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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Sucessful Northstar head gasket repair in a bottle in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; There is no magic fix to these headgasket issues, even inserts are too weak, when GM has to come out ...
  1. #196
    04GrandAmGT's Avatar
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    Re: Sucessful Northstar head gasket repair in a bottle

    There is no magic fix to these headgasket issues, even inserts are too weak, when GM has to come out with a fix for there fix that still fails over time, obviously they are doing something wrong, your only choice from then on is over sized studs.
    Replacing the Head Gaskets on a Northstar? Use our SureGrip Cylinder Head Stud Kit!


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    Re: Sucessful Northstar head gasket repair in a bottle

    Quote Originally Posted by 04GrandAmGT View Post
    There is no magic fix to these headgasket issues, even inserts are too weak, when GM has to come out with a fix for there fix that still fails over time, obviously they are doing something wrong, your only choice from then on is over sized studs.
    Their only mistake was using the same size thread pitch as the original. Bigserts and NS300L inserts seem to do the job just fine. Sometime you just gotta wonder, what in the hell where they thinking?

  3. #198
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    Re: Sucessful Northstar head gasket repair in a bottle

    I just used k&w nanotechnology on my 99 Eldorado etc.Followed bottle instructions and then took it for a ride with K&W sealant still in cooling system. Did not put that many miles on it and then emptied K&W sealant and let dry.

    Took car for a test drive next morning. Filled with water.I tested the car good, I hit 3/4 three times but the gauge went down each time. Most time spent slightly above 1/2.

    Question: If my head bolt threads had pulled out of the block, shouldn't it still have overheated?

    My waterpump was in really bad condition. Most likely previous owner overheated with faulty water pump and damaged part of the head gasket.

    Will try to update up to 1000 miles.

    FOUND SOME DIFFERENT INSTRUCTIONS FOR K&W:

    trustmymechanic:
    I do not personally use the product as the instructions on the can say (been using it my way for years with a 75-80% success rate and its much easier)

    My instructions for using K&W Block Sealer are:

    1. Drain out all coolant from radiator as you possibly can.

    2. Get a bucket and mix up the block sealer with tap water

    3. Pour contents of the bucket into the radiator, top off with tap water

    4. Then put 500 miles on the car as soon as you can

    5. After 500 miles drain out the mix and reinstall coolant and water as needed

    The seal should be permanent

    You will NOT have boil over or freeze protection during this time period so please keep the engine from freezing and overheating.

    And no, I do not remove the spark plugs or the thermostat as the can says.. Just the steps above.

  4. #199
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    The Northstar can run for 50 miles with no coolant. An overheat isn't going to ruin a good head gasket. Also, unless the water pump or tensioner pulley were seized, the pump was pumping, and didn't cause an overheat in the first place.

    It will overheat again, don't worry.

  5. #200
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    Re: Sucessful Northstar head gasket repair in a bottle

    It's not as if the head bolt(s) have literally come out of the block threads - a movement of .001" - .005" in the pre-stretched head bolt would be sufficient to unload the clamping pressure on a head gasket and allow it to begin to fail.

    The kicker with the Northstar gasket failure progression is that, if the head bolt(s) are indeed compromised, you are trying to seal a moving target. My analogy is trying to seal the SanAndreas fault with concrete: It might hold for a while, but nature wins in the long run.

    Philosophically, I am against patching up a car and then unloading it on an unsuspecting buyer without full disclosure ....... and there have been quite a few CF Northstar owners in just this situation over the years - Usually falling for the "Too good to be true" deal on a clean car on the front lawn or the Korner Kar Korral. They come to CF for help, we try to advise the best, most reliable repair, but the owner wants a "Cadillac" on the cheap, so they use chewing gum and masking tape to "fix" it. (and make no mistake about it - a block sealer is a BandAid, not a repair.)
    RippyPartsDept and maeng9981 like this.

  6. #201
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    Re: Sucessful Northstar head gasket repair in a bottle

    Well I put 60 miles so far since k&w nanotechnology and I just passed SMOG.

  7. #202
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    Re: Sucessful Northstar head gasket repair in a bottle

    you would be very surprised of how many calls we get about customers wondering if our kit still works if its been big serted already and those failed.
    Replacing the Head Gaskets on a Northstar? Use our SureGrip Cylinder Head Stud Kit!


  8. #203
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    Re: Sucessful Northstar head gasket repair in a bottle

    I blew my HG when helped a guy jumping his suburban.. car was running fine before.. my Cadillac repair guy who is one of the most honest repair guy in the area and only works on Cadillacs in a proper shop not out of the garage. told me up front that since the car has 160K (2002 esc eldorado) its not worth to repair it but have this solution that might or might not work.. he said i can opt to try it it if i want but it might not work at all, or might work for 2 weeks or he seen N*'s that ran with it for 2 years. so i made a decision to just go with it..he kept the car a few days, drove it tested it.. i have the car back already for 3 weeks put about 500 miles in it and it holds fine.. way i look at it is that i know i am running on borrowed time but every month i can get out of the car i can save more money for a new car.. i took it into carmax, they wanted to give me 1000 dollars for it ( not knowing the fix) since it runs fine i could sell it privately for around 2000-2500 since cosmetically in great condition with almost new tires .. but i cant do that to anyone im just not that type of guy.. so i take my chances if it dies on me i still can junk it for a few hundred dollars ..i take the risk....anyway so far so good.. will post back when it stops working or when i am ready to get an other car and it still working at that time..but i think if you dont have much money and you must have a car and have a good mechanic who you trust and you know the risks it might worth a try.. as i said only a few hundred miles but still running strong..but yes when it dies you cant repair it anymore..

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    Re: Sucessful Northstar head gasket repair in a bottle

    Quote Originally Posted by yanosh View Post
    I blew my HG when helped a guy jumping his suburban.
    Strictly coincidental. Jumping another car has absolutely nothing to do with HG failure.

  10. #205
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    Re: Sucessful Northstar head gasket repair in a bottle

    yes it might have been on the way out anyway..but it has stalled 3 times while trying to jump on high RPM..and after it started to over heat.. anyway..bar's stop a leak or whatever is the name still holding im passed 1000 miles with it already.. sometimes it goes over the middle to a half a notch but then in a few minutes it goes back when i guess the solution do its job.. but also im in Florida and its winter time so i dont face any serious heat yet.. by the time summer comes will be able to get an other car if it holds til then... just wanted to tell the forum that in some cases it might work for a while.. just like my repair guy said he saw northstars going even 2 years with it but also some didn't last more than a week or not working at all.. for the price it was worth it already ... after reading all the disappointments in this method i consider myself lucky .. but if you are like me that must have a car and cant afford getting an other one it might worth a try.. will keep update how long it will hold.. good luck everyone

  11. #206
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    Re: Sucessful Northstar head gasket repair in a bottle

    Quote Originally Posted by yanosh View Post
    but it has stalled 3 times while trying to jump on high RPM..and after it started to over heat..
    That (stalling) should not have happened when you're jump starting. Probably 100% coincidental, unless you hooked up the cables backwards or made a short circuit.

    Quote Originally Posted by yanosh View Post
    sometimes it goes over the middle to a half a notch but then in a few minutes it goes back when i guess the solution do its job..
    That's exactly how your temp gauge was supposed to work.

    Do a block test to rule out or condemn head gaskets.

    Since high rpm is mentioned, what I have noticed is that my engine overheated when brake-torquing with failed head gaskets. I haven't seen the temp gauge moving that fast towards H until then. The same-but-(properly)-repaired engine didn't do that. Something you can easily check.

  12. #207
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    Re: Sucessful Northstar head gasket repair in a bottle

    Well guys, she's still going. It's been a while since I have posted, but we just passed 13,000 miles since the first fix. Just a recap:

    At 98,000 miles, it started to sputter when I started it.

    After a while, I started getting low coolant notices. Started buying a lot of coolant.

    Then, it would regularly go into limp-home mode (SES light flashing, very little power) until I cleared codes, and then it would run okay for a while.

    So I took it to a reputable mechanic, and he tested for exhaust in the coolant. Found it. So it was head gasket failure. He quoted me $3,100 for the fix. Since the car was totaled before this, I couldn't spend the money. So I used one bottle of non-coolant-compatible K&W (according to the instructions on the label) and I put in another can of coolant-compatible K&W when I put the coolant back in (yep, I'm that cheap. I reused my coolant. I figured I had already replaced most of it anyway because I had added over 2 gallons). Then it ran great for 8,000 miles. Until it didn't. Started to get the same old symptoms. So I popped for a huge bottle of the K&W coolant-compatible stuff (the one with "carbon" in it, different than the first coolant-compatible one I used). It took a while for it to work, but sure enough, it sealed it again. My water pump went out last month, and my heater core is clogged, but the car is still running strong.

    And I mean strong. I don't think it's going to go out anytime soon. We'll see!

  13. #208
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    Re: Sucessful Northstar head gasket repair in a bottle

    Update: Just passed 16,200 miles. It's been that long since the fix-in-a-can, and that long since I've run full throttle. I keep up with traffic no problem, I just don't ever go above 3,000 RPM or half throttle. Thankfully there's plenty of torque, and I can do that. What a car.

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    Re: Sucessful Northstar head gasket repair in a bottle

    Quote Originally Posted by ksmay71 View Post
    I just don't ever go above 3,000 RPM or half throttle.
    That's just about killing a Northstar.

  15. #210
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    Re: Sucessful Northstar head gasket repair in a bottle

    Quote Originally Posted by ksmay71 View Post
    Update: Just passed 16,200 miles. It's been that long since the fix-in-a-can, and that long since I've run full throttle. I keep up with traffic no problem, I just don't ever go above 3,000 RPM or half throttle. Thankfully there's plenty of torque, and I can do that. What a car.
    ------------------------------
    aint buying it -

    if the HEAD-GASKET-IN-A-CAN has worked for 16,000 miles -
    then your head gasket problem was MISDIAGNOSED -
    and you never had a head gasket problem to begin with -
    Ranger likes this.

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