View Full Version : headgaskets a 2nd time?

07-09-09, 10:42 AM
i have a 2000 dts about a year ago i got the heads redone with the inserts. it seems like they have went again. just wondering if anyone else has had it happen twice to them and if the block is able to take new inserts again since it already was done

07-09-09, 12:05 PM
Bummer. This is sort of a first with an inserted Northstar.

What gives you the idea that the head(s) have lifted again ? ........either go to one of the large parts stores and "rent" a tester for exhaust gas in the surge tank or have a good radiator shop do it. You have to rule out the presence of exhaust gasses in the airspace over the coolant before you start throwing money at it.

07-09-09, 12:50 PM
i have all the signs of when it happened b4 and the radiator is new, the pump is new, its not the purge and the fans are working. Its def. building up pressure and air pockets so what else could it really be? im just dont know if the block can take inserts again.

Mark C
07-09-09, 02:16 PM
Did whoever did it install all 20 inserts? Block can be re inserted but you need to step up to the big serts, or Norm's inserts or Jakes studs. All are a larger OD then the standard timeserts.

07-09-09, 02:36 PM
Yea he inserted all of them.. Is it worth it to do it like will it last or am i better of getting another motor?

07-09-09, 02:59 PM
Properly done on a block that is acceptable (no cracks or voids or powdery aluminum in the head bolt recess), there is no advantage to another used motor, which you should insert before installing anyway, because THAT engine will have the HG problem. I know that that will happen, because exactly that happened to me! The second time around, I used Norm's and no problems since.

07-09-09, 03:37 PM
It's possible to spit out head bolts a second time. If that's what happened (probably is...) I really feel sorry for you.
The first repair didn't last too long, 12 months? Are you sure it was properly done? Most shops rush the job and take shortcuts, screw up the job and blame the motor. If I were in your situation I'd put a good quality reman. motor in it.
This head bolt situation is B.S. Poor engineering and cost cutting on GM's part. My other ride is a '95 Jaguar XJS convertible with the all aluminum AJ16 motor. The AJ16 is an in-line overhead cam 4 valve motor that uses headbolts exactly the same as GM. The AJ16 has NEVER EVER had a head bolt problem. If Jaguar can do it and not screw it up why can't GM?

07-09-09, 03:46 PM
I agree with the poor engineering part - the design is flawed, with band-aids like longer and coarser threads. Also poor manufacturing, that lead to the case porosity problems - I think that was fixed with the 2000+ engines, but head gaskets do continue to fail, even with the 2000+ engines. I think AJ was on the right track when he said it was the open deck design, not that all open deck design engines have head gasket problems...

07-09-09, 04:31 PM
The open deck design being the cause of failure makes sense. The AJ16 is not open deck and has had no problems. Jaguars open deck V-8 the AJV8 is also open deck and they've had less of a problem with headgaskets than the N*. Of course they had issues with poorly designed and cheaply made timing chains, tensioners and water pumps.

07-09-09, 04:56 PM
can anyone tell me if there is something i can do if i do the hg's again that would prevent this from ever happening again

07-09-09, 05:17 PM
Unfortunately there are NO guarantees with a Northstar - any Northstar.

Jake's head studs are the best insurance, but even they have their limits.

Jake will know, but I have a gut feeling that if the block was drilled, tapped, and inserted the bolt holes are now too large to take the machining for studs.

I know this is closing the barn door after the horse is gone, but did you see the insert job on your engine the first time ???

07-09-09, 05:29 PM
No i didnt but i think they used the gm inserts

07-09-09, 05:36 PM
I think Jake said he looked into it and you could stud it after the "normal sized" timesert was used, but not the bigsert. Of course, this all depends on having good block material to begin with. I would call Jake.... In my opinion, getting the car to Canada and letting Jake stud it in his shop would be the closest to a "guarantee" that you can get. The second closest would be doing it myself.

07-10-09, 12:26 PM
Something is wrong. They should never have failed if done correctly. See the sticky "Root Cause..." in the Northstar section. Perhaps the block was faulty and should never have been repaired in the first place. Just a thought.

07-10-09, 03:16 PM
i dont know i never got to see the block but i think im gonna end up sending the motor to northstar performance and see what they say since i really dont have to many options and i have so much money into the car already