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Hi All,

I wrote last week about an apparent overheating problem. After replacing both radiator hoses, thermostat gasket, water pump gasket and finally the radiator, the problem persists. Having fixed all of these minor leaks the system was pressurized and it was discovered that I have a leaking head gasket presumably due to the head bolts working loose in the block. The radiator was partially plugged, I believe, with stop leak that the previous owner placed in the cooling system in an effort to plug up the head leak. I'm told this is an approximately $4000 repair. Currently, the hydrocarbon reading in the coolant is 42.

Is there any remedy short of taking the engine apart and putting steel inserts into the block, etc?
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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11,694 Posts
Replacing the engine is the only alternative, which runs about 3000.00 for a remanufactured unit, plus the labor to take it out and put a new one in.
 

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2013 XTS
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2,087 Posts
sounds to me like the engine was not taken care of namely the antifreeze changed and not flushed. And I thought the Northstar was a great engine. I am starting to think otherwise.
 

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1996 Deville (sold), 2000 Mustang GT
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1,300 Posts
Yea though stop leak 5 dollar solutions to a 3000 dollar problem usually do more harm than good. Only choices are to replace or rebuild, or do what i did, get rid of it.
 

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99 STS
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269 Posts
Oh hey now don't go doubtin the N* shes a good girl to have pulling you around...so long as EVERYTHING is changed on time, every time! haha. If you can find a nice Ville at a dealer theyll give you at least 1000 for the one you own now.
 

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Super Moderator
White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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86,996 Posts
Hi All,

I wrote last week about an apparent overheating problem. After replacing both radiator hoses, thermostat gasket, water pump gasket and finally the radiator, the problem persists. Having fixed all of these minor leaks the system was pressurized and it was discovered that I have a leaking head gasket presumably due to the head bolts working loose in the block. The radiator was partially plugged, I believe, with stop leak that the previous owner placed in the cooling system in an effort to plug up the head leak. I'm told this is an approximately $4000 repair. Currently, the hydrocarbon reading in the coolant is 42.

Is there any remedy short of taking the engine apart and putting steel inserts into the block, etc?
Unfortunately, no.
 

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Sedan de Ville, CTS
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4,764 Posts
Stick with 4.5 Caddy, 4.9 Caddy, or Buick LeSabre.

Last 4.9 Caddy was probably around 94, give or take a year.
 

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95 Fleetwood Brougham / 01 DTS / 11 CTS Lux / 11 DTS Platinum
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7,085 Posts
Don't go bashing the N*. The engineers specified a maintenance routine as they do with all engines. Because the owner chooses not to follow them, or ignores them, it isn't the engines fault.

The N* is a high performance engine and requires a little extra care than the average small block. 99.9% of the time if the coolant is changed when it's supposed to be, you'll have no problems with head gaskets.

It's 2007 you can't go dumping stop leaks and sealants that were designed 20 years ago into new engines. Newer engines are made to much tighter tolerances.

The N* is a great world class engine, if you choose to destroy it don't blame GM.
 

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1,406 Posts
Don't go bashing the N*. The engineers specified a maintenance routine as they do with all engines. Because the owner chooses not to follow them, or ignores them, it isn't the engines fault.

The N* is a high performance engine and requires a little extra care than the average small block. 99.9% of the time if the coolant is changed when it's supposed to be, you'll have no problems with head gaskets.

It's 2007 you can't go dumping stop leaks and sealants that were designed 20 years ago into new engines. Newer engines are made to much tighter tolerances.

The N* is a great world class engine, if you choose to destroy it don't blame GM.

I must have been the .1%. My head had a factory defect of grooves cut in it, probably from the milling process. It was so small, it took 8 years for it to finally eat the gasket away.
 

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95 Fleetwood Brougham / 01 DTS / 11 CTS Lux / 11 DTS Platinum
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7,085 Posts
:) I'm not saying it doesn't happen and we're aware of the cause BUT we also know that almost every time an engine with HG failure is torn down there is clear evidence of coolant system neglect.

Now I'm really referring to the 2000 + engines. We know there was a thread problem in the pre 2000 N* which was somewhat addressed in the 2000 redesign.

Additionally by no means am I saying that the N* is perfect BUT it is a world class engine that's been used consistently in production vehicles for over 14 years with very few changes. That says something about the design.

I must have been the .1%. My head had a factory defect of grooves cut in it, probably from the milling process. It was so small, it took 8 years for it to finally eat the gasket away.
 
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