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Cadillac Jim

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Everything posted by Cadillac Jim

  1. I was looking at 1959, not 1969. That's what I get for posting on the insomnia shift.
  2. To answer the original question, it's not how hot it gets but how cold. They want 5W-30 in it if it's going to be started cold a lot with temperatures under 60 F. My dealer here (near Philadelphia) puts 5W-30 in all Northstars year-round. I change my oil when the oil life indicator hits 50%, which is about 3,000 miles of short-trip, suburban driving. Lately I've been using a non-dealer mechanic for routine service and he puts 5W-30 synthetic in it. It works for me. Everybody has their own viewpoint about oil, particularly the refined vs. synthetic debate. I've been running synthetic in everything since 1990 because I consider it inexpensive relative to maintenance because I tend to drive my cars until the wheels fall off (one of them, I put them back on and drove it several more years). What I have heard is that synthetic oil does not produce the deposits on the hot spots in the head or on the valves that refined oil does. Synthetic oil is less likely to produce sludge. Synthetic oil has cleaner breakdown products in what oil does burn in any engine. Another reason that I use 5W-30 instead of 10W-30 is based on observation of engine behavior. I notice slightly better "snap" or engine response to the throttle, particularly when it is cold, with 5W-30 synthetic. With refined 10W-30, the engine seems dull and sluggish compared to its normal state. 5W-30 refined is better but not as good as 10W-30 synthetic, and 5W-30 synthetic is best. So, I think it's easier on my engine when it's cold and I get a tad more performance out of it when it's hot with 5W-30 synthetic. This is a clear observation, not an opinion. It was more pronounced in my old Quad 4 HO. I never tried the 0W-30 oil. It's recommended for arctic climates and is very expensive. But, if I ever do, and I notice even better engine response when fully warmed up, I'll use it. Anyone?
  3. The light is a warning to take it to the dealer for diagnosis and doesn't tell much. What you need to do is to get the on-board diagnostic codes from the car and post them here. Click here to find out how to get the codes from your car.
  4. Does the starter click when you turn the key? Are there any codes from the on-board diagnostic computer? You can get the diagnostic codes by following the procedure here. The problem sounds like a bad battery cable connection. Check the cable at the battery positive terminal. There are two or three wires that come out of the positive termina battery cable connection, and sometimes corrosion can cause a bad connection to one of them. Check the battery ground cable and engine ground strap also.
  5. The Buick Grand National 3.8 liter V6 with twin turbocharger, produced in 1986 I believe, had a better 0-60 time than the Corvette of that year. There was a a lot of turmoil within GM about that, so I heard. Within a year or two Buick gave up all performance cars. I suspect that what you refer to as the M mandate happened about this time. Of course, we all know that in the post-Duntov years the Corvette languished, becoming a two-seater with Camaro drive train, even to the point of offering low-end small engines with automatic transmission as standard and such trash. The marque was endangered, and cars built during that period have no value to collectors or for resale. Somebody who "got it" within GM put Corvette back on track in the late 1980s. I think that you are right on both counts. GM, like most large companies, consists primarily of business, marketing, and support organizations by manpower head count, and management is business driven, leaving the real car people in real danger of being totally out of the loop. On the Ford side, I remember the 1973 Pinto standard engine with automatic transmission, which had a top speed of 45 mph on level ground at sea level. Even Consumer Reports said that it was so underpowered as to be dangerous on the public streets. I know it's true because I drove one as a rental car on a freeway flat-out WOT for 30 minutes and never got to 50 mph, even downhill. That kind of thing can't happen if a car person has any influence on decision making. I had a 390 hp 427 CID Corvette, 1966 model year. I once timed it from 40 mph to 60 mph in low gear and computed the peak hp at over 400 delivered to the wheels. With me and a half tank, it weighed 3600 pounds. A lot of the muscle cars of that era lowballed the horsepower ratings.
  6. The Brogham was an Eldorado model in 1959. I don't see the Brogham listed as a Fleetwood model on the Cadillac history site. It would help if you could supply the car's serial number (the 1959 equivalent of a VIN). It's located at the front of the lefthand frame side bar. Examples are 59P-69 000001, Cadillac Eldorado Brogham two-door hardtop. 59M-60 000001, Cadillac Fleetwood four-door hardtop. Other things that would be helpful are the colors, body and interior, and options. Does it have the air rear suspension or rear coil springs? Does it have three two-barrel carburetors or a single four-barrel carburetor? Also, a photo would be really great.
  7. I certainly wouldn't torqe suspension bolts on a car on the ground. It should be on a lift, perferably with the weight off the wheels, and, if practical, the spring loading taken off the bolt being torqued. It's a long shot, but do take a look at the steering axis of the aftermarket struts. The strut mounts should be to spec of the application and thus line up perfectly like the OEM struts, but a very small misalgnment of the steering axis will cause pothooles and exapansion joints to propagate through the steering. Your alignment man may or may not have focused on this particular setting; most wheel alignments don't even look at it, but you should always check the steering axis when you replace the struts.
  8. There's an outfit in Florida that will add an engine in the trunck to your Eldorado. They call the second engine a Southstar.
  9. The Pontiac 7 liter was a 421. I believe that the 5 litre was a 302, althought they may have called it a 301 to distinguish it from the Chevrolet 302's. Their "Iron Duke" 151 CID four was half a Pontiac 302. The Iron Duke was quite an engine in itself. There was also the SOHC Sprint 6 that hearalded a future for us all. Unappreciated by most at the time because it was only 3.8 liters in a muscle car era, it became the engine for Jaguar XK-E reliability substitutions. Performance of the stock engine was almost identical to the DOHC XK 3.8 in-line six but with GM reliabilty. I had no idea that all the iron Pontiac V8s were a common family except for bore, deck height, and main bearing journal size.
  10. Have you changed the coolant in the last two years? If not, you should ASAP. The extra few degrees could be a lot of things; I would drain and refill the coolant with 50-50 antifreeze and distilled water (I've seen 50-50 coolant sold in the bottle in auto parts stores). If the temperature doesn't go back to noraml, I would have a pressure check. First, make a photo that you want to use, and resize it to 64 X 64 pixels. Then, at the top of the forum screen, click the link "My Controls." This will bring up your forum options. On the left you will have a column of links, several under each of four headings. Under the heading "Personal Profile" you will see the "Edit Avatar Settings." Click that and follow the directions to upload your 64 X 64 picture. There's an option to scale the picture for you. If you use it, you can just use a larger picture. I haven't tried it.
  11. I have a first-generation OnStar with the Hughes 6100 fixed phone. I use the phone almost exclusively in the hands-free mode. When the phone is active in the hands-free mode, it takes over the stereo audio and that's the phone "earpiece." A microphone on the overhead console is the "mouthpiece." Mine has the dealer-installed additional microphone on the overhead console. When someone on the other end of the call is speaking, the microphone is cut off, and when I am talking the stereo audio is cut off; this is the repeater, and it is necessary to prevent feedback. Some years ago, at about 35,000 miles, the radio quit, although the hands-free phone wasn't affected. I had the radio replaced on warranty and it worked OK after that. However, when I got the car back the repeater on the microphone didn't work. When I talk, you can hear me on the stereo and the people on the other end complain about an "echo in a barrel" sound. It does OK on receive. I realize that I should have taken it back to the dealer while the car was still in warranty. I procrastinated and changed coasts, found that analog phones are not accepted for new accounts by most cell phone companies anymore, and decided that my real priority was figuring out how to upgrade the phone to an analog/digital unit. I've since realized that this is impractical and OnStar and Cadillac tell me that they have no plans to support retrofitting phones older than the 2002 model year. So, I must maintain this phone as-is. The FSM has an entry for adjusting the repeater but, for the procedure, they refer to the service manual for the phone. I don't have that manual and don't see it on Helm, Inc.'s web site. I know a perfectly good dealer that could almost certainly do this but this is the type of job that I would like to do myself. Does anyone have the procedure for adjusting the repeaters for the early dealer-installed car phone hands-free mode? Better yet, can I get a service manual for the phone?
  12. I have an e-mail contact with a funeral home in Canada that uses a 1948 Cadillac hearse regularly. He needs to know what the radiator cap pressure rating is so that he can replace it. I figure that if he needs that, what h really needs is a service manual on his hearse. I have a 1953 Chilton that covers Cadillac but it doesn't give cooling system pressure specifications. I presume that the hearse will be a 75 series. Replying here is best, of course. You can copy the guy, Glenn, at Monk Funeral Services, monkfunerals@bellnet.ca if you like.
  13. The compressor wires can be tested with an ohmmeter. There should be a low resistance, perhaps about 15 ohms, between the two wires leading to the compressor. There should be high resistance or no continuity from either of the wires leading to the compressor and ground. Ground is the engine or frame at any convenient point, such as the body of the alternator. Given that the compressor line checks good, you can plug in the harness either way and it should work. Of course, to function properly, all of the air conditioner components must be in working condition.
  14. The Quad 4 and Quad OHC family was quite a menagerie. The Quad 4 started life as a 160 HP aluminum head OHC 4-valve-per-cylinder engine. It had an iron block, though. At 2260 cc, it had 65 horsepower per liter. The second year they came out with a 180 hp version, the H.O.; this is 80 hp per liter. A couple of years later they bumped the horsepower to 190 for the HO, or 84 hp per liter. In a Northstar's displacement of 4565 cc, 65 hp per liter is 298 hp, 80 hp per liter is 365 hp, and 84 hp per liter is 383 hp. The differences between the 160 hp and 180 hp were resonances in the fuel injection intake manifold and exhaust, and different heads and cams. What this tells us that CHRFAB is telling the truth about 400 hp normally aspirated Northstars. I saw on another post here recently that the Northstar first prototype was called a Quad 8. It has a cam drive similar to that of of the Quad 4 and the bore and stroke are very similar.
  15. Jim, if you're talking about from the 60s or early 70s, yes, the 307 was a Chevrolet block. The Oldsmobile 307 engine debuted in the very early 1980s, and any 307 V-8 in a GM car in the 1980s was that Oldsmobile engine. I don't think the Chevrolet-blocked 307 lasted past the mid 1970s. Interestingly, the Olds 307 lasted through the 1990 model year. It was GM's last carbureted V8 engine. I've been to the Oldsmobile museum in Lansing, MI, and have seen that very last Rocket motor that went down the line. It's signed by all the line workers on that shift. Jason -- thanks. I lost interest in cars in the 80's. It seemed that the automobile was just a commodity in the 1980's. I assumed that things were as dull in the trenches as they were on the street, and there lies my error. I drove a 1969 Cheverolet 427 and a 1977 Cheverolet 350 through those years. I didn't get excited about late model cars again until I drove a Quad 4 HO.
  16. First the free, simple stuff. Check the tire model numbers and make sure that the tires are exactly the same. Even a different production run between the two front tires could make a difference to the knowelgeable and sensitive. Of course, the air pressure must be exactly the same in the two front tires. I would recommend 32 psi cold for testing with the Michelin Symmetry tires. I'm sure that you have checked your tie rod ends and steering knuckle and that they are tight. You may be noticing the difference between active and passive struts. Alignment is critical to response to bumps. What we used to call kingpin inclination, the steering axis, must pass through the center of the tire contact patch, or you will have things like steering transients in bumps and other things like torque steer in FWD acceleration and braking. This is something that tends to drive FWD cars to strut front suspension, because the steering axis is the strut axis so that the suspension is easily designed so that this axis passes through the center of the tire contact patch. You already said that you have a four-wheel alignment, and you did it yourself. Check to make sure that the aftermarket struts mount so that they have exactly the same axis, relative to the tire patch, as the originals. If you have a way to check and correct the steering axis on an alignment machine, make sure that everything is right on the money.
  17. Onyx -- I said that the Buick, Olds, Pontiac, and Chevrolet engines were different, not the same. These shops obviously shared a lot of information but not many parts in the iron engine days. The Olds and Buick 350 CID didn't share the same bore and stroke as the Chevrolet, and the Pontiac was slightly different. The Pontiac 326 and 350 engines were visibly more strongly built than the Chevrolet 327 and 350, with more and larger head bolts and more robust valve train. As you say, the Olds was the only GM 350 CID with a bore larger than 4 inches. I don't think that there is any doubt that the Olds 350 was the strongest block, and as I said it was the only one that had enough water jacket cooling to be used in marine applications. The 307 CID Chevrolet V8 was basically a 283 CID V8 with a 3.25 inch stroke, and it was never made in a large journal block. So far as I know the GM corporate 307 was this engine, in everything that they used it in. An interesting note is the 3.5 liter aluminum V8 that was shared by Buick, Olds and Pontiac starting in 1962 for a few years. GM sold the drawings and rights to Rover after they discontinued the engine, as they did with the old 235.5 CID Chevrolet in-line six-cylinder in 1962. The Chevrolet six, with improvements, became the Land Rover engine and the 3.5 liter V8, with updates, became the 3.5 liter Rover V8 that was around for many years in such diverse British platforms as the Triumph TR-8. I once saw an aluminum version of the 60 hp. 2.2 liter flathead Ford V8 in a late 1950's Simca (see http://www.centuryinter.net/SIMCA/page2.html). At that time, Chevrolet's engines were the 235.5 CID straight six, 283 CID, the 348 CID, and the 409 CID. The 2.4 liter Corvair appeared in 1960. Cadillac's engines were 390 CID at the time, with 325 to 345 hp. The Olds and Cadillac engine shops seem to have shared information since WW II. They came out with high compression short stroke OHV V8's with hydraulic lifters first, in 1949. More recently, the Olds Quad 4 was an ancestor of the Northstar as much as the 4.1/4.5/4.9, and the Aurora used a 4.0 liter version of the Northstar. The 4.0 liter version was the "Chevrolet" engine raced at Indianapolis for a few years recently.
  18. There is a small-block Chevrolet 400 that will take the 327/350 heads. It has its own block, crank, pistons, rods, and other parts, but it is indeed a small-block Chevrolet and has parts compatibility with the heads, cams, and some other parts. The 4.440 inch bore spacing and 4 1/8 bore means that the cylinders are siamesed – no coolant between the cylinders – and special attention is needed for head gaskets and head installation. This engine doesn't have the cooling for racing but it is a real candidate for a small block Chevrolet street engine. In the 1970's and 1980's, Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Olds all had small-block engines that in some cases were very similar. The blocks and heads were distinct and parts were not interchangeable between families. The Buick small block was distinct from all of them. Similarities were interesting: All of the GM and Ford 301 CID and 302 CID engines were 4" X 3". There were at least three distinct GM 302 CID engines; some of them were small journal. I would expect that the Pontiac 302 CID was distinct from the high performance Chevrolet 302 used in the 1969 Z28 Camaro. The Chevrolet 327 and the Pontiac 326 were 4" X 3.25" Nearly all of the 400 CID engines were 4 1/8" X 3 3/4 ". The Olds small block was the only one that had enough water jacket for marine rating. The GM corporate 307 engine was a Chevrolet small-journal small block. The 305 came later, when they went metric with some of their engines, as did the 262 Chevrolet V8 and such. Olds may have had an engine with the 307 CID displacement; I don't know about that. While all of this was going on, Cadillac was going from 365 CID (1956-1958, 390 CID 1959-1963, 429 CID 1964-1967, 472 CID 1968-1969, 500 CID 1970-... and Cadillac was an innovator and performance leader. I believe that all of the OHV Cadillac engines of this era had enough cooling for marine use.
  19. 1970 Dodge 440 -- Maybe you should have tried wheel/tire/suspension/brake upgrades. Lots of great muscle cars could be turned into great overall performers that way. 1983 Cmararo Z28 -- wasn't that a 302? Please pardon the nit-picking . ; 1987 Olds 442 -- I thought that all of those came with a 400 ci engine. I guess that was up until about 1974, and they didn't have that by 1987. There's a small-block 400 that will take angle-plug fuelie heads, you know. 2002 Cadillac STS -- nice. I found that, on the West coast, everybody knew what an ETC/STS was. On the East coast, all Cadillac sedans and coupes are still sleepers.
  20. I would use the oil recommended by GM and Cadillac. In any case, 83K is young for a Northstar. Your bearings aren't going to be loose, your oil pressure is not going to be lower than that of a car with 1,000 miles or more on the engine, and your steel bores still have the cross-hatching on them from the manufacturing process. I run 5W-30 Mobil 1 synthetic oil in mine and have for many years. The manual and oil filler cap say 10W-30, and if I weren't running synthetic oil that's what I would use. Northstar oil burning is a ring-sticking issue and not a wear issue. More than 1,000 miles per quart is acceptable, although the factory manual says that a quart every 2,000 miles should trigger a look at where the oil is going. There is a page on oil consumption in Nothstars on this board here. There are several articles and GM service bulletins on the "How to" page of this site.
  21. I'm not going to bore you with all of my cars. The ones that may be of interest here include: 1966 Corvette 390 hp 427 (more later, with picture) 1964 Chevrolet Impala station wagon; used & much modified by me -- see below 1973 Chevrolet Caprice Estate 454; EPA 9 mpg city, 9 mpg highway, sold after a year 1969 Chevrolet Station wagon; 400 hp 427 ci engine; used, had seven years 1990 Pontiac Grand Am with Quad 4 HO; immediate ancestor of Northstar 1997 Cadillac ETC, my baby The 1964 Chevrolet came with a 250 hp small-journal 327 and a three-speed manual transmission. It had about 85,000 miles on it when I got it. The oil filter had 7 gaskets under it, betraying a poor maintenance history. It ran fine but it burned a quart of oil every 75 miles, which is more than an outboard motor with a quart-per-five-gallon premix. The parts manager used the heads on his 283 ci street engine, and told me later that the oil apparently was all going down the valve guides. I picked out parts from the Chevrolet catalog and rebuilt the engine. Parts that remained from the original were pretty much limited to: The block. The crankshaft. The flywheel. The vibration damper. Five of the rods. The water pump and fan. The oil pan. The bell housing. The block was align bored and the crank was straightened. The rest was also blueprinted because the guys at the machine shop were family friends and they knew who I was. It also must have been a slow week. Three of the rods didn't make the cut and were pitched. New parts included, but are not limited to: Heads for a 375 hp Corvette, 2.02" intakes with 66 cc chambers. Dual valve springs for the 375 hp Corvette. Flat pistons for the 350 hp Corvette. Exhaust manifolds for the 375 hp Corvette with 2.5 inch outlets. High performance hydraulic cam for the 350 hp Corvette, the "151" cam still sold in the GM Performance Parts catalog. Intake manifold -- two inch high-rise Holley aluminum, for a 350 hp Corvette. Carburetor, 850 CFM Holley, for a 350 hp Corvette. Exhaust system -- 2.5 inch all the way, with four "turbo" mufflers. I added a CDI ignition that I designed and built myself specifically for this car. I had put 15-inch wheels with 7-inch rims for the 1967 Corvette on it the day I got it and was running Michelin street tires. I had ceramic-metallic drum brakes from the day I got it. The immediate problem was that when the engine got on the cam in low gear, the suspension would bottom, front and rear, and the car would pitch up so that you couldn't see the road, even bumping your head on the headliner. We put nylon bushings and higher spring rates with matching shocks on it to keep the body under control, which, with the upgraded wheels and tires gave this car amazing handling for what it was. The next item was the transmission. The bearings would start growling after about two weeks of my lead-foot driving. After going through it three times, we got a Saginaw heavy-duty three-speed full-synchro that was used as a heavy duty option in later model Chevrolets. Its construction was identical to that of the 4-speed Muncie, except that the extension housing on the Muncie that contained the reverse gear was a shorter assembly in the Saginaw that simply supported the output shaft bearings, and reverse in the Saginaw was supported by an extra idler gear where the Muncie had low gear. The ratios were the same as the wide-box Muncie 4-speed's 1st and 2nd gears, so it was just like a Muncie wide box with 3rd gear missing. With the stock 3.08 gearing and tire and wheel upgrades, it drove like a close-ratio Muncie with low gear missing, and an overdrive high gear. I put 1966 Corvette spinner hub caps over the industrial-looking Corvette wheels and that 1964 white-over-light metallic blue Impala station wagon looked like a family car. When the engine was running, it idled at about 1200 RPM with that 330-degree cam stutter, and a disconcertingly competent exhaust note. At a long red light, people would look around to see which car it was; when I noticed that, I looked around for it, too. You could tell by a faint body shake, though. I have stories, but we all do. I will say that I once saw the underside of a Porsche 911 in my rear-view mirror...
  22. I've got a 1997 ETC that I bought new with 117,000 miles on it. The original pads still hav e30% life left. The factory pads are metallic for the Eldorado and Sevillle that year. Stay with the Delco parts.
  23. Check the battery, cables, and grounds, and the engine ground; any of these can cause wierd codes. If they are good, check the codes while the vehicle is running and the ABS light is on.
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