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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; I think some HG's fail and the threads are still good. I still would tend to insert/stud the holes for ...
  1. #16
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    I think some HG's fail and the threads are still good. I still would tend to insert/stud the holes for peace of mind if I was doing my own.

    Several years ago someone had the last bolt , last torque sequence, strip when reassembling their heads. He felt they looked fine when he inspected them.

    Ask the mechanic what he will do if any of the bolt holes strip on assembly. If he is willing to take a chance and either not charge you for the couple of hours or only charge you half the time to assemble/disassemble then it might be worth taking a chance. The HGs and new bolts would still be reusable. How long is he guaranteeing the work? Is he going to redo the heads if a bolt fails? You are willing to pay for the studs/inserts now so he should do it. He probably thinks he's doing you a favor by trying to save you the money.


    My feeling is the HG's fail first, then coolant (usually depleted of anti corrosion additives) speeds the corrosion of the threads. Because the N* doesn't give the old symptoms of leaking HG's people drive them a longer time before repair.

    I've told the story of dong valve jobs on cars with dead cylinders and finding a HG blown between two cylinders, no coolant in the oil. We did a valve job anyway because the heads were off and if there was a valve problem I'd have to eat the re-repair.

  2. #17
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    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    If you remove one or both cylinder heads on a Northstar block, either insert the block or stud it. Period.

  3. #18
    Thawcko is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    Quote Originally Posted by submariner409 View Post
    If you remove one or both cylinder heads on a Northstar block, either insert the block or stud it. Period.

    I agree with you....Just read these forums and see the history of the Northstar, and that would tell you if you remove the heads, you should Stud or insert...

  4. #19
    coaster is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    dont do it my mechanic tried that and the last two bolts would not tighten and he had to have a machine shop do the inserts because he didnt have the kit to do the job so he sent the motor out and i payed the machine shop and he put the motor back in the car so dont listen to your machanic at all.

  5. #20
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    Thanks for all the replies. Jake's stud kit arrived this morning, so my mechanic can now begin the repair. Hopefully it will be back on the road soon!

  6. #21
    Thawcko is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    Nice... keep us informed...

  7. #22
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    just out of curiousity all the posts i have been reading here are involved with removing the Engine dropping the cradle to do the heads
    im just a little curious maybe i miss underssxtood what Jake said on the phone but he had told me that
    he doesn't have to remove the engine from the car or maybe he said he doesnt ahve to drop the cradle to get the engine out of the car
    he pulls it up threw the engine compartment
    im not sure exactly but im preatty sure that is what he said he found away to do the Head's without having to drop the engine out of the car
    he goes in from under the hood

  8. #23
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    Jake pulls the engine from the top. General consensus is that it is easier to drop the cradle.

  9. #24
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
    Jake pulls the engine from the top. General consensus is that it is easier to drop the cradle.

    You can pull it out the top but if you are only doing HG's it's definitely harder.

    Jake is set up in that he ( per an early thread with Jake) keeps the extension/universal/socket ready for the very hard to reach and he said he has made something to help lift it out properly. For one job dropping the cradle is easier. If you are going into business doing them it might be worth learning how to pull them out the top efficiently. He also does the pan gasket on every job so he has to lift the engine anyway.

    Remember, it was designed to come out the bottom.Some of the bolts are very hard to reach in the car, very easy with the cradle out.

    It is possible to do it in the car but only one person ever said it "wasn't that bad"...everyone else either gave up, ran out of curse words and then gave up, or said things like " I'd rather put my hands in a blender".

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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    i was just curiouse because i ones asked a Shop cant you take it out the top and they loughed at me and said nope gota pull the entire car apart
    wich i knew there had to be a way to do it and then Jake was the first one who ever mentioned it to me
    so i was really really suprised when i found that out

  11. #26
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    Lotta people started taking it out the top and gave up. I think Tateos started taking it out the top, then dropped the cradle.

    Even if I was also changing the pan gasket I think I'd drop the cradle, then try twisting the engine up enough to change the pan gasket without separating the engine/trans.

    If anyone has done that post it. I don't know if that would work or not.

  12. #27
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    Quote Originally Posted by zonie77 View Post
    Lotta people started taking it out the top and gave up. I think Tateos started taking it out the top, then dropped the cradle.

    Even if I was also changing the pan gasket I think I'd drop the cradle, then try twisting the engine up enough to change the pan gasket without separating the engine/trans.

    If anyone has done that post it. I don't know if that would work or not.
    oh so when it comes out the top you can chang ethe oil pan is that what your tlaing about or is there another pan ?
    im a bit confused
    thanks

  13. #28
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    Quote Originally Posted by PupFromCleveland View Post
    oh so when it comes out the top you can chang ethe oil pan is that what your tlaing about or is there another pan ?
    im a bit confused
    thanks

    Yes the oil pan. It's too close to the cradle otherwise.

  14. #29
    Thawcko is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    Quote Originally Posted by zonie77 View Post
    Lotta people started taking it out the top and gave up. I think Tateos started taking it out the top, then dropped the cradle.

    Even if I was also changing the pan gasket I think I'd drop the cradle, then try twisting the engine up enough to change the pan gasket without separating the engine/trans.

    If anyone has done that post it. I don't know if that would work or not.
    I could not get at one of the oil pan bolts without separating...

  15. #30
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Blown head gaskets but no pulled/stripped bolts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thawcko View Post
    I could not get at one of the oil pan bolts without separating...

    too bad. I didn't do the pan gasket and now it's leaking pretty bad and the smell is annoying.

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