: Disassembling my first N*



dvo816
06-27-11, 05:37 PM
Replaced the engine in my 99 STS with a rebuilt, studded one from N* Performance. And I figured I might as well tear down the old engine for experience. Anyways, Ive run into a problem: Im trying to remove the camshaft sprocket bolts but I'm having a hard time. I managed to keep the cams from moving with a screwdriver through the sprocket. But before putting a lot of force onto the bolt, I want to make sure its turning the right way. Seems like the bolt might have reversed threads?? Also any tips for disassembling the rest of the engine would be much appreciated! Thanks!

johnny kannapo
06-27-11, 08:19 PM
I do believe the cams hav flats on them to anchor them with a cresent wrench or proper size open end. There is probably a special tool that drops in holds both cams at the same time.

You will need a special tool to remove the coolant pump pulley to get the valve cover off on bank 2.

http://i826.photobucket.com/albums/zz183/billytheshoe/northstar%20hijacked%20pics/62c74e34-1.jpg?t=1309220512

97EldoCoupe
06-28-11, 07:53 AM
Hey DVO816- I've been on the road on the way back to the Manitoba shop for the past while. Sorry I missed your texts, I will get that invoice out to you now that I'm back. I have a few customers to take care of and that's priority #1 right now but the parts I would like from that old engine if you can hang on to them until the next time I pass through KC, would be the crankshaft, connecting rods with matching caps, cylinder heads, camshafts, lifters if they're any good. Only if you have the space, I appreciate it.

Regular RH thread on those bolts, 1" wrench to hold the cams and a 15/16" (or metric equiv 24mm) to remove those bolts. Lots of torque on those, for a reason.

dvo816
06-28-11, 02:13 PM
No problem Jake, I know you're a busy man! If you want to email me the invoice, that'd work as well. So far Ive removed the camshafts and all the timing chain stuff. But now I'm stuck because I don't know what to remove next. Do i need a valve spring compressor and remove those or what? Sorry if its a dumb question, I've never torn down a V8 and I don't want to damage any parts. **Plus I'm sure I'll have more questions :rolleyes:

Ive got a mechanics tool set + a lot of other stuff I've added over the years. However I've noticed there are hex head bolts holding on the cylinder heads and I don't have those. Do you know what size hex socket I'll need? Any other sockets/tools i might need?

Thanks for the help, I'm very eager to learn more about these engines. :worship:

ternstes
06-28-11, 03:48 PM
The cylinder head bolts take a 10mm hex socket to loosen. Do not buy a cheap socket. I bought a craftsman and broke it on my second engine tear-down and got a free replacement. Get a long breaker bar to give you enough leverage as those bolts are on tight. Leave the valves in until the head in off. You can take the bucket lifters out of their housing. If you are reinstalling them, keep them in order... use a piece of cardboard to indicate intake versus exhaust, etc.

The crankshaft damper bolt at the front of the engine is 19mm I believe. Use a six point socket and an even longer breaker bar (use a piece of steel pipe to give you plenty of leverage). It is very tight.

Most other bolts are 10, 13, 15, 17 mm varieties. The bolt to the steering shaft is 11 or 12mm. Torque converter to flywheel bolts are 18mm, I think. Leave the rear manifold attached to rear head and take it off on the bench. It is much easier that way.

Get a 13mm ratcheting box-end wrench for the coolant crossover bolts...

Use a propane torch to heat the catalytic converter nuts before trying to loosen them. They are always rusted beyond belief. Initial size is 13mm, but some of mine turned out with a 12mm socket.

89falcon
06-28-11, 03:56 PM
The cylinder head bolts take a 10mm hex socket to loosen. Do not buy a cheap socket. I bought a craftsman and broke it on my second engine tear-down and got a free replacement. Get a long breaker bar to give you enough leverage as those bolts are on tight. Leave the valves in until the head in off. You can take the bucket lifters out of their housing. If you are reinstalling them, keep them in order... use a piece of cardboard to indicate intake versus exhaust, etc.

The crankshaft damper bolt at the front of the engine is 19mm I believe. Use a six point socket and an even longer breaker bar (use a piece of steel pipe to give you plenty of leverage). It is very tight.

Most other bolts are 10, 13, 15, 17 mm varieties. The bolt to the steering shaft is 11 or 12mm. Torque converter to flywheel bolts are 18mm, I think. Leave the rear manifold attached to rear head and take it off on the bench. It is much easier that way.

Get a 13mm ratcheting box-end wrench for the coolant crossover bolts...

Use a propane torch to heat the catalytic converter nuts before trying to loosen them. They are always rusted beyond belief. Initial size is 13mm, but some of mine turned out with a 12mm socket.

It's tough finding a 10mm hex that's strong enough to hold up.....and most are 3/8 drives. I use a 1/2" inch drive 10mm socket (6 side) and cut a piece of a 10mm allen wrench and stick it into the 10mm....holds up better!

dvo816
06-28-11, 10:15 PM
Got the heads off today. Thanks for the tips.

As for the lifters, what are those? Pic?

And how do i go about getting the pistons and crankshaft out? Drop the oil pan?

Ranger
06-28-11, 10:50 PM
Yes, the pistons come out the bottom. Remove the oil pan, Then you'll see the connecting rod bearing caps.


This is as close as you'll find to "lifters".

89falcon
06-28-11, 11:30 PM
Got the heads off today. Thanks for the tips.

As for the lifters, what are those? Pic?

And how do i go about getting the pistons and crankshaft out? Drop the oil pan?

The yellow arrows in Johnny Kannapo's picture above actually points to a couple lifters.....they are the round silver things UNDER the cams....and they sit on top of the valve springs (that's why you can't see the springs). If you remove the cams, and turn the heads over, the lifter will fall out.

You have to take the bottom end apart to get the crank out.....you'll also need to remove the bolt and pulley (harmonic dampener) off the front of the motor and remove the front cover and oil pump. The pistons come out the TOP of the block AFTER you remove the rod bolts. If you have the motor on a stand and have it upside down...and are pushing the pistons out...be sure to "catch" them....if you drop a piston, you CAN crack one or break a piece of the piston skirt.

Ranger
06-29-11, 12:42 AM
The pistons come out the TOP of the block AFTER you remove the rod bolts.
Oops! :hide: I know better. What was I thinking? :bang2: There goes another punch in my dumbshit card.

dvo816
06-29-11, 03:20 PM
Ah I see. I figured those were the lifters, but I wanted to make sure. Most of them are in good condition, they do have "marks" where the cam lobes touched but they seem smooth with no scratches. I'll attach some pics, and see what you guys think.

I don't have an engine stand currently, so its basically gonna be sitting upside down on my garage floor. Either way, ill be sure to catch the pistons.

Ranger, it happens to everyone, don't feel too bad :D

Thanks for the help guys, it certainly doesn't go unappreciated.

ternstes
06-29-11, 08:27 PM
It takes a bit force to separate the case halves. I used a large pry bar on the rear outside of the block NOT the rear main seal area! Get a block of wood or something to act as a fulcrum. The manual says to pry at the "designated points" but I did not find it very clear. Just do not insert your pry bar into the sealing surface area and mar it.

Ranger
06-29-11, 08:55 PM
Oops! I just realized the picture I posted in post #8 is for the 2000+ engines and you are talking about a '99. Should have dawned on me when I saw Johnny Kannapo's picture. Another punch in my dumbshit card.

stoveguyy
06-29-11, 10:18 PM
engine stand is pretty cheap. harbor freight has them for 40? than you need 4 big metric bolts to attach motor to stand. who knew bellhousing bolts were metric? no one tears down a motor on the garage floor. kills your back.

97EldoCoupe
06-29-11, 10:36 PM
Oops! :hide: I know better. What was I thinking? :bang2: There goes another punch in my dumbshit card.

Ranger don't beat yourself up everyone is allowed those dumbshit card punches once in a while.

(Pssst: you wouldn't have a spare card by chance would you? MINE'S FULL!) :histeric:

89falcon
06-29-11, 11:51 PM
engine stand is pretty cheap. harbor freight has them for 40? than you need 4 big metric bolts to attach motor to stand. who knew bellhousing bolts were metric? no one tears down a motor on the garage floor. kills your back.


Ironically, the front subframe bolts work PERFECTLY on the engine stand......

And I agree....an engine stand is money WELL spent.....plus once you get one, all your friends think you're a legit "car guy"!

stoveguyy
06-30-11, 10:21 AM
but in this case, subframe is in car. plus rolling an aluminum motor on concrete floor will chew it up nicely.

maeng9981
06-30-11, 02:41 PM
plus once you get one, all your friends think you're a legit "car guy"!

:yeah: :thumbsup:

dvo816
06-30-11, 04:25 PM
I want an engine stand but lately all my money has been spent on getting my new engine dropped in. As promised I got some pics:
EDIT: The old motor will be scrapped except the parts Jake wants. The block is un-usable anyways as its cracked in 2 spots, so im not worried about messing it up :D

Heres the lifters. A couple had deep circular grooves in them as you can see. The others just have wear marks but they're flat (as far as I can tell).
http://i587.photobucket.com/albums/ss312/dvo816/20110629144538.jpg
http://i587.photobucket.com/albums/ss312/dvo816/20110629144605.jpg
http://i587.photobucket.com/albums/ss312/dvo816/20110629144635.jpg

And heres the fresh engine from Northstar Performance:
http://i587.photobucket.com/albums/ss312/dvo816/20110617153757.jpg

And the old one with blown HGs and 2 large cracks in the block:

http://i587.photobucket.com/albums/ss312/dvo816/20110617153655.jpg

This thing had soooo much sludge in it, it was unbelievable.. easily a 1/4" thick. The people before me probably NEVER changed the oil.
http://i587.photobucket.com/albums/ss312/dvo816/20110627194600.jpg

89falcon
07-01-11, 12:18 AM
I want an engine stand but lately all my money has been spent on getting my new engine dropped in. As promised I got some pics:
EDIT: The old motor will be scrapped except the parts Jake wants. The block is un-usable anyways as its cracked in 2 spots, so im not worried about messing it up :D

Heres the lifters. A couple had deep circular grooves in them as you can see. The others just have wear marks but they're flat (as far as I can tell).





Well your cams are probably trash.....they wear when the lifters wear.

Any pics of the cracks?

Submariner409
07-01-11, 09:14 AM
Every one of those cam followers (lifters) is toast............and as posted, some of the cam lobes probably aren't too wonderful, either.

dvo816, have you done your homework on using fleet/marine 10W-30 oils from Shell (Rotella), Chevron (DELO and variations) or Pennzoil (LongLife) in your flat-tappet engine ?

Use a WIX 51522 oil filter.

Rodya234
07-01-11, 10:06 AM
dvo, how many miles were on that engine? It sounds like it had a pretty rough life.

johnny kannapo
07-01-11, 03:45 PM
Should have dawned on me when I saw Johnny Kannapo's picture.

That is someone else picture compliment of google images -thank you-
I don't want to take credit for it it could be someones copyright.

dvo816
07-01-11, 09:21 PM
Submariner, yes I'm well versed in the ZDDP or whatever the hell it is. I only ran Rotella T with a Wix filter. Whoever had it before me, obviously never took care of it.. damn shame.

Cracks formed at 104k, then headgaskets at 107k. Pretty pathetic...

Ill post pics of the cracks later when i get some time. I'm guessing the cams might as well be scrapped along with most of the engine.
I believe the heads are still good, but then again I'm no expert.

Hope everyone has a wonderful (and safe) 4th of July!!

Submariner409
07-02-11, 10:58 AM
The heads should be perfect - new valve job with seals and cam followers and you have a set of $1,000 heads for spares.

ternstes
07-02-11, 04:25 PM
if you have a junkyard nearby that lets you pull your own parts, take all the lifters you can find! You do NOT want to know the price of them new.

dvo816
07-02-11, 08:18 PM
ternstes- I thought if the lifters were worn they cant be used? My local junkyard has quite a few northstars in there, but i doubt theyre in any better condition than mine.

sub- Thats good to hear. Im saving the heads for Jake; in hopes I can trade em for some new doors :sneaky:

ternstes
07-02-11, 09:23 PM
If the lifter is worn, then it's junk, but junkyard engines can sometimes still have good ones. My buddy with his 97 STS had some lifters that looked similar to yours. We went to the local pick a part and scored enough good lifters to replace his bad ones.