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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, To hone? or not to hone in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; GM uses diamond tooling for North* cylinder bore finishing that is not available in the field. Don't mess with it....
  1. #16
    dkozloski's Avatar
    dkozloski is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: To hone? or not to hone

    GM uses diamond tooling for North* cylinder bore finishing that is not available in the field. Don't mess with it.
    Don't mess with Binky Bear!


  2. #17
    32vmonte is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: To hone? or not to hone

    I had my block lightly honed. It had corrosion from dex-cool sitting in the cylinders over the winter while the car sat broke.

    Also there where a few areas in the bore where you could feel a groove that would catch your fingernail. The machine shop said he has done it on dozens of N* blocks without an issue. So I did it and my motor runs great with no oil loss. I didn't want to put my motor together with all that junk on the walls so I said the hell with it hopefully it turns out ok and it did. The hone was so light you can still see the stains from the coolant but can't feel them anymore.

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    Re: To hone? or not to hone

    Yeah - under those circumstances, that's exactly what I would have done; If the bore is in good shape, it's best to leave it alone, but with your situation, you were more likely to improve your chances for a good result, plus with palpable grooves and visible corrosion, what did you really have to lose?

  4. #19
    32vmonte is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: To hone? or not to hone

    Quote Originally Posted by tateos View Post
    Yeah - under those circumstances, that's exactly what I would have done; If the bore is in good shape, it's best to leave it alone, but with your situation, you were more likely to improve your chances for a good result, plus with palpable grooves and visible corrosion, what did you really have to lose?
    Yea thats what I thought exactly. I did it and it turned out perfect as far as i can tell. There was no way I was gonna assemble the motor with that junk on the cylinders

  5. #20
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    Re: To hone? or not to hone

    You are so far along. I have done the quick hone to an engine getting 350 mi. to the qt. fitted new rings, Light hone, Scrape the grooves out. That changed to 2000mi consumption for the 1st qt after 125 mi. break in. That all turned out well. I wouldn't hesitate if the consumption was that bad. You mention you have reasonable oil usage. In that case if upper ring has cut a ridge at the top, you then have significant wear. The ring gaps will be out of spec. Piston skirts out of spec, that alone is not the end of the world. It would be a shame not to do something to address the wear or at least the carbon in the grooves at this advanced state of disassembly. The block is so simple compared dealing with a dohc head it silly to think you would be forbidden to deal with it at this point be cause "its bulletproof" Bull sh t. You could bring this block to a engine machinist and get a ridge removed, light hone with a TQ plate, 0.003 over rings fitted. under $300 and they would do a nice cleaning. Better yet if you considered getting new pistons fitted it would be all like new. That would bring the cost up to about $700 to $800. I think it would also be important to take a peek in the head ports and see if there is buildup on the backside of the valve heads that would warrant valve removal, cleaning & lapping. The engine would perform as new mechanically. If you want to do extra now is the time. You don't want to do any of this labor twice. You will need some special tools to deal with the valve springs & the re builder will assemble the rotating assembly in the block for you.

  6. #21
    KHE
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    Re: To hone? or not to hone

    Quote Originally Posted by johnny kannapo View Post
    You are so far along. I have done the quick hone to an engine getting 350 mi. to the qt. fitted new rings, Light hone, Scrape the grooves out. That changed to 2000mi consumption for the 1st qt after 125 mi. break in. That all turned out well. I wouldn't hesitate if the consumption was that bad. You mention you have reasonable oil usage. In that case if upper ring has cut a ridge at the top, you then have significant wear. The ring gaps will be out of spec. Piston skirts out of spec, that alone is not the end of the world. It would be a shame not to do something to address the wear or at least the carbon in the grooves at this advanced state of disassembly. The block is so simple compared dealing with a dohc head it silly to think you would be forbidden to deal with it at this point be cause "its bulletproof" Bull sh t. You could bring this block to a engine machinist and get a ridge removed, light hone with a TQ plate, 0.003 over rings fitted. under $300 and they would do a nice cleaning. Better yet if you considered getting new pistons fitted it would be all like new. That would bring the cost up to about $700 to $800. I think it would also be important to take a peek in the head ports and see if there is buildup on the backside of the valve heads that would warrant valve removal, cleaning & lapping. The engine would perform as new mechanically. If you want to do extra now is the time. You don't want to do any of this labor twice. You will need some special tools to deal with the valve springs & the re builder will assemble the rotating assembly in the block for you.
    Northstar engines will not have a ridge that needs to be removed. If the engine is burning 1 qt every 350 miles, then a hone to deglaze the cylinders and new rings should cure the problem. Just be sure the shop honing the engine has an automated machine capabile of providing a finish hone with a Ra 0.2-0.4mm. The cross hatch pattern should be 40-60 degrees included angle relative to the deck surface and the finish must be multidirectional.

    I am in the process of rebuilding a junkyard Northstar from a '98 Deville engine. One of the cylinders had some minor surface corrosion and all the cylinders appeared to be glazed. The shop I'm using has a machine that can duplicate the factory pattern. You DON'T want someone with a handheld hone in a drill motor working on these engines.

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