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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, smokey the bandit! in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Ok, so I have a 1994 eldo base that has white smoke coming out, st first it would just smoke ...
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    d_sykes is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    smokey the bandit!

    Ok, so I have a 1994 eldo base that has white smoke coming out, st first it would just smoke in the morning and burn out and be ok when I start driving. Now its smoking whenever its in park or whenever i come to a stop! Before i smelled a lot of had like it was burning to much and sometimes I would have a problem getting it to start, without pushing on the pedal and turning the key... The car isn't overheating but I had the heads resurfaced and the block rethreaded a couple months ago when it blew and i'm hoping its not the same thing, anyone have some insight? Also Dex cool needs about a third of a gallon replacement every 3-4 days.

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    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: smokey the bandit!

    Assuming this is, in fact, a Northstar engine,

    Steam/white smoke from the exhaust and mysteriously missing coolant with no obvious leaks (and 1.5 quarts of coolant is enough to show a leak) points straight at bad head gasket(s).

    Perform a cylinder block exhaust gas leak test. Cadillac Tech Tips and at least 5 threads within the last 10 days on the process, some with pictures. This forum, Seville and Deville as well as in sticky posts.

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    d_sykes is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    this is, in fact, a Northstar

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    d_sykes is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Ok. I just drove it and no smoke, no problems. is there anyway that this could be a leak somewhere else in the system? And should the gaskets go out that fast?

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    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: smokey the bandit!

    Cooling system leaks are always a possibility, especially after major engine work involving a lot of component removal. If the head gasket/insert job was properly done the engine should be good for another 150,000 miles.

    Again, 1.5 quarts of coolant in 3 - 5 days is ridiculously more than should ever be expected. A tight cooling system will not change cold levels in 2 years.

    BUT - unless you're in Alaska in January (exhaust pipe condensation vapor) you should never see a LOT of "white smoke" from the exhaust.

    Coolant level is halfway up in the reservoir, COLD, and you need to look for obvious leaks. Never check or adjust coolant levels with the engine warm or hot.

    Your thread title............... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnRwQjTYfGI

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    d_sykes is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Lol..nice. I definitely needed that info and its very appreciated but I've last question, if I keep driving it, what's the worst that can happen?

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    Re: smokey the bandit!

    Perform the cylinder block exhaust gas test.

    The "worst that can happen "? Head gasket leak, coolant in the cylinder(s), misfires, coolant loss, ...........finally, engine destruction.

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    Re: smokey the bandit!

    Quote Originally Posted by d_sykes View Post
    Ok, so I have a 1994 eldo base that has white smoke coming out, st first it would just smoke in the morning and burn out and be ok when I start driving. Now its smoking whenever its in park or whenever i come to a stop! Before i smelled a lot of had like it was burning to much and sometimes I would have a problem getting it to start, without pushing on the pedal and turning the key...
    Is this "smoke" coming from the tail pipes?

    The car isn't overheating but I had the heads resurfaced and the block rethreaded a couple months ago when it blew and i'm hoping its not the same thing, anyone have some insight?
    I assume it was also inserted?

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    d_sykes is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    @sub. Ouch... Its not really the type of eldorado I wanna work on twice so I will sit it down maybe use the engine for parts.

    @ranger. yes its coming from the pipes. After the episode this morning, its been driven a couple times without incident but I can definitely feel the loss of power.

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    d_sykes is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Can you replace the heads without the inserts? I assume when he said he had to rethread the block that's what he was talking about!@ sub. I can smell exhaust coming out the water tank so should I still do the check?

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    Re: smokey the bandit!

    Quote Originally Posted by d_sykes View Post
    Can you replace the heads without the inserts? I assume when he said he had to rethread the block that's what he was talking about!@ sub. I can smell exhaust coming out the water tank so should I still do the check?
    You can but the repair will fail very quickly. If you can literally smell exhaust fumes in the coolant reservoir there is no doubt that you are in the engine top overhaul business again. If the only repair info you got was that someone "rethreaded the block" then it sounds like that someone didn't know what they were doing in this case.

    One of the schools of thought on the Northstar head gasket failure problem is the corrosion of the cylinder block head bolt threads, leading to loosening bolts, leading to gasket failure. The fix is to machine and tap the block bolt holes for either inserts or studs.

    Study these websites. A picture is worth a thousand words..........

    www.huhnsolutions.com ....... www.northstarperformance.com ....... www.carrollcustomcadillac.com

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    Re: smokey the bandit!

    Quote Originally Posted by d_sykes View Post
    Can you replace the heads without the inserts? I assume when he said he had to rethread the block that's what he was talking about!@ sub. I can smell exhaust coming out the water tank so should I still do the check?
    Ouch! I agree with Sub. Sounds like someone botched the job.

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    Re: smokey the bandit!

    Go after him, if it's a business, and get him to redo it the right way. There is no way you should be spending that much money on a job like that to have to redo it.

  15. #14
    d_sykes is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Mannnnnn you guys are amazing and your insight is invaluable!! Its my mother n laws mechanic and I haven't been able to reach him since he dropped it off, running hot and leaking, with the fans running constantly but I replaced everything that had to do with cooling system (radiator, hoses, bypass metal pipe, thermostat, overflow sensor, radiator cap, fluid, oil, spark plugs etc) it was toning great and then BAM!! ignition, a shake and smoke!! I thought had a rocket mannnnnn... I'd rather not let him touch it again that took him two months! The whole time he was hollering, "don't worry, I'm a certified mechanic" guess $2300 doesn't get you much around here but a lot of receipts and a month of cruising?

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    Re: smokey the bandit!

    $2300? Good grief! If nothing else, let the BBB know, and give him freighttrainloads of bad rap. He got away with murder.

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