: N* Head Gasket repair part I/ Remove engine



zonie77
11-22-03, 01:14 AM
This is part I of some general info on removing the powertrain (cradle) from a FWD Caddilac. The first step should be obtaining the factory manual and reviewing it to save time and know what you are doing. This is some additional info and is not meant to replace the manual.

Power wash as much of the engine area as possible.

Don't pull the hood or the intake.
Do pull the battery,air intake tube, brake calipers(hang to the inner fenders),radiator(A/C condenser comes out with it),exhaust at rear of engine.wiring harness that goes to the computer(underdash) and end that goes to elect section on drivers side fender,struts at the top,steering shaft to rack coupler(it will seperate when you raise the body),disconnect A/C hoses .
The wheels/tires stay on but with the struts not connected at the top it drops to the ground so block it up near the corners.

Tools) You'll need fuel line disconnect tool, 2 floor jacks, engine hoist to raise body to clear cradle or tall jackstands+wood or something(don't use hollow cement blocks...I had one disintegrate and it didn't get impacted, just shattered!) to give you enough lift to get body to clear cradle,Timesert kit, Metric Allen head sockets(male), special gauge to torque headbolts(Checker/Shucks/Kragen or Azone loan a tool?),1/2in drill, and a factory manual!

Go over the engine replacement section in the manual. It keeps going past the point you stop at because it's replacing the engine, you stop that section and go to pulling the heads.

1) Following the manual disconnect what is necessary to seperate the cradle, keep jackstands under the body. Block the cradle up from the floor (jackstands or wooden blocks to keep it from going to the floor), remove the 6 attaching bolts, raise the body.
Using a jack in front and a jack in the rear manuver the cradle out from under the body. We used a 4X4 under the radiator support with a tow strap wrapped around them. eehoepp made a metal bar with chains on the end and lfted from the strut towers but that means pulling off and realigning the hood

2) you now block up the cradle to work on. Remove the wiring harness as necessary, various brackets, intake manifold etc. I use cheap plastic dishpans to store the parts. That way you can keep the parts for each side/section seperate. They are easy to see and the dishpans keep the dirt and grease contained. Get about 6 (maybe at a dollar store,I got mine on sale for $1 each).

3) The timesert kit comes with simple instructions and is easy to use. There is a locating pin for the hole you are inserting, bolt down the plate and remove the locator pin. Drill out the old threads, tap the new threads(we used ATF as a cutting oil,just need a little), clean out the threads with brake clean or carb cleaner. Make sure you have ALL the oil out. Turn in the insert with just a small amount of loctite on the bottom threads. We used 3 small drops.
We used strips of rags rolled up and pushed into the coolant passages to keep chips out. We taped the timing chain openings.
We got a technique using a good shop vac to virtually eliminate chips flying. One person does the drilling, the other keeps the vacuum nozzle next to the drill and tap. This worked really well but you have to carefully work together. We also rigged a tip with a piece of plastic tubing to get to the bottom of the hole.

Here's an article with some pics. He says it was a waste...Wrong...we had 6 stripped and those were obvious,more may have been damaged. He is also doing a very new engine.

http://caddyinfo.netgetgoing.com/howto/nsrepair.htm

zonie77
11-22-03, 01:23 AM
2 illustrations:

elwesso
11-22-03, 02:13 PM
Great information!!!!! Will be helpful to many other people....

Do you have any more pictures that you can share with us...... Maybe more of the removal/installation process????

zonie77
12-01-03, 10:43 PM
Rithban, take a look at this.

Dubya
12-05-03, 03:53 PM
you guy should add this to the faq, enough was already lost when gmforums stopped, SAVE IT!!!

elwesso
12-05-03, 08:39 PM
It has been added.....

ShadowLvr400
12-06-03, 08:28 PM
Any updates yet? I'm waiting to see if you succeed before I commit to doing it myself. Otherwise, it's dip into emergency savings, and then have someone else do it with the XMS performance heads. But REALLY don't want to do that.

zonie77
12-06-03, 10:43 PM
I'll add a middle thread of prepping the heads and some other tips soon.
We got the engine in today but didn't finish hooking everything up.

I did find something verrrrrrrryyyyy interesting. I hadn't noticed it when we pulled the heads but the head gasket was rusting. I think this might explain why they are inconsistent. They still have some clamping force and the swelling of the gasket makes it act differently at times. Look at the rusty spots on the end cylinder.
This was the head side and we didn't check it originally, but as we were cleaning up I saw it.

zonie77
04-28-04, 10:08 AM
Here's Some additional info on what tools you will need(Thanks to Lawrence).



In addition to Zonie's list you'll need a 4" three jaw puller for the crank pulley, a pulley puller for the water pump pulley (I got one at Harbour freight for $10.00), a 12mmX85mm (correct me here if I'm wrong) bolt to re-install the crank pulley, the allen socket Zonie mentions is a 10mm hex bit drive, you'll need alot of long 3/8 drive extensions and/or wooble extensions for getting the exhaust bolts when removing/installing the engine, and if you don't already have one make sure you get a good telescoping magnet (invaluble for the torque converter bolts). Also if you buy a used Timesert kit, make sure you have Loctite 266 and cutting oil on hand for the job. Don't use anything else. Also have some high quailty harness tape on hand as you will likely need to repair/redo the wiring harness.

The Northstar is as easy as any engine I have ever worked on and so is the Timesert process, as Zonie said. The valve timing is about idiot proof, no problems there. Just line up the timing marks on the crank and intermediate sprockets, install the inner (left chain ?) first by lining up cam sprocket timing marks 90 degrees (straight up) to the head (valve cover) surface. On the exaust cam make sure the "E" is up, on the intake cam the "I" is up. Either way the camshaft to camshaft sprocket "locating pin" is up. Make sure all marks are lined up with the chains tight. Thats all there is to it.

Do use OEM head gaskets, about $45 ea which includes the head bolts. Make sure the gasket and mating surfaces are clean and dry of oil before/while installing. As a personal addition I used RTV around the bottom of the head bolt washer. The top of it is factory sealed. I noted oil down the head bolts when I removed them.

Also as George recommened to me, plan on replacing the HVAC cover while the engine is out. It deteriorates from the rear exaust manifold. I also had to do the inner metal box as well. And while there clean/service the AC evaporator. They get plugged up and can't be done with the engine in the car.

I personally would recommend all new lower oil seals as well. That one got me and I had to pull the engine again. Don't worry much about the valve cover seals, or any other seals that can be replaced later with the engine in the car unless they are obviously bad. On mine I had to replace the intake manifold gaskets as they were shrunken and dried out. At least the ones that contact the head.

One other thing. To be safe, prime the oil system before starting the engine. Do this by pulling the smaller of the two connectors on the drivers side of the coil pack. This cuts power to the ignition. Make sure the battery is fully charged. Crank the motor for two or three 60 second sessions. Reconnect the plug, start the engine and watch the DIC for a low oil pressure warning.

Good Luck!

BeelzeBob
04-28-04, 03:13 PM
I'll add a middle thread of prepping the heads and some other tips soon.
We got the engine in today but didn't finish hooking everything up.

I did find something verrrrrrrryyyyy interesting. I hadn't noticed it when we pulled the heads but the head gasket was rusting. I think this might explain why they are inconsistent. They still have some clamping force and the swelling of the gasket makes it act differently at times. Look at the rusty spots on the end cylinder.
This was the head side and we didn't check it originally, but as we were cleaning up I saw it.

A sure sign that the corrosion inhibitors in the coolant failed at some point...i.e..the coolant was not changed and run so long that the corrosion inhibitors failed. That is very likely what eventually caused the hed gasket failure as the center core of the gasket rusted and collapsed. The center steel core of the gasket provides the resiliency to accept the thermal cyling loads as the engine expands and contracts. As the steel core of the gasket collapses due to corrosion it starts to leak.

Aurora By Olds
04-30-04, 06:36 PM
A sure sign that the corrosion inhibitors in the coolant failed at some point...i.e..the coolant was not changed and run so long that the corrosion inhibitors failed. That is very likely what eventually caused the hed gasket failure as the center core of the gasket rusted and collapsed. The center steel core of the gasket provides the resiliency to accept the thermal cyling loads as the engine expands and contracts. As the steel core of the gasket collapses due to corrosion it starts to leak.
It doesn't take long to destroy a gasket with the green coolant either...
I found out my gaskets were changed by a dealer in mid 2001, around 47k.
I bought the car with 80K on it, put another 20K on it, and finally ended up changing the gaskets in late 2003.
When I took them out, there was a phenominal amount of corrosion on the gaskets. One part was basically eaten right through. I maintained the cooling system when i got the car, but apparantly no one did from 01 to about mid 03. That's not very long to have coolant eat right through a gasket, so it just goes to show how important cooling system maintainence is, especially for the '93 - '95 models. Granted most of my bolts were pulled out (dealer must have never time-serted originally), but the gasket was still pretty mutilated. Not that it does the block any good, I but I now run Dex-Cool, just to help save on the gaskets as much as possible.

cbellpeanut
05-08-05, 04:57 PM
if the threads are ok do you still need timeserts?
and, can the egr valve cause this engine to overheat? IHAVE CODE#404 & 405

Ranger
05-08-05, 08:25 PM
Yes, Timesert anyway as a precausion. I have heard of threads failing 10-20K later if not Timeserted. Other time while torqueing the heads.

I don't think the EGR will cause an overheat situation.

starfox86
05-29-05, 05:41 PM
You know what someone should do?...Make a video of replacing the head gaskets....I would pay top dollar for that!!!..I'm sure others would too.

youngvic812
09-03-05, 07:13 AM
You know what someone should do?...Make a video of replacing the head gaskets....I would pay top dollar for that!!!..I'm sure others would too.
i would definetly pay top dollar for the video, whoever wants the money and knows how to do this, i will pay asap.

youngvic812
09-03-05, 07:55 AM
How long does the whole process take

Pjs
09-03-05, 10:24 AM
If you proficient, about 2hrs, took me about 3 the first time I did it

elwesso
09-03-05, 05:42 PM
If you proficient, about 2hrs, took me about 3 the first time I did it

One of the benefits of FWD! Takes me about 4-6 hours to drop a Q45 engine.

zonie77
09-03-05, 09:57 PM
Youngvic,

What process, the whole head gasket job? We didn't keep a record but the whole job runs pretty long because we didn't have a lift or air tools where we did the first one. The second was faster, next one much faster.

youngvic812
09-04-05, 09:07 AM
Yea, im thinkin about doin this job in my driveway, i also dont have airtools, but i dont trust myself, so i would like to have a mechanic with me, should i?
O, and yea how long did the whole job take? w/out airtools.

youngvic812
09-04-05, 09:14 AM
If you proficient, about 2hrs, took me about 3 the first time I did it
when you first dropped the engine, were you experienced with working on cadillacs? Should i attempt this, because im experienced on rwd cars.

zonie77
09-04-05, 11:58 AM
Never worked on a Caddy, there were a few people on the board that gave me advice. Got the service manual and did it. Now you have the write up I did and the info added by lots of people who did it (definitely look at PJS's). It's even easier now. All the tools you need are listed, you know exactly what to expect.

youngvic812
09-04-05, 08:23 PM
thanx ZONIE im definetly goin to try this this week, and ill let u know how im doin.

Pjs
09-06-05, 05:37 AM
when you first dropped the engine, were you experienced with working on cadillacs? Should i attempt this, because im experienced on rwd cars.

I had worked on only RWD cad's up to that point. I guess my answer was kind of vague and I apologize for that. Prior to pulling the engine I had purchased the factory service manuals and had read up on dropping the cradle in addition to reading all the info available here. I did have the benefit of an air compressor w/ all the tools as well.

davesdeville
09-07-05, 01:38 AM
I have access to an engine hoist to remove the body and some air tools, plus a truck and I can always rent a car dolly. I've been thinking of finding a N* car with bad headgaskets off ebay, timeserting and selling the car locally or back on ebay for a profit. Any reason this would be a bad idea? (PS, don't steal my plan, if there's a possible car within 500mi of Albuquerque in a couple months don't buy it :p)

zonie77
09-07-05, 11:32 AM
Not a bad plan. Just make sure you get a great deal. The one's on Ebay are border line or they are too far east for me. I saw a local Seville under 1K that I was real tempted on but I have too many projects now and I don't need to talk to a divorce lawyer.

At 1K you'll make a reasonable profit (actually you're only getting paid for your labor). At$2500 it get iffy whether you'll make any profit. There is a Deville near me, guy's asking $3900. I think 94-95. Had a "new" engine. It's been there for months. It isn't mint but might look it in a picture. With gas prices I think prices on all cars is gonna drop somewhat.

davesdeville
09-07-05, 07:54 PM
This Eldo (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/94-Caddy-Eldorado-needs-head-gasket-NO-RESERVE-AUCTION_W0QQitemZ4572248587QQcategoryZ6147QQssPage NameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem) or this Deville (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1996-Cadillac-Deville-Arizona-Special-Edition-Clean_W0QQitemZ4571243779QQcategoryZ6146QQssPageNa meZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem) were a couple of candidates I was looking at but I don't have the cash to pull this off yet. I figure at 500 miles each way it will cost at least $300 in gas to tow it back with my friend's dads F250 (6.8 V10 gets 13 highway, surely less when towing.) Plus parts, so I'm probably looking at $2k.

Although I really like my ETC, I'm seriously considering selling it and using the money as seed money for the timesert project. I can just drive the 75 and/or Kawasaki 750 for awhile. 'Cause I really don't need my ETC since the 75 running propane should actually cost less per mile. And once I sell the timeserted car I can afford to make the 75 very presentable and pay my parents back the money they lent me for the 95... I'm having an automotive identity crisis.

zonie77
09-08-05, 12:09 AM
The Eldo looked better to me (colors) and fit what I said. $1000 plus about another $1000 to fix gives you a car worth about $3500. You'll make $1500 to do the gaskets. That $1000 to fix includes incidentals you'll probably need. You may get away with less, or more with towing it down.

I didn't like the Deville color scheme, plus 150K is/sounds worse than 135K.

davesdeville
09-09-05, 06:02 AM
But 150k with a "newly rebuilt engine" sounds better...

Anyway this idea is getting put off until we can rebuild my friends Taurus SHO motor, which we're pulling this weekend.

Now for a couple quick questions, this thread says the HVAC cover should be replaced as kind of a preventative maintenence sort of a thing... is this a dealer part or...? Also does the A/C system have to be depressurized to do any of this? I'm comfortable with engine work but I don't know or like A/Cs, so sorry if the answer is really obvious.

Thinking of starting off by buying this kit on ebay (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Kent-Moore-Time-Sert-Thread-Repair-Kit-J-42385-500_W0QQitemZ4574077364QQcategoryZ43998QQssPageNam eZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem).

1998Deville
12-11-05, 04:18 PM
If you aren't sure about doing this yourself in the driveway, DON'T!!! One mistake and you can wreck your engine.

mtflight
01-30-06, 05:58 PM
You know what someone should do?...Make a video of replacing the head gaskets....I would pay top dollar for that!!!..I'm sure others would too.

There will be no need for a video. TimeSert has one at http://www.timesert.com/video/Headbolt01.avi (it's 20 something Megabytes though)

cart69
01-31-06, 08:32 AM
the job doesnt seem such a big deal, when i dropped my 94's engine i had no expierence with caddys, just rwd and bike expierence, not hard at all, did it in my garage with no air tools, took about 3 hours to get it out, on the 96 i have now it will be much faster thanks to a new shop and the knowledge i have gained here!!! i will be doin my 96 within the next month or so, so if anyone wants any special pics of anything let me know so i can get them when i start on my car.

Harry Yarnell
01-31-06, 10:01 AM
You WILL need to Timesert all 20 holes. Even if the headbolt comes out clean, the last thing you want is to have it strip as you're retorqueing the head.
As for time, I don't know how Partick did it in 2 hours; it took me 20 minutes per hole. Maybe I was being more cautious.
Which brings up an interesting question. I tap with a 1/2 turn in, then 1/2 turn out; then repeat til the hole's finished. What tapping regimen do you use?

Pjs
02-02-06, 06:12 AM
As for time, I don't know how Partick did it in 2 hours; it took me 20 minutes per hole. Maybe I was being more cautious.
Which brings up an interesting question. I tap with a 1/2 turn in, then 1/2 turn out; then repeat til the hole's finished. What tapping regimen do you use?
The 2 hours I quoted was for pulling the engine. I had to pull mine again a week after reinstalling it. It goes quickly when you know exactly what to do and have air tools.
As for timeserts, I've not had to do my heads, but the bottom end instead. Still 20 holes. Once I had the block prepped it was about 10 mins. per hole. It was over a year ago so I may be fuzzy on the time.

Patrick

zonie77
02-02-06, 09:47 AM
B b o b said he would drill out the holes without the guideplate. This was after doing a couple. I think that if you are careful you could do that. I would't advise it the first time or if you aren't the careful type but the old hole does guide the bit. You have a bit of play around the bolts anyway. If you don't mess with the guide plate and have a couple of drills it would be a lot faster. We took a whole evening to do it so more like 3-4 hours.

raymondk
02-13-06, 01:09 AM
I just did my 93 Eldo and I'm not convinced the bottom drop was easier. I still couldn't get the engine separated from the trans because the pan hit the frame. Had to jack the trans. up on the right end to clear the frame then it fell appart. It was an awful lot of work just for a core plug, and an evaporator.

digitalcaddie
10-20-06, 10:40 AM
If you guys are pulling the engines in a couple of hours why did the dealer quote me 20+ hours in labor (which equals BIG BUCKS) to replace a head gasket? Is he completely full of it?

zonie77
10-20-06, 10:48 AM
The 2-4 hours is to drop the engine...not the whole job. Things always come apart faster than going back together.

richbanta
10-21-06, 09:50 AM
B b o b said he would drill out the holes without the guideplate. This was after doing a couple. I think that if you are careful you could do that. I would't advise it the first time or if you aren't the careful type but the old hole does guide the bit. You have a bit of play around the bolts anyway. If you don't mess with the guide plate and have a couple of drills it would be a lot faster. We took a whole evening to do it so more like 3-4 hours.

I am not sure why you would need a guide plate at all. There is no question that the drill will follow the old hole. The important part is making sure the tap goes in straight. I would also make sure the drill you are using is ground for aluminum and maybe blunt the chisel point of the drill so it would be impossible to go deeper than the hole already there. The problem with enlarging a hole already there is that the drill may grab and pull itself in. Drilling aluminum is especially prone to do this.

billytheshoe
12-09-06, 08:58 AM
A guide plate will at the least will locate the holes that need to be drilled out. I am new here with some close tolorance mechining experience (7yrs)& 25 yrs experience as a mechanic. I would suggest that this proceedure of drilling out the threads be done not using a hand drill. Its true if you have the angle right to start drilling the old treads will cut away just fine and leave you a "square" bore adequate for tapping. Sometimes a drill will take its own course in alum. and dig out at an angle you dont want. This would result in a cut thread that is a few degrees off of a square-perpindicular to the head fastener. This could distort the head,the block, head gasket and clamp the head to the block in a unequal manner. The other thing that comes to mind is head torque. If you over torque a bolt in alluminum you are a thousand, maybe a million times more likely to over stress the cut threads on the alum. block than the bolt. In my opinion I would only do this proceedure to a the block mounted on a machine with the angles squared up. Is it possible G.M. over torqued these head fasteners to begin with?

timdog
10-03-08, 02:06 PM
anyone can tell me how to get the front valve cover off a 1999 deville? it's stuck at t he water pump pulley,I have the water pump pulley off but the valve cover won't come off. do I have to remove the cam or something to get it off? thanks

zonie77
10-04-08, 09:38 AM
It's been a while. Try turning the engine over 1 rotation. It might be cam lobe position.

Mark C
10-07-08, 12:45 PM
How you going to remove the cam if you can't get the cover off? Pickup the passenger side end of the cover to clear the cam gears and slide it towards the water pump, it will slide right off the end of the waterpump pully drive and you can pull it the rest of the way off.

BBB4455
11-03-08, 08:51 PM
zonie, i have a 99 deville. gonna do HG's this weekend. Any experience with removing the motor thru the top? Any links? haven't been able to find anything like your instructions.

zonie77
11-04-08, 12:02 AM
zonie, i have a 99 deville. gonna do HG's this weekend. Any experience with removing the motor thru the top? Any links? haven't been able to find anything like your instructions.


No experience cus I do things the easiest way I can. Pulling out the top is harder. Some of the bolts are very hard to get to if you pull it out the top. It was made to drop out the bottom.

97EldoCoupe runs a business that does HG's. He pulls them out the top but he is set up to do that. If you are only doing one it is faster to drop it. Read that post too.

zonie77
11-04-08, 12:04 AM
zonie, i have a 99 deville. gonna do HG's this weekend. Any experience with removing the motor thru the top? Any links? haven't been able to find anything like your instructions.

If you pull it out the top take pics and do a write up.

93eldodave
05-29-09, 08:15 AM
If you have the eng out to do this job go the extra and stud the block , this way you'll never have to do this again on this eng..The first one i did years ago the kits werent around yet so i had a friend at a machine shop make me some studs out of some crome molly steel.. Took a month of trial and error but came out in the end, service mgr did not like the bay tied up so long but it was his car and he got over it soon after he got to drive his car again..

aaberg
10-14-11, 06:29 AM
Any made a video yet? I urgently need step-by-step information how to replace head gaskets on a STS 1998 (Northstar engine). Or do anyone have a link for a complete guide? Have spending several hours googling but have not come across any detailed instruction how to pull the gaskets.

maeng9981
10-14-11, 10:03 AM
Any made a video yet? I urgently need step-by-step information how to replace head gaskets on a STS 1998 (Northstar engine). Or do anyone have a link for a complete guide? Have spending several hours googling but have not come across any detailed instruction how to pull the gaskets.

Factory service manual covers all this. If you don't have them, you WILL need it. I also think that there is a stud kit instruction found from Jake's website, if you are using Jake's studs.



Haynes/Chilton manual won't work. You know what they say when it comes to a little bit complicated repair?
"Replacing a *insert broken parts here* is a complicated job which requires a special set of tools. It is best to let a dealership do this repair."
???????? I buy service manuals to repair something by myself, not to get instructions to drive to a dealership.

aaberg
10-17-11, 03:50 PM
Original Shop manual ordered yesterday.
Another issue: How do I know if my car (1998 STS) is 1st or 2nd design? Need to know then ordering engine gaskets etc.

T.C. SEVILLE 99
01-10-12, 10:56 PM
do you have any more photos tim.

Submariner409
01-11-12, 10:23 AM
T. C., Go to Discussions, Cadillac Tech Tips and search for threads on engine work. Also, use the search function to find work by Joe Tahoe - he did quite a picture posting last fall. These old threads sometimes need extra support................

(I guess your Dura-seal attempt didn't work...............If you actually did use the stuff in a Northstar.)

aaberg
01-11-12, 06:36 PM
I have a lot of photos doing the gasket heads, restoring heads, doing time sert etc. Did the work from the top without removing frame. It works but is a lot harder due to small clearence. If you do the work with engine in car you have to release the engine mounts make it possible to tip engine in front and rear to get some extra space. Hope to have time put photos and write some text. For the time sert you have a step-by-step video at http://www.timesert.com a shop manual is also a good investment. In the shop manual it is explained how to do the work with removing the engine with frame under the car. You can buy a CD with the manual from Ebay, cost less than a printed version but with same information. Then I started doing the work I searched a lot on internet but didn't came across any good step-by-step-guide. But as suggested you can find a lot of kind help in this and other Cadillac-forums. Good luck!