Super Noob needs help overheating
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Super Noob needs help overheating in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Hey there, I picked up a 1995 ETC cadillac for 200 bucks, it runs pretty strong. Took it to the ...
  1. #1
    elcaminokid is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Super Noob needs help overheating

    Hey there, I picked up a 1995 ETC cadillac for 200 bucks, it runs pretty strong. Took it to the 1/8 mile last night ran 10.1 pretty well. Anyways obviously for 200 bucks its kinda a mess but when I bought it it wasnt really overheating, now it tends to overheat pretty easy, is it likely a waterpump? or something with the headgaskets, i didn't think it was a headgasket because I am used to other motors, but i was reading something about these motors you wouldnt find coolant in the oil if it was a blown head?
    A water pump is cheap and I wouldnt care to replace that if you guys think thats it, but if its a headgasket its just not worth it.
    I already took the thermostat out too. and note the engine runs beautiful through all the rpms.
    Thanks for helping me out.

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    00 Deville's Avatar
    00 Deville is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Super Noob needs help overheating

    Before you spend a dime on this car have the air space over the coolant in the overflow bottle checked for exhaust gasses. Most radiator shops can do this or you can purchase a block test kit from NAPA for $50 and do it yourself.

    The N*'s with a bad head gasket usually don't put coolant in the oil or vice versa. They usually put exhaust gasses in the coolant causing the pump to cavitate causing it to overheat. They also normally burp coolant out the overflow on the overflow bottle from the exhaust gases over-pressurizing the system.

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    elcaminokid is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Super Noob needs help overheating

    Yeah I have read about that tester. i really dont care to spend 50 bucks on that though as I only spent 200 for the car. battery was new orth 75 bucks so i figure worst case the car was 125 bucks for a POS.
    Anyways though is there some other way to tell. if the radiator cap is off when its hot with the exhaust gases be noticeable. I am running straight water.

    So yeah I made two passes before it started overheating it takes about 5 minutes to really heat up when its full of water. Can I just keep running with a bad head gasket forever?

    What would happen if i ran that engine restore bullshit in it, thats claims to "repair head gaskets" haha i doubt it but thats about as far as I would care to go if it was head gaskets.

    How hot can these motors run before you really start to damage them, would it be even worse to completely drain the water and run it dry?

    I just find it so weird the thing pulls hard when i drive it, runs great, but it would be a bad head gasket... its so weird!

  5. #4
    elcaminokid is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Super Noob needs help overheating

    I pulled the surge line or whatever that is that goes from the pump to the coolant reservoir, it appeared that Warm/hot water was coming out of of it. Does this have any meaning. would it mean that the water pump IS working or could that just be a gravity thing. Remind you I am running no thermostat. The electric fans aren't working either would it still be able to heat up that much.

    Also the coolant sensor must not be right cause even when i have the reservoir filled to the cap it says check coolant level...

  6. #5
    Superjim's Avatar
    Superjim is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Super Noob needs help overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by elcaminokid View Post
    I pulled the surge line or whatever that is that goes from the pump to the coolant reservoir, it appeared that Warm/hot water was coming out of of it. Does this have any meaning. would it mean that the water pump IS working or could that just be a gravity thing. Remind you I am running no thermostat. The electric fans aren't working either would it still be able to heat up that much.

    Also the coolant sensor must not be right cause even when i have the reservoir filled to the cap it says check coolant level...

    It is good the the purge line is clear.
    It is BAD that the thermostat is missing.
    No thermostat...it WILL get hot.
    No fans working...it WILL get hot.

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    00 Deville's Avatar
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    Re: Super Noob needs help overheating

    From your other thread...
    Quote Originally Posted by elcaminokid View Post
    I want to hit some nitrous on my motor too, maybe a bigger shot though. I dont care about headgaskets they are prolly already gone. But what kind of times to people run with an X shot of nitrous.
    Anyone?
    Go ahead and put the Nitrous on your car give a huge shot... and all of your problems will be solved.

  8. #7
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Super Noob needs help overheating

    ................ and bring a front loader Bobcat to pick up the aluminum pieces.

    This is obviously a $200 "beater", so long-term maintenance and repair advice is wasted.

    Too bad - could be a nice daily driver with a grand or two of work.

  9. #8
    elcaminokid is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Super Noob needs help overheating

    you can buy a nice daily driver for 1000 where i am located. no point in working on a 200 dollar car. I would consider fixing the overheating if possible though because i want to autocross and race it on a regular basis if possible

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    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Super Noob needs help overheating

    Your post in another thread says the engine overheats "after two passes". That's a LOT of strain on the engine, and if the head bolts were already toast you'd have real problems right now. Get or borrow a NAPA block test kit and check the airspace over the coolant in the surge tank for combustion gas. Positive test is expensive head gaskets. Negative may just get you off the hook with a relatively inexpensive fan/relay,water pump/thermostat, radiator replacement.

    Anything for a few more runs out of the old girl, and you can get your $200 back with selling the decent salvaged parts on a site.

  11. #10
    elcaminokid is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Super Noob needs help overheating

    Yeah I tis a valid point. I am going to hot wire the fans to be on all the time and see what happens.

    Can someone explain how not have a thermostat would cause it to overheat cause that one just doesnt make any sense to me.

  12. #11
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Super Noob needs help overheating

    The cooling system in a Northstar is NOT like your average OHV V-8. The thermostat is actually part of the coolant "direction control" and diverts coolant in and around the water pump and bypass piping. It is entirely possible, without a thermostat, to literally bypass the radiator with hot coolant returning directly to the block instead of its going to the radiator, being cooled, and then being metered back into the block. And a low temp thermostat doesn't do anything, either. The engine and electronic controls are set to run at 200 degrees, +/-, and if you move that band down, fuel, ignition, and mixture problems arise because the sysytem constantly "thinks" the coolant is too cold, and you stay in a warmup controls setting.

    DO NOT hot wire the fans. That will accomplish nothing. Find the problem and fix that. (Your fans probably do not run above 45 mph, anyway: they're not needed. My STS runs all day at 60 -85 mph highway, A/C on, and no fan power above 45 mph.)

    Fans go to slow at 225 degrees and fast at 236. They should run in slow any time an A/C function is selected. Not sure if you have this gauge, but here are the normal later Northstar temperatures with the stock 188 to 206 thermostat and (for you) 16# surge tank cap.

  13. #12
    elcaminokid is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Super Noob needs help overheating

    i never go above 45mph, i have the digital dash with the exact temp reading. and the only reason not to fix it right which is probably a switch failure is because that would cost money when hot wiring is free. Still confused about the thermostat ill have to look at the hoses, i understand the routing is a bit different but it would seem to me that the thermostat still has the same function it would in any car.

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