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when you hear about a northstar needing a headgasket repair, is it common for the shop to do both heads or 1? I just saw a 97 deville in the wantads for sale. it needs a headgasket repair. good price if you do the work yourself. i think a front head might be repairable in the vehicle but probably not the firewall head. i know the preferred method is to drop the engine cradle/motor and than you might as well do both heads at the same time. but in a car, would it be possible to just do the front head? of course the firewall head is always the one that leaks, right?

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I have done the timeserts with the engine in the car. The rear head is difficult, however with patience it's not too bad.

The front head would be easier.


2008 STS V8
2016 Colorado Z71
1970 Corvette LT-1 Coupe

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If you are lucky and the damaged head gasket is the front head, I guess you could get by doing just the front head. I would be nervous however that whatever affected the front head would affect the rear head in time, but I guess at that point you could do the rear head. It might be difficult for you to hone in on what head gasket is bad before you purchase the car. If you are getting in cheap enough anything makes sense however...

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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As much work as it is to properly do the head gasket repair, if it needs doing, do both heads.

I have done two 93' STS's and would strongly advise to not attempt this project with the engine still in the car. Some remove the engine and transaxle, I prefered to just remove the engine from the top. The AC system does not have to be opened, just unbolted and put to the side.

If you do it yourself a thorough job, including the TimeSert kit with extra inserts, will cost about $800 in parts, including other miscellaneous gaskets and seals.

I would only use OEM gaskets on this engine, they are the best for the Northstar engine.

Please see my web storage link below, for either an image or Excel spreadsheet to get more details.

TimeSert and Headgasket Repair Information


Drive'em like you own 'em. - ....................04 DTS............................


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