: Northstar Coil Bank



ajshovlowsky
04-08-09, 05:53 PM
Is there a way to test, with a basic VO meter the coil bank on a Northstar engine. I have a 2002 Deville with 160,000 miles and it started to skip badly. I replaced the spark plugs, for the first time, and stll have the problem. the fault code is: PCM P0300. Some of the new plugs show carbon and there are "cracks" around the ends of the coil probes. Any help would be appreciated. thanks

Submariner409
04-08-09, 07:16 PM
Your coils are potted in the cassettes. When you had the cassettes off, that yellowish compound in the 4 recesses is the epoxy compound. No way to get to the individual coils unless you again remove the cassettes and pull the ICM out of each one and try some pin resistance checks.

In a lot of these responses, I recommend checking and or just replacing the coil boots. Cheap insurance. Make sure the cassette ground spring is doing its job.

Other causes of a P0300 (stall detected) are vacuum leaks and intake manifold connector plenum cracks and impending CKP (CranKshaft Position sensor) failures.....but those will usually also set P0171, P0174, P0335/6, and P0385/6 codes.

(EDIT.........If, as you posted down in another thread, you suspect the coil cassette(s), take a look at your car parts, ignition, in www.rockauto.com (http://www.rockauto.com). They still have a few of the OEM DELPHI cassettes with ICM for under $200 apiece.)

For someone with a late FWD Northstar engine without plug wires, here's what we're talking about:

skippydts
04-08-09, 08:03 PM
My wifes Dodge Stratus has those also, they are a dream to replace

noozall
09-16-13, 02:42 AM
Is there a way to test, with a basic VO meter the coil bank on a Northstar engine. I have a 2002 Deville with 160,000 miles and it started to skip badly. I replaced the spark plugs, for the first time, and stll have the problem. the fault code is: PCM P0300. Some of the new plugs show carbon and there are "cracks" around the ends of the coil probes. Any help would be appreciated. thanks

Take the cover off the top of the engine. Start it and let it idle. Pull the plugs off the coil packs one at a time The that doesn't make a difference in idle quality is the bad one. The one that kills the engine is the good one. At that milage I would replace both. Mine went bad at 120,000 and 124,000. Rock auto has the best price I've found. Don't make the mistake I made and just buy the module. Buy the whole assembly and you will be good for another 100k plus.

I don't know of any specs to probe the connector pins, but what if you did and found one or two bad coils? You can't do anything about it anyway. You are going to have to spend around $350 and then you will have a dependable car again. They are VERY easy to change.

Incidently, too wide spark plug gaps will blow the coils. They build voltage until the plug fires, and if it has to build too much it zaps the module.

Submariner409
09-16-13, 10:57 AM
This thread has been dead for 4.4 years.

If you pull the plug on an ICM on a Northstar with individual 4-coil cassettes (the OP's engine, 8 coils and no plug wires) then all 4 cylinders on that bank die.