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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Originally Posted by AJxtcman The 2000 to 2003 can be upgraded. when you do them do you upgrade them ?...
  1. #61
    dwight.j.carter's Avatar
    dwight.j.carter is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by AJxtcman View Post
    The 2000 to 2003 can be upgraded.
    when you do them do you upgrade them ?

  2. #62
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by dwight.j.carter View Post
    when you do them do you upgrade them ?
    Highline Cady's was the first one. we can't get any of the newer TimeSerts. We just don't have a sorce. We don't buy them from GM. We buy them from the worlds largest distributor of TimeSert inserts. They don't have a listing.
    I need 20 more Now

  3. #63
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Well if mine ever go I at least I know what to ask for and what should be used. And it's all thanks to you AJ.

  4. #64
    mikelawson is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Aj, have you used the cometic gaskets before? I have heard of sealing problems and the need for cooper spray. I just ordered norms and agree MLS looks like the way to go. Just looking for some good advice before spending the money.

  5. #65
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Not yet. I have been too busy to add to your thread. I did read it. I am hoping to get caught up in my reading this weekend

  6. #66
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    I had my heads pressure checked, didn't find any issues with them. In my case, it looked like my gasket blew between 2 cylinders. I remember while taking off the head bolts that the bolts by the cylinder that had the most coolant/water mixture was rather loose and not difficult at all to get off. All other head bolts were pretty difficult to remove. I believe in my case, the head bolt started receiving coolant, (possibly through the short block like you state in this thread), head bolt gets loose, pressure removes part of the gasket and walaa... in comes the water to my cylinder.

  7. #67
    99_concours is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    I appreciate greatly all the technical advice and the documentation of this thread. I do have some questions though.

    I have a 99 deVille Concours in premium condition with 133K miles that I believe the head gaskets just failed. Sudden coolant usage and smell; large bubbles in the coolant resevoir observed (with cap off) that when 'pop' steam or exhaust is released. After it sat a week without being used, this weekend I started it up and now has large amounts of white 'smoke' coming from both exhaust pipes. This car has NEVER overheated, even to date. Car was well maintained. The car is still in extremely excellent shape, no scratches, dings, etc. So, this isn't a 'throw away' even though according to some of the blogs and threads I have been reading that the northstar engine may be a 'throw away'. Unbelievable that the engine that essentially 'brought back Cadillac' has such a failure record.

    While I have read many of the posts, I need to simplify exactly what I should do; what is the wisest choice. I plan on removing the engine and cracking it open to determine the head bolt to block situation to determine if my engine is salvagable. No water in the oiling system so that is a good thing but what I am reading about the timeserts and powdery block alloy is disconcerting.

    I see by the threads that the '99 is one of the 'bad' engines as far as timeserting...I also read that the mid 2003 the factory head bolt upgrade to LSx style bolts has a better record. So that leads me to think that the 2004 and above FWD northstars are the way to go whether used engine or a remanufactured engine knowing there were some changes with coils, etc. I saw in the above post that the post '99s are not a simple 'bolt in' replacement for a '99 and prior but I must ask what other changes would there be?

    It is also my understanding that the closed deck design of the RWD northstar WILL NOT be usable in my FWD; is this correct?

    So, essentially, it is my understanding that the 2004 will bolt in (with modifications) but with the LSx head bolt design this is the better choice?

    It is also my understanding that the '99 northstar doesn't accept timeserts (or Norm's) very well but the 2000 thru 2003 will?

    One other question: I saw something in one of the posts about someone not wanting to own a deVille up to 99 but a '98 and '99 STS is better? Was there a difference in the engine for the STS (300hp) over that of the Concours (300hp as opposed to the 275hp of the regular deVille)? Maybe it was just that, the engine horsepower. I thought the STS and the Concours had the exact same engine.

    Sorry for the length of the post but there is so much information out there that I want to ensure that I am in full understanding. I might be crazy about wanting to keep my car (I actually was going to keep it indefinitely once I took it out of everyday service) but I really love the car. 300HP, and at 26mpg at 80mph is hard to beat! Add to that the quiet ride and the size of the car and its safety features (over a tin can at 33mpg) I can't find anything acceptable to replace it.

  8. #68
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    AJ so when doing time serts on a 2003 if one wanted to upgrade would they get the 2004 timesert kit?????

  9. #69
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by cmross97 View Post
    AJ so when doing time serts on a 2003 if one wanted to upgrade would they get the 2004 timesert kit?????
    Correct

  10. #70
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    would it be worth it to do the upgrade b/c the new bolts would just be going into the time-sert? Or is the time sert insert itself have courser threads also???

  11. #71
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by cmross97 View Post
    would it be worth it to do the upgrade b/c the new bolts would just be going into the time-sert? Or is the time sert insert itself have courser threads also???
    Oh yeah the 04 TimeSerts have the courser threads on the outside

  12. #72
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    cool good info thanks

  13. #73
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    would it be safe to say, that for preventitive maintenance it would be a good idea to put a lower temp thermostat in the car? It seems that would greatly help this car, to never get that hot. is it coincidence that northstar run hotter then most all other cars, and they have the most head gasket failure's due to heat and the expanding / contracting of metals also due to heat.

    you might loose a mpg if you got it to run at 185-190 instead of 210-220, but it seems well worth it.

  14. #74
    inthefreeze98 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Iv done a bunch of these the only system that works is Norms,,,ns300L ,,,PLAIN AND SIMPLE!!! OVER!

  15. #75
    Crown Vic Owner is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dubya View Post
    would it be safe to say, that for preventitive maintenance it would be a good idea to put a lower temp thermostat in the car? It seems that would greatly help this car, to never get that hot. is it coincidence that northstar run hotter then most all other cars, and they have the most head gasket failure's due to heat and the expanding / contracting of metals also due to heat.

    you might loose a mpg if you got it to run at 185-190 instead of 210-220, but it seems well worth it.
    The northstar LOVES to run cold from what i know.


    Either way, i would just like to state that i have been changing coolant every 5-15k miles in my 98 and i have no HG issues.

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