: 97 ETC Head Gasket Project



Eldorado_RED
02-19-13, 11:26 PM
Greetings Guys,

With the help of 98eldo32v we are about to tackle the heads. The car has been sitting for about 4 years so this is long overdue. I will attach pics to show any obstacles and what we have accomplished so far. The first thing we dealt with was the car not starting and making a crunching noise when we tried. Come to find out the starter nose was broken. Right now we got the engine out and I'm just waiting on the stud kit from Carroll Custom Cadillac.

CadillacLuke24
02-20-13, 12:29 AM
Good luck! Thank you for bringing one of these cars back! You will definitely look back on this as a good idea. Sounds like 98eldo is sharing his expertise :thumbsup: Go get 'em guys!!

Submariner409
02-20-13, 09:12 AM
While you're waiting, pull that exhaust pipe crossover Y and Dremel tool the extra metal inside where the left bank pipe is welded in.

Ranger
02-20-13, 10:51 AM
:yeah:

daveyhouse
02-20-13, 11:41 AM
ooh a real garage with a lift. mmmmm donuts!
Keep the camera clicking

Eldorado_RED
02-20-13, 12:02 PM
Will do...thanks for the tip Sub

98eldo32v
02-20-13, 03:13 PM
Yes Red,

We'll dremel out the crossover, they are horrible on the inside. A bit time consuming, but should pay off in an easier breathing motor........

Gents,

That was the first "out the bottom" drop I've done. In my personal opinion a lift is almost mandatory, but if you can get the vehicle high enough and have access to a pallet jack you should be alright.

For the "diehards" like myself, the motor will come out the top also.

stoveguyy
02-20-13, 03:31 PM
Have u had it for 4 yrs or did u buy it and previous owner said it had sat for 4 yrs? Broken starter is rare. I might install new starter and see if motor cranks ok first. Than tear into motor. But that's just me. Or maybe motor overheated and than starter broke and owner said that's it. Park it?

98eldo32v
02-20-13, 04:22 PM
I had rotated the motor by hand a few turns before I dropped it. Now that it's out of the car, I'll give the roundy round before I cut it open more.......

Stay tuned........

daveyhouse
02-20-13, 04:29 PM
:pop2:

98eldo32v
02-20-13, 04:39 PM
:food-snacking:

Eldorado_RED
02-21-13, 02:10 AM
I had her for a while now, she ran fine before i sat her down when she started having overheating issues. We were both shocked to see the broken starter, had no idea that was making the noise


Have u had it for 4 yrs or did u buy it and previous owner said it had sat for 4 yrs? Broken starter is rare. I might install new starter and see if motor cranks ok first. Than tear into motor. But that's just me. Or maybe motor overheated and than starter broke and owner said that's it. Park it?

RandyT.
02-24-13, 09:12 PM
Good luck on the rebuild! Here are a couple pics in reference to the flex pipe mentioned, I cleaned mine out last week. I used a bigger air grinder, a dremel would work, but I bet it would take a while, whatever you have to do to clean that mess out though. This is an Aurora flex pipe, but it's the same Idea, it's going on a 4.6 for my Aurora.

http://imageshack.us/a/img208/3429/46004c.th.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/208/46004c.jpg/)

http://imageshack.us/a/img547/3971/46011.th.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/547/46011.jpg/)

Ranger
02-24-13, 09:30 PM
I searched all over for those damned pictures.

daveyhouse
02-24-13, 10:59 PM
Ranger why is everybody beating you to the pics, LOL

Eldorado_RED
02-25-13, 01:49 AM
Great reference pics, thanks

daveyhouse
03-26-13, 04:46 PM
updates?

Eldorado_RED
03-31-13, 02:47 AM
Hey Davey,

Got the rear heads off today.....bolts came out pretty smooth, i'll post pics of them later. Here a pic of the rear gasket....let me know what you think

Submariner409
03-31-13, 10:00 AM
Looks like every other used head gasket on earth - and those steam holes are clear and open - not always the case in Northstar gaskets. (Yes, the tiny little holes are called "steam holes".) The 3 oblong holes are the cam area drains to the pan. Not a lot of hole area for coolant transfer from the block to the heads, is there ?

A bit of sleuthing will uncover the portion that was (?) leaking coolant into one or more cylinders.

Manic Mechanic
03-31-13, 10:01 AM
Did any of the head bolts have pulled threads or excessive corrosion on them?

Vernon

Submariner409
03-31-13, 10:09 AM
bolts came out pretty smooth, i'll post pics of them later.

This ^^^

daveyhouse
03-31-13, 10:46 AM
First post mentioned it sat for 4 years. It was the starter that busted. Hopefully he didn't have a leak and it sat for four years. That cylinder wall might be pretty rough if it did.
Don't forget to check your wear items on your timing chains.
Also check the lifter buckets for scuffing. Once that starts the cams don't last much longer. There some pics that I took of lifter damage here http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/279002-96-northstar-build-5.html

How many miles are on this motor?

stoveguyy
03-31-13, 11:18 AM
A close up pic of the area between cylinders might show more

98eldo32v
04-02-13, 03:43 PM
Eldorado Reds motor came apart in my opinion just a little too easy.

Someone had done head gaskets on it previously before. The bolts came out for the most part clean, no slivers of aluminum. The head gaskets looked damn near new. Cylinder number 2, had a "steam" bath. The piston is damn near spotless. Cylinder number 8, the bolt came loose like it was finger tight. The bolt came out of the hole oil soaked. The motor seemed to be seeping oil from under the head in that area. Further analysis will tell more soon.

I haven't removed the gaskets from the deck yet, to keep debris from finding it's why in there untill I clean the deck surfaces.

The 98 sts donor motor that I disassembled for my 98 eldorado gave hell to take the headbolts loose. Everytime one broke loose, I thought I had broken my breaker bar. The distinct "snap" that was heard, I'll never forget.

This motor didn't put up too much of a fight.

A few lifter buckets look like they'll needs swapping on the exhaust cams, the intakes were good.

Timing chain componets looked like they had been serviced also. The guides almost showed very little wear.

Nonetheless, we forge ahead....

Eldorado_RED
04-03-13, 01:04 PM
here are the bolts from the rear head.....and also the front head/bolts

daveyhouse
04-03-13, 05:20 PM
Cylinder number 2, had a "steam" bath.

wonder what the condition of the oxy sensor on that bank might be because of that.

Eldorado_RED
04-04-13, 01:33 AM
wonder what the condition of the oxy sensor on that bank might be because of that.

will check on that davey

Eldorado_RED
04-18-13, 12:23 AM
Ok guys,

Looks like we found the reason there was so much oil on the headbolt on the left head, cylinder 8, bottom right corner......there is a small hole on the top right corner that showed up after we drilled with the 17/32 bit.........let me know your thoughts :(

http://i1364.photobucket.com/albums/r727/Atlantared404/aa3382cd-c996-42c3-aabd-17b25f404454_zps7f74a7d0.jpg (http://s1364.photobucket.com/user/Atlantared404/media/aa3382cd-c996-42c3-aabd-17b25f404454_zps7f74a7d0.jpg.html)

Submariner409
04-18-13, 09:56 AM
A few years ago there was a long thread in here by AJXTCMAN - with many pictures: The thread showed one of the problems that plagues pre-2000 Northstar blocks - casting porosities. Some of the pictures show large cavities in the bottom and sides of several block head bolt holes. The metallurgy and casting process changed for the 2000 model year and later.

Take some time and go through the threads in the sticky thread ^^^ "Root cause of ........................"

Eldorado_RED
04-18-13, 11:25 AM
Thanks Submariner409....will look into it

stoveguyy
04-19-13, 10:07 AM
Oil on headbolt? I reread your thread and am not following. Motor was tore apart for overheating issues. U think motor was worked on before. Was block timserted before? Ok. Yes there is oil in cam area on top of head under valve cover? There is supposed to be oil there. So you drilled out headbolt thread and ou went too deep? Or are you saying this hole was there all along? You said someone had worked on motor before? How deep is hole? Use a tool to measure depth. Compare it too adjacent bolt hole?

98eldo32v
04-19-13, 03:00 PM
This motor was defintely worked on before.

The hole in question when the bolt was removed was covered in motor oil. This same hole when drilled had black pits at the base of the hole. Now I see those pits were actually pores in the aluminum.

All the other holes were drilled to the same depth and had no issues. The depth of a cylinder head bolt hole is 70mm as per the factory service manual.

This particular hole has an issue, but I have a remedy for that.....

stoveguyy
04-20-13, 10:24 AM
So what is the remedy? A cork? Jb weld?

98eldo32v
04-20-13, 03:56 PM
A cork would be cute but not practical.

J B weld is going down in there and then drilled again.

RandyT.
04-20-13, 06:05 PM
Good luck! I hope your persistance pays off! Thanks for the pictures, as I intend on doing some jobs like this in the future. I am doing headgaskets on a 3.5 Aurora right now, waiting on cam holder tools, but those are not supposed to have the threads tear out as often as the 4.6 does.

ktr-sb
04-21-13, 06:20 AM
Good luck! I hope your persistance pays off! Thanks for the pictures, as I intend on doing some jobs like this in the future. I am doing headgaskets on a 3.5 Aurora right now, waiting on cam holder tools, but those are not supposed to have the threads tear out as often as the 4.6 does.

I am sure you are fine without any help, but just in case, here is my headgasket job on the same motor in a 2000 Intrigue, which now has 50K on the repair:

http://99intrigue.shutterfly.com/headgasket

/threadhijack

98eldo32v
04-21-13, 09:38 PM
Any information is always appreciated...........

----------


I am sure you are fine without any help, but just in case, here is my headgasket job on the same motor in a 2000 Intrigue, which now has 50K on the repair:

http://99intrigue.shutterfly.com/headgasket

/threadhijack

Good write up......

maeng9981
04-22-13, 02:13 AM
http://99intrigue.shutterfly.com/headgasket

I liked those pictures of a miniature Northstar yet it's completely different inside.

RandyT.
04-22-13, 08:16 AM
Very nice writeup! I have it bookmarked at work. Thank you. The guys on the Aurora club also posted the fsm pages for me, but it's nice to have your first had experience.
I am sure you are fine without any help, but just in case, here is my headgasket job on the same motor in a 2000 Intrigue, which now has 50K on the repair:

http://99intrigue.shutterfly.com/headgasket

/threadhijack

98eldo32v
10-03-13, 08:41 AM
Well,

Believe it or not the cradle is back in........

No scrapes to the valve covers, no pinched wires, nothing out of the ordinary.

Im my personal opinion, to those that like dropping the whole subframe I take my hat off to you, but you can have that mess.

Even with the car on the lift, the subframe, wheels and all on the pallet jack, it was a MIRACLE that I had it lined up that good. I had to lower the car every few inches to check for alignment of the cradle to body. When the body was damn near on top of the engine, I was checking to see if the firewall was going to clear the coil pack and ignition wires, the right side cooling pipes, the ebtm had to be fastened back the bracket in the cradle just before we made "touchdown".

To me, landing the lunar module on the moon would have been easier.

Nonetheless she's in.

There is the wiring to be addressed, a few mounts to be replaced, the sidecover is going to come off, but I've got a trick for that one. Sway bar links are to be swapped. Brakes hoses to be replaced, brake fluid to be added and overall full check over.

I'm waiting for it to run but I'm not going to rush anything.

When I'm done, I just want him to enjoy it for a long time without issues.

Stay tuned.........

arctic_man
10-03-13, 01:51 PM
Congrats! I just got the engine back in mine last weekend! Took a good two hours. You are getting close now! I got everything hooked up pretty quick, and am hopefully starting the car tonight. From the cradle back in to everything wired up, it was probably 5 or 6 hours, but I went kinda slow. No need to rush.

Hardest part with the sub frame for me was the ABS module along with the struts. The struts kept getting caught in the well, and the ABS module with the pass brake line was always getting in the way...

98eldo32v
10-11-13, 01:11 AM
Well,
Today is my birthday...

It will be a memorable one. I finally finsihed Eldorado_Red's ETC.

We ran into some snafu toward the end with a crank, no start condition. In the end, low and behold it might have been the crank sensors not plugged all the way in.

I had to double check the wiring and etc. I had my fsm and went the through some of the scenarios, but when I doubled checked the sensors and heard them "click" when the connector went on, I knew they were seated.

I can't recall if I had heard them click when I was rerouting the harnesses back into there respective places, but when I checked thenm today they came off kind of too easy. Once I heard them click I knew they were on.

When the car finally started we were both relieved, but before it started I talked tho his car and said, "I know you've been sitting along time but you're going on the road again whether you like it or not".

Once started the remaining old gas that was in the gas tank smoked out the shop. It was a little startling at first but, it soon cleared up.

I have to say the 97-99 motors seem to "breathe" easier than my 00 deville. Don't get me wrong my deville revs quickly and is pretty potent, but his ETC was STRONG.

His 109k motor begged to be abused. It was unreal the power out of that stock set up.

We had grinded out that horrible "Y" pipe at the rear of the engine. I can't imagine if I had disassembled the heads and cleaned up the bowls under the valve seat and blended them back into the ports. That would have freed up at least a couple of extra horses.

Nonetheless, she's quite, ran good down the road. He punched it twice and responded immediately. Temp staying in the middle. Fans kicked on. Everything seems kosher.

I have to say it was my first headgasket on one of those things. I know it won't be my last, I have my own eldorado to get back up running, but it sure was a great learning lesson.

They're not bad cars at all. They are worth saving if you have the time, patience and the tools.

Good Luck with it Eldorado_Red.

I'll see you if it needs tweaking, but for the most part.......she rides again.

Part of me is a little jealous mine isn't running.....


Enjoy your car buddy.....

98eldo32v
10-11-13, 09:56 AM
I still can't believe how strong and fast that car was........

If my ESC is anything remotely close to that, I'm NEVER getting out of that car.....

Eldorado_RED
10-28-13, 02:20 AM
*UPDATE*

First off, i want to thank 98eldo32v........it took a long time but I'm so glad I was patient enough to let him finish the job.

As of today, I have put about 200 miles on her. Runs smooth, no hiccups.....have yet to be stuck in stop and go traffic but did a fair amount of driving in the city. There were a couple of times where the temp meter moved close to the next notch but then went back to the middle.

There is steam coming out the exhaust, I can see it thru my mirrors at a stop light, hopefully its just the weather and the car warming up.

I did have an issue one day with the car not starting due to theft system and 3 minute wait display...This only lasted for one day and I haven't had that issue since but the "Theft system problem car may not start" warning comes on at every start up. Aside from the warning, its starting fine.

Another issue is the Service Engine Soon light stays on and never goes off, even when i reset the codes its comes right back. I have the following codes:

P0138 - Bank 1 sensor 2
P0151 - Bank 2 sensor 1
P1645 - Evaporation Emission (EVAP) Vent Solenoid Control Circuit
B2711 - PASSkey open/shorted pellet after good key
C1241 - Variable Effort Steering Circuit Malfunction
C1738 - Exhaust Solenoid Valve Short to GND

If there are things I should keep and eye on or measures to take, please let me know. Me and 98eldo32v will be glad to answer any questions. Thanks

Submariner409
10-28-13, 09:11 AM
You have pre-cat and left (front) cylinder bank O2 sensor problems.
EVAP canister and vent solenoid are under the body - rear seat - driver's side.
Maybe a steering wheel position sensor fault
The ELC - rear level control air compressor - has a bad supply/exhaust head solenoid control. Tail dragging ?

Eldorado_RED
12-26-13, 10:42 PM
Thanks for the input, by the way can someone tell me if the codes are for upstream or downstream sensors. Thanks

P0138 - Bank 1 sensor 2
P0151 - Bank 2 sensor 1

98eldo32v
12-27-13, 02:30 AM
p0151 = Denso 234-4018 or Bosch 13474

P0138 = Denso 234-4025 or Bosch 13444


P0138 is Left side/Front DOWNSTREAM SENSOR

P0151 is Right side/Rear UPSTREAM SENSOR

Ranger
12-27-13, 11:01 AM
Bank 2 sensor 1 is the front exhaust manifold sensor.

Bank 1 sensor 2 depends on what year you have (you don't list it in your profile). If it is a 4 sensor car (pre '98 or '99) it will be the pre-CAT sensor. If you have a 3 sensor car (post '98 or '99), it will be the aft-CAT sensor.

98eldo32v
12-27-13, 04:39 PM
It seems the northstar banks are reversed.

Nonetheless, you need one upstream and one downstream sensor.

Submariner409
12-27-13, 05:32 PM
In a 4 sensor engine -

B2S1 is the left (front) bank - in the exhaust manifold collector
B1S1 is the right (rear) bank - in the top of the exhaust manifold
B1S2 is the pre-cat sensor
B1S3 is the after-cat sensor.

In a 3 sensor engine there is no pre-cat sensor. The after-cat sensor becomes B1S2.

Eldorado_RED
08-06-14, 03:26 PM
Hey Guys,

Hope all is well.....I had to put this project on hold and is now back to finish the job. The car is running awesome, but the codes have changed somewhat since the last time I posted.....

This is from October of last year:
P0138 - Bank 1 sensor 2
P0151 - Bank 2 sensor 1
P1645 - Evaporation Emission (EVAP) Vent Solenoid Control Circuit

I had the codes scanned at a shop last week and got the following codes:
P0138 O2 Oxygen Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank1, Sensor2)
P0441 Evaporative Emission Control System Incorrect Purge Flow
P0154 02 Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0151 Oxygen O2 Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank 2, Sensor 1)
P1645 Evaporative Emission (EVAP) Vent Solenoid Control Circuit

A couple days ago, I cleared the codes and drove car about 20 miles and got the following codes from the OBD:
P0131 Oxygen O2 Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank 1, Sensor 1)
P0151 Oxygen O2 Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank 2, Sensor 1)
P0441 Evaporative Emission Control System Incorrect Purge Flow
P1645 Evaporative Emission (EVAP) Vent Solenoid Control Circuit

My question is, should I drive it some more and re-check the codes on the OBD?
Which one is more accurate to go by, the one on the OBD or on the scanner tool because one suggest Bank1,Sensor2 while the other states Bank1,Sensor1?
What are your suggestions for these fixes (check wiring, fuses, replace o2's, etc)?

Thanks very much

maeng9981
08-08-14, 07:24 AM
Check your OXY SEN fuses first before you do any of the O2 sensor work. If blown, see if the wiring is damaged by chaffing on the body.

Eldorado_RED
08-08-14, 03:57 PM
will do, thanks maeng9981


Check your OXY SEN fuses first before you do any of the O2 sensor work. If blown, see if the wiring is damaged by chaffing on the body.