08-17-09, 11:38 AM
I'm looking into fixing what a weekend mechanic thought he could fix on the STS.
It's a 93 STS 4.6L Northstar
I've not been able to get the back head off due to being busy...But I'm expecting some kind of bolts pulling out of the block from that head.
My question is how many miles have people been driving their Northstars with the thread inserts/studs without any head problems. Will the Northstar pull head bolts again after these are installed? I want a permanent fix if I can find it!:thumbsup:
Thanks for the input in advance!
08-17-09, 12:08 PM
Look at www.northstarperformance.com (http://www.northstarperformance.com) .
Jake is a member and has sold and done over a hundred stud jobs.
You have to drop the drivetrain to do the machine work anyway, so studs are the way to go. IF you like pain and possible mistakes, you can rock the engine/drivetrain forward and do a Timesert or Norm's Insert job with the engine in the car, but it is by NO means an easy job, and the angles for drilling the insert holes are subject to mistakes, not to mention the quantities of drill chips which fly everywhere.
A good insert or stud job is FAR more reliable than the original 90's Northstar setup. Some are over 100,000 miles on inserts and over 45,000 on studs. (The stud kits are a newer product than the insert kits.)
If the block does not have any voids, and if the aluminum is solid - no powdery metal, and if the insert or stud is installed correctly, then Sub is correct. I don't think we have heard of any failures yet with those that have used Norm's inserts or Jake's studs. I think we have heard some failures with Time-serts - they are not as aggressive in digging into the block. I did Norm's - worked out fine - I would use Jake's next time, if I ever needed to do it on my other Northstar car
08-21-09, 09:38 AM
IF you like pain and possible mistakes, you can rock the engine/drivetrain forward and do a Timesert or Norm's Insert job with the engine in the car, but it is by NO means an easy job, and the angles for drilling the insert holes are subject to mistakes, not to mention the quantities of drill chips which fly everywhere.
Amen... I don't see how anyone could drill up the rear bank with the engine in the car and not make at least an occasional screw up drilling the holes.
Obviously you'd need a right angle drill. Even then I suspect it would be tight. I seem to recall someone once mention using a pneumatic ratchet.
08-21-09, 03:13 PM
I was one of the guys who did the headgaskets in the car. I used timeserts, with a right angle drill it was not that difficult. I had to start a couple of the holes with an air ratchet, that was before I thought of tilting the engine. The drill guides with the timeserts helped alot, thats why I went with them instead of Norms. No problems with any of the holes, and I don't really have the hands of a surgeon.
08-24-09, 03:18 PM
When I get the stud Kit I might just do a "Do it yourself" thread...I'm planning on pulling the block out...It's going to be interesting putting the motor back together since the machinc only tore it down to just the front head...Hoping all the hardware is in the trunk and that fly boy didn't loose anything!:devil:
08-24-09, 05:50 PM
Definitely take pics and do a "step-by-step" guide.
Hundreds if not thousands of people & shops will thank you.
08-28-09, 12:27 PM
Once you start working on it it's hard to take all the pics you want. Your hands get dirty and you're working so you don't stop to take the pics. If you have a helper or friend (it makes the job a lot easier) decide who will take the pics ahead of time. I only took a few even though I planned on a bunch.
I did a thread and I've thought about rewriting it but too many other things to do. In case you didn't see it:
I originally intended to do 3 parts, oh well.
08-28-09, 09:30 PM
this would be much appreciated, I live in Cali so getting my car to Jake is out of the question. Once it goes I will have to find a mechanic willing to do it for a good price. Instructions would be great.