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2006 STS 1SG AWD, 1997 Concours Deville (sold)
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting ready to put the engine back together after replacing the head gaskets. I'm wondering if the heads ever crack when the head gasket fails. I would like to just put it all back together, but I'm thinking the heads should be pressure checked for cracks. Has anyone ever seen heads go bad on Northstars?
 

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1997 Eldorado, 2003 Audi RS6
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1,320 Posts
Heads do not usually crack, though checking for warpage is always a good thing to do (and is incredibly easy!)
 

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94 ETC,97 STS
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3,531 Posts
A construction level or a square may be straight enough. You are checking for straightness to thousandths of an inch.

If you see any gap slide the straightedge around and see if the gap moves.
 

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1997 ETC (GAVE TO STEPSON 2011), 2000 DTS (RIP)
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1,702 Posts
Thanks for the suggestion. I will be doing the head gasket project, but not until the Fall when things cool down here in AZ. I haven't pulled the heads yet, but do you think I have to remove the camshafts to get the valves out of the way to check for flatness? Some are always open and protruding, right? Sorry if this is a dumb question - I have done several engine jobs, but this is my first Northstar and also my first in maybe around 20 years!

Richard Moore
 

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2006 STS 1SG AWD, 1997 Concours Deville (sold)
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94 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the suggestion. I will be doing the head gasket project, but not until the Fall when things cool down here in AZ. I haven't pulled the heads yet, but do you think I have to remove the camshafts to get the valves out of the way to check for flatness? Some are always open and protruding, right? Sorry if this is a dumb question - I have done several engine jobs, but this is my first Northstar and also my first in maybe around 20 years!

Richard Moore
20 years! Boy, are you in for a surprize! I did a lot of pulling engines, etc. 20 years ago too. Back then I could have an engine out and on an engine stand in 4 to 6 hours. That was old school stuff. This Northstar is a whole new ball game. Plan on at least a week to get it out, a week to get it fixed, and a week to put it all back together. Take lots and lots of pictures BEFORE disassembly so you can figure out how it goes back together. Whenever possible, put the bolt back in the hole that it came out of as you go. Don't just throw them all in a big pan. This will make reassembly much easier. The edges of the heads are razor sharp so wear gloves when handling them. Good luck.
 

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The Northstar Tuner
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2,759 Posts
20 years! Boy, are you in for a surprize! I did a lot of pulling engines, etc. 20 years ago too. Back then I could have an engine out and on an engine stand in 4 to 6 hours. That was old school stuff. This Northstar is a whole new ball game. Plan on at least a week to get it out, a week to get it fixed, and a week to put it all back together. Take lots and lots of pictures BEFORE disassembly so you can figure out how it goes back together. Whenever possible, put the bolt back in the hole that it came out of as you go. Don't just throw them all in a big pan. This will make reassembly much easier. The edges of the heads are razor sharp so wear gloves when handling them. Good luck.
00+ Deville and Seville takes about 45 minute to have the powertrain unit out.:eek: This is not splitting it and having the engine on the stand
 

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This Northstar is a whole new ball game. Plan on at least a week to get it out, a week to get it fixed, and a week to put it all back together. Take lots and lots of pictures BEFORE disassembly so you can figure out how it goes back together. Whenever possible, put the bolt back in the hole that it came out of as you go. Don't just throw them all in a big pan. This will make reassembly much easier. The edges of the heads are razor sharp so wear gloves when handling them. Good luck.
It took me 2 days to get the engine out, 4 days to get the engine fixed, 2 days to get the engine reassembled, and 2 days to get it back in the car. The rest of the month was waiting for the damned parts.

My head had a factory crack in it, no way could it have been caused my something else, the other one was fine.
 
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