: Alas.....another head gasket has given up the ghost...

07-16-10, 07:02 AM
My Son's '99 Eldorado is using enough anti-freeze to set off the "check coolant level" message about once/week. As I suspected, the head gasket is weeping into 1 cylinder. The car runs rough for a few minutes at start up and then evens out as the plug becomes hot and burns itself off. So it looks like I will be repairing the car with Jakes's stud kit.
My mechanic is not interested in doing the job, but if I wait a month there is another friend who will tackle it for me. His shop is buried right now and he can't get me in until then.
This is a replacement engine that I had installed in April of 2007, so I got around 3 years out it before any major work. Getting rid of the car is out of the question as my Son loves his Eldorado !!! And by the time it's getting fixed, he'll be back at College anyway.

You can expect a call in the next couple of weeks from Mass. requesting one of your stud kits....

Life goes on......:rolleyes:

07-16-10, 07:49 AM
Log this into the informal poll at the top of the Northstar Performance main page: 98's and 99's are at the top of the list for statistical failure.

07-20-10, 11:13 AM
Look forward to hearing from your Mark; but under different circumstances it would be better. Nobody likes blown HG's.

07-20-10, 07:13 PM
Mark - I did the same thing - replaced the original engine with blown HG (thought it was a fluke) with a used engine. Got 2 years/23K miles out of that engine before that engine HG blew - then I came here and got educated, used Norm's (no Jake's in those days) and did it myself; I'm still going strong 2 1/2 years/16K miles later. I do have a minor oil leak - I used FelPro gaskets and seals - I always thought that was the best - now I read that could be my problem>>>??? - see Jake's other thread.

I think you will be the first person I have read about that will have first replaced and later repaired their engine. We share something else, too - I am originally from MA also - grew up in Lexington - moved to the desert 8 1/2 years ago and love it.

07-21-10, 07:50 AM
I live in Bedford now, but grew up in Lexington also. What year did you graduate high school ?

I'm in line with Nemesis Motorsports do do my head gaskets with your kit.
If you think the GM gaskets are really the way to go now, should you tell the mechanic there ? I only want to do this once....


Mark B.

07-21-10, 03:06 PM

Grew up on Frances Rd, 2 streets up the hill off School St.

Richard Moore

07-27-10, 09:25 AM
Sorry for the late reply.....Been working like crazy.
I graduated in 1973 !!!

We're both a couple of old guys !!!!


08-03-10, 06:23 PM
Any idea why the '97~'99 has such a high failure rate? Was there a change in process? Was GM / Cadillac aware? I remember reading something about the foundry process. It interesting though. I have a '94 and so far at 102,960 I have not had a noticeable problem, aside from the leaking oil I have mentioned before. As long as repairs are reasonable, I plan on this being my last car. The concours is one heck of a ride!

08-04-10, 09:46 AM
The general consensus is that there were block casting problems - metallurgy, porosity, material ???? That year group is statistically (non-scientific poll at the top of this main page) the highest failure rate, and in most of those that fail, corroded/pulled head bolt threads in the block are the culprit, leading to head gasket failure, most often from a cylinder into the open deck water passages.

08-04-10, 11:05 AM
I always had a question about the poll up top, so I guess I'll just spit it out. It seems to me that one important factor is missing from the poll, and that's how many cars of each year are on the board.

Sure, '98-'99's appear to be the most problematic, but if they have made up a large percentage of the population here as the poll went on, it's only natural that more '98-'99's show up on the headgasket poll. The pre-'98 cars show up as having less problems, but naturally, many weren't counted in the poll as many where 10+ years by the time the poll started and had probably come/gone by then.

It's too late now, but it would have been nice to have a census of the cars on this board, so that per-car, we can see how many problems there really are.

'98-'99's are frequent among other discussion besides headgaskets here as well, making me wonder if their high popularity here is making the poll invalid.

And who knows, the extra info might have given us the same result we have now. However, as it is, I don't really see how generalizations can be made on the HG poll missing such vital data.