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the overheated coolant code is because I have a bad head gasket, as I had to drive it in camel mode a week or so ago, to get it off the interstate and home...the wheel speed sensor code and the KAM errors baffle me, but I'm thinking they won't cause the car to run crappy and thump as I drive...

Any ideas of what it could be? As Sub hinted, is there any way to check the converter by taking it to O'Reilly's or AutoZone for a code check, as basscat suggested?

Rob
Guys, did everyone miss the noted issue above????
I"m thinking that no matter what he does, with a bad h/g he's not going to get things straight... IMHO
:banghead:
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
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Guys, did everyone miss the noted issue above????
I"m thinking that no matter what he does, with a bad h/g he's not going to get things straight... IMHO
:banghead:
-------------------------
I said the same thing back on post #36 -
------------

I used the block tester,
but never really got the liquid in the tube to turn yellow...
it faded out to a clear, but it never turned piss yellow,

-------------

WAIT A MINUTE - when did you do the BLOCK TEST?

STOP EVERYTHING -

YOUR HEAD GASKETS ARE BLOWN -
the blue liquid reacts to exhaust gasses -
ANY COLOR CHANGE - is a POSITIVE reaction -
even the slightest change to a lighter blue is a positive reaction -

---------
and regarding all the fuel injector testing -
and coil testing - and all other testing -
my comment was this -

BUT - all the above information is only important IF
you are planning to do the head gasket repairs -

---------------------


and this was Ghostsoldier's response -

Not ignoring basscat's post about a possible head gasket issue,
as I appreciate his valued insight,
but I'm incredibly hard-headed in accepting that diagnosis

----------------
 

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Yeah.... I was thinking that all this discussion about things other than the h/g is kinda pointless until he addresses that issue...

Just my $0.02
 

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2000 Eldorado ESC; 1974 Dodge Monaco 440 Police package
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198 Posts
Discussion Starter #65
So...you guys are suggesting that the leaking head gasket is causing 2 different spark plugs in 2 different cylinders on 2 different banks to stop firing?

And I've checked my reservoir after a week of driving with the new cap, and it's only down a half a pint? Shouldn't it be emptying the reservoir, if it's dumping the antifreeze into the cylinder(s) on a regular basis?

Would this be making my exhaust extremely hot, where you can smell it and feel the heat at the rear of the car?

Rob
 

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2010 DTS
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I think what they are saying is don't worry about a cough if you have lung cancer. IF you have a HG failure, everything else is irrelevant. The rate of coolant loss will depend on how far along and how bad the HG breach is. It won't be making your exhaust hot, but you will smell coolant in the exhaust when it gets bad enough to start steaming.
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
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So...you guys are suggesting that the leaking head gasket is causing 2 different spark plugs in 2 different cylinders on 2 different banks to stop firing?

And I've checked my reservoir after a week of driving with the new cap, and it's only down a half a pint? Shouldn't it be emptying the reservoir, if it's dumping the antifreeze into the cylinder(s) on a regular basis?

Would this be making my exhaust extremely hot, where you can smell it and feel the heat at the rear of the car?

Rob
----------------------------
So...you guys are suggesting that the leaking head gasket
is causing 2 different spark plugs in 2 different cylinders
on 2 different banks to stop firing?

not necessarily -

I believe Tankboy and I share the same thought -
IT DOESN'T MATTER what's causing the misfire -
UNLESS you are planning on spending the BIG BUCKS to repair the head gaskets -
you are simply wasting time and money -

as I said a long time ago -
the BLOCK TEST is the definitive test
for failed head gaskets in the Northstar motor -

and you FAILED the test - so your head gaskets are leaking -

And I've checked my reservoir after a week of driving with the new cap,
and it's only down a half a pint?

it's been 2 years and 10,000 miles -
since I last flushed the coolant in my '03 SLS -
it hasn't lost or needed a drop -
it is a sealed system and should NEVER need additional coolant -

Shouldn't it be emptying the reservoir,
if it's dumping the antifreeze into the cylinder(s) on a regular basis?

it depends on several things -

the extent of the failed head gaskets -
the location of the breach in the head gasket -

the cylinder pressure when the engine is running is upwards of 30,000 PSI
when on the power stroke -

the cooling system has a MAX pressure of 18 PSI -

it COULD be that the coolant doesn't get into the cylinders
until the engine is shut off -

Would this be making my exhaust extremely hot,
where you can smell it and feel the heat at the rear of the car?

NO - if it were "burning" a lot of coolant -
you would see a lot of white smoke - water vapor -
the exhaust would have a very distinct coolant smell -
and if the temperature of the exhaust gas might actually be cooler -
BECAUSE of the water vapor - if there was any change at all -

regarding your misfiring -
personally - I still think you have an ignition problem -

when you had 1 cylinder identified - I suggested swapping the coils -
if the misfire followed the coil -
you would have had PROOF POSITIVE the coil was bad -

but now you have 2 used coils on it - and more misfires -
but do you know which cylinders are misfiring?

again - none of this makes any difference -
UNLESS you are going to fix the head gaskets -
 

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2000 Eldorado ESC; 1974 Dodge Monaco 440 Police package
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Discussion Starter #68
Don't get me wrong, Bass...I'm not trying to be difficult; it's just that I'm at a crossroad with this car, and I'm not really sure of my options. I really do like my Eldo...it's been the best and most fun modern car I've ever owned...and I would hate to see it sold away for a paltry sum of money (especially if it really is only an ignition problem).

But on the other hand, I don't have loads of money to keep putting into it...I just wanted to make absolutely sure that it's a HG problem, since it's the most expensive repair option available (other than a crate motor, if I could even find one at a decent price).

So, let's suppose I wanted to keep the car...here's the two options I am considering (this could be a 100-page thread of it's own, but I won't drag it out---I would just like some opinions):

1) Used Northstar engine swap...would it be wise to consider this? If so, what year Northstar would be the best for my 2000 car...anything post-2003? My local boneyard has a couple of '03 Devilles with Northstars (VIN Y) for 700 to 1,000 each....I'm just not sure if I'd be buying the same issues, though.

2) Fixing my own 2000 engine, using Timeserts, Normserts, SureGrip Head Stud Kits, or whatever...which of these systems would be the best? I've heard good (and bad) about all of these, depending on who you talk to.

I understand that changing the coolant regularly and not running the engine hot is the key to keeping this from happening again; I want to make sure I won't be doing this again in 4 to 5 years, so this upkeep will be my new religion.

Keep in mind that I will be doing this work myself...I try to do all my own work, if possible. The engine "drop in" method would be the fastest, but I'm not adverse to doing the 'serts/studs myself, if you guys think it's feasible. I've read a lot of threads here on the forum that make me think I could do it, even if it takes a few weeks of down-time (the timing gears/chains are the parts that intimidates me).

Thoughts?

Rob
 

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2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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Ghostsoldier said:
I just wanted to make absolutely sure that it's a HG problem
You are sure. You performed the definitive test, and it failed, no question.

So, let's suppose I wanted to keep the car...here's the two options I am considering (this could be a 100-page thread of it's own, but I won't drag it out---I would just like some opinions):

1) Used Northstar engine swap...would it be wise to consider this?
No. The replacement engine could already have HG issues, as well as any number of additional problems, and you wouldn't know until it was installed and running in your car.

If so, what year Northstar would be the best for my 2000 car...anything post-2003?
FWIW, '00-'03, but again, a used motor is not the way to go.


2) Fixing my own 2000 engine, using Timeserts, Normserts, SureGrip Head Stud Kits, or whatever...which of these systems would be the best? I've heard good (and bad) about all of these, depending on who you talk to.
THE ONLY repairs are to use Bigserts,
Norms inserts, or studs. These are permanent repairs. The only bad things you may have heard are about the original, smaller TimeSerts. They were known to fail, sometimes while torquing the head bolts.

I understand that changing the coolant regularly and not running the engine hot is the key to keeping this from happening again; I want to make sure I won't be doing this again in 4 to 5 years, so this upkeep will be my new religion.
Changing the coolant only prevents corrosion from becoming a factor. There is no way to prevent an HG issue. It either happens or it doesn't. Once repaired properly, you won't have to worry about the threads pulling again.
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
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Don't get me wrong, Bass...
I'm not trying to be difficult

I understand completely - and I feel your pain -

and I wish there WAS some hope left -
that the problem wasn't what it IS - but -

MoistCabbage is 100% CORRECT - on ALL points -

if your motor has no oil leaks at the oil pan - or case half -
simply re-doing the head bolts/gaskets COULD be a relatively easy job - considering -

the stud kit is probably as close to a 100% cure as you can get -
but the stud kit is going to cost quite a bit more -
the big-serts are probably 95+% and will save you a couple hundred bucks -

if you are going to do this yourself -
STEP #1 - get the Factory Service Manual -
or a subscription to AllData -

good luck - and keep us posted -
 

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Installing a new engine is the devil you know vs the devil you don't. That said, the 2000+ engines are a better bet then the pre-2000's, BUT it's still a gamble. "Do ya feel lucky"?

As mentioned, Norms NS300L inserts or studs will be a permanent repair.

Earlier you said that the test fluid turned clear when you ran the block test. While I would agree that it was probably on it's way from blue to yellow, I would run the test again til I got a definitive yellow, only because this is such a big expensive job. Plus, correct me if I am wrong, but I don't recall any coolant loss or overheating problems, only a misfire. If that is correct, then color me skeptical.
 

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Discussion Starter #72
Earlier you said that the test fluid turned clear when you ran the block test. While I would agree that it was probably on it's way from blue to yellow, I would run the test again til I got a definitive yellow, only because this is such a big expensive job. Plus, correct me if I am wrong, but I don't recall any coolant loss or overheating problems, only a misfire. If that is correct, then color me skeptical.
This is my dilemma...I don't have either of those symptoms, so that's why I am so skeptical of confusing the the misfire issues with a HG issue, making it run so crappily; even basscatt said he thought it was an ignition problem, in post #67.

I think I'll re-run the block test tomorrow (and try to take pics), just to see what happens, since I have almost a full bottle of the test liquid left over (and I may try to swap those ECM's, too).

THE ONLY repairs are to use Bigserts,
Norms inserts, or studs. These are permanent repairs. The only bad things you may have heard are about the original, smaller TimeSerts. They were known to fail, sometimes while torquing the head bolts.
This is the good stuff I need to know, if I decide to go this route....Moist, Bass, Ranger...thanks, guys. ;)
Rob
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
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This is my dilemma...I don't have either of those symptoms, so that's why I am so skeptical of confusing the the misfire issues with a HG issue, making it run so crappily; even basscatt said he thought it was an ignition problem, in post #67.

I think I'll re-run the block test tomorrow (and try to take pics), just to see what happens, since I have almost a full bottle of the test liquid left over (and I may try to swap those ECM's, too).



This is the good stuff I need to know, if I decide to go this route....Moist, Bass, Ranger...thanks, guys. ;)
Rob
--------------------
I think I'll re-run the block test tomorrow
good idea - and remember -
ANY change from the original blue color - is a positive reaction -

and that's bad news -
 

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Discussion Starter #74
UPDATE:

Man, this gets stranger and stranger.....

Okay. I got to thinking last week about the only aspect that I have overlooked recently, since the car started missing so severely: the spark plugs. I put a new set in last year, but since then, I have been having the misfiring issues, so I know that No. 5 was being drenched in gas on a regular basis, as was No. 4 later, when I swapped the coil packs over....the number 7 just recently began missing the coil was bad, the injector wasn't working, or god knows what)....not sure what's going on there. I figured the insulators on all three were probably fouled pretty severe.

Anyway, I decided to swap the 3 plugs I knew to be impacted by the bum coil's firing issue, and now, it runs 90% better....and, that makes me feel better about the coils, anyway. Here's some pics of the 5 (the dark one), 4 and 7 plugs; they looked kinda crappy, but not too bad (and no, I didn't replace all of them...I wanted to see if this was going to work, before I spring the 40 bucks for the other 5):





Now, here's the weird part: the car is still missing, even if slightly (hence the 90% better). SO, I decided to swap out the ICM's anyway, and (as I figured), no change. I cleared the PCM codes, to see what I will get after a few cycles; the car has more pickup, but the SES light still flashes when I put my foot into it.

Then, as we discussed earlier and as basscat suggested, I decided to go ahead block test it once again, just to be sure what I'm dealing with. The last time, I didn't take any pics, so my descriptions might have been a bit iffy...this time, I wanted to show you EXACTLY what I got:

These are of the fluid BEFORE the test:





Nice and blue. So, I ran the test...not once, but 3 times. I made sure to follows the directions to a T, to avoid antifreeze contamination, and I used a stopwatch timer. The first two tests, I ran it for the 2 minutes suggested...the third time, I ran it for 3 minutes. Here is the fluid AFTER the tests:





Now, call me nuts, but it still looks blue to me. I tried to take the photos where the green of the background grass and trees wouldn't taint the images, and this was about 5:30 in the afternoon with the sun going down, but I swear there's no green or yellow in this fluid. I even asked my wife to compare, since she knows nothing about what I'm doing here, and she said she couldn't see any difference between the two.

This beats the hell out of me.

Rob
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
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I realize you were able to get the answer you WANTED -
but I just want to be sure - one way or the other -
and I believe you want to be sure also -

just so you understand what the block test is for and how it works -

the blue fluid reacts to hydrocarbons - exhaust gasses - in the cooling system -
the higher the concentration of hydrocarbons - the more dramatic the reaction -
an extremely high concentration would turn the liquid yellow -
a lesser concentration would turn the fluid lighter blue - or clear -
-----------
an interesting little fact - if you had saved the sample that turned clear -
and left it in an uncovered container - the clear liquid would turn back to blue -
as the hydrocarbons dissipate out of solution -

this is why your recent test might not be accurate -
the hydrocarbons in the coolant could have dissipated -

if the car has been sitting - or not used much - that test is useless -

the best/most accurate way to test it is right after a long - "hard" - test-beat -

idling for a few minutes in the driveway -
or "granny-driving" once around the block isn't going to prove anything -
it MIGHT give you the test results you WANT -
but the results would NOT be accurate -

head gaskets don't heal themselves - and the blue juice can't lie -

--------------

regarding the misfire - we are back to square one -

if the SES light is flashing - you have a SEVERE MISFIRE -

a code will be set - you need to get hooked up to a hand-held scanner -
and find out which cylinder is misfiring -
 

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Discussion Starter #76
Bass...I put new antifreeze in it 3 weeks ago, my wife drives it to work (about 10 miles) locally 5 days a week and on the weekends, and I drove the car for 30 minutes today to get it hot, and tested it immediately afterwords...wouldn't all that exposure to exhaust gases for the last 3 weeks be enough?

I guess I should be happy, if indeed it's not a HG and just a culmination of other simultaneous factors, but I'm not...as long as it's still misfiring, I'm still cautious.

I'm going to replace the other 5 plugs tomorrow, just to be sure of those, and take it down to the parts house so they can check it again with the handheld scanner.

Rob
 

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Gotta love blue fluid. I see no evidence of a failed HG there.

This thread is so damned long I've lost track. Have we ruled out failing injectors, dirty TB and vacuum leaks?
 

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Discussion Starter #78
Gotta love blue fluid. I see no evidence of a failed HG there.

This thread is so damned long I've lost track. Have we ruled out failing injectors, dirty TB and vacuum leaks?
Lol! I talk this much in real life, too, Ranger!

Injectors have been checked with noid, all are "ticking", and I replaced 2 of them, anyway, just in case.

Not sure about a dirty TB...can I spray it, or do I have to take it apart and clean it manually?

Vacuum leaks...I never thought of that; will they make the car misfire, and if so, what's the most common hose that leaks?

Rob
 

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I'd start with a good TB cleaning. You need to do more than just spray it, but no need to remove it. There is a tutorial in the Tech Tips forum.

Most common vacuum leak on a 2000+ engine is the plenum duct, but that should trip the SES light and set DTC's. Check all the vacuum lines including the dirty air PCV line in the rear cam cover.
 
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