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1996 El Dorado
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697 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
all i get more and more in to the forum i notice so many people with northstars.... need to do the H/G so how come it not on a recall... cuz its like in all the motors the bolt pulls... so is it just the north or the way it is treated?
 

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94 Eldorado, and a 99 ETC
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3,887 Posts
Really the headgaskets are not as common of a problem as you might think. Most people come to these boards when they have a problem wth their car and need advise so just looking at the people on here kinda blows it out of proportion. Those with headgasket failures are just a drop in the bucket compaired to how many northstars that have been produced.

Now the reason the bolts will pull out the threads after the job is done is because the block is aluminum. This means you need to Timesert the block when you do the job. Timesert is a brand that makes threaded sleeves for the head bolts.

I have a northstar with 121,000 miles on it and it's still running good.
 

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The Northstar Tuner
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2,759 Posts
all i get more and more in to the forum i notice so many people with northstars.... need to do the H/G so how come it not on a recall... cuz its like in all the motors the bolt pulls... so is it just the north or the way it is treated?
Do You Know What A Recall Is?
Do You Know What A Special Policy Is?
.
The most common Recall are a safety Recalls. Examples. Air bag deploy non crash, Tire blow out, tie rod separation, seat failure in crash, Fuel fires, electrical fires, Steel rod penetrates chest cavity.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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69,105 Posts
:) Krashed is on target when he says that we see the worst of the worst. Just as a SWAG (scientific wild-ass guess), I'd opine that the head gasket failure rate is less than 1% of the N*'s in service, and we see only a fraction of that because Mom and Pop are not here wrenching on their engines. The dealer is. The real info is somewhere in a database locked in Mt. Rushmore.
 

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The Northstar Tuner
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2,759 Posts
I would say it is over that percentage for certain years. I would say the Vintage, Mileage, and heat cycles. We just had our second or third 00+ head gasket failure replacement. It had a water pump that had been leaking for a while and replaced at a independent shop. Then the head gasket failed. We see a lot of crossovers leaking.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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I would say it is over that percentage for certain years. I would say the Vintage, Mileage, and heat cycles. We just had our second or third 00+ head gasket failure replacement. It had a water pump that had been leaking for a while and replaced at a independent shop. Then the head gasket failed. We see a lot of crossovers leaking.
Had my crossover gasket replaced several months ago under warranty due to a leak, albeit a very minor one.
 

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White Diamond 2001 STS
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1,317 Posts
I agree with the notion that it's not nearly as big of a "problem" as its made out to be. That said, this issue is not only Northstar-related. Timesert (the proper thread repair kit) makes kits for a variety of all aluminum engines, including LSx engines (from GM), the Ford Modular engines, Hondas/Acuras, etc.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Ford Modular engines? aka Lincolns? And Hondas? Have head gasket problems too? Imagine that.
 

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The Northstar Tuner
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2,759 Posts
Aluminum expand.

If the finish of the cut/mill is not very smooth as the head expands and moves around on the head gasket it will tear it up over time like a cheese grater.

If the block is iron the gasket can tear if it adheres to the block and head. It can rip apart.

It is likely that with normal heat cycle a head gasket will not fail on a Northstar. Excluding head bolt pulling loose.

I believe that the head expands so much in a normal heat cycle that the head bolts stretch slightly. This may lead to the head bolt thread failure.

If you install grade 8 bolt or studs I think the failure rate will increase.

The stock setup has good clamping force.

We have to have aluminum engines and you watch Autoline Detroit then you know we are in for a treat. 2 cylinder car? Low emission standards passed by California will mandate cars like the Smart Car
 

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1996 El Dorado
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697 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
wow i guess i learned a lot maybe i was just mad at my car since i had to re do the heads.. AND Thought maybe it was just the motor it self..
 

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2,250 Posts
Do You Know What A Recall Is?
Do You Know What A Special Policy Is?
.
The most common Recall are a safety Recalls. Examples. Air bag deploy non crash, Tire blow out, tie rod separation, seat failure in crash, Fuel fires, electrical fires, Steel rod penetrates chest cavity.
Exactly. And even then......

Narrator: A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.
Business woman on plane: Are there a lot of these kinds of accidents?
Narrator: You wouldn't believe.
Business woman on plane: Which car company do you work for?
Narrator: A major one.
 
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