Head Gasket Problem!!!
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Head Gasket Problem!!! in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; My 96 deville sits im my parkin lot now a days, its been 2 months since I last ran her, ...
  1. #1
    cadiheartbroken is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Head Gasket Problem!!!

    My 96 deville sits im my parkin lot now a days, its been 2 months since I last ran her, and when ever I try too it heats up real fast just a few blocks away (up to 250 just 3 blocks away from my house) ........ I know that a head gasket job for the northstars are real expensive and im wonderin if its really worth it to doit it, I recently before this problem I had a transmission work on my car because the car woulnt shift, It cost me $850 and thats a fair price from what I hear..........How would I go and start this head gastket job? I have a mechanic that migth wanna do the work for cheaper in my parkin lot. What special tools do I need? I dont have a lot of experiece on mechanic so If u guys can send a link explain the work i would appriteated........Also my car has every thing almost new except the motor (rebuilt transmission, water pump, thermo, radiator, new battery) so im wonderin if fixin it its worth it, and also if the job its done if there is a chance that the same problem migth appear.......Im willin to read info about this and appretiate this site because I learned so much about my car ( a lil late but yea) any info on this problem its truly appretiated.

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    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Head Gasket Problem!!!

    First off, be sure it is a head gasket. Many a bad thermostat, plugged purge line, slipping water pump belt tensioner etc have been miss diagnosed as head gaskets. As last resort, do a cylinder leak down test to confirm it.

    Secondly, this is not a parking lot job as the drivetrain must be removed from the bottom. The engine alone has been removed from the top but it is quite difficult I am told.

    Third, if you do it, be sure to Timesert all 20 headbolt holes and the problem will not reoccure. Don't and you are playing Russian roulette.

    Fourth, do not attempt it without a factory service manual unless you (or whoever is doing it) has done it before.

  4. #3
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Head Gasket Problem!!!

    It is possible to do yourself if you have a place to work, mechanical ability, and hopefuuly some friends to help. It's a fairly long job but nothing about it is real difficult. You can buy all the tools and still be way ahead of paying to have it done.

    Here's more info. It's in the tech tips section.

    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...ad.php?t=31831

    It sounds like head gaskets but do a cylinder leakdown test to be sure. If it's as bad as you indicate a compression test will probably show it.

  5. #4
    cadiheartbroken is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Head Gasket Problem!!!

    I have a question regardin the head gasket job............Hasnt all the overheatin the headgasket failure may had caused some damage on the motor? my car had been losing coolant 2 months ago so i replaced everythin u can think of(as u read at the beggin of this thread) and the car was still overheatin and losin coolant.............my point is, if i waste money and fix the headgasket woulnt there be a chance my motor will get ****ed up from all the heatin it took from the bad headgasket"? woulnt it be smarter to just rebuilt the motor while im at it? A mechanic has offered to touch my cadi and its chargin me 2000 to rebuild the motor. this a fair price? guys i really need help I recently bougth the cadi manual from my car and hopefully i would get some good info there. appretiate any help thanx

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    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Head Gasket Problem!!!

    How hot did it get? Usually it needs nothing more than new head gaskets and Timesert all 20 head bolt holes. I've never heard of anything else that needed to be done. $2000 sounds like a good price from what I have heard if he knows what he's doing.

  7. #6
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Head Gasket Problem!!!

    The rebuild parts are pretty expensive.

    Does it runs OK when you start it? If so I would just do the gaskets. Most of the ones that people posted about got overheated multiple times and still were in good condition.

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    cadiheartbroken is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Head Gasket Problem!!!

    the car runs perfectly good, its just that now a days it heats up above 220 from me just riding the car a few blocks.....220-250 and then i shut the car off. Well there is a chance that the motor has had some damage from the heatin or not?? the car runs good, it starts good just the heatin part........ Well i will keep u guys updated on what i do, also my car has a lot of miles 170 if im not mistaken well ill double check tommorrow so woulnt be a better idea to rebuil the motor? thanks

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    cadiheartbroken is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Head Gasket Problem!!!

    Also can u explain the timesert part for me? what is timesert? im hispanic so im really not familliar with this term well if you can say it in spanish i would, well at least explain it to me so i can have a better understandin of it. thanks

  10. #9
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Head Gasket Problem!!!

    There is no Spanish term. It's a brand name.

    Did you look at the link I attached earlier? There is a link there to another site that shows somone timeserting a block. The link is at the bottom of the first post, and look at timesert.com.

    As I said before, If it runs good when you drive it (except for overheating), it should run good after you replace the gaskets.

  11. #10
    Quadrasteer is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Head Gasket Problem!!!

    Same question here. I drove mine many times while it overheated and shut down. Now it chugs (missing) and the plugs are new. Isn't it better and cheaper to put in a junk yard engine? Does the risk that the used engine will leak now or in the future make it not a good option?

  12. #11
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Head Gasket Problem!!!

    I've been burned on used engines & trans so I don't have a lot of faith in them. Plus most of the used engines have 60K on them...how many cars do you see around with 60K ??????????????????? More like 160K.

    If you know something about the car it's ok to swap (like you can check the mileage or if the car was wrecked it probably was running) but I prefer to work with what I know.


    Quad, Have you changed the plug wires? Done a compression test? What diagnostics have you done?

  13. #12
    cadiheartbroken is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Head Gasket Problem!!!

    this is the same option a friend of mine (who is a mechanic) gave me, to swap engines from another car from the junk yard, welll that idea doesnt convice me a lot because i dont know in what condition those headgaskets will be so i woulnt know what i was gettin. Well I heard the you can actually fix a bad headgasket once u take it out if is not bad enough so I was thinkin thats the best way to fix my problem (and timesert it after that of course) , my question is if its possible to fix the headgaskets when u take them out, and when i say fix them is mostly like rebuilt them to their original form? well this is a option I would just wanna hear how many people actually fixed their headgaskets or what they did to their car after this problem arrived. thanx

  14. #13
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Head Gasket Problem!!!

    You replace the headgaskets and the head bolts with new ones. They come together. You'll probably want to change some of the other gaskets you remove getting at the head gaskets.

    I've done 2. Both are running good. Like I said...if it runs good (until it overheats) it should run good, even better, with new headgaskets.

    As I also said "It is possible to do yourself if you have a place to work, mechanical ability, and hopefully some friends to help. It's a fairly long job but nothing about it is real difficult. You can buy all the tools and still be way ahead of paying to have it done."


    If your friend is willing to swap engines he should be willing to do headgaskets.

    Is this at his shop, or a side job, or helping a friend?

  15. #14
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Head Gasket Problem!!!

    You don't repair gaskets, especially head gaskets. As Zonie said, you replace them. Don't even think of repairing them unless you want to do the job twice.

  16. #15
    cadiheartbroken is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Head Gasket Problem!!!

    he is my dads friend, he is a mechanic and his dad has a shop. His dad dint wanna do the headgasket job because he said there was a risk they will go bad after the job its done well you know the risk of me complainin if the headgaskets go bad again. Well he dint wanna get into that, so zonie can you tell me where you purchased the bolts and the headgasket? at timesert.com? the mechanin said only place to purchase new headgaskets its at the cadi dealer. Im recently waitin for my cadi manual which i purchased at ebay and at soon at it comes i will read the info that it has about this prob. I appretiate your valuable info and for any young cats like me with this same problem i would like to say i feel your pain, this was my baby and i loved it before it got ****ed up, actually loved it more than my girl at the time and im not ready to give up on the car yet. I will keep you guys updated on what I do. peace

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