if it means anything (just a piece of paper) but... I feel that I do know what I am talking about. Good luck.

-Josh
 
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