Head Gasket Paranoia
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Head Gasket Paranoia in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; This is really just a comment. I bought an 02 Deville, thinking it was one of the good years (haven't ...
  1. #1
    soccer_eldorado is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Head Gasket Paranoia

    This is really just a comment. I bought an 02 Deville, thinking it was one of the good years (haven't had any problems engine wise yet), but from looking on here, it seems just as bad of a year as any of them. When I joined this site in 04, I had a 96 eldo, and it seemed like every other 96 I read about had a HG failure. It never happened, and I traded it in for a 99 deville, which back then (05) it seemed like there weren't that many 99 head gasket failures, until now, I think it seems like there are more with HG problems than not, although, once again, I haven't had a problem at 170k. Now, that I've bought an 02, I thought I would rest easy, guess not. I think I might see if that Lawson guy can do my Head gaskets this winter when I drive up to Louisville for Christmas just for safety's sake, especially if he said he can do it for 2K on the ebay site. I would do it myself, but I don't have room in my garage to pull the engine cradle out from under the body. I just wish I could trust my cadillacs like I could my 2 lincolns. They truly are really reliable, just not as much Cache as the Cadillacs.

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  3. #2
    blb
    blb is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Head Gasket Paranoia

    This post brings to mind the old saying "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

  4. #3
    mikelawson is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Head Gasket Paranoia

    I could definitely repair your HG for you as a precautionary measure, but I would honestly recommend driving it until it actually fails. It really is hit or miss with these cars. I have a customer that has a 93 Seville with 255K miles still running original head gaskets, yet I am currently replacing them on an 01 Deville with 110k. It appears the blocks do hold up a little better on 2000+ Northstars and the vehicles I have repaired newer than 2000 are "ordinary" head gasket failures. Of course I still re-tap the block to be safe, but the threads appear to be holding up a little better than 99-. Ford uses MLS gaskets on the 4.6 in your Lincolns, just wish Cadillac did the same as I would wager this wouldn't be every other thread on this site had they.

  5. #4
    soccer_eldorado is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Head Gasket Paranoia

    Thanks, Mike Lawson
    That's a little reassuring. At any rate, I'm a teacher, so I'll have two weeks while I'm up there to work around your schedule if I do it(grew up there). What part of Louisville are you located? The thing with a lincoln I hate is that they really don't have the same image they used to. The cadillac is hands down a better driving experience, it just feels like an expensive car. I have an 02 continental which doesn't really ride that smooth, but pretty fast, and I still have my first car, a 96 town car, thats in immaculate condition. It's pretty sluggish compared to a northstar cadillac, but boy does it ride smooth. I think I could probably do the repair myself, but I would have to rent a garage with enough room to roll the cradle out from under the body.

  6. #5
    tateos's Avatar
    tateos is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Head Gasket Paranoia

    Yeah - I agree - I have a '05 LS - in a different league from my '97 and '00 Cads - LS is a nice car - like a real nice Ford or Mercury, but that's about it. Just drove the LS ~600 miles to and from Las Vegas from Phoenix - not nearly as comfortable seats as a Cadillac. Why drive the LS, you ask? Well, it is my newest car and at least I don't have to worry about blowing a HG far from home, right Destroyer? I did actually drive my '97 ETC (HGs repaired at 144K on the car) with 152K on it on that trip this past Spring - I was alone - the wife was in Boston visiting family. I loved it - 28.2 MPG taking it easy with no AC on, and there are parts of the road that are just 2 lanes and that thing really SCREWS when you need to pass a long line of cars behind an RV. You guys know what I'm talkin' about, Willis!

    I'm going to take the plunge and finally sell the ETC this Fall - I've owned it since new, but I really have more cars than I need, and that is my oldest car with the most mileage, by far - my next oldest is a 2000 DTS with 77K miles on it.

  7. #6
    mikelawson is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Head Gasket Paranoia

    I'm at the end of Jefferson county near Taylorsville.

    Mike.

  8. #7
    soccer_eldorado is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Head Gasket Paranoia

    That's J-town, right?

  9. #8
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Head Gasket Paranoia

    I would NEVER replace at head gasket as a precautionary measure. In that respect, why not replace the trans, just in case? You have a bad case of internetitis. Remember, people come here looking for help to a problem. NO ONE comes here to say my head gaskets have not failed. Granted, they are the weak link and can be a problem, but I would not loose sleep over it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

  10. #9
    mikelawson is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Head Gasket Paranoia

    Just outside of J-Town. I agree with you Ranger, I personally wouldn't repair it until it started showing signs of failure, but if I traveled a lot with my family and the car had 100k+ miles, that may change me mind.

  11. #10
    97EldoCoupe's Avatar
    97EldoCoupe is offline U.S. Patent #8,740,532 - www.studkit.com
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    Re: Head Gasket Paranoia

    I won't trust a Northstar model year 99 and older without doing the HG's on it and installing studs first. I simply prefer not to have my car break down on the road 1000 miles from home. I'd rather do it ahead of time. If anyone could see my collection of old head gaskets you'd agree. If you're only making short trips and no long ones, it's not such a big deal.


    Need parts for your Northstar Engine? www.northstarperformance.com

    Jake Wiebe, developer of the SureGrip™ Cylinder Head Stud Kit

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