Cadillac Jim

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About Cadillac Jim

  • Rank
    Cadillac: Comfort, safety, and competence
  • Birthday 09/22/2015

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  • Car Model and Year
    2011 CTS-V Sedan
  • Engine
    Supercharged 6.2L (LSA)

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  • Location
    South Jersey
  • Interests
    Handling, performance, reliability, maintenance, photography, math, science, physics, engineering, Cadillacs

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  1. Since nearly all Northstar head gasket failures are old and/or high mileage cars, usually with unknown coolant maintenance history, I'm convinced that it's not a design problem. Any aluminum head or head/block engine will give trouble eventually if you run it for years with acid coolant. The big deal with the Northstar is that it's the head gasket, arguably the worst coolant-related problem you can have, whereas in most other cars it's the manifold gaskets or the thermostat housing or whatever. I'm not surprised that the Toyota four-cylinder is a source of problems. I've heard tales of sludge accumulation and other things in vintage about 2000 Toyota fours, although they had a distinguished record for engine design prior to that. Toyota has pushed to be the biggest out there for many decades, and the push usually results in cutting corners to offer better prices, and when this causes a problem with a model with huge sales volume, stepping up to it may not be feasible. Welcome to the big time. If you are considering a Toyota, look at the V6 models. As far as I know, they have no underlying issues like cheater emissions software, sludge accumulation, or long-term mechanical issues. Now, the back of my mind is saying, whatever you want, you can get it from GM, Ford, or Chrysler, and the relative long-term reliability and cost of operation is top-notch for GM and Ford cars, and some Chrysler cars. That the Toyota is easier to do head-off repair in the car is an advantage if you are working on it. If you are using a car as a daily driver, well, you get what you pay for. Of course you can work on an inline four in the car. I once did a valve job on a bow-tie 327 V8 in the car, outside. The real challenge is not to need to do that.
  2. The 6.2 liter supercharged V engine does not accumulate carbon like the Northstar. With no boost, it is just a low-compression big V8 with a conservative cam that happens to have ultra-high lift. With boost, it's a VVT monster tuned to have huge torque that does not vary much over the RPM band. It doesn't need WOT to keep clean and ready-to-go. This engine, at 6.2 liters and 556 hp, is rated at only 90 hp/liter. Compare this to the Olds Quad 4 HO, the hottest of which was rated at 195 hp, which at 2.26 liters is 86 hp/liter, and this normally-aspirated four-cylinder DOHC was sold in the little Olds 4-4-2 revival compacts of the 1990's.
  3. It's also possible that the black deposits in that plug well were a result of leakage of the internal seals of that plug. The plug failed because the center insulated electrode assembly corroded, and I suspect that failure of the seals started the process.
  4. Perhaps the appeal is enhanced by the two sport bicycles mounted on the rear hatch. The minicar *is* easy to park.
  5. Not at all surprised. The behavior of the new replacement part made it look like it didn't work like an OEM part.
  6. Three years and 75,000 miles can be long enough for static electricity forces to accumulate soot in the plug wells, I would think. Anything on the exhaust manifold when you park your car, like excess brake fluid, power steering seepage, anything - can result in a slightly smoky underhood environment, which is cleared in the plug wells when you start the car and the electrostatic dust cleansing begins there. We are all looking forward to seeing pictures of your CTS-V. Sorry for the delays.
  7. Wife's car. That calls for eight double platinum plugs and a thorough cleaning of all ignition-related, injection-related, and PCM-related, wiring. Deposits of any kind can be present in plug wells. The high potential electric fields in the plug boot and insulator collects dust of whatever kind is in the air, and that's underhood air. I wouldn't think a thing of it unless there are profound differences in one plug well or something that focuses on one cylinder or tracks back to the ignition module.
  8. I saw and replied to that post. Great photo. Looks like salt and moisture got under the plug boot and, over the years, got past the seal between the insulator and electrode. This is the kind of thing you see in very old very-low-maintenance cars. From this thread, I thought that the problem was with multiple cylinders. I would still change all the plugs, and, of course, clean out the plug wells (before puling the plugs), and the plug boots. Spray can PC board or electronics cleaner should be good for that. I would check the label of any auto de-greasing compounds to make sure that they are OK for electrical components before using those. If you have a P0300, you can get miss counts on each cylinder with a code reader. You tackled Murphy head-on by starting on the rear bank and it worked out well for you, so you didn't need a code reader this time.
  9. Ah, the old disappearing plug trick. If you are selling the car soon, single Platinum OEM-style plugs are good (my experience is 60,000 miles/1000 km for peak performance). If you plan to keep the car or sell/give it to a relative or close friend, double platinum plugs should go over 100,000 miles/165,000 km.
  10. Oh. Forgot, sorry. Look at the ignition wires, though. The local ground is very important for CoP ignitions, as is the ground on the ignition driver modules. Any problem that is sudden and affects more than one cylinder seems likely to be electrical at the module level - if it is solely electrical. Of course, you can check for air leaks, plug problems, [salt] water splashing over one or both banks, etc. A compression check will bring out valve train problems, which are rare except for an occasional sticky valve (which are also rare in well-maintained often-driven cars) but can also be used to rule out valve train problems if identifying the problem takes more than an hour or two. Diagnosing and fixing this should take about a half day in a warm, dry place to work. Let us know how it works out.
  11. Don't forget the plug wires. It could easily be that some moisture got under the beauty cover and caused a sudden ignition failure syndrome.
  12. I would start over and follow the instructions in the video. At some point, you will find either what you missed or that your new part isn't the right part.
  13. Is Four Seasons OEM? You can usually tell when you see the part.
  14. There are some parts that I would trust Dorman about, but something that can be very persnickety for fit or function should be AC/Delco or OEM, and this seems to be one of them. I would worry about the vents not having the same temperature on both sides if I bought a generic part, even if it fit and the wire colors matched up. I'm interested in reading that it's all fixed and buttoned up.
  15. I don't have enough information to give you a part number, but Rock Auto probably has your actuator at a nice price.,1997,deville,4.6l+v8,1025345,heat+&+air+conditioning