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No worries OldCadTech. Thanks and I agree.  The best choices seem to be AC Delco or MSD.  I think I am leaning toward MSD.

@barczy01 - I pulled the EGR vacuum line and no change.  I believe that is as it should be?  As far as the coil goes, I will be replacing that as part of the job so...

FYI to all - Good vacuum on the distributor vent.  No clogged plumbing.

Also, there is a distinct rich smell (new symptom) at the tailpipes and it is requiring more cranking to start cold.

For anyone with time to burn, here are a couple good videos on replacing the OptiSpark.  (What were they thinking?)  The 2nd one is a year or two older so it had a spline drive rather than the pin I will find.  All else is the same.  The 1st video is on a Corvette, the 2nd a Trans Am.  I have a ton more room for the harmonic balancer puller.  Like almost a foot more.  That will be nice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T02OKd4-uOU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ7lDztK21Y

Looks like a fun job.  The seals (Video #2) seem to be worth the trouble.  My kind of thinking.  I do think I will pass on on replacing the intake gasket.  Not broke, don't fix it.

Anybody got any thoughts about that harmonic balancer hub installation tool?  I don't recall ever using anything more than the center bolt or one like it but longer, to pull one back onto the crankshaft.  Am I missing something?  It has been a few years...

Thanks all!

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No worries OldCadTech. Thanks and I agree.  The best choices seem to be AC Delco or MSD.  I think I am leaning toward MSD.

@barczy01 - I pulled the EGR vacuum line and no change.  I believe that is as it should be?  As far as the coil goes, I will be replacing that as part of the job so...

FYI to all - Good vacuum on the distributor vent.  No clogged plumbing.

Also, there is a distinct rich smell (new symptom) at the tailpipes and it is requiring more cranking to start cold.

For anyone with time to burn, here are a couple good videos on replacing the OptiSpark.  (What were they thinking?)  The 2nd one is a year or two older so it had a spline drive rather than the pin I will find.  All else is the same.  The 1st video is on a Corvette, the 2nd a Trans Am.  I have a ton more room for the harmonic balancer puller.  Like almost a foot more.  That will be nice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T02OKd4-uOU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ7lDztK21Y

Looks like a fun job.  The seals (Video #2) seem to be worth the trouble.  My kind of thinking.  I do think I will pass on on replacing the intake gasket.  Not broke, don't fix it.

Anybody got any thoughts about that harmonic balancer hub installation tool?  I don't recall ever using anything more than the center bolt or one like it but longer, to pull one back onto the crankshaft.  Am I missing something?  It has been a few years...

Thanks all!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi All - I didn't die.  lol.  I figured I would update you.

Got all my parts.  Pulled the car in the garage and got it in the air.  Immediately got smacked by side quests.

Keep in mind, this car has not been butchered up.  So a lot is original and undisturbed.

Throttle body bypass.  Done.  May be good for 6 - 9 HP (dyno tested).  Nobody has ever seen one ice up and I am in NC. So, for what it's worth... Got that done without removing throttle body. 

Found lots of vacuum hose issue as I took things apart so re-plumbed a lot of that.

I had a battery put in at Advance Auto about 6 months ago (cuz I have gotten lazy)  The guy commented that the battery tray was rough.  Well... holy crap.  First thing I did after flushing and draining the cooling system before pulling it in the garage was notice the battery was free floating!  So when I got it in the garage I pulled the battery and the tray was nothing but rubble!   Somebody must have had a battery explode.  It was a mess.  50% of the tray was gone.  Most of the inner fender under the tray that reached forward to the bulkhead was as good as gone too.  That 12 sq. inch area had more rust that the entire rest of the car.

So...  New sheet metal to rebuild the inner fender to the bulkhead.  I used to work in sheet metal fabrication so, no biggie.  Just a pain.  Found a tray on the internet.  It was for a blazer but the tray was identical.  Drilled out 4 spotwelds to get rid of the giant support leg and it was perfect.  Just got that all together tonight.  Rock solid.  New inner fender metal and a new tray on top.  The battery was totally excited.

Tomorrow, I shoot for my last side quest.  Remove and clean out the coolant reservoir.  I just can't help myself.  So much crap in there and I ran my garden hose through that engine until I could drink the output without kidney failure.  So as stupid as it is, I have to do it.

Then, it is on to the task at hand.  Actually, I think the worst part is gonna be running the plug wires.  It looks fearsome.  I could cheat and do it the old school chevy way and run them wide outside the manifolds but that goes against my grain.  So I will see what I see when I get all the crap out of the way.

MSD distributor, coil, wires and ACDelco double platinum plugs as well as a NEW ACDelco water pump.  I will update you all when it is warranted.  This is a spare time project.  I don't expect it to be done in less than a month.

Thanks for your input and always, feel free to shoot your thoughts my way.

 

RC

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OK - Question.  I got the water pump off tonight after much hassle with the air injection pump and it's mounting bracket.  What a goofy over engineered mess.

So, that whole apparatus is gonna be a headache throughout this job.  I have seen where people remove the entire system and cap off the fittings at the manifold.  I have also seen arguments for retaining it, above and beyond the pollution control aspect.  (back pressure requirements in the exhaust, etc)

I tend to lean towards keeping it because I don't want to be the one to butcher up the car.  At the same time... opportunity knocks and being a 1995 and OBD1 the computer won't gripe and the PCM would need reprogramming.

So what do you guys think?  Keep it or lose it?

Thanks!

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Say goodbye I say.

My ScottsDale had that crap and doing away with it was the best thing I ever did.

I bought the plugs for the manifolds and that was it. 

What a horrible design it was and the parts were so expensive to replace it would cost more than the vehicle.

Should not affect anything enginewise.

No real gain or loss.

Only question I have is is your state one that uses the sniffer during inspection? If so then you may have a issue.

I am extremely picky and I thought the same you did until I went through the hell of just removing the pump. And to make matters worse the pipes that were broke and broke during removal.

I swear it was like a afterthought. I hate to say it but more for looking like it does something rather than actually functioning

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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Yeah... They don't even make my pump anymore.  It was a $400.00 piece when they did.  Boneyard/used is the only way to go now. I don't even want to consider the plumbing.  Wow.

But mine still works so...

I'm in NC and the emissions inspection thing is a county by county game.  My county is emissions free but if I move 300 feet east or in any reasonable direction/distance around me, I would be subject to the emissions inspection problem.  (I'm already violating that one with the MSD unit I am putting in but you can't see it so nobody will notice)

So given that it came out relatively cleanly and as long as I can complete the job without mangling it, I guess I will just put it back in and keep life simple over the long term.

Thanks for the feedback.  I got excited at first, thinking of the mindless hacking I was gonna get to do. 🙂

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NYSI is annual Here and if they ever change to every 6 months  I guess I will have to find a new state.

4 vehicles x 2 inspections per year would be big headache for me.

 

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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LOL.  I grew up in NY.  Moved here when I was 39.  NY inspections were were something to contend with!  Are they really talking about 6 month intervals?  Measuring thickness of rotors and killing you for a sloppy ball joint.  I always had my "inspection connection".  LOL.  Been down here for 23 years.  Probably as hard to beat the system up there as here now-a-days.  Computers.  The demise of us all.

So I just think I found the cause of my cars' deteriorating condition.  Just got home, so no work tonight but a co-worker noticed this today, in pics I took last night.  I totally missed it. I will see if I can upload a couple pics.  But it looks like the coil wire (at the distributor) was arcing to the back of the water pump. (bottom portion of water pump pic)  Basically, wires aging out and a really tight configuration.

That's cool.  Go all the way or stay home is the way I play,  It will be worth the work and I may find more of the same when I get to running wires.  Distributor may be just fine.  Water pump shaft looked good for 135 k miles.  But it all needs to go because I don't want to revisit the area.

BTW, that coil is gonna go too.  Just waiting to get it in my hand so I get the correct one.  MSD.

If you guys think it's worth it, I will put together a bunch of pics when all said in done.  Could be a decent reference?  Let me know.

 

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20191029_221539-2.jpg

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You are doing a great job here.  Thanks for all the details and photos 

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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Thanks - I will follow up with a rundown.  This weekend is gonna be full of Cadillac work.  There are a some things particular to this vehicle above and beyond the average LT1.  I will follow with details after I am done.  I will also put together a logical stream of pics that may help others in the future.  I am fixing (or preemptive fixing) a ton of plumbing issues along the way so I keep getting side-tracked.  But it's all stuff to do now so I never have to come back into the area.

Stay tuned.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update - The work is finally done.  It was not fun.  It was not cheap.  But the outcome is outstanding based on a 20 mile test drive.

Summary of work done:

MSD Optispark distributor, MSD coil, MSD Super Conductor 8.5 mm plug wires, ACDelco water pump (new, not reman and I added a fitting and drain hose for the weep hole) and thermostat, ACDelco double platinum plugs, super flushed the cooling system before beginning, removed and cleaned out the reservoir, replaced almost all the vacuum hoses, some out of need, some as insurance, bypassed the throttle body (no more coolant through it)

The plugs were animals.  All except 3 were puzzles.  The plug wires were custom fit.  There was no way those fat wires were gonna run where the factory ones did.  I was leery of the crimping involved but the tool they give you works well.  Made a harness for each side, threaded it into place, installed/fabricated wire looms and then marked the length at each plug with a sharpie.  Pulled them out and started cutting and crimping.  Came out pretty nice.

I test fired it with no water or air injection pump to make sure it was good before adding coolant etc.  It scared me when it didn't fire.  Then I realized it had no temp sensor so was not getting the rich shot of fuel as it normally would on a cold start (I remember when all that sensor did was turn on an idiot light!).  Hit it with some starting fluid and it fired up.  I turned out the garage lights and looked it over for arcing, above and below.  Everything was nice and dark!

Finished putting it together today, no leaks, no skipping, no rich smelling exhaust.  Took it for a ride and it runs like a bear.  Really pleased with the distributor.  You can feel it hitting right on the mark, especially at higher rpms.  The car never felt like that, even 7 years ago when I bought it.

So I'm smilin' OldCadTech.

Thanks for all your help on this.  You guys are really indispensable.

I will do a detailed write up of what was done and all the crazy stuff anyone else that does this on this particular car will run into.  There are a few oddities that are not encountered on other cars with the same engine based on what I saw as I prepped for this undertaking.  I will do that and set up a logical stream of pictures (gonna entail a lot of file shrinking).  Should I post that here when ready or is there a better place for them?

Thanks again.  Mission accomplished +!

RC

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just some late information. The spring in the EGR valves lose tension after getting hot from a lot of miles, and cause a hesitation on all the old vacuum EGR valves. Most of the time it is a TPS, but the EGR can be a culprit also. Just trying to help.

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  • 3 weeks later...

OK.  It has been a month and I have put about 800 miles on it.  All is good.  Very good.

I promised a write up on the work but that might be really boring and long.  I will hit the high spots that either surprised me or were just a bit of a puzzle.

Tear down; Water pump removal.

Pretty straight forward stuff.  One thing I didn't expect was to have to remove the air injection pump.  I was trying to disturb as little as possible because on a 24 year old car, one bolt can cause a big headache.  When I saw the air injection pump had to come off it appeared simple enough but figured I would do a little research first.  The info I found on the internet was a little less than exact.  This is the deal on this particular car.  See attached photos.

3 10 mm bolts hold the pump to it's bracket.  Pump has to be removed before the bracket.  My hoses were in good shape and the clamps were in good shape.  I removed the intake from the air filter box and the output from where it connected to the steel plumbing up at the check valve on the drivers side exhaust manifold.  Easy stuff.  Throw it in the parts pile in the trunk.

Bracket removal.  There is one stud that serves as a water pump bolt.  Remove the 14mm nut.  Then remove the 14mm bolt in the center of the bracket.  If you believe the internet, you are done.  Don't believe the internet.  There is one more 14mm bolt.  You will find an arm of that bracket that for some unexplained reason, reaches down behind the distributor where the driver's side plug wires plug in.  Remove the plug wires and it is not a big deal to remove.  See pictures.

However, you will still not be able to remove the bracket.  The air injection plumbing from the drivers side exhaust manifold is attached to that bracket with a 10mm bolt (red circle in pic).  It is on the back side of the bracket and was never intended to be seen by the human eye.   I used a 1/4 in. drive ratchet and a 10 mm socket.  Hang the ratchet down into the area with right hand finger tips and use the left hand to reach under the bracket and hold the ratchet on the bolt.  Loosen it a couple turns and you are good to go.  Disconnect the air injection plumbing from the driver's side exhaust manifold check valve (red circle in pic) to let the plumbing flex.  Slide the bracket off the water pump bolt/stud and swing it a bit to the right and you will be able to remove the water pump.

Hint:  6 bolts (5 + the one stud) to remove the water pump.  2 of those are short and seem to have little reason to exist.

OK.  Pictures.  It may take a couple messages to get them uploaded.

I will tackle the next point of interest in the next note.

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20191028_200156-s.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Glad to see that you got it running well, that was a lot of work with the battery tray, flushing the coolant tank, etc, wow, glad you are smiling and that its running better than it did 7 years ago, nice!

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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