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The_Raven's 1996 SLS


The_Raven

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Howyadoin,

Just picked up my '96 SLS yesterday for $3800, replacing my '93 STS which got totaled at 151K miles.

The specs:

Black/Black Leather

123K miles, original LD8 engine

Interior good:

Problem with ashtray stuck in the wrong way, can't get it out.

Standard cassette stereo, no CD option.

Missing right side of rear passenger HVAC outlet.

Needs a good detailing and leather treatment.

Exterior good:

Scratches on hood, perhaps from an animal.

Small rust spot lower leading edge driver side rear door.

Chrome good, paint needs buffing.

Mechanical good:

Engine very smooth at idle, much smoother than '93 L37

Transmission shifts well, noticed slight brown tinge to ATF, not too bad though.

A/C compressor needs replacement.

Replaced brake pads all around and both front rotors.

Michelin Symmetry 225/60SR16 tires, plenty of tread life.

Suspension seems fine, much more pillowy ride than '93

Road test:

The subtle cosmetic differences between the SLS and STS don't tell the whole story. After driving the blindingly quick, raucous and responsive STS, the SLS seems much more in the smooth, refined, "classic Caddy" mold.

Power steering is heavily boosted at low speeds and doesn't really firm up until 50MPH. The ride is cloud-like, which is nice, but understeer and body roll seem much more pronounced. The Michelin Symmetry OEM-style tires probably have an impact on the understeer, compared to the Dunlop Sport 5000's I was used to on the STS. Don't try to stuff this car into an apex unless you've got room on the exit.

Acceleration is still excellent, but doesn't give the "eyes pulled back in the sockets" feeling that the STS gave at launch.

Interestingly, the stand-up hood ornament makes the hood appear much longer, since you actually see the end of the hood as opposed to the curve dropping out of sight. This makes the SLS seem more like a "land-yacht".

Mileage so far has been 22.5 mpg.

More reports to follow...

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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I have the same exact car, but the 95 version, pretty much identical. Black on black is the way to go lol. i have 130,000 miles and haven't had a problem with the transmission yet. A little minor problems here and there, but other than that a great car. Tune it up and it'll fly....

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Howyadoin,

This car is so smooth, I keep waiting for things to go wrong :) Wonderfully suited to devouring highway miles, not so good in the twisties. I'm giving thought to a suspension transplant, sway bars and perhaps springs. The struts seem fine, even at 122K (correction, BTW, 122500 or so, not 123 as reported earlier)

What the hell is up with the side mirrors? The black trim around the edge and a smaller mirror to start with makes for poor visibility. I was elated to see the driver's mirror appeard to be electrochromatic, is it always tinted a little? Mine is, I really won't know if it works properly 'til I get behind an Escalade with HID's

I noticed the driver's side door gasket was pulled about a foot forward of where it should be, leaving a gap at the rear door and excess past the front going down into the fender. It's gonna be bitterly cold the next day or two, and it's not really affecting operation, so I'll fix it when I get garage access or a warm day. Given that it's February in New England, I'm looking for a garage :)

Had a bit of an engine stumble after a warm start, turning left onto a road, not drastic but noticeable at the pedal. I'm beginning to get a kick out of pitching the car into turns, but I'm not happy with the weight transfer beating the hell out of the outside front tire and unloading the insides. Acceleration is effortless, highway merges are accomplished at the speed of thought, but metza-metz rear visibility has you twisting your head before you're nailing the throttle.

So far, I'm dancing... I'm very lucky to have gotten a car this nice for the price I paid. I think I need to enjoy it for what it is, and stop comparing it with my '93. This car will definitely take the Boston-Indy 500 run this year. Other drives? Maybe a Florida drive, take her to her ancestral home? Take her to Phoenix and get her rustproofed?

B)

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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Howyadoin,

When I got this car, the previous owner recommended new tires. I looked at the tires and wondered what he was talking about. There are Michelin Symmetry 225/60R16 tires all around, the tread looked great, didn't appear to be any problems.

I noticed when I was doing the brakes that the tires were way overinflated; 50PSI in the rear, 42 or so in the front. I thought perhaps the pressures were left high to prevent flat-spotting the tires, since the car sat for about 10 months between the time the guy bought his ML320 (ecch, bleepin minivan) and I took the SLS. I set the tires up at 32PSI all around, and checked them three days later. Sure enough, the front left was sitting at 20PSI. Pumped it and the other front tire to 35 to give a little more to lose, and went upon my way.

I have the chrome rims on my car, and I've read in the archives about problems sealing at the bead with these. I'm figuring on having my mechanic Mark check it out tomorrow, if he's working (President's day, donchaknow).

Took her for a trip to the South Shore today, down to Stoughton, about 35-40 mi each way. Ran like a champ, so very smooth. This motor is torquey enough that passing, say going from 65-75, is just a twitch of the foot, no downshift required.

After I got home, decided to do the IPC overrides for coolant temp and digital mph, and get rid of the "PRESS BRAKE TO SHIFT" message. All went well, except I noticed that the IPC option C didn't have the 128 value for "RSS installed". I looked at the struts and they have the connector, and they seem to ride OK, if a bit wallowy. I hope the previous owner didn't have the override changed to supress "Service Ride Control" messages. :(

I'm gonna post this to the main board and see what the deal is.

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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Howyadoin,

Started up the '96 SLS this evening, and smelled an odd odor from the heater, smelled a lot like the air released from a tire adjusting pressure. I have a slow leak on my front left wheel (darn chrome rims, I think, getting it checked), but this was way too strong to be that. So then I smelled something like paper burning, but that went away. So I'm left with this strong smell that I'm guessing is Dexcool.

No leakage outside the car

No steam from the engine compartment

No condensation on the windshield when front defrost is turned on.

No dampness that I could detect on the carpets

Engine temperature consistent with weather conditions

The heater fans start up, but then shut down after 5 seconds or so even in manual mode.

So the question becomes, what next?

Assuming the heater core is leaking, can I use Barsleak Gold to fix the problem? If so, is the procedure the same as for a non-Dexcool motor?

The fan situation concerns me... Is there a air output temperature sensor that might be keeping the fans from continuing to run after that initial 5 seconds or so?

If the heater core needs to be replaced, how involved is it? Are we talking dismantling the dashboard?

I posted a thread on CadillacForums to get some idea of how bad this could be...

Son of a *smurf*....

:angry:

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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Howyadoin,

Oddly, I wrote a review on this car in Carpoint the other day, describing it as a "warm, comfortable place to while away the miles"....

PLONK!!!!!

Fourteen farkin' degrees this morning, driving to work with no darn heat... arrggghhh.

Priced a heater core; $40 at Autozone. Blower motor; $340 at the dealer. Can you say "ouch"?

I guess this is what happens when you buy a car that sat for 10 months, eh?

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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There is a bit of info on the blower motor repair in the archives. Looks like the motor is around $187 from gmpartsdirect.com (also check gmotors.com, parts.com), so probably worth it to have it shipped.

I had a disasterous time changing my blower motor, but others have had better luck, such as Kevin's post here: http://caddysearch.netgetgoing.com/mbarchi...id=caddymb-5370

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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Howyadoin,

Hey Bruce, thanks a lot for that archive link! That's was a big help.

I picked up the blower motor from a local parts store for $220, that's not bad seeing as how I didn't have to pay for shipping. Plus, I need to take my mother to a appointment in the morning, and if I didn't get this part installed tonight, I would have had to get a rental, since I wouldn't want to be driving my mom in a car with no heat.

Mark R., my ace mechanic, looked at the car and was of the opinion that there's no coolant leak, and what I'm smelling is the burned-out blower motor. That got replaced tonight. The installation was as much of a *smurf* as I'd been led to believe, but Mark got it in there. The bottom bolt was really tough to re-attach with the heat shield on, but it relented eventually.

There was a tense moment after wrestling with the fan when we put the ignition to RUN; we tried it before we started the engine, (because the coil pack was still disconnected), there was voltage to the fan, but the fan wasn't spinning. :huh: Eventually we figured out that it wouldn't start without a signal, and that wouldn't happen until the engine was started. Once the engine was started, the fan spun up nicely.

The end result... HEAT!! Glorious, warm, Caddy-style HEAT! :D

That funky smell is still lingering, I imagine that will go away in time. Hell, I'll hang those pine-tree jobbies like dingle-balls from the headliner if it means I don't have to replace the heater core. I'd hate to have to start tearing the interior apart.

So anyways, also got the leaky tire fixed, there was all kindsa corrosion on the rim of the wheel. Mark buzzed it off with a grinding pad and re-mounted the tire with bead sealer. It was losing 4 PSI a day. We'll see how that goes. I imagine I'll have to have him do the other 3 at some point.

So tomorrow is the Dex-Cool and pellet special. Once that's done hopefully I can start enjoying the car more and worrying about it less.

Of course, I'll have to start exploring the mystery of the missing "RSS Installed" bit in my IPC Option C settings... <_>

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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Howyadoin,

Took the Caddy into Boston yesterday, bringing my mother to a doctor's appointment. Ran great, except for one stumble leaving a stoplight. I've noticed this on a couple of occasions, but it's too intermittent to figure out a cause. Otherwise, the motor runs so smooth that you have to look at the belts to see that it's running. The new blower motor works beautifully, and a Vanillaroma tree-freshener took care of the stank of the old blower motor.

Mark R. (my ace mechanic and brother-in-law, he'll be a continuing character in this saga) replaced the Dex-Cool and added the supplement pellets last night. I suspect the previous owner had this done at the dealership when he had the motor tuned up last year, but I feel better knowing we did it, especially considering the apparent fact that dealers don't install the pellets. Oddly enough, the coolant temp runs a couple of degrees higher than it was prior to the change? The temps as a whole run a lot cooler than my STS did. The highest I've seen on the SLS is 216 deg., where the STS would run 225 when parked after a good run.

Tire pressures look good, the rim cleaning seems to have addressed the slow leak in the front left.

So what is all this work been costing me, you ask?

Brake replacement: replaced 2 front rotors, resurfaced 2 rear rotors, new pads all around: $260

Blower motor replacement: $260

Coolant change, add pellets: $50

Wheel repair: $0 (freebie! zero!.... NADA!)

My sympathies go out to those who don't have a Mark... If I had to have this stuff done at a dealership, yikes! What, triple the numbers above? Dayam! :blink:

Apparently all this love n' affection has activated the car's self-healing features... :huh: I remember distinctly that the driver's side door seal was pulled about 12 inches forward, hanging down into the gap between the front quarter panel and door. I went to show it to Mark R., and the seal was back in place!?! After getting the :rolleyes: from Mark R., I can only assume that when I moved the seal forward of the leading edge of the door, it worked itself back as I was opening and closing the door!?! Hell if I know...

Oh yeah, average MPG is down to 18.5. I suspect the 22.5 number was due to the stoopidly over-inflated tires, so this is more reflective of reality.

I hope I don't have to do any more repair work, and I'm gonna be holding off on any mods for the next few months. The reason? I just got the estimate for my mother's replacement dentures... Like I said earlier, Dayam! :o

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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Howyadoin,

I've got two engineers visiting my company doing some work with my co-worker Jason and me, and we all went to lunch together today. One of the guys is Canadian, and the other is German. As we got in the car, the Canadian guy says "Don't worry about driving fast, Stefan here is used to it..." Figuring they drove from Toronto to the MA/NH border in under 8 hours, that sounds about right. So I gave the SLS the classic caddy cruise on the way to lunch, just gliding along at a modest 75, just booted it a little going up the on-ramp to I-93... Figured I'd save the good stuff for later. ;)

On the way back, we took our off-ramp from I-93, which goes right into a rotary intersection. For those who aren't fortunate enough to live where these poor-mans ovals are located, they can be a real blast if the intersection is idiot-free. Unfortunately, flatlanders entering these things tend to have... difficulties. Another visiting engineer almost got T-boned by a Ford Excessive his first day in Boston. :o So this day there was a fender-bender with 3 cars off to the right, and everybody in front of me was acting like it was the first time they saw another car. Finally it was my turn to enter the rotary, and I was annoyed for having been held up by freakin' rubberneckers. I got on it about 3/4 throttle, and for all the complaining I've done about the SLS exhaust compared to my '93, she sang like a soprano in full voice. It was all I could do to not start howling "Muahahaha!" and singing the "Ride of the Valkyries" bit from "Apocalypse Now" :lol: I think I saw Stefan in the rear view smile a little...

But anyways... I've been noticing a problem with the Twilight Sentinel gizmo... Once the lights come on, they don't want to shut off until the key is recycled, it appears. They come on where you would expect them to, and maybe in better light than they should sometimes. Once they've turned on, if I move the slider to "Off", the lights will stay on, even in full daylight.

Not a major problem, but it requires me to fiddle with the instrument lighting to bring up the display in the daytime, which tends to make it too bright at night, which means still more fiddling. I'm far too lazy, stupid and pampered to turn the lights on and off myself, of course, :huh: so I'll have to figure this one out. Anything behind the dashboard gives me the creeps, as I've made clear with the whole heater core "cancer scare" scene.

Got the "refrigerant low" message again today, second time. I'm not terribly concerned at the moment. I've got other things to spend money on rather than an A/C compressor which I was told was bad (of course, the guy thought the tires were bad too, which was not true, and never mentioned the crappy brakes :huh: ). Also we'll probably be chasing leaks, and there's no point in charging a system with a theoretically bad compressor just to find leaks, ya know?

More tales of whoa (and go) coming soon... Haven't tried any stoplight Grand Prix in the SLS, it just doesn't seem in the nature of the car. Of course I leave lights in a hurry, but haven't had a showdown-type situation where someone tries to get a holeshot or wants to go hard off the light after they see me launch. The '93 STS had no baffles in the mufflers, so it just sounded evil as all hell, especially at idle. It was the automotive equivalent of a big Harley, pretty much. It attracted attention, but oddly enough never from cops. Never got pulled over except on the run to Indy, got bagged by VASCAR in CT (dirty cheating bastids) :angry:

Granted, I'm a pretty safety-conscious driver, especially at night. I'm a musician, so I do a lot of after-midnight runs home from bars. I never want to give the cop an edge, a darn good reason to pull me over. I realize they can make up any excuse they please if they want to check you out, but I'm not going to do anything to antagonize 'em... I figure if they don't come after me, that keeps them available to nab drunks and torture ricers for illegal tint and dopey neon lighting :P

[butthead]"Vaya con Dios... or something... heh...heh...hunh..." [/butthead]

:blink:

BUHAHAHAHA!! I just noticed the profanity filter on preview... That's too "darn" funny!

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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Howyadoin Jeff,

Here's a shot of the car the day I first saw it, before I bought it... She was in need of a cleaning, having sat for 10 months. I've cleaned her a bit since, but the paint really could stand to be buffed out and some scratches repaired.

I'll post some more pics when the cosmetics are as smooth as the mechanics.

:)

96sls.jpg

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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Raven,

How do you like your Symmetry tires? The Deville I just rented had these, and I think they were a big part of the creamy smooth ride it had. I have performance Pilots on mine now, and I'm always considering what my next set will be. I really like the Pilots, but I might try another flavor of Michelin next...not sure yet. I'm looking at the Hydroedges and the Symmetrys. The Symmetrys look like much better snow tires than the 'Edges would be, and that's important to me, even in North Carolina. We had a freak 7" snowstorm yesterday which, around here, pretty much means the world has ended! :) The Army post is closed and my wife wants me to stay inside...even though my 4x4 Nissan truck walked right past all the pretenders in their 2wd trucks and FWD cars with their 20" "dubs". :)

Please let me know how you like the Symmetrys. They're on my list. Thanks,

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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Howyadoin,

Hey Jason, first off; welcome to journal-land! That '97 is beautiful. That Shale Metallic paint is one you don't see all the time. I hope mine looks as sweet once I get the paint buffed out and some scratches fixed.

The Symmetry tires are cushy, the sidewalls are very soft, which tends to increase the car's tendency to understeer. I like the ride around town, but I'm not burning any corners like I used to with the Dunlop SP 5000's I had on my '93 STS. The Dunlops had a beat-me kick-me ride, but enough scrub in corners for the understeer to keep you alive :) The treadwear life on the Symmetry is supposed to be 65K or something ridiculous like that, I wouldn't count on that based on reports. I'm running them at 34PSI, so underinflation's not to blame for the sidewall roll.

I've read good things about the Yokohama Avid Touring, I was going to replace the Symmetry with these, but the Symmetry is good enough.

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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Howyadoin,

Oh, and while I'm on my feet... :)

Haven't been writing much, status quo for the moment, although my wife took the car for the first time today. She likes it, with the exception of the windshield curvature which makes her eyes go :blink:

I've been spending a lot of time in the recording studio a friend and I are starting up. Spent 6 hours today ripping apart cable runs and putting them back together, rewiring the computer system, fun yeah fun... But the results were worth it. What a difference good wiring makes in audio... :D

I'll post the URL for our website with Bruce's approval, check it out if you're so inclined... B)

Wow, I just realized I ended every paragraph with a smilie... Wouldn't want to be a creature of habit so

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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Howyadoin,

Just wanted to mention that I ordered a gray Northstar t-shirt from Bruce's cafepress site

I got the shirt yesterday, and it's very nice! It has a full-color image of the N* motor on the front, and www.caddyinfo.com on the back. Nice job, Bruce! I liked it so much, I setup a cafepress link for my recording studio, RockaMoto Studios

If you have a website and want to sell gear, cafepress is a great way to go. No setup fees or anything, they make everything on an as-needed basis, all their overhead is included in their base price. You do the artwork, then you do the layout of the graphics on the item through their web-based tools. A friend wants to do a particular design on coffee mugs, I referred him to cafepress so he can get a prototype for short money that he can then use to get orders to be manufactured on a larger scale. Pretty slick setup.

But anyways, about the car... Not too much happening at this point, just rolling up the miles... I've put 1000 miles on it already (3 weeks) and it's just butta-smooth. Still have the Twilight Sentinel strangeness, and I need a new set of RKEs, cause the unlock button is intermittent on one, and I screwed up number 2 trying to clean goop out of it :( Oh, and my AM radio reception is terrible. I'm going to visit a friend who is an automotive electronic and mechanical master, and turn him loose on the electrical and radio oddness.

See ya in the passing lane,

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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Oh, good to hear about the shirts; the last time I worked with cafepress I ordered one of each product just to see what they looked like, but did not this time, so I meant to drop you a note and make sure you reported on them :)

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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Howyadoin,

Talk about an exercise in futility....

I took the car to a friend who's an absolute whiz at radios and electronics, as well as a brilliant mechanic. I told him about my AM reception problem, and he quickly determined that the antenna wasn't the problem, which left us trying to figure where the problem lay. I mentioned that I thought the radio was in the trunk. I knew that I had the base AM/FM/cassette unit, but I thought the guts, as it were, were in the trunk for all Caddy radios, not just the Bose systems.

So another friend of mine started dismantling the trunk lining to get at the back of the back seat. NOT an easy job, lemme tell ya. He busted his tail to get everything out, but couldn't penetrate the panel on which everything is mounted. So we then tried to remove the back seat to get at it. Still no joy. I'm now under the impression that the entire radio and amp is in the dash, which made ripping the trunk apart a waste of time. D'Oh! So now my buddy had to put all that stuff back together, and to his credit he did a bang-up job, no spare parts to be found! :) Well, at least I got to vacuum out the spare tire well and inflate the spare, which was at a whopping 10 PSI. That woulda been a real treat had I needed it. We also replaced the license plate lights. That looked a helluva lot harder on the '96 than it was on my '93.

Put a buncha miles on the car this weekend, we did the Salem/Brockton/Chelsea/Brockton/Stoughton/Norton/Stoughton/Salem grand tour Sunday. A beautiful day for driving, and a beautiful car to do it in! I stopped at the car wash before I started the big day, and was surprised that the car wash wasn't jammed. It was a sunny, 50 degree day, so I figured everyone and their grandmother would be there. I asked the attendant what was up, and he remarked that the upcoming snowfall was keeping people away. I scoffed, thinking it impossible that snow could follow such a beautiful day. Well, I was wrong. It snowed for 24 hours straight, and we got... about 1/2 inch. :P Just enough to bring out the freakin' sanders and make the car look like crap again...

So now I'm looking for an aftermarket radio... I bought a JVC KD-S890 for my wife's Rodeo, and I like it a lot, especially the MP3 capabilities. With that, you really don't need a CD changer, 1 disc fulla MP3s is like 6-7 standard audio CDs capacity. I'll probably keep the Delco speakers for the moment, although a friend has some Infinity speakers that have amazing sound for 6" speakers. We'll see what happens. I'm waiting on Uncle Sam to gimme my money back before I go shopping..

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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Howyadoin,

Well, the AM radio fun continues... Still trying to diagnose the interference. I've been getting some wonderful help from RDWRIOR, and I think we're on the right track. Going to try pulling fuses for the RTD and ELC systems and see what effect those have. If you're interested in the blow-by-blow of this discussion, check out this thread

Once we get this solved, I'll be sure to post the fix here for future generations...

-Mark

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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  • 2 weeks later...

Howyadoin,

I got to take the car for her first extended road trip Saturday, doing a nice long cruise up I-95 to Maine. Started in Salem, MA, went to Derry, NH to pick up a friend, then to Milo, ME for our fantasy baseball draft, about 300 miles or so each way.

She ran flawlessly on the trip up, it's just a perfect vehicle for such pursuits. Got a MP3/CD player with a cassette adapter fired up for the obligatory road tunes, kicked in the cruise control, and the miles took care of themselves. Stayed in ME about 5 hours, then got started heading home. I figured on a 4-5 hour drive back to Boston. Man, was I wrong....

Shortly after I got on I-95 South, it started to snow. Like crazy. Ordinarily this wouldn't be a problem, but there was one major glitch.

I've suspected all along that my headlight aim wasn't quite right. My right light seemed to be "duck hunting", pointing further up than it should. It made reading road signs easier, and improved my vision in general, so I wasn't in a big rush to get it changed. I've driven in the snow with the car before, even at night, and never had a problem. In this case, however, there was no other light source other than my headlights. This caused the snow to be illuminated as it was coming toward the windshield. Bear in mind that it's snowing like a bastard, snow is flying at me, lit up like a fireworks show. Everything else is black by comparison. I was driving by Braille, or faith, or something.

I had about 6 feet of forward vision, I could see the lane marker just in front of the left fender perhaps 60-70% of the time. The rest of the time, it was pretty much assumption. Thank God for the rumble strips on the right shoulder that kept me out of a ditch several times. Bear in mind too, that this was in the middle of freakin' nowhere, without cell phone service, in pitch-black darkness, in a snowstorm. Had I gone off the road, the possibilities weren't promising. Fortunately, I made it 60 miles to a city where I knew there was a hotel right off the highway. I'd covered those 60 miles in about 2 hours of white-knuckle fun., and still had about 200 miles to go to get home. Considering that the snow hadn't really changed in intensity and I had no idea what was ahead, and I was averaging a whopping 30MPH... I really didn't like my odds. I've had some rough drives in my life, but that was the most harrowing drive I've ever had.

So, I stopped for the night, and set out the next morning for Salem. I decided to stop and see my mother at her nursing home before I went home. I stopped along the way at Radio Shack for a digital tire pressure gauge and a cigarette lighter power splitter for the cell phone and CD/MP3 player, and when I restarted the car, I saw the forboding message "THEFT SYSTEM PROBLEM - CAR MAY NOT RESTART", along with codes IP2710 and IP2711. Well, if the car's not going to restart, I'd rather it not restart at home than on a Godawful hill in Chelsea, so that scrubbed that trip. I restarted the car when I got home without issue, and eventually got over to Chelsea without a problem, but that message freaked me out good. I'll see if it recurs, if so I'll replace the ignition cylinder.

Just another tricky day (or two)...

-Rav

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

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"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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Howyadoin,

Muahahahah!! Traced down the source of the RFI I've been getting on the AM radio. Check out this thread for the details... I'm gonna get this fixed, by gumption! :angry:

In other news, had the car at the garage today getting some stuff fixed. Got the headlight aim taken care of, not that it's gonna snow again anytime soon, but it's good to have that potential nightmare avoided, eh?

We did some diagnosis on the A/C problem, the DIC shows "REFIGERANT VERY LOW - A/C COMPRESSOR OFF" even after recharging the system. The only way to get the compressor to kick on was connecting 12VDC right to it. It spins up, the clutch engages, but to no effect. The compressor seems to be freewheeling, there's hardly any resistance to turning it, and it spins down when power is removed instead of just stopping. So, it appears that the compressor is indeed bad, so it's off to eBay for a rebuilt.

We cleaned the throttle butterfly, that was interesting... Mark R., my ace mechanic, sprayed the living hell out of the throttle body with cleaner, after taking the MAF sensor off. When we fired the engine back up, it was hard to get started, and when it did there was a massive smoke show from the exhaust, bad enough to trip off the smoke detectors in the garage! :ph34r: I'm getting an SES light now. I cleared all the codes, the only one that was active was the A/C compressor, which never triggered the SES light, so I'll see if SES is still on in the morning and rescan for codes.

That's all for now... Until next time, remember...

From the point of ignition

To the final drive

The point of a journey

Is not to arrive

Anything can happen...

-N. Peart

-Mark P.

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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We cleaned the throttle butterfly, that was interesting... Mark R., my ace mechanic, sprayed the living hell out of the throttle body with cleaner, after taking the MAF sensor off. When we fired the engine back up, it was hard to get started, and when it did there was a massive smoke show from the exhaust, bad enough to trip off the smoke detectors in the garage!

Yep, it'll do that. The "proper" way to clean it (the way I do anyway) is to use as little solvent as possible, and use an old toothbrush or other soft-bristled instrument and lightly scrub the product "ring" around where the throttle blade mates with the bore. I soak my brush with solvent (aerosol throttle body cleaner, safe for O2 sensors) and gently scrub the ring clean. There are never any problems with startup.

Want a smoke show? Take an old carbureted car (or TBI car) and use GM's Top Engine Cleaner, the liquid kind. It's basically like giving it a drink, and in fact, you're supposed to stall the engine out by dumping the last third of the can quickly into the intake. Let it set for 20 mins and start up again. Folks down the road will think your garage is on fire. Point the exhaust OUT of the garage if you do that trick. :)

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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Howyadoin,

No SES light this morning after clearing the codes last night, so all is good.

Cleaning the throttle body got rid of the stiction I was getting from initial throttle application.

Ordered the A/C compressor from a dealer on eBay, should have that in a few days, then it's back to the garage to get that hooked up. Also bidding on a set of GM service manuals, that auction ends in a couple days...

Not sure how to proceed with the RFI problem. I'll have to do some looking around to see if the RTD module is available from someone other than the dealer. That, of course, assumes that the RTD module is the problem...

Time will tell...

-Rav

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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