: 2000 STS Head gasket problem?



GM4life13
09-19-08, 01:03 PM
I have arrived at the conclusion that my sts w/ the northstar has blown the head gasket. It puffs white smoke has the smell of burning antifreeze, and loss of normal throttle power. I have searched around over the last few day to figure out how much this would cost me. I have priced the parts at about 200$ and I know it is a long process for any mechanic. So I'm thinking about a grand in total. Am I off? I have also seen products that say they seal the gasket by pouring a solution into your cooling system. Has anyone used these products and had any luck, or heard anything about their use? thanks for any help

Submariner409
09-19-08, 01:27 PM
DO NOT use any sort of temporary or "permanent" gasket fixer. They have been proven, time and again, not to work, and will make subsequent engine work impossible to clean up. Many posts in here and Northstar Performance.

The parts you have researched are probably just gaskets and such, but the real necessary fix is the machining of the block head bolt holes and use of new head bolts along with Timeserts or Norm's Inserts ($250 - $400) to repair the pulled threads which lead to head lifting and gasket blowout. The engine, transmission, steering, suspension and cradle must come out the bottom of the car as a unit and the body lifted off the assembly. All told, at a dealership or independent shop you're looking at $4,000 - $5,000. Tremendous amount of labor. Some CF members have done the job at home, but all will tell you it's no picnic and is labor intensive with lots of homebrew tricks to do a good job. This is a top overhaul only - if coolant has gotten into the oil, then you're in for a very expensive engine change because coolant ruins bearings and internal parts.

ALL the parts and procedures have been posted with pictures and hints. Go back in these Forums and start reading.

BIG ERN
09-19-08, 03:06 PM
youre looking at no less than $2500.00,thats if you can find someone who wants to work on a northstar, Good Luck,its a real PITA

GM4life13
09-19-08, 03:53 PM
I took it to a mechanic to look at it and diagnose the problem. Hoping it is not the head gasket after reading the first few response that were left by others. If it is going to run 4-5000$ would it be money better spent on a remanufactured engine. I have seen some out there with two and three year warranties wondering if anyone has an opinion on what they would do?

Submariner409
09-19-08, 05:59 PM
IF the car itself is in mint condition, find the best deal from a local shop on a Jasper, Rhino, or GM long block reman. It's not gonna be cheap....! BUT, once done, with proper maintenance the car will run another 150,000 miles easily. It all depends if you want to fix this one for around $4,000+ or part it out and spend triple the money to get into a late 02 - 03 STS. (There are mint examples out there, you just have to look.)

jeffrsmith
09-19-08, 10:06 PM
There's a guy in Canada that will supposedly do it for $1250. You should try him and report back.

97EldoCoupe
10-09-08, 01:39 PM
Hey GM4life - where bouts are you located? I'm actually starting to charge $1300 for 2000+ models because the differences in the block castings make the head bolt/hole machining process a bit more expensive.

If you can get your car to me, I'll do it for the price stated above, providing the bottom end is in good condition as mentioned by submariner- coolant destroys bearings.

97EldoCoupe
10-09-08, 01:41 PM
I'm actually doing the job right now on a 2001 DTS. I pull the engines through the top. The 2000+ devilles are the most complicated, 98-04 STS is just a tad easier.

DevilleBilly
10-09-08, 08:55 PM
I'm actually doing the job right now on a 2001 DTS. I pull the engines through the top. The 2000+ devilles are the most complicated, 98-04 STS is just a tad easier.
What all do you remove off the engine to get it out the top? I am getting ready to do a 1995 Seville and I am up to trying it differently.

AlBundy
10-09-08, 09:57 PM
GM4life13, don't forget to add your car to the blown headgasket poll at the top of the page.

zonie77
10-09-08, 10:58 PM
What all do you remove off the engine to get it out the top? I am getting ready to do a 1995 Seville and I am up to trying it differently.


I haven't pulled one out the top, I've dropped several out the bottom. From what members have said, there are several difficult bolts to take it out the top. I would think that if you keep the extensions, swivels, combos of wrenches together and ready you could do it as quick (or quicker) as dropping it. If you are only doing one and you don't disco any more than necessary it's probably quicker to drop it. If you drop it you do not have to separate the engine/trans and the cradle makes a great engine stand. You do have to disc the AC. It depends what's harder for you.

97EldoCoupe
10-10-08, 07:52 AM
I remove the rear cam cover to gain access to some of those bolts, and to remove the coolant lines on the 99 & prior Devilles, 02 & prior Eldos, and 97 & prior Sevilles. I remove all engine accessories and just leave the A/C compressor laying on the subframe, lines still attatched. Coolant Crossover remains bolted to the engine. Intake & starter get removed. Blower motor on the E/K body cars gets removed. Not on your 2000. On yours, plan on removing the cruise servo to avoid hitting it with the rear manifold. Remove the tensioner/idler. Makes it easier. Tilt the engine on a 30-45 degree angle toward the back of the car to get it out. Also, the pass. side motor mount is a pain. The top bolt on the aluminum mount by the timing cover has to be loosened all the way but cannot be removed- leave it laying loose. Again, make sure that bolt is in there when you re-install the engine, along with the lowest bolt that's wedged between the driveshaft and the block. It's tricky. I have special mounts and lift equipment that I fabbed up to make it simpler- I have weighed my options about dropping the cradle, and to me it just seems you're dealing strictly with the engine by pulling it through the top, rather than messing with suspension components, brake lines, steering, etc. This also makes the whole engine easy to work on, it's out and ready for pan gaskets as well if it requires. It may be an old fashioned approach, but it works well for me.

zonie77
10-11-08, 12:28 AM
97EldoCoupe, If I were doing these on a regular basis I would consider pulling out the top. As you said, you have a lift designed, know the right techniques and tools, and if you're doing pan gaskets they are easy to access.

Doing it on a one ( or a few) time basis I found it easier to drop. We did not disc any brake lines and a lot of components stayed on til the cradle was out. I find it hard to lean over a fender. I can recharge AC so that's barely an issue.

It's a matter of personal preference and you made a choice based on experience. If someone asks my advice, and only doing it once, I'd have to advise dropping it.

jdgilk
10-25-08, 12:26 AM
it is my understanding you can get a remanufactured engine for around 3500.00 or toral cost and labor of 5000.00 with 24 to 36 month warranty. so why anyone would pay the high cost of just replacing the head gasket is beyond me.

jeffrsmith
10-25-08, 11:36 AM
Remanufactured is just that. Unless the company that is doing the remanufacturing states that they have timeserted the block you run the risk of having HGs fail again. It is nice they give you either a 24 or 36 month warranty but when you get to 25 or 37 months respectively and it blows a HG again are you going to be happy you bought a rebuilt? Not all companies that remanufacture engines are equal - there are some good/some bad - it is a definite crap shoot. There have been posts on the forum where people have bought rebuilt/remanufactured N* and have nothing but problems - not only with the engine but with how the company they purchased from handles the warranty. Beware of fly by nights.

GM4life13
10-27-08, 08:56 PM
Just thought I would tell everyone what ending up happening. I had bought the car from a dealership. Lager's Inc. located in Saint Peter and Mankato, Minnesota. I am a college student living in Saint Peter and thought i was picking up a descent car even though it did have high mileage (at this time I was naive how big of a problem blown head gaskets are on the N*). I paid a very low price for it and did not bother to have it check by a mechanic (naive again). The same night I bought the vehicle I went to the trunk to get something out while the car was still on and noticed the car was puffing out a toxic (antifreeze) smelling white cloud. The next day I had a mechanic diagnose the problem blown head gasket. the car was a 2000 cadillac Seville STS fully loaded w/white pearl paint, a very good looking car. their price was $1800. I guess I should have known something was wrong but they never mentioned anything. I was rushed through the whole experience and it felt like they definitely pulled one over on me by the time I figured everything out. I just thought I would warn anyone who lives in the Mankato Saint Peter, Minnesota area of Lager's Inc. I have no idea if they knew or not but I am a 20 year old kid with almost no mechanical experience and I could tell almost instantly once I had taken a proper look at the vehicle, without being rushed by a sales person, that something major was wrong. I would think that before you stamp your name on a product you would at least have a mechanic give it a once over. just my two cents.
R.

tateos
10-29-08, 01:36 PM
97EldoCoupe, If I were doing these on a regular basis I would consider pulling out the top. As you said, you have a lift designed, know the right techniques and tools, and if you're doing pan gaskets they are easy to access.

Doing it on a one ( or a few) time basis I found it easier to drop. We did not disc any brake lines and a lot of components stayed on til the cradle was out. I find it hard to lean over a fender. I can recharge AC so that's barely an issue.

It's a matter of personal preference and you made a choice based on experience. If someone asks my advice, and only doing it once, I'd have to advise dropping it.

I agree with my fellow Arizonan, Zonie - dropping the cradle is easier. Much, much easier - I don't know why anyone would want to pull it out the top. I started my HG project that way, so I know what's involved, but I gave up trying to pull the engine out the top once I got to the difficult/hard parts. Anyway, I ended up dropping the cradle, and it was much easier re-assembling everything on the cradle and then just lifting it into place.

I can understand why someone that has not done the job before would try to pull the engine out the top, but it truly makes more sense to drop the cradle - I mean, that's how the built the car in the first place, right?

blackonblacklac00
10-30-08, 01:16 PM
97EldoCoupe lol im adding u just in case *fingers crossed* i live in montreal now so ur not tooo far out if mine ever went out

blackonblacklac00
10-30-08, 01:29 PM
97EldoCoupe could u e-mail me so i have direct contact?im new so i cant pm no one yet

chizniz16
10-31-08, 03:35 AM
Just thought I would tell everyone what ending up happening. I had bought the car from a dealership. Lager's Inc. located in Saint Peter and Mankato, Minnesota. I am a college student living in Saint Peter and thought i was picking up a descent car even though it did have high mileage (at this time I was naive how big of a problem blown head gaskets are on the N*). I paid a very low price for it and did not bother to have it check by a mechanic (naive again). The same night I bought the vehicle I went to the trunk to get something out while the car was still on and noticed the car was puffing out a toxic (antifreeze) smelling white cloud. The next day I had a mechanic diagnose the problem blown head gasket. the car was a 2000 cadillac Seville STS fully loaded w/white pearl paint, a very good looking car. their price was $1800. I guess I should have known something was wrong but they never mentioned anything. I was rushed through the whole experience and it felt like they definitely pulled one over on me by the time I figured everything out. I just thought I would warn anyone who lives in the Mankato Saint Peter, Minnesota area of Lager's Inc. I have no idea if they knew or not but I am a 20 year old kid with almost no mechanical experience and I could tell almost instantly once I had taken a proper look at the vehicle, without being rushed by a sales person, that something major was wrong. I would think that before you stamp your name on a product you would at least have a mechanic give it a once over. just my two cents.
R.

Hey I posted on your messeges or something, cant PM yet since we are both new here. Hit me back up as soon as possible.