: In need of expertise



Outracin
07-07-04, 06:05 PM
I work on cars, mostly street/ drag racing cars, so im no retarted when it comes to engines, so please no newbie sarcasm

Some one offered me a 1996 pearl white sts with 110 on the clock for $1500. he stated it needed a head gasket but other than that and a little scratch on the door it was in mint condition. My questions are;
1. are the north star motors prone to head gasket problems, and if so do they swallow any other parts when they let go?
2. im not familiar too much with the north stars so is there a chance that some sensor is bad and its not actually huffing coolant, and it could be running real rich huffing fuel out the tail pipes?
3. in general ive heard these motors were not only poweful but VERY reliable, when i go to see this car what should i be looking for as far as if it did overheat and warp something (i believe they are all aluminum motors)?
4. if it is a head gasket, what kind of nightmare am i getting into. Ive done head gaskets on 4.6 liter and 5.0 mustangs in a few hours. These motors easy to work on?

Basically, just lookin to chat with someone familiar all around with the car/motor my instant messenger screen name on aim is outracin95z28

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help

STS 310
07-07-04, 08:16 PM
Well you came to the rite place. Check for codes on that bad boy. Even so 1500?
If you are familiar with cars you should be able to tackle that h gasket yourself. As you will hear soon, if the cooling system was ever neglected on a N*, theres a good chance the h gasket will fail.

Wait a few, some others will post with their 2 cents.

Hell, if you dont want it tell me where it is! Theres always room at the "HOUSE OF SEVILLE"!!!!!!!!!!

Ranger
07-07-04, 08:50 PM
Yes it is an aluminum engine but it is designed to protect itself from overheating by going into limp home mode where it will alternately shut down 4 cylinders when the temp gets to 265 or there abouts. So warping should not be a concern. They are great engines but when it comes to head gaskets you pretty much have to pull the engine and "timesert" the block to preclude having to do it again later.
Sounds like you know how to check for a blown head gasket. Check the fuel injectors and FPR for leaks that could be causing a rich condition looking like coolant out the pipes.

Outracin
07-07-04, 09:07 PM
what do u mean by timesert the block?

zonie77
07-07-04, 10:23 PM
It's a thread insert. Much stronger than a helicoil. You can usually find a used kit and buy more inserts.

www.timesert.com

BeelzeBob
07-08-04, 12:49 AM
I work on cars, mostly street/ drag racing cars, so im no retarted when it comes to engines, so please no newbie sarcasm

Some one offered me a 1996 pearl white sts with 110 on the clock for $1500. he stated it needed a head gasket but other than that and a little scratch on the door it was in mint condition. My questions are;
1. are the north star motors prone to head gasket problems, and if so do they swallow any other parts when they let go?
2. im not familiar too much with the north stars so is there a chance that some sensor is bad and its not actually huffing coolant, and it could be running real rich huffing fuel out the tail pipes?
3. in general ive heard these motors were not only poweful but VERY reliable, when i go to see this car what should i be looking for as far as if it did overheat and warp something (i believe they are all aluminum motors)?
4. if it is a head gasket, what kind of nightmare am i getting into. Ive done head gaskets on 4.6 liter and 5.0 mustangs in a few hours. These motors easy to work on?

Basically, just lookin to chat with someone familiar all around with the car/motor my instant messenger screen name on aim is outracin95z28

Thanks in advance to anyone who can helpIf it is a head gasket then it can be serviced relatively easily if you are used to doing work on engines.

The easy way (and really the only practical way) is to pull the engine to work on it but it is possible to do the head gaskets with the engine in the car.

Timeserting the head bolt holes is a good piece of insurance if you so take it apart. Straightforward to do yourself. There is a special timesert kit for the NOrthstar head bolt holes that MUST be used. Do NOT use helicoils or generic timeserts or other inserts. Use ONLY the special Northstar head bolt timeserts and kit.

Nothing else in the engine is likely to need service. The heads will run for hundreds of thousands of miles usually with no valve work. The timing chains never need replacement and the lower end is very robust. Nothing really to do but replace the head gaskets if required.

Do NOT use any scotchbrite for cleaning up the head or deck surface as the reisidue is extremely abrasive and will contaminate the crankcase no matter how carefull you are and will take out the lower end. Keep the scotchbite or scotchbrite cleanup discs away from an engine.

For that price, if the car is that nice, it would certainly make an excellent ride if you can DIY.

The engine is very straightforward to work on but it is a different animal from what you are possibly used to and it does require some special techniques. Get a service manual for the car (a factory manual helms...nothing else) and follow the directions for the engine work to avoid problems. Use the factory gaskets kit which has the new head bolts (required).

Lots in the archives if you search using "headgaskets"....read my posts and posts by growe3 who has done several of them.

Outracin
07-08-04, 11:16 AM
thanks again everyone for all your feedback