: "NEW" Northstar?



STS 310
12-18-04, 10:01 PM
Has Cadillac, addressed the "issues"of the "old" Northstar in the 05? Do you still have to maintain the engine with the coolant supplements? Is a head gasket failure something to watch out for like us with our older gen N*'s.

BeelzeBob
12-19-04, 01:18 AM
I doubt that you will see any more head gasket issues.... Beginning with the 04 engines, in particular, The head bolts were changed from a 1.5 pitch bolt to a 2.0 pitch bolt with more thread engagement. This is true for the FWD transverse engines as well as the longitudinal RWD engines.

Prior to that, there were a number of detail changes made to the 2000-2003 engines to strengthen the head bolt interface in the block...specifically more thread engagement due to revised machining of the head bolt holes and revised thread dimensions on the head bolts themselves.

Katshot
12-19-04, 07:25 AM
Not bad. 10 years and they're still trying to keep the heads on those engines. Great engine. :annoyed:
The REAL question is, will they be tough enough to handle the forced-induction that's due to be applied to them in order to compete with the competition? Anybody want to bet?

Pjs
12-19-04, 10:54 AM
I'm curious as to why thread inserts aren't installed during the manufacture? I would speculate that it's all to do with the bottom line and cost, but given the fact that GM identified a probable weakness in the head bolt area, then had an ancillary company devise a solution to fix the problem. 10 yrs later they've changed interface area and thread dimensions, but is that going to keep the threads from pulling after these engines get a few years and lots of miles on them?

dkozloski
12-19-04, 12:13 PM
The old air-cooled Volkswagon engines were 10 times worse than any Northstar for pulled threads in the crankcase from bad design and the wrong pitch threads. The only reason it didn't get more coverage was that there was no water to leak and make a mess. You never saw such a bunch of junk as you would get when you ordered a rebuilt VW motor. There would be every kind of epoxy and goop repair. It's no wonder you rarely see them anymore. Around here it was a minor miracle if the engine lasted more than one winter. The center main bearing would spin in the crankcase and the crank would break as a result of cold weather operation and differential exapansion of the bearing shell and the magnesium case. The German engineers would stand there and tell you with a straight face that there was nothing wrong with design as the wrecker would drag another one in the door.

BeelzeBob
12-19-04, 01:02 PM
Not bad. 10 years and they're still trying to keep the heads on those engines. Great engine. :annoyed:
The REAL question is, will they be tough enough to handle the forced-induction that's due to be applied to them in order to compete with the competition? Anybody want to bet?


Yeah....I'll take your bet. When you see the information hit the press for the STS-V you owe me a case of Bud.....LOL

BeelzeBob
12-19-04, 01:12 PM
I'm curious as to why thread inserts aren't installed during the manufacture? I would speculate that it's all to do with the bottom line and cost, but given the fact that GM identified a probable weakness in the head bolt area, then had an ancillary company devise a solution to fix the problem. 10 yrs later they've changed interface area and thread dimensions, but is that going to keep the threads from pulling after these engines get a few years and lots of miles on them?


Maybe you missed my posts on this earlier.....

GM did not have an "ancillary company" devise a solution to any problem. When the Northstar engine was being designed we worked with the service and manufacturing personal from the beginning. With any aluminum engine there is always the question of how to repair any bolt hole that is stripped for any reason. GM Powertrain brought in timesert to work on a potential repair procedure years before the engine was every in production. The special inserts and tools were designed and prototyped and the repair tested on prototype engines early in the devopment phase. That is why, when the Northstar went into production in January of 1992 the service manuals that were already printed for the Allante specified the part number of the timesert kit and the sources for the kits thru timesert and KentMoore. It was just like any other special service tool required to work on an engine. It was not a reaction to any problem. The issue of repair of all the aluminum threads on the block was handled proactively by GM Powertrain so that the material was available day one to work on the engine if necessary.

You guys work yourselves into a lather over these head bolt holes. They get discussed here a lot...by a lot of people that have never even had any trouble with them I suspect....because everyone with a problem with a head gasket finds the forum. But....there are millions of Northstars on the road without a single head gasket problem or head bolt problem. It is NOT a rampant failure. If the engine does every need head gaskets the timeserts can be used. They are not always necessary. As the engines age and miles accrue it does appear to be a good insurance to just timesert the holes as there is no way of knowing how much damage was done to the head bolt holes by removing the bolts, how the threads were cleaned, etc. SO WHAT?? Realize that there are still millions of them running around that are not "pulling head bolt threads"....

The head bolt joint was made even more robust due to increased power levels, the field experience seen on decades old engines and the "possibility" that even MORE power might be made in the future....LOL.....

JimD
12-19-04, 01:34 PM
I'm starting to get a picture of the STS-V here complete with bump-ups on the hood and a tightly packed engine compartment due to some device that would supply more-than atmospheric pressure to the intake system.

Now, is this device exhaust driven or belt driven? Not for attribution, of course.






"The head bolt joint was made even more robust due to increased power levels, the field experience seen on decades old engines and the "possibility" that even MORE power might be made in the future....LOL....."


"Yeah....I'll take your bet. When you see the information hit the press for the STS-V you owe me a case of Bud.....LOL"

eldorado1
12-19-04, 02:48 PM
Now, is this device exhaust driven or belt driven? Not for attribution, of course.


GM doesn't like exhaust driven... uhh... turbines. Everyone knows this ;)

Katshot
12-19-04, 03:37 PM
Yeah....I'll take your bet. When you see the information hit the press for the STS-V you owe me a case of Bud.....LOL

I'll take that bet. But I think I'll wait and see how many warranty claims come in on the forced-induction engines first. Info hitting the press doesn't impress me. Back in the early 90's, the Northstar looked like it was gonna be the engine of the future, in the early 80's the V8-6-4 and the HT4100 looked like technical marvels. We ALL know how those all turned out.
You like Bud? Come on, I thought for sure it would be something better than BUD! ;)

Katshot
12-19-04, 03:47 PM
Maybe you missed my posts on this earlier.....

GM did not have an "ancillary company" devise a solution to any problem. When the Northstar engine was being designed we worked with the service and manufacturing personal from the beginning. With any aluminum engine there is always the question of how to repair any bolt hole that is stripped for any reason. GM Powertrain brought in timesert to work on a potential repair procedure years before the engine was every in production. The special inserts and tools were designed and prototyped and the repair tested on prototype engines early in the devopment phase. That is why, when the Northstar went into production in January of 1992 the service manuals that were already printed for the Allante specified the part number of the timesert kit and the sources for the kits thru timesert and KentMoore. It was just like any other special service tool required to work on an engine. It was not a reaction to any problem. The issue of repair of all the aluminum threads on the block was handled proactively by GM Powertrain so that the material was available day one to work on the engine if necessary.

You guys work yourselves into a lather over these head bolt holes. They get discussed here a lot...by a lot of people that have never even had any trouble with them I suspect....because everyone with a problem with a head gasket finds the forum. But....there are millions of Northstars on the road without a single head gasket problem or head bolt problem. It is NOT a rampant failure. If the engine does every need head gaskets the timeserts can be used. They are not always necessary. As the engines age and miles accrue it does appear to be a good insurance to just timesert the holes as there is no way of knowing how much damage was done to the head bolt holes by removing the bolts, how the threads were cleaned, etc. SO WHAT?? Realize that there are still millions of them running around that are not "pulling head bolt threads"....

The head bolt joint was made even more robust due to increased power levels, the field experience seen on decades old engines and the "possibility" that even MORE power might be made in the future....LOL.....

I'm not sure about that. Initially, the GM prescribed repair was NOT Time-serts. It was Heli-coils. So if they had researched Time-serts ahead of time, why were Heli-coils used for years before Time-serts?
And as for your claim that
"...there are millions of Northstars on the road without a single head gasket problem or head bolt problem." I'd like to put a wager on that one too! Do you even know what the total production figures are for Northstars? I'm sure you do and if you look at that number, you'd realize that your statement is optimistic at best. I know you love the engine and have a paternal instinct to defend it but you're just being unrealistic.

Katshot
12-19-04, 03:53 PM
The old air-cooled Volkswagon engines were 10 times worse than any Northstar for pulled threads in the crankcase from bad design and the wrong pitch threads. The only reason it didn't get more coverage was that there was no water to leak and make a mess. You never saw such a bunch of junk as you would get when you ordered a rebuilt VW motor. There would be every kind of epoxy and goop repair. It's no wonder you rarely see them anymore. Around here it was a minor miracle if the engine lasted more than one winter. The center main bearing would spin in the crankcase and the crank would break as a result of cold weather operation and differential exapansion of the bearing shell and the magnesium case. The German engineers would stand there and tell you with a straight face that there was nothing wrong with design as the wrecker would drag another one in the door.

You're dead wrong about that.
I used to build, rebuild, and modify those very engines years ago. If you stayed with stock compression and displacement (1600cc max.) those engines were pound for pound some of the toughest engines around. Yes, I used inserts on modified engines but anybody with any degree of experience with VW air-cooled engines knew enough to do that. I must assume that you are talking about engines that were modified and did NOT have inserts installed for the cylinder studs.

dkozloski
12-19-04, 06:45 PM
Around here the VW dealership was such a loser that it was given away twice before the watercooled cars came along and made it viable. I was standing right there when the service manager told three owners, all with cranks broken at the center main, that there was no way to make them last in cold weather. I heard a VW factory engineer when he told another customer with a broken motor that he could expect it to break again if he used 10W-30 instead of a straight weight even though there would be no way to get it started. VW's may have been great in the California desert but not in the arctic. This was in the 70's. The suitcase engines were even worse than the bugs.

caddywhizkid
12-19-04, 06:50 PM
I'm not sure about that. Initially, the GM prescribed repair was NOT Time-serts. It was Heli-coils. So if they had researched Time-serts ahead of time, why were Heli-coils used for years before Time-serts?

This 100% accurate at my work we have both kits and the earlier one say heli-coil right on the box

Katshot
12-19-04, 07:39 PM
Around here the VW dealership was such a loser that it was given away twice before the watercooled cars came along and made it viable. I was standing right there when the service manager told three owners, all with cranks broken at the center main, that there was no way to make them last in cold weather. I heard a VW factory engineer when he told another customer with a broken motor that he could expect it to break again if he used 10W-30 instead of a straight weight even though there would be no way to get it started. VW's may have been great in the California desert but not in the arctic. This was in the 70's. The suitcase engines were even worse than the bugs.

Not sure what engines you are talking about. I owned air-cooled VW's from the 50's on up and NEVER had a broken crank in any of them. I built dozens for myself and more for customers with various power ratings and mods, and NEVER had a broken crank. Plus, I live in the northeast where it gets plenty cold.

dkozloski
12-19-04, 10:33 PM
Katshot, the way the VW deal went here was shortly after the first ones showed up in the '50s it became obvious that there were two serious problems that never did get solved. First, there was no interior heat. There was a gasoline combustion heater available and you could spot one from a mile away from all the smoke rolling out from under the left front fender but I never saw one that was reliable and they burned more gas than the engine. Owners taped up the cooling air inlets and cooked off the engine but this was even worse. The second problem was pre-heating the engine to try to get it running. VW said that multi-viscosity oil was verboten and synthetics were not widely available.People came up with schemes to heat them but all were marginal. Evidently all these problems caused failures and spun main bearings, usually the center main. The engine would clatter louder and louder until the crank broke. The dealer got tired of fooling with unhappy owners and (sold at a loss/gave away) the dealership. The new owner went broke. The majority of the car owners were poor people who had to rely on junkyard parts to keep going. The local sources dried up and they went to the Southern California area instead. The stuff they got from there was really ugly. Through bolts and cylinder bolts with the threads pulled and epoxy patches where rods had come out through the side. A lot of these engines had suffered main bearing spinning also. Anybody with eyes could see that the bolts had a thread form that was far too fine a pitch to ever hold in alloy. It looked like the results you would get from trying to use SAE threads instead of UNC in American sizes. Eventually even the bad stuff disappeared and the bugs have all died. The only one I have seen running locally is one the guy gets out to drive on his birthday or in parades. RIP.

dkozloski
12-19-04, 10:50 PM
What's the relationship betwen Olds quad fours, Olds Aurora, and Caddy Northstar. Did they all come from the same design team? Common parts? Common common engineering? When The IRL first went with Olds Aurora why did all the engines blow up the first couple of years? My understanding is that the largest share of these engines were leased and totally controlled by Olds. They were limited to 10,500RPM by the rules. I can't imagine that was the problem because the Fords and the Ilmores turned a hell of a lot more than that.

Pjs
12-19-04, 10:54 PM
Not sure what engines you are talking about. I owned air-cooled VW's from the 50's on up and NEVER had a broken crank in any of them. I built dozens for myself and more for customers with various power ratings and mods, and NEVER had a broken crank. Plus, I live in the northeast where it gets plenty cold.

I have to agree with you Kat...I too have rebuilt dozens of the air cooled VW's when I lived in Texas. I've never run across a broken crank in one. I have had to line bore a few cases but thats the extent. The biggest problem I had with VW's were the owners. The valves needed to be adjusted every 3,ooo miles which most people neglected, not to mention they would take off the sheet metal shrouding that was designed to cool the engine and lug those little engines around and never get them revving the way they were supposed to be.

dkozloski
12-19-04, 11:03 PM
Pjs and Kat, it looks like the VW gave good service in the temperate regions but was seriously flawed in extreme cold. Another reason for me to retire in the southland.

dkozloski
12-19-04, 11:07 PM
caddywhizkid, how long are the inserts in the old Heli-Coil kits? Bbob talks about them being too short but I have seen Heli-Coils upwards of two inches long.

haymaker
12-20-04, 12:40 AM
caddywhizkid, how long are the inserts in the old Heli-Coil kits? Bbob talks about them being too short but I have seen Heli-Coils upwards of two inches long.
dkozloski.
Maybe I can shed some light on the Heli-coil length. 1” to 1 1/8” I would think, any more length wouldn’t have any material to engage the OD of the Heli-coil. The cavity in the block that receives the head bolt has a smaller diameter near the bottom, the area that is threaded. This threaded, reduced diameter is only about 1-3/16” and the head bolt threads only engage by about 1-1/16” when tightened.

The time-sert kit has a stepped drill bit that is used to drill the hole to the correct diameter and depth along with creating a shoulder or ledge for the lip on the insert to stop against when installed to it’s final depth. When drilling for the first or standard time-sert the only material removed is at the original threaded area the remainder or upper portion of the hole remains at its original diameter. I have install Heli-coils and both the time-sert and Heli-coil installation procedures are similar. The point being even if a two-inch Heli-coil was installed the upper 13/16” on the Heli-coil would be free and disengaged. Also the threaded portion of the head bolt measures 1.83” so even if it were possible to install a longer Heli-coil 1-3/4” would be about the max.

In my opinion the time-sert is the better fix for this problem.

dkozloski
12-20-04, 01:03 AM
Haymaker, Thanks for the info. Statements have been made on this forum that all Heli-coil inserts are too short to be used for this repair and I was wondering what had been supplied in the original kit. When making similar repairs on aircraft engines, if I didn't have a long insert available I would just stack shorter ones and NEVER had a failure. Of course I never had the cooling water corrosion issue to deal with.

Katshot
12-20-04, 05:50 AM
I have to agree with you Kat...I too have rebuilt dozens of the air cooled VW's when I lived in Texas. I've never run across a broken crank in one. I have had to line bore a few cases but thats the extent. The biggest problem I had with VW's were the owners. The valves needed to be adjusted every 3,ooo miles which most people neglected, not to mention they would take off the sheet metal shrouding that was designed to cool the engine and lug those little engines around and never get them revving the way they were supposed to be.

Wouldn't do a build without line boring. And you're absolutely right about owner neglect and abuse. Valve adjustment WAS the single most important maintenance issue on that engine IMO. And quite often, mechanics didn't do it right. Many times, they failed to identify the head type, and few ever bothered to leave #3 a little loser as I always did. Consequently, I found that if a VW engine lost a valve, it was "usually" #3. And you're right about the "tins" too. Can't tell you how often I found pieces missing etc. And as for the heat, 9 times out of ten, the problem was either rotted heat exchangers or disconnected/leaky heater ducts. When the engine and ducting was "properly" installed, those little buggers actually had pretty GOOD heat!

dkozloski
12-20-04, 11:09 AM
When Ron Rhody drove his NEW VW bug to work on a minus 45 deg. F day, the trip was fourteen miles, a thermometer in the back seat registered minus 27 deg.F. Doesn't sound too good to me. His car pool didn't last long. I guess the proof of the pudding is that there are more model T's on the road around here than VW bugs or vans.

Katshot
12-20-04, 12:48 PM
Minus 45?!!!!
No car will operate properly at those temps.

BeelzeBob
12-20-04, 01:00 PM
I'm not sure about that. Initially, the GM prescribed repair was NOT Time-serts. It was Heli-coils. So if they had researched Time-serts ahead of time, why were Heli-coils used for years before Time-serts?

This 100% accurate at my work we have both kits and the earlier one say heli-coil right on the box


Helicoil repairs are allowed for non-critical holes in the block but the head bolt and main bolt repairs in the 4.1/4.5/4.9 engines and the Northstar were always Timeserts. I have a 93 Allante service manual that was published before a Northstar ever went to a dealer and it specifies Timeserts for the head and main bolts. Don't know where the helicoil kits came from but they were not spec'd by GM for the main and head bolts. In fact, thoughout the development of the Northstar I never saw a helicoil kit nor a helicoil type insert used to repair a head or main bolt. We did the validation work on the timesert repair two years before the Northstar was released and helicoil never entered the conversation.

BeelzeBob
12-20-04, 01:09 PM
Minus 45?!!!!
No car will operate properly at those temps.


Well, close....

We had a crew just return from Kapuskasing last week. They were doing cold start validation work on the STS-V engine. It started successfully many times unaided (no block heater) at -38 F. I have personally started MANY engines over the years at temps as low as -43 F (this is the coolant temp in the block after an overnight soak) with no block heaters and they started and ran fine. Most of this testing is considered worst case as most all people living in those ambient conditions use block heaters religiously but we make sure the calibrations will support starting at those temps. Usually, to have enough battery to turn the engine over at those temps a battery blanket (heating pad) is used that keeps the battery warm. All vehicles are developed/validated to start at -20F completely unaided (no battery blanket or block heater) with an 80% state of charge battery to simulate cold weather operation. This is not just "one" start either. The cars go thru this day after day. There is a whole fleet of vehicles that operate on test at Kapuskasing all winter where GM has their cold weather test facility. Kap is a unique place, geographically speaking, as it gets exteremely cold artic air that sweeps south off of Hudson and Jame's Bay so it is very very cold there regularily.

BTW....the GM cold start driveability procedure/evaluation involves a snap WOT to 40 MPH at 0.3 miles after the cold start to make sure it will not sag or stall (simulating pulling out in front of a logging truck on the highway with a cold engine....LOL) You should hear an engine making full power at WOT at 0.3 miles after a -40 cold start. Gruesome......but they do it fine.

dkozloski
12-20-04, 01:54 PM
VW, M-B, and sometimes Ford use Fairbanks for cold weather testing. They fly in a fleet of cars in a Ukranian ANT 124 and back out again several times a winter. Bbob, a little calculation shows that compared to a standard day a -40deg. WOT blast produces about a 40% overboost on an aircraft engine. If it has been cold for several days the pavement becomes dry from the process of sublimation and you can get some really good 0-60 times from your car. During WWII test pilots were getting -50 deg. starts out of cold soaked P-38's with Allison engines and grade 100 oil using gasoline crankcase dilution at Ladd AFB near Fairbanks. ABS quits working and hydraulic clutches and brakes won't release before it gets so cold the engine won't start. The limiting factor for the whole cold weather thing is at about -50 deg when a new serpentine belt won't make one trip around the pulleys without breaking. Good insurance is to put a new belt on and run it for a while, then take it off and store it for a cold weather replacement. When informed of this problem the Gates Rubber Company engineer said "I'm not surprised". At about minus 65 deg. even that won't work so you cover over the grill completely and never shut the engine off. If you balk a cold start the odds are pretty good you're going to bridge the gaps in the plugs with frost and the only way you are going to get it going is plug in a pre-heater, drag it inside, or a mind expanding plug change. Another good reason to retire in the south. The list of cold weather treats includes: wheels that won't turn, gear shift handles that snap off, heater blower motors that screech and howl, and if you do get the car moving the motor mounts are frozen solid and the car vibrates like a motor cycle, the shocks are frozen so there are no springs, and the tires have a flat side that won't go away for a mile or so. The seat is like sitting on a frozen board and your head is bouncing off the headliner. It takes both hands to budge the steering wheel but you have to have a hand free to scrape the windows. Come to think of it, why the hell am I still here? FWIW, a CTS is a very pleasant drive in extreme temperatures. You can do shirt sleeves if you like.

BeelzeBob
12-20-04, 02:04 PM
What's the relationship betwen Olds quad fours, Olds Aurora, and Caddy Northstar. Did they all come from the same design team? Common parts? Common common engineering? When The IRL first went with Olds Aurora why did all the engines blow up the first couple of years? My understanding is that the largest share of these engines were leased and totally controlled by Olds. They were limited to 10,500RPM by the rules. I can't imagine that was the problem because the Fords and the Ilmores turned a hell of a lot more than that.

There is absolutely no relationship between the Quad 4 engine and the Northstar/Aurora. None. Period. An oft reported urban legend is that the Northstar is two Quad 4 engines put together....nothing could be further from the truth. No design commonality in intent or dimension. No common designs or parts at all. Remember, the Quad 4 was an iron block engine and had separate main caps, not a two piece bedplate block design. I do not believe that there is even a single bolt that is common between the Northstar and the Quad 4. There was one design egineer from the Quad 4 group that worked on the Northstar design team to my knowlege and he came on board long after the Northstar architecture as designed and the second round of proto engines were already running.

The Northstar and the Aurora are the same engine....the Northstar has a 93 mm bore and is 4.6 liters and the Aurora has an 87 mm bore and displaces 4.0 liters. Both have an 84 mm stroke and share the same crank (part numbers are different due to the different balance for the lighter 4.0 pistons).

The Aurora racing engine in the IRL is a different animal. The only think common with the Aurora racing engine and the Aurora passenger car engine is the "AURORA" and "OLDS" lettering on the cam covers....LOL When the IRL started the only engines provided were the Aurora Olds racing engine and the Infiniti engines from Nissan. GM developed the Aurora engine and provided all the parts and assembly instructions for the engine to the racing teams that wanted one. That was unique in the IRL...that engines were bought and assembled by the individual teams. Some teams followed the directions and their engines ran fine. Others just had to "hop them up" and they blew up. What can I say. The engine proved to have excellent reliability if assembled with the parts provided as instructed but the level of "experimentation" was high and lots blew up before teams figured out what they could and couldn't do. Basically, indy car teams were used to getting assembled, sealed engines from Cosworth, Ilmore, Toyota, etc.... and just bolting them in the cars. Now that these same teams were racing in the IRL they had to build the engines too and there was a learning curve on that. Since then, the rules in the IRL have evolved and today it is back to engine makers like Cosworth, Ilmore, etc... providing sealed, assembled engines to the teams on lease. I still have one of the original racing Aurora V8 "service manuals" or assembly instructions in my book rack. It is a nice, metal covered loose leaf notebook several hundred pages long that details EXACTLY how to build the engine.

You cannot compare the original Aurora racing engine for the IRL to the Cosworths and Ilmores of the CART league as you do. They were designed and developed to a COMPLETELY different formula, RPM range, etc..... About the only thing common was that they both ran on methanol.....

One major limitation that made the IRL engines hard to make live was the rule that the racing engine had to be "based" on the manufacturers production engine. Since the Aurora passenger car engine had 102mm bore centers the racing engine had to have 102 bore centers, also, to be "common". With 102 bore centers this mandates a mximum of 93 mm for the bore. The stroke dictated by 93 mm bores and 4.0 liters ends up being a bit "long" for turning 10,500 RPM. Since the rules allowed 10,500 RPM all teams wanted to run there constantly so the piston speeds were a bit high and that was one challenge to making them live. Given a clean sheet of paper (like your Cosworth and Ford comparison) the bore centers would be farther apart to allow a bigger bore and a shorter stroke so as to turn the high RPM all day long. The 10,500 RPM limit was the IRL's way of limiting power...much like a restrictor plate...it had nothing to do with durability.

BeelzeBob
12-20-04, 02:08 PM
VW, M-B, and sometimes Ford use Fairbanks for cold weather testing. They fly in a fleet of cars in a Ukranian ANT 124 and back out again several times a winter. Bbob, a little calculation shows that compared to a standard day a -40deg. WOT blast produces about a 40% overboost on an aircraft engine. If it has been cold for several days the pavement becomes dry from the process of sublimation and you can get some really good 0-60 times from your car. During WWII test pilots were getting -50 deg. starts out of cold soaked P-38's with Allison engines and grade 100 oil using gasoline crankcase dilution at Ladd AFB near Fairbanks. ABS quits working and hydraulic clutches and brakes won't release before it gets so cold the engine won't start. The limiting factor for the whole cold weather thing is at about -50 deg when a new serpentine belt won't make one trip around the pulleys without breaking. Good insurance is to put a new belt on and run it for a while, then take it off and store it for a cold weather replacement. When informed of this problem the Gates Rubber Company engineer said "I'm not surprised". At about minus 65 deg. even that won't work so you cover over the grill completely and never shut the engine off. If you balk a cold start the odds are pretty good you're going to bridge the gaps in the plugs with frost and the only way you are going to get it going is plug in a pre-heater, drag it inside, or a mind expanding plug change. Another good reason to retire in the south.


You also have to take your snowmobile drive belt off when it is getting below -40 and sleep with it to keep it warm otherwise it just does not want to roll around the pulleys.....LOL. I used to think Kap was the end of the earth....not I VACATION there several times each winter when we ride snowmobiles thru the area. When it gets down to -40 or below sleds are a little tough to get started , too.

dkozloski
12-20-04, 02:35 PM
Bbob, great info on the IRL engines. I must say though that it was my impression that Olds wanted you to think there was some relationship between IRL engines and the Aurora variety. Much like Ford tried to make you believe there was some direct connection between the early Mustang push rod Indy engines and a DOHC INDY Ford. If memory serves me correctly the Indy Fords were made by Offy after FMC and before Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth. It's kind of interesting that Buick was overpowering everybody including Offy, Ilmore, and Ford with the last of the turbocharged indy cars as long as they would hold together. Doc Bundy had one of those Buick engines in a car he called a Corvette GTP that he claimed would produce 1300HP for a very short time.

Stoneage_Caddy
12-20-04, 02:48 PM
VW, M-B, and sometimes Ford use Fairbanks for cold weather testing. They fly in a fleet of cars in a Ukranian ANT 124 and back out again several times a winter. Bbob, a little calculation shows that compared to a standard day a -40deg. WOT blast produces about a 40% overboost on an aircraft engine. If it has been cold for several days the pavement becomes dry from the process of sublimation and you can get some really good 0-60 times from your car. During WWII test pilots were getting -50 deg. starts out of cold soaked P-38's with Allison engines and grade 100 oil using gasoline crankcase dilution at Ladd AFB near Fairbanks. ABS quits working and hydraulic clutches and brakes won't release before it gets so cold the engine won't start. The limiting factor for the whole cold weather thing is at about -50 deg when a new serpentine belt won't make one trip around the pulleys without breaking. Good insurance is to put a new belt on and run it for a while, then take it off and store it for a cold weather replacement. When informed of this problem the Gates Rubber Company engineer said "I'm not surprised". At about minus 65 deg. even that won't work so you cover over the grill completely and never shut the engine off. If you balk a cold start the odds are pretty good you're going to bridge the gaps in the plugs with frost and the only way you are going to get it going is plug in a pre-heater, drag it inside, or a mind expanding plug change. Another good reason to retire in the south. The list of cold weather treats includes: wheels that won't turn, gear shift handles that snap off, heater blower motors that screech and howl, and if you do get the car moving the motor mounts are frozen solid and the car vibrates like a motor cycle, the shocks are frozen so there are no springs, and the tires have a flat side that won't go away for a mile or so. The seat is like sitting on a frozen board and your head is bouncing off the headliner. It takes both hands to budge the steering wheel but you have to have a hand free to scrape the windows. Come to think of it, why the hell am I still here? FWIW, a CTS is a very pleasant drive in extreme temperatures. You can do shirt sleeves if you like.


BAH IM HAVEING FLASHBACKS !!!!!!

My G20 started without blockheater or anything at -50 (power outtage). Ran great , Rode aweful on 4 frozen struts and 4 square tires . Not bad conscidering the car hadnt been started in 2 days before this. The cam follower clatter was aweful at startup ....Synthectic gearoil in the 5 speed allowed me to be able to shift it (barely). After reading what dkoz wrote im surpised i was able to drive it ....

Oh man , scrapeing windows with a free hand .....oh man those winters were miserable sometimes ....

Guy at work was on his way back to base with a 91 CK 2500 with that 6.2 diesel , left the cold front off it , somehow managed to freeze the radiator and snapped the serp belt (now i know how) , blew the engine sky high ....He was only going to north pole and back (whats was that 13 miles?)

The storys i could tell of fairbanks winters ....i bet dkoz has more tho

and yes VW Merceds BMW Smart GM (how i got pics of the xlr before it came out) ford , just about anyone whoose anyone tests in fairbanks , never left base without my camera ....

Firetrucks were nightmares too

sorry to hijack guys....

edit since i hijacked ill throw in a nice link , showing my other "home"
http://www.arcticcam.com/cam.html
cushman ave if i remeber right

dkozloski
12-20-04, 03:29 PM
Right now you are looking into the sun at noon in the link. Outside temp is +1F.

caddywhizkid
12-20-04, 05:53 PM
Don't know where the helicoil kits came from but they were not spec'd by GM for the main and head bolts. .
They came from Kent-more

caddywhizkid
12-20-04, 05:55 PM
I dont know off hand its been a while since I've used that kit I'll look tomorrow. BTW Bbob the kits are from Kent-more

Katshot
12-20-04, 06:17 PM
I'll take a look in my tool box. I think I still have an old kit with the Kent-Moore numbers on it. The dealers in our area all used the Heli-Coil kits. I got mine through the GM dealer equipment source. I used them for ALL the Northstars I did, and I know the dealers were using the same kits. So I'm not sure about a Time-Sert kit at all.

Ralph
12-20-04, 06:24 PM
Minus 45?!!!!
No car will operate properly at those temps.

Wanna bet? We broke records last year for "coldest on the planet" at -59 NOT including the windchill! The Caddy operated fine other than stiff steering but NO ONE was shutting their engines off all day if out. Lots of gas-line antifreeze and strong coolant, battery. On other cars I've cracked rads, hoses, belts, etc.

Further north the RCMP use open flame to heat the oil pans and they are running 24/7.

BeelzeBob
12-20-04, 08:32 PM
There may be Kent-Moore kits that are from Helicoil for the thread size that is the Northstar headbolts but they were generic kits for that thread size, not meant for the Northstar head bolts. The Northstar specific head bolt kit has always been timeserts. Maybe dealers ordered the helicoil generic kit for that thread size since it was probably cheaper.....

BeelzeBob
12-20-04, 08:36 PM
Most of Ford cold weather testing is in Bemiji, Minnesota I think. I know that they also test in Thompson, Manitoba on occasion. Most everyone ends up in Fairbanks on occasion for some cold weather testing depending on the time of year and the weather in other places....but it is pretty far away and not the norm...expecially for loading cars into airplanes and cold weather testing. That had to be incredibly expensive.....certainly not the norm.

haymaker
12-21-04, 12:12 AM
I wonder, was Kent-Moore the only supplier to GM of the time-sert kits for the pre 1999-2000 N*s?
What exactly was the GM engine exchange program?

dkozloski
12-21-04, 11:10 AM
A television production company came to Fairbanks to make some TV commercials involving wolves. They loaded up everything and took the operation to Cold Foot, an old pipeline camp north of the Yukon River. When they got there they couldn't get the wolves (from Minnesota) out of the bus because it was -66F and they wouldn't budge. A couple of days later it was -76F.

Stoneage_Caddy
12-21-04, 11:21 AM
coldfoot was awesome ...had a damned good prime rib sandwich there ...long haul tho , didnt realize it would take that long to get to "the circle"

bbob , you dont know how much i evny you guys ........

dkozloski
12-21-04, 11:59 AM
The coldest temperature I am aware of in North America is -81.4deg. F. at Snag (a now abandoned emergency airstrip) in Yukon Territory just across the border from Alaska on the old Alcan Highway. Cold Foot was the low temp for Alaska for a while but I think the current low is Prospect creek (near Cold Foot) at -80F in 1971. They hit the minus 90's in Siberia. Fairbanks has had a January with an mean (average of all the highs and lows) temperature of -31F. None of these temps are any of that phoney wind chill crap.

Spyder
12-21-04, 12:49 PM
Sure am glad I live in California...It's 30 ABOVE zero at night...'tis cold enough for me! :)

STS 310
12-21-04, 03:13 PM
Sure am glad I live in California...It's 30 ABOVE zero at night...'tis cold enough for me! :)

Really. Acouple of weeks ago down here in Southern Cali, there was a cold front that brought some record overnight lows that were in the 30's. People around here thought it was "freezing" like a scene from that movie "The Day After Tommorow".

Christmas day is supposed to be 75. :cool:

Ralph
12-21-04, 03:16 PM
The coldest temperature I am aware of in North America is -81.4deg. F. at Snag (a now abandoned emergency airstrip) in Yukon Territory just across the border from Alaska on the old Alcan Highway. Cold Foot was the low temp for Alaska for a while but I think the current low is Prospect creek (near Cold Foot) at -80F in 1971. They hit the minus 90's in Siberia. Fairbanks has had a January with an mean (average of all the highs and lows) temperature of -31F. None of these temps are any of that phoney wind chill crap.

to clarity for you (I wasn't referring to "world records")

I am well aware that it gets colder than -59, (throughout the world) and for a few days last winter WE were the "coldest on the planet." It didn't make national news for nothing. It wasn't fun. Any given winter we are at least -30 for a month or two, or more, so you actually get used to it. If my car was sitting outside it would have been a frozen block of ice. Shut the door and the window would probably have shattered.

Windchill makes a HUGE difference and can mean the difference between being able to start your vehicle or not! Windchill "phoney." :hmm: OK, but add a 30 km wind to -59 and you are probably damn near something like -80 or greater. I cannot remember the exact number but I've never heard my living room window crack so much as it did that week. As I'm sure you know about. I've heard that some area of Alaska is warm all year? Is that true?

dkozloski
12-21-04, 04:57 PM
A thermometer doesn't feel wind chill. Cold soaked at -40F is the same if the wind is zero or 40 mph. What does change is how fast the heat is carried away when the air is moving. Just like blowing on your soup. Wind chill is a formula dreamed up to provide some guidance on how fast flesh freezes when it is cold and the wind blows. Current scientific opinion is that it somewhat overstates the case. The point I was making was that I wasn't talking -25F with a 40 mph wind. I was referring to straight temps. Wind chill is often put forward for dramatic effect by the flatlanders. I meant no disrespect. An interesting aside is that it gets cold in the Artic when an extreme high pressure system comes through. The barometric pressure has been so high in Alaska and northern Canada that aircraft altimeters run out of compensation. Because the high pressure is accompanied by severe clear weather with visibilities in excess of 200 miles it is not that big of a problem. Southeast Alaska enjoys a Pacific Maritime climate with temperature ranging from the low 30's to high 60's accompanied by about 100+ inches of rain. Fairbanks temps range from -62F to +99F and 10 to 14 inches of precipitation.

Ralph
12-21-04, 05:23 PM
I meant no disrespect.

Likewise, just clarifying.

I think we need to get south this time of year! ;)

caddywhizkid
12-21-04, 06:03 PM
There may be Kent-Moore kits that are from Helicoil for the thread size that is the Northstar headbolts but they were generic kits for that thread size, not meant for the Northstar head bolts. The Northstar specific head bolt kit has always been timeserts. Maybe dealers ordered the helicoil generic kit for that thread size since it was probably cheaper.....

I thought we were talking pre-northstar. Sorry. The kit for the 4.9 is helicoils even for the headbolts. I dug it out today they are spring-like coils (normal helicoils). This is the cadillac thread repair kit straight from kent-more for the 4.9. As for the N* as far as I know only the timesert kit is endorsed by gm.

BTW the helicoils in the old kit are aprrox 1" maybe a hair bigger

dkozloski
12-21-04, 06:10 PM
Caddywhizkid, thanks for the followup. You're a good man.

Msilva954
12-21-04, 06:41 PM
damn....its like 47 degrees here the other day and thats FREAKIN FREEZING.....anything lower than 55 and im goin crazy.