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Thread: The Caddy *4.5 hours latter

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    The Caddy *4.5 hours latter

    I bought this a few weeks ago for a song. Alternator was (I hope) bad. Not in bad shape, low miles for it age but nasty dirty outside. Needed a major cleaning and after I washed it, it still needed washing again!

    Interior is good with some minor issues. GREAT sounding stereo!! My plan is a quick repair. Drive it with a For-Sale sign in the window and make some good money for the my labor. Not my kind of car. This is it after a a lot of scrubbing. '93 Caddy STS with the NorthStar 32 valve engine.



    ANYONE SEE THE ALTERNATOR IN THERE??







    Today I started tearing it apart and that is a good description of what it takes to get an alternator out! RF tire off. Remove access panels in the wheel well. Remove the battery, body braces. Motor mounts. and assorted other parts just to gain access to or I should say be able to see the alternator.






    The arrow points to where the alternator was. I got it loose. That took probably an hour and half that spent on one bolt I could barely see and barely reach. Then once it was loose I could flip it over and remove the wires. Guess what? It will not come out. There isn't enough room to remove it from under the engine.

    Options were remove the AC compressor which is just as hard to get to. Remove the engine.... not an option. Then I keep looking and decided removing the radiator was least objectionable option. Well this thing must cool every component on the car. Two coolers inside the radiator and two more additional cooler of some sort in front of the radiator. The the A/C condenser is attached to the radiator and that means you have to drain the freon out to remove the radiator so you can detach the condenser! Stupidest design on the car!




    Here it is 4.5 hours latter with a alternator ready to go be rebuilt. Believe it or not this was not as bad I was expecting. Knowing now to remove the radiator, that would have save at least a half and hour because of all the space it opened up to work. It would have made the removal of the alternator easier.

    The GM dealer quoted $1,200 labor to replace it. A local shop said he charged $600 for the last one and refused to do another. So I knew it was going to be big job and that is how I got the car so cheaply to start with. But it wasn't nearly as bad I was expecting, not that it was easy! I am glad to have it off!!
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    London, Ontario
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    3,383
    filthy car, Jeff. It looks serious speckled in the first picture ... has it sat under a dripping pine tree for a few months or something? It needs serious polishing or something.

    As for the engine... Brrr, better you than me, man. I'd be running in terror.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  3. #3
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    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    First picture still looks kinda cruddy. But, in light looks better. With a good shine should be real fine.
    That's a lot of work for an alternator. No wonder a lot of Caddies get traded in after they are a year or two old. Warranty runs out.
    Hope you make a nice profit, you are earning it.

  4. #4
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    Nice to see someone wrenching on a car!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    OOOHH! A Northstar! Nice engine 295hp and 290ft lb torque. The torque on these is great on the bottom end. I've got a Olds Intrigue with a "Shortstar" - V6 with a similar architecture. The alternator on mine is in the same place, but is removed from the top versus the bottom since the V6 is narrower - still a pain though. Hopefully I'll never have to find out.

    I hope it will turn you a quick profit for all your headache.

    Wes

  6. #6
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    This one has been sitting under trees for a few months. It is mostly cleaned up and no damage to it. I just still have spots I missed washing it. I think I washed it twice that day. Still find leaves and acorns in the crevices.

    Wes, your right! For a 4,000 lb. car it moves! I love a good sports car but I have to say I see why people like the Sports Sedans. I am not into all the electronic goodies (just stuff to break) and all the leather and other stuff. But it sure is fun to drive.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  7. #7
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    Dec 2008
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    falcon heights, minnesota
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    i used to have a 72 sedan de ville, one of the last of the cabin cruisers. 2 1/2 tons of car, with a 472 under the hood. it just floated when up to speed on the freeway. i wouldn't want to feed that 30 gallon tank these days...
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  8. #8
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    My heart goes out to you, Jeff. I pretty much hate working on cars. I'd rather do plumbing, I think.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Salt Spring Island, BC Canada
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    Found this article on the type of engine you have Jeff. Thought it might be of some interest. How many miles on ithe car? When was the timing belt changed or has it ever been? I was warned about this when I bought my most recent car. Not like the old days when it was minutes to replace. Now it can cost you the engine.


    Interference Engines and Timing Belts
    By: Ralph Hoffmann

    Interference Engines: ........ Useful information by AutoTruckData.com

    An interference engine is an engine design that has been avoided by some manufacturers for well over 80 years. General Motors, Chrysler, etc., typically use a metal chain-type timing belt on push-rod engines (often called a timing chain) to transmit torque from the engine crankshaft o the engine camshaft that opens the valves that admit air and fuel. (Note: on some new cars the fuel is admitted not through the valves but through injectors in the top of the cylinder. Rather than use a steel timing chain, interference engines may use a rubber timing belt with its limited life, whereas steel timing belts typically last 150,000 to 200,000 miles or more.

    Valves open further in an interference engine and project further into the combustion chamber than in a 'free-running' engine. This allows outside air at atmospheric pressure flow faster into the combustion chamber through the larger valve opening. The engine can therefore inhale more air, be a little smaller, and still create as much power while reducing its manufactured cost and also guaranteeing future repair business for its dealer. If a rubber timing belt breaks by not being replaced soon enough, some of the valves stuck in their open position will collide with the top of the pistons, thereby breaking or irreversibly damaging one or the other or both. To make matters worse, it is not possible to measure the wear on such a rubber belt so that it could be replaced when there is some indication of imminent failure. Failure in these belts is catastrophic, without warning. This will require a whole new engine be installed. Woe to the owner. Finally, the rubber belt may have to be replaced long before 60,000 miles solely due to its age. This is really playing a bad poker hand. Interference engines are like a time bomb waiting to explode unless replacing the timing belt at the recommended interval. Be aware of that guaranteed future expense before buying a new car, or especially a used car, " with such an engine.

    For details on this subject or for recommended mileage to replace rubber timing belts on interference engines, connect on the Internet to ©Gates Rubber Company, a worldwide manufacturer of such belts. When its web site appears, click on Replacement parts/Automotive. Look for 'Timing belt replacement Guide'.

    When buying a used car always insist on determining if the vehicle has a rubber timing-belt. Be aware that about five years ago an International Oil Company did a follow up on 5,000 cars it had turned back after 3 year leases and traced them to their eventual private owners. All the cars had by then passed through wholesale auction markets and likely one or more retail dealers before being sold to a private owner. The survey disclosed that 50% of the cars had their odometers illegally turned back.

    When buying a used car, supposedly with 40,000 miles for example, and determining it has a rubber timing belt, insist on a written guarantee from the seller to guarantee in writing to replace the timing belt at no charge if it fails within another 20,000 miles, a typical recommended total amount (call any Dealer to get the recommended amount for the particular make of vehicle). After all, the vehicle may in fact already have 55,000 miles on it. If the seller will not make that guarantee, then he is admitting that the mileage is probably not accurate and by implication may well have been turned back. If the seller will not make that guarantee, consider a compromise, such as $100 maximum cost. If not acceptable, walk away and look elsewhere."

    Before buying any car, especially 4-cylinder foreign cars, or even 6-cyl. BMW's, be aware of the unavoidable cost of $400-$800 to replace the timing belt at anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000 miles if the car has an interference type of engine. The sales person will invariably not mention that an interference type engine powers the vehicle and may not even know what one is. If a timing belt on an interference engine is not replaced at recommended intervals, the repair cost when the belt breaks (not gradually, but always catastrophically) could increase to $3,000 to $5,000 due to engine failure because parts have smashed into each other

    If the sales person does not know if the vehicle has an interference engine, walk out to the repair shop and ask the 'Service writer', who is probably a former mechanic. Finally, since words are cheap, write on the purchase order that the seller guarantees the engine is not a "interference engine" and will indemnify you 100% if it turns out that it is and the engine breaks when the rubber timing belt breaks.
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    My heart goes out to you, Jeff. I pretty much hate working on cars. I'd rather do plumbing, I think.
    I think I hate plumbing worse but of course plumbing never makes me money!

    I just had to replace the sprayer and hose on the kitchen sink. I think I would rather be elbow deep in grease and anti-freeze!

    Drew, I am sure with it's design it has a timing belt. It has 123K on it and since I am not keeping it, I will let someone else replace the timing belt. I bet it does require at least lifting the engine up if not removing it to replace that belt.

    I need to replace my truck soon and this has just reinforced my feelings that I will buy another truck. I may not like it but at least I can work on it. I am really looking for a '60s Station Wagon or '50s pickup truck with upgraded running gear. They have a cool look and I can work on them too.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

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