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2002 White Diamond STS
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105 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!

I just bought a 2002 STS on Saturday. Naturally the day after some issues surfaced and I took the car in to the dealership this morning. Long story short, on some of the issues in the repair quotes seem high, and I don't know if it's just my ignorance to what Cadillac repairs cost, or my dealership just being excessively expensive. (Yes, dealerships are always expensive, I realize this!)

My car is a 2002 STS with 110k miles, one-owner, and from the Carfax I gathered the car was local and one owner it's entire life. I even took the car to the same dealership it was always serviced! But I'm the kind of guy that goes nuts if anything doesn't work on the car. I always fix everything on my cars - plastic trim pieces, fuel gauges.... even when the volume & window switches' plastic coating wears out, I order replacements! I even intend to have them fix the seat heaters when $$ allows, to put that in perspective.

That said, two of the issues they found I'm wondering about. I was told I needed two new front wheel bearings. Ok, no worries there, not atypical for a car with this mileage. I was quoted over a grand for P&L though, which was higher than I paid for the same job on my last car. I have done wheel bearings before myself, but not on a Cadillac - is this something I could feasibly tackle, not being a GM guy prior? Or are Cadillacs finicky/difficult to work on?

The other issue is it had a rough idle - it was varying 300 rpms or so at idle, but the car threw no CEL. Dealership told me that I had a vacuum leak, and that it was the plenum assembly gasket & intake seals gaskets that I'd need to replace. That was a very vague description, but when I was quoted $626 for that job I had to pause a second. The gaskets were only about a hundred bucks from the quote. The rest was 4.5 hours of labor that they bill to replace two gaskets on top of the engine? That just seems excessive to me as I've seen head gaskets done in that time; I've replaced valve cover gaskets myself before and I can't help but wonder if this is something I could do myself? It doesn't sound like a 4.5 hour job but then again I am not familiar with these engines. I don't even know what the service advisor was referring to, hoping some experienced owners here can shed some light. Is this a simpler job of just removing the manifold?

The only reason I'm asking for the easy way out on these two things is because I'm already spending more than what I paid for the car in repairs - I'm ok with that so far, but tapped out at this point; I need to find ways to save $$ to keep this thing in top condition right now and if I can do some of the "easier" stuff myself, I will. :)

Thanks for the help! I've ordered a manual, but it probably won't get here for a week. I don't have any codes to cross-reference for searching either, apologies in advance if this is a duplicate issue!
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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72,793 Posts
Just for reference, changing head gaskets on your car, including the machining and insert job, would take a GOOD shadetree mechanic 4 LONG days. You do not own a Chevy 327 any more, not by a long shot. The entire drivetrain has to come out the bottom of the car.

OK - To change the intake manifold plenum (the rubber bellows between the intake manifold and throttlebody) and seals (8) is $85 in parts and 2.5 hours in your garage with hand tools. Look down in Discussions; Technical Tips or in Engines; Northstar Performance.

Wheel bearing capsules, complete, Timken, will run around $160 or so from www.rockauto.com or talk to Chris up in RippyParts (Vendors ^^) for alternatives. Pretty intense home labor.

Remember: a 2002 STS originally sold for $56,000+ - that's the level at which dealer service runs, not at your sale price. You'll NEED a real GM/Helm Service Manual - eBay or www.helminc.com. For instant gratification subscribe the car to www.alldatadiy.com. Forget about Haynes or Chilton's - too generic.

What's the build date and tire speed rating on the driver's door sticker ??? Enter the VIN into the sticky post ^^^ "VIN to RPO converter" to find all the Regular Production Options in YOUR car.
 

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2006 XJ, 2000 Eldorado ESC--total loss :(
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1,180 Posts
:welcome:

Actually, both of those jobs are fairly typical repairs on these cars. Neither are bad with just basic tools required.

The intake plenum is not a bad job, I think about $20-$30 in parts and maybe 2 hours for someone's 1st time taking the top of the engine apart. The intakes are not even bad to do on this car, no coolant to drain, and the intake gaskets themselves are reusable. Here's the how-to: http://www.cadillacforums.com/forum...-northstar-plenum-duct-replacement-steps.html

The wheel bearings are a sealed unit, you just remove the brake bracket, 4 bolts, speed sensor, pull the old unit out and bolt the new one in. I think good bearings are around $100 each. There's a how-to on that somewhere, use Google to search this forum.
 

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2002 White Diamond STS
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105 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow, excellent information in both of those posts! Thank you very much sirs! So I'm gathering 4.5 hours on that plenum gasket/seal replacing was malarkey....

I have some reading I will be doing here. I have a Haynes on the way (doh!), guess I should have done more reading before I ordered it. Didn't know about the RPO converter either, that isn't a bad idea. Thank you again!
 

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2005 Deville Limited Edition
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225 Posts
I had both my front wheel hubs / bearings replaced last month, dealership wanted too much $$$, took it elsewhere and had it all done for just over $700.00, oh, and this included two new tie rods as well. The hubs / bearings that went on the car are Timken, got them for $60.00 each plus tax.

Took 2.5 hours total.
 

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'14 ATS Premium with 3 pedals | Past: '13 ATS Performance & '99 Seville STS
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5,847 Posts
Just for reference, changing head gaskets on your car, including the machining and insert job, would take a GOOD shadetree mechanic 4 LONG days. You do not own a Chevy 327 any more, not by a long shot. The entire drivetrain has to come out the bottom of the car.

OK - To change the intake manifold plenum (the rubber bellows between the intake manifold and throttlebody) and seals (8) is $85 in parts and 2.5 hours in your garage with hand tools. Look down in Discussions; Technical Tips or in Engines; Northstar Performance.

Wheel bearing capsules, complete, Timken, will run around $160 or so from www.rockauto.com or talk to Chris up in RippyParts (Vendors ^^) for alternatives. Pretty intense home labor.

Remember: a 2002 STS originally sold for $56,000+ - that's the level at which dealer service runs, not at your sale price. You'll NEED a real GM/Helm Service Manual - eBay or www.helminc.com. For instant gratification subscribe the car to www.alldatadiy.com. Forget about Haynes or Chilton's - too generic.

What's the build date and tire speed rating on the driver's door sticker ??? Enter the VIN into the sticky post ^^^ "VIN to RPO converter" to find all the Regular Production Options in YOUR car.
:yeah:
but Sub, is replacing hub bearing that much intense? I am not saying it is easy, however it is not very hard either. I call it a durable garage project for a weekend. and if you have a hub puller or separator, it should not take more than an hour or so....
 

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not anymore 2007 Lexus ES350
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7,705 Posts
i would not do those at the dealership even for dealership time that sounds high
i had both my wheel bearings over the last year replaced at NTB they are about 10 dollars an hour less then a dealership but they make that up with the 20% mark up on the parts but then i get 10R% off all my work there cause my friend gave me VIP card whyll back
i paid 324 after taxes each for timken bearings
so both of them at difrant times but that was about 650 dollars

the plenum i had doen at a back alley mechanic it cost me about 225 dollars i think parts and labor
 

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98 Deville, '15 Ford Fusion Hybrid Titanium, '12 Ford Escape
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The wheel bearings are not bad to do, I've done it 4 times. First one I did on the Caddy though I could not get off myself, the rest I did. 13mm deep socket, you will need this. I also learned that using a floor jack to raise the knuckle up helps a lot when getting at the bolt at the top of the triangle the 3 bolts make on the fronts.

Also be very careful as to how you push/route the sensor cable from the hub, this is why I've had to replace mine 2 more times than needed. First time it rubbed on the CV? boot cover thing, and the 2nd time, lucky me, my wife got a piece nature jammed right into the wire and ripped it out on the other side. She's also run over a deer. :) But the deer didn't do a damn thing to the car.

I thought I had more pics of the bolts, but here's a few:

http://autos.marktarquini.com/cadillac 1998 seville sls/suspension/hub bearing/
 

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2010 DTS
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87,951 Posts
I replaced the hub and bearing assembly on my '92 Deville and I think it took me about an hour.
 

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2006 STS V8 1SF RWD
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Great information here for a new owner. Both of these jobs are definitely doable, bearings are just like any other car that has the sealed capsule, cake walk IF it comes out easy (which is rarely the case, but it happens). Plenum is also very doable. Save the $$ and start your learning curve the fun way, trial under fire! It looks like a complicated car, but it really isn't, they just make it look that way to scare you to the stealership :thumbsup:
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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is replacing hub bearing that much intense? I am not saying it is easy,
For some of us, no.........but for a new wrencher, fooling with jacks, jackstands, pads, calipers, caliper brackets, wiring, sensors, torque wrenches and pullers it can be daunting.
 

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2002 White Diamond STS
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105 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'll start with the plenum and if I can handle that, my confidence will be sufficient to tackle the bearings on a following weekend :)

A lot of good information here though, thanks again guys
 

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2002 White Diamond STS
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105 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Can I get a verification that this is what I need for the wheel bearings replacement? My only hesitation stems from the fact that "wheel bearing" isn't listed anywhere around this part. The Timken is ~$195/side from Autohausaz:
http://bit.ly/gvSsKG

Tried using the Rock Auto site, but the part # from the other website didn't pull up anything and I had difficulty finding the parts I need through the sub-menu navigation. I've established that although we call this a "wheel bearing", that's not what auto parts dealers call it. Also some I see online are under $100, and some are nearly $200. That delta in prices make me think I'm missing something here...
 

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2010 DTS
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87,951 Posts
Yes, that is what you need to replace the bearing. It's called a hub or hub & bearing assembly.
 

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04 Deville, 11 DTS Premium, 00 Deville (sold), 02 Deville (sold)
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Rock Auto shows your 2002 STS takes a Timken 513179 Front hub assembly for $89.79. The wheel bearing is part of the hub assembly.
 

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1997 Seville STS, 2000 Seville STS
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1,694 Posts
Rockauto has the timken front wheel bearing p/n 513579 listed for 89.79, it includes the speed sensor.

The hub and bearing assembly are held onto the spindle by 3 15MM bolts on the rear side of the spindle, and they have very little clearance to the CV joint. If you have both wheels off the ground you can turn the wheel back and forth to get better access to the bolts. Use a 6 sided socket on these, not a 12 as they are tapered head bolts and VERY easy to round the points on the head if you use a 12 point socket. You also need a 34 (or 36) MM socket and a rather hefty wrench (I have a 3/4" drive with a 3 ft handle for jobs like this) to loosen the drive shaft axle nut to get the hub off. After this nut is off you can push the CV joint back towards the transmission to gain some more clearance to the hub bolts. The rest of the tools are just common metric wrenches, 19mm for the wheel lug nuts, 13mm for the brake caliper bolts, 15mm for the caliper bracket. Probably take you 2 hrs to do the first one, and a little over an hour for the second one.

The plenum gasket is 36 bucks at the dealer, thats the only place you can get one. I bought one a month ago for my parents 02 DHS, took me about an hour and 15 minutes to replace. However, I did break the little hard plastic vacuum lines that run from the throttle body to the AIR injector valve Solenoid, and from the solenoid to the front bank AIR injector check valve. The lines are EXTREMELY fragile after sitting on a hot engine for 100K miles and 8 years. AUTOZONE sells 3 feet of these lines in little bubble packs, the price is pretty outrageous (like 2 bucks a foot) but if you need it it's good to have on hand. You can just putt the ends that go onto the check valves and solenoid off the original lines and slide the new ones right back in. Soft vacuum lines don't work as well (I tried and kept getting intermittant P0410 codes) as the hard lines in this application.
 

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2005 STS V8, 1998 Seville STS, 2006 STS-V Black Raven.
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118 Posts
you can change out the wheel bearings real quick. takes me 20 mins a bearing. replaced my right one twice in 3 months, thats what you get if you but it off ebay lol. i bought 2 wheel bearings on ebay for $77.00. i have impact gun so it was easy. when you start just take off lug nut cover tyake off dust cap and you will need a 34mm socket. undo the center hub bolt. then jack it up and take off wheel, dust shield, calipers take a metal coat hanger so you can hook the caliper onto the springs so you wont ruin the brake hose. take off the rotor and you will see the hub. there is 3 bolts behind it holding it on. do the top one first as it is hardest to get out cause of the cv boot make sure you dont ruin the boot!! i used a wobble extension worked like a charm. undo those 3 bolts and undo the abs clip and it should come out i didnt have to use any puller or anything. first time i did it with my cheap bearings from ebay the wheel speed sensor went bad in it so the second one is in there now. if it goes out again ill go to rockauto they are a really good parts store i just bought all top end gaskets ie x over water pump ect for 28 bucks and 3 days it took for shipping. if you need help with bearings pm me.
 

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2005 STS V8, 1998 Seville STS, 2006 STS-V Black Raven.
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118 Posts
btw torque settings on center nut is 120 ft lbs. you need the big one. if your like me and only have a medium one you can go to autozone and give them 90 bucks use it bring it back and they will refund your 90 bucks. cash only btw
 

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2005 STS V8, 1998 Seville STS, 2006 STS-V Black Raven.
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118 Posts
and also brotherton cadillac in seattle wa charges $103.27 an hour. it costs $30 for a factory service manual on ebay. i got the cadillac one not the helms was not able to find it but everyone on here says it is the best. my fsm is three volumes and i have been able to find everything i needed and dont have to pay 103.27 an hour.
 
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