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Multiple oil leaks from oil pan gasket area.


brmurph

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I use to read this forum every day for years and I don't remember this question being asked but maybe it has. I de-greased my motor so I could try and find my leaks, I was surprised when I found 4 separate leaks coming from the front of the oil pan. Withing about 5 minutes all 4 leeks were dripping on the ground. This car is a 1998 Concours that I have had for 12 years and love the car but there is now enough wrong with it that I don't want to spend the couple of grand it would take to fix these leaks correctly. Has anyone tried cleaning the leaking areas real well and put in some kind of sealant just to slow them down some? Do you think it would work? I really don't care if it leaks a little but it is so bad now that I don't think I should drive the car any more :-(.

BTW what happen to BBF ? Did he change his name again :-)?

Thanks in advance.

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more or less its the lower bearing case that needs to be resealed. The oil channel manifold plate is pressurized and leaking. Sealer is not going to work. Where are you located?

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If it leaks while sitting, it could be just a seep. You can try torqing all the oil pan bolts and see if that helps. If it leaks only when the engine is running, then it's probably a leak in the high-pressure manifold in the oil pan gasket, and it needs a new oil pan gasket.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Yeah I agree with what is being said as the top of the 1/2 case seems good (it was sealed at 30,000 miles by Cadillac). No leaks until I start the motor then it starts leaking pretty bad right at where I believe the oil manifold is (top of oil pan). Oh and I did try to tighten the oil pan bolts a couple of years ago, I don't think it helped from what I can tell (maybe made it worse).

I am in Austin Texas where I can't seem to find any Northstar mechanics.

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Fortunately your car is quite ambulatory so you don't need to confine your search to Austin. When I lived there, which was before any of the good things that define Austin today happened, I went to Dallas or Houston for anything significant, like electronic parts, etc. I would throw San Antonio into the mix today, and possibly Waco. Broaden your search. Dallas or Houston are still your best bets.

There is an organization called International Network of Northstar Repair Shops (INNRS) that has a state-by-state shop finder that lists a shop in Dallas. Caveat - it's hosted by Northstar Performance, a Manitoba, Canada outfit that sells stud kits for head gasket repair. Whatever, vet the Dallas shop like you would any other - ask for references, etc.

Also note that barczy01 operates a shop that does work on Northstars and is apparently offering to do the case half and oil pan gaskets for you (see post #2 above).

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Yeah your right and I have already done this to some extent. I called North Texas performance as well as Carroll Custom Cadillac both in Dallas and both great guys to talk to but just can't justify the $1500-$2500 this repair will cost. I assume barczy01 is in that price range as well? I have heard of folks getting this repair done for around a grand which I would pay but any more then that and I think I will look for a newer DTS (heck you can pick up low mileage for 5-7 grand). I have a cabin in Northern Minnesota and have even thought about bringing it to Jake's shop in Canada (Northstar Performance) but again hard to justify I think. If I had all the time in the world I would probably bring it to Jake as I think he was sealing up the bottom end for around a grand at one time.

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You will have to talk to barczy01 about your car to determine his price. I will say that if the case half is just seeping, it probably doesn't need to come apart, and doing the oil pan gasket without the case half coming off is a whole lot simpler job. I'm not sure that you can get the oil pan off without separating the engine and transmission, though, and if it can't be done with the engine in the car it's still not a small job. I would say that people who have paid on the order of $1000 have just had the oil pan gasket done; the R&R of a Northstar runs $800 - $1K in some shops. With the engine out, replacing the oil pan is a simple job.

What you do with the car, fix or trade up, depends on the condition of the car and what you intend to do with it. Some people only drive their Cadillac in the summer and garage it in the winter, and it never sees salt. Some drive it every day and in the salt belt some of them rust out the stainless steel exhaust systems, the stainless steel brake lines, and have various undercar salt damage including strut and shock seals, suspension bushings, leveling compressor damage, wiring harness connectors, ride height sensors, etc.

I had a grandiose shop owner offer to put in a Jasper for $7000 last year when I know that I could get it done in town by a Jasper-approved installer for $2K to $3K less. I went another route; it had a mild compression problem in an intake valve which had carbon on a valve and valve seat from a backfire into the intake, and really didn't need anything except a top-end clean-out. It never hurts to get a second opinion.

But, I ended up trading up, in no small part because I had the hots for the CTS-V and I had been driving my 1997 ETC was 15 years. I loved my ETC and still miss it sometimes but you can find some fine deals on used Cadillac DTS in the 2004-2006 range, as you say.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Does anyone know is it possible to replace just the oil pan gasket by removing the trans and leaving the motor in the car ? If this is an option I might be willing to try it myself.

Yes - it is possible but removing the transmission is a PITA. It is not the oil pan gasket but the oil manifold plate that is the bulk of the leak. If it were my car, I'd drop the entire powertrain and separate the engine from the transmission and put the engine on an engine stand. That way you can work on it standing up. Use GM engine sealant and you will not have any leaks. There is NO aftermarket equivalent.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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I would charge 1200 for a lower bearing case reseal, 1800 for head gaskets, 3100$ for overhauls and transmissions overhauls too. I have the kent moore engine hanger to hold the engine in the car so you can remove the trans. Its a heavy unit so I would be careful if you attempt in a garage. Always reseal the whole lower bearing case don't skimp, its too much work to skimp the job.

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To add to barczy01's post, if you're going to remove the transmission in your garage, make sure to use a transmission jack - you will need that as well as an adapter plate to adapt the jack to the FWD transmission. When I changed out my transmission, I had to fabricate adapters for the transmission jack. The transmission jack is adjustable in all three axis. Don't try to use a floor jack. The 4T-80E transaxle is a very heavy unit.

You will also need some jack stands that will allow you to jack the car up high enough to get the transmission out of the car.

I fabricated an engine support out of 4x4's, grade 8 bolts and chain that was basically a copy of the Kent-Moore tool.

Having done the transmission R&R and removing the engine for Timeserting, I'd rather pull the engine than the transmission.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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I would charge 1200 for a lower bearing case reseal, 1800 for head gaskets, 3100$ for overhauls and transmissions overhauls too. I have the kent moore engine hanger to hold the engine in the car so you can remove the trans. Its a heavy unit so I would be careful if you attempt in a garage. Always reseal the whole lower bearing case don't skimp, its too much work to skimp the job.

These are great prices, I wish I had someone in Austin that could do it for that. I will consider dropping it off on my next trip from Austin to MN. Thanks again!

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My 94 SLS had the same leaking oil problem.

I tried cleaning the area and applying a high temp RTV sealant to all of the relevant areas.

My advice is to forget about this approach. It will result in minor blood loss from the back of your hands from working in tight places and NO difference in the oil leaks.

I later switched the engine oil to Pennzoil High Mileage that comes in copper colored containers. While changing the oil type didn't cure all the leaks, it did seem to decrease the severity. Instead of a large puddle on the garage floor, the puddle was much smaller. As I said, the Pennzoil High Mileage didn't cure it completely, but it did lessen the leak to something that I could live with. The reduction in leakage amount wasn't immediate, but by the second oil change with the High Mileage oil I began to notice that the amount of oil on the garage floor was significantly less.

If you read the label propaganda on the High Mileage oil, it says that it has an ingredient that causes seals and gaskets to swell slightly, helping to control leaks. I was very skeptical of that claim, but thought that I would try it. As I said, it didn't completely cure the leakage, but it did bring it down to a level that I could live with.

The High Mileage oil is slightly more expensive, but not prohibitive. If I were you, I would give it a try.

Good Luck,

Britt

Britt
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My 94 SLS had the same leaking oil problem.

I tried cleaning the area and applying a high temp RTV sealant to all of the relevant areas.

My advice is to forget about this approach. It will result in minor blood loss from the back of your hands from working in tight places and NO difference in the oil leaks.

I later switched the engine oil to Pennzoil High Mileage that comes in copper colored containers. While changing the oil type didn't cure all the leaks, it did seem to decrease the severity. Instead of a large puddle on the garage floor, the puddle was much smaller. As I said, the Pennzoil High Mileage didn't cure it completely, but it did lessen the leak to something that I could live with. The reduction in leakage amount wasn't immediate, but by the second oil change with the High Mileage oil I began to notice that the amount of oil on the garage floor was significantly less.

If you read the label propaganda on the High Mileage oil, it says that it has an ingredient that causes seals and gaskets to swell slightly, helping to control leaks. I was very skeptical of that claim, but thought that I would try it. As I said, it didn't completely cure the leakage, but it did bring it down to a level that I could live with.

The High Mileage oil is slightly more expensive, but not prohibitive. If I were you, I would give it a try.

Good Luck,

Britt

Yeah I am actually using the high mileage oil. Thanks.

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uh yeah barcy01....hmmm, I ended up going elsewhere bc he DIDN'T fix my Cadillac, just sos'e there are enough people on here that are recognizing him - should be one that has actually talked to him. and He said he didn't want to work on it, then ran me around till I had another shop in Indy put in a motor, no problems since.

Now Barczy01 maybe alright, just saying talk to him THEN look around!

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uh yeah barcy01....hmmm, I ended up going elsewhere bc he DIDN'T fix my Cadillac, just sos'e there are enough people on here that are recognizing him - should be one that has actually talked to him. and He said he didn't want to work on it, then ran me around till I had another shop in Indy put in a motor, no problems since.

Now Barczy01 maybe alright, just saying talk to him THEN look around!

Could you please translate this?

Apparently, barcrzy01 did not want to work on your car?

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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dd53787 Just wondering who you are? I write everything down so I am sure I have logged it. When did we talk? If I didn't see the car, I couldn't get a chance to fix it?

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I have turned cars down indeed. These cars are getting older and rusty and more or less projects. I can't please everyone sorry..

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  • 2 weeks later...

I didn't see where anyone responded to member Winterset's question about "the old mechanics using brake fluid in the oil to swell the seals?" My 97 Deville had a slight problem but when it came back from my dealer here in Abilene, Tx this last time after the 9TH Compressor replacement it is leaking way more [?] This is a very nice garaged always car that I plan to keep and short of spending the money for the engine removal fix I'm desperate to use what trick are known to be for real [there are none right? lol] to get the problem at least where it was and that was 1) yes it was always oily in many places under there but 2) there was NEVER and I'm not lying about this, NEVER any oil beneath it on the ground/garage floor which still tweaks my weak brain as to how none of all that fluid dripped down [?] but now, there is too much oil on the plastic I keep underneath it . ,,I haven't been measuring it yet but will start and I'm not worried about expense related, acceptable loss here and I know of the "keeps it rust free so what's the problem ideaolgy" but leaving a mess with my Cadillac where ever I go is not right especially at my house__I'm crafting a custom device to catch it that I can leave under the worst leak areas but temperature compatible materials for non invasive attaching evades me plus my 1st 2 prototypes blew off easily so ....Would like to slow this at least.

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I didn't see where anyone responded to member Winterset's question about "the old mechanics using brake fluid in the oil to swell the seals?" My 97 Deville had a slight problem but when it came back from my dealer here in Abilene, Tx this last time after the 9TH Compressor replacement it is leaking way more [?] This is a very nice garaged always car that I plan to keep and short of spending the money for the engine removal fix I'm desperate to use what trick are known to be for real [there are none right? lol] to get the problem at least where it was and that was 1) yes it was always oily in many places under there but 2) there was NEVER and I'm not lying about this, NEVER any oil beneath it on the ground/garage floor which still tweaks my weak brain as to how none of all that fluid dripped down [?] but now, there is too much oil on the plastic I keep underneath it . ,,I haven't been measuring it yet but will start and I'm not worried about expense related, acceptable loss here and I know of the "keeps it rust free so what's the problem ideaolgy" but leaving a mess with my Cadillac where ever I go is not right especially at my house__I'm crafting a custom device to catch it that I can leave under the worst leak areas but temperature compatible materials for non invasive attaching evades me plus my 1st 2 prototypes blew off easily so ....Would like to slow this at least.

I would NEVER add brake fluid to the engine oil... "Old mechanic's tricks" like that can be the death of a modern engine. I'd also never use oatmeal in the radiator to stop leaks.

To the air conditioning issue: Did they change the condenser and flush the system when the compressor was replaced? If not, the debris from the old compressor(s) that is trapped in the condenser is being circulated into the system which in turn destroys the new compressor. Anyone worth his salt at A/C repairs knows this.

It is probably a coincidence on the leak from your car vs. the compressor replacement. The most common issue is the oil manifold plate that is between the oil pan and the lower crankcase half - over time, the silicone seals lose their ability to seal - remember, your car is 17 years old - nothing lasts forever.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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I've never heard of brake fluid in the oil. Brake fluid is a heavy alcohol, not an oil, and I'm not at all sure that they would mix.

I have heard of an illiterate illegal immigrant that put engine oil in the brake cylinder of a car because he thought that it was the same stuff as brake fluid. The master cylinder and all the wheel cylinders had the cups swell up and jam, and the whole system had to be flushed and overhauled. The jammed system ruined some pads and brake disks, too. Late-model car; bad scene. The owner of the place couldn't get anyone to tell how that had happened, so he fired them all and hired all new people.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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I've never heard of brake fluid in the oil. Brake fluid is a heavy alcohol, not an oil, and I'm not at all sure that they would mix.

I have heard of an illiterate illegal immigrant that put engine oil in the brake cylinder of a car because he thought that it was the same stuff as brake fluid. The master cylinder and all the wheel cylinders had the cups swell up and jam, and the whole system had to be flushed and overhauled. The jammed system ruined some pads and brake disks, too. Late-model car; bad scene. The owner of the place couldn't get anyone to tell how that had happened, so he fired them all and hired all new people.

I have actually put transmission fluid in a master cylinder before when the master cylinder went out on me. It allowed me to drive home once the seals swelled up. Of course it then had to be replaced, but so was the master cylinder anyway. Much better to get home and work on the car. Of course that was a 64 new yorker, in about 1980. I don't think I would do that today.

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In an absolute emergency when you must have brake fluid for your safety or to avoid abandoning the car where it will be towed or damaged, you can use tap water without damaging the brake system. When you get home, flush the brakes within a day or two, e.g. when you finish the repair that is likely needed that resulted in the leak, and you are done.

Note that tap water does not meet DOT 3 specs, in particular a high boiling point, so it can boil in the calipers of disk brakes if you ride the brakes say, down a long hill, and produce "air" in the brakes, so this is a "limp home" strategy not to be taken lightly.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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