: Fix it or not? Head Gasket.

02-19-06, 07:16 PM
Hey guys, been lurking here for a while and you all have been so helpful. Now I am in a spot and wonder if I could get a little advice.

I have a 97 DeVille Concours with 194,000. I bought this about 3 yrs ago with 120,000. So you can tell I flat out run the heck out of it.

I am in the Head Gasket Repair portion of ownership now. I just put a new transmission in it, all new brakes, and now this. The car is in pretty good shape. The interior is complete, everything works, the body is straight, no rust. I really love the car, but I want to spend my money wisely.

What I wonder is, should I repair the head gaskets with my car having this many miles? Or, should I look to replace my engine with a crate, or low mileage used?

I have a mechanic I trust, that will repair it for under $2000. But, I wonder if I should spend the extra and look for another engine?

I guess I'm looking for an opinion on repair my engine, or replace it.

If someone suggests replace it, Do you know where I can get a affordable engine? Crate or Low Miles.



02-19-06, 08:17 PM
:welcome:"Under $2000" is a very good price. Head gaskets seem to be the weak link. Once fixed properly, it should run another 200K. One thing to consider when getting a junkyard engine is that you are trading the devil you know, for the devil you don't. It may not have been maintained and the head gaskets could go in a year. It's a gamble. A new crate engine is costly. Not sure about "the devil you don't" engines, but I'd suspect they'd be around $2000 buy the time you ship, maybe more. See what everyone else has to say.

02-19-06, 09:06 PM
If I had the facilities to get it out of the car, I would have fixed my original myself.

Instead I had it replaced with one from a trusted source, saw the car it came out if, etc. It was a 23000 mile engine. My original had 112K miles, and I still wanted to fix it first. My mechanic (friend who runs shop and is a master mechanic) said it would be easier to just sway it, because I was going to have to take it in anyway, as before, I could not get the engine out of the car myself and it would be more or less lame to ask him to remove it, pick it up, fix it, bring it back, and then have him install it.

I am fixing the original myself.

02-19-06, 10:54 PM
I tend to agree with Zorb. Find a decent used engine... or I have heard there are a few companies that are doing "rebuilt" Northstar motors, with warranties, for a lot less than a new crate motor.

Ranger has a good point, though, you want to be sure about the motor. Sounds like Zorb found a good one.

I personally would avoid the junkyard where the motor is just sitting there for sale. Ideally, you're looking to find a pretty new Caddy that was hit hard in the side or the rear, and is sitting there totalled, with a pristine low miles Northstar sitting in it, undamaged in any way. Then you know WHERE the motor came from. A motor just sitting on a pallet, you do not know where that came from.

If you just put a transmission in it, it may be worth doing, if the car is still in nice shape otherwise.

Everybody draws the line somewhere between payments on a newer car, or fixing the older one. It can be a tough call.

Good luck.

02-20-06, 10:47 PM
Thanks for the Welcome, and for the replys.

I am in the debate mode right now. I love the car, but wonder if it is time to move on. I'm gonna know more in the next week or so.

If I was to move on, would anyone be interested in the car? I mean, if someone wants it more than I want to fix it, I'll let it go. But, I'm not going to give it away.

How about if I trade it in, should I say anything about it, or keep my mouth closed?

Thanks again for you input.


02-21-06, 12:09 PM
Please be up front about the condition of your car on any sale or trade of your car. Most dealer salesmen won't pass the information on to their boss and they aren't going to give much trade on that year and mileage. Pick out a car you like and try to trade walk away if it is out of reason.

02-22-06, 09:14 PM
I might be interested if you decide to get rid of it, depending on how much you want for it.

Honestly though, I'd have your mechanic do the headgasket job if it's under $2k. That'd definately be the way I go, that's a very good price.

03-04-06, 07:41 AM
Other things you might take into consideration for dumping the car is if you need to replace the suspension (struts and shocks), front wheel hubs (wheel bearings), fuel pump...high dollar items. New shocks and struts run about $500, fuel pump (aftermarket) $250 and I think the hubs are around $200 ea. If the car has never had any of these replaced, I think it's a safe bet at that many miles those items are coming in the near future.