Need help in th ATL Area - 2003 DHS Blown Head Gasket - Only 60K Miles
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Cadillac DeVille 1985 to 2005 including:
1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, Need help in th ATL Area - 2003 DHS Blown Head Gasket - Only 60K Miles in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; So after a couple weeks of denial watching my temp needle jump all over the place I finally gave in ...
  1. #1
    shizzyraw585 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Unhappy Need help in th ATL Area - 2003 DHS Blown Head Gasket - Only 60K Miles

    So after a couple weeks of denial watching my temp needle jump all over the place I finally gave in and had a block test. Yellow. ****. My. Life. I bought this car From a large reputable auction in PA. Car had only one previous owner (lawyer from the area, Googled the name on the OnStar card) and the owner was Armen Cadillac from right down the road. Really clean and I got a good deal (5.6K out the door) . I really don't want a junk yard engine because I know it'll probably only be a few months before a head gasket blows again. I really love the car and want to keep it but there are only a few shops that will touch it and they all want 3K+ for a rebuild which is quite out of my price range. I know it's a long shot but does anyone know of anyone in the Atlanta area who might be able to do this job cheaper? I'm desperate but I just don't have that kinda scratch. Any advice would beer greatly appreciated.

    Cheers



    Quick PSA : If anyone who is thinking of purchasing one of these cars is seeing this, please think about it really long and hard. This car is beautiful and someone took care of it. I find it really hard to believe that the car was not maintained properly (but anything is possible). Searching these and other forums leads me to believe that this is a fairly common and expensive problem. I had a 2002 Eldorado that suffered the same fate. I chalked that up to it having 110k and buying it from a shady lot in Brooklyn (hey, I was a kid). This wasn't the case here. I will never buy one of these cars again but I'm not necessarily saying you shouldn't. Just please be careful and try to have a little money set aside in case something like this happens to you.

    /rant

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  3. #2
    wax213 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Need help in th ATL Area - 2003 DHS Blown Head Gasket - Only 60K Miles

    I just brought a 2000 deville 72000 miles for 2900 at a auction in PA. It had a blown head gasket. It cost me 3400 to have it fixed and the inserts installed. Im told that i should never have an issue with the
    head gasket again

  4. #3
    shizzyraw585 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Need help in th ATL Area - 2003 DHS Blown Head Gasket - Only 60K Miles

    Were you made aware of the HG issue at the time of sale? 2.9 + 3.4 isn't to bad since you'll never have to deal with the HG issue. Just sucks for me because my car cost me 5.6. Green light and, "A real steal".

  5. #4
    wax213 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Need help in th ATL Area - 2003 DHS Blown Head Gasket - Only 60K Miles

    No i was not it was green lighted also at mason dixon auto auction

  6. #5
    shizzyraw585 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Need help in th ATL Area - 2003 DHS Blown Head Gasket - Only 60K Miles

    Anyone familiar with this kit? http://www.northstarperformance.com/sgstuds.php? Does the whole engine need to come out of the car?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wax213 View Post
    No i was not it was green lighted also at mason dixon auto auction
    Carriage Auto Auction in Plymouth Meeting for me.

  7. #6
    JimD is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Need help in th ATL Area - 2003 DHS Blown Head Gasket - Only 60K Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by shizzyraw585 View Post
    ....Does the whole engine need to come out of the car?
    Yes. A lot of the ~~$3,000 for head gaskets is the labor to simply get the engine out and back in + the tools required.

    There is a shop in Cobb County that repairs only Cadillacs. When I spoke with them two years ago, they were getting $2,500 and their parking lot was full of Cadillacs and the office area had several stacks of Time-Sert boxes.

    You really do not want someone with zero Northstar experience replacing your headgaskets.

  8. #7
    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    There is no magic dust u can sprinkle on the problem. Ur motor needs a 2500 repair. U had another caddy with bad heads and u think this clean car can't have the same problem cuz its clean? Shiny paint has no bearing on headgasket issues.

  9. #8
    shizzyraw585 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Need help in th ATL Area - 2003 DHS Blown Head Gasket - Only 60K Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by shizzyraw585 View Post
    Anyone familiar with this kit? http://www.northstarperformance.com/sgstuds.php? Does the whole engine need to come out of the car?
    Never mind watched the youtube vids on their site.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    Yes. A lot of the ~~$3,000 for head gaskets is the labor to simply get the engine out and back in + the tools required.

    There is a shop in Cobb County that repairs only Cadillacs. When I spoke with them two years ago, they were getting $2,500 and their parking lot was full of Cadillacs and the office area had several stacks of Time-Sert boxes.

    You really do not want someone with zero Northstar experience replacing your headgaskets.

    If you remember the name of that shop I'd appreciate it if you could pass it along.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stoveguyy View Post
    There is no magic dust u can sprinkle on the problem. Ur motor needs a 2500 repair. U had another caddy with bad heads and u think this clean car can't have the same problem cuz its clean? Shiny paint has no bearing on headgasket issues.
    Easy there big fella. I never tried to correlate clean paint to good head gaskets. I also was not aware that blown head gaskets were inevitable on these cars because I had a bad experience in the past. Thank you for educating me though.

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    JimD is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Need help in th ATL Area - 2003 DHS Blown Head Gasket - Only 60K Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by shizzyraw585 View Post
    ....If you remember the name of that shop I'd appreciate it if you could pass it along.
    Randy's Automotive
    640 Merritt Rd
    Marietta
    770-854-0712

    Real easy to get to from I-75.

  11. #10
    shizzyraw585 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Need help in th ATL Area - 2003 DHS Blown Head Gasket - Only 60K Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    Randy's Automotive
    640 Merritt Rd
    Marietta
    770-854-0712

    Real easy to get to from I-75.
    I called them this morning. They quoted me at $3600. Sigh..... I do appreciate the advice though!

  12. #11
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Need help in th ATL Area - 2003 DHS Blown Head Gasket - Only 60K Miles

    A tad off topic, but I gotta say it. Nice, clean, low mileage Cadillacs (in good shape) DO NOT go through an auction. The dealers keep and sell those. They go through the auction because someone (usually a dealer who took it in on trade) knew there was a problem and wanted to wash their hands of it. Now it is sold AS-IS and the seller (auction) has no knowledge of the car. "Real steals" and "good deals" rarely are.
    shizzyraw585 and shizzyraw585 like this.

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    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
    RippyPartsDept is offline Hi, I'm Chris - Please Read My Signature
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    Re: Need help in th ATL Area - 2003 DHS Blown Head Gasket - Only 60K Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by shizzyraw585 View Post
    I also was not aware that blown head gaskets were inevitable on these cars because I had a bad experience in the past.
    Not inevitable, but definitely common enough that there's a business to be had in selling stud and insert kits online

    we charge about $2500 on average
    (sometimes less if you want us to cheap out on the job or more if you want a thorough repair)
    Chris Heath (RippyPartsDept) is an ASE Certified GM Parts Consultant at
    Rippy is a Cadillac, Hummer, Saturn & Saab dealership - family owned and operated in Wilmington, NC since 1946
    We offer all forum members deals on parts and freight - e: parts@rippyautomotive.com ph: 800-RIPPY-22
    <-- insert standard boilerplate about posts not necessarily representing my employer, etc -->

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    CadillacLuke24 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Need help in th ATL Area - 2003 DHS Blown Head Gasket - Only 60K Miles

    Jake has great products (Northstar performance)

    So does Tim (Carroll Custom Cadillac)

    As does Norm (Normserts)

    As far as cost, anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000, depending on where you go. Good luck dude. It is the case that, if you normsert or stud the block, and keep up with servicing the coolant, the HG issue will never bug you again.

  15. #14
    shizzyraw585 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Need help in th ATL Area - 2003 DHS Blown Head Gasket - Only 60K Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by RippyPartsDept View Post
    Not inevitable, but definitely common enough that there's a business to be had in selling stud and insert kits online
    I probably could of done a better job at making it clear but that was intended as sarcasm .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
    A tad off topic, but I gotta say it. Nice, clean, low mileage Cadillacs (in good shape) DO NOT go through an auction. The dealers keep and sell those. They go through the auction because someone (usually a dealer who took it in on trade) knew there was a problem and wanted to wash their hands of it. Now it is sold AS-IS and the seller (auction) has no knowledge of the car. "Real steals" and "good deals" rarely are.
    Church. I guess for some silly reason I thought a big Caddy dealership was above trying to unload junk like that. Yes, incredibly silly I know.

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    bigtone is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Need help in th ATL Area - 2003 DHS Blown Head Gasket - Only 60K Miles

    [/COLOR]

    Church. I guess for some silly reason I thought a big Caddy dealership was above trying to unload junk like that. Yes, incredibly silly I know.[/QUOTE]

    I bought an 02 Deville from Armen about 3 years ago, I believe they are a reputable dealer. I asked them if I could block test it and they said no problem. Now, I have to wonder why they ran your car through the auction though. It may have been questionable.
    You said fluid turned yellow during the block test, do you have the classic symptoms of hg failure? (I read this thread quick so I may have missed it). Reason I ask is I also had a yellow indication on a Deville last year which ended up not being a hg failure but transmission fluid leaking through the radiator through the cooler. The fluid turn color in presence of hydrocarbons, which can come from combustion gas or in my case transmission fluid. The block test is not 100%.

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    Oh, and I will repeat myself again by saying that studs are overkill for these 10 year old cars. Timeserts and especially Norm's inserts have an excellent track record. One repair will most often outlast the car.

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