Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; After acquiring a low mileage 98 deville with the head gasket problem, I worked out a deal with my mechanic ...
  1. #1
    Netjive8's Avatar
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    Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    After acquiring a low mileage 98 deville with the head gasket problem, I worked out a deal with my mechanic to repair it with me supplying the parts. At this point the engine is out of the car and my mechanic says he needs me to buy the replacement head bolts. I had planned on purchasing Jake's stud kit, but my mechanic thinks that it's worth trying to replace the gaskets and the head bolts by themselves. From my reading on this forum I was under the impression that almost, if not every, HG repair required drilling out the holes and inserting or studding the holes. Is it possible that the holes are fine and it's just the gasket that is the problem? If he is somehow able to properly torque the head bolts, will it be a reliable solution? I'm trying not to spend too much on the repair, but I want to make sure that the repair will last. If replacing the head bolts makes no sense, what would be the best way to explain this to my mechanic?

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    Krashed989's Avatar
    Krashed989 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    If it even survives the torquing of the head bolts, I wouldn't give it till its first oil change before the threads let go. You're putting your wallet in the hands of lady luck if you don't drill, tap and insert or stud the block. I wouldn't take a chance like that. Once the head bolts have been removed, the aluminum in the block has already been compromised.

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    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    how clean were the threads on the bolts when they came out? were all of them spotless or have some clinging aluminum in the thread grooves? all my bolts were nice and tight when i took them out. my gaskets had failed between several cylinders.

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    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    Krashed is right. The threads may pull on initial torque down or may go 10,000 mile later. Given the amount of work and cost, it just good insurance to insert or stud it now.

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    Netjive8's Avatar
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    Thanks for the replies, I was pretty sure that it would require inserting or studding, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. Thanks for the confirmation.

  7. #6
    MiL32T0N3 iNDU2TRi32 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    As everybody else has said, make sure you get that block studded!! Anytime I hear of anybody taking a NorthStar out of the car I suggest that they have the block studded even when the motor is being pulled for a different repair, its the only way to ensure the repair is sound.

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    Thawcko is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    They may not be damaged right now, but all our Northstars had good head-bolts and threads in the block at one time, and then they all went, it is just a matter of time.... Do it once do it right... After seeing how bad these heads go , If someone gave me a Northstar with out any problems I would still pull the motor and re-stud.... Do not let it go back without a proper repair or you will be soon pulling the motor, and The other damage that can be done with coolant getting in the motor, not worth it... I am myself pulling apart a motor that started with heads, now it looks like bearings from the coolant mixing with the oil... Don't Risk it, it will get ya,....

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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    i pulled mine, did the half case seal, and did NOT do head studs or even touch the heads at all or pull the valve covers.

    No worries what so ever. I will never regret not doing it. These engines come out way to easy to go through all that stud work for nothing.

    114k miles now on my 94 eldo, half case at 113k

    I would NEVER pull a good motor without head issues to stud it, NEVER!!

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    MiL32T0N3 iNDU2TRi32 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    I dont think I have EVER heard someone say pulling a northstar is "way to easy", anyone that I have ever talked to has done alot of when pulling this motor and would rather put their fingers into a blender then do one again. I know I would....

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    Thawcko is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    Also a big difference, the heads are pulled... I would never try to re torque the heads without Inserts or studs... Also if pulling the motor on a Northstar that is going back in is that easy, come on over.... Not the hardest motor to pull but not even close to the easiest.... I could not imagine not putting in the extra few hours to stud or insert the motor if I had the heads off and motor out... if this was a motor that had a slight rep of head failure hey you may want to chance it, but this is a Northstar..... Put one for sale and first question you get is have heads been done....

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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    my response was to thawcko when he said if someone gave him an engine in working condition that he would go through all the trouble of tearing it down.

    My response was that if a car was given to me and the engine had no issues, i would NOT pull it to stud it just for the fun of it then go through all the stud work for no reason.

    My last cradle was out in 5 hours, if my HG blow, well i will have it out in less than that next time. Thats why im not worried.

    Im pulling my jeep motor next, and that will probralby take 4 hours, most of the time is gettting ready, draining fluids and all that.

    And dropping the cradle really is easy, its just alot of work, not hard work, but work. The only hard part for me was both cars fuel lines, really stubborn.

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    Thawcko is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    I agree with that if working don't touch it.... But seeing it is out and heads off.... and got it with head gasket problem at start... Then stud away...

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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    uhh...ya obviously....

    if the heads are off.....you would be crazy putting just new head bolts in, that was already stated several posts up

  15. #14
    Thawcko is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    Thats how he started this post, motor out heads off... was just going to buy new bolts...

  16. #15
    cl1986's Avatar
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thawcko View Post
    Thats how he started this post, motor out heads off... was just going to buy new bolts...
    correct, as stated several posts ago

    do you know whats going on yet?

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