: Prevent head gasket failure



ibm4mad
05-14-08, 11:15 PM
So we all know that the pre-2000 N*s are prone to head gasket failure. I didn't know this until I bought my 98 Deville and started coming to this forum. But anyway, it seems (from reading here on this forum) that the #1 cause of head gasket failure on the N*s is the head bolts failing. I also read that the year 2000 and up N*s used a different head bolt system.

Are there any tricks/mods/addons to make a pre-2000 N* less suscceptible to head gasket failure? Also, is it possible (or rather, practical) to install the newer, better 2000+ head bolts on a pre-2000 N*? Thanks.

chubbyranger
05-15-08, 06:38 AM
Religous coolant maintenance is the only recommended preventative that may have some relation to HG failure. You cannot install post-2000 headbolts in a pre-2000; once you've yanked the motor to do that you are better off getting the block timeserted and using new headbolts. Its not the bolts that are the problem, its the block casting, so even if you could change the bolts (post-2000 is a different pitch) you will have zero improvement and likely end up just stripping the block, which leads you back to inserts. All roads lead to the same place on these cars. Welcome to the club.

Ranger
05-15-08, 04:39 PM
Remember, head gasket failure is not a given. While admittedly too common, there are many, many out there with high miles and no failures. Follow Chubby's advice, sacrifice a virgin to the head gasket Gods and set aside some money "just in case".

JimD
05-15-08, 05:03 PM
So we all know that the pre-2000 N*s are prone to head gasket failure.
Have to disagree.

What I know is some percentage of owners fail to follow the recommended cooling system maintanence schedule. But we can't quantify it.

Same as some percentage of Ford SUV owners failed to maintain recommended air pressure in their Firestone tires.

Edahall
05-15-08, 05:21 PM
Lets not forget that there are also owners who have religiously maintained their coolant yet still have had head gasket problems. While changing the coolant regularly can delay manifestation of the problem, it's just a matter of time before imminent failure.

Rafterd
05-15-08, 05:52 PM
Hey Ranger. Where are the VIRGINS???????????

Bill

Ranger
05-15-08, 06:11 PM
BTSOM. I think your UFO's snatched them all up.

JimD
05-15-08, 06:41 PM
Here's where it gets slippery. Now we have terms of "prone to" and "emminent failure" and "VIRGINS" and "UFOs" in Stephenville, TX.:)

My position on "prone to" and "emminent failure" is;
What is the expected life of engine oil?
Likewise tires.
Or light bulbs.
Or your favorite consumable item, internal combustion engines included.
My glass is half full regarding my '98 model engine.

On the "VIRGINS" and "UFOs", I'll pass.

RickyHenry
05-16-08, 03:49 PM
Have to disagree.

What I know is some percentage of owners fail to follow the recommended cooling system maintanence schedule. But we can't quantify it.

Same as some percentage of Ford SUV owners failed to maintain recommended air pressure in their Firestone tires.

I disagree with your disagreement ... This is a known manufacturers defect... Here is a recall from Cadillac to prove it:

Campaign - Cylinder Head Bolt Hole Counterbore

Customer Satisfaction - Engine Block Cylinder Head Bolt Thread Holes-Deep Counterbore # 99086 - (Mar 19, 2002)
Models:
Certain 1999 Oldsmobile Aurora Model Vehicle
Equipped with 4.0L Engine (RPO L47-VIN Code C)

Certain 1999 Cadillac Seville, DeVille and Eldorado Model Vehicles
Equipped with 4.6L Engine (RPO LD8-VIN Code Y or RPO L37-VIN Code 9)

THIS CAMPAIGN BULLETIN ADDRESSES VEHICLES IN DEALER INVENTORY AND VEHICLES DELIVERED TO CUSTOMERS. VEHICLES THAT PASS THE INSPECTION PROCEDURE WILL BE RELEASED FROM THE STOP DELIVERY ISSUED SEPTEMBER 13, 1999 VIA DCS MESSAGE WIS19990023 AND WIS19990024. DEALER INVENTORY VEHICLES THAT DO NOT PASS THE INSPECTION ARE NOT TO BE DELIVERED TO CUSTOMERS BUT ARE NOT TO BE RETURNED TO GENERAL MOTORS. CUSTOMER VEHICLES THAT DO NOT PASS THE INSPECTION HAVE SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS. REFER TO THE SERVICE PROCEDURE FOR DETAILS.
Important: Cadillac customers involved in this campaign will be notified by GM beginning December 17, 1999. Oldsmobile Aurora customers involved in this campaign will be notified by GM at a later date when 4.0L engines become available.

General Motors has decided that certain 1999 Oldsmobile Aurora model vehicles, equipped with 4.0L engine (RPO L47, VIN C) and Cadillac Seville, DeVille and Eldorado model vehicles equipped with 4.6L engine (RPO LD8, VIN 9 or RPO L37 VIN Y) may exhibit a condition in which they cylinder head bolts may become loose and cause coolant leaks and possible engine damage. This may be due to the engine block cylinder head bolt counterbore holes being machined too deeply into the engine block.

To prevent the possibility of this condition occurring, dealers are to inspect vehicles held under the above referenced stop delivery and those delivered to customers. Depending on the findings, the engine may not require any further repairs, may require replacement or the vehicle may need to be returned to GM.

Vehicles Involved



Involved are certain 1999 Oldsmobile Aurora model vehicles equipped with 4.0L engine (RPO L47, VIN C) and Cadillac Seville, DeVille and Eldorado model vehicles equipped with 4.6L engine (RPO LD8, VIN Y and RPO L37, VIN 9), and built within the VIN breakpoints shown
Important: Dealers should confirm vehicle eligibility through VISS (Vehicle Information Service System) prior to beginning campaign repairs. Information for Oldsmobile Auroras delivered to customer will be loaded in VISS at a later date when 4.0L engines are available and Oldsmobile owner letters are mailed. [Not all vehicles within the above breakpoints may be involved]

Involved vehicles have been identified by Vehicle Identification Number. Computer listings containing the complete Vehicle Identification Number, customer name and address data have been prepared, and are being furnished to involved dealers with the campaign bulletin. The customer name and address data furnished will enable dealers to follow-up with customers involved in this campaign. Any dealer not receiving a computer listing with the campaign bulletin has no involved vehicles currently assigned.

These dealer listings may contain customer names and addresses obtained from State Motor Vehicle Registration Records. The use of such motor vehicle registration data for any other purpose is a violation of law in several states. Accordingly, you are urged to limit the use of this listing to the follow-up necessary to complete this campaign.



Parts Information

Parts required to complete this campaign are to be obtained from General Motors Service Parts Operations (GMSPO). Please refer to your "involved vehicles listing" prior to ordering requirements. Normal orders should be placed on a DRO = Daily Replenishment Order. An emergency requirement should be ordered on a CSO = Customer Special Order.
Important: Due to the small number of vehicles involved, dealers are encouraged not to order campaign parts for use as shelf stock. Parts should only be ordered when inspection determines that it is necessary to replace the engine.

Customer Notification

Customers will be notified of this campaign on their vehicles by General Motors beginning December 17, 1999. Oldsmobile Aurora customers will be notified of this campaign on their vehicles by General Motors at a later date when 4.0L engines become available. (See copy of typical customer letter shown in this bulletin -- actual divisional letter may vary slightly).

Dealer Campaign Responsibility

All unsold new vehicles in dealers 'inventory and subject to this campaign MUST be held, inspected and returned to GM if this condition exists, per the service procedure of this campaign bulletin. All unsold new vehicles in dealers' inventory and subject to this campaign MUST be held, inspected and may be released from the "Stop Delivery" order BEFORE customers take possession of these vehicles if this condition does not exist, per the service procedure of this campaign bulletin.

Cadillac customers who have recently purchased vehicles sold from your vehicle inventory, and for which there is no customer information indicated on the dealer listing, are to be contacted by the dealer. Oldsmobile customers who have recently purchased vehicles sold from your vehicle inventory, and for which there is not customer information indicated on the dealer listing, are not to be contacted by the dealer until the Oldsmobile customer letter and Olds Aurora dealer listing are mailed at a later date. Arrangements are to be made to make the required correction according to the instructions contained in this bulletin. This could be done by mailing to such customers a copy of the customer letter shown in this bulletin. Campaign follow-up cards should not be used for this purpose, since the customer may not as yet have received the notification letter.

In summary, whenever a vehicle subject to this campaign enters your vehicle inventory, or is in your dealership for service in the future, please take the steps necessary to be sure the campaign correction has been made before selling or releasing the vehicle.

Campaign Identification Label

Each vehicle corrected in accordance with the instructions outlined in this Product Campaign Bulletin will require a "Campaign Identification Label". Each label provides a space to include the campaign number and the five (5) digit dealer code of the dealer performing the campaign service. This information may be inserted with a typewriter or a ball point pen.

Each "Campaign Identification Label" is to be located on the radiator core support in an area which will be visible when the vehicle is brought in by the customer for periodic servicing. When installing the Campaign Identification Label, be sure to pull the tab to allow the adhesion of the clear protective covering. Additional Campaign Identification Labels can be obtained from Dealer Support Materials by calling 1-888-414-6322 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm EST). Ask for Item Number 5-1015 when ordering.

Apply the "Campaign Identification Label" only on a clean, dry surface.



Submit a Product Campaign Claim with the information shown.

Refer to the General Motors Corporation Claims Processing Manual for details on Product Campaign Claim Submission.

zonie77
05-16-08, 05:07 PM
Ricky, that addresses a specific problem on a specific serial number range, not all N*'s.

JimD
05-16-08, 05:30 PM
I disagree with your disagreement ... This is a known manufacturers defect... Here is a recall from Cadillac to prove it:

Campaign - Cylinder Head Bolt Hole Counterbore



Parts Information
....
Important: Due to the small number of vehicles involved, dealers are encouraged not to order campaign parts for use as shelf stock.

What this proves is:
A machine was not set up properly and drilled some holes too deep.
A "small number of vehicles involved" means GM caught the error pretty quick (but we don't how many engines were affected).
GM acted to stop customer delivery of affected vehicles and inform owners of vehicles already delivered.

Does not sound like a systemic problem to me.