: 99 STS head gasket repair [ in car]



lembo
05-23-14, 11:13 PM
Hello to all, I have been a member here for a while but until now I've been hiding in the shadows and getting great advice for you all. A big thank you to all of you.

I have a time sert question that I hope has a good answer. I have removed the heads on my 99 STS and plan on doing time serts. I remember reading somewhere on here that I could use the TIME-SERT J-42385-2000 kit on the 99. I'm aware the kit is for newer 2000 and up but thought it was only because of the newer models having deeper holes in one bank. Has anyone used this kit on older engines.

Thanx in advance. I'll post some pics here and keep you posted

lembo
05-24-14, 01:46 AM
215793

Not bad at this point. Pretty straight forward once the radiator was out of the way. Make sure you use a pulley puller for the water pump pulley. I tried to apply presure and tap it with a hammer and broke the tip off the camshaft. That was an extra $100 on ebay

lembo
05-24-14, 01:50 AM
215801

All the head bolts were tight and made a nice "crack" sound when they gave. These are the intake side bolts. No aluminum in the threads but lots of junk.

lembo
05-24-14, 01:52 AM
215809

Same for the exhaust side.

lembo
05-24-14, 01:55 AM
215817

Lots of carbon on the piston crowns. I think it was due to babying her so she wouldn't over heat.

lembo
05-24-14, 02:04 AM
215825

With the gasket off you can see a lot of buildup in the top of the water jacket. May be due to bottle of miracles used by the previous owner.

lembo
05-24-14, 02:12 AM
215833

Rear head bolts felt tight coming out but looked worse than the fronts. The 5th one from the front is so bad you can barely make out the threads on it.

lembo
05-24-14, 02:14 AM
215841

Rear head valves had lots of build up. Black and white

lembo
05-24-14, 02:16 AM
215849

Looks like I was leaking coolant at the top corner of #7

talismandave
05-24-14, 02:35 AM
Very cool! I am sure this will end up being moved to an engine form or something, but I am glad you started it here or I would have never seen it.

:welcome:

Ranger
05-24-14, 11:21 AM
Make sure you use a pulley puller for the water pump pulley. I tried to apply presure and tap it with a hammer and broke the tip off the camshaft. That was an extra $100 on ebay
Too bad you didn't ask first. We'd have warned you about that.

I understand that doing it in the car is the hard way. Have you gotten that rear head off yet?

lembo
05-24-14, 11:36 AM
Rear head is off. I left the exhaust manifold on it. I have no choice for in car. I'm doing it in a gravel drive way. Any word on the time sert conversion [using the 2000 kit on a 99 engine] I want to start drilling and tapping today. Looks like I just leave the extra stop collar on for all the holes.

Submariner409
05-24-14, 02:25 PM
Cover EVERY hole, cylinder and passage with duct tape, except for the hole being currently repaired. Long process, but aluminum chips will go everywhere. An air compressor and hand gun are handy ...........

Ranger
05-24-14, 02:44 PM
I think the only difference between the 2000 and the '99 Timesert kit is the thread pitch. You want the coarser thread anyway.

lembo
05-24-14, 03:48 PM
Thanx Ranger. All covered up and using air gun with long thin tube that reaches the bottom of the hole. I just did 4 and came in for a beer. I'm getting nice curly aluminum off the drill bit and the threads are cutting nice. No powder. Had to buy a right angle drill with a 1/2" chuck this morning.

lembo
05-24-14, 05:51 PM
216017

With the rear head off and the front of the cradle lowered, you can see there is more room than you would think.

lembo
05-24-14, 05:53 PM
216025

lembo
05-24-14, 05:56 PM
216033

Some things you may need. The air gun with extension was under $5 from HF.

lembo
05-24-14, 05:57 PM
Good curls on the bit.

lembo
05-24-14, 06:00 PM
216497Cheapest 1/2" angle drill I could find was $125 at HF and yes, it is over kill for drilling the block. I had a 20% off coupon so it was $100

lembo
05-24-14, 06:03 PM
216057

Shavings on the tap. feelin good about this so far

Submariner409
05-24-14, 07:21 PM
Nice work. Keep up with the pics and text and we'll make your work permanent in Tech Tips.

You may run out of picture storage room - resize them all to less than 800 X 800. (I see that some are already below that size .......)

98eldo32v
05-24-14, 07:49 PM
The Corona Extra beer I see is "mood" lubricant.......

Love the right angle drill, you might think it's overkill it's probably making that job more bearable than you think........

Ranger
05-24-14, 09:34 PM
A right angle drill is a must if you are going to do it in car.

lembo
05-24-14, 11:10 PM
The Corona Extra beer I see is "mood" lubricant.......

Love the right angle drill, you might think it's overkill it's probably making that job more bearable than you think........

The drill is great. It's a Chinese copy of a Milwaukee hole hawg.

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Got the front of the block serted. Had trouble with the locator near #7 on the rear bank. Thats where I had the leak. Tomorrow I'll drill the rear head. I know this tool is expensive but it does the job very nicely so far. Only complaint is the guide bushing is always coming off. Spent some time finding where it landed a few times. would be nice if it screwed in.

Ranger
05-25-14, 11:40 AM
$120 is not all that expensive, especially considering what you are saving by doing it yourself.

lembo
05-25-14, 11:53 AM
$120 is not all that expensive, especially considering what you are saving by doing it yourself.
I was referring to the time sert set. This is the second job on this set and there is no sign of wear. I will ebay it when I'm finished with the job. As far as the drill. it's a keeper.

lembo
05-25-14, 10:59 PM
Nice work. Keep up with the pics and text and we'll make your work permanent in Tech Tips.

You may run out of picture storage room - resize them all to less than 800 X 800. (I see that some are already below that size .......)
That's quite the compliment coming from you Submariner. Thank you. I'll try to edit the other pics soon.

MoistCabbage
05-25-14, 11:12 PM
Upload to www.photobucket.com , and copy and paste the IMG codes into your posts. No size limit, just a 15 image per post limit.

lembo
05-26-14, 12:00 AM
216433

I'm not sure why this happened. The top of one insert came back out on the tool. The other 19 seated perfectly.

lembo
05-26-14, 11:04 AM
216505

Even with cradle lowered there was not enough room for drill. I dropped the mount and lowered engine with floor jack to gain the room needed. Doing this job "in car" is no short cut. It is more work than dropping engine and cradle out the bottom. Something is always in the way

Submariner409
05-26-14, 11:07 AM
True bummer ! That 'Sert simply pulled apart. CAREFUL work with an EZ-Out is in order. Jam the remaining TimeSert threads and you have real problems.

Are those the original TimeSert or the later BigSert ?

Just as an aside, I (maybe others) wish that you had used Norm's NS300L inserts ................ but, the die is cast.

www.huhnsolutions.com (http://www.huhnsolutions.com)

lembo
05-26-14, 11:14 AM
216513

With this much room I probably could have done studs instead of time serts.

lembo
05-26-14, 11:35 AM
True bummer ! That 'Sert simply pulled apart. CAREFUL work with an EZ-Out is in order. Jam the remaining TimeSert threads and you have real problems.

Are those the original TimeSert or the later BigSert ?

Just as an aside, I (maybe others) wish that you had used Norm's NS300L inserts ................ but, the die is cast.

www.huhnsolutions.com (http://www.huhnsolutions.com)

These are TimeSert. I can still go to BigSert if necessary. I got a good deal on this kit used on Ebay. I plan to resell it when finished. A bit bummed that I'll have to wait for new serts to come in the mail. Not sure if there is a walk in supplier here in North Jersey. I might consider leaving it and seeing if it torques. It's on the front bank so it would be easy to get back to it if it fails. 75% is still in there and I feel it would do more damage to block threads if I got it out.

MoistCabbage
05-26-14, 01:05 PM
The original times serts were known to fail, sometimes while torquing the head bolts upon reassembly. Yours failed while threading it into the block, AND YOU STILL WANT TO TRUST THEM?!?!

The hard part is done, and you need to order new serts now anyway. Just use the better serts or stud it now. Why waste all that labor?

lembo
05-26-14, 01:37 PM
Are you suggesting that I remove the 1 bad sert and the 19 good ones? Sounds like that would ruin all the new threads due to the locktite and the bottom threads of the sert being pressed in the block on assembly. Is the tap for studs that much larger that I can retool good threads into the block?

MoistCabbage
05-26-14, 02:01 PM
You can drill and tap for studs even after using the original Time-serts.

Ranger
05-26-14, 04:38 PM
Even with cradle lowered there was not enough room for drill. I dropped the mount and lowered engine with floor jack to gain the room needed. Doing this job "in car" is no short cut. It is more work than dropping engine and cradle out the bottom. Something is always in the way
That's what I've always heard and why I never recommend doing it in car.

lembo
05-27-14, 10:32 AM
Any tricks or procedure links for installing the overhead cams? Just wanna get it right the first time. I had it all at TDC when I took it apart.

Submariner409
05-27-14, 11:40 AM
Use this diagram for timing.

Dribble or paint cam breakin lube onto all 32 cam lobes and cam followers.

Pin the chain tensioners fully retracted, then pull the pins when it's all together. Fill the oil pump with 50 weight oil. Use a full 8 quarts of 10W-30 HD (truck/marine) to fill the sump.

lembo
05-27-14, 10:21 PM
That's great info but I was hoping there was a trick to do it from above without removing front cover. I doubt those tensioners will play nice. My day job will put this project on hold for a few days anyway. Thanks again Submariner.

98eldo32v
05-28-14, 04:31 AM
Sounds crazy,
.
Throw it in reverse now and stud it.

That is the very reason since studs have hit the scene I wouldn't even think of looking at inserts on this type of job.

Good luck.

Submariner409
05-28-14, 10:15 AM
Maybe ............ IF you used the GM trick of wire-tying the cam chains they haven't slipped time and the tensioners have not automatically ratcheted out all the way.

The tensioner and guide slippers are nylon and they wear over time, so should be replaced.

I incorrectly assumed that you had opened the front (timing) cover to do chain/tensioner work.

lembo
05-28-14, 11:51 AM
The front tensioner moves freely. Sound of oil swishing when depressed. I think the rear one is ratcheted out.

Also new "used" camshaft has a broken timing gear so I need to swap it with the old one. Suggestions on cracking the ?20mm? nut are welcome. [On head, Off head, impact]

lembo
05-28-14, 12:05 PM
217289

On the top left is the famous hollow bolt. As you see it is twice the length of what sticks out. Just an FYI for those trying to clear it.

On the right you see I'm replacing the pipe connector to the heater core with a standard fitting from Home Depot. I don't trust the original and it looks like it was leaking at some point.

bsamole
05-29-14, 01:16 PM
I would call the Time Sert technical support at 800 423 4070 between 6AM-4PM PST and ask there advice.

lembo
06-03-14, 04:01 PM
I got her all back together and drove her around the block. Got a question. Service Air Bag on dash and a B1126 code. [Driver deployment Loop Opened]. My Alldatadiy manual has a very detailed diagnosis. My steering wheel Center sensor has been broken for some time and it is possible my wheel did a 360 while disconnected. Should I look at the steering column or did I miss a plug under the hood?

JTraik
06-03-14, 09:41 PM
Lembo, did you have the steering wheel shaft disconnected for this job? The airbag sensor is the yellow item centered above the radiator.

----------

I will be doing a head gasket repair on my 99 Eldo in the next month or so and would like to do it in-vehicle. I will be using inserts (Norm's). Lembo I notice the right angle drill you used was a bit bulky, do you think a more slender drill like this Makita DA3000 would work better?

http://www.amazon.com/Makita-DA3000R-8-Inch-Variable-Speed/dp/B00002269W/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Also, how did you go about re-timing the camshafts? If you had to do it again, is there a better way you would handled the cam shaft portion of the job? Any other tips that you have not mentioned here? Thanks so much for posting the job!

ponyboyt
06-04-14, 04:47 AM
Just a heads up on installing cams, you CAN release the tensioners and squish them down without removing the cover. I did this on a mis-timed chain way back.... engine in car all bolted up. you can push a flat bar down the head and hit the release. I practised on an engine i had out on the floor...

lembo
06-04-14, 08:22 AM
Hey JTraik,I disconnected the steering at the rack only. You lost me at "above the radiator"

If at all possible, Drop the motor. I had no choice do to gravel driveway. [ thoughts of suicide my occur] I used time serts and the bit required a 1/2 inch chuck. I think that Makita is 3/8. I also used the kit for a 2000 which works but comes with a longer drill bit for the deep bank on one side of the 2000+ Northstars. The bit for the 99 would have given me another inch clearance which is a lot on this job.

As far as the cam timing, I had a hard time due to the rear tensioner. No pics that day, sorry. It needed to be pinned so the front cover had to come off. I used a 110 volt impact gun from harbor freight to break lose the harmonic balancer and a 4 inch 3 claw puller. The engine had to get real low and I pinched the camshaft position sensor against the side wall in the process so keep that in mind. Good luck with your job.

lembo
06-04-14, 12:59 PM
Also another thing that helped me with timing was to draw the timing marks on the back of the cam timing gears with a sharpie. Then bring down the cam caps slowly. Concentrate on the caps on either side of the engaged cam lobs first till closed. I used a 1/4 inch socket wrench, no more than a half turn each bolt. Then use torque pattern from manual.

lembo
06-04-14, 05:16 PM
Ok , besides the B1126 air bag code I've also lost my conveinence controls on the wheel [ temp and tunes ]. I guess I'll be ordering some parts and pulling the column. I wanted to fix that steering wheel center sensor anyway.

lembo
06-06-14, 02:16 AM
I just listed my Time Sert J-42385-2000 kit on Ebay in case anyone is looking for one.

lembo
06-06-14, 02:27 AM
220241

So far so good