: No clue what to do. Northstar blues

07-30-09, 09:22 AM
Ok. About 2 months ago I made a 400omi trip. On our way back I noticed that my engine seemed to have a couple misses. Later I found out number 5 and 8 cylinder misfire. I went ahead and changed the plugs and everything went along smooth. A couple days ago it started again. Number 8 this time. So I pulled the plug and it was burnt out. Just to make sure it wasn't the coil we tested the spark and I even swapped the coil with another one. Just to be safe I put in some more plugs. It stopped the misfire but now my engine is just a little bit jumpy but not kicking up any errors.

So it just so happens that my apartments handyman used to be a mechanic. He asked if I had checked the fuel filter. I was like no. He said it could be an injection issue. I remember on my 98 Deville I had a similar problem after I did a tuneup and I changed the fuel filter and it was like magic. So this morning I head out to Autozone. Come to find out the fuel pump and filter are one unit. Atleast thats what the guy told me.

My question is do I have to change the pump with the filter. If the pump is still working why replace a perfectly good pump?

Also he said maybe it's not getting enough air and the mass air flow sensor could be bad. The only code that kicked up was P0308 I think that's what it was and it showed number 8 misfire. Wouldn't there be a code for a bad sensor? The reader I have has a live data feed and everything seemed to be running fine.

I'm really trying to avoid a dealer if at all possible. I just put in to resign my job later this month so money is gonna be tight til I leave the country. I really don't need this right now. Any help or insight would really be great.

*calling Ranger*:worship:

07-30-09, 09:37 AM
Its an 06, cant you just take it to the dealer under warranty?

07-30-09, 09:52 AM
I got it used. I don't buy new.

07-30-09, 09:53 AM
in an 06 you should have a coil cassette right ?
there are no coil packs to replace or to switch out so what did you switch out ?

07-30-09, 09:55 AM
Their coil on plugs. Just swapped the number 8 to 5.

07-30-09, 10:26 AM
The newer Northstar ignitions use 8 separate coils with each one literally sitting on top of a plug. Not sure what years GM started to use separate coils, but my Ford 4.6 uses them.

Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northstar_engine_series#LH2

07-30-09, 10:55 AM
Does not matter if you bought it new or used. The warranty stays with the car as long as it is under the time and mileage limits. I bought mine used and it is just going out of warranty the 14th of Aug.

Fuel pumps DO have a sock or strainer on the pick up end, but there should also be a separate inline filter somewhere.

Not sure about GM Sub, but Cadillac went to COP ignition in 2000.

07-30-09, 11:22 AM
I'm currently at 76K right now..Doesn't the warranty go up to 50K for 2006

07-30-09, 11:24 AM
I think that is correct, in which case you are out of luck (and warranty).

07-30-09, 01:40 PM
COP, yes, but not one separate, dedicated coil stuck on top of each plug.

My 2002 has a 4-coil cassette for each bank, and it is dedicated COP, BUT you cannot change/swap only one coil. The newer cars have 8 distinct small coils sitting one atop each plug. Pull the trigger connector, unsnap the individual coil, and off it comes. Cassettes are gonzo.

Here's a diagram of one bank of the Ford 4.6 showing the individual coils (newer GM similar) and connectors and a 2000+ Cadillac left bank coil cassette for comparison.

07-30-09, 02:29 PM
Oops. Sorry Sub, I misunderstood you.

07-30-09, 02:38 PM
I don't miss Packard 440, dual points, dwell tachs, timing lights, timing marks, and hex wrenches stuck into a distributor - not one bit !!!!

07-30-09, 09:28 PM
Hehe. Neither do I but, I got to do one recently. My buddy bought a '71 Riv and had forgotten how to do it so he brought it over and we did points, condenser and timed it. Ahh the memories.

Strange part (probably not to you) is that I still have a distributor wrench set (tiny little buggers), dwell meters, timing light and a piece of chalk in my tool box to mark the timing mark on the crank shaft dampener. First time I used that stuff in 30 years.

07-30-09, 09:45 PM
..................don't forget that I build 1969 - 1975 Olds 455's for fun and profit................:cool:

How many CF readers have a spark plug gapping tool ? - or 3 ?

07-30-09, 10:36 PM
Well I'm headed to see ewill up in Alexandria tomorrow. Enigine light came back on tonight. Money I don't have about to be gone. I need a hope and a prayer.

07-31-09, 06:55 PM
Southern, maybe you had some confusion about cylinder numbering?

At any rate, he brought the car to me today, the #8 coil was bad. I got him fixed up.
Purring like a kitten when I was done.

07-31-09, 07:21 PM
..................don't forget that I build 1969 - 1975 Olds 455's for fun and profit................:cool:

How many CF readers have a spark plug gapping tool ? - or 3 ?
I've got plug gapping tools, a Sun power timing light, point files, distributor wrenches, high voltage insulation testers....

07-31-09, 07:49 PM
I've still got that stuff around too, well the timing light, gapping tools, spark voltage tester, etc. I haven't used the timing light in so long... Last vehicle I used that on was my '85 Pontiac Parisienne. I always used soap stone to mark the timing mark on the balancer/dampener- worked good.

The nice thing about multi-coil ignition: If one coil fails, you can still drive! But if this ever happens to anyone and you have to continue to drive, disconnect that cylinder's fuel injector. Otherwise the catalytic converter will be working overtime and probably will glow red soon.

08-01-09, 01:17 PM
Well! It's a good thing I still have that old trusty timing light! Sub.........This is right up your alley!!!!

I just bought a 1976 Oldsmobile Delta 88. Exactly right. You guessed it. No Northstar this time. Nothing but a.......455 Oldsmobile Rocket V8.

I missed the rumble of the old big-inch iron V8s. Just couldn't help myself. Saw it on the internet yesterday and picked it up this morning. Blue on blue, 4 door hard top.

As much as I love Cadillacs and the Northstars, picture this:

Fuel pump for 1998 Cadillac STS - $320. Fuel pump for 1976 Olds 455 - $30.
Head light for 1998 STS - $450 used. Head light for 1976 Olds - $8
Rear shocks for 1998 STS - $1000/pair. for a 76 Olds? $75/pair.

Yeah I love my Caddys. No doubt. I won't get rid of them. But as much gas as the old 455 will use, I'll probably save back in parts. Well, actually this is going to be a weekend car for now.

"J" heads. Sub, you got any old heads from the early 70's?

I'm heading back to Manitoba next week for a wedding. I'm taking the Olds if everything goes well. If I hit a deer with that car, there won't be as much $$$ lost in damage and I can pack a barbecue in the huge trunk and a case of beer!

08-01-09, 02:36 PM
Southern, maybe you had some confusion about cylinder numbering?

I thought it was the pass side rear. I feel stupid right now. :banghead:

08-01-09, 03:26 PM

08-01-09, 04:49 PM
Well these aren't the pics what Ranger's probably looking for but what the heck.... my $800 Olds


08-01-09, 06:55 PM
Got a set of K's, a set of Ka's, a set of G's, and a set of Mondello street ported Ga's. Nothing wrong with J heads, and they have hardened seats. Do a 3-angle valve job, flame harden the work, and junk the rotators to lower cyclic mass. Do a tad of Dremel polish, nothing radical. Get a Mondello/Engle 15-100 or slightly hotter flat tappet cam and advance it 4 degrees with a Cloyes True-Roller drive. Standard ol' HD flat tappets. Plenty of Edelbrock cam lube. Mild 2-part springs for longevity and it'll go to 5,500 all day (NEVER wind an Olds 455 above 5500 - too much stroke.) Edelbrock 2150 (?) manifold with heat risers necked down to 3/8" (iron inserts).

Don't get me started.........:rolleyes:

08-01-09, 07:47 PM
Southern, the front bank is the even numbers.
2, 4, 6, 8 from the passenger side.
Don't beat yourself up too bad. You tried anyway.
Glad I could help.

Thanks for your service... :salute: