: How Can I prevent a blown head gasket problem



Eldorado192
10-18-08, 11:19 AM
Hey everyone, I have a 93 Eldorado and ive been reading around alot and i really wanna know how to prevent a bad head gasket, i am in the process of getting more northstars in the future. How do i prevent this $$$$$ pit from happening?

My cooling system temp is around 199-225
Coolant / Waterpump recently replaced
no idle problems or smoke
and she only has 77,000 miles on her
She also had no codes on the computer

kdsevillle
10-18-08, 11:41 AM
read past threads on this. But pretty much all you can do is change Coolant when needed.

Ranger
10-18-08, 12:26 PM
Yup. '93 has green coolant. Change it every 2 years. Other than that all you can do is pray.

Destroyer
10-19-08, 09:08 PM
Get a Lincoln?:cool:

CadillacSTS42005
10-19-08, 09:09 PM
^ seen that comment coming from D before i even opened the thread....

Playdrv4me
10-20-08, 02:24 AM
Yea he can be annoying as f*** but you gotta admit, that shit's pretty funny. It gave me a chuckle ;)

To the OP... follow the instructions above and do a search, you'll find all the information you can possibly stand on this tired issue. Bottom line, if you are THAT worried about it happening, just stay away from it altogether... else be prepared.

jeffrsmith
10-20-08, 10:21 PM
Get a new rosary, say many "Hail Mary's" and pray, frequently!


Seriously though, it may never happen - not all N*s had problems with HGs. You may get lucky if you follow the maintenance schedule.

Mark0101
10-23-08, 01:43 PM
get a lincoln?:cool:
lmao

mighty_quad4
10-23-08, 05:50 PM
Get a Lincoln?:cool:

guess i can play this game. owning a Mark VIII means having to worry about: clattering chain tensioners due to oil drainback, unreliable air ride suspension systems that have plagued Ford since they first starting using it, having a transmission that loves to blow itself up and took Ford around 7 years to fix.

so yes, owning a Lincoln may keep you from having to replace a headgasket, it wont stop you from having to rebuild a trans or yanking the front half of the engine apart to fix the oil leakdown issue, or having to deal with a suspension system whos only redeeming quality is that it fails...reliably.

theres more i could elaborate on since i owned a MN-12 chassis before the STS. we can alwasy talk about the rear suspension and how reliable it is(nt) past 70k miles.

Destroyer
10-23-08, 07:14 PM
guess i can play this game. owning a Mark VIII means having to worry about: clattering chain tensioners due to oil drainback, unreliable air ride suspension systems that have plagued Ford since they first starting using it, having a transmission that loves to blow itself up and took Ford around 7 years to fix.

so yes, owning a Lincoln may keep you from having to replace a headgasket, it wont stop you from having to rebuild a trans or yanking the front half of the engine apart to fix the oil leakdown issue, or having to deal with a suspension system whos only redeeming quality is that it fails...reliably.

theres more i could elaborate on since i owned a MN-12 chassis before the STS. we can alwasy talk about the rear suspension and how reliable it is(nt) past 70k miles.Obviously you cant play this game (what game?). The suspension is a $350 fix by simply switching to conventional springs and its less than a 2 hour job. Rides better and looks better without that rather gimmicky air ride crap. Far as the rest of what you mentioned, I haven't heard of any of that stuff or experienced it and I'm on my second Mark and 4rth car with a DOHC 4.6 Ford. Do tell though, I'll have to break the news to countless Mark owners that have 200k-300k on their stock motors. The transmission problems were fixed starting with the '98 models (luckily the one I have). So when should I expect it to blow on me oh wise one?.

Destroyer
10-23-08, 07:22 PM
yes, owning a Lincoln may keep you from having to replace a headgasketNow if we had just stuck to the issue and left at face value the proper response should have been "yes my Master Destroyer, you are right" instead of ranting like a little girl about air suspensions and some imaginary problems you pulled from a hat about Lincolns. :thepan:

hueterm
10-23-08, 07:38 PM
He only has 90 posts....he can't appreciate your North-ism the way we do...

Destroyer
10-23-08, 07:55 PM
He only has 90 posts....he can't appreciate your North-ism the way we do...It takes time...........:cool:

Mark0101
10-23-08, 08:32 PM
Yea all those problems are news to me but I will have to check into that....lol
Yea The transmission isn't so great but its not a POS. my 97 has 111K and my brothers 93 has 164K, I will let you know know when my transmission blows:eek:
BTW even IF those problems did exist, it would be alot less then fixing a HG.

AlBundy
10-23-08, 09:42 PM
I knew you wouldn't let my entertainment die D.:highfive::alchi:

Destroyer
10-23-08, 09:55 PM
I knew you wouldn't let my entertainment die D.:highfive::alchi:Its a dirty job but someone has to do it. :yup:

codewize
10-23-08, 10:16 PM
I love easy questions like this. Buy a car that doesn't have an aluminum engine in it.

Do not get a Lincoln, you'll be forever fixing something else.

Destroyer
10-24-08, 04:55 PM
I love easy questions like this. Buy a car that doesn't have an aluminum engine in it.

Lets not just blame the problem on it being an aluminum engine. There MANY aluminum engines out there that DONT have this problem. This seperation of block and head is a N* problem.

Submariner409
10-24-08, 06:22 PM
The aluminum engine is not the problem. The head clamping design is the culprit. A good machine shop, a bit of labor, a set of waisted head studs (properly machined for the application) and a set of sandwich head gaskets would make the top-end as bulletproof as the lower assembly.

Destroyer is correct: Properly bolted together the engine is as good as, maybe somewhat better than, any other internal combustion engine.

codewize
10-24-08, 11:13 PM
I know I know, I just wanted to pick. You guys know I love the N* for all it's worth. But it is the aluminum threads that pull :hide:

danbuc
10-25-08, 01:53 PM
HAHAHAHA......prevent?....headgasket?....that's a good one.:histeric:


But seriously..it's either gonna happen...or it's not gonna happen. Nothing you can do to change that. Just enjoy the car while you can...

Destroyer
10-25-08, 04:52 PM
I know I know, I just wanted to pick. You guys know I love the N* for all it's worth. But it is the aluminum threads that pull :hide:
To your defense, if it was an iron block w/aluminum heads the problem wouldn't exist. :shhh:

NHRATA01
10-25-08, 05:25 PM
To your defense, if it was an iron block w/aluminum heads the problem wouldn't exist. :shhh:

Fe/Al can be worse because of the different rates of thermal expansion between the metals. Pretty sure it was Ford that had an aluminum head/iron block 3.8, which was the worst for popping gaskets.

As for the aluminum block, the aluminum itself is not the problem. LSx motors are making 1200hp on a stock GM aluminum block and not lifting the heads as frequently. The bolt design and open deck are probably the biggest contributors, and why GM went to a semi-closed deck on the LSx's.

Submariner409
10-25-08, 05:34 PM
Yep, the sidewinder 3.8 in my '92 Taurus was aluminum/iron. Never had any problems (128,600 mi.) but it sure was a puny setup for a Taurus.

The DOHC Yamaha in the Taurus SHO was a different critter, though.........and I think it was all aluminum.

Destroyer
10-25-08, 07:53 PM
Fe/Al can be worse because of the different rates of thermal expansion between the metals. Pretty sure it was Ford that had an aluminum head/iron block 3.8, which was the worst for popping gaskets.


I did a headgasket job on a '94 Mustang 3.8. Didn't realize the heads were aluminum though. Anyway, thats a head gasket job I dont mind. A couple of hundred bucks and a few hours and its done.

Eldorado192
11-20-08, 08:28 PM
There has to be some way to prevent a northstar Head Gasket Problem

Destroyer
11-20-08, 09:08 PM
There has to be some way to prevent a northstar Head Gasket Problem
Sell it before it happens?:eek:

ryannel2003
11-20-08, 09:11 PM
Religiously change your coolant is really the only advice I could give. Still, even that doesn't prevent it.

Submariner409
11-20-08, 09:23 PM
There is a way......look at ETC97's (?) head stud work.

The early-to-'04 Northstar suffers from an open deck design with minimal sustained clamping force which is certain head gasket disaster over time. A composite fabric/graphite gasket without s/s cylinder seal rings cannot be expected to hold up under the expansion/contraction of engine parts, and when coupled with proven defects in machining and casting processes, there's a recipe for failure waiting to happen. The head bolts gradually lose clamping pressure, the gasket around the cylinder liner blows out into the water jacket, and BINGO !! ........you have exhaust gas intrusion in the cooling system. One fix might have been to O-ring each cylinder, or to use sandwich layered copper/stainless gaskets. BUT, a copper and s/s gasket is a battery (cell) in the presence of even slightly acidic coolant, so the problem compounds.

Aluminum engines, like aluminum beer cans, are not forever.

chubbyranger
11-23-08, 11:42 AM
Aluminum engines, like aluminum beer cans, are not forever.

I thought the beer cans all get reincarnated as ricers...

C0RSA1R
11-26-08, 12:23 AM
Well, beer cans and razor blades at least.

Seems that if the HGs gonna blow, it's gonna blow. Various advice picked up from here include regular changing of the coolant, switching to a pseudo-DEXCool made by Prestone that's supposed to corrode less, and changing your coolant immediately if you are storing your car for any length of time. Also, whenever you get an oil change or bring your car to the dealer, ask for a combustion byproduct test, so you can catch any problems early - hopefully :helpless:. Also, thinking good thoughts can't hurt, right? :hide:

If the HGs do blow (some will, some won't, flip a coin a few times), then follow Sub's advice and check out the HG repair method used by 97EldoCoupe. If the worst does happen, then see if you can get him to work on your car. Innovation like that should be encouraged, and it seems to be some top-quality work. Maybe if GM had done that from the beginning, the HGs wouldn't be as notorious as they are.

Destroyer
11-26-08, 08:27 AM
I thought the beer cans all get reincarnated as ricers...
........or N*'s.:cookoo: