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93 DeVille leaking coolant from behind timing cover


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Hi all, my name is Tim. Recently I purchased a 93 Sedan Deville 4.9L for only 900 bucks. Shes only got 92k original miles on the engine so i know i definitely stole her. Got her from some snowbirds that vacay in south florida about 3 months of the year so that would explain the no miles lol. Unfortunately My 93 DeVille (i call her betsy) recently started leaking every ounce of coolant i put in her, thru somewhere behind the timing cover.

I'm convinced its just Gaskets, but of course midas thinks it might need a new pump, timing cover, hoses, and gaskets.

i found the gaskets for like 15 bucks on a parts website (not sure which but i have it saved on my home computer)

Pump for around 50, and the timing cover for 70.

I know i should in theory replace everything just to be safe, but has anyone seen this leak before? I found a bunch of info on here already but most places i search, nobody has replaced the timing cover, just the water pump. obviously i'll be taking off the pump and timing cover to check em out, but the gaskets look worn so im almost positive thats all i need.

is there anything else i should worry about ? could it be the inlet thats leaking ? i sure hope not because i cant even find a replacement lol !

-DaddysCadi (also known as Timmy)

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Is the coolant getting into the oil or is it just an external leak?

Borrow the cooling system pressure tester from Autozone and pressurize the system to 15 PSI with the engine cold and you will be able to spot the leaks.

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

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nothing in the oil, its definitely external. well, external as in it leaks out visibly from behind the timing cover. my hope is just gaskets need to be replaced, but im not averse to doing the timing cover and water pump albeit a bit tricky.

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There are a bunch of coolant pipes back there that traverse the area, we have a member Marika that had a 92 4.9 and she had those pipes replaced. Ill find a photo of the pipes but search member Marika and see what you find.

I will need to search my photobucket account and it has 800 photos.

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Hope this helps notice all the pipes, hoses and clamps where you can get leaks. I think Marika's pipes were rusted through. Also, the water pump is wide and can leak at the gasket, check to make sure the pump isnt leaking at the weep hole. I actually changed this water pump in a Marriott parking lot with tools borrowed from the super and some that I bought in a parts store. Its tight, there are about 10 to 15 small bolts maybe a nut or two. Leave the serp belt on to loosen the 4 pulley bolts, to help hold it from turning. I used indian head gasket cement and cemented the gasket in place, on the pump, to keep it in place when you put the pump in place and get the bolts in. I must have replaced that pump 5 times, they don't give you much warning when they go bad.

1009166M08-008_zpspkkmtrvt.jpeg

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The water pump will leak from the rear of the timing cover as well.

Also the timing covers themselves corrode and will dump a LOT of coolant.

Pipe #5 in BBFs pic is the first place I would look. and the green hose #4

THERE IS ALWAYS ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB RIGHT - THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB AGAIN !!!

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thanks so much for all the responses, i notice a leak right near #5 / #3 but its leaking down from somewhere above there (i was able to trace it up beyond the pipes). Me AND Midas are convinced its behind the timing cover so what i'll do is take everything apart and take some detailed pics of what i see. i probably wont be able to get to it until the weekend or late one of these nights since i work 9-5 this whole week. im pretty sure eventually i'll end up doing the entire cooling system, all new pipes and everything, but right now i just need this sexy girl back on the road. One thing i will say is im glad its the 4.9 and not the northstar because i havent heard one good thing about that engine in all my years looking for a DeVille lol !!

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Well, you were doing good up until the last sentence. I don't know who you spoke to but the Northstar is an awesome engine, try to forget what you have been told.

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The 4.9 liter is an awesome engine in its own right, and also the Allante 4.5 liter in 200 hp trim is a classic engine too, and their place in history will be there in time.

But the Northstar is a hugely successful engine. It had a production run from the 1993 through the 2010 model years and set a standard of configuration (all aluminum, DOHC, internal cam chains, etc.) that became the norm for all premium engines after everybody had fifteen years to catch up. The Allante with the Northstar, available only one year, is a highly desirable classic even now.

But I have heard that a contest between a 4.9 and a VIN 9 Northstar, side by side, the 4.9 has the advantage up to about 40 mph. And, it holds its own at any speed, much better than one might expect from its 200 hp rating.

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I had a 91 Seville 4.9 and while it was a terrific engine i would not put it into the awesome category with a Northstar its not even close. Was it a step forward over the 4.5?, yes but it is known for the #1 main bearing knock, just a nuisance I know but present, the EGR system needs periodic cleaning or you would get codes and detonation and the cylinder sleeve o-rings can leak a problem which forced the end of Marika's engine as she leaked coolant into the oil and it couldnt be stopped. Another problem that bothered me was a water pump that gave no warning that left me stranded 3 times. Another quirky problem is that the exhaust manifold has a habit of cracking I have sent 2 to Europe. Not related to the engine but the tranny's sprag is known for crapping out.

A 93 is now 23 model years old and the cylinder sleeve o-rings are quite old, It is very important to keep the cooling system dosed with cooling supplement tablets to keep coolant out of the oil. Monitor the oil with testing to watch for the presence of coolant.

I credit the 91 4.9 for a resurgence in Cadillac, but lets not go overboard and call it awesome, it wasn't used for racing and it had a short run, was not high revving like the NS, it did have an over-rideable engine managemwnt system and a dash interface that provided DTC codes. I will say however I loved my 91 Seville.

There are people and mechanics out there that dump on the Northstar that have no idea how to maintain or repair the engine. Without knowledge they see things like changing the starter as difficult and have no clue how to diagnose overheating or maintain the cooling system. I have seen mechanics yell blown head gasket when its something they have no idea they caused it by pouring the tablets into the tank or they overlooked the purge line that I rescue in 15 minutes. Recently the dealer recommended SN oil for my friends 98 eldo because it was "backward compatible" and he told my friend that Rotella 10w30 diesel oil would ruin his engine, they will go by the book to the owners peril. The Northstar is an innovative work of art.

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

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Cadillac did start recovering from the 80's Malaise Era with the Allante, then the 4.9 and the new E/K platform. The 1993 STS was Road & Track's Car of the Year, and it had the 4.9.

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-- 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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Thats fine but to put it anywhere in the same category of a Northstar is generous. The body styling of the 92 was a leap forward to the stubby and boxy 91 which I owned. The Allante was a 2 seat specialty car that suffered leaks and an underpowered 4.5 at 155 hp.

By the way, the 93 STS had the Northstar not 4.9

http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/cad1990/cad93s.htm

91 to me was the turning point with the 4.9 but it wasnt a Northstar that matured over 18 years. It made Wards Worlds Best Engines during 1995, 1996 and 1997.

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

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The Allante never had the same 4.5 as the other Cadillacs. From the Motorera Cadillac history pages, here are the horsepower ratings by year:

1987 170 hp (Deville 130 hp)
1988 170 hp (Deville 155 hp)
1989 200 hp (Deville 155 hp)
1990 200 hp (Deville 180 hp)
1991 200 hp (Deville 200 hp, 4.9 l)
1992 200 hp (Deville 200 hp, 4.9 l)
1993 295 hp (Northstar) (Deville 200 hp, 4.9 l)

The intake runners for the Allante fuel injection were loooong. I think that the hot setup would be an Allante 200 hp fuel injection on a 4.9, possibly with the Allante cam timing, but I never heard of anyone doing that. Another page on Cadillac engine history and the 4.5/4.9/Northstar in particular:

http://www.enginebuildermag.com/2014/03/vintage-v8s-exploring-100-years-eight-cylinder-cadillac-engines/

Here's an eBay page with an Allante intake manifold for sale, with a couple of great photos:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cadillac-Allante-OEM-1987-1992-Fuel-Inject-Intake-Manifold-Very-Nice-/400550809045

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-- 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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Thanks guys, that was a walk down memory lane for me :)

Personally I didn't like the Allante, they had way too much torque steer for my liking...

The one that I liked was the Olds Aurora, baby NorthStar and the V-6 version Alero. But don't wanna get too far off topic.

The intake could be leaking on the front left, only thing I could think of that is higher in that area.. Pressure it up good and watch the left front corner just inboard of the little rubber wedge..

THERE IS ALWAYS ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB RIGHT - THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB AGAIN !!!

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Yea, the starters are sooo hard to change on the NorthStar, I don't even disconnect the battery.... Don't look at me like that!!! I never arched one :P

THERE IS ALWAYS ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB RIGHT - THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB AGAIN !!!

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Yea, the starters are sooo hard to change on the NorthStar, I don't even disconnect the battery.... Don't look at me like that!!! I never arched one :P

:-)

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definitely did not mean to spark a big ol' debate lol i just personally havent heard (prior to now) good things about the northstars. not from mechanics, but from forums and such like this. i try to do a fair bit of research before i jump into anything. anyways, after last night i concluded that the issue is either timing cover or gaskets behind the cover. i'll be changing both + the pump since i'll already be all up in there. my only issue now is how the heck to get to the water pump, i have no access to a lift, engine lift, and im honestly not completely sure how to get thru the "splash guard/wheel well" like ive seen some people talking about. My plan was to take off the passenger tire, splash guard, battery, and coolant tank to make the room but the splash guard confuses me. i mean, i'm sure i could figure it out, i just dont want to break it and not be able to reseat it when its time to put it all back together. Are there any guides with pics? if no, i think i'll compile all the info i've seen so far and make a video or picture guide of it when i get around to tackling the problem.

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I don't have any pics, but I've done hundreds of w-pumps. It's all done from the top. Loosen the three W-pump pulley bolts (13mm) before removing the belt, once they're loose remove the belt and the pulley bolts. all the other bolts and nuts are 10mm. I've slept since the last one but there are about 10-12 to remove. You can get to all of them from the top over the right fender, no need to remove tires etc. I used a 10mm swivel socket and a small 1/4" drive ratchet. The front cover removal is quite a bit more complicated but do the pressure test first and make sure, you're going after the correct spot, they can be deceiving. Removing the front cover is easy, putting it back together and having it leak free at the oil pan is quite another story. If you're not comfortable remove the oil pan, then do the front cover.

THERE IS ALWAYS ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB RIGHT - THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB AGAIN !!!

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I have a 91 factory service manual and will have a look through it for illustrations that may help.

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

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

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

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old cad tech / body by fisher, thanks infinitely, honestly would have been lost without the help. also thank you to everyone else. i'll try and throw together a guide from everything i find from here + pics of what i end up doing myself. hopefully a video as well but tho ive never compiled a tutorial video before. stay tuned ladies and gents.

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Looking forward to it. My gut tells me the waterpump backing plate rusted through. Can't wait to see what the problem is.

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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