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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 2.38%
  • 1994

    38 5.03%
  • 1995

    13 1.72%
  • 1996

    40 5.30%
  • 1997

    151 20.00%
  • 1998

    166 21.99%
  • 1999

    170 22.52%
  • 2000

    80 10.60%
  • 2001

    56 7.42%
  • 2002

    41 5.43%
  • 2003

    14 1.85%
  • 2004

    0 0%
  • 2005

    3 0.40%
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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 tgs2101 As for my 1996 SLS, I have not yet decided if I'm going to time-sert the ...
  1. #91
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by tgs2101 View Post
    As for my 1996 SLS, I have not yet decided if I'm going to time-sert the block, get a used engine, look at the LS4 5.3 transverse engine swap, or just take this beautiful car to the junk heap and call it quits. No one seems to want to buy a good looking car with any problems. Still runs like a sewing machine, but you can smell coolant from the exhaust and overheating is a crap shoot. 5 miles or a 100 miles, ... it is unpredictable except that it will overheat.

    I should probably start a new post for help on this issue.
    I would say fix it and buy a better gasket and the motor will last dam near forever. Think about it more like this it's probably the first major repair right ?
    So why not fix it and go another couple hundred thousand miles ?

  2. #92
    rockybalboa11 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Quote Originally Posted by clarkz71 View Post
    Here's the latest JD Power survey. Cadillac is 5th, Mercedes is 22nd.

    Mercedes was "the" car back in the day, no longer.



    http://www.jdpower.com/autos/ratings/quality-ratings/
    5th in what? alphabetical order?

    look at those ratings. horrible.

    p.s. i wouldn't put much stock into a 90 day study. a head gasket isn't going to fail on any car in 3 months.

  3. #93
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    clarkz71 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Quote Originally Posted by rockybalboa11 View Post
    5th in what? alphabetical order?

    look at those ratings. horrible.

    p.s. i wouldn't put much stock into a 90 day study. a head gasket isn't going to fail on any car in 3 months.
    The survey is for new cars, new Cadillacs are 5th, Mercedes is 23rd.

    I thought I made myself clear.

    The point is that new Mercedes are already having more problems then Cadillac's in the forst 90 days of ownership.

    And my post was directed to MBENZ who was bashing Cadillac and bragging about how great his
    old Mercedes was. Read the thread.

  4. #94
    N0DIH's Avatar
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    What sort of quality problems? Minor stuff or major stuff? Or do they list severity of the problems?

  5. #95
    clarkz71's Avatar
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Quote Originally Posted by N0DIH View Post
    What sort of quality problems? Minor stuff or major stuff? Or do they list severity of the problems?

    Click on the link I provided several post ago, oh I'll just post it again.
    It show all the catagories that are rated.


    http://www.jdpower.com/autos/ratings/quality-ratings/

  6. #96
    97Concours1 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Quote Originally Posted by clarkz71 View Post
    The survey is for new cars, new Cadillacs are 5th, Mercedes is 23rd.
    Am I missing something here? The list is just in alphabetical order. Cadillac is lower than MB in all but the one catagory. Looks like Lexus is the one to beat.

  7. #97
    97Concours1 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Quote Originally Posted by N0DIH View Post
    My thoughts are: GM found this problem early on it the life of the N*. Back in the early 90's. It should never have escaped 1994 at the latest. They HAVE the tools to figure this out, and to eliminate it. If it takes some WORK, then do so. My LT1 is over 240K now (just barely) and I stomp on it often, no blown gaskets. I can't imagine a small block Chevy "dealing" with issues like that. It is further more embarassing that Cadillac does.

    GM's quality is supposed to be good based on QS9000/TS16949. But they still won't take it seriously. They are learning that painful lesson now, as Toyota IS taking it seriously and starting to outsell GM. It is truly sad that GM won't get serious. I hate to say it, a lot of it is the quantity vs quality mentality, and I am sure the unions aren't helping anything. GM needs to stop beating the snot out of the suppliers for the problems they have and take the roll they need to be in and use it to do what they need to do. GM is their own worst enemy.

    Motorola wrote the book on quality with the Six Sigma and Digital Six Sigma programs. GM needs to get into school and LEARN it. They WILL eliminate the quality defects quickly and effectively. It will teach them how. If you apply the principles of Six Sigma, you CAN'T have bad quality. But you have to apply them. You have to WANT to have good quality.

    GM has the 5 Phase Action Plan should also show the issues. Ford uses the 8D for problem solving. Both are similar, they both accomplish the same thing. But they have to be used!! Take that and apply Six Sigma and you WILL eliminate the quality defects that plauge the company!

    Great posts. I agree 100%. I've always had a concern about pushing the Six Sigma as being able to solve all quality problems. It just stresses holding all tolerances to the middle of their range. This is a good thing for sure, but if the base design is flawed, all the tolerance holding is worthless. They need to put just as much emphasis on getting the base design correct as they do on holding tolerances. I think a good design should actually allow for wide manufacturing variations while still maintaining design integrity.

    The 5 Phase Action Plan should solve this (IF they really want to do it,) but they have to accurately determine the Root Cause. In this case it seems to be a moving target.

    GM has always been bad about fixing something once it's in production. I had a 2002 GMC Sierra. An absolutely wonderful vehicle, except that at 30k miles the cable tailgate straps broke and dented the tailgate when it dropped and hit the bumper. I knew about this problem for at least 10 years prior on GM trucks from all my buddies having the same thing happen. It always confused me why the entire truck was an engineering marvel, but they dropped the ball on something as simple as the tailgate straps.

  8. #98
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Ahh yes, the old engineering tosses it over the wall to manufacturing bit......eng is on to newer better things, forget the old stuff....

  9. #99
    97Concours1 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Quote Originally Posted by N0DIH View Post
    Ahh yes, the old engineering tosses it over the wall to manufacturing bit......eng is on to newer better things, forget the old stuff....
    Exactly, so maybe marketing should take a few stacks of their customer survey complaints over to engineering once in a while and demand that problems be resolved. This would complete the loop. I'm sure it's not that simple, so I'll just be quiet now.

  10. #100
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    As my company, your bonus is tied to quality, if quality is down, it hits the bonus paycheck, IF you get one. Quality can drown you.

    They need to be held accountable for quality. If poor design nab Eng, if poor manufacturing, nab them, but if a design that isn't manufacturable, nab ? They need to learn best practices and CHANGE. CHANGE is a GOOD thing. LEARN from mistakes!!! We do, we have rules that are held over our heads that we have to design to, if we don't design TO them we do not get ship acceptance!!

    Sometimes called Lessons Learned, every program should do a Post Mortem review after ship to review how itis working in the market.

    Look at the iPhone. Sure, market sensation, quality? crap. 120K returns to Apple for issues that could not be resolved at ATT. Hmmm..... Good? Bad? You decide, people keep buying them, and DON'T drop them!!

  11. #101
    xeper is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Quote Originally Posted by N0DIH View Post
    Look at the iPhone. Sure, market sensation, quality? crap. 120K returns to Apple for issues that could not be resolved at ATT. Hmmm..... Good? Bad? You decide, people keep buying them, and DON'T drop them!!
    Haha! That's a pretty bad example to use considering that a VERY large chunk of those issues were bricked by the user, trying to update to non-approved firmware. It's hardly the same thing.

  12. #102
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    GM could say the same thing, people "abused" their cars by not changing coolant or flooring it, or something I am SURE they could come up with to.

    Yes, I know what you mean, flashing IS a major source of headaches, but they should be screening those out too. But 100's of thousands in the return bin??

    Shame you can't bring your car back to GM, make them take it back and get a new one!

  13. #103
    97Concours1 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Quote Originally Posted by N0DIH View Post
    As my company, your bonus is tied to quality, if quality is down, it hits the bonus paycheck, IF you get one. Quality can drown you.

    They need to be held accountable for quality. If poor design nab Eng, if poor manufacturing, nab them, but if a design that isn't manufacturable, nab ? They need to learn best practices and CHANGE. CHANGE is a GOOD thing. LEARN from mistakes!!! We do, we have rules that are held over our heads that we have to design to, if we don't design TO them we do not get ship acceptance!!

    Sometimes called Lessons Learned, every program should do a Post Mortem review after ship to review how itis working in the market.
    "Change" I've always suspected that GM actually does know how to fix these problems (and would like to), but doesn't because doing so would open them up to a class action on the existing ones in the field. It would go something like "you have fixed this problem on your new vehicles, now you must retro-fit the fix into ALL the existing ones in the field." $$$$$$$$$.

    Quote Originally Posted by N0DIH View Post
    "GM could say the same thing, people "abused" their cars by not changing coolant or flooring it, or something I am SURE they could come up with to."
    Right. Didn't change coolant and HG corroded = customer's falt, Threads pull out first = GM's falt.

  14. #104
    ss6r is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldo1953 View Post
    Here is the Definitive Northstar Headgasket Thread. Please choose your year of Cadillac and state if you have had a headgasket problem with your Seville or Eldorado and what mileage it occured at. If you have never had a problem please do not participate in the poll!
    I am on my second engine for a 1998 STS. It is a frustrating problem to say the least. I am currently in the process of timeserting the second engine. First engine 134,000 miles, engine two 96,000 miles.

  15. #105
    ss6r is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    re: Northstar Headgasket/Cracked Block/Bolt Failure? Please let us know

    Does anyone know if using a JB weld type of hardening adhesive instead of the 277 loctite on first time timeserts be recommended. It was recommended to me by a GM dealer mechanic that has worked on timesert repairs before.He said do my self a favor and put a lite film of JB weld on the timesert before their installed instead of the Loctite. I dont want to doubt his judgment but I don't want to cause any further issues either that he may not know about. Any thoughts?

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