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1995 Seville SLS
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First, let me say thank you for allowing me to join your group and access to all of this wonderful information about these cars!I would not be as far along with the servicing of my Seville if it wasn't for your kindness.

Thank you!

For the past 11 years I've been driving a 1998 Dodge Durango. It's been a great vehicle and still purrs like a kitten even after330,000 miles. A testament to timely fluid changes and periodic maintenance. But now the Ohio winter have started to get the best of her and it was time to look for something *NEW*. I searched AutoTrader, Craigslist and the like to find something I might want to drive. As a fan of the Mercedes 560 SEC, I was looking toward something I can afford, namely the Pontiac Bonneville. Nice lines, good ergos, reliable and has a hi WAF. I tried to find a decent Bonnie in my community but they were mostly abused garbage. March was half over when I stumbled upon a 1995 Cadillac Seville SLS that was in decent shape and the owner was motivated to sell. I did a bit of research on Northstar, it's issues and thought for the price of admission I'd give it a whirl. A test drive and a trip to my mechanic for a look under her skirt and his official okey-dokey and she is mine....well $1500 later that is.

First of I became aware of something you guys/and gals already know is the level of construction and refinement that is Cadillac. Damn, there really is a difference. This thing is built like a tank! Even at 197k all of the doors are solid, the underneath is spotless (except for the IRS carrier) no rust on the doors and body except for a spot on the driver side rear fender and the gas filler door? Odd that. The PO ran it into something futzing up the front bumper a little but other than that pretty damn nice considering age and mileage. It's so much cleaner than the Durango.

I like to avoid problems because I cover so many miles some I wanted to do some PM before I really put some miles on her.
First thing we did was change the oil to a high-mileage synthetic, change brake fluid, installed new front wheel bearings, front/rear calipers new rotors and brake pads. Next was a fluid and filter change for the transmission and a complete chassis lube. I'll need new tires soon and the obligatory 'service suspension soon' message is lit. Yes, the rear sags so I ordered front and rear replacements from Rock Auto. Those will be installed Friday after work.

A while back I owned a detail shop and did some paint repair in the Toledo area. Two weekends ago I pulled out the Milwaukee and went to work on the paint. I use the Meguires' 4 step system, H7 over that and 2 coats of Liquid Glass to really bring out the luster of the paint. I cleaned the leather interior with a Meguires leather cleaner and treated it all with Connoisseurs Choice leather and vinyl protectant. One session with my carpet extractor and a little Scotchgard and I got me a car.

Whoofreekinhoo!

This Saturday I look at a beautiful '97 Red Eldo. 65k on the clock but the head gaskets are toast. I hope to come to terms with the owner. Been a while since I went thru a motor. I'm hooked.

ray
 

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Super Moderator
2010 Platinum Escalade, 1996 Fleetwood Brougham
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6,454 Posts
Re: New member and new(to me) Cadillac owner

Welcome to the gang sir!!!
 

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1980 Eldorado, 1974 Talisman, 2004 Volvo C70, 1975 Fleetwood 'd Elegance
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7,958 Posts
Re: New member and new(to me) Cadillac owner

You sound like the right guy in the right place.

Welcome home!:welcome:
 

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Super Moderator
White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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86,781 Posts
Re: New member and new(to me) Cadillac owner

Welcome :wave:
 

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Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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68,404 Posts
Re: New member and new(to me) Cadillac owner

Welcome !!!! :highfive:

Please go way up ^^^ to the top black bar and study the entire Cadillac Technical Archive - timeless Northstar info written by one of the Northstar Systems engineers and by one of the engineers who developed the OLM algorithms.

Then study the sticky posts on the main threads page of any forum of interest. Get into Cadillac Tech Tips - to find something there, Google a question preceded by "cadillac forums ............." - sort of like "cadillac forums 1995 northstar spark plug replacement" or whatever.

You might want to set your forum post/thread view to "latest threads/posts first" - that way you avoid long-dead threads and so see the latest advice and thinking on problems.

Your 1995 uses the 2 generations obsolete OBD1 diagnostics and code protocol. Study the proper year/model group of instructions and links in the sticky thread "How to pull codes". Much is different from even the 1996 models, and vastly different from 1998 and 2000 generations.
 

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1995 Seville SLS
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Re: New member and new(to me) Cadillac owner

Thank you for the welcome and the tips. I've read thru the Northstar archive and found alot of good information there. I've been reading with keen interest the threads on overheating and headgasket failures. Without knowing I've replaced the radiator and filled it with water and a product called 'WaterWetter'. I've used this product often in my liquid cooled motorcycles that tend to run hot.

Today I let the car sit and idle for almost an hour with the A/C on, monitoring the vehicles temp to see what would happen. The temp climbed to 223 degrees and lowered to 203 degrees, then repeated this cycle until I shut the car off. Surprisingly enough those temps remained constant throughout the entire experiment. What little commute/freeway driving I have done has yielded temps ranging from 188 to 204. Most generally I see 196/8 while on the open road with the a/c on. At first I was alarmed, the Durango never got above 180 unless the 'failsafe' thermostat failed. As I have noted from other members here those temps seem to be common with Northstar.

Should I opt for the proper coolant and the gingerroot pellets or press on?

WaterWetter will be replaced before cold weather comes around again...btw

ray
 

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1995 Seville SLS
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Re: New member and new(to me) Cadillac owner

Progress on my Seville is going along nicely. I found a you-pull-it in Mansfield, Ohio that has 3 Sevilles of the vintage I require. I've replaced the engine cover, shift lever, steering wheel, overhead console and probably the biggest score to date a nice pair of Monroe coil-overs for the rear. All tolled $50 for parts from the yard. I bought some SEM paint for the interior parts that matched quite nicely and this project is coming together pretty well. Tomorrow I'm calling Strutmasters to see if their strut package will fit my car.

and as promised a few pics

seville8.jpg seville 1.jpg seville2.jpg seville4.jpg seville5.jpg seville6.jpg seville7.jpg
 

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1995 Seville SLS
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Re: New member and new(to me) Cadillac owner

I've also replaced the tires with a set of Goodyear Assurance 235/60R-16s. The 10mm difference looks like there's alot more tire on the ground. Great wet and dry traction and they're pretty quiet too. Highway MPG is steady at 25-26 @ 75 MPH. 32-34 MPG at 55 MPH. But the evening I checked the 55 reading on the return trip we only got 29.2 overall for the trip.

There's a tear in my driver seat and I want to replace it. The you-pull-it has power leather seats for $50/sale $25 but all of the driver seats are trashed. I'd like to know if the seat parts are interchangeable? The passenger seats are in great shape over there.

ray

a couple more pics

seville3.jpg seville11.jpg seville14.jpg seville113.jpg

ray
 

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Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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68,404 Posts
Re: New member and new(to me) Cadillac owner

This is getting into specific maintenance and repair. Time to move to Seville.

You do NOT need water wetter in this engine. The thermostat begins at 188 and is fully open at 206. These engines should run 190 - 205 all day, every day, winter, summer, desert, Arctic. Your temp rise/fall and fan sequence is dead-nuts perfect.

With no A/C or DEFROST function set the cooling fans are controlled by the ECT sensor and PCM. Temp rises to 224 (sitting still or slow summer traffic) fans go to SLOW, the engine cools to 213, fans turn OFF, the cycle repeats. Fans don't run above 25 mph or so - not needed.

With some A/C (compressor run) function set, fans run is SLOW all the time, so temp should sit around 190 - 200 regardless of idle, traffic, speed.

If the thermostat begins opening at 188, just what is "water wetter" doing for the engine ??????? These emissions controls change loop at from 140 - 160 degrees coolant temp, so messing with thermostats can open a real can of worms there. The engine is designed to run at about 200, so let it work properly. (FWIW, coolant already has some surfactant additives (water wetter) in it already.)

Your tire size changes - The speedo and some transmission/engine controls are set for the original (driver's door sticker) tire size and outside diameter. Get more than about 0.25" away from original OD and errors begin to show. Compare tire specs by using the tables for your particular tires in www.tirerack.com
 

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1995 Seville SLS
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I spent some time last night reading the thread on Arnott/Strutmaster suspension changes and talked it over with a couple of friends that are mechanics. I had hoped the Strutmaster strut package might be the 'holy grail' of suspension mods. They have nice pictures:bigroll:! Oh well, I'll keep looking. Maybe variable rate springs and a bit more damping.

ray
 

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2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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26,323 Posts
Suspension mods? What are you trying to accomplish? I noticed you mentiond Monroe coil overs?

If the ELC system isn't functional, there is a MUCH better solution than coil assisted shocks. They ride harshly, leave the rear too high when unloaded, too low when loaded, and can become noisey. Just get a set of ELC compatible Monroe shocks, and a ~$15 manual fill kit. If in the future you want to restore automatic function, you can get a repackaged OEM compressor from Arnott for just over $200.

As for the seats, the leather is totally different on the driver's and passengers side.
 

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Triple Yellow 88 Biarritz, 92 Allante, 05 STS
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103 Posts
You have a common Cadillac interior color, if a section is bad on your drivers seat search the junkyards for either a passenger seat or a rear seat that has a big enough section of leather to cut out, and a local upholstery shop should be able to sew it in. A common practice is for shops is to put in a piece of vinyl for a worn out section of leather, this always looks cheezy. Good luck and sharp looking car!
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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I spent some time last night reading the thread on Arnott .............. Maybe variable rate springs and a bit more damping.
Forget all 3 ideas - Arnott, variable and more damping.

Do it correctly. According to your first post, you oprdered "suspension components" from RockAuto - they would be OEM specification - Did you abandon that idea in favor of some aftermarket substitute ?

If the rear is sagging it is usually NOT springs - it's a failure of the ELC - rear height control system (not "air ride") that compensates for extra weight in the trunk or rear seat. The compressor/sensor controlled system uses normal hydraulic shocks in the rear with auxiliary height control air bladders built onto the shocks. Coilovers are absolutely the worst solution for a droopy rear in these cars.

When you open this thread, do you go back and review what diagnosis and advice has been given before you again post ????
 
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