Northstar Time-sert repair, where in nor-Cal?
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Northstar Time-sert repair, where in nor-Cal? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Have an STS Seville with the head gasket leaking. It failed at 34,000 miles the first time and the dealer ...
  1. #1
    STStwo is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Northstar Time-sert repair, where in nor-Cal?

    Have an STS Seville with the head gasket leaking. It failed at 34,000 miles the first time and the dealer "repaired" the gasket which has failed again. The dealer, Cadillac of Menlo Park, has refused to make good on the repair.
    Instead of a timesert repair the dealer must have installed helicoils. Therefore, I am now on a search for an experienced mechanic/shop that can install the timeserts as needed for the headbolts.

    Does anyone know of an experienced shop in the northern California area (I'm in the San Francisco/San Jose Bay Area) that will do the head gasket/bolt timesert repair?

    Thank You.
    STStwo

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  3. #2
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Northstar Time-sert repair, where in nor-Cal?

    Whoever is doing the gasket repair should be able to do the timeserts. They are not difficult to do. All the special equipment you need is included in the kit. See this thread:

    http://cadillacforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5052

    The timeserting is straightforward but a little tedious since you are doing 20 bolt holes. Who is doing the gaskets?

  4. #3
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Time-sert repair, where in nor-Cal?

    Quote Originally Posted by STStwo
    Have an STS Seville with the head gasket leaking. It failed at 34,000 miles the first time and the dealer "repaired" the gasket which has failed again. The dealer, Cadillac of Menlo Park, has refused to make good on the repair.
    Instead of a timesert repair the dealer must have installed helicoils. Therefore, I am now on a search for an experienced mechanic/shop that can install the timeserts as needed for the headbolts.

    Does anyone know of an experienced shop in the northern California area (I'm in the San Francisco/San Jose Bay Area) that will do the head gasket/bolt timesert repair?

    Thank You.
    STStwo
    How much time and miles have gone by since the first repair? I would think you have a good case against them since they failed to use the factory prescribed method, should you decide to persue it. If it was done under warranty, you might want to call Cadillac and if they won't help request arbitration. That is mentioned in your owners manual in the warranty section.

  5. #4
    STStwo is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Time-sert repair, where in nor-Cal?

    Zonie77 and Ranger thank you for your replies!!

    Zonie77 - I am looking for an experienced northstar shop to do the gaskets.
    Great link information as to see the steps of repair!!
    I would enjoy doing the job myself (for sweet mom) but I don't have the work space. Thus, I haven't chosen a shop yet to do the gaskets. But, I will be having the shop that does the gaskets do the headbolt time-serts.


    Ranger - The dealer was taken to court to try and resolve the issue. The dealer however just informed the judge that the dealership had changed ownership and therefore was not liable for the repair. The judge just agreed. Also, though the mileage was so low for the gasket failure (about 34k first time, 54k the second) the time of the warranty had expired. Thus, I'm looking to just resolve the issue and get my mother's car back on the road.

    I made many calls to shops with the majority of them declining to work on the Northstar. Some shops said ok to the job but they just didn't show the background knowledge of the repairs needed so I am not inclined to believe that they have the experience in doing the repair. It would appear that the dealers have the most experience with the Northstar but from past experience it just doesn't seem like they are doing their job well.

    Again I appreciate your comments very much. Thank you!!

  6. #5
    No More Cadillac's is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Time-sert repair, where in nor-Cal?

    Read the post No More Cadillacs
    After having the same problem you did I researched the issue and was not able to find a reliable repair shop willing to repair and warranty the blown head gasket.
    Accordingly, the best alternative was to find a used engine.

  7. #6
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Northstar Time-sert repair, where in nor-Cal?

    STStwo

    I got involved in N* because my brother's blew a head gasket and he ran into the no shop wanting to work on it and the dealer being outrageous. So we did it ourselves. Did a second for him and I just got a 93 ETC (at an auction)
    since I was impressed with the N*.

    Anyway...If you can find a shop remotely interested (and you're comfortable with them) I'd suggest buying the factory manuals and loaning them to the shop. You can find them on ebay.
    I'd bet the timeserts weren't done the first time. Probably because the mechanic thought the holes looked good. That procedure took about 5-6 hours total (the way a shop would figure time...cleanup and taping).
    The other option is to find a used engine(as "no more caddys suggests). In this case I'd agree with him. The replacement isn't that bad, esp with a lift.

  8. #7
    No More Cadillac's is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Time-sert repair, where in nor-Cal?

    I know what you are going through. I was amazed at the number of shops that were not aware of the problem. Those that were aware of the problem were either not willing to do the job or not willing to warranty it.
    My long term Cadillac service manager, based on his experience with these repairs, suggested a used engine is the best approach.
    Upon reading all the posts herein, it seems that the engine can be reliably repaired. I simply wasn't able to find a reliable repair shop that would.
    I spent $4300 for a used engine and an install with a one year warranty on both the engine and the install, so far it runs like a top, with no issues.

  9. #8
    chuck jenkins is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Time-sert repair, where in nor-Cal?

    You can search the crate engine sites and find a new in the crate northstar with a GM warranty for around $4000.

  10. #9
    STStwo is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Time-sert repair, where in nor-Cal?

    NoMoreCadillacs, Zonie77 and Chuck,

    After several days of looking, I still have not found a reliable place to have the headgaskets and timeserts done. I have searched the web as suggested and see that there are engines available for around $4000 but in asking shops for quotes for replacement engines they ranged (installed) from $7500 to $11000. I could go up as much as $5000 but that's it. But even in a crate engine there is likely no timeserts installed so I would expect the same problem of headbolts pulling out in a few years. I still wish I could just find someone that has done timeserts before and would be willing to install the timeserts and headsgaskets even without providing a warranty. I checked out the CHRFab.com place in Fallbrook, CA and was tempted to drive the 500 miles to get the repair done but they won't work on GM cars - they work on sand cars and specialize in the Northstar engine - they declined to take an engine job for just timeserting (I assume the engine (without the car) would have to be shipped to them if they were to work on the engine - it would appear they have a supplier aggreement with GM on selling northstar engines but that they can't work on any GM cars that are not sand cars.) Alas, the quandry continues. Thanks for your comments and any additional ones. I'll report back if any progress is made on my end.

  11. #10
    STS 310's Avatar
    STS 310 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Northstar Time-sert repair, where in nor-Cal?

    STS TWO

    There is a very reputable shop in Torrance Ca called Tipps Cadillac. He services Caddys all day long exclusively. I called Mark Tippit the owner, and he said he would timesert your engine for 3800,consider what failed and caused you hg failure and add that to the cost. He says they do about 2-3 a week. I am going to post his number (dont know if moderator will allow) if it does not show call info if you are serious about making the trip.
    310 320-1052 ask for Mark.

    I take my STS to him for everything that I can not do.

  12. #11
    haymaker is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Northstar Time-sert repair, where in nor-Cal?

    STStwo. How do you know the replaced head gasket is leaking? If the dealer replaced the leaking gasket under warranty the original head gasket is more than likely still on the other bank of cylinders. He would not have a reason to replace both head gaskets unless both were leaking. Have you had any cylinder pressure (leak down) testing done? If not the leaking head gasket could be on the other bank of cylinders. The side that was never repaired by the dealer. When was the repair done (the year)?

    When I timeserted my 97 SLS both head gaskets were leaking.

  13. #12
    No More Cadillac's is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Time-sert repair, where in nor-Cal?

    Don't know how many new engines are out there for $4000 and they have to be shipped and other parts may have to be swapped or added. A used engine can be a better alternative than the repair. I don't know how many miles are on yours but you may be able to find a used engine with lower mileage ect. There also is a warranty with most used engines you buy.

  14. #13
    ToolnDie is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Time-sert repair, where in nor-Cal?

    Does anyone have a used timesert kit for sale. please contact ?? ToolnDie@AOL.com

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