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View Poll Results: Select one if you have had a problem with the headgasket the Northstar V8:

Voters
763. You may not vote on this poll
  • 1993

    18 2.36%
  • 1994

    38 4.98%
  • 1995

    13 1.70%
  • 1996

    40 5.24%
  • 1997

    152 19.92%
  • 1998

    168 22.02%
  • 1999

    171 22.41%
  • 2000

    81 10.62%
  • 2001

    57 7.47%
  • 2002

    43 5.64%
  • 2003

    14 1.83%
  • 2004

    1 0.13%
  • 2005

    4 0.52%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Under the impression that my 2001 DTS should be safe from the HG issue that plagued my 1995 ETC; I ...
  1. #301
    Papi_MaC's Avatar
    Papi_MaC is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Under the impression that my 2001 DTS should be safe from the HG issue that plagued my 1995 ETC; I decided to dig further into who the 18 people who voted for 2001 HG problem and what their post history was like. Some had zero post count, others had different years or no post regarding HGs and some didn't even have a 1993-2003 Northstar. Out of the 18 it seems only 2 or 3 have actually experienced a HG issue with a 2001 Northstar.

  2. #302
    roym01 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Quote Originally Posted by roym01 View Post
    ........ still waiting.
    ................. 3 weeks and still waiting.

  3. #303
    dgeisler is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    i had to do the HG job on my 2001 4.6 N*. Also, I have the Timesert kit that I would be willing to sell cheap if anyone is interested

  4. #304
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is online now Cadillac Owners Member
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Quote Originally Posted by Papi_MaC View Post
    Under the impression that my 2001 DTS should be safe from the HG issue that plagued my 1995 ETC; I decided to dig further into who the 18 people who voted for 2001 HG problem and what their post history was like. Some had zero post count, others had different years or no post regarding HGs and some didn't even have a 1993-2003 Northstar. Out of the 18 it seems only 2 or 3 have actually experienced a HG issue with a 2001 Northstar.
    These polls can attract a lot of trolls. There is one who posted in every year. The numbers where corrected, but his name still appears. Proof positive.

  5. #305
    dwight.j.carter's Avatar
    dwight.j.carter is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    yeah I am calling shananigans on the 2003 headgasket issues. I thought the northstar was refined even further that year to prevent the headgaskets from failing ?

  6. #306
    dwight.j.carter's Avatar
    dwight.j.carter is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    On the older models that went bad wouldn't you be better off to replace the block given the castings are probably much better now ?

  7. #307
    sfpopp is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    OK, I have spend hours reading all the Northstar overheating/head gasket/coolant /etc. threads. I get that the '97-'99 are probably the worst, etc. But obviously there are some northstars that are fine, even from that year range. So here are my symptoms, and am wondering how long do I have before the engine just stops:
    Stats: '97 Deville, Florida car until 2 years ago, now in Michigan, had 35K miles in 2007, 2nd owner put 30K miles in a year and a half, I bought it a year and a half ago with 71K miles, and now have 90K miles, runs well in general.
    1. Always smell coolant in the garage after parking it, even when I bought it.
    2. Had coolant changed at 72K miles at Massey Cadillac with 3 pellets (should have done all 6).
    3. Need to add coolant every month or two.
    4. Recently, runs sort of rough from cold for about 10 sec., then fine.
    5. Around town, runs about 201 degrees.
    6. Flat freeway at about 70 mph, about 203-205 degrees.
    7. As soon as I get into it, or have an extended slope, temp starts to climb pretty fast...up to about 230, then the fans kick on, then cools right back down to 200 or so.
    8. Sometimes have a coolant puddle on the garage floor, sometimes not.
    9. Local garage mechanic said he sees it leaking from the pass side head, but said just drive the damn thing and add coolant as needed...could go 1 month, could go 5 years.
    10. As long as I drive it like a senior, seems to hover around 203 degrees, but I worry about any traffic jams or freeway slopes.
    So my question: if I change the coolant every year with 6 pellets, oil every 4K miles, add coolant every month, baby it as much as I can, etc., how long do I have before it totally blows?

  8. #308
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    This belongs in Northstar Performance, main Forum, not a poll sticky........

    The tablets will not help, prevent,or cure head gasket failure - ever. And six is too many, and every year is totally unnecessary; matter of fact that's flat harmful to the cooling system.

    Coolant puddle is a leak, not head gasket(s). Find the leak. Passenger side (head) ?? I'll bet it's the heater crossover piping by the firewall, not the head.

    Oil every 4K is a waste of money. Use your Oil Life Monitor.

  9. #309
    2112 Guest

    Cracked engine block on 2000 Cadillacs

    I recently purchased a 2000 Eldorado. The owner clearly indicated that his repair facility determined that it had head gasket failure. I had the car towed to my friend’s repair shop in Palatine, IL (Midwest Cadillac Repair). Joe looked at it the other day and tells me that it has a cracked block. Well, this is the 3rd 2000 Cadillac that has a cracked block. Two blocks with cracks at the rear, and one at the front (if I remember correctly). I know Cadillac changed the composition of the aluminum for the block in 2000 at an attempt to keep head bolts from pulling (it would have made more sense if they used a better quality head gasket). This is also confirmed by Joe, as he has told me in the past that pre 2000 blocks feel like “aluminum” when he is drilling them. But, the 2000+ blocks do not feel the same, and do not drill with the same ease as the pre 2000 blocks.

    This Eldorado I purchased is a very clean car. I would like to keep it. However, if there are integrity issues with the 2000+ blocks, then I don’t want a boat anchor. I am not in the position to be buying another N* engine, having Joe do a head gasket repair on it regardless if it needs it as a precautionary thing, and then 2 months down the road it has a crack in the block. These 2000+ blocks are not interchangeable with the previous years. Many people have indicated that cracked N* blocks are very rare. Well, 50% of the 2000 cars Joe has seen have had cracked blocks… those are not good odds. I get the distinct feeling that Joe is spooked by this recent revelation.

    So, what I am trying to find out:
    1) Do these 2000 blocks have structural integrity issues due to the changed composition?
    2) Is it just 2000 blocks that have this issue, and not i.e. 2001, 2002, 2003?
    3) Is this an extreme case of bad luck rolling in with these cracked blocks? 50% is ridiculous!
    4) What could be causing these cracks?
    5) What measures can be taken to ensure any replacement engine that I am looking at buying does not have the miniscule beginnings of this dreaded engine crack? (I don’t have an x-ray)
    6) Does anyone have a 2000+ N* long block laying around? If so, send me a private message.

    Thanks,
    Rob.

  10. #310
    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Cracked engine block on 2000 Cadillacs

    Call Jake at www.northstarperformance.com.

    He has a tractor-trailer full of new, original GM Northstar blocks and parts - for a fair price and shipping you can have a practically new 2000+ engine. He's probably just a few hours from you, if that far.

  11. #311
    tateos's Avatar
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    Re: Cracked engine block on 2000 Cadillacs


  12. #312
    2112 Guest

    Re: Cracked engine block on 2000 Cadillacs

    See attached photos. Hopefully this helps.

    I did make a mistake. Joe at Midwest Cadillac Repair has not had three 2000 Cadillacs with cracked blocks out of six. After reviewing his records last night, Joe has had three 2000+ cracked blocks out of seven 2000+ Cadillacs. Within the past couple months, Joe has had the following cars come in with cracked blocks:

    1) a 2001 DeVille... ~150k miles, dexcool in it but not full, no freeze damage,leaking out the front, engine oil was ugly maybe because it was sitting, seemed like a neglected car.




    2) a 2000 Deville... ~100k miles, dexcool full, no freeze damage, leaking out the back, inside of engine is perfect, has original plugs, overall very clean car.


    3) my 2000 Eldorado... ~120k miles, has dexcool almost full, leaking out the back (see photo), overall very clean car. It was very hard to take a clear photo. The length of the crack is unknown.


    The above just seems like too great of a coincidence. If Joe is that special, then I need him to choose the PowerBall numbers.

    Looking at the blocks from the outside, the pre 2000 blocks appear much beefier than the 2000+ blocks. Yesterday, we used a hammer and smacked the 2001 block at its crack until it broke. See photo. The aluminum block at the point(see screwdriver in photo) it broke away in the photo is only 1/8" think. Yes, only 1/8 of an inch. Then you have about 1/8" of space before the steel sleeve. I am not a metallurgical engineer, I don’t play one on TV, and I did not stay at a Holiday Inn last night. But, it doesn't take much to conclude that if you thin out the block and then have an aluminum composition that is "harder" than the previous "softer" aluminum, the end result will not be positive. Maybe it just takes time and enough heat cycles for the 2000+ blocks composition to get fatigued; what if ~ 10 years is the average time, and is the "beginning of the end" of the 2000+ N* blocks? If over the next few years people begin to see more and more of the 2000+ N* blocks with cracks, there will be a definitive answer based on fact and not mere speculation. Understandably, it is very difficult to create a conclusion based on photos and I think this or I think that. We will never have a GM engineer come and explain things as they truly are because to do so would involve liability issues and revealing trade secrets. But, one thing that I can say for 100% certain is that there are three 2000+ N* cracked blocks at my friend’s shop out of 7 2000+ cars (those 7 cars being within the past 6 months total – cracked block cars within 2 months). BTW, that hairline crack on the 2001 appears to be right where the head bolts would end. So, further theorizing could easily point in the direction of... 2000+ N* block's head bolts are holding very well compared to pre 2000, structural integrity is lost in the 2000+ blocks over time (albeit heat cycles or "hardness" of the new aluminum composition), and the combination of the two results in these cracks.

  13. #313
    sassanach is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    well my 99 has finally blown its headgasket/s at 78000miles

  14. #314
    luvoldcaddybuthate03 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    2003 base deville 81000 head gasket blow out

  15. #315
    tateos's Avatar
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    That's not too encouraging - fairly new car with fairly low mileage, manufactured with the "improved casting methods" and longer head bolt design, and maybe with the coarser thread design implemented in mid M.Y. 2003

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