Is it worth it?
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Is it worth it? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; I've had a 99 Deville for about 6 mos. Car has 80k on it and runs and drives well. Looks ...
  1. #1
    oregonk5 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Is it worth it?

    I've had a 99 Deville for about 6 mos. Car has 80k on it and runs and drives well. Looks pretty good but far from perfect. I paid $4500 for the car.

    It has always used oil, like a couple quarts between oil changes with no major external leaks.

    Now I'm afraid it had the dreaded coolant leak. Fails the Napa Block Tester test, idles rough first start up of the day, a little bit of mayo in the reservoir and today the coolant was low. Also mpg has dropped off in last month or so.

    So here's the questions:

    1. Is it worth having the head gaskets done knowing that the rings are probably fouled up?
    2. How long do I have before car becomes inoperable? Think I can baby a trip to California or should I address it asap?

    I can't physicaly do the job so I would have to farm it out. Can anybody recommend a shop in western Oregon that has dealt with this problem?

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    bill buttermore is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Is it worth it?

    Check out Carroll Custom Cadillac. They are in Washington state. I don't know how close to you, but they will know how to fix that N* properly and at a very competitive price. I think their website is: carrollcustomcadillac.com

  4. #3
    vincentm's Avatar
    vincentm is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Is it worth it?

    Email Tim Carroll, @ Carollcadillac@live.com. He'll ensure you'll be taken care of, where in Oregon are you? CCC is located north of Vancouver WA in the Ridgefield area.

  5. #4
    oregonk5 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is it worth it?

    Thanks guys. Sounds like CCC is my best bet, even if it is a few hundred miles from me. I'm just so conflicted if it's worth putting thousands into this car, especially if it keeps burning oil like it does. I like the car but I don't love the car. Of course buying an 05 model or newer is plenty spendy!

  6. #5
    I WANNA-V is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is it worth it?

    burning oil should not be lookd apon as a bad thing with the northstar. You have a race bread engine designed to burn oil. The benefits of this are enormous. many members have torn down high milage engines and have found that the northstar has maintained its like new cylinder walls. Bearing failure is almost non existant and most of the little problems have been addressed by the year 2000. Not sure if the 99 has roller rockers but if not the cams will suffer abnormal wear due to decreased zink in newer oils. Once repaired your DeVille can be a reliable safe comfortable mode of transportation if you decide to learn about it and maintain it.

    Another $0.02 spent

  7. #6
    oregonk5 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is it worth it?

    That email address is returned. I will try calling them tomorrow, are they still in business?

  8. #7
    vincentm's Avatar
    vincentm is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Quote Originally Posted by oregonk5 View Post
    That email address is returned. I will try calling them tomorrow, are they still in business?
    360-980-5860

  9. #8
    bill buttermore is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Is it worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by oregonk5 View Post
    That email address is returned. I will try calling them tomorrow, are they still in business?
    Two "r's in Carroll. Tim's e-mail is:

    carrollcadillac@live.com

    link to website:

    http://www.carrollcustomcadillac.com/Pages/default.aspx

  10. #9
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is it worth it?

    1. Is it worth having the head gaskets done knowing that the rings are probably fouled up?
    What makes you think the rings are "fouled up"? The fact that it uses oil (rather common) means that the rings and cylinder walls will be in fine shape. Note the factory crosshatched hone marks still in the cylinder walls of these 131K & 171K engines.

    Think I can baby a trip to California or should I address it asap?
    I don't know if I would take it on a trip that long.
    Attached Images

  11. #10
    oregonk5 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is it worth it?

    By fouled up, I mean not properly broke-in or not sealing. It seems to use 2-3 qts between oil changes.

  12. #11
    vincentm's Avatar
    vincentm is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Quote Originally Posted by bill buttermore View Post
    Two "r's in Carroll. Tim's e-mail is:

    carrollcadillac@live.com

    link to website:

    http://www.carrollcustomcadillac.com/Pages/default.aspx
    Brain fart, i manage the site so i shouldve caught that lol

  13. #12
    Faded Crest's Avatar
    Faded Crest is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Is it worth it?

    2-3 quarts between oil changes does not sound off to me at all. That's a quart every 2,500-3,500 miles. I'd take that in a heartbeat!

  14. #13
    bill buttermore is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Is it worth it?

    Mercedes diesels used to be designed to use a quart of oil, that is, to allow a quart to pass the rings every thousand miles in order to keep the rings and cylinder walls in good shape. I would say when your tailpipe emits curls of blue smoke when you descend a hill with the throttle closed, then sends out a choking cloud when you open the throttle again as my 49 plymouth used to do, THEN, you are "burning" oil. Just using some between changes that you never smell or see is actually a good thing.

    The Mercedes diesel actually did burn the oil. Blue smoke out the tailpipe is oil that just got good and hot but not hot enough or had insufficient oxygen to burn.

  15. #14
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is it worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by oregonk5 View Post
    By fouled up, I mean not properly broke-in or not sealing. It seems to use 2-3 qts between oil changes.
    Have you read the Technical Archives at the top left of the page (in the black bar)? It was written by a GM powertrain engineer.

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