There's no choice but to pull the engine or drop the subframe to install the studs. But this also gives you better access to the lower seals and other hard to get at parts that may need attention.
I would never do the HGs on a N* while the block is in the car. It's bad enough working in tight areas to get the engine out... and anything that involves drilling and tapping 20 holes should be done outside of the car anyway. I can pull a Northstar through the top in around 3.5 hours- at this point everything is accessible, and part of the engine is already torn down ready to be worked on.
I've sold well over 30 stud kits to date and haven't had any calls about failures yet.
Mike, like I said I can help you out with this. Next job you do, pull the whole engine and try a set of studs. I'm working on something called the INNRS which will be listing shops across the USA and Canada who will tackle the N*s at a reasonable cost using the stud method, with warranty being backed by Northstar Performance. I haven't got all of the details worked out yet but if this is something you're serious about making money with, I can help. What you're paying for _orms inserts and new head bolts can be put toward studs. Up your warranty to two years and keep up the good work.
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