98 northstar cooling system
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, 98 northstar cooling system in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; my 98 SLS northstar is running hotter than in the past. Normal operation was always mid point on the temp ...
  1. #1
    JonnyO is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    98 northstar cooling system

    my 98 SLS northstar is running hotter than in the past. Normal operation was always mid point on the temp gauge, now it runs to the right of the middle hash mark...sometimes all the way to the next mark.
    The cooling level is normal, no signs of over heating or coolant loss.

    114,000k on the car. Will a sytem flush help?

    Also, I have noticed that the needle on the gauge will move quickly at times...when it is in between the middle and right hashmarks on the gauge.

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    EcSTSatic's Avatar
    EcSTSatic is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 98 northstar cooling system

    Well it is getting warmer out.

    A flush might help. When was the last time the coolant was changed? There are some instructions somewhere on the board to change/flush properly. Are your fans coming on like they're supposed to?

    The jerky needle could be your gauge sticking. Not a serious problem yet.

  4. #3
    JonnyO is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 98 northstar cooling system

    10-4 on the warmer

    The fans do work properly. I am having the system flushed tomorrow...did look at the info on the site. Looks like adding the lubricant is important.

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    mtflight's Avatar
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    Re: 98 northstar cooling system

    The supplement is actually preventive for leaks (CANNOT be added to reservoir--must be to rad hose).

    What's really important is that the coolant is replaced because of its anti-corrosion additives--they wear out over time (max 2 yrs with green, max 5 with orange Dex-Cool). Check the water pump tensioner and drive belt.

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    oldgamer's Avatar
    oldgamer is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 98 northstar cooling system

    I don't think flush will help until you have wrong mix (it should be 50/50). Check the belt tensioner.

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    jupiter57 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 98 northstar cooling system

    My, My, My! This thread is nearly 2 hours old and not even a single "You Need New Head Gaskets" Post! LOL

    Seriously, I would explore and correct anything and everything that is not functionally perfect. It seems that these Northstars with higher mileage are prone to run a little hotter than normal due to some small deficiencies in the entire cooling system.
    A few things to check: (Search through the "Overheating" threads to learn more)

    1. Check your coolant purge lines for flow.
    2. Check water pump tensioner and drive belt, as mtflight said above,they tend to stretch with age.
    3. Check your radiator/Condensor fins for obstructions.
    4. Check your pressure cap, a new one is cheap.
    5. Carefully check ALL hoses and clamps. Replace any Factory "squeeze"type clamps. (Even a tiny pinhole can give you major headaches, any leak on a Northstar is a big issue.)
    6. Replace your thermostat, they do get old and sticky.
    7. Check your radiator for proper flow, mine was almost totally clogged.

    Be very careful with your cooling system, one major overheat could kill your head gaskets, and I wouldn't think that would be good.

  8. #7
    JimD is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 98 northstar cooling system

    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyO
    10-4 on the warmer

    The fans do work properly. I am having the system flushed tomorrow...did look at the info on the site. Looks like adding the lubricant is important.

    Take the time to re-think the "flush" unless you really mean drain as much as possible and refill with the proper coolant mixture.

    A flush implies running lots of water through the system which just about guarantees you will lose control of the desired antifreeze to water ratio.

    Lubricant?

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    Re: 98 northstar cooling system

    Quote Originally Posted by EcSTSatic
    Well it is getting warmer out.
    FWIW, mine actually runs warmer (213) in the winter than in the summer (206). I think Bbob actually said that this is normal when I questioned it. Had to do with A/C fans running and thermostat opening more I think.

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    Re: 98 northstar cooling system

    Well mine can get hot in idle rush hour traffic here in Texas... I've seen the digital readout go up to 224... it cools back down when I begin to move... it's just not fun seeing it in the 210s and up. I wonder if I should try that "water wetter" or whatever it's called?

    when cruising at a steady speed on the hwy (70-75 mph) I am around 196 - 201.

  11. #10
    Concourson20s is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 98 northstar cooling system

    You need new head gaskets. There it has been said.

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    Re: 98 northstar cooling system

    Quote Originally Posted by mtflight
    The supplement is actually preventive for leaks (CANNOT be added to reservoir--must be to rad hose).

    I've been thinking....if you buy the powdered type, add it directly to the fresh coolant container, shake it up and mix it well, then add the mixed coolant to your reservoir during a coolant change, wouldn't that do it too?

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    Re: 98 northstar cooling system

    Quote Originally Posted by powerglide
    I've been thinking....if you buy the powdered type, add it directly to the fresh coolant container, shake it up and mix it well, then add the mixed coolant to your reservoir during a coolant change, wouldn't that do it too?

    Yes, that will work pretty well, also. It would certainly be better than just dumping the coolant supplement into the surge tank. I would still put it into the radiator hose, though, given the choice.

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    mtflight's Avatar
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    Re: 98 northstar cooling system

    Quote Originally Posted by bbob
    Yes, that will work pretty well, also. It would certainly be better than just dumping the coolant supplement into the surge tank. I would still put it into the radiator hose, though, given the choice.
    I just added "Water Wetter" to my pristine 50/50 distilled/DexCool mix.

    I did so by removing an ~equal amount of mix with a turkey baster, and then pouring in the "Water Wetter" which is a clear orange/pink liquid (almost fluorescent). Normally I would not invest in such, but read many good things about it from forum members (hope it's not the placebo/Amsoil/Turbonateor effect).

    IS there enough flow in there, to eventually fully mix-in the system?, or will the bulk of it remain in the reservoir forever?

    Thanks.

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    Re: 98 northstar cooling system

    Alex,
    Is this stuff liquid? If so there is a contant flow from the purge line so I would suspect it will easily get flushed through the system. The problem with putting the sealnt tabs in the tank is that they are not liquid and settle to the bottom. The flow is not strong enough to carry them out.

    BTW, what is this "Water Wetter" stuff? What is it supposed to do? Sounds like a water softening agent.

  16. #15
    mtflight's Avatar
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    Re: 98 northstar cooling system

    Hey Ranger,

    Thanks for the reassurance. This "Water Wetter" is a clear orange/pink liquid that alleges to decrease the surface tension of water "by a factor of two", thus minimizing bubble size and increasing the surface contact of the coolant within the cooling system--and therefore heat transfer. It also alleges to have corrosion inhibitors beneficial particularly to aluminum engines.




    This info is paraphrased from their "white sheet":
    Dyno tests run by "Malcolm Garrett Racing Engines" showed a temperature 8 degrees lower than 50/50 mix on a 350 V8, over 3 hrs @7200RPM.


    50/50 temp = 228F
    50/50 with Water Wetter = 220F

    The most significant improvement is when one runs just water (I'm not going there) vs water with water wetter... in which case it is:

    plain water 220F
    water with water wetter 202F

    I have noticed "slightly" lower temperatures, but I can't say if it's due to the weather/humidity/temperature or driving habits.


    I have not seen 224F again since I poured it in... but have gone as high as 219F... which is allegedly within the improvement expected...yet too early to tell.. and I dunno how fast it will blend into the system--or if it's still sitting in the reservoir and here I am experiencing some kind of placebo effect.

    $8 at Autozone.:rolleyes2 (hope it ain't snake oil).

    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...earchid=247032

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