: 1997 ETC engine performance upgrades



1997etc
10-23-12, 08:33 PM
i was wondering if anyone has tried the volo v-12 performance chip? it piggy backs on the diagnostic port wires. just wondering if anyone has info on it or is westers garage ecm the only way to go?

has anyone tried chrfab cams on a otherwise stock northstar motor and what were the results?

weister42
10-23-12, 08:55 PM
Last time I heard they're having a hard time keeping the engine running at low rpm because it stalls at idle and the stock PCM doesn't seem to love it with all of its heart.


I too, would like to hear what a lumpy Northstar sounds like.

CadillacLuke24
10-24-12, 01:39 PM
Wester's garage.

If performance chips were so effective, GM would have installed them on the Hamtramnck line.

BTW, what exactly does Wester's tune do?

maeng9981
10-24-12, 03:27 PM
None of the plug-and play "performance chips" will work.

Submariner409
10-24-12, 04:16 PM
Luke, For the pre-1998 PCM/ECM work by Wester's, they talk to you to find out what modifications you have done to the engine, exhaust, and air intake system, then they design a tune from there. There is no such thing as a "canned tune" for the Northstar because it's just about at it's peak as delivered - YOU have to spend the bucks for modifications and then tune around that.

A "plug-in" "performance" chip is a 25 resistor in a cutesy case which usually attempts to skew some engine sensor parameters into delivering a richer fuel mixture - but the programmed fuel maps won't compensate air/fuel for that, so you wind up with a much lighter wallet, a net performance loss and some underhood bling.

This question comes up religiously every 6 months, and the answers have not changed one letter in my 6.5 years in CF.

Submariner409
10-24-12, 04:27 PM
Read CHRFAB's site - or even call them - their regrinds are done for some pretty exotic sand rail engines - nothing that would ever run in a FWD drivetrain - for starters, they use a complete stand-alone engine management system, which our cars cannot run. Look up the specs for the '97 ETC cams - they're already pretty stout as-is........... and with a radical regrind, you would need to go to different springs and lifter buckets to take the opening ramp rates. Not cheap - not cheap at all. Involves complete cylinder head machine work, and maybe some combustion chamber work, but there's not much meat in there to start with. Also, as far as cams go and specific results, through 1997 was one Northstar, 98-99 is another, and 2000 - on is different yet - so specific "lumpy cam" (think CompCams "Thumpr" line of noisy cams) information is hard to come by.

1997 ETC, If you are fishing for performance upgrades for your car, let's put it all in one thread so all members, opinion, and answers are contained in the same train of thought ..............Off we go..........."1997 ETC engine performance upgrades" ............. I see from earlier posts that you got a set of Carroll studs earlier this year........... Is the engine back together ?

1997etc
10-24-12, 09:39 PM
thank you for your input submariner409, yes the motor is together and i have about 2000 miles on it. i had the cadillac doctor in youngstown, ohio do the work. i also had him replace the oil pump, water pump, a/c compressor, power steering pump, front and rear seals and the oil pan gasket. the car runs great. i love the car and plan on keeping for a long time. i am the 3rd owner and it has never been driven in the snow and i only drive it on weekends so i dont mind putting some money in it to make the car a little more fun. there is a local machine shop that does great work and are willing to do something different. i have already contacted this machine shop and they are willing to do the work on northstar heads and get some info on how to work them from chrfab and use their cams. after i will work with westers garage to tune the ecm. i already have a 3 inch magnalow cat, 3 inch going back to flowmaster deltaflow 50 mufflers with the stock tips and open element air cleaner. i am just looking to get a decent jump in power and have something different then a chevy, ford or mopar. i was always an olds guy and owned about a dozen 442s. and to get an olds to go it had to be done right you could not put a crane cam in an olds and expect it to go. crane as well as all the other companies were just a chevy grind on an olds cam. you had to go to someone who specialized in oldmobiles and mondello was the place that i went through. it seems like chrfab and westers are the place for cadillac northstar motors. so i am just trying to find out if anyone else out here is done something simliar.

Submariner409
10-24-12, 09:49 PM
OK - All well and good but remember: Get before and after strip timeslips during your "upgrades". Butt dynos are worthless - trap speeds and elapsed time are the proof.

You like Mondello Olds 455's ???? I build them. Here................(Lynn does heads for me)...............This is a 461 (.030 over) with Mondello street ported heads and valvetrain. New valves, springs, retainers, no auto-rotators, Comp 1.6 roller tip rockers. Built for marine heavy duty. ("Heads by Mondello")

............. and no, no one has done "anything similar" (CHRFAB regrinds) for a FWD daily driver Northstar because it takes a lot more work and modification than most are willing to take on - and the engine then is NOT a "daily driver".

Exhaust systems - look in my albums. I speak exhaust - and can weld.

CadillacLuke24
10-25-12, 01:07 AM
Luke, For the pre-1998 PCM/ECM work by Wester's, they talk to you to find out what modifications you have done to the engine, exhaust, and air intake system, then they design a tune from there. There is no such thing as a "canned tune" for the Northstar because it's just about at it's peak as delivered - YOU have to spend the bucks for modifications and then tune around that.

YAY! I can't wait to have 'em go to town on it :D

Thank you :D

1997etc
10-25-12, 04:00 AM
nice olds submariner409, the last olds i did was a 1966 425 out of a toro. it was balanced, bored 40 over, mild porting on the b heads, torker intake, barry grant preped 850cfm holley, moldello oil pump, mondello oil restricters, mondello valley pan tray, mondello main bearing strap kit, and a mondello jm-32 cam with his cam thrust bumber. the motor ran great and i shifted at 7500 rpms and it pulled all the way to 7500 rpms with no issues. i ran a tci 3500 stall conv. 3.73 gears it was in a 1968 442. i never had a chance to take it to the track, oh well. like a fool i sold it.