: 99 Deville HG job 4-2012



walliss34
04-18-12, 01:16 PM
Hi all, i have been reading about many HG issues and following a couple current threads on progress others are making and it was suggested i start my own thread. So here it will be.

I bought a white 99 deville with 77k on it off ebay motors sight unseen, for 1800 bucks, i was like pictures look clean, 77k on it was a no reserve auction etc. Well it was good looking from the outside and the interior is clean but the rear axle subframe was completely rusted out, would not pass NYS inspection so i found 1 from cadillac heaven and installed it. Thought it was a pretty involved project but not really technical, it turned out fine. Got her back on the road and noticed it was getting hot going up a serious hilly road i take to work each day, it would cool back down to 196 in 10 mins. so i flushed the coolant system with zyrex flush, and changed thermostat it must have worked too good cause 4 trips over the mtn. and it got really hot and did not go back down went into limp mode and i took it to chevy dealership to test the HG. They told me there was exhaust in the coolant system, and as the upper rad. hose was hard as a rock when it was hot i had to agree. So even though the car ran fine, never acted like a HG issue. I went to work dropping the front cradle.

Got it out with no injuries, and am now close to getting the heads off, the water pump cam pulley pulled a fast 1 on me, i thought i would just pull, pry, wack it off,,right no such luck so i need to get the harbor freight pully puller.

The main issue i am having is whether I should have the heads all cleaned up and resurfaced or leave the cams in it, install the inserts, new HG and bolt it back together. I got a quote from a machine shop who used to do N* motors, and if they got the heads striped, they would pressure test, cleanup and resurface for 150/head,, i about choked. As i do not have a valve spring compressor, nor the experience of doing valves in a 4 stroke car engine, i either want to just put it back together or have the machine do the whole job,,, if anyone knows of a shop around NYC, it would be worth the drive to get them done correctly. I will put up some pics wheni get the heads off. but here is the car.

90222

Faded Crest
04-18-12, 01:34 PM
Nice looking car! Glad you started a thread about your project.

On the heads, if it was running fine other than overheating, they probably don't need anything. Why not see what they would charge just to check for cracks and planing... no disassemby or new parts?

For mine, I removed the cams and took them to a place that just pulled a vacuum on them to test the valve seats, ran it through their cleaner and planed the surface. Charged me $50 a head! Of course that was out in the country in Union County, NC... :rolleyes:

walliss34
04-18-12, 03:47 PM
Faded, yes i saw where you noted 100 bucks for the heads,,,i guess they don't need the work out here, although i did call an engine builder shop and they said 100 per head. but then they asked me is that dual cam or single and i decided then that i didn't want them touching my heads, the other place used to do HG jobs for a now closed dealership, so i trust the guy knows a bit more about the N*'s. Thanks for the read and continued success on your project!

eyewonder
04-18-12, 04:11 PM
Nice looking car!

For mine, I removed the cams and took them to a place that just pulled a vacuum on them to test the valve seats, ran it through their cleaner and planed the surface. Charged me $50 a head! Of course that was out in the country in Union County, NC... :rolleyes:

$50 a head?! I don't know whether to laugh, or cry. The machine shop that the local dealer pointed me to wanted $700 both heads, to start. I ended up going to a Wichita shop that was recommended by a Caddy dealer, and who also gets good marks from the Wichita homebuilt aircraft crowd. Full valve job, all new exhaust guides, 1 exhaust valve - $562. At least I can be confident of the work done.

Cheers,
Steve

Faded Crest
04-18-12, 04:39 PM
Yeah like I said, mine were just checked, cleaned and planed... No new parts. Still sounds like I got a deal though.

Walliss, Too bad you aren't local... I have an extra reconditioned set of "Y" code heads I would selll you cheap. Shipping wouldn't be possible though.

walliss34
04-19-12, 08:38 AM
Did i read that the cam shaft bearings need be replaced if you remove the cams? or can you reuse the bearings? Because my motor only has 78k on it and it was running fine, with no ticking or noise or vibrations, i would like to just clean up the mating surface on block and head, put new HG's on it and put her back together. Is there a way to dertermine if the heads should be planed?

TIA all, have a great day! Bill

Submariner409
04-19-12, 11:19 AM
If the head surface is flat within a few thousandths, don't cut it. The quench area in these engines is thin enough as-is. Mill the heads and you almost instantly wind up with the Northstar "cold carbon rap". (Read the whole Cadillac Technical Archive up ^^^ in the top black bar - much needed info there).

No cam bearings. Nothing to "replace"...............BUT check the cam lobes and followers (buckets, lifters) for wear.

The heads are a throwaway item - bad head, replace it.

Faded Crest
04-19-12, 10:14 PM
If the head surface is flat within a few thousandths, don't cut it. The quench area in these engines is thin enough as-is. Mill the heads and you almost instantly wind up with the Northstar "cold carbon rap". (Read the whole Cadillac Technical Archive up ^^^ in the top black bar - much needed info there)...

...The heads are a throwaway item - bad head, replace it.

According to my '98 FSM you can mill the heads. It says "If resurfacing is required, the dimension between the combustion chamber gauge pad and the deck surface must be at least 10.5 mm."

Submariner409
04-19-12, 10:59 PM
Weird - 10.5 mm is about .41", so that's NOT in the head-to-piston crown quench area. I'll hazard a guess that the compressed head gasket thickness is ~.035" (.890mm), so that's something to take into account.

Not saying you can't skim the heads - but the good ol' days of .010 (.250mm) and greater mills are gone.

walliss34
04-23-12, 11:23 AM
Well, i got the heads off. Besides allot of oil sludge, that bums me out, i could not find a definitive place where it looks like the HG failed. I did notice that on both cylinder banks, it looks like each cylinder from the waterpump end of engine going to the front of the engine, each cyl. looks like it ran hotter, with both cyl. 1 and 2 having the most build up of gunk, and crusty stuff on the head gasket and in the water jacket, you can see a couple pieces of crap stuck in there. Because of the oil sludge and that i do not see a obvious blow out on the HG, i am having a friend take the heads to be redone. Hopefully will not need any new valves. if anyone sees anything in the pictures let me know,,i apologize for the dirty rags i was using! here is link to pictures. Hope everyone had a great weekend, and congrats to Denny Hamlin winner STP 400! http://www.mediafire.com/?s2edf8mg0714p

Faded Crest
04-23-12, 12:58 PM
It is a little hard to tell in pics, but it looks like your left bank is washed cleaner than the other... unless you cleaned it up before taking the picture. I would say that must be the side that was leaking. It's a little difficult to see much definition in the pics of the head gaskets themselves. If you hold them up to a light can you see any pinholes? They do look kind of crispy in places.

How did your head bolts look? Did the thread pull much block material out? Also, where was the sludge? Your one picture of a head didn't look that sludged up to me.

walliss34
04-23-12, 02:07 PM
The left bank bolts had allot more crap on them like a thick ridge around each bolt, a couple even pulled out hard. not too much Alum. on the threads but some powdery stuff on a couple but not much, the right bank, which the HG looked worse, all the bolts were pretty clean, not so much gunk on them, and very little if any material on the threads,,almost like the right side had been done before. It is pretty easy to tell if there are steel insert in headbolt holes right? i looked just with a shop light and I don't think they have been Time-serted. Although i was very surprised to see the valve cover gasket on the left bank was grey, with orange spark plug seal, and on the right bank both the valve cover gasket and sparkplug seals were orange. So it seems something has been taken apart or do they do that at the factory? A friend also told me if there is one set of valves that are white or whiter than the rest that is most likely where the coolant/exhaust was leaking. i will take a picture tonight of the valves. Thanks for looking Faded! How are you making out on your project?

Faded Crest
04-23-12, 02:31 PM
I look forward to seeing more pics... If your bolts were "muddy" on the left side I would say that adds to the evidence that it was the left side that got compromised.

I am kind of twiddling my thumbs right now waiting for more parts. I suppose I could do some other things while I'm waiting, but I am very one-track-minded. LOL

walliss34
04-24-12, 08:41 AM
I hear ya there, i dropped off the heads this morning to be taken to the machine shop. I am such a cheapskate, i keep wondering if i should have them take the heads apart, cause the motor was running fine just was getting hot, and it only has 78k on it,,but i suppose it will run better and longer if the valves are reseated and new seals installed. I hope so. I will take a couple pics of the head bolts.

walliss34
05-02-12, 01:05 PM
I got the poop on the heads. The machine shop says 1 lobe in bad on the left head exhaust cam. Is there anyone who has such a camshaft for cheap near NYS?

I did find a place in northern CA. Caddy auto recycling they have them. The guys there says he has never heard of a lobe worn out. Only time ppl want a cam is if they need to change them to make the VIN 9 motor run right in a VIN Y body if they swapped engines,,,so i am wondering if maybe the machine shop is full of it,, are 99 devilles with 79k on them known to have cam lobes go bad?

vincentm
05-02-12, 01:37 PM
I got the poop on the heads. The machine shop says 1 lobe in bad on the left head exhaust cam. Is there anyone who has such a camshaft for cheap near NYS?

I did find a place in northern CA. Caddy auto recycling they have them. The guys there says he has never heard of a lobe worn out. Only time ppl want a cam is if they need to change them to make the VIN 9 motor run right in a VIN Y body if they swapped engines,,,so i am wondering if maybe the machine shop is full of it,, are 99 devilles with 79k on them known to have cam lobes go bad?


Cadillac Recyclers is a reputable place, i went there may of times to get stuff for my 92 Touring, good guys, great customer service.

89falcon
05-02-12, 02:26 PM
I got the poop on the heads. The machine shop says 1 lobe in bad on the left head exhaust cam. Is there anyone who has such a camshaft for cheap near NYS?

I did find a place in northern CA. Caddy auto recycling they have them. The guys there says he has never heard of a lobe worn out. Only time ppl want a cam is if they need to change them to make the VIN 9 motor run right in a VIN Y body if they swapped engines,,,so i am wondering if maybe the machine shop is full of it,, are 99 devilles with 79k on them known to have cam lobes go bad?

There is a reason GM went to a roller cam in 2000....
Without the proper oil w/ the proper wear protection, the cam will eat a couple lifters. It can happen fast...or take a while.

JoeTahoe
05-02-12, 03:15 PM
I Had the same problem when I did my Seville. Went to the local pick apart and it took three differant cadis to find two good cams if you do this make shure you get the lifters too and there placement on the cams

walliss34
05-02-12, 03:58 PM
Thanks for the advice, i am waiting to hear back from cadillac heaven, i got a rear axle assembly from them that was clean and nice,, the machinist said the follower was very worn also,,is that the same thing as the lifter? the cup that the cam lobe rides on?

Faded Crest
05-02-12, 04:56 PM
I had some wear on a few of mine but I will switch them out since I have an extra set of heads. The guy at my machine shop just threw all of them into a box when he gave me my heads back... He said the position didn't matter and that even the worn ones were nothing to worry about.

walliss34
05-03-12, 08:18 AM
Well i ordered a used cam from Cadillac Heaven, 160 delivered to my door. They did me good on the rear axle assembly i purchased from them so hopefully this will be just as pleasant.

I do have a question about lifters, i can get a DNJ from Rock auto for 13 bucks or a no name brand on ebay for 18 bucks or an AC Delco OEM for 39 bucks. For my 3000 dollar ride that i hope to get 100k on the rebuild is it necessary to get the 40 dollar bucket, or will the 13 dollar bucket get the job done?

Faded Crest
05-03-12, 09:40 AM
Why not see if Cadillac Heaven can scavenge some good used ones and throw them in with your cam order? They ought to just about give them to you. That way all your lifters will be original and of similar wear and age.

walliss34
05-03-12, 11:07 AM
Well i called caddy heaven and they going to see how much more to pull a head apart and take the lifters with the cam, than to take a cam off the shelf,,of course! But i agree that it will be best to have the same lifters that wore on the cam. I need to go sit in the car for a bit,,i miss the smell of them leather seats!!!

Faded Crest
05-03-12, 10:54 PM
Well i called caddy heaven and they going to see how much more to pull a head apart and take the lifters with the cam, than to take a cam off the shelf,,of course! But i agree that it will be best to have the same lifters that wore on the cam. I need to go sit in the car for a bit,,i miss the smell of them leather seats!!!

LOL!!! I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who does that! I just sit in the black ETC sometimes just to sniff the interior and grip that beautiful black leather steering wheel.

If you don't have any luck with the lifters let me know, our pull a part is a treasure trove! I went there today and there are a half dozen Northstars that still have the valve covers on them. I'm going back tomorrow because I think I dropped one of my star bits in the back seat of a '98 SDV and it drives me crazy that my set is broken! Besides, I want to get another left intake cam to replace the one I borrowed off my spare heads to fix my pet project cheapy ESC.

walliss34
05-21-12, 10:47 AM
Update! Got my heads Back from the machine shop, with new/used left exhaust cam with the followers. The heads look great, i finally got all 10 of them headbolt drilled, tappped and Norm's inserts installed, I could not work on an assembly line, just no way i would go insane. It about drove me to start drinking again just doing 1 N* motor!! Hah,,now the fun begins. I need to ask around to borrow a torque wrench that does this fancy angle thing, what is the reason to torque this way again? I dunno, just makes it more diffucult for the back yard mechanic, i like torque to 95 ft. pounds, call it good! I put a link to photo of the heads and video of the engine/tranny pulled out of the car.

http://i800.photobucket.com/albums/yy282/walliss34/photobucket-1582-1337611008274.jpg

http://youtu.be/_zStZYr2Y9s

Faded Crest
05-21-12, 11:11 AM
Sounds good! If you don't want to buy a torque angle wrench, you can make a mark with a sharpie and turn it until it reaches the right angle. That's probably what I will do.

walliss34
05-30-12, 09:46 AM
I finally got the time to take on the heads, i borrowed a digital torque wrench and bought an angle guage on ebay for 13 bucks. It worked good but i did put the marks on the bolts 180^ from the 30ft-lb initial torque spot. Only thing that i did not feel good about was #10 bolt on the left head seemed to lose tension on the 2nd 60^ pass, i was like damn that felt wrong, but did not know what to do, so continued and on the final pass it was tight but did not seem to turn as hard as the rest to complete the 180^ of rotation, what should i do? Also, both bolts farthest to front of motor on the right bank seemed to not feel as tight as the rest, i am certain i got them to 30ft-lbs intial, but on the 2nd and 3rd pass they seems to turn easier than the rest,,again what should i do, just leave them and hope for the best? first time i have torqued down alum. heads maybe it just the nature of the things? i am certain all the inserts were installed with plenty of locktight and seated tightly into the bottom of the tapped holes. looking forward to getting the timing set and getting this thing back together!

Faded Crest
05-30-12, 10:30 AM
Ah, so you've been sneaking along and making good progress without posting updates. LOL. Don't know what to tell you on the bolts, but I do remember that someone else experienced the same thing on one bolt and it turned out okay.

walliss34
06-04-12, 10:40 AM
Well i got back to setting the timing, i think the thing i most dreading, and it took some time got my wife to help, she used to help her dad all the time, but age has made her worry about her nails and the garage is dirty! But she helped me anyway cause she knew i was procrastinating doing it. Here are pictures of the completed timing components.
92954
92953
92955
92956
92956
92957
92958
92959

The right bank, Exhaust (RE) is off by like 5 thousands, or like 1/2 the diameter of the mark on the sprocket,,is this "close enough" or do i need to adjust it more. It just seems so close that if the tensioner had more tension it would line up great.

The next question is how hard is it to adjust the timing once the motor is in, i see the pictures of using a special tool that snakes down in there and compresses the tensioner, but it looks like it is much harder than dealing with it now. TIA for the advice.

eyewonder
06-04-12, 11:14 AM
I have the J-45930-A (the outer part of the two-part seal) tool, and have used it to install a GM seal in a 2000 N*.

The seal that came with the Victor Reinz gasket set would NOT sit in the installer as you would expect, but the GM did.

Here are two drawings of the tool, based on my best caliper measurements. Look at the drawing, and your seal, to visualize how the tool presses in the seal, and how the different 'steps' in the tool drive the rubber outer portion in, and the other step drives in the metal sleeve that goes around the crank.

Cheers,
Steve

Faded Crest
06-04-12, 12:44 PM
LOL... Think you accidentally posted in the wrong thread, Steve.

walliss34
06-05-12, 08:46 AM
I made a typo on my last post, the right exhaust cam seem to be off 50 thousands or about 1/16 of an inch. from the pictures i posted it hard to tell unless you put a sheet of paper up there and then you see it off that much. I am just wondering if when the tensioner tightens up if it will all be good.

eyewonder
06-05-12, 10:15 AM
The right bank, Exhaust (RE) is off by like 5 thousands, or like 1/2 the diameter of the mark on the sprocket,,is this "close enough" or do i need to adjust it more.

Walliss,

I don't think it is possible to make any adjustments to timing - that chain is either on the correct sprocket tooth, or it isn't. No such thing as being 'half a tooth off'. The chains have some slack in both the tension side, and the return side. The tensioners are on the return side. But even on the tension side, the shoe that guides the chain has a gentle curve, so the chain does not get an absolute straight pull form the intermediate sprocket.

Cheers,
Steve

Faded Crest
06-05-12, 10:18 AM
^^^ Yeah, I noticed that before I removed mine. You can't be 100% visually perfect.

ternstes
06-05-12, 01:47 PM
Yeah, if it was a tooth off, the deviation would be more than 1/16 of an inch. It looks fine to mine.

walliss34
07-02-12, 10:09 AM
WOOT big update, i got the motor back in and it runs Great! fired right up. Have an exhaust leak where i forgot to weld up a hole i found in the Cat. in my excitement to get her back together i just plum forgot! man it was Hot in that garage too!

Only problem i have is getting the AC charged back up and i think it has air in the cooling system, as it only took like maybe 2.5 gallons of coolant initially and it got hot just idling, got to 230 and i shut it down cursing. It still says to check the coolant level, but when running down the road it runs about 190, and i added a bit more coolant, so about right with 3 gallons in it? I dunno, i have not let it just sit and idle since the first time. Just wondering if there is a bleeder or some way to ensure it has no air in it, it was wierd intially cause the top of the radiator was cool, it never got warm till after i drove it for 10miles or so and it was running nicely at 190. and the pressure tank coolant was not hot either initially. the cap did not get hot when it went up to 230. But now it is getting hot, so hopefully it will be good now, i surely hope so. It runs good! its Great to have her back on the road! I appreciate all the posts and threads on this forum, the stuff i have learned about working on N* has made this project a success. i would not even have done it had it not been for this forum. Lots of great info. here for people.

Next up will be doing the 99 STS with 91k on it, that is running hot,, my 600 buck special. Going to take a short rest though and get some of the honey dew things taken care of before i end up living out in the garage :-)

bill buttermore
07-02-12, 11:16 AM
Congratulations! Sounds like you had air in the cooling system and it is working its way out. Just keep an eye on the level until it is stable and you should be okay.

CadillacLuke24
07-02-12, 03:09 PM
AWESOME!!! :woot::woot::woot::woot: Glad you got her fixed! Must be a relief. Now go enjoy it!

As for the coolant, 3 gallons (12 qt) is about right.

walliss34
07-04-12, 04:50 PM
Well,,,I replaced the radiator after a friend listened to my saga and said he thought the radiator was partially plugged or just corroded restricting flow. well the caddy is still not running right, its getting hot, still! i pushed it up the mtn. and it went up to 228, damn thing,,it was about 92 out, and humid but i did not have the AC on as its not working. It will run at 195 when taking it easy in the evening when its 76 ambient temp. i installed a new waterpump, new thermostat, and now new radiator. what gives with these cadillacs?

CadillacLuke24
07-05-12, 12:53 AM
Well, we can rule out the Head Gaskets :histeric:

Check your fans. Are they running? If not, check the fuses. They are supposed go on low at 224, high at 236. If you're up to 228, something's up. I was runnin' around a couple weeks back, and got her goin real quick on the highway, only to slow quickly later (leadfoot young man :D). It was mid 90s out, and I never got past 221.
Check your coolant level. Make sure the purge line is clear. That may be a problem if it's not.
Check your water pump pulley and tensioner pulley for a gritty feel. If so, replace.

Lastly, 228 may not be entirely too hot. Fans are supposed to engage at 224 though, so that makes me think there is something wrong. Good luck.

walliss34
07-05-12, 08:12 AM
Man the motor runs nice, although yesterday when i was letting it idle for a bit i noticed a ticking in the motor but it went away when it got warmed up. I took it to the garage this morning to have the AC charged. Might aske them to fix the exhaust leak too. i was wondering if a 1/2" dia. hole in the cat. would cause it to run hot? i don't know, all i know is i have put allot of work into this car and it runs good, and i really enjoy driving it like a big comfy sports car. Will just keep an eye on the coolant system and keep reading about what other people have done and are doing keeping these N*'s happy. thanks for the feedback Luke! Hows the summer out there in WY? I remember being in Cody WY, man 15 years ago now, and they had dry ice in the supermarket to keep your groceries cool cause i guess people often traveled hours to go shopping. I liked it out there.

CadillacLuke24
07-05-12, 02:57 PM
Good luck gettin it fixed! I don't think a hole in the CC would cause overheating, but stranger things have occured.

Hey! Thanks for asking :D Not too bad, other than half the state is on fire. Supposed to rain today though, so hopefully no lightning and they will back off. Hahahaha that is true. Even here, with 30k people, we're in the middle of nowhere. Gotta drive 2 hours for a decent sized mall!

Faded Crest
07-05-12, 03:19 PM
I wouldn't panic too fast on the temp. That isn't all that hot when it's in the 90's outside. I ran up the mountains in Western NC in my '94 Eldo yesterday and it ran between 217-228. Temps were in the low 90's. But by evening when it got back into the high 70's, it was right back down to the 198-207 range like it usually is.

rodnok01
07-05-12, 09:47 PM
Mine is running 218 or so in traffic the last week in 100 degrees so so. I would check the coolant with a refractor style checker, you may have the coolant percent off a bit and causing issues. My PA is picky and I had the % off(too much coolant) from a hose change last month and it has been running hotter because of it( 5-10 degrees at most). Just a thought...

walliss34
07-06-12, 07:44 AM
Thanks for the feedback guys. I got the AC charged yesterday. So now with the AC working and the fans coming on, the car is running a bit cooler, it was running 192-205 yesterday i only put 20 miles on it but it is running fine and the ambient temp. was in low 90's. I am happy with it, no doubt the motor is running real good, a successful project!