: HG For Me Too!



w98seeng
05-23-11, 11:33 AM
Like a lot of you I'm also in the middle of doing the HG on my friends 2001 Deville. He's a used car dealer and the car is for resale, so only the necessary stuff is being done, so out comes the back head, the front is staying put. As my driveway is on an incline, I can't lift the car high enough to get the motor out the bottom, so I'm doing it in car.

I sent the head off for planing and went to put it in hoping the threads would be OK as I heard after 1999 the blocks aren't that bad, but alas, I went to tighten the second bolt to 22 ft/lb and the threads snapped. Actually, I have 4 bad ones just from putting the head bolts in hand tight and removing them.

So out comes the head again and I am doing the timeserts. No room to install studs.

Does anyone happen to have a set they have used and want to sell? I will buy the timeserts, but I need the installation kit.

The kit # I need for the 2001 is J-42385-2000, is this correct?

Thanks,
Ian

Here are some pics of the job...
I know in the pics there is only the OEM jack on the car, but it's OK, there are two stands underneath also.

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b390/w98seeng/Caddy/Picture005.jpg

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b390/w98seeng/Caddy/Picture009.jpg

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b390/w98seeng/Caddy/Picture010.jpg

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b390/w98seeng/Caddy/Picture006.jpg

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b390/w98seeng/Caddy/Picture007.jpg

drewsdeville
05-23-11, 12:36 PM
Another 2000+ bites the dust...

w98seeng
05-23-11, 01:27 PM
Another 2000+ bites the dust...

From what I have read the 2000's and up weren't as susceptible to the bolt problem that's why my friend took a chance and bought it for resale.

But it will rise from the ashes once again.

Ian

w98seeng
05-23-11, 04:34 PM
Looking at the Timeserts website they mention a different kit for 2000 and later engines. They say that "the block is similar to the early 4.0/4.6 but has two thread depths, 35mm upper bank and 51mm lower bank. This is measured from top of the block to the first starting thread."

Does this mean there are two different length bolts? All 10 of mine are the same length.

89falcon
05-23-11, 05:13 PM
Seems a little silly to me to have it THAT far, and NOT do the other side also! As a matter of fact, I could maybe even see doing just the front side, but to do the back and NOT the front.....:hmm:

Other than the extra labor of doing the timeserts, you'd only have about another $100 in the job....and if nothing else, it sounds like a "smart" investment even for a used car salesman....a couple hundred $'s is cheap insurance against the other side blowing in a month or two and having the kindly old lawyer who bought the car being rather pissed and litigious.....

w98seeng
05-23-11, 07:17 PM
Seems a little silly to me to have it THAT far, and NOT do the other side also!

a couple hundred $'s is cheap insurance against the other side blowing in a month or two and having the kindly old lawyer who bought the car being rather pissed and litigious.....

This is exactly what I told him, but he's the kind of guy who doesn't spend money unless he absolutely has to.

Ian

maeng9981
05-23-11, 07:54 PM
Do it once, and do it right.

89falcon
05-23-11, 08:18 PM
This is exactly what I told him, but he's the kind of guy who doesn't spend money unless he absolutely has to.

Ian

I've got no pony in this race...when my HG went, I just swapped out the entire engine with a less used one....mine had over 200K on it and I felt the bottom end probably wasn't long for this world......but if I WERE doing it, my choices would be.....

-Studs: understand you don't want to drop the motor out the bottom....I keep hearing it isn't THAT big of a deal to pull it out the top....but if the guy paying the bill is too cheap to do both sides....studs aren't an option
-Norm's inserts (300s?): simple math....more surface area between insert, stronger threads....the price for Norm's kit is NOT really higher than the timeserts....and I think someone had the jig for sale cheap here....but they are also on ebay...http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/NORTHSTAR-INSERTS-NS300L-HEAD-BOLT-THREAD-REPAIR-KIT-/160588368317?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item2563d009bd
-Bigserts: ie, second repair timeserts.....same as above....more surface area, better threads...price about the same as normal timeserts...and if you ever get conned into doing this again...you don't have to worry about what you'll do when you pull a head and find out its already been timeserted once...
-timeserts.....good luck....I'd never even consider doing it to MY car...too much work for dubious results....JMHO....read some of AJ's threads about Northstar blocks he's torn down....

Keep in mind that 4 sets of threads gave way when you tried to install the last head gasket.....it doesn't sound like you're working with the strongest block to begin with.....was it neglected? was the coolant old? is the other side already gone, but is still holding up ok with the compression the starter can build, but NOT the pressure of WOT?

Just sayin......

kildysartkid
05-23-11, 09:10 PM
My question would be, how can you be sure its just the rear head gasket that's blown. From what I read the most reliable way to find if you have a blown head gasket is with a block test which checks for exhaust gases in the coolant, but will not tell you which head. When I checked mine I used compressed air to pressurize each cylinder one at time and watch for air bubbles in the surge tank. Even this is not fool proof as I was applying only 120 psi to the cylinder and but when the engine is running the pressure in the cylinders is much higher probably about 600 psi when the fuel ignites.
You could find yourself in completing the rear head only to find the front is bad also and have to pull the fuel rail, intake and timing cover all over again.:bomb:

Ranger
05-23-11, 10:24 PM
:yeah:

The front is much easier than the rear. It seems a shame to do a half assed job. I'd hate to be the sucker that buys that car from him (or any car based on what you told us).

w98seeng
05-23-11, 10:31 PM
I know, I know. What can I do. It's actually better for me as I will make more money when I have to do the front head gasket later on.

Ian

00 Deville
05-23-11, 10:52 PM
I know, I know. What can I do. It's actually better for me as I will make more money when I have to do the front head gasket later on.

Ian

Ian, Just curious about what you are charging the guy to do the rear head... how much more would you charge him to do the front head at the same time?

maeng9981
05-24-11, 01:51 AM
Please help Northstar drivers stay on the road by fixing it right.

Because of these band aid fixes, lots of Northstars are being thrown away and they get bad reputations. You have to explain very well about this situation to your friend and convince him to pay for the right fix.

In my case the front gasket was in worse condition than the rear one, and all 4 cylinders were leaking on the front.(comparing to the rear which only had leak on #2)

stoveguyy
05-24-11, 01:12 PM
a few kits on ebay. buy one and than sell it. they go fast. how far did you tear head down? remove cams/valves for machining? did shop tell you if head was warped? a good shop will check head for flatness and only take off minimum? did they mention how tweaked it was?

Ranger
05-24-11, 04:24 PM
I sent the head off for planing
That was probably a waste of money right there. The heads almost never need to be milled.

vincentm
05-24-11, 04:45 PM
Please help Northstar drivers stay on the road by fixing it right.

Because of these band aid fixes, lots of Northstars are being thrown away and they get bad reputations. You have to explain very well about this situation to your friend and convince him to pay for the right fix.

:yeah:
Couldn't have said it any better.

w98seeng
05-25-11, 06:39 PM
how much more would you charge him to do the front head at the same time?

It's only a couple three more hours (hopefully), to do the front head so the labour isn't the concern.


That was probably a waste of money right there. The heads almost never need to be milled.

I was taught to always plane the head when the engine overheats many times.

I spoke with him again and I am doing the front head.

Fore those who have done this job in car, is it easier to remove the rad fans and rad to have more access?

I saw a couple of timesert kits on eBay, but they were for the pre 2000 engines.

Ian

w98seeng
05-25-11, 06:44 PM
Because of these band aid fixes, lots of Northstars are being thrown away and they get bad reputations.

I find it hard to believe that the Northstar engine has a bad reputation because of "band aid fixes" and not because of poor engineering. If the engine block and head gasket was engineered properly, the Northstar engines wouldn't be one of the engines to stay away from.

Gm has done this before. The 3.4l had bad head gaskets due to the head gasket material being incompatible with the long life coolant and almost always have to be replaced.

Ian

drewsdeville
05-25-11, 07:23 PM
Headgaskets on the 2.8/3.1/3.4 were more reasonable though. They can be done in one day no problem, and don't cost the worth of the vehicle in decent shape.

The way I see it, there's one of two problems. Either the cars don't hold their value as well as they should, or the design was too overcomplicated for these particular cars, requiring a higher level of maintenance than the cars poor value can justify. Depends on which way you see it.

89falcon
05-25-11, 07:50 PM
I find it hard to believe that the Northstar engine has a bad reputation because of "band aid fixes" and not because of poor engineering. If the engine block and head gasket was engineered properly, the Northstar engines wouldn't be one of the engines to stay away from.

Gm has done this before. The 3.4l had bad head gaskets due to the head gasket material being incompatible with the long life coolant and almost always have to be replaced.

Ian

yes and no......

Every time I get frustrated about things needing to be fixed on my 1997 STS with in excess of 200K miles.....I have to remind myself that it has 200K MILES!!!

Frankly, if the bottom end was good for 100K miles like the SBC...an engine reguarded by a lot of people as one of the best engine designs....then blowing a headgasket at 200K would never have become an issue.

Do I wish GM had made a "cheap" iron block version for buicks and olds? You bet!!! I'd trade 200lbs for not having to ever stud or timesert the block.....that cuts a headgasket job in half.... It would have also been nice for GM to figure out a better fix within a year or two of producing the engine.....maybe larger headbolts (13mm...) or studing it at the factory....but still...it's hard to call it a bad design just because the bottom is still good for another 100K when you lose the HGs at 200k...

98eldo32v
05-25-11, 09:01 PM
From the pictures you have posted, you have half the battle fo taking the engine out the top.

The coolant crossover will have to be removed obviously to get to the engine to trans bolts. The crossover is probably due for a reseal at this time anyway. You have removed the dampener and cover off the front of the engine, allowing more room for you to come to that side of the car to clear the transmission. There are a few brackets that go from the trans to the engine block that need removal and the exhaust crossover.

The a/c compressor has to be unbolted from the block and some minor things I can't recall POP, out it comes.

I can't see why it seems easier to drop the whole cradle, but at the stage you're at you might as well take it out and reseal the common leak areas and in my opinion stud it.

Yet, it's your call, but good luck with it whichever route you take....

Ranger
05-25-11, 11:34 PM
Do I wish GM had made a "cheap" iron block version for buicks and olds? You bet!!! I'd trade 200lbs for not having to ever stud or timesert the block.
AMEN brother! I have always said, "engines should be made of iron, the way God intended".

ponyboyt
05-26-11, 01:05 AM
The coolant crossover will have to be removed obviously to get to the engine to trans bolts.....

Got mine out tonight without removing x-over. well, the back one isnt out, but i can get at it.

maeng9981
05-26-11, 05:02 AM
I find it hard to believe that the Northstar engine has a bad reputation because of "band aid fixes" and not because of poor engineering. If the engine block and head gasket was engineered properly, the Northstar engines wouldn't be one of the engines to stay away from.

Gm has done this before. The 3.4l had bad head gaskets due to the head gasket material being incompatible with the long life coolant and almost always have to be replaced.

Ian

Sure a lot of Northstars are having problems with their bolts/gaskets being intact/sealing. But there are also a lot of Northstars on the road having no problems for their life.

Owners have trouble with head bolts/gaskets sealing problem. They usually fix it once with band aid fixes such as fixing only affected holes, reusing head bolts here and there or any of those gasket sealing snake oil :nono:. They eventually fail again after a short use, owners lose hope and they dump the car.

Many of junk yard Cadillacs, at least the cars down here, are in that way. They come into yards with no accidents and the engine is already either timeserted half way or heli-coiled which is NO.

98eldo32v
05-26-11, 05:30 AM
Got mine out tonight without removing x-over. well, the back one isnt out, but i can get at it.

You must be a magician with the ratchets Ponyboyt

ponyboyt
05-26-11, 06:26 AM
top 2 and front one are easy. The back, well it might take a few minutes but its right there.

w98seeng
05-30-11, 09:18 AM
I have to remind myself that it has 200K MILES!!!



My father is still driving his 1987 Audi 5000 he bought new. It has close to 450,000Km (270,000 miles) and the only thing he has done to the engine/transmission (besides maintenance) are valve seals.

The A/C compressor has been replaced twice, the brakes have been done many times and the battery has been replaced about 5 times, but the engine and tranny are great.

Mileage doesn't kill engines, poor maintenance does or poor engineering.

Now let's be realistic as 450,000Km isn't the usual amount of mileage a person is to expect from a car, but 200,000Km (or less) is defiantly expected from today's engines.

Ian

Destroyer
06-05-11, 09:29 PM
My father is still driving his 1987 Audi 5000 he bought new. It has close to 450,000Km (270,000 miles) and the only thing he has done to the engine/transmission (besides maintenance) are valve seals.

The A/C compressor has been replaced twice, the brakes have been done many times and the battery has been replaced about 5 times, but the engine and tranny are great.

Mileage doesn't kill engines, poor maintenance does or poor engineering.

Now let's be realistic as 450,000Km isn't the usual amount of mileage a person is to expect from a car, but 200,000Km (or less) is defiantly expected from today's engines.

IanBuddy of mine has had an '85 Audi 5000 for over 20 years now (how do people hold on to a car for so long?). It's been virtually problem free and he has pretty damn close to 300k on it as well. I never owned an Audi but always liked them. Thing is, they never really earned a good reputation for reliability but all that I personally know of have been stellar in that regard.

Destroyer
06-05-11, 09:34 PM
From what I have read the 2000's and up weren't as susceptible to the bolt problem that's why my friend took a chance and bought it for resale.

But it will rise from the ashes once again.

Ian
Your buddy ****ed up, it's a mistake all newbie dealers make with N* and several other cars. Your repair will fail unless you stud it or at least sert it. Continue in this direction and you will sell a "repaired H/G" car to someone but it won't really be repaired. Your boss should either junk it and take a loss or fix it right. This "fixing for resale" thing is a crock of shit. It shouldn't be a an excuse to half ass. Your reputation is everything. :bigroll: