Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know - Page 3
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View Poll Results: Select one if you have had a problem with the headgasket the Northstar V8:

Voters
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  • 1993

    18 2.39%
  • 1994

    38 5.04%
  • 1995

    13 1.72%
  • 1996

    40 5.31%
  • 1997

    151 20.03%
  • 1998

    166 22.02%
  • 1999

    170 22.55%
  • 2000

    80 10.61%
  • 2001

    56 7.43%
  • 2002

    40 5.31%
  • 2003

    14 1.86%
  • 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; Originally Posted by Eldo1953 What about the Northstar in the 2006+ DTS. Has that been revised? Do you think we ...
  1. #31
    Playdrv4me's Avatar
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldo1953 View Post
    What about the Northstar in the 2006+ DTS. Has that been revised? Do you think we will see the same problems with that model?
    As far as Im aware, the motor in the 06 DTS does *not* have the revisions the RWD motors do. Any updates since 2005 have merely been running changes to the same N*.

    I am sure that GM is only eager to get the DTS, Lucerne and Bonnie GXP off the books once and for all here soon so they can finally close that chapter in the N*'s history and focus solely on the "new" RWD motor from here on out. We'll see how it plays out over the next 2 or 3 years, because the next car on my list is a 2004 XLR. But Im not going to get 30k in debt on a car that's going to be no different than the 4k Deville at the carlot downtown. For now, I have very very optimistic feelings about the new motor.

    If I had unlimited money, my dream "Tim Allen/Jay Leno" style project would be to convert a 2003 STS, regardless of cost, to a RWD Smallblock layout, or a RWD Northstar layout. Anything can be done with the right amount of determination and cash.

  2. #32
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Well this isn't terribly encouraging. Timesert.com already has a GM Specific Kit for coincidentally enough, the 2004 XLR motor which it calls "PV8-LH2".

    http://www.timesert.com/html/NORTHST...8-headbolt.pdf

  3. #33
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    1999 Deville, sold with 99,964 miles, nothing
    2001 Eldorado, currently 85,700 miles, nothing
    2002 Deville, currently 178,000 miles, nothing.

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I have had absolutely zero, naught, none, nothing, zilch go bad with any engine related parts on any of the three Caddys. An alternator on the '99, and the AC compressor on the 02.

  4. #34
    WillGlueIt is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    My ETC has 92,000 miles. I have performed coolant maintenance every two years since I have owned the car (I know overkill). I always use 6 Barsleak HDC tablets. And I have never had a head gasket problem (knock on wood).
    Cadillac_Fan and Cadillac_Fan like this.

  5. #35
    JN in CA is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Mine went at 97k.

    It was the classic symptoms. First, it started stalling at stop lights for no reason, no codes. Soon, it started running rough when cold. My mechanic took out the spark plugs and there was the bad (expensive) news: 6 of the 8 were coated in white powder residue.

  6. #36
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Did you have the check coolant message ever come up?

  7. #37
    JN in CA is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Quote Originally Posted by Playdrv4me View Post
    Did you have the check coolant message ever come up?
    Technically yes, but really no. When the stalling started, they thought it was sensors (logical) and started replacing them. Then when it started running rough they pulled the spark plugs and found the antifreeze residue. No "check coolant level" message at that point.

    Only when I drove it on a 100F day did it finally get bad enough to blow anti-freeze externally, not just into the cylinders. Once I got "Engine Hot," pulled over, turned it off, and heard the "shhhh" of leaking coolant, only then did I get the "check coolant level" message.

    In all, I probably went about 300 miles with bad gasket symptoms w/o getting the check coolant message.

    Joseph

  8. #38
    lbstone is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Lots of great info here. I have a 97 Eldorado (purchased 08/07) with 73K and the N*, what should I be concerned with? I do use some oil, maybe two quarts every 3-4K miles. I do notice that the car starts hard when its warm on humid days. I had this same problem with a previous Boneville SSE and it was remedied by replacing the plugs. So what are all the symptoms of the HG failure? How 'bout replacement, is there and "upgrade" one can do to make a replacement more permanent when its finally needed?

  9. #39
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    It may yet be a little too early if this is truly your problem, but the simplest way to put your fears at ease is to have a test done to see if there are any exhaust gases in the coolant. This is really the best way to diagnose the problem if you suspect. N*'s dont put oil in the coolant or vice versa so that is not reliable.

    I highly, highly doubt you have an HG issue based on those minor symptoms. For now you need to attack those starting and idling issues from the same perspective as your bonneville.

    As far as a permanent replacement, I believe the closest we have come yet is a new crate motor from GM, let me get the link...

  10. #40
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know


  11. #41
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    I think this should be in the Northstar forum don't you Playdrive ?
    what about the 93 Allante or the Fiero mods out there they may want to have a look at this.
    Or the sandrail builders they may have done things to fix it permanetely beside timeserting.

  12. #42
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Yea that has been bothering me ever since I stickied this. I dont have Mod abilities in N* though so another Mod would have to move this.

    If we want to make this truly accurate, there should be a sticky in the forum of each pre-04 Northstar powered vehicle (Seville, Deville, Allante) with a link pointing to the main thread in the NS Tech forum.

  13. #43
    xeper is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Bought my '97 DeVille with 78K miles on it. Pristine shape and ran like a dream. I put 2K on it before it began to smell like burning coolant. Had it towed and I'm still waiting for it to be fixed [warranty company is slow as hell] Head failed and separated.

    Is there some kind of class-action going for this? It seems to be a huge problem spanning a long period of time [didn't a VERY similar thing happen in the '80s with Cadillac as well?] and every single Cadillac forum I've been too has many, many, many cases and stories along a similar line. Every repair shop I talked to knew about this issue as if they see it more than once a day.

    It seems to me that GM sent out engine after engine knowing full well a decent number of them would end up failing.

    Am I wrong in my thinking?

  14. #44
    Ur7x is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Very interesting results... well over 1/3 are 1997... and well over 1/2 are 97/98's

    And why does JonCR96Z keep buying these cars? If the poll is right he has had one go bad each and every year!

  15. #45
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Quote Originally Posted by Playdrv4me View Post
    Yea that has been bothering me ever since I stickied this. I dont have Mod abilities in N* though so another Mod would have to move this.

    If we want to make this truly accurate, there should be a sticky in the forum of each pre-04 Northstar powered vehicle (Seville, Deville, Allante) with a link pointing to the main thread in the NS Tech forum.
    Not a big deal the only ones really missing out are the Deville people.
    I wonder how many Northstar Allantes there are still on the road ?
    Oh and by the way my dad is storing his 89 Allante in my garage I posted a pic in the Allante forum if anyone is interested.

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