Broken bell housing
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Broken bell housing in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; I was bolting up the tranny to the engine. the engine was flush against the left side and about 1/4 ...
  1. #1
    Pete315 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 95 Eldorado
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    Broken bell housing

    I was bolting up the tranny to the engine. the engine was flush against the left side and about 1/4 inch tops on the right side. I put the right side top bolt in started to thread it in the block. It started to pull the tranny in then snap. I broke off the top right section of the tranny where it bolts up to the engine. Is this tranny shot, can I somehow get it welded, or can I just install with 3 bolts holding it together? I do have a spare tranny minus the axles in my garage from the parts car I bought. I'm just not sure how to swap out axles.

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  3. #2
    Necrosan is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Broken bell housing

    Ouch, that sucks.
    You can try welding it, but it really all depends if you want to risk doing the job twice.
    I'd probably give it a shot depending on the welders I had handy & how much time was free.

  4. #3
    Krashed989's Avatar
    Krashed989 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Broken bell housing

    I did the same... but with prying on the bellhousing... same corner too... lol... I welded it with a spool-gun welder we had at the shop. Very high tech and expensive welder.

    Aluminum is a hard metal to weld. It doesn't glow like steel. You have to have an auto dimming welding mask otherwise you wont be able to see what you're doing. You have to take a die-grinder and V out the crack, otherwise the weld will not be strong... You have to grind and clean the metal surface right before you do the weld. if you wait more than an hour, the surface is not clean anymore and it will not weld good. Aluminum is porus; no matter how much you grind off, since it's 15 years old it has probably sucked up some oils, which means that it will be hard to make a good weld with. When you do weld, Limit yourself to 5 second bursts max (allow a few seconds for the surface and weld to cool in between). Any more and the aluminum will be too hot and you will make a hole (which is nearly impossible to refill with a weld unless you're an expert). A TIG would be the preferred method. A spoolgun works though. Aluminum wire is extremely soft and tends to birdnest in a normal MIG setup.

  5. #4
    Pete315 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Broken bell housing

    well, I decided to swap out the tranny and put in the parts car one. I know it's good because I drove it home about 500 miles at highway speeds and in traffic without a single problem. Question- my car is a 95 Eldo, this came out of a 94 Seville, both with the Y vin. will this 94 work with my 95? they look the exact same, sensors in same spot.

  6. #5
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Broken bell housing

    yup, same trans.

  7. #6
    97EldoCoupe is offline U.S. Patent #8,740,532 - www.studkit.com
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    Re: Broken bell housing

    Pete - I am so sorry that I didn't manage to help you with your engine. I haven't heard what you opted to do with the 4 broken bolts yet. Too many family/personal things have happened recently so once again I truely apologize.

    Is there anything I can help you with? I have spare transmissions for a few different years if you need one. When you go to re-install that engine again, remember to bolt up the lower front bolt first (goes right through an alignment pin) and the lower rear (15mm head), preferrably those two bolts simultaneously. Those areas of the trans case are much stronger. Leave the top two for last. Wire brush the alignment dowels and spray them with penetrating lube to eliminate any friction.

    Wish you the very best of luck with your Northstar project.

    -Jake

  8. #7
    Pete315 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Broken bell housing

    I've been reading your post Jake, you do seem extremely busy. When I took a closer look at my block, two of the holes where bolt broke off seem to have hairline cracks going out from the hole. I believe this block was not repairable. I happen to come across a 94 Seville with a good Northstar. Seller said previous owner had just paid a $3,800 bill at the Caddy dealership to repair this car. Obviously the dealership put new heads on this engine. I took the rear valve cover off and they were spotless. The bottom end looks original. I drove this Seville from Maine to New York without a single problem. I'm glad I yanked out that tranny. I kept my 95 heads as spares, they looked super clean also. I'm using the 95 intake on the 94 motor. Thanks for your offer for help. Good luck with the move.

    just as a side note, I have done it both ways putting this engine in (through the top and dropping the cradle). Dropping the cradle is the way to go.

  9. #8
    97EldoCoupe is offline U.S. Patent #8,740,532 - www.studkit.com
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    Re: Broken bell housing

    For rust-free cars you are right, dropping the cradle is the way to go.

    Hey Pete what are you doing with the old engine? I've been working on setting up a contract with UPS Freight and shipping engines is soon going to be a lot cheaper than what it currently is for me. I will eventually be buying blocks from all over the USA. Keep that one around- the internals would still be worth a little money to me.

    I'm glad you found a good engine to work with

  10. #9
    Pete315 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Broken bell housing

    sorry Jake, I got rid of the block when I junked the Seville. I had to clean out the garage. I did keep the oil pan,manifold,heads from the 95, exhaust manifolds, 94 coil with wires.

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