: Headgasket job +++?

04-28-06, 01:54 PM
Hi. '99 base Deville with 200K + on the body, motor with about 85K (and same for tranny). Of course, bought a pig in a poke, headgasket is blown. Body seems to be in great shape, everything works, and I would like to keep the car (I should be able to get another 100K or so, I hope.) I found a local shop that will tackle the headgasket job. They are familiar with and do them often. (located them through a local engine machine shop that sold them the Time-sert kit) They suggest that rather than just the headgasket (for about $2500) they also usually do valve seals and guides, hone the cyls, new rings, etc. for about $3500. Pretty much a rebuild, I guess you could say. My question is should I do the whole thing, or is it most everyones experience that just the headgasket is sufficient? Is there concern about the coolant causing other problems (corrosion and such) that would necessesitate the additional? The headgasket has been gone for several thousand miles as I have been nursing her along attempting to find a shop (sure, and hoping it would 'fix itself?')
Are there any other issues that may rear their ugly heads body-wise that would preclude me from investing the $$? Car has not been in an accident, and seems straight. Just the damn headgasket.........
Any input would be appreciated.

04-28-06, 03:51 PM
Just do the geaskets and be sure all 20 headbolt holes get Timeserted and the engine will run another 200K. Our old guru has said many times that he has seen Northstars torn down at 250,000 miles and the factory cross hatch hone pattern is still visible. The additional $1000 would be a waste in my opinion.

04-28-06, 03:53 PM
Rings shouldn't need to be done. Unless you are having blue oil smoke coming from your exhaust, I would say that the valve seals are okay also. Besides, how would you know if they actually changed the rings and seals anyway? They are internal to the engine, and you cannot inspect them once done. Sounds like the shop is just trying to get an extra $1,000 for nothing at all. If your head gasket(s) are indeed leaking, then tell them to just address that issue. That is what I would do.


04-28-06, 04:04 PM
Thank you for your input. I am leaning toward the headgasket only, as you have both suggested. I don't really feel they are trying to screw me, as they quoted it both ways and will do what I request. I guess they just feel it is better to do it all.
By the way, anything I should have them do that is fairly inexpensive while the motor is out? I mean, something that is nearly impossible with it in, but real easy and (relatively) cheap when it is already pulled?

04-29-06, 07:56 AM
freeze plugs maybe

04-29-06, 10:48 AM
The N*'s stand up really well. I've seen a few apart now over 100K. They all had straight cyl walls with the honeing still showing. The cyl heads needed no more than the gasket surface cleaned.

I'd say it's a waste of money to do more than the timesert/headgaskets.

Loose screw
04-30-06, 01:59 AM
Front and rear oil seals for sure. Has the oil been changed frequently? If in doubt do a dry/wet compression test to see if the rings need replacing after all you do have a engine with 200,000 miles on it. The cyliders will always be perfect and valves will almost always will be perfect but the rings on mine with 142,000 (that didn't not have the oil changed regularly) did show considerable wear particually to the top ring. Remember if you loosen a connecting rod cap you MUST replace the bearing it is cruch fitted. Do not reuse! Mains can be reused