Northstar Head/Engine removal
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Northstar Head/Engine removal in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Hallo, I'm new. Situation: I have a '99 DeVille D'Elegance, a gift from an Aunt who cherished it, whose children ...
  1. #1
    sundog is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Northstar Head/Engine removal

    Hallo, I'm new.

    Situation:
    I have a '99 DeVille D'Elegance, a gift from an Aunt who cherished it, whose children didn't (at least not sufficiently so to invest the necessary time and money), who hoped her nephew just might. Or maybe she just thought I was gullible.
    My cousins say it runs great and everything works, it just guzzles antifreeze.
    It certainly looks good, and everything I could test without starting the car does indeed work.

    First Question: What's involved in removing the heads? My Haynes manual says special tools and procedures are involved and to let the dealer handle this job. I suspect this effort would be a waste of time, which I'm willing to gamble but not if I have to pay for it.

    Second Question: Can the engine be removed through the hood opening? Is it advisable? Is there a readily available manual that details the procedure?
    My Haynes says to drop the subframe complete with the entire driveline, then lift the car off of it. I'm not equipped for that sort of operation.

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    vincentm's Avatar
    vincentm is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Northstar Head/Engine removal

    1) Use the Haynes for a bon fire (winter is around the corner, should burn niceley), Get an alldatadiy.com subscription.

    2)Has a block test been performed to confirm HG failure, if not, do one.

    3) Is it over heating?

    4) Do a block test, do a block test, do a block test

    5) It can be removed from the top, most folks here prefer the GM recommendation of dropping it out the bottom, But GM shows one how to yank her out the top too.

    6) Look through my started posts, i posted a GM manual step by step procedure on yanking out the top. Matter of fact, here you go:

    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/226769-northstar-removal-guide-feedback-wanted.html



    7) DO A BLOCK TEST!

  4. #3
    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Northstar Head/Engine removal

    If you are going to attempt this job do yourself a BIG favor and get a FSM by Helm Inc. Ebay is your friend.

    Don't burn the Haynes manual. You'll need something to sop up the oil and coolant from the garage floor.

  5. #4
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Northstar Head/Engine removal

    When you finally get a positive diagnosis for head gasket condition then you need to steel yourself that the best way to do a decent job of machining the block for head bolt hole inserts and replacing the head gaskets is to drop the drivetrain out the bottom of the car. All of the pointers are in here, up in the sticky posts ^^^ and in the Cadillac Tech Tips (Discussions, Item Specific) forums. You have three amateur weeks of engine work ahead of you.

    Get a real GM/Helm shop manual.

  6. #5
    vincentm's Avatar
    vincentm is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Northstar Head/Engine removal

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
    If you are going to attempt this job do yourself a BIG favor and get a FSM by Helm Inc. Ebay is your friend.

    Don't burn the Haynes manual. You'll need something to sop up the oil and coolant from the garage floor.

    It does make for great shop towels, forgot about that lol

  7. #6
    CadillacLuke24's Avatar
    CadillacLuke24 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Northstar Head/Engine removal

    Definitely do the block test first though. You may get REALLY lucky and have a leaking crossover, surge tank, or connection elsewhere.

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    vincentm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CadillacLuke24 View Post
    Definitely do the block test first though. You may get REALLY lucky and have a leaking crossover, surge tank, or connection elsewhere.
    Leaking crossover is not lucky...have you removed one yourself with the engine still in? Holy shit, id rather have a hangover from Olde English 800...

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    CadillacLuke24's Avatar
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    Re: Northstar Head/Engine removal

    Better than HGs, no?

  10. #9
    sundog is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Head/Engine removal

    Thanx everyone, I'm on it.

  11. #10
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    Re: Northstar Head/Engine removal

    Good luck. Once you get everything figured out and decide what to do with it, come back here if you want to fix the HGs. There's one really good mechanic within reasonable range if you want it fixed, or we have sveral members who've done this job if you're up for the challenge.

  12. #11
    sundog is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Head/Engine removal

    Could you describe a "Block Test" for me? Don't worry about keeping it simple. I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything.

  13. #12
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    Re: Northstar Head/Engine removal


  14. #13
    sundog is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Head/Engine removal

    Thanx. I'll check them out as soon as I can get to them with a computer that isn't on dial-up.

  15. #14
    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Northstar Head/Engine removal


  16. #15
    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Northstar Head/Engine removal

    A gift as in free? Is car nice? Good tires, body and so on? Low miles or 150k? Do u want to pay someone 2500 to fix motor right? Or sell it to someone who can fix it? I have not seen car so I can't say what it's worth.

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