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  • 4 Post By 89falcon
Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, timeserts in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; stock headbolts are steel that thread into aluminum block. i can see why they use special thread sealer. i think ...
  1. #1
    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    timeserts

    stock headbolts are steel that thread into aluminum block. i can see why they use special thread sealer. i think it acts as a barrier for corrosion and to prevent steel/alum issues. i also think if you timesert the block you should not need new headbolts since the steel bolts are now threaded into steel inserts. yes, maybe use some type of permalock thread sealer but being forced to use new headbolts seems like an extra expense. the internet is full of stories of folks who do things contrary to the experts. anyone here reuse headbolts with timeserts and have the gaskets fail? that is the only qualified responses i want to hear. no other "i heard it so it must be true" comments.

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  3. #2
    89falcon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: timeserts

    Quote Originally Posted by stoveguyy View Post
    stock headbolts are steel that thread into aluminum block. i can see why they use special thread sealer. i think it acts as a barrier for corrosion and to prevent steel/alum issues. i also think if you timesert the block you should not need new headbolts since the steel bolts are now threaded into steel inserts. yes, maybe use some type of permalock thread sealer but being forced to use new headbolts seems like an extra expense. the internet is full of stories of folks who do things contrary to the experts. anyone here reuse headbolts with timeserts and have the gaskets fail? that is the only qualified responses i want to hear. no other "i heard it so it must be true" comments.
    Sorry, contrary to your stated parameters, I'll respond anyway....

    4 issues to consider before re-using headbolts:
    - you'll need to clean them VERY well....and figure out some good "locktite" for the threads
    - The factory locktite also helped with getting an accurate torque (thread lubricant).....ARP probably sells something that would work for that
    - The bolts are designed to go "plastic" and stretch.....once they go plastic, they will NEVER have the same properties as the new bolts again. I've heard you can use them a "couple times" before it becomes a problem.....BUT, I DO have experience on a different car....a Mitsubishi Eclipse....4G63 motor.....VERY bad problem with broken timing belts on an interference motor...friend GAVE me a car with a trashed motor....had never heard of the new headbolt style, so reused the bolts....aluminum heads, iron block.....I did NOT blow a head gasket, but I DID leak oil like crazy around the perimeter of the block where the head and block meet.....went to the parts store, and had the joy of having it all explained to me by a pimple faced 20 year old rice burner hot rod kid. Apparently the problem is very common in those motors BECAUSE THE BOLTS STRETCH.....so I replaced the bolts....and the problem was SOLVED!

    -The bolts are CHEAP when compared to the labor you are putting into the project.....don't risk it!!!!

  4. #3
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: timeserts

    DO NOT reuse the head bolts.

  5. #4
    89falcon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: timeserts

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
    DO NOT reuse the head bolts.
    Re-using the headbolts is like re-using a condom.......may work once or twice, but the cost of failure FAR outweighs the chance of success....

  6. #5
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    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, stick on fender vents
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    Re: timeserts

    Quote Originally Posted by stoveguyy View Post
    stock headbolts are steel that thread into aluminum block. i can see why they use special thread sealer. i think it acts as a barrier for corrosion and to prevent steel/alum issues. i also think if you timesert the block you should not need new headbolts since the steel bolts are now threaded into steel inserts. yes, maybe use some type of permalock thread sealer but being forced to use new headbolts seems like an extra expense. the internet is full of stories of folks who do things contrary to the experts. anyone here reuse headbolts with timeserts and have the gaskets fail? that is the only qualified responses i want to hear.
    The threadlockers or thread lubricants in NO WAY "insulate" bolt threads from bolt hole threads, whether iron, steel, aluminum or whatever. Think about it for a moment.

    Take it from someone who has built very, very many engines of many types since 1953: DO NOT re-use head bolts, especially the torque to degree types used in the Northstar. Dumb "economy".

    Do it your way, but please don't come back here crying over spilled milk.

    Your post ^^^ indicated that you want a straight answer - You got it.

    EDIT: Don't believe us ????...........Then get into the ARP (Automotive Racing Products) website and do some research on bolts, stretch, torque reasoning, clamping pressure, resiliency, length recovery, plastic deformation, thread lubricant - any of an endless host of buzzwords.

  7. #6
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    ThumperPup is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: timeserts

    Quote Originally Posted by stoveguyy View Post
    stock headbolts are steel that thread into aluminum block. i can see why they use special thread sealer. i think it acts as a barrier for corrosion and to prevent steel/alum issues. i also think if you timesert the block you should not need new headbolts since the steel bolts are now threaded into steel inserts. yes, maybe use some type of permalock thread sealer but being forced to use new headbolts seems like an extra expense. the internet is full of stories of folks who do things contrary to the experts. anyone here reuse headbolts with timeserts and have the gaskets fail? that is the only qualified responses i want to hear. no other "i heard it so it must be true" comments.
    if you really want to be cheap then why not only insert the few bolt holes that go bad
    chnaces are you will pull threading out on the head bolt when you pull it out of the block are high chances of that

  8. #7
    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: timeserts

    northstar headbolts are not torque to yield. i do not believe a used bolt is somehow weakened or prone to issues on reuse. they are torqued at the factory by automatic machines and have perfect torque. no over torquing allowed. right? i do not see any responses from folks who have timeserted their blocks and had issues. even the folks who have had timesert failures is very rare. we almost always find that the inserts were installed too deep so the bolts did not engage properly but that is a very isolated problem. there is a problem of porous blocks with weak material in the headbolt area but that is also rare. yay, thumper, i would not cheap out and timesert 1 or 2 holes. when i try my theory and have a failure, i will tell everyone.

  9. #8
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    maeng9981 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: timeserts

    FSM specifically says to not use the old M11 head bolts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Factory Service Manual
    Important: DO NOT reuse the old M11 cylinder head bolts.

  10. #9
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    Re: timeserts

    new head bolts are < $50 on rockauto !! Why risk it? unless you just want to experiment....

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