: Who agrees that the Northstar is due for an overhaul by Cadillac?



2dfx
07-21-04, 10:02 PM
A question I pose to you guys - in comparison to what is being offered by the other car manufacturers - do you think the Northstar these days is underpowered?

Lets take a look at it's debut in 1993 - 275hp/295ft-lbs of torque (correct me on that one). Not a bad engine for 1993 - probably one of the most powerful V8's of it's kind. They kept that arrangement I guess intil the late 90's when they added 25hp and 10lb-ft of torque (again on the figures). Except those, and the modification of no longer requiring premium, there has been little done to this motor.

Griping to me about the RWD VVT Northstar? Lets see...variable valve timing = variable wallet holes, mainly large in size. Oh yes, and 320hp. IS THAT ALL? The 20hp is only to compensate for the power loss through a driveshaft and a differential. In a RWD platform it may have the same, if not less get up and go that the FWD Northstar has. Look at the V8 competitors from other brands:

What the Northstar beats:
-Ford's 4.6L V8 - 239/287 used in the crown vics
-Ford's 4.6L V8 - 302/318 used in the Marauder's & the Police cruisers
-Chevy's 4.8L Vortec 4800 - 285/305 used in base model trucks

What beats the Northstar:

-Dodge's 5.7L V8 hemi - 340/375 used in the 300C, bigger displacement yes, but still wins seeing as it is used in a full size sedan
-Ford's 5.4L V8 - 300/365 used in their F150 light duty trucks
-Ford's 3.9L V8 - 280/286 used in the Thunderbirds. Doesn't win in numbers but rapes us in displacement
-Ford's 4.6L V8 - 390/390 used in the Mustang Cobras

And needless to say that there's a host of Mercedes, Porsche, and other import brand motors that rape us in numbers and displacement. This list was quickly tacked together and required little or no effort so do not knock me on it ;)

If you ask me, the Cadillac Motor Division better get its ass in gear and give the Northstar some more juice, or the other brands are going to leave it in the dust.

chuckdobbins
07-21-04, 11:32 PM
my .02

taking in more factors than simply power, i would say that the N* is a remarkable engine. it is very reasonable on gas, and has few problems if maintained, all while still delivering excellent power. i love my 4.5 but it doesnt have the urge to GO like my dads N*

the only other thing i can add is that theres gotta be a reason GM has used the N* for 11 years. its also available in the pontiac bonneville now. i would think if theyre constantly changing engines, then they wouldnt trust them. so using the same engine 11 years says alot to me. if it ran well in 94, and theyre still using them now, they must have done SOMETHING right...right?

or maybe you would rather a new engine for 2006 that is prone to failure?

Ranger
07-21-04, 11:48 PM
I am quite happy with my Northstar. It does all I want it to and then some but then my days of trying to be the "fastest gun in the west" are over with.

eldorado1
07-21-04, 11:59 PM
I think you're comparing apples to sasquatches... The target demographic for Cadillac is OLD PEOPLE (no offense to anybody who is/isn't older than 50). Said people want their car to be a certain way - quiet, low maintenance, blah blah blah.

Taking your example of the 390hp mustang (although it would work equally well for a number of others) - the mustang is keyed more for the "younger crowd". They don't care so much if it explodes.

That being said, the 4.6L engine is supercharged. Yes it will make more horsepower, but at the cost of longevity and noise level.

Point is, Cadillac is roughly at where it's going to stay, although in recent years they have been stiffening up the suspension for those who do like to race (gone are the days of "was that a pothole I hit? huh, didn't feel it.").

Now. If you really want more power, and aren't afraid to spend money for it (and work on your car), you can send your heads to CHRfab, and have them ported, polished, and a set of cams put it. New injectors, and an aftermarket ECM, and you're pushing 375hp 370lbft.

Don't like messing with internals? Start hacking your own PROMs for the stock northstar. GM left the spark advance/fuel curves quite generous "just in case" grandma accidentally put in regular 87 octane. There is an "easy" 20HP if you have access to a dynojet, prom burner and knowledge. But then, you're stuck with getting premium unless you like holes in your engine.

I may have touched some nerves here, so I'm gonna hide now. :hide:

JohnnyO
07-23-04, 11:45 AM
:coolgleam I think that the N* is basically a good-to-great engine. Good power and mpg, smooth. I just wish they didn't burn and/or leak oil so much and I think it's silly that you have to put coolant pellets in to prevent the block from leaking. Thus far my dad's '04 does not seem to burn oil, unlike my mom's '99, so maybe they got a handle on the problem.

Vesicant
07-23-04, 11:50 AM
I think the engine was fine (had some expirience with one), great power, good sounds, but i think it was a bit finiky as far as engines go... but now they have re-done it. Not only to make it for RWD use but they've gone through the whole engine. It now has electronic throttle, VVT, no more EGR valve etc.

http://www.canadiandriver.com/news/020910-5.htm

davesdeville
07-23-04, 05:24 PM
The Northstar does what it needs to do. It's reliable enough and puts out enough power to drag a DeVille around. It's not an all out racing motor like the supercharged 4.6 cobra engine. In reality, the only engine that really beats the N* is possibly the Chrysler Hemi. The s/c 4.6 doesn't count, try the base GT 4.6, and it doesn't beat the N*. The 5.4 truck motor wins on torque and loses on hp, then again it's in trucks so it doesn't really compare.

This would be more relavant.

Beats the Northstar:
5.7 Chrysler Hemi, 340hp/375tq
4.4 BMW, 325/330tq
4.5 Infinity, 340hp/333tq

Loses to Northstar:
4.6 Town Car V8, 239hp/287tq
5.0 Merc. E500 V8, 302hp/339tq
4.3 Lexus, 280hp/320tq

Of course, I'd like to see the 500+hp xv12 as an option.

BlackHatch
07-23-04, 06:15 PM
Taking your example of the 390hp mustang (although it would work equally well for a number of others) - the mustang is keyed more for the "younger crowd". They don't care so much if it explodes.

That being said, the 4.6L engine is supercharged. Yes it will make more horsepower, but at the cost of longevity and noise level.

:hide:

Supercharged...yes.
More noise...yes.
Longevity...not sure yet but there are people with high mileage motor with no problems.
Exploding...not likely. The cast iron long block in the current Cobra is probably the strongest production engine since the 2JZ in the Mark 4 Supra.

illumina
07-23-04, 10:27 PM
just my thoughts...i feel that the newer n* that they are using in the new and heavier STS is a fine improvement over the old. after all, there is a 20 hp increase, but to my understanding, there is a broader curve for power than the 300 hp version. that said, if you compare the new STS with 320 hp n* to the older 2003 models, the acceleration to 60 mph is improved by almost a full second and the 1/4 mile is impressive too. so i would say that that the new n* is a fine tuned engine good enough to compete with the best the import car makers have to offer in that thier respective classes.

Randy_W
07-23-04, 10:54 PM
Supercharged...yes.
More noise...yes.
Longevity...not sure yet but there are people with high mileage motor with no problems.
Exploding...not likely. The cast iron long block in the current Cobra is probably the strongest production engine since the 2JZ in the Mark 4 Supra.

Isn't this the same Cobra engine that was recalled a couple of years ago for piston failure? Why, yes, yes it is! ;)

Brett
07-23-04, 11:00 PM
Davesdeville hit it on the head, its right in with the pack of cars that it competes against

Aurora40
07-26-04, 09:20 PM
Hey, you are focusing on peak power, but really what matters more for drivability and for lower speed acceleration is the total power, not the peak power. The Northstar with VVT has a much fuller curve than the 300hp FWD Northstar, so the difference is more than just 20 peak hp.

I think the Northstar is pretty competitive, but I have to say, displacement rules. Who cares about specific power. A big displacement engine can have more actual power, and often get better mileage (due to being able to accommodate lower gearing). Look at an XLR vs Corvette for mileage. I'd love to see Caddy come out with a 5.0l or bigger Northstar! :)

BlackHatch
07-27-04, 01:23 AM
Isn't this the same Cobra engine that was recalled a couple of years ago for piston failure? Why, yes, yes it is! ;)

Uhh...no, its not. Do some research before you speack out of school. :rolleyes2

The 2003 Supercharged Cobra motor is different than the 2001 cobra motor. Cast Iron block vs. Aluminum and significantly stronger. Guys are making in excess of 700 rwhp with just blower swaps and supporting fuel modifications on the stock longblocks.

They did have a cooling jacket issue with the driver side cyclinder head that is replaced under warranty. Some guys were burning the back driver side cylinder up after hot lapping the car because of a poorly designed cooling jacket in the head. Ford fixed the problem and replaces the head free of charge.

Msilva954
07-27-04, 11:17 AM
The one thing the N* has over all those engines is the Refinement that it has......all the others are either old designs or just meant for muscle performance without the refined feel......I do agree the the N* is Mid pack there.....If the N* made 350hp people would be extremely satisfied.....but I dont see that happening.

eldorado1
07-27-04, 02:12 PM
If the N* made 350hp people would be extremely satisfied.....but I dont see that happening.

Well, you guys got your wish... in fact, add 50hp to that figure above :rolleyes2

http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?article=7135


...did I mention they're starting to listen to the younger performance crowd? ;)

ShadowLvr400
07-27-04, 02:52 PM
What the Northstar beats:
-Ford's 4.6L V8 - 239/287 used in the crown vics
-Ford's 4.6L V8 - 302/318 used in the Marauder's & the Police cruisers
-Chevy's 4.8L Vortec 4800 - 285/305 used in base model trucks

What beats the Northstar:

-Dodge's 5.7L V8 hemi - 340/375 used in the 300C, bigger displacement yes, but still wins seeing as it is used in a full size sedan
-Ford's 5.4L V8 - 300/365 used in their F150 light duty trucks
-Ford's 3.9L V8 - 280/286 used in the Thunderbirds. Doesn't win in numbers but rapes us in displacement
-Ford's 4.6L V8 - 390/390 used in the Mustang Cobras




Ok, you're wrong on the fords, sorry to say. And some of the northstars.
Ford's SOHC 4.6 224/265 239/276 in Vics. 260/302 in Stang, easily tweaked to those specs in Vics.
Ford's DOHC 4.6 302/318 in Mercury. 305/320 in Mach1's, but most owners agree that those are lowball numbers. More common agreement puts the numbers closer to 320-330 with torque to match. The same numbers can be pulled from the merc to match the Mach 1.
Ford/Jag's DOHC 3.9 also sees use in the Lincoln LS

As for the northstars, the FWD versions went from 275/295 combo, to a 300/295 and 275/300 combo. Then a 300/300 combo came out in the FWD. The RWD went 320/315.

If you look at the 5.7 Hemi, it's truly more designed to battle the LS1, and if it was years ago, the LT1 powered cars. As for it competing with the Northstar, truthfully you're putting the 300C vs the 05 STS. The STS carries 320/315 in 3857 lbs of car. The Hemi in the 300C is claiming a 340/390 combo. On 4000 lbs even. The 300C is a bit more brutish than the STS, rumors have the handling of the STS to be much higher than the 300C. Think of the 300C of being in line with the 96 Impala SS, and the 05 STS in line with the BMW 7 series of the mid to late 90's. The 300's got more size and power, but less handling finesse than the STS.

ShadowLvr400
07-27-04, 02:58 PM
Now. If you really want more power, and aren't afraid to spend money for it (and work on your car), you can send your heads to CHRfab, and have them ported, polished, and a set of cams put it. New injectors, and an aftermarket ECM, and you're pushing 375hp 370lbft.

Don't like messing with internals? Start hacking your own PROMs for the stock northstar. GM left the spark advance/fuel curves quite generous "just in case" grandma accidentally put in regular 87 octane. There is an "easy" 20HP if you have access to a dynojet, prom burner and knowledge. But then, you're stuck with getting premium unless you like holes in your engine.

I may have touched some nerves here, so I'm gonna hide now. :hide:


I'll simply say that I had head work done, and it was going to lead to more work along with that. The engine ran stronger, when I pulled the airbox off and ran snubbed like that. Of course with no filter, I wasnt willing to do that more than 1/4 miles or so. So, head work leads to intake work, etc. Difficulty there is, we're too small of an aftermarket. Look at Ford's motors, they see action through the entire line, and most have direct ties to their "sports" cars. That makes modifications common and easily shared. The northstar is too specialized. It sees action only in Cadillac, and until the XLR-V comes out, in NO racing vehicles. The CTS sees no Northstar, so you're still in the issue of too small a segment to lure afermarket companies.