Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know - Page 27
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View Poll Results: Select one if you have had a problem with the headgasket the Northstar V8:

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

    18 2.37%
  • 1994

    38 5.01%
  • 1995

    13 1.72%
  • 1996

    40 5.28%
  • 1997

    152 20.05%
  • 1998

    167 22.03%
  • 1999

    170 22.43%
  • 2000

    81 10.69%
  • 2001

    56 7.39%
  • 2002

    41 5.41%
  • 2003

    14 1.85%
  • 2004

    0 0%
  • 2005

    3 0.40%
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; I have a 1996 Deville VIN Y....No problems yet. Going to be changing my coolant here soon. I'm going to ...
  1. #391
    CadillacLuke24's Avatar
    CadillacLuke24 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    I have a 1996 Deville VIN Y....No problems yet. Going to be changing my coolant here soon.

    I'm going to get hell for this but I'll stick to my guns

    The Northstar is a FANTASTIC Engine overall. GM screwed up on the head gaskets big time. With decent head bolts these cars have few if any problems. As for Mr. Ford on the forums, I wonder how they got the moniker Found On Road Dead? How about Fix Or Repair Daily? Get off your soap box bro. All manufactuers goof. GM did with the Northstar's HGs. Ford obviously did at some point *cough* Edsel *cough* Pinto *cough*. The Northstars are insane powerplants. 275/300 HP, up to 28 mpg for a 2 ton car? That's nuts!! Yeah, there's a need for HGs likely at some point, but once those are fixed these cars will go for a LONG time. one dude has 515,000 on A DeVille over in the High mileage thread. A 98 to boot. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.
    Faded Crest and Faded Crest like this.

  2. #392
    97EldETC's Avatar
    97EldETC is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    I have had my 97 ETC since December 2011. Currently 127,040 miles. A few electrical problems and a little violent shake the other day but that it is. How would I go about checking my engine to keep it from having a HG problem? How would I maintain it to keep it from "bowing up" so to speak?

  3. #393
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by 97EldETC View Post
    I have had my 97 ETC since December 2011. Currently 127,040 miles. A few electrical problems and a little violent shake the other day but that it is. How would I go about checking my engine to keep it from having a HG problem? How would I maintain it to keep it from "bowing up" so to speak?
    Put this back in the Northstar performance threads - this is for those who have had a failed engine. Normal owner's manual maintenance and coolant exchanges every 3 years are your best insurance - just as with any engine.

  4. #394
    N0DIH's Avatar
    N0DIH is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    I am thinking the head gaskets are fine, but the real problem is high acid levels in the coolant. The cooling system is neglected by the introduction of long life coolants, and being almost no one checks the acid levels, it climbs and climbs and something has to give. Seals, gaskets and aluminum.

    My mom and dad are case in point, they bought a 97 Deville new, and it got sold a couple years ago with the factory coolant in it. I told them time and time again to change it, but they didn't. Shops charge too much and being on fixed income, they couldn't afford it. And I wasn't anywhere near to do it for them.

    I don't think Dexcool is the primary issue, but it doesn't react well to neglect and overheating, it compounds a problem. And when overheated it becomes very acidic. And if the shops don't flush the coolant out and put in fresh (you know, to save a buck), then you have acidic coolant still in the system. Setting up for the next failure....

    Shame too, I think the Northstar is one of the best engines GM has designed in a long time, but plauged with issues.

    I would love to meet someone with a blown head gasket who bought the car new and changed the coolant out every 2 years like old school coolant required.

    I usually do every year if I can. No matter the "life" of it.

    Everyone with a Northstar or any engine really (especially if on DexCool), should monitor PH acid levels with something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Cool-Trak-3115.../dp/B000MIUJMO

  5. #395
    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Definitive Northstar Headgasket Thread

    Rim1's question on mechanics on Long Island has been moved to a new thread down in the question/answer section of this Forum.

    Deville VIN Y - Long Island...........

  6. #396
    bill buttermore is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Definitive Northstar Headgasket Thread

    1998 DeVille 121,000 miles January 2012 Always had Dex and serviced regularly by dealer. Adult driven. No overheating.

  7. #397
    Faded Crest's Avatar
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Bought 2 with existing head gasket problems.

    1998 ETC, 104K mi. (Not treated well)
    2000 Deville, 129k Elderly owned, and babied

  8. #398
    tasmania is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Read through multiple pages on this thread and wanted to see if someone could come up with more accurate numbers than this... however here is a small data capture. I decided to post this because I saw people referring to blown head-gaskets as a very "common" occurrence in the N* engine. I've also seen many people post on those threads indicating that the forum captures the problem cases, not the good cases.

    These numbers are scaled down greatly as Seville's were not the only N* engine's produced during these years. As well, however, this forum is only capturing the audience of 141,000 people.

    Code:
    Wikipedia Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_Seville
    
    Model Year 	Sales Numbers
    1998 	39,009
    1999 	33,532
    2000 	29,535
    2001 	25,290
    2002 	21,494
    2003 	18,747
    2004 	3,386
    2005 	137
    
    Head Gasket Failure Percentage (Real percentage based on a smaller datapool)
    1998: 0.37% 
    1999: 0.44%
    2000: 0.20%
    2001: 0.15%
    2002: 0.13%
    2003: 0.000640%

  9. #399
    Faded Crest's Avatar
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    So you are dividing all Northstar failures reported by year on the forum's poll by the total number of Sevilles produced during that same year? How is this data useful? The reports of HG failures include all Northstar cars, not just Sevilles...

    There is no way to know what percentage of cars these reported failures represent. The only real value of the poll is to compare one year to another for the number of failures reported by forum members who took part in the poll... Of course even that has limited value since not all cars are the same age and total production numbers of Northstar cars varied greatly from one year to the next before 1996.

    I don't think there is any way that a accurate percentage could ever be figured... One can only guess based on anecdotal evidence.

  10. #400
    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Plus, there's no way to factor in the number of Cadillac, GM, and private shop numbers of engines with head gasket failure.

    As we've always posted, this ^^^ is a very non-scientific (read: statistically flawed) poll. Especially when you look real hard and see that one or more members have posted failures in three or four year groups - thus skewing the results for those years..

  11. #401
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

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  12. #402
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    So best I can see, change coolant every 2 years and immediately if the coolant gets low. Forget the idea of Dexcool or any other long life coolant intervals. If you want to know, get coolant test strips (ones that are for orange coolant if you have dex or simliar non green coolants) and measure every 6 months. If acid levels rise, change coolant....

  13. #403
    Wingralf is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    96 STS

    Started with slight coolant loss of quart every 2 weeks @ 138.5k with rough running when cold for approx time of 1 minute, normal in town temps @ 196 to 201, highway 188 to 192 @70mph Overheated in driveway at 140.8k, thermostat changed block flushed, new coolant added..

    1 week later huge white cloud in am, very rough when cold start smoothing out @ 2 to 4 minutes and slight white smoke temps in town now @ 199 to 210 and higher if lights are long. highway 196 to 199 Block test color yellow. Game over engine to be studded and felpro gaskets used

  14. #404
    neff is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Definitive Northstar Headgasket Thread

    I recently did a repair on a 1998 deville and made a short video that may interest some of you struggling with the same issues. It puts the scope of the job into perspective.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4ftbf7iefY

  15. #405
    Faded Crest's Avatar
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    ^^^ Love it. Boy you were really moving!

    You should have posted this one too.... The car that repairs itself!


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