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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, 98 ETC Head Gasket project started today... in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Originally Posted by JoeTahoe use a razor blade and a shop vac for the heavy carbon, Than try carb cleaner ...
  1. #121
    Faded Crest's Avatar
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    Re: 98 ETC Head Gasket project started today...

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeTahoe View Post
    use a razor blade and a shop vac for the heavy carbon, Than try carb cleaner on a rag
    Thank you Joe. I actually started to do that but figured I'd better make sure it wouldn't hurt anything since it might scratch the surface a little.

  2. #122
    JoeTahoe is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 98 ETC Head Gasket project started today...

    you should be fine

  3. #123
    TINKNOCKER is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 98 ETC Head Gasket project started today...

    Hi Faded. Great to see how far in you are! Got my eldo back from the shop with the 72K motor installed and it runs great. Nice clean and tight motor. When this one needs the HG done I'm doing it myself. Have everything necessary except the garage. I was mistaken on the number I gave you on my "twin". 124 with the exact options and 174 with at least as many options. Triple black is sooo sweet. When you have some time, you can check yours out at www.compnine.com for the full RPO code list and rarity of your car with your VIN #. Best of luck with the drilling.

  4. #124
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    Re: 98 ETC Head Gasket project started today...

    The posted RPO tracking website has been dead for about 6 months. There is no plan for its return. The "rarity" of a car found was not correct - that was based on several hidden RPO's in the dealer package order which included the date and lineal number of that particular car - of course it would be one of three that bucked the line at 2:30 - 2:40 on ??? 10/22/02 ???, so, yes - it would be "rare". The old CompNine site acknowledged that fact in the fine print.

  5. #125
    TINKNOCKER is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 98 ETC Head Gasket project started today...

    Didn't mean to provide an outdated link. My last report from compnine was 8/26/2011. Haven't bought anything since. Sub, I lurk all the time without posting, I find you are an incredible font of information.

  6. #126
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    Re: 98 ETC Head Gasket project started today...

    Marc - I used a circular steel wire wheel on a pneumatic air grinder, albeit a wire wheel that was not too coarse, and already broken in, so no really sharp tips of the wire, on the piston crowns and combustion chamber and valve heads - no damage whatsoever - I could clearly see the factory machining marks on the top of the pistons - a tiny bit of carbon was left in the valve reliefs, which I scraped out with and awl or something similar.

    Richard Moore

  7. #127
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    Re: 98 ETC Head Gasket project started today...

    Thanks Richard,

    I just finished cleaning them up the other day. I carefully scraped most of the carbon away with a razor and then also used something like an awl to dig out the valve reliefs. I still have yet to clean the vavle heads, so I'll try your method on those. It was a major PITA to scrape everything off the pistons.

  8. #128
    89falcon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 98 ETC Head Gasket project started today...

    Quote Originally Posted by Faded Crest View Post
    Thanks Richard,

    I just finished cleaning them up the other day. I carefully scraped most of the carbon away with a razor and then also used something like an awl to dig out the valve reliefs. I still have yet to clean the vavle heads, so I'll try your method on those. It was a major PITA to scrape everything off the pistons.
    I've seen people sand and polish piston tops....makes it tougher for carbon to adhere, and theoretically, reduces piton top surface area for less heat (energy) transfer....although I can't imagine that making much difference beyond .00000000001 HP......but the short answer is....clean away!

  9. #129
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    Re: 98 ETC Head Gasket project started today...

    Quote Originally Posted by 89falcon View Post
    I've seen people sand and polish piston tops....makes it tougher for carbon to adhere, and theoretically, reduces piton top surface area for less heat (energy) transfer....although I can't imagine that making much difference beyond .00000000001 HP......but the short answer is....clean away!

    Not so
    . Combustion "carbon" (a mixture of fuel additive residue, oil residue [carbon] and snake oil residue) will adhere to a mirror finish piston crown just as well as to a good ol' machine finish piston crown. A polished piston is warm and fuzzy upon assembly, but check it out at 30,000 miles - better yet - at 20,000 city miles.................BUT if you're running an exotic race fuel and methanol, those piston crowns will keep that mirror finish for 400 miles: the next teardown.

  10. #130
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    Re: 98 ETC Head Gasket project started today...

    Well, I guess I'll put away the jeweler's rouge then.
    basscatt and basscatt like this.

  11. #131
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    Re: 98 ETC Head Gasket project started today...

    I got the lower case off the block tonight and am concerned at how the lower crankshaft bearings look. Here they are... What do you think?









  12. #132
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    Re: 98 ETC Head Gasket project started today...

    Do you guys think I need to replace my main bearings?

  13. #133
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    Re: 98 ETC Head Gasket project started today...

    Install new mains and rod bearings. Too much wear and embedded dirt there (pictures). Take a hard look at the crank - maybe polish all the journals with crocus cloth - no regrind recommended. Have you ever used Plastigage to check clearances ? Might be a good idea.

    Read the GM service manual concerning crankshaft and rod bearing reconditioning. You can probably get away with a set of original or maybe .002" under bearings.

    Use a good assembly lube.

  14. #134
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    Re: 98 ETC Head Gasket project started today...

    Yeah, there's no way I can ignore that. I think sometimes ignorance is bliss.



    I have never used plasti-gage, but I guess it would be a good idea. Do you think I will likely need the same size under rod bearings as main bearings? Should I plasti-gage all of them? Or will a couple of each tell me enough?

    By the way, after I lifted the lower case off, I simply pulled out the old rear main seal. It was very easy to remove, so I was wondering if a new one could be installed the same way since it's apart... or was the old one just shrunken which is why it came out so easily?

  15. #135
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    Re: 98 ETC Head Gasket project started today...

    Yea id replace those bearings, they look nearly shot.

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