Anyone change their Northstar valve cover gaskets??
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Anyone change their Northstar valve cover gaskets?? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Just curious if anyone has every tried to change their valve cover gaskets on their own? Can it be done ...
  1. #1
    tbcaddy18 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Anyone change their Northstar valve cover gaskets??

    Just curious if anyone has every tried to change their valve cover gaskets on their own? Can it be done with simple hand tools? (this would be for a 01 deville dts)

    I've done it on my 86 Cadillac, but these Northstars seem much more intense..
    caddymax and caddymax like this.

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    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Anyone change their Northstar valve cover gaskets??

    It's much more difficult. The water pump drive is driven off of the left bank intake cam so the pulley has to be removed. Rear cam cover does not have enough clearance with the firewall so the cradle has to be lowered.

  4. #3
    Texan4Life is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Anyone change their Northstar valve cover gaskets??

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
    It's much more difficult. The water pump drive is driven off of the left bank intake cam so the pulley has to be removed. Rear cam cover does not have enough clearance with the firewall so the cradle has to be lowered.
    wow that sucks.

  5. #4
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Anyone change their Northstar valve cover gaskets??


  6. #5
    StuJac's Avatar
    StuJac is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Anyone change their Northstar valve cover gaskets??

    Range might have added that if you do some basic searches you'll find dozens of threads on this including step by step instructions.
    '

  7. #6
    scotmo is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Anyone change their Northstar valve cover gaskets??

    What is the book time on this job ? I understand that it is a difficult job. I also understand that I could do it myself. I do understand that the parts are about $90.00 and not mentioned either.What would a person be quoted for a price to have this job done for them at the dealer. I can't seem to come up with book time for labor on this job. I would like to know what it is for obvious reasons. I think other members can benefit from it also. A link to a site that offers book time on any Cadillac repair would be outstanding and be appreciated by everyone who visits this post. If anyone knows of such a site please pass it along. - Thanks to anyone that can answer my question (what is the actual labor time to replace the valve cover gaskets and plug seals on my 2001 deville ?)

  8. #7
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, stick on fender vents
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    Re: Anyone change their Northstar valve cover gaskets??

    Subscribe your car to www.alldatadiy.com.

    Online GM Service Manuals plus TSB's, recalls, procedures, notes, labor times, some parts prices, part numbers, diagrams, electrical circuits, DTC's, more than you can ever read.

    Takes some surfing and cross referencing, but it's all there.

    Your DeVille has somewhat different labor times from my Seville, therefore the recommendation to do your own subscription.

  9. #8
    tateos's Avatar
    tateos is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Anyone change their Northstar valve cover gaskets??

    Sorry to hear about this. I don't think I have heard of the valve cover gaskets leaking as a common problem. Several people have reported a minimal amount of oil that has gotten past the spark plug seals, but I don't remember anyone complaining about the perimeter seals leaking to the point where they felt compelled to change them.

  10. #9
    scotmo is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Anyone change their Northstar valve cover gaskets??

    They are definitely in need of replacement. The sparkplugs are completely submerged in oil and the driveway needs a daily cleanup. By the way the car has 80,000 miles. What a bummer. I just got a rough estimate of 5 hours at $90.00 an hour not including parts. That was over the phone so I could only suspect that the price is going to climb once they get their hands on the car. I may just try this job myself or at the very least I'll do the front half which I know that I can get to. I believe that the engine cradle needs to be lowered in order to have sufficient space to work on the rear at the firewall. I really appreciate the replies that I have received on this issue, thanks for your time.
    By the way I also have an issue with the TCC solenoid, codes are P1860 and P0741.
    I have just replaced the high pressure power steering hose and also replaced a radiator that was cracked just outside of the upper hose connection. Needless to say but I am getting tired of fluid leaks. I hope to one day move onto the TCC solenoid issue if I am lucky enough for it to be only that and not in need of a torque converter etc. I think the engineers on this car were real bozo's. Too much effort is needed to do the simplest repair. It is like a high maintenance girlfriend that you just can't part with yet because she is just too nice and too pretty and you get lots of looks when you are with her. One day though I will probably come to my senses, I would imagine when the credit cards are totally maxed out she will at that time leave me high and dry on the side of the road. Boo hoo. - Scotmo out...

  11. #10
    tateos's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone change their Northstar valve cover gaskets??

    That sounds like bad leaks - I suggest you check to make sure the PCV system is working.

    Regarding the TCC situation, I believe you will need to replace the solenoid AND TC to be sure of having fixed it. TC obviously requires removal of transaxle - solenoid pretty much the same - you can drop down the cradle, mostly on the driver's side and get at it too. My original trans had the same codes - I ended up doing what I think most of us have done and lived with it as-is, until the first time the engine was replaced for HG - I had a used engine and trans installed at that time - solved all my problems. Well, actually, it solved the HG problem for 23K miles, but the used replacement trans is still going strong. To fix the HG problem (semi) permanently, I had to do the insert routine.

  12. #11
    scotmo is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Anyone change their Northstar valve cover gaskets??

    Thanks, I will check the PCV system in the morning. I did a rattle shake test on the PCV valve itself a couple days ago and it did rattle. However, I will check the system more thoroughly in the morning. How many miles were on your car when the head gasket failed ? How many miles were on it when the TCC codes appeared ?
    A close friend of my family is an engineer for hydromatic, he told me to bring the car to him and he would take care of it the next time I am up in Michigan. $$$??? I am sure it's gonna cost me plenty but I know that it will be a better deal than anyone else, and he is the only one that I can trust that has the knowledge since this is his expertise. I am currently in Florida. He suggested that I just drive it as is except when I am driving in the mountains to make sure that the gear selector be in the (3) position rather than (D) so that the torque converter slippage is kept to a minimum. Gas mileage will suffer but in comparison you can buy a lot of gas for the cost of the repair. I just hope that it holds out until my next trip back up to Michigan. - Scotmo gives his thanks once again...

  13. #12
    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Anyone change their Northstar valve cover gaskets??

    i just replaced the VC gaskets on my grand prix GTP. the rear cover was leaking oil. the gasket kit is much more expensive compared to a GT motor. slightly different gasket shape but same design. the old gasket was completely crushed flat. the gasket was also crushed on my STS when i did the heads 2yrs ago. i did not change the gaskets than and have a slight leak now. inspect your gaskets and if they appear to be distorted, than i would suggest changing them.

  14. #13
    tateos's Avatar
    tateos is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Anyone change their Northstar valve cover gaskets??

    Quote Originally Posted by scotmo View Post
    Thanks, I will check the PCV system in the morning. I did a rattle shake test on the PCV valve itself a couple days ago and it did rattle. However, I will check the system more thoroughly in the morning. How many miles were on your car when the head gasket failed ? How many miles were on it when the TCC codes appeared ?
    A close friend of my family is an engineer for hydromatic, he told me to bring the car to him and he would take care of it the next time I am up in Michigan. $$$??? I am sure it's gonna cost me plenty but I know that it will be a better deal than anyone else, and he is the only one that I can trust that has the knowledge since this is his expertise. I am currently in Florida. He suggested that I just drive it as is except when I am driving in the mountains to make sure that the gear selector be in the (3) position rather than (D) so that the torque converter slippage is kept to a minimum. Gas mileage will suffer but in comparison you can buy a lot of gas for the cost of the repair. I just hope that it holds out until my next trip back up to Michigan. - Scotmo gives his thanks once again...
    I'm not sure when my TCC problem started - maybe at around 100K miles? You can leave it in D and drive it indefinitely like that. I did for almost 2 years - others have done it for way longer. The logic is that the cost of the repair is almost the same as replacement or rebuild, so why not just drive it like that, and rebuild/replace when/if the trans does fail and has to come out anyway due to other causes at some point. The highway revs will be maybe around 200 RPM higher with no TC lockup - you won't even notice the difference either way.

    My history:

    My original '97 ETC engine failed at 34K, and was replaced by Cadillac with a brand new engine. That engine failed at 121K on the car, so 87K on the engine. I replaced that engine and trans with a used engine that had 69K on them - that was when I got rid of my TCC problem. Then that engine's HG failed at 144K on the car, so 92K on that engine. At that time, I dropped the cradle and used Norm's inserts to repair the engine - also replaced ALL seals and gaskets, except for the half case seal, which was not leaking. The car is now running well at 157K miles.

  15. #14
    sparky58 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Anyone change their Northstar valve cover gaskets??

    hey, i changed rear main seal and oil pan gasket on a 2001 seville sts, i still have oil leak, how do i check the half seal, any help is great!

    den

  16. #15
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Anyone change their Northstar valve cover gaskets??

    Get under it and have a look. If it is wet ABOVE the pan, then it's likely the halfcase.

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