babylon_nl

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Everything posted by babylon_nl

  1. Hi all, First off I'm SO very happy I found this forum, I live in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and a Cadillac here is a bit of an Al Capone boat, no matter her age or model, most American cars are, but Cadillac.. that's only something from movies. BUT... I got myself about 1 year ago the real deal, a 2002 Deville in, I must say, mint condition, inside and out. No complaints exept for the radio that didnt do 'our' frequencies (or rather 50% of the fm frequencies, we use odd frequencies as well, the original radio only does even, or the other way around?). So replaced it with a nice pioneer digital radio with the proper interfaces to keep everything original. I love that car! In order to spoil her, I asked a friend mechanic to give it an overhaul, new fluids, new sparkplugs (they were ANCIENT), flush the coolant etc. First thing to pop was a coil, i guess it couldnt handle the new sparks, ordered a new one and all was fine. Until a few weeks later BOOM, it overheated. A quick look learned coolant was VERY low. Later I realised this was probably just an airbubble, as I started reading online about engine problems on the Deville. Yes, I am guilty as charged as not to bring it to a certified or at least experienced Cadillac shop, but keep in mind the closest one to find easilly is about 2.500miles from here: in the States, So from here on clouds drew over my Obamobile as it was commonly refered to last year (dont want to offend anyone, but I think it sounded better than 'Trumpette' as I heard someone called my baby ). In the weeks that follow things got from the temperature going thru half-way just a bit at a stoplight after a highway tour in the beginning, to sweaty and tensioned drives the past days as temperature is absolute iradic. CHECK COOLANT LEVEL was in my display ever since I bought her, so I decided to order a new reservoir with sensor so at least i could see what was going on and didnt have to check the level before a drive. That worked... for bit. Now I still check the level and fill her to the right level, close her up and start driving. About 2 minutes down the road the dash will tell me again to check the level. Here's what a typical drive now looks like for me: - I adjust the coolant if necessary, when cold the system is always under pressure. I assume that's normal. (is it?) Usually she agrees the level is ok for about 5, 6 minutes of drive (temperature raised about 1/4). - When I pull up for gas (also common on 4.6L engines i guess) and continue my drive, the level usually remains satisfactory to her, but not always. - I drive for good 20 minutes (Holland is not very big fortunately), when i dont meet any stoplights things should be good, when i need to stop, I keep my fingers crossed that dreaded needle wont go up. It goes down again as i proceed to drive. Than I stop the car and do my bussiness, so far, no problems. - I get back and halfway home, so that's about 10 minutes on the highway, temperature may go up to a level where i need to pull over and let the car cool, cuz I dont want the teperature to go in the red. Thusfar it happend to me one she told me she had turned off my a/c because her engine was hot. - When times are bad I may have to repeat those steps, when i dont rev above 2000rpm she thusfar remains fairly under control, but in the last 10 minutes to home i may have to pause 2 or 3 times to let her cool. The other day the last stop I made settled her mind, as temperature ran down to normal and as I parked she was happy as a if I had given her a box of chocolate.Temperature fine, no faults, she didnt even drain my gastank. - I go inside, do my 20 minutes of prayers and say my Hail Cadillac's and prepare for the next trip. So... My mechanic friend tested the coolant for illegal substances and we found that she's been smoking, as Co2 was found. Now you all know smoking weed is legal here but I never caught her doing any, so we came to the conclusion her head gasket was blown. So... what to do now? I have been reading and viewing youtube movies about horror stories on northstar engines, oh my, at times i get the feeling the Northstar engine is the absolute worst engine anybody ever built in the entire automobile history.. there's bolts that just pop out, entire blocks have cracks in it from front to end, they gobble up gaskets like there's no tomorrow and if you're lucky this all happens after about 10.000 miles of driving! Fortunately I know the People of The Internet have a way of over-exaggerating things and there are, so i understand 3 model northstar's, so probably it's not as bad as it looks. BUT... I need to repair my car. I love her too much to dispose of her because of this. Here's what we take into consideration given what we read and found reasonable to be true and our geographical location: - Parts for the Deville we can order online from rockauto, they are relatively inexpensive (particulary compared to european parts) and are here within 2 to 3 weeks, no problem. - The engine did at least 275.000km's up until today. - We can buy the same block at a junkyard, supposedly ran 100.000km, but we're never sure. It was a crash car so we can asume it's a fair engine for it's age and mileage. Still, it's 15 years old and did 100.000km's. It sells for say 1500 dollars. - We can buy a new longblock for roughly 4500,- dollars plus the little extra's you'll always end up needing. But it also needs shipment and it's gonna be taxed when it comes here. That means it's gonna be roughly 7500,- - We can refurbish the entire engine, that would set me back roughly 2500,- dollars. It would mean the engine would be as good as new. - We can replace the headgasket, a bit of belting, maybe a waterpump and small things only and pray there's nothing else we find. This shoud be doable for about 750,- - In any case the engine needs to be removed from and refitted to the car. One internet video tells us we should be looking at about 80 hours of work, maybe it's 40. My friend mechanic doesnt charge me top dollar but he dont work for free either. Plus during the entire time the car is under construction his garage will be occupied with Cadillac. Now I wouldnt mind that as its a Cadillac, but he does. Now after this all, I come back to my original question: now what!? What should I do? Are all my troubles coming from the headgasket? What's up with those 'pallets' everybody talks about that should be mixed with the coolant? What happens if you dont use those, will you exhaust leaks to your coolant by any chance? To go short do I NEED to replace the HG in order to solve my problems, would anybody say there is a chance I might still have the same problems when the repairs are done because i may have missed a very essential issue in maintanance somewhere? And what option of repair would you recommend? Go for the lower mileage block or instead for an overhaul of the original block? Is my block a 'good' one, or one that will spit out the bolts because of some crazy threading? the newer block or the original, would i still want to replace those bolts and use those mysterious 'inserts' or is there a better option and is it necessary? Can anybody realistically say how much time it would take to take out the engine and put it back in? And is this truly the only sensible way of repairing the HG? Ordering a new block is about the only thing I am willing to eliminate, but I am also willing to add buying an overhauled engine from the states, given the price is reasonable and shipment can be aranged, but will I have a no doubt about it excellent condition block, as warranty doesnt mean anything to me, I simply cant just send it back to have a look at it, simple as that. So than, for the diehards that took the time to read all this, my gratitude, I'm sorry for my bad English, it's hopefully more understandable than when I would have written it in Dutch, yet, my apologies, I wish you all happy and safe driving and if you can spare me any hints or tips, I'm very much looking forward to them and I'd be happy to add any information when I forgot some. Thanks in advance, greetings from Amsterdam and be well! Ron PS: My VIN has a '9' in the engine type digit.
  2. ;) no that's my shipper, in miami, there's gonna be other stuff there as well and than shipped as one, it's going to cost me about 400,- to get here, the 1500,- was just for sending it to miami, it's supposed to be about a 10th of that..
  3. Not just quite yet.. Jake told me it was ready to be picked up by dhl for transport to Miami, but it seems he got a shipping price of 1500,- usd.. But... awaiting the good news :)
  4. To you guys maybe it's crazy $$'s, but for here it's not so bad really, i think by the time the new engine is in, the car will cost me roughly $ 12.000,- but than it's next to new and in fact i'll be driving a car that is next to unique in my country with a showroom price of roughly $ 150.000,- I know it's hard for you guys to imagine but that's what the newprice was her, including our crazy tax system... For the same money I could buy here a crappy any imigrant driven beat up mercedes or something of the sort with parts that actually kill you when you have to buy them (a merc headlamp kit (one!) will easilly set you back about $ 700,- I bought a brand new light for the DTS @ rockauto and it was sitting here including transport and tax for just under $150,-... Friend of mine has a 2006 Merc ML had problem with his air suspension, set him back almost $ 4000,- for a pump, computer and shocks.. I'm very sure Norm's gear basically does the same as Jake's, but i'm waaaaaaaay past that station, the block is done for, period, they probably exchanged the block sometime before I bought it and I think it's done probably 300k miles plus, no headbolt is going to fix that and there is simply no junkyard engine available here or anywhere near... Well i'm lying, i did get an offer for a 130k miles block with a blown hg with the wrong vin number for 'only' $ 3000,- but the guy would than fix it for it me, didnt even ask how he would do that, since he stated he had done 10 northstars already 'and only 2 of them blew up after he worked on them'.. So really I dont mind waiting a bit more for brand new engine for $ 3500,- doesnt sound to crazy does it?
  5. I have no doubt it's going to happen I've promised myself, even before I placed the order, that if it wouldn't happen I'd take on the excuse for a trip to canada, never been there haha.. Just hope Jake's going to beat the stress around him, i've seen to many good guys leave the battlefield after drowning in their own success.. I think he's got a good thing going there, but to stay on top of things, ís a challenge..
  6. Yes, if you look at it this way, indeed it has been 7 months and that's actually quite long Hopefully i'll be recieving the good news shortly, i'll keep you posted!
  7. Hi @BodybyFisher, I'm sorry I didnt post any updates, nice of you to check in. thing is, not all that much has happend since What happened thusfar is this, I decided to ditch the heads and buy new ones from @NorthstarPerformance Jake made me a very good price and there was no way I could have had the old heads fixed for even that money. But we also took @OldCadTech's measures and found the underblock was also way beyond tolerances, so somewhere november I decided to go for a new eninge and I wanted it to be studded newly built crate engine. Now getting money into the US, let alone canada is a task by itself, all the details including banking branche numbers all sort of crap need to be exactly put as desired by the recieving bank, unfortunately our bank cannot produce this information but eventually Jake passed on the information from his bank and I decided to fully pay for the engine. Jake at that time started to be very busy with moving his company to a new building, I've joined his facebook groups #northstar performance and #northstar powered cars and we kept in contact on the progress of building the engine. Last month it seemed my engine was ready to rock! Unfortunaly there was/is an issue with transporting the engine to Miami, the port of sail where the engine will be shipped to europe, I dont really understand the reason, it seems it's some custom renewal issue, I dont know. Jake is very open on his fb page and never ignores my msgs, I think he's a very passionate technician and loves his work but I feel at times he seems to be drowning in things coming at him, i'm not sure what is going on in 'the wonderful world of the Northstar Engine', but browsing thru postings and reading new topics it seems there's a lot of absolutely crazy people running around trying to cut heads (not particulary the engine type of heads), Jake did a lengthy topic on some absolute weirdo who sued him for leaving his 199x aurora in the parking lot for some time and blaming him for his car now beeing unsafe to drive because the thing is corroded to the bone.. I actually have friends who for some reason are like a magnet to people like that getting into all sorts of crazy sh@t that have absolutely no touch with reality at all... And Jake seems to be a guy just like that, as if it's never enough the weird in this world seem to look him up and toss him around.. Actually quite sad, but as I said, some people are like a magnet, drawing such idiots towards them. Anyway, I still have all the faith in the world in Jake, he's even made a 'work in progress' page on his website and my engine is there with my name and all and ready to ship.. the 7th of June.. I'm sure he made this page as a motivator for himself but I guess he's just a too busy guy I'm not in a hurry not by far and I am absolutely not afraid of any ill intentions but by now it's about time that I want to drive my poor dusty black dame again, I attach a picture of already a few months old, she's in desperate need of a hand wash, she's starting to look old and gray So jah, that's what it is at this point in time, awaiting shipment, my shipper is ready to rumble as it's called, my mechanic is ready to finalize the list of things we need to get her on the road, I'm awaiting Jake's happy news!
  8. So I was looking for pictures and all that and found the distributor of this tool and figured what the heck, it's a crazy expensive tool, let them explaint it to me. We worked out the values for the top pictures only and I kid you not, that took 30 minutes after i emailed them the pictures hahahaha we came tot he conclusion: top reads 93.040mm bottom reads 92.925mm which brings taper to 0.115mm to reverse engine this value we concluded that from the top ring of the tool, each click (big-to-small stripe) is 0.005mm, We 14.5 stripes to get to 0 and we did 8 stripes to get to 4, a total of 22.5 stripes x 0.005mm = 0.1125mm and that's a match! unfortunately 0.1mm tolerance and 0.1125 are NOT within specs.. the other cylinder is only 4.5 stripes difference, x0.005 = 0.0225mm taper and that's WELL within specs and indeed not as far as bad as the other one.. LONG time ago i made this little movie with the head-movement: If you would find these measures and look at the movie, what would your suggestion be about the underside of the block? The feeling creeps up at me that i'm in need of a new block.. how's your thoughts on that? I think I cant do just the 'bad' cylinder(s) (didnt measure all 8 but i'm assuming things wont look brighter after) and didn do the other measures, but i'd say it's very likely this block is just past it's lifespan.. and I'm thinking they already replaced the engine with a far worse one than the original 275.000km block that is supposed to be in there.. looking at the contamination on the valves we're thinking the block has ran either double the amount of km's, or or perhaps even AND on propane which would make sense in our part of the world... Feeling a bit sad, I ask: what's your thoughts on this?
  9. So... new news today after holiday breaks and all... @OldCadTech we measured the folowing bore taper, as in the picture and to me it looks like: cyl1: lower measure - 92.927, upper measure - 93.004, means taper is 0,077mm cyl2: lower measure - 93.0007, upper measure - 93.003, means taper is 0,0023mm Neither me nor my mechanic ever worked with this tool! Rationalizing, it says 1 div. 0.005mm, so we asume one click is 0.005mm, there are 50 clicks in one twist. Cylinder a: We come from (something)click 42.7 and go to (something+1)click 4, so we turned the wheel 7.3 clicks to go to 0, than another 4 clicks, a total of 11.3 clicks that means the taper is 11.3x0.005mm= 0.0565mm Cylinder b: We come from (something) click 0.7 and go to (something) click 4, so we turned the wheel 3.3 clicks. that means the taper is 3.3x0.005mm=.0.0165mm I'm going crazy over this, how come these calculations are not equal, what am I doing wrong? It looks like it's within the 0.1mm tolerance.. but is it? Anybody?
  10. Unreal.. I would think most internet based services are abondoning the idea they're God's gift to the internet, photobucket reinvented the wheel so it seems...
  11. You serious man!? four hundred bucks a year... omg, i am renting a virtual private server with unlimited data and next to unlimited storage for 40,- a year.. i didnt even read that mail to be frank, I was actually done reading after the header that said 'some features will be disabled'.. bizar... I already was very anoyed cuz i had to dig thru a ton of commercials before i'd reach my pictures, but i figured well, since it serves a purpose, why not... but this is seriously messed up haha.. thanks for the info...
  12. What the heck... WE NOTICED THAT YOU HAVE BEEN USING PHOTOBUCKET FOR 3RD PARTY HOSTING What is 3rd Party Hosting? Photobucket defines 3rd party hosting as the action of embedding an image or photo onto another website. For example, using the <img> tag to embed or display a JPEG image from your Photobucket account on another website such as a forum, Etsy, eBay auction listings, a blog, etc. is definitively 3rd party hosting. well, guess that's it for photobucket than hahaha.. sorry for the blank gaps that will inevitably come to my former postings
  13. I am told propane combustion is much hotter than regular gas.. so it would make sense.. I see he's claiming an engine would last longer on propane, I dont know where he got that info, I know next to nothing about engines, but I know that if you find a low mileage propane car, it's a fraud (because the prope instalation and tax are considereable and should weigh to the amount of miles you're driving) and if you find a high mileage propane care, you dont want to touch it, because it's very likely to have problems soon.. My dad's 79 and 86 caprices ran perfectly fine on propane, but i guess they dont really compare to modern engines...
  14. I'm curious about what you're saying, as it was another friend who looked at the heads and he told me the seats were next to non-existant.. Now I really want to have pictures of 'm
  15. It did... I dont know.. it's what i'm told.. It was also suggested that maybe the car has ran on propane in the past..that's very common around here, particulary on big engines.. but since there's no evidence at all to support that (in the car I mean, no traces of a propane tank or aditional piping and stuff), it was sugested that maybe engine itself was replaced in the past.. and with that, anything we know about the engine turns into a questionmark.. but you are right, it did idle smooth.. except for the first few seconds upon cold start... I'll try and get some pictures of the valve seats...
  16. @BodybyFisher - He did thanks! @barczy01 - most important reason is the valve seats are next-to-gone.. trying to get some pictures of that, Rebuilding the heads exceeds the price of the new heads by far (in facti it's almost double) and frankly, it gives me a much better feeling to know they're new, than to have them worked on.. I guess working on them will never make them as good as new, right?
  17. No word from Jake yet, meanwhile I have an important question for you all...
  18. hahaha.. mind you, the borg may be considered the Cadillac under the alien species... pure luxery and way ahead of our times I'm up for a new head!! And my car will need 2, we ran the tolerancies (thanksssss!!!) and didnt even bother to bring it to a specialist.. the seats are.. well.. actually they are not, they are missing, gone so to speak, by phone it's estimated a repair to the head will be roughly 800 euro's (say 1000 dollar).. and that's just the necessary work done, no extra's no further neweties.. I'm awaiting Jake's offer for the lumb-sum so we can start building again @OldCadTech thank you again, we'll run those measures as well and get back with our findings, that's what we'll be doing till I hear from Jake I suppose
  19. haha I really feel stupid, it's great you take this effort of replying (safely i hope!) from your car.. Yes, we want all available seals and stuff we can get to replace, that's money wise peanuts. Jake made a list of items he can supply, the rest I will be ordering from rockauto, just not sure about the rack, have to still shop around for that. But i havent ordered yet, I'm awaiting Jake's offer for the total package he can supply, but this is the initial list: From Jake: Cylinder Head Stud Kit for Northstar V8 - full kit Oil Pan Gasket Crankshaft Seal - front set Oil Filter Timing Chain Guide - (original GM part, identical to Cloyes 95310) This will be most of the rest of our most wanted list (rockauto) Tensioner Pulley - source from Rockauto Starter Motor -- Source from RockAuto Fuel Filter - Source from RockAuto Cylinder Head Bolt - Not needed if you purchase our head stud kit Air Filter - Source from RockAuto Hydraulic lines - source from Rockauto Belts - Source from Rockauto we didnt order anything yet, as i'm still awaiting Jake, but i'm making it difficult for him too, cuz i asked for the rack as well.. I'm seriously considering therapie haha, but i dont really have time as I need mail around for the car hahaha
  20. jah, true that,but but but... no, i'm overthinking things, sorry about that, agreed, with the specs to be double sure, it should be good... and apart from the cilinders, there's nothing to have nightmares about? It's probably a huge difference in price (i guess? double? x2.5, x3?) but what if... NO RON.. QUIT IT.. leave it to those who know.. Oh yes, agreed, yes, will do... Did anybody say 'therapy'?
  21. I read your tekst 5 times @BodybyFisher but i seriously have no clue what it means you're asking My thoughts now are quite simple: measure the tollerances and if it's anywhere a questionmark and if someone threatens me that works need be done on them, i'll have the new heads, plain and simple. We have not discussed the rest of the block, that's why my thoughts went there... not held back by any knowledge on engine at all, i just posted my question, maybe i shouldnt have, i'm very happy with the support you guys are giving me and I dont want to overstay my welcome.. I'll run it past my techfriend i'm pretty sure he can make sense of it, as far as I can tell is we have 'smartshops' here that sell magic mushrooms and they make you forget about any car problem you might have.. in fact, they make you forget about your car at all, but i think they not the same thing @OldCadTech thanks, that is a very reasuring answer, I needed that haha, yes, i trust the guy who's working on it, but I also know he's never worked on an engine like this and as he is a friend as well, i think it would be horrible if the whole thing is back together again and we find after 2 months that we kinda forgot some thingemajigger and we can start from scratch, hence my thought: new heads means 100% ok on the heads, new block means 100% ok on the block, it's clear now it's gonna cost, if for say 1500,- more i have a car that i like a lot and can drive without a problem for 10 years, it's roughly 15 bucks per month extra, who's complaining? But, cool, thanks both of you again, we'll keep going as we go, i'm pretty sure on the head issue, as it was said earlier, it sounds like deal and if the work on them is more than cleaning them, we should go for the new heads. if we can do some definate measuring on the rest of the block so we'll know we're good there it'd be great, there's no mayor parts that could or should be replaced or checked, as the heads did their time, the rest of the block obviously did too.. i guess i just hate surprises @OldCadTech 'Case halves would be a must do' - what are case halves and what must be done? It would make me feel very happy if you have some specs on the lower block and I agree with you, some therapy would be in order.. or a crash course in car mechanics, that might clear my head too haha well, by the time it's all done, i'm half way a tech my self by word at least haha.. Offcourse I talk to people about this project and the most common reaction is: why dont you just buy a new or good second hand car, why put so much time, money and energy in a yank-tank? I'll just frown and look at their car, usually something like this, and I go like sure, a 1 litre 3 cilinder car has advantages all over the place, but i don't know... let's just say it's a feeling one has for a car..some are a 'yes' and some are a 'no'.. Mine's a 'yes'
  22. Now my brain-wheels are spinning, probably in overdrive, but if the heads cost me 800,- how crazy would I be to replace the whole block? Pretty sure shipment will be substantially more, but with gaskets and studs and all, the parts bill runs into the 1500,- and when I eyeball ebay (tho i dont want to buy there) i'm seriously thinking what if i just replace the whole block.. what's your thoughts on that, no need to quote, just contemplating, would there be serious advantages to a new block? In my nightmares the previously mentioned rocking of the cilinders become an issue once the heads have been replaced by new ones.. @OldCadTech would you happen to have soms measures on the cilinder part of the block as well? I like measures and I can't wait for the results of that comin' in.. I need a vacation, don't i?
  23. @barczy01 whoah... haha valve lash adjusters.. rockers, lifters, keepers.. right... haha.. i'll copy that 1:1 to my techfriend About idling, that I know. What happened, i think i mentioned it in my very first posting (wow, that seems long ago haha) that at a cold start it would be quite shakey for a few seconds, but just a few, maybe 2, 4 at max.After that there was absolutely no trouble at all, as far as I can tell. One other thing i keep thinking about is the fact that it always felt the car didnt make up for 300hp it should have. A friend's citroen with a 320hp turbo diesel citroen was a totaly different experience, It's not (at all) that it felt like it had trouble keeping up, but I always found the 'Deluxury Touring Sedan' very apropriate as a name, because every drive felt like i was touring, I didnt have to worry about not pushing the gas too hard.. I always took it that belonged to the way the car was, but i'm not sure if it's an indicator of engine trouble, in fact, i kinda liked it But frankly i never had the idea the engine would not run smooth, except for the few seconds after a cold start. the testing procedure sounds very promising, as mentioned, the thickness (or rather thinness) of the valves was the thing that alarmed my techfriend. Hopefully the measures given by Oldcadtech your test procedure make a more scientific analysis than 'it feels rather thing, we have a problem' Thanks guys!!!!
  24. @BodybyFisher That's brilliant Mike, yes, I got the per-head detail haha, but i'm still smiling as an overhaul (provided it's necessary) will most likely be the same to more expensive. Jake and I have been mailing about the studs and some additional parts he can supply, but it seems he's quite a busy man, but no rush there My VIN is 1G6KF5790, I'll email Jake this as well! So now we have to measure an decide what road to go.. Superlikes to your priceless measures @OldCadTech I seriously like concrete numbers thát's something I understand haha. One question tho, just to be sure, you say 'HAND LAP' the valves, this is the grinding you're talking about right? My techy explained something about grinding-in new valves, am I correct in assuming it's the same process you are talking about? Exciting times gentlepeople, thanks a lot again for your effort and time, measuring times ahead!!