: Northstar in a '68



bddcustoms
07-03-10, 11:02 PM
Hey!

I'm new to the forum, and new to vintage caddies (not new to the hobby, though; mainly done only chevy trucks to this point). I'm considering a project, and some questions have been occurring to me that may be obvious to you, so I putting out a few "dumb" questions over the next few weeks as I decide whether or not to go for it with a project I'm thinking about.

That said: I'm looking at a '68 Calais (nice and real cheap). Has a 472 in it, but I'd love to swap in a small block, Northstar. Has any body done this -- specifically, do the engine size differences make it impossible? can i mount it?

thanks.

DTT:banghead:

77CDV
07-03-10, 11:17 PM
It can be done, though there is quite a bit of fabrication required for those huge old engine bays to accommodate the relatively compact N*. There is a 1958 Eldorado Brougham that's been completely customized, including installing a modified N*, but still looks stock from the outside. The biggest thing is the N*'s reliability. They tend to blow headgaskets, requiring costly repairs. The 472, on the other hand, is probably the most durable engine Cadillac ever built, is highly modifiable, and capable of producing far more power and torque than the N*. If it's performance you seek, I'd take a serious look at modifying your car's existing 472, along with an upgraded transmission and rear end. Throw in a few suspension mods, and you should have a decent handling tire smoker that's still quite reliable.

BTW :welcome: to the forums!

sven914
07-04-10, 12:54 AM
^I agree with that; I would try to avoid the Northstar. If you are looking to modernize the engine compartment, then I would suggest an LS engine. The 350 LS1 or LS6, should have the right combination of a compact, lightweight design, and ample horsepower. The LS1 makes 350 hp and about 365 lb-ft of torque, while the LS6 makes between 385hp and 405hp and between 385 lb-ft and 400 lb-ft of torque.

But if you're looking for good reliable power, stick with the 472 and rebuild it with some performance add ons. If that's not enough, the Cadillac 500 will bolt in, no problem.

csbuckn
07-04-10, 02:05 AM
Hook the 472 up with a stand alone fuel injection system and now you have power and half way decent gas mileage.

Aron9000
07-04-10, 04:00 AM
Don't waste your time with the Northstar, they are pretty much worth their weight in scrap aluminum. If you want something modern, fuel injected, with decent gas mileage, any of the LS series variants will work great. Don't limit yourself to the high performance variants like the LS1, LS2, LS6, etc. The truck motors are great as well, you can pick them up for a lot cheaper and performance parts still bolt on with no problem. You do get an iron block instead of aluminum, but when you can get a low mile, 5.3 V8 truck engine for $500 or less you can't go wrong.

bicentennialcadillac
07-04-10, 10:12 AM
Stay away from the Northstar.

You already have one of the best motors GM ever produced - I would suggest building on that.

Stingroo
07-04-10, 11:06 AM
LQ4, anyone? :)

The-Dullahan
07-04-10, 02:04 PM
If you get rid of the 472 for a Northstar, you're insane...and you had better be giving the 472 to me.

Submariner409
07-04-10, 02:12 PM
Dropping almost 200 cubic inches to install a Northstar in place of a good ol' 472 is roughly equivalent to putting a VW Beetle engine in a Porsche Carrera.

csbuckn
07-04-10, 02:32 PM
I think what everybody is saying is that the 472 is more practicle than the N* in this situation. Even if you opened a thread in the northstar section, they will probably tell you the same. But just for something different, it would be interesting to see.

sven914
07-05-10, 01:00 AM
LQ4, anyone? :)

I think Cadillac has had enough with truck engines... Though, a 6 liter would be closer to the original. :hmm: Why not the LQ6, which was the higher output version, designed specially for the Cadillac Denali.

Stingroo
07-05-10, 01:06 AM
You mean LQ9?

Because they're pretty much the same, except the LQ4 is cheaper and more plentiful. My neighbor is putting a twin-turbo LQ4 into his '69 Camaro.

And yes, the Camaro IS Hugger Orange. I want it so badly.

sven914
07-05-10, 01:25 AM
9's what I wanted, 6 was what I was thinking.

But you don't have to buy a VortecMAX. Get a beaten and abused Vortec(MIN) and swap out the pistons and some of the other extras. The High Output model had special pistons to give it a higher 10:1 compression ratio, which boosted the horsepower and torque, slightly.

Stingroo
07-05-10, 01:29 AM
Yeah. You could do it yourself on an LQ4 and save a bundle. The price difference is annoying.

If I ever hit the lottery, I'd throw an LQ4 in a wagon someday.... Lots of fun there.

Cadillacboy
07-05-10, 06:07 AM
May be Vortec Engine ? That engine gave me an amazing performance and great reliability when I used to own a '03 Escalade 6.0 V8 .
If not LT1 or LS Series Engines should be on your agenda

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-05-10, 11:38 AM
Don't bother with anything else. The 472 is more than enough, especially when you can modify it. Moving down in displacement in a car of this size would lose you all that low end torque you need to get up and moving.

The-Dullahan
07-05-10, 03:15 PM
Moving down in displacement in a car of this size would lose you all that low end torque you need to get up and moving.

Yeah, like a hearse with a 307.:histeric:

Stingroo
07-05-10, 03:22 PM
Don't bother with anything else. The 472 is more than enough, especially when you can modify it. Moving down in displacement in a car of this size would lose you all that low end torque you need to get up and moving.

Normally I would agree, but the 400-ish lb/ft of an LS motor would be plenty to get it moving.

But yeah, if your 472 runs great I'd just keep it.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-05-10, 07:40 PM
Normally I would agree, but the 400-ish lb/ft of an LS motor would be plenty to get it moving.

But yeah, if your 472 runs great I'd just keep it.

Yeah, I suppose the LS would have enough torque, but there's just something fundamentally wrong to me about putting a small block into a '68 Cadillac.

Bro-Ham
07-05-10, 11:48 PM
mts is where the big Cadillac custom engines get built, right? I can't imagine having a larger than life car without a larger than life engine. :)

outsider
07-06-10, 10:04 AM
stick with the 472 man! northstar is crap.

JamesC
07-07-10, 10:39 PM
Not trying to hijack this, but I'm just curious... the 472 was in which years exactly? My Cadillac info book read and if I remember right it was in the Deville and Fleetwood Caddy's from '68 to '74, yes?

sven914
07-07-10, 11:14 PM
Not trying to hijack this, but I'm just curious... the 472 was in which years exactly? My Cadillac info book read and if I remember right it was in the Deville and Fleetwood Caddy's from '68 to '74, yes?

Right. The de Ville and Fleetwood got the 472 starting '68. The Eldorado got the 500, and after '74 (-'76) the 500 was standard on all models (except Seville).

JamesC
07-07-10, 11:25 PM
Right. The de Ville and Fleetwood got the 472 starting '68. The Eldorado got the 500, and after '74 (-'76) the 500 was standard on all models (except Seville).

Ah good my memory serves me correct then! Thanks much! :thumbsup:

The-Dullahan
07-08-10, 10:37 AM
Anyone notice something here? He hasn't returned to his thread since he opened it.

Anyhow,
I hope we're convincing him.

sven914
07-08-10, 02:06 PM
^ Maybe, maybe not. Dude hasn't checked in since post 10.

YourMainParadox
07-09-10, 03:57 AM
don't forget to send me the 472 if you swap it :P XD

drewsdeville
07-10-10, 01:42 AM
It can be done, though there is quite a bit of fabrication required for those huge old engine bays to accommodate the relatively compact N*.

Compact? Hell no. I'm willing to bet that, externally, the Northstar is larger than a 472, especially in width. OHC engines tend to be quite large for their displacement.

ga_etc
07-10-10, 02:22 AM
It is possible. It is likely to be very costly to do it though. A lot of people around here don't like the Northstar, but I remain a fan of the engine regardless. The KEY to a N* is maintenance. If the service is kept up properly they have seen well over 200,000 miles without missing a beat. You have to keep in mind that if the N* is pulled from a Seville,Eldorado, or Deville/DTS it is set up for FWD. For this application I would make sure the motor was pulled from a '05+ STS. That way it is already set up for a RWD application and would likely require less fab work to get it in the car. If I were dead set on using a Northstar though, I would splurge and go for the one from the STS-V. That one is 4.4L vs 4.6 in the standard STS. The difference is the 4.4 from the V is supercharged and produces 469HP and 439TQ.