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1998 DeVille
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76 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey y'all,

It's time. Either replace the caddy, or trust my cousin who's done the northstar job a couple times. What I want to know is what timesert kit is recommended.

EDIT : I'm working on turning this post into a one stop shop for the 98 Deville head gasket job. In the end, I'll have a video link to the entire process. Good luck to you if you're here for knowledge, and remember to take it slow. This won't be easy
 

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Super Moderator
White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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87,082 Posts
Bigserts, they are the coarser thread pitch that GM went to in '04 to correct the thread pulling problem. The regular Timesert is the original finer thread pitch that failed in the first place.

 

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2000 Deville Base, 2019 Corvette Grand Sport
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1,061 Posts
Lots of opinions here but me personally I had my 2000 done with the 1.5 fine thread Timesert three years ago and all is well. When I was having my car done this was the reply from the owner of the shop doing my repair.
"The Timesert is a world of difference over what came from the factory. The problem the factory had was the aluminum threads and the torque specs. You need almost twice the aluminum thread to equal the strength of steel and gm didn't do that. I am replacing the factory block threads with a carbon steel timesert far stronger then the factory aluminum threads. Like I said, I've never, never had a problem. 1800+ engines x 20 inserts per engine = a lot of experience! Have to stop listening to the forums!" -Jim

The guy that did my repair is a Northstar and Cadillac specialist with 25 years experience in the Cadillac field. He is in Pennsylvania.
582915

Ebay ad said:
Is your Northstar engine overheating? This auction is for a Northstar engine headgasket repair including new factory thread inserts and a replacement of all gaskets AND -oil pan and oil manifold gaskets are updated. We replace ALL your leaking engine seals, NOT just your head gaskets. I am a factory master technician, master ASE auto and diesel certified with master engine machinist status also. You will get the same factory technician that performs these repairs at the dealer for a fraction of the price. I have done two thousand++ of these engines with a 100% success rate since 1993! Only FACTORY GM parts along with GM recommended thread inserts are used. Your engine will be removed cleaned, and reassembled with all new gaskets. Full Guarantee for 12 months/12,000 miles, although I view this repair as lasting the lifetime of the vehicle. Don't replace your engine with a used one that may eventually have the same problem. We offer Transmission overhauls also. Tell us what you need! Towing is avail and usually free to local pick ups. We can arrange transportation from anywhere in the country. Price is complete with new parts and labor. No hidden fees to worry about. Have your car professionally repaired by a real automotive shop that will stand behind all their work. We have been here on ebay for over 18 yrs. Be careful of the imitators repairing these cars in their backyard or garage. I see these "repaired" cars here all the time broken again. I can save most engines they don't repair properly. Ask for their business license and certifications! I have 25 years of Cadillac dealership experience. We personally road test every car 200 miles or more (if OK with their owner) to guarantee these cars are perfect before we send them home. no check engine lights no rattles, and positively no overheating!! Thank you for your time. -Jim [phone removed by eBay] Call with any questions. (I'm usually always working and available.) Cadillac 4.6L V8 Northstar engines were used in Deville Seville Eldorado and Contours
 

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2004 Deville
2004 Deville, Silver, Gone, but not forgotten, 1972 Eldorado, 1974 eldorado, 1975 CDV
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686 Posts
Last year I bought a rebuilt engine for my 04, inserts were used for the head-bolt tappings. They gave me a 3 year unlimited mileage warranty.
 

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1998 DeVille
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76 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Quick question. We started this job, saw leaky water outlet gaskets, so we changed those. Put her back together, still overheating. About to dive back in. Thinking back to the job, I don't actually need to remove the water outlet to pull the heads, do I?
 

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Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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69,385 Posts
Look at the NS300L inserts from www.huhnsolutions.com. Use new, correct, head bolts !!!!

The water crossover needs to come off to pull the heads.

Have you checked the purge line and its hollow bolt/nipple for proper flow? A clogged purge system will cause overheating - big time.

Water crossover assembled.gif
 

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1998 DeVille
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76 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I have cleared the purge, I've done almost everything to the coolant system. I'm down to the head gasket or a hairline cracked head. I plan on using straps to hold the engine rocked back and forth to do the serts. I'll also take the heads to get checked before re installing
 

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Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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69,385 Posts
The heads themselves are pretty tough items, but with the pre-2000 flat tappet cam followers you need to inspect the 32 cam lobes and followers for wear.

cam follower wear.jpg
 

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2001 eldorado,2008 DTS,2005 XLR, '96 eldo,'95 eldo,' 89 eldo,'78 eldo,'11CTS-V
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1,816 Posts
Let us know how you make out with the insert installation with the engine in the car.
 

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1998 DeVille
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76 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I plan on it. I m going to do a video, or at least photos. Sub, is the water crossover the outlet/waterpump mount?
 

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96 FWB
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752 Posts
Boy am I ever stoked.... I never had no Northstar Cadys, but been seeing on here enough millions of posts about pulling headbolts that I was able to absolutely positively help someone at a pump today. I'm out with the Fleetwood tooling around after a powerwalk with the wife and duck in for a fillup. The cashier comes out and goes, "What year?"

" '96 last year of RWD."

"Yours is so clean, and exact same color. Mine is a '99, but other model. Needs new motor - Northstar oh big problems always".
(Note: I had just washed it, but I knew what he meant. It is very clean IISSMyself. And the downpour just ended made it look even better).

"Yeah, Deville. And no, you just need new headbolts with inserts. The bolts were too weak and stretched and blew headgaskets. Very common problem on that motor. The motor is fine. Just do new headbolt inserts"

"You know much of this."

"Nope. I just read stuff on Cadillac Forums."

"What?"

"CadillacForums.com. All one word."

"Oh good."

I'm stoked. Not worth a whole new thread, but I mighta saved a Cady today. And it's owner. He's clearly 'English not first language' (looked EXACTLY like 'Homeless Baritone Opera Singer Man', but spoke dam fine and I'ma make a point to stop in again to see if he's in and how's it going.
 

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1998 DeVille
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76 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Looking for as many resources on an in vehicle head gasket job as possible. I've got it torn down to the heads. I know I need to set the timing before pulling the tensioner and friends off, but not sure how to do that. Also looking for suggestions on ways to rock the motor to drill the new serts in. Any information helps.
 

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1998 DeVille
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76 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
And for anyone else who is looking, here's what I've found so far. Some things may be different for your year

I'm down to pulling apart the timing myself

Getting the heads off in vehicle

Installing Serts in vehicle
Front

Rear

As near as I can tell, you won't be installing studs if you plan on doing this job in vehicle. Not enough room to get the heads back on.

A right angle drill will be needed to do the serts. I'll report back with more information as I get it.
 

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1998 Deville Base & 2004 Deville Base
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121 Posts
Here is a thread from 2018 of in car head gaskets.

 

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430 Posts
when I did mine, I used WD40 as a cutting fluid for the drilling and tapping, when I was done I used chlorine free brake cleaner in each hole and blew it out with compressed air. That hole needs to be clean, those inserts go in with locktite.
I'm pretty sure I did a write up on it here...probably half a**'ed
good luck.
 

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1998 DeVille
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76 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
My current challenge is pulling the timing apart. Looking for best practices, thank you for the tips and thread suggestion
 

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430 Posts
The timing I don't recall...I can check the manual later this evening if you wanted to know something specific.

583865
 

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1998 DeVille
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76 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Where is the best place to hold the car up while I loosen the cradle? I saw a video and a guy had the stands on the sides of the car
 
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