: Northstar Head/Engine removal



sundog
08-09-12, 09:20 PM
Hallo, I'm new.

Situation:
I have a '99 DeVille D'Elegance, a gift from an Aunt who cherished it, whose children didn't (at least not sufficiently so to invest the necessary time and money), who hoped her nephew just might. Or maybe she just thought I was gullible.
My cousins say it runs great and everything works, it just guzzles antifreeze.
It certainly looks good, and everything I could test without starting the car does indeed work.

First Question: What's involved in removing the heads? My Haynes manual says special tools and procedures are involved and to let the dealer handle this job. I suspect this effort would be a waste of time, which I'm willing to gamble but not if I have to pay for it.

Second Question: Can the engine be removed through the hood opening? Is it advisable? Is there a readily available manual that details the procedure?
My Haynes says to drop the subframe complete with the entire driveline, then lift the car off of it. I'm not equipped for that sort of operation.

vincentm
08-09-12, 09:56 PM
1) Use the Haynes for a bon fire (winter is around the corner, should burn niceley), Get an alldatadiy.com subscription.

2)Has a block test been performed to confirm HG failure, if not, do one.

3) Is it over heating?

4) Do a block test, do a block test, do a block test

5) It can be removed from the top, most folks here prefer the GM recommendation of dropping it out the bottom, But GM shows one how to yank her out the top too.

6) Look through my started posts, i posted a GM manual step by step procedure on yanking out the top. Matter of fact, here you go:

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/226769-northstar-removal-guide-feedback-wanted.html
(http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/226769-northstar-removal-guide-feedback-wanted.html)


7) DO A BLOCK TEST!

Ranger
08-09-12, 10:33 PM
If you are going to attempt this job do yourself a BIG favor and get a FSM by Helm Inc. Ebay is your friend.

Don't burn the Haynes manual. You'll need something to sop up the oil and coolant from the garage floor.

Submariner409
08-09-12, 11:44 PM
When you finally get a positive diagnosis for head gasket condition then you need to steel yourself that the best way to do a decent job of machining the block for head bolt hole inserts and replacing the head gaskets is to drop the drivetrain out the bottom of the car. All of the pointers are in here, up in the sticky posts ^^^ and in the Cadillac Tech Tips (Discussions, Item Specific) forums. You have three amateur weeks of engine work ahead of you.

Get a real GM/Helm shop manual.

vincentm
08-09-12, 11:47 PM
If you are going to attempt this job do yourself a BIG favor and get a FSM by Helm Inc. Ebay is your friend.

Don't burn the Haynes manual. You'll need something to sop up the oil and coolant from the garage floor.


It does make for great shop towels, forgot about that lol

CadillacLuke24
08-10-12, 12:05 AM
Definitely do the block test first though. You may get REALLY lucky and have a leaking crossover, surge tank, or connection elsewhere.

vincentm
08-10-12, 12:59 AM
Definitely do the block test first though. You may get REALLY lucky and have a leaking crossover, surge tank, or connection elsewhere.

Leaking crossover is not lucky...have you removed one yourself with the engine still in? Holy shit, id rather have a hangover from Olde English 800...

CadillacLuke24
08-10-12, 01:34 AM
Better than HGs, no?

sundog
08-10-12, 01:36 PM
Thanx everyone, I'm on it.

CadillacLuke24
08-10-12, 02:30 PM
Good luck. Once you get everything figured out and decide what to do with it, come back here if you want to fix the HGs. There's one really good mechanic within reasonable range if you want it fixed, or we have sveral members who've done this job if you're up for the challenge.

sundog
08-10-12, 10:34 PM
Could you describe a "Block Test" for me? Don't worry about keeping it simple. I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything.

Ranger
08-10-12, 10:43 PM
A picture is worth a thousand words. Hope these work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHp5E7XnbXo&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCPMW84_zAc&feature=related

sundog
08-10-12, 11:40 PM
Thanx. I'll check them out as soon as I can get to them with a computer that isn't on dial-up.

Submariner409
08-11-12, 10:51 AM
www.sjdiscounttools.com/lis75500.html (http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/lis75500.html)

stoveguyy
08-12-12, 01:34 PM
A gift as in free? Is car nice? Good tires, body and so on? Low miles or 150k? Do u want to pay someone 2500 to fix motor right? Or sell it to someone who can fix it? I have not seen car so I can't say what it's worth.

sundog
08-12-12, 04:04 PM
Yes, yes, yes, 54,407, considering it, not really, I have & that's part of why I'm taking a chance on it.

It's been sitting under trees in Dallas; there are a couple of small paint chips, 3 small parking lot dings, 2 very small dings in the trunk lid (hail, i think - a dry ice fix?), flaky chrome on the bead seat of the rr wheel (wire brushed it; it will now hold air at 35psi, but not at 25), some small gouging in the centers of two of the wheels, & some scuffing on top of the rf fender which I think will polish out. There is also some slightly noticeable gouging in the right plastic taillight moulding showing the car wasn't deep enough into the garage when the overhead door was closed. I washed it and in spite of these details the car looks quite good, and I don't think I'll have much trouble caring for most of them.
The interior is perfect, needs cleaning and that's it.
I met with a fellow from Wichita yesterday who is reputed to be perhaps one of the most knowledgeable and competent N* people around (and, small world that this is, the business partner of a long-time good friend). He hasn't seen the car, but we discussed it at length and developed a diagnostic plan. Based on my description, he 1) isn't convinced the head gaskets are bad, 2) detailed a fix if they are, and 3) has a couple of motors on pallets just in case my problem goes beyond anything anticipated, neither of which he would install without re-threading even though they're in fine shape.
I'm going to dive into this as soon as I clear the desk of a couple of crises.
A week ago, I considered following the advice of every one I know and running from this thing. I'm now somewhere between cautiously and somewhat confidently optimistic.

89falcon
08-17-12, 11:18 PM
Yes, yes, yes, 54,407, considering it, not really, I have & that's part of why I'm taking a chance on it.

It's been sitting under trees in Dallas; there are a couple of small paint chips, 3 small parking lot dings, 2 very small dings in the trunk lid (hail, i think - a dry ice fix?), flaky chrome on the bead seat of the rr wheel (wire brushed it; it will now hold air at 35psi, but not at 25), some small gouging in the centers of two of the wheels, & some scuffing on top of the rf fender which I think will polish out. There is also some slightly noticeable gouging in the right plastic taillight moulding showing the car wasn't deep enough into the garage when the overhead door was closed. I washed it and in spite of these details the car looks quite good, and I don't think I'll have much trouble caring for most of them.
The interior is perfect, needs cleaning and that's it.
I met with a fellow from Wichita yesterday who is reputed to be perhaps one of the most knowledgeable and competent N* people around (and, small world that this is, the business partner of a long-time good friend). He hasn't seen the car, but we discussed it at length and developed a diagnostic plan. Based on my description, he 1) isn't convinced the head gaskets are bad, 2) detailed a fix if they are, and 3) has a couple of motors on pallets just in case my problem goes beyond anything anticipated, neither of which he would install without re-threading even though they're in fine shape.
I'm going to dive into this as soon as I clear the desk of a couple of crises.
A week ago, I considered following the advice of every one I know and running from this thing. I'm now somewhere between cautiously and somewhat confidently optimistic.

If you end up doing the heads, don't use timeserts.....if he says he uses timeserts...send him to this forum!

vincentm
08-18-12, 12:05 AM
Id stud it or nothing but thats just me.

maeng9981
08-19-12, 05:53 AM
A block test will tell if you do have head gasket/bolt problems or not. Nothing, and I mean nothing should be done before the block tests.

Is it overheating?

If you do confirm that those are the suspect ... I personally don't like threaded inserts and I suggest engine studs manufactured for Northstar engines. Though, Norm's inserts is a legitimate repair method too.

If your block test comes out negative ... then it's time to find external leaks.

sundog
08-20-12, 11:29 AM
I finally got a look at the videos - that is a neat, simple test. I never would've thought of looking for co2. The mechanic here at the bus barn has one of these tools and offered to let me borrow it. It'll be another week before I can get to it - one last crisis on the desk - but at least I'm close to getting a handle on this thing.

Submariner409
08-21-12, 12:17 PM
www.sjdiscounttools.com/lis75500.html (http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/lis75500.html)

"How to be fun and popular with the neighborhood Northstar crowd !!!"

Don't try to outguess the tester - follow the instructions.