: crate 2000 Northstar in a 59 Chevy Suburban



Hotrodelectric
07-15-04, 04:18 PM
Hi all- a newbie here. Here's a project that'll throw a curve into your day: I've been working for the past 2 years on a streetrod for a wheelchair-bound man. Picture a '59 Suburban. The floor is flat, necessitating front-drive. The rear opens like a hatchback and the last 2-1/2 feet of the rear floor drops to form a ramp. The drivetrain is a 'crate-motor' 2000 Northstar (coils directly over the plugs) and the 4L80e tranny, in a 2000 Deville cradle. The nose was stretched 9" to accomodate all this. We are finally ready to run the car. Well, the engine harness and PCM (taken from a wrecked 2K Deville) were sent to another shop, their claim was they could modify the PCM, eliminate the PK3, modify much of the OBD2, and so on. Well, guess what didn't get eliminated.... I can start the car (the starter doesn't go through the PCM here), and it will run for a few seconds, then die. A check with a noid light confirms my suspicions- the injectors are being cut, just as the Passkey is supposed to do. I think the owner still has the steering column from the wrecked Deville, and correspondingly the ignition cylinder and the antitheft module. I would need the key, and probably go beg, borrow or steal a Tech2. Questions? Comments please- I've even thought of going the earlier Northstar route 'electrically' (pre-'97 (?) computer and coil packs) to get around the Passkey3 .
Thanks in advance, all.
Bill



:banghead2 I'm a custom car electrician- this is my lot in life!

BeelzeBob
07-16-04, 01:28 AM
You have a real problem there.....

First, the 2000 and later Northstars have a COMPLETELY different control system from the 1999 and earlier engines. Really nothing in common at all. Different crank sensors, coils, ignition, PCM, etc. It was all changed in 2000 and is very difficult to get running outside of the normal OEM installation in a Cadillac.

The PCM is undoubtably looking for the theft control system feedback. Normally, on an older car, I would recommend getting the VATS module from the donor car and wiring that into the system so that the PCM will "see" the VATS which can be permantently hardwired to be on. But...I am not sure that that will work with the 2000 system.

Putting the older PCM and coils on the 2000 and later engines is next to impossible. The crank sensor locations are different on the 2000 and later blocks, the sensors are a completely different operational technology and the PCM sees the sensors for 2000....the 1999 and earlier engines have the crank sensor input routed to the electronic ignition module under the coil pack which then sends the reference signal and RPM info to the PCM. Plus, the reluctor wheel machined into the crankshaft on the 2000 and later engines is machined in a completely different pattern compared to the 99 and earlier. So...the info into the ignition module if you just put the 99 sensors onto a 2000 engine would be totally greek....totally.

I am not sure how to tell you to get the package to run.... It would really take a custom reflash of the PCM with many functions blocked out for the specific application. The PCM is not readily re-flashable without making the PCM brain dead due to the check sum logic that is imployed to make it tamper proof.

In your case, I would personally recommend removing the 2000 engine and going with a 95 generation Northstar. There is some aftermarket support for that PCM , it is much easier to make it work outside the OEM production car application and many aftermarket sytems will work with it. It will be SO much easier to make a 93-99 engine run in that application compared to the 2000 and later engines that it is incomparible......

You could possibly bolt a 93-99 reluctor wheel to the harmonic damper and mount the 93-99 crank sensors in the correct location via an external bracket. That would allow the use of a 93-95 PCM on a standalone basis with the 93-99 coil pack and electronic ignition modulet. It would also control the trans which is why you cannot just punt to an aftermarket engine controller. You need the production PCM. Most of the street rod applications of the Northstar are only using the engine...not the 4T80E transmission so they do not need the trans control capability....you do.

Have you researched any of this with the guys at Cadillac HotRod Fabricators...???.... www.chrfab.com (http://www.chrfab.com) Ask for Alan Johnson. He may be able to help you somewhat.

509Rider
07-16-04, 01:42 AM
Man you need to post some good pics of this I really want to see it, sounds pretty cool.

eldorado1
07-16-04, 01:43 AM
Go for an aftermarket computer. There is nobody who has hacked the 2000 northstar yet... In fact, the 95(96?)+ northstar with OBDII hasn't been tackled either. I've heard rumors, but nobody has stepped up to the plate. CHRfab has it, and another company has a cheaper ECM too... I'll search for the name if you're interested... either way, you'll be out almost $1500 for the new ECM

Hotrodelectric
07-16-04, 05:45 AM
You've said a big mouthfull there, bbobynski. Actually, looking over what you've said about the differences between the pre- and post-00 motors quickly dissuaded me from thinking OBD1 parts on an OBD2 motor. I would agree that a change over to an earlier motor would be a saner way to go, but considering the history of the car and the money the owner has tied up in this project so far, well, I fully expect him to beat me with the nearest large object if I broach the subject of yet another motor. This one was bought from DeLaFuente Cadillac, after much horsetrading involving 2 other Northstars, and not even accounting for two 4.9's that were bought years ago.

The computer I have was supposedly reflashed once. That was Speed Scene Wiring. I'll stop here about them, not wishing to get kicked off the Forum so soon. The wiring for the motor does have the 16-pin ALDL- which means I may be able to establish communications with the PCM through a Tech2, and see what's been done or not done. I've looked on my SI2000, and it seems to me that the actual circuit and its components are really quite few. It's just getting that transponder signal to the PCM- OY!:hmm:

I have talked to Alan about all this- he's at as much of a loss as everyone else is. He did say what he would have done was (insert product plug here) use his Holly 950 Commander system for the motor, and another, seperate control for the trans. He's just north of me in Vista, so service isn't an issue. About 1500.00, and I would be able to get past all this. Which, as Eldorado1 suggests, may well be the way if I can't get the PCM to co-operate with the antitheft. I guess I would have to talk to him some more to find if his system is compatible with the 2K motor in light of what bbobynski says. I don't want to have to change all that work again- I've worked quite hard on a fully integrated electrical system for this car (my book of proofs, diagrams, wire lists and circuit figures is almost 3" thick, and that doesn't include the fuel system or engine electrical- you would not believe the equipment list). I am so close, damn I am so close!

You're right , Lowcosbigbody. It actually is a pretty cool rig- definitely one of a kind. I'll post pics as soon as I can.

tdyguy2k
07-20-04, 03:35 AM
Sounds as if it will be way sweet if you can get it to work. As for one of a kind, I'm not so sure...Saw a mid 50's I believe Ford panel van with a N* in it this past weekend at the GoodGuys show here in western Washington. Had the flat floor, hand controls etc...Take a look... :coolgleam

Hotrodelectric
07-20-04, 02:44 PM
Two thoughts- Damn!!! I was beaten to it!!!! and Cool!!! Did ya get any more pics? I'd like to see 'em. Was it rear ramp entry? I can j-u-s-t see the motor- looks like an earlier one (coil packs in the back). As an update on my lagging project- I finally got the Passkey 3 module and the ignition cylinder from the owner. I've stripped the tumblers and re-assembled the lock. Now, I'm just waiting for the OK to go get a key. I should know by tonight if I can get past PK3, or if I'm just wasting my time.

Enygma
07-20-04, 07:03 PM
Many people have beaten you and me to this type of project. I, too, am building an accessible panel. My base vehicle is a '53 Ford panel. I'm using a '97 Deville Northstar engine, steering, transaxle, suspension, etc. Since I sit so tall in my wheelchair, I had to build a perimeter frame and will be sitting between the custom framerails. I inclined the frame-rails behind the rear axle, so, with airbags, the rear door will sit almost on the pavement. Then a ramp will finish off the rear access. I have a long way to go before start-up but this is a great way to get the vehicle I want/need. I am so tired of driving E-150 Ford vans.

Enjoy.

tdyguy2k
07-20-04, 10:21 PM
Sorry, that was the only pic that I took of it this time :disappoin , It is a rear ramp entry. The first time I saw it was at the hot rod show in seattle 2 years ago. At that time it was a work in progress, with the interior still in work. You were right in that the coil packs are in the back. Anyway, good luck in getting yours to run. I hope it works out for you. :coolgleam

Hotrodelectric
07-20-04, 10:40 PM
Enygma, email me off-list- I'd love to talk to you, but I think our conversation would be a bit freer ranging than would be interesting to the Forum. Anyone else- you're welcome to email me as well if the mood strikes. ;)

heacox@cox.net

BeelzeBob
07-21-04, 12:13 AM
Even making the package run with an aftermarket PCM is going to be difficult as none of the aftermarket PCM's will run the ignition system or "see" the 2000 and later crank sensors and reluctor wheel pattern on the crank. Most all of the aftermarket systems are actually based on the Northstar style coil pack and reluctor wheel pattern/crank sensors for the 93-99 engines....but that is completely different on the 2000 and later engines. So , I guess you could cobble the 93-99 reluctor wheel to the damper and mount the pickups outside the engine and then use the 93-99 coil pack and ignition system. Electromotive makes those parts, I think.

That still leaves you with no way to control the trans, however.....

Hotrodelectric
07-21-04, 01:05 AM
Believe me, Bbobynski, I am rapidly learning just what a pain in the tuchas this 2K pcm is to work with. Like I said a bit earlier, I now have the PK3 antitheft module, a key blank, and the ignition switch from which I've stripped the tumblers. I hook-up the module, attempt the 30min learn procedure, aaand... nothing. Back to the manual- learn that I also need to hook up the ignition switch- at least wires 10,9,6 & 4. OK- hook all that up, plug the module back in, another 30 minutes, annnnd... still nothing. I still get crank, brief run, die. Ya know, this is a symptom of a sick MAFS in the Tuned Port 5.0/5.7 and the LS1/LS6 setups. I'm going to try one more password learn sequence on this, then I am going to do a line-by-line check of the system. I just wish I had access to a Tech2.
Talking about a change from OBD2 to OBD1, I'm giving thought to what you're talking about as possible. It's not like adding a couple more brackets would make the underhood view ugly. The coil pack might be a problem, I'll solve that when the time comes. I'd have to go through the all-knowing, all-seeing SI2000 to see what all equipment I would need to change out. That, or maybe drop in at CHRF and talk to Alan the next time I go near Vista (I live in San Diego- not far away). There was someone here on this Forum, listed under the sponsors who claims to have a module/controller for the 4T80E.

Update: I mis-spoke when I said the person making a controller for the 4T80E was on this forum- it's a company called Powertrain Control Solutions (www.powertraincontrolsolutions.com). Sorry for the confusion.


:drinker I'm a custom car electrician- this is my lot in life!

BeelzeBob
07-21-04, 11:13 PM
Believe me, Bbobynski, I am rapidly learning just what a pain in the tuchas this 2K pcm is to work with. Like I said a bit earlier, I now have the PK3 antitheft module, a key blank, and the ignition switch from which I've stripped the tumblers. I hook-up the module, attempt the 30min learn procedure, aaand... nothing. Back to the manual- learn that I also need to hook up the ignition switch- at least wires 10,9,6 & 4. OK- hook all that up, plug the module back in, another 30 minutes, annnnd... still nothing. I still get crank, brief run, die. Ya know, this is a symptom of a sick MAFS in the Tuned Port 5.0/5.7 and the LS1/LS6 setups. I'm going to try one more password learn sequence on this, then I am going to do a line-by-line check of the system. I just wish I had access to a Tech2.
Talking about a change from OBD2 to OBD1, I'm giving thought to what you're talking about as possible. It's not like adding a couple more brackets would make the underhood view ugly. The coil pack might be a problem, I'll solve that when the time comes. I'd have to go through the all-knowing, all-seeing SI2000 to see what all equipment I would need to change out. That, or maybe drop in at CHRF and talk to Alan the next time I go near Vista (I live in San Diego- not far away). There was someone here on this Forum, listed under the sponsors who claims to have a module/controller for the 4T80E.

Update: I mis-spoke when I said the person making a controller for the 4T80E was on this forum- it's a company called Powertrain Control Solutions (www.powertraincontrolsolutions.com). Sorry for the confusion.


:drinker I'm a custom car electrician- this is my lot in life!






Check your e-mail address and contact me.....

Hotrodelectric
07-22-04, 12:48 AM
My email address is Heacox@cox.net . I looked for yours through the member list, but was unavailable. I don't know the reason, but I also can't PM anyone here. Eh- c'est la vie.