Tools To Tune Up Your Cadillac
Todayís Cadillac's still need engine care. It may be true that the
recommended intervals between tune-ups may be as much as 100,000 miles, but
before the advent of synthetic lubricants, 100,000 miles spark plugs, and
non replaceable fuel filters the interval was closer to 12,000 miles. If you
have an older vehicle, usually pre 2001, that you want to keep in optimal
condition, perform a tune-up at least once a year.
Performing a tune-up is a bit like surgery.
You need the right tools to do the job correctly. Youíll need a variety of
replacement parts including spark plugs, spark-plug wires, Oil Filters, points,
rotor-button, condenser, distributor cap, vacuum-advance and PCV valve.
Materials You will need for a proper tune
Replacement parts including plugs, wires, points, rotor, condenser, etc.
Vehicle service manual
Timing light and timing-light instruction manual
Spark Plug Wire Puller
Coin-Type Spark Plug Gap Gauge
Anti seizing lubricant
Before you begin, as with any automotive project that involves working with
the electrical system or wiring, disconnect the vehicle's negative battery
cable. Getting a good shock is not as fun as you may think. Disconnect the
cable will help you avoid injury or damage to your or the electrical system.
Now that you know the right tools you need
:( Hint: You might want to print this page)
1. Remove the housing for the air-filter to provide access to the top of the
Hint: With the filter-housing removed, the top of the Carburetor will be
exposed. Place a clean rag over the opening of the Carburetor to prevent any
small objects or moisture from entering it.
2. Pull the spark-plug wires loose from the plugs and use a socket wrench to
loosen and remove the old spark plugs. Donít just reach down and yank them
out like you are pulling weeds in your yard. Take your time when you remove
and install spark plugs. Take care not to damage the threads. Retooling
threads on an engine block is extremely difficult and expensive.
3. Hold the old and new plugs side by side. Pay attention to any signs of
damage to the electrodes of the old plugs. Is there damage, scoring or
carbon buildup? The condition of your plugs says a lot about the running
condition of your engine. Refer to your ownerís manual for information about
diagnosing engine problems from the condition of the spark plugs.
4. To make sure that your plugs have the
proper contact gap each plug with a gapping tool. Check the service manual
on what the specifications are for recommended gap width. If there is a
slight drag on gapping tool when you slide it out then itís a good gap.
5. Once you've gapped all the plugs,
install them and torque them with a torque wrench to the proper
specifications, according to the service manual.
6. The distributor cap is removed by using
a screwdriver to loosen the screws holding it in place. Carefully lift the
cap off of the distributor. Donít remove the old spark-plug wires connected
to the distributor cap unless you are going to replace them. With the cap
removed, locate the rotor button and inspect the condition of the
distributor assembly, breaker points, and the condenser.
7. Remove the rotor button. It easily lifts off.
8. Locate and unplug the wire going from the coil to the breaker points.
Carefully remove the screws that retain the breaker in place. Lift it free.
9. Remove the condenser by carefully
removing the retaining screws.
10. Disconnect the hose and unscrew the
screws holding the vacuum advance and remove.
11. Install the new vacuum advance and
reattach the hose.
12. Install the new condenser and new breaker points.
13. Reattach the hot wire that leads to the coil and the condenser wire.
14. Use a feeler gauge to ensure the proper
gap between the points are in accordance with the vehicle service manual
15. Reinstall the rotor button.
16. Install a new distributor cap and make certain it is situated the same
way as the original one.
17. Install the new spark-plug wires. Each spark-plug wire is a different
length so it is relatively easy to install them in the correct order. Refer
to the old cap to prevent confusion as to which wire goes where. Add a small
amount of dielectric grease in the boots on the ends of the wires as well as
on the contacts.
18. Once you've completed the reassembly and installation of all the parts,
reconnect the battery, start the engine, and get out on that highway again.
19. The final step of your tune-up is to check the ignition timing by using
a timing light. This specialized tool indicates if voltage is being properly
regulated to each spark plug and that the plug is precisely firing. The
timing light connects to one of the spark-plug wires (usually cylinder #1).
While the engine is running, the light strobes each time current is sent to
the cylinder. The crankshaft pulley has timing marks that rotate when the
engine is on. When the timing light is pointed at the pulley while the
engine is running, a flashing light illuminates the timing marks to indicate
if the timing is properly adjusted. Completely read all your timing lights
instructions and follow them so that you can make that exit the next time.
This should all be part of your
maintenance routine from now on.