: Time used to install twenty head-bolt time-serts



haymaker
12-06-04, 01:01 AM
I would like to know how many people on this forum have installed the head-bolt time-sert repair themselves? I would also like to know if you are a DIYíser, a professional mechanic and for sure if you a Cadillac mechanic? If you donít mind I also would like to know how many engines you have time-serted? Oh yes the last question how long did it take you to install the time-serts (all twenty)?

The total time should include all prep time; getting the tools in place, covering all openings in the block to prevent shavings contamination of the cooling, oil and combustion systems (cylinders and pistons). In other words from the time the heads are removed and the block gasket surface was cleaned and of course you having everything in the shop and yourself being at the ready, any time used from that point on should be considered time-sert install time until the last one is installed.

I think some here having never installed even one time-sert, much less twenty and believe it is a fast and easy job. I would like to set the record strait and give everyone on the forum a true and honest answer as to the time needed to complete this task.

I will go first. I had posted earlier that it took me a full eight hours to install twenty time-serts. That is true. I guess, if I remove the lunch, coffee and bathroom breaks I could cut it down to maybe six and a half hours but not much less. I reinstalled the front cover, taped the crankshaft opening, and taped over the timing chain cavities then draped a cloth over the remainder of the block-deck surface to prevent shavings contamination. Of course the draped cloth needed to be moved for every new cylinder. One problem I found was the need to find a hole with good threads that would take a bolt to hold the drill fixture in place. I know the fixture has three holes to place and tighten the bolts but many times only one block head bolt hole had usable threads. It became a puzzle as to turning and flipping the drill fixture to find a good bolt thread to hold the drill fixture in place in sequence to time-sert the next or any hole. The problem being the block threads came out with the head bolts on close to half of the holes during the head bolts removal.
I removed the drill and cleaned the holes of shavings three times per hole; I also used the same process for tapping the threads three steps then removing the drill fixture and cleaning the hole several times before applying the loctite and install the time-sert all based on the instructions sheet provided in the time-sert kit.

I know at least three other here that have labored in the time-sert department. Can you blow me out of the water based on your time used to install twenty time-serts?

My guess being less than two-dozen on the forum have installed a head-bolt time-sert! Prove me wrong..Ö

Spyder
12-06-04, 01:38 AM
Havn't done it yet, but have tentative plans to do it this next summer...I've got a 94 N* with bad rod bearings...want to replace them and do the timesert then sell the motor off...more of a learning project than a money making one...I figure it'll be spread out over many many weekends and thursday nights in my garage, with my fresh flowing beer tap next to my tool box. :)

Rob Benham
12-06-04, 02:21 AM
Beer?? It that to wash the swarf away, or does it make the tap cut better? :histeric:

Seriously though, is it better to remove the bolts hot or cold to preseve some thread. i'm asuming that if everthing was ready, you could get to the bolts while there was considderable residual heat.

botboy
12-06-04, 03:53 AM
I did it on a project northstar I've been working on for the past couple months, eventually the engine's going to go in either an S10 or 60-66 chevy truck (haven't decided yet). I did the engine's time-serts about an hour a day for a week, although I didn't rush anything and didn't have to worry about getting chips in the cylinders, because the engine was completely torn apart at the time, sitting on an engine stand. Paid $210 for a used time-sert set off ebay, bought more serts from the company, and later sold the kit for $175 once I had finished with what I needed it for. I did all 20 serts, and consider myself a DIY-er.

Check out my website at www.speedyoldtruck.com

sts96
12-06-04, 12:24 PM
Did 20 timeserts with the block assy. on a engine stand.
no hurry took about 8 hrs. sts96

haymaker
12-06-04, 03:24 PM
sts96.

I think eight hours is about right it shows you took your time and was careful to do it right the first time. I guess if you started with a bare block on an engine stand, most of the block threads useable, planned to completely clean it inside and out before reassembly you could maybe cut the time down a couple of hours.

You had the N* that developed a crack in the block on the front side, right? My Cadillac service manager said they replaced one under warranty that cracked like yours but on the rear set of cylinders.

haymaker
12-06-04, 03:55 PM
botboy.

I checked out your old chevy. Looks like a good project. How were you planning to install the N* complete with transaxle or were you planning to find a transmission to fit the N* and mount it inline (conventionally)? The entire drive train would probably fit in the full sized truck but may be a problem in the S-10. From outside to outside of the front tires, I measured close to 71Ē on my 97 SLS. I have a 52 chevy two door hardtop as a project. I have it setup for a 350 chevy now. It is still in pieces in my garage waiting for the body to be dipped to remove any and all rust. After working on my N* I have been getting the itch to see if one would fit in my 52. I wanted to swap the cradle and all with a few modifications of course.

haymaker
12-06-04, 05:19 PM
Beer?? It that to wash the swarf away, or does it make the tap cut better? :histeric:

Seriously though, is it better to remove the bolts hot or cold to preseve some thread. i'm asuming that if everthing was ready, you could get to the bolts while there was considderable residual heat.
Rob.
I never cared much for trying to remove an engine while it was still hot.
I saw a post here a while back in which someone claimed they could drop the drive train in about 1 Ĺ hrs but even in that length of time the engine would be somewhat cool. I would think the norm for someone that has dropped a few N* cradles would a lot closer to 4 or more hrs.

If you were thinking about the loctite on the head bolts being soft at the normal operating temp that still wouldnít work. If I remember correctly loctite must be heated to 350-450F in order to soften or melt. I donít know if the substance on the factory head bolts is truly loctite or some other substance? The loctite melting point would still be higher that the limp-home overheat temp, which is less than 300F, if not the loctite would be useless.

The head bolts require a lot of force to break loose including the ones that bring the threads along and you donít know until the second revolution of the breaker bar which ones have stripped. I doubt being 100 degrees warmer would make much difference.

haymaker
12-06-04, 05:23 PM
Havn't done it yet, but have tentative plans to do it this next summer...I've got a 94 N* with bad rod bearings...want to replace them and do the timesert then sell the motor off...more of a learning project than a money making one...I figure it'll be spread out over many many weekends and thursday nights in my garage, with my fresh flowing beer tap next to my tool box. :)
Spyder.

If you lived closer I would bring my time-sert kit over and help you.

zonie77
12-07-04, 08:14 PM
My brother and I did two so far. The first took about 5.5 hours but that was with two guys. We didn't tape much, used a shop vac to catch the chips. That time is what I would say the timesert job took. You have to pull the heads etc. anyway. It includes most of the cleanup time. Two guys saves some time but not a whole bunch.

sts96
12-07-04, 08:50 PM
Yes I had The engine with a Freeze crack, the one that I timeserted. Replaced it with a 96 vin 9 with 81k mile engine two weeks later had to replace the tranny. Now know several ways to take them apart. LOL sts96

Spyder
12-08-04, 12:12 AM
haymaker...would you be willing to sell the kit or do ya want to keep it?

STS 310
12-08-04, 12:21 AM
:worship: 96, you have been there my man.

Wish 96 was a little more west!!!

haymaker
12-08-04, 12:44 AM
Zonie77.
Sts96.
botboy.

Thanks for the replies.
Did you guys notice any difference in the drill shavings as you moved from hole to hole? I noticed that most of the holes produced nice long sharp shavings but some of the holes produced broken small shavings as if the material in that hole was shattered or broken into smaller pieces. I also ask, did any of you notice the head bolts being oily with standing oil or coolant in any of the head bolt cavities? The head bolt cavities are supposed to be dry. Did you guys notice any loose head bolts during disassembly of your engines? I donít mean finger tight but much, much less tight than the others. Did any of these engines overheat all the way into limp-home mode?

I know that these questions have nothing to do with the time required to time-sert but the people that have completed the time-sert repair are the more qualified to answer the above questions.

haymaker
12-08-04, 01:11 AM
haymaker...would you be willing to sell the kit or do ya want to keep it?
Spyder.

I paid soooo much for the time-sert kit that I willed it to my next of kin (it is now lost, somewhere in my estate). I fully expect it will be sold for $5.00 or less in a garage sale in the not too distant future.

In reality I plan to use it again but as I said if you were closer you could use it and I would be willing to help.

haymaker
12-08-04, 01:40 AM
Yes I had The engine with a Freeze crack, the one that I timeserted. Replaced it with a 96 vin 9 with 81k mile engine two weeks later had to replace the tranny. Now know several ways to take them apart. LOL sts96
Sts96.

Your block developing a crack several thousand miles after the freezing event in my own opinion, this is very suspect. Maybe aluminum reacts different than cast-iron but for the engine to live several thousand miles after the freeze without a leak just doesnít seam right. My first car, 55 chevy had a cracked block from freezing but the leak appeared as soon as it thawed not several thousand miles later. I wonder if the temperature in the block being above 262F rather than being less than 32F caused the problem?

botboy
12-08-04, 05:53 AM
botboy.

I checked out your old chevy. Looks like a good project. How were you planning to install the N* complete with transaxle or were you planning to find a transmission to fit the N* and mount it inline (conventionally)? The entire drive train would probably fit in the full sized truck but may be a problem in the S-10. From outside to outside of the front tires, I measured close to 71Ē on my 97 SLS. I have a 52 chevy two door hardtop as a project. I have it setup for a 350 chevy now. It is still in pieces in my garage waiting for the body to be dipped to remove any and all rust. After working on my N* I have been getting the itch to see if one would fit in my 52. I wanted to swap the cradle and all with a few modifications of course.

I was planning on mounting it conventionally, I bought the engine less drivetrain so I don't have a wrong wheel drive transmission for it. For now I'm thinking 700r4 but eventually I'd like to have a manual behind it, problem mostly lies in the lack of available transmissions with overdrives (or better yet, dual overdrives like the zf or T56) that can withstand abuse, and the extreme cost of transmission and flywheel ($420 from chrfab).

The S10 idea was just tossed out by a friend of mine who wants to see me throw it in an S10 blazer he picked up for cheap....around here S10s with a little surface rust are pennies on the dollar. I've seen 454's and even 502's wedged under the hoods of S10's but i realize with the cammer setup the northstar might even be a little wider than that. Maybe I just need a shoehorn and some KY jelly to fit the lil fugger in there.

I'd love to throw it in my '72, which would certainly have enough room for the engine (and enough additional room to smuggle a few mexicans accross the border to boot...nevermind). Problem with that is that my '72 is a heavy ass truck, and the northstar was designed with HP in mind over torque, so I might consider doing it with a gear swap and a tranny that has a pretty deep overdrive for descent cruising, but I'd be worried about the abilities of the northstar to tow. Of course with that much additional space I'd get really tempted to do something evil, like fab up my own aluminum manifold to drop an eaton M90 up top. For the time being I'm going to play with fuel injection on my '72 (TBI) with the programming tools I just bought. Expect some fun progress when I start working again next summer, and can actually afford to finish the rebuilding on the engine that I started. My current goal is to have the truck sitting on independent rear suspension before spring break of 05, and some other ambitious tricks to suprise the local riceburner population.

Originally my goal was to drop the rebuilt northstar in my '70 chevelle, which had more than enough room and was a ton-o-fun to drive but I sold that car.

sts96
12-08-04, 09:05 AM
Yes there was a range of drill and tap shavings from stringy to granular upon tear down of the engine for salvage also found
stripped main bolt thread. All questions yes.
My theory about the crack is freeze damage at the bottom of cyls. where least amount of give is were short fractures placed in more stress with new gaskets, bolts etc. until thermo cycling caused them to join end to end at that point the stop leak could not hold. The other side of block has 1 short fracture on 1 cyl. visible. Limp in got it home from 23 miles away the engine ran strong to the very end. never had any other car that could do that after such bad treatnent from previous owner. LOL sts96

growe3
12-08-04, 03:41 PM
I have Timeserted two engines, both 93's.

With the engine on a stand, oil drains taped over and front cover area covered carefully. It took about 7.5 to 8 hours each time.

You need to be careful and CLEAN when installing, to assure proper depth and a good bond.

-George

haymaker
12-08-04, 07:30 PM
Sts96.

How much did they want for a core charge on your old N*?
I have been thinking of picking up a N* core at the wrecking yard to do a more through investigation of the head bolt threads then either time-sert it or if it has too many problems take it back.

The N* makes a lot of noise on cool down after a limp home.

haymaker
12-08-04, 08:09 PM
growe3.

I saw a potential problem with shaving finding their way into any opening on the block. A lot of shavings flying around a lot of openings could spell disaster. As soon as I started drilling the first hole I found another potential problem, that being the drilling of an oval rather than a nice round hole because of torque reaction of the drill motor and shavings buildup in the hole.
I removed the drill and drill fixture sleeve three times per hole to remove the shavings same with the tap, a third of the way at a time and the same with the cleaning. Then after five minutes drying time for the brake cleaner I blew out the hole again before installing the time-sert.

What torque and torque-angle values did you use on the new head bolts?

haymaker
12-08-04, 08:12 PM
Botboy.

Keep us posted on your progress.

sts96
12-08-04, 08:50 PM
In my case the core charge was $ 50.00 would have cost that much just in gas to return it so just kept it. now have lots of spare parts. (heads ,manifolds,injectors,coil packs,ect.)
sts 96

haymaker
12-08-04, 11:52 PM
In my case the core charge was $ 50.00 would have cost that much just in gas to return it so just kept it. now have lots of spare parts. (heads ,manifolds,injectors,coil packs,ect.)
sts 96
A $50.00 core charge is very encouraging, Iíll check around here to see what the going rate maybe. Having spare parts is always a good idea. Btw what torque and torque angle values did you apply to your new head bolts?

growe3
12-09-04, 12:06 AM
growe3.

I saw a potential problem with shaving finding their way into any opening on the block. A lot of shavings flying around a lot of openings could spell disaster. As soon as I started drilling the first hole I found another potential problem, that being the drilling of an oval rather than a nice round hole because of torque reaction of the drill motor and shavings buildup in the hole.
I removed the drill and drill fixture sleeve three times per hole to remove the shavings same with the tap, a third of the way at a time and the same with the cleaning. Then after five minutes drying time for the brake cleaner I blew out the hole again before installing the time-sert.

What torque and torque-angle values did you use on the new head bolts?

25 lbs, +90 degrees, +90 degrees.

A couple of pounds over, but easier to read on the torque wrench.

No problems drilling or tapping, and as you note it is important to clear the drill bit and tap several times, to keep things going smooth.

I used a 1/2" variable speed drill motor.

-George

zonie77
12-09-04, 12:24 AM
We didn't watch for differences in shavings but if we do another we will.

They both ran OK but overheated with any, and I mean "any", load. Slight uphill or acceleration would cause overheating once it was warmed up.

Yes, some bolts were oily, threads pulled.

haymaker
12-09-04, 12:52 AM
growe3.

I think the values that you used maybe the better way to tighten the head bolts. I think my Chiltonís manual states the 22 lb/ft Ė90 degrees-90 degrees values. The two steps of 90 degrees each eliminates the need for the torque angle gauge (at least in my opinion) just set the torque wrench at 12:00 oíclock turn it to 3:00 oíclock through all ten bolts in sequence and then repeat. I used the new values 30 lb/ft-70 degrees-60 degrees-60 degrees for a total of 190 degrees. Someone had posted earlier of using the values of 30 lb/ft-70-70-60 degrees for a total of 200 degrees but some of his time-serts pulled out. Just my own opinion and yes I do agree with the concept of torque angle for tightening bolts but the torque angle gauge has to be the most cumbersome tool I think I have ever usedÖ

haymaker
12-09-04, 01:12 AM
We didn't watch for differences in shavings but if we do another we will.

They both ran OK but overheated with any, and I mean "any", load. Slight uphill or acceleration would cause overheating once it was warmed up.

Yes, some bolts were oily, threads pulled.
Zonie77.

Did you notice any of the oily bolts being loose say maybe less than 20-30 lb/ft to remove? Any standing oil in the bottoms of these holes and you would remember because of all the mess when you hit them with compressed air?
I could make mine overheat in the driveway after it had reached operating temp by holding the rpms at 2500 for a few minutes. It would dump the coolant out of the overflow on the coolant recovery tank then start to overheat. Both fans running flat out and the water pump turning itís heart out. Both head gaskets were blown on my N* so that 15 lb radiator cap didnít have much of a chance.

sts96
12-09-04, 09:05 AM
Haymaker
The head bolt torque I used was, first pass 30 lb. ft.
Second pass 70 degrees
Third pass 60 degrees
Forth pass 60 degrees
sts96

zonie77
12-10-04, 08:23 PM
The ones with the stripped threads were snug, not tight.They were oily too.

haymaker
12-12-04, 01:22 AM
I guess I am a little disappointed that not more on the forum have personally completed the time-sert repair or at least were willing to share that experience. So far five have posted. Maybe this repair is not a true do it yourself project?
I do want to thank all those that were willing to come forward and state the time they needed to complete the time-sert job. With so few in the mix I donít know that it would be fair to calculate the time used figure but I will any way. I guess the numbers can be recalculated if others come forward.
Haymaker 1 N* twenty inserts 8 hours
Botboy--- 1 N* twenty inserts 7 hours.(no need to cover openings in block)
Sts96-----1 N* twenty inserts 8 hours.
Zonie77--2 N* forty inserts 11 hours. (did not cover openings in block two people working)
Growe3--2 N* forty inserts 15.5 hours.

7 N* time-serted, 49.5 hours total, 49.5 hours divided by seven= 7.07+ hours on average in this small group to complete this repair.

growe3
12-12-04, 11:59 AM
Hi Haymaker,
I think this was an interesting thread, at least to us DIY'ers. I could have worked a little faster and shaved off about an hour, but I wanted to be thorough and do it ONCE correctly.

I know of at least two others who have completed the job. I helped them through a few of the procedures to be sure all went OK.

I think some may feel uncomfortable that they took such a long time to complete the repair, peer pressure you know, and may not want to post their time.

Personally I congratulate anyone who has successfully completed this procedure. It is quite a job just to get to the point of doing the TimeSert repairs. The plus side is of course a good running engine again and a wealth of knowledge on the rest of the engine you had to disassemble and re assemble.

-George

Pjs
12-12-04, 01:12 PM
I guess I am a little disappointed that not more on the forum have personally completed the time-sert repair or at least were willing to share that experience. So far five have posted. Maybe this repair is not a true do it yourself project?
I do want to thank all those that were willing to come forward and state the time they needed to complete the time-sert job. With so few in the mix I don’t know that it would be fair to calculate the time used figure but I will any way. I guess the numbers can be recalculated if others come forward.
Haymaker 1 N* twenty inserts 8 hours
Botboy--- 1 N* twenty inserts 7 hours.(no need to cover openings in block)
Sts96-----1 N* twenty inserts 8 hours.
Zonie77--2 N* forty inserts 11 hours. (did not cover openings in block two people working)
Growe3--2 N* forty inserts 15.5 hours.

7 N* time-serted, 49.5 hours total, 49.5 hours divided by seven= 7.07+ hours on average in this small group to complete this repair.

I haven't had to do my headgaskets yet (knock on wood) but I just got done timeserting the main bearing bolt holes. I used lots of tape and paper towels to keep the chips out of the pistons and upper block and used a shop vac. I already had the block disassembled for the 1/2 case seals, but the twenty holes took an average of 15 mins each for a total of 5 hours.

haymaker
12-12-04, 05:50 PM
Pjs.

Does the time-sert main bolt kit also use a drill fixture plate of some sort? In other words do you need to remove and re-setup a guide or drill fixture plate for every new hole? I havenít needed that repair. Thanks for posting the time needed, it helps others that may be facing that repair. Were some of the threads stripped or did you install the inserts for a little bit of mechanical insurance?
Btw do the main bolts have the thread-locking agent like the head bolts?

Pjs
12-13-04, 06:00 AM
The kit includes a drill fixture plate and drill bushing with a pick-up pin, tap, insert driver, 10 inserts, driver oil & locktite. When I first took the bottom end apart, I was very careful to break the bolts by hand instead of using an impact. There was a stray thread here and there that came out with the bolts. There was some confusion concerning the oil plate and windage tray when I reassemebled the bottom end and consequently ended up had to take it apart a couple of times. The 3rd time I went to torque the bolts down is when one of them stripped. At that point I decided to bite the bullet and do all 20 holes. I did not see any kind of locking agent on the main bolts, and the book does not call for any. I reused my old bolts. I took a lot of pictures during this project including the timesert process. Let me know if you'd like them posted :)

haymaker
12-13-04, 11:53 PM
The kit includes a drill fixture plate and drill bushing with a pick-up pin, tap, insert driver, 10 inserts, driver oil & locktite. When I first took the bottom end apart, I was very careful to break the bolts by hand instead of using an impact. There was a stray thread here and there that came out with the bolts. There was some confusion concerning the oil plate and windage tray when I reassemebled the bottom end and consequently ended up had to take it apart a couple of times. The 3rd time I went to torque the bolts down is when one of them stripped. At that point I decided to bite the bullet and do all 20 holes. I did not see any kind of locking agent on the main bolts, and the book does not call for any. I reused my old bolts. I took a lot of pictures during this project including the timesert process. Let me know if you'd like them posted :)
Iíll bet a lot of people here would like to see the pictures, I know I would.
Btw does the manual stipulate the bolts being installed cleaned and dry or oiled?

Pjs
12-14-04, 10:46 PM
***Note*** I loaded these images in order, but web site is getting them out of order and I can't seem to fix it

Here is the basic timesert process for the main bearing bolts:

The crankshaft must be removed in order to do this. You WILL have to replace the rod bearings. A set at the dealer is about $250

1. Mount the drill fixture. Leave the bolts loose as you still have to pick up and center the hole to be repaired.

2. Insert pick up pin through drill bushing to pick up the hole center. You need to make real sure that your on the center. Once your centered, gently tighten the fixure bolts.

3. The instructions call for a 1/2" drill, all I had was a 3/8" varible speed which worked fine for this application. The tap will not fit into a 3/8" chuck, but if you lock a 3/8"-1/4" socket adaptor (1/4" side) into the chuck, the tap will fit into the 3/8" opening. With the drill bushing inserted in the fixture, drill out the hole. I would recommend to use either tap-magic cutting oil or WD-40, I used WD-40. The drill bit has a stop collar on it to get your hole the right depth. Make sure that you remove the drill bit a couple times to clear the chips, Also make sure that the stop collar goes all the way to the drill bushing. A shop vac is a must when extracting the bit to suck all the chips out of the way. Compressed air is another must to get all the crap out of the bottom of the hole.

4. This is how the hole should look after drilling and cleaning.

5. Coat the tap with cutting oil and tap the hole. Go about 1 to 1 1/2 revolutions and reverse the tap to break the chips. Clear the chips from the hole at least twice. Notice the shank of the tap has a groove cut into it. This groove should be at the top of the drill bushing when the tap is bottomed. Be careful that you don't exert too much pressure at the end of the cutting and break the tap.

6. After clearing the chips from the hole, use either carb cleaner or brake cleaner to clean the hole. I used carb cleaner with a small tube nozzle and used the vac shop to suck it out and then hit it with the shop air....and no, the shop vac never caught on fire :eek:

7. Put a few drops of driver oil (supplied in the kit) on the insert driver then screw an insert on a few threads. On the outside of the insert, put a couple of drops of Lock-Tite (supplied w/ kit) and screw into the hole (through the drill bushing). The driver also has a groove cut into it, keep turning until the groove is at the top of the drill bushing. Towards the bottom of the hole, the driver will start to get tight, keep turning and you'll feel it loosen up again, this is where the bottom threads get locked in.

8. Once you remove the driver, clean the hole one last time to make sure there is no debris. Clean the driver bushing of any Lock-Tite that may have gotten in the bore. Once your done with all the holes I cannot stress enough to spend as much time as possible going over the engine checking for stray chips. I used lots of tape and paper towels but a few stray chips still found their way into a couple piston bores.

haymaker
12-15-04, 07:01 PM
Pjs.

Great job. Thanks for the detailed explanation and photo layout. Itís too bad the timesert website doesnít include better instructions with pictures to clarify this and the head bolt time-sert installation procedures.

Pjs
12-15-04, 08:30 PM
The instructions included with the kit are just a little vague and I did have to call timesert to clarify a couple of things, which by the way I have to say their customer service gets a 5 star rating...those guys rock. If you order anything, make sure you talk w/ Donna on the order desk...she's the shiznit:)

If I end up having to do the head gaskets I'll defintely do a whole pictoral including the timesert process. Hopefully it won't need to be done before it gets warm again.

caddywhizkid
12-15-04, 08:57 PM
I would like to know how many people on this forum have installed the head-bolt time-sert repair themselves? I would also like to know if you are a DIYíser, a professional mechanic and for sure if you a Cadillac mechanic? If you donít mind I also would like to know how many engines you have time-serted? Oh yes the last question how long did it take you to install the time-serts (all twenty)?

The total time should include all prep time; getting the tools in place, covering all openings in the block to prevent shavings contamination of the cooling, oil and combustion systems (cylinders and pistons). In other words from the time the heads are removed and the block gasket surface was cleaned and of course you having everything in the shop and yourself being at the ready, any time used from that point on should be considered time-sert install time until the last one is installed.

I think some here having never installed even one time-sert, much less twenty and believe it is a fast and easy job. I would like to set the record strait and give everyone on the forum a true and honest answer as to the time needed to complete this task.

I will go first. I had posted earlier that it took me a full eight hours to install twenty time-serts. That is true. I guess, if I remove the lunch, coffee and bathroom breaks I could cut it down to maybe six and a half hours but not much less. I reinstalled the front cover, taped the crankshaft opening, and taped over the timing chain cavities then draped a cloth over the remainder of the block-deck surface to prevent shavings contamination. Of course the draped cloth needed to be moved for every new cylinder. One problem I found was the need to find a hole with good threads that would take a bolt to hold the drill fixture in place. I know the fixture has three holes to place and tighten the bolts but many times only one block head bolt hole had usable threads. It became a puzzle as to turning and flipping the drill fixture to find a good bolt thread to hold the drill fixture in place in sequence to time-sert the next or any hole. The problem being the block threads came out with the head bolts on close to half of the holes during the head bolts removal.
I removed the drill and cleaned the holes of shavings three times per hole; I also used the same process for tapping the threads three steps then removing the drill fixture and cleaning the hole several times before applying the loctite and install the time-sert all based on the instructions sheet provided in the time-sert kit.

I know at least three other here that have labored in the time-sert department. Can you blow me out of the water based on your time used to install twenty time-serts?

My guess being less than two-dozen on the forum have installed a head-bolt time-sert! Prove me wrong..Ö
I can do the job start to finish running to running in about 10 hrs.

haymaker
12-16-04, 02:09 AM
I can do the job start to finish running to running in about 10 hrs.

Do you mean from the time you drill the first hole until the last time-sert has been installed or do you mean from the time you drop the cradle until the time the engine is repaired and restarted?

caddywhizkid
12-16-04, 05:53 PM
Ok let me clarify, from the time the car comes in to the time it leaves. 10hrs if just headgaskets, with time serts about 14-15 hrs. from when it comes in to when it leaves total job. I have done at least a dozen of the time sert jobs and probably 15 or so headgasket jobs, lots of practice. Also this is at work, not at home.

Spyder
12-16-04, 08:25 PM
So you're saying that you do headgaskets without doing the timeserts on N*'s? Not the smartest thing to do, kind sir. It's pretty common knowledge that Timserts must be done when the heads come off. You should speak to your shop manager about this and have them change their practices.

BeelzeBob
12-16-04, 08:42 PM
There are many many Northstar head gaskets done with no need for the timeserts.....

Call chrfab and talk to AJ and ask him how many of his 700 HP dual turbo and supercharged sand car motors have timeserted blocks....not many. he only timeserts if absolutely necessary due to a repair or if the customer mandates it.

The fact is that the blocks are pretty tough and the head bolt holes are pretty strong. I have seen the heads come off the same engine in development 10 or 12 times without timeserts....

The odds seem to change with time and miles. Galvanic corrosion of the head bolts to the aluminum threads which damages them when they are removed?? Many more thermal cycles thru the years causing more fatigue on the threads?? Improper/lack of cleanup of the threads in the block causes problems at reassembly??? Whatever the reason there seems to be a relative good chance that an older engine might loose one or two head bolts when reassembled if the timeserts are not used. That is why it is somewhat universal advice to timesert the block on an older, high mileage engine. It is just easier, for insurance, to timesert the block and avoid a potential problem at reassembly. But the threads and such are designed and tested to function correctly without the timeserts. They are not mandatory.

I personally recommend them but it is really not correct to berate someone for not using them unless absolutely necessary.

I know that some of the engines come apart and appear to have lost the head bolt hole threads on one or more bolts but I think it is much more common to have the head gasket leak due to corrosion, old age and lots of thermalcycling (the fire ring cracks discussed on a forum members engine some time ago), etc. and then a head bolt hole is stripped at reassembly due to a nicked head bolt thread, cleaning the holes out with a cutting tap (which ruins the threads), lack of cleaning the holes that causes galling, use of antisieize or other lubricant on the head bolt threads, etc... Then, when the head bolt strips the mechanic blames the engine, not the (wrong)procedures used. I have seen mechanics use white teflon pipe dope on the Northstar head bolt threads because that is what they were taught to do 50 years ago....that will strip them instantly!!! Not the head bolt's fault nor the aluminum threads in the block.

haymaker
12-17-04, 01:17 AM
Ok let me clarify, from the time the car comes in to the time it leaves. 10hrs if just headgaskets, with time serts about 14-15 hrs. from when it comes in to when it leaves total job. I have done at least a dozen of the time sert jobs and probably 15 or so headgasket jobs, lots of practice. Also this is at work, not at home.
caddywhizkid.
Thanks for posting your hours used in time-serting. Youíre just the guy I wanted to talk to. A dealership mechanic that is willing to post an answer to a fair question. Your up!

I think myself and others on the forum would like to know the detailed breakdown of the hours you used, and the book hours (the time on average the service department uses to determine the cost to the customer) for each of these steps of the repair.
1. Removal of the engine?
2. Disassembly of the engine?
3. Installation of the time-serts?
4. Assembly of the engine?
5. Installation of the engine?
6. All fluids rechecked after warm up, kill old and recheck for any new codes, the test drive and the retesting of the engine to prove the head gasket leak is fixed?

In fairness to all those that have posted their hours in the time-serting job I hope you are willing to state your hours used during your first time-sert job and your hours used during your last timeĖsert job. You have completed so many that in all fairness to this thread I need both figures to recalculate the average.

haymaker
12-18-04, 01:03 AM
Kid. How about it. The flat rate is what I was trying to get at in the above post. Itís almost like a CIA document, for caddy mechanics eyes-only. You can help me all you want I donít have any flames or barbs, I just want a little help and at times extended, descriptive answers.

caddywhizkid
12-18-04, 01:19 AM
To hard to break it down, my first one was probably 20+ hrs strart to finish my last one was WAY less.

caddywhizkid
12-18-04, 01:31 AM
Spyder WTF are you talking about? If you came in to my work I'm sure they would be glad to charge you 700+ to do all 20 bolts but I dont do it unless neccesary.

haymaker
12-18-04, 01:40 AM
To hard to break it down, my first one was probably 20+ hrs strart to finish my last one was WAY less.
Thanks for taking the time to share the info. This is the approximation of the flat rate, right? If you would care to post in regards to the last paragraph in post #45 of this thread it would be very helpful. Thanks for taking the time.

I have one more question for you if you have the time? Is there a number stamped somewhere on the block that one could use to identify the engine as pre year and hp such as the vin Y- 9 and if so where is this number located?
I do intend to pick your brain, after all you asked for it..

caddywhizkid
12-18-04, 01:58 AM
I dont know of any # stamped on the block sorry.

BeelzeBob
12-18-04, 05:17 AM
The VIN of the car that the engine was originally installed in is stamped in a pad on the right front corner of the block...down low on the right front corner just beside the barrel of the transaxle. The block has a pad cast in it specifically for the VIN stamp.....

If you look at the engine on one of the front and rear faces there is usually a small white paper sticker with a three digit alpha code on it. The sticker is only used for in plant identification of an engine type but it usually hangs on pretty good and will tell you the type of engine. If the alpha code has a middle initial of K it is the type "9" engine, an L37 with 300 HP, if it has an M in the middle it is a type "y" engine or an LD8 with 275 HP.

haymaker
12-18-04, 01:17 PM
Thanks bbob. That is very helpful info.
I probably should have started a new thread for that question because now both the question and answer will be lost way down in this thread. Oh wellÖ

haymaker
12-18-04, 02:21 PM
Kid.
When replacing the head gaskets, what was the oldest and or highest mileage N* that did not require time-serting?
Also do you replace all the gaskets involved in this repair? When I time-serted my 97 SLS I noticed the front cover, cam cover and coolant crossover gaskets to be in very good shape.

haymaker
12-19-04, 02:10 AM
To hard to break it down, my first one was probably 20+ hrs strart to finish my last one was WAY less.
Why did you edit your post? Is the flat rate truly a for your eyes only document? I was reading you posted numbers, typed a new post then as I reread you post all the numbers as per hours were gone. Whatís with that? Iím referring to your post #47. If you had a change of heart and decided to edit, I understand. Thanks again for posting.

caddywhizkid
12-21-04, 05:52 PM
Are you looking for the book time the dealer uses, or what it actually takes to do the job?

haymaker
12-22-04, 08:02 PM
Are you looking for the book time the dealer uses, or what it actually takes to do the job?
Both, if you care to?
Several others as myself have had a dealershipís ser vice department quote a price to replace both head gaskets and install all twenty time-serts. The price varies but the parts are the same so hourly rate or book time must be the difference in the price quotes. Iím curious as to the hourly breakdown of each step from engine shutdown to restart both yours and the book time.

caddywhizkid
12-23-04, 08:21 PM
I have no idea off hand but I can tell you when the service advisors look up a job they dont break it down they just look up the entire job. Ex: headgaskets/lower reseal/rearmain etc... Also many dealers have diff sources for labor times, at my work we have three diff sources, and most of the time they are all different. Now when I do a caddy job, like timeserts. I have done so many, that I tear through it like any other job, so when I tell people how long things take, they think I'm full of it. Put it this way I can beat the warranty time by a few hours easy, and warranty time is usually 40% less than customer pay. Also I know some shortcuts, especially on the lower reseals.

caddywhizkid
12-23-04, 08:27 PM
On the ? about mileage, I have done them on cars with well over 100k and on cars with 20k. I think its just the fact that some do it and some dont. I've also seen cars with well over 100k not need inserts.

About changing gaskets, I change all the gaskets I take off. It's just to big of a job to take any chances, most of the ones I do are warranty anyway.

I edited post 47 because I didnt want to hear everybody challenging me on how long things take to do.

mechanix
01-18-05, 05:53 PM
Just curious Haymaker, why are you so concerned with how long it takes to Timesert a block? I am waiting for my Timesert kit to arrive from Reno at this writing. Once it arrives, I couldn't care less how long it takes me to do it. My ONLY priority is a quality repair that will out last the car. After 35 years I've learned that rushing a job only leads to problems.

haymaker
01-18-05, 07:13 PM
Just curious Haymaker, why are you so concerned with how long it takes to Timesert a block? I am waiting for my Timesert kit to arrive from Reno at this writing. Once it arrives, I couldn't care less how long it takes me to do it. My ONLY priority is a quality repair that will out last the car. After 35 years I've learned that rushing a job only leads to problems.
mechanix. I will explain the reason for this thread in my next post but first answer a couple questions. Did you read all the posts in this thread? I see that you have ordered your time-sert kit does that mean as of today you have never install a time-sert? Your answers may help me explain my reasons to you a little better

mechanix
01-18-05, 09:36 PM
I have read all the posts on this thread, but I skipped over the parts that got off-topic. No, I have never installed a timesert. I never even heard of a timesert until a couple of days ago. Thank God for this, most informative forum or I would still be in the dark! *lol* First, I heli-coiled my block because that was the only cure I knew of. Then, when one pulled out as I was torqueing my head on, I did some more digging and found this site. I gathered enough info to call Time Fastener Co. Monday morning and order my bigsert kit. Those little bastards are expensive. Aren't they?! *lol* About $435 with shipping. -Victor

BeelzeBob
01-18-05, 10:57 PM
I have read all the posts on this thread, but I skipped over the parts that got off-topic. No, I have never installed a timesert. I never even heard of a timesert until a couple of days ago. Thank God for this, most informative forum or I would still be in the dark! *lol* First, I heli-coiled my block because that was the only cure I knew of. Then, when one pulled out as I was torqueing my head on, I did some more digging and found this site. I gathered enough info to call Time Fastener Co. Monday morning and order my bigsert kit. Those little bastards are expensive. Aren't they?! *lol* About $435 with shipping. -Victor


Good thing you caught it now because they would have pulled out the first time it warmed up.....

The bigserts are less expensive it you put them in first thing and don't have to buy the helicoils, also....LOL LOL LOL

The bigserts will work fine. Recent experience with two Northstars that had helicoils previously installed and a timesert that pulled out...bigserts repaired both handily.

haymaker
01-18-05, 11:24 PM
I have read all the posts on this thread, but I skipped over the parts that got off-topic. No, I have never installed a timesert. I never even heard of a timesert until a couple of days ago. Thank God for this, most informative forum or I would still be in the dark! *lol* First, I heli-coiled my block because that was the only cure I knew of. Then, when one pulled out as I was torqueing my head on, I did some more digging and found this site. I gathered enough info to call Time Fastener Co. Monday morning and order my bigsert kit. Those little bastards are expensive. Aren't they?! *lol* About $435 with shipping. -Victor
I guess I should clear up your question about why I would be concerned about the length of time to install the inserts. I donít have any concerns regarding the time line it was just a way to start the thread and help answer a question.
A person on this forum with the handle ďNo More CadillacísĒ was asking the question about the hours a Cadillac service tech needed to do a head gasket job along with installing the time-serts in a Northstar engine so I used this thread to try and answer at least part of his question. I was also curious to know how many on the forum had installed the time-serts themselves. As you can see from the posts, not many. Like you said this a very helpful site with many good people willing to pitch in to share their knowledge and experience. I joined this forum to learn about my N* and hopefully understand why the engine was pulling the head bolt threads on its way to blowing the head gasket or gaskets in my case. If you know how to ask your question it will probably be answered. As you can see by reading the posts not only were there answers to the time needed to install the time-serts but more importantly the discussion was expanded as to the procedures used by those installing the inserts, the little ins and outs and what to look out for problems. The head bolt torque figures are also included in these posts. I was trying to get the Caddywizkid to elaborate on his experience with the time-serts in order to gain a little more balance in this thread (DIY and techs). Anyway as the thread progressed I saw we were gathering enough good information from people that had installed the time-serts to help others planning to undertake this task. I wish you good luck on your big-sert installation.

1baddude
01-20-05, 12:16 AM
I've done enough of these things to loose count. I take it the 8 hours is by hand ?Maybe I shoulodn't say this for I don't wanna have anyone upsidedown on their Northstar motor but here goes... Again, don't try this at home if your uncertain about what you are doing or your skills.

The Bolt down plate..... I quit using it after the first couple of 4-6's. Don't even know where it is anymore...
I uses a quality (Matco) 1/2 inch reversable air drill.

Starting with the rasp. With NO Downward pressure applied the rasp will follow the threads straight down. 1/2 way and clean and then finish. I ran all ten holes at the sametime on the last one.

When I tap, I'll run about half way down and back out and clean the hole and then run it again untill it bottoms out on the stop. Clean the hole and run it a third run to debur.. The tap will follow the sides of the bore down so it's gotta go straight. Again, NO PRESSURE...

Load the serts with locktite and drive them in with the installer untill the line meets evenly with the deck serface of the block. It should go in easy finish with a little tension at the end. Don't over torque... Your done .. Bank 1 ( 10 serts ) aprox 1.5 hours. all 20 about 3hrs or so if I'm locked in working by myself and am undisturbed.

Prep time 15 minutes. Put paper into oil drain back holes (You'll be able to fish them back out ), Block off dipstick tube hole, Duct tape over timing chain openings after cleaning with brake clean ( include oil pressure port ) and drape a cloth or good lint free type rag/towel over front of engine.

Auto Tech : 30 Years experiance
ASE : A1,A5,A6,A8 and L1
Sacramento, California

Spyder
01-25-05, 01:57 AM
1baddude...just out of curiosity, where do you work? I'm in Yuba City, just north of you...

zonie77
01-31-05, 09:11 PM
Moving the plate is half the time (or more). You just had the nerve to do it that way!!!!