Not head GASKET!
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Not head GASKET! in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Well, my 1994 91k mile STS has many a problem. My trusted mechanic has noted a crack in one head, ...
  1. #1
    chevyorange's Avatar
    chevyorange is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Not head GASKET!

    Well, my 1994 91k mile STS has many a problem. My trusted mechanic has noted a crack in one head, a moderate to large oil leak spurting onto the catalytic converter as well as compression ranging from 120 to 180 in the engine.

    I am reluctant to spend the 3500 on a rebuilt (before labor cost) and making repairs on these items will run as much money as it is. I am wondering about the viablitiy of a recycled Northstar from a wrecking yard.

    I can afford the new engine but really, putting 5500k into this car would take it way over the value and I'm not sure I could live with myself.

    Any suggestions from my trusted cohorts?

    Thanks, I love the car.

    Adam

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    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Not head GASKET!

    Quote Originally Posted by chevyorange
    I can afford the new engine but really, putting 5500k into this car would take it way over the value and I'm not sure I could live with myself.
    Wow. You have $5.5 Million to spend on this car? Can I get a loan? j/k...

    I have a used northstar engine in my car. Bought it sight unseen, with 60k, and had it shipped to me. I'd recommend at least trying to get one locally though, because mine does have an oil leak that I wasn't told about... but then again, they all have that.

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    Re: Not head GASKET!

    Quote Originally Posted by chevyorange
    Well, my 1994 91k mile STS has many a problem. My trusted mechanic has noted a crack in one head, a moderate to large oil leak spurting onto the catalytic converter as well as compression ranging from 120 to 180 in the engine.

    I am reluctant to spend the 3500 on a rebuilt (before labor cost) and making repairs on these items will run as much money as it is. I am wondering about the viablitiy of a recycled Northstar from a wrecking yard.

    I can afford the new engine but really, putting 5500k into this car would take it way over the value and I'm not sure I could live with myself.

    Any suggestions from my trusted cohorts?

    Thanks, I love the car.

    Adam
    If you love the car and have the money replace the engine. It may be more than the value of the car as it is now but likely less than buying a new one and/or making payments on same and you should expect to enjoy years of luxurious service. Just be confident about the quality of the replacement before you do it.

    That's what I would do.

    Good luck!

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    Spyder is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Not head GASKET!

    I got a used N* shipped to me in California, from Texas, with 80k on it...no problems with the engine so far...buy an extended warranty on it, most wrecking yards'll have some sort of warranty they offer on them...

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    Re: Not head GASKET!

    Alright. Thanks for the input. The rebuild has a 7 year 100,000 mile warranty. I am leaning towards used because the track record with Northstar makes me wanna get out. As much as I love this car, the engine is just one component!

    Despite a pretty good test drive and inspection when I bought it four months ago, I have been burned and got in over my head. I guess I am a Chevy man after all. I'll probably be moving back down in the GM hierarchy.

  7. #6
    1996deVille is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Not head GASKET!

    Yep, a '94 has no value... I guess if I were in your shoes (and my '96 isn't far behind you) I'd opt out. The challenge is that it probably needs more than just the engine - like A/C work, some tranny overhaul, etc, etc...

    If the body is in perfect shape and you do all the related work while the engine goes in you'll have a pretty good ride... leave the other work out and you'll be back in soon.

    Are you doing this work yourself?

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    Re: Not head GASKET!

    Quote Originally Posted by chevyorange
    Alright. Thanks for the input. The rebuild has a 7 year 100,000 mile warranty. I am leaning towards used because the track record with Northstar makes me wanna get out. As much as I love this car, the engine is just one component!

    Despite a pretty good test drive and inspection when I bought it four months ago, I have been burned and got in over my head. I guess I am a Chevy man after all. I'll probably be moving back down in the GM hierarchy.
    Listen, I bought my '88 DeVille back in August last year with 74,000 miles on it. Right now it has 92,000 miles and I've enjoyed every one of them. I bought from a private party and got a great deal (under $2k). Maybe this particular car has not given you the best experience but I wouldn't give up on other fine used Caddys just yet. You will have to judge whether this car is worth fixing to you and the value may not in the investment or resale, it will be in your use and enjoyment.

    If this car doesn't work out for you I'm guessing you will be replacing it with something else. Perhaps if you are fortunate you might find a sweetheart deal on another Caddy that will make up for this one?

    Keep an open mind there brotha!

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    Re: Not head GASKET!

    5 years ago I would be doing the work myself but I have three torn disks in my back that don't allow that kind of labor... I do have the skills though.

    As for replacement, whatever, I'm not sure yet Kev. If I can find a "trustworthy" wreck, I will go for the unopened Northstar and take my chances.

    All depends.

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