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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, 2001 Northstar - Head Gaskets blown or not?? I'm stumped!! in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Originally Posted by hms200 Don't know...they "claimed" that, while they couldn't confirm it after the fact, the nature of job ...
  1. #91
    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
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    Re: 2001 Northstar - Head Gaskets blown or not?? I'm stumped!!

    Quote Originally Posted by hms200 View Post
    Don't know...they "claimed" that, while they couldn't confirm it after the fact, the nature of job would have commanded head removal...and I tend to agree. They replaced all eight pistons, among others things, associated with head slap repair. Didn't you confirm for me rippy from parts list I sent you way back when that head gaskets was on that list?
    well yeah, now that you mention it i do remember... we've done a bunch of lower block seal repairs and don't take the heads off

    i forgot it was you that had the piston repair also (and you sent me that parts list too) ...

    so now you're saying that some of those bolts they replaced have pulled?
    IIRC they had put inserts in your block, right? or did they just replace the headbolts? (which would be a big no-no any time you have a pre2005 N* head off)
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    Re: 2001 Northstar - Head Gaskets blown or not?? I'm stumped!!

    I'm askin if I can check with temp gun and how cause I'm gonna be buying a dts and wanna check it first

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    Re: 2001 Northstar - Head Gaskets blown or not?? I'm stumped!!

    No you can't.

  4. #94
    hms200 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2001 Northstar - Head Gaskets blown or not?? I'm stumped!!

    Well...your guess is as good as mine on what they did or did not do. Nature of the prior repair dictated head removal, given that all pistons were replaced by dealer under prior owner.

    They did NOT install serts...so no thread repairs done. Did they reuse the head bolts or replace? I suspect replaced since the new bolts are part of the OEM head gasket kits that were in the parts list. Evidently the dealer tech fool simply slapped on the heads with no regard for the well known thread failure issue. Even if none were failed at the time...I can't imagine him just slapping it back together without repairing the threads. Prior owner knew nothing about all this, so it's not like he opted away from thread repair costs.

    Oh wait...it was a service policy repair. So...evidently policy company was calling the shots...shame-shame. Mr Goodwrench still should have notified prior owner to at least advise and give him the option if service policy wasn't gonna cover the extra work. If done at that time, extra cost wouldn't have been all that much.

    So yes...3 of 20 head bolt threads were clearly failed when I removed them. I'll be repairing all 20 obviously...will be using Norm's Serts.

    HMS

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    Re: 2001 Northstar - Head Gaskets blown or not?? I'm stumped!!

    reusing head bolts is VERBOTEN per the FSM

    very very unlikely that they did that (especially since you paid for new bolts, like you said)
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    Re: 2001 Northstar - Head Gaskets blown or not?? I'm stumped!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedygman View Post
    Take a 5/8 x 11 Tap, cut threads inside hollow dowel about even with top of block, insert 5/8 threaded rod, use a stack of sockets around the rod, washer nut, tighten nut until it pulls hollow dowel out, or stick a bolt that will just fit inside hollow dowel, pinch dowel with vice grips and pull out.
    I did the "insert bolt, use vise grips" thing, but it marked up the outside of the dowel quite a bit. I ground down the marred exterior so the dowels could be re-used - could have bought new ones cheap enough, but couldn't be bothered with trying to track them down locally.

    I really like your 5/8" tap and rod procedure - it leaves the exterior of the dowel in perfect condition!

  7. #97
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    Re: 2001 Northstar - Head Gaskets blown or not?? I'm stumped!!

    i didn't think that the dowels are really meant to be reused... we always put new ones in
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    Re: 2001 Northstar - Head Gaskets blown or not?? I'm stumped!!

    Quote Originally Posted by RippyPartsDept View Post
    i didn't think that the dowels are really meant to be reused... we always put new ones in
    I agree, new dowels are the way to go, but if you have the old ones out and they're re-usable with little or no work, it's just easier to re-use than to go to the dealer and buy new ones - that's all I'm saying.

    Mine were marred/knurled on the outside by the vice grip jaws - I just took off the high spots and they went right in. I actually installed them upside down, so the part that was sticking out of the block that was marred went inside the block upon re-install, and the part that was in the block and essentially perfect was left exposed for the head to fit over. It might have been a little rinky dink, I agree, but it's not really a critical area and all I can say is it worked for me.

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    Re: 2001 Northstar - Head Gaskets blown or not?? I'm stumped!!

    yeah i understand
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  10. #100
    hms200 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2001 Northstar - Head Gaskets blown or not?? I'm stumped!!

    Hello all -

    Well, for anybody that may care or recall all my dialog regarding the head bolts issue with my 01 Eldorado...I FINALLY decided to finish my little project. Work and other life drama pulled me away from my project for over a year after having dropped the engine and pulled the heads - though I had already bought all parts necessary to repair.

    Ok well, I finally jumped back on my project and almost completed. Jakes Inserts installed, engine reassembled (including timing), engine reinstalled in the car - finally. Took me a week of solid 8-10 hours days (took me longer than expected, but I took things slow and deliberate, plus cleaned and explored along the way). So now I'm at stage of all under the hood stuff remaining. Must reconnect wiring, vacuum lines, throttle body, grounds, radiator, A/C, etc - all the really hard work is done!!

    I did amaze myself that I had pretty good recall on where I had left my project over a year earlier. Plus I had tagged everything pretty well and duct taped all bolts/nuts to their associated parts - so reassembly went very well - so far. Getting the engine back into the car - I could have used a shoe horn but went reasonably well - slow and deliberate, a few inches at a time, connecting things back up and fine tuning the alignment along the way. I did have alignment paint marks on the floor (made when I removed the engine) and other little helpful hints for myself - so reassembly/reinstall went remarkably well - only very minor coaxing required with final alignments.

    Very close to final project end - wish me luck!! Maybe another week of part time effort remains once I get back to it. I also did a fair amount of preventive maintenance as well while I had easy access, including replacing alternator, crank sensors and throttle body boot. One thing I thought about doing but did NOT do was to replace the starter/solenoid - hope that decision doesn't come back to bite me in short order considering its location - yikes. It had no issues prior to tear down, but then same case with the alternator. So why didn't I replace it? Let a sleeping dog lay perhaps? I just kept thinking about getting a DOA Refurb or the refurb unit failing on me remature vs. the factory original that's on it now. Cross my fingers on that decision - have not seen any forum history of there being a weak starter to be concerned about.

    In any case - amazing learning experience this project has been. I know much more today about the Northstar and all points in between from where I was when I began. A similar repeat project would be MUCH easier - first one is all a BIG lesson every step of the way. Noth too complicated though overall - but IS a very time consuming effort overall. WAS FUN!! I really enjoyed the challanges!!

    Howard

  11. #101
    hms200 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2001 Northstar - Head Gaskets blown or not?? I'm stumped!!

    BTW - a tip for those DARN dowels...

    Nothing I could come up with would remove those pesky beasts!! So here is how I soved the problem and I worked perfectly...

    1. Whacked off top of the pins with a cutter (leaving 1/2 inch or so.
    2. Took dremel grinding bit in a drill and ground out one section of each dowel to weaken it (careful not to go all the way through)
    3. Collapsed the dowel into itself, also using gentle coaxing with a chisel down the ground area and a screw driver down the sides once dowel was collapsed.
    4. Pliers then and a little wiggling - dowels slipped right out easily and zero damage to block, block surface or the holes.
    5. New dowels were installed as I reassembled engine after having installed Jakes Inserts.

    Those babies were IMPOSSIBLE to remove for me without the above steps taken - this was MY remedy and I've seen many others offering tips, so not saying my solution was best way - was simply "my" way.

    Howard

  12. #102
    bill buttermore is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 2001 Northstar - Head Gaskets blown or not?? I'm stumped!!

    Quote Originally Posted by hms200 View Post
    BTW - a tip for those DARN dowels...

    Nothing I could come up with would remove those pesky beasts!! So here is how I soved the problem and I worked perfectly...

    1. Whacked off top of the pins with a cutter (leaving 1/2 inch or so.
    2. Took dremel grinding bit in a drill and ground out one section of each dowel to weaken it (careful not to go all the way through)
    3. Collapsed the dowel into itself, also using gentle coaxing with a chisel down the ground area and a screw driver down the sides once dowel was collapsed.
    4. Pliers then and a little wiggling - dowels slipped right out easily and zero damage to block, block surface or the holes.
    5. New dowels were installed as I reassembled engine after having installed Jakes Inserts.

    Those babies were IMPOSSIBLE to remove for me without the above steps taken - this was MY remedy and I've seen many others offering tips, so not saying my solution was best way - was simply "my" way.

    Howard
    Hi Howard. Congrats on your progress so far. Steve (eyewonder) came up with what may be the easiest method yet to pull the dowels - I used his method and it worked pretty slick. Find a tap that cuts into the dowel and cut some threads. Insert a bolt. Pull the bolt with a slide hammer or similar. Steve's job is documented in "Saga of a naive hg repair."

  13. #103
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    Re: 2001 Northstar - Head Gaskets blown or not?? I'm stumped!!

    The other way is to insert a length of threaded rod into the dowel and then tack weld it to the dowel. Drop a pipe over it. Put a washer over the threaded rod and then a nut. Tighten the nut and thus pull the dowel.

  14. #104
    hms200 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bill buttermore
    Hi Howard. Congrats on your progress so far. Steve (eyewonder) came up with what may be the easiest method yet to pull the dowels - I used his method and it worked pretty slick. Find a tap that cuts into the dowel and cut some threads. Insert a bolt. Pull the bolt with a slide hammer or similar. Steve's job is documented in "Saga of a naive hg repair."
    Thank you sir.

    Yep many creative ways to get it done. I didn't have a welder nor a tapper with bolts. Just devised a way using what I had to work with. Those bad boys are a bear that folks should be warned about so as to prepare them with a list of ways/ideas on how to overcome without damage.

    Jakes kit worked wonderful btw. Instructions could have been more clear on exact placement of the serts within the holes but norm quickly confirmed that I was reading placement correctly. .
    Howard

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    Re: 2001 Northstar - Head Gaskets blown or not?? I'm stumped!!

    Jake's Inserts? I am missing something....

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