: northstar as a plane engine?

05-19-04, 02:41 AM
I saw this and thought it was interesting. Say what you will about the nothstar, but now it can fly!

05-20-04, 03:46 PM
:coolgleam I saw in one of my boating magazines that somebody is marinizing them and putting them in boats too. Also Dodge Viper V-10's. Now there's something you can go skiing behind.

05-20-04, 10:08 PM
But can it fly inverted?

05-20-04, 10:40 PM
That particular airplane project is very dated. It was completed and flown back in 1998/99.... That website is very old.

Since the website was last updated that plane has been flown quite a bit, crashed in Alaska due to an engine failure due to preignition when the owner put the wrong heat range spark plugs in it (autolite replacement plugs...don't ask), rebuilt, flown again and sold. It is in Michigan, now, and resides near Port Huron , Michigan.

It cannot fly continuously inverted as the engine is lubed with the production wet sump system and has not been modified for inverted flight with a dry sump system.

Believe it or not, bbobynski has flown in that plane.....LOL...pics to prove it.

The marinization of the Northstar engine was done in 1999 for MasterCraft ski boats. Indmar Marine was the company that did the marinization with the help of GM Powertrain engineers. The Northstar engines were completely stock as shipped and marinized by developing wet exhaust manifolds, a closed cooling system that was fairly inovative as it included the wet exhaust manifold which were cast out of aluminum, flame arrester development for the intake pop off valve and the throttle body and calibration work done to work with the MFI3 PCM that is used by GM Powertrain in marine applications.

The marine project was basically abandoned due to several situations. There was low demand for the engine in MasterCraft boats (they only build 24 that I am aware of) due to the higher cost and no appreciable gain in performance vs. the standard engines that MasterCraft offered. In addition, MC never publicised the engine extensively due partially to a concurrent buyout of MC by an emplyee group and the ousting of the COE about the same time the project was launched. That coupled with the death of a key engineering employee at Indmar that drove the project cause the whole thing to fall apart. The final blow was a change in management at Cadillac...the GM of Cadillac that pushed the MasterCraft association with Cadillac left General Motors and the new GM of Cadillac did not want anything to do with Northtstars in boats.....

Ever notice when the Escalade was first announced and literature published they showed a lot of pictures of Escalades towing MasterCraft ski boats....???...the only Northstar in the picture was in the ski boat.

The boats actually ran well and made an excellent package due to the integration work done to adapt it to the marine use. It was powerful and quite and smooth and had excellent low speed idle quality which is handy docking a ski boat in close quarters as they can be hard to maneuver. The Northstar is just a small displacement engine and small engines do not work well in boats...boats need displacement for low end torque. To make the boat perform the engine had to run at 6000 RPM a lot so it made a lot of people nervous. If it was propped down to run at lower speeds it was a slug..... displacement wins in boats. No contest. Hard to make a 280 cubic inch boat motor run next to a 350 cubic inch motor without revving it hard to make up the difference.