Northstar cam timing and chain problem
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Northstar cam timing and chain problem in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Dealer states I need a new rear exhaust cam and possible lifters and tapets. How hard is this to change? ...
  1. #1
    ffemt702 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Northstar Cam

    Dealer states I need a new rear exhaust cam and possible lifters and tapets. How hard is this to change? Local junk yard has quit a few devilles with northstar engines.

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  3. #2
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    What's their reason? That's pretty unusual.

  4. #3
    basscatt's Avatar
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    Re: Northstar Cam

    Quote Originally Posted by ffemt702 View Post
    Dealer states I need a new rear exhaust cam and possible lifters and tapets. How hard is this to change? Local junk yard has quit a few devilles with northstar engines.
    ---------------------------
    How hard is this to change?
    that's everybody's first question -

    WE don't know anything about your skill level -
    or tool collection - or place to work -

    while it's not brain surgery - it's not just popping a pimple either -

    do you have a Factory Service Manual -

    floor jacks - jack stands - engine hoist - hand tools - any experience -

    if nothing else -
    go to the junk yard that has a Northstar powered car - and practice -

    good luck - and keep us posted -

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    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Northstar Cam

    Also, what car, year, engine you have has a LARGE bearing on what you may need. Update your profile.

  6. #5
    ffemt702 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    My 99 deville concourse northstar motor has been ticking every since oil change 2 months ago. i took to the dealer and they charge 400 to troubleshoot. The price to fix is crazy 4500 to repair or 10000 for new engine. I told them to leave the engine mounts disconnect and don't put it back together.

    This is was they told me and how hard is it for me to repair. I am a decent mech but not use to working on northstars.

    1. dealer stated they found 5 lifters worn thru tappets and rear exhuast cam worni
    2. fix repalce rear exhuast cam replace all lifters and carbon efi cleaning.


    Questions
    1 How hard is it for me to replace lifters and cam?
    2.Is the exhaust cam the same in regular northstars vs the concourse non roller?

    I can get the parts from local junk yard which has about 20 + northstar caddys and a few concourses.

  7. #6
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    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: 99 Concours - worn lifters/tappets and rear exhaust cam

    Deville Concours - The 8th character of the car's VIN is the engine designation - Y is a somewhat different engine from 9. Your engine uses direct contact hydraulic cam followers. Unfortunately, cam followers (lifters) wear in to a specific cam lobe and are NOT interchangeable - as in: pick-a parts won't work (for long).

    To change the right bank (rear) exhaust cam is a bit of work - the cam cover comes off, you use tiny tools and laproscopic surgery to pin the cam chain tensioner down in the chaincase, remove the cam and all followers. replace it all with new parts - hard to find and expensive. Problem is, if the right bank followers are wearing through (the case hardening face) then the other cams/followers are not far behind. Welcome to the government-mandated reduction of anti-scuff anti-wear additives in the SM and SN motor oils.

    Bottom line: If you are not intimately familiar with a Northstar and don't have a fairly comprehensive set of tools and a shop, don't even try.

    There are several threads with scary pictures of your type of cam/follower wear in Northstar Performance and in Discussions, Cadillac Tech Tips.

    For the pre-2000 flat tappet cam engines I would recommend using 10W-30 HD fleet conventional oils with their more robust additive packages.


    Please do not multiple post or bump posts - wait for answers.

  8. #7
    basscatt's Avatar
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    Re: 99 Concours - worn lifters/tappets and rear exhaust cam

    there was another thread from December -



    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...ick-after.html

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    ffemt702 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 99 Concours - worn lifters/tappets and rear exhaust cam

    The valve covers are off and I can see the tappets have worn thru the lifters on the exhaust side in the rear. SO if I can get replacement used cam with matching lifter out of a junkyard engine wouldnt be a good idea. the only other thing i could do is a complete head job both sides or replace/rebuild engine.

  10. #9
    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: 99 Concours - worn lifters/tappets and rear exhaust cam

    IF the engine has never had a top overhaul - using Norm's Inserts or studs to repair the cylinder block bolt hole threads - now is the time to tackle the job. Once you get into the engine you may well uncover other worn parts and that's not good.

    Look at Engines, Northstar Performance and read through the sticky posts just above the member threads to find out what you're up against. (and a mid to high mileage used engine is NOT a good choice) - rebuild what you have. Your engine - high mileage - total rebuild by yourself with help - $2,500 to $3,500 and a LOT of personal time and labor.

    Look at these sites - www.northstarperformance.com , www.carrollcustomcadillac.com, www.huhnsolutions.com

  11. #10
    basscatt's Avatar
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    Re: 99 Concours - worn lifters/tappets and rear exhaust cam

    Quote Originally Posted by ffemt702 View Post
    The valve covers are off and I can see the tappets have worn thru the lifters on the exhaust side in the rear. SO if I can get replacement used cam with matching lifter out of a junkyard engine wouldnt be a good idea. the only other thing i could do is a complete head job both sides or replace/rebuild engine.
    -----------------------
    then you MUST ask this question -

    WHY -

    why only the exhaust cam and tappets - on the right side?

    the entire engine shared the same oil - has the same mileage -

    I bet - if you look carefully at the intake side closely - you will see wear also -
    and like Sub suggested - I bet the further you get into that motor -
    the more problems you will find -

    personally - I wouldn't spend another penny on that motor -
    you'd be better off with a good used one -
    and do the head-bolt repair before installing it -

  12. #11
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    Re: 99 Concours - worn lifters/tappets and rear exhaust cam

    I have to agree. If the right bank exhaust cam & lifters are worn the others can't be far behind. Changing that one set is like playing Russian roulette with an automatic pistol. Do 'em all or swap motors.
    basscatt and basscatt like this.

  13. #12
    ffemt702 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 99 Concours - worn lifters/tappets and rear exhaust cam

    I must agree, something must be out of wack to rear a cam into lifters down into the tappets. I think I gonna let AAA Engine put a rebuilt engine in the caddy.

    http://www.aaaengine.com/cadillac1.php

    Any opinions good or bad? Only thing, they don't mention concouse

  14. #13
    basscatt's Avatar
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    Re: 99 Concours - worn lifters/tappets and rear exhaust cam

    Quote Originally Posted by ffemt702 View Post
    I must agree, something must be out of wack to rear a cam into lifters down into the tappets. I think I gonna let AAA Engine put a rebuilt engine in the caddy.

    http://www.aaaengine.com/cadillac1.php

    Any opinions good or bad? Only thing, they don't mention concouse
    -----------------------
    the Concours model uses a VIN "9" motor -
    and they DO list the 96 -03 STS - which also uses the VIN "9" motor -

    but $2300 for a rebuilt Northstar motor sounds way too cheap -

    just to PROPERLY timesert the motor is going to cost several hundred -
    and I don't see any reference to that -

    I would call and ask if that got done - and how did they do it -

    there are some really cheap repairs going on lately -
    where they are only using helicoils with the original head bolts -

    and of course - that will NOT be a permanent repair -

  15. #14
    ffemt702 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Northstar Cam

    I have 99 deville concourse 9 on Vin not X. The delear pulled off both vavle covers, 5 lifters worn to tappet. Caddy delear recommends swamping rear cam and all 32 lifters. They blame the 5 worn down lifters on carbon build and not getting top carbon throttle body done. My question is this.

    Can the rear cam be changes and lifters without special tools or droping engine out? I need a temp fix, this car is pimping me out. I'm gonna get rid of it. Has any one done this job before and any recommendations. I need a cheap fix to sell. Besides that car run perfect.

  16. #15
    ffemt702 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 99 Concours - worn lifters/tappets and rear exhaust cam

    Ok, I need the cheap temp fix to get rid of this thing- it's pimping me out.

    has any one changed the rear exhuast cam without pulling motor and is that possible? the vavle covers are off, I can see the worn 3-5 lifters, which is why motor been tapping. Goal is to swamp cam without lower motor out of car. Is that possible? Worn down per dealer because carbon recommend fix from dealer rear cam swamp, and replace 32 lifters.

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