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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix? in Cadillac Engine Discussion; Originally Posted by Inkredible MaduraMi, did you pull your engine out the top or bottom? Mark He hasn't been here ...
  1. #151
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by Inkredible View Post
    MaduraMi, did you pull your engine out the top or bottom? Mark
    He hasn't been here in a long time.............

    It sounds daunting, but for the home DIY, dropping the whole drivetrain makes the most sense. You can stud the block without removing the engine from the cradle. If the lower end is tight there's no sense taking the engine completely apart.

    You will need a real GM/Helm service manual - lots of settings and torque work to pay attention to.


  2. #152
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Hi Sub,
    I was curious how he did it. I know that it can be done in the car with studs, but I have heard that the engine has to be tipped forward, and wanted to find out if that was true. I have a chance to buy a nice 2000STS for cheap that has a blown HG. And anyways, can they all be done with the engine coming out the top is what I want to know. Does the FSM say to take the engine out from the bottom?
    Mark

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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

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  4. #154
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    but ultimately, there is a cause of the failure... overheating mainly (right)

    These parts dont just fail without some sort of precipitating factor.... yes?

  5. #155
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    I have a 97 STS. Two years ago ,it At 120,000k, it started using coolant through the exhaust at a rate of a gallon per 30 k. since the cost was prohibitive for a 13 year year old car, $6k-$10k, I took a chance on a formula out of California for $300. Although, I'm not a certified mechanic, I have work on about every aspect of cars, including repairing many heads throughout my 63 year, so I never believed in a cure out of a bottle. In this case, I love the car and to repair the "right way" was out of the question, so I tried a product called Thermo Gasket, and to my surprise - IT WORKED. Today I have over 150,000k on it, live in a cold climate, Canada, and my car is runs like a clock. I keep my eye on the coolant and have to add about a liter every 6 to 9 months. I can live with that.

  6. #156
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Tankboy, overheating is a symptom not a cause ... the cause is the whole reason for this thread

  7. #157
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tankboy40 View Post
    but ultimately, there is a cause of the failure... overheating mainly (right) These parts dont just fail without some sort of precipitating factor.... yes?
    You have the cart before the horse: Overheating for some reason will NOT cause the head bolt hole threads in the block to fail; rather, the threads disintegrate for one of several reasons, one or more bolts lose clamping pressure, the gasket begins to fail, exhaust gas enters the cooling system and blows off coolant, leading to water pump cavitation and subsequent overheating.

    The exhaust gas, in and of itself, does not overheat the engine. I believe the open deck design is contributory to gasket failure. Even though the head gaskets incorporate a stainless steel fire ring, perhaps the block (each cylinder) should also have been O-ringed - read up on the procedure.

  8. #158
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    I'm wondering if anyone knows if any lab tests were done to determine how corrosive the Dexcool becomes if left in the cooling system for 5 years or more. I know that it becomes more acidic, but test results would help to prove if this is one of the leading causes of thread failure.

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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Not that I have ever heard of, but that does not mean much.

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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    nyukcubed, Your post and coolant question has been moved to a new thread in the advice section, down about 8 threads below this one. "2000 STS coolant problems".

    You'll get far more exposure and advice if you keep your questions out of the "sticky" posts.

  11. #161
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Thanks for the info.

    I need to know what's a decent/avg price for head gasket replacement on an 02 DTS?

    Is this something I should have done by a GM/Cadillac service center ONLY?

    If I understood correctly the inserts aren't necessary if the block itself isn't damaged and the 2003 or later bolts are used? But if there block damage the inserts have to be used?

  12. #162
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Inserts or studs are used regardless - the head gaskets fail due to cylinder block bolt hole thread failure, not the other way around.

    A head gasket job at a Cadillac dealer will easily run $4,500 ++++.

    Try to get in touch with either Jake at www.northstarperformance.com or Tim at www.carrollcustomcadillac.com or Norm at www.huhnsolutions.com and find out if there is/are shops in your area doing the work and using their head stud/insert (bulletproof) kits. Usually half the dealer pricing.

    Go back and read Post #159 - plus as much of this thread as you can ........... it's all in here.

  13. #163
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    In looking at the 'solutions', huhnsolutions uses inserts, northstarperformance and carroll use studs with large threads for the block. Other than huhn giving you the option of studs or bolts, any reason to choose one or the other?

  14. #164
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Not really. Either way will get the job done. Studs are far better if you are going to pull the heads again, but nobody ever plans on doing THAT twice.

    P.S.
    Timesert also offers the coarser thread pitch. That would be their Bigsert.

  15. #165
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Could someone please direct me to the thread about rwd or awd Northstar head bolt issues compared to fwd Northstar head bolt issues. Thanks. Or please give you're opinion on the matter.

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