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Old 03-20-2011, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
6,992 posts, read 13,387,473 times
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Default Did Cadillac ever "fix" the head gasket issue on the Northstar?

Just out of curiosity....

I have noticed that Cadillac still uses the Northstar V8 (until July '10 according to Wikipedia, but I see it still in the 2011 DTS Cadillacs) in the new DTS "DeVilles" and the engine looks much like it did in 1992 when it was introduced in the '93 Allante and optional in the '94-95 DeVilles and I think was in the 93 SeVilles and Eldorados?. I know the early ones were plagued with very complex and costly headgasket issues and seemed to be the case at least up through the late 1990s, but wondering if they ever addressed the issue and changed whatever was causing the problem? I am pretty sure they had different versions and updates through the years, but wondering if and when this headgasket issue was cured?

Northstar engine series - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Inland Empire
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I don't know the answer to your question, but that is/was a fantastic engine with the exception of that problem. I had an Oldsmobile Aurora wi that engine and love it, in fact, I bought the car because of it..!
I never had a problem with the engine. It was extremely powerful and got great gas mileage for a big, heavy car.
That is the same engine that won the Indy 500 for several years in a row, until they changed to rules to eliminate that engine. No other engine could compete with it, so they changed the rules. I think the last 500 that it was used in there were like 30 out of the 33 cars in the race were using the Northstar. Honda and Nissan couldn't touch it even with all their factory money and backing, the independent guys kicked the factories butts. If you want to win, change the rules to eliminate the competition..........
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
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Thanks. Well I havent seen any later models with the issue, but it may be where they are still new, lower mileage, etc and not had it yet, but I would say they have noticed the problem and corrected it.

Yeah, they seem to be awesome aside from the blown head gasket potential.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:27 AM
 
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The block was redesigned in 2000 in part to address the head gasket issues. There were also minor revisions in 2002 to address a minor problem with the 2000/1 block. As long as you have a 2002+ Northstar and maintain it properly, it's a very reliable engine.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:36 AM
 
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Is there anything that can be done on the older ones to fix the issue? I doubt I'll ever come across it unless I find some Eldorado I like though.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Birmingham
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I agree. 2002+ does not have HG issues.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:45 AM
 
13,569 posts, read 14,786,130 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Continental View Post
Is there anything that can be done on the older ones to fix the issue? I doubt I'll ever come across it unless I find some Eldorado I like though.
GM's solution for fixing the engine involves bolt sleeve inserts into the block that provide a stronger bond between the head and block. There are a couple beefier aftermarket units available that people say work better versus the ones GM recommends.

Also, these guys: Cadillac Experts - Repair are considered the authority on the Northstar engine. They were actually tapped by an aftermarket warranty company getting slammed with headgasket issues to develop a better and more permanent solution than what GM came up with. If I had one of those motors with an issue, these guys would be my first call.
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
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Some info from GM service bulletins written in an article from Underhood Service Magazine-

Cadillac Northstar 4.6 Engine
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
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Thanks for the replies! Just what I needed to know!
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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The problem with the Northstar service, should you find one that could potentially have the gasket issues is the cost of the service as the engine has to be removed from the car. With lower mileage cars, it could have been corrected, as I had a relative have one fail on a late 90s STS that was well-kept and with low mileage when the failure occurred.
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