Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know - Page 32
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View Poll Results: Select one if you have had a problem with the headgasket the Northstar V8:

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  • 1993

    18 2.34%
  • 1994

    38 4.95%
  • 1995

    13 1.69%
  • 1996

    40 5.21%
  • 1997

    152 19.79%
  • 1998

    169 22.01%
  • 1999

    172 22.40%
  • 2000

    82 10.68%
  • 2001

    57 7.42%
  • 2002

    45 5.86%
  • 2003

    14 1.82%
  • 2004

    1 0.13%
  • 2005

    4 0.52%
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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 zero info on the cooling system history on this car, we were told that it was completely serviced ...
  1. #466
    Arrowhead is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    I have zero info on the cooling system history on this car, we were told that it was completely serviced and "ready to go" when we bought it in July of 2012 w/approx. 22,000mi.. As a precaution, I recently planned to do a coolant flush and right about that same time......the low coolant light started to appear. I read for hours about that engine's (4.6L LD8 N*) problems and various quirks. I wanted to believe that it was one of the many leak points like freeze plugs or crossover gaskets. I almost concluded that the dealer that sold us the car, when they did the coolant service, was unaware of the GM sealant tabs and maybe that was all that would be needed to correct a "nuisance" coolant loss. I was shocked when we bought a used 2000 Bonneville SLE in 2003 and I saw a dark, slimy mess in the coolant recovery tank. We were told then that it was from almond shells, etc. , completely normal and GM approved ! I guess it may be the age of the car (and coolant) that's caused the problem and that it's having less than 32,000 miles is not very relevant. It is a nice looking car that has a great exhaust note and is fun to drive, they're also relatively rare so, I guess we'll ultimately fix it and hang on to it. Might even acquire a spare engine as a back-up !

  2. #467
    mtflight's Avatar
    mtflight is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    I don't think the GM Sealant tabs were used after 2003. I didn't have any in my 2003 DHS, no label. The original reason was to avoid nuisance leaks that could eventually result in low coolant. A car with a low coolant level is more likely to overheat and blow a head gasket. In this sense, it is plausible that they can [indirectly] help prevent a blown HG. I had a crossover coolant leak, and it went away with the tabs. They are indeed made from crushed ginger root and walnut shells--they find leaks and expand when dry, effectively plugging small leaks. The dark mess in the 2000 Bonnie was probably overuse of these tabs, or they were put in the low flow reservoir instead of in a high flow coolant area, such as the radiator hoses. It's definitely a nice car and very worth the repair in my opinion. Do the repair well with someone who has experience or do it yourself to be sure it's done right (not for the faint of heart lol). Various members here have done it themselves. Maeng9981 did two!

  3. #468
    Arrowhead is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Well, we'll see what the service agreement issuer say's, hopefully it'll all be covered at the Cadillac dealers shop. If not........I've already got a drill, torque wrench and an average strength heart! (for a 60 year old )

  4. #469
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    ryannel2003 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Have been looking at a few N* Cadillac's again to replace my BMW. I found a *gorgeous* '98 Deville for $4400 with 85k miles and really the only thing that holds me back on these cars is the HGs. If it were to fail I would try to fix it myself with the help of a few friends or take it down to Rippy. It seems that the HG jobs on these cars is getting cheaper and cheaper to do.

  5. #470
    gord is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    I had seen elsewhere in this thread that the 200? engines are bulletproof. My 2005 started misfiring a little on start-up a week ago, so I decided to pull the spark plugs and yup, there's coolant in cylinder #8. So I added my tick to the 2005 year. Interesting that I'm following not far behind Arrowhead, the other 2005 entry.

    Is there any other reason that this could be there besides a head gasket failure? (My old '94 had a water passage gasket that cracked that allowed water into the EGR passage which found its way into the intake but I don't see anything like that in the FSM drawings. Could always be a cracked head or block, but I really hope we aren't going there!)

    Since my motor already has the coarse threads, from what I've read throughout these HG threads, my motor shouldn't be pulling the bolts from the block. I would imagine head gaskets do fail so could it be nothing more than that? Chris posted in #456 that, since mine has the coarse threads, all that's needed to do is replace the gaskets and put the motor back together with the usual due diligence. Did I paraphrase you correctly Chris? Should I be expecting to stud my engine?

    Thanks all for the great reads in the forum!

    Gord

  6. #471
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Quote Originally Posted by gord View Post
    I had seen elsewhere in this thread that the 200? engines are bulletproof.
    No such thing. If it's got HG's, there is always the possibility of a failure. That said, the 2000+ engine are less prone to failure than the pre-2000's.

  7. #472
    the recluse is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    2002 STS with 175,000 miles...after pulling the plugs (the night the HG totally went) I see coolant on the plugs...prolly been burning coolant for the last 5-6K miles...

  8. #473
    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
    RippyPartsDept is offline Hi, I'm Chris - Please Read My Signature
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    the switch to coarse threadpitch in 2004 (there's a thread to tell if your 2004 has coarse threads or not) solved the "head bolt pulling out of the block" issue but did not make them bulletproof

    just for the record, my '99 had failed gaskets (the bolts were not pulling out of the block)
    Chris Heath (RippyPartsDept) is an ASE Certified GM Parts Consultant at Rippy Automotive
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  9. #474
    the recluse is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Quote Originally Posted by RippyPartsDept View Post
    just for the record, my '99 had failed gaskets (the bolts were not pulling out of the block)
    Agreed...the gasket itself can collapse and virtually "implode"

  10. #475
    starbond's Avatar
    starbond is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    1998 Deville - Coolant issues around 92k miles. HG failure around 94k

    Car wasn't overheating but coolant keep disappearing every other week. Did a block test recently and it turned yellow. It's a shame really. Not even 100k and the car is already on its way out..

  11. #476
    wingman64 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cracked engine block on 2000 Cadillacs

    Add one more 2000 DeVille to the list. Cady dealer here just gave me the bad news. This vehicle has had every ounce of care one could possibly give over these past 13 years. Too much to list. Engine crankcase seals, head gasket mod and a lot more. Regular Cadillac service all along. 120,000 miles. P0741 by itself for the last 1.5 years and 20,000 miles with only a few mpg loss to show for it. Super clean car.

    Oh well. It was my dad's car and was given me upon his death 3 years ago. Not sure what to do with it? Any suggestions?

    Moderator EDIT: wingman64, You need to enter your car data in the poll - only the originating member can update the averages.

  12. #477
    knotgoalie's Avatar
    knotgoalie is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cracked engine block on 2000 Cadillacs

    Wow, 32 pages in and so far not a single report for 04. I sure can't complain about that.


    J.R.

  13. #478
    jball is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Definitive Northstar Headgasket Thread

    98 SLS 80,000 miles internal headgasket leakage causing overheat.
    Coolant pushed out of jug, temp gauge would climb underload.
    No threads pulled out of block.
    Replaced gaskets, headbolts and waterpump.

    Runs fine now.

  14. #479
    gino9's Avatar
    gino9 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Definitive Northstar Headgasket Thread

    2001 seville sts

  15. #480
    wingman64 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cracked engine block on 2000 Cadillacs

    Hey Guys,

    Add my 2000 DeVille to the Cracked Engine Block list. Confirmed today after removing the passenger side engine to trans axle support bracket. Cracked at # 3 cylinder area. Bye-Bye my beloved DeVille. At least its going to a great home, my brother in law is a GM mechanic. He's going to swap the engine/trans (P0741) and this immaculate vehicle will once again grace the road. All the very best to you all. Signing off ......

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