Cracked Head or Head Gasket? Possible Air Lock?
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Cadillac DeVille 1985 to 2005 including:
1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, Cracked Head or Head Gasket? Possible Air Lock? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I have a 2002 Cadillac Deville that I just purchase with the understanding that the head gasket needed to be ...
  1. #1
    Beetle16 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Cracked Head or Head Gasket? Possible Air Lock?

    I have a 2002 Cadillac Deville that I just purchase with the understanding that the head gasket needed to be replaced. I have been reading and am now well aware of the nightmare the Northstar 4.6 L can be. I am honestly looking for a quick flip on this car but want to make sure that I take care of the issue.

    I have gotten it to the point where I am not sure if I am getting any circulation. Possible air lock? I have replaced the thermostat and removed and flushed the radiator. The water pump seems to be working fine. Could I possibly have a cracked head or do you think just the head gasket? Has anybody had success with Blue Devil Head Gasket repair?

    Please help!

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, stick on fender vents
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    Re: Cracked Head or Head Gasket? Possible Air Lock?

    IF the problem is in fact a bad head gasket the only permanent, correct way to fix it is engine removal, head bolt hole inserts or studs, and a top overhaul.

    If you elect to use a temporary stop-leak (and temporary is what it will be because you're trying to seal a moving target) then I would hope that you disclose that fact to a prospective buyer: These Forums are full of people who bought a Northstar powered car that had been "repaired" with snake oil, and now they need to repair it once again, so we see this on a regular basis.

    If your only reason for owning this car is to "flip" it, at least come clean with a buyer.

    In your engine research, have you run across checking the coolant purge line and nipple for free flow ? If that's clogged you will NEVER begin to get to the (real) problem of overheating. "Cracked heads" in a Northstar are practically non-existent.

  4. #3
    Beetle16 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cracked Head or Head Gasket? Possible Air Lock?

    Yes I would disclose the temporary fix. I like to do business in a straight up manner. I have an update: i removed
    the radiator once again and took it to a radiator shop. I had it 'rotted' out and they said it was 'very clogged' I am
    going to replace that and hope that is the problem. Thanks for the info.

  5. #4
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is online now Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cracked Head or Head Gasket? Possible Air Lock?

    Be sure to check the purge line that Sub mentioned.

  6. #5
    basscatt's Avatar
    basscatt is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Cracked Head or Head Gasket? Possible Air Lock?

    I agree with the others -

    if the radiator was plugged -
    the purge line will probably be plugged -

  7. #6
    Beetle16 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cracked Head or Head Gasket? Possible Air Lock?

    I ran in idle for about 45 minutes today and began overheating again. I blew in the purge line and got bubbling in the overflow tank.

    Speaking of overflow tank. After turning car off and letting cool down for about 20 min. I went to remove the filler cap. I got a great deal of pressure and had quite a bit of coolant come out of the overflow tube. I left the cap off and started the car. What happened next is what is confusing me. The overflow tank would empty and then fill back up and repeated this cycle a few time. The last time it boiled over and I shut the car off. Am I still getting flow issues? Thanks

  8. #7
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, stick on fender vents
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    Re: Cracked Head or Head Gasket? Possible Air Lock?

    The coolant reservoir should be half full, cold. No higher than that.

    The cooling system is supposed to develop pressure - 18 psi to be exact (for yours). It WILL hisssss a lot when you try to open it hot - not a good idea, as noted on the pressure cap. Coolant boils at 220 degrees at atmospheric pressure, 265 at 18 psi. You run the very real risk of severe burns by fooling with a hot system.

    If you start the engine cold - and there's sufficient airspace in the reservoir - and you see the coolant level rise and fall (maybe with bubbles) then you have "air pockets" in the cooling system and the water pump is pumping, losing prime, pumping, losing prime, yadda, yadda. The trick is to determine WHAT is causing "air pockets" and why they will not purge out of the system.

    Perform a cylinder block exhaust gas test with a rental kit from a large parts chain store or www.sjdiscounttools.com/lis75500.html

  9. #8
    Beetle16 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cracked Head or Head Gasket? Possible Air Lock?

    Crow sounds good for dinner for me tonight! Submariner409, i went back and read your reply again and realized that i had blown out the purge line but not cleaned the nipple. I then went back to the purge line and pulled the nipple off. The nipple was completely clogged! I have been running now for about 30 min and so far normal temp. Thanks for all your help and it looks like there will be no need for the Blue Devil temporary fix!

  10. #9
    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Cracked Head or Head Gasket? Possible Air Lock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beetle16 View Post
    I ran in idle for about 45 minutes today and began overheating again. I blew in the purge line and got bubbling in the overflow tank.
    Did you check the hollow bolt that the purge line is connected to? If it is plugged, that's where the restriction will be.

  11. #10
    Beetle16 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cracked Head or Head Gasket? Possible Air Lock?

    Thanks Ranger, that is where I found the blockage. I cleaned it out and so far so good

  12. #11
    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Cracked Head or Head Gasket? Possible Air Lock?



    Oops! Just reread your post and see that you did mention that.

  13. #12
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, stick on fender vents
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    Re: Cracked Head or Head Gasket? Possible Air Lock?

    This is for info on the Deville (long and twisty) purge lines. If (when) one of the plastic pipes or connector elbows gives up, replace the entire line with one smooth, gently curved piece of proper ID jacketed fuel hose. The hose has less internal flow resistance than the bent pipes and the jacketed fuel line will take the cooling system pressure plus a lot more. DO NOT use plain old rubber vacuum hose - you need the jacketed hose pressure handling capability.

    I picked up this tidbit from a past Cadillac dealership shop tech who works at AMJ Automotive about 2 miles from here.

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