: Nortstar engine removal.

08-05-14, 06:54 AM
I am new to the sight. I recently purchased a 99 Eldorado hoping to avoid buying one with a head gasket issue. The seller was not truthful about the condition of the vehicle. I like the vehicle a lot and would like to repair. It has 156k on the odometer. I've looked around and found a shop locally that can rebuild and time sert the engine for 4k. I can also order a motor that has been studded for pretty much the same cost and would prefer the second option. That would leave the engine replacement up to me. Local shops want as much as 2200.00 just to install the new motor. Is removing and installing a nothstar motor too difficult to complete for an average mechanic? I have a 2 car garage and could take my time just curious if I should attempt to do this myself. Any thoughts.

08-05-14, 09:43 AM
If you are willing to take the time to do it and account for how things came off... ETC. anyone can do it themselves with a decent set of tools and a engine lift. but remember its no small block chevy.

08-05-14, 10:02 AM

Where are you located?

08-05-14, 11:10 AM
I am located in NC near Sanford

08-05-14, 11:14 AM
Welcome fellow Tarheel. I'm half hr from you.
Engine swap easy enough, drive you insane with all the bits and pieces and wiring. To be honest if you can swap an engine you can insert or stud it too. That's actually the easy part. For way less than 2500 you can buy parts and tools.

08-05-14, 12:01 PM
Thanks for the welcome fellas. Every mechanic I have called and mentioned a possible head gasket repair on a northstar motor has pretty dreaded the task. One suggesting just replacing the motor would be a better option. I would def consider studding the motor over engine swap if the outcome were a reliable running vehicle. Does the motor need to be removed from the vehicle to stud it? There is a decent amount of white smoke when running the motor. My other concern would be what are the odds of it being a cracked block? Just a thought.......

08-05-14, 12:05 PM
Have to drop the cradle but engine can stay on trans if you're not doing any lower end work.

08-05-14, 06:18 PM
How can I I get a list of tools and parts needed for the head gasket repair and how much less do you think it would run over engine swap. The vehicle will be parked in my garage so I can take as much time needed. I have never dropped a cradle in one of these before. What is the best way to do this without a lift......

08-05-14, 07:16 PM
Replacing the engine with a used pullout is a guaranteed Russian Roulette failure. Overhaul what you have - and that is no easy task. Count on at least 2 weeks of long days.

Stud the block (www.northstarperformance.com (http://www.northstarperformance.com)) or use Norm's inserts (www.huhnsolutions.com (http://www.huhnsolutions.com)) - do NOT use the small TimeSerts

Some members rent pallet jacks and a 3-ton engine cherry picker - you remove the entire drivetrain - engine, transmission, steering gear suspension, struts - by lifting the front of the car, unbolting/wiring/draining/moving everything and lowering the entire thing onto the pallet jack, then lift the body and roll out the drivetrain. Lots of pictures and tips in Cadillac Tech Tips and in here.

If you are good and have the proper tools and experience you can lift the engine out the top - but there are hoops to jump through there, too.

Tools ??? Every sort of automotive tool from open and box end wrenches, socket sets, drills, torque wrenches, hacksaws, ........... a comprehensive engine shop. Plus some specialized tool rental for installing various new parts. And a real GM/Helm service manual - eBay - without one you are guaranteed to cost yourself time, money, broken parts and frustration.

For a glimpse at what you're up against, take out a subscription for the car to www.alldatadiy.com (http://www.alldatadiy.com). Study.

EDIT: You might try to find a CF member - Mike Lawson - in Lexington, KY. He comes to you in a work van and repairs the engine in your garage.

08-05-14, 08:29 PM
how much less do you think it would run over engine swap.
The work of disassembling the top of the motor, cleaning everything, retiming and reassembling it. I wouldn't call a replacement motor a guaranteed failure, but it certainly is a gamble.

08-05-14, 09:15 PM
Tools, torque wrench, 1/2 inch drill, engine hoist, flywheel holder, rear seal installer(expensive but ways around using one). FSM, fuel line tools, 3 jaw puller, puller puller/installer. If you go through heads a valve keeper remiver/installer along with a mirade of hand tools(racheting box wrenches a huge help), beer... More beer.
I've been pulling motors for 30+ yrs and wouldn't recommend a newb do this job.
If you drop the cradle check and or replace the heater pipes behind the engine as they rust out.
As for parts, inserts, new head bolts, head gasket kit, frt cover seal. If you seal the half case list goes up... Including rear seal(40 to 50 alone).
I suggest you read through Bill Buttermore thread and there are numerous others.
I just did mine last month and other then taking longer than anticipated was pretty straight forward.
Be prepared to get a few new lifters as they wear sometimes also.

08-05-14, 09:57 PM
Sounds pretty involved. Going to start my Cadillac digest reading asap. The motor I am considering for swap is not a pulled used motor but a reman rebuilt one with zero miles. Def would not want to do this twice.....30 years is a long time do you work on a shop rod?

08-05-14, 10:21 PM
Can't ever remember not working on cars... Worked in shops over the years, work mainly on my own now.

08-06-14, 08:44 AM
The reman engine must be of the same year and type as your original - the 8th character of the VIN is the key -

VIN 9 = 300 hp engine, 3.71:1 final drive transmission.

VIN Y = 275 hp engine, 3.11:1 final drive. Different engine/transmission controls calibrations, different cams.

Read the sticky post on engine interchangeability ^^^ . I think you're limited to a 1998/1999 engine.

08-06-14, 10:58 AM
As for parts, inserts, new head bolts,

by the time you pay for that you could get our full stud kit and have a guaranteed fix, 5 year/ 100,000 miles that those studs will not fail .


if you put a new rear main in, DO NOT put in Fel pro or anything else than the Updated 2 piece GM factory replacement, GM Part number : 12568025.

08-06-14, 11:33 AM
by the time you pay for that you could get our full stud kit and have a guaranteed fix, 5 year/ 100,000 miles that those studs will not fail .[COLOR="Silver"]

NormSerts not going to fail, and in less than 48 hours they were sitting on the bench.
I assure you it was cheaper also.

08-06-14, 11:50 AM
What stud kit are you referring to? And I've seen difference to norm serts but what exactly is it. Are norm serts the original time serts?

08-06-14, 12:26 PM
NormSerts are his own product and completely different than timeserts. I used a drill bit and a tap set I bought to install. You can get the entire kit or just the inserts. NS300L is what to google for his site. From time to time used install kits on ebay also.

08-06-14, 12:40 PM
What is the part number for the recommended stud kit also?

08-06-14, 03:02 PM
Norm's inserts (www.huhnsolutions.com) are very different from the inserts made by Time Fastener Co. With either you use GM head bolts.

The proper stud kit will be assembled at order time for your particular engine. (www.northstarperformance.com)

09-05-14, 04:10 AM
Has anyone done business with b and b automotive out of Indianapolis IN? Just curious. http://www.b-and-b-automotive.com