: Replacing Cylinder Heads Project



RickyHenry
04-02-08, 05:53 PM
Hi all,

We are in the process of replacing the cylinder heads on a 1999 Cadillac Seville STS. It's been quite the project so far and we haven't even taken out the engine yet.

I was wondering if anyone could kindly guide us in our quest if we have any questions and maybe this would be helpful for anyone else experiencing the same problems. if anyone could help, we keep having a lot of questions about what might be basic things to some of the readers here. We have a service manual and we are almost ready to drop the engine out of the bottom, today.

Thanks!

RickyHenry
04-02-08, 05:55 PM
one nagging question is we bypassed the step to remove the fuse box because we couldn't get it out in a timely fashion, speant about 45 mins with the darn thing. I unfastened it, removed it from the base, then unscrewed the bottom three bolts from under the fuse box but the three bulky end connectors from the harness wont' come loose off of the fuse box. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!

JC316
04-02-08, 05:57 PM
For the fuse block, just really yank on those connectors as they don't like to let go.

RickyHenry
04-02-08, 06:09 PM
For the fuse block, just really yank on those connectors as they don't like to let go.

That Worked! I was just scared I would pull out some of the wires so I wanted to be safer than sorry. I'll post some pics today once we have the car up and the engine out.

stoveguyy
04-02-08, 10:06 PM
are you doing headgaskets or changing the heads? yikes. whats wrong with the heads?

Ranger
04-02-08, 10:43 PM
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/126253-97-etc-n-head-gasket-project.html

RickyHenry
04-03-08, 01:35 AM
i am changing the head gasket and possibly one of the heads. been a problem on my car for a few months now. Goal is to find no problem with heads (but i believe they are cracked) and to only need to replace the head gasket.

RickyHenry
04-03-08, 01:40 AM
Here are pictures, we finally got the engine out late tonight, this has been an all day thing for two people who have never done it before. SIGH OF RELIEF!!

I'll take better pictures tomorrow.

RickyHenry
04-03-08, 01:56 AM
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/126253-97-etc-n-head-gasket-project.html
Ranger, thank you for this link, it's very VALUABLE!!!. I have been monitoring this forum for the last couple of months trying to decide to tackle this job or not. We finally decided to do it 2 weeks ago... just me and my brother. I think I have scoured these forums for a while now and have tried to learn as much as I could before attempting to do the job. We started taking the car apart about 1 week ago, the radiator and basic stuff. We really delve into it this morning, starting at about 7:30am heading off to pick up some tools, then moving into a 10:30 am starting to remove the cradle from the body. After 5 trips to auto zone and various other stores throughout the day, we finally had everything we needed and started removing the engine at about 5pm. After realizing we didn't have everything we needed, we made a couple more trips and finally got the engine completely free of the car and out of the car at about 8:30pm, but we weren't done until about 10pm. The last 1.5 hours will be explained below.

The car is currently sitting in my garage with the engine removed sitting next to it. I'm 29 and haven't wrenched on a car since I was 17 and neither my brother or myself has been trained! This is more of a wanting to learn experience than anything. What we did was follow the service manual, (I bought it from Ebay FOR ONLY $39!!!) step by step. There were a few steps that weren't actually in the service manual, e.g. disconnect the PCM, but all in all, most of the manual was pretty straightforward and some of the things that were left out could be found while jacking up the body of the car and realizing that something else needs to be loosened. At the end, we used an engine hoist mounted to the front of the car, bought 1 8' long 4x6x8 piece of wood and after cutting them up, mounted them in 4 piles of 2 under the engine cradle. Lifted the front of the car to be higher than the engine, then placed two 3ton jacks under the cradle and moved the cradle sideways out from under the car.

It gets worse... we were about 3 inches from where we wanted the engine to come to rest by our workbench and we were just about to get the wood blocks again to rest the cradle on. We moved just a tiny bit too fast in a last minute rush and the whole cradle FELL OFF THE JACKS! because it was close to a counter, it litererally took 1.5 hours to get the cradle back off the ground and back onto the pieces of wood. We inspected for damage and didn't find anything so far, but i'm a little worried about the drop. The cradle with engine and all, basically came down about 6 inches in the air on one of the sides and hit the cement ground pretty roughly.

We are hopefully going to remove the cylinder heads tomorrow.

signing out for the night.

RickyHenry
04-03-08, 11:42 AM
Here are some pictures in daylight

zonie77
04-03-08, 12:25 PM
Good job, there may some info in this link that will help you.

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

tateos
04-03-08, 01:21 PM
Yes - go to Zonie's thread - I learned a lot there and it gave me the confidence to try this. The thread that Ranger posted:

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/126253-97-etc-n-head-gasket-project.html

was mine, so it was kind of an offspring or child of Zonie's excellent post. I tried to document some of the mistakes I made, post some pictures, I took the struts off the knuckles AND body, and I lifted the body in a different way, but I mostly followed Zonie's directions. He thinks dropping the cradle is scary, but I never thought that was a big deal at all. I put one jack on the front of the cradle and another on the back and that was it - no problems at all. Once the cradle was out, I supported it with the jacks and also jackstands to steady it.

I think the real stress of this job, at least for me, is that it is a LOT of work with a LOT of steps, and if you screw up just one thing, you most likely will have to drop the cradle to correct the issue, and that means doing all that work all over again - it sure was a relief when the engine fired right up.!

zonie77
04-03-08, 06:43 PM
Yeah, I'm just a Wuss!!!:p

RickyHenry
04-05-08, 10:25 AM
I think the real stress of this job, at least for me, is that it is a LOT of work with a LOT of steps, and if you screw up just one thing, you most likely will have to drop the cradle to correct the issue, and that means doing all that work all over again - it sure was a relief when the engine fired right up.!

This, I am taking seriously. My brother and I are researching both of these threads.... TONS of great information in it. I would hate to have to pull the engine a 2nd time! We decided to postpone the breaking down of the engine until we have finished our research and got all the proper tools in order prior to starting the job. We are hoping to start this week, mid week. There is just so much information to absorb the first time and I thank you for these posts... they are very valuable. We also would like to do the job right, the first time.

Thanks!
Ricky

DARRELL JACOBS
04-06-08, 06:38 PM
Wow, what a job to do. I want to pull the engine out of my 99 Deville to replace the head gasket (oil seepage) and replace a seal (DTCP0741) in my tranny(4T80E). Any suggestions specific to me removing the 4.6 Northstar from my Deville. Thanks

Submariner409
04-06-08, 07:48 PM
DARRELL.........Take Ricky's advice ^^^ and go back through this and the Deville Forums and research . Long and tedious, but it's all in here.......

tateos
04-06-08, 10:27 PM
Zonie - you are not a Wuss - I was just trying to say that I did not consider dropping the cradle scary, but remember I HAD YOUR POSTS TO GUIDE ME, so thanks again to you and the others that guided me.

RickyHenry
04-07-08, 09:44 AM
Wow, what a job to do. I want to pull the engine out of my 99 Deville to replace the head gasket (oil seepage) and replace a seal (DTCP0741) in my tranny(4T80E). Any suggestions specific to me removing the 4.6 Northstar from my Deville. Thanks

Darryl, I think the job was A LOT MORE INTIMIDATING than the actual job itself. First and foremost, you need to obtain your Cadillac service manual. http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?from=R40&_trksid=m37&satitle=1999+cadillac+deville+service+manual&category0=
The best place to get one is Ebay! And like someone else said, be sure to research. These forums offer great advice and scenarios which you may have to encounter prior to tackling the job. Here is a link for ebay manuals and best of luck! If you have any questions once you get the service manual, feel free to ask.

In a couple of days, I'm going to prepare of list of all tools we needed and maybe try some kind of picture catalog of the events. I think that would have been really helpful to us. I don't believe your 99 deville is much different than my seville so that may be informative for you.

zonie77
04-07-08, 03:09 PM
Zonie - you are not a Wuss - I was just trying to say that I did not consider dropping the cradle scary, but remember I HAD YOUR POSTS TO GUIDE ME, so thanks again to you and the others that guided me.

I didn't take it too seriously, therefore I added a funny face. I don't think I'm that big of a wuss! LOL

I was a lot more confident when I got help from an old forum member (he may not be older than me in real years!) but It was scary when I first contemplated it. I was pleasantly surprised when we lifted the body off and it was so light and easy to lift.


Forums like this are great for getting advice and direction.

tateos
04-07-08, 06:29 PM
That's too funny - I thought the body felt heavy!

RickyHenry
04-10-08, 04:57 AM
I actually have a question to ask at the last paragraph here.

finally worked on the engine all day today. First, pressure washed the hell out of the engine and cradle by pulling it out to the driveway. She cleaned right up in a matter of about an hour. Then pulled everything needing to be pulled off to get to the cylinder heads. At about 1:30am, Pacific Time, (after starting job around 1pm), we finally got the first cylinder head off.

THE CAUSE:
One cylinder was clearly full of mixed oil & water. The cylinder was also clean (not as much carbon build up). The gasket had blown in between two of the cylinders... only about 1 inch of gasket was bad. The closest head bolt to the cylinder that was exhibiting problem leaks in the gasket was actually not fully torqued to the 300psi spec. It was very easy to release from the head. I'm not sure if the bolt was loose first or the head gasket gave way first. The leak was certainly coming from within the cooling portion of the head and into 1 cylinder. Tomorrow, we will remove the 2nd cylinder head as we need to modify one of our tools for a particular 2 nut configuration.

Now, onto the question. I would like to be more safe than sorry. I would hate to put the cylinder head back on with new gaskets and my cylinder head had a crack in it. What could I do to have this head checked out and to make sure there is nothing wrong with it? Also, while the cylinder heads are off, is there any kind of special cleaning I can have done to them?

I'll post pictures tomorrow morning.
Thanks!

zonie77
04-10-08, 12:02 PM
Ricky,

If the HG is leaking the head is very likely good. Any automotive machine shop should be able to test. We didn't go through that expense because the HG was an obvious problem.

We used an abrasive 3M device. It's similar to a big eraser that went into an electric drill. I don't have the part number. Checker carried them but discontinued them a few years ago. A full line auto parts might have. There's also the attachments that are like scrubbing pads that are for surface reconditioning.

If the heads are fairly clean I would just clean the HG surface being careful not to gouge or scratch it.

RickyHenry
04-10-08, 12:22 PM
Ricky,

If the HG is leaking the head is very likely good. Any automotive machine shop should be able to test. We didn't go through that expense because the HG was an obvious problem.

We used an abrasive 3M device. It's similar to a big eraser that went into an electric drill. I don't have the part number. Checker carried them but discontinued them a few years ago. A full line auto parts might have. There's also the attachments that are like scrubbing pads that are for surface reconditioning.

If the heads are fairly clean I would just clean the HG surface being careful not to gouge or scratch it.

I don't see any physical damage to the head. I'm going to clean them out today. I'll have to look for a good abrasive today at walmart for cleaning off the old head gasket. I thought about it this morning and when you posted this, i'm not going to pay $80/per to find out my cylinder heads are ok when i can clearly see the problem in the head gasket. Gonna clean it up, pick up some new gaskets and reinstall the heads.

RickyHenry
04-10-08, 12:24 PM
timesert.com is currently out of stock of the cadillac inserts or kits. Anyone know somewhere else I can get this kit from? It appears timesert might be a brand name. Is there any other brands or something I should be looking for online to find a kit like theirs?


*** I called them this morning, they are out of stock ***

Hello,
Cadillac NorthStar Headbolt 4.0/4.6 repair kit part number J-42385-500
$396.37
This kit includes all the tools and 10 inserts of a M11x1.5x30mm.
Additional inserts are part number 11155 $3.25 each.

Here is a link to the repair. You can also download
a short video of the actual installation process.
http://www.timesert.com/html/gm.html

Orders can be placed at:
(800) 423-4070 (775) 829-1026
We accept Visa or MasterCard and ship U.P.S
Best Regards,
TIME-SERT

tateos
04-10-08, 12:52 PM
I recommend NORM"S:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/NORTHSTAR-ENGINE-NS300L-HEAD-BOLT-THREAD-INSERT-KIT_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ33620QQihZ005QQitem Z150234657529QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW

or do a search on ebay for NS300L

It works great!

Also, I used a die grinder and small wire wheels to clean the combustion chamber and valves. I also used the same for the piston crowns - a light touch removes the carbon but does not mar the surface - the original machiniing marks were still visible on the pistons when I was done. Of course, rotate the engine to have the pistons at TDC. Be careful not to remove the small ridge on the mating surface of the block on the top of the cylinder.

RickyHenry
04-10-08, 01:23 PM
I recommend NORM"S:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/NORTHSTAR-ENGINE-NS300L-HEAD-BOLT-THREAD-INSERT-KIT_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ33620QQihZ005QQitem Z150234657529QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW

or do a search on ebay for NS300L

It works great!

Also, I used a die grinder and small wire wheels to clean the combustion chamber and valves. I also used the same for the piston crowns - a light touch removes the carbon but does not mar the surface - the original machiniing marks were still visible on the pistons when I was done. Of course, rotate the engine to have the pistons at TDC. Be careful not to remove the small ridge on the mating surface of the block on the top of the cylinder.

Great, i was wondering where to find Norm's set at. I just bought a set, $350, not bad compared to the timersert.... also after research, I feel more confident going with the thicker threads.

tateos
04-10-08, 06:17 PM
Go here to my thread for some info on using the Norms kit:

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/126253-97-etc-n-head-gasket-project.html

There are a few tricks to for optimum results

RickyHenry
04-12-08, 04:06 PM
Tateos, Thanks for all your help so far. I noticed that Norm's kit didn't come with a guide like the timesert one. I noticed in the timesert video, there is a metal drill guide for the block with 4 holes, you bolt in 3 holes and then drill the 4th through the guide. Norms instructions stated to find one of the guides as his kit didn't come with one.

I'm curious, how did you guide in the drill using Norm's inserts?

RickyHenry
04-12-08, 10:08 PM
More pictures of the heads off

tateos
04-14-08, 08:42 PM
Ricky - this was the scariest part of the whole job for me - make sure you have a helper and make sure you use the tap block provided to help guide the drill in straight. What I did was to set up the drill, have my helper check for square in two directions (N-S and E-W) and then spin the drill 4-5 revolutions. Invariably, the drill would catch and cause the drill to go off square. I would then repeat the squaring process and then drill again, maybe a little longer this time. Keep doing this until the drill is going in straight - maybe about 4 times total, Then drill down about 1/3 way, remove the drill, blow out the chips, clean and lube the drill bit, and repeat about twice more. You will know when you get to the bottom - the tip of the drill is ground to prevent drilling too far. If you drilled it square, you will be able to tell by looking at the bottom of the hole - the center part of the hole will be dirty and the outer part will be shiny - you will know what I mean after you do one. You can be a little off - I was on a couple holes - and you will still be able to bolt the heads on fine.

The NORMS directions say to use the tapered tap first, then the bottoming tap, but I found that positioned the insert a little too deep. In most cases, using the tapered tap only positioned the insert perfectly. Test install the inserts after using the tapered tap and only use the bottoming tap if needed and only as much as is necessary. That's not what Norm says to do, that worked for me so it is my advice - for what it's worth....

You can call me toll free at work if you get stuck 877-992-3766 X 516

Richard Moore

tateos
04-14-08, 08:48 PM
Uh - oh! I just looked at the pics, and they are nice, but I notice you left the coolant crossover bolted to the block - be sure you remove it and replace all 4 gaskets. There are two that go to the black and two that go to the head. Leakage is common on these and it is EASY to do now, but a PITA to do with the engine in the car. When I did my HGs, I found a lot of residue around 2 of the gaskets - they just collapse and leak after a long time, so MAKE SURE YOU CHANGE all 4!

RickyHenry
04-16-08, 03:25 PM
Tateos, thanks for the responses. I"m finally off work today and we are beginning drilling in a just a few moments. I noticed your comment about the crossover, we are planning on replacing the gaskets on the crossover. Also, we are seriously considering replacing the rear main seal.

On another note... what did you do about those 4 guides on the engine block? As you can see in the pictures of my engine, there are 2 guide pins on the top outer bolt holes of each side of the block. We were going to drill tiny holes in the bottom of each and try to pry them loose with a connecting steel pin going through the center of each guide pin. What are your thoughts?

tateos
04-16-08, 04:35 PM
What I did was to put a bolt in the dowel that fits close to snug - I used an old wheel stud - and then clamp down with vise grips. The bolt prevents the dowel from collapsing. Clamp the dowel tightly, turn it, try to rock it, whatever you need to do to get it off. I used a 90 degree pry bar and gently pried up while turning the dowel. It worked after awhile. My dowels got pretty mangled, but I ground off the knurl marks off the outside and then installed them upside down in the block when it got to be time for re-assembly. You can get new dowels from the dealer - I think someone posted the part # on my HG thread, but I found that I was able to re-use the originals.

If you read my thread, you saw that I replaced the rear main seal - the big problem is the cost of the installer

jeffrsmith
04-16-08, 07:23 PM
I haven't read up on the particulars yet of HG replacement, but why did you/why do you need to remove the dowels?

tateos
04-17-08, 12:53 PM
The dowels are hollow and inserted part way into the head bolt hole

RickyHenry
04-18-08, 01:36 PM
I haven't read up on the particulars yet of HG replacement, but why did you/why do you need to remove the dowels?

I purchased an Insert kit http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150234657529 from ebay. To install these inserts, I need to widen the head bolt holes with a drill. The kit comes with a drill bit. In order to drill the holes, I need to remove the dowels.

Thomas Carey
04-20-08, 10:05 AM
While on the subject of heads. Which year is the most desirable in terms of performance for these heads?

Best Regards,

Thomas Carey

RickyHenry
04-25-08, 01:48 AM
While on the subject of heads. Which year is the most desirable in terms of performance for these heads?

Best Regards,

Thomas Carey

Honestly, I have no idea. I have read that 98 - 99 engines are almost always going to blow a head gasket. So, with that, I would say to stay away from them if you can. Then again, I have heard if you take off the heads and replace the head bolts with new inserts after it happens, you should be ok for a while as long as it's done OK. I would think about making a whole new thread with more of what you are looking to do with the engine, and I"m sure a techy would have some good input for you.

RickyHenry
04-25-08, 01:58 AM
I havn't posted in a while just because I wasn't able to do much on the car. I finally received my head gaskets via UPS on Tuesday as well as some other gaskets with various a sundry items. Wednesday and Thursday (today) is when we really finally started drilling the holes in the block. From 9 in the morning to 2 pm, we had the new inserts in the block. We put the heads on yesterday.

Today we got a lot accomplished and are almost ready to put the engine cradle back in the car. I torqued the head bolts this morning, all 20 of them. It was odd because the cadillac service manual, in one place, says to torque the heads at 22lbs, then 60 degrees, 60 degrees, 60 degrees... which is what I followed. Shortly after I finished put the head bolts on, I found another section in the manual called Installing the cylinder heads. This section tells me to torque the cylinder heads at something like 30lbs, then 70 degrees, 70 degrees, then 30 degrees. Also, the torquing pattern was different the pattern described in the section I was using. I was a bit confused but I hope the cylinder heads are OK.

We got the timing system in place, put the pulleys back on, the belt, the alternator/generator, the exhaust manifolds, the starter and the water crossover. We also finally cleaned up all the HUGE mess of metal shavings from drilling the day before. Damn, that was a big mess. Tracked it everywhere, had to pressure wash most of the driveway after that. I can see my daughter playing outside later in her barefeet and getting one of those shards in her foot. I think i'll clean it again tomorrow just to make sure it's clean.

About all we have left to do is finish placing the wiring harness and install the intake manifolds. Then we should be able to jack up the car and slide the engine back into it's place. We are targeting this saturday evening and sunday afternoon to do it and have the car done on Sunday night.

Whew, this has been a task, but no where near as hard as I thought it was going to be. Especially since I just bought an air compressor with air tools this last week (would have been great to have while taking apart the engine.) I'll try to take some pictures of our progress soon.

RickyHenry
04-30-08, 03:37 PM
we have the car completely together apart from the wheels. The engine appears to be running ok except it's shaking on start until it gets war, just like it was before we started the project. That might be another issue altogether. There is a TREMENDOUS amount of smoke coming from the engine, and I'm just speculating that it's the new head gaskets burning in and everything else that was on the engine since it's been apart. Is this normal to smoke a large amount after first startup?

tateos
04-30-08, 05:25 PM
Ricky - I didn't see a lot of smoke from either the engine bay of the exhaust. What does the smoke smell like?

99_concours
05-01-08, 01:22 PM
How many timeserts were installed? All 20? Is that the best way to do the job is to drill out all 20 headbolts and install timeserts or Norm's inserts or only those that are damaged? I believe RickyHenry may have drilled all 20 though I am not sure. I have a '99 DeVille Concours that two weeks ago at 133K lost its headgaskets and I am contemplating this job in my garage as well. It started with the rough idle on start up whether cold or warm. Luckily the car has NEVER overheated though I will probably have the heads checked for cracks and warps regardless. Also, I noticed nobody discussed a valve job while the heads were off; is there a reason why?

I noticed on another forum regarding the LSx head bolts which I believe were factory installed mid-2003 and are used to date. Is there a 'kit' to install these LSx style head blots (longer, courser thread) or is the timesert/Norm's the only repair on a '99.

RickyHenry I sure hope things are working well with your project; I am interested to know about the smoking situation.

tateos
05-01-08, 02:24 PM
If the engine has never overheated, how do you know the HGs are blown?

Yes, it is recommended to do all 20 while you have it apart.

I think the general consensus is that, unless you had a problem with the heads before the HGs blew, it is not necessary to do any work on them while they are off. I did use a wire wheel on my die grinder to remove the carbon in the combustion chambers and the piston crowns, but that is all.

RickyHenry
05-02-08, 03:02 AM
How many timeserts were installed? All 20? Is that the best way to do the job is to drill out all 20 headbolts and install timeserts or Norm's inserts or only those that are damaged? I believe RickyHenry may have drilled all 20 though I am not sure. I have a '99 DeVille Concours that two weeks ago at 133K lost its headgaskets and I am contemplating this job in my garage as well. It started with the rough idle on start up whether cold or warm. Luckily the car has NEVER overheated though I will probably have the heads checked for cracks and warps regardless. Also, I noticed nobody discussed a valve job while the heads were off; is there a reason why?

I noticed on another forum regarding the LSx head bolts which I believe were factory installed mid-2003 and are used to date. Is there a 'kit' to install these LSx style head blots (longer, courser thread) or is the timesert/Norm's the only repair on a '99.

RickyHenry I sure hope things are working well with your project; I am interested to know about the smoking situation.

We did all 20 but I doubt they were all bad. WE used Norm's inserts.

Regarding the smoke... I believe it was just spilled oil that was on the bottom of the engine as well as some residue from previously cleaning the engine while out of the car. I think I pressure washed the engine twice... both times with an enormous amount of GUNK. The smoking has since stopped and the car is pretty much purring like a kitten.... well, except for my leaking oil cooler line.

I still have a couple of issues which I will make a new thread for each.

1. The upper trans oil cooler line is leaking where it's connected to the radiator... and it's not coming through the heads, but it's coming through behind the connection. It's going to take another 5 business days to order one through cadillac. =-( I was still able to drive the car though, and I have never had so much power. Smiling about that =-)

2. The upper large radiator hose appears to be depressing after the car is returned to normal room temperature. Dunno if that is normal as it never happened previously. Basically, when the car is warmed up, the hose is filled with water and is expanded fully. When I turn off the car and wait til it cools down, the hose is flat, like a snake run over on the road (but without all the road kill guts).

99_concours
05-02-08, 10:48 AM
RickyHenry I am glad your car is running very well. Congratulations on the results of all your hard work.

Tateos I believe my headgaskets are blown due to a couple of factors. One being the rough start up whether cold or warm for approximately two weeks. Second, after two weeks on a Friday night before I left Corpus Christi for my weekly run up to Austin (225 miles/3.5hrs) I got the onboard computer message that I was low on coolant. I added nearly one gallon of coolant. I drove the car to Austin no problem that Friday night. On Saturday one errand and it ran rough on start up and I believe I remember it ran rough a bit longer than the last two weeks. Sunday morning I went to run another errand and got the onboard computer message that I was again low on coolant. It took another gallon. I sat and observed the resevoir tank with the cap off while the car was idling. Large air bubbles. Of course I knew most of these were probably from air trapped in the cooling system. But after the car achieve full operating temperature the bubbles were still coming and when they popped they emitted steam. I figured that this was exhaust. I parked the car for a week and drove back to Corpus Christi in another one of my vehicles. That very next weekend (last) I started the Cadillac to move it and that is when the white smoke became evident coming out full force of both tailpipes (hadn't occurred prior to then although I had been smelling a coolant smell all along.) Like I said, the car NEVER overheated. But with my observations and what I have learned on this forum I ascertained the head gaskets must have failed.

So norm's inserts...cool. I am still nervous about drilling 20 holes without a jig though I saw in somebody else's post their home made drilling jig. I wonder if that person wouldn't mind renting it?

RickyHenry your project and its end results are emboldening me to try this myself. I just wish I had a bigger garage...

tateos
05-05-08, 12:58 PM
99_concours

Yes - that definitely sounds like a HG problem. As long as you have a helper to help make sure you are going in straight, you don't really need the jig

Q Ball
05-05-08, 10:09 PM
I may be able to give you some advice on re installing the engine. What I did was remove all the components, wires, radiator, AC lines ect. After that I removed the intake/fuel delivery system and such. I set a chain sling between the front motor mount and the bracket behind the engine and next to the firewall ( used by factory for install). I set up the car about 5-6 feet using about 24 cinder blocks and some 2x4s. I lifted my cherry picker as high as it would go and used a come-a-long to lower the engine straight down. I let the engine cradle land on the cherry picker's legs and wheeled it out from under the car. Now you can remove the come-a-long and lift the engine assemly to wherever you want it. I seperated the engine/trans from the cradle then seperated the engine from the transmission. The engine is now on my engine stand and that trans will go to she shop to determine if I should rebuild it since I went thrugh the trouble of removal. The car has over 200K miles and I have no Idea if the trans has been done or not. I have yet to remove the heads yet. I ran out of time. I am comsidering doing an entire rebuild in addition to the heads. So far I have not found anyone here who has done more than just head gasgets. 200K just seems like an awefull amount of miles to just do the top end. Hope my removal and instal tips help out some.
Q Ball

RickyHenry
05-06-08, 09:39 PM
well, i got a new oil line cooler being overnighted to me from the cadillac dealer. I'm gonna drop the engine again tomorrow and adjust the timing and hopefully have the engine back in tomorrow night. I'm going to try and take pictures of the procedure so I can post the method to drop the cradle down. Wish me luck!

99_concours
05-07-08, 10:38 AM
Drop the engine again? Sorry to hear that you have to do that again...however, I will be greatly interested in seeing the pics of your dropping methods.

On the subject of timing...how did you mark the chains and gears so that when all re-assembled everything was where it was supposed to be? Also, did you remove the cams so the valves were closed on the head allowing you to lay them down and also allow gasket scraping/cleaning or did you leave the camshafts in the heads and some valves were open?

tateos
05-07-08, 12:55 PM
99_concours:

Timing the engine is REALLY EASY - just follow the diagram. I never removed the crankshaft to intermediate/idler gear chain or tensioner - there was no reason to do so. I used a speed square on the heads just to be sure the marks on the cam gears were at 12:00.

The FSM states that with the cams in the head, some valves will always be open,and I guess that must be true, but you can easily position the cams in a manner such that none of the valves extend beyond the surface of the cylinder head combustion chamber, so you CAN lay down the head flat on a bench. As far as the cleaning and scraping of the bottom/ mating surface of the cylinder head and the combustion chamber, I laid the head upside down on an old comforter, and used an air die grinder with a wire wheel to clean the valve faces and the rest of the combustion chamber. I seem to remember the mating surface of the head was pretty much cleaned with just a rag with brake cleaner on it. I used the same set up to clean the carbon off the piston crowns, with the pistons at TDC. The steel wire wheel easily removed the carbon without marring the piston surface at all - the factory machining marks were clearly visible when I was done.

When I was done, there was obviously a lot of dirt and grit all over the cylinder head, including the cams and lifters. I used WD-40 to flush away the dirt and then compressed air to blow away the remainder - I repeated this process several times on each head, rotating the cams to expose different areas. I used WD-40 rather than a solvent, since I felt the residue would at least be a lubricant. I applied assembly lube to the cam lobes and lifters when I was done cleaning. I used assembly lube on the chain guides also.

Ricky - what's up with the timing?

RickyHenry
05-09-08, 04:24 AM
99_concours:

Ricky - what's up with the timing?

pulled the cradle last night and opened the front cover and valve cover. The rear exhaust shaft was off by one sprocket. As well, the right intake shaft was off by one sprocket. Used a 90 degree on them this time, as we just rushed through it last time, and finally got a perfect match. Put the cradle and engine back in today, started her up and that solved the problem. The p0300 misfire codes and the other codes have not reappeared yet.

I also had to get a buddy out to weld one of the cradle mount bolts. The inside nut became loose and I had no way to tighten it. Used a plasma welder and it torqued no problem this time.

I took a lot of good pictures of these last 2 days.

Now, I'm dealing with a radiator leak and have to pull the radiator out as I think it went bad on the driver vertical seal. Hopefully it's not radiator leak, as I just bought that radiator about 6 months ago prior to the hg job. :-( It never ends. :thepan:

RickyHenry
05-17-08, 03:52 PM
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RickyHenry
05-17-08, 03:52 PM
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RickyHenry
05-17-08, 03:53 PM
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RickyHenry
05-17-08, 03:57 PM
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RickyHenry
05-17-08, 04:21 PM
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RickyHenry
05-17-08, 04:22 PM
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RickyHenry
05-17-08, 04:23 PM
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tateos
05-19-08, 01:30 PM
Lots of nice pics - brings back "fond" memories!