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Oil Change gone bad


OynxSTS

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A friend of mine who would like to remain anonymous, dropped the plastic cap from an oil bottle into the oil fill hole on the Left Valve Cover of his 2001 SLS.

Does anyone have a picture of the engine with the heads on but the Valve Covers off?

When I look at the attached cutaway, It looks like the plastic cap probable didn't (and can't) fall in to the bottom of the engine... I'm betting it is resting nicely by the timing chain and the exhaust cam... (and is probably starting to melt there)

While he is rather upset about this whole thing, that hasn't stop him from driving the car... Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Today...

Suggestions?

Shall I try and talk him into removing the valve cover and take a look see...

post-1719-1150234334.jpg

caddy.jpg

Easin' down the highway in a new Cadillac,

I had a fine fox in front, I had three more in the back

ZZTOP, I'm Bad I'm Nationwide

Greg

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Here's a 2006 external image; are you certain there is not a sort of bottle there below the neck?

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IPB Image

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and a smaller 2002 image blown up a bit:

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<image src="http://www.caddyinfo.com/2002 4.6L V8 L37 .jpg" width=400>

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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I would leave it alone. That front cam cover R & R is tricky due to the water pump drive arrangement.

Jim

Drive your car.

Use your cell phone.

CHOOSE ONE !

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Here's a picture of the front head with the cam cover removed. Are you sure the cap is not to the right of the leftmost cam bearing? there is sort of a pocket in the head there where it could be. It may have gotten into the front timing area... If it did, the balancer pulley, tensioner, idler, etc. will need to come off. The timing cover gasket is also reusable provided it's not damaged when it is removed.

I don't think I'd leave the cap in there - The front cam cover is not that bad to remove - you'll need a power steering pulley remover to remove the water pump drive pulley frin the cam and the upper radiator hose will need to come off. The cam seal needs to be removed from the cover also. As long as the cam cover gaskets do not pop out of the grooves, they are reuseable per the shop manual. If they do come out, they will be too long to pop back in the grooves as the engine oil makes them swell up by design. You can get them to shrink by placing the cam cover on clean newspaper and the newspaper will soak up the oil. If all else fails, buy a new one.

post-45-1150251330_thumb.jpg

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

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Here's a picture of the front head with the cam cover removed. Are you sure the cap is not to the right of the leftmost cam bearing? there is sort of a pocket in the head there where it could be. It may have gotten into the front timing area... If it did, the balancer pulley, tensioner, idler, etc. will need to come off. The timing cover gasket is also reusable provided it's not damaged when it is removed.

Thanks Kevin, that picture is a little depressing,

Do you have a picture of the bottom half of the head... we were hoping that the clearance around the cam gears and chains would be "tight"... Looks like there is a ton of room for a plastic cap the size of a stack of 4 quarters to have no trouble falling into the front cover...

bummer

caddy.jpg

Easin' down the highway in a new Cadillac,

I had a fine fox in front, I had three more in the back

ZZTOP, I'm Bad I'm Nationwide

Greg

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Maybe if you use one of those claws that opens and retracts you can approximate where it might be and grab it. I would do it as soon as possible. It looks like the cap could be kicked in to the timing chain or perhaps break apart and a piece could get under a cam lobe.

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Here's a picture of the front head with the cam cover removed. Are you sure the cap is not to the right of the leftmost cam bearing? there is sort of a pocket in the head there where it could be. It may have gotten into the front timing area... If it did, the balancer pulley, tensioner, idler, etc. will need to come off. The timing cover gasket is also reusable provided it's not damaged when it is removed.

Thanks Kevin, that picture is a little depressing,

Do you have a picture of the bottom half of the head... we were hoping that the clearance around the cam gears and chains would be "tight"... Looks like there is a ton of room for a plastic cap the size of a stack of 4 quarters to have no trouble falling into the front cover...

bummer

I checked my pictures from when I disassembled my engine and I didn't take one of the valve end of the head. You might find someone with a bore scope to look inside the cam cover and into the timing cover - that may save a lot of work.

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

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Interesting (and scary) dilemma!

After peering down my oil filler opening and trying to relate what I see to KHE's photo, my guess is that the cap went down into the timing gear case through the opening seen just to the left of the left-most spark plug in the photo. I'm sure the filler cap is located where it is so that when oil is added, it will flow as directly as possible down to the bottom of the engine.

If that's where it went, it either lodged somewhere in the timing chain case, or it got smashed to bits by the timing chain or gears, or it fell all the way down to the oil pan.

If it lodged in the timing chain case, it will either stay there harmlessly forever or it will work itself loose one day and either get smashed to bits by the timing chain or gears or fall all the way down to the oil pan.

If it gets smashed to bits by the timing chain or gears, it, being made of soft plastic, shouldn't damage the steel timing chain and cast iron gears, Since the timing chain and gears are coated in oil, the plastic particles, for the most part, shouldn't stick to and gum up those parts. Most of the debris should work its way down to the oil pan.

If the cap fell all the way to the pan, or if it got smashed to bits and the debris works its way down to the pan, it will probably just stay there, harmlessly, forever. It can't be sucked into the oil pick-up because there should be a screen over the inlet. Small plastic particles that get past the screen will get trapped by the oil filter before being pumped into the tiny oil passages and bearing surfaces of the engine.

Following this logic and given that the car has already run without problems for four days, my guess is that it should be OK to just keep driving it. I would, for the next few weeks, be extremely alert for any strange noises, instrument panel warnings, or other indications that something is wrong and shut the engine off immediately if that happens. I would change the oil as soon as you can and check the old oil for debris. I would also change the oil filter and open the old one up to see what, if anything, it has trapped.

Good luck!

photo-36.jpg

Happiness is owning a Cadillac with no codes.

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Interesting (and scary) dilemma!

After peering down my oil filler opening and trying to relate what I see to KHE's photo, my guess is that the cap went down into the timing gear case through the opening seen just to the left of the left-most spark plug in the photo. I'm sure the filler cap is located where it is so that when oil is added, it will flow as directly as possible down to the bottom of the engine.

If that's where it went, it either lodged somewhere in the timing chain case, or it got smashed to bits by the timing chain or gears, or it fell all the way down to the oil pan.

If it lodged in the timing chain case, it will either stay there harmlessly forever or it will work itself loose one day and either get smashed to bits by the timing chain or gears or fall all the way down to the oil pan.

If it gets smashed to bits by the timing chain or gears, it, being made of soft plastic, shouldn't damage the steel timing chain and cast iron gears, Since the timing chain and gears are coated in oil, the plastic particles, for the most part, shouldn't stick to and gum up those parts. Most of the debris should work its way down to the oil pan.

If the cap fell all the way to the pan, or if it got smashed to bits and the debris works its way down to the pan, it will probably just stay there, harmlessly, forever. It can't be sucked into the oil pick-up because there should be a screen over the inlet. Small plastic particles that get past the screen will get trapped by the oil filter before being pumped into the tiny oil passages and bearing surfaces of the engine.

Following this logic and given that the car has already run without problems for four days, my guess is that it should be OK to just keep driving it. I would, for the next few weeks, be extremely alert for any strange noises, instrument panel warnings, or other indications that something is wrong and shut the engine off immediately if that happens. I would change the oil as soon as you can and check the old oil for debris. I would also change the oil filter and open the old one up to see what, if anything, it has trapped.

Good luck!

Thank you for your words of encouragement, your logic is exactly mine... I would love to spend 15 minuted with the ol' guru to confirm the bits smashing theory... The cap, if it is still in one piece, is definitely down at the bottom of the front of the engine, by the oil pump, and not in the cam cover area... My only concern with the cap down there is

a) when it gets hot it might not smash... it might get gooey and pliable and gum up a chain, the oil pump, etc. or

b ) at just the right angle a not pliable cap might "pop-off" a chain or cause the chain to "skip a tooth"

As this is an interference engine... if either a or b happen this could result in a different kind of "smashed to bits" :ph34r:

caddy.jpg

Easin' down the highway in a new Cadillac,

I had a fine fox in front, I had three more in the back

ZZTOP, I'm Bad I'm Nationwide

Greg

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