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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Cradle Dolly in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; I thought that some of you might want to check out the cradle dolly that my fiance's dad and I ...
  1. #1
    Pjs's Avatar
    Pjs
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    Cradle Dolly

    I thought that some of you might want to check out the cradle dolly that my fiance's dad and I built for my powertrain extrication. Basically 2X4's and a sheet of 1/4" plywood. The caster's were bought @ a flea market store for $8.25ea and have a 500LB capacity, this thing really rolls pretty easy. We used the side rails to keep the whole aligned when putting back into place.
    We had some concerns about the dolly being able to handle the weight, but I had to jack the whole car up with a jack sitting on it and it didn't so much as creek, it's study as hell.
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  3. #2
    sts96 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cradle Dolly

    Looks good. Hope the rest of the job goes as well. Nice car!!
    sts96

  4. #3
    Anthony Cipriano is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cradle Dolly

    Looks like you are ready to set up shop. Nice job and nice setup!

  5. #4
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    Re: Cradle Dolly

    Wish I coulda talked my step bro into doing it this way instead of taking it out through the top...we did manage though, and the motor is in place...just awaiting my time off, which never comes, so I can go hook up the exhaust, the fuel and all of the friggin wiring. Hopefully I'll have mine back tomorrow, eh. Good luck with yours!

  6. #5
    Night Wolf's Avatar
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    Re: Cradle Dolly

    wow, that is a really nice setup you have, very clean and it looks good....

    I'll be doing the same thing next year once i find a car that will get my enigne... probably get the tranny rebuilt while it is out, since it'll be around 150k anyway... not really looking forward to doing all that...

  7. #6
    chuck jenkins is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cradle Dolly

    Why not leave the front wheels on and roll it out on them???

  8. #7
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    Re: Cradle Dolly

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck jenkins
    Why not leave the front wheels on and roll it out on them???
    Chuck, I wish it was that easy Since the struts come out w/ the assy. as well as having to disconnect the calipers, linkage, etc.you have to have some kind of dolly to move it. My estimate on weight of this assy is about 1000LB

  9. #8
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    Re: Cradle Dolly

    Thanks for all the kudo's guys. I really have to give to very enthusiasic thumbsup to David, my finace's father...I referred to him as my gf's father in an earlier post and he's still not let me live that one down. Dave and I kicked around some ideas, but ultimitely I left the construction up to him as I'm not that handy w/ wood. This project hasn't gone as smoothly as I'd have hoped. I got rained out after a couple hours the first couple of days, the bolts that came w/ my engine stand where crap and I spent a couple hours trying to find long metric 10.9's and grade 8's. The powertrain was such an oily dirty mess and it took forever to clean it. Thanks to my other friend Dave for use of his pressure washer. Installing a new heater box cover was a bitch but it's in. Oil pan is sealed and all I have left to do is finish painting the valve covers & intake cover...found a color that matches the car then I can start reassembling.I did screw up when taking the throttle & cruise cables off and broke a piece of the cruise cable guide on the TB. I think I can fix it as those are $480 @ the dealer. Good news is I finally got my EGR valve pintle unstuck...and damn was it stuck good.
    So far I've got about 30 hrs into this and thats still w/ the engine on a stand, but as long as I've got it apart I'm cleaning the hell outta everything.
    I'll keep y'all posted....should be running by tomorrow.

  10. #9
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    Re: Cradle Dolly

    can you tell me the exact bolts you used to get the block on the stand? I have made at least a dozen trips to the hardwear store... they are 12mm bolts, with what I think is a 1.50 ppitch, but i need to get long bolts to fill the 3 bolts in with washers as 1 bolt as the guide thing on it...

    ... what was wrong with your engine?

  11. #10
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    Re: Cradle Dolly

    Quote Originally Posted by Night Wolf
    can you tell me the exact bolts you used to get the block on the stand? I have made at least a dozen trips to the hardwear store... they are 12mm bolts, with what I think is a 1.50 ppitch, but i need to get long bolts to fill the 3 bolts in with washers as 1 bolt as the guide thing on it...

    ... what was wrong with your engine?
    That was another fiasco...the bolts. They are 12x1.75. I needed to find longer bolts for the lugs on the stand, and what I found was the cradle bolts are the same as the engine, only longer. This worked for 3 but the one hole (front side) has a guide pin in the hole and required and even longer bolt. I had to drive my ass all over Nashville to find them and then what I opted for was grade 8 allen headed cap screws, I believe 3 are 100mm and the 4th was 130mm. Make sure that the bolts holding the lugs to the stand are grade 8 as well. If you have a bolt and screw company in your town, start there. Lowes, Home Depot and every parts store I went to didn't have these.
    I've spent 40 hours so far and probably close to $900 on this project. The only thing that was wrong was the oil pan gasket was bad. Once I got the thing apart I decided to pull the intake and install new gaskets, good call on my part, 3 intake bolts were loose. And speaking of intakes...on my 95 there is a plug in the back of the intake that is called a fuel pressure relief valve, it's a spring loaded door that I can only figure is to let pressure escape in case of a backfire or something like that. The plug was very loose and turns out the O ring was in need of replacing as well..(wonder where my vacuum leak was coming from). You will have to go to a hydraulic hose shop to get an o-ring that big.

  12. #11
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    Re: Cradle Dolly

    Hey guys, I got the engine completed last night. I painted the beauty cover and valve covers cummins biege because that color almost matches the car. I'm waiting on yet another rain storm to pass so I can get it on to the cradle and hopefully get the cradle in and bolted up...I'm hoping to have her running tonight...wish me luck.
    BTW, I've got a ton of pics through this whole process, probably close to 90 so far. Although I've been using the factory service manual, I find that it is really lacking in some important information and at this point I think I could write a detailed "Idiots guide to a Northstar removal".

  13. #12
    JSMeloche is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cradle Dolly

    Quote Originally Posted by Pjs
    I find that it is really lacking in some important information and at this point I think I could write a detailed "Idiots guide to a Northstar removal".
    Great idea!!!

  14. #13
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    Re: Cradle Dolly

    yeah, I am going to have to remove the NorthStar from my future car...

    ... 12mmx 1.75? do you mean 1.75 pitch? becuase that was way too much, I think it is 1.50 pitch.... nobody at all has the damn things...

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    bigred is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cradle Dolly

    Did there used to be pictures with the first post of this thread? I can't get anything to come up.

  16. #15
    bigred is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cradle Dolly

    Sorry, my web connection is really s l o w today. I can't delete the above post for some reason either.

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