: Head Gasket replacement 97STS



97 STS
03-03-08, 01:07 AM
Thanks to the excellent thread put up by Tatoes and all of you pitching to offer help and advice, I'm embarking on the headgesket oddesey. I have FSM. am just about ready to drop the cradle. I have a Time Sert kit. I'm looking for feedback on Norm's vs. Time Sert.
Thanks, Bob

Mark C
03-03-08, 01:03 PM
I used the regular timeserts in my 97 STS last year. Put 4000 miles on it so far, no issues yet.

zonie77
03-03-08, 02:04 PM
I've used timeserts and had no problems with them. If I was buying brand new I would go with Norm's because they are longer and should have better grip. If I was buying used I would buy whatever I found.

Timeserts are the Caddy approved repair. Norm's are newer on the market.

97 STS
03-04-08, 02:43 AM
Thanks for the replies. Couple more questions. Radiator has a cracked side tank. Any suggestions on where to get a replacement? I've seen several on Ebay. Prices seem to vary quite a bit. Head gaskets & bolts. Should I stay with GM parts or are the aftermarket pieces OK?
Thanks, Bob

Submariner409
03-04-08, 04:10 PM
There was a post in here a month or so ago about aftermarket head bolts breaking on the final degree pass.

tateos
03-04-08, 09:43 PM
I also blew the radiator side tank when my FIRST Northstar engine blew the HG. I would buy this radiator - it is original equipment:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/OEM-93-02-CONCOURS-ELDORADO-DEVILLE-SEVILLE-RADIATOR_W0QQitemZ290210932230QQcmdZViewItem?hash= item290210932230

I was the one who broke the head bolt - I think it was a freak thing - they were FelPro bolts bought from Rock Auto - made in USA. When I called them about it, they said they had not heard of that, and they sent me a full set of 10 new bolts at no charge and no questions asked - did not even need to return the broken bolt or the other 9 that did not break. So, I installed and torqued a total of 30 and only 1 broke - I do think it was a fluke.

I used the FelPro gasket sets - they are excellent - I bought the Cylinder Head and the Conversion the nice thing is they contain every possible gasket and seal and o-ring and whatever

If you call them, call 866-762-5288 ask for Jim X 206 nice guy and knowledgeable. Tell him Richard Moore referred you - maybe he will give you a discount like he did me?

zonie77
03-05-08, 01:20 AM
Here's an old thread I did after the first one I did. Some good info in it.

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/5052-n-head-gasket-repair-part-i.html

97 STS
03-05-08, 02:38 AM
Thanks for the replys. You guys on this forum are great.
Bob

JC316
03-05-08, 06:35 PM
I used normal timeserts and I have 10,000 miles without issue.

97 STS
03-06-08, 12:30 AM
Another question. when I pulled the PCM, I noticed that the air intake box surrounding it seems to be partly full of water. Is this normal? Should it be drained?
Thanks, Bob

Submariner409
03-06-08, 11:51 AM
NO, it's not normal. Drill several 3/8" drain holes at the low points, and figure out if someone tried to mod the airbox, allowing rain/spray to enter from the front/fender areas.

97 STS
03-07-08, 01:19 AM
Sub, as far as I can tell the box does not look modified. There are 2 very small plugs on the mating surfaces between the halfs. I've pulled those and it is draining.
Thanks, Bob

pearlwhite97sts
03-08-08, 03:40 PM
is it possible to replace the head gaskets without removing the whole engine? if so what is the best stop leak for my 97 sts, i dont trust additives but i dont have the tools to remove the engine.

zonie77
03-08-08, 03:50 PM
is it possible to replace the head gaskets without removing the whole engine? if so what is the best stop leak for my 97 sts, i dont trust additives but i dont have the tools to remove the engine.

1) Supposedly possible but extremely difficult. It would take MUCH longer than dropping the cradle.

2) Do NOT use any stop leak product. They do NOT work and they cause problems if you decide to fix it right.

3) If you don't have the tools to remove the engine you can buy an engine hoist for $100-150 and resell it when you are done for at least half of that.

You lift the body off the cradle with the engine hoist.

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/5052-n-head-gasket-repair-part-i.html

pearlwhite97sts
03-08-08, 04:57 PM
how long do you think this would take me. iv done this once before but on an old v8 about a year ago

zonie77
03-08-08, 05:28 PM
It is a long tedious job, longer than on the old V8. It would take several weekends and it is very helpful to have a second person for parts of it. It's not rocket science, it's just a more involved job because you have to drop the cradle, then pull the timing cover and crossover. Just more parts. If you did an old V8 you can do this, if you have some perseverance!

pearlwhite97sts
03-08-08, 07:03 PM
i dont have a few weekends to do this shes my ride to work, could i run it till i get some time off or will i kill it. would alldata have the procedure?

Submariner409
03-08-08, 07:23 PM
Pearl, No, Alldata will not have the full procedure, other than to give the various components to be disconnected/removed in sequence. Somewhat less info than a real OEM Helm Factory Manual.

Over the last 2 years there have been 3 or 4 lengthy threads on removing Northstar engines, transmissions, and cradles. You might consider doing a little homework. Look in Seville, Deville, and Northstar performance. The labor rate sheet allows a LOT of hours for the procedure: it is NOT a piece of cake, by any means.

97STS, Sorry......forgot you were the OP.......

pearlwhite97sts
03-08-08, 07:42 PM
im sure i can handle it if alldata tells me what sequence i has to be done in, and if i get stuck i have some very experienced help. im not expecting this to be easy as i have done a lot of homework already. what do you mean by "forgot you were the OP"?

Submariner409
03-08-08, 09:48 PM
You hijacked someone else's thread................as in 97STS, the Original Poster.

zonie77
03-08-08, 10:40 PM
Pearl, if you did an old one you can do a new one...like I said, long tedious process. Nothing exceptionally hard, just a lot of steps.

How long you can drive it varies. Make sure no coolant is getting in the oil, change oil real often. If coolant gets in the oil it can ruin the bearings quickly.

zonie77
03-08-08, 10:42 PM
If you are waiting to do it start looking for a used manual and timesert or Norm's inserts on ebay. The manual is worth the price, especially at an ebay price.

pearlwhite97sts
03-08-08, 11:36 PM
gotcha, is hijacking frowned upon?

pearlwhite97sts
03-08-08, 11:39 PM
i ordered a munual at canadian tire for $25, but nobody has timeserts. arent norm's inserts better anyways.

97 STS
03-09-08, 12:39 AM
pearl, make sure you get a factory service manual. The others leave out too much info.
Good luck, Bob

97 STS
03-09-08, 12:41 AM
pearl, here's a link to norm's inserts on ebay.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=005&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&viewitem=&item=150223115196&rd=1
Bob

pearlwhite97sts
03-09-08, 08:55 PM
thanks a lot

zonie77
03-09-08, 11:47 PM
If you ordered a Haynes or Chiltons' manual cancel it unless you need a doorstop. They are not worth buying for what you are doing.

pearlwhite97sts
03-10-08, 12:17 AM
so i ask for a factory manual or is there any particular brand?

97 STS
03-10-08, 01:00 AM
as zonie said, If you ordered a Haynes or Chiltons' manual cancel it unless you need a doorstop. Find a factory service manual. They are usualy available on ebay or you could check with a good used book store or there is always the dealer.

zonie77
03-10-08, 02:47 AM
Usually you can get away with a manual a year or two off from your car. The changes were usually minor. The cam timing procedure and almost all the disassembly is the same. The wiring changed the most and you probably won't need too much of that.

If you can get the right year that's the best.

97 STS
03-16-08, 02:59 AM
Well I've finally got the cradle on the floor. Only snag I encountered was the right front brake line from the ABS unit was routed across the cradle. Once that was repositioned it dropped right out. Is that the normal route or should it be attached across the bottom of the radiator support? I'm sure I'll have more ?'s as I get into disassembly.

tateos
03-17-08, 02:00 PM
The brake line is attached to the cradle with plastic retainers

97 STS
03-18-08, 02:33 AM
Thanks, I'll have to figure out how to get it back in there on reassembly. I have seen a couple of references to Cometic head gaskets. $120 each. Are these the way to go? Anyone with any experience with them?

IXSLR8
03-22-08, 09:54 PM
I bought a set of Cometic gaskets for the Northstar last week. They are not here yet.

I'm a little concerned about them sealing as my 1996 block surfaces are not perfect and smooth like new machined aluminum where the heads will meet. You can still see the wear pattern from the old GM gaskets. I'm thinking that I will use Hylomar and then use the Cometic gaskets.

Anyone else used these?