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Meet Jake Wiebe, Inventor and Founder of Northstar Performance



   Welcome to Northstar Performance. I am Jake Wiebe, president and founder of this company, and inventor of our patented SureGrip Cylinder Head Stud System (USA Patent #8,740,532, other patents pending).

I am a Red-Seal licensed automotive service technician.



Many of you know me, many of you don't. This business was started because of the Caddy pictured above, a 1997 Cadillac Eldorado, originally from Indiana.

   When I bought this car I thought I had made a great deal- $3,100 for a used Cadillac which appeared to be in excellent condition. Soon after purchase it began to lose coolant, and I could not find the leak. Eventually I had figured out it was a head gasket, but even worse, I read about the horror stories of the head bolts pulling out of the engine block.

   My background: Basically, since I was about 3-4 years old I could not stay out of my dad's garage. He was the Head of Maintenance for years in a tobacco processing factory in the small town of Tillsonburg, Ontario. I learned a lot from my dad while I was growing up. I had to have some sort of project at all times to keep busy, and I always enjoyed working with tools. At the age of 4 I built my first coffee table. Age of 8, I learned how to weld. At 13 I had rebuilt my first engine and began to build a V8 powered dune-buggy, fitted with a small block Chevrolet. That project was never completed due to lack of funding at that age.

   At 15 I bought my first car, a 1985 Pontiac Parisienne Brougham. I wanted speed....in a full size B-Body. So out came the factory 305....In went a 403 cubic inch small block Oldsmobile V8 from a 1978 Buick, with headers and true duals. Right aways I installed a 200-4R 4 speed auto Trans, and left the 2.93:1 gear-set in the rear end. This made for a very fun car with respectable fuel economy at around 20 miles per gallon. I built a custom transmission cross-member to make clearance for the left side exhaust pipe.

   I am 30 now, with more hours behind me wrenching on cars and engines than I can even count. I have personally performed the engine repairs on over 350 Northstar powered Cadillacs to date since 2008 when we first opened up for business, with assistance from my employees at times. I am still in contact with my first Cadillac engine repair customer, as well as my first stud kit customer. We remain good friends.

   Now. More about the 97 Eldorado. I kept adding coolant as the coolant loss progressively got worse. Then the engine began to overheat, mostly when I accelerated heavily or reached freeway speeds. Then, on a date with a very pretty girl, my Eldorado overheated on the Ambassador Bridge, linking Windsor Ontario to Detroit Michigan. How embarrasing that was!

   I was not going to be in that position again, yet I didn't want to let go of this gorgeous Eldorado that I had just purchased. I did call the experienced Cadillac technicians and asked for a repair quote; but was unwilling to pay $5,000 for a repair that only came with no warranty. And I did my research, I was not happy with the way GM technicans were repairing the threads in the head-bolt holes.

   Off to the garage and out comes the tools. My first Cadillac, first time under the hood, looking at that crammed engine bay and that high-tech 32 valve V8 engine. Determined to drive that beautiful machine on my next date, I had the engine pulled in one day. Day 2, the engine came apart and I inspected the threads and did some heavy thinking and prototyping.

   THE PROBLEM: Not enough thread holding in the engine block. THE SOLUTION: Much larger, coarser threads. The problem with that, you cannot use too large of a bolt passing through the head for two reasons: #1- you need the correct diameter, material, and hardness to achieve proper torque and clamp load, #2, you have to ensure the bolt or stud will fit through the holes in the cylinder head. The idea popped in my head like a light bulb had just turned on.

   Luckily 3 years prior to this, my father and I had purchased a used Atlas metal lathe. I began to machine the first stud. I drilled and tapped the holes in the engine block to a size that I felt comfortable with, for clearance, thread engagement, etc. Then I machined some special steel rod down to the correct diameters and threaded each end. The SureGrip stud was born.

   Three days after the project had started my 1997 Eldorado was running once again, this time without the overheating issues. I have the car to this day. It's been through a bit of a rough life but it still shines and turns heads. A full restoration is planned later this summer, along with a few minor modifications.

   Through this business and this website I hope to be able to convince you that the repair I invented and spent so much time on perfecting, is the only way to properly fix your Northstar engine- because I want you to have just as much success with your Northstar project as I have had with mine and all my customers.

   My Cadillac collection has grown over the years; I now have another 97 Eldorado (black on black Touring Coupe), 98 Seville STS (crimson red on shale leather), a 98 Seville STS (black on black, Z-rated), as well as the famous Oldsmobile Aurora (Teal 1997). Yes, I drive what I fix- and I run them hard, because I know with my repair in those engines, they can perform as good as new- without ever having to worry about the dreaded head gasket/bolt issue again.



   Update: In June of 2015 I married the most amazing woman on the face of the earth - Brittany. We are a team, and together we run this business and help Cadillac owners around the globe by providing the best parts and repairs.











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