: n*Headgasket Diag. the Hardway

08-07-05, 08:22 AM
I told My Wife we needed to upgrade her 85 Fleetwood for a 93 STS (she fell for it). I gave away her old car.:cookoo:
Step 1. Buy car from Buddy for cheep because it's losing coolant.
Step 2. Change Thermostat. Didn't work!
Step 3. New Radiator. Didn't work!
Step 4. Replace (old won't turn 1/2") Water Pump. (all day)
Step 5. Explain to Wife that I think that got it. Offer her my 88 Coupe DeVille to drive until I'm sure. Wife, "I think your in denile." Me, "No I'm not. It's just a Guy Thing!" She turns 88 Coupe into a Shopping Cart! Only consillation is that the doors on the Coupe are bigger than She is.
Step 6. Drive 30 to 40 miles n* overheats again. Thermostat didn't work! Looks like I'm stuck in old pickup for awhile (Wife won't trade).:crying:
Step 7. Search Internet. Find this Forum. Figure out that it's the Headgaskets (my Buddy mentioned it, but I blew him off. Another Guy Thing).

I did full research on n*. Ordered Timesert ($370.00, you guys consistantly round down). 93 STS now up on jacks (gotta hurry, Wife is using the Grandkids to beatup My Coupe DeVille).

08-07-05, 02:11 PM
Good luck! It'll be worth it when you are done!

You dropping the cradle? Where r u?

08-08-05, 08:24 AM
I have everything disconnected (I hope). I'm ready to pull the six bolts on cradle. I printed out your thread and I'm going that route. I have suspended the ABS and plan to drop eng. past it. I left all brake lines intact and assume that air lines to suspension. go with cradle. Is there a compressor in this car? If so, where is it? I had to pull the computer under the dash to get harnass with 4 connectors past it. Man, what an IQ Test! Every elect. connection is different. Good (when putting back together) & Bad (when tring to figure out how to pull it apart). Does the Y exhaust stay, or do you pull it before you drop the cradle? I have a couple of days before I can get back at it.
I'm using a Chiltons Data Base for reference (Auto Repair Reference Center). Via Library Card. www.sdcl.org (http://www.sdcl.org/) . or http://hpl.ca/internet/databases/arrc.htm

Wife still has the keys to my Coupe DeVille!

08-08-05, 10:31 AM
You can disconnect the exhaust pipe behind the cradle. It will come out ok.

Don't forget to block up the cradle. Otherwise it will drop to the ground when you pull the bolts.

I don't remember where the compressor is. Check the database. If you're using sdcl.org I think you can get Alldata too. How do they compare?

08-09-05, 02:13 PM
This may be blasphemy, but why not let her keep the 88 coupe and you take the STS when you've finished fixing it? 88 coupe deville's are nice, but think of the northstar under the hood at your disposal.

08-10-05, 07:04 AM
Your trying to get me into an argument I can't win!

08-10-05, 09:21 AM
Argument!? Posession is 9/10 of the law! ;)

08-10-05, 01:09 PM
eldorado1, You must be single. No man ever won an argument with his wife or prevailed in a test of wills. With marriage, what's hers is hers; what's yours is hers. Once you learn that the sailing gets smooth.

08-10-05, 02:36 PM
eldorado1, You must be single.


08-10-05, 08:54 PM
Rule number 1:

When she's happy, you're happy!

08-10-05, 09:36 PM
Rule number 2:

When she's not happy, your miserable.

STS 310
08-10-05, 10:10 PM
Rule number 2:

When she's not happy, your miserable.

RANGER said it best!!!

08-11-05, 08:46 AM
OK enough already! Back to Searching For Headgasket.

I now have the cradle (eng. & Trans.) out and Blocked up on 4 jack stands (this needs picture as it is worth the price of the jack stands. GREAT WORKING HEIGHT). I used 3 floor jacks to slide cradle out from under passenger side of car. I'm buying tools at a record pace. Oh well, money's no object (until Wife finds out).

I'm going to replace, AC comp. and dryer, heater hoses, and rotors. and anything else that might go out later. ANY SUGGESTIONS? Replacing Wife not an option.

08-11-05, 08:53 AM
Weeeelll...while you got it out. Check the rear main seal for leaks, Check the 1/2 case seals and oil pan for leaks. As long as it's out you might as well do it all at once. BTW, if you remove the flywheel make sure you buy new bolts from the dealer...they cost me .66 cents apiece last year. They come w/ locktite type substance sprayed on the threads.

08-11-05, 08:59 AM
The "plastic" cover for the heater/ac blower motor on the firewall. That thing gets brittle and falls apart when you are putting the engine back in.

08-11-05, 09:26 AM
LOL...Good call Zonie..I just remembered that and was coming back to post it!

08-12-05, 10:45 AM

2 of the cylinders on left side (from back of motor) have RED deposit on e. valves and spark plug. Anybody have a clue?

What is the best way to clean headgasket surfaces?

08-12-05, 12:24 PM
red deposits are probably from fuel additives. I wouldn't worry about it.

I use a razor blade flat against the head/block to clean the surface, being VERY careful not to nick or scratch the surfaces, but to just remove the stuck gasket materials, etc.

08-12-05, 07:53 PM
I'd recommend either the 3M surface conditioning pads. About 2" diameter, available at Walmart, most hardwares. You can use solvent with them (at least I did). I've also used 3M roloc bristle discs. They aren't cheap but they do not wear fast. They are harder to find though.


08-13-05, 07:56 AM
I used the 3M roloc (yellow).

I cut mine with a hacksaw blade and pealed them out. Now I need a part # to replace. Dealer Parts said that he can't find them in the computer.

08-13-05, 01:36 PM
i dont have any help. but have a question. i bought a 93sts the same way and am about to attempt the job. are there any special tools needed, and how did u get the car high enough off the ground for cradle to pass under?

08-14-05, 07:57 AM
Water pump pulley tool, 4" 3 jaw puller for crank pulley, 10mm hex bit (allen) for head bolts, and Timesert kit w/ 10 additional inserts ($411) www.timesert.com . Engine Hoist attached to upper radiator support to lift car. See the Tread by zonie. I suggust you do a leak down to isolate the leak. Mine appears to be on the side at the front of the car (the back side looked good after pulling the head) . I also suspect that the red spark plug and exhaust valves may have been an indication of which one was leaking (can't get anybody to confirm this).

It still would have been tough to do the Front Head with Cradle in the car, because of the need to pull Timing Chain, Exhaust Man., Eng. Mount.

08-14-05, 09:03 AM
I also suspect that the red spark plug and exhaust valves may have been an indication of which one was leaking (can't get anybody to confirm this).

"Normal, but with red coating: The red coating is a result of the additives in lower-quality unleaded fuel and will be visible on the plug's ceramic insulation. The red coating is not an indication of any engine problems."

from http://www.advanceautoparts.com/english/youcan/html/ccr/ccr20030701sp.html

" Red to purple deposits on one side of the core nose are an indication of a fuel additive. While many of these deposits are non-conductive and do not contribute to lack of performance, some fuel additives contain octane boosters that leave conductive deposits on the core nose. Care should be taken to select fuel additives which are compatible with ignition systems and do not contain conductive materials such as octane boosters."
from http://www.nightrider.com/biketech/spkplghnbook.htm#We

In my experience it's been from fuel additives. Like I said before, it's nothing to worry about, or suspect. Coolant will typically "steam clean" the affected cylinders, to the point where they look brand new and shiny.

08-14-05, 03:34 PM
93sts, the N* head gasket thread in the tech tips has most of the special tools listed. Growe3 has a list that has the gaskets on it (I think).

08-15-05, 08:37 AM
Like I said before, it's nothing to worry about, or suspect. Coolant will typically "steam clean" the affected cylinders, to the point where they look brand new and shiny.

Looks like You nailed it! Great Thread!