: newest member of the headgasket club



lukky4u
04-01-08, 08:49 PM
Man i am so pissed, i havent had it confirmed by a mechanic yet, but im about 90% sure i blown the headgasked it's a 98 deville with about 80K on it. the cars body and interior are in good shape. my question is would it be worth the cost of getting it repaired? and if so should it be done at the stealership? I have seen many post where it seems to be labor intensive and costly anywhere up to 4grand. I honestly dont even think the car books for that much. well any input would be appreciated and when i bring it in to the mechanic i'll get a quote from him. He's pretty much the same guy i've had repair our dodge caravan and ford taurus. He charges 35 bucks an hour labor, and he is ASE certified. But i am curious as to the KBB value and does anyone know of the possibility of this happening again?.....

lukky4u
04-01-08, 08:50 PM
oh yeah forgot to add i still owe 4 grand on this damn thing!

Ranger
04-01-08, 09:19 PM
Whether it is worth it or not is a personal choice. If it is repaired properly (Timeserted), it should not happen again.

quantum
04-01-08, 10:09 PM
What makes you think you blew the headgasket?

Also, you can get the market value online at http://www.kbb.com/ or
http://www.edmunds.com/ by entering all the specifics about the car.

Good luck!

zonie77
04-02-08, 12:33 AM
First, find out if you blew a head gasket or not.

At $35 an hour it's very fixable. I've done several at home. It's not rocket science. Any good mechanic should be able to replace Head Gaskets on a Northstar. It's a long job but it's mostly tedious work.

What can you get for your car and what would it cost to replace it? That should give you a good idea on what it's worth to spend fixing it.

zonie77
04-02-08, 12:34 AM
P.S. It should have had the coolant changed twice by now.

krimson_cardnal
04-02-08, 02:36 AM
Confirm HG need by testing before committing to a repair job! Simple tests will confirm need, don't jump in without them. Value of the job, balance the cost against what you have into the car. If [big if] HG is blown it isn't going to get close to any one's resale value. The vehicle will provide great service with a solid engine, but to be satisfied you're going to have to be happy with it. K_C

lukky4u
04-02-08, 11:19 AM
the reason i think HG is blown is it has been losing coolant daily. no visable leaks. coolant had been changed last year with the pellets. but basically after driving 5 - 10 miles or so temp will go past 240 thats when i pull over and cut it off, it did go up to 260 on one occasion cause i didnt have a chance to pull over. coolant goes out the purge line, and in general will lose about a gallon or so. and im pretty certain i can smell a faint sweet smell out the exhaust. Anyway i talked to the local stealership and they said headgasket job will run around 22 -2400. they said they dont do the timeserting. I almost think he didnt know what i was talking about. but he did mention if the headbolts are stripped, i would need a new block. .... The general mechanic that i use said that it doesnt neccesarily need timeserts and that more often then not the headbolts will stretch but that doesnt neccesarily mean that the block will need timeserts. anyway im still investigating.

lukky4u
04-02-08, 11:31 AM
also the mechanic that i usually use said he would charge 1200. this would be for the HG, head bolts, and the labor neccessary for just replacing the HG. He did mention that if coolant got in the base that could be a signifigant problem (ruin the engine). He asked if i had seen any indication of the oil being milky or discolored which i didnt. So it seems reasonable, for the cost. I am of course going to have them do the neccessary diagnostics to ensure the need. should this be the case does it seem reasonable? this is without timeserting and just replacing the headbolts.

Submariner409
04-02-08, 11:57 AM
If you're going to rebuild the engine, the time and cost to do a timesert job, all 20 holes, is nothing compared to getting the unit out and in.

I doubt anyone in here would even consider trying to put new gaskets in and not doing the thread work. (The block threads and head bolts are the reason you're possibly doing this job in the first place.........why not cure the problem instead of using a bandaid??)

lukky4u
04-02-08, 12:37 PM
good point just wasnt sure of the likelyhood that head bolts or blockthreads are stripped.

krimson_cardnal
04-02-08, 12:48 PM
Amen submariner.
lukky4u, do a search on this site and look here (http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/search.php?searchid=680206). Bring info to your mechanic so he understands. K_C

dwight.j.carter
04-02-08, 03:59 PM
I would say yes and read aj's post about the headgaskets and how to repair them.

zonie77
04-02-08, 06:08 PM
the reason i think HG is blown is it has been losing coolant daily. no visable leaks. coolant had been changed last year with the pellets. but basically after driving 5 - 10 miles or so temp will go past 240 thats when i pull over and cut it off, it did go up to 260 on one occasion cause i didnt have a chance to pull over. coolant goes out the purge line, and in general will lose about a gallon or so. and im pretty certain i can smell a faint sweet smell out the exhaust. Anyway i talked to the local stealership and they said headgasket job will run around 22 -2400. they said they dont do the timeserting. I almost think he didnt know what i was talking about. but he did mention if the headbolts are stripped, i would need a new block. .... The general mechanic that i use said that it doesnt neccesarily need timeserts and that more often then not the headbolts will stretch but that doesnt neccesarily mean that the block will need timeserts. anyway im still investigating.

The symptoms sound like head gaskets but could be something else. Have you checked the purge line, water pump drive, etc?

Have you had an exhaust gas test done on the coolant? Make sure it is with coolant that has been in awhile. That may mean making several short trips to ensure it does not overheat but is cycled through the engine enough.

Timeserting puts an insert into the damaged threads. Look at timesert.com If any of the threads are damaged this is important. If the STEEL bolts are stretched don't you think the ALUMINUM block might be damaged? Actually the bolts are not TTY's that have to be replaced for stretching, they have special coatings that have to be replaced. The easiest way to do that is to replace the bolts.

lukky4u
04-03-08, 09:06 PM
checked purge line and water pump. it's ok. didnt do the exhaust gas test yet, figured i would have the mechanic do that to confirm it and weigh my options from that point.

lukky4u
04-05-08, 07:22 PM
have a question....upon getting ready to put in some cheap block sealent i ran it up to temp and then drained the fluid. The fluid initially came out cool....like around 70 degrees or so. is this normal??? i ran it up to 215 degrees. after the radiator was more then 3/4 empty it then started to come out hot. I also checked all the plugs they all looked the same, a tinge of white like they were burning hot. should there be any indication of anything else if there is a HG problem? i know it maybe false hope but i wont be able to bring it to the mechanic for at least a couple weeks or so. Should he just give it a cylinder pressure test and check for exhaust gas in the coolant to confirm?

I have looked for coolant test for exhaust gasses everywhere around here and nobody has them. the nearest radiator shop is an hour and half away at least. I was told to look online by the autozone guys for this and the only thing i could find was through NAPA for about 50 bucks

zonie77
04-05-08, 07:51 PM
have a question....upon getting ready to put in some cheap block sealent i ran it up to temp and then drained the fluid. The fluid initially came out cool....like around 70 degrees or so. is this normal??? i ran it up to 215 degrees. after the radiator was more then 3/4 empty it then started to come out hot. I also checked all the plugs they all looked the same, a tinge of white like they were burning hot. should there be any indication of anything else if there is a HG problem? i know it maybe false hope but i wont be able to bring it to the mechanic for at least a couple weeks or so. Should he just give it a cylinder pressure test and check for exhaust gas in the coolant to confirm?

I have looked for coolant test for exhaust gasses everywhere around here and nobody has them. the nearest radiator shop is an hour and half away at least. I was told to look online by the autozone guys for this and the only thing i could find was through NAPA for about 50 bucks


I would advise NOT to try block sealant. It may clog the coolant passages even after you repair the engine.

NAPA is one place that carries the kit. Too bad no one closer has it. Have you tried some other mechanics? The other test is a cyl pressure test. Put compressor air pressure on each cyl and see if any leak into the coolant passages. That's 100-150 psi air.

zonie77
04-05-08, 07:52 PM
I didn't reread your posts...have you flushed the radiator? Maybe someone's put sealant in it before.

lukky4u
04-05-08, 09:04 PM
i bought it with 60K on it and did one change using the gm tabs