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Engine Busted - Recommend Shop in CO?


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New to the board....

I think I finally killed my '94 ETC after 160k. That last 1/4 mile did her in.

2nd time trial at Bandimere yesterday...

She'll still run but low power, horrific klacking under load not to mention extra glitter on the dip-stick (bad sign!). I think it's a ring.

Anyhow, wondering if anyone can recommend a competent Northstar mechanic in colorado (denver-boulder area best). I'd take it to the usual dealer service center but I'm hoping I could find some place more equitable (financially).

My usual shop nailed me for $3k to replace the seals a year ago....

Where should I look for a Northstar crate refurb. $$$?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated...



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You need to do a little diagnostics to find out what happened. When the did the work a year ago, did they pull the heads or just drop the bottom?

I would do a compression test and i would pressurize the cooling system to see if it holds pressure. Is it overheating? The glitter on the dip stick sounds like metal flakes or is it water? If it is metal flakes I would immediately stop driving it before more damage is done. Is it idling rough?

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Thanks, Scotty...

As far as I know they didn't pull the heads. I needed lower crank-case seal I've put over 5000 mile on since that work without any problems.

I knew there was trouble when she couldn't get past 5 grand in 2nd. I've been racing at Bandimere three times in two years and she always runs consistent within a couple hundredths. Earned my first trophy (in anything) last year

Don't have any trouble codes or service engine light.

Drove her (reluctantly and carefully) 30 miles home from the track and kept it under 225 (hottest climbing hills).

The glitter is metal. Hopefully the big ones are in the filter. (I'd rather see coolant... head gaskets are easy).

Once started it idles okay but give any gas and there's a bad clack.

I'm rather confident the engine will need rebuilt but figure I'll be out $6k at the dealer.

Just trying to find what options are available. I'll have a hard time convincing the wife....

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THat it is idling ok and not shaking probably means that you didnt blow a rod, but with the metal filings you have broken something...

I kind of doubt it was a piston ring. The clanging sounds like a rod but you could have spun a bearing maybe? I am not sure if you would see metal filings with a spun main or rod bearing...but you may.. Maybe you wiped a CAM lobe? Here is a link that may help you diagnose your engine noise, http://remanufactured-engines.com/page4.htm

$6000 sounds light at the dealer, they probably would not rebuild it they would replace in IMHO. You might be better off finding a good used replacement. I hope Guru sees this and ventures a guess as to what he thinks happened. Good Luck, Mike

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Thanks again....

Good info.

I too was thinking if it was a broken rod she'd have a much tougher time idling. A piston ring was the only other thing I could think of but now I see there are plenty of other candidates.

Regardless, though, any of these likely problems will require a rebuild/replacement, no?

You think this would run even higher than $6k?

Back to my original question... is it likely I would be able to find a mechanic/shop not associated with a Caddy dealership that could perform major repair on N* engine and would I stand to save a few bucks?

I miss my '76 Sedan Deville, 500 big block. Did most my own work on her and, barring that, any mechanic could work on her without any special training (except they often misadjusted the timing).

I had the ETC towed to a GM shop with a failed water pump.... they couldn't even LOCATE the water pump, let alone fix it (try following the hose...)

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