: Why NOT to use time serts -

12-16-09, 12:49 PM
Another failed time sert job. 99 STS in my shop for repair. Or rather, re-repair.

Timeserts are short, they pull out, and the threads are again way TOO FINE.

Only a few of the bolts held torque. Some turned out by hand. This one, pics below, the time sert came up with the bolt and the bolt had to be cut in half to remove it from the head. Some aluminum thread is still attatched to the outside of the insert.

I see this all the time. Just thought I would let people know so that if they go through all the work in doing the HG's, whether you're a repair shop or an individual, this is the likely end-result if inserts like this are used. It's pure luck if they last and the bolts hold torque with these.


These pics were taken with my iPhone so they're not the best of quality. My apologies. I will be posting better pics as soon as I can.

I seriously advise using the studs I designed and sell to do a HG job because the studs have a success rate of 100% with holding correct clamping pressure and it's a one piece repair (with the exception of the nuts on top).

Just what ever you do, what ever repair system you decide to go with, avoid these at all cost and heli - coils even more so.

12-16-09, 01:12 PM
Yeah - I used Norms, so I didn't realize how short and fine threaded those Timeserts are. Of course, in the future, I would use your studs. Timesert success rate seem to be hit or miss - it probably depends on the quality of the block aluminum, and the skill and practices of the installer. In my book, Norm's is good, but your's is better, and no one ever wants to do this thing twice!

12-16-09, 02:35 PM
Thanks Tateos - the problem is that it's no better than a band-aid repair. Like you said- the quality of the aluminum- the depth and coarseness of the thread.... I just don't want to see these things fail when people get through doing them. Just another excuse to call a Northstar junk, which it is very far from.

12-16-09, 04:11 PM
I had my car timeserted at 54k miles and now nearly 30k miles later it's still holding well after many a WOT. Only time the temp gauge moves is in heavy stop and go traffic. If my car did ever fail again, Jake would be the first person I'd take my car to.

12-16-09, 05:06 PM
Thanks Ryannel! The success rate of time-serts will be a bit higher on the 2000+ blocks because in 2000+ models the blocks have less porosity. I would never trust inserts though. Glad to hear you're one of the lucky ones where the inserts have held up!

12-16-09, 05:08 PM
I did a '00 STS from Ohio not long ago that had one side time serted once and the other side of the block time serted twice. Both sides had failed again.

12-16-09, 06:15 PM
About 2 years ago I was really lusting over a Black/Tan '99 STS with 75k miles. My god I can still remember that car like it was yesterday. Cleaned up it looked absolutely stunning! I came really close to buying it but my dealer wanted too much money so I waited around until my STS came around. Even though I like the Black/Tan color combo better than my Silver/Grey, I'm really glad I ended up with my 2000. It was traded needing alot of work, and on top of the timeserts they did a reseal of the motor, new water pump and pump housing, new motor mount, etc. The 2000+ is a much more reliable motor from what I've seen around my shop.

Mine's been a really good car compared to what I've seen out there. I'm getting one of my actuators repaired now even though it hadn't started throwing a code yet (I'm really OCD about things like that ) and that's the first time since I've had the car I needed to shell out money for something unexpected (besides the crankshaft sensors of course). With a new taillight and some PDR work, she'll be looking like new real soon.

12-16-09, 06:57 PM
Even more proof that I did the right thing studding my block (not that I needed any more proof).

8,000 miles and going strong!

Thanks, Jake!

1998 Deville
Palmer, AK

12-18-09, 07:01 PM

12-18-09, 07:14 PM
Jake, I wish your studs would have been available when I did mine.

I had read several not so good reviews of timeserts so I went with Norms. I think that I made a wise choice considering what was available at the time. I will not knock Norm's because I believe he had a product that was far superior to the "normally recommended repair." Having said this, if your studs were available when I did my repair I would have gone with them. If my Norm's repair fails I will switch to studs.

As many have said here before, thank you for bringing a reliable repair solution to the market for our cars.

00 Deville
12-18-09, 07:38 PM
If my Norm's repair fails I will switch to studs.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong....

Norm's inserts and Jake's studs use the same thread pitch and hole size in the block. Effectively having the same gripping power in the soft aluminum block. If Norm's inserts were ever to pull out... Jake's studs would not be an option... it would be time to look for another block.

Timeserts use a smaller hole with fine threads if they pull out you can always go with either Norm's or Jake's due to the larger hole and course thread pitch that is required for both.

12-20-09, 05:28 PM
Maybe I was/am wrong but Jakes studs have a much longer threaded area than Norm's inserts. If Norm's fail they will not take out all of the threads in the block they should only cause problems with the bottom 1" - 1 1/4" threads in the hole. If you were able to get the inserts out and run a tap down to clean things up, why wouldn't you be able to put Jake's studs in? - you would still have the rest of the threads, up to the top edge of the deck for the studs to grip.

Jake - would your studs still be an option if Norm's were to pull?

I am not an engineer or a mechanic by trade, just my thoughts.

12-20-09, 05:41 PM
I've never heard of Norm's pulling, but if ANY insert pull, you MUST drill out the threads and retap with a larger size. Doing what you suggest will will only lead to a failure, probably when torquing the head. There would not be enough threads to hold. The first improvement GM made in 2000 to elevate the head gasket problem was to lengthen the head bolts. The pitch was changed in '04.

12-21-09, 09:51 AM
96 sts. timeserts done 2yrs ago. 10k miles. daily driver. woohoo.

12-21-09, 03:51 PM
I have almost 12 months and 15k miles on my timesert job, with no issues so far. I believe that with timeserts, norms, anything, the key is that the block has to be good. Mine had shiny shavings all the time I was drilling it. I heard of people getting black dust, that means the block is unrepairable.

12-26-09, 09:52 PM
Studded my engine myself with Jakes studs.

10 months and 11,000 miles for 122,000 total.

Runs as strong as ever except I sprung a leak in my radiator last month and replaced it with a new one. Im thinking about new suspension now...

Thanks again Jake for all your help. Keep it up.


02-20-10, 12:53 PM
Mine is in for repair right now, and its had timesert's in it before, and they have failed. But I do fully believe that the installation method and making sure its done right are a big key to success with timesert's. The guy that is doing them right now has done over 200 cadillac's with timesert's and has never had a return customer with a problem. Needless to say, my car will now have what he called "bigsert's" in it. Im searching for exactly what they are now.

02-20-10, 01:36 PM
Bigserts are just oversized Timeserts to repair timeserts that have failed.

Wish I'd known you where here. You could have meet us for dinner last night. I think they are going out again tonight after the autoshow.

02-20-10, 04:41 PM
And studs will work after both sizes have been installed. So your engine has been through the first set and now will be on it's second. I wish you luck man.

02-20-10, 06:02 PM
@Ranger, I forgot all about giving you a hollar. Sorry. And its OK, we tried to make our way to the aquarium in chicago today, and i turned around and came back to the hotel. You couldnt pay me a million dollars to live in this shit hole place. I cant stand the traffic, and WAY to many side streets and interchanges for me. This guy isnt going anywhere untill I pick the car up! no joke.
@Jake, yeah, we will see. I didnt know it had been through it before. I have been reading timeless and endless arguments today on the timesert vs studs vs norm serts, and honestly, im not 100% convinced in either norm serts or time serts. The studs just wernt an option because of the distance and amount of time to get a passport, etc to have to drive it to canada. I called the guy you have in IL and he talked to me like I was just some kid that knew absolutely nothing about cars. Kind of took offense to it honestly on his end, not yours. you have been nothing but polite help. So I went with this guy that Ranger hooked me up with. He has personally done over 200 with timeserts, including his own cars and has never had an issue with them pulling or any call backs. So I assume they were not put in correctly or the proper care was not taken. Regardless, we will see how this one goes. I have no doubt he will be doing them right after having a long conversation with him yesterday. Very honest and professional guy!!

02-20-10, 06:37 PM
Please forward the contact information for this guy to jwiebe@northstarperformance.com. Sounds like he'd be a good candidate for trying a set of studs and putting on my INNRS member list if he likes the stud repair method. 200 cars with inserts? This is going to catch up to him. Especially if he offers a long warranty. time serts are very prone to failure- we fix them all the time- and yours failed too. It's not just "who" or "how" it was done/done by.

It's important that I know how my INNRS members treat people. Thanks for any and all feedback. And good luck with the inserts. Remember if they do ever fail I'll be around.

02-20-10, 07:12 PM
no problem. Ill forward your info to him and let him do with it what he wants. He said if these fail again, he will do all labor on a replacement motor for free. So regardless, I cant go wrong! If they fail again, ill snag studs from you forsure!!!

02-20-10, 08:49 PM
Ranger, I forgot all about giving you a hollar. Sorry. And its OK, we tried to make our way to the aquarium in chicago today, and i turned around and came back to the hotel. You couldnt pay me a million dollars to live in this shit hole place. I cant stand the traffic, and WAY to many side streets and interchanges for me.
That's why I live in Woodstock. Left the city in '76 and HATE going back.

02-20-10, 10:57 PM
You all must feel about Chicago the way I feel about Toronto. Driving through it during rush hour is bad enough, I can't quite imagine living there for long. Ranger - is Woodstock just a small town?

02-21-10, 10:17 AM
Yeah, Woodstock is a small rural town about 50 miles NW of Chicago. Still has a town square with cobble stone streets surrounding it. Groundhog day was filmed here (thus Woodstock Willie). It's also the home of Charles Gould (Dick Tracie). I'm a few miles outside of town.
Some nice pics.
and the official Chamber of Commerce site.

02-21-10, 10:23 AM
Ranger that is really cool- the last time I saw cobblestone streets like that I was in Niagara Falls New York- not a common practice of road construction anymore.

02-21-10, 06:14 PM
Just got her back from Anthony. Runs like a top!!! No more rough idle!! Well worth the money. Jake, I talked to him for a few minutes about your studs. Im forwarding your e-mail to him, he said he would be interested. Ill tell you what, you wont find a nicer or more friendly/upfront guy!!! You 2 would work great along side each other, both very professional and helpful people. he will be in contact im sure!!!

02-21-10, 06:17 PM
Jake, also sent you an e-mail with anthony's contact info.

02-21-10, 09:45 PM
I don't think that is recent construction Jake.

Glad it all worked out Rodney. I'm gonna have to meet Anthony one of these days. How long did it take him? I need to start charging a finders fee. :)

Now get the hell out of town while the getting is good, before the snow storm hits.

02-22-10, 06:49 PM
Ranger, he had him, his brother and one other guy working on it. He started on it saturday morning (not sure what time) and was done by 9:30 saturday night. So only took him a day. he said he usually likes to have 2-3 days though, but since I was from out of town he had a few helpers (the third person just cleaned everything up while him and his brother were working on the motor) Then he test drove it yesterday to make sure all was good to go, and I had it back last night by 4:30. Just got home today and it runs like a dream!

02-22-10, 08:51 PM
WOW! Out and back in in one day. I'm impressed. I guess after a couple hundred you get pretty good at it.

02-25-10, 05:57 PM
I'll guess they didn't do the lower engine seals- I'll guess they just lowered the cradle and did the work with the engine and trans still bolted to the subframe. Still, that's pretty damn good, time-wise. It takes skilled people to do it that quickly without missing anything. I give them a thumbs up! :thumbsup: I'd love to add them to the INNRS members list, sounds like they're well qualified for it.

02-28-10, 11:44 PM
Jake, did you get my e-mail with his contact info? Im also not sure if he did the lower seals or not, but I guessed likelly not. But he did mention that after the head gaskets and lower case seals were done these engines were bullet proof. So i dont know. I didnt even think to ask him either. Regardless, car is running like a top!!! Back to loving it again!

whos your caddy
03-05-10, 06:18 PM
who uses the studs that does hg in illinois or do most people us time serts?

03-05-10, 08:54 PM
Jake has a place in Rockford and I sent you Anthony's email who did Rodney's.

whos your caddy
03-05-10, 09:02 PM
still waiting to hear from anthony i sent an email a couple days ago what is the name of the place in rocford

03-05-10, 09:42 PM
It's actually Wick Automotive, Rockford Illinois. Brad Wick is the contact name. Sorry I don't spend enough time on the forums.

whos your caddy
03-05-10, 10:20 PM
how do they become connected with your company are they just a shop that uses your product

03-05-10, 10:49 PM
It starts out as a call from a shop or a customer of ours who recommends that they become a member. We do a follow up call on the first stud install, if things go well, we offer to list them on our site, if they're interested. We do a simple background check on each shop (a rough check) - Brad Wick is a former Caddy tech. He started up his own shop - He's worked on a lot of Northstars in his time.

The "International Network of Northstar Repair Shops", or INNRS is a network of people who offer the best Northstar repairs in the field, who fix them with our patent pending studs and NOTHING else, and who do really good work. GM Repair Center, in Cali, these guys are awesome. Nemesis Motorsports in Boston, awesome work again- (photos of their work are posted in these forums somewhere). Fuson Pontiac Buick GMC, The Car Guy in South Dakota, the list is growing. Wick Automotive, North Texas Performance....

All of these members will soon be communicating together via TechNet. Networking allows us to share our ideas, new developments, best possible repair methods, and constantly improve the way Cadillac's are being repaired. Face it- most dealers are going to overcharge. They do excellent work, but that's the truth. Individual shops have advantages such as lower rates/overhead, more time to invest into Northstars, etc. Also networking allows standards to be set for how things are done. Out of state? Caddy problems? Search the site and find the shop nearest you.

It's a work in progress but shop owners are liking this, and so are fellow Caddy owners. Better repairs, better warranty, less $$$.

03-06-10, 01:13 AM
still waiting to hear from anthony i sent an email a couple days ago what is the name of the place in rocford
I don't think he checks his email too regularly. It took several days for him to get back to Rodney. If he doesn't get back to you soon let me know unless you decide to go to Rockford.

03-06-10, 01:14 AM
Jake, just out of curiosity, any idea what Wick's Automotive charges for the job?

03-06-10, 08:17 AM
I think he's charging around the 3,000 mark but I don't know for sure at the moment. I'll have to give him a call Monday and review some things with him.

12-27-14, 05:03 PM
Recently I had problems with my car bouncing around on trouble codes.After being as confussed as a baby in a
topples bar. I finaly pulled the engine and the wiring loom out of the car My car is a 98 with only aprox 118 thousand
on it but seeing how the car title showed it to be salvaged. I do not know about the engine its self. I tore the engine
down it apears to be overhauled it one point in time. Cylinders still have the cross hatch in them and all timing components are new and have very little ware I pulled the heads because I want to know what I got.and if something needs
fixed now is the time. But now after much study here is where I am at.
nnoe of the head bolts where pulled trough or striped that I seen or what ever. but the did not apear to be as tight as I thought they should be. No warp on any part that I can find. now I am debating what to do to the engine while its out so that I dont have to ever do this again for another 200 000 miles
so I got 3 ways to go ! - stud it 2 - time sert it 3 - leave it alone seeing none of the theards are pulled or messed up
Any body get any ideas

12-27-14, 08:02 PM
STUD IT:yup:

12-27-14, 08:19 PM
"Leave it alone" is not an option if you don't "ever do this again". Stud it or insert it. Leave it alone and chances are you'll either pull the threads during retorquing or in another 10,000 miles. If you choose inserts you have 2 choices, Timesert or Norm's NS330L inserts. http://www.huhnsolutions.com/

12-28-14, 10:17 AM
I'll second posts #44 and #45.

If you're in love with head bolts (You MUST use 20 all new bolts !!!) look at the NS300L insert and kit from www.huhnsolutions.com (http://www.huhnsolutions.com)

The "BigSert" has replaced the TimeSert in the GM list of acceptable thread repair/replacement options. http://www.timesert.com/ (http://www.timesert.com/)

Bottom line: For a bulletproof lifetime head bolt replacement, use the SureGrip studs and kit from www.northstarperformance.com (http://www.northstarperformance.com)