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97 Deville, I am told its a water pump issue


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Greetings from Minnesota, new user here with a recently purchased 97 Deville. In the normal conversations prior to the purchase the seller informed me that the car would need a water pump. I immediately went to "danger, warning Will Robinson" mode and asked if it was actually head gaskets or if it had overheated that bad...?

The seller was a knowledgable younger male who was politely adament that there hadnt been any signs of cracked heads or head gasket issues, ie: white smoke, antifreeze in the oil, loss of antifreeze, etc. but that their mechanic had said it was definitely a water pump.

I found one on eBay for $50 shipped for the 4.6 Northstar and also found a cheap water pump removal socket and ordered that as well.

Now...after I replace the water pump, what should I be looking for to verify that he was right and that there were no overheating scenarios that could have cracked the heads or that the head gaskets are bad?

I am a medium to good mechanic and learning all the time and not intimidated by the water pump but I sure as h*LL dont intend to tear into the heads or try to remove the head gaskets on that engine. What issues are the 4.6 known for and what do I need to be aware of after I replace that pump?

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:welcomesmiley:

....In the normal conversations prior to the purchase the seller informed me that the car would need a water pump.....their mechanic had said it was definitely a water pump.

In your shoes, I would ignore the hearsay and do your own investigation. Northstar water pump (cartridge) failure mode is to leak coolant from the input shaft O ring. The cartridge does not fall apart or disintegrate or fail to push coolant around the system. However, the belt can fail, or the tensioner pulley can lose tension.

You mentioned no coolant loss and that is a good sign. In the time you have driven the car, have you observered any erratic coolant temperature excursions or a need to add coolant? If/when you ever have to add coolant, start looking for an external leak.

Leave the cracked head issue (that does not happen to Northstar heads) and thoughts of gead gasket replacement until you have driven the car long enough/far enough to collect some first hand evidence.

Jim

Drive your car.

Use your cell phone.

CHOOSE ONE !

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Follow Jim's advice, and also look at the purge line, to make sure its not clogged, it allows AIR to get out of the cooling system and if its clogged air can not get out causing the water pump to cavitate and not circulate coolant...

Do a search here under purge line

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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excellent input from both of you, and I should have mentioned that when I did get the car in my possession I just parked it in the garage until I could get the parts ordered. I hope to have the pump in hand by midweek next week and it should be a fairly short experience to put that in. I will spend some time driving it after I put it in and see what I note then.

Very much appreciate your suggestions, both of you! Enjoy your weekend, I sure will, its fall in Minnesota and it doesnt get any better than that!

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The seller was a knowledgable younger male who was politely adament that there hadnt been any signs of cracked heads or head gasket issues, ie: white smoke, antifreeze in the oil, loss of antifreeze, etc. but that their mechanic had said it was definitely a water pump.

Why was the water pump suspected of being bad? As Jim said, if it was not leaking, it's good. Don't look for coolant in the oil. Northstars don't do that when a head gasket fails, nor will you see any steam from the pipes in the early stages.

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I would not bother with the water pump if she holds coolant and there is no leaking as mentioned above, its a waste of money.

Can you detail for us what is happening, when, how, and how much it overheats. Mechanics that are not experienced with this engine are like chiropractors doing heart surgery, they don't know about the heart/northstar and ASSUME.

Give us details and we can help you, we have LOTS of experience on this board

By the way, I WOULD NOT lock into a purchase on this car UNTIL you determine what is causing the overheating!!!!! Head gaskets are $3000 to $4000 to repair and MANY a mechanic has blown the diagnosis.... Also keep in mind this is the SELLER telling you it needs a water pump.... DO NOT lock in on this car until diagnosis is performed

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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well, at this point its mine and sitting in my garage. but...I dont have too awfully much into it, I swapped for it.

I haven't really driven it, they brought it up on a trailer, I drove it off and put it in the garage and have been waiting for the parts.

good point on the fact it may well not even need them. ;)

I will spend an hour with it tomorrow and report back what I am experiencing. with the digital dash, does it give a readout of the actual engine temp in numbers or is it just a needle swinging gauge?

the owner told me that 'a mechanic told him it was the water pump' and I let it go at that. i asked the other related questions that i mentioned before and he was adament that it wasnt showing any of those issues so i figured well, if its only a water pump, no problem.

Edited by MagneMan
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OK look it over and let us know what you find, we can help you

If you push INFORMATION on the left side of your dash you will be able to toggle through various 'gages', one will be coolant temp

You want to check to see if any codes are set, go here and read how to check the codes

http://www.caddyinfo.com/readingcodes.html

Post them here and we can identify them for you

Mike

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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ok. test drive today of 24 miles, outside temp 54 degrees F, engine temp when I shut it off in the driveway after the drive: 221 F.

Several things noted. Smell of antifreeze prior to starting engine, no leaks noted

Extremely annoying (and loud enough to be heard over radio while driving) hum or buzz from CV/front axle area when driving and it comes and goes with different speeds. I am betting I am going to enjoy learning how to put CV's in the front of this now...perhaps?

Handled ok, drove fine, am noting that there are places that are rusted that I never have seen rusted before, such as when you open the gas cap lid on the body, the spout going to the tank is rusted. Area around the battery is rusted and flaking off, like a battery exploded in there. Bottom front left side of frame holding the radiator in is also rusted.

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Next time you drive it, drive at 60 and note the temperature

Do stop and go and note the temps (high and lows)

Let it idle for 15 minutes and note the temps, when the fans kick on and off

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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ok. i went for another drive and got the results i had been expecting. temperature climbed to 275, said idle engine, engine hot, and i did. waited half hour, started, 4 miles later same thing, repeated same practice, took a LONG time to get home but it definitely overheating and leaking fluids somewhere. being as i was on clay back roads i didnt crawl under it to see. i will wait till its cooled off and in the morning fill the radiator with water and see what happens and where its leaking. (and then drain it all)

the engine has issues with cooling but as i am standing in front of the car facing it, nothing on the right is leaking, its all on the left side of the radiator and engine.

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....the engine has issues with cooling but as i am standing in front of the car facing it, nothing on the right is leaking, its all on the left side of the radiator and engine.

The radiator end tanks are plastic and the end tanks can, will and do crack. Leaking from the crack will not be obvious unless the cooling system is pressurized.

You did not mention seeing a CHECK COOLANT LEVEL message. Does a '97 Deville provide that warning (Mike)?

Jim

Drive your car.

Use your cell phone.

CHOOSE ONE !

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Extremely annoying (and loud enough to be heard over radio while driving) hum or buzz from CV/front axle area when driving and it comes and goes with different speeds. I am betting I am going to enjoy learning how to put CV's in the front of this now...perhaps?

That sounds more like a wheel bearing than a CV joint.

You did not mention seeing a CHECK COOLANT LEVEL message. Does a '97 Deville provide that warning (Mike)?

Yes it does Jim.

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Yes it does Jim its part of the coolant tank.

If its on the left side (facing the car) it could be the tank, hoses, radiator end tank, tank CAP blowing off,

Let us know what you find

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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no to both. its been my experience that when an engine is hot, the last thing I want to do is to take off the radiator cap or the overflow cap. there was nothing I could do anyways, I was out in the country with zero antifreeze and no water or jugs with me, so...checking it was a moot point. I was heading home and when it said it was getting hot, I stopped...waited half an hour for it to cool off and then make it as far towards home again as I could until it showed the red hot thermometer or coolant is hot msg.

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Greetings from Minnesota, new user here with a recently purchased 97 Deville. In the normal conversations prior to the purchase the seller informed me that the car would need a water pump. I immediately went to "danger, warning Will Robinson" mode and asked if it was actually head gaskets or if it had overheated that bad...?

Backup to your first post for a minute.

You knew there was an unconfirmed cooling system issue.

And you drive the car without having an emergency supply of water jugs in the trunk?

I won't bore you with the details of how I nursed my car (with a cracked radiator end tank) 500 Interstate miles to my driveway.

Jim

Drive your car.

Use your cell phone.

CHOOSE ONE !

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I filled it with just water and waited.

within seconds water was pouring out from just above the water pump and to the left. The dipstick is pointed at the area where it leaks. The water is leaking out fast where the pulley that holds that belt (right side top) goes in. I cant tell if its in front of or behind the pulley but I am guessing its where the pulley attaches to the engine.

In the top photo, if you are looking at the black vertical belt guard, at the very bottom of that and to the left is a gold piece that juts out , and that is the area that its leaking

The other spot it was leaking like a sieve was at the bottom of the plastic fill tank where the radiator cap is and it says ONLY FILL WITH SILICATE FREE ANTIFREEZE. The hose that comes out the bottom was leaking. I tightened it and it leaked faster, which leads me to believe that tank is very possibly cracked down there where the hose attaches to it.

the tank looks like an easy fix. I will shoot a few photos and add them for visual reference

000520100926_.jpg

000220100926_.jpg

000120100926_.jpg

Edited by MagneMan
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I would say it sounds like your water pump. Jack up the front of your car and crawl under there and look up to the water pump area and see where its leaking, if its leaking from the water pump it will be leaking from the O ring on the back side of the water pump.

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With regard to the water pump, it can leak at the shaft that drives the impeller and it can leak at the body seal. It rarely leaks at the shaft seal, but it of course can.

There is another place it can leak nearby however, look at your crossover seals, it can leak from them and look like the water pump

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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hate to sound stupid, but...here goes. what is the crossover and then when I know what it is, I promise I will check those seals too. lol

are the holding/overflow/fill tanks on the left of the engine compartment known for cracking on the bottom outlet where the hose attaches because it sure is leaking there too...

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ok. 3 questions

1) what is the crossover you mentioned that might be leaking?

2) where do I get these "coolant pellets" and are they necessary?

3) what is the plastic tank (is that the overflow tank, on other cars it seems like thats what it is called) that sits up snug on the passenger wheel well.

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