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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay. I bought a 1998 Cadillac Catera with 89,000 miles for $600.00 about two weeks ago. It has been sitting in someone's driveway for 1.5 years without running. It was thought to have a blown head gasket.

Last weekend I drove it (it still drives...but very rough) into our small garage/shop. I plan on taking out the engine and either rebuilding it or putting in a 3.2L engine (CTS w/top end from catera).

I will try to take pictures so everyone can see how I am pulling the engine. I am going step by step with a GM repair manual. I'll try to post the directions from the manaul...my favorite step is #47..."remove automatic transmission". It sounds pretty easy:hmm:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I did have trouble with diconnecting the "quick connects" on the fire wall....It was hard to reach. I ended up breaking off both "quick connect" plastic tabs. It would have been easier if I removed the cabin pollin filter first...I took a picture of it after the pollen filter was removed (and the access panel removed).

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Boris, (or anyone else that has removed an engine)
I am following the directions in the GM repair manual (1998)...Do I really need to remove the transmission? I'm hopeful that I can just unbolt it from the engine and not acutally drop it out. (it looks heavy for one person and no trans jack)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry, I have one more question...

I broke off the two vaccum lines that plug into these holes...Do I have buy the whole black thing or can I just buy the black box? (what does it do anyway?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I decided to just rebuild this engine...it looks to be in pretty good shape. There was a lot of moisture towards the rear of the engine. There were leaks in the usuall spots (oil cooler, crossover, and rear coolant pipe)

Here is my helper!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I purchased a ton of gaskets from rockauto...later to find that I probably wont be using all of them. I started to dismantle the engine. I removed the whole top end and then I took the pass. side head off and the gasket looked clean. I also removed the oil cooler and prep for install.




 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I wasn't sure on what RTV to use in this location. I ended up buying the mega blue stuff becuase it can come incontact with coolant and handle very high temps. After I installed it, I read that I should have bought the mega black RTV. (or GM part # 12345997)

I think it will hold? Does anyone have input on this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Next, I started to work on the other side of the engine. I removed the driver's side head and inspected the head gasket. I noted that the gasket was damaged towards the rear of the engine. I suspect that it was damaged from the outside-in. In other words, I think the leaks from the crossover and oilcooler caused this damage.


 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
All cleaned up! I used the green scotch pads to clean and scrub the gasket surfaces. It worked very good but it did get green crumbs all over the engine.


Also, I removed the thermostat. What a stupid design...you have to buy the entire thing to replace it. (pipe, t-stat, o-ring, etc)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
In the last picture, you can also see how I bent the oil cooler lines. I wouldn't recommend doing this. It was a little easier for me because the engine was out of the car, but it is still a pita. I tried to remove the entire oil cooler lines, but I didn't have any crowfoot sockets...it was too tight of a place to get a wrench into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Last night, I turned the engine over and replaced the oil pan gaskets. They were not leaking but I figured now would be a better time to do it. I bought the entire lower end conversion gasket set from rockauto. The only thing I used in this kit was the oil pan gaskets...does anyone want to buy the rest of them?

I also cleaned the bottom of the engine a little.
 

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Man I would have went with the 3.2. I got mine from LA put it in, in a weekend so much more torque. She runs so much better it really puts you in your seat now. I paid $1600 for a brand new engine from GM that was suppose to go into the 02 catera. I can give you the guys info if you want he bought about 100 of them when they dicided not to make the car in 02. Anyway I love the car now only have a few minor issues. Let me know how it went my total project cost me about 2100 with me installing it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
We debated using a 2003 CTS engine with 40K miles on it. The junk yard would have taken $850 for it....we thought that for half this price we could rebuild this engine. (I might have buyers' remorse after I get it installed)
 

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Man I would have went with the 3.2. I got mine from LA put it in, in a weekend so much more torque. She runs so much better it really puts you in your seat now. I paid $1600 for a brand new engine from GM that was suppose to go into the 02 catera. I can give you the guys info if you want he bought about 100 of them when they dicided not to make the car in 02. Anyway I love the car now only have a few minor issues. Let me know how it went my total project cost me about 2100 with me installing it myself.
Was it from the seller on eBay?

I've seen a dyno either by you or some other owner who also did the 3.2 swap; oddly the power was identical to my 3.0 and also to another owner on this board with his 3.0. All power ratings were in the 18x RWHP range.
 

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@shrine

Great thread!


Was it difficult to reach the bolts on the trans bell housing? Or any other issues with tight clearances for that matter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The trans bolts were actually pretty easy to get to...if the car is lifted high enough. Laying your back, I can put both hands up and around the transmission (like I'm giving it a hug). There was plenty of room to move both hands around. (the cats/down pipes were removed).

Warez, I got your PM but I can't respond yet because I don't have 30 posts. I will take some high res pictures of the empty engine bay and post them this weekend.

In the mean time...here is one other picture that I have on my computer (it is low res)
 
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