: Headgasket Leaks & Repairs



rangerdave
12-18-07, 12:24 PM
I am the owner of a poorly maintained 99 Deville (did not realize it until after purchase). On the way home from picking the car up from a private seller (real crook), no warranty of course, it over heated going up a long steep hill close to home. Having owned a 96 Deville I assumed I had a bad radiator, water pump, or thermastat as I had gone through those items previously. Being a somewhat knowlegable and competent shade tree mechanic, I was not worried. (this was all prior to doing the research and discovering the inherrent head gasket issues with the 96-2000 Northstars) I changed the radiator, thermastat, hoses, and water pump all to no avail. Then I researched, discovered the headgasket issues, and swallowed my tongue! I contacted Heal-a-Seal, Thermagasket, and Steel Seal. Thermagasket seemed to offer the best chance for success. I did the procedure and it worked! Worked for a short time that is. The leak and coolant loss I was experiencing stopped and I thought I was home free. All was well until I took the car on a trip, fully loaded with luggage and passengers. Upon climbing a steep hill, under heavy load, it overheated again. Now I was sure I had pulled head bolts and the only alternative was to change engines. or re-do heads. I chose to change the engine.

The bottom line to all this is the following: If your head bolts have not pulled loose, Thermagasket will work for a leaking headgasket. If they have pulled loose, you have one alternative, change the engine, or have the heads redone. I elected to change the engine as mine had 135k on it and why not eliminate any chance for additional problems. I used Standard Auto from Virginia for my new engine and was very satisfied with their service and the quality of workmanship on the new engine. I did all my own labor (except for the engine swap) and my expenses are listed below for your reference:

Thermastat - $25
Waterpump - $85
Radiator - $125
Thermagasket - $115
Hoses/clamps/anti-freeze - $100
Re-man 4.6 - $3395
Labor - $1295

Why would I put all this money into a 99? Well, I was not going to stiff an unsuspecting buyer like I got stiffed. A knowledgeable dealer would sniff the anti-freeze for combustion gasses and I would get nothing for a trade and if I buy something else from a dealer I have to pay sales tax in addition to getting nothing in trade for my car. Changing engines was my best alternative.

I hope this helps others in their decision on what to do with a bad headgasket issue.

jasper60103
12-18-07, 01:12 PM
rangerdave,
I know it must have been a painful lesson.
Kudos for being an honest guy.
Hope she holds up well for you.

-jasper

Ranger
12-18-07, 01:24 PM
I think most Northstar head gasket failures are from pulled threads. Even if not, I would venture to guess that Thermogasket is a temporary fix at best.

BTW, the heads do not have to be redone. The block has to be Timeserted and the gaskets replaced.

Kudos for being an honest guy.
:thumbsup:

1990CaddyBrougham
12-19-07, 12:11 AM
A member here sold this car to you didn't they?. Playdrv or something. Did the "crook" ........
Oh ohh.......

Its really to bad. I guess a good rule of thumb is to let the car heat up and drive it hard on a road trip, if it has a northstar.


If it happend to me... the car would disapear... somewhere... :thumbsup:

rangerdave
12-19-07, 03:52 PM
No, it was not someone from here. This expense was all on my own nickel!

rangerdave
12-19-07, 03:59 PM
Yes, I am aware it is typically R&R for the headgaskets but I had no idea how many times the vehicle had been overheated. It happened to me 3 times in the process of trying to treat the symtom rather than the cause so I felt it best to pony up for the new engine. After all the headgasket research (most of it from here) I felt there was a risk that either the block deck or the heads might be warped (I know that it is rare but there is always the chance) so I elected to go for the complete engine. Anyway, labor is almost the same and given the cost of the timesert kits and gasket sets the incremental difference was minor.

I also forgot to mention that we discovered freon dye all over the AC compressor (fresh) so we elected to change it as well. I believe I now have a Deville that should go another 200k, if I so desire!

clarkz71
12-23-07, 12:34 PM
A member here sold this car to you didn't they?. Playdrv or something. Did the "crook" give you back $1k? to help with repairs?.:stirpot:

Not a good idea badmouthing a moderator or any member for that matter.

Playdrv4me
12-25-07, 12:08 AM
Destroyer, I hope youre joking and not just that plain stupid. The car I sold was a SEVILLE and I had no idea anything was wrong with it when I sold it. That you would make such assenine comments on such a sensitive issue without first checking with me, or hell even reading the original THREAD to back up your statements when I made very clear points about what happened is extremely surprising. You are throwing around serious accusations about someone's character so lightly that I don't even think your comprehending what your typing.

Then as if your original ILL informed comment to the poster was not sufficient, you CONTINUE to press the issue by insisting that it had to be me because the guy only has 8 posts. To someone who has no background on the issue, your comments could lead someone to believe that I am known for this sort of behavior and that is at the very least extremely irresponsible.

Even with your very anti-Northstar attitude and comments, I have usually defended you in the past. I have never had a problem with you. I am not quite sure what to think about what I just read... What gives dude?

CadillacSTS42005
12-25-07, 12:28 AM
fight fight fight fight

Playdrv4me
12-25-07, 12:30 AM
No theres no fighting here, this is not some internet thing, I am seriously wondering why Destroyer posted what he did.

It has nothing to do with me being a mod, nor do I have any problem whatsoever with members looking out for eachother to weed out a potential problem user. But I think a simple PM to ask me, or better yet, the other admins why I had wronged someone, if that is what he truly believed, would have been in order. Especially in a circumstance where it wasnt even the right car!

Destroyer
12-25-07, 01:01 AM
No theres no fighting here, this is not some internet thing, I am seriously wondering why Destroyer posted what he did.

It has nothing to do with me being a mod, nor do I have any problem whatsoever with members looking out for eachother to weed out a potential problem user. But I think a simple PM to ask me why I had wronged someone, if that is what he truly believed, would have been in order. Especially in a circumstance where it wasnt even the right car!
Whoa, whoa!. This is out of hand and totally taken the wrong way. IF that was the guy that bought your car and blew the gasket it would have been followed up with something along the lines of what really happened. This is ridiculous. I quoted the "crook" remark because I was quoting the poster. Lets not make this into something it aint. I 100% believe you didn't intentionally sell someone a car with a blown headgasket. All that guy had to do is verify that he was the guy that bought the car from you and he would have been set straight. This really sucks, I'm sorry man.

Playdrv4me
12-25-07, 01:09 AM
Whoa, whoa!. This is out of hand and totally taken the wrong way. IF that was the guy that bought your car and blew the gasket it would have been followed up with something along the lines of what really happened. This is ridiculous. I quoted the "crook" remark because I was quoting the poster. Lets not make this into something it aint. I 100% believe you didn't intentionally sell someone a car with a blown headgasket. All that guy had to do is verify that he was the guy that bought the car from you and he would have been set straight. This really sucks, I'm sorry man.

Its ok, im not mad at you. See my post over in the OT thread about the Mercedes.

If you dont mind I am going to delete your two comments just to avoid any confusion. If you have a problem with it just PM me.

Im sorry I over reacted.