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XcelPlus Engine Treatment in Nothstars?


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After 117,000 miles, my 97 ETC engine has minor head gasket leakage as verified by a pressure test. I have a replacement engine to cure overheating on the freeway, oil burning (a quart every 1,200 miles) and O-ring seepage with a full-fledged leak expected by 130,000 miles. After researching things here, I decided on a Jasper remanufactured engine (Jasper Engines) because of their 3-year warranty and their fixes for the head gasket, piston ring, and O-ring problems.

I plan to take care of the engine better, beginning with 3-year radiator flushes (see the Surveys forum about TimeSerts -- head leakage happens if you go over 5 years without flushing the coolant), synthetic oil, and perhaps XcelPlus engine treatment (XcelPlus Lubrilon) at about 10,000 miles.

I see no mention of XcelPlus on Caddyinfo forums. XcelPlus has been selling under other brand names for years and has just recently started selling under their own name. Does anyone have experience with XcelPlus proucts in Nothrstars?

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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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I am not sure what others will say about this but, what you describe as 'oil burning' (one quart every 1200 miles) is pretty good for the Northstar engine. The Northstar has an aggressive cross-hatch hone finish in the piston cylinder that contributes to the what I would rather call, oil consumption. I believe this is done to keep the rings free. I do not know if I would want to add something to the crankcase that would inhibit the rings from seating or from getting lubrication. See these links:

http://www.cadillacforums.com/cadillac-tech.html#noil

http://caddyinfo.ipbhost.com/index.php?sho...;hl=cross+hatch

http://caddyinfo.ipbhost.com/index.php?sho...;hl=cross+hatch

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

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1200 miles per quart is not excessive oil consumption. As Body by Fisher said, there is an agressive crosshatch pattern on the cylinder walls to retain oil to lube the rings. If there is not enough oil retained, the rings will microweld themselves to the pistons.

The upside of the oil usage is that the cylinder walls last virtually forever - When I repaired the head gaskets in my '97 STS, the cylinder walls were like new and there was no wear ridge at the top of the cylinder.

Draining and refilling the coolant every 5 years is all that is required - if you flush, minerals from the tap water are introduced into the system and it is difficult to get the concentration at 50/50.

Jasper's warranty sounds good I would make sure that they Timesert the engines as part of the rebuilding process, otherwise, you will need to do the job again at some point. Also, does Jasper cover all labor costs to R&R the engine if it needs warranty repair?

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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1200 miles per quart is not excessive oil consumption. As Body by Fisher said, there is an agressive crosshatch pattern on the cylinder walls to retain oil to lube the rings. If there is not enough oil retained, the rings will microweld themselves to the pistons.

The upside of the oil usage is that the cylinder walls last virtually forever - When I repaired the head gaskets in my '97 STS, the cylinder walls were like new and there was no wear ridge at the top of the cylinder.

Draining and refilling the coolant every 5 years is all that is required - if you flush, minerals from the tap water are introduced into the system and it is difficult to get the concentration at 50/50.

Jasper's warranty sounds good I would make sure that they Timesert the engines as part of the rebuilding process, otherwise, you will need to do the job again at some point. Also, does Jasper cover all labor costs to R&R the engine if it needs warranty repair?

The oil consumption isn't the deciding factor. I would tolerate a quart every 1200 miles indefinitely. Also, O-ring seepage isn't a big deal. The big problem is the overheating on the highway. I can no longer trust the car to go to work, which involves about 35 miles of freeway driving. It typically overheats three times each way -- about once every 10 miles. Occasionally the engine protection turns off the A/C because of this. If the antifreeze gets under about 70%, it also blows out a couple of quarts of coolant through the overflow tank, which in turn causes intermittent VSS for a couple of days.

The decision to get a Jasper instead of asking the dealer or a rebuilder to do timeserts is that no one will guarantee a timesert job, and at 117,000 miles I think I'm about a year away from an O-ring job. Combine the costs of timeserts and an O-ring job, and the cost of the Jasper engine is just about matched -- but the oil burning and the warranty aren't.

A last word about oil burning -- until about 75,000 miles, the car never burnt a drop of oil. Then, with what I believe was bulk oil in two oil changes about 3 months apart, it started burning a quart every 500 miles. I asked the dealer to do the ring freeing job, but they left the solvent in the cylinders for over 4 hours instead of less than 3 hours like the service bulletin says, and it got worse, like the service bulletin says. The way I handled the oil burning was to put in two pints of CD-2 detergent additive when it needed its first quart after an oil change, and it quickly improved to a quart every 1200 miles. The last time, I caught the service guy skipping the oil change completely and had it done at a service station. Although the oil was supposedly the same (Mobil 1 5W-30) the engine behaved entirely differently than it ever had before -- instant tractability on cold starts, smoother idling at any temperature, etc.

But, again, I had a choice of timeserts, parking the car, or replacing the engine. The issue now is how to care for the Jasper to get 100K++ trouble-free miles, like many owners here.

I quizzed Jasper about the 300 HP (VIN 9) engine for my 1997 ETC, specifically about the head gasket, the piston rings, and the crankcase O-ring. They use a graphite head gasket that seals better around the water passages, new head bolts with timeserts, and a torqueing procedure that measures head clamp loading, not torque, to ensure truly accurate and proper head gasket installation and sealing. They use top-grade Perfect Circle or equivalent piston rings, which equal or better the OEM, and they pay special attention to the cross-hatching so that the rings do not rotate over time – especially important for steel inserts like those the Northstar uses. They use "extra sealing compound" around the crankcase O-ring, which is probably as much as you can do short of an aftermarket O-ring upgrade.

Note that the head gasket and head clamp loading issue applies to just about any engine with an aluminum head and/or block, and the steel inserts are used in a lot of aluminum engines. Jasper does a lot of Northstars – they do a lot of everything – so I feel like I can trust them on this engine. They also have a 3-year unconditional, transferable warranty.

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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Unless I missed it, I don't see if Jasper is installing time-serts, are they?

If they don't you will need head gaskets in about a year. Its really nice that they guarantee the engine, but I doubt they guarantee the R&R the engine..

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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Unless I missed it, I don't see if Jasper is installing time-serts, are they?

If they don't you will need head gaskets in about a year. Its really nice that they guarantee the engine, but I doubt they guarantee the R&R the engine..

Jasper people tell me that they always install new head bolts and timeserts in Northstar remanufactured engines. I would be amazed if they haven't always done so. With a three-year unconditional transferrable warranty, and with nearly all engines coming to them with at least one pulled-out head bolt thread, and GM and other recommended service procedures for Northstar head servicing, I can't imagine any engine remanufacturing outfit not timeserting every head bolt thread in every block.

In any case, I talked to several people at Jasper, and they all said that all of the head bolt threads were timeserted. Between that, their graphite head gasket, their head loading measurement on installation of the heads, and the warranty, I'm not concerned with the head gasket on this engine.

I am interested in XcelPlus Lubrilon and what other Northstar owners have to say about it. I would like it's apparent 5% improvement in gas mileage and engine output, and reduced wear over time.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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GM does not recommend that you use any oil additives. The xcelplus appears to be a remarketing of the original Slick50 product. http://xcelplus.com/about_xcelplus/xcelplu...ck_lubrilon.htm On their website, they won't say what's in the product. It does not appear to meet the API requirements for engine oil.

When Slick50 were originally marketing this stuff, the manufacturer of Teflon, Dupont, noted that:

"Teflon is not useful as an ingredient in oil additives or oils used for internal combustion engines."

Xcelplus repeatedly claim (by publishing anecdotal evidence to that effect) that after treatment, a treated engine can run with no oil whatsoever.

I would not put this in my engine.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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GM does not recommend that you use any oil additives. The xcelplus appears to be a remarketing of the original Slick50 product. http://xcelplus.com/about_xcelplus/xcelplu...ck_lubrilon.htm On their website, they won't say what's in the product. It does not appear to meet the API requirements for engine oil.

When Slick50 were originally marketing this stuff, the manufacturer of Teflon, Dupont, noted that:

"Teflon is not useful as an ingredient in oil additives or oils used for internal combustion engines."

Xcelplus repeatedly claim (by publishing anecdotal evidence to that effect) that after treatment, a treated engine can run with no oil whatsoever.

I would not put this in my engine.

I hear you loud and clear, and I quite thoroughly agree. However, there is a disconnect. XcelPlus Lubrilon isn't a Teflon additive. The Slick 50® controversy comes from the fact that they bought their additive from XcelPlus from 1975 to 1984, when the arrangement was broken off by XcelPlus. Since then, well, go to FTC and do a search on "Blue Coral". Slick 50 went to PTFE, a DuPont Teflon powder that DuPont doesn't recommend for this type of application, as you say. See the XcelPlus history and the letter announcing a lawsuit against Slick 50® some time later.

The XcelPlus products have been tested by a lot of people over a long period. The confusion follows from the fact that Slick 50® used the XcelPlus test results for many years -- I saw those tests on the Slick 50® box in the 1990's. In 1996, Blue Coral and its subsidiary Slick 50® were bought by Quaker State, which has since merged with Pennzoil, which made Blue Coral and Slick 50® separate subsidiaries.

There is no question that Slick 50® isn't for my engine. Nor will I consider another PTFE additive, which DuPont, its manufacturer, says isn't recommended for that application.

I am interested in what experinece other Northstar owners have had with XcelPlus, Lubrilon, Matrix or Duration. I'm very interested in improved wear over time and the documented 5% improvement in gas mileage in other applications. It think that the drag reduction in pushrod engines that gives 5% better gas mileage also gives you the horsepower previously lost to friction. As you know, a DOHC valvetrain is a major source of friction loss that is much more than offset by improved output. I don't see DOHC results documented for XcelPlus, and this is what I want to hear about from owner's experience here -- specifically, Northstar results (4.0, 4.6 270/275 hp, or 295/300 hp, or whatever).

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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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GM does not recommend that you use any oil additives. The xcelplus appears to be a remarketing of the original Slick50 product. http://xcelplus.com/about_xcelplus/xcelplu...ck_lubrilon.htm On their website, they won't say what's in the product. It does not appear to meet the API requirements for engine oil.

When Slick50 were originally marketing this stuff, the manufacturer of Teflon, Dupont, noted that:

"Teflon is not useful as an ingredient in oil additives or oils used for internal combustion engines."

Xcelplus repeatedly claim (by publishing anecdotal evidence to that effect) that after treatment, a treated engine can run with no oil whatsoever.

I would not put this in my engine.

Bruce: Since you took the time to research my question, I think you deserve some response to all the issues you raised.

GM does not recommend additives -- if I were GM, I wouldn't either. You can't guarantee someone else's products unless you agree on a published, testable specification like SAE oil service and viscosity ratings.

API requirements for engine oil: XcelPlus recommends 12 ounces in an oil change. For a 5 quart oil change this would be 7.5%. For a 7.5 quart Northstar oil change, this is 5%. As such it doesn't have to meet an SAE service requirement for a motor oil. That doesn't mean that it wouldn't, but it is an additive, not a motor oil. If I hadn't been adding two pints of CD-2 detergent addtive four times a year since 2003, I whould have chucked the engine, one way or another, a long time ago. CD-2 doesn't have an SAE service rating for motor oil.

Running without oil -- some dramatic tests and mechanical failure anecdotes about running without oil are less than a good idea for marketing. It may demonstrate an exeptional capabilty on an anecdotal basis but I'm more interested in increased durabilty and gas mileage in normal usage. I don't plan on destrutive testing with my Cadillac, or allowing it to be used as an expendable vehicle in a pubicity stunt, and I don't plan on oil pump failure, so I'm not interested in those things. I'm more interested in testing by credible third parties such as the DOE.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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.... Also, does Jasper cover all labor costs to R&R the engine if it needs warranty repair?

KHE: Yes, Jasper covers engine removal and replacement. From their posted warranty: "All labor expense for field repairs, removal and reinstallation shall be determined from hours listed in the current ALL DATA/MOTORS time guide or pre-approved time at the factory approved rate."

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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