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Old 01-06-2010, 02:25 PM   #1
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Default Died on road, Won't turn over

2004 GXP - 4.6L

Dealer service told us it had a "small" leak in the head where coolant would drip into a cylinder after long term parking. This is a company fleet vehicle and it wasn't uncommon for it to sit for 3-4 weeks in the parking lot. Start it up and it would run rough for a while but smooth out as it heated up.

Driving it on a long trip and slowed down to pull of the interstate and it died at the end of the ramp. Tried to restart and it won't turn over. No apparent symptoms before this.

Temp gauge, oil, and voltage all showed normal at the time the car stopped.

Hooked up jumper cables thinking it the battery or alternator were shot - no dice. Still won't turn over.

So dragged it home and now 2 months later we're looking at it again. Battery charger/starter on the battery, clicks but won't turn over.

One person here thinks the motor is seized up, because "Northstars are junk and they do that".

Ideas?
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:10 PM   #2
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While I have no love for the late 90'* Northstars...yours may be a slightly newer version of the engine.

If it won't turn over, the first thing to try is removing all the plugs. Then try turning it over. If it'* currently hydrolocked, then water should come spurting out of the filled cylinder. This would indicate that the head gasket (if it'* still the common area on the N* for coolant to enter a cylinder) has probably blown out badly.

If I recall GXP Venom had started looking into the cost for head gasket replacement a couple years back. I'm not sure the feasibility etc.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:15 PM   #3
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its very uncommon for a 2000+ to have pulled heads, but could could happen to anyone.
yes definatly pull the plugs. did you losse oil pressure ? some times the pressure sensor go'* bad and wont function properly, thus not telling you if you had no oil pressure. did it use any coolent before it died ? sweet smelling exaust ? was it ever overheated ?. and did it have a lose of power before it died ?
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:33 PM   #4
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"Northstars are junk" is all in how you view them. Their smooth running and built for little maintenance. But not for longevity. ;-( How many miles on your car, Scotch? Fleet car and Northstar are 2 things you don't want to hear together.

"Clicks when trying to start" is kinda vague here. Is it drawing starter current? Or just clicking.(Bad starter) If the engine is hydrolocked, it will crank after the plugs are out.

Replacing the gasket can be done, but stripping out head bolt zerts and having them replaced is always a possibility. They make kits, but even some Tech'* have trouble with them.

Depending on what you discover, their are lower mileage engines now available. I see them go through http://www.moradpartscompany.com/ . 2 in the last month. I believe they have one w/56k for $1500. To give you an idea of cost comparison as you figure this out.
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Old 01-07-2010, 05:52 PM   #5
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A guy over on my w-body board actually tore apart a northstar.


http://www.w-body.com/forum/index.php?topic=81858.0

Doesn't look like it was too difficult for him to do.
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:33 PM   #6
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Like I said, it can be done. Just alot of snapped bolts/striiped zerts by many. I just wanted to make him aware, it has been a problem.
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:08 AM   #7
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Don't waste your time or money on timeserts/coils they are crap and will fail !!! the best kit made is the NS300L people on the aurora forum have used it with great results. Here'* a link. http://www.huhnsolutions.com/

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Old 01-11-2010, 11:09 AM   #8
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On a side note, for some strange reason, a Chevy dealership I took my car to for repair of what later turned out to be coolant crossover gaskets, had for some reason decided that the problem with the car was bad head gaskets. They claimed the head gasket repair on this engine booked a 40 hour job. Does it really take anywhere close to 40 hours?
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:33 PM   #9
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I don't think anywhere near 40 hours unless you take a coffee break every 15 minutes, I had the heads pulled off in about 45 minutes with the engine out of the car though, working in the car could be a little more difficult for the rear
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:36 PM   #10
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it wouldn't even take 40 hours to rebuild the heads while there off too
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