: DIY Northstar Head Gasket / Crankcase Leak Repair



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bill buttermore
04-16-12, 02:19 PM
I am looking for help as I prepare to remove and repair my Northstar engine. I have removed, repaired and installed engines including GM, Ford, Toyota, Mazda, Subaru, VW, etc, so, I think (I hope) I have the tools and the basic skills to attempt the Northstar. I want to do the best possible repair so I can look forward to many years of happy motoring with this really nice car.

I purchased a very clean '98 Deville in January of this year with a leaking water pump, and oil seeping from the crankcase somewhere. The odometer is at 122,000 mi. The owner said the car had never overheated, but had displayed a low coolant light when the water pump began to fail. Before purchase, I ran a block test following the directions (idle with cap off to operating temp). The fluid did not change color and the bulb pulled and held a vacuum on the surge tank. I bought the special tool and replaced the water pump. In a couple months of driving, the highest temperature I have seen (pulling a hill) is 212F. (I keep the digital temperature display up when I drive.) I initially overfilled the surge tank, which resulted in the coolant loss from the overflow, then read here that I should have only filled to the seam. The car has had regular maintenance at the dealer and is filled with clean Dex.

With no evidence of an external coolant leak, and with one episode of a miss on a cold start that cleared after a couple of minutes, about 800 miles after replacing the water pump, I got a low coolant message, and suspected the worst - that the head bolts had started to pull out and that I had an internal coolant leak.

To confirm my suspicions, I purchased an inspection camera from Harbor-Freight, pulled the plugs and found evidence of a coolant seep on the right (rear) bank. Here is what cylinders 1,3,5,7, and 2,4,6,8 look like:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/th_98ns1.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/th_98ns3.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/th_98ns5a.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/th_98ns7.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/th_98ns2.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/th_98ns4.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/th_98ns6.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/th_98ns8.jpg

The clean, shiny areas where coolant would collect when the engine sits would seem a pretty good indicator that coolant is seeping into all four rear cylinders. I consider this damning evidence and am looking for help in choosing the best methods and products to make this engine right.

First, is it easier to remove the engine from top or bottom? I know the FSM says from the bottom is preferred, but I'm thinking I would have to jack and block pretty high to provide the necessary clearance. I have an engine hoist but do not have a lift.

Second - Which product for thread repair? I have been researching the various fixes for the head bolts and am considering either the N*performance studs or the Huhn inserts. I like the idea of studs (works for Porsche) but am wondering about the availability of the kits. It seems a lot of folks have had to wait a long time for delivery. Another fix I came across, but have not seen discussed here, is a product called full-torque that claims a patented insert design that contracts rather than expands the surrounding aluminum as it is tightened. Costs $940 (!) for the kit, and $144 for a second set of 20 inserts. Not horrible if you are doing three or four N* jobs, but pretty pricey for one.

Third - As I want to fix the oil seep, I plan to split the crankcase. So, I am thinking I will need to replace the main bearings, and the distributor plate. Haven't decided whether or not to replace the rod bearings. Seems like maybe I might not have to do so? I will probably purchase most parts from Rockauto.com. I have had good service from them in the past. I would like to find the least expensive source for the distributor plate and for new rod bolts if I have to do the rod bearings.

If you have read this far, thanks for your patience, and thanks for any suggestions or help.

Faded Crest
04-16-12, 02:55 PM
I am right where you are talking about going. This is my thread... Lots more info in that section of the forum too.

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/255018-98-etc-head-gasket-project-started.html

The engine generally comes out the bottom with the entire cradle. If you have a normal height ceiling in your garage, lifting the body off the cradle with a cherry picker is no problem.

I am using Norm's inserts. $940 for the setup and kit you are talking about is too much for a single repair. There is also a brand new provider for studs that just showed up literally today. Carrolls Custom Cadillac. There is a new thread in that Performance/Technical discussion section. Don't know anything about it... Like I said, the thread just showed up today.

I would also be concerned about the Canadian source at this point... I don't think they have it all together yet.

By the way, I agree with you. It looks like the right bank is blown. That's what mine looked like after I sopped all the coolant out of the cylinders. The hard starting is also a telltale.

CadillacLuke24
04-16-12, 04:06 PM
:yeah: Studs or serts work just fine, I think it's more a preference thing. I'd go with studs because they are surdier, and they take some of the stress off the block. You could pull it out the top, but you're looking for a headache. Just disconnect everything in the engine bay, and then use the engine hoist to lift the front of the car off the engine, trans, and cradle. Have an FSM? Those are handy in this repair, as is alldatadiy, but we are here to help as well :thumbsup: For your engine internals, post pictures. Sub, one of the moderators on here, has had a lifetime of engine building experience and knows what to look for. He's helped Faded a ton on his project. Ranger's a genius too, and we've had several members do this as well. Maeng and JoeTahoe both did theirs with studs, and they did an exceptional job as well :yup: Joe went and found a Seville with HG problems just so he could fix it! You have a wealth of knowledge here, we are all happy to help. Good luck man. You can do this, and once you are done, your Cadillac will be better than ever!

RippyPartsDept
04-16-12, 04:55 PM
it appears that the NorthstarPerformance website is back to normal... i seem to remember that he has posted on the site last week that this week would be a new receptionist to answer calls has anyone tried calling him yet today?

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oops... nevermind... the site has just been slightly re-vamped ... new message from today says


Update - April 16 2012: We are almost back on track. 2 more days and everything will be back to normal....a huge thanks to everyone who has shown support through some rough times.....now it's back to fixing these Northstars the way they should be fixed - "once and for good!". -Jake Wiebe --

bill buttermore
04-16-12, 05:47 PM
Thanks for the replies!

To a moderator: Should this thread be moved to the engine technical forum? Sorry, I did not see it when I posted

Faded: Wow! Thank you for taking time to document the work on your N* repair. I will be following your work closely. And, I have already spoken with Tim of Carroll Custom Cadillac re the stud kit. It's $350 for the studs, nuts and washers. Tim said they are working on a video that shows how to install them accurately without an adapter plate. I do like the idea of using studs, but Norm's insert kit certainly looks to be high quality - I like the work he did on the drill bit especially. I feel lucky to be able to choose between two excellent repair options. Garage? You have a garage that a car will fit inside? Lucky guy. I do my removal/install work on the concrete pad outside the garage door, then bring the engine inside the garage for the rebuild. It's not all bad - rainy days give me an excuse to rest.

Luke: Thanks for the encouragement. Yes, I have two sets of FSMs for the '98 - the first and second versions. I feel fortunate to have found this Forum. I have been lurking for a few months and have been impressed with the expertise.

Chris: Thanks for the update on N* Performance. I did call them at 12:30 Central time today, and although the message said they would be answering the phone between 12 & 1 PM Central time, I was unable to speak to a person or leave a message.

Faded Crest
04-16-12, 06:06 PM
Yeah, you could do the job outside as long as you planned for weather and rolled the cradle indoors as soon as you dropped it. What kind of neighborhood do you live in? HOA? They might not like the disabled car outside for very long.... They sure wouldn't like that in the town where I live!

So the $350 stud kit doesn't come with any kind of a jig or alignment block for drilling and tapping? I would be curious to see his video. You already know more about them than most people here. LOL.

bill buttermore
04-16-12, 07:57 PM
I live in an older neighborhood of mostly single-family owner-occupied smaller homes. I share an 18-ft wide garage with my neighbor. So, my half is something less than 9-ft wide. Probably worked okay for model Ts when the place was built - not so much for modern cars. The garage sits way back off the street behind the houses. I have been very careful not to leave cars on the pad in front of the garage with hoods up or off, or up in the air. Even if it entails extra work, I drop them back down to a normal height and support them safely while I am working on the engines or transmissions. So, when you look from the street, all you see is the back end of a car that appears to be parked normally in front of my side of the garage, and indeed, that is what it is. That's how I would want my neighbors to do it, so that's how I do it. I also replaced the drive train in my neighbor's car, so we are on pretty good terms.

Yeah, I cannot imagine drilling into aluminum without some kind of guide - especially when the positioning is so critical - but Tim says they have figured a way that is more accurate than the adapter plate that comes with the N* performance stud kit. I am also anxious to see the video. He said it will be up on the website tonight or tomorrow.

Ranger
04-16-12, 10:33 PM
Thanks for the replies!

To a moderator: Should this thread be moved to the engine technical forum? Sorry, I did not see it when I posted

Probably not a bad idea. I'll move it for you.

Also check the Tech Tips section. There is some good advice there as well.

bill buttermore
04-16-12, 11:21 PM
Probably not a bad idea. I'll move it for you.

Also check the Tech Tips section. There is some good advice there as well.

Thanks, Ranger. I'll check out the tips section, too.

92Deville
04-17-12, 02:54 PM
I am currently doing that job on a 98 Deville also with the exception of the mid case reseal. I pulled the motor out the top because I didn't have room for the car and the cradle in my garage. I also didn't want to undo anything other than what was absolutely necessary. The general consensus on here is drop the cradle but out the top isn't all that bad. You dont have to remove anything except the right front wheel. The hood can even stay on. What ever way you choose there will be plenty of help for you from this forum.

RippyPartsDept
04-17-12, 05:18 PM
I also didn't want to undo anything other than what was absolutely necessary.

Quite a lot less to to 'undo' when you drop the cradle vs going out the top

92Deville
04-17-12, 06:31 PM
Chris, I don't follow. The steering, all suspension, brakes, and A/C are all still in tact.

RippyPartsDept
04-17-12, 06:38 PM
no matter ... you had no choice ... either way is fine really as long as you get it back together correctly

there is no one true correct way

92Deville
04-17-12, 06:45 PM
Agreed. It's all just personal preference.

bill buttermore
04-17-12, 07:35 PM
I've started removing stuff like I usually do to pull from the top, storing most of the parts in the trunk. But I am still open to dropping it; I'll see which way seems to require the least effort. I know that splitting the trans will be easier with it out the bottom.

bill buttermore
04-18-12, 11:00 AM
Well, it appears one question is answered. Thanks to this forum, I am arranging to buy a set of Jake's studs from Joe (edb150), who had two extra sets to sell. I had planned to get a set from Carroll Custom Cadillac, but they are not quite ready with their instruction video, and Joe has arranged to loan me his tool kit for the studs. Now all I have to do is get the patient up to the operating table in the garage...:rolleyes:

vincentm
04-18-12, 11:08 AM
We're still working on the video, once finished i'll be updating the site with it.

bill buttermore
04-18-12, 05:52 PM
Made some good progress today. Got a lot of the electrical connectors undone that attach to the body. I was having a little trouble getting my cheapo plastic fuel line tools to separate the fuel lines until I sprayed the garter springs with a little PB penetrant - then they popped right off. Came across one item of concern - the lower front three electrical looms that attach in the bottom of the plastic clip panel (distribution center?) on the driver's fender were all loose under the cover. Perhaps I am not the first to have this engine out? I hope I don't run into time-serts when I go to drill the block. The plan now is to try to remove the AC compressor without discharging the system and to drop the cradle.

Faded Crest
04-18-12, 06:43 PM
Working with those crappy plastic fuel disconnect tools was by far the most aggravating thing about my job so far. I threw those things out and got metal ones. Night and day! Of course, a moot point to you now that you have yours off. :D

Good luck saving your a/c charge. I didn't have to worry about it on my Eldo since it wasn't working anyway. But on the 2000 I am going to do after I would like to save the charge if possible. Let us know how it goes.

maeng9981
04-18-12, 07:15 PM
I still like disconnecting the A/C system. I don't like hanging any components dangling from the body.

Good luck your projects!

Faded Crest
04-18-12, 07:39 PM
Based on my my experience in dropping the cradle for the Eldo I won't spend all that much time trying to save the a/c charge. I heard that it is possible so I plan to at least look into it, but it's probably not worth the aggravation.

bill buttermore
04-18-12, 10:08 PM
At a glance, it looks like I may have to remove the alternator to provide room to remove the AC compressor. But I won't knock myself out trying to save the AC charge. Taking out the generator is really okay with me, as I will probably take both it and the starter down to Ames Auto Electric (an old timey rebuiding shop) and have them go through them to replace any worn parts before I put the engine back in service.

I do have a manifold gauge set and a good vacuum pump, so I could pretty easily bring the system back if I do have to discharge it. I just hate to waste the refrigerant - it's the principle of the thing.

Here's the car I'm working on:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/98deville1.jpg

CadillacLuke24
04-18-12, 11:25 PM
Good luck dude. Hope it goes well.

bill buttermore
04-19-12, 02:23 AM
Thanks, Luke. But it looks like I better find something else to do tomorrow. I'm working on the caddy outside and rain is forecast all day. That's okay though - we need the moisture for those home-grown tomatoes later this summer. Yum!

bill buttermore
04-21-12, 12:48 AM
Good progress today. Very slowly discharged the AC, removed the condenser, generator, AC compressor, PCM and PCM box, wrapped and taped connectors for ABS, & PCM to keep them clean, disconnected brake lines at the hose connection in the wheel wells, broke all 6 cradle bolts, separated exhaust at cat, unclipped RF brake line from cradle, removed ABS from cradle and supported on body, removed strut mount nuts.

Everything on the front and two sides is pretty much clear now. What is left - the pinch bolt, rear heater hose, and maybe some stuff I cannot see on the back of the engine.

I am having some trouble lifting the boot off the pinch clamp. It seems as if the boot or shield or cover is glued onto the column or melted on or something. I can find no joint to simply lift to expose the bolt I need to undo. How expensive are these to replace if I need to cut it?

89falcon
04-21-12, 01:14 AM
If you are still considering pulling it out the top, there is nothing that prevents you from pulling the heads before separating the block.....it always seems easier to reassemble than tear down.....and pulling the heads will make it easier to see all the small brackets you miss......
There are lots of folks who swear by pulling it. I dropped mine, but to be honest, I'd try pulling it out the top if I did it again.

maeng9981
04-21-12, 01:39 AM
Grab the boot and push it up...that should lift it up. But yes, it's in a tight space. I have seen some people having trouble with it and I think they also decided to cut the boot. It's probably going to be a dealer-only item or salvage yard parts.

bill buttermore
04-21-12, 02:09 AM
Thanks for the replies. I think I will try to drop the cradle if I can just get that ^!%$#% pinch bolt. I should be awfully close to where I need to be to drop the thing. And that should make separating the engine from the trans considerably easier. Maybe I'll get it tomorrow...

Faded Crest
04-21-12, 02:55 AM
My boot was very loose, so can't help you there... But I will say that once it is lose, you should be able to get the pinch bolt out with a 6" wobble extension and socket. I posted a pic somewhere in my thread of me getting to mine. It took 10 minutes or so to figure out the right setup, but the wobble extension and short socket worked great.

bill buttermore
04-21-12, 01:31 PM
Thanks for the reminder, Marc. I got mine out okay. There was a thick, rubber adhesive tape wrapped around the base of the boot. It had deteriorated somewhat, so when I got my arm straight enough to give it a good shove upwards, it tore and exposed the bolt. I don't own an 11mm socket, but it turns out it is a very good fit with a 7/16", even with a 12-point, there was very little slop. The wheels are straight ahead, and I was able to go straight in onto the bolt with a longer (8-inch?) extension. That tape makes me wonder anew, if I am not the first to drop this cradle??? Here are some pix for the next guy.

I used my slide hammer with a right angle hook to keep the boot up:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/pinchboltsetup-1.jpg

Here is a close-up - 7/16" socket fit fine on the bolt:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/Untitled.jpg

Came right out - felt like less than 20 lb-ft to undo the bolt:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/Boltout.jpg

Faded Crest
04-21-12, 05:11 PM
It will be interesting to see if the heads have been done before... It could also have been a drop in replacement without head repair.

bill buttermore
04-21-12, 08:52 PM
My main concern is having to drill out steel inserts. I know it's possible, I would just rather not encounter them on my maiden voyage...I am a little anxious about doing a good job drilling out the holes as is.

I am glad now that I discharged the AC. That let me remove the low pressure section in one piece from the condenser fitting to the evaporator. Getting the line out close to the evaporator (up to the accumulator) was pretty much a necessary thing to gain sufficient access to undo the heater hose connections.

One of those metal pipes looks pretty bad. Are those a dealer-only replacement? I know Dorman makes a set of metal and rubber hose replacements for Dodge Caravans. Same thing happens to them.

If the rain will give me a break, I might get that cradle out tomorrow.

Faded Crest
04-21-12, 09:34 PM
^^^ Pretty sure Four Seasons makes all the a/c parts you would need. Check Rockauto.com

If you do run into a previous repair, chances are you will find helicoils or timeserts. Helicoils would probably just pull out if you can grab one. I would think you could do something similar with a time sert. Check Eyewonder's thread. he had to get a Norms insert to come back out and he was able to pretty much uncoil it after drilling it out. But I bet you find a clean, undrilled block. My money says it was a drop in replacement if it has been out before.

bill buttermore
04-21-12, 09:54 PM
I hope you are right.

89falcon
04-21-12, 11:48 PM
I hope you are right.

Some of the really old HG threads have some good pics of timesert failure.....ajxtcman (or something like that) did a lot of repairs at a dealership, and took some great shots. Seems the timeserts "usually" came out with the head bolts....which is why they were usually only good for one repair.

bill buttermore
04-22-12, 12:19 AM
Some of the really old HG threads have some good pics of timesert failure.....ajxtcman (or something like that) did a lot of repairs at a dealership, and took some great shots. Seems the timeserts "usually" came out with the head bolts....which is why they were usually only good for one repair.

Yes, I think I read that thread while preparing for this job - IIRC, it's a sticky re why HGs fail - a lot of bad alloy in those shots. Hope I don't find that! I was also thinking if it appears my block has inserts, I will buy left-hand drill bits and hope to pull them out with those.

Faded Crest
04-22-12, 01:45 AM
I talked to AJ by phone before I got started because I was so worried that I might have a bad block, given my car's year. He actually put my mind at ease, saying as long as I used Norm's or studs there shouldn't be any problem.

By the way, did you get a rear main seal tool yet? I just got mine in the mail today. :thumbsup:

bill buttermore
04-22-12, 10:27 AM
....
By the way, did you get a rear main seal tool yet? I just got mine in the mail today. :thumbsup:

Not yet - I'm looking at one on ebay but it looks like maybe one of the three bolts is bent.

----------


...
By the way, did you get a rear main seal tool yet? I just got mine in the mail today. :thumbsup:

Thanks for the link - I did score the one you listed on your thread. Saved me $15! :yup:

dwillv
04-22-12, 01:01 PM
I pulled mine from the top. No real problems. I would not do it any other way.there is a few tricks to learn but once u been there its really not that hard

bill buttermore
04-22-12, 03:04 PM
I have the cradle sitting squarely on a piece of 3/4" plywood on my piano dolly and all six bolts removed from the cradle. I have a couple of questions:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/ondolly.jpg

Where is it safe to hook up my hoist to raise the body off of the cradle?

The bumper is off and the two bumper mounts are exposed.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/front.jpg

Also, the rad and condenser are out, so I can access several possible lift points.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/insidelift.jpg

I don't want to bend anything out of shape. I have some heavy steel bar stock that I could place under the bumper supports or bolt to the front of the supports. I have chain and cable to hook up to other lift points if necessary.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/bumpersupport.jpg

And finally, the four 8mm bolts are still partially engaged between the exhaust and the cat - do I need to pry these apart before I lift?

vincentm
04-22-12, 03:41 PM
You could wrap the chain around the beam that runs atop the radiator.

Faded Crest
04-22-12, 04:18 PM
I lifed my Eldo by the bumper mounts. I removed my headlight assemblies to gain access. Are you talking about the bolts connecting the catalytic converter to the rest of the exhaust? Not sure I understand.

bill buttermore
04-22-12, 05:13 PM
I lifed my Eldo by the bumper mounts. I removed my headlight assemblies to gain access. Are you talking about the bolts connecting the catalytic converter to the rest of the exhaust? Not sure I understand. I didn't know if the bumper mounts were strong enough, especially without the bumper frame to keep the spacing. I did drill a heavy steel structural bar to fit the two inside bolts on the mounts,and was thinking about lifting the center of the bar, but am wondering if lifting by what is, in effect, the end of the support will act as a lever to bend them. I could use the bar I have drilled to stabilize the mounts and wrap a chain around the mounts close to the body - that might minimize the tendency for them to distort.

Edit: I took your advice, Marc, and removed the lights. Much straighter shot.

It's a pretty stout bar:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/bar.jpg
These are 10mm 8.8 bolts:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/frame.jpg

These boxes under the brackets are 4 layers of metal thick - I could slip a hook on either side:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/Drlift.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/Pslift.jpg

The four bolts I am wondering about are on the corners of a flange that connects the exhaust manifold from the rear bank of the engine to what looks like a catalytic converter. I can pry it pretty easily about 3/4" away from the cat, but not quite enough to pull the bolts completely out of the flange.

Faded Crest
04-22-12, 06:34 PM
Looks you have plenty of support. I'd just hook to your custom crossbar. You can see what I did on my thread.

I was able to get those 4 bolts out easy, but I had to kick it a little to break it free after removing the bolts.

Marc

bill buttermore
04-22-12, 07:15 PM
Looks you have plenty of support. I'd just hook to your custom crossbar. You can see what I did on my thread.

I was able to get those 4 bolts out easy, but I had to kick it a little to break it free after removing the bolts.

Marc

So those bolts will drive out toward the rear? Mine are rusted so tightly that I thought they were welded to the cat as studs. I will give 'em a little tap and see what happens.

And...Are there any wires that attach to the body on or under the firewall that I might have missed? Does the rear oxygen sensor need to be undone?

Faded Crest
04-22-12, 07:27 PM
My memory isn't as reliable as I would like to think... :rolleyes: I think you are right, they don't come out, Remove the nuts and push the exhaust back. I unhooked the exahust from the middle hanger which made it easy to push back from the y pipe.

EDIT...

I might not have even completely broken it free until I dropped the cradle. Your common sense should be able to guide you.

bill buttermore
04-22-12, 07:37 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000001d.jpg

These little boogers are studs. The revised plan is to see if I can cut them off in the limited space I have left under the body. I can drill out the flange and replace them with bolts when I put it back together. I did find a loom under the passenger side running from the engine or trans back under the body. I will have to address that as well before I try to lift it.

Might be easier (?) to bolt the cradle back to the body, lift it up high enough to get under easily and make sure all on the backside is free and clear. I guess I'll eat my dinner and ponder the options.

Faded Crest
04-22-12, 07:54 PM
Bill I don't see why you would have to cut them off. I was able to disconnect it fully once the cradle was down.

bill buttermore
04-22-12, 09:38 PM
Well, after a little dinner and some time to ponder, I figure tomorrow I will simply spin the 6 cradle bolts back in, lift it up high enough to get under easily, then undo the middle hanger on the exhaust, push it back as you did, and take care to make absolutely sure there are no wires or hoses etc, between the body and the firewall.

The applicable adage here is: "Keep doing it 'til you get it right." It's just nicer when you can do that the first time

I'm not in a hurry to get this done. It will take me half a morning to dig out my hoist, assemble it and move it in position anyway. With luck, we'll have it out tomorrow. :bigroll:

The second one will be a LOT easier!

bill buttermore
04-23-12, 03:59 PM
Cradle is out, body is back down on stands. :nana2: Pix later.

Is it okay to support the body on stands under the front two cradle bolt attachment points? Or should I support it farther back as well?

Faded Crest
04-23-12, 04:03 PM
Cradle is out, body is back down on stands. :nana2: Pix later.

Is it okay to support the body on stands under the front two cradle bolt attachment points? Or should I support it farther back as well?

Excellent! :woot:

I think that's where I put the jack stands. :thumbsup: Looking forward to seeing pics!

bill buttermore
04-23-12, 07:06 PM
This morning, I wire-brushed the six body bolts, coated them with anti-seize, and re-installed them. Lifted the car up nice and high and wheeled right under to undo the two rubber donuts supporting the middle exhaust pipe. Removed the heat shield (4 x 10mm bolts) beside the cat to expose the connector for the rear oxygen sensor, and dropped the forward cross brace under the exhaust (4 x 13mm). Slid the pipe with cat easily back away from the engine flange, undid the 4 clips holding the oxygen sensor cable to the body and tucked it up on the back of the engine. Whole deal took less than 1/2 hour.

Dropped the car back onto the plywood over the piano dolly, and undid the bolts.

Here is how I hooked it up. It's a single chain wrapped around each bumper shock to keep the lifting chains closer to the body:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000004d.jpg

I took it up slowly and kept walking around with my flashlight to make sure nothing had caught. I had to fuss with the RF brake line and the ABS unit a bit, and occasionally move a wire or loom out of the way, but encountered no real troubles. Here is how it looked when it was high enough to roll the dolly out the LF wheelwell:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000003e.jpg

The back bumper almost touched the ground. I looked underneath and the edge of the muffler might have just kissed the earth: (I know, the house really needs paint. Gonna do that this summer with my grandson.)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000001e.jpg

The load was so heavy for the casters, I had to straighten the casters before I was able to budge it. This is really a two-man job, or a least one for a very smooth surface. Here it is coming out:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000009a.jpg

Here it is on my neighbor's side of the driveway:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000008a.jpg

And here (after a possible hernia) it sits in front of my half of the garage:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000011a.jpg

I dropped the car back down onto 2x4s on jackstands under the front cradle mounts - I hope that is sufficient support - it will be there for quite a while:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000018a.jpg

Here is the view from the street:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000020a.jpg

I took a lot of pix of the fully dressed drive train as it came out. I will use them for reference when I build it back up. I will probably take time to write up the cradle removal procedure, for myself as much as for others. The old memory ain't what it used to be. The old memory ain't what it used to be.

rodnok01
04-23-12, 07:18 PM
A note on the bad memory... wait where was I.. Oh yea, either bag and label all the bolts or use cardboard and jab them through it and label them. I've found this very usefull where the fasteners are of different lengths and types. Since I usually take forever to get anything back together. I do it for everything when doing a big tear down, if it doesn't get put back onto where it came off it gets bagged and labeled immediately. BTW your DeVille looks even nicer than mine...
I'll be watching this thread carefully myself as I plan on picking another Deville up by the end of the year needing HG's.

bill buttermore
04-23-12, 07:30 PM
A note on the bad memory... wait where was I.. Oh yea, either bag and label all the bolts or use cardboard and jab them through it and label them. I've found this very usefull where the fasteners are of different lengths and types. Since I usually take forever to get anything back together. I do it for everything when doing a big tear down, if it doesn't get put back onto where it came off it gets bagged and labeled immediately. BTW your DeVille looks even nicer than mine...
I'll be watching this thread carefully myself as I plan on picking another Deville up by the end of the year needing HG's.

Thanks for the advice. I will probably take a day or two just to write up the procedure, organize the parts and my workspace before I get into the fun of splitting the motor from the trans and getting it up on the stand in the garage. It really is a clean car - nice inside too. I knew when I walked up to this one that I would buy it. Had no idea at the time how much fun it would be! I had always avoided N*s because of their horrible repair rep - if I can master this repair, I can drive beautiful cars for a good while for just a little bit of $

CadillacLuke24
04-24-12, 01:24 PM
That's the spirit! Now that you will know how, you can fix it yourself! Good luck dude! :thumbsup:

bill buttermore
04-25-12, 12:03 AM
Today was a rest day. I bagged bolts and labeled them, organized my workspace a bit and made some videos of the empty engine bay, wheel wells, and the cradle as it was when removed before any dis-assembly. I will use these as a reminder of how things should look when I get around to re-installing the cradle. (I apologize for calling some bolts nuts, and probably mis-naming other parts.)

Others may find these useful to see what they have to do to get the cradle out.

This video shows the connections that must be un-done in the interior under the dash:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar%20videos/?action=view&current=interiorharness.mp4

This video shows the connections under the passenger wheelwell:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar%20videos/?action=view&current=rwheelwell.mp4

This video shows the connections under the driver's wheelwell:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar%20videos/?action=view&current=lwheelwell.mp4

This video shows the inside of the engine bay detailing what stays when the cradle is removed:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar%20videos/?action=view&current=016.mp4

This video shows the cradle as removed detailing what stays on the cradle:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar%20videos/?action=view&current=dressedengine.mp4

89falcon
04-25-12, 02:32 AM
Today was a rest day. I bagged bolts and labeled them, organized my workspace a bit and made some videos of the empty engine bay, wheel wells, and the cradle as it was when removed before any dis-assembly. I will use these as a reminder of how things should look when I get around to re-installing the cradle. (I apologize for calling some bolts nuts, and probably mis-naming other parts.)

Others may find these useful to see what they have to do to get the cradle out.

This video shows the connections that must be un-done in the interior under the dash:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar%20videos/?action=viewĄt=interiorharness.mp4

This video shows the connections under the passenger wheelwell:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar%20videos/?action=viewĄt=rwheelwell.mp4

This video shows the connections under the driver's wheelwell:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar%20videos/?action=viewĄt=lwheelwell.mp4

This video shows the inside of the engine bay detailing what stays when the cradle is removed:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar%20videos/?action=viewĄt=016.mp4

This video shows the cradle as removed detailing what stays on the cradle:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar%20videos/?action=viewĄt=dressedengine.mp4

WOW!!

VERY nice!

This post may need to be pinned. it looks like a GREAT resource fir someone about to undertake the task.

CadillacLuke24
04-25-12, 04:54 AM
I done did watched your videos. Well done sir! :thumbsup: Like 89falcon said, this will come in handy. Thank you!

bill buttermore
04-25-12, 12:10 PM
To prepare for the big drill and tap work on the N* block, I've been watching youtube videos on how to tap . I thought the best idea would be to try to find a scrap N* at a junkyard and practice on it as ternstes is gonna' do. But I can't find anything around here for less than $300 - so that ain't gonna' happen.

I think I want to try The Tim Carroll method of drilling and tapping accurately with no guide. (See it here)

http://www.carrollcustomcadillac.com/Pages/BlockStudding.aspx

The drilling part looks do-able, as it appears, when done as Tim does, that the drill self-centers in the original hole. But getting the tap started perfectly straight by eye twenty times in a row? If you are doing this four times a day for a few months, sure, but for me? - I dunno. So, I had this idea.

How about we get a perfectly square 5/8 x 11 nut, maybe a really big one, or even have one made at a shop. Place the nut over the hole, and spin a starting tap down through the nut allowing the (hopefully perfectly-centered) hole to center the tap while the nut keeps it perpendicular to the deck. You would let the nut slide for centering but hold it flat against the deck to keep it perpendicular. I may try to test this idea with some scrap cast aluminum - I think I have an old 3800 intake lying around here somewhere.... I'm thinking this might give us a better chance to obtain a good straight set of threads. What do you think?

Edit: I think a regular nut would not grip the tap tightly enough to ensure that it remains perfectly plumb. However, if the tap-alignment piece were made carefully in a drill press or at a machine shop using the same starting tap and sufficient thickness of metal, that may work better.

ternstes
04-25-12, 12:25 PM
A nut to stabilize the tap is worth a try, Bill. That is what the alignment plate does. I am going to mess around with my cracked block on Saturday.

bill buttermore
04-25-12, 12:38 PM
A nut to stabilize the tap is worth a try, Bill. That is what the alignment plate does. I am going to mess around with my cracked block on Saturday.

Be sure to let us know how it goes.

rodnok01
04-25-12, 01:55 PM
Good videos... about that one electrical harness with small plastic tube on backside of engine, GM is notorious for using plastic tubes in the harnesses (for some structure I guess). Possible even as a filler on cars without certain options so the clamps are all the same size??? I've found them on every GM I've worked on it seems like.

bill buttermore
04-25-12, 02:20 PM
Good videos... about that one electrical harness with small plastic tube on backside of engine, GM is notorious for using plastic tubes in the harnesses (for some structure I guess). Possible even as a filler on cars without certain options so the clamps are all the same size??? I've found them on every GM I've worked on it seems like. So, I'm not losing my mind after all? Thanks for the tip!

RippyPartsDept
04-25-12, 05:49 PM
...

But getting the tap started perfectly straight by eye twenty times in a row? If you are doing this four times a day for a few months, sure, but for me? - I dunno. So, I had this idea.

How about we get a perfectly square 5/8 x 11 nut, maybe a really big one, or even have one made at a shop. Place the nut over the hole, and spin a starting tap down through the nut allowing the (hopefully perfectly-centered) hole to center the tap while the nut keeps it perpendicular to the deck. You would let the nut slide for centering but hold it flat against the deck to keep it perpendicular. I may try to test this idea with some scrap cast aluminum - I think I have an old 3800 intake lying around here somewhere.... I'm thinking this might give us a better chance to obtain a good straight set of threads. What do you think?

Edit: I think a regular nut would not grip the tap tightly enough to ensure that it remains perfectly plumb. However, if the tap-alignment piece were made carefully in a drill press or at a machine shop using the same starting tap and sufficient thickness of metal, that may work better.

now you're starting to see why Jake came up with his system, huh?

Faded Crest
04-25-12, 06:16 PM
I'll bet it's a lot easier than everybody thinks. Once that drill bit starts down the hole there would be nowhere else for it to go but straight.

RippyPartsDept
04-25-12, 06:29 PM
I'll bet it's a lot easier than everybody thinks. Once that drill bit starts down the hole there would be nowhere else for it to go but straight.

how much money you want to bet?

Faded Crest
04-25-12, 07:20 PM
how much money you want to bet?

I'd be my block. :D The drill bit will follow the path of least resistance like it did in the video and go straight down. I would be much more concerned with tapping straight than drilling straight.

rodnok01
04-25-12, 07:41 PM
I would do non stress drilling and tapping without a jig, but not head studs....
Chris is correct, an uneven threaded hole already(why you're doing this anyways) and that bastards gonna go where ever it wants. I have a drill press and would drill them with it, couldn't tap with it as the speed to high.

bill buttermore
04-25-12, 08:02 PM
I'd bet my block. :D The drill bit will follow the path of least resistance like it did in the video and go straight down. I would be much more concerned with tapping straight than drilling straight.
I agree, Marc, and I hope we are right! I talked with Joe from IL this AM (the guy who is selling me my studs), and discussed Tim's method. Although he has used Jake's fixture, Joe agreed that the drill will pull straight into the hole by itself. I trust him as he has done over 100 of these! I'll ask him about the tap alignment idea next time I talk to him.

I imagine that big voids or corrosion on one side of a hole might cause the bit to wander in that direction. Here's hoping we only have good metal!

----------


now you're starting to see why Jake came up with his system, huh?

I like Jake's system. I also like Norm Huhn's fix - I especially like Norm's alignment tools. I admire all these guys who can put a N* back together better than new. Jake's kit would have been my first choice if I thought I could have ordered it and received it in a reasonable time. But, with prolonged delivery times from up North, studs suddenly available elsewhere and an apparently accurate method that does not require a fixture, it seemed a logical choice to go another way. And even though Tim's technique is not what we might have expected, the proof of the pudding is in the fact that he has repeatedly and successfully performed this repair.

Not saying it is without risk, or that it will be easy. After all, if this were easy, we wouldn't be able to buy these cars for nearly nothing!

----------


I would do non stress drilling and tapping without a jig, but not head studs....
Chris is correct, an uneven threaded hole already(why you're doing this anyways) and that bastards gonna go where ever it wants. I have a drill press and would drill them with it, couldn't tap with it as the speed to high.
You can use your drill press to tap. You just mount the tap in the chuck and turn it in by hand. The press keeps the tap nice and straight. Watched it done on youtube this morning. Would take one heckuva big drill press and a sophisticated holding fixture to get'r done on the N* though.

bill buttermore
04-25-12, 09:59 PM
Got to do a little more on the N* today. Began to strip the engine down to remove it from the cradle. I made a little note of each (significant) part as I removed it, hoping that by referring to this list, I will be able to re-assemble smoothly. Here is what it looks like at this point:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000027.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000026.jpg

Removed (in this order):

Coils and wires
Left PCV pipe
Surge coolant line
Right PCV pipe
Brake booster vacuum hose
Front (L) EGR pipe
Rear (R) EGR pipe
Wire harness from R bank
Ground from R bank
Right bank O2 sensor clip
Right coolant pipes (bracket between cylinders 1 & 3)
Harness bracket from water pump
Coolant pipe to thermostat housing
Throttle body
Transmission switch
Transmission cooling line (L) front - mounts pointing to 9:30
Wiring harness out from L side between dipstick and block
Water pump belt guard
EGR valve
Intake Manifold

Faded Crest
04-25-12, 10:53 PM
Looks so familiar. :D

mmidyette
04-26-12, 01:53 AM
Bill,

Understand that this is coming from one of those crazies that wants to remove the engine from the top. Your photos have been some of the clearest that I have seen and I would very much appreciate it if you could take/show some more shots of the firewall/blind side of the engine. I see some differences from the Seville's, but the shots that you show above are already helpful.

Thanks for what you are doing,
Mark

bill buttermore
04-26-12, 10:53 AM
Bill,

Understand that this is coming from one of those crazies that wants to remove the engine from the top. Your photos have been some of the clearest that I have seen and I would very much appreciate it if you could take/show some more shots of the firewall/blind side of the engine. I see some differences from the Seville's, but the shots that you show above are already helpful.

Thanks for what you are doing,
Mark

You're welcome, Mark. But I am sure I am getting more help here than I am giving. Thankfully, there is very little that has to be undone on the firewall side for removal. And nothing, really, in places where you cannot easily access. From memory, (uh-oh) what has to be undone on the firewall side: the wiring harness fittings, mostly for AC, the wiring harness through fitting up on the passenger side top corner, the brake booster vacuum hose, and on the bottom, the exhaust, and the post cat oxygen sensor fitting. The cat oxygen sensor wiring is protected under a heat shield that must be removed to get to the connector. Here are the few pix I could find showing the back of the engine:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000017a-1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000016a.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000006b.jpg

And, I found this one of the firewall:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000007a-1.jpg

The back of the engine is also shown (though not well, I'm afraid) in the video I shot of the cradle as it was when I pulled it out:
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar%20videos/?action=view&current=dressedengine.mp4

All of my N*photos taken so far are in this Photobucket album open to the public:
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/

And all of the N* videos (also open to the public) are here:
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar%20videos/

I will take some more pix of the backside before I continue to tear it down, and I will take some of the empty engine bay if you like. You can see most of the engine bay in the engine bay video in the album linked above.

Hope these help.

PS: For what it's worth, I have taken out a bunch of engines and several engine-trans together, always out the top. Although I have dropped trannies out the bottom by hanging the engine, I had never dropped an entire cradle before this job. Now that I have done it this way, I think I will be dropping cradles a lot more in the future. There is much less chance to damage stuff when you raise the body. And, there is no stress on the drive train components at all. Just my $.02.

bill buttermore
04-27-12, 12:05 AM
Got a few more parts off today:

Power Steering Pump (no fluid lines disconnected)
Starter
Coolant crossover
Y-pipe
Steering rack heat shield

Spent some time organizing parts, labeling bags of fasteners, storing parts in trunk.

Received this in the mail:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000017b.jpg

And Joe shipped my studs this evening. :woot:

Been researching the best kind of tap(s) to buy for the bolt holes, and figuring out how to split the engine from the trans safely.

Cost to date: $465

Studs $315
Seal tool $150

bill buttermore
04-27-12, 08:45 PM
Cut 14 blocks from a couple of 4x4 fence posts. Jacked up and blocked the cradle.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000001g.jpg

Removed the piano dolly and plywood.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/Untitled-2.jpg

Hooked up the hoist to the Passenger side front top motor mount bolt and the lifting ring on the driver's side rear. Took up the weight and undid everything connecting the engine to the trans. And that turned out to be a LOT of stuff. I hope the FSM shows where all goes back, cause I became sort of "lost in the moment" in my determination to get that bugger off the cradle. I was surprised at how high I had to lift the engine to get it to clear the cradle. It was pretty tricky considering I had access all around. I would not have wanted to try to angle the engine to that extent in the engine bay as must be done to pull it out the top.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000003g.jpg

Anyway, she is on the stand in the garage, and what's left on the cradle is tarped for the duration. It will probably take me 4 hours to sort and label all the brackets, studs, nuts and bolts that hold that booger in place. And only 12 days after I started. If I did this for a living, I would be one hungry man.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/Untitled-3.jpg

Miller time!

rodnok01
04-27-12, 10:39 PM
Have you considered changing the 2 shift selenoids in trans since you have it out? Yea I know it's a 'while I'm at it might as well" item. looking good so far.
I can't make enough of jobs like this either to justify them most of the time. Usually end up making 2 or 3 bucks an hour... if I'm lucky.

bill buttermore
04-27-12, 10:49 PM
Have you considered changing the 2 shift selenoids in trans since you have it out? Yea I know it's a 'while I'm at it might as well" item. looking good so far.
I can't make enough of jobs like this either to justify them most of the time. Usually end up making 2 or 3 bucks an hour... if I'm lucky.
I hadn't thought of it...are they pricey? I was thinking I would do some suspension work while the cradle is out. I had a rattle over bumps and it will be so easy to change the end links and strut frame bushings. I'm not so sure that the FSM method might have made it easier to separate the engine from the trans. Leaving the drive axles in place added a lot to the fun.

Ranger
04-27-12, 11:12 PM
Shift solenoids where more of a problem on the earlier 90's cars. Once they added the support bracket they were not much of a problem. That said, they are not very expensive. Check Rockauto.

bill buttermore
04-28-12, 12:23 AM
Rockauto lists AC Delco part #24207662 as: VALVE,1-2,3-4 SHFT SOL w/4-SPD AUTO TRANS(MH1) $16.28

So, change two of these?

What about the TCC solenoid? ACDELCO Part # 24227792 VALVE,TCC Pulse Width Modulation Solenoid w/4-SPD AUTO TRANS(MH1) $30.79

Change this too?

While we are talking about the trans, are there seals that often fail? On 4T60E's, I have replaced the pump seal behind the converter and sometimes the shaft seals for the converter when the engine and trans have been separated. I am not familiar enough with the 4T80E, to know if these are a common problem.

----------

Updated order of dis-assembly: (from cradle removal to engine stand)

Coils and wires
Left PCV pipe
Surge coolant line
Right PCV pipe
Brake booster vacuum hose
Front (L) EGR pipe
Rear (R) EGR pipe
Wire harness from R bank
Ground from R bank
Right bank O2 sensor clip
Right coolant pipes (bracket between cylinders 1 & 3)
Harness bracket from water pump
Coolant pipe to thermostat housing
Throttle body
Transmission switch
Transmission cooling line (L) front - mounts pointing to 9:30
Wiring harness out from L side between dipstick and block
Water pump belt guard
EGR valve
Intake Manifold
Power steering pump and line clips
Starter, starter wiring and wiring to knock sensor
Coolant crossover
Y-pipe
Steering rack heat shield
R-side front rubber mount
R-side engine - trans bracket
Bottom trans - engine plate
L-side engine - trans brace (slot to front)
L-side rubber mount
L-exhaust manifold
Flywheel cover
Flex plate bolts (4)
Bell housing to engine bolts (4)

Faded Crest
04-28-12, 12:32 AM
I don't see any advantage to changing the a & b solenoids while the cradle is down... In fact it would be more difficult since you need to drop the transmission pan and the valve body. However, the tcc solenoid is another story. I plan to change mine while I have easy access.

bill buttermore
04-28-12, 01:27 AM
I don't see any advantage to changing the a & b solenoids while the cradle is down... In fact it would be more difficult since you need to drop the transmission pan and the valve body. However, the tcc solenoid is another story. I plan to change mine while I have easy access.

Thanks for the "head's up."

bill buttermore
04-28-12, 12:29 PM
Found a crack in the left dowel bore of the :( bellhousing that apparently occurred yesterday when I separated the engine from the trans. Although I had blocked the trans, apparently I did not do so well enough, or I did not get the angle right on the hoist. :doh: It appears that the engine did not come out of the dowels into the bellhousing along the axis of the engine, but rather came loose on the right side first. That allowed the weight of the trans to suddenly drop and twist on the left dowel that was still partly engaged, cracking the bore.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/Untitled-4.jpg

It's hard to see, but the crack runs from about 12 to 4 o'clock and extends not quite to the base of the dowel bore. There is still a good bit of metal left around the bolt hole, but I am going to try to repair this before re-installing the engine. I would have just taken it downtown to Jim Howe's welding shop "We can repair anything but a broken heart or the crack of dawn," but while reading Vinny's HG repair thread, I remembered a new aluminum brazing rod suggested by 89falcon. http://www.aluminumrepair.com/index.asp I have ordered some of the rods, and now I will need to find a torch set. (I have been wanting an acetylene wrench for a long time, anyway.) It would be wonderful if this product worked as it claims. It may even be possible to set studs in a N* block without tapping - I won't try that - but, just sayin....

vincentm
04-28-12, 01:06 PM
Thst sucks man, sorry to hear that.

bill buttermore
04-28-12, 01:22 PM
Thst sucks man, sorry to hear that. No worries. If I can't repair it so it's as good as new, I'll have Jim Howe do it. I would like to acquire the tools and skills to do aluminum repairs anyway. And, you can bet, I won't break another one on my next N* HG job. Experience is a cruel, but effective teacher.

89falcon
04-28-12, 02:22 PM
Found a crack in the left dowel bore of the :( bellhousing that apparently occurred yesterday when I separated the engine from the trans. Although I had blocked the trans, apparently I did not do so well enough, or I did not get the angle right on the hoist. :doh: It appears that the engine did not come out of the dowels into the bellhousing along the axis of the engine, but rather came loose on the right side first. That allowed the weight of the trans to suddenly drop and twist on the left dowel that was still partly engaged, cracking the bore.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/Untitled-4.jpg

It's hard to see, but the crack runs from about 12 to 4 o'clock and extends not quite to the base of the dowel bore. There is still a good bit of metal left around the bolt hole, but I am going to try to repair this before re-installing the engine. I would have just taken it downtown to Jim Howe's welding shop "We can repair anything but a broken heart or the crack of dawn," but while reading Vinny's HG repair thread, I remembered a new aluminum brazing rod suggested by 89falcon. http://www.aluminumrepair.com/index.asp I have ordered some of the rods, and now I will need to find a torch set. (I have been wanting an acetylene wrench for a long time, anyway.) It would be wonderful if this product worked as it claims. It may even be possible to set studs in a N* block without tapping - I won't try that - but, just sayin....

I've never used the rods...they just looked interesting for crack repair. I even thought about experimenting with using them for head bolt thread repair, just to see if the would work...but that would be a HUGELY expensive experiment to put an engine together with the threads repaired that way for them to fail a week later.

Let us know how they work!!!

bill buttermore
04-28-12, 02:32 PM
...but that would be a HUGELY expensive experiment to put an engine together with the threads repaired that way for them to fail a week later.

Let us know how they work!!!

I agree regarding using them for the studs! But they look like the perfect fix for this little casting crack problem. I'll let you all know how they work. If they perform as advertised, they will be a welcome addition to many a toolbox.

When this job is done, I may do a test by creating threads as advertised, then testing them to failure. Wish I had access to the 100-ton universal testing machine we used when I worked in the research lab.

I WANNA-V
04-28-12, 06:48 PM
I would just leave that crack alone. There is still enough material there to locate the belhousing properly and putting HEAT to aluminum may not be in your best interest. Just my $.02

bill buttermore
04-28-12, 07:51 PM
I would just leave that crack alone. There is still enough material there to locate the belhousing properly and putting HEAT to aluminum may not be in your best interest. Just my $.02
Thanks for the advice. I'll have quite some time to decide what to do. I would practice on a piece of junk cast aluminum, maybe even a broken bell housing from a junk yard, and convince myself that the repair was better than the break before trying it on the N*

In another area....Having a little trouble getting the crank bolt undone. My 625 ft-lb impact wrench is not getting its attention - and no different result following the application of a full can of CRC freeze-off. I'll try a little heat from a propane torch next. Short of fabricating a fixture to hold the flexplate end of the crank, (last resort) do any of you have any slick tricks for popping one of these on an engine stand?

Faded Crest
04-28-12, 09:51 PM
You are going to have to figure out a way to brace it. How did you lock the flywheel?

bill buttermore
04-28-12, 10:31 PM
You are going to have to figure out a way to brace it. How did you lock the flywheel? Locking the flywheel is the problem. Usually it is sufficient to slip a big bolt through one of the holes in the flex plate and let that bear on the block. But, I don't want to do that with an aluminum block, and when I tried lodging the bolt against the head of the engine stand, it wanted to bend the flexplate. I have to immobilize the crank somehow without damaging anything. I have heard of filling a cylinder (piston down) with rope (say 1/4" braided nylon for example) through the plug hole, then rotating the crank to bring the piston up on its compression stroke and jam the pile of rope against the head. I have never tried it, can imagine it warping the head, bending a rod, or cracking a piston. I just tried heating the bolt with a propane torch for a few minutes and then hitting it again with the impact wrench but no dice. I could just cut the bolt off with my thin 4" cut-off tool and buy a new bolt. That may be easier than building a fixture to hold the flexplate safely.

In happier news, my studs arrived today! Turns out they are ready before I am. Thanks, Joe.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000001i.jpg

Faded Crest
04-28-12, 10:54 PM
You might have to suck it up and buy the actual Northstar flywheel lock tool...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/EN-46326-Flywheel-Holding-Tool-4-6L-Northstar-Cadillac-/280871743576?pt=Motors_Automotive_Tools&hash=item416542b058&vxp=mtr#ht_1176wt_1040

bill buttermore
04-28-12, 11:11 PM
Jeez....$56 just to undo one bolt? I can imagine installing the tool, bracing the engine stand with a couple of 4x4s between the walls of the garage, slipping my impact socket onto my breaker bar, then attaching my 4-foot cheater and bustin' the crap out'a the starter housing casting! I have a feeling it may require a bit more torque than the FSM has specified that the bolt be tightened to in the first place - before the corrosion. Seriously, I would be afraid of breaking something more valuable than the crank bolt. If the metal isn't too hard, I might be able to drill the head off it. That could be a problem if someone used 1/2 oz of red threadlocker on it or if it is corroded in the crank. (Though the propane should have taken care of any threadlocker). I'm gonna leave the tool as a last resort, and fabricate a holder that bolts onto the crank somehow.

You know how they say hindsight is 20/20? Well, for the next guy (or me the next time) the time to crack that bolt loose would be while it is still on the cradle.

Faded Crest
04-28-12, 11:27 PM
I had a thread going about how to lock the flywheel a couple months ago, but my solution wouldn't help you now that you have the engine out. It did take a tremendous amount of force to break it loose. an 24" breaker bar with a 5' handle from a floor jack slid over it! And when it broke loose, it made a very loud cracking or popping sound that scared my nephew who was pulling on the bar. No problem though... Nothing got hurt.

89falcon
04-28-12, 11:49 PM
I had a thread going about how to lock the flywheel a couple months ago, but my solution wouldn't help you now that you have the engine out. It did take a tremendous amount of force to break it loose. an 24" breaker bar with a 5' handle from a floor jack slid over it! And when it broke loose, it made a very loud cracking or popping sound that scared my nephew who was pulling on the bar. No problem though... Nothing got hurt.

Almost exactly the same for me....even down to using the handle off of my floor jack! I actually stuck a big screwdriver thru the starter hole....and flexplate....into the engine stand.

If you're worried about the flexplate, take it off, then go buy a couple bolts that are longer than the flexplate bolts.....bolt a big board or put a pipe between the bolts....problem solved....;)

bill buttermore
04-29-12, 01:21 AM
Almost exactly the same for me....even down to using the handle off of my floor jack! I actually stuck a big screwdriver thru the starter hole....and flexplate....into the engine stand.

If you're worried about the flexplate, take it off, then go buy a couple bolts that are longer than the flexplate bolts.....bolt a big board or put a pipe between the bolts....problem solved....;)

Thanks for the help, gentlemen.

What the heck. If the flex plate will take it, I'll try something like what 89falcon did. Then maybe support the socket on the crank bolt with a post to the floor.

rodnok01
04-29-12, 02:40 PM
One better to falcon's suggestion. take the Flexplate off and get bolts like said except make a flat bar to bolt to them or weld/modify a steel plate to fit. That way you can use any pipe you want and brace it and the bolts won't bend/break.

As for the alignment hole, either leave it be or have it tig welded. I use the rods you are speaking of to fix intakes or modify them. It requires alot of heat over a large area. I usually preheat the intakes as hot as I can get them in an oven and it still is difficult to get heat right. It's not gonna do any good to practice on anything except the same thickness IMO.
I have snapped a few alignment mounts off transmission over the years myself.... never fixed em and they held up fine. Yours is just cracked and will still hold the pin properly side to side since the other one is fine. I did fix a couple pin holes in a trans case years ago using them... No way could you use them to fix heads or holes in the block. It's more like soldering or brazing than welding...

bill buttermore
04-29-12, 03:06 PM
One better to falcon's suggestion. take the Flexplate off and get bolts like said except make a flat bar to bolt to them or weld/modify a steel plate to fit. That way you can use any pipe you want and brace it and the bolts won't bend/break.

As for the alignment hole, either leave it be or have it tig welded. I use the rods you are speaking of to fix intakes or modify them. It requires alot of heat over a large area. I usually preheat the intakes as hot as I can get them in an oven and it still is difficult to get heat right. It's not gonna do any good to practice on anything except the same thickness IMO.
I have snapped a few alignment mounts off transmission over the years myself.... never fixed em and they held up fine. Yours is just cracked and will still hold the pin properly side to side since the other one is fine. I did fix a couple pin holes in a trans case years ago using them... No way could you use them to fix heads or holes in the block. It's more like soldering or brazing than welding...

Thanks for sharing your experience. I did get the bolt off this morning. Here's what I did. I re-installed the flex-plate, then slipped a big screwdriver through the engine stand, flexplate and under a pretty beefy part of the block.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000003j.jpg

Then, to keep the socket aligned and to prevent the stand from being tipped over, I supported the socket with a piece of chain from the engine hoist. Easy to adjust it until it is just perfect.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000001j.jpg

From there, it was the standard long handle + cheater bar. It didn't pop as loudly as some I have done, but it was certainly tight.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/Untitled-5.jpg

There was no corrosion on the bolt, it was just unreasonably tight.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000005h.jpg

rodnok01
04-29-12, 03:24 PM
Good idea with the hoist... why is always the simple stuff like taking A bolt loose that's such a headache?

bill buttermore
04-29-12, 03:30 PM
Good idea with the hoist... why is always the simple stuff like taking A bolt loose that's such a headache?
It seems the stuff you expect to go easily is the stuff that ends up taking the most time, like a dropped bolt, or a stuck bolt, or a clamp that won't come undone. For me, it often helps to walk away, have a good night's sleep, then come back to the problem rested. The old brain seems to work better that way

89falcon
04-29-12, 05:50 PM
Thanks for sharing your experience. I did get the bolt off this morning. Here's what I did. I re-installed the flex-plate, then slipped a big screwdriver through the engine stand, flexplate and under a pretty beefy part of the block.

Then, to keep the socket aligned and to prevent the stand from being tipped over, I supported the socket with a piece of chain from the engine hoist. Easy to adjust it until it is just perfect.

From there, it was the standard long handle + cheater bar. It didn't pop as loudly as some I have done, but it was certainly tight.


There was no corrosion on the bolt, it was just unreasonably tight.


Bill,
The bolt puts clamping pressure on the oil pump drive....there is no knurling, just the torque of that bolt driving the oil pump at 6500 rpms......

That's why a lot of folks replace it when putting the engine back together....if you put it as tight as you're supposed to, there is a decent chance you'll shear it. Jake (IIRC) estimated the torque at approx 220 ft lbs.

bill buttermore
04-29-12, 06:12 PM
Just a guess, but I would say I probably applied 100 - 150 lbs at the end of that 4-ft lever arm, so what...400-600 lb-ft of torque to undo it? Sometimes I have had to jump on the end of that same cheater to pop one. Calculating my tubbiness, that would be upwards of 800 lb-ft, so this one wasn't all that bad, I was just skittish about damaging the aluminum block.

bill buttermore
04-29-12, 11:27 PM
Here's the answer to one question. It is the original engine - the numbers match. So, if it is has been out before as I suspect it might have been, I may run into time-serts. Hope not, but we'll see.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000001k.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000004j.jpg

Submariner409
04-30-12, 04:06 PM
When you go to torque that balancer bolt (a new one) back on, use the service manual tightening sequence - that bolt will be TIGHT.

bill buttermore
04-30-12, 07:19 PM
When you go to torque that balancer bolt (a new one) back on, use the service manual tightening sequence - that bolt will be TIGHT.
Thanks for the tip.

bill buttermore
04-30-12, 10:30 PM
Pulled the crank pulley off with my 3-jaw puller and a 2-inch 3/8-drive extension down the bolt hole. Boy that bugger was tight.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000001l.jpg

Tried a couple of other pullers on the water pump pulley, gave up, went down to Advance auto and rented (for free) a power steering pump pulley tool - (thanks Ranger) - worked slicker than snot on a doorknob.

Haven't figured out quite what is going on with the timing.....? I set number one piston to TDC (compression stroke - blowing out the hole) and the marks don't look the way my FSM says they should. But the engine ran smooth as silk. I'll put up some more pix tomorrow when I get the R cam cover off and can see the marks on the other two cams. I would like to understand the timing well before I dis-assemble it.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/Untitled-6.jpg

Faded Crest
05-01-12, 01:46 AM
Turn it around a few more times, the marks should line up... But can you see the lower mark with the oil pump still on?

bill buttermore
05-01-12, 01:59 AM
Turn it around a few more times, the marks should line up... But can you see the lower mark with the oil pump still on?
I thought I could see behind the pump and the crank and intermediate gear marks were not at 12 and 6 respectively. I can see (and measure) that #1 is at TDC. The motor ran great, so it had to be in time. Just something I'm not seeing correctly. Must be on the exhaust stroke. The cam lobes will prove #1 on compression tomorrow when I get the R cam cover off.

Faded Crest
05-01-12, 02:05 AM
I think it only hits the timing marks every few strokes. That's what I noticed on mine too.

bill buttermore
05-01-12, 02:22 AM
I think it only hits the timing marks every few strokes. That's what I noticed on mine too.
Aha! Thanks for that tip.

Submariner409
05-01-12, 10:25 AM
Everything - chains and all - gets back to the original positions once every 17 revolutions..............but the crank, intermediate and cam sprockets align every second full revolution: Intake, Compression, Power, Exhaust.

Remember: In some years the RE cam sprocket stamping is NOT the correct timing mark - the dot is.

Here's the alignment with #1 cylinder at exactly TDC on the firing stroke..............

bill buttermore
05-01-12, 11:15 AM
Thanks for that good info, Sub, We'll know for sure what's goin' on in about an hour.

bill buttermore
05-01-12, 02:07 PM
With the cam covers and oil pump out of the way, I cranked it round and round as you all suggested. It takes 14 revolutions on this engine to cycle all the marks into alignment. The right bank exhaust cam appears a little retarded, but the rest looks pretty good.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000004.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000005-1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000007-3.jpg

I found no o-ring on the oil pump when I removed it (?!)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000009-2.jpg

The chain guides were in good shape. The only component showing wear was the primary chain tensioner - it was pretty deeply grooved.

The left cylinder head bolts came out without any inserts, and I could not see any when I shone a light in the holes.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000011-2.jpg

I was surprised to see the valves as clean as they were.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000014.jpg

The head gasket on the left side (2-4-6-8) looks pretty good.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000015-1.jpg

Right side after lunch.

Submariner409
05-01-12, 03:38 PM
RE is OK (It's the dots, not the letters) and yes, the magic number is 14 - my hunt&peck bad.

Faded Crest
05-01-12, 04:39 PM
No inserts! :thumbsup: Glad you have a "virgin" block to start with. :D

----------

Bet your tensioner isn't as bad as mine! Here are the old and new next to each other...

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/IMG00220-20120430-1246.jpg

bill buttermore
05-01-12, 05:30 PM
No inserts! :thumbsup: Glad you have a "virgin" block to start with. :D

----------

Bet your tensioner isn't as bad as mine! Here are the old and new next to each other...

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd407/thejumpsuitman/IMG00220-20120430-1246.jpg

Yipes! you are right. Mine is not that bad. How much is the new one? Too bad we can't just buy the shoe.

thescotsman
05-01-12, 05:32 PM
This is great information. Thanks to all for contributing. I recently acquired a 2000 STS in mint condition. No oil leaks and no apparent head gasket issues either. The car has 160K. Should I wait for the inevitable HG failure or should I attempt to change out the bolts with some improved studs or inserts before it fails? Any thoughts?

bill buttermore
05-01-12, 06:07 PM
No inserts! :thumbsup: Glad you have a "virgin" block to start with. :D[COLOR="Silver"] Yes. I was relieved to find no steel in the holes. I attached a long bolt to my magnet and fished around in each hole to make sure - got no attraction.

----------


This is great information. Thanks to all for contributing. I recently acquired a 2000 STS in mint condition. No oil leaks and no apparent head gasket issues either. The car has 160K. Should I wait for the inevitable HG failure or should I attempt to change out the bolts with some improved studs or inserts before it fails? Any thoughts?
I would read about HG failure on this site and learn the symptoms. Then, I would drive it and enjoy it until I began to see symptoms. Thread failure, from what I have read, is usually not catastrophic, rather progressing from an "unknown" loss of coolant to white smoke and bent connecting rods. This is an expensive, difficult repair, and not one I would undertake until I was sure it was needed. Some of these engines have gone over 200k with no troubles. Maybe yours will, too. Just my $.02

Submariner409
05-01-12, 06:08 PM
This is great information. Thanks to all for contributing. I recently acquired a 2000 STS in mint condition. No oil leaks and no apparent head gasket issues either. The car has 160K. Should I wait for the inevitable HG failure or should I attempt to change out the bolts with some improved studs or inserts before it fails? Any thoughts?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Welcome Aboard !!!!!!!!:welcome:

bill buttermore
05-01-12, 06:27 PM
Here's my primary chain tensioner.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000016a-1.jpg

Right cylinder head bolts - like the other side, no inserts pulled out, and no aluminum threads pulled.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000006a-1.jpg

crosshatching in #6

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000015a-1.jpg

Right head gasket. There was no obvious point of failure or leakage on the rear (right) bank.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000003.jpg

Right cylinder head

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000004a-2.jpg

#1

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000007a-2.jpg

#3

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000008a-1.jpg

#5

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000009a-1.jpg

#7

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000010a-1.jpg

Here is what happens to all those seal tabs:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000020-2.jpg

Update of costs:

Studs...................315
Seal tool...............150
Tool kit rental......... 80
Parts containers......22

Total to date.......$567

Now I need to flip it and open up the bottom end. That will give me an idea of the parts I need to order. And then the cleaning can begin. So much cleaning......so much cleaning.....I may take the block down to Mark at Arnold's Motors and have it professionally cleaned. Stud tool kit should be here by Friday. Hope I'm ready when it gets here.

Faded Crest
05-01-12, 06:59 PM
Yipes! you are right. Mine is not that bad. How much is the new one? Too bad we can't just buy the shoe.

I was very surprised. The new AC Delco tensioner was about $18 from Rock Auto. I don't know what was wrong with mine. It shouldn't have been that worn out. If mine looked like yours I would not have bothered with a new one.

thescotsman
05-02-12, 01:16 PM
Thanks, good advise. The car only cost me $3K so I suppose I can afford the repairs whenever necessary. Unfortunately nobody in Wichita KS (other than the stealership) will work on a N*. Looks like I'll have to ship the engine or entire car out of state of pay the $6K at the dealership. :banghead:

bill buttermore
05-02-12, 06:39 PM
Worked today on preparing the block for drilling and tapping. Thanks to MRneatfreak, who agreed to loan me his stud tool kit, I should be able start drilling and tapping in a day or two when it arrives in the mail. I wanted to be ready, so I could get the tooling back to him quickly as he has a HG job to do, too.

Removed the dowels by tapping them (thanks, eyewonder, for this idea) with a 1/4-inch pipe tap, then threading in a big 14mm fine thread bolt. Slipped my tie rod pickle fork around that and whacked the bolt head repeatedly. They did not come out easily. Cleaned the deck and the piston tops very carefully and slowly with my carbide edge super scraper - did the valve indents with an old fid on a penknife, and a really fine wire brush.

I figure these are almost ready to drill. I still need to run a tap down the holes and I was thinking maybe I would get a brass rifle cleaning brush to scrub any remaining crud out of the holes. I imagine the drilling will be easier and more accurate if the holes are reasonably clean.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000022.jpg

I wonder if the darker areas around the bolt holes and bottoms of the cylinders indicate where coolant has been seeping over time.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000021.jpg

And, I have a question for the experienced rebuilders out there. I noticed a thin raised edge on the inner diameter of the cast iron liner part of the cylinder bore on most of the cylinders. It is fuzzy in the pic below - but reflects light around the upper edge of #2 cylinder - it is very thin. I am wondering if I should leave it alone or knock it flat with the rest of the deck. It looks like maybe where the fire ring has worked into the liner a bit. My inclination is to get rid of it. What say you?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000023.jpg

rodnok01
05-02-12, 10:11 PM
Ridge reamer will get rid of it, but you don't need to use one unless you need to remove the pistons. If you try and remove pistons without getting rid of the ridge(esp on older engines) it will bust the rings and piston grooves(don't ask me how I know) . The ridge won't harm anything being there overall, product of combustion. Using a ridge reamer will dork up the cyl walls and need a rehone.

Faded Crest
05-02-12, 10:20 PM
I'm surprised you have ridges... But yes, that's the beauty of leaving the pistons in... No need to worry about them. :thumbsup:

bill buttermore
05-03-12, 12:20 AM
I didn't explain well. The cylinders do not have ridges in the walls. The ridge I am referring to, and it is indeed a very fine feature, maybe just a couple of thousandths high, and a couple or three thousandths thick, sits above the surface of the deck, and is formed in the top surface of the cast iron cylinder liner. If you were dragging your fingernail across the top of the block, it would catch on this ridge, right before you get to the edge of the cylinder bore, demonstrated in the photo below. It appears that the steel fire ring in the head gasket did not quite completely cover the liner and after many expansion contraction cycles, wore into the cast iron a little bit. In the photo below, you can see that the ridge has caught some fibers from a rag. The more I think about it, the more I think it will need to go.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000004c-1.jpg

Carroll Cadillac
05-03-12, 12:26 AM
Hi Bil

I use a piece of 320 grit and give this a smooth rub, does not need to be there and you will do no harm removing it.

Just rub the edge of the rim not the cylinder wall.

bill buttermore
05-03-12, 12:32 AM
Hi Bil

I use a piece of 320 grit and give this a smooth rub, does not need to be there and you will do no harm removing it.

Just rub the edge of the rim not the cylinder wall.

Thanks, Tim.

bill buttermore
05-03-12, 02:56 AM
Before I lose track of it, here is the list of engine parts removed (more or less) in order once the engine was on the stand.

Idler pulley for accessory belt
Tensioner assembly for acc belt
Front motor mount bracket (L head)
R exhaust manifold
Spark plugs
Lifting ring
Damper pulley
Front cover
Water pump pulley
L cam cover
R cam cover
Oil pump
R Secondary chain tensioner
L secondary chain tensioner
Access plugs (4) for chain guides
Cam sprockets
Lower secondary chain guides
Secondary chains
Upper secondary chain guides
Primary chain tensioner
R Front trans bracket
Flex plate (again)
Primary chain guide
Auxiliary sprocket bolt
Oil pump drive sleeve
Auxiliary sprocket, crank sprocket, and primary chain

Faded Crest
05-03-12, 10:43 AM
Bill, I am relieved that you have taken some good pics for reassembly... I took a few but many didn't come out very good. :D Maybe if you don't mind you can send them to me via email?

bill buttermore
05-03-12, 12:24 PM
Bill, I am relieved that you have taken some good pics for reassembly... I took a few but many didn't come out very good. :D Maybe if you don't mind you can send them to me via email?

Happy to help out, Marc.

My N*photos uploaded online (not all of them posted on CF) are in this Photobucket album open to the public:
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/

And all of the N* videos (also open to the public) are here:
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar%20videos/

If you are unable to copy them from there for your own hard drive, let me know. And if you don't find what you need there, I think there are a few that I have taken but not uploaded to Photobucket. Most of those, though, will be duplicates, or poor focus. Most (if not all) of the good shots you should find uploaded.

My pic folder on this project consumes quite a bit of memory. And, as all my e-mail accounts are web-based - yahoo or google - I will need to check to see if they still limit the total file size of attachments. If they do, I can copy my pix folder since the beginning of the project to disc and snail mail it to you. Again, just let me know.

What I am a little concerned about are all the mounts, brackets and braces securing the engine to the trans. I did not get good pix of all of those. Kinda got lost in the desire to get'r done. If you could take some of those re-assembly pix and post them in your thread, that would be most helpful.

Edit: Both yahoo and gmail have a 25MB size limit. To date, I have taken about 100 MB of pix for this project. What would be the easiest solution, I think, is for me to upload all of my useful pix to Photobucket. I'll get to work on that as I am able. In the meantime, if there is a specific pic you need let me know and I can shoot it right out to you.[COLOR="Silver"]

----------

97EldoCoupe
05-03-12, 01:19 PM
I didn't explain well. The cylinders do not have ridges in the walls. The ridge I am referring to, and it is indeed a very fine feature, maybe just a couple of thousandths high, and a couple or three thousandths thick, sits above the surface of the deck, and is formed in the top surface of the cast iron cylinder liner. If you were dragging your fingernail across the top of the block, it would catch on this ridge, right before you get to the edge of the cylinder bore, demonstrated in the photo below. It appears that the steel fire ring in the head gasket did not quite completely cover the liner and after many expansion contraction cycles, wore into the cast iron a little bit. In the photo below, you can see that the ridge has caught some fibers from a rag. The more I think about it, the more I think it will need to go.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000004c-1.jpg

Actually the cylinders have that edge from new. no need to remove or sand it down.

bill buttermore
05-03-12, 02:38 PM
Actually the cylinders have that edge from new. no need to remove or sand it down.
Thanks for the tip - but I already flattened them.

bill buttermore
05-03-12, 07:40 PM
Spent some time today cleaning the block, crankcase and pan. Don't want to open up the bottom end with the outside filthy and chance getting dirt inside. I noticed as I chased the head bolt holes with a tap that the threads seemed to be tight - I found no obvious evidence of the bolts pulling and no evidence of broken threads or corrosion on the bolts, either. I wonder if maybe the bolts didn't actually pull, but that the head gasket failed around the bolt holes or where it got cut by the water jacket, and began to seep. That open water jacket design around the cylinders makes for a pretty sharp edge that eventually cuts through the graphite layer of the head gasket. I'm kind of surprised that there isn't a multi-layer-steel gasket available for the N* Does the new Fel-Pro gasket looks pretty much like OEM?

eyewonder
05-03-12, 07:47 PM
I'm kind of surprised that there isn't a multi-layer-steel gasket available for the N* Does the new Fel-Pro gasket looks pretty much like OEM?

There is a multi-layer metalic gasket - look for 'Cometic'. But kinda pricey.

Cheers,
Steve

Carroll Cadillac
05-03-12, 07:49 PM
Just a reply on 97EldoCoupe,

Experience in automotive repair takes many years to learn.
it is true that this edge is sharp from factory, but this edge increases over the years to what you see here.
The edge built up around the cylinders is made of Iron Steel, when these small edges of Iron break loose and fall into the cylinder they don't just disappear.
Aluminum particles will quickly burn off before too much damage can be done, although they too can scratch the walls.

Steel on the other hand no matter the size will fall around the piston hanging up between the rings and the wall scratching the crap out of it before ever disappearing through the exhaust valves or slowly finding their way past the rings.
The ridge on this edge should always be eliminated before reasembling the heads to block.

Making sure nothing will end up in the cylinders is vital to longevity of your engine.

An example of particle damage, when you hone out your cylinders do you not clean them until there is absolutely nothing left in the cylinder? Or do you believe the particles are so small that there will not be failure?
This is a serious mistake and result in ring failure.

We never reasemble ay engine that we have not removed this edge of steel, assuring we will not end up with cylinder wall srcatching.
The surface of our engine blocks are prepped to perfection allowning us to stand behind our warranty.

When ever you are not sure research and seek the advise of an experienced mechanic, relying on non experience advise can likewise end up in disaster.

You did the right thing by removing the edge of steel.
This will give you confidence in the longevity of your engine.

97EldoCoupe
05-03-12, 08:17 PM
OMG. Your level of professionalism will not appear any higher with replies like that. I don't need to get into a pissing match over our levels of experience. I made a simple statement and you try to make me look like an idiot. If this is the way it's going to go on the forums, the hell with it. I haven't been a member for 5 years, developed a repair that works so well that people feel they need to copy, and offer my first-hand, hard earned experience to get treated like this.

Any one of my customers that wants to see a brand new block from the GM engine line, and one that has 220,000 miles on it, side by side, Come on over. I'll show you how much that ridge increases with use and how likely it is for a partical of the actual cylinder wall, to break off and fall into the cylinder.

I don't need to sink the level of stupidity it would require to argue with, or respond to, the member who posted #135. When people had made fun of him when he first became a member for his inability to correctly spell in the english language, I was the one who replied that automotive experience and qualifications have nothing to do with literacy skill. I stuck up for him. Nice to see that has improved since, but thanks so much for the stab in the back.

Submariner409
05-03-12, 08:26 PM
Cool it, or another useful engine overhaul thread goes to the dumpster.

You two guys should hook up, produce a skrillion studs, fix engines, and go fast - together.

vincentm
05-03-12, 08:35 PM
Lets not get Bill's thread closed please

rodnok01
05-03-12, 08:43 PM
Yea..if you want to argue a point get your own thread.... Thanks for the flag on the play Sub. And now back to the Excellent thread by Bill. Quick question Bill, is that a knock sensor in the valley, are they known for acting up on these N* ??

Submariner409
05-03-12, 08:47 PM
That's the knock sensor and they are not known for problems.

Faded Crest
05-03-12, 11:20 PM
Happy to help out, Marc.

My N*photos uploaded online (not all of them posted on CF) are in this Photobucket album open to the public... (snip)


Thanks Bill, I really appreciate it. I might just be worrying about nothing but better to have too much info than not enough! :thumbsup:

bill buttermore
05-04-12, 12:54 AM
Here are some pix of today's efforts. I hope the tool kit comes tomorrow, so I can do something more exciting than cleaning parts. My high tech cleaning method for the outside of the engine comprises a $1 spray bottle full of kerosene, a stiff parts cleaning brush, an old toothbrush, a little wire brush, a screwdriver, a rag, and a drip pan. I used a thin screwdriver, a rag, and a spray bottle of water to do the water jackets. Gotta good bit of slime out of there. Oh, and a radio to keep me from going completely insane.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000015b-1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000005b-1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000007b-1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000006b-1.jpg

----------


There is a multi-layer metalic gasket - look for 'Cometic'. But kinda pricey.

Cheers,
Steve

Thanks, Steve. I'll check it out.

Faded Crest
05-04-12, 01:08 AM
Wow, good job on the cleanup! My "cleanup kit" is very similar. :D By the way, I recommend relaxing smooth jazz when working on a Northstar!

bill buttermore
05-04-12, 01:29 AM
Wow, good job on the cleanup! My "cleanup kit" is very similar. :D By the way, I recommend relaxing smooth jazz when working on a Northstar! Smooth jazz is a very good thing!

----------


There is a multi-layer metalic gasket - look for 'Cometic'. But kinda pricey.

Cheers,
Steve

I found 'em $154.75 ea :shocked2: Let's see, Fel-Pro $18.21 ea You know, I've been thinking graphite is really probably a better choice.

JoeTahoe
05-04-12, 09:25 AM
looking really good

vincentm
05-04-12, 11:26 AM
Smooth jazz is a very good thing!

----------






Here's a good band:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaRGgeQ1lP4


Very fun to listen to while working on a car.

bill buttermore
05-04-12, 08:10 PM
The music is good as long as we just listen. The video may be a tad distracting for more detailed work, though.

Speaking of detailed work, look what came in the mail this afternoon (thanks MRneatfreak):

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000018a-1.jpg

Spent $28 on supplies for the job - PB, WD-40, BrakeKleen, rags, duct tape

bill buttermore
05-05-12, 12:22 AM
Couldn't wait 'til tomorrow - had to do just one tonight. Not sure I like the tape job. Torqued the hold-down bolts on the alignment jig to 20 lb-ft. Glad I ran a tap down the holes first - it is a pretty tight fit. The drill bit really wants to grab, I cannot drill like Tim or the guy on the Youtube video. Way too fast. Using a slower speed and light pressure gave me much better control. Stopped to blow chips maybe 6 or 7 times. The best part is tapping. The bushing starts the tap perfectly (or as close to perfect as I'm gonna get) and the tap is really high quality. With WD-40, it cuts like butter. Smooooooth. Blew chips while tapping maybe 4 or 5 times.

It ain't easy to focus down a hole. Got a new appreciation for some of the photos I've seen. Not perfectly concentric, but pretty durned close for the first try. I'm thinking they will be getting better as we go.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000009c-1.jpg

Made such nice threads I was able to turn the first stud in as far as you see here by hand - no vise grips - no double nuts. There is no slop on the threads either. Hats off to you Jake - this is a really nice system. No Fear!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000003c-1.jpg

mmidyette
05-05-12, 01:35 AM
Bill,

First, thanks for all of the photos and information.
Regarding focus down inside a location where the camera tries to lock on something closer, I always half press the shutter button and allow the camera to focus at a known object (edge of hole for example), then move the camera closer (with shutter still half pressed) without allowing the camera to refocus, and complete the shutter press. Example, if you focus on the edge of the hole by half pressing the shutter button, then move the camera approx. two inches closer, you move the focal point two inches down into the hole.
Flash is where you can have big problems as most flashes are away from the lens and will cause bad shadows in the smaller holes...

bill buttermore
05-05-12, 09:29 AM
Bill,

First, thanks for all of the photos and information.
Regarding focus down inside a location where the camera tries to lock on something closer, I always half press the shutter button and allow the camera to focus at a known object (edge of hole for example), then move the camera closer (with shutter still half pressed) without allowing the camera to refocus, and complete the shutter press. Example, if you focus on the edge of the hole by half pressing the shutter button, then move the camera approx. two inches closer, you move the focal point two inches down into the hole.
Flash is where you can have big problems as most flashes are away from the lens and will cause bad shadows in the smaller holes... Thanks for the tip - I will try it. And you are right re the flash - the only pix where you could see anything are ones where I lit the hole with a flashlight and the flash did not pop.

vincentm
05-05-12, 11:00 AM
Looking good Bill!

Faded Crest
05-05-12, 11:37 AM
It never occurred to me to clean it up before splitting the block :doh:

bill buttermore
05-05-12, 03:25 PM
Re-did the tape so that the "feet" of the jig would be sitting on the same thickness of tape.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000001d-1.jpg

Sharpened a piece of old tent pole with a penknife, and twisted against the tape to cut out the bolt holes. Tested to tool on a non-sealing surface of the block to make sure it did not scratch it.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000002d-1.jpg

Using the suggested method of focusing down the hole (thanks mmidyette)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000003d-1.jpg

Here is the jig set up to go - 11 x 1.5 bolts used on both corners 20 lb-ft torque

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000004e.jpg

I look down the drill guide before drilling to make sure the guide is centered on the hole. During drilling, I probably stopped to pull the drill and blow chips ten times. When I turned the jig 180 degrees to set up the tap bushing on the same bolt holes, it would not align (?!) So, I flipped the jig and used the newly tapped hole and one of the bigger bolts.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000005d-1.jpg

Made sure it was centered on the hole

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000007d-1.jpg

WD-40 used with the tap. This is the max depth you can do with the jig in place

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000008d-1.jpg

This is the final depth - black line is marked on the tap and just below the surface of the deck. I would rather have one extra thread than one fewer than I need. Don't want to stress anything when installing the studs.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000009d.jpg

The finished threads were sloppier on the "standard" stud compared to the corner stud with the shoulder

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000011c.jpg

The second hole took about 40 minutes - same as the first. But without stopping to take pix, and hoping to learn some skill along the way - hope to reduce the time a lot. I will try to make a video (probably tomorrow) as I am getting near the end of the job. Back to work!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000012b-1.jpg

bill buttermore
05-05-12, 07:33 PM
Whew! Instead of getting easier, each hole is getting more difficult. It is becoming increasingly difficult to fit the jig over the holes so the guide is concentric. This, whether using the newly tapped holes or the originals. So far, I have done 6 holes and have found that the jig will align only on one side. Doesn't even come close on the flip side. I have marked the jig and the bolts to indicate where it is most likely to line up, but for the last two holes I have had to use the jig like Norm Huhn's design, where only one bolt secures the drill guide or the tap guide. I am glad I did not just bolt and drill - if I had I would have been way off center for sure. It has taken me a lot of time to center the guides over the holes. I installed the six studs finger-tight and fit the old HG to see how much things will need to be "adjusted." Here are the results:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000014b-1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000015c.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000017b-1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000020a-1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000019b.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000018b-1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000021a.jpg

After the studs are secured with Loctite, I'm sure they will need to be tapped a bit for the head to fit. I'm just gonna continue to take my time. I'm glad I studied Norm's system. It made this work more accurate, for sure. Next time, Norm's system may be my choice.

97EldoCoupe
05-05-12, 08:26 PM
The jig needs to be flipped in both directions. It will align on every hole. Those are the old-stock studs from my first supplier. I will post a video soon to simplify this. The reason for this is the fact that cylinder head bolt hole spacing on the Z-axis and the X-axis are different.

For the top row- From Left to right with the drilling hole in the upper left, move to the right for the first four holes, when you get to the last, flip horizontally. Then starting on the bottom row, flip the plate vertically. Do the four holes moving right to left. Then flip horizontally again for the last hole. Keep in mind the threads have to be cut on each hole as you go so you have something to bolt the plate to for the next hole.

The KM tool uses three holes to bolt down. Mine uses two. Huhn's uses one. The issue is that if any of the holes' threads are so far gone that you can't bolt the jig down, what are you going to do besides free-hand it?

I agree it's time-consuming. Maybe I'll design something better in the near future. But proper alignment is critical especially when you're dealing with studs. If you're incredibly careful free-hand drilling can be done, but tapping 100% square with the deck surface is crucial.

Looks good Bill. Might I ask when/where you aquired that kit? I haven't shipped out those "old stock" studs in a long time.....

bill buttermore
05-05-12, 09:47 PM
Thanks for the advice, Jake. I will try what you have suggested, although I thought I had flipped the jig every possible way, but when both bolts are tightened the guide is not always centered on the hole. I'm not talking gross mis-alignment, just that the small sliver of deck visible around the I.D. of the guide cannot (so far) always be made to be concentric. I could have drilled them anyway, but then I would have been forcing the bit off-center in the hole - and that did not seem to be a good idea.

All the holes in the block were sound - no threads pulled with the original bolts - and I tapped each hole with an 11 x 1.5 plug tap before I started with the kit. I had downloaded from your website and studied the instructions several times while awaiting arrival of the kit.

The studs are left-overs from a job that was cancelled - sold to me by a member who posted them for sale on Cadillac Forum. Likewise, the kit is on loan from another very trusting CF member who mentioned he had a kit and when asked, generously allowed me to borrow it.

I have printed your instructions and am off to the garage.

bill buttermore
05-05-12, 10:52 PM
Set up on the top bolt hole between cylinders 5 & 7. In the first case, with the drill guide top left - this is bolted down in two original bolt holes, hole will not center. Should see a concentric ring at the bottom of the drill guide, instead deck sliver disappears at about the 5 O'Clock mark. This is after pushing the jig and holding it as far as I could to try to center.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000001e-1.jpg

In this next image, setting up for the same hole, the jig is flipped, drill guide top right - and one bolt is newly tapped (top left) and the other original - same problem - hole will not center, in a similar way as above.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000005e.jpg

I am pretty sure that these are the only two setups possible for this hole with this jig.

To remedy, I will try using only one bolt hole and reduce the torque a bit to keep the plate from becoming cocked. Only one hold-down bolt that way, but hopefully, I can get it centered.

97EldoCoupe
05-05-12, 11:56 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000018a-1.jpg

I wish you would have had the new tooling. You have the old. Those are cut-threads on the M11 bolts (now rolled). The bushings welded in that plate don't have much taper on the edges. Those bushings were not CNC machined. The bolts in that kit were produced by my old stud supplier.

Everything has been upgraded since; The bushings in the plate and the bolts are all done on my CNC now, from hardened steel, and welded up on a new jig. Concentricity is now 100%. I am testing one out of 10 to ensure alignment.

I designed the plate to be self-centering to save time and increase accuracy. That's where precision machining comes in with tight tolerances. It can't work if anything is sloppy (hence the purchase of that CNC and the move to in-house production).

bill buttermore
05-06-12, 12:20 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000018a-1.jpg

I wish you would have had the new tooling.....

Me too! But, old tooling is better than no tooling and I'm making it work - it's just more of a challenge than I was expecting - I now have 8 done and I test fit the old HG onto them okay. I'm sure I will have to adjust them a bit with my rubber hammer after the Loctite sets - even though I can fit the gasket, the head, I'm sure will not be as forgiving.

Not a job for the faint of heart.

Faded Crest
05-06-12, 12:37 AM
You're the man, Bill! Full speed ahead! You have blown past me! LOL

MRneatfreak-
05-06-12, 01:28 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000018a-1.jpg

I wish you would have had the new tooling. You have the old. Those are cut-threads on the M11 bolts (now rolled). The bushings welded in that plate don't have much taper on the edges. Those bushings were not CNC machined. The bolts in that kit were produced by my old stud supplier.

I will definitely buy a new jig and alignment bolts if you are selling again? Heck I might even buy a set of your new studs as well. You ready to ship out yet? 2 kits is better than 1 inferior/aggravating kit.

89falcon
05-06-12, 03:06 AM
I will definitely buy a new jig and alignment bolts if you are selling again? Heck I might even buy a set of your new studs as well. You ready to ship out yet? 2 kits is better than 1 inferior/aggravating kit.

Maybe a kit should start with one of these....

http://www.cylinderheadsupply.com/cad-ns.html

MRneatfreak-
05-06-12, 03:22 AM
Maybe a kit should start with one of these....

http://www.cylinderheadsupply.com/cad-ns.html

Whew expensive for the guy that only does a car once in a lifetime. Besides, this says for honing cylinders, which is what most of us are not doing. The jig I was referring to is only used to set up the correct angle and depth for drilling and cutting bigger bolt threads. This honing jig most likely uses the old factory head bolt size, which you wouldn't be using if you went with the stud kit. But an interesting website for sure.

While we are on this website, has anyone ever sent their block or heads off to the shop to get it magna fluxed?

rodnok01
05-06-12, 09:02 AM
I would consider loctiting all the studs at once and slip the head on for alignment so they can set up.

eyewonder
05-06-12, 10:13 AM
While we are on this website, has anyone ever sent their block or heads off to the shop to get it magna fluxed?

Actual "Magnaflux" testing can only be done to ferrous (iron) components, which are magnetic. To test aluminum (non-magnetic) components, one of the testing methods is "Zyglo" penetrant testing. A liquid/spray is applied to the aluminum piece in question, then a Fluorescent light is shown on the part. Any cracks will hold the dye, and the light will show it up.

Cheers,
Steve

bill buttermore
05-06-12, 10:53 AM
Maybe a kit should start with one of these....

http://www.cylinderheadsupply.com/cad-ns.html

Wow! I didn't even know such things existed.

----------


I would consider loctiting all the studs at once and slip the head on for alignment so they can set up. Good advice. I will use the head to make sure the bolts are adjusted correctly.

89falcon
05-06-12, 03:51 PM
Whew expensive for the guy that only does a car once in a lifetime. Besides, this says for honing cylinders, which is what most of us are not doing. The jig I was referring to is only used to set up the correct angle and depth for drilling and cutting bigger bolt threads. This honing jig most likely uses the old factory head bolt size, which you wouldn't be using if you went with the stud kit. But an interesting website for sure.

While we are on this website, has anyone ever sent their block or heads off to the shop to get it magna fluxed?

I'd like to see a jig that was big enough to drill 5 holes at a time, then tap five at a time....think of the time you'd save by not having to move the jig over and over again.

bill buttermore
05-06-12, 06:10 PM
I'd like to see a jig that was big enough to drill 5 holes at a time, then tap five at a time....think of the time you'd save by not having to move the jig over and over again. I'd like to be using a jig that set up correctly on just one hole at a time! Think how much time that would save.

Got the last two holes done on the first side.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000007f.jpg

Not a perfectly straight line

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000006f-1.jpg

These are a little better

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000005f-1.jpg

I took some advice and checked to see if the head would fit before setting the studs. It fit over the stud ends okay but only dropped down a bit. I could wiggle it down a little more, then just tapped it down gently round and round with my rubber mallet. It went all the way down okay.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000008f.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000009f.jpg

It was easy to see from the threads on the studs, which direction each had to be moved. I will use the old head gasket as a guide, but this will serve as a check

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000012c.jpg

I used a 3/4-inch countersink by hand to make a little cut around each hole to make sure the gasket sits perfectly flat. Now it's time to set the studs in place, let them set then "adjust" them. I think I will let them set overnight before I start hitting them with the mallet. If I can adjust them so the head goes on relatively easily, I will go ahead and use the less than perfect jig to do the other side. If the fit is too tight, I may be looking for a better tool kit to do the other side.

$25 (!) for a big bottle of red threadlocker

rodnok01
05-06-12, 06:29 PM
Looking good Bill, it's not unusual for studs to need "adjustment" Probably more variations in studs than anything causing the alignment to be out a smidge. You may consider swapping studs around to see if you can get them to align better or just turning them a smidge, won't hurt since they aren't designed to bottom out.

Speedygman
05-06-12, 11:14 PM
In my stud job, After finger tightening studs and sliding the heads on and off several times with the rubber mallet the stud threads self-clearance the holes in the heads and they slide on and off smoothly then. I thread Locke them in and finger tighten the studs all the way in and then slid the heads on and let set for 24 hours, the heads slid on just like you would want.

97EldoCoupe
05-06-12, 11:46 PM
What the hell is going on here....STOP!!!!!

How did you wind up with studs like this? They look to be a mix of sets.....too long.... Measure the studs before you torque those heads down. Should be approx. 4.125" above the deck surface (just slightly under by a few thou). According to what I'm seeing you have the wrong year studs.......

----------

The 2000+ sets that I sell have 10 studs that are slightly longer than the other 10. These seem to be all the same length, but all too long. Please check this before you start putting the nuts and washers on. I can see the threads stop above the head surface....not good....

----------

Bill, call me. 204-216-0011.

bill buttermore
05-06-12, 11:53 PM
In my stud job, After finger tightening studs and sliding the heads on and off several times with the rubber mallet the stud threads self-clearance the holes in the heads and they slide on and off smoothly then. I thread Locke them in and finger tighten the studs all the way in and then slid the heads on and let set for 24 hours, the heads slid on just like you would want.

That reminds me. I have not yet done anything to my heads. I will clean out the bolt holes and lube them with something before I try slipping it on again. I must admit, it had not occurred to me to use the studs to ream the bolt holes in the head. That would go pretty slowly in my case without adjusting the studs. It took 5 minutes to tap it down and another 10 to tap and tug it up and off.

About tapping on the studs to align them... Say you tap a stud so the end of it moves 1/8-inch. I think that's about all any of these are off. Anyway, what happens? The stud bends a little bit? I can't believe the base is gonna move with that large diameter, huge thread engagement and loctite. So now you have a bunch of studs all bent just a little. Head drops right on (we hope) and we tighten the nuts which does what? Stretches and straightens the stud? Or will the stud come back to where it was bent when the tension is removed?

If you had to remove the head periodically, like in a racing engine, this might make a difference. But with any luck at all, that head is not gonna have to come off for a long, long time. So, maybe if the head can be gently tapped in place without damaging or distorting anything, that should be good enough?

Oh, and another thought. With studs, it looks like there will not be room to remove the right (rear) cylinder head without pulling the engine? Can anyone confirm?

Ranger
05-07-12, 12:06 AM
Oh, and another thought. With studs, it looks like there will not be room to remove the right (rear) cylinder head without pulling the engine? Can anyone confirm?


Correct. That's why it is possible to insert it with the engine in the car (with much difficulty), but can't be studded with the engine in the car.

97EldoCoupe
05-07-12, 12:39 AM
On the contrary Larry, I have had customers that have done it, with a lot of difficulty, but they have.

In order for Bill to have received the long studs in this quantity, 3 sets of 2000+ kits were broken up to get that. I'm confused.

Bill I may want those studs.

Get those out of the block and let's get you the correct ones, new production.

I will talk to you tomorrow, it's going to be an all nighter again in the shop.....

----------

I doubt you could rotate the exhaust cams a full round with the studs being that length. There is a tang hanging off the exhaust cams between the #1E and #2E cam caps (both banks). I believe this will interfere with these long studs. Washering up the studs is not an option I would like to see anyone take.

bill buttermore
05-07-12, 12:43 AM
What the hell is going on here....STOP!!!!! ...(snip)

Wow! Thank you Jake for seeing this, and thanks for taking time to talk with me. I never imagined I had the wrong studs. (Although it would have eventually become obvious.) Too bad I just red-locked them in place. If they are not in the way of the cams or oil flow as we discussed, I would agree that the easiest solution would be to take up the space with a bushing. What do you think about a stack of hardened washers stuck together with the same red threadlocker - I did buy the big bottle. :)

If I had looked closely, I would have seen the end of the threads !!!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000009f.jpg

Ranger
05-07-12, 12:50 AM
On the contrary Larry, I have had customers that have done it, with a lot of difficulty, but they have.


Studs? I thought that was impossible?

97EldoCoupe
05-07-12, 01:14 AM
No it has been done, I'll see if I can track down the few that have done it (via email) and see if they'll share their experiences. Maybe someday I'll try this for arguements sake.

You're welcome Bill, and please avoid the washer idea. If you have the clearance (from the cams) I can custom machine the hardened spacers that you will need in the CNC. For the Toyota kits I make the washers in the CNC too (those have to have a special outside diameter, impossible to buy). You won't be using any washers then, these will take the place of the washers. Torque values will not change.

----------

I do remember one customer had removed the heater box assembly on a late 90's Deville.....not sure it's worth the time involved there......another had placed the head gasket and the studs through the head, and then set the head in place, then driven the studs in from on top. I personally wouldn't want to go this route. It's not that difficult to pull the engine. Time consuming, yes...but it gives you such nice access to work on everything- including the bottom end seals (rear main especially).

eyewonder
05-07-12, 09:21 AM
Bill,

Take a look at this thread, http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/252741-saga-naive-head-gasket-repair-6.html post #88 for how I calculated the stud height above the cyl head surface when using Norm's inserts & ARP studs. I haven't put the heads on permanently yet, but I will check my finished dimensions & post in my thread, when its done.

Cheers,
Steve

Submariner409
05-07-12, 09:59 AM
Maybe a kit should start with one of these....

http://www.cylinderheadsupply.com/cad-ns.html

DO NOT EVER use a block honing plate as a drill guide. One or several mistakes (holes out of round or offset) will render the plate useless for its intended use: To simulate an installed cylinder head, with its associated bolt torque, so that the hone "sees" a complete cylinder bank, thus insuring perfect cylinder bore roundness for honing. Torquing down a head microscopically distorts the cylinders in the head bolt pattern - the torque plate simulates this distortion so the hone makes a perfectly round cut.

.............and, for the record - most thread locker compounds won't fully set until the engine is run and heated. It should be no problem to pull a stud, thread locker or not, after even several days in a cold engine block.

bill buttermore
05-07-12, 10:53 AM
You are right, Jake. There is a lug on the exhaust cam that will strike the stud. I don't think I want to cut those and shim the others. I need to talk with the fellow who sold me these.

Faded Crest
05-07-12, 10:57 AM
Wow, good thing Jake caught that! That could have been disastrous. Can you post a picture of where it hits Bill?

rodnok01
05-07-12, 11:02 AM
I noticed the studs were long looking to me, but not familiar with this stud kit. You could use spacers as mentioned, not a huge deal, but not ideal for sure. I would avoid the hardened washers as proper torque will be difficult to measure. Red loctite is not that hard to get out as sub has mentioned.

RippyPartsDept
05-07-12, 11:06 AM
i'm with Jake ... DO NOT USE WASHERS

JoeTahoe
05-07-12, 11:30 AM
Let Jake get the right studs to you

bill buttermore
05-07-12, 12:59 PM
I have spoken with the guy who sold me the studs (these are studs that Jake sold before Jake began to produce them himself) and he quickly realized that he had sent me the wrong studs. He was courteous, helpful and quick to rectify the situation. He will be sending me the correct studs in a few days and has agreed to loan me a newer tool kit. Now, I need to get these bad boys out of my newly drilled block.

And, while speaking with my stud guy - he gave me an idea of how I can make the tool kit I have borrowed work. He said his first tool kit was supplied with regular 5/8" bolts - no shoulders. I realized that all I need to make this kit work like Norm's design is to use regular bolts with big washers so the jig can be centered accurately by eye and then tightened down. Might have to make a big spacer for an original head bolt - 11mm would be tough to find.

bill buttermore
05-07-12, 02:30 PM
Wow, good thing Jake caught that! That could have been disastrous. Can you post a picture of where it hits Bill?

Here they are:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000014c.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000013c.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000015d.jpg

I slipped the head back on to take these pix; it is sitting about 1/2-inch above the block. If it were all the way down, you would see the ends of the threads and another 1/4" of stud above the head's bolt holes.

And, propane is not gonna get the temperature of the loctite up to 500 with that huge aluminum heat sink surrounding it. After 15 minutes of heating, I am barely above 200F. Time for acetylene - oh wait - I don't own an acetylene torch. I tried turning a stud out without heating - I turned it maybe 40 degrees before the nuts started spinning on the threads. This is not gonna be easy or cheap.

mmidyette
05-07-12, 09:12 PM
Bill,

If you are using one of those smaller hand held propane torches, you may be able to use MAPP gas with it. It generates more heat than propane.

Mark

bill buttermore
05-07-12, 11:57 PM
Bill,

If you are using one of those smaller hand held propane torches, you may be able to use MAPP gas with it. It generates more heat than propane.

Mark

I have an infrared laser thermometer that registered no higher than 200F after heating for 15 minutes with propane/air. I need to get to about 500 to loosen the loctite. I know mapp/air is hotter, but the aluminum just sucks the heat away so quickly, it is gonna take something that puts out a lot of heat. I'm gonna visit a rental shop in town tomorrow and see about renting an oxygen-acetylene torch. See if it comes with a rosebud heating tip. That, I'm thinking, will get the job done.

97EldoCoupe
05-08-12, 01:55 AM
This is the reason I started sending medium strength thread locker with the kits- just in case..... The other option, go to Menards or Lowes or something and see if they have a small plumber's torch setup (two small tanks, one being oxygen and the other I believe is acetyline or something very close, yellow and red, with a hose, two valves, and a nozzle). When I was just setting up in Manitoba a year and a half ago, I bought one of these set-ups out of desperatation to quickly remove a broken bolt in an exhaust manifold. It worked great, but when you're used to a proper oxy/acetylene torch setup, you're spoiled- you can't do without it anymore...

Anyways if you can find this torch setup, you will get a lot of heat out of it- enough to turn a stud bright red in a matter of minutes- just don't let them get that hot. The heat treat will be affected and if the steel softens up, you could twist the stud before it will turn out.... A safe limit would be the 500 degrees that you're looking for.

Oh- and you'll go through oxygen very quickly. Get a couple extra cans/tanks right aways they're only about 10 bucks.....

bill buttermore
05-08-12, 09:48 AM
This is the reason I started sending medium strength thread locker with the kits- just in case..... The other option, go to Menards or Lowes or something and see if they have a small plumber's torch setup (two small tanks, one being oxygen and the other I believe is acetyline or something very close, yellow and red, with a hose, two valves, and a nozzle). When I was just setting up in Manitoba a year and a half ago, I bought one of these set-ups out of desperatation to quickly remove a broken bolt in an exhaust manifold. It worked great, but when you're used to a proper oxy/acetylene torch setup, you're spoiled- you can't do without it anymore...

Anyways if you can find this torch setup, you will get a lot of heat out of it- enough to turn a stud bright red in a matter of minutes- just don't let them get that hot. The heat treat will be affected and if the steel softens up, you could twist the stud before it will turn out.... A safe limit would be the 500 degrees that you're looking for.

Oh- and you'll go through oxygen very quickly. Get a couple extra cans/tanks right aways they're only about 10 bucks.....

Good advice, Jake. I'm looking for a rig with a rosebud heating tip and plan to monitor the temperature carefully with my IR temperature gun. The rosebud should let me carefully and gently heat the aluminum around the stud as well as the stud itself. I know this will take a lot of fuel and oxygen, so I am looking to rent or buy a full-size set. We all want an oxy-cetylene torch, maybe this will be my justification to finally acquire one. I will not try to undo the studs while they are still 500F, but plan to heat a few, then go back and try to undo the first. Problem is, so far my plans haven't always worked out just the way I would have liked.

rodnok01
05-08-12, 11:37 AM
You need another set of hands to take them out while you're heating the next, usually much easier to remove hot bolt than to let cool all the way. As for the nuts turning did you try a stud puller? They are a bit pricey, but might save you from buying a torch...

bill buttermore
05-08-12, 01:16 PM
You need another set of hands to take them out while you're heating the next, usually much easier to remove hot bolt than to let cool all the way. As for the nuts turning did you try a stud puller? They are a bit pricey, but might save you from buying a torch...Stud puller? I'll look into it. I am concerned about tearing up the nice new threads that I just cut into the block. If that happens, I'll get another block and start again. I had no reason to suspect those studs were incorrect, but I really, really should have measured them before setting them. Don't let this happen to you!

Saw some on e-bay. Can't figure out how they work? But I noticed they had a torque rating for the 12mm stud puller of 25 ft-lb. If they are all similar, I can tell you for sure that ain't gonna do it. I can get more than 25 ft-lb jamming those long hardened nuts.

rodnok01
05-08-12, 01:26 PM
The thread locker will give before the threads. No reason to suspect wrong studs, would have happened to 90%+ of us easily. Glad it was caught when it was, if you hadn't of taken pics you would have gotten a big surprise later. I rebuilt a trans with the wrong parts and took it apart 3 times before I measured everything figuring out the the wrong syncros were sent. Everything went together perfect just didn't work :(

MRneatfreak-
05-08-12, 02:36 PM
Most everybody seems to think removing the studs is the way to go even though they are loctite'd in. If I was doing this job all I would have for helpers is my young boys and maybe my wife. Not setup for experienced help. Is it possible to remove the head, and cut the top of the studs off a smidgeon with a pipe cutter or something similiar, and use a die to straighten the stud threads enough to get the nuts started. Then reassemble using Jake's special spacer under the nut? At least for this bank that is already in place?

bill buttermore
05-08-12, 08:02 PM
Thanks to all for the ideas and suggestions. The studs are out and the threads are undamaged. My sweet wife wondered if I might rent a torch - and sure enough, in the town of Boone 10 miles West, I was able to rent a full-size oxy-cetylene torch with a No 8 rosebud heating tip. It makes a lot of heat.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000001g-1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000002g-1.jpg

I heated the aluminum around the stud for about 2-3 minutes depending on the stud's location. Heated the stud itself near the base just a little. Kept that big torch moving. The stud in the image below is not red hot - it is reflecting the light from the torch.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000005g-1.jpg

Periodically checked the temperature. When I hit 500F, I installed the nuts and they came easily out.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000006g.jpg

The red loctite turned to orange dust on 8 of the holes, but melted on two?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000008g.jpg

The important part is that the threads were not harmed :mediumbanana:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000004h-1.jpg

Total cost was just under $60. I am one happy camper.

rodnok01
05-08-12, 09:43 PM
Glad you got them out without damage. Gotta love the hot wrench, saved my butt a bunch of times.

glover
05-08-12, 10:52 PM
I have to say nice work. I had to do that 1 time and its not that fun. Congrats!

Ranger
05-08-12, 10:58 PM
There are times when nothing beats a blue tip wrench.

bill buttermore
05-08-12, 11:16 PM
None of the torch kits I was looking to buy had heating tips larger than a No 6. A number 6 might have worked, but surely would have taken a lot longer. Now I am thinking of saving my pennies for a kit like the one I used today. The amount of oxygen used in about 25 minutes of heating was more than two of the small 20 cu ft bottles in a porta pack welding kit - they cost $15 to fill. I paid $4 for the oxygen I used today. Size matters.

I gotta say - I was so relieved when that first stud spun right up and out.

Faded Crest
05-08-12, 11:58 PM
Good for you Bill. I have to admit that I was a little nervous for you.

Ranger
05-09-12, 12:00 AM
A cutting torch would also have heated it very quickly. Just don't press the lever. :tisk: Those tips or cutting torches do use a LOT of gas.

You might be able to find a used set on Ebay or Craigslist. I got lucky many years ago and got mine from a guy at work for $100. Both tanks, tank cart, several different torches with two sets of different size tips and two cutting torches. Not to mention, several cans of flux, goggles, igniter, tip cleaning tool. I think I stole it.

bill buttermore
05-09-12, 12:15 AM
A cutting torch would also have heated it very quickly. Just don't press the lever. :tisk: Those tips or cutting torches do use a LOT of gas.

You might be able to find a used set on Ebay or Craigslist. I got lucky many years ago and got mine from a guy at work for $100. Both tanks, tank cart, several different torches with two sets of different size tips and two cutting torches. Not to mention, several cans of flux, goggles, igniter, tip cleaning tool. I think I stole it.

I would have to agree that you stole it. I first tried Craigslist (it's where I found the Caddy) but seems everyone around here thinks their old torches are worth more than new ones - really. $850 for a set? And people selling tanks for the same price I can buy them at Praxair. Now that the immediate need is met, I can spend some time looking for a bargain. I'd sure like to score one like you did.

eyewonder
05-09-12, 08:43 AM
Bill,

Before you buy any tanks .....

Some time back I was expecting to bid on a cutting torch setup at a local auction, so I went to one of our two local gas suppliers (Air Gas) to see about having them refilled, if I got them. They cautioned me to get the serial numbers off of the tanks & check with them BEFORE bidding. It seems that if the tanks had not been purchased/rented there, they would not refill/exchange them. As I recall it was about not being able to verify that they had been hydro-statically tested. Or something like that.

At any rate, check with your local supplier, before buying.

Cheers,
Steve

bill buttermore
05-09-12, 10:27 AM
Bill,

Before you buy any tanks .....

Some time back I was expecting to bid on a cutting torch setup at a local auction, so I went to one of our two local gas suppliers (Air Gas) to see about having them refilled, if I got them. They cautioned me to get the serial numbers off of the tanks & check with them BEFORE bidding. It seems that if the tanks had not been purchased/rented there, they would not refill/exchange them. As I recall it was about not being able to verify that they had been hydro-statically tested. Or something like that.

At any rate, check with your local supplier, before buying.

Cheers,
Steve

Excellent advice, Steve - especially since the tanks are typically the most valuable part of the kit. I chatted with the manager at Praxair here in Ames on this very subject - he showed me how to read the date codes and also advised me of their policies on what cylinders they will exchange. In speaking with other suppliers, I also learned that prices and policies vary.

Just another caveat - Get the tank caps when you get the set-up. They cost about $17/ea. In our state, if you transport without a cap (not a good idea, anyway) you will get ticketed and fined more than $34 if caught.

bill buttermore
05-09-12, 11:44 AM
Deleting post.

Ranger
05-09-12, 12:16 PM
Bill,

Before you buy any tanks .....

Some time back I was expecting to bid on a cutting torch setup at a local auction, so I went to one of our two local gas suppliers (Air Gas) to see about having them refilled, if I got them. They cautioned me to get the serial numbers off of the tanks & check with them BEFORE bidding. It seems that if the tanks had not been purchased/rented there, they would not refill/exchange them. As I recall it was about not being able to verify that they had been hydro-statically tested. Or something like that.

At any rate, check with your local supplier, before buying.

Cheers,
Steve
True. I can only exchange my tanks from the company that owns them. No one else will fill them. Same goes for the tank on my MIG welder.

bill buttermore
05-11-12, 06:06 PM
I wanted to do a video of drilling and tapping, but couldn't figure out how to do it without a tripod. So, I just took a series of pictures when I had developed a procedure, somewhere around hole #16.

Got the correct length studs in the mail last night, and drilled and tapped two more holes in the block. I think I figured out what the problem is with this tooling set-up. When setting up to drill a hole, you can see the centering point of the drill guide or the tap guide move as the bolts are turned. The threads on the alignment bolts are not centered to the shoulders that spin in the plate. The threaded part of the smaller 11mm bolts also may be slightly bent. This explains why sometimes you can get it to line up, and other times not.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000001h-1.jpg

I did not want to continue to use the jig with these bolts, so I stole an idea from Norm's kit and made a centering pin. Turns out that a 14mm bolt fits pretty snugly in the bore of the drill guide. Sawed off the head and the threads of a 120mm bolt, then had Jim Howe (Thanks Jim!) turn a taper on one end. Jim also centered the piece with a dial indicator before turning it. Can't say as I would have known how.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000008h.jpg

Then, instead of using the shoulder bolts that came with the jig, I used two of the head bolts, shimmed with washers and nuts for the original holes, and two short 5/8 x 11 bolts for the newly tapped ones. One of each is shown below:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000002h-1.jpg

To set up on a hole, I installed two bolts finger-tight, using the size needed. Installed the pin in the drill guide and wiggled it around until it was centered. The smaller bolts allow the plate to move easily as the pin finds the center of the hole. With the pin in place, tightened the bolts.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000009g.jpg

I took the pin out and checked by eye to make sure it looked centered as well. I used a little penetrating oil on the drill bushing.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000010d.jpg

Here is the jig set up to drill with one small and one large bolt.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000004i-1.jpg

Before hitting the switch, I moved the drill up and down and side to side to find the center of the drill guide. I found that I could drill more accurately with slow speeds.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000011e.jpg

I stopped to blow out chips about every 1/2-inch of depth. I did not pull out the drill and re-insert it without blowing the chips and wiping the bit down with a rag.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000012d.jpg

Each time I pulled the bit, I looked in the hole to see if I was staying centered. The shoulder of newly cut metal makes it pretty obvious if you are drifting off center. You can then compensate if needed when you re-enter the hole. When you are cutting out the old threads, sometimes it may look to be off-center when it is just a part of thread cut out making it appear that way. The drill stop is set so that it cuts full width about 68mm deep below the block.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000017c.jpg

When the hole was finished, I flipped the plate and used the tap to center the plate over the hole in a similar way as setting up to drill, except the tapered end of the tap is used instead of the centering pin.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000018c.jpg

For tapping, I usually only used one bolt, and a big new one if I had a choice, as that let me use the tap handle

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000021b.jpg

On most holes, I only needed to pull the tap and blow out the hole once, when I was removing the plate. Ran the tap down to the black line which gives about 50mm of full threads from the surface of the block.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000022a.jpg

When I was forced to use an old head bolt, I had to tap the first half of threads with a wrench.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000025-1.jpg

By the time I had finished 16 holes, there were quite a few chips on the floor. As I became more skilled with the drill, the shavings got longer and longer until I had a few curls.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000014d.jpg

Second side drilled and tapped (wrong side HG, but works for checking alignment) :

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000026-1.jpg

The next time I do this, I will buy Norm's kit. This was not an easy jig to work with. And, I cannot imagine drilling or tapping without a guide. Tim Carroll has some extraordinary talent gained from experience, IMHO.

CadillacLuke24
05-11-12, 06:25 PM
Nice work Bill! :thumbsup: I think the old adage, "If you want it done right..." plays in big here. You, Faded, JoeT, and everybody else on here have done some bang up work! I am no longer worried about my HGs if and when they go. I got resident experts on call :D

Nice save Jake! :yup:

Carroll Cadillac
05-11-12, 06:50 PM
Hey all,

I can see you are all learning more about this Head Stud issue.
Yes this jig plate is a useless piece of? Everything is changing on a daily bases.
Check out CCC's site for the updated Studs, I have now eliminated the useless alignment based Studs, you know, the 4
that are nearly impossible to crank in with vise grips, not to mention pressure build up from compressing into the block.

I have now created a universal stud that fits both blocks, no more long and short Studs.
I have also used the original engineering from GM, planting the studs at the proper depth for maximum clamping force, eliminating
future potential block cracks.

For those of you who need a jig, we have been designing and you know us????
We have come up with a better and more accurate design, but don't worry I have no plans to make you buy it! Just return it to me and only pay for the Studs.

So much is always happening here, I am excited to share with you all this great news.

Hang in there, we will shortly have all your Utilitarian parts soon and no more will anyone have any of us under their thumb!
We will repair our Cadillac's our way!

So check out my new video showing this upgrade, and write me if you have any questions.

rodnok01
05-11-12, 08:49 PM
Looking good Bill, did the head slide on easier this time?

bill buttermore
05-11-12, 09:02 PM
Looking good Bill, did the head slide on easier this time?

Haven't tried it yet! Gotta clean things up and pack the kit to return to MRneatfreak. But, I'm lookin' for trouble - the gasket was kinda tight on two of the studs - we'll see how it goes. I have found myself wondering how much metal is around the holes in the head, and if they would stand up to just a little reaming if necessary. Hope it doesn't come to that - just thinkin' ahead.

I have also been thinking about installation and service, and have pretty much convinced myself NOT to use threadlocker to set the studs. I think I will set them in with thread sealant - the white stuff we use on water pump bolts that go into the water jacket. That should serve to separate the dissimilar metals to prevent galvanic corrosion, and allow for a teensy bit of wiggle when installing or removing the head.

rodnok01
05-11-12, 09:30 PM
Good idea, but you really don't want the studs moving when you torque them though or bottoming out(unless they're shouldered). Or when you go to take the heads off. You should be safe massaging the holes a little... can't image a water passage or port within a few thousandths of a bolt hole.

bill buttermore
05-11-12, 11:19 PM
You piqued my curiosity. Went out and dug out the correct old HG, wiped off the head a bit, and tap,tap,tap for about 5 minutes and voila! All the way down.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000033.jpg

Clearance on the cam where we need it, and just enough stud to work fine

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000030.jpg

Now, it will take 15 minutes of tap,tap,tap,wiggle,pull,tap,tap,tap to get it back off. Tomorrow.

----------

Took some measurements. The normal set for the stud is with the big threads just below the surface of the deck.

Stud length above deck with threads set just below deck......104mm
Stud length above deck with stud bottomed in hole..............100mm
Stud length above head with stud set normally......................26mm
Stud length above head with stud bottomed in hole................22mm
Thickness of stud nut and washer........................................19mm

So, if a stud were to bottom in a hole, there would still be about 3 threads of the stud above the nut.

rodnok01
05-11-12, 11:50 PM
The stud shouldn't be allowed to bottom out, that could cause a crack I would imagine esp in alum block. Ideally the stud is loctited(or has a way to hold it) and is torqued with lube so it cannot go any deeper than designed.

bill buttermore
05-12-12, 12:25 AM
The stud shouldn't be allowed to bottom out, that could cause a crack I would imagine esp in alum block. Ideally the stud is loctited(or has a way to hold it) and is torqued with lube so it cannot go any deeper than designed.

I know the instructions say to use it, but this is why I am looking for a way to avoid using loctite. On the right cylinder head, I was able to install the head by tapping it down with a rubber mallet before loctite was applied to the studs. After loctite was applied, (probably because I did not install the head before it set) when I went to install the head, it did not want to drop onto the shoulder bolts. I did not force it. Then I learned they were the wrong studs and had to come out anyway. That stuff set up fast enough that I am not sure I would have been able to easily install the head even if I had done so after setting the last stud. Maybe so, but still, I have read of others installing engine studs finger tight with no loctite, and owing to my recent experience in having had to remove studs set with it, I am now not such a fan.

I certainly don't want to crack my block. But I wonder if the stud is gonna want to go down as the nut goes down and stretches the stud up against those nice, new threads. Even if it did go down, how much force could be applied at the bottom of those threads when the nut is free to spin on the stud above? It's not like it is a bolt where it is forcefully twisted into the hole. I don't know, but I would guess that these studs will act the same as the studs used on exhaust manifolds on aluminum heads. I'm thinking about installing those studs when they are in good condition - if the stud bottoms out in the hole, if the threads on the stud and nut are good, how much torque can be transferred to the bottom of the hole? I don't think enough to damage the head. But maybe enough torque is transferred to screw up the torque reading. That, I would not want.

Maybe I can just perform a test. The studs are currently set in the left head with light PB penetrating oil. I could just mark the tops of the studs, install the washers and nuts, and torque the head down on the old head gasket. My hope would be that the studs, most of which are installed finger-tight, will not want to move as the nut is tightened.

JoeTahoe
05-12-12, 12:26 AM
I would use the lock tight and its coming along nicely:cool:

bill buttermore
05-12-12, 12:36 AM
I would use the lock tight and its coming along nicely:cool:

I may have to defer to the experts. That is why I am here, after all. I remember thinking I would pull the engine out through the top, too.....

Submariner409
05-12-12, 09:03 AM
Make very sure the stud holes in the block are clean and dry - liquids are incompressible and if there's oil in the hole it's entirely possible that even a quarter turn of a stud sitting on a liquid pool would literally blow out the bottom of the stud hole at its thinnest point.

There are several reasons that the lower threads of an engine head stud are coarse while the upper threads are fine: one is that head nut rotational torque does not transfer to the lower threads - it is transmitted throughout the length of the stud - stretching - by the upper threads. If you are antsy about stud rotation, clean each stud top tip with lacquer thinner and place a magic marker tick at 12:00 on each tip. As you go through the torque sequence it will be obvious if a stud wants to turn, but by this point what would you do about it anyway ?

I assume that you will not remove the cams. BEFORE you start the engine, wipe each cam lobe with TORCO, Edelbrock, CompCams assembly lube and use an oil can to dribble oil over each bearing saddle. You do not want a dry cam lobe startup on a flat tappet engine. same for the chains. Use synthetic 10W-30 oil - it tends to stay in place longer than conventionals.

bill buttermore
05-12-12, 10:32 AM
I am planning on ordering the Fel-Pro conversion set from Rock Auto. Will this set include the newer style crankshaft rear seal?

Conversion Gasket Set
FEL-PRO Part # CS261501 Conversion Gasket Set - Gasket set for the lower half of the engine block. Typically includes oil pan gasket, front and rear crankshaft seals and the timing cover gasket. PermaDry«
1st Design; w/o Part number stamp on timing cover; PermaDry« molded rubber oil pan gskt. incl. $102.79

----------


Make very sure the stud holes in the block are clean and dry - liquids are incompressible and if there's oil in the hole it's entirely possible that even a quarter turn of a stud sitting on a liquid pool would literally blow out the bottom of the stud hole at its thinnest point.

There are several reasons that the lower threads of an engine head stud are coarse while the upper threads are fine: one is that head nut rotational torque does not transfer to the lower threads - it is transmitted throughout the length of the stud - stretching - by the upper threads. If you are antsy about stud rotation, clean each stud top tip with lacquer thinner and place a magic marker tick at 12:00 on each tip. As you go through the torque sequence it will be obvious if a stud wants to turn, but by this point what would you do about it anyway ?

I assume that you will not remove the cams. BEFORE you start the engine, wipe each cam lobe with TORCO, Edelbrock, CompCams assembly lube and use an oil can to dribble oil over each bearing saddle. You do not want a dry cam lobe startup on a flat tappet engine. same for the chains. Use synthetic 10W-30 oil - it tends to stay in place longer than conventionals.

Thanks Sub for more good advice. I usually use cam lube for the cams, and depending on the engine, either 10W/30 motor oil or 70 weight racing oil for the other sliding surfaces. The 70 weight tends to stay put when you know it will take a while to assemble. I also like to pre-lubricate engines by manually turning the oil pump to circulate oil to everything before fire-up.

RippyPartsDept
05-12-12, 11:26 AM
Use a GM rear main seal

the FelPro ones have been very poor quality according to Jake

bill buttermore
05-12-12, 02:08 PM
...clean each stud top tip with lacquer thinner and place a magic marker tick at 12:00 on each tip. As you go through the torque sequence it will be obvious if a stud wants to turn...
This is how I have been doing head bolts for years now. I use a silver sharpie. I have a Snap-On torque angle meter, but it is a pain in the neck to use and not as accurate as simply marking the bolt and turning it where it needs to go. This is especially true if the bolt wants to chatter. For angles that are a little harder to visualize, e.g., 105 degrees, I use a protractor and mark the head beside the bolt. Marking the bolts also has the advantage of instantly reminding you where you are in the sequence. No missed or forgotten bolts.

dwillv
05-12-12, 06:48 PM
Having done my deville i would never ever drop the engine out the bottom seeing the pics of how much work is done to pull it from the bottom.and i will say pull the engine taking no more off thAN u have to n the car.

bill buttermore
05-13-12, 10:31 AM
I think I have decided not to split the crankcase, (if it ain't broke, don't fix it) but rather to reseal only the bottom end of the pan, manifold plate, and replace the crank seals. I know that the rear crank seal is the primary source of my oil leak.

Any suggestions on how to remove the old seal without damaging any of the sealing surfaces? Should I drill the old seal with an 1/8" drill and install sheet metal screws to pull with my slide hammer as the FSM suggests? Or is there a better way.

drewsdeville
05-13-12, 10:38 AM
I think I have decided not to split the crankcase, (if it ain't broke, don't fix it) but rather to reseal only the bottom end of the pan, manifold plate, and replace the crank seals. I know that the rear crank seal is the primary source of my oil leak.

Any suggestions on how to remove the old seal without damaging any of the sealing surfaces? Should I drill the old seal with an 1/8" drill and install sheet metal screws to pull with my slide hammer as the FSM suggests? Or is there a better way.

Why would you leave the case seal, but take care of the rest? If you leave one alone, you should probably just leave them all (and vice versa). It'd be a shame to seal up *most" of the bottom end, just to have it offset by a leaking case a year later.

bill buttermore
05-13-12, 11:10 AM
Why would you leave the case seal, but take care of the rest? If you leave one alone, you should probably just leave them all (and vice versa). It'd be a shame to seal up *most" of the bottom end, just to have it offset by a leaking case a year later.
Well, here's why. My intention on this job is to repair, not rebuild this engine. I want to fix what has failed and replace any component that is likely to fail in the near future. The engine runs beautifully. I know the primary source of my leak is the rear crank seal. There is no apparent leak from the crankcase split, and according to some I have spoken with, leaks are not common on that joint. If I do not split the crankcase, I do not have to touch the crank, main or rod bearings. These engines have a history of running 200k+ on the original bearings if properly maintained. This car has had good maintenance. There is no evidence or history of oil contamination. When you take your car to the Cadillac dealer for HG and reseal, they typically do not split the crankcase.

Where to stop is a common question when repairing an engine. I could pull the pistons, do the rings, and bearings, but why do all that and not the heads? I could send the heads out to Midwest cylinder head (they do beautiful work) and replace the plenum which I can never clean well enough to look like new. By the time you properly rebuild an engine, you have a LOT of time and money invested. I know. I have done it.

This job is intended to repair the head gaskets and crankcase leak. If I find any indication of any other component that is likely to fail, I will replace or repair that as well. I may do a complete N* rebuild some other time, but not this job.

97EldoCoupe
05-13-12, 11:27 AM
Use a GM rear main seal

the FelPro ones have been very poor quality according to Jake

Correct. Fel-Pro still sells the GM late 1999 re-design, which was revised again in late '03. GM has the lastest revised seal for sale, it's more expensive, but when it takes a day's work to get the engine/trans separated to change the seal (very labor intensive) that extra $30 or so for the GM seal is worth every cent. Make sure you use the correct Kent-Moore installation tool. The latest GM seal has two sealing edges instead of one- It's not visible until you cut it apart to see how it's made.

vincentm
05-13-12, 01:08 PM
Well, here's why. My intention on this job is to repair, not rebuild this engine. I want to fix what has failed and replace any component that is likely to fail in the near future. The engine runs beautifully. I know the primary source of my leak is the rear crank seal. There is no apparent leak from the crankcase split, and according to some I have spoken with, leaks are not common on that joint. If I do not split the crankcase, I do not have to touch the crank, main or rod bearings. These engines have a history of running 200k+ on the original bearings if properly maintained. This car has had good maintenance. There is no evidence or history of oil contamination. When you take your car to the Cadillac dealer for HG and reseal, they typically do not split the crankcase.

Where to stop is a common question when repairing an engine. I could pull the pistons, do the rings, and bearings, but why do all that and not the heads? I could send the heads out to Midwest cylinder head (they do beautiful work) and replace the plenum which I can never clean well enough to look like new. By the time you properly rebuild an engine, you have a LOT of time and money invested. I know. I have done it.

This job is intended to repair the head gaskets and crankcase leak. If I find any indication of any other component that is likely to fail, I will replace or repair that as well. I may do a complete N* rebuild some other time, but not this job.

Sorry, but id do a complete resealing of the engine Bill. Ya know..the whole Murphy's law thing.

Faded Crest
05-13-12, 02:50 PM
I say the opposite... If it ain't broke, don't fix it. As soon as you split the case you might open a whole new can of worms and you will definitely be spending at least a couple hundred more dollars, maybe even more. Where to stop? Who knows! I am so sorry I broke my rod bearings loose. Totally needless. Now I am spending several hundred extra dollars.

When I am done with the ETC, I have a '00 Deville with bad head gaskets that I will repair. It's not leaking and there is no way on earth I am going any further than I have to.

rodnok01
05-13-12, 03:49 PM
I'm with Faded, if it ain't broke don't fix it. With all the expense of splitting the case it would have to be leaking pretty good before I'd split it.

Ranger
05-13-12, 04:24 PM
:yeah:

bill buttermore
05-13-12, 04:34 PM
Taking my own advice, I decided to carefully examine the various joints on the engine before proceeding. The engine obviously retains a good bit of oil, maybe in the manifold plate, even after the pan has been well-drained. The joints were all cleaned about a week ago, so any oil is new and from an engine with an empty pan, no less. I took a careful look around the engine just now, and it does indeed appear that the case seal is leaking. Spinning the engine around to work on one side or the other may have created some oil deposits that are misleading, but I find no source above for this seep.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000001i-1.jpg

And, although it can't easily be seen in this pic, there is an oil sheen all along and below the joint in the case, not just under the crank seal

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000002i-1.jpg

On this side, the oil may have come from above when the engine was flipped - maybe not....

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000003i-1.jpg

So, in this instance, it appears that the seal is "broke" and will need to be fixed. So, I will plan to pop the case and install new main bearings. I will not plan to do the rod bearings unless there is a visual or mechanical indication to do so.

I guess it won't hurt to clean all these joints again, then go to work cleaning up the heads and other parts to give it a couple of days without inverting the engine to make sure that case seal has failed. But, that first image looks pretty convincing to me.

bill buttermore
05-13-12, 07:34 PM
Estimated Costs to date. Some anticipated, some already purchased.


Main Bearings............................62
Head Gaskets............................36
Intake Gaskets..........................31
Valve Cover Gaskets...................43
Conversion Gasket Set...............104
Camshaft Seal.............................6
Manifold Plate............................60
Exhaust Manifold Gaskets.............13
Exhaust Pipe Gasket.....................4
AC Receiver/Dryer.......................13
AC Orifice Tube............................1
AC O-Ring Set.............................8
Subtotal RockAuto.....................381
Shipping minus 5% discount..........11

Total Rock Auto..........................392
Studs.......................................315
Rear Seal tool............................150
Stud tool kit rental/shipping...........80
Torch rental................................60
GM rear seal................................50
Drill & Tap supplies........................35
Threadlocker................................25
Tool modifications.........................20
Parts containers...........................22

Refrigerant..................................30
Oil & filter....................................20
Coolant.......................................20
Gray RTV.....................................18

Total to date 5/13/12.................1237

eyewonder
05-13-12, 08:18 PM
Bill,

For rear seal removal, see this thread http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/252741-saga-naive-head-gasket-repair-5.html , post #75. It shows the seal removal tool.

According to my fsm, there are two other tools needed to install the rear seal (in my 2000 STS). The first is a sealant application tool - it is used to spread a uniform coating on the block, then the actual seal installation tool is used to press in the seal. I don't have pictures of that (yet).

Cheers,
Steve

Ranger
05-13-12, 09:27 PM
Boy, that does not look like enough oil seepage to warrant a case split to me.

Faded Crest
05-13-12, 10:42 PM
Just a word of advice, if you do decide to split the case, leave the rod bearings alone. My main bearings looked terrible, so I assumed the rod bearings were bad, but not so... The rod bearings were perfect. Once you take those rod bolts loose you can't re-use them. The bolts are GM only and are almost $100.

bill buttermore
05-13-12, 11:41 PM
Boy, that does not look like enough oil seepage to warrant a case split to me.

I sprayed down the block with kerosene and dried it about 5 hrs ago. The oil pan has been "empty" for a couple of weeks, and here is how the right rear case seal looked just now. Not the best image, but there is visible motor oil in the angle where the case halves meet...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000006i.jpg

While on the stand, the oil ran around the corner and down...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000007i.jpg

...landing on the shelf under the crank seal, making it look like the failed component. So, at least when the motor is not running, the leak is coming from the case seal.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000008i.jpg

This was the corner of the engine that appeared to be the source of the leak when I tried to find it with the engine still in the car. Its location made me believe it was a bad crank seal.

----------


Just a word of advice, if you do decide to split the case, leave the rod bearings alone. My main bearings looked terrible, so I assumed the rod bearings were bad, but not so... The rod bearings were perfect. Once you take those rod bolts loose you can't re-use them. The bolts are GM only and are almost $100.
This is great advice, Marc. I wish I could follow it, but I think I will have to do a complete tear down now. Why?

I laid my straight edge on the block sealing surfaces and was very unhappy to find that the areas around the bolt holes where the incorrect studs were installed were high. A .006 feeler easily went under and slid almost the entire distance between the bolt holes when placed across the center of each of those on the intake side of the block. I Wanna-V told me on page 6 of this thread something like: "I wouldn't put a torch near cast aluminum if I were you." Did I listen? Noooooo. Was he right? YES! When measured according to the book - that is - down the center of the head and in an X from corner to corner, it is within the .004 spec. But, there is no way I am gonna try to install a head gasket with the kind of distortion I found. (Sigh)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000001j-1.jpg

Kinda' like watchin' a scary movie, huh?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/billbuttermore/Northstar/IM000004k.jpg

Not the end of the world, but this job just got even more expensive. Tomorrow I will see how much Midwest Cylinder head will charge me to remove a full .020 from the right side of the block. I can buy a .020 shim for it and that will restore it to original height and proper seal-ability. I'm guessing $100 to surface, $50 for the shim, then of course, I will have to do the rod bearings $20 + $90 for the bolts, so what.... $260 more, I guess.

Not real happy, but then, this was supposed to be a learning experience. Geez, education is expensive! What have I learned? Make sure you have the right part before you Loctite. Use blue Loctite. If I ever have to remove red loctite from aluminum again, I will find a big oven, put the whole piece in and bring the temperature up and down to 500 slooooowly. But, I will try really really hard not to put myself in that situation again.

Edit: BTW, you cannot accurately measure the flatness of the block without first removing those little sharp edges that stick up on the cylinder liners. Many probably don't measure as the block is not to be surfaced anyway.

Ranger
05-14-12, 12:19 AM
That is still minimal oil seepage at best Bill. Your choice, but personally I wouldn't bother.

bill buttermore
05-14-12, 12:35 AM
Bill,

For rear seal removal, see this thread http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/252741-saga-naive-head-gasket-repair-5.html , post #75. It shows the seal removal tool.

According to my fsm, there are two other tools needed to install the rear seal (in my 2000 STS). The first is a sealant application tool - it is used to spread a uniform coating on the block, then the actual seal installation tool is used to press in the seal. I don't have pictures of that (yet).

Cheers,
SteveThanks for the link, Steve. Looks like I get to buy even more tools. Might have to cancel my plans to buy a new Lamborghini....

vincentm
05-14-12, 11:04 AM
Estimated Costs to date. Some anticipated, some already purchased.


Main Bearings............................62
Head Gaskets............................36
Intake Gaskets..........................31
Valve Cover Gaskets...................43
Conversion Gasket Set...............104
Camshaft Seal.............................6
Manifold Plate............................60
Exhaust Manifold Gaskets.............13
Exhaust Pipe Gasket.....................4
AC Receiver/Dryer.......................13
AC Orifice Tube............................1
AC O-Ring Set.............................8
Subtotal RockAuto.....................381
Shipping minus 5% discount..........11

Total Rock Auto..........................392
Studs.......................................315
Rear Seal tool............................150
Stud tool kit rental/shipping...........80
Torch rental................................60
GM rear seal................................50
Drill & Tap supplies........................35
Threadlocker................................25
Tool modifications.........................20
Parts containers...........................22

Refrigerant..................................30
Oil & filter....................................20
Coolant.......................................20
Gray RTV.....................................18

Total to date 5/13/12.................1237


Still cheaper than having it done at a shop

Faded Crest
05-14-12, 11:41 AM
Bill, those rod bearings would be $20 each!... So $20 x 8=$160 That's the biggest reason I wished I had left mine alone.

vincentm
05-14-12, 11:43 AM
Bill, those rod bearings would be $20 each!... So $20 x 8=$160 That's the biggest reason I wished I had left mine alone.


What's the progress on your's by the way, haven't seen a thread update for awhile? Hope all is going well, definately a labor of love, shes a beauty!

Faded Crest
05-14-12, 12:13 PM
What's the progress on your's by the way, haven't seen a thread update for awhile? Hope all is going well, definately a labor of love, shes a beauty!

Well it's still there waiting for me to finish it. :D

Actually I don't know if you read my recent threads in the Eldorado section, but I have been working on a side project, a '98 ESC that I saved from the scrapyard. It needed the camshaft that drives the water pump. (Long story)

If you look at my list of cars, the only one we have that was 100% was the '94 Eldorado. I had been driving the '93 Sedan around, but the transmission is on it's last legs. So the '98 ESC was a Godsend. Now we have 2 trustworthy cars! :thumbsup: The ESC still needs a couple other minor things, like an inner tie rod and the driver's window doesn't work, but I should be back on the black ETC soon enough.

I must say that in stark contrast to the head gasket job, tinkering with the ESC and getting some immediate satisfaction was like a shot of adrenaline. :lol: I should be pretty refreshed when I get back to the major project.

rodnok01
05-14-12, 12:37 PM
Bill, is this the side that was leaking(coolant). If so could have been part of the problem to start with. Are the threads pulled a little around the holes or is the whole are raised. For the money and time I'd be tempted to do a little home machining to get them within specs... .003 would be very easy to remove in those areas. Just a thought. Couldn't find any specs on block deck cleanup(none allowed per specs), if your shop could just remove high spots I'd do that.

vincentm
05-14-12, 01:14 PM
Well it's still there waiting for me to finish it. :D

Actually I don't know if you read my recent threads in the Eldorado section, but I have been working on a side project, a '98 ESC that I saved from the scrapyard. It needed the camshaft that drives the water pump. (Long story)

If you look at my list of cars, the only one we have that was 100% was the '94 Eldorado. I had been driving the '93 Sedan around, but the transmission is on it's last legs. So the '98 ESC was a Godsend. Now we have 2 trustworthy cars! :thumbsup: The ESC still needs a couple other minor things, like an inner tie rod and the driver's window doesn't work, but I should be back on the black ETC soon enough.

I must say that in stark contrast to the head gasket job, tinkering with the ESC and getting some immediate satisfaction was like a shot of adrenaline. :lol: I should be pretty refreshed when I get back to the major project.

I'd love a fleet of Cadillacs, id love to add a 60 Biarritz, and a 83 Coupe DeVille

Faded Crest
05-14-12, 01:21 PM
1960 Biarritz and a 1983 Coupe Deville? Wow, talk about extremes. Does an '83 hold sentimental value for you? I'd definitely choose a 1980 or '81 with a cast iron 368.

I like dealing in cheapy cars. :D Doubt I'll ever have anything like a '60 Eldo Biarritz.

bill buttermore
05-14-12, 02:49 PM
Bill, those rod bearings would be $20 each!... So $20 x 8=$160 That's the biggest reason I wished I had left mine alone.Arrrrghhhh! I'm beginning to feel like the father of the bride...

So, now we add $427 for:

Rod Bearings...........................168
Rod bolts.................................89
Block surface..........................120
.020 shim.................................50

Main Bearings............................62
Head Gaskets............................36
Intake Gaskets..........................31
Valve Cover Gaskets...................43
Conversion Gasket Set...............104
Camshaft Seal.............................6
Manifold Plate............................60
Exhaust Manifold Gaskets.............13
Exhaust Pipe Gasket.....................4
AC Receiver/Dryer.......................13
AC Orifice Tube............................1
AC O-Ring Set.............................8
Subtotal RockAuto.....................381
Shipping minus 5% discount..........11

Total Rock Auto..........................392
Studs.......................................315
Rear Seal tool............................150
Stud tool kit rental/shipping...........80
Torch rental................................60
GM rear seal................................50
Drill & Tap supplies........................35
Threadlocker................................25
Tool modifications.........................20
Parts containers...........................22

Refrigerant..................................30
Oil & filter....................................20
Coolant.......................................20
Gray RTV.....................................18

Total to date 5/14/12.................1664

----------


Bill, is this the side that was leaking(coolant). If so could have been part of the problem to start with. Are the threads pulled a little around the holes or is the whole are raised. For the money and time I'd be tempted to do a little home machining to get them within specs... .003 would be very easy to remove in those areas. Just a thought. Couldn't find any specs on block deck cleanup(none allowed per specs), if your shop could just remove high spots I'd do that.Edit: Yes, it was the bank that was leaking. And, yes I tried very carefully taking off the high spots with a 12-inch bastard file - the measurement in the photo was AFTER that. Went as far as I felt comfortable - no go. The block is now sitting in the driveway. I'll take it over the MCH this afternoon and talk to Rich. See if they think they can knock off the high spots. Good grief - $160 for rod bearings! That's about $100 too much. Now those main bearings are some serious stuff - don't mind paying $60 for them.

BTW, the #8 rod bearing caught some grit and had two pretty deep grooves - probably aluminum from the block because the journal (thankfully) was okay. I'll put up some pix when I slow down this evening.

Edit: Thanks for the suggestion, rodnock, the shop is gonna see if they can just take off the high spots. If they can, that will save me $50 and I won't have to use a shim.

rodnok01
05-14-12, 02:58 PM
Well you could get a little back selling the speciality tools unless you're gonna do another one....

bill buttermore
05-14-12, 05:52 PM
Well you could get a little back selling the specialty tools unless you're gonna do another one....We'll see how we feel about an encore performance when this job is done. And, I guess I'm not even done buying specialty tools yet. Need some special tool for spreading sealant for the rear main supposedly.....I'm thinking: how about the popsicle stick in my mouth?

And, now for some heresy. I'm considering re-using the main and rod bearings - might replace that one rod bearing that has the grooves. There is a thread from 2008 here titled: reuse main bearings that shows (FSM notwithstanding) Cadillac replaces rod bearings based on wear. And, while we're at it, does anyone have a new connecting rod bolt that they can measure with a good set of electronic calipers? Reaspn I ask is, if mine have not inelastically stretched, I may consider re-using them, too - GASP!

I might as well put it out there - I think the idea that crush factor on a shell bearing precludes its re-use doesn't match with current and past practice. Consider that to measure oil clearance with plastigage, the bearing caps must be torqued to spec. Wouldn't that crush them? And wouldn't that stretch that "one-use" bolt? The procedure is to undo them, clean out the wax and re-tighten. Anyway, if any of that mattered would Cadillac recommend that rod bearings be replaced based on wear? I know, they also recommend that crank bearings be replaced if the engine has been run in the FSM.

And, just because a bolt has an angle tightening spec. does not mean that it can never be re-used. Mercedes and Lexus both have specs for the length of angle torqued head bolts....if length exceeds ____or if threads show damage, replace head bolts. That makes sense. If the bolt has stretched beyond its elastic limit, i.e., become permanently and significantly longer, it should not be re-used.

vincentm
05-14-12, 06:30 PM
1960 Biarritz and a 1983 Coupe Deville? Wow, talk about extremes. Does an '83 hold sentimental value for you? I'd definitely choose a 1980 or '81 with a cast iron 368.

I like dealing in cheapy cars. :D Doubt I'll ever have anything like a '60 Eldo Biarritz.


Well the non-HT4100, so yea 81-82. And yea a 1960 would be bad ass, it'd have to be black.

Faded Crest
05-14-12, 07:46 PM
Bill, yeah, I noticed the FSM said you could reuse them if they checked out, but others said they have had experience with them losing their roundness, so I'm not chancing it... And the FSM says not to reuse the bolts. I'm playing it safe, but if you do choose to reuse everything I will be curious about how it works out.