: Head gasket repair, a intense project for a landscaper with little tech knowledge

11-26-10, 06:11 PM
Hey I’m really grateful for all the posts and helpful info I have found on here, but I have a major problem I need help with.
99 Deville w/ “runs perfect” in the window for $1000 and check engine light…well a few overheats and some surfing and I knew what I had. Repair is going well except (and this is embarrassing cause I knew better, but am not mechanically inclined) I couldn’t/didn’t remove alignment sleeve and drilled through it to install Northstar Performance Stud kit. After I drilled it I still couldn’t remove sleeve, so I ran tap through and tapped all the way down, but on the way out the remaining pieces of the sleeve collapsed on the tap. Jake’s stud kit tap is now broken in my block.
Any ideas?

11-26-10, 06:23 PM
I broke a tap in a block once. I'll let you in on a trick - I will PM you when I have access to the internet again later tonight.

11-26-10, 07:47 PM
there are 4 alignment dowels. did this happen on the first one? a good way to remove them is insert a proper size chunk of metal. drill rod or similar will work. than clamp it with visegrip. carefully pry under visegrip with screwdriver and pin usually will work out. don't nick up block surface if you can help it.

11-26-10, 08:30 PM
Also, you can put in a piece of 1/2" all thread and if you have a mig welder tack it to the dowel in 2 or 3 spots, then drop a large socket over the pin, put a washer on it followed by a nut and tighten the nut until the dowel comes out. Put the old head gaskets over a few layers of aluminum foil to protect the engine. If you don't have a welder do the same thing but instead of welding the rod drill through the dowel and all thread, insert a drill bit of the same size (1/8 to 3/16) cut to fit, then pull with socket, washer and nut as before. BE CAREFUL not to damage the block's surface.

11-27-10, 09:14 AM
this happened on the second one..i tried the visegrip, but must have been sticky...thanks jims box, i have a welder now. Had to move the whole project to another shop that doesn't have a lift. Now to get that tap out of my block:o

11-27-10, 09:57 AM
Jimsbox hit the nail on the head. I actually had to fill up part of a head bolt hole with weld, then weld a bolt on to the filled hole and turn it out. The nice thing is the weld will not stick to the block.

11-27-10, 10:08 AM
thanks Eldo C! what size tap do i need to finish..if i can't get one local, i will need to order. if welding doesn't work, would dimond tip drill bit cut the core of tap so peices will fall in?

11-27-10, 10:22 AM
You could also try using diamond tipped burrs in a dremel tool, they used to sell them at Harbor freight pretty cheap, to break the bit down and remove in pieces. Thing to remember, diamond is harder than any alloy of steel so it will cut it, but aluminum is MUCH SOFTER than steel and it your burr or drill get into it will probably aggressively attack it until the aluminum gums up the burr (a good thing since you don't want the aluminum to be damaged if possible. The tap you will see doesn't really bite into the head until it is deeper than the dowel. How deep was the tap when it broke? You can measure the depth of one of the dowels and compare it to how much of the tap is left. I would consider red loctiting that stud in when you are done if there is much thread damage below the dowel depth, but don't do that until you hear from Jake, he may have a good reason not to do that.

I think a small burr on a dremel tool would be infinitely more controllable than a drill bit.

11-27-10, 11:37 AM
5/8x11 plug tap, standard size thread.

11-27-10, 01:42 PM
welded to the tap it was 1/2 inch from top, turned out no problem. lesson learned. romoved other sleeves correctly am now ready to do rest of job:) thanks for the help!

11-27-10, 01:51 PM
If it was only in 1/2 " there will probably not be any problem once you complete tapping it. Good luck, I am putting my car back together after studding a yard engine. I am replacing the engine and trans because mine had a blown head gasket and 280,000 miles on it. When I get done the engine will have 65000 and the trans 90000.

11-27-10, 01:52 PM
That's what we're here for Micah!!!

Take care my friend- best of luck with the rest of the HG job!


11-27-10, 01:53 PM
Jimsbox - you'll have a new Cadillac when you're done :D

11-27-10, 03:16 PM
I hope so. I replaced the steering pump, pressure hose, gear box, tie rod ends, front and rear hubs, front calipers, all the hard brake lines on the cradle,
front struts, rear shocks a couple of years ago with air shocks, new O2 sensors, both tensioners, idler, water pump, hoses, belt last year, and I decided to cut the cable to the rear O2 sensor and splice in a weather tight plug so if I have to drop it again it will be much easier. Quite a job but like you said will be good for another 200k miles. Also, got the alternator with the 02 engine so I am geting rid of a lot coolant plumbing there as well. I am lucky, my wife orks for one of the big auto parts chain stores and I usually get somewhere around 20 to 30% off retail or I wouldn't have done so much to a 10 year old car, but what the heck still looks new outside, just need another drivers seat down the road and the interior will be great as well. The car looks like maybe 30,000 on it on the outside and in except for wear on the drivers seat.

11-27-10, 03:27 PM
I wish I could find a good upholstery shop to do some work on my 1st 97 Eldo. The seats are experiencing the same issues. Wear and cracks on the driver and passenger seat. No matter what, worn out or not, still 100 times more comfortable than a new Hyundai - :D

What color is your DHS from the inside? I have a parts DTS that has a couple of good front seats- if yours has the console shift they may work -

11-27-10, 03:31 PM
Mine is bronze paint with the "camel" or light tan interior. It is a DHS with split bench and column shift. I drive it alone over 95% of the time and I am a heavy weight but mechanically the seat is still very comfortable, love the lumbar massager but the seat heaters on seat and back left the show long ago. I think the rest of the seat (the 60% side) is fine.

11-27-10, 03:32 PM
Jake is it easier to join the engine to the trans then put into the cradle or put the trans in first then the engine?

12-16-10, 06:11 PM
MY northstar is now up and running! block stud-ed. this is not an easy project, but the work is worth it. i did this with no experience and now i kinda want to do it agian. many thanks to Northstar performance Jake for outstanding after-market kit. Also was a big help with questions I would call with. now to take care of a vac leak and brakes and pass nys safety inspection.

thanks to all how take time to past info that provides knowledge for intense jobs like these cars require-micah

12-16-10, 06:22 PM
project done! thanks Northstar Performance! you are outstanding...i have this bad habit of stepping on the gas hard just to hear and feel what my northstar does best-pull me back into the leather:) the best to you this Christmas!-micah

12-23-10, 03:51 AM
I wish I could find a good upholstery shop to do some work on my 1st 97 Eldo.

Princeton Ontario, i cant for the life of me remember the name of the place, its an older lady i think. She did my 79 Chev / 69 Firebird buckets.