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94 ETC,97 STS
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Discussion Starter #1
This is part I of some general info on removing the powertrain (cradle) from a FWD Caddilac. The first step should be obtaining the factory manual and reviewing it to save time and know what you are doing. This is some additional info and is not meant to replace the manual.

Power wash as much of the engine area as possible.

Don't pull the hood or the intake.
Do pull the battery,air intake tube, brake calipers(hang to the inner fenders),radiator(A/C condenser comes out with it),exhaust at rear of engine.wiring harness that goes to the computer(underdash) and end that goes to elect section on drivers side fender,struts at the top,steering shaft to rack coupler(it will seperate when you raise the body),disconnect A/C hoses .
The wheels/tires stay on but with the struts not connected at the top it drops to the ground so block it up near the corners.

Tools) You'll need fuel line disconnect tool, 2 floor jacks, engine hoist to raise body to clear cradle or tall jackstands+wood or something(don't use hollow cement blocks...I had one disintegrate and it didn't get impacted, just shattered!) to give you enough lift to get body to clear cradle,Timesert kit, Metric Allen head sockets(male), special gauge to torque headbolts(Checker/Shucks/Kragen or Azone loan a tool?),1/2in drill, and a factory manual!

Go over the engine replacement section in the manual. It keeps going past the point you stop at because it's replacing the engine, you stop that section and go to pulling the heads.

1) Following the manual disconnect what is necessary to seperate the cradle, keep jackstands under the body. Block the cradle up from the floor (jackstands or wooden blocks to keep it from going to the floor), remove the 6 attaching bolts, raise the body.
Using a jack in front and a jack in the rear manuver the cradle out from under the body. We used a 4X4 under the radiator support with a tow strap wrapped around them. eehoepp made a metal bar with chains on the end and lfted from the strut towers but that means pulling off and realigning the hood

2) you now block up the cradle to work on. Remove the wiring harness as necessary, various brackets, intake manifold etc. I use cheap plastic dishpans to store the parts. That way you can keep the parts for each side/section seperate. They are easy to see and the dishpans keep the dirt and grease contained. Get about 6 (maybe at a dollar store,I got mine on sale for $1 each).

3) The timesert kit comes with simple instructions and is easy to use. There is a locating pin for the hole you are inserting, bolt down the plate and remove the locator pin. Drill out the old threads, tap the new threads(we used ATF as a cutting oil,just need a little), clean out the threads with brake clean or carb cleaner. Make sure you have ALL the oil out. Turn in the insert with just a small amount of loctite on the bottom threads. We used 3 small drops.
We used strips of rags rolled up and pushed into the coolant passages to keep chips out. We taped the timing chain openings.
We got a technique using a good shop vac to virtually eliminate chips flying. One person does the drilling, the other keeps the vacuum nozzle next to the drill and tap. This worked really well but you have to carefully work together. We also rigged a tip with a piece of plastic tubing to get to the bottom of the hole.

Here's an article with some pics. He says it was a waste...Wrong...we had 6 stripped and those were obvious,more may have been damaged. He is also doing a very new engine.

http://caddyinfo.netgetgoing.com/howto/nsrepair.htm
 

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2005 CTS-V, 1994 Infiniti Q45
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Great information!!!!! Will be helpful to many other people....

Do you have any more pictures that you can share with us...... Maybe more of the removal/installation process????
 

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2005 CTS-V, 1994 Infiniti Q45
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It has been added.....
 

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1996 Fleetwood
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Any updates yet? I'm waiting to see if you succeed before I commit to doing it myself. Otherwise, it's dip into emergency savings, and then have someone else do it with the XMS performance heads. But REALLY don't want to do that.
 

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94 ETC,97 STS
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Discussion Starter #8
I'll add a middle thread of prepping the heads and some other tips soon.
We got the engine in today but didn't finish hooking everything up.

I did find something verrrrrrrryyyyy interesting. I hadn't noticed it when we pulled the heads but the head gasket was rusting. I think this might explain why they are inconsistent. They still have some clamping force and the swelling of the gasket makes it act differently at times. Look at the rusty spots on the end cylinder.
This was the head side and we didn't check it originally, but as we were cleaning up I saw it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here's Some additional info on what tools you will need(Thanks to Lawrence).


Lawrence said:
In addition to Zonie's list you'll need a 4" three jaw puller for the crank pulley, a pulley puller for the water pump pulley (I got one at Harbour freight for $10.00), a 12mmX85mm (correct me here if I'm wrong) bolt to re-install the crank pulley, the allen socket Zonie mentions is a 10mm hex bit drive, you'll need alot of long 3/8 drive extensions and/or wooble extensions for getting the exhaust bolts when removing/installing the engine, and if you don't already have one make sure you get a good telescoping magnet (invaluble for the torque converter bolts). Also if you buy a used Timesert kit, make sure you have Loctite 266 and cutting oil on hand for the job. Don't use anything else. Also have some high quailty harness tape on hand as you will likely need to repair/redo the wiring harness.

The Northstar is as easy as any engine I have ever worked on and so is the Timesert process, as Zonie said. The valve timing is about idiot proof, no problems there. Just line up the timing marks on the crank and intermediate sprockets, install the inner (left chain ?) first by lining up cam sprocket timing marks 90 degrees (straight up) to the head (valve cover) surface. On the exaust cam make sure the "E" is up, on the intake cam the "I" is up. Either way the camshaft to camshaft sprocket "locating pin" is up. Make sure all marks are lined up with the chains tight. Thats all there is to it.

Do use OEM head gaskets, about $45 ea which includes the head bolts. Make sure the gasket and mating surfaces are clean and dry of oil before/while installing. As a personal addition I used RTV around the bottom of the head bolt washer. The top of it is factory sealed. I noted oil down the head bolts when I removed them.

Also as George recommened to me, plan on replacing the HVAC cover while the engine is out. It deteriorates from the rear exaust manifold. I also had to do the inner metal box as well. And while there clean/service the AC evaporator. They get plugged up and can't be done with the engine in the car.

I personally would recommend all new lower oil seals as well. That one got me and I had to pull the engine again. Don't worry much about the valve cover seals, or any other seals that can be replaced later with the engine in the car unless they are obviously bad. On mine I had to replace the intake manifold gaskets as they were shrunken and dried out. At least the ones that contact the head.

One other thing. To be safe, prime the oil system before starting the engine. Do this by pulling the smaller of the two connectors on the drivers side of the coil pack. This cuts power to the ignition. Make sure the battery is fully charged. Crank the motor for two or three 60 second sessions. Reconnect the plug, start the engine and watch the DIC for a low oil pressure warning.

Good Luck!
 

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zonie77 said:
I'll add a middle thread of prepping the heads and some other tips soon.
We got the engine in today but didn't finish hooking everything up.

I did find something verrrrrrrryyyyy interesting. I hadn't noticed it when we pulled the heads but the head gasket was rusting. I think this might explain why they are inconsistent. They still have some clamping force and the swelling of the gasket makes it act differently at times. Look at the rusty spots on the end cylinder.
This was the head side and we didn't check it originally, but as we were cleaning up I saw it.
A sure sign that the corrosion inhibitors in the coolant failed at some point...i.e..the coolant was not changed and run so long that the corrosion inhibitors failed. That is very likely what eventually caused the hed gasket failure as the center core of the gasket rusted and collapsed. The center steel core of the gasket provides the resiliency to accept the thermal cyling loads as the engine expands and contracts. As the steel core of the gasket collapses due to corrosion it starts to leak.
 

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********* said:
A sure sign that the corrosion inhibitors in the coolant failed at some point...i.e..the coolant was not changed and run so long that the corrosion inhibitors failed. That is very likely what eventually caused the hed gasket failure as the center core of the gasket rusted and collapsed. The center steel core of the gasket provides the resiliency to accept the thermal cyling loads as the engine expands and contracts. As the steel core of the gasket collapses due to corrosion it starts to leak.
It doesn't take long to destroy a gasket with the green coolant either...
I found out my gaskets were changed by a dealer in mid 2001, around 47k.
I bought the car with 80K on it, put another 20K on it, and finally ended up changing the gaskets in late 2003.
When I took them out, there was a phenominal amount of corrosion on the gaskets. One part was basically eaten right through. I maintained the cooling system when i got the car, but apparantly no one did from 01 to about mid 03. That's not very long to have coolant eat right through a gasket, so it just goes to show how important cooling system maintainence is, especially for the '93 - '95 models. Granted most of my bolts were pulled out (dealer must have never time-serted originally), but the gasket was still pretty mutilated. Not that it does the block any good, I but I now run Dex-Cool, just to help save on the gaskets as much as possible.
 

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Yes, Timesert anyway as a precausion. I have heard of threads failing 10-20K later if not Timeserted. Other time while torqueing the heads.

I don't think the EGR will cause an overheat situation.
 

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1998 deville, 2000 sls, 2006 CTS-V, 2001 STS, 2007 STS V8
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You know what someone should do?...Make a video of replacing the head gaskets....I would pay top dollar for that!!!..I'm sure others would too.
 

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starfox86 said:
You know what someone should do?...Make a video of replacing the head gaskets....I would pay top dollar for that!!!..I'm sure others would too.
i would definetly pay top dollar for the video, whoever wants the money and knows how to do this, i will pay asap.
 

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Pjs said:
If you proficient, about 2hrs, took me about 3 the first time I did it
One of the benefits of FWD! Takes me about 4-6 hours to drop a Q45 engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Youngvic,

What process, the whole head gasket job? We didn't keep a record but the whole job runs pretty long because we didn't have a lift or air tools where we did the first one. The second was faster, next one much faster.
 

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Yea, im thinkin about doin this job in my driveway, i also dont have airtools, but i dont trust myself, so i would like to have a mechanic with me, should i?
O, and yea how long did the whole job take? w/out airtools.
 
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