: N* HG Repair, Drop cradle or Pull engine?



97Concours1
07-24-07, 01:08 PM
I've read alot of posts here on doing the Northstar head gasket repair. It seems like they all talk about dropping the engine cradle. The service manual has an alternate procedure to remove the engine by lifting it out and leaving the trans in the car. This seems like an easier procedure to me. Has anyone done it this way and would it actually be easier?

Ranger
07-24-07, 01:27 PM
Not speaking from experience, but the general consensus is that it is much easier to drop the cradle. Most who have pulled the engine from the top say that they would not do it that way again.

zonie77
07-24-07, 02:25 PM
It was made to drop out the bottom.

There are several bolts that are YERY hard to get to if you pull out the top.

I've only dropped out the bottom and it isn't that hard.

97EldoCoupe
07-24-07, 09:02 PM
I've done it twice by pulling it from the top, leaving the trans in place. Yes, it's very difficult and there are bolts that are very hard to get to, but it's possible, and if you've done it once or twice, it's really not that bad. Devilles have a little more room by the firewall than Eldos, but it still worked.

You have to remove the rear valve cover while the engine is in the car, to gain access to the exhaust manifold bolts- the rear manifold must be removed. The top four exhaust manifold bolts can be removed when you've removed the valve cover. Raise the engine a few inches and get in underneath to remove the other four manifold bolts- the lower ones. You'll need a 3/8ths drive universal joint, a 13mm deep socket, and a whole lot of extensions to get up in there, just above the tranny. It's really tricky getting at those lower manifold bolts but it's do-able. And yes I did remove the "Y" exhaust pipe that bolts to the catalytic as well. Remember to re-attatch the manifold once the motor is back in, but while it's still raised a few inches off the sub-frame. It's impossible once the motor's back in all the way, two of them for sure.

The most difficulty in the whole process is the hard-to-reach bolts, that, as well as separating the engine from the tranny- not a whole lot of room to work in.

I've got this process ahead of me again due to main bearing failure, and I'm going to pull it from the top again. If you do a job like this once or twice, it becomes routine- you know what size wrenches and sockets, where the bolts are, and the remove/install procedure.

Yeah Caddys have their issues with the Northstars, but the engines are a wonderful design. Ford had the 4.6 DOHC since the early 90's as well, but most of their 4.6's don't even have the power output of the Aurora 4.0's.

Personally

Destroyer
07-24-07, 09:09 PM
Ford had the 4.6 DOHC since the early 90's as well, but most of their 4.6's don't even have the power output of the Aurora 4.0's.

PersonallyMy Mark VIII's have 280hp and my '98 Northstar Deville had 275hp. WTH are you talking about?. I'm very confident that I would smoke a Northstar Caddy with my '95 Mark VIII or '98 Mark VIII. The Northstar in the Deville did not have much power off the line. The Mark VIII's will "light em up" off the line.

97EldoCoupe
07-24-07, 09:20 PM
Someday when I'm in Florida we'll have to drag....

97EldoCoupe
07-24-07, 09:27 PM
L37's are the HO motors, throwing out 300 horses and what, 295 lb. ft.? Stock LD8 engines are putting out 275 hp and 300 lb. ft. A N* Caddy will beat most Fords even in the "Limp Home" mode!!!

Just playing witcha, of course every auto maker has their fast cars- my '97 Olds LSS with the 3800 supercharged motor will keep up to any stock L37 powered Caddy.

97Concours1
07-24-07, 10:50 PM
Thanks for all the quick replies!! These forums are great. I've done rebuilds on two other vehicles lately and got on there respective forums for much needed help too. The first was a 1996 Eagle Talon AWD Turbo and the second was a Ford 4.0L Aerostar AWD. Both of them were very challenging, but I expect this little Caddy project is going to test my nerves even more.

I'm already going down the drop-the-cradle road, so I guess I'll just continue in that direction. It sounds like the best way for a first-timer.

I'm not an anti-Ford person, but weren't some of the first 4.6 L Mustang Cobras recalled due to the horsepower not meeting specification? I heard they swapped the intakes for ones that were ported (extrude honed).

Once again, thanks to all for your quick replies.

Bob

P.S. How do you loosen the steering shaft? I can't even find the bolt! Do you do it from inside the car, under the car, through the wheel well, under the hood?....

zonie77
07-25-07, 12:13 AM
The bolt for the steering shaft is covered by a boot. Right near the rack. Pry up the boot and you will see it.

Did you read the thread in tech tips? It gives a lot of tips and a list of tools.

I think you'll be happy you dropped the cradle.

clarkz71
07-26-07, 05:27 PM
My Mark VIII's have 280hp and my '98 Northstar Deville had 275hp. WTH are you talking about?. I'm very confident that I would smoke a Northstar Caddy with my '95 Mark VIII or '98 Mark VIII. The Northstar in the Deville did not have much power off the line. The Mark VIII's will "light em up" off the line.

I'm moving back to Florida within the next 6 months, (hopefully)
I will make it a point to show you the back of my Eldo.:stirpot:
What part of Florida are you in, I want to plan this.

afroney
08-08-07, 11:37 PM
My Mark VIII's have 280hp and my '98 Northstar Deville had 275hp. WTH are you talking about?. I'm very confident that I would smoke a Northstar Caddy with my '95 Mark VIII or '98 Mark VIII. The Northstar in the Deville did not have much power off the line. The Mark VIII's will "light em up" off the line.

Yep. I'm going to have to agree with this one here. Buddy of mine had a 98 Mark VIII. He went up against my 01 Deville with the base engine. The Mark VIII won by quite a bit... Think, same horsepower, but as I remember, the Mark VIII's weigh 500 pounds less.

stockup
08-09-07, 05:03 AM
I was of the understanding that you had to drop the reck and pinion steering to drop in out the botom or maybe that was to just remove the tranny. I have a solenoid that loks up the torque converter, but it has been that way for years and is too much work to change a 30 dollar part.

I do have a 95 Eldo that was a creampuff till someone wiped out the whole passenger side. It still drives with the exception of brakes as I sold the ABS pump to some guy in Austria. If anyone wants the motor and trans with axles and all hardware, this is it. It has 91k miles on it and runs like a top. I have never pulled and engine out of a Eldo, but I hear it ain't too bad. I am leaving this car in running order till someone buys the drivetrain. Even the AC works and i drove it home at over 60 mph and checked out the brakes and suspension. Everything works.I have sold quite a few parts, but there is a lot left. I sold the molding around the grill, but I still have the grill. which will pop right in. I also have the third tail light and complete Bose stereo. I also have the dash out. If interested, call me

Dan
618-732-6215

99_WHITE_STS
08-11-07, 11:04 PM
Sorry guys...I'm sort of new on this site and am having a little trouble navigating around. Where and how do I find the info in "Tech Tips" regarding the removal procedure and required tools, for an N* engine removal in a 99" STS

Thanks in advance, Jim

Ranger
08-12-07, 09:32 AM
Go down to the bottom of this page and click on the drop down box in the "Cadillac Forum Jump". Scroll down to "Tech Tips" and click on that line.

zonie77
08-12-07, 11:35 AM
There are two similar posts and they are from 2004. Try searching N* head gasket repair part 1.