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Northstar rebuild: Will style by Will
Started on: 12-29-2003 09:00 PM
Replies: 870 (63475 views)
Last post by: Rickady88GT on 12-02-2018 11:13 PM
Will
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Report this Post08-24-2004 08:35 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

You mean the PCV system? Already tried it. Capped off the valve and the manifold with no affect on the smoke screen.

It's not rich. Trust me, this is oil smoke.

------------------
'87 Fiero GT: Low, Sleek, Fast, and Loud
'90 Pontiac 6000 SE AWD: None of the Above

Luck, Fate and Destiny are words used by those who lack the courage to define their own future

[This message has been edited by Will (edited 08-24-2004).]

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Report this Post08-24-2004 10:42 AM Click Here to See the Profile for brysonSend a Private Message to brysonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Try hooking the PCV valve back up. Especially on a new motor, where oil pressure is high and the rings might not be broken in yet, this could make a difference. My friend's RX7 (different animal, I know) had the same problem because he blocked off the PCV system. He even got a ticket written for "muffler smoke" it was so bad. We made a PCV system for all of $2 and it fixed the problem. Hope this works for you; good luck!
--Bryson

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Will
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Report this Post08-24-2004 12:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

The oil smoke is the same with the PCV system hooked up as without.

I found the culprit anyway. At the suggestion of the Total Seal tech I pulled the intake. There was oil on the backs of all the closed intake valves.

I emailed Allen Cline about it. He said that the Cadillac valve stem seals are the best made. Anywhere. Period. However, oil can seep around the OD of the spring seat and the OD of the valve guide and get into the cylinder. He's given me a procedure to use to correct this issue. When I do this (possibly later this week), I will post it here along with pictures and a how-to.

------------------
'87 Fiero GT: Low, Sleek, Fast, and Loud
'90 Pontiac 6000 SE AWD: None of the Above

Luck, Fate and Destiny are words used by those who lack the courage to define their own future

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Report this Post08-24-2004 04:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero STSClick Here to Email Fiero STSSend a Private Message to Fiero STSEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Cool, I will be watching for this

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Will
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Report this Post08-25-2004 11:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Allen Cline says that it is highly unlikely that the valve stem seals are causing the oil leak problem, BUT just to be safe I ordered a set of valve stem seals/spring seats (one and the same piece) from CHRF, along with their stiffer valvesprings and lightweight retainers. CHRF actually had a better deal on stem seals than the Caddy dealership at wholesale.

We'll see how things turn out.

------------------
'87 Fiero GT: Low, Sleek, Fast, and Loud
'90 Pontiac 6000 SE AWD: None of the Above

Luck, Fate and Destiny are words used by those who lack the courage to define their own future

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Report this Post08-26-2004 01:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NashcoClick Here to visit Nashco's HomePageClick Here to Email NashcoSend a Private Message to NashcoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Hopefully you figure it out, having a fresh motor act up is one of the most aggrevating things to happen with the car. I think the springs and retainers are a good investment, and plan on getting them myself eventually. Let us know what you figure out, thanks for the update.

Bryce
88 GT

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Will
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Report this Post08-28-2004 02:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Has anyone ever dealt with valve stem seals on this engine? I can't get the first one to budge.

I spent $1.63 on materials to make a tool that replaces half a dozen GM specialty tools to remove the retainers/keepers... but damned if I can't get the stem seals/spring seats to budge.

They move a tiny bit if I touch the side of the spring seat with a tool, but I haven't been able to find/make a tool that can apply any force there. There are holes in the sides of the seals that can be hooked into, but whether I try a hook in one side, the other side, or BOTH, the dam seal won't give a lick.

------------------
Punch the gas and feel the back step sideways; rip off a powershift and hear the tires punished by torque; downshift, lift off and feel the engine braking that only comes from big cubes, listen to the pop and gurgle. Know that you are driving an American V8. There are finer engines made, but none that are this cool.

Luck, Fate and Destiny are words used by those who lack the courage to define their own future

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Will
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Report this Post08-28-2004 09:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I figured it out... they were just REALLY stubborn. Got one head done... Gonna do the other one Sunday night or Monday...

The spring seat part of the stem seal/spring seat pulled off of most of them, leaving the stem seal, which was still a bit onery.

The stock springs are SOO easy to compress compared to the CHRF springs... but then, that's the point, isn't it?

Dropped an exhaust valve into a cylinder, but was able to fish it back out so I didn't have to take that head off.

Got some pics... will post later.

------------------
Punch the gas and feel the back step sideways; rip off a powershift and hear the tires punished by torque; downshift, lift off and feel the engine braking that only comes from big cubes, listen to the pop and gurgle. Know that you are driving an American V8. There are finer engines made, but none that are this cool.

Luck, Fate and Destiny are words used by those who lack the courage to define their own future

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Will
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Report this Post08-30-2004 10:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Got the right bank done Saturday. Didn't take any pics of the procedure itself. Now that I have the procedure down pretty well, I'll take some pics of the other bank when I do it tonight.

Cylinder head with no cams:

This is trying to show the difference between intake and exhaust valve angles:

Close up of the lifter bore:

The oil for the lifter comes in the opening in the bore of the lifter, then runs down the outside of the spring and drains back to the pan. The galleries that feed the lifters are completely separate from the cam bearing oil path. The camshafts are hollow. Oil is supplied at the front cam bearing and goes back through the cams and out through holes in the cam bearing journals to lube the cam bearing surfaces, which are native cylinder head material. There are no cam bearing inserts.

There's a GM tool that is a sleeve to drop into the lifter bores to protect them while working with valve springs and such. My dad and I didn't have that, so we made one out of polyethylene:

The OD of the sleeve is 1.290 +0.000 -0.010, the ID is 1.190 +0.000 -0.020. Yes, that's a 50 thou wall thickness. Since the CHRF retainers have a larger OD than the stock retainers, the GM tool probably wouldn't have worked with them.

This is the stock spring and retainer vs the CHRF spring and retainer.

The stock springs are 53 lbs on the seat and 109 lbs over the nose with the factory cams. That's the L37 springs. The LD8 springs are slightly weaker. The CHRF springs are 100 lbs on the seat and 180 over the nose on the factory cams. The factory retainer weighs 13 grams. The CHRF retainer weighs 18 grams. The lifter weighs 68 grams. Allen Cline told me that there's a Kawasaki solid lifter that will work. I'll research that once I get the car on the road.
The CHRF springs look like a spring and retainer from something else that was the right size and rate to work. If he had wound custom springs, I would have thought he'd have them tapered or behived to use stock retainers or something even smaller. Keeping the 13 gram factory retainer, and changing over to a lighter solid lifter along with a tapered vavle spring would have been an outstanding valvetrain setup. The CHRF springs are still very good, though.

------------------
Punch the gas and feel the back step sideways; rip off a powershift and hear the tires punished by torque; downshift, lift off and feel the engine braking that only comes from big cubes, listen to the pop and gurgle. Know that you are driving an American V8. There are finer engines made, but none that are this cool.

Luck, Fate and Destiny are words used by those who lack the courage to define their own future

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Will
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Report this Post08-30-2004 01:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Nashco:

Thanks for the update. So, have you fiddled with the clutch and/or flywheel with this fresh engine? Keep us posted.

Bryce
88 GT

I reinstalled it as it was... what fiddling were you thinking of?

------------------
Punch the gas and feel the back step sideways; rip off a powershift and hear the tires punished by torque; downshift, lift off and feel the engine braking that only comes from big cubes, listen to the pop and gurgle. Know that you are driving an American V8. There are finer engines made, but none that are this cool.

Luck, Fate and Destiny are words used by those who lack the courage to define their own future

[This message has been edited by Will (edited 08-30-2004).]

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Will
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Report this Post09-01-2004 10:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Ok, got the left bank done.

The procedure to seal the spring seat is this:

remove valvespring and stem seal/spring seat
clean guide and seat area with brake cleaner or lacquer thinner
apply wicking Loctite (Loctite 290) to the base of the valve guide where it goes into the cylinder head. A tiny tiny bit is all it takes to seal the guide
apply a thin coating of RTV to the bottom of the stem seal/spring seat
fill the small holes in the sides of the stem seal/spring seat with RTV
install stem seal/spring seat
reassemble

This is what the valve guide looks like:

Your basic valve guides, except that there are four per bloody cylinder...

This is what the spring seat/stem seals look like outside the car:

They are supposed to be a single unit, like the two on the right. The one on the left is broken. Most of them came apart like that as we were removing them. In this picture you can see the holes that I had to fill with RTV. They are ~3/32"

This is the spring seat with RTV:

This is the best image I could take with my camera. The others are closer but out of focus. The bottom of the spring seat also has a thin coating of RTV on it. This blue RTV is supposed to be able to cure even in the presence of a small amount of oil.

The wicking Loctite is no big deal. It's just a thin green liquid with very little surface tension. You deposit a few drops uphill from the valve guide, the drops run around the guide on both sides and fully encircle it, then continue downhill to the bottom edge of the spring seat area. Allen Cline assured me that this is enough.

Spring seat/stem seal, spring and retainer stack:

------------------
Punch the gas and feel the back step sideways; rip off a powershift and hear the tires punished by torque; downshift, lift off and feel the engine braking that comes only from big cubes, listen to the pop and gurgle. Know that you are driving an American V8. There are finer engines made, but none that are this cool.

Luck, Fate and Destiny are words used by those who lack the courage to define their own future

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Will
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Report this Post09-01-2004 10:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

This is what the lifters look like:

This one has what appears to be a circumferencial crack about 1/8" down from the top of the lifter. Allen Cline assured me that this is also normal. It is the part line between the wear surface of the lifter and the lifter body. The wear surface is friction welded to the body.

This is the bottom of the lifter:

You can see the hole which allows oil inside the lifter. The factory valve lift is greater than the width of the galeries which supply oil to the lifters, so they don't need continuous oil pressure in order to function. Allen Cline said that when they were introduced, they were state of the art.

Oops... I haven't taken a picture of the tool yet... I'll get to that tomorrow.

I almost made a bad mistake... I timed the right bank, then bottoned it up. I replaced the seals and springs on the left bank, then timed it and buttoned it up. I opened the right bank back up to double check something and noticed that the timing marks were way off...
Because the N* has an intermediate timing drive with strange ratios, there are funky things that go on with timing. The crank to intermediate shaft ratio is 7:5 (7 turns of crank to 5 turns of intermediate sprocket). So when you turn the engine a bit (as we did to bring each cylinder in turn to TDC), you'll have to continue to turn it until you've turned it a total of seven times in order to get the timing marks on crank and I-sprocket to line back up. I did this in between timing the right bank and timing the left bank. Anyone know what this means? Turning the crank 7 times turns the cams 3.5 times... so the right bank and left bank would have been 180 degrees out from each other. Good thing I caught that...

------------------
Punch the gas and feel the back step sideways; rip off a powershift and hear the tires punished by torque; downshift, lift off and feel the engine braking that comes only from big cubes, listen to the pop and gurgle. Know that you are driving an American V8. There are finer engines made, but none that are this cool.

Luck, Fate and Destiny are words used by those who lack the courage to define their own future

[This message has been edited by Will (edited 09-02-2004).]

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Report this Post09-02-2004 04:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for StandardClick Here to visit Standard's HomePageClick Here to Email StandardSend a Private Message to StandardEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Seem to me that GM DOHC engines have a lot of those fun little quirks..

------------------

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Will
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Report this Post09-02-2004 09:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

That's the valvetrain tool. It's a two man operation with a good bit of strength required to compress the valve springs, and a little bit of dexterity to keep the keepers in place while doing it.

Started the engine today after spending most of the day organizing the harness... it still smokes. I'm tired right now, and I'm going to eat and go to bed shortly.

------------------
Punch the gas and feel the back step sideways; rip off a powershift and hear the tires punished by torque; downshift, lift off and feel the engine braking that comes only from big cubes, listen to the pop and gurgle. Know that you are driving an American V8. There are finer engines made, but none that are this cool.

Luck, Fate and Destiny are words used by those who lack the courage to define their own future

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Report this Post09-02-2004 11:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ryan.hessClick Here to Email ryan.hessSend a Private Message to ryan.hessEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Will:
Started the engine today after spending most of the day organizing the harness... it still smokes. I'm tired right now, and I'm going to eat and go to bed shortly.

Man, sorry to hear that That always seems to happen to me, I work constantly on a project, and it doesn't work. Then I work straight for 1,000 hours, and the moment of truth.... still doesn't work. I'm sure you'll get it figured out after a nice break from it In the meantime..... Do you have the measurements for those springs and retainers? I would LOVE to get my hands on a stock application for those (i.e. CHEAP). I bet they're really easy to find (like 350 SBC ones or something). But need dia/height/wire thickness possibly. Every little bit helps. Gotta get me some of those and redrill the cam sprockets... mmmm

[This message has been edited by ryan.hess (edited 09-02-2004).]

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Will
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Report this Post09-03-2004 07:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

You couldn't have asked me that before I put them in, could you?
They're not that expensive from Alan. $150 for 32 springs is not too expensive.

------------------
Punch the gas and feel the back step sideways; rip off a powershift and hear the tires punished by torque; downshift, lift off and feel the engine braking that comes only from big cubes, listen to the pop and gurgle. Know that you are driving an American V8. There are finer engines made, but none that are this cool.

Luck, Fate and Destiny are words used by those who lack the courage to define their own future

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Report this Post09-03-2004 11:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ryan.hessClick Here to Email ryan.hessSend a Private Message to ryan.hessEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Will:
You couldn't have asked me that before I put them in, could you?
They're not that expensive from Alan. $150 for 32 springs is not too expensive.

No... no I waited until you put them in on purpose

You're right, $300 for springs and retainers isn't expensive, but it is if you can get them for $200 Oh well... I won't be needing them for a long time yet anyways, maybe Alan will get some competition before then and start lowering prices

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Report this Post09-03-2004 11:42 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ryan.hessClick Here to Email ryan.hessSend a Private Message to ryan.hessEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Maybe I should read this in it's entirety before posting... but did you go for reground cams? Or just want the higher redline?

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Report this Post09-03-2004 12:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cptsnoopyClick Here to Email cptsnoopySend a Private Message to cptsnoopyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Hi Will,

bummed to see your having problems after all the work you put into that engine.

i was just curious if you have done a compression check since you first tryed it?

i am racking my brain trying to think of how the oil is getting into the cylinders.

was there any oil film in the intake itself?

is the oil pressure you have now more than when the engine was rebuilt? is there any way the oil from the lifters is still under pressure over the valve seals? can the up and down motion of the valve/lifters act to compress oil through the seals?

i don't know, just thoughts. best of luck.

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Will
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Report this Post09-09-2004 11:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

If I were going to find valve springs for this engine, I certainly wouldn't use straight springs. I'd find some tapered or behived springs so that I could continue to use the stock retainer (or one even smaller/lighter).

I haven't run a compression check yet. I may do that today. I just took the car for a drive. It had used more than 1 qt of oil in 41 miles before I took it out. It's got a little over 60 on it now, but I didn't check the oil when I got back. I took the intake back off and there was still oil on the backs of the closed intake valves, just not as much as there was before I did the stem seals. It hardly smokes at all until the oil gets good and warm, then it barely stops (only when I'm into the throttle fairly hard climbing a hill in a high gear). It initially doesn't smoke on coast down, but as it heats up it starts to. It always blows a puff as I transition from off throttle through light throttle to heavier throttle.

Sitting in the driveway idling warm, most of the smoke it blows comes out of the rear bank pipe. The front bank pipe hardly blows any, yet the front bank exhaust is hotter. Manually blip the throttle and it will blow smoke out of both pipes, though.

------------------
Punch the gas and feel the back step sideways; rip off a powershift and hear the tires punished by torque; downshift, lift off and feel the engine braking that comes only from big cubes, listen to the pop and gurgle. Know that you are driving an American V8. There are finer engines made, but none that are this cool.

Luck, Fate and Destiny are words used by those who lack the courage to define their own future

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Report this Post09-09-2004 02:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KohburnSend a Private Message to KohburnEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

sounds like a lot higher volume of oil than valve stem seals can leak

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Will
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Report this Post09-09-2004 02:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Doesn't it, though?

------------------
Punch the gas and feel the back step sideways; rip off a powershift and hear the tires punished by torque; downshift, lift off and feel the engine braking that comes only from big cubes, listen to the pop and gurgle. Know that you are driving an American V8. There are finer engines made, but none that are this cool.

Luck, Fate and Destiny are words used by those who lack the courage to define their own future

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Report this Post09-09-2004 02:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KohburnSend a Private Message to KohburnEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

which reminds me.. feel like splicing a N* wireing harness for me?

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Will
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Report this Post09-09-2004 03:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Got $600 handy?

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Report this Post09-09-2004 03:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KohburnSend a Private Message to KohburnEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

ouch - ;P

which you you recommend?
using the OBD1 ecm or the holley950?

weighing cost to difficulty..

I'm trying to work out my plans before the spring

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Report this Post09-09-2004 04:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

$600 was an off the cuff guess. My harness took about 40 hours, but now that I know what to do and have a well sorted harness to reference, I'm sure I could do it in significantly less time. If you're serious about it, I'd be happy to do it for you.

The question of Caddy PCM vs. Holley Commander basically comes down to the question of stock vs. modified. If you're going to leave your engine stock, the Holley Commander is total and complete overkill, and possibly dangerous to your engine (DO NOT raise the rev limiter on a stock Northstar). If you're going to modify your engine, particularly with ported heads or reground cams, then you'll need the tunability of the Holley, because the Caddy computer, at this time, can not be tuned well.

------------------
Punch the gas and feel the back step sideways; rip off a powershift and hear the tires punished by torque; downshift, lift off and feel the engine braking that comes only from big cubes, listen to the pop and gurgle. Know that you are driving an American V8. There are finer engines made, but none that are this cool.

Luck, Fate and Destiny are words used by those who lack the courage to define their own future

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Report this Post09-09-2004 08:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for NashcoClick Here to visit Nashco's HomePageClick Here to Email NashcoSend a Private Message to NashcoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Will:


I reinstalled it as it was... what fiddling were you thinking of?

Just any fiddling...I know you've been unhappy with Centerforce in the past, and I thought you were still using the replacement clutch they made for you with the extra straps. I know you've mentioned the hydraulic throwout bearing in the past as well, wasn't sure if you wanted to implement that into your car ever. You've also been active in the aluminum flywheel thread...all this adds up to make me curious if you've changed anything.

Bryce
88 GT

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Report this Post09-09-2004 09:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Not yet. I will go to the hydraulic throw out bearing when I assemble my 1.02/3.94 gearbox. The remaining obstacle for that is getting the gears and case an ultrasonic treatment (actually, finding money for it, not the treatment itself).

As far as the clutch goes, I found I had a slight leak around one of my flywheel bolts. I sealed the bolts better this time. We'll see how much better the clutch acts under pressure this time around.

As far as what I'm eventually going to do for a clutch setup... I'll just say that I'm cooking up something very interesting...

------------------
Punch the gas and feel the back step sideways; rip off a powershift and hear the tires punished by torque; downshift, lift off and feel the engine braking that comes only from big cubes, listen to the pop and gurgle. Know that you are driving an American V8. There are finer engines made, but none that are this cool.

Luck, Fate and Destiny are words used by those who lack the courage to define their own future

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wetpoop
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Report this Post09-09-2004 11:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for wetpoopClick Here to Email wetpoopSend a Private Message to wetpoopEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I probably shouldn't even post this, I only read that last page of this post an not sure what year engine you are using, or if you did your compression check yet. Anyway, I know that later north star engines have been know to consume oil and the fix has been to clean the piston rings. this is done by pulling the plugs and filling the cylinders with de-carb and letting it sit over-night. I think your problem may require something more than de-carbing the rings though. It seems you have a signifigant oil burning issue. Anyway I am just trying to help. If you do decide to try this de-carb, make sure you get all the de-carb fluid out of the cylinder before starting the motor. It is also very important to change the oil prior to starting the engine. And of course after doing this procedure there will be some visible smoke until all the carbon has burned off. Anyway I wish you the best.

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ryan.hess
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Report this Post09-09-2004 11:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ryan.hessClick Here to Email ryan.hessSend a Private Message to ryan.hessEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

f*** the compression test... you need to do a leakdown test. I'm strongly leaning towards bad ring sealing... Don't even need any fancy equipment... just your compressor and a cylinder air tool (didn't you already have one for changing to springs w/o removing the head?) Anywho, I bet you'll hear lots of hissing out the pcv grommet (since the oil fill's on the wrong side ) And there's no chance at all you got the wrong valve seals?

Also, FWIW -

You could have a leaking fuel pressure regulator diaphragm (one of the achilles heels of the N*)... These typically show up as white or black smoke out the exhaust (depending on how bad). Easiest way to check is to pull the vacuum line off it, and see if fuel is in the line. That's all I got for now...

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ryan.hess
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Report this Post09-09-2004 11:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ryan.hessClick Here to Email ryan.hessSend a Private Message to ryan.hessEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

his pistons are clean enough to eat off of

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jstricker
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Report this Post09-09-2004 11:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jstrickerClick Here to Email jstrickerSend a Private Message to jstrickerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Will,

Just off the top of my head, did you talk to Sealed Power about the proper honing of the cylinders for their rings? They were pretty admant to me about grit and proper pattern to make sure the rings seal. Also, did you use their ring sealing compound on assembly?

John Stricker
 
quote
Originally posted by Will:

$600 was an off the cuff guess. My harness took about 40 hours, but now that I know what to do and have a well sorted harness to reference, I'm sure I could do it in significantly less time. If you're serious about it, I'd be happy to do it for you.

The question of Caddy PCM vs. Holley Commander basically comes down to the question of stock vs. modified. If you're going to leave your engine stock, the Holley Commander is total and complete overkill, and possibly dangerous to your engine (DO NOT raise the rev limiter on a stock Northstar). If you're going to modify your engine, particularly with ported heads or reground cams, then you'll need the tunability of the Holley, because the Caddy computer, at this time, can not be tuned well.


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Will
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Report this Post09-09-2004 11:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by ryan.hess:

Maybe I should read this in it's entirety before posting... but did you go for reground cams? Or just want the higher redline?

Just wanted to not crack a lifter if I ever pull off a 3-2 upshift.

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Will
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Report this Post09-10-2004 08:12 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by jstricker:

Will,

Just off the top of my head, did you talk to Sealed Power about the proper honing of the cylinders for their rings? They were pretty admant to me about grit and proper pattern to make sure the rings seal. Also, did you use their ring sealing compound on assembly?

John Stricker

When I was ordering I don't recall being advised of proper honing. Rest assured that I've been on the phone with them a few times since the engine started smoking.
However, there is still oil on the backs of the intake valves. Until that's straightened out, I can't say that rings or honing are responsible for anything.

Now when I say "oil on the backs of the intakes", I don't mean that the intakes are a little damp, or maybe glistening. I mean and have always meant PUDDLES of oil on the backs of the intakes. As much as half a teaspoon per valve. Some of the puddles are deep enough to almost get up to the valve stem. Yes, even after the valve stem seal procedure. After a drive with new stem seals and the PCV capped off... STILL oil standing on the backs of the intake valves.

------------------
Punch the gas and feel the back step sideways; rip off a powershift and hear the tires punished by torque; downshift, lift off and feel the engine braking that comes only from big cubes, listen to the pop and gurgle. Know that you are driving an American V8. There are finer engines made, but none that are this cool.

Luck, Fate and Destiny are words used by those who lack the courage to define their own future

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Kohburn
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Report this Post09-10-2004 08:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for KohburnSend a Private Message to KohburnEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I'm trying to visualize the northstar heads and intake design and oil passages for any clues as to other potential leaks.. i'd say maybe some horrible blowby throwing oil through the intake, but you blocked off the pvc...

is it on all valves? or only some?

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sanderson
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Report this Post09-10-2004 09:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for sandersonClick Here to Email sandersonSend a Private Message to sandersonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Will,

I feel your pain. Is there a pretty good oil coating in the intake manifold as well or are you only finding it on top of the valves?

If it's in the intake manifold have you chased down every line that goes to the intake. For example on an Iron Duke you can plug the PCV but there's a valve cover vent that ties into the bottom of the air cleaner inlet snorkel that will still blow oil into the intake if the rings are bad.

Out of curiosity how's the manifold vacuum at idle.

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jstricker
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Report this Post09-11-2004 04:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jstrickerClick Here to Email jstrickerSend a Private Message to jstrickerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

The oiling system on the Northstar is done through passages at the front of each head and then distributed through hollow camshafts. Other than by the valve stems, there really isn't anywhere for the oil to get to the intake side. The intake manifold at no point is exposed to the crankcase. If Will has disconncected both the PVC hose and the breather hose from the intake system, the ONLY place oil can get on the backside of the valves is by the valve stems.

With new seals, something is definitely amiss in the upper cylinder head area on Will's motor, it's just a matter of figuring out what. One wild thought that occured to me, is the oil draining back fast enough? If the seals are sitting under a sea of oil, then no valve stem seal is going to control that. But that doesn't make much sense to me since Will says it's smoking from both banks and while one side could certainly have drain back passages plugged, the odds of both being plugged, and how they got that way, is a pretty long stretch.

As much as I hate to even think it for Will's sake, I'm afraid the heads are coming back off. Something's wrong here (understatement of the year).

John Stricker
 
quote
Originally posted by sanderson:

Will,

I feel your pain. Is there a pretty good oil coating in the intake manifold as well or are you only finding it on top of the valves?

If it's in the intake manifold have you chased down every line that goes to the intake. For example on an Iron Duke you can plug the PCV but there's a valve cover vent that ties into the bottom of the air cleaner inlet snorkel that will still blow oil into the intake if the rings are bad.

Out of curiosity how's the manifold vacuum at idle.

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jstricker
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Report this Post09-11-2004 04:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jstrickerClick Here to Email jstrickerSend a Private Message to jstrickerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

You say PCV "capped off". Are you REALLY capping it off, or just disconnecting it and leaving it open to the air? If you're really capping it off, you're going to build up some serious crankcase pressure very quickly. I presume you mean it's Capped Off on the intake side and not the breather side.

John Stricker
 
quote
Originally posted by Will:


When I was ordering I don't recall being advised of proper honing. Rest assured that I've been on the phone with them a few times since the engine started smoking.
However, there is still oil on the backs of the intake valves. Until that's straightened out, I can't say that rings or honing are responsible for anything.

Now when I say "oil on the backs of the intakes", I don't mean that the intakes are a little damp, or maybe glistening. I mean and have always meant PUDDLES of oil on the backs of the intakes. As much as half a teaspoon per valve. Some of the puddles are deep enough to almost get up to the valve stem. Yes, even after the valve stem seal procedure. After a drive with new stem seals and the PCV capped off... STILL oil standing on the backs of the intake valves.

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Will
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Report this Post09-11-2004 09:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

For the PCV, the manifold and corresponding valve cover connection were been capped. I left the other side of the PCV system hooked up. I know I need to do things differently... I'll see what I can rig up for a trap to hook both sides of the PCV system to, so that I can eliminate it as an oil path entirely.

It occurs to me that with the cam cover connection capped, blow by from un-seated rings might pressurize the crank case and blow oil out the other cam cover connection and into the throttle body, since that side of the PCV connects to the intake ducting immediately upstream of the TB.

Speaking of ring seating... I just did a compression test.
#1: 200
#2: 190
#3: 195
#4: 192
#5: 202
#6: 200
#7: 200
#8: 200
The manual calls for 140-170 psi.
Mind you, this was a cold compression test (I'm not wild about doing a hot compression test), and the car doesn't smoke nearly as much cold as it does hot.

I forgot to examine the plugs on the front bank, but of the plugs on the rear bank, #7 was black, #5 looked normal, and #3 and #1 were wet with oil.

------------------
Turn the key and feel the engine shake the whole car with its lope; Plant the gas pedal and feel in your chest neither a shriek nor a wail but a bellowing roar; Lift and be pushed into the harness by compression braking that only comes from the biggest cylinders while listening to music of pops and gurgles. Know that you are driving and American V8. There are finer engines made, but none of them are this cool.

Luck, Fate and Destiny are words used by those who lack the courage to define their own future

[This message has been edited by Will (edited 09-11-2004).]

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cptsnoopy
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Report this Post09-11-2004 11:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cptsnoopyClick Here to Email cptsnoopySend a Private Message to cptsnoopyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Will,

is there any way to block the oil return from the lifters to the block such as the head gasket holes not lining up or some sort of sealer? could you run the engine with the rear cover off to see if the oil is backing up from the lifter/spring bores? i don't know how much oil this engine would spew out, i have only built and adjusted 1970's engines.

edit: one other thought, is there any chance that oil is pooled up in the exhaust and is smoking when hot?

[This message has been edited by cptsnoopy (edited 09-11-2004).]

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