Melted camshaft water pump drive pulley
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Melted camshaft water pump drive pulley in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; I posted a week or so ago about a 1999 Deville I got for trading two toolboxes.... Owner said it ...
  1. #1
    KarlInOhio is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Melted camshaft water pump drive pulley

    I posted a week or so ago about a 1999 Deville I got for trading two toolboxes.... Owner said it was overheating and that was that... Its a Northstar engine, so the engine must have bad headgaskets...

    Well... Things took an interesting turn today... I went out to just run the car and noticed it got up to temps quickly... As I was perusing the engine compartment to see what I was planning on doing in the future (remove engine and use studs to repair what I think/thought is a bad head gasket) I noticed that the Water pump belt was off..... Hmmm

    I removed the cover and found the cam pulley partially melted away... I checked the tensioner and it was fine, then rotated the water pump pulley and found it rotated quite easily....

    For whatever reason, the pulley seized... Oddly enough, I found a new hose going to the water pump (a recent replacement)...

    I then started the car and the pulley on the cam moved quite normally.... hmmmm

    All I can think of is that the antifreeze mixture may have frozen (possibly from prior overheat and someone added water) and held the impeller while the cam pulley burned away....(we have had a pretty cold winter so far)... Now this should have made a heck of a squeal and smoke... but who knows... I don't think that the Northstar type of water pump is well known about....

    Anyway... I have included pics for other suggestions... I suppose I still could have a bad headgasket... But it would be nice if it were something as simple as a new pulley, waterpump belt and a proper mixture of Coolant...

    Any thoughts?

    Here are my pics




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  3. #2
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Overheating 1999 Deville... Maybe not what you think

    Plenty of advice on the water pump drive pulley - and how to replace it - in Cadillac Tech Tips. A complete power steering pulley removal kit and a proper bolt, nut, and stack of greased washers to press the new one on - hub face flush with the cam snout. Pull and install correctly or you're in the left bank intake cam replacement business.

    While you're at it, replace the tensioner pulley also - simple one bolt replacement. www.rockauto.com, make, model, year, "belt drive", 3-rib pulley.

    That black plastic cap in the end of the cam comes out with a Torx bit - it's nothing more that a thread protector for the cam snout internal threads used with the GM removal/install tools from Kent-Moore - $$$.$$.

  4. #3
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is online now Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Both forums are equally active. In the future, please don't double post.

    The problem is probably a seized water pump belt tensioner pulley, not a frozen water pump.

  5. #4
    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Melted Camshaft Water pump pulley

    Stand by to merge identical threads and responses.

    Please don't shotgun posts ...............

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    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Melted Camshaft Water pump pulley

    A melted drive pulley is almost always the result of a frozen tensioner pulley bearing.

    You just may have gotten a very good deal.

  7. #6
    vincentm's Avatar
    vincentm is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlInOhio View Post
    Owner said it was overheating and that was that... Its a Northstar engine, so the engine must have bad headgaskets...

    Sigh....

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    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    U could use small saw blade and split remains of cam pulley to slide it off cam extension. But u need tool to press it on eventually.

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    Re: Melted Camshaft Water pump pulley

    Actually I think it can be reinstalled with a bolt and washers.
    04GrandAmGT likes this.

  10. #9
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    Re: Melted Camshaft Water pump pulley

    What ranger said ^ but it is metric thread pitch, idk if your local hardware store would have metric bolts or not.


    Need parts for your Northstar Engine? www.northstarperformance.com

    Evrett, Sales Executive of the SureGrip™ Cylinder Head Stud Kit

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    Re: Melted Camshaft Water pump pulley

    Post #2 for the stacked washer install - drive pulley hub flush with the cam extension face.

    Pictures and diagrams in my 2 albums.

    Our local Ace and TrueValue hardware stores carry metric nuts and bolts in standard, grade 5 and grade 8 strengths. I believe that Lowe's and Home Depot do, also.

  12. #11
    97EldoCoupe's Avatar
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    Re: Melted Camshaft Water pump pulley

    M8x1.25 is the metric bolt you want. Get a bolt marked 10.9, or 8.8 (on the head of the bolt)if you can. If there is any rust in the threads on the cam, chase that to clean it out first. Resistance is your enemy with this job.


    Need parts for your Northstar Engine? www.northstarperformance.com

    Jake Wiebe, developer of the SureGrip™ Cylinder Head Stud Kit

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    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Melted Camshaft Water pump pulley

    Jake, I've had good luck with either NevrSeize or Permatex anti-seize when using the stacked washer/bolt/nut trick.
    97EldoCoupe likes this.

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    97EldoCoupe's Avatar
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    Re: Melted Camshaft Water pump pulley

    No doubt. I just use a bit of engine oil, and one of the exhaust manifold bolts (they're very hard). Never had an issue.


    Need parts for your Northstar Engine? www.northstarperformance.com

    Jake Wiebe, developer of the SureGrip™ Cylinder Head Stud Kit

  15. #14
    KarlInOhio is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Melted Camshaft Water pump pulley

    Thanks for all the replies... I have bought the Kent Moore remover and the installer (I plan on doing more of these engines in the future) The funny thing is the tensioner pulley rolls very smoothly and evenly.... Additionally I Have ordered a new drive pulley, just need to order the tensioner (might as well do it).... Just waiting for things to warm up here... it is 4 degrees outside!

    Strangely enough, I was kinda disappointed because I really wanted to rebuild this engine.... Oh well, I may very well have to do it anyway.

    I have already started ordering the specialty tools in anticipation for the rebuild (I have got the Kent Moore Flywheel lock, the OTC Cam Tool kit, Factory Service Manuals, the water pump Socket, the Cam pulley installer and the remover..... I am just waiting to find out what the Rear main seal installer type I need.... I already have a Snap on Techangle torque wrench, so I don't need to use a torque angle tool (even though I do have one as well)

    My plan is to:

    - Pressure test the cooling system

    - Replace the pulley, tensioner and belt and see if overheating stops

    - Do a compression test on all cylinders, check and possibly change the plugs and the wires (wires look original) and it has 115k on it.

    - Change the oil and filter (note the oil does not have any coolant in it, but does have a strong smell of fuel)...


    Additionally, I plan on completely flushing out all the DEX Cool and replace with regular anti-freeze.... Any comments on this?

  16. #15
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    Re: Melted camshaft water pump drive pulley

    No need to buy a complete tensioner ($58) if the spring and arm are in good condition. The pulley/bearing comes off with that single center bolt. $23 at a NAPA or www.rockauto.com - your car, year, model, engine "belt drive" - the 3 rib gates pulley is fine.

    A complete engine rebuild is usually not necessary - but if you do, follow the service manual instructions - these engines are not intuitive projects - several special processes to follow. Study up on the new GM method of halfcase (lower cylinder bolock face) sealing using UltraGray and no silicone formed "gasket". Do not dingleball the cylinders - yours probably still has most of the original aggressive hone pattern anyway. These engines use low tension iron rings (oriented correctly - the lower compression ring is also a scraper) and there is no cylinder bore oversize recommended.

    Pictures in my albums - click my username, open the profile - left column - 2 albums, 6 pages of stuff for your engine. (you have the earlier waste spark ignition setup)

    Nothing wrong with DEX-COOL - exchange it every 3 years or so. Test the thermostat with a candy thermometer in a saucepan of water. It begins to open at 188 and is fully open at 206. All engine calibrations are set for that range of coolant temps. Remove and clean the ignition module (ICM), coils/bases, and make very sure the ICM ground wire is well connected. Use the plug diagram in my albums to get the proper coil-wire-plug sequence.

    As long as you're in the tool ordering business, get one of these - http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/lis75500.html

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