I wish I knew about them about $11K ago. My 95 Eldo blew a head gasket at 70k. Apparently someone had been in there before And skipped a spacer/washer(?) to get the rear head bolt in. After a head gasket job by a dealer ($4K), I got 3500 miles on it before the rear bolt pulled out again. Never was a new thread insert mentioned, and a new Northstar 4.6L now sits under the hood. Should the dealer have replaced the inserts when the head gasket was done? Could they have done them after the last fail? Anyone willing to pay $20,000 for a 95' Eldo with 75,000 on it?
I bought it used. Did all my homework. My mechanic gave it the once over. The CarFax was clean for the first two owners, fully serviced. But the third owner........had it for 9 months and 9,000 miles. She had a mechanic from hell. I paid dearly for it. I am afraid to drive the friggin' thing.
If the dealer is at fault, stay away from Bill Dodge in Westbrook, Maine!
Man it hurts to sit down! This was my dream car too!
04-05-05, 10:05 PM
Since I wasn't there when it was done this is only my opinion. Sometimes the head gasket may not damage the threads, sometimes the threads may be slightly (not obviously) damaged and sometimes it's obvious. Your's was probably the middle scenario. It ran awhile before it failed. I don't know what spacer you are talking about. The block could have been inserted, or reinserted with a larger insert. It was easier for the dealer to sell you another engine.
I talked to a few dealers about timserting the headbolts - their take was to only timeset the ones that were pulled unless 2 or more pull, then they do them all. That seems like a stupid policy to me since they may not pull until the heads are being put back on.
I did not take my car to these shops.
Thanks for the reply. After looking at the receipt again, they did replace all 20 time-serts. So after the bolt pulled out again, was the time-sert job done poorly? This has been a painfully expensive learning. It also looks like at no time was the bar's leaks sealant added to the system. I just did it since the engine has only 500 miles on it. Thanks again for your help.
04-07-05, 11:14 PM
I don't follow your posts....you mention first that a new Northstar was installed and now that they did all 20 timeserts...?? There would have been no timeserts on a new engine. If the timeserts are done correctly they are a permanent fix. If one does fail for some reason then it can be removed and a larger OD "bigsert" used to repair the hole again.
I had a head gasket and time-serts done on my old engine (70k miles)at the dealership. 3500 miles later the engine started leaking coolant. The diagnosis was "rear head bolt pulled out". Then the new Northstar was put in. Did the dealership do a shoddy job on the time serts? They assured me that everything would be fine. I am trying to build a case to get my money back from the head gasket job that shouldn't have been done. Fat chance right? I can keep squawking though. Thanks for the info.
04-08-05, 12:57 PM
You would have a better chance if you had a picture of the old block or the block itself...something to prove what the exact problem was.
Your comment on skipping a spacer doesn't fit with what you said in the last post. Where did that come from? It is possible the timesert wasn't done properly or the headbolt wasn't torqued properly. How can you prove what happened?
04-08-05, 07:21 PM
If a timesert was installed and pulled out then something wasn't done correctly. Even if it pulled out , it could have been repaired and avoided putting a new engine in.... Are you sure that they used timeserts and not helicoils. Lots of placess try helicoils and they pull out and don't work. If they used helicoils instead of timeserts and it failed I would definitely go after them.
They definitely used time-serts. I matched the part # on my receipt to the part # on the Time Sert Web page. I really feel they did a poor job. I am trying to get more info from them before I head to small claims court. The new Northstar runs pretty good though. Thanks for all your help guys. I have learned a truckload in a short amount of time.