: Looking for a shop in GA that uses Studs for HG repair



Cdmaster
06-30-11, 11:15 PM
I picked up a beautiful '99 DeVille Concours about 4 months ago. 112,000 miles, One owner, all of the maintenance records from day one off the show room floor, and literally a little old lady. I found out last week That there are combustion gases in the coolant, and that I am looking at a HG/bolt failure. This was after a new radiator and water pump were installed (I love it when people guess with my money). I'm willing to spend the money for a repair under 3k if it will let me drive this car for a few years.
I've read dozens of threads about the N* head gasket issues and it looks like the general consensus is that the studs from Northstar Performance are the way to go. Is there anyone in the Atlanta area with any experience using this method? Any help is greatly appreciated and thanks to all who contributed to my understanding of this issue through their participation in this forum
77253

vincentm
07-01-11, 12:27 AM
Studs are the way to go, I'm loving them in my engine. Beautiful Deville by the way man, wow she's a looker

Speedygman
07-01-11, 04:26 AM
If you don't find someone to fix your Beautiful Cadillac would you be interested in selling it as I am a Backyard Mechanic that would fix it for my own personal family car. I am in Juliette Ga.

Cdmaster
07-01-11, 09:24 AM
If you don't find someone to fix your Beautiful Cadillac would you be interested in selling it as I am a Backyard Mechanic that would fix it for my own personal family car. I am in Juliette Ga.

I hope I can get it fixed, but I'll keep your interest in mind. She is a beautiful car, and the interior is just as mint as the exterior

Submariner409
07-01-11, 10:10 AM
If you can't find a GOOD shop that understands Northstars and studs, try to find a CF member, Mike Lawson, (mikelawson) in Lexington, KY. He does Northstars using primarily Norm's Inserts (www.huhnsolutions.com) - don't know if he's in the studding business yet.

Cdmaster
07-01-11, 11:13 AM
thanks for the input. I've gotten a couple of PM's that I will answer as soon as I get to 10 posts

Ranger
07-01-11, 12:15 PM
Anyone that can do inserts can do studs. Not much difference prep and installation wise.

89falcon
07-01-11, 12:57 PM
If you don't find someone to fix your Beautiful Cadillac would you be interested in selling it as I am a Backyard Mechanic that would fix it for my own personal family car. I am in Juliette Ga.

CD, Don't believe Speedygman...."backyard mechanics" aren't capable of some of the things he's done....heck, I know some speedshops that aren't capable of what he's done. Check out his profile and pics! Heck, if anything, you should see if he's willing to do the work for/with you.

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/224608-my-northstar-head-stud-installation-picture.html

Cdmaster
07-01-11, 09:39 PM
Thanks everyone. I talked to a local shop today and they recommended putting studs in over timeserts without me prompting them at all. They are going to put a quote together and I will take a longer talk with them on Tuesday after the holiday. This place comes highly recommended by several of my friends so we'll see. The big question is the $$$ of course. I told them that there is a real upper limit to what I would pay to repair the car at all. They indicated that they thought it would be reasonable enough. Again, we'll see...

Speedygman
07-02-11, 11:13 PM
Make sure they use the SURE GRIP STUDS BY JAKE AND NOT THE VW STUDS.

Submariner409
07-02-11, 11:40 PM
...............someone's gonna ask why...........tell 'em about block thread sizes.

97EldoCoupe
07-06-11, 11:39 AM
Jim- love your new headline. That's funny! :histeric:

I recall sending some kits out to Georgia- I will have to go through my shipping history and hopefully help cdmaster out a little bit.

There may be a 2-3 day period this week when stud kits will not ship. The switchover is happening now from my "supplier's studs" to our in-house produced studs. I will update this in the post "message to all stud kit customers"-

And yes- SpeedyGMan has no right whatsoever to call himself a backyard mechanic :D. His abilities and knowledge go far above and beyond this! Grady knows what he's doing. He would also be a very good choice as a mechanic to have under the hood of your Northstar powered car.

Cdmaster
07-06-11, 03:33 PM
I really appreciate any help you can offer. The one shop I found has been really slow coming up with a quote. They were supposed to call me on Tuesday, but I had to call them to find out they were running behind. It looks like they might not get the quote to me today either.

Speedygman
07-06-11, 06:17 PM
Jim- love your new headline. That's funny! :histeric:

I recall sending some kits out to Georgia- I will have to go through my shipping history and hopefully help cdmaster out a little bit.

There may be a 2-3 day period this week when stud kits will not ship. The switchover is happening now from my "supplier's studs" to our in-house produced studs. I will update this in the post "message to all stud kit customers"-

And yes- SpeedyGMan has no right whatsoever to call himself a backyard mechanic :D. His abilities and knowledge go far above and beyond this! Grady knows what he's doing. He would also be a very good choice as a mechanic to have under the hood of your Northstar powered car.
Jake, thanks for the kind words, My plate is running over and I have no time for outside work. I just have my Hot Rod stuff that I am trying to get together with the Help from Alan Johnson, work is slow and so am I. I am keeping an eye out for a super clean and super priced STS for my own use. When I get my motor together I will post some pictures before I install in car.

Grady

Cdmaster
07-07-11, 02:23 PM
To update, I'm still looking for a competent shop capable of making this repair reasonably (below $3,000). I do have one quote for about $3,100, but that is for inserts. I am also waiting on a quote from a Cadillac dealer later today FWIW.

Jake, I appreciate your offer to check your shipping records for Georgia shops. That would help a lot.

Cdmaster
07-17-11, 09:53 PM
Update... No independent wants to touch this car and GM says the repair would be $4,200 if it is the HG. I'm curious about one thing though, I idled the car with the radiator cap off for over 15 minutes. The temp rose to normal operating levels, but there was absolutely no circulation of coolant through the overflow resevoir. The coolant level never rose and the coolant remained stagnant.

This can't be right- can it?

89falcon
07-18-11, 02:37 AM
Update... No independent wants to touch this car and GM says the repair would be $4,200 if it is the HG. I'm curious about one thing though, I idled the car with the radiator cap off for over 15 minutes. The temp rose to normal operating levels, but there was absolutely no circulation of coolant through the overflow resevoir. The coolant level never rose and the coolant remained stagnant.

This can't be right- can it?

There is no circulation thru the reservoir because....well...there is no circulation thru the reservoir. plus at idle, you probably aren't getting any blowby into the cooling system.

My recommendation? find someone willing to pull the engine, and re-install it. if the engine is out, maybe you can talk speedy into looking over your shoulder while you install studs. It is honestly NOT THAT TOUGH. If you take your time, you'll get the stud job done for about $1000 (while fixing your oil leaks!).....you'll earn an enormous amount of pride, while learning a great deal about your car, and where everything is.....and when you have other problems, you won't "fear" fixing it yourself.......

Better yet, stick the car in your garage and pull the engine out the top yourself.....just take your time and follow the FSM "alternate engine removal" instructions step by step.

98eldo32v
07-18-11, 04:16 PM
There is no circulation thru the reservoir because....well...there is no circulation thru the reservoir. plus at idle, you probably aren't getting any blowby into the cooling system.

My recommendation? find someone willing to pull the engine, and re-install it. if the engine is out, maybe you can talk speedy into looking over your shoulder while you install studs. It is honestly NOT THAT TOUGH. If you take your time, you'll get the stud job done for about $1000 (while fixing your oil leaks!).....you'll earn an enormous amount of pride, while learning a great deal about your car, and where everything is.....and when you have other problems, you won't "fear" fixing it yourself.......

Better yet, stick the car in your garage and pull the engine out the top yourself.....just take your time and follow the FSM "alternate engine removal" instructions step by step.


For the most part I would agree with 89falcon on pulling this motor and fixing it yourself. Yet, there are always two sides of a coin.

In my opinion the motor is going to basically come out like any other FWD motor except you have a few more brackets and braces to contend with upon removal.

If you have experience pulling FWD motors, this isn't too much of a problem. It just boils down to how much experience you have with engines and removing them.

Disassembly for the most part is very straight forward. This motor reminds me of my quad 4. Looks intimidating, but once you start working on it, it basically falls apart. The only draw back at this stage is now, there are going to be certain tools you either have to purchase or borrow for the reassembly.

The rear main seal installer, looks mandatory. Bought it.
Crankshaft socket, bought it. There are some other tools that I bought specifically for this motor because of it's uniqueness. Yet, you're going to have to have a large set of tools just to deal with removal and reassembly when it comes time to.

This motor being aluminum isn't a plus either when it come s to repair. Aluminum is a soft metal. Overtorquing and a lack of patience will yield disastrous results. That's why a lot of shops/mechanics don't want to touch it.

To repair this motor, you're going to have to be a bit of a perfectonist. That trait not everyone has.

Not that it can't be repaired, it's just that was it repaired correctly.......

I'm rebuilding a northstar now for my Eldorado. Disassembly is going smoothly so far, except I found a crack in one head. Yet, I don't worry about that, I have the Eldorado heads.

My main concern is the block itself. I have the ususal oil pan/ half case seal leak. It's the REASSEMBLY that I'm looking at. I dread the fact that this block is aluminum and you have to torque the main cap bolts back in. I hope they call come out first without snapping like in another post?!

In my opinion this is a good motor, but just has some flaws to keep it from being a fantastic motor, but what motor is perfect?

This motors fatal flaw is that it's not easy most people to work on.

Cdmaster
07-18-11, 06:38 PM
I won't kid myself or anyone else. This repair is way beyond my capabilities; too much ignorance on my part. Unfortunately, the darn thing overheated on me today. I had enjoyed about a month or so of careful driving, but today I had to "limp" home.

97EldoCoupe
07-21-11, 12:20 AM
Any updates on your repair Cdmaster?

Cdmaster
07-22-11, 10:38 AM
Any updates on your repair Cdmaster?

No update really. i can't find a competent shop to take the work at a price that makes sense for the car. The lowest quote I have is $3,400.

97EldoCoupe
07-22-11, 01:14 PM
Bring it up to me in Southern Ontario - I've had two come up from Atlanta, GA, lets make it another one :) $2200-

We'd just have to schedule it during a time I'll be in Ontario

vincentm
07-22-11, 02:00 PM
Jake, can you call me? 509-205-4561?

Cdmaster
07-22-11, 08:46 PM
Bring it up to me in Southern Ontario - I've had two come up from Atlanta, GA, lets make it another one :) $2200-

We'd just have to schedule it during a time I'll be in Ontario

Thanks, that's something I'll consider. The only problem is that the expense of the trip would add a significant amount to the total cost. I'm afraid the it wouldn't make any sense to do that with a car that I paid $5k for. If I could get that price locally, I would probably be all over it.

Cdmaster
07-27-11, 07:39 PM
It looks like I'm going to put put this sweetheart up for sale. $2500 with full disclosure as to why I'm selling.

vincentm
07-28-11, 03:38 PM
It looks like I'm going to put put this sweetheart up for sale. $2500 with full disclosure as to why I'm selling.


Nooooo!

Hi-psi
07-31-11, 04:32 PM
This could be a cheaper fix/option for you...

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/pts/2498970447.html

Since you don't need the transmission or wiring harness,...or the engine you'll be pulling out, you could recoup a lot of the $1500. Either swap it yourself, or pay for the swap.

Hi-psi
07-31-11, 04:35 PM
Also came across this when browsing Craigslist...

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/pts/2492209518.html

http://www.northgaauto.com/

98eldo32v
08-02-11, 03:58 AM
Well Cdmaster,

This could be your bail out, and it's local to boot.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1997-1999-Northstar-GM-4-6L-LD8-Motor-NEW-CRATE-/170676040013?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item27bd15b14d

Cdmaster
11-20-11, 11:46 PM
As a follow up...I did find a shop in Atlanta that could handle this repair in the right way. I used North GA Automotive in Acworth. $2,700 all in including a 2 week rental car. I now have over 5k on the rebuilt engine and I am thrilled with the shop and their work.

Speedygman
11-21-11, 11:04 AM
Did they use Studs for the repair or?????