: Head Gasket symptoms after Head Gasket repair



Netjive8
04-10-10, 10:25 PM
After driving my 98 Deville that just got out of the shop (HG repair w/ Stud Kit) for approximately 30 miles, it is now producing white smoke from the exhaust (not a ridiculous amount, but still worrisome). I am pretty sure that the smoke smells like coolant.

It first started when I attempted to start it and the car made a weird noise (I don't think it was a backfire, more like a clunk), so I attempted to start the car again and it fired up fine. I got out of the car to make sure nothing under the hood was amiss, and I saw that white smoke was coming out of the exhaust. I then shut the car off and tried to figure out what had just happened since the 30 previous miles had been relatively "trouble free".

Since at first I thought that the smoke was a result of a fuel problem (I didn't smell the exhaust until later), I decided to drive it down the road and back hoping that the problem would resolve itself. During the drive it continued to smoke, but the amount of smoke varied from barely at all to a lot. Also, the car's temperature went up to 230 degrees before I got it back home. Normally the car was staying around 200-210. After it reached 230 it made its way back down to about 220. I then cut off the car once I got home. Also, there were never any messages or indicators from the computer.

Before the car started smoking I was getting a "check coolant" message, but I had chalked it up to the cooling system purging itself of air, and lowering the coolant level after being repaired. By the time it had started smoking (keep in mind this all took place within only 5-10 miles of driving, because I was trying to fix a misfire and I made multiple trips to test the car), I had not had a chance to add any coolant.

After parking the car I bought some coolant and added a little less than a gallon before I was able to see that the coolant level was a few inches from the filler neck of the surge tank. After that I cranked it and let it idle for a minute while I examined the exhaust. It was barely smoking at all and had no distinct smell this time, but it was very moist. I realize that this would probably change if I was actually driving the car.

So right now I'm wondering what could have happened to cause this. I don't know for sure that it is head gaskets again, and I can't even fathom what could have caused it if that is the case. I know that the stud kit has had no failures, and I'm not accusing it at all, so that would mean that something else is causing it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I am very concerned about the possibility of such a major problem. It seems like I'm getting every problem in the book thrown at me this week, hence my various postings this week. I know that this is a long post, so thanks for reading. I'm trying to include as many details as possible, but I'm sure I've forgotten something. Thanks again.

Ranger
04-10-10, 10:35 PM
I know that the stud kit has had no failures, and I'm not accusing it at all, so that would mean that something else is causing it.
Improper installation or head torquing. I'd get it back to however did the job ASAP and have it documented that there seems to be a problem.

coaster
04-10-10, 10:55 PM
listen to the advice ranger gave you so you can be sure that if they did something wrong they will fix the problem so dont jump to conclusions take the car back and go from there good luck im sure it will work for the best for you.

Netjive8
04-10-10, 11:10 PM
Besides head torquing, what other installation pitfalls could have occurred. I just want to give my mechanic as much information as possible because this was the first N* stud kit he has installed (he was the only person I could find who would do it).

Ranger
04-11-10, 10:50 AM
I suppose he could have drilled and tapped a bad block. See the "Root Cause" sticky. Other than that, Jake would probably be better equipped to answer that question.

tateos
04-12-10, 09:36 PM
Unlikely but possible things that come to mind: improper torque values or sequence, cracked or warped head, cracked block or cylinder liner, head gaskets installed upside down?

Netjive8
04-12-10, 09:52 PM
I'm going to have a compression test done to narrow down the problem. I talked with Jake on the phone and he was very helpful. Hopefully he'll be able to post on the forum again after he sorts through some technical issues with logging in.

With regard to the previously mentioned causes, are there any that are more likely to cause a more sudden problem. It just suddenly began smoking after 30 miles (after the repair) with no symptoms other than a "check coolant" message and a slight misfire.

Ranger
04-12-10, 09:55 PM
Man, they screwed something up on that installation. Get that puppy back there soon.

Netjive8
04-15-10, 04:51 PM
I had a compression test done yesterday. I was informed that all 8 cylinders passed @175 psi, but that there was coolant getting into cylinders 4 and 6. Earlier I had traced my misfire down to cylinder 6, so it that might be connected. It's possible to gain some access to the heads on the front(left) of the engine, right (remove water pump, valve cover, etc)? Is that what should do next?

tateos
04-15-10, 06:38 PM
What you should do is take it back to the shop who did the repair for you

coaster
04-15-10, 07:38 PM
i know the car is still under warrenty so take it back you should not worry about nothing take it back yesterday:)

Ranger
04-15-10, 09:11 PM
Why are you still screwing with it? Take it back!

Netjive8
04-15-10, 09:29 PM
I need to figure out what is wrong with it first. I'll deal with the shop if there is an installation problem, but they gave me a good price on the job under the condition that if the head gaskets blew after the repair, they would not fix it under warranty. They had worked with a few northstars before with no little success (obviously they were using an inferior repair like heli-coils or timeserts, if they even did an insert). Also, they were the only shop that I could find that would do the job at all, or without spending $4,000. Besides, even if it was under warranty, wouldn't they open it up and see that it's another problem other than the head gaskets themselves (assuming no installation error)? In hindsight it might not have been a good decision, but my reasoning was that the head gaskets were highly unlikely to fail after the repair, and I was getting a good price (considering my options).

Ranger
04-15-10, 10:16 PM
Timeserts should have held. No inserts of any kind or Helicoils is playing Russian Roulette with an automatic.


they gave me a good price on the job under the condition that if the head gaskets blew after the repair, they would not fix it under warranty. They had worked with a few northstars before with no little success (obviously they were using an inferior repair like heli-coils or timeserts, if they even did an insert).
WOW! Red flags. I hate to say it, but it sounds like they had little idea what they where doing and you rolled the dice and lost. That sucks!

Netjive8
04-15-10, 10:24 PM
I don't know what they had done previously, they might have just put headbolts in the existing holes for all I know, I was just speculating. I have no evidence right now to believe that they did something wrong during my repair.

Ranger
04-15-10, 10:31 PM
It seems obvious that they did something wrong. Do you know if they inserted all 20 bolt holes and if so, what did they use?

Netjive8
04-15-10, 11:52 PM
The mechanic confirmed that he used the stud kit on all 20 holes.

KHE
04-16-10, 07:56 AM
I have no evidence right now to believe that they did something wrong during my repair.

If the engine was repaired properly, you would not be having issues with coolant getting into the #6 cylinder...

The shop's statement that they would not warranty the work should have been a red flag.

tateos
04-16-10, 06:42 PM
Well, guys, hindsight is 20-20 - we have all made mistakes - let's move on and help this fellow:

Assuming you aren't going back to the shop, we have to consider why coolant is entering a cylinder. It's a short list; it has to be coming from the block, the head, or the block/head interface, the head gasket. I think what I would do is remove the valve cover for the affected bank and see if all the nuts are tight and torqued properly. I suppose maybe you could loosen them all and re-torque them in the correct sequence. If they are OK, then I think that head needs to come back off for further evaluation

Netjive8
04-16-10, 09:19 PM
I appreciate the help.

I've started working on removing the valve cover. Tomorrow I'll go and get the required puller to remove the waterpump/camshaft pulley. I've read that a power steering puller should work. Thanks again.

Ranger
04-17-10, 02:07 AM
The mechanic confirmed that he used the stud kit on all 20 holes.
Stud kit? Jake's stud kit? I agree with Tateos. Retorque those puppies and see if they where done right.

97EldoCoupe
04-17-10, 04:07 PM
Hey everyone. I can't get on the forums through my home or office computer- but through my iPhone it's working.

I confirmed with Ben in an earlier phone conversation that pressure is building in the cooling system when cranking the engine without the coil pack plugged in. This is a sure sign of either the gasket(s) not sealing or a cracked head/block. I have yet to find a cracked head and cracked blocks usually result in more white smoke than Ben's car is producing. To me it sounds like either a head or block mating surface imperfection or improper torquing of the studs/nuts.

I intend to help Ben through this the best I can.

Ben check the head torque - 75 foot pounds on all studs, start from the center and work your way in an "X" pattern to the outsides of the heads.

If that shop does nothing for you let me know the name of the shop and I will add them to my "do not add to INNRS" list. Also if nothing else works can u get it on a trailer out to my shop?

There's not one block that I've found with so much corrosion that I couldn't install my studs. Always clean, shiny aluminum.

Netjive8
04-20-10, 07:01 PM
I got the valve cover off and it appears that all 10 of the nuts are torqued to at least 75 foot lbs. However, some studs had more thread showing than others, if that matters. It's looking like I might need to remove the cylinder head. If I did end up removing the head, what would the easiest way be (any shortcuts?). I've heard it can be done without removing the timing cover, but I don't want to mess up the timing. Is there anything else besides that and the 10 nuts that need to come off to remove the head? Thanks.

Ranger
04-20-10, 10:21 PM
There are timing chains that drive the cams so you must pull the timing cover to remove and lock them in place to keep the tensioners from extending.

tateos
04-20-10, 11:30 PM
There are timing chains that drive the cams so you must pull the timing cover to remove and lock them in place to keep the tensioners from extending.

That's pretty close. Actually, the tensioner plungers are going to extend when you remove the gears from the cams. You will need to at least unbolt the cover enough to depress the tensioner ratchet release tab that will permit the tensioner plungers to depress when you are re-assembling. Some have said you can do it with the crankshaft locked in place and with the balancer pulley still installed - that's the shortcut. Personally, I would remove the balancer - it will permit you to have 100% access and 100% view of what you're doing, so as to be sure you have the timing correct.

Ranger
04-21-10, 10:37 AM
Thanks Tateos. Never been in there so I wasn't exactly sure, but bottom line is the head ain't coming off without opening up the chain case. I wonder if he could get away with just retorqueing the heads?

Netjive8
04-23-10, 04:38 PM
I've removed the crankshaft pulley and the timing cover. Next I'm going to unbolt the left exhaust manifold, front motor mount, and water crossover. What do I need to do to separate the head from the water crossover, and do I need to drain the coolant? Also, should I disconnect the exhaust at the head or at the bottom?

Ranger
04-23-10, 09:16 PM
You do have to drain the coolant.

Netjive8
04-24-10, 09:59 PM
I've removed everything that is necessary before removing the actual cylinder head. The only thing holding the head on now is the two 10mm hex bolts in the center of the head. I can't get either of them to budge. They have already started to strip. I've tried penetrating oil and a torch but they still won't move. Is there anything else I can try, what are my options if I can't remove them with the 10mm hex bit.

Ranger
04-24-10, 10:32 PM
Impact wrench?

edb150
04-25-10, 09:36 PM
There should not be any 10 mm hexhead bolts if there were studs installed as far as I know. there are 10 headbolts (or studs in your case ) and 3 smaller bolts in the timing chain opening area (10 mm socket to remove) not sure what it is your having trouble with that has a hex on it. let us know what you find

Netjive8
04-25-10, 09:39 PM
Yea, I removed the 10 nuts on the studs and the 3 bolts in the chain case, but there are two 10mm female hex bolts in the center of the head that I can't get out. It definitely feels like something is still holding the head on.

Mark C
04-26-10, 11:37 AM
Those aren't head bolts if you took 10 nuts off of 10 studs, they may be some kind of plug into the internal passages of the head, oil passage cleanouts possibly? The only thing holding the heads on is the 10 head bolts, plus those 3 small screws in the timing chain passage, plus the 6 bolts on the crossover passage at the transmission end of the engine. There are 3 into the block on the lower end of the crossover, and 3 into the head.

Depending on which head your removing there may be a motor mount or two connected to the head as well. There is at least one connection from the rear head to the transmission output shaft housing by cylinder 3, front one has two bolts to the front motor mount bracket below cylinders 4 and 6.

Netjive8
04-26-10, 04:20 PM
Those aren't head bolts if you took 10 nuts off of 10 studs, they may be some kind of plug into the internal passages of the head, oil passage cleanouts possibly? The only thing holding the heads on is the 10 head bolts, plus those 3 small screws in the timing chain passage, plus the 6 bolts on the crossover passage at the transmission end of the engine. There are 3 into the block on the lower end of the crossover, and 3 into the head.

Depending on which head your removing there may be a motor mount or two connected to the head as well. There is at least one connection from the rear head to the transmission output shaft housing by cylinder 3, front one has two bolts to the front motor mount bracket below cylinders 4 and 6.

That makes sense, the only reason I thought that those two hex bolts had to come out was because I couldn't get the head to budge, and i couldn't see anything else holding it on. I'll go take another look at it.

Netjive8
04-27-10, 08:33 PM
I still can't get the head to budge. I have removed all of the obvious stuff, including the 10 headbolts, 3 chaincase bolts, front engine mount bolts, and three long bolts from the water crossover. Do I have to remove those other 3 bolts from the water crossover (I can only see one more bolt to remove on the left side)? There's one bolt i can see down lower that I haven't removed, but it doesn't look like it goes into the head. Also, since I couldn't figure out how to get to all of the exhaust manifold bolts, I just unbolted it down under the front motor mount. I should be able to remove the head with that few feet of exhaust manifold with it right?

Ranger
04-27-10, 09:03 PM
3 chaincase bolts
You DID remove the chains, didn't you?

Netjive8
04-27-10, 10:11 PM
Yes, I did. Sorry I didn't mention that.

Ranger
04-27-10, 10:35 PM
I hate to ask, but I assume the water pump belt as well? Having never pulled the heads, those are the only two things I can think of. I wonder if the alignment pins could be holding tight enough to hold the head in place. Someone who has done it before can address that.

Netjive8
04-27-10, 10:37 PM
Yea, the water pump belt is off. I'll see what I can find out about the alignment pins.

tateos
04-28-10, 12:57 PM
The head should pop right off easily, so something is wrong - don't force it.

That motor mount bracket you unbolted from the head might still be putting enough pressure on the head to cause it to be jammed against the alignment dowels. As I recall, there are 2 bolts to the head and 2 to the block. Maybe you should unbolt it from the block also, or at least loosen those bolts, and then gently jack up from the engine/trans brace to remove pressure on that bracket.

The other thing you could try is to briefly engage the starter, with the spark plugs in, but the ignition disabled - that way compression will lift the head off.

Mark C
04-28-10, 02:24 PM
Watch out doing that. As soon as you turn the key on the fuel pump will run and spray gas out the ends of your fuel line assuming youve got the intake disconnected. Pull the fuel pump relay out of the engine compartment relay panel.

tateos
04-28-10, 03:59 PM
Watch out doing that. As soon as you turn the key on the fuel pump will run and spray gas out the ends of your fuel line assuming youve got the intake disconnected. Pull the fuel pump relay out of the engine compartment relay panel.

Yup - good catch

Netjive8
04-28-10, 09:02 PM
I had previously removed all the bolts from the front motor mounts, but it still wouldn't budge. I actually still have the intake manifold intact, it's just propped up away from the head. Could turning the engine over mess up the timing/valves since I have the timing chain removed from the left head? Thanks for the suggestions.

Ranger
04-28-10, 09:52 PM
I had previously removed all the bolts from the front motor mounts, but it still wouldn't budge. I actually still have the intake manifold intact, it's just propped up away from the head. Could turning the engine over mess up the timing/valves since I have the timing chain removed from the left head? Thanks for the suggestions.

Yup. Don't do that. :tisk:

tateos
04-29-10, 03:36 PM
What's the diff? He has to re-set the timing anyway, right?

STSS
04-29-10, 04:20 PM
I think Mr. Piston would meet Mrs. Valve if he spun it now and the head didn't pop off.

Ranger
04-29-10, 05:01 PM
Yeah, some of those valves are open. We are concerned with interference, not timing.

tateos
04-29-10, 08:59 PM
"Thud" The sound you just heard is me giving myself a dope slap - sorry about that guys.

Ranger
04-29-10, 09:22 PM
:) Don't worry about it Tateos. We all do it from time to time.

Netjive8
04-30-10, 07:05 PM
So what's the next step? The only thing I can think of is the possibility of some bolt(s) on the water crossover holding the head on that I can't see. I've already removed three long bolts from the water crossover that appeared to be holding the head on. Everything else has been visibly disconnected (timing chains, exhaust manifold, front motor mount, stud bolts, chain-case external drive bolts).

Ranger
04-30-10, 08:55 PM
Well, the crossover DOES move coolant from head to head, so that's where most of the bolts would be is my guess.

Ranger
04-30-10, 09:09 PM
I've already removed three long bolts from the water crossover that appeared to be holding the head on.
OK, I just went and checked my FSM. The diagrams are not the best, but I think there are four bolts holding the crossover to the front (left) head. Two on the top left (horizontally spaced) and two more almost vertically spaced to the lower left of the water pump. Maybe one goes into the block. I could not tell.

tateos
04-30-10, 10:17 PM
There are 4 coolant passages, 2 on each side, 2 bolts each, . What I can't remember is if both coolant passages on each side connected to the head, or if the lower passage is into the block. Might as well take the 4th bolt out and see, no?

edb150
04-30-10, 11:50 PM
there are 2 bolts into the block and 2 into the head. 8 total. Which head are you trying to take off? The rear head has a bracket from the exhaust under the coolant crossover. Its a studded bolt with a ground wire to it. Remove the nut,ground wire, and then the studded bolt. if its the front head check the alternater bolts, and if your pulling the ex manifold with the head make sure to unplug the o2 sensor.

Netjive8
05-01-10, 12:14 AM
I'm trying to take off the front head, I'll check and see if there are any bolts I missed.

Netjive8
05-01-10, 12:29 PM
I believe that I have removed the 4 bolts that hold the water crossover to the left head. 3 of the bolts are long, while 1 is shorter. The only other bolts I see are part of the transmission.

Netjive8
05-02-10, 01:26 AM
Well I finally got the cylinder head off. I was able to work it off centimeter by centimeter by prying under the small lip on the left and right sides of the cylinder head alternating with a long screwdriver. I examined the inside of the cylinder, the cylinder head, and the headgasket, but I couldn't see anything obvious at first glance. I'll take a closer look tomorrow and try to post some pictures.

Ranger
05-02-10, 09:59 AM
So what was holding it down? Alignment pins?

Netjive8
05-02-10, 11:32 AM
I didn't see any alignment pins, I guess there was just tension between the studs holding it on. I did notice a gash on the head gasket itself that corresponds to the #6 cylinder where most of the coolant was. It also trails to what I believe is a coolant passage when matched up to the cylinder head. Could this be causing the problem? If so, what would cause a gash like this? Also, when I had the compression test done a few weeks ago, they told me that there was coolant in both the #4 & #6 cylinders, but unless I'm looking at it wrong, I can only see evidence of coolant being in the #6 cylinder. Below are some pictures that show what I'm talking about. Sorry for the quality, the lens kept getting moisture on it.

Submariner409
05-02-10, 01:13 PM
See the sleeves on the studs at the top left of Cyl. 1 and top right of Cyl. 7 ?
Those are the head alignment sleeves and they can be tight.

No idea what would cause the gasket to shed a piece of material like that - was the piece stick to the head surface or is it just a void in the gasket - in which case it's an assembly oversight.

"lens kept getting moisture on it" - is that rain on the cylinder head ? :eek:

Netjive8
05-02-10, 01:36 PM
See the sleeves on the studs at the top left of Cyl. 1 and top right of Cyl. 7 ?
Those are the head alignment sleeves and they can be tight.

Yea I see now, that makes sense.


No idea what would cause the gasket to shed a piece of material like that - was the piece stick to the head surface or is it just a void in the gasket - in which case it's an assembly oversight.
I didn't see any piece stuck to the head surface, I guess it was a void in the gasket or something.


"lens kept getting moisture on it" - is that rain on the cylinder head ? :eek:
I've got the car in a garage, so I think that's just coolant splash from when I took the head off. I think the lens was fogging up because of the change from a cool inside environment to a warm humid environment.

Is the fix as simple as throwing a new head gasket on there and re-assembling?

Submariner409
05-02-10, 01:42 PM
Clean everything up and put it all back together.

In the head gasket pic you can see where the cylinder head curved coolant passage bled coolant through that gasket cut (or scraped area). Curious that the cylinder seal ring was damaged (dented) also. It almost looks as if something were dropped on the gasket at one point.

Ranger
05-02-10, 10:52 PM
I forgot that it was studded with Jake's studs. As Sub mentioned his studs include alignment sleeves so the pins I was referring to are no longer needed.

Is the fix as simple as throwing a new head gasket on there and re-assembling?
Now that it's studded, yes. You can pull the heads and reinstall them as many time as you like.

Netjive8
05-05-10, 06:16 PM
How clean do the mating surfaces need to be? I used a plastic scraper and some carb cleaner to clean the head and the deck, which got all of the gasket residue off and 99% of everything else. The surfaces are shining, but it is not perfectly 100% clean. If it does need to be immaculate, I'll have to try something else to clean with.

tateos
05-05-10, 09:59 PM
I used brake cleaner and a rag - worked for me

Netjive8
05-05-10, 11:05 PM
Thanks, I'll go ahead and put the cylinder head on then.

Netjive8
05-06-10, 07:52 PM
I've got the cylinder head back on. Jake told me that the stud nuts had to be torqued to 75 ft/lbs in an "x" pattern.

So #1. Is that the same "x" pattern described in the FSM?

and #2. Do I need to torque the nuts through various passes, or do I torque them all the way one at a time making one pass?

Thanks.

tateos
05-06-10, 09:18 PM
1. Yes.

2. Check with him - i would say do 25/50/75 and then a final pass double checking for 75

97EldoCoupe
05-07-10, 02:56 PM
30/60/75. As Tateos mentioned- double check. One loose nut on a stud will cause overheating on hills/acceleration. Everyone makes mistakes (No matter how many Northstars you've done - 1 or 170+) and the best way to eliminate potential loose bolts is 1)tighten 2)make sure they're tight and 3) make sure you've made sure they're tight. A lot of parts have to come off to access the simplest thing on these cars.

I thank you all for helping Netjive8 through this ordeal as I have been pretty much unable to access the forums (except through my iPhone) and suffered the loss of a family member.

All it takes is a defective gasket, or even carelessness in handling of the gasket. To me that looks like either/or. Netjive8 - have you tried contacting the tech who did the work on your car? They need to do something for you- there's no reason you should have had to go through this yourself. Everyone makes mistakes but it's the responsibility of the tech who did the work- even if they don't offer any warranty- to make sure the car at least works when he's completed the repair. This wasn't a thread issue where the bolts wouldn't hold torque- they have no excuse NOT to help you out here.

I hope that once you put it back together that your Caddy will last you forever. Re-assemble, drive, and enjoy your 300hp machine with the throttle blade wide open!

Submariner409
05-07-10, 03:10 PM
Hiya, Jake.........Welcome back. Next time it snows you'll know Grandma's knockin' the feathers off a few angels............

97EldoCoupe
05-07-10, 03:45 PM
Hey Jim - thanks! I've missed some calls, late with some emails and I have yet to answer some PMs- but I try my hardest to help when I can. Netjive8 has gone through the expense of installing studs in hopes for no more issues and one messed up gasket caused all of this trouble.

A word of caution to all who do a Northstar repair job: Don't use cheap head gaskets sold on ebay or cheap knock off brand names. I just did one recently that looked like the inner core was wire mesh from an old window screen. The graphite fell right out of it. That car changed hands 13 times and those were almost new head gaskets I had to remove from that engine- so it has been repaired recently.

Stick with GM or Fel-Pro. I use Fel-Pro. Always have, likely always will. Victor Reinz is actually an OEM supplier for some of the Northstar gaskets used in original production so I guess they would be a good brand too.

97EldoCoupe
05-07-10, 03:48 PM
I think I'll try to send Grandma a note to leave the angels alone for a while - I'm enjoying the 70+ degree temps we've been having here lately.....:D

Submariner409
05-07-10, 05:53 PM
................don't forget that the latch string is out if you're passing through.

Netjive8
05-07-10, 08:54 PM
Hey Jake, thanks for the all of your help. I'm in the process of putting the car back together now, but I hope that everything works out. I actually put the head on before I read today's posts, so I torqued it using 25/50/75. Do I need to re-torque them? Also, I remembered that when I was turning the engine over by hand before I took the head off (a week or so ago) at one point during the rotation it would become harder to turn, but then it would get easier again. Was that normal? The timing appeared to be set up correctly, so it couldn't be bumping the valves. Again, this before I took the head off, I just remember wondering if that was normal. Thanks again.

aac123
05-07-10, 09:33 PM
Yes its normal to feel a little resistance when rotating engine by hand. Its the top of the revolution right before it goes down and around again, that's what your "feeling".

I see your in NC... I stay in winston salem and just dropped the cradle on a 1999 deville to install norms. After dropping 3 cradles and doing one job in the car you couldn't pay me double to do it in the car.

Good Luck

Netjive8
05-07-10, 09:38 PM
Thanks for the response, I'm glad that the resistance is normal. I hear what you're saying about doing it in the car. Just taking the front head off with the engine in the car is a tough job.

97EldoCoupe
05-08-10, 10:41 AM
I believe it! Especially with studs- I'm just sorry Netjive8 that you had to go through all of this. Could you please PM me the name / location of the shop? I will place them in my "do not add to INNRS members (stud installers)" list....

97EldoCoupe
05-08-10, 10:45 AM
Sorry but if they told you no warranty, and they did not help you at all with this failure, I refuse to ever have them listed as an installer.

Netjive8
05-12-10, 05:27 PM
Ok, so I've only got a few more things to put back on, but I've got a few questions.

Regarding the torque value of the harmonic balancer bolt: I initially torqued it to 37 ft lbs + 120 degrees, but that was not even close to 300 ft lbs. I tightened it a little bit more to around 200 ft lbs. should I continue to tighten it? I did put a little oil on the bolt as per the service manual (might affect torque value).

I bought a new valve cover gasket because the old one came out of the groove and wouldn't go back in right. But my question is, do I also have to replace the camshaft seal? I know that the manual says that it requires changing, but I was wondering if it was worth it to try and re-use the old one. I would have bought one from a parts store already but now I'm going to have to order one if it ends up needing to be replaced.

Netjive8
05-12-10, 06:10 PM
You can disregard the second question, I just realized that the valve cover gasket kit I bought came with a camshaft seal.

Also, I'm having trouble keeping the valve cover gasket in the groove of the valve cover. The gasket keeps popping out after I flip the cover over to install it. Are there any tips to keep the gasket seated?

tateos
05-12-10, 08:29 PM
Tighten the balancer bolt to 37 ft pounds plus 120 degrees - THAT"S IT - NO MORE! No need to overtighten. I agree it seems really easy to do that - like it's not tight enough - BUT IT IS. I questioned it too, when I did it - so much so that I re-did the procedure, with the same results. I stayed with the recommended procedure and I have had ZERO problems with loosening or oil pressure.

The 300 ft pounds figure I have seen mentioned around here might be what it takes to break loose the bolt after many years and miles - mine was probably more than 300 ft pounds! The pulley was really hard to remove too, wasn't it? I broke my cheap Harbor Fright 3 jaw puller. But it was pretty easy to re-install, right? When assembling, just follow the manual and you'll be all set.

Netjive8
05-12-10, 10:26 PM
Thanks for the info.

It was a little difficult to remove my harmonic balancer, but it worked out ok. Re-installing it was just tedious. I think it was easier for me to remove it because it had recently been removed by a mechanic, and probably torqued incorrectly as I had an intermittent oil pressure light.

97EldoCoupe
05-13-10, 07:56 AM
37 ft. lbs + 120 degrees isn't enough. It may be what the service manual says but it's still not enough. I'm sorry Tateos to have to diagree with you here but in a way I do agree- If the circumstances are adequate (correct oil on the balancer bolt, a little WD-40 on the inside of the balancer, no dirt or dust inside, that might be enough torque.

I know for sure when I tighten these that I am hitting an average of about 250-275 ft. lbs. More torque won't damage anything except possibly snap the bolt (I've run into a couple of weak ones) but they also turn out very easy. I know 37 ft. lbs. +120 degress does not equal this amount of torque.

Clearance is incredibly picky. I normally use WD-40 on the inside of the balancer as a light lubricant to help it slide onto the taper of the crankshaft. I was out of WD the one day, so I used just a very small amount of white grease- very little. Torqued it like I normally do. No oil pressure. I thought that was weird. I removed the balancer, checked everything, got some WD-40. Used that instead. Torqued it again. 40+ psi at cranking speed with a near dead battery (engine out of the car).

With the balancer bolt, if it doubt, give it more torque. The worst thing that can happen is you have to remove a broken M14 bolt.

Netjive8 - if you had an intermittent oil pressure light, start listening for rattles and knocks and watch that light closely. If it begins to come back or any weird sounds occur, take note immediately and stop driving the car- If it was your balancer not being tight enough that caused that, you may never have had adequate oil pressure to the bearings and cylinder heads. I would advise an oil change on the double (even if it's new) because there is a possibility that a slight bit of wear already occurred. Don't want the metal floating around in your engine (oil filters are not as effective as one would hope). Best of luck with your beautiful Caddy-

tateos
05-13-10, 01:17 PM
No problem Jake - I have done this: once - you: hundreds of times - I bow to your superior knowledge and experience!

I used a tool to install/press the balancer on until it bottomed, so I did not rely on tightening the bolt to force the balancer into contact with the oil pump drive surface. Maybe that made the difference? Before the pulley was installed, I applied some engine oil on the seal, crankshaft snout, and balancer surfaces. then wiped off the metal surfaces, leaving just a light film. After the balancer was installed, I did the same thing with the bolt threads - doused them with oil, and then wiped off what I could, just leaving a film of oil on the threads. I tightened to 37+120 - it was so much easier than I expected that I loosened it and re-did it - 37+120, end of story.

It worked for me, that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it! :D

Netjive8
05-13-10, 04:09 PM
Ok, I'll torque the balancer bolt to around 250-275 ft lbs, thanks for clarifying. On another note, what is the best way to keep the valve cover gasket seated while I install the cam cover?

STSS
05-13-10, 05:10 PM
I've heard of people freezing them to keep them from expanding.

Maybe try some Vaseline to hold it in the groove?

Netjive8
05-13-10, 07:48 PM
Thanks for the advice, I ended up using a few dabs of gasket sealant to hold it in the groove while I installed the cam cover.

Netjive8
05-13-10, 10:42 PM
I've almost finished putting it all back together. Is there anything I need to do to prepare the engine for cranking?

tateos
05-14-10, 12:44 PM
Disconnect the power to the ignition module, like it says in the FSM, to prevent starting - then crank the engine a little to build oil pressure - then re-connect and start the engine. I know you only removed the one head, and it may be unnecessary... but it can't hurt. You may still have a noisy valve train on the left bank for awhile - it takes quite awhile for the oil to fully circulate to the heads - but do not be concerned - it will quiet down after 5-10 minutes,

Netjive8
05-14-10, 07:14 PM
After putting everything back together, I was able to successfully start the car. The first time I tried to start it, it ran for a few seconds then died. I checked everything over and turned the engine over by hand a few times to make sure that nothing was wrong, then I started it for the second time, and it stayed running this time. I set the climate control to 90 degrees (like it says in the manual) and allowed it to warm up for a while. The engine sounded smooth throughout the process. At about 210 degrees the lower radiator hose became hot and the manual says to cut off the car at that point and properly fill the cooling system. The temperature was at 214 when I cut it off. I never saw any white smoke. While listening in the engine bay I heard a pop/clunk sound come from the general direction of the blower motor. When I checked inside the cabin no air was coming out so I cut the climate control off and back on. Then it made sort of a whirring noise that went from low to high pitched, like something was spinning up. The noise concerned me and there was still no air coming out so I just cut off the climate control. After that the sound went away and the only thing left was the normal sound of the engine running. I'm excited that the engine is running properly (I hope), and I hope that the "clunk" noise was nothing other than the blower motor (which was replaced/working fine before I acquired the car). The next thing I'm going to do is fill the cooling system up properly and maybe test drive it.

tateos
05-14-10, 08:32 PM
Thanks for the update - keep us informed. We are all interested in your story, because it is unusual to hear of a failure to correct the HG problem, ESPECIALLY when using Jake's studs. If your blower motor needs to be changed, you may need to rock the cradle forward to gain access - let us know - we can tell you how to do that.

Ranger
05-14-10, 09:26 PM
While listening in the engine bay I heard a pop/clunk sound come from the general direction of the blower motor. When I checked inside the cabin no air was coming out so I cut the climate control off and back on. Then it made sort of a whirring noise that went from low to high pitched, like something was spinning up.
Sounds like the squirrel cage grenaded (been there) or came loose off the shaft.

Netjive8
05-14-10, 10:32 PM
What would cause a new blower motor to grenade or come off the shaft? If I end up replacing it could the same thing happen again soon after? Regarding blower motor replacement, the service manual mentions nothing about lowering or rocking the engine forward to gain access. Everything I've read says that the engine will need to be moved a little in order to gain access.

Netjive8
05-14-10, 11:48 PM
Well here's what's left of my blower motor. What causes it to break apart like that?

Submariner409
05-15-10, 07:48 AM
Whoever did the install jammed it in and cracked the squirrelcage.

Ranger
05-15-10, 01:14 PM
See post #2. Note the last paragraph.
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-tech-tips/46611-97-deville-blower-motor-replacement.html

Netjive8
05-15-10, 01:32 PM
See post #2. Note the last paragraph.
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-tech-tips/46611-97-deville-blower-motor-replacement.html

Wow, that sounds like what probably happened in my situation. I'm going to try and see if there is some sort of warranty from the shop that did the repair.

Netjive8
06-04-10, 10:39 PM
Sorry for the delay between updates. I've been waiting for a replacement blower motor under warranty for the last few weeks, but I got tired of waiting and got a used blower motor from the salvage yard today. Since it was the 1-piece blower motor revision, I had to remove the front 2 sub-frame bolts and lower it a few inches to gain the necessary clearance. After that, the blower motor slid in perfectly. Upon testing the a/c, the air is now blowing out air like it should.

However, there is a now noticeable shimmy when the car is driven at low speeds that feels like a wheel is wobbling (I don't think it's actually a wheel problem, but it feels like it. I re-checked the lug nut torque just in case) especially when turning, and the car vibrates a little at highway speeds. The last time I drove it before replacing the blower motor, these symptoms were not present. The only thing I've done since then is remove and replace the left front wheel (to gain access through the wheel well), and replace the blower motor. Is there something that could have been damaged from lowering the front of the sub-frame a little? Upon initial inspection there is a bushing on each side of the front suspension near each tire that look like they could be damaged, but I don't know what they looked like before. I'm not very familiar with suspensions but I think the bushings belong to a tie rod, or control arm, or something. I can post pictures later. It might be a good idea for me to put this in a separate thread.

tateos
06-05-10, 11:45 AM
I can't think of anything that you could have harmed by doing that. I did that most recently twice on my now defunct 2000 DTS; once, in order to replace the infamous front motor mount, the other time to gain access to some heater hoses on the firewall, and also to be able to remove the ignition module and coil pack (it was a different set-up than your '96 - it had the coil on plug design). I have also completely dropped the cradle on my '97 ETC to do the HG repair. I've never had a problem like you describe. The only thing I can say is I did loosen the rear 4 bolts considerably also, to allow the cradle to pivot. I would hope that you did that also, but if you didn't, maybe you could have damaged something.

edb150
06-05-10, 07:48 PM
Recheck the wheel you had off. Its possible that rust or corrosion may have fallen off the back of the wh eel or rotor and is now lodged between the wheel and hub or rotor and hub. jack the car up and have someone run the car while you watch for the wobble.

Netjive8
08-05-10, 12:56 AM
Well it has been a few months now, and everything is still working fine. Hopefully this car will last for many years to come. I would like to thank everyone for their advice. I am very appreciative of all the help I received during the diagnostics and repair. I would especially like to thank Jake for taking the time out of his busy schedule to help me out. Thanks everyone!

97EldoCoupe
08-05-10, 09:23 PM
Hey no problem. I try my best to help when I can. There's a forum member whom I owe a deep apology, promised to send him a coolant crossover and it slid off my to-do-list somewhere between shipping out an engine and finishing a car.

Netjive8, I hope the car lasts you for as long as you'd like to drive it!

miwise
08-09-10, 10:25 PM
Unlikely but possible things that come to mind: improper torque values or sequence, cracked or warped head, cracked block or cylinder liner, head gaskets installed upside down?

THere's a sequence to torquing the head bolts?

Ranger
08-09-10, 10:34 PM
Absolutely.

Head Bolt Tightening Sequence
http://www.boxwrench.net/specs/images/sbchvy_head_seq.gif

I think this is for a Chevy, but the idea is the same. See the pattern? Start in the center with an ever enlarging circle.

miwise
08-09-10, 11:13 PM
I see. and it makes sense. Hmmm. I hope that mechanic did that.

Ranger
08-10-10, 12:00 PM
I'm sure he did. It is basic auto repair 101.

hcaddy95
08-10-10, 01:12 PM
you got pretty lucky with which side of the engine had the bad gasket since its studded now