'99 cadillac deville, blown head gasket, engine rebuild/replace advice ?

The inlaws own a '99 deville . Engine started overheating during a trip. They needed to top off coolant every couple days (1/2 - 1 gallon). Cadillac dealer says coolant leaking into #1 cylinder and that is causing
the problem (head gasket/crack/etc).
Cadillac dealer says, "put a new engine in it" (~ $6500 total). Cadillac is not interested or willing to repair the current engine, they just want to put another engine in.
I was thinking i could just do a top end recondition/rebuild and replace the head gaskets etc as a favor to save them the $6500 as they would just pay for the new parts.
**** What i think i know after some research on the web **** (and could someone please share info or confirm) ...
1. Seems this cadillac engine style has a history of this head gasket problem?
2. Replacing the head gasket on this car is a **Major PITA** because ; > It is a tight squeeze under the hood > it is an aluminum engine that almost always get some failed/stripped head threads on bolt torque down requiring drill and retap with heli-coil insert or similar. > it is belt driven dohc engine so a pain to get cam timing set up > lotsa bits to pull to get to the head.
3. Almost easier or better to drop the engine and trans together to do the head rebuild ? therefore why not just put in a used rebuilt engine and save the time and labor effort.
Did i miss anything ?
Any recommendations on which path to take ?
Any recommendations for a new/used/rebuilt engine ?
Is there a compatible NON-Aluminum engine that would work in this car ?
Thanks for any helpful advice, robb
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I wouldnt expect Cadillac to help on a car this old.
Neither would I put in a "new" engine. I would check the junk yards and see what I could find in a good used engine. Then I would make the decision.
This car is not, IMO, worth a lot.
You COULD pull the old engine out and have somebody go through it and refresh it, but this would cost some money too. And you have no guarantees.
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Thanks HLS, for the advice and reply.
With a quick check around and about i can find yard, used, reconditioned or warranted rebuilt engines from a range of 950 - 2500. But I don't have the resources to do an engine swap (partially disassemble engine in the car is about it). Local shops are consistent at around 1750-2500 to swap the engine in this car.
The inlaws do not want to put that much money into anyways.
I was hoping a head gasket replace while engine was in the car to be a viable cheap alternative.
Thanks again for help, robb
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I agree, Robb. This is too much money to gamble on a car that old. And it IS a gamble. You never know what you are going to get from a wrecking yard... And to go in an refresh this engine will cost a good deal of money.
Better to put that money into something dependable and perhaps a bit newer.
Best of luck to you
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Robb, The car is worth about $2500-$3500. You didn't specify the mileage. I would pop off the head, you will see where it is leaking, clean it up, put some strong plastic steel compound in the groove, sand it smooth, put in a new head gasket and run it till it fails. Then junk it. I got several years out of one that was higher compression than the Deville. Bob Drake 2000 Seville
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wrote:

[trim]
Thanks (Bob) Blue C5,
For the help. I was thinking along the same lines that you highlight.
It is the cheapest solution to try as we are only out a couple hundred dollars, some time and the car is in no worst condition after all is done ?
But considering many of the headaches that i have found posted in various forums regarding this particular cadillac engine, i am beginning to think that it is best for inlaws and myself to just to pass on this problem.
They want a travelling car and i do not think this is the one.
Thanks again for the advice and help, robb
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