The Northstar Engine has long been deemed the worst head gasket repair job in history by most mechanics and do-it-yourselfers. It’s not that the engine is that terribly hard to work on; but it’s because (until we introduced our repair method) the repairs never seemed to last.
The reason is because the threads inside the aluminum engine block corrode away and there’s nothing left for the head bolts to grab on to. A new gasket and clean surfaces is great! But if you can’t properly torque the bolts, all of that hard work and time goes to waste and you will have the same problem again. And believe me, it doesn’t matter how good those threads look or seem to be, you cannot trust them. All 20 cylinder head bolt holes MUST be repaired in one way or another. You do NOT want to tear the car apart again anytime soon.
For many years the repairs were being made with threaded sleeves/inserts that essentially make the bolt bigger, but they kept the same fine-thread on the insert that was causing the problems to begin with, so even those inserts were failing again and again. I don’t know about you; but I’m the kind of guy who believes that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.
What I invented, was a dual-diameter cylinder head stud (US Patent #8,740,532) that has a very coarse thread and large diameter on one end to grab into the new threads you will be making in the engine block, and the remainder of the stud has been necked down to allow the cylinder head to slide over the studs, and a very nice fine-thread on the other end to allow for even torque of the fastener with hardened washers and nuts. Essentially, this means fixing the original problem by making it STRONGER than it ever was, not weaker by using inserts.
After repairing about 150 Cadillacs in our shop with this method, our very first commercially available Sure Grip Cylinder Head Stud Kit was sold to a customer in Salt Lake City, Utah about 5 years ago. We have since sold around 3500 sets to repair shops, Cadillac dealerships, and do-it-yourselfers across the USA, Canada, and as far away as Germany, Sweden, Iceland, and New Zealand. Our customers have had the same success we have had, which is a 100% rate of success. Our oldest customers still report to us from time to time and let us know the mileage they’ve racked up on their Northstar car!
Some of the Northstar engines that were remanufactured for General Motors, have our studs already inside. 48 of them to be exact. GM had outsourced the remanufacturing and that company came to us for the solution.
For the technical guys out there; the studs are machined at 3000 RPM in our Miyano CNC turning center from cold-rolled, American made chromoly steel. The studs are quenched and tempered and the threads are rolled after the heat treatment making for very strong threads. All of this boils down to a very, very durable repair.
They say peace-of-mind is worth a lot. Every customer I send a customer home from my shop with these studs in the engine, I tell them this: “Try to blow your head gaskets again. You can run your car as hard as you want to; and you won’t be able to”. I say this because I know it’s being fixed right. That means peace-of-mind to go across the country, from New York to Los Angeles, or to the deserts of New Mexico. Peace of mind to climb the hills in Tennessee, without worrying about blowing the head gaskets again.
Whether you’re the “spirited” driver who gives your car the odd burst of throttle to 100MPH, the Sunday driver who takes your Cadillac to church and gatherings, or the weekend racer who frequents the 1/4 mile drag strip- our solution was designed with you in mind.
Repair shops: the biggest thing I want to stress to you is this. Warranty. YES! You can offer your customers warranty now without even thinking that your customer will be back 2 months or a year later with the same overheating issue. That equates to a happy customer, a problem solved, and money in the bank. We can even advertise you as an installer and help customers in need, find you.
To order, select your kit below by determining the year of your Northstar powered car, and click add to cart. You can also call us direct at 888-800-9470. Leave a message if you don’t get an answer, we return calls promptly. If we don’t answer it just means we’re wrenching away on a Cadillac, or packaging stud kits.