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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 SCOTT2325 I have a 2001 SLS with 112k miles on it i guess this could happen to ...
  1. #106
    Lebowski's Avatar
    Lebowski is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by SCOTT2325 View Post
    I have a 2001 SLS with 112k miles on it i guess this could happen to me at anytime now ?? I think i'll trade it in very very soon i have only had it about 6 weeks but after reading this i have stopped driving the car i have a car cover on it in my carport now .
    I would sell it ASAP if I was you. My '99 STS has 114K on it and needs a head gasket. I just bought it a year ago with 112K on it for $7500. Now I can only drive it to places within 5 miles of my home or it will overheat. The Northstar engine is a piece of shit. SELL IT ASAP!!!!

  2. #107
    SCOTT2325 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by submariner409 View Post
    Post-2000 Northstars are not as prone to bolt failure as the late 90's engines. There were quite a few mechanical changes during 2000-2001. Drive it.

    See my post in the companion sticky.....these questions belong in the main threads, not the stickys.
    Submariner .. Thanks for telling me that i trust you very much so thats what i'm going to do is drive it .I like the car alot it looks good and drives great i just get upset when i read bad things about the SLS it worrys me but i'm going to try and not worry about it and just take good care of it and drive it . Thank you submariner !

  3. #108
    NorthStarGXP is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by SCOTT2325 View Post
    I have a 2001 SLS with 112k miles on it i guess this could happen to me at anytime now ?? I think i'll trade it in very very soon i have only had it about 6 weeks but after reading this i have stopped driving the car i have a car cover on it in my carport now .
    I can understand that you don't want to drive a ticking time bomb. But on the flip side please keep in mind that most people posting on this thread are doing so because they've had problems, so it sounds more prevalent than it is. I'd say enjoy the car if it doesn't currently have the problem. At 100k+ miles, there is always some risk. Who knows, whatever you replace it with for the same money might drop a tranny next month.

    BTW, my girlfriend bought a Land Cruiser Special edition brand new in 1997. Cost 50k, and that was absolutely outrageous back in 97. Had all the service done at Toyota and was going to keep it forever since the LCs are supposed to go 300k or more. Never towed or even went off road in it. It developed a piston knock at 130k (among other problems), and she had to get rid of it for $4k at 146k when the knock became more like a bang. Granted 146k miles is not too bad, but I'm certainly not impressed.

  4. #109
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    Destroyer is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by SCOTT2325 View Post
    Submariner .. Thanks for telling me that i trust you very much so thats what i'm going to do is drive it .I like the car alot it looks good and drives great i just get upset when i read bad things about the SLS it worrys me but i'm going to try and not worry about it and just take good care of it and drive it . Thank you submariner !
    Sub is great but he loves these cars too much to call them crap. Either that or he never drove anything better (last car must have been a '79 LTD wood panel wagon or something). Best advice is to sell and get something else. It's not a matter of "if" only "when" with these cars. Do research here and make your choice.

  5. #110
    planocolt is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    What is the difference between the 1999 STS engine block and the 1999 SLS engine block?


    Quote Originally Posted by AJxtcman View Post
    GM will not warranty the Big Timesert or Norm's. GM states that if the bolt hole has erosion you can not TimeSert it and you must Replace the short block.
    From my understanding all 1998 cars are now out of Warranty. With in a year all 1999 will be out they will not have any more 1999 and older Certified cars left under warranty.
    .
    .
    .
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    JUMPPED POST AGAIN
    .
    .
    .
    I would never purchase a 96 to 99 Cadillac unless it was a 98 or 99 Seville and that maybe limited to a STS.
    You can buy a 2002 or 2003 Seville for $6500 with 100K+ miles. A 99 Deville maybe worth $3k to $6K. Subtract the $3000 to $6000 for head gaskets and you have JUNK.
    A 99 STS with 100K will go for $9000 now you can fix the car.

    The reason I say up to $6000 in head gasket repairs is because of the cam shaft failure in the 93 to 99 models.




    the pictures are 4 years old. We had a higher level of zinc then.

  6. #111
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Nothing.

  7. #112
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    AJxtcman is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Bad news Guy's
    Very Bad News.

    The LS1 (11mm X 2.0MM) type Head bolt won't stay in a block made of JUNK!

    I see nothing good coming from this discovery. I can honestly say I don't see this being a one time case.

    I have a 2004 Seville with about 80k on it that came in last week for a seat heater Element and something else.

    It came back this week with the Seat Heater Module out and a Coolant Leak.
    I found a Blister in the Side-Wall of the Surge Tank.
    Think about how F'ing hot that coolant had to be that contacted the side-wall of the tank to cause a blister!!!!!
    I used our "Block Tester" on it and the fluid turned from Blue to Yellow in just a few pumps.

    I pulled the engine and the Head Gaskets looked OK. Nothing showing a MAJOR Gasket Failure. I saw some bunching of the head gasket and some signs of uneven crimping force/torque.

    1 head bolt was just slightly little loose. It was a little rusty, but the hole was Dry. I mean Bone Dry. The Rust was not from COOLANT in my opinion. Maybe a wet bolt when installed.

    I inspected the Block and ALL 20 bolt holes were JUNK. WTF

    The threads were pitted and broken in all 20 holes
    My Northstar savior is crumbling before my eyes.
    I drilled out the hole that had the slightly loose bolt first and found a good sized void.

    The zone rep came out and looked at it. He said lets try a TimeSert. Ok I will play along. I tapped the hole and the void doubled in size.

    Now I had drilled out 2 other hole before the Zone Rep Came out and they both had small holes/voids in the casting. WTF THEY can't figure out how to pour a block you have been doing it since the 60's

    I am overly irritated by this.

    This is NOT the bad hole. The treads are junk in this one.




    BAD HOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    Hey the screen is broke on my camera so it is difficult to take pictures, but I will take some more of the nightmare


  8. #113
    dyslimm is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    AJ, have any experience with sure grip studs, could this be a better repair than thread inserts ?


    Thanks

  9. #114
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by dyslimm View Post
    AJ, have any experience with sure grip studs, could this be a better repair than thread inserts ?


    Thanks
    Jake has a very good product. I haven't used it, but it looks to be 100%

  10. #115
    32vmonte is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    After reading every page of this thread, I discovered a couple back there is a head stud kit. Seems to be the only way to go.

    With 13.1 compression, added HP from the cams im not risking these timesert deals slipping out again.

  11. #116
    Hogg is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by 32vmonte View Post
    After reading every page of this thread, I discovered a couple back there is a head stud kit. Seems to be the only way to go.

    With 13.1 compression, added HP from the cams im not risking these timesert deals slipping out again.
    I have had the Suregrip studs actually in my hands. They are nice pieces. They are a good idea as you install the stud into the block, then install the heads, THEN torque the nuts on the stud. This is a much better scenario than a bolt where the threads are experiencing both a torsional stress and longitudinal stress at the same time, all the while the bolts threads are engaging in soft aluminum metal.

    peace
    Hog

  12. #117
    bacardi is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    A noob with new questions...I'm about to buy (and tow home) a 2000 sts with 110K miles and with a blown head gasket. I won't get a chance to do anything to it until next weekend. Perhaps you guys can sum this up for me.

    If I take out the head bolts and see material on the bottom of them, I need to drill and tap the holes no matter what, correct? If there isn't any material, I can assume if I just use stock bolts it'll eventually break down again? But if I use one of the two insert kits, odds are greatly increased that it'll never break down again. Also there's a vendor who sells studs. Also ARP sells studs even cheaper, I can't determine if they sell them for a 2K?

    A good plan of action would be to buy gaskets and ARP studs (if they make them) or just plain head bolts if they don't to hopefully have them here by next weekend. Next weekend, remove the bolts and if there's material on them buy an insert kit and redrill/retap. But if no material just move forward. Sound good?

  13. #118
    AJxtcman's Avatar
    AJxtcman is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by bacardi View Post
    A noob with new questions...I'm about to buy (and tow home) a 2000 sts with 110K miles and with a blown head gasket. I won't get a chance to do anything to it until next weekend. Perhaps you guys can sum this up for me.

    If I take out the head bolts and see material on the bottom of them, I need to drill and tap the holes no matter what, correct? If there isn't any material, I can assume if I just use stock bolts it'll eventually break down again? But if I use one of the two insert kits, odds are greatly increased that it'll never break down again. Also there's a vendor who sells studs. Also ARP sells studs even cheaper, I can't determine if they sell them for a 2K?

    A good plan of action would be to buy gaskets and ARP studs (if they make them) or just plain head bolts if they don't to hopefully have them here by next weekend. Next weekend, remove the bolts and if there's material on them buy an insert kit and redrill/retap. But if no material just move forward. Sound good?

    The first repair TimeSert inserts are a band aid repair that seems to fail at a high rate.

    Because of expansion of aluminum hardened ARP studs with TimeSert inserts would cause them to pull out very fast.

  14. #119
    bacardi is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by AJxtcman View Post
    The first repair TimeSert inserts are a band aid repair that seems to fail at a high rate.

    Because of expansion of aluminum hardened ARP studs with TimeSert inserts would cause them to pull out very fast.
    Just trying to understand...Even if I'm lucky enough to successively remove every head bolt, replace the gasket and install new bolts there's a high rate of failure? Only norms kit or 97's stud kit will permanently (relative term) fix the problem? Am I correct?

  15. #120
    ferchja is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Root Cause of Head gasket Failure and a Fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by AJxtcman View Post
    Jake has a very good product. I haven't used it, but it looks to be 100%

    AJ, I have a proposition for you. I am local to MKE, and was wondering for trade with your expertise and time, I would get the stud kit and you can have first hand experience. If not, I would understand.

    I do have a 2 post lift, engine stand....etc in my shop and tools, maybe not all the tools to a certified mechanic, but enough to get it done.

    I have your cell number, will call you this week.

    Thanks,

    Jeremy Ferch

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