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My 20 yr Cadillac mechanic has said I have a blown head gasket - yet I continue to drive the Northstar without any performance problems -only 82k on motor. I only drive short distances in case the temp gauge goes beyond center - oddly enough driving short distances -the temp gauge slowly advances toward HOT (one notch away) and will return to center mark - to me that seems like a faulty ECT sensor - how can the sensor be reading "over heating" and then return to the center - true overheating should bury the gauge to the right. I have researched all the solutions for fixing the Northstar blown head gasket and the Northstar Performance stud kits seem like a great solution BUT - it does not solve a reseal of the bottom end of a 20 year old Northstar. More labor - it looks like a BETTER solution would be a new remanufactured Northstar - Promar Engines seem to have solved the Northstar head bolt/blown head gasket problem. Their website says" we use proper block strengthening techniques to ensure no more blown head gaskets" How do they do that??
I would hope we could encourage Submarine 409 to call and confirm Promar really has a good solution. Their engine is $3399 plus local installation( probably about $2k) for a total of about $6k - a lot of Cadillac Eldorado owners would be willing to invest the $ - if they thought their problem would be solved.
When I called Promar to inquire ( 800-422-6022)- it seemed to me - in addition to remanufacturing Northstars - they were a functioning machine shop - and were allowing the machinist to answer the phones - although seemingly knowledgable - they were not a good articulate spokesman for their product - BUT Submarine 409 would quickly be able to determine - did they really solve the problem? If so - I'd be willing to be a guinea pig and install it and report back to Cadillac forum.
Cadillac forum is a godsent for the owner's looking for help - evaluating Promar's Northstar would really help all of us - with blown head gasket problems.
I hope Submarine 409 will make an effort to help us all - as he always has in the past.
Waiting patiently :sleep:
My 04 Deville has a Promar engine in it for about 6 months now, have had no problems with it. the engine was completely rebuilt from the bottom up, not just the head bolts, it is just like a new motor, and it came with a 3 year unlimited mileage warranty. Keep in mind it is only a long block, all the accessories, sensors, coils, plugs etc will need to be swapped over. Any full service garage should be able to do the swap.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Since I believe in the benefit of the forum - I will make one more post- for all the Northstar owners who might be experiencing a "blown head gasket" I'll acknowledge that Submariner 409, Ranger, and Byrdman have extensive mechanical knowledge and seem to enjoy helping Cadillac owners solve every conceivable mechanical problem...I'm thankful for their advice, however, that only reason I posted my experience - short as it is (400+ miles) - is that I wanted to give a blown head gasket person a less expensive alternative to installing inserts @ $2500. Adding Thermalweld will not glog anything on the Northstar - so there is no risk -OTHER than spending the $250. Mr Hooper says he offers a lifetime guarantee on his Themalweld solution - in fact he says - he will help do a repair on a Northstar for FREE - if they agree to post an honest assessment of the results. From what I can determine - Mr. Hooper - the owner is an honest 72-year-old chemist who created the Thermalweld product - he says he has helped fix 1000"s of engines with blown head gaskets and challenges anyone to call him and inquire about fixing their head gasket problem. So I would anticipate some skepticism about the Termalweld repair - but would appreciate all the experts - discontinuing their snide, negative comments. https://thermalweld.com/ Mr. Hooper's personal cell phone = 805-440-3175 - call him if you want to find out about an guaranteed inexpensive repair.
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
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Since I believe in the benefit of the forum - I will make one more post- for all the Northstar owners who might be experiencing a "blown head gasket" I'll acknowledge that Submariner 409, Ranger, and Byrdman have extensive mechanical knowledge and seem to enjoy helping Cadillac owners solve every conceivable mechanical problem...I'm thankful for their advice, however, that only reason I posted my experience - short as it is (400+ miles) - is that I wanted to give a blown head gasket person a less expensive alternative to installing inserts @ $2500. Adding Thermalweld will not glog anything on the Northstar - so there is no risk -OTHER than spending the $250. Mr Hooper says he offers a lifetime guarantee on his Themalweld solution - in fact he says - he will help do a repair on a Northstar for FREE - if they agree to post an honest assessment of the results. From what I can determine - Mr. Hooper - the owner is an honest 72-year-old chemist who created the Thermalweld product - he says he has helped fix 1000"s of engines with blown head gaskets and challenges anyone to call him and inquire about fixing their head gasket problem. So I would anticipate some skepticism about the Termalweld repair - but would appreciate all the experts - discontinuing their snide, negative comments. https://thermalweld.com/ Mr. Hooper's personal cell phone = 805-440-3175 - call him if you want to find out about an guaranteed inexpensive repair.
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this forum is here to BENEFIT the members and readers with VALID - HONEST - INFORMATION -
and it is our DUTY to CALL OUT - and WARN our members when ANYONE promotes PURE CRAP -

THIS STUFF IS A TOTAL AND COMPLETE WASTE OF MONEY
THAT DOES NOT AND CAN NOT POSSIBLY WORK ON A NORTHSTAR MOTOR -

PROOF?
YES - lots of it -
simply read about - and understand the CAUSE of the head gasket failure in the Northstar motor -
STRIPPED HEAD BOLT HOLES -

SO - unless this product can somehow repair the stripped threads in the aluminum block -
it IS - and always WILL BE pure CRAP -
 

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2002 ETC
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26 Posts
I will trust the fellows on this site. Real experience with the Northstar counts far more than a $250 guarantee. Before you make snide comments come back with more than 400 miles. I will NEVER put any snake oil in my Eldorado. So thanks but no thanks.
 

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-Administrator- 2002.5 F55 STS 2014 FWD Explorer
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It's not the head gasket material at coolant passages that initially fails in a Northstar. The loss of head bolt clamping pressure eventually causes exhaust gases to blow past the fire rings, destroying some of the softer gasket material near cooling passages, causing coolant leaks.

Much head gasket discussion, pro and con, in the sticky threads in Engines; Northstar. One of the most frequent respondents there, AJXTCMAN - no longer active - no longer working for a Cadillac dealership - is a GM/Cadillac Powertrain trained shop tech.

Here's a head gasket (not Northstar) showing fire rings. Those hollow stainless steel rings crush with torque application and are what keeps the exhaust gas from eating into the edges of the softer gasket material. Given a really serious coolant leak into one or more cylinders you might temporarily seal it - but the continued loss of clamping pressure and the ensuing gap increase would again leak over time.

anatomy_of_a_headgasket.jpg
 
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