Frequency of HG Failure by Age & Miles
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Frequency of HG Failure by Age & Miles in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Most of these forum posts ar by knowledhable folks, do it yourselfers or enthuasiastic owners who have a basic knowledge ...
  1. #1
    studebaker is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Frequency of HG Failure by Age & Miles

    Most of these forum posts ar by knowledhable folks, do it yourselfers or enthuasiastic owners who have a basic knowledge of how an engine functions and is put together.

    Given that the above is not the typical representation of N* owners, does anyone care to offer thier opinion regarding the percentage failure rate for these engines?

    We do have a thread that offers raw numbers of failure PER MODEL YEAR, the question here is what is a good guess as to the failure rate as a percentage of the total?

    The 1993-1999 series (before the longer threads) appear to be higher than the 2000-2002 up to the final big fix with the heavier threads.

    So would it be safe to speculate that 50% of all these engines will at some point have HG failure?

    30% ?

    70% ?

    Perhaps 99% ?

    What's YOUR take on the real failure percentage rate?

    Studebaker

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  3. #2
    studebaker is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Frequency of HG Failure by Age & Miles

    Here's the breakdown of those posted by Forum members

    unable to post the chart but here's the link



    http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/c...lureByYear.jpg






    Studebaker

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    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Frequency of HG Failure by Age & Miles

    It's a non-scientific poll contributed to by a very small percentage of Northstar-owning drivers. The entire poll is grossly skewed for several reasons - statistically there are fewer and fewer Northstars from 1993 through 1999 left in service, so any failure there carries more weight than a more populated year. Of those, the 1997 - 1999 years were the most popular used car years for someone looking to get into a large sports performance sedan/coupe for a dirt cheap used car price back in the mid-2000 years. Those cars are now 12,13,14 years old and appear to contribute the largest percentage of failures. There were design and manufacturing changes incorporated in 2000 and that appears to show in the pie. As these last "early" Northstars - 2000 to 2004 - approach the same 12,13,14 year point we may see an increase in gasket failures as more of the owners of these cars contribute to CF (but again, that number will be almost statistically insignificant), and what we don't see is the later Northstar drivers - 2005 to 2010 - contributing to the poll because their cars are of much different design than the old Sevilles, Devilles, and Eldorados and the majority never come "down here" to snoop around. Why would the owner of a 2010 STS-V have any interest in a 275 hp 1998 Northstar discussion ?

    If someone could get to GM and come up with ALL Northstar warranty work compared to total model production for that year, then you would have some sort of statistic. The sticky poll ^^^ is a low grade guess, nothing more.

  5. #4
    97EldoCoupe is offline Owner of Northstar Performance
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    Re: Frequency of HG Failure by Age & Miles

    Jim hit the nail on the head. Age of the vehicle is a huge factor. The 2000+ are failing, not as much though. Wait a few years.

  6. #5
    97EldoCoupe is offline Owner of Northstar Performance
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    Re: Frequency of HG Failure by Age & Miles

    The best way is to buy one, get the work done as preventative maintenance (along with a case half re-seal) and be done with it.

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    Re: Frequency of HG Failure by Age & Miles

    If you read these forums (where people come when they HAVE a problem) it would seem that 75% or better will suffer the failure, but if you talk to someone who has had several and never had a failure, they would tell you the percentage is very small. Bottom line is, your question cannot be answered with anything other that speculation and guessing.

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    foxjohnc is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Frequency of HG Failure by Age & Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by 97EldoCoupe View Post
    The best way is to buy one, get the work done as preventative maintenance (along with a case half re-seal) and be done with it.
    Jake, did you ever get back to taking new orders on stud kits? I will be purchasing two kits from you in a couple weeks if you have. Otherwise my cars will go in the garage and sit until you do as I am not wasting the time with inserts.

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    maeng9981 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Frequency of HG Failure by Age & Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by foxjohnc View Post
    Jake, did you ever get back to taking new orders on stud kits? I will be purchasing two kits from you in a couple weeks if you have. Otherwise my cars will go in the garage and sit until you do as I am not wasting the time with inserts.
    Same here. Looking to order a stud kit for 2000 in a few days. Not gonna spend time with dealing with inserts, I want a right method in my Northstar....

  10. #9
    97EldoCoupe is offline Owner of Northstar Performance
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    Re: Frequency of HG Failure by Age & Miles

    I have quietly resumed shipping kits however orders may take 1-2, up to 3 days right now to process/ship. I am working to that point where I'll have at least 5 packed and in stock at all times again and can ship same day again.

    -Ponyboyt's 1999 STS is just about out of the shop now, 2-3 hours in the morning and it's be running.
    -work is piling up (a good thing)
    -my Cadillac collection (parts cars and fix-er-uppers) are all moved now and are no longer in danger of being "legally stolen" from me,
    -the Toyota 2.4L kit has been developed (not on the market yet, waiting for custom order CNC parts)
    -I'm catching up with payments and bills

    One week from now I should have everything back up and running. I will be resuming my search for both a good assistant and a receptionist. I cannot expand this business or let it reach its full potential (or barely keep everything running as it is) wearing all of the hats. Quality work is getting done regardless; it just needs to be getting done faster, more efficiently.

    I have considered hiring a full time tech, a good one, and even bring in the problematic Toyotas with the 2.4 for HG repair if need be. It is time to expand, the potential is there, I just need qualified, reliable individuals. I want to spend my time where it needs to be spent. on the Cadillacs. There is a goal I would like to set and meet, the 24 hour Northstar head gasket repair. Not cutting any corners whatsoever, but a dedicated team who each has their own particular job in the process (like a well oiled machine) and can get them in and out, in 24 hours without any mistakes. This will not only increase profit but also it will save customers on travel expenses, rental vehicles, etc. And at that point I'd want to have plenty of parts on hand (alternators, starters, hoses, radiators, etc. - so that nothing would cause a delay.

    Any time anyone wants to place an order for stud kits, right now, please allow 3 days max before I can give you a tracking #. I will try to spend a couple hours tomorrow building the fixture plates and kits and get some on the shelf.

  11. #10
    maeng9981's Avatar
    maeng9981 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Frequency of HG Failure by Age & Miles

    I wouldn't worry about 3 days. I understand your busy situation Jake and even if it takes months I still want the right method. Good work!! and I hope everything gets better for you.

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