should i buy 94 eldo needing head gasket?


blkmonday
01-21-2006, 10:46 PM
i found a 94 el-dog that needs a head gasket..$1200 looks pretty clean 100k.
ive been considering an eldorado for awhile to fix up. wandering how hard a head gasket is on a 94. is 94 a decent year are or are these prone to major problems? what should i look for besides a bad head gasket besides the obvious?...last caddy i owned was a 69 ragtop. so im a little out of touch with the newer caddys...for the record im only 35. thanks for the advice in advance
peace:evillol:

maxwedge
01-22-2006, 10:45 AM
This is an expensive car to maintain, the Northstar is a difficult engine to work on, secondly who really knows if is only a head gasket?

DFBonnett
01-22-2006, 12:10 PM
The '94 Eldo has the Northstar engine. You really can't just pull the heads, replace the gaskets and reassemble. To ensure the longevity of the repair, the engine will need to have timeserts installed. This process really requires the engine to be pulled although it can be done in the vehicle. If you can do this work yourself and the car is otherwise good, it might be a real value. If you have to pay to have it done, run fast and run far.
These cars have lots of luxury "features" which fail with distressing regularity. If you can't fix it yourself the only place a well used Caddy will take you to is the poorhouse. There is a reason why the depreciation curve on these cars looks like the glide path of a safe out of a third floor window.

acemarco
01-22-2006, 12:19 PM
I just had head work done on a 93 Acura Legend LS(coupe). Final cost $2300.00. I was advised to try to find another engine, Hard Head/Soft A__

blkmonday
01-25-2006, 01:02 AM
i appreciate the advice. i went to school to be a mechanic in the early 90s. i actually ended up in retail management and working as a musician. so i consider myself now a backyard mechanic. im thinking maybe it might be too much to take on. and i might stick to older muscle cars. are 90s caddy parts really expensive? and is the northstar really that hard to work on that i should not even think about it?...be honest i can handle it...and what i gather so far is run like the wind

DFBonnett
01-25-2006, 09:16 AM
The Ns are really more different than more complicated. The early ones like the '94 are more prone to case half oil leaks which require engine removal to repair. There is the previously discussed issue of headgaskets which require special tools and components such as timeserts. Go to www.timesert.com and read the FAQ for more info on that.
Price out the parts then calculate where and how you would do the job then make your decision. If you can do the work yourself and the car is cherry then you can get a real deal for $1200 plus a couple of hundred more in parts.
Unless you accept the fact that the various "features" will fail on a regular basis and you enjoy the challenge of the repairs as the cost of driving a luxury car cheaply, run away now.

blkmonday
02-01-2006, 10:04 PM
thanks for the advice...ive decided to pass on the car. after reviewing some repair manuals they look like they are difficult to work on. if i find one for less money that is cherry i will snag it and hope for the best. that car might be a money pit that im not ready for...especially now that i just paid over 500 bucks in parts for my van (injector..etc...etc) that will have my garage tied up for a little while....also im realizing how little time i have now that i have to fix my van....sucks getting old

HandofDoom
03-03-2006, 09:49 PM
I think you should have bought it. Low mileage Northstars sell cheap at junk yards(out of wrecked Caddies). You could have had a nice car for under $2,000. I have owned a few Northstars and they are reliable. They are also very fun to drive. I don't know what DFBonnett is talking about but theres never electrical problems in these cars. He it insane. The "features" do not fail at all, yet alone on a regular basis. The only problem with the early 90's Cadillacs with the Northstars are the headgaskets in the Northstars. Which was because it was rushed into production and is now worked out. It was a good deal. A low mileage Northstar would go for $700-800.

DFBonnett
03-04-2006, 09:05 AM
I think you should have bought it. Low mileage Northstars sell cheap at junk yards(out of wrecked Caddies). You could have had a nice car for under $2,000. I have owned a few Northstars and they are reliable. They are also very fun to drive. I don't know what DFBonnett is talking about but theres never electrical problems in these cars. He it insane. The "features" do not fail at all, yet alone on a regular basis. The only problem with the early 90's Cadillacs with the Northstars are the headgaskets in the Northstars. Which was because it was rushed into production and is now worked out. It was a good deal. A low mileage Northstar would go for $700-800.

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DFBonnett
03-06-2006, 05:49 PM
I think you should have bought it. Low mileage Northstars sell cheap at junk yards(out of wrecked Caddies). You could have had a nice car for under $2,000. I have owned a few Northstars and they are reliable. They are also very fun to drive. I don't know what DFBonnett is talking about but theres never electrical problems in these cars. He it insane. The "features" do not fail at all, yet alone on a regular basis. The only problem with the early 90's Cadillacs with the Northstars are the headgaskets in the Northstars. Which was because it was rushed into production and is now worked out. It was a good deal. A low mileage Northstar would go for $700-800.


I requested that a moderator deal with this ad hominem attack and no response was forthcoming, so I will deal with it myself.

You may be right, hand job of doom. I may well be insane. The thing of it is, is that you are plain stupid. It may not be your fault. Often the children of women who have had syphilis for many years suffer from a lack of cognitive function. It may even be congenital. Your father may have a congenital mental deficiency. If your mother has any idea who your father is, you might wish to investigate that possibility. Other than that you just may wish to keep your pie hole shut to avoid embarrassing yourself further.

maxwedge
03-06-2006, 06:47 PM
Seconded!!!

latinowarrior
03-07-2006, 02:07 PM
Man Thats Rough!!!!

Chris Stewart
03-31-2006, 10:36 AM
Whew!!

jgr7
04-08-2006, 12:36 PM
I had a 94 Eldorado sold it with 145K miles, it was an ESC not ETC so I didn't have the touring suspension with all the electronic shocks/struts. The only thing wrong with mine when I traded it in on my Lexus was the dreaded oil pan leak. The fix for this is to pull the engine and transmission to change the O-ring seals and of course when you have it down this far you would also want to reseal the half cases and timesert the heads. I found the northstar engine very easy to work on for the things you could get to. The northstar requires some specific maint procedures that many people just don't understand. My favorite one was the frequent WOT runs to keep the rings exercised. This will keep it from burning oil. The Northstar has an aggressive honing pattern on the cylinder walls to keep the oil in the rings at high RPMS. If you don't run these engines hard the rings get carbon-ed up and stop moving freely in the ring grooves and they will burn oil. Here is what you do, in a safe place drop it down to second gear and leave the shifter there. Floor it and run it right up to just under red line. Check to see if you have a bunch of black soot or smoke coming out of exhaust, you most likely will. Now leaving it in second let off the gas completely and coast down to about 30MPH then floor it again up to just under red line. Do this a couple more times and then at least once a week and you should start to see less oil consumption and no more black smoke/soot from the exhaust. This procedure exercises the rings and gets them moving around in the ring grooves like the should be to keep the oil from getting past them. This is the decarboning procedure that keeps your northstar happy. After this just go WOT getting on the freeway if safe and all will be good. This was a great car and someday I would like to get another one, The power and handling was awesome and the kiddies in the 5.0 mustangs like to get spanked by the big muscle, sleeper Eldorado.

maxwedge
04-08-2006, 12:48 PM
I had a 94 Eldorado sold it with 145K miles, it was an ESC not ETC so I didn't have the touring suspension with all the electronic shocks/struts. The only thing wrong with mine when I traded it in on my Lexus was the dreaded oil pan leak. The fix for this is to pull the engine and transmission to change the O-ring seals and of course when you have it down this far you would also want to reseal the half cases and timesert the heads. I found the northstar engine very easy to work on for the things you could get to. The northstar requires some specific maint procedures that many people just don't understand. My favorite one was the frequent WOT runs to keep the rings exercised. This will keep it from burning oil. The Northstar has an aggressive honing pattern on the cylinder walls to keep the oil in the rings at high RPMS. If you don't run these engines hard the rings get carbon-ed up and stop moving freely in the ring grooves and they will burn oil. Here is what you do, in a safe place drop it down to second gear and leave the shifter there. Floor it and run it right up to just under red line. Check to see if you have a bunch of black soot or smoke coming out of exhaust, you most likely will. Now leaving it in second let off the gas completely and coast down to about 30MPH then floor it again up to just under red line. Do this a couple more times and then at least once a week and you should start to see less oil consumption and no more black smoke/soot from the exhaust. This procedure exercises the rings and gets them moving around in the ring grooves like the should be to keep the oil from getting past them. This is the decarboning procedure that keeps your northstar happy. After this just go WOT getting on the freeway if safe and all will be good. This was a great car and someday I would like to get another one, The power and handling was awesome and the kiddies in the 5.0 mustangs like to get spanked by the big muscle, sleeper Eldorado.
Same issue with the rings and oil consumption popped up on late model Corvettes.

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