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97 Deville


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Hi all,

Need some help:

Short story - My 1997 Deville w/ 130K miles shredded the water pump belt, engine overheated, blew coolant and cracked radiator tank (passenger side)- Have fixed all items. Now loosing coolant and have textbook conditions of head gasket leak - exhaust smell in reservoir, car stumbles at start-up.

Questions -

Can the heads be replaced without pulling the engine or loosening engine mounts (i.e. getting under the car)?

I have heard that thread stripping is a problem in Northstar engines and a thread repair kit is recommended whenever heads are pulled. Is this corrrect?

I plan on rebuilding the heads while they are out since one cylinder has been puffing at start-up for a while. Other than head, intake and exhaust gaskets, are there any other items (surprises) that should be replaced for this amount of miles?

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jhall, it is correct that whenever you pull a head, you should use the Timesert kit. Use only the Timesert kit...not a Helicoil or other type/brand of thread insert. I don't know to what extent a Northstar head is "rebuildable". I suppose new valve guide seals are available, but frankly, I don't think we've EVER heard of a bad valve guide seal on a Northstar engine here. If there's a demonstratable amount of oil seeping through a seal though, I suppose new seals should be available from GM.

Just slap the heads back on and go. With the Timesert kit, the threads will no longer be an issue...and that pretty much takes care of any "weak spot" with this engine. There are members here who have done this repair themselves, while the engine is in the car.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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Do a search on the old posts. There's alot of good info in there.

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