: Any GM/Cadillac certified mechanics on board? PLEASE HELP

07-22-04, 10:50 AM
How you doing fellas? I got a 97 etc that had a head gaskets job done at a Cadillac dealership in Ga. 2 years and 16,000 miles later, the heads are leaking. I go back to the
Dealership and they tell me that the only thing they can do for me is put in a new engine for $8000. I asked if the heads gaskets could be replaced again and they said “you can only do a head gasket job once”. From my lack of knowledge about the car, I just tucked my tail in and drove home with a sick car. But ever since talking to people on this board I have come to the conclusion that if the job was done right the first time, I wouldnt be in this situation and for me to just walk away from it would be stupid of me. So I called Cadillac customer service and told them my situation and the rep said that he research the situation. zonie77 made a post that really made (see below) sense to me and I was wondering if any certified GM/Cadillac mechanic can vouch for that or give me their assessment of the situation. This would definitely help me for my claim.

These are my previous posts about the car:
Dealer Says I Need A New Engine: PLEASE HELP
Down To The Wire: last minute thoughts please

This is what zonie77 (my apologies if you’re a mechanic) said about the car.
“Based on my experience and what is said on the forum the heads are very robust. I don't believe anyone has had a head or block crack. Probably due to the limp home mode and the good design of the heads.

The cyl walls on the two we did were excellent...no ridge and still showing hone marks. We carefully looked them over for cracks and took a chance that they were OK and they were.

That leaves a timesert not installed properly or a head bolt failure. One thing I don't like on the torque to yield bolts is the fact you cannot check them if you are interrupted and lose your place in the sequence. That happened to us with a phone call. Bbob said to restart the sequence (which we did) but...if the mech got interrupted and didn't redo the sequence he could have under or over torqued one or more.

As you saw on the timsert how to, a pretty simple process but the loctiting of the inserts is critical. If not done properly a timesert may not be locked in.

I think the headgaskets could be changed again. Pay attention to the timeserts and the straightness of the deck and heads. If nothing seems wrong I'd look for the leak (there should be evidence on the headgasket). If you can't find a bad spot on the gasket I'd consider having the block and heads checked. The bad spot may not be real obvious, you'll have to carefully examine the sealing areas for signs of leakage.

The valves should be fine on the heads the only concern should be straightness of the sealing surface and no cracks. You do not need the heads rebuilt.

A good mechanic shouldn't have any problems doing this but finding a good mechanic can be a real problem!”

If you need anymore info feel free to ask on here or email me. Im just a broke college student trying pay back loans and cant afford the options that are placed in front of me.
Thanks for your time and have a blessed day


07-22-04, 12:29 PM
I am neither... However, there was one guy on the forum that had a headgasket problem that turned out to be a cracked cylinder wall. So it can happen, but 1/1,000,000 comes to mind. As far as how "permanent" a timesert is... it's permanent. It should last you the life of the block, and you should not have to do it twice. If you want proof, talk to Alan Johnson at CHRfab.com. He's seen more time serts than all of us put together. Hope this helps,

07-22-04, 03:39 PM
Hey Eldo Red, my dad's Black Eldo started out as head gasket(s) then as the dealer took the engine apart they found the block to be bad. I'm not exactly sure if they mean that the block was cracked or warped or what but it does happen that there are parts that go bad. Hopefully in your situation you'll be able to just replace head gaskets and the necessaary seals.

07-23-04, 12:01 AM
No timeserts, It will leak at about 20k.

I would not rehead a northstar without the time serts. Period.

Logan Diagnostic