: 98 ETC Head Gasket project started today...



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Faded Crest
03-17-12, 10:39 PM
Well I decided to get into it today... But I am taking a very casual approach to begin. One of the main things is making sure the job is as easy as it can be and that I'm not frustrated by not having the right equipment or tools... That being said, I already faced one frustration by trying to de-couple the fuel lines with plastic disconnect tools...:thumbdown: My advice... Get the metal ones!

Anyway, I am going to drop the cradle I have an engine hoist, a pallet jack and plenty of jack stands, including 2 extra tall ones, so that should help. I have been plugging along and am at step 36 in the FSM (p. 6-85) which says to separate the drive axles from the steering knuckle... My question is if I am dropping everything all together, can't I leave the axles alone?

MoistCabbage
03-17-12, 11:38 PM
I'll be watching faded. Good luck.

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I already faced one frustration by trying to de-couple the fuel lines with plastic disconnect tools...:thumbdown: My advice... Get the metal ones!


Oddly enough, I've had an aluminum disconnect tool in my pocket for the last two days. Lol. I was going to take a picture of how to properly use it for a thread in the FWD forums, but I got side tracked.

00 Deville
03-17-12, 11:38 PM
Hope the rest of the project goes better than disconnecting the fuel lines went. I've never had any trouble decoupling the fuel lines with the plastic tool. Mines an older set made by Mac tools.

MoistCabbage
03-17-12, 11:39 PM
I've never had any trouble decoupling the fuel line with the plastic tool. Mines an older set made by Mac tools.

I wonder if the thickness of the plastic collar would effect how well the tool worked.

Faded Crest
03-17-12, 11:42 PM
Thanks MC! BTW, you got me thinking about what I'm going to for the cam covers and beauty cover... :hmm: Probably just silver... (you know me) Or if I get crazy, maybe black... :sneaky:

The more I sit here and recall in my mind the other threads I have read about HG jobs and dropping the cradle, I seem to remember someone saying to just hang the calipers, disconnect the stuts and bring it all down... Argh! So many different threads I have read and I can't remember what I read where! :annyoed:

KNCadillac8898
03-17-12, 11:59 PM
Personally I think the covers would look really cool painted black with the same Cadillac body paint, if you want to go to the trouble.

MoistCabbage
03-17-12, 11:59 PM
Thanks MC! BTW, you got me thinking about what I'm going to for the cam covers and beauty cover... :hmm: Probably just silver... (you know me) Or if I get crazy, maybe black... :sneaky:
Some words of warning:

-The original powder coat on the cam covers/cassettes was a royal PITA to remove. Took a long while with chemical stripping. I'm not sure if the fact that they were cleaned in a hot tank by Coburn (after which they were bubbling and peeling) before going to the body shop had anything to do with this, but I doubt it (if anything it probably made it easier)

-The surface finish quality on the cam covers is pretty bad. Most of the pits/defects were in the cassette "valleys" but there were plenty of nasty blemishes on the rest of the surfaces as well (I'm assuming this is why they didn't use a gloss paint in the first place). Luckily for me, almost all of the flaws are hidden by the plastic radiator/headlight cover, and the rear cover benefits from being more hidden. If you'd like, I can take pictures tomorrow and post then here.

Faded Crest
03-18-12, 12:03 AM
I wonder if the thickness of the plastic collar would effect how well the tool worked.

I would say yes. It was like night and day using the cheap flimsy plastic ones vs. the aluminum ones I bought today. 2 hours vs. 5 seconds. LOL.

----------


If you'd like, I can take pictures tomorrow and post then here.

Yeah, post pics if you don't mind. The paint on these is horrible. Probably the worst looking covers I've seen. And the beauty cover is cracked and crappy anyway, so hopefully I can score a better one at pull-a-part. You think media blasting would work on the covers?

MoistCabbage
03-18-12, 12:08 AM
Neither i or my paint/body guy didn't felt comfortable media blasting the cassettes (it creates A LOT of static). I don't see why you couldn't media blast the covers themselves though, they're just magnesium.

I assume he just did those chemical because he thought it'd be faster and easier....But no.

I had to replace my cover as well. I was storing parts in my living room (don't use it) and my mastiff chased a ball into the room and stepped on it. SNAP!

Faded Crest
03-18-12, 12:18 AM
Are the original covers painted or powder coated?

MoistCabbage
03-18-12, 12:19 AM
I'm almost positive it was powder coated. It was tough stuff. The beauty cover is paint though.

Faded Crest
03-18-12, 12:31 AM
The paint/powder coat has bubbled on my covers. Really looks like crap.

maeng9981
03-18-12, 02:57 AM
You don't have to disconnect the steering knuckle. All you need to remove from the steering components is the pinch bolt that connects the intermediate shaft. You can either keep the brake system intact or remove the lines. I just removed the brake lines from the master cylinder and the coupling near the rear of the cradle for rear brakes (that way the brake lines and the EBTCM comes out with the cradle). It seemed to be easier and I didn't want components hanging from the body. Also a brake fluid replacement as a bonus at the end of the job.

Faded Crest
03-18-12, 11:05 AM
Thanks Maeng9981, I thought that was the case. I stopped dead in my tracks last night as soon as I popped the first axle through the knuckle because I was sure people were doing it different from the manual. I guess it might be different at a dealership since they have the means to lower the cradle on to a table, then raise the car up far enough to completely clear the knuckles.

On the brakes, you think it's easier to disconnect the lines at the master cylinder rather than keeping it the system closed? What would be the difference? Just disconnecting the EBTCM from the cradle and tying it off?

Faded Crest
03-18-12, 12:52 PM
Going under... Does this qualify as paranoid? LOL

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0488.jpg

vincentm
03-18-12, 01:11 PM
Another black ETC getting saved, me likes.

maeng9981
03-18-12, 01:22 PM
Steering components and the strut towers come out with the cradle. They will try to fall to the ground though (they won't but they will try).

Brakes are your choice. If you decide to keep the brake lines all connected, then you would have to disconnect EBTCM from the cradle and hang it on the body. Also you would need to remove all the clamps that hold the brake lines to the cradle.

I thought removing it from the master cylinder and the rear-cradle connection would be easier, since I don't have to watch if the lines are getting caught (and getting kinked) in the middle of lifting/lowering the body.


--------------------


I guess I replied too late :D Anyway, preparing for the worst is not a bad thing. You don't know what MIGHT happen.

Faded Crest
03-18-12, 01:25 PM
I think you are right... I'll disconnect the master cylinder and leave everything intact.

maeng9981
03-18-12, 03:07 PM
Wait, what I did was to leave the master cylinder intact and just removing the lines from it. This way you also need to disconnect the lines on the rear side of the cradle which connects the rear brake lines.

Faded Crest
03-18-12, 08:21 PM
Alright... It's out! :thumbsup: Whew, Long day! The only casualty was the negative battery cable. Somehow I forgot to disconnect it. I noticed it when the body was coming off but it was too late.

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0492.jpg

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0490.jpg

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0491.jpg

maeng9981
03-18-12, 10:30 PM
Very nice, it's a clean looking engine. :thumbsup: Now the difficult part is done!

Faded Crest
03-18-12, 10:53 PM
Well if that's true it wasn't so bad. You can almost disassemble the whole car with a ratchet with an 8 and 10mm socket. LoL. Actually I figured the real challenge was still to come since I plan to put new seals in as well since it leaked oil.

I did wind up getting my brake lines tangled up a bit so I disconnected the etcbm after all.

Now that its out I can say that the most aggravating part was still trying to disconnect the fuel lines with those crappy plastic top hats.

I did come up with a good tip for easily removing the steering column pinch bolt without lowering the cradle.. I will post that with a picture when I get it uploaded.

vincentm
03-18-12, 11:43 PM
Woohoo congratulations man, we knew you could do it. No turning back now, that car is attached to you at the hip now.

maeng9981
03-19-12, 12:32 AM
Drilling and tapping process is tedious, but I found it amusing. :) Now I haven't touched the block halves, so I have no idea on that. I will though with my 99.

Faded Crest
03-19-12, 01:05 AM
As promised, here is the picture of me removing the steering column pinch bolt... 3/8" ratchet, 6" wobble extension and 11 mm. standard socket... No problem. (Through the left wheel well of course.)

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0489.jpg

CadillacLuke24
03-19-12, 01:29 AM
Nice man! Good luck, looks like you got the hard part outta the way. Bet it goes back in way easier!

maeng9981
03-19-12, 01:35 AM
Wow! That looks like it's easier to access than the one that is on the 5th gen Seville...

Faded Crest
03-19-12, 01:40 AM
Wow! That looks like it's easier to access than the one that is on the 5th gen Seville...

Well I was wondering why so many people made such a fuss over it. LOL Guess I'll count my blessings then!

The picture is very deceiving though. It was much tighter than it looks. My first instinct was to use a flex socket but I couldn't get any leverage on it. Then I tried 3 long extensions but I couldn't get a good angle. Finally the single wobble extension was the answer.

maeng9981
03-19-12, 03:02 AM
Accessibility is terrible, but once you get it it comes right out. But when you are trying to put it back.... that's where all the vulgar language starts from. Apparently wiggling the steering wheel just a little bit when you try to align it helps, but never tried it.

Faded Crest
03-19-12, 09:03 AM
...But when you are trying to put it back.... that's where all the vulgar language starts from. Apparently wiggling the steering wheel just a little bit when you try to align it helps, but never tried it.

Why? It's not like you're crouched down inside the wheel well on your side trying to keep the boot up to gain access with one hand while not dropping the bolt then sticking your other hand between the axle and the tie rod and lining up the hole without being able to see it... :rolleyes: No, wait a minute, YOU ARE! :annoyed:

Submariner409
03-19-12, 09:41 AM
Just a reminder - that exhaust crossunder Y affair - when you remove it, take a hard look inside. You might want to do some rainy day Dremel tool work on the area where the left manifold pipe Y's into the rear - some have a significant amount of extra pipe stuck in there.

MoistCabbage
03-19-12, 09:40 PM
Faded, I was busy yesterday and forgot to take pics.

For some reason, the site won't accept the image URL for two of the pics (I've been trying for 10 minutes), they're here: http://s1130.photobucket.com/albums/m538/moistcabbage/?action=view&current=eng1.jpg#!oZZ1QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs113 0.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fm538%2Fmoistcabbage%2 F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3Deng3.jpg

http://s1130.photobucket.com/albums/m538/moistcabbage/?action=view&current=eng1.jpg#!oZZ5QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs113 0.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fm538%2Fmoistcabbage%2 F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3D26.jpg

The second one is at night with side lighting so you can see the worst of it. You can see how rough the surface of the valve covers and cassettes are.

The surface of the beauty cover on the other hand is very smooth:

88459

Overall, it looks good despite the surface imperfections:

88458

.....Sorry for the crappy cell phone picture quality.

Faded Crest
03-19-12, 11:38 PM
Looks great man! The beauty cover dominates the view so the rough camshaft covers and cassettes don't look bad. :thumbsup:

Faded Crest
03-21-12, 07:23 PM
Is this oil pooling up under the intake common? What does it indicate?

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0607.jpg

vincentm
03-21-12, 07:55 PM
Not common, mine was clean as a whistle. Im thinking intake gaskets somehow, id have the heads checked.

Faded Crest
03-21-12, 10:24 PM
I got stuck because I didn't have the right kind of puller to get the water pump pulley off with, so I pulled the cam cover off the other side and pulled out the spark plugs. Here are some pics...

The head is clean, of course...

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0608.jpg

All the cam lobes look really good...

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0610.jpg

It looks to me like this is where the oil is coming from... Front bank head gasket...

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0612.jpg

Here is a zoom in of the last picture...

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/sludgyleak.jpg


Here are the plugs from the front bank...

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/Sparkplugs.jpg

vincentm
03-21-12, 11:48 PM
Looks like you found the culprit.

Faded Crest
03-22-12, 12:06 AM
Hard to see real clearly with the pics, but a couple of those front plugs are pretty washed.

98eldo32v
03-22-12, 12:53 AM
The oil pooling in the starter valley is from the bad headgasket. I had some from the sts donor motor but not as much as you have there.

Wait till you have to start removing head bolts. You'll need a 10 mm allen head hex bit. Some bolts will be very hard to remove and when loosened will make a distinct snapping sound. The ones that don't snap were probably going bad. The snapping sound startled me a few times, I thought I broke the bolt or the allen bit that I was using.

You will probabbly find the 10mm allen head bit in 3/8 drive. I took the bit out of the 3/8 drive and stuck it in a 6 sided 10mm 1/2 drive socket. This will give you more leverage to use with a 1/2" drive breaker bar. The longer the better.

I commend you on dropping the cradle. When I took the motor out of the sts, it was through the top. When I just removed the trans I dropped the cradle just to see how much work was still gong to be involved. It wasn't so bad, but getting the car high enough has been my only issue.

I found out on the sts I disconnected the brake lines that run to the rear of the vehicle under the right side firewall, loosened the strut mount bolts, loosened the master cylinder from the brake booster, loosened the brake hoses brackets from the body in the fenders, the trans mount in the left fender, The right motor mount in the right fender (had the motor still been ibn the car), fuel lines and wiring and exhaust associated with the engine, the steering rack pinch bolt, it would have come out rather quickly. Yet, loweing the cradle and moving it around from underneath the vehicle I haven't felt comforatable with. That's a lot of weight to be pushing around. I guess my point had always been now that you dropped the cradle, you still have to separate the engine from the trans. I felt I might as well do that from the begininng and leave the reast of that other stuff alone.

Keep at it Faded. I'll be watching. My motor is on the stand with the heads off and the mid case separated from the main block. I stopped to tinker with the deville, but after I install the trans that's coming it's full throttle on the engine rebuild.

Are you resealing the mid case also or just doing the headgasket? Keep the pictures coming, I love them. When I start drilling the block I'll try to take some.

Just take your time and check EVERYTHING as you go along. Wishing you the best results through the project........

Faded Crest
03-22-12, 01:32 AM
Thanks for the encouragement. It's amazing how many of us Eldo guys are doing this job right now.

Yeah, I figured that sludgy mess is at least part of where the gasket is blown . It actually looks like it got it on the other side too, but not as bad. I was real happy to see the camshafts in such good shape. Someone else who recently did the job had pretty bad wear on the lobes and had to replace the camshafts. It also never ceases to amaze me how clean these engines stay. Having owned so many vintage Caddys over the years, I just accepted sludge as a part of life. At LOL.

At first I tried to keep the brake system closed for the most part but I got them a little tangled coming down so I wound up saying to heck with it and just disconnected everything that would make it easier on myself.

Probably the stupidest thing I have done so far was to forget to disconnect the heater core. :banghead: I can't believe I did that! The manual said to disconnect all coolant lines, and didn't specifically say "heater core" so with everything else on my mind I forgot about it until it was too late. But at the same time, with where those hoses are located it wouldn't be a bad idea to just have installed a new one anyway as preventative maintenance. At least now I can crawl into the engine compartment to attach the hoses. LOL

Yeah, I figure I'll go all the way, mid-case and all. I'd just be hating life too much if I reinstalled it only to find a nasty leak that could have been taken care of while it was out. I will indeed keep the photos coming. It's fun to get into it and learn... And thank God for all the amazing folks here on this forum. There is no way in the world I would try this without all you guys!

98eldo32v
03-22-12, 02:26 AM
Faded,

If doing the mid case seal, you may have to get some extra parts. It's completely up to you, yet if yours isn't leaking I'd leave it alone.

From my own personal experience with a northstar motor thus far, if you do the mid case seal, the main bearings are supposed to be replaced (yours may look fine like the ones in my 150k motor, but I bought new ones anyway), the rod bearings are supposed to be replaced (haven't seen mine yet, didn't separate the mid case completely but bought rod bearings), the rod bolts, the main cap bolts and the oil distribution plate. I went the full sha-bang, all of the above and a new oil pump. Again, if your seal isn't leaking dodge this bullet.

Don't beat yourself up on the hose, it happens. Until you start pulling engines often enough that type of stuff will happen. Usually I disconnect the hoses at the engine. While you have the cradle down, inspect your power steering hoses, replace those now while you can easily get to them.

I have a slight head start on you with my eldo, but at the rate you're dismantling stuff you'll soon pass me. Take your time and if you need help just ask, we're all here to make it go easier.

maeng9981
03-22-12, 03:23 AM
But at the same time, with where those hoses are located it wouldn't be a bad idea to just have installed a new one anyway as preventative maintenance.

The metal heater piping tend to rust over time and it's generally suggested to be replaced when the engine is out. It's PITA to change with the engine in there.

Faded Crest
03-22-12, 09:27 AM
The metal heater piping tend to rust over time and it's generally suggested to be replaced when the engine is out. It's PITA to change with the engine in there.

Thanks for the tip... I remember reading a lot of misery stories of people doing it in the car. LOL. This is the one big chance to get everything right.

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Faded,

If doing the mid case seal, you may have to get some extra parts. It's completely up to you, yet if yours isn't leaking I'd leave it alone.

From my own personal experience with a northstar motor thus far, if you do the mid case seal, the main bearings are supposed to be replaced (yours may look fine like the ones in my 150k motor, but I bought new ones anyway), the rod bearings are supposed to be replaced (haven't seen mine yet, didn't separate the mid case completely but bought rod bearings), the rod bolts, the main cap bolts and the oil distribution plate. I went the full sha-bang, all of the above and a new oil pump. Again, if your seal isn't leaking dodge this bullet.

Don't beat yourself up on the hose, it happens. Until you start pulling engines often enough that type of stuff will happen. Usually I disconnect the hoses at the engine. While you have the cradle down, inspect your power steering hoses, replace those now while you can easily get to them.

I have a slight head start on you with my eldo, but at the rate you're dismantling stuff you'll soon pass me. Take your time and if you need help just ask, we're all here to make it go easier.

Well I will have a good look at the midcase. It's still kind of difficult to see what's what since I got stuck so quickly last night on the disassembly. It seems like getting this motor out to work on can be like pulling a thread out of a sweater or opening a can of worms... The previous owner told me it leaked oil pretty badly, but he also told me it didn't overheat, so maybe he lied on both counts, the latter in my favor... LOL. Actually I wonder if it had a coolant leak at the crossover and was pulling grease down off the block which made him think it was oil. It was also very low on power steering fluid. He claimed to be "a mechanic"... But if that is true, then I am a rocket scientist and a brain surgeon in my spare time. LOL. From what I can see, the block looks pretty clean, but like I said, it's still too soon to tell.

So how much more money would have to spend going all the way? New bearings, dist. plate, etc?

Faded Crest
03-22-12, 01:28 PM
I posted the close up picture of the inside of the head gasket in another thread and someone thought they saw a crack in the block! Ironically what they thought they saw turned out to be just a casting imperfection, but because I was looking closely, I did find something several inches from where he thought he saw one! Here is the original post...


I don't think thats a head gasket (in the conventional blown head gasket sense), it looks like a cracked block right below where those gunky bubles look to be coming out of the gasket. Clean that area off and take a good look at the area leading back to that little circular cavity under the gasket.

After reading this post I went down for a better look. I removed the starter and sopped up all the standing oil. There was a LOT more than I first thought. I would say close to a half quart. I am going to go get my camera and some carb. cleaner and take some closeups of what I found. When I spoke with AJxtcman a couple weeks ago I expressed my concerns about an undetected cracked block. He told me that "flaking" was typical but not cracking. So the big question is... Is what I am seeing "flaking"? or "cracking"?

Faded Crest
03-22-12, 02:40 PM
Hopefully all of this is just a tempest in a teapot... I will be anxiously awaiting opinions of what all this means, if anything.

This is the first area that caused me some concern...

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0616.jpg

Here is a similar one...

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/hairlinecrack.jpg

Here is what I assume AJxtcman was talking about when he was describing benign "flaking"...

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/flaking2.jpg

Here is more of what I think is a combination of casting imperfections and the beginnings of what would be considered "flaking"

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/flaking1.jpg

Ranger
03-22-12, 02:52 PM
Post #5 has some pics.
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/228747-cracked-blocks-ckp-swap-00-blocks.html

Faded Crest
03-22-12, 03:37 PM
Those look nothing like my little "cracks"... Is that your point?

----------

Just to clarify...

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/NOTACRACK.jpg

Ranger
03-22-12, 09:19 PM
No point Faded. Just posted for informational purposes. Don't quote me, but I think that is a common place for it to crack if it is going to. I can't tell if yours are cracks or casting irregularities.

Faded Crest
03-22-12, 09:27 PM
Well none of the little fissures that I have noticed are anywhere near a stress point like a bolt or anything so I am getting less and less worried about it. Maybe AJ will see the pics and comment.

Ranger
03-22-12, 09:32 PM
You could call Joe at Midwest Cadillac at 847-878-5676. He found several of them, even showed me one. That's where I got the impression that they are usually in the same place, but he would be much better to talk to than me.

Faded Crest
03-23-12, 08:52 AM
I have some dealings with a guy who is a retired GM mechanic... He actually retired young and now works for a famous retired race car driver. Anyway, he's top notch in every way. I was telling him about my engine and the small fissures and he dismissed the notion that it was something to be concerned about. He said a troublesome crack would be unmistakable. he also said the pooling was very common and that he has seen an inch or more of "varnish" in the intake valley in cars with 20k miles. Needless to say, I am feeling much more at ease now than when I first discovered the little cracks.

89falcon
03-23-12, 09:38 AM
I have some dealings with a guy who is a retired GM mechanic... He actually retired young and now works for a famous retired race car driver. Anyway, he's top notch in every way. I was telling him about my engine and the small fissures and he dismissed the notion that it was something to be concerned about. He said a troublesome crack would be unmistakable. he also said the pooling was very common and that he has seen an inch or more of "varnish" in the intake valley in cars with 20k miles. Needless to say, I am feeling much more at ease now than when I first discovered the little cracks.

I agree, but if you have the engine out and apart anyway, I'd consider sanding/grinding as much of them away as possible. You don't want to give aluminum a starting point for a crack.

Faded Crest
03-23-12, 09:51 AM
I agree, but if you have the engine out and apart anyway, I'd consider sanding/grinding as much of them away as possible. You don't want to give aluminum a starting point for a crack.

Do you mean like with a dremel? Grind away the crack if possible? Interesting.

Faded Crest
03-24-12, 08:46 PM
Well I have the first head off... The left one. There was standing coolant in cylinder #6. Here are some pics.

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0646.jpg

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0647.jpg

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0648.jpg

Faded Crest
03-25-12, 12:04 AM
Right side head gasket was much worse... Eaten all the way through in spots and standing coolant in all 3 cylinders that were down.

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0657.jpg

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0658.jpg

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0654.jpg

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0666.jpg

And of course everybody loves to see theses pics!

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0667.jpg

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/honing1.jpg

Ranger
03-25-12, 12:20 PM
Looking at the pictures of those HG's makes me wonder if the problem might not be shitty HG's. That is a damned shame and should not happen.

maeng9981
03-25-12, 12:49 PM
That's a lot of coolant in the cylinders..... :yeah: I wonder how good of a reputation the Northstars would have had if these kind of problems are found on less cars. Otherwise one heck of an engine...

Faded Crest
03-25-12, 12:52 PM
Looking at the pictures of those HG's makes me wonder if the problem might not be shitty HG's. That is a damned shame and should not happen.

I absolutely agree Ranger,.... At least in this case. All but 2 or 3 bolts came out clean and dry. 2 had some block thread attached, but they were all pretty tight. I needed a long pipe to break them loose. I would guess that the head gaskets went first and then the 2 or 3 bolts that were weak were a result of coolant leaking in. But I didn't really see any rust on the gaskets and the metal rings were all there and solid, but the gasket composite was very weak... It reminded me of wet cardboard.

tateos
03-25-12, 06:31 PM
Marc - I agree with this part:

I would guess that the head gaskets went first and then the 2 or 3 bolts that were weak were a result of coolant leaking in.

...but...

I kind of doubt that there was routinely that much coolant in the cylinders when started in AM - I would think it would hydro lock the engine...or snap a connecting rod (Jake has reported that). Also, with coolant leaking into one or more cylinders, we normally see the bad ones "steam cleaned" of carbon. Also, the typical N* HG problem is not coolant in the combustion chamber as much as it is combustion gases in the cooling system. Could the coolant in the cylinders have ended up there due to/during the disassembly?

Looks like you used the same lift point on the body as I did - ran the chain around the bumper struts?

I sent your info to the man that purchased the rear seal installer from me - his name is Steve and he said he will be in touch with you when done with it.

Richard Moore

Faded Crest
03-25-12, 07:52 PM
Thanks Richard, Yes Steve contacted me.

On the coolant in the cylinders, who knows... :noidea: The car was awful to try to get started cold. It would spit and sputter and would run the battery almost all the way down before finally firing up. How would that much coolant get into the cyliners during disassembly? The thing is there was only a little water in one cylinder on the other side... :hmm:

Ranger
03-25-12, 10:19 PM
I agree with Richard. I suspect some residual coolant leaked into those cylinders when the head was loosened for removal. That is a LOT of coolant to try and crank the engine with and I would guess enough to hydrolock it.

Faded Crest
03-25-12, 10:27 PM
Ranger, To break loose the harmonic balancer bolt, I tried to do what you suggested... filling a cylinder with oil and replacing the plug to hydrolock it. However, the engine still turned and pushed the oil out the exhaust... Is that a trick you have used with success? Did I do something wrong?

Ranger
03-25-12, 10:44 PM
You did it wrong. You had that cylinder on the exhaust stroke (exhaust valves open). You needed to be on the compression stroke (all valves closed). Then it would have worked like a charm.

Faded Crest
03-25-12, 10:47 PM
:duh: After writing my last post I started thinking about that and you confirmed it. Guess I'm showing the world that I am not a mechanic. :lol:

----------

Still don't see how that water got into the cylinders without me noticing it. When I pulled the heads off the water was in there, sitting still, and in only one cylinder on the left side. Wouldn't the cylinders be able to push the water back into the water jackets through the leaky head gasket while cranking, preventing hydrolock?

Ranger
03-25-12, 10:47 PM
You will be after this job.

How long did the engine sit before you opened it up? Maybe what you are seeing is the result of very slow seepage as opposed to overnight.

Faded Crest
03-25-12, 10:51 PM
I could believe that... In fact that's what I figured. It was last run about 2 weeks before I actually opened it. I agree, I don't see how it would crank at all if it was that full of water every morning. What was interesting is that it would start without much trouble if it was on level ground, but if it was parked on an incline it was much, much worse, not starting at all until given a boost. Could the coolant have been seeping worse when parked on an incline? If so, maybe that back bank filled up when I raised the car to disconnect the exhaust.

Ranger
03-25-12, 11:02 PM
I would not think being parked on an incline would make any difference as the heads (and HG's) are above the cylinder even on level ground so seepage would be the same.

Faded Crest
03-25-12, 11:08 PM
Apropos of nothing... I highly recommend you listen to smooth Jazz while removing the water crossover. :) And hats off to everyone who has done that job with the engine in the car! :worship:

----------


I would not think being parked on an incline would make any difference as the heads (and HG's) are above the cylinder even on level ground so seepage would be the same.

Then I don't know. :noidea: I guess it doesn't matter. I do remember reading a couple other HG threads that included a picture of a lot of water in the cylinders like that, so whatever it is, it seems to be common.

If you disassemble an engine without a blown head gasket would it normally fill with water like that?

Ranger
03-25-12, 11:25 PM
If you disassemble an engine without a blown head gasket would it normally fill with water like that?


Last time I did one (long time ago) I recall coolant in the cylinder after I pulled the heads. Probably residual coolant left in the heads, but I don't think it was that much. Plus I pulled the head right after draining the coolant. With the hole you had in the gasket I'd bet it leaking into the cylinder during the 2 week sit time.

John.Westlock
03-26-12, 03:06 AM
:yeah: Sounds right. I've yet to do a HG on a N* but I do vaguely recall sponging antifreeze out of the cylinders on the cars I did. Sometimes no matter how well you drain the car (or maybe if you drain it on an incline might make it worse) AF can pool up in some spots. Actually if I remember correctly it was a Ford Probe that did it to me. Can't recall the 54 though I think it did (had to do the HG 2 times- turned out the head was warped 1st time was on the side of the road- 200 miles from home). Man that 54 had a lot of AF in the oil- probably like a gallon or 2. Pretty sure it was in the cylinders as well. Thankfully it had a floating oil pick up or else it would have been toast. Come to think of it if you don't find much AF in the oil pan odds are it happened when you pulled the head somehow. I suppose it would be good news if there is none in the pan. :yup: Also I'd recommend checking the head with a flat edge- I hear its rare for them to warp on a N* but why not now that you got it off and wondering why the HG went bad with presumably sound threads.

Also FYI someone mentioned that you can file a crack to stop it from spreading. Yes machinists usually drill a round hole at the end of the cracks to keep it from spreading but if the spot is that serious on an N* block I doubt it will prevent it. Not saying to drill a hole just not so sure that if the block is thick enough to stop an existing crack that way. On the 60s/ 70s BB Buicks the guys recommend cleaning up all the poor casting spots in the intake valley with a dremel so they don't fall off and do something nasty. Suppose it can't hurt the N* so long as you don't file it too much:tisk: and make sure to clean it all up- Really make sure. Metal particles, even hair, etc really shouldn't be where they can contaminate the oil and get in the bearing area/ cylinders. I wouldn't really recommend a large dremel/ die grinder as its easy to take off a lot without noticing (that and it wings it every where) maybe a hand file or something or cover everything up and use a real small dremel with a diamond bit (harbor freight has them cheap) and use it vertical. Cover everything though and clean, clean clean. Also use lint free cloths for the final cleaning. Personally I find brake cleaner is handy to clean up with if used right- watch out its nasty stuff (especially for your eyes). Don't get it on any bearings and maybe wipe the cylinders, cams, etc with a light film of oil before reassembling- doesn't hurt.

If you really want to make sure the block isn't cracked send it out to be pressure tested (though I'm not sure if that would be recommended with the N* being a split case). I know all the engines we've ever gone through the heads and blocks are sent out. If there is a crack no matter how small it is they will find it. You can have engines and blocks pressure tested outside the car- no doubts about that. Just make sure the N* half seal won't blow out when doing it. I'm not sure if there are any coolant passages through there or not. Not sure if you'd want to send it with the crank assembly or not as some engine shops could care less about getting crude where it shouldn't be.

That whatever you do keep Scotch Brite a million miles away from an engine- its really nasty stuff. Not saying you'll do it or not but a lot of people have used it that weren't aware and it will kill your engine. Had an engine shop use it on us- took me half the day to clean the engine though they were paid to do it. :mad2:

I'm sure you know but just in case at the risk of sounding stupid I'll say it. Change your oil and filter when you're done. That and get rid of the orange kool aid. Jake says the same. In our cars we always replace it as well. The green works fine in our 2004 Pontiac and we've never flushed it since replacing the intake gasket (common on those).

----------

Then again the intake vallay on an N* shouldn't be so critical since its not like a normal engine on 2nd thought. Just wipe it down good and make sure not to wing it everywhere. Still applies to anything where oil normally travels though. Sorry about that- forgot. It is a cool but quirky design.

Faded Crest
03-26-12, 09:53 AM
Thanks for the response John... Sounds like you are old school by the looks of your cars. :thumbsup:


:...Come to think of it if you don't find much AF in the oil pan odds are it happened when you pulled the head somehow. I suppose it would be good news if there is none in the pan.

Actually one unique thing about a Northstar is that when a head gasket blows it will not leak antifreeze into the oil. It will burn it out the tailpipe which is the biggest reason a blown head gasket is so difficult to diagnose on a Northstar.

Ranger
03-26-12, 12:16 PM
Looking at the pictures of those HG's makes me wonder if the problem might not be shitty HG's. That is a damned shame and should not happen.
The more I look at those HG pics and think about it, I think the problem is that damned open deck design.

Faded Crest
03-26-12, 12:42 PM
The more I look at those HG pics and think about it, I think the problem is that damned open deck design.

It would seem to me that if the head gaskets are inherently weak that the open deck design only makes the problem worse. I doubt there would be that much water encroachment with a closed deck. But other open deck engines, like on Hondas, don't seem to have the notorious head gasket problems which could still point to the head gaskets themselves on Northstars. But I am certainly no expert... :noidea:

It does seem to be asking a lot more of a head gasket to seal an open deck... And the head gasket on my engine is deteriorating much worse over the open water jackets. In fact, in one or two pics you can see where part of the gasket material remained in the water jacket... And I simply lifted it off, there was no prying necessary.

Ranger
03-26-12, 03:54 PM
All good points. Another conundrum. :noidea:

Faded Crest
03-26-12, 06:04 PM
Here is a picture of the timing chain... Is it just me? Or does the tensioner look pretty far extended? Just wondering if I should replace the chain while I'm in there.

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0670.jpg

vincentm
03-26-12, 07:03 PM
Looks a little far out there, but then again im still a noob. Here's some reference pics, scroll down a bit

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum3/HTML/000116-4.html


(http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum3/HTML/000116-4.html)

Faded Crest
03-26-12, 08:03 PM
Wait a minute... Is it my imagination?... Or has the chain dug a channel into the nylon surface of the tensioner , thus causing it to extend?

Ranger
03-26-12, 09:18 PM
Bingo! It is supposed to, but that one appears to be worn in quite deeply. I'd just replace the shoe (if you can). The chain is just fine (unless it has worn completely through the shoe and has been running on the tensioner piston).

Faded Crest
03-26-12, 10:41 PM
I hope somebody see this while I'm working here... Where are some points where I can hook a chain to safely hoist the engine?

vincentm
03-27-12, 01:20 AM
Connect an engine lifting fixture to the engine using support hooks at the left rear and the right rear of the engine. Use the torque strut bracket at the left front of the engine for the third lift point.

Faded Crest
03-27-12, 01:49 AM
I've already got it broken down though. Torque struts are off.

----------

Looking through an old HG thread by Taetos, he said he used the old head bolts to attach the chain to... He had already installed Norm's inserts and just hand tightened the old bolts into the inserts. I have not installed inserts yet, but I guess I'll do the same.

eyewonder
03-27-12, 08:36 AM
Here is a shot of the two lifting-plate/eyes that I used, after the heads were off. Its a flat plate, maybe 1/4" (whatever scrap I could find) with a good sturdy lifting eye screwed thru, bolted from underside, then welded.

One on each side, and the cherry picker make quick work of moving it around.

Cheers,
Steve

Faded Crest
03-27-12, 09:46 AM
That looks good Steve. Thanks!

tateos
03-27-12, 03:22 PM
With the heads off, you're not dealing with a lot of weight

Faded Crest
03-27-12, 03:52 PM
With the heads off, you're not dealing with a lot of weight

That was my thought... I figured no more than 400-500 lbs. So my idea will work you think?... even though it's just the original threads?

eyewonder
03-27-12, 05:16 PM
A way-back thread http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/22845-how-much-does-northstar-engine-weigh.html , post #2, had Google claiming 400, 475 WITH accessories.

Cheers,
Steve

Faded Crest
03-28-12, 08:57 PM
Got the engine out and I'm about to put it on the stand... But it looks like we've got a lot of oil under the right side where I couldn't see behind the transaxle. Looking like a seal kit. :annoyed:

Up she goes!

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/IMG00191-20120328-2006.jpg

Thanks Richard (Taetos) for sending me pics of how you lifted the engine. I actually decided to use 4 lift points. It went very well.

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/IMG00192-20120328-2006.jpg

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/IMG00193-20120328-2039.jpg

Faded Crest
03-28-12, 10:16 PM
I finally got a memory card for my phone so I can shoot videos. Here is one of the engine block and the oil leaks...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3pwBk5j95c&feature=youtu.be

Faded Crest
03-28-12, 11:47 PM
So what do I need to order? Do I need to order individual seals? Or is there a kit? I read somewhere that the oil distribution plate should be replaced as well as the main bearing cap bolts. Is that right? Don't want to get deep into it and realize I don't have everything I need.

CadillacLuke24
03-29-12, 12:00 AM
Hahaha nice youtube name :D. I know you didn't want to hear this, but you might as well reseal the pan. Kill two birds with one stone.

Faded Crest
03-29-12, 12:03 AM
Hahaha nice youtube name :D. I know you didn't want to hear this, but you might as well reseal the pan. Kill two birds with one stone.

Yeah, I have come to terms with the fact that I'm in all the way. LOL... Yeah, my user name. :rolleyes: You have no idea what that stands for.

JoeTahoe
03-29-12, 12:19 AM
new oil manifold, rear main seal and rtv (permatex right stuff I believe is the name of it) for oil pan and half case. I would do it since you are this far in. Main bolts are reuseable, rods are not. You are also gonna need the install tool for the rear main seal.
Hope this helps Joe

Glenn Delwood
03-29-12, 12:24 AM
I'm following you man. I wish I was there. Whereabouts are you?

Faded Crest
03-29-12, 12:55 AM
I'm following you man. I wish I was there. Whereabouts are you?

Thanks, you into a HG job too? I'm in Charlotte, NC. You're welcome to come down for a visit! :D

----------


new oil manifold, rear main seal and rtv (permatex right stuff I believe is the name of it) for oil pan and half case. I would do it since you are this far in. Main bolts are reuseable, rods are not. You are also gonna need the install tool for the rear main seal.
Hope this helps Joe

So that's it? Not so bad I guess. Interesting that you just permatex the oil pan. Actually now that you say that, I do seem to remember reading it somewhere. What other seals should I address? I guess the Rear main seal is the most troublesome since you need the tool.

JoeTahoe
03-29-12, 08:20 AM
there is a tsb on the half case seal somewere on this site someone will point you in the rihgt place or post it for you. I got my tool used on ebay it wasnt too badly priced but you have to have it to do it rihgt

vincentm
03-29-12, 09:32 AM
Might as well inspect the crank, and main bearings will you have the engine inverted.

Faded Crest
03-29-12, 09:44 AM
I will certainly be able to get a good look. But based on the excellent condition of the cams, I am expecting (and very much hoping) that everything in the bottom end will look as nice.

Joe, I think I came across that TSB in my reading... Wasn't it AJ who posted it?

JoeTahoe
03-29-12, 10:37 AM
i beleive it was or ranger or sub will chime in on were it is

RippyPartsDept
03-29-12, 10:54 AM
We replace the oil manifold (it has seals embedded in it) and use permatex ultra grey as well as some anaerobic sealer

we also replace the oil level switch and the oil pressure switch along with the oil filter housing to block seals (big fat orings)

we also replace the rear main seal and the front cover gasket

ternstes
03-29-12, 10:54 AM
You are correct, Faded crest. Here is the link again in case you need it.

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-tech-tips/117232-case-halves-reseal-fwd-rtv-sealant.html

Can you substitute Permatex right-stuff for the GM sealant?

Faded Crest
03-29-12, 11:02 AM
Thanks for chiming in guys. It will be nice knowing all the seals are new.

eyewonder
03-29-12, 12:56 PM
Here are some shots of getting the old rear seal out. Those are self-drilling sheet metal screws that are driven into the old seal, and then pulled out with the bolt screwed into the crank.

Cheers,
Steve

Faded Crest
03-29-12, 02:09 PM
That's interesting Steve... Thanks for the pics.

tateos
03-29-12, 06:10 PM
Steve - nice pics...what is that - a seal remover tool for the new design seal? Where did you get it? I didn't need that on my '97, as I had the old lip style seal; I drilled a small hole in the metal part of the seal, then used my dent puller...that was the correct procedure per the GM manual at the time, I believe. I'm sure I could have just dug around with a screwdriver and pried the old seal off, but didn't want to chance gouging the block cavity or crankshaft output flange.

Any update on the "wobbly inserts" dilemma?

Richard Moore

Faded Crest
03-29-12, 10:00 PM
What is the best way to remove carbon buildup from the tops of the pistons?

----------

This is what I dug out of the water jackets... Stop leak granules. For anybody who thinks this stuff will help a leaky head gasket or stripped bolts, I have bad news for you... It was all gathered at the bottom of the #1 and #8 cylinder jackets. None of it was attached to the head gaskets or the head bolts.

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0695.jpg

CadillacLuke24
03-29-12, 11:41 PM
If you want to keep your mechanic (or yourself) preoccupied during the engine overhaul.... Bar's Leak is your friend! :sneaky: Coming along great Faded! Keep up the great work! :thumbsup:

98eldo32v
03-30-12, 02:19 AM
What is the best way to remove carbon buildup from the tops of the pistons?

----------

This is what I dug out of the water jackets... Stop leak granules. For anybody who thinks this stuff will help a leaky head gasket or stripped bolts, I have bad news for you... It was all gathered at the bottom of the #1 and #8 cylinder jackets. None of it was attached to the head gaskets or the head bolts.

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0695.jpg



The Best way I've found is to use BP blaster Bolt penetrant or Rust bust on the tops of the pistons. Just spray it on there, let it sit on the pistions and soak into the carbon and then use a tooth brush and scrape the carbon right off. Leaves the pistons clean.......

Faded Crest
03-30-12, 09:10 AM
Good suggestion, thanks!. Actually I should have thought of that myself since I use PB blaster to clean grimy sewing machines that I refurbish. :duh:

JoeTahoe
03-30-12, 09:22 AM
What is the best way to remove carbon buildup from the tops of the pistons?

----------

This is what I dug out of the water jackets... Stop leak granules. For anybody who thinks this stuff will help a leaky head gasket or stripped bolts, I have bad news for you... It was all gathered at the bottom of the #1 and #8 cylinder jackets. None of it was attached to the head gaskets or the head bolts.

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0695.jpg thats just nasty!!!!!! if its that bad I would back flush the radiator and heater core

RippyPartsDept
03-30-12, 09:45 AM
GM has a concentrated formula that you can let sit on them then suck out ... it's meant to be done while the engine is assembled so you can immediately run the engine to burn off the excess fluid that doesn't get sucked up

i'm not sure if it would or wouldn't be recommended to use in this kind of situation
i believe that AJ posted the TSB ...

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/110708-how-clean-piston-rings-my-way.html
(http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/110708-how-clean-piston-rings-my-way.html)
Found it!

Faded Crest
03-30-12, 10:18 AM
Thanks Chris, that's interesting. I wish the pics were still there. I'm with you, I wonder if it is safe with the engine apart. I guess I can always rely on the WOT technique to clear the rings after it's running again.

RippyPartsDept
03-30-12, 01:41 PM
I would assume that it would be okay as long as you changed the oil as well (which you are going to do anyways)
and didn't let it just sit there for days and days
do it just before you do the assembly so any residual concentrate that doesn't get sucked back up won't be sitting for that long before you get a chance to burn it off

Faded Crest
03-30-12, 02:27 PM
Thanks again... By the way the parts just got here. Thanks! :thumbsup:

RippyPartsDept
03-30-12, 05:39 PM
cool... let me know if there's anything else that i can help with

CadillacLuke24
03-30-12, 07:28 PM
Chris to the rescue!

RippyPartsDept
03-30-12, 10:49 PM
You guys are gonna give me an ego!

vincentm
03-30-12, 11:07 PM
Chris came through for me too, stand up guy.

Faded Crest
03-30-12, 11:35 PM
Three cheers for Chris!!! :D

Faded Crest
03-31-12, 11:11 PM
Okay, the toothbrush and PB Blaster is working, but...v-e-r-y... s-l-o-w-l-y... Is there anything wrong with using a brass brush to get the real thick stuff off? This is going to take me several hours at this pace.

----------


thats just nasty!!!!!! if its that bad I would back flush the radiator and heater core

Actually I'm replacing both. :thumbsup:

JoeTahoe
03-31-12, 11:44 PM
Okay, the toothbrush and PB Blaster is working, but...v-e-r-y... s-l-o-w-l-y... Is there anything wrong with using a brass brush to get the real thick stuff off? This is going to take me several hours at this pace. use a razor blade and a shop vac for the heavy carbon, Than try carb cleaner on a rag

----------



Actually I'm replacing both. :thumbsup: use a razor blade and a shop vac for the heavy carbon, Than try carb cleaner on a rag

Faded Crest
03-31-12, 11:53 PM
use a razor blade and a shop vac for the heavy carbon, Than try carb cleaner on a rag

Thank you Joe. I actually started to do that but figured I'd better make sure it wouldn't hurt anything since it might scratch the surface a little.

JoeTahoe
04-01-12, 05:26 PM
you should be fine

TINKNOCKER
04-01-12, 05:33 PM
Hi Faded. Great to see how far in you are! Got my eldo back from the shop with the 72K motor installed and it runs great. Nice clean and tight motor. When this one needs the HG done I'm doing it myself. Have everything necessary except the garage. I was mistaken on the number I gave you on my "twin". 124 with the exact options and 174 with at least as many options. Triple black is sooo sweet. When you have some time, you can check yours out at www.compnine.com for the full RPO code list and rarity of your car with your VIN #. Best of luck with the drilling.

Submariner409
04-01-12, 05:42 PM
The posted RPO tracking website has been dead for about 6 months. There is no plan for its return. The "rarity" of a car found was not correct - that was based on several hidden RPO's in the dealer package order which included the date and lineal number of that particular car - of course it would be one of three that bucked the line at 2:30 - 2:40 on ??? 10/22/02 ???, so, yes - it would be "rare". The old CompNine site acknowledged that fact in the fine print.

TINKNOCKER
04-01-12, 08:11 PM
Didn't mean to provide an outdated link. My last report from compnine was 8/26/2011. Haven't bought anything since. Sub, I lurk all the time without posting, I find you are an incredible font of information.

tateos
04-03-12, 02:15 PM
Marc - I used a circular steel wire wheel on a pneumatic air grinder, albeit a wire wheel that was not too coarse, and already broken in, so no really sharp tips of the wire, on the piston crowns and combustion chamber and valve heads - no damage whatsoever - I could clearly see the factory machining marks on the top of the pistons - a tiny bit of carbon was left in the valve reliefs, which I scraped out with and awl or something similar.

Richard Moore

Faded Crest
04-03-12, 02:26 PM
Thanks Richard,

I just finished cleaning them up the other day. I carefully scraped most of the carbon away with a razor and then also used something like an awl to dig out the valve reliefs. I still have yet to clean the vavle heads, so I'll try your method on those. It was a major PITA to scrape everything off the pistons.

89falcon
04-03-12, 04:54 PM
Thanks Richard,

I just finished cleaning them up the other day. I carefully scraped most of the carbon away with a razor and then also used something like an awl to dig out the valve reliefs. I still have yet to clean the vavle heads, so I'll try your method on those. It was a major PITA to scrape everything off the pistons.

I've seen people sand and polish piston tops....makes it tougher for carbon to adhere, and theoretically, reduces piton top surface area for less heat (energy) transfer....although I can't imagine that making much difference beyond .00000000001 HP......but the short answer is....clean away!

Submariner409
04-03-12, 05:42 PM
I've seen people sand and polish piston tops....makes it tougher for carbon to adhere, and theoretically, reduces piton top surface area for less heat (energy) transfer....although I can't imagine that making much difference beyond .00000000001 HP......but the short answer is....clean away!

Not so. Combustion "carbon" (a mixture of fuel additive residue, oil residue [carbon] and snake oil residue) will adhere to a mirror finish piston crown just as well as to a good ol' machine finish piston crown. A polished piston is warm and fuzzy upon assembly, but check it out at 30,000 miles - better yet - at 20,000 city miles.................BUT if you're running an exotic race fuel and methanol, those piston crowns will keep that mirror finish for 400 miles: the next teardown.

Faded Crest
04-03-12, 05:48 PM
Well, I guess I'll put away the jeweler's rouge then. :lol:

Faded Crest
04-03-12, 10:01 PM
I got the lower case off the block tonight and am concerned at how the lower crankshaft bearings look. Here they are... What do you think?
http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0746.jpg

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0747.jpg

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0748.jpg

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0749.jpg

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0750.jpg

Faded Crest
04-04-12, 05:30 PM
Do you guys think I need to replace my main bearings?

Submariner409
04-04-12, 05:37 PM
Install new mains and rod bearings. Too much wear and embedded dirt there (pictures). Take a hard look at the crank - maybe polish all the journals with crocus cloth - no regrind recommended. Have you ever used Plastigage to check clearances ? Might be a good idea.

Read the GM service manual concerning crankshaft and rod bearing reconditioning. You can probably get away with a set of original or maybe .002" under bearings.

Use a good assembly lube.

Faded Crest
04-04-12, 05:46 PM
Yeah, there's no way I can ignore that. I think sometimes ignorance is bliss. :(

:can:

I have never used plasti-gage, but I guess it would be a good idea. Do you think I will likely need the same size under rod bearings as main bearings? Should I plasti-gage all of them? Or will a couple of each tell me enough?

By the way, after I lifted the lower case off, I simply pulled out the old rear main seal. It was very easy to remove, so I was wondering if a new one could be installed the same way since it's apart... or was the old one just shrunken which is why it came out so easily? :noidea:

vincentm
04-04-12, 07:01 PM
Yea id replace those bearings, they look nearly shot.

Faded Crest
04-04-12, 07:09 PM
With the way the previous owner "fixed" this car, the worn bearings don't surprise me. He probably ran it hot and never changed the oil... Or just never changed the oil at all.

vincentm
04-04-12, 07:23 PM
That Eldo was begging you to doctor her back to 100%

JoeTahoe
04-04-12, 09:02 PM
You need the instalation tool for the rear main. The main bearings are shot what did the rods look like??

Faded Crest
04-04-12, 09:27 PM
Thanks Joe. I have not looked at the rod bearings yet, perhaps tonight. I just couldn't take any more bad news after seeing those mains last night :rolleyes: I picked up some plastigage, so we will see how bad it is.

vincentm
04-04-12, 10:48 PM
Might as well rebuild her. I can find out about the cost for a crank for you.

Faded Crest
04-04-12, 11:29 PM
Might as well rebuild her. I can find out about the cost for a crank for you.

Ugh! All I wanted was new head gaskets... :gah: LOL

Here is the #8 lower Rod bearing... I only pulled that one... Just in case you guys thought I could get away with it...??? :ohnoes:

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0756.jpg

The plastigage showed it to be in the "good" range... .0015 inch... They look scored, but are very smooth, unlike the mains...

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0758.jpg

89falcon
04-04-12, 11:37 PM
Ugh! All I wanted was new head gaskets... :gah: LOL

Here is the #8 lower Rod bearing... I only pulled that one... Just in case you guys thought I could get away it...??? :ohnoes:

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0756.jpg

The plastigage showed it to be in the "good" range... .0015 inch... They look scored, but are very smooth, unlike the mains...

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0758.jpg

My understanding is that the rod bearings have a tendency to lose there shape on the bottom end when you re-assemble. Be sure to check them (for roundness).

Faded Crest
04-05-12, 12:08 AM
The main bearing journals are a bit scored, but the one rod bearing journal I exposed looked very good. Vincent, why did you put that in my head?

What should I do? Can I polish the main journals and be okay? If I run my fingernail across it I can definitely feel where it is dug.

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0763.jpg

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0761.jpg

----------


My understanding is that the rod bearings have a tendency to lose there shape on the bottom end when you re-assemble. Be sure to check them (for roundness).

Are you saying if the plasti-gage looks okay I should be able to re-use them? How do I check for roundness?

Submariner409
04-05-12, 08:59 AM
If I had pulled a main and rod bearing out of that engine and seen the same wear/dirt patten, gotten the same results with Plastigage, there would be no hesitation to polish all the journals with crocus cloth and install a new set of stock sized main and rod bearing shells.

ternstes
04-05-12, 09:07 AM
I would not reuse rod bearings if you unbolted the cap. The crush factor on those bearings is too great, and it WILL fail if you reuse it. You will need new rod bolts as well. Try polishing the scored journal as Sub suggested, but I think you may need a new crankshaft if the score is deep enough to catch your fingernail.

I have a 99 STS with a cracked block that I am replacing with a different engine. If the crank out of my bad engine is still in good shape, you are welcome to it if you decide to go down that road.

Faded Crest
04-05-12, 10:20 AM
I would not reuse rod bearings if you unbolted the cap. The crush factor on those bearings is too great, and it WILL fail if you reuse it. You will need new rod bolts as well. Try polishing the scored journal as Sub suggested, but I think you may need a new crankshaft if the score is deep enough to catch your fingernail.

I have a 99 STS with a cracked block that I am replacing with a different engine. If the crank out of my bad engine is still in good shape, you are welcome to it if you decide to go down that road.

That's a very kind offer. Is your old engine out already? I am over "budget" on this whole project already, so that would be a huge help if I need to get a crank.

I agree, after sleeping on it, it would be silly to try to reuse the rod bearings now that I have opened one. I actually expected them to be in the same shape as the mains, so I was surprised the one I checked was smooth and tight. I will polish the main journals and plastigage the mains as Sub said. Are the rod bearing bolts dealer-only? I didn't see a listing for them on the Rockauto website.

ternstes
04-05-12, 11:40 AM
Rod bolts are dealer only. Try Rippy or gmpartsgiant.com or gmpartsdirect.com

The engine is 'halfway' out. The previous owner had headgasket problems and tried to fix it. When he got the heads off, he noticed a crack in the block in between the cylinders. I acquired it at that point since he couldn't spend the money on a new engine.

I should have it out soon.

Glenn Delwood
04-05-12, 01:12 PM
Hey Crest,
I read on one of your posts that you go through quite a few cars (buying and selling them often). If this is what comes out of your hands and you do this kind of thorough work, it would be a blessing to get one's hands on a car that has been through your hands. Just sayin'.

Faded Crest
04-05-12, 01:21 PM
Thanks Glenn. I always did pride myself in dealing in top quality cars.

But if I had to do this kind of work to all the cars I bought and sold I'd have been in the poorhouse long ago. :D I did more buying and selling in the past than now. This job is strictly a labor of love. A love for the car and a love for learning/gaining experience.

JoeTahoe
04-05-12, 01:56 PM
I dont want to bring up any more work or $$$$ but why not rering it while your in it this deep. If you do rering only use gm rings, I have seen horror stories on here about non gm rings. Did you pull all the rod caps yet?? On mine I used Clevite Bearings from Rock Auto.

Faded Crest
04-05-12, 01:59 PM
I dont want to bring up any more work or $$$$ but why not rering it while your in it this deep. If you do rering only use gm rings, I have seen horror stories on here about non gm rings. Did you pull all the rod caps yet?? On mine I used Clevite Bearings from Rock Auto.

No I haven't pulled any more rod bearings apart. But I did pull that one piston out. The rings actually looked excellent. They were extremely clean and free. I can take a picture later. How much do new GM rings cost? If they aren't that bad, like you said... "While I'm in this deep already... " :rolleyes:

By the way, did I mention that I have no idea what I'm doing? :ohnoes:

JoeTahoe
04-05-12, 02:06 PM
No I haven't pulled any more rod bearings apart. But I did pull that one piston out. The rings actually looked excellent. They were extremely clean and free. I can take a picture later. How much do new GM rings cost? If they aren't that bad, like you said... While I'm in this deep already... :rolleyes:

By the way, did I mention that I have no idea what I'm doing? :ohnoes: your a little deep now, also good time to change the T.C.C solinoid in the trans and service it also. Talk to Rippy on rod bolts and rings

tateos
04-05-12, 02:13 PM
Marc - I assume the rear main seal you removed was the original lip style - it slides onto the crankshaft output flange, and then is a light interference/press fit in the block cavity - something similar to the front seal. The new style seal is a 2 piece design - 1 part presses into the block cavity - the other presses onto the crankshaft flange. I think I read that something like 100 pounds of force are needed to press it into place, and if you don't use the proper tool, or at least something that achieves the same results, you will ruin the seal and have a massive leak.

Faded Crest
04-05-12, 02:19 PM
Marc - I assume the rear main seal you removed was the original lip style - it slides onto the crankshaft output flange, and then is a light interference/press fit in the block cavity - something similar to the front seal. The new style seal is a 2 piece design - 1 part presses into the block cavity - the other presses onto the crankshaft flange. I think I read that something like 100 pounds of force are needed to press it into place, and if you don't use the proper tool, or at least something that achieves the same results, you will ruin the seal and have a massive leak.

I actually got the new seal from Chris at Rippy. It is the one-piece, which is what I removed. The old one came out very easily, which is why I was wondering if it could be put in by hand with the lower case removed, then sandwiched tight when it is reinstalled.

RippyPartsDept
04-05-12, 03:50 PM
The one I sold you is the new style ... the technical service bulletin calls it a 'cartridge style'

tateos
04-05-12, 06:30 PM
What you have might look like it's 1 piece...but it's not. The cartridge style means there are 2 parts - the outer stationary part that is pressed into the block, and the inner part that is pressed onto the crankshaft flange - the 2 halves interlock in a manner which prevents oil leakage - sort of like curling your fingers on both hands and then locking your 2 hands together like you want to pull them apart...does that make sense?

Faded Crest
04-05-12, 07:24 PM
Oh, okay. I haven't even taken it out of the plastic bag yet. When you said two part, I assumed you meant two separate pieces.

tateos
04-05-12, 08:22 PM
Marc - if you take it out of the bag and put your left hand's 4 fingers inside the seal and spread them to prevent inner "race" from turning, you will be able to use your right hand to turn the outer 1/2...you'll see

eyewonder
04-05-12, 10:53 PM
I dont want to bring up any more work or $$$$ but why not rering it while your in it this deep. If you do rering only use gm rings, I have seen horror stories on here about non gm rings. Did you pull all the rod caps yet?? On mine I used Clevite Bearings from Rock Auto.

GM rings only?

I just got some 'Sealed Power' rings from RockAuto because they were about $150 for the set. I had looked at GMPartsGiant, and they had rings that were about $300 a set. OUCH!

So, has anyone have personal experience using the 'Sealed Power' brand? Either for or against?

The ring set I have has not been opened, so I could likely return it, if needed.

Cheers,
Steve

JoeTahoe
04-06-12, 09:02 AM
it was on here a year or so ago smoking issues. Sub or ranger hopfully will chime in. I whent off the experiance off the forum members and jakes experiance

Submariner409
04-06-12, 09:17 AM
GM rings - special set - tapered lower compression ring/scraper, 3-piece oil control ring. Talk to Chris in parts at Rippy Cadillac over there >>>

"Don't know what you're doing ???" One hell of an engine to learn on. Are you using - you NEED - all the procedures in the GM/helm service manual as well as the crankcase halves reseal procedures in a later TSB. The orientation of all the ring gaps is critical to oil control during the new breakin stages. It's all in the book - the GM book, not Chilton or Haynes. For instant gratification, give the car a multi-year subscription to www.alldatadiy.com - all the necessary TSB's (as well as the entire GM manual set) are there.

Faded Crest
04-06-12, 09:41 AM
Yes, I have the 3 volume FSM... I wouldn't go near the engine without it. And yes, I have been paying close attention to the half case reseal TSB posted by AJ.

I pulled one piston and the rings were nice and free with no obvious wear. Unless there is a reason to believe they would be bad at 104k mi, I would rather skip the re-ring. I have bitten off quite a chunk already. By the time it's done, I will likely have as much in this repair as the car is worth, so I need to be careful. Great learning experience though!

Ranger
04-06-12, 10:22 AM
it was on here a year or so ago smoking issues. Sub or ranger hopfully will chime in. I whent off the experiance off the forum members and jakes experiance
:noidea: I don't recall that, sorry.

Faded Crest
04-06-12, 01:05 PM
What is the best way to clean old gasket material off? Some kind of spray cleaner? Engine de-greaser? There seems to be pieces of the outer hard perimeter of the gasket sticking to the lip on the block itself. Also, since the half case is removed, can I safely spray it clean if I dry it off quickly?

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0778.jpg

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0777.jpg

vincentm
04-06-12, 02:04 PM
Plastic scraper and some PB blast i think

Faded Crest
04-06-12, 09:42 PM
Got the lower case cleaned up...

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0779.jpg

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0780.jpg



Should I do anything with the heads?


http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0783.jpg
http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_0781.jpg

CadillacLuke24
04-07-12, 04:28 AM
Mr. OCD here would have to clean them up somehow, but that's just me :D. Ranger, Sub?

Faded Crest
04-07-12, 02:27 PM
I may have a chance to get a couple of re-conditioned heads. They are from a Y code car though. Is the only difference the cams? It's a sweet deal because it comes with new head gaskets and bolts. If anybody could let me know asap I would appreciate it!

Thanks
Marc

RippyPartsDept
04-07-12, 02:42 PM
it will work (technically) but i wouldn't recommend it

Faded Crest
04-07-12, 02:59 PM
What else would be the difference Chris? Same year engine, btw.

vincentm
04-07-12, 07:36 PM
Transaxle I think

JoeTahoe
04-07-12, 08:29 PM
send them to a machine shop and have the valves checked and new seals installed or do it your self

Faded Crest
04-07-12, 09:11 PM
Still wondering why using the reconditioned ones I found isn't a good idea... :noidea:

98eldo32v
04-08-12, 01:21 AM
Hi Faded,

Haven't been on the forums in a bit. Still wrestling with my deville, but all is going well. Following your eldo rebuild since I have to run down that road eventually.

Looking at the picture of your main and rod bearings, REPLACE THEM. You've probably heard this already from some of the other members yet, your bearings look rough. Did you state that motor has 109k on it? If it does, those were the roughest 109k miles on that engine. My main bearings on the 150k sts motor looked brand new, the rods I haven't pulled but once the rod bolts are broken loose you have to replace the bolts. At that point your can't reuse the rod bearings anyway, replacement required.

I highly suggest getting new rod bolts, main cap bolts, and bearings. I'd also suggest a new oil pump, but some might feel that's overkill, but I'm taking the safe than sorry later route.

You're making excellent progress, take your time and double check everything. I wouldn't replace the piston rings unless absolutely necessary.

Get a bucket of that Gunk Carburetor parts cleaner, take the piston/rod asssembly and place the piston inside the bucket with the rod end sticking out. That stuff will dissolve all the carbon and gunk off the piston with very litte scrubbing after it soaks in that stuff.

Keep up the good work.......

----------

Pertaining to the reconditioned heads......

How long ago were they reconditioned? Do you have the receipt to the heads for the work? The heads will work but if you have the 9 motor the intake cams will need to be swapped in.

As long as the heads aren't 00-versions you should be ok with compatible year heads.......

Faded Crest
04-08-12, 10:17 AM
Thanks 98eldo32v,

Yeah, I agree, I am going to replace the main and rod bearings and probably the crankshaft too, since a very generous member is offering me a spare one that he has. The main bearing journals on mine are definitely scored.

Yeah, it's a shame it's so worn for 104k. The cams look perfect, but the mains took some abuse. The rod bearings also looked great, but like you said, once they have been cracked open, gotta replace them with new bolts as well.

The reconditioned heads are being sold by a guy locally who had them done at a machine shop. They are still in wrapped in plastic from the shop. They are also from a '98. It's appealing because he is throwing in the new head gasket kit he bought, including new head bolts and a few other things.

98eldo32v
04-08-12, 12:00 PM
Faded,

If I were you, I'd hold off on the heads right now. Get the parts you need right now to continue forward with the rebuild. If the heads were ment to be, they'll be there when the time comes.

I was lucky and scored a set of Sealed Power main bearing set from Northern Auto Parts from ebay 64.44 shipped to the door. Part # 7319 MA.

Scored GM rod bearings part # 12559363 from ebay 65.00 for a full set of 8?! That was a super deal. The rod bearings tend to be pricey.

Inspect ALL bearing surfaces for nicks or scratches. Don't use any bearing with nicks or scratches on them.


Hang in there buddy.....

----------

Oh I forgot,

See Chris @ Rippy for the main and rod bolts. Good pricing, fast shipping to boot.

rodnok01
04-08-12, 09:51 PM
Any bearing journal with any nick you can feel needs to be machined or replaced. So your right the crank is toast. If the rod bolts are torque to yield style, check to see if Arp carries them instead. If the cylinders aren't scored and rings look undamaged leave em alone. More likely to damage them taking out and reinstalling if you don't know what you're doing.
Get a spring compressor and pop the valves out and clean/check them. Get em checked for cracks if you want and reassemble. If u find a problem then replace them.

Faded Crest
04-08-12, 10:04 PM
Thanks but I am still not getting an answer to my question if "Y" and "9" heads are the same other than the intake cam...??? The guy with 2 reconditioned "Y" heads is offering a great deal... Both heads, new head gasket/bolts, and like 3 or 4 boxes of other engine parts that came off that car. Same year, '98.

eyewonder
04-08-12, 10:26 PM
I am not experienced working on N* either, but your point is well taken. If the ONLY difference is one cam, then except for the cam, they are the same. Kind of redundant, huh?

An issue to consider is whether new lifters(?) need to be installed, so as to mate them to new cam lobes. The total cost of that MIGHT be more than getting your own heads reconditioned.

I just picked up my 2000 heads (roller model) from my machine shop last week. They put in all new exhaust guides, and 1 new exhaust valve. My google search of exchange cyl heads, before shipping costs, was more than my machine shop charge for doing my heads.

Just more stuff to consider.

I hope to be adding to my 'Saga' thread this week, with photos, etc.

Cheers,
Steve

Faded Crest
04-08-12, 10:41 PM
The reconditioned heads have all brand new valves. I am justl not seeing any disadvantage to getting the re-conditioned heads and swapping the intake cams. I could probably even wind up making money on the whole deal by selling my unused cams on ebay.

Did I mention that these re-con heads are CHEAP??? Very cheap, like less than the cost of having mine serviced! Just don't want to absolutely throw away my money if I can't use them.

98eldo32v
04-09-12, 01:10 AM
Faded,

Pertaining to the heads, I believe the Y and 9 head castings are the same. The only way to confirm for sure is to talk to Chris @ Rippy and ask if the service bare head part number for the Y and 9 motor are identical. Other than the intake cams, I can't see the difference.

RippyPartsDept
04-09-12, 11:04 AM
as far as I know they are identical besides the cams ... i was recommending not using them based on that since your PCM will not like having the wrong cams

if you want to switch them i don't see a problem with that besides the extra work involved ... also the head gasket kits (there are two) come with just 10 head bolts and the gasket (depending on which head it is)

98eldo32v
04-09-12, 03:47 PM
There you have it folks heads are the same,

Just the intake cams and labor involved in swapping them. I'd check all cam lobes for irregularities, if all is good......SWAP AWAY!!!

eyewonder
04-09-12, 04:22 PM
If you swap the cams, would/should/can you take the mated lifters from the old head & cam (L37) & move to the newly reconditioned head? Or are there issues that would prevent you from doing that?

Something to consider.

Cheers,
Steve

98eldo32v
04-09-12, 06:44 PM
Taking the old lifters, if usuable is a good idea since they are a match set. Yet if you have a bad lifter or two, you have two options. Buy new lifters or get used ones.

The 2.3 quad 4 uses almost the same lifters as the northstar (another project I have going). The quad 4 guys know how expensive a set of those lifters can get and round up sets of them from the salvage yard.

As long as the lifters arent scored on any surfaces and the internal plunger is operational, you're good to go.

Faded Crest
04-10-12, 05:57 PM
I was browsing Rock auto for parts and I am trying to figure something out... A full set of main and rod bearings is about $222. But A remanufactured crankshaft that comes with a full sets of Rod and Main bearings to match lists for $246+$30 core. Just $24 more for a polished crankshaft? :hmm: Seems like a no-brainer... or am I missing something?

89falcon
04-10-12, 06:43 PM
I was browsing Rock auto for parts and I am trying to figure something out... A full set of main and rod bearings is about $222. But A remanufactured crankshaft that comes with a full sets of Rod and Maine bearings to match lists for $246+$30 core. Just $24 more for a polished crankshaft? :hmm: Seems like a no-brainer... or am I missing something?

FC,
My understanding is that the northstar crank should NOT be ground for oversized bearings, and I'd be very cautious about getting a "re-manufactured" one. GM did something special to the journals so "re-manufacturing" one requires some pretty specialized processes/equipment.

Maybe Sub or Ranger can add something.....

Oh, and I hear Vermont bearings are much better than "Maine" ones....:histeric:

tateos
04-10-12, 06:52 PM
Get the other heads, swap out the cams and matching lifters, or use die grinder and wire wheel on the combustion chambers - they will come out like new. Problems with valves and valve seats and valve seals are almost unheard of - the way I see it, the main advantage of the rebuilt heads is that the backside of the valve heads will be free of any deposits.

ternstes
04-10-12, 07:28 PM
Marshall engines, the company that is selling those reman cranks, looks legit. I would be curious as to how they grind this particular crank to protect against later failure. They even have a Northstar engine pic on the front page of their website!

But, if you look at the rock auto detail, their crank kits come with no warranty.

Faded Crest
04-10-12, 10:13 PM
I would love to hear from someone who has bought one. Just seems like an obvious thing to do... Unless of course it is not going to hold up...

----------




Oh, and I hear Vermont bearings are much better than "Maine" ones....:histeric:

Yeah, I just caught that right before I saw your joke. LOL I am from Maine originally, so it's on my mind I guess. :D

Faded Crest
04-11-12, 10:40 AM
It was suggested that I email dkozloski about the reconditioned crank. He suggested I stay away from it. I am sure he won't mind me posting his PM to me explaining the reasons, as I couldn't convey them as well as he did. Here it is...



The Northstar crankshaft has rolled radii where the journals meet the cheeks of the crank. These must be rerolled if the crank is ground undersize as part of the reconditioning process. Accordinding to Alan Cline, the Northstar engineer who used to frequent the forum, this is something that can only be done by the Cadillac factory and a few other very large facilities. The rolled radii take the place of the radii that you ordinarily find at the junction of the cheeks and journals and prevent cracking under stress. Because a Northstar crank is a bulletproof item, I'd find a good used one before risking breakage with a questionable reconditioned one. Unless Rockauto would guaranty that the radii have been rerolled by somebody who knew what they were doing I wouldn't touch their reconditioned crank with a ten foot pole.

Dave.

RippyPartsDept
04-11-12, 10:56 AM
Yeah, used was going to be my suggestion

Submariner409
04-11-12, 11:45 AM
If the rod and main journals mike to original specs, you can simply polish the journals with crocus cloth strips - just like draping a towel over your shoe toe and pulling back and forth to polish the shoe. Wash the crank and oil passages thoroughly in hot water, brushes and soap, blow dry and wet the whole thing with oil spray. Fit a new set of bearings, using assembly lube.

Performance Automotive Warehouse (PAW) in Chatsworth, CA carries sets of engine cleaning brushes; or if you're a hunter or shooter, gun cleaning brush kits work, too (but replacement bronze brushes are expensive).

ternstes
04-11-12, 01:31 PM
Faded, I am all for giving you my crank out of my 99. I should have it out this weekend (crosses fingers). I need to find a good way to ship it, though. I wonder about using some expanding foam around it inside the box to protect it from damage...

CadillacLuke24
04-11-12, 03:45 PM
Wrap it in layers and layers and layers and layers and layers and layers and layers and layers and layers and layers and layers and layers and layers and layers and layers of bubble wrap, and then pack it in a ginormous box using grocery bags as padding. :D

Faded Crest
04-11-12, 05:32 PM
Faded, I am all for giving you my crank out of my 99. I should have it out this weekend (crosses fingers). I need to find a good way to ship it, though. I wonder about using some expanding foam around it inside the box to protect it from damage...

Thanks Roger, I really appreciate your generosity. By the way, I enjoyed talking to you by phone today.

Marc

89falcon
04-11-12, 06:23 PM
Thanks Roger, I really appreciate your generosity. By the way, I enjoyed talking to you by phone today.

Marc

Actually, wrong person....

Nice talking to you also...

:thumbsup:

Faded Crest
04-11-12, 09:21 PM
Ha! Didn't even notice! :duh: Thank you both! :worship: Ternserts, that is a really nice offer. Roger actually offered me one too and is getting it out on Monday or so.

CadillacLuke24
04-11-12, 10:17 PM
:sneaky: How'd he go about packing it??

98eldo32v
04-12-12, 02:01 AM
Glad you got a crankshaft. As long as it's packaged nice and tight, especially the ends where packages ususally get dropped on it should be fine. Foam padding and bubble wrap would be a good idea along with a very sturdy box.

Good luck...

98eldo32v
04-12-12, 02:33 PM
Fellas,

Sounds like overkill, but going this deep into the motor, new bearings, cranks etc, I'd seriously recommend a new oil pump. Shop around and you'll find them reasonable. The number you need is a melling M 188.

The oil pump is the heart, the oil is the bloold of the motor.


You don't want to have a heart attack after all this surgery........

ternstes
04-12-12, 06:12 PM
Ha ha, so which one of us is sending you a crank?

Faded Crest
04-13-12, 04:55 PM
Well I got some great news today... Went to the machine shop to get my heads and took the crankshaft with me just in case it wasn't as bad as I thought. It turns out that it matched up to original specs! I certainly didn't expect that. He said it looks worse than it is and just to polish it and get original size bearings. Woohoo! So thank you guys so much for your very generous offers, but it looks like I'm all set with my original crankshaft!

I got my heads back too. He said they did have to be leveled, so it's a good thing I took them in.

By the way, credit to Sub for saying that would be all it needed in the first place. I just got spooked when I saw the scoring. :hide:

eyewonder
04-13-12, 06:08 PM
Glad to hear your good (no need to spend more money!) news on the crank.

Cheers,
Steve

Faded Crest
04-13-12, 06:21 PM
Well to go with my good news, I also did something very stupid today... :annoyed:

When I removed the crankshaft, I did things out of order... I removed the rod bearing caps first, then went to remove the timing chain. Normally this wouldn't matter, but I forgot to remove the crankshaft bolt first! :duh: I couldn't get enough on it to break it loose because the crank was completely free from the rods, just resting on the upper main bearings. Finally I put a small screwdriver through a flywheel hole which allowed me to break the bolt loose, but in doing so, I got the crankshaft into a bind pulling the timing chain super tight! :gah:

The problem was that every time I tried to turn the crank back to get it to re-seat into the upper mains, an exposed journal made contact with a piston rod which made me nervous... So I wound up removing all the pistons so I could spin the crankshaft freely and get it to re-seat in order to put the slack back into the timing chain... Rookie mistake. :helpless:

Oh well, on the bright side, I can see that all the rings look good and none are cracked. :rolleyes:

ternstes
04-13-12, 07:59 PM
Glad to hear your crank can still be used! Reassembly should be a breeze! Do you have a new oil manifold plate?

Faded Crest
04-13-12, 08:17 PM
Yes, got the new oil manifold plate from Chris at Rippy along with a few other things. :thumbsup: I now have to order the main and rod bearings now that I know what size I need.... Then I can finally get the bottom end back together.

eyewonder
04-13-12, 08:54 PM
Speaking of manifold plates ....

I got one from RockAuto, a Victor-Reinz GS33431, and it looks just like the old one I pulled off. I believe I read that this plate was upgraded sometime between 2000 & now - so the question is "Do I have the newest, correct, oil distribution plate?"

Marc, hope I didn't hijack your thread (too much).

Cheers,
Steve

Faded Crest
04-13-12, 09:12 PM
Speaking of manifold plates ....

I got one from RockAuto, a Victor-Reinz GS33431, and it looks just like the old one I pulled off. I believe I read that this plate was upgraded sometime between 2000 & now - so the question is "Do I have the newest, correct, oil distribution plate?"

Marc, hope I didn't hijack your thread (too much).

Cheers,
Steve


No worries Steve... You could almost combine our threads since we seem to be walking side by side. :D

By the way, the gasket set and bolts I got on are Victor-Reinz.

vincentm
04-13-12, 09:26 PM
Good to hear the progress FC, Your Eldo's going to love you for it!

walliss34
04-16-12, 08:45 AM
Faded, excellent thread. I have my 99 deville cradle out after it got way hot, so i am hoping just a head gasket, this thread has helped me allot getting mine apart. So thanks to you and the rest of the contributors. keep up on the updates and pictures, they are awesome! Bill

Faded Crest
04-16-12, 09:05 AM
Glad it is helping you Bill... So many other threads are a help to me.

Well if mine wasn't leaking oil at the RMS and midcase, I never would have opened up the bottom half and had a chance to see the bad bearings. I wonder if ignorance is bliss to a point. :lol: If yours isn't leaking, I would definitely just do the heads, That way you won't have to separate the engine from the transmission or lift it off the cradle.

You should start your own thread. We all enjoy peeking in on each other's projects. And we might learn something from you.

Faded Crest
04-16-12, 11:36 AM
I have ordered new rod bearing cap bolts from Chris at Rippy... I'm so ready to turn the corner and begin reassembly. If I only knew at the time I opened the rod bearing caps what I know now, I would have left them and the crankshaft alone... Only the main bearings were bad... Once again, experience comes right after you needed it. :(

this project is getting downright expensive. The service manual says you can re-use rod bearings if they are within specs, but after hearing members say they might get out of round... Plus the fact that I think I may have gotten a couple of them mixed up when I pulled the crankshaft, I guess I'll get new ones. As much as I would love to get GM bearings, I just have to find a way to save money. Anybody have any suggestions? There is a full set of main + rod bearings on ebay for $160 According to the listing, they are made by "King". The guy at the machine shop said King bearings are good, anybody have any experience with them?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/93-03-Cadillac-Eldorado-Seville-DeVille-4-6L-DOHC-Northstar-Main-Rod-Bearings-/300670048021?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item460154d715&vxp=mtr#ht_4517wt_1058

My advice to anybody doing head gaskets is to not get in any deeper than you need to. Once you separate the lower case and go all the way in and replace all bearings, you are signing up for at least $600 more in parts not including the cost of the rear main seal installer tool... Or new rings.

In my case, I did need to reseal the midcase, but hindsight tells me I should have only replaced the main bearings and put it back together.

Not including any tools, this is only a very rough estimate of where I am so far...

Head gasket kit + bolts------------ $260
Parts/supplies for sealing midcase-- $250
Heads serviced---------------------$100
Main & Rod Bearing kit--------------$200 (est.)
Rod Bearing bolts-------------------$100
Insert Kit--------------------------$400
Oil & Filter-------------------------$50
Timing chain tensioner--------------$40
-----------------------------------------------
Total so far for the above parts ----$1,400

Also I discovered I am going to need...

Front motor mount
Heater core
Battery cable (maybe both)

And then there are other things that could be replaced as a preventative measure, like oil pump, some hoses, etc. Anybody who takes on this job needs to count the cost first and weigh it against the value of their car. I will be fine, but not by much! I have actually spent even more on a few tools, etc. but I didn't count that.

ternstes
04-16-12, 01:25 PM
Make sure to go with an OEM front mount from Rippy. The cheaper after market ones do not seem to hold up from forum member experiences.

Faded, I spent about that much as well on my 2000, but if you plan on keeping for a long while after like I do, it is money well spent!

Faded Crest
04-16-12, 02:39 PM
Make sure to go with an OEM front mount from Rippy. The cheaper after market ones do not seem to hold up from forum member experiences.

Faded, I spent about that much as well on my 2000, but if you plan on keeping for a long while after like I do, it is money well spent!

What brand of main and rod bearings did you use? I'd love to use GM parts, but $400 just isn't in my budget after all the other expenses I have incurred.

ternstes
04-16-12, 02:59 PM
Clevite bearings from Rock Auto. Just check the crank thrust bearing if you order from them, My first set had the the sides of the thrust bearing separating away from it. Rock Auto is easy with RMAs, though.

vincentm
04-16-12, 03:32 PM
Clevite bearings from Rock Auto. Just check the crank thrust bearing if you order from them, My first set had the the sides of the thrust bearing separating away from it. Rock Auto is easy with RMAs, though.

I have Clevite in mine.

JoeTahoe
04-17-12, 07:29 AM
I also used clevite

tateos
04-17-12, 07:21 PM
Marc - saw your list of expenses, so far. Honestly, in most cases, these HG jobs end up needing to be a labor of love - it's hard to justify monetarily. If you love the car and plan to keep driving it, you really can't put a price tag on the sense of pride and grin that will be on your face every time you drive the car. It's a horrible, long, drawn out, expensive repair...and that's what makes it feel so good to have accomplished it. At least, that's how I felt, and still do.

Faded Crest
04-17-12, 09:05 PM
Richard, I completely agree and have used those very words many times in describing this project... "A labor of love".

tateos
04-18-12, 08:00 PM
Yeah - I forgot to mention someone we used to see a lot of back in the day: his handle was Destroyer, and he had a bad experience N* HG experience. He kept telling us that the typical HG failure occurs at a point in the car's life (>10 years/>100K miles) where the repair cost is close to, or more than, the value of the car, and so the HG failure effectively totals the car...and he was right, to a certain point. What he never was able to accept was the fact that it's not always about dollars and cents. I remember when I was trying to decide what to do - the ETC was an extra car I really didn't even need - a friend told me not to bother, unless I really wanted to keep driving the car and was looking for a project. That did the trick! I did the repair, successfully, and continued to drive the car for another few years until I gave it to my stepson, who still drives it every day.

Faded Crest
04-18-12, 09:25 PM
Yeah, Destroyer still posts in the Community Lounge sometimes. He doesn't have much love for the Northstar I have noticed. LOL.

You are right. You can't look at everything in terms of money. I love Eldorados and there is just nothing else out there like one. I think it's worth saving and making literally better than new where the engine is concerned.

CadillacLuke24
04-18-12, 10:24 PM
I have half the notion to give Destroyer a studded N*, tell him to drive the piss outta it, and I'll cover maintenance......I reckon his opinion might change :sneaky:

Faded Crest
04-18-12, 10:26 PM
I have half the notion to give Destroyer a studded N*, tell him to drive the piss outta it, and I'll cover maintenance......I reckon his opinion might change :sneaky:

I'll take you up on that if you are giving away free engines!

CadillacLuke24
04-19-12, 11:51 AM
Absolutely! I just gotta get my hands on one...give me 5 or 6 years :histeric:

Faded Crest
04-21-12, 06:57 PM
Well I just got my Rear main seal press tool in. This sucker must weigh 10 lbs!

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/IMG00209-20120421-1951.jpg

Blurry pic, but it is tool #42842

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/IMG00210-20120421-1952.jpg

bill buttermore
04-22-12, 12:46 AM
Oooooh. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's seal press.....

Does this one look like a good buy to you?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kent-Moore-Rear-Oil-Seal-Installer-3-5L-4-0L-4-6L-J-42842-/370605615392#vi-content

Faded Crest
04-22-12, 12:49 AM
Ha! You just answered the question I asked you on your thread. LOL.

Good deal, but this one comes with free shipping... Better grab it quick!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/120872508051?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649#ht_998wt_1185

98eldo32v
04-22-12, 03:15 AM
Pertaining to the rear main seal installer tool.....

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/250106-rear-main-seal-install-tool-confusion.html

bill buttermore
04-22-12, 09:20 AM
... Better grab it quick!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/120872508051?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649#ht_998wt_1185

Got it! Thanks - you saved me $15 and it doesn't look like any of the bolts are bent.

----------


Pertaining to the rear main seal installer tool.....

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/250106-rear-main-seal-install-tool-confusion.html

Thanks. I had seen that link. tateo's tool looked like a slightly earlier version of the current model. I know $150 is a lot of dough, but after the third job, it will have cost only $50/job. And this is one task you really don't want to have trouble with.

I would have gladly paid $500 for a Northstar engine removal tool - press, turn and engine slides out the bottom.

Faded Crest
05-24-12, 09:31 PM
Main and Rod bearings came in today... Looks like the wheels are getting ready to start turning again. :D

vincentm
05-25-12, 01:11 AM
Woohoo!

hfg1551
05-27-12, 07:42 PM
Good afternoon,

I'm in the process of doing head gaskets and installing Jake's studs on my 98 Seville. This thread has been invaluable to read and I have learned a lot. This is my first front wheel drive engine so it is a wonderful learning experience.

I have a question, though. When you itemized the different parts and costs you mentioned head gaskets "and bolts." Does that mean you are not installing studs when you put it back together?

vincentm
05-27-12, 10:34 PM
Hes going with Norm's serts if I'm correct

Faded Crest
05-28-12, 01:29 AM
^^^^ Correct. Using Norm's inserts. At the time I started this projects studs were not available, and from my research, it is really 6 of one, half dozen of another as far as holding strength goes.

Glad the thread is useful. There are 3 other N* head gasket threads going on right now too. Regardless of if studs or inserts are used, the labor and procedure is mostly the same.

walliss34
05-30-12, 09:55 AM
Faded did you take some pics of the lower end all apart? guess i am being lazy not wanting to page thru the whole thread, but glad to hear your getting back at it, too. I am getting tired of driving the old 94 cavalier with no AC, i so wish this was just a project and not my main ride i am working on! I am stressing over how work and other "chores" is cramping my back yard wrenching time! Hahahaa, i am sure when i look back on this though it will not seem like it took 2 months to complete!

Faded Crest
05-30-12, 10:27 AM
What do you need a picture of? My lower end is completely apart right now.

walliss34
05-30-12, 01:33 PM
Ohh, nothing in particular i just like seeing what other ppl. are getting into. the more pictures i see, the better is my memory about how everything goes together and the little time saving bits of wisdom from ppl who have been there and done that.

Faded Crest
06-02-12, 06:26 PM
Let the reassembly begin!... But first allow me to ask a question... I am about to reinstall the pistons but I was wondering if I should try to remove the buildup on the cylinder walls. What do you think? (sorry about the crappy pics, only camera I had was my phone)

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/IMG00233-20120602-15131.jpg

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/IMG00232-20120602-1513.jpg

bill buttermore
06-02-12, 07:45 PM
Looks like that engine sat for a while. Or maybe the stains are from coolant sitting in the cylinders. Do the rings look okay? Will your fingernail catch on any of those marks? You might see what happens with a little rub of fine (maybe 0) steel wool. The only reason I would be concerned is if the stains will transfer particles to the rings when you start running it again. If it is just staining, it probably won't hurt a thing. Are you planning on installing new rings?

Faded Crest
06-02-12, 08:00 PM
Not sure how long it sat, but it wouldn't surprise me if it sat for a matter of months. The stains halfway up look worse in pics than in person. They appear to be just that, stains. Cylinder walls are slick as could be other than the residue at the very bottom of each cylinder. It scrapes right off with my fingernail. I was not planning to replace the rings. I am sure they would scrub up nicely with some 00 or 000 steel wool, but I heard that steel wool was taboo on a Northstar for some reason... :noidea:

rodnok01
06-02-12, 08:55 PM
Steel Wool leaves micro particles behind is why it's not recommended. Better off finding a cleaner and use a rag on the cylinders. Soak the rings and or scrap em if you need to clean them, shouldn't take much.

Faded Crest
06-02-12, 09:10 PM
I'll use some lacquer thinner. I didn't realize how soft the deposits were until I scraped some off today. Shouldn't be a problem. The pistons and rings aren't that bad. I would not have even pulled the pistons out if it weren't for my stupidity described in post #205.

eyewonder
06-02-12, 10:10 PM
I would not have even pulled the pistons out if it weren't for my stupidity described in post #205.

Hey - no obscenity (words like 'stupidity') allowed! I prefer to think of my own 'alternate methods of assembly' as just opportunities to find ways to do things more efficiently, the next time around.

Cheers,
Steve

Faded Crest
06-02-12, 10:25 PM
Thanks for the support guys! :thumbsup:

walliss34
06-05-12, 09:01 AM
I used diesel fuel and one of them 5 buck air wands with a vacum line in the 5gal can of diesel to clean up the oil stains/crud around the timing gears. It worked great, just a bit messy and i suppose the fumes are not really that great to be breathing but i love the smell of diesel! I have even found if you filter used oil through a old tee shirt, you can spray it on the underside of the car in the frame and suspension components 2 or 3 times a year for rust prevention. I had a friend who did it religiously on an old 70's Dodge van and it had no rust at all on it, that was also in the snow belt south of Buffalo NY.

Faded Crest
06-22-12, 12:27 PM
Finally!!! Now I just need to find time. :rolleyes:



http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/102_1014.jpg

bill buttermore
06-22-12, 10:56 PM
Your'e gonna love how slick that little bugger works.

hfg1551
06-23-12, 09:28 PM
I never found an answer to the question about just installing the new rear main seal before before attaching the lower block case and then tightening it into place as the main bolts are reinstalled. Will that work or should I wait until the bottom is back together and use the press tool?

eyewonder
06-23-12, 09:58 PM
Only having done one N*, I would vote on waiting till after the lower case is cinched down. My one experience was using the latest, genuine GM seal.

The inner portion of the seal is metal (at least on the year engine I worked on), and pressed over the crankshaft. The tool that I used, the latest version, forced the seal to be installed straight, not cocked, and to a specific depth - the tool stopped when it encountered the block/lower case. With that seal, I would not attempt to install it before the lower case was mated with the block.

Cheers,
Steve