Disassembling my first N*
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Disassembling my first N* in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Replaced the engine in my 99 STS with a rebuilt, studded one from N* Performance. And I figured I might ...
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    dvo816's Avatar
    dvo816 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Disassembling my first N*

    Replaced the engine in my 99 STS with a rebuilt, studded one from N* Performance. And I figured I might as well tear down the old engine for experience. Anyways, Ive run into a problem: Im trying to remove the camshaft sprocket bolts but I'm having a hard time. I managed to keep the cams from moving with a screwdriver through the sprocket. But before putting a lot of force onto the bolt, I want to make sure its turning the right way. Seems like the bolt might have reversed threads?? Also any tips for disassembling the rest of the engine would be much appreciated! Thanks!

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    johnny kannapo's Avatar
    johnny kannapo is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Disassembling my first N*

    I do believe the cams hav flats on them to anchor them with a cresent wrench or proper size open end. There is probably a special tool that drops in holds both cams at the same time.

    You will need a special tool to remove the coolant pump pulley to get the valve cover off on bank 2.


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    97EldoCoupe is offline U.S. Patent #8,740,532 - www.studkit.com
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    Re: Disassembling my first N*

    Hey DVO816- I've been on the road on the way back to the Manitoba shop for the past while. Sorry I missed your texts, I will get that invoice out to you now that I'm back. I have a few customers to take care of and that's priority #1 right now but the parts I would like from that old engine if you can hang on to them until the next time I pass through KC, would be the crankshaft, connecting rods with matching caps, cylinder heads, camshafts, lifters if they're any good. Only if you have the space, I appreciate it.

    Regular RH thread on those bolts, 1" wrench to hold the cams and a 15/16" (or metric equiv 24mm) to remove those bolts. Lots of torque on those, for a reason.

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    dvo816's Avatar
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    Re: Disassembling my first N*

    No problem Jake, I know you're a busy man! If you want to email me the invoice, that'd work as well. So far Ive removed the camshafts and all the timing chain stuff. But now I'm stuck because I don't know what to remove next. Do i need a valve spring compressor and remove those or what? Sorry if its a dumb question, I've never torn down a V8 and I don't want to damage any parts. **Plus I'm sure I'll have more questions

    Ive got a mechanics tool set + a lot of other stuff I've added over the years. However I've noticed there are hex head bolts holding on the cylinder heads and I don't have those. Do you know what size hex socket I'll need? Any other sockets/tools i might need?

    Thanks for the help, I'm very eager to learn more about these engines.

  6. #5
    ternstes is online now Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Disassembling my first N*

    The cylinder head bolts take a 10mm hex socket to loosen. Do not buy a cheap socket. I bought a craftsman and broke it on my second engine tear-down and got a free replacement. Get a long breaker bar to give you enough leverage as those bolts are on tight. Leave the valves in until the head in off. You can take the bucket lifters out of their housing. If you are reinstalling them, keep them in order... use a piece of cardboard to indicate intake versus exhaust, etc.

    The crankshaft damper bolt at the front of the engine is 19mm I believe. Use a six point socket and an even longer breaker bar (use a piece of steel pipe to give you plenty of leverage). It is very tight.

    Most other bolts are 10, 13, 15, 17 mm varieties. The bolt to the steering shaft is 11 or 12mm. Torque converter to flywheel bolts are 18mm, I think. Leave the rear manifold attached to rear head and take it off on the bench. It is much easier that way.

    Get a 13mm ratcheting box-end wrench for the coolant crossover bolts...

    Use a propane torch to heat the catalytic converter nuts before trying to loosen them. They are always rusted beyond belief. Initial size is 13mm, but some of mine turned out with a 12mm socket.

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    89falcon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Disassembling my first N*

    Quote Originally Posted by ternstes View Post
    The cylinder head bolts take a 10mm hex socket to loosen. Do not buy a cheap socket. I bought a craftsman and broke it on my second engine tear-down and got a free replacement. Get a long breaker bar to give you enough leverage as those bolts are on tight. Leave the valves in until the head in off. You can take the bucket lifters out of their housing. If you are reinstalling them, keep them in order... use a piece of cardboard to indicate intake versus exhaust, etc.

    The crankshaft damper bolt at the front of the engine is 19mm I believe. Use a six point socket and an even longer breaker bar (use a piece of steel pipe to give you plenty of leverage). It is very tight.

    Most other bolts are 10, 13, 15, 17 mm varieties. The bolt to the steering shaft is 11 or 12mm. Torque converter to flywheel bolts are 18mm, I think. Leave the rear manifold attached to rear head and take it off on the bench. It is much easier that way.

    Get a 13mm ratcheting box-end wrench for the coolant crossover bolts...

    Use a propane torch to heat the catalytic converter nuts before trying to loosen them. They are always rusted beyond belief. Initial size is 13mm, but some of mine turned out with a 12mm socket.
    It's tough finding a 10mm hex that's strong enough to hold up.....and most are 3/8 drives. I use a 1/2" inch drive 10mm socket (6 side) and cut a piece of a 10mm allen wrench and stick it into the 10mm....holds up better!

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    Re: Disassembling my first N*

    Got the heads off today. Thanks for the tips.

    As for the lifters, what are those? Pic?

    And how do i go about getting the pistons and crankshaft out? Drop the oil pan?

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    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Disassembling my first N*

    Yes, the pistons come out the bottom. Remove the oil pan, Then you'll see the connecting rod bearing caps.


    This is as close as you'll find to "lifters".
    Attached Images

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    89falcon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Disassembling my first N*

    Quote Originally Posted by dvo816 View Post
    Got the heads off today. Thanks for the tips.

    As for the lifters, what are those? Pic?

    And how do i go about getting the pistons and crankshaft out? Drop the oil pan?
    The yellow arrows in Johnny Kannapo's picture above actually points to a couple lifters.....they are the round silver things UNDER the cams....and they sit on top of the valve springs (that's why you can't see the springs). If you remove the cams, and turn the heads over, the lifter will fall out.

    You have to take the bottom end apart to get the crank out.....you'll also need to remove the bolt and pulley (harmonic dampener) off the front of the motor and remove the front cover and oil pump. The pistons come out the TOP of the block AFTER you remove the rod bolts. If you have the motor on a stand and have it upside down...and are pushing the pistons out...be sure to "catch" them....if you drop a piston, you CAN crack one or break a piece of the piston skirt.

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    Re: Disassembling my first N*

    The pistons come out the TOP of the block AFTER you remove the rod bolts.
    Oops! I know better. What was I thinking? There goes another punch in my dumbshit card.

  12. #11
    dvo816's Avatar
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    Re: Disassembling my first N*

    Ah I see. I figured those were the lifters, but I wanted to make sure. Most of them are in good condition, they do have "marks" where the cam lobes touched but they seem smooth with no scratches. I'll attach some pics, and see what you guys think.

    I don't have an engine stand currently, so its basically gonna be sitting upside down on my garage floor. Either way, ill be sure to catch the pistons.

    Ranger, it happens to everyone, don't feel too bad

    Thanks for the help guys, it certainly doesn't go unappreciated.

  13. #12
    ternstes is online now Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Disassembling my first N*

    It takes a bit force to separate the case halves. I used a large pry bar on the rear outside of the block NOT the rear main seal area! Get a block of wood or something to act as a fulcrum. The manual says to pry at the "designated points" but I did not find it very clear. Just do not insert your pry bar into the sealing surface area and mar it.

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    Re: Disassembling my first N*

    Oops! I just realized the picture I posted in post #8 is for the 2000+ engines and you are talking about a '99. Should have dawned on me when I saw Johnny Kannapo's picture. Another punch in my dumbshit card.

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    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Disassembling my first N*

    engine stand is pretty cheap. harbor freight has them for 40? than you need 4 big metric bolts to attach motor to stand. who knew bellhousing bolts were metric? no one tears down a motor on the garage floor. kills your back.

  16. #15
    97EldoCoupe is offline U.S. Patent #8,740,532 - www.studkit.com
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    Re: Disassembling my first N*

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
    Oops! I know better. What was I thinking? There goes another punch in my dumbshit card.
    Ranger don't beat yourself up everyone is allowed those dumbshit card punches once in a while.

    (Pssst: you wouldn't have a spare card by chance would you? MINE'S FULL!)

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