Head gasket, possibly cracked block...
Cadillac
 

Cadillac Forums | Help Us Help You | Advertise | Cadillac Parts | Cadillac News | Cadillac Classifieds / (Old System)

Cadillac Technical Archive | Cadillac Dealers | Cadillac Reviews | Cadillac Dealer Reviews | Cadillac Vendors

CadillacForums.com is the premier Cadillac Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 13 of 13
Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Head gasket, possibly cracked block... in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Parents just bought a nice (everything except for the motor it seems) 98 Deville with 77K for $3,500. The only ...
  1. #1
    Dave-ROR is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): Cadillac
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    9

    Head gasket, possibly cracked block...

    Parents just bought a nice (everything except for the motor it seems) 98 Deville with 77K for $3,500. The only weird problem I noticed when driving it initially was a bit of hesitation/bucking when accelerating from a stop with the A/C on. I didn't notice any obvious leaks or anything else.

    Well I feel bad since I didn't see anything wrong and I was hoping they could use the car for a few months and sell some of their other cars to eventually get something newer and reliable, now I feel like I screwed them

    Anyways, the check coolant level light came on, so I went over to their place to take a look and the radiator was leaking around the seal of the pass side end tank, not a big deal I'll replace the radiator when I get a free day. For some reason they decided to take it to the caddy dealership to get their opinion and they confirmed the radiator, but also determined that the car had a HG problem and that "the block is shot". They want $9,750 to put a new motor in, $7,700 to put a rebuilt motor in, or $5,700 to fix the motor that's in it. I've seen engines with 80k or so for < $2,000 on car-part.

    The car is obviously not worth putting a new motor, etc in, and my parents are retired and on a very fixed income so obviously that would not happen anyways. Would it be worth through a junk yard motor in and selling it, or fix the radiator and sell it with the other potential problem (informing the buyer and just trying to get close to what they bought it for, which seems to be a good deal (obviously too good) based on autotrader pricing), or part it out, or...? If I had the $3,500 in the bank I would just buy the car from them, part it and junk the shell, but, that's not an option currently

    I've done various engine swaps before, but never on anything that large. I assume it would be a PITA, looks like it would be anyways.

    Suggestions?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    CadillacForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, slap in a big stereo
    Automobile(s): 2002.5 F55 STS/65500mi, 2004 Ford F150 SuperCab4x4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    MD Eastern Shore - Kent Island
    Age
    74
    Posts
    43,519

    Re: Head gasket, possibly cracked block...

    The '98 Northstars are not known for block problems. Head bolt tension/head gasket problems, yes. The lower end is statistically bulletproof.

    There are a dozen threads in this forum over the past year concerning exactly your parents' problem. Everything from new engines to top overhauls, with top overhauls (the $5700 job) being most cost effective and desirable.

    If they elect to keep the car and have a GM top overhaul done, they get a practically new engine with a dealer warranty, so the entire car is still right at $10K.

    Bummer......how long since the dealer "Golden 90 Warranty" - 90 seconds or 90 feet...........??

  4. #3
    Edahall's Avatar
    Edahall is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 93 & 88 Allante, 88 Eldorado
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    779

    Re: Head gasket, possibly cracked block...

    This is exactly why I always recommend anyone who is interested in these cars to perform a combustion by-products test before buying the car. It's better to spend the $50 to buy the kit than be sorry. I looked at a 98 Seville several years ago and after a bunch of questioning, the owner finally admitted that the car in the past had an overheating problem and that he had changed out the thermostat. Anyways, after 10 minutes of idling, the engine started to overheat right in his driveway. :-O I offered him a 1/2 the price he was asking to cover for the repair and he declined so I walked away.

  5. #4
    krimson_cardnal's Avatar
    krimson_cardnal is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 96DeVille
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    NY Capitol District
    Age
    67
    Posts
    962

    Re: Head gasket, possibly cracked block...

    Did you put the new radiator in? I would and drive it. Won't take long for you to confirm a HG problem as Edhall suggests. Thing is with fresh coolant a coolant gas leak will not be accurate till you drive it without a coolant top up for a while. Not to say the dealer miss diagnosed anything, but it might be worth the effort on your part. After all they also told you the "block is shot". And as Sub points out....

    Your only issue was loosing coolant through a leaking radiator. In it's self not a reason to junk a car. K_C

  6. #5
    misfit6794 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 1996 Deville (sold), 2000 Mustang GT
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Jersey
    Age
    29
    Posts
    1,300

    Re: Head gasket, possibly cracked block...

    I paid 3500 for my headgasket repair, 5700 seems really high, I would shop around for a better price. The only problem with putting in a used motor is that you run the risk of the hg's failing again, and you are right back where you started.

  7. #6
    Dave-ROR is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): Cadillac
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    9

    Re: Head gasket, possibly cracked block...

    New Radiator has been ordered. My dad went to get the car from the dealer and it started to run very poorly on the way home so he left it at an autoparts store to cool and then add more coolant.. so sadly he may have just put a nail in the coffin anyways...

    The dealer told my parents that they used die to find the HG and block problem. I can definately see a HG problem based on the history of these cars, and I did see a few threads about cracked blocks. The dealer of course suggested the new engine, and suggested against just repairing it

    Once I get back from a track event in virginia I'll swap out the radiator and flush the coolant. I didn't notice any smell from the exhaust before, not any coolant/oil mix, but I understand that's not common with these anyways.

    What are other common problems with these cars? I ask because if I have him get the issue fixed, they'll have to keep this car for quite awhile..

    BTW, the dealer wanted $850 for the radiator with install. I'm not sure what a normal price for that is, but the GM part isn't that expensive and my brief look at it didn't indicate any difficulty in changing the radiator out... I was amazed by that quote.

  8. #7
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, slap in a big stereo
    Automobile(s): 2002.5 F55 STS/65500mi, 2004 Ford F150 SuperCab4x4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    MD Eastern Shore - Kent Island
    Age
    74
    Posts
    43,519

    Re: Head gasket, possibly cracked block...

    The radiator is a labor intensive unholy bitch to replace. Look back in time, in here, for some curl-your-hair stories.

  9. #8
    ejguillot's Avatar
    ejguillot is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 2000 Seville STS
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Tampa FL
    Age
    39
    Posts
    986

    Re: Head gasket, possibly cracked block...

    The dealer said what? He used dye for the HG leak test? That sounds bogus to me.

    The 2 tests I've read about on this forum are 1) to use test strips to check for exhaust gases in the coolant, and 2) use a cylinder leakdown test to see if the cylinder gases are leaking through the gaskeet into the coolant by looking and listening for bubbles.

    My advice: Find a different dealer, preferably an independent shop. What city/state are you in, and what's the name of this dealer that told you about the dye test?

    As to the radiator: I replaced mine in my 2000 Seville STS in about an hour and a half, taking my time. Is a 1998 Deville that much harder? And I ordered mine from the local branch of http://www.1800radiator.com/ for $165 total ($150 price, $10 sales tax, and $5 delivery!) with a lifetime warranty.

  10. #9
    Dave-ROR is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): Cadillac
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    9

    Re: Head gasket, possibly cracked block...

    Not sure if it's that much harder, it didn't look abnormal. A quick search showed some people saying it wasn't abd to some saving the A/C condensor came out with the radiator. I didn't see a howto and I may have to find a FSM for the car if the radiator is all that difficult.

    I'm in the Tampa, FL area like yourself, you wanna help change a radiator?

    The dealer was Ed Morse in Brandon.

  11. #10
    Destroyer's Avatar
    Destroyer is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): '67 Cutlass,'92 Z28, '12 Crosstour, '12 Cube,00 GMC 4500
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Age
    42
    Posts
    6,167

    Re: Head gasket, possibly cracked block...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave-ROR View Post
    Parents just bought a nice (everything except for the motor it seems) 98 Deville with 77K for $3,500. The only weird problem I noticed when driving it initially was a bit of hesitation/bucking when accelerating from a stop with the A/C on. I didn't notice any obvious leaks or anything else.

    Well I feel bad since I didn't see anything wrong and I was hoping they could use the car for a few months and sell some of their other cars to eventually get something newer and reliable, now I feel like I screwed them

    Anyways, the check coolant level light came on, so I went over to their place to take a look and the radiator was leaking around the seal of the pass side end tank, not a big deal I'll replace the radiator when I get a free day. For some reason they decided to take it to the caddy dealership to get their opinion and they confirmed the radiator, but also determined that the car had a HG problem and that "the block is shot". They want $9,750 to put a new motor in, $7,700 to put a rebuilt motor in, or $5,700 to fix the motor that's in it. I've seen engines with 80k or so for < $2,000 on car-part.

    The car is obviously not worth putting a new motor, etc in, and my parents are retired and on a very fixed income so obviously that would not happen anyways. Would it be worth through a junk yard motor in and selling it, or fix the radiator and sell it with the other potential problem (informing the buyer and just trying to get close to what they bought it for, which seems to be a good deal (obviously too good) based on autotrader pricing), or part it out, or...? If I had the $3,500 in the bank I would just buy the car from them, part it and junk the shell, but, that's not an option currently

    I've done various engine swaps before, but never on anything that large. I assume it would be a PITA, looks like it would be anyways.

    Suggestions?
    Junk it!. Unless you can sell it (with disclosure of problem), I'd say just toss it.

  12. #11
    ejguillot's Avatar
    ejguillot is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 2000 Seville STS
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Tampa FL
    Age
    39
    Posts
    986

    Re: Head gasket, possibly cracked block...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave-ROR View Post
    Not sure if it's that much harder, it didn't look abnormal. A quick search showed some people saying it wasn't abd to some saving the A/C condensor came out with the radiator. I didn't see a howto and I may have to find a FSM for the car if the radiator is all that difficult.

    I'm in the Tampa, FL area like yourself, you wanna help change a radiator?

    The dealer was Ed Morse in Brandon.
    Where in the Tampa area are you? I'm in the New Tampa area, next to Wesley Chapel.

    If I were you, I would check out http://www.dencities.com/kuttingedge.htm and talk to Keith (the owner). I had him do a Crank Variance Relearn on my car and he did it for $40 (Ed Morse Tampa wanted $50).

    GET THE FSM! Start looking on eBay.

  13. #12
    Destroyer's Avatar
    Destroyer is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): '67 Cutlass,'92 Z28, '12 Crosstour, '12 Cube,00 GMC 4500
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Age
    42
    Posts
    6,167

    Re: Head gasket, possibly cracked block...

    Quote Originally Posted by ejguillot View Post
    Where in the Tampa area are you? I'm in the New Tampa area, next to Wesley Chapel.

    If I were you, I would check out http://www.dencities.com/kuttingedge.htm and talk to Keith (the owner). I had him do a Crank Variance Relearn on my car and he did it for $40 (Ed Morse Tampa wanted $50).

    GET THE FSM! Start looking on eBay.
    A lot of Tampa Bay guys here. Palm Harbor here.

  14. #13
    ejguillot's Avatar
    ejguillot is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 2000 Seville STS
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Tampa FL
    Age
    39
    Posts
    986

    Re: Head gasket, possibly cracked block...

    Yup! Another member (cooncat) lives in Temple Terrace.

    We're thinking of doing a mini meet for the Tampa folks, interested in coming out with your Mark VIII?

    (Yes, we know you dislike FWD Northstars. That's ok!)

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Register Now

Please enter the name by which you would like to log-in and be known on this site.
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.

Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Bookmarks

Cadillac Posting Rules

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Read about Lincoln | Buick | Kia Forte Forum
Need products for your Cadillac? Check out your options at the links below:

custom floor mats | Cadillac Chrome and Black Chrome Wheels | window tinting