Time used to install twenty head-bolt time-serts
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Time used to install twenty head-bolt time-serts in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; ...
  1. #1
    haymaker is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Time used to install twenty head-bolt time-serts

    I would like to know how many people on this forum have installed the head-bolt time-sert repair themselves? I would also like to know if you are a DIY’ser, a professional mechanic and for sure if you a Cadillac mechanic? If you don’t mind I also would like to know how many engines you have time-serted? Oh yes the last question how long did it take you to install the time-serts (all twenty)?

    The total time should include all prep time; getting the tools in place, covering all openings in the block to prevent shavings contamination of the cooling, oil and combustion systems (cylinders and pistons). In other words from the time the heads are removed and the block gasket surface was cleaned and of course you having everything in the shop and yourself being at the ready, any time used from that point on should be considered time-sert install time until the last one is installed.

    I think some here having never installed even one time-sert, much less twenty and believe it is a fast and easy job. I would like to set the record strait and give everyone on the forum a true and honest answer as to the time needed to complete this task.

    I will go first. I had posted earlier that it took me a full eight hours to install twenty time-serts. That is true. I guess, if I remove the lunch, coffee and bathroom breaks I could cut it down to maybe six and a half hours but not much less. I reinstalled the front cover, taped the crankshaft opening, and taped over the timing chain cavities then draped a cloth over the remainder of the block-deck surface to prevent shavings contamination. Of course the draped cloth needed to be moved for every new cylinder. One problem I found was the need to find a hole with good threads that would take a bolt to hold the drill fixture in place. I know the fixture has three holes to place and tighten the bolts but many times only one block head bolt hole had usable threads. It became a puzzle as to turning and flipping the drill fixture to find a good bolt thread to hold the drill fixture in place in sequence to time-sert the next or any hole. The problem being the block threads came out with the head bolts on close to half of the holes during the head bolts removal.
    I removed the drill and cleaned the holes of shavings three times per hole; I also used the same process for tapping the threads three steps then removing the drill fixture and cleaning the hole several times before applying the loctite and install the time-sert all based on the instructions sheet provided in the time-sert kit.

    I know at least three other here that have labored in the time-sert department. Can you blow me out of the water based on your time used to install twenty time-serts?

    My guess being less than two-dozen on the forum have installed a head-bolt time-sert! Prove me wrong..…

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  3. #2
    Spyder's Avatar
    Spyder is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Time used to install twenty head-bolt time-serts

    Havn't done it yet, but have tentative plans to do it this next summer...I've got a 94 N* with bad rod bearings...want to replace them and do the timesert then sell the motor off...more of a learning project than a money making one...I figure it'll be spread out over many many weekends and thursday nights in my garage, with my fresh flowing beer tap next to my tool box.

  4. #3
    Rob Benham is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Time used to install twenty head-bolt time-serts

    Beer?? It that to wash the swarf away, or does it make the tap cut better?

    Seriously though, is it better to remove the bolts hot or cold to preseve some thread. i'm asuming that if everthing was ready, you could get to the bolts while there was considderable residual heat.

  5. #4
    botboy is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Time used to install twenty head-bolt time-serts

    I did it on a project northstar I've been working on for the past couple months, eventually the engine's going to go in either an S10 or 60-66 chevy truck (haven't decided yet). I did the engine's time-serts about an hour a day for a week, although I didn't rush anything and didn't have to worry about getting chips in the cylinders, because the engine was completely torn apart at the time, sitting on an engine stand. Paid $210 for a used time-sert set off ebay, bought more serts from the company, and later sold the kit for $175 once I had finished with what I needed it for. I did all 20 serts, and consider myself a DIY-er.

    Check out my website at www.speedyoldtruck.com

  6. #5
    sts96 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Time used to install twenty head-bolt time-serts

    Did 20 timeserts with the block assy. on a engine stand.
    no hurry took about 8 hrs. sts96

  7. #6
    haymaker is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Time used to install twenty head-bolt time-serts

    sts96.

    I think eight hours is about right it shows you took your time and was careful to do it right the first time. I guess if you started with a bare block on an engine stand, most of the block threads useable, planned to completely clean it inside and out before reassembly you could maybe cut the time down a couple of hours.

    You had the N* that developed a crack in the block on the front side, right? My Cadillac service manager said they replaced one under warranty that cracked like yours but on the rear set of cylinders.

  8. #7
    haymaker is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Time used to install twenty head-bolt time-serts

    botboy.

    I checked out your old chevy. Looks like a good project. How were you planning to install the N* complete with transaxle or were you planning to find a transmission to fit the N* and mount it inline (conventionally)? The entire drive train would probably fit in the full sized truck but may be a problem in the S-10. From outside to outside of the front tires, I measured close to 71” on my 97 SLS. I have a 52 chevy two door hardtop as a project. I have it setup for a 350 chevy now. It is still in pieces in my garage waiting for the body to be dipped to remove any and all rust. After working on my N* I have been getting the itch to see if one would fit in my 52. I wanted to swap the cradle and all with a few modifications of course.

  9. #8
    haymaker is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Time used to install twenty head-bolt time-serts

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Benham
    Beer?? It that to wash the swarf away, or does it make the tap cut better?

    Seriously though, is it better to remove the bolts hot or cold to preseve some thread. i'm asuming that if everthing was ready, you could get to the bolts while there was considderable residual heat.
    Rob.
    I never cared much for trying to remove an engine while it was still hot.
    I saw a post here a while back in which someone claimed they could drop the drive train in about 1 ½ hrs but even in that length of time the engine would be somewhat cool. I would think the norm for someone that has dropped a few N* cradles would a lot closer to 4 or more hrs.

    If you were thinking about the loctite on the head bolts being soft at the normal operating temp that still wouldn’t work. If I remember correctly loctite must be heated to 350-450F in order to soften or melt. I don’t know if the substance on the factory head bolts is truly loctite or some other substance? The loctite melting point would still be higher that the limp-home overheat temp, which is less than 300F, if not the loctite would be useless.

    The head bolts require a lot of force to break loose including the ones that bring the threads along and you don’t know until the second revolution of the breaker bar which ones have stripped. I doubt being 100 degrees warmer would make much difference.

  10. #9
    haymaker is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Time used to install twenty head-bolt time-serts

    Quote Originally Posted by Spyder
    Havn't done it yet, but have tentative plans to do it this next summer...I've got a 94 N* with bad rod bearings...want to replace them and do the timesert then sell the motor off...more of a learning project than a money making one...I figure it'll be spread out over many many weekends and thursday nights in my garage, with my fresh flowing beer tap next to my tool box.
    Spyder.

    If you lived closer I would bring my time-sert kit over and help you.

  11. #10
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Time used to install twenty head-bolt time-serts

    My brother and I did two so far. The first took about 5.5 hours but that was with two guys. We didn't tape much, used a shop vac to catch the chips. That time is what I would say the timesert job took. You have to pull the heads etc. anyway. It includes most of the cleanup time. Two guys saves some time but not a whole bunch.

  12. #11
    sts96 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Time used to install twenty head-bolt time-serts

    Yes I had The engine with a Freeze crack, the one that I timeserted. Replaced it with a 96 vin 9 with 81k mile engine two weeks later had to replace the tranny. Now know several ways to take them apart. LOL sts96

  13. #12
    Spyder's Avatar
    Spyder is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Time used to install twenty head-bolt time-serts

    haymaker...would you be willing to sell the kit or do ya want to keep it?

  14. #13
    STS 310's Avatar
    STS 310 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Time used to install twenty head-bolt time-serts

    96, you have been there my man.

    Wish 96 was a little more west!!!

  15. #14
    haymaker is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Time used to install twenty head-bolt time-serts

    Zonie77.
    Sts96.
    botboy.

    Thanks for the replies.
    Did you guys notice any difference in the drill shavings as you moved from hole to hole? I noticed that most of the holes produced nice long sharp shavings but some of the holes produced broken small shavings as if the material in that hole was shattered or broken into smaller pieces. I also ask, did any of you notice the head bolts being oily with standing oil or coolant in any of the head bolt cavities? The head bolt cavities are supposed to be dry. Did you guys notice any loose head bolts during disassembly of your engines? I don’t mean finger tight but much, much less tight than the others. Did any of these engines overheat all the way into limp-home mode?

    I know that these questions have nothing to do with the time required to time-sert but the people that have completed the time-sert repair are the more qualified to answer the above questions.

  16. #15
    haymaker is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Time used to install twenty head-bolt time-serts

    Quote Originally Posted by Spyder
    haymaker...would you be willing to sell the kit or do ya want to keep it?
    Spyder.

    I paid soooo much for the time-sert kit that I willed it to my next of kin (it is now lost, somewhere in my estate). I fully expect it will be sold for $5.00 or less in a garage sale in the not too distant future.

    In reality I plan to use it again but as I said if you were closer you could use it and I would be willing to help.

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