: blown head or water pump



yeabuddy
04-27-05, 07:33 PM
now,my 1994 concours have a problem i dont know about, I took it to a mechanic and he told me i have a blown head gasket and it is going to cost me $4500 to fix and thats what he told me,can someone please give me the truth of the matter because im not really getting the full understanding of a blown head gasket.now theres no smoke coming from the tail pipe just over heating and he also tell me that i have collant in the oil,how can you tell if theres any?and should the water pump leake.oyea 11032 miles

Ranger
04-27-05, 08:45 PM
If you have coolant in the oil the oil on your dipstick will look like chacolate milk. The underside of the oil filler cap will have a frothy or creamy look. Water pump will not leak. You won't always see "smoke" (steam) from the tail pipe if it is a small leak. Overheating is usually a symptom.

cbellpeanut
05-13-05, 01:20 AM
im having my blown head gasket repaired now for $1000.00 plus parts.another $600.00 if my heads check out ok.the dealer wanted $5800.00 to $6400.00 .i found a regular machanic to do it alot cheaper.I HAD NO WATER IN OIL OR SMOKE FROM EXHAUST. BUT AFTER REMOVING HEADS (I WAS THERE WHEN HE PULLED THEM OFF) SURE NUFF THERE IT WAS A BREECH RIGHT INTO THE WATER JACKET SHOP AROUND GOOD LUCK.

delzy
05-13-05, 12:26 PM
cbellpeanut, you better read up on this forum about timeserts, otherwise you better sell your car as soon as you get it back. The headbolts will not last if your block is not timeserted. That goes for yeabuddy as well. Good luck!

BeelzeBob
05-13-05, 11:56 PM
Simple overheating does not mean that the head gasket is failed.

Have the mechanic pressurize each chamber with compressed shop air at 120 PSI and watch the cooling system for bubbling. This will prove whether the head gasket is failed or not and which cylinders are the problem

Coolant in the oil is a strange diagnosis for a head gasket failure on a Northstar. Due to the engine design it is virtually impossible for coolant to leak into the oil even if the head gasket fails. Coolant in the oil is typical with head gasket failures in other engines so it is often quoted as a reason for replacing the head gaskets but I would seriously doubt that you have coolant in the oil.

Do you have to add coolant frequently and/or do you get the low coolant warning lite on requiring coolant adds on a regular basis. Unless you are having to add coolant regularily then I wouldn't think that the head gasket is failed.

The water pump on the Northstar is driven off a pulley on the intake cam at the rear of the engine on the left hand (front) bank. If this area hasn't been serviced recently I would suspect it first. Make sure the small water pump belt is in good condition and that the small, spring loaded tensioner is not frozen. Either could cause the water pump belt to slip and the engine to overheat. Exercise the tensioner and lube the pivot and replace the belt to make sure that the system is driving the water pump correctly.

Are the cooling fans operating correctly...???

Is the system filled with fresh 50/50 coolant/distilled water?? A weak coolant mix can easily cause boil over and overheating with nothing else wrong.

Has the system been pressure checked and is the radiator cap functioning correctly and sealing and pressuizing the system? If not, the system will easily boil without pressure.

Find the pressureized surge tank and the small 3/8 hose that attaches to it. Disconnect that hose. Blow thru the nipple on the surge tank to make sure it is open and can flow air. Start the engine momentarily. Make sure that coolant flows from the hose where it is disconnected flowing from the engine toward the surge tank. This is the vapor vent line and if it is clogged and not flowing it will cause the water pump to stop pumping and cause the engine to overheat.

Has the thermostat ever been replaced and/or removed and checked...??? A lazy stat (they do wear out and a 12 year old stat doesn't owe you a dime) can easily cause overheating.

Lots of things to check before head gaskets are condemned.....

Read the threads below on overheating and head gaskets and timeserts and such as there is much in the archives on the subject you brought up.

cbellpeanut
05-19-05, 02:44 AM
cbellpeanut, you better read up on this forum about timeserts, otherwise you better sell your car as soon as you get it back. The headbolts will not last if your block is not timeserted. That goes for yeabuddy as well. Good luck! YEA I GOT IT TIMESERTED AT A MACHINE SHOP THAT DOES ABOUT 3 NSTARS. A MONTH .IT COST ME $250.00 LABOR 75.OO FOR TIMESERTS. MY MECHANIC WAS NOT CONFIDENT IN DOING TIMESERTS, SO I CALLED AROUND AND GOT LEAD TO A MACHINE SHOP WITH NSTAR.EXPERIENCE

cbellpeanut
05-19-05, 02:57 AM
Simple overheating does not mean that the head gasket is failed.

Have the mechanic pressurize each chamber with compressed shop air at 120 PSI and watch the cooling system for bubbling. This will prove whether the head gasket is failed or not and which cylinders are the problem

Coolant in the oil is a strange diagnosis for a head gasket failure on a Northstar. Due to the engine design it is virtually impossible for coolant to leak into the oil even if the head gasket fails. Coolant in the oil is typical with head gasket failures in other engines so it is often quoted as a reason for replacing the head gaskets but I would seriously doubt that you have coolant in the oil.

Do you have to add coolant frequently and/or do you get the low coolant warning lite on requiring coolant adds on a regular basis. Unless you are having to add coolant regularily then I wouldn't think that the head gasket is failed.

The water pump on the Northstar is driven off a pulley on the intake cam at the rear of the engine on the left hand (front) bank. If this area hasn't been serviced recently I would suspect it first. Make sure the small water pump belt is in good condition and that the small, spring loaded tensioner is not frozen. Either could cause the water pump belt to slip and the engine to overheat. Exercise the tensioner and lube the pivot and replace the belt to make sure that the system is driving the water pump correctly.

Are the cooling fans operating correctly...???

Is the system filled with fresh 50/50 coolant/distilled water?? A weak coolant mix can easily cause boil over and overheating with nothing else wrong.

Has the system been pressure checked and is the radiator cap functioning correctly and sealing and pressuizing the system? If not, the system will easily boil without pressure.

Find the pressureized surge tank and the small 3/8 hose that attaches to it. Disconnect that hose. Blow thru the nipple on the surge tank to make sure it is open and can flow air. Start the engine momentarily. Make sure that coolant flows from the hose where it is disconnected flowing from the engine toward the surge tank. This is the vapor vent line and if it is clogged and not flowing it will cause the water pump to stop pumping and cause the engine to overheat.

Has the thermostat ever been replaced and/or removed and checked...??? A lazy stat (they do wear out and a 12 year old stat doesn't owe you a dime) can easily cause overheating.

Lots of things to check before head gaskets are condemned.....

Read the threads below on overheating and head gaskets and timeserts and such as there is much in the archives on the subject you brought up.YES THE BELT WAS FRAYED ,CHUNKS MISSING FROM IT, SO REPLACED WATERPUMP BELT/ FANS WERE CHECKED OUT BY MECHANIC WITH SOME SNAP ON DIAGNOSTIC MACHINE,I REPLACED RADIATOR FINALLY TOOK IT TO CADILLAC DEALER THEY TESTED COOLANT AND FOUND HYDROCARBONS IN COOLANT,AND WANTED $5,800 TO $6,400 TO DO THE REPAIR.HELL I CAN BUY A BRAND NEW4.6l NORTHSTAR GOODWRENCH CRATE ENG. FOR $5,300.00.

yeabuddy
05-28-05, 09:59 PM
sorry i'm just getting back to you guys,been just a little bit busy trying to work overtime so that i can buy a new engine.yes i tried all of your opinions so,i'm just going to buy a rebuilt for my car which i like very much, so can you give me advice on a rebuilt northstar engines?