: lifting out the '94 northstar.. please take a look



chance_b
08-30-05, 03:28 PM
hey, i know this topic has probably been beaten to death, but i'd like to cover it according to my specific situation...

i own a '94 STS, and of course, it needs a head gasket repair. the previous owner was pretty hard on it. being the intrepid person i am, i've decided to attempt the repair on my own.

so far, things have gone alright, just slowly. however after much contradictory discussion, i've come to the realization that the engine is gonna have to come outta the car. so here's where i'm coming to you guys for help-

i'd REALLY rather not have to drop out the cradle, as i'm doing the entire repair in my backyard. i'd have to goto a garage, as i don't have a vehicle hoist obviously. is there ANY other way the cradle can be dropped out without using a heavy duty vehicle hoist? anything i can rig up myself possibly? and please, nobody mention bringing in a forklift, though i have actually considered it.

i'd rather lift the engine out, as i can easily come by an engine hoist. so first off, is this possible? if so, would i have to disconnect the block from the tranny? could anyone possible give a brief description of how to do that?

any other information would be appreciated, and if you guys can provide guidance and help me through this, i would be very grateful. this is actually one of my first repairs, and i know it's a big undertaking. but i have the confidence, and i'm not giving up on this car.

thanks a lot for reading this, i'm going to search through the other posts now for more info.


chance

EcSTSatic
08-30-05, 03:53 PM
Check this thread out
http://cadillacforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5052

Pjs
08-30-05, 04:00 PM
Of course there are differing opinions, I prefer to drop it out the bottom, I think it's much easier, but there are those that disagree. Either out the top, or dropping the cradle, the engine will have to be unbolted from the block. I tend to think removing the engine from the cradle is much easier when you can get to all sides. Good thing about dropping the cradle is that you don't have to disconnect the axles, you can leave all that in place.
I paid $120 for a 2 ton engine hoist from Pep Boys...it was more than enough to lift my car up to extract the cradle in addition to building a cradle dolly out of 2x4's and casters so I could move the assy around. I did this in my in-laws backyard, rained most of the time...got soaked but it still wasn't too bad. I've posted this link before, if you haven't seen it, you might get a little more insight. Zonie77 has posted removal instructions as well and I know he's got a couple pics of the cradle coming out as well...there is actually a link inside of the thread link below that goes to his instructions.
I would suggest that you get the factory service manuals...they are a must

http://cadillacforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23672

chance_b
08-30-05, 05:27 PM
i'm at work and am gonna have to check those links later, but your post pjs was a nice load off my shoulders, and i appreciated the read. what i do have is a Haynes manual for my car, but it only goes into dropping out the cradle. if i can get my hands on a hoist without having to borrow one, i'm gonna try to rig it up to raise the car up high enough like you mentioned. anyway though, i'm outta here. thanks to you both for your quick replies,

chance

Dadillac
08-30-05, 05:57 PM
Hey Pjs

Once you lifted the car with the hoist, and had the cradle down, what did you have supporting the body, so you could remove the hoist? Seems too steep of an angle to have used jack stands. I do not have a need for this, as my head gaskets are fine, but hell, you never know when this info can come in handy. nice pics by the way. :thumbsup:

Don

zonie77
08-30-05, 06:10 PM
With the cradle out you let it down on jackstands.

Pjs
08-30-05, 06:39 PM
Hey Pjs

Once you lifted the car with the hoist, and had the cradle down, what did you have supporting the body, so you could remove the hoist? Seems too steep of an angle to have used jack stands. I do not have a need for this, as my head gaskets are fine, but hell, you never know when this info can come in handy. nice pics by the way. :thumbsup:

Don

Thanks Don, pictures always come in handy when your trying to figure stuff out for the first time. Once the cradle was out I dropped the car down on a 4x4 across 2 jackstands.

MARK99STS
08-31-05, 08:23 PM
Check out my web site.
http://www.markonemtg.com/marks99sts/
I dropped it from the bottom using just an engine hoist and jack stands.

Mark 99STS

Mountie
10-10-05, 01:00 AM
I pulled out my '93 Northstar STS from the top (use an adjustable yolk ) and after a couple weeks ( after your daily work schedule) of parts removal / dissconnect, it comes out pretty easy. I have a fresh memory of every move, if you want to reach me.

I do have access to a nice car lift, & I may choose to drop the cradle for the install.

But I think I'll keep it intact, for now.

Mountie
10-11-05, 11:41 PM
Chance_B.... I can tell you what to do & when to do it........ What to be prepared to have patience with....... My '93 Vin 9 came out from the top easily.

It's all the dissconnects, but it's do-able. I also am talking with a 25 year Cadillac veteran mechanic about what to replace, which gasgets to change, and the other 'personalities' of a 100,000 mile Northstar. ,,,I cannot contact you personally, maybe you can.

zonie77
10-12-05, 12:59 AM
I pulled out my '93 Northstar STS from the top (use an adjustable yolk ) and after a couple weeks ( after your daily work schedule) of parts removal / dissconnect, it comes out pretty easy.


It comes out of the bottom a lot quicker than a couple of weeks. We did our first after work too and it took 2 eves to have it loose and we pulled it on a Sat.

The next one we did in half the time.

Remember...they were made to come out the bottom.

chance_b
10-21-05, 11:49 AM
Didn't think I'd see this topic again, but thanks for the replies.

Isn't that important now anyway.. cradle's already dropped, sitting in my garage with the heads off. Just haven't gotten around to dealing with the Timesert business yet, so the reinstall is on hold for now.

Dropping it out went fairly smoothly, except.. impatient me, I decided to cut my brake lines. Now I'm gonna have to do all that flaring work on the lines, then bleed the whole system. Not looking forward to it, but oh well. This whole project has been a learning experience for me, as I've never taken anything like this on before. Thankfully I have the confidence and a good mind for mechanics.

When I get around to purchasing a Timesert kit I'll get back to work on her. I often feel like pulling out the digital camera, taking pics, and posting my progress on the internet, with my problems and methods of overcoming them included. In some of these circumstances I've managed to become pretty creative.. when trying to remove the bolt holding the crank pulley, the thing just wouldn't go. After a lot of trial and error, I decided to loop a ratchet-strap under both the cradle and the frame I had it sitting on, and hooked it to one of the 'spokes' on the pulley. Then after reefing on the bolt with a ratchet and breaker bar, it finally came loose. Oh it was satisfying to say the least :cool2:

zonie77
10-21-05, 07:14 PM
Did you ever read the post in tech tips?

All you have to do is take the calipers off and hang them from the inner fenders.

chance_b
10-25-05, 01:04 AM
i read over it numerous times actually.. but i'm confused, how does hanging the calipers help me (assuming we're talking about the fact that i cut my brake lines, haha)? that's still just the front brakes with the soft lines, the hard lines that run from that distributor type block to all four wheels were the ones giving me the problem.. maybe i missed something? i was tired and frustrated when i resorted to bolt cutters.

Pjs
10-25-05, 05:46 AM
The ABS motor should have been unbolted from the cradle (3 bolts) and tied up w/ all the brake lines intact. The calipers are on the end of those same metal lines.

zonie77
10-25-05, 11:46 AM
It doesn't help you now.