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Get off the wagon people! I have been working on these cars for 20 PLUS years from the conception in 1993. I have not had any issues with timeserts

let alone NORMS inserts and I am not the only one obviously using these inserts. They work period and with the thousand of head gaskets let alone hundred or so rebuilds i have done without any issues. LEAD DON'T FOLLOW....

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I'm inclined to agree with what you say about TimeSerts being the way to go for most work. But that's just my opinion. I don't have years of experience with rebuilding engines with TimeSerts and with other methods. You certainly have the credentials to vouch for TimeSerts, and what you say certainly makes me believe that people who have "bad luck" with TimeSerts aren't using the drill template, are rushing the drilling and not getting a clean hole for the tap, aren't checking the block for integrity before screwing down the TimeSert, or are taking other shortcuts and I-know-better variance from the instructions. If I were doing my own engine I would use TimeSerts.

Regarding Norm's inserts, I know little or nothing about these. Looking at the information on Norm Huhn's web page, he makes an excellent armchair engineer case for stronger inserts. What isn't said is that the thread pitch of the Timeserts matches that of the bolt threads which makes the insert thickness uniform and avoids peaking of mechanical stress at the bottom of a V in the thread at a thin point in the insert, which would require a thicker insert for the same strength. Other problems I see with Norm's inserts is that they are 15 mm longer than they need to be to clear the end of the head bolt adequately, apparently to give more strength to the thread between the insert and the block, but this requires drilling the block 15 mm deeper. I don't know if this may mean drilling through the block or whether that is a problem if it happens but I don't like it. But, I haven't heard anyone complain about them failing, either. That's fortunate, because there is no oversize Norm's insert like the BigSert and the size of Norm's inserts probably is too large to allow a BigSert repair. Because of the relatively smaller numbers of use than TimeSerts and the shorter period of experience, that is not the same kind of endorsement of TimeSerts that we have from you and others.

Regarding the Northstar Performance stud kits, the top page of the web site includes the claim "DO NOT SETTLE FOR INSERTS! THEY JUST CAN'T HANDLE THE TORQUE!" But, ignoring that bit of BS, they have a considerable installed base out there and again we have no complaints of failure. They haven't been out there that long yet, though.

The Midwest Cadillac Repair web page is down. They may have stopped trying to sell nationally. Their domain name is good but their IP address, 31.170.163.112, is slow and iffy but takes pings, so they may be just on a small hosting server or they may be back. I have heard of customer service issues with Northstar Performance because they are actually a very small operation and for a time they had more volume than they could service because a significant number of their customers are DIY people who take a lot of phone and email time for help and advice, and there was just one guy for all that phone/email time.

My observation is that problems with the stock head bolts, threaded right in the block aluminum, take about seven years and 120,000 miles, minimum, to occur, and most cases have a history of poor coolant maintenance. We don't have any real data on that long a history with a large number of cases for anything except TimeSerts. For someone like me, basically conservative and an engineer, that's enough for me to go to TimeSerts if it is my car. But, again, that's just my opinion.

My opinion about Northstar Performance stud kits, Norm's inserts, and other solutions is that they may be fine, but the true test of how they work is a large installed base of cars that have been driven over seven years and 120,000 miles, which we don't have on anything other than TimeSerts. There is nothing magic about TimeSerts; they are a conservative engineering solution to a common problem, and they are the factory-recommended solution to stripped aluminum threads by an amazing variety of manufacturers all over the world. But that doesn't mean that other solutions aren't adequate, or even better, just that they seem to me to be unnecessary.

As far as reported failures are concerned, many people just don't go public about things they wouldn't put in their Christmas letter. For example, most people with subcompacts lie about their gas mileage but some people tell the truth so everybody knows. Toyota owners rarely disclose their maintenance and warranty problems or their mechanical failures because they are imbued with the belief that "it isn't supposed to happen" like a feeble-minded brother or something irrational like that. But Toyota/Lexus, Nissan/Infiniti, Honda/Accura, and all the others have service departments that are just as large as those of dealers of any other make.

But I do respect others' opinions, no matter how strongly I disagree or how certain I may feel that they are incorrect. Some people have worked with studs in the past and just like them better. Some people like to try something new that looks stronger. There are a number of people out there that feel that the OEM early Northstar head bolts are just weak or poorly engineered, a fact that is belied by the 600 hp chrfab sand car engines, and they cite design changes in later years as evidence. I don't know the reasons for these changes by Cadillac so I keep my peace.

Thank you for your input. Please post more often. We need more people like you offering help and opinions.


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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I like the fact you can sell your timesert kit for what you paid. I bought mine for 300 and sold it for 280. Yes, serts were 60. A stud kit is 500? 300 for studs and 200 or so for drill stuff. I just saw a big sert kit for 120. Used on 1 car.

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I work on many other cars so doing Cadillac head gaskets are a plus. I have a great landlord and rent is so I assure you I will be around for a long while. If I was on another forum I would be banned and or either threatened to be kicked off the forum, words and sentences would be changed and or deleted. We all know the differences between timeserts, Norms's insert

and other 5/8 X 11 pitch outside diameter inserts. I have many a car running around Indianapolis with 3-4 years and 100 + K miles with timeserts installed. My repair is for the lifetime of the car period if you have questions I have 4 pages of references and a business listed on google and an ad on Ebay. You want some numbers from yesterday or last year, how about 4 years ago ... longer let me know . GET OFF THE WAGON PEOPLE...... IT NOT AN ALCOHOL DRAGSTER its a car.

Edited by barczy01

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By "running around Indianapolis" do you mean circling around in the Brickyard? Or, just driving around town?

Seriously, this board is different from most in that everyone here is a gentleman, you almost never see an intemperate post, and the only way you can get a post edited is to go R rated in your choice of words or attack another member - which can get you banned. You see only nice people here, and we have some of the best experts around in just about everything. Hyperbolically speaking, if I see a post about someone touting the virtues of Styrofoam valve lifters an Silly Putty head gaskets, I would only suggest that they look at Sealed Power lifters and Fel-Pro gaskets for better engine life.

No one is on a bandwagon for any particular style of repair. Except for a couple of volunteers that moderate the posts, we have no "leaders" that would head a bandwagon on anything, except Cadillacs, and we are quite open to other makes. We have special boards for other cars that share some favored Cadillac parts like engines, and even competing makes. We have one longtime respected member who sold her Cadillac and now drives an Impala, and she has come here for advice once or twice and we help her out.

I drive an STS-V with a pushrod V8 that I bought for the LSA drivetrain. What I quickly learned to love was the ride and handling, which are very similar to those of a Corvette, if you can believe that of a Cadillac. I love the ride and handling every time I get in it, but I only tickle the supercharger a little bit about once a week. So I know what you mean by "its a car" and not an all-out dragster.

Besides, chrfab makes supercharged Northstars for sand cars or other use that have 600 hp and the use TimeSerts. You can look on the forum attached to their web site and see if I'm wrong and they use studs, or call them, but I see no mention of anything different than TimeSerts, which should go in every Northstar that is torn down.

Our forum host, Bruce, drives an STS-V with a supercharged 4.4 liter Northstar that has never been apart. He has tricked out the intercooler a little bit and, with no impact whatsoever on reliability, has about 500 hp. I've ridden in his car and driven mine the next day and there isn't much, if any, difference when tickling the supercharger a little at legal speeds. Since different members have different opinions about TimeSerts/studs, he may not want to venture an opinion of what he might do if he pulled the heads on his motor, but TimeSerts are the GM recommended solution for that car, too, for any and all stripped threads anywhere on the block or heads, just like on my car and most other GM cars nowadays (since iron is increasingly rare these days) and on scads of other makes, foreign and domestic.

Myself, as an engineer, I think differently than most mechanics, and sometimes I overthink things a bit. For example, I believe that the long torque-and-twist Northstar head bolts are, like head bolts on most aluminum engines, actually tension springs that maintain a specific range of clamping force on the heads over the storage and operating temperature range of the engine. So, if you use a stud that is thicker, it won't have as much give, and the clamping force can become unacceptably large at very high engine temperature, and head gasket damage or stripped head bolts can happen - but I haven't heard of this happening. Perhaps a thicker, tougher head gasket is, or should be, used with studs, or perhaps the studs have a similar spring constant in tension as the GM Northstar head bolts. I would stay within the design parameters of the engine and use the time-tested GM recommendation and use TimeSerts with GM head bolts on my engine.

But, if someone wants to use reinforced rubber bands tied to epoxy in the bolt holes to hold on their Northstar heads, hey, it's their car. But I will recommend TimeSerts, gently and tactfully.


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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The edit was a spell check . This gentleman is located on the west coast . I would email him and see what he has to offer for the tools which he sells but they work great with norms kit.

Edited by barczy01

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Another user sent me a PM about inserts for a lot less then TimeSerts that may be good for installing with the TimeSert drill, guide and tap kit. I see them on eBay with an eBay number he gave me but that seller only offers Toyota and BMW parts. He says that they are for sale on the WWW but are hard to find. I found several for foreign makes from his info but not for Cadillac, but if they are there for Toyota and BMW they are there for Cadillac. These are bubble-pack parts that don't come with a TimeSert guarantee.


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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Let me ask again -- I am familiar with the Timesert Kit. What is the Norm Sert kit, and when would you use it instead of the Timesert kit? Is it a less expensive alternate?


Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black; 2013 Cadillac ATS 2L Turbo Premium (Wife's)

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I work on many other cars so doing Cadillac head gaskets are a plus. I have a great landlord and rent is so I assure you I will be around for a long while. If I was on another forum I would be banned and or either threatened to be kicked off the forum, words and sentences would be changed and or deleted. We all know the differences between timeserts, Norms's insert

and other 5/8 X 11 pitch outside diameter inserts. I have many a car running around Indianapolis with 3-4 years and 100 + K miles with timeserts installed. My repair is for the lifetime of the car period if you have questions I have 4 pages of references and a business listed on google and an ad on Ebay. You want some numbers from yesterday or last year, how about 4 years ago ... longer let me know . GET OFF THE WAGON PEOPLE...... IT NOT AN ALCOHOL DRAGSTER its a car.

Who here is "on the wagon" pal? No one here is preaching studs... Many here have TImeserted their engines and they have been fine.

Let me ask again -- I am familiar with the Timesert Kit. What is the Norm Sert kit, and when would you use it instead of the Timesert kit? Is it a less expensive alternate?

Bruce,

Norm serts are similar to Timeserts - they are a little longer and might have a coarser thread on the OD.


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

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They are 15 mm longer, thicker, and have a coarser thread. This means that the thread pitch on the inside is different from the thread pitch on the outside so they need to be thicker to have the same strength. Some people feel that the OEM threads are too fine and strip out so they like Norm's solution because it has coarser threads in the aluminum. Also, since they are bigger and longer, they have more aluminum-to-insert surface on the threads, and Norm asserts this as saying that they are stronger than Timserts.

Me, I was using chrfab.com for entertainment before I found Caddyinfo, and they were pumping up 1993-1999 Northstars into the 500 hp range for off-road use. They were, and still are, using TimeSerts. They have a user forum and you don't hear about reliability problems there. People want to solve problems with ECMs, bell housings, fuel injection, cams, etc. The site is a delight for motorheads but nary a street car in sight. I haven't been there lately, though.


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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Its all what you would like to install in your car. Timeserts get a bad wrap cause they fail for people. I have never had an issue with them but I have a different way of pinning them in the block and my torque method is different. Norms inserts work great along with CCC Custom Cadillac studs I prefer. You can buy a Norms kit and recoup some of your money and sell it on ebay or CL after the repair is finished.

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Does anyone have knowledge of the Northstar Performace SureGrip Stud Kits? Are they worth going with this kit over the timesert?

Carroll Custom Cadillac manufacturers their own Northstar head studs in the Dallas/Ft.Worth area. Since it appears that you're researching, you might consider their hi-quality product as well. Whatever you decide, best of luck.

Disclosure: I have CCC head studs in my Caddy.

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As barszy01 says CCC studs are a good option.If you go to Tim Carrol website, and there is a link on this forum at the bottom, he will explain it and make a beleiver out of you. At least he has made one out of me!!

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Its all what you would like to install in your car. Timeserts get a bad wrap cause they fail for people. I have never had an issue with them but I have a different way of pinning them in the block and my torque method is different. Norms inserts work great along with CCC Custom Cadillac studs I prefer. You can buy a Norms kit and recoup some of your money and sell it on ebay or CL after the repair is finished.

I am curious what is your different way of pinning and your torque method? I am interested in your opinion (barczy01) about the cause of bad rap for timeserts? You obviously have done many of these and I would like to hear your thoughts in case I ever decide to do another one.

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If you had a Timesert job done at a shop that pays techs by the flat rate manual, the better mechanics take shortcuts. The Timesert manual says

  • Don't even try to do an insert if the metal isn't sound.
  • Use the template to center the drill over the bolt hole.
  • Drill for a few seconds and blow out the hole and cool the drill.
  • Use the marks on the provided bits to drill to exactly the recommended depth.
  • Use proper lubrication for the tap.
  • Hand-turn the tap a turn or so at a time, then withdraw and clean it.
  • Use the specified threadlock on the Timesert.
  • Torque the Timesert as specified.

We have heard of hand-drilling without a template and power-tapping, followed by power drill insertion of the Timesert. If the metal with the threads are overheated during drilling or tapping, it will be cracked and not full strength. If the hole is too shallow, the Timesert won't have its shoulder bonded against the bottom of the bolt hole with threadlock. If it's too deep, the block may be weakened or perforated. If the Timesert isn't perfectly aligned, the head bolt/stud will be misaligned, making it impossible to torque properly.

But you can sure turn out a Timesert job in a hurry if you do that.


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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I do have a method on installing timeserts in a block, I will disclose that when I am crippled and not able to work on these cars anymore. You learn from your elder and pass it down to the people that have an interest in what your doing and or maybe taking a following of your passion or career. I have been working on these cars since 1993 and have seen a lot of people taking shortcuts that bite them in the *smurf* later. The hundreds and or a thousand of jobs, head gaskets, engine overhauls that I have done with timeserts, and Norms, Bigserts before Norms, I can honestly say that is one of these has failed within my warranty of 18 months and unlimited mile warranty and almost 5 years in business, it would have been all over the net by now 2014 almost 2015.

Tim Carroll has a nice product and if I have a customer that wants studs install, I will definitely be calling Tim for sure !! I have a way that's worked for me for 20 years almost so do I need to change the way I have worked on these engines, transmissions, Cadillac the car itself? Whatever the customers wants me to install, its fine by me.

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I just found this thread thanks. It is looking like timesert is the way to go, I was thinking of using Tim's studs but my thinking was flawed. I am timeserting a good block, the bolts have not pulled yet so the material should be good.

Has anyone estimated what torque the factory torque angle sequence equates to?

Is the OEM headgasket the best one for the job?

Thanks


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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Right up front......I rent the kits for the Northstar Timesert job.

See: http://ledfix.com/j42385toolrental.html

Several posts about 'ebaying' a kit...

Please note....the Kent Moore kit does not include all the needed tools to do the Timesert job. Maybe half a dozen additional tools required from a different Kent Moore kit to correctly do the Timesert repair.

I bet alot of people get 'the' kit....discover the missing tools....try to tackle the job anyway.

The rental kits have all the needed tools.

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Right up front......I rent the kits for the Northstar Timesert job.

See: http://ledfix.com/j42385toolrental.html

Several posts about 'ebaying' a kit...

Please note....the Kent Moore kit does not include all the needed tools to do the Timesert job. Maybe half a dozen additional tools required from a different Kent Moore kit to correctly do the Timesert repair.

I bet alot of people get 'the' kit....discover the missing tools....try to tackle the job anyway.

The rental kits have all the needed tools.

Thank you Logan, it's good to see you again.


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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About the head bolt torque, I have no idea what the torque-and-twist torques are. The idea is that torquing enough to compress the head gasket means that the twist angle times the thread pitch is the bolt stretch, and if you know or specify the bolt stretching strength you know the clamping force. So, torque-and-twist gives more accurate clamping forces than simply torqueing bolts. But without long bolts, you can't torque-and-twist. In other words, I look at torque-and-twist as a way to get improved accuracy in the clamping force.

I have heard of GM changing the head bolt part number and giving different torque-and-twist specs for the new bolts. Sometimes you see that on a TSB so the dealer techs are notified of the change. I believe that the torque-and-twist specs come with a set of head bolts from GM, so look in the box when you get them.


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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The Timesert kits have the tools needed to do the job with the exception of a tap wrench. You will need four head locating dowels that are not included as well as additional timeserts if purchasing the kit. Renting the kit, you'd need to buy four head locating dowels (from GM) plus 20 inserts from TIme Fastener.

You will also need the second generation rear main seal installer - that can usually be found on ebay.

The 1996 torque spec. for the head bolts is 22 ft-lbs. initial torque, then 60°, 60°, 60° for a total of 180°. This most likely has been revised for a 1998 engine - I would check the 1998 shop manual as well as any technical bulletins in case the 1998 spec. has been updated from what's in the 1998 shop manual.


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

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The Kent Moore kits are in reality repackaged Timesert kits. It is Timesert tooling in a different plastic box.

The Kent Moore kits....by design....are not complete. The assumption is you are a GM dealer....and you have the other kit sitting nearby with the additional tools.

Hence...most times...the Timesert kits sell for about $100 more than the Kent Moore ones....since they are complete.

Attached pic of a actual Kent Moore kit from ebay....looks great.....But it is really missing 2 tools and the plate. They are not included. Adding to the confusion?...the plastic box is molded for the missing stuff...go figure.

Our Kent Moore rental kits have the missing tooling and the plate.

And...even new kits only come with 10 serts. So either way...you will need to buy serts to do the entire block. And it should be noted...TimeSert and the company Time Fastener are the same thing.

post-2-0-00502200-1442975213_thumb.jpg

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My reasoning for asking about the equivalant torque was curiosity, i know torque angle is more accurate method as it eliminates drag or the presence of lube on the threads that can cause variance and inaccuracy in desired torque.

By the way, regarding studs vs bolts, I said my thinking was flawed because....I was thinking with studs, when torqueing was performed, the pull on the aluminum threads would be a straight pull with studs as the you torque a nut at the top, vs a galling twist using the bolts, but, that thinking is flawed because the timesert inserts effectively acts as a stud against the aluminum threads and its the same, the insert pulls up on the aluminum threads as it is torqued, the bolt twists against the insert's threads NOT the aluminum block threads so there is no possibility of galling and thereby weakening the blocks threads, duh. I hope that makes sense. Galling while torqueing the bolts I felt would damage the aluminum threads, here is an interesting description of galling, note this statement "For example, aluminum is a metal which will gall very easily"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galling

Kevin why do I need the rear main bearing seal installer?, I didnt plan on splitting the case half unless I saw evidence of leaking. Is that something I need to get into? I plan to change the torque converter seal, axle shaft seals and maybe the oil pan seal.


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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