: 99 sts head gasket repair - shop in NJ area?



samwood
02-26-07, 06:14 PM
I have a 99 STS with 101K. Just started seeing coolant low message. I was hoping it was something simple... but this morning it was hard cranking over. It started and spewed white smoke out the tailpipe. I had various amounts of smoke over my short trip to work and home again tonight. I haven't done any of the tests recommended on the forum yet, but it seems very likely the head gaskets are shot. I live in NJ near Philadelphia, PA. Does anyone know of a shop in the area with N* head gaskets replacement experience that will tackle this job?

Thanks,
Sam

danbuc
02-26-07, 07:20 PM
Your local caddy dealer. Chances of finding an independent shop that will even consider looking at the engine, let alone tearing into it are slim to none. Most shops are afraid of them, and personally I wouldn't trust the average shop to properly timesert the block either.

99cadillacman
02-26-07, 10:01 PM
yes thats a very good point usually the threads for the head bolts pull out of the block.. the northstars usually require a steel thread insert be installed in all of the head bolt thread holes... its time/labor intensive and to be done right usually means the motor has to come out of the car(also labor intensive)

you might want to consider a remanufactured engine or a good used engine with low miles... then you could ebay your old motor and get part of your money back..

samwood
02-27-07, 05:30 AM
Thanks for the feedback. I haven't been impressed with the two local caddy dealers service depts. I was hoping someone had a positive experience with a shop doing this job.

JimHare
02-27-07, 12:53 PM
I've heard very good reports about General Sales in West Chester, PA.

The only two Dealers in South Jersey I'd even think about are DeSimone in Mt Laurel, and possibly RK in Vineland - but the big question to ask them is Have they done a HG recently, and Can they give you a referral for it - talking to the customer is probably a good thing, if possible.

I'm not crazy about the service at Kerbeck's locations....

Where in SJ are you? Perhaps we could compare notes at some point.

samwood
02-27-07, 05:28 PM
I'm in Mount Laurel. Agree with your assessment of Kerbeck- they miss diagnosed an ABS / TRAC problem and replaced the $800 control module. The problem re-occured periodically and I eventually tracked it down to a bad ground.

I do have one data point on Desimone that continues to make me leery. We brought my wife's certified preowned 99 Deville in for warrenty service. I believe it was a power window switch. The service dept called my wife to recommend replacing the rear discs and rotors for ~ $350. We never asked them to check the brakes. The car had only 30,000 miles on it! Needless to say, we declined the additional service. I finally had to change the rear discs at 86,000 miles.

I try to do all my own work on our cars because I simply don't trust anyone to do the right job or the job right. This job is more complicated than anything I've ever tackled. I was hoping to hear of some shops with HG experience that other members had success with.

Thanks for the info. I guess I'll call General Sales and RK and ask about their experience with HG replacements.

BodybyFisher
02-27-07, 05:50 PM
I've heard very good reports about General Sales in West Chester, PA.

The only two Dealers in South Jersey I'd even think about are DeSimone in Mt Laurel, and possibly RK in Vineland - but the big question to ask them is Have they done a HG recently, and Can they give you a referral for it - talking to the customer is probably a good thing, if possible.

I'm not crazy about the service at Kerbeck's locations....

Where in SJ are you? Perhaps we could compare notes at some point.

I agree wholeheartedly, General Sales is very reputible, my parents bought all of our cars from them. George Ruggieri is a prince! They moved after a fire that destroyed their showroom and destroyed a bunch of old mothballed mint condition caddy's, here is their website http://www.generalsalescars.com/cadillac.php

JimHare
02-27-07, 07:32 PM
I agree wholeheartedly, General Sales is very reputible, my parents bought all of our cars from them. George Ruggieri is a prince! They moved after a fire that destroyed their showroom and destroyed a bunch of old mothballed mint condition caddy's, here is their website http://www.generalsalescars.com/cadillac.php

Plus West Chester is my old home town - nice place even still, the general tone picked up quite a bit soon after I moved away.. lol

I remember their showroom right in the middle of town there, out by the Food Fair or whatever it was...I think they're down on Rt 202 south of town now, along "Car Dealer Row"...

BodybyFisher
02-27-07, 08:21 PM
Plus West Chester is my old home town - nice place even still, the general tone picked up quite a bit soon after I moved away.. lol

I remember their showroom right in the middle of town there, out by the Food Fair or whatever it was...I think they're down on Rt 202 south of town now, along "Car Dealer Row"...

I am from Havertown, and went to O'Hara and Haverford. I called them after I posted above to ask them to keep an eye out for a 1998 to 2000 STS for me...

Do you know Goshen Road? I LOVED riding on Goshen Road when I was a kid on Sunday mornings with my fathers 65 Caddy! I need to ride it again.... yes they are on the east side of 202, I plan to visit soon to say hello to George Ruggerie... Great dealer!!!

danbuc
02-27-07, 10:12 PM
I had my car services numerous times at Generals Sales in WC while I was living there for a year and a half for school. Nice shop, good people. Labor seemed a little on the high side compared to some other dealers I've been to but nothing crazy. Certainly worth the extra expensive for the level of service.

JimHare
02-28-07, 05:46 PM
I am from Havertown, and went to O'Hara and Haverford. I called them after I posted above to ask them to keep an eye out for a 1998 to 2000 STS for me...

Do you know Goshen Road? I LOVED riding on Goshen Road when I was a kid on Sunday mornings with my fathers 65 Caddy! I need to ride it again.... yes they are on the east side of 202, I plan to visit soon to say hello to George Ruggerie... Great dealer!!!

Oh hell yeah - my best friend lived on North Penn Drive behind the CC Hospital (and I worked there after HS) - that was (or may still be) a great road for top-down cruising along in the late evenings..there were lot's of nice lanes around back then - Paoli Pike was nice in spots, Boot Road, Conestoga Road (Rt 401) over between Malvern and Kimberton...brings back the memories ....

blunted
03-01-07, 03:58 PM
I know of a good place but it's in Albany by the university. I spoke to the owner a couple a times and they've timeserted a bunch of Northstars and are extremely knowledgeable. I plan on going up there (I'm from NYC) to get my half case sealed since he was the only place with a fair quote ($800 out the door).. we spoke about timeserts and he said he charges about $2K for it and got very detailed about the entire process. Place is called Top Notch Auto 518-453-9650 .. search them on the board, someone else here recommended them to me after he got his block timeserted.

samwood
03-02-07, 06:29 AM
Thanks for the advice. I contacted General Sales. They have done many n* HGs - they have 2 mechanics who have done 20+. Seemed very knowlegeable and upfront. Rough estimate (provide over the phone) was $2600-3400 with the high end accounting for machining the heads.

JimHare
03-04-07, 10:04 PM
Sam, please keep us up to date with your experience - if G/S is as good as we all think, they should be made aware of here on the board - there are probably a couple of dozen owners with 50 miles of them (myself included)....

kmac171
04-30-07, 04:03 PM
Sam I recently had blown headgaskets in my 99 Deville and had a remanufactured engine from Jasper put in. I paid about 5K from start to finish and the car is aces. I don't know if you have one by you, but the shop that did mine was called "MotorWorks". The one I used was in manasquan near Point Pleasant,but I know they have others. Good Luck

misfit6794
04-30-07, 04:23 PM
Im in central nj but by the beach. There's a shop in long branch called modern performance, its where i got my engine fixed after i blew the hg. THe owner is extremely knowledgable and is usually building twin turbo kits for vipers and corvettes. He's not cheap but probably one of the best shops in nj.