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1999 STS
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38 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, so if you seen my previous posts I'm currently going through the infamous overheating issue on these northstars. I'm hoping its just air in the system due to a clogged purge line but I just got out of surgey a few days ago and its been below zero temps here in Michigan and haven't had a chance to check it out. To the point, I'm curious what to do with the car if it does come back as blown head gaskets, which in my case, can be pretty possible. What are they worth at that point? Do I attempt to sell it, or just part it out? I invested $4k initially buying the car with 70,000 miles, which at the time (3-4 yrs ago) was blue booking at around 4500, and currently has 94k. KBB is currently valuing my car's value to a private buyer at less than $2k. Since I've had the car, I've dumped close to 3k in repairs, tires, etc into the car. The car is up to par in repairs and maintenance, besides the overheating issue. Mind you, I just put on brand new Cooper Cs5 Ultra Touring which cost me $500 mounted and balanced, and have maybe drove 1500 miles on them total. What would be the best route to get as much return on my investment as I can. Its obvious I would end up losing $, which is fine, but im done putting money into this car and if its the head gasket, unfortunately my hands are up. I love these northstars, dont get me wrong, just wish GM didnt drop the ball on those damn threads. What would you do in my position or what would be the best route?

Thanks guys!
 

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2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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26,323 Posts
Not all that many choices.

Insert/stud it.

Drive it into the ground and then scrap it for ~$300.

Sell it now for maybe $1,000.
 

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2002 STS, 2005 CTS 3.6
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413 Posts
Being that you've invested all that money already, you obviously like the car. You're in deep now. If you can swing it, for another $2500 you could have a shop like Northstar Performance stud and reseal the engine and then the car is good to go for a long time and you can enjoy what you've invested .

You'll lose far more money on it by trying to sell it in it's current condition, if you can find a buyer at all. Sometimes, it's not just a matter of what it costs, but what it's worth to you.
 

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1999 STS
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38 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, I figured that much. Curious to see what I would be able to write off on taxes if I just donate the thing. I seriously do love this car, well, its more of a love/hate relationship which I'm sure many Northstar owners can agree on. I absolutely love how the car rides and handles, the power is amazing, its just unfortunate GM dropped the ball on these model northstars. Mind you, I know the car is 16 years old now, but if I'm not mistaken these cars MSRP'd for $50k plus, and its unfortunate they hold absolutely no value due to the head gasket issues. I just googled 1999 Cadillac STS for sale in about a 250 mile radius on various sites, and could not find one. LOL. Well I'm keeping my fingers crossed, hoping its not the head gaskets. If so, I'll throw a for sale sign on it, see if I get any decent offers, if not, I'll just drive it until the motor completely blows lol.

That being said, any 'temporary' fixes regarding these head gaskets? I know no snake oil is going to fix the issue, but to at least make it drive-able temporarily while I figure out my next car situation would be great.

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Being that you've invested all that money already, you obviously like the car. You're in deep now. If you can swing it, for another $2500 you could have a shop like Northstar Performance stud and reseal the engine and then the car is good to go for a long time and you can enjoy what you've invested .
Centaur, my dilemma is that if I do get the heads correctly repaired by a certified Northstar mechanic for $2500, what would that do the value of my car? At that point, would it be worth it? If I did decide to resell it at sometime in the future, would me dishing out 2500 be worth it, besides my personal value of being able to drive this dream machine for longer? Damn you GM! Why must you crush my dreams :(( hahah
 

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2002 STS, 2005 CTS 3.6
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413 Posts
Well, certainly a car in great shape that's had the motor fixed will be worth far more than one that is broke down or has never been fixed. The 99 and earlier Northstars are a bit of a gamble to buy. But if it has decent mileage and the rest of the car is in nice condition, it should be worth at the top of the scale for what 98-99s sell for. But there aren't a ton of buyers for a 16 year old Caddy out there in the first place. Again, when dealing on a major repair with an older car, you must ask yourself: What is the car worth to you?

Snake oil headgasket fixes aren't going to do you much good in these engines as it's not really a headgasket problem, but a bolt hole depth/corrosion issue that causes the head bolt threads to eventually strip the holes, thus allowing the heads to lift from the block and wreck the gaskets. No "headgasket in a can" is going to fixed stripped threads in the block.

But if you've got no other choice, there are a few companies out there, one called "Dura-Seal" (seal-a-head.com) that claims their specific Northstar "magic in a bottle" works on these engines...It's $140, plus the recommended oil leak seal for $50. A $200 crap shoot, might get you by for awhile. They claim 5 years. Good luck on that.

Most leak seal company websites even state that their product does not work in N* engines. You'll likely gain nothing and just end up making a huge mess of the entire cooling system for the next guy who ends up taking it apart.
 

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Super Moderator
White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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86,793 Posts
This is a tough question that no one but you can answer. Obviously (I think), "the best route to get as much return on you investment" is to part it out. You might even make money , but that is a long and laborious route. That said, you have a lot of money into it. Financially speaking, it is probably not worth the cost of repair, even when you calculate the money already put into it. You might pull and replace the tires with a cheap set of junkyard tires and recoup some money there and then either donate or sell as is.
 

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99 deville, 99 STS, both White
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86 Posts
I am just finishing up 99 STS with 92k on it that I bought for 600 bucks, and I have about 1500 or so in parts for Norms Inserts, new alternator, the sensors I needed new battery, and now new tires and a wiper motor issue I almost have figured out. The car is not worth the 2100 I got in it to anybody I don't think although it looks nice and the interior is nice, its 16 years old only gets 20 mpg but I love these old caddy's and I can wrench on them myself, if you don't have a garage or live in a desert and/or are not a back yard mechanic, then these cars are a hard decision to maintain, cause parts and labor are expensive. But, as said above, if you love the car then maintaining it is just the price ya pay for the ride! Ohh, 1 more thing, driving the car with a bad head gasket just gets really old really fast,,they are smart enough to go into limp mode and your going 30 mph,,no fun trying to run it into the ground, been there done that. get inserts or studs, and your good for at least another 100k, just let the bottom end leak some oil unless it really bad now, I have put 30k so far on the 99 Deville I did, and it is running strong. Have a great day!
 

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It really depends on you and what's it worth to you. For me I'd do it. Love my 2001 Seville SLS. Done all that it needs and no more. Every now in again I smell coolant so I know the issue is about to make it's self known. I'm gonna pressure check it then get her done if that's the issue. 147K so far.
 

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1999 STS
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38 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Right on, appreciate your guys' input. I guess I'll take it step by step and see what the best route is. I still have hope that it could possibly be a clogged purge line, or air in the system, due to having the cooling system, (radiator, condenser, upper radiator hose) replaced last year. I also noticed that the reservoir tank has been replaced due to a date of 2010 on it, assuming it was purchased from a junk yard for whatever reason from a previous owner. I've been extremely busy so haven't had the time to check the purge line or do a block test, but I'm sure I'll get my answer soon enough. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Thanks again guys.
 

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Super Moderator
White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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86,793 Posts
Purge line is a possibility, but air in the system from last years repair should have long since been purged. Fingers crossed.
 
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