: How about petitioning GM Performance?



LymanSS
02-12-03, 07:44 PM
As you may know, GM has a performance division which is concentrating on making performance versions of many of GM's production vehicles. There is also GM Performance parts, which makes aftermarket products for GM vehicles, and vehicles equipped with GM parts (IE hotrods with GM engines). Either, or both of these divisions would be capable of providing performance equipment for Northstar equipped vehicles. For example, they recently released a supercharger for the 2.4 liter inline four cylinder engines. There's an excellent business case for that product given the enormous number of people in that market who modify their cars, and the large number of vehicles produced. I believe that there is also a decent business case for northstar equipped vehicles. With about 100,000 devilles per year, 25,000 sevilles, 15,000 or so Eldos (untill they were discontinued) 25,000 auroras (until discontinuation) and soon there will be pontiacs with 4.4 liter northstars as well. One might expect that these cars are less likely to be modified, but I posit that there are plenty of owners out there who want more power, and who have the financial resources to afford performance parts.

It would take a large scale show of support to effect any sort of influence at GM, but given time I think that it would be possible. Would anyone else here be interested in starting a petition to GM performance asking for performance parts for the northstar? I would like to design a proposal to GM stating what we are looking for (a rough estimate of desired power increase) and what sorts of products we would like (supercharger? Intake? heads and cams? handling products too?) and then begin collecting signatures of as many cadillac owners who are interested in this. We could have this forum serve as the center of it, but seek support from people all over. Other forums, car shows....even dealerships are often willing to support such efforts and inform their customers about it. Is anyone interested in such an effort? Do you have ideas about whether it will work? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Scott

LymanSS
02-12-03, 07:56 PM
In the above post, I mentioned a "proposal" and I wanted to let you know what sort of thing I was thinking of. I wrote up a list of requirements that we might lay out. We could say that the people signing would be explicitly interested in purchasing a product that met the following requirements:


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A 25-30 percent increase IE:375-390 hp for DTS STS engines

No loss of low end torque or driveability.

Retain the smooth, sophisticated feel and responsive nature of the Northstar engine

No more than 10 percent fuel economy penalty

CARB Certification - emmissions legal

Factory appearance

Bolt on installation. No internal engine work, removal of heads/cam, etc

price under 15 percent of initial vehicle cost
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Those aren't necessarily exactly what we would ask for. But I'm thinking this sort of information would show what exactly we are asking for. Does anyone else think this is a good idea?

Scott

playaman
02-12-03, 08:44 PM
Hell yes!!! Even though it would take at LEAST a year for them to get products out to the main market.

kcnewell
02-12-03, 09:22 PM
That's a great idea, I would imagine knowing what I do about vehicle manufacturers that they've already got some R/D done on just such products but perhaps they don't think there's enough of a market! Sometimes these companies can be amazingly slow recognizing a trend like the recent trend of hot rodding Caddys again. ( Again.....'Cause it was big in the '50s )

LymanSS
02-13-03, 07:31 AM
Well, we know that they've made supercharged Nortstars before. The Evoq concept debuted with a supercharger, and most likely they're working on a production version as we speak. It's obviously going to be for the next gen northstar (the one in the XLR and SRX, with VVT) but it wouldn't be too hard to make it fit the older northstars.

The guy in this link, Mark Reuss is the one whom I think we need to contact. There might be someone below him who is more directly responsible for our needs. http://media.gm.com/events/productseminar/bios/markreuss.htm

I'm trying to determine approximately how many signatures we would need, and in what format. Internet petitions have notoriously little weight, because it's difficult to determine whether people are submitting multiple "signatures," and whether they are people who's opinions count, or if they are just jokers who want to have their say. One idea I had was to have a petition where people could sign their name, and optionally include the make, model and maybe VIN number of their caddy. That would add credibility to our petition, as it would demonstrate that we are in fact cadillac owners. We would need software that allows people to submit their data confidentially, and have it archived somewhere. I have a hosting space, and I'd be glad to host it, but I don't know what software to use. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Scott

Katshot
02-13-03, 07:45 AM
Sounds great but the thing won't fly unless you can convince them that there's a market for it, and that's not going to be easy.
On top of that, I doubt you'll see Cadillac endorsing ANY performance enhancements for the Gen I Northstar since the top-end is not up top the increased stress.

LymanSS
02-13-03, 02:56 PM
Well the idea behind a petition would be to demonstrate the market. The people signing would be saying that they are interested in the product, and that they are representative of the potential market. We'd need a lot of people. I'd like to publicize it all over the net, and through the dealer networks.

Scott

kcnewell
02-13-03, 10:25 PM
I gotta agree with Katshot on this one. The heads would absolutely have to come off and be fixed before you did much to them along the lines of higher performance! G.M doesn't want to open THAT can of worms!

jadcock
02-13-03, 10:53 PM
I don't get your guys' drift on the "top end not being up to the increased stress". :confused: The Northstar has been supercharged and nitroused before. That's pretty stressful. If you're talking about the head bolt threads, that's easily corrected with a Time-sert kit. After a block has been Time-serted, it's stronger than the original configuration. The heads themselves should be stout enough for any amount of power 4.6 liters can make on pump gas.

kcnewell
02-14-03, 05:38 AM
That was my point! Cadillac knows about the head bolt problem and I would tend to think that they wouldn't want to deal with the potential liability that might arise in our sue happy society if someone bought an authorized engine mod and then had a head bolt problem.

jadcock
02-14-03, 09:06 AM
Adding power to any engine increases the risk of failure, and I don't consider the head bolt thing a "problem"...just a normal occurance when you're dealing with bolts and threads -- especially in aluminum stock. Heli-coils have been around for decades because this sort of thing just happens sometimes. I think that if Cadillac started a factory performance program, that they would recommend the parts to do the job correctly (like the Time-sert kit). But in the end, I don't think any bolt-on would cause so much stress to catastrophically fail the head bolts.

It's recommended that whenever a Northstar is diassembled that a Time-sert kit be installed when the heads go back on, and use new head bolts of course. But this isn't a type of thing where engines just fail randomly because the head bolts fall out or anything. You can usually trace a problem with the head gaskets or head bolts to improper maintenance (usually, cooling system maintenance). This has been largely fixed with the 1996 and above engines, with the use of non-silicated DEX-COOL coolant. Sure, it still happens, but we're talking about a very small minority of engines. Millions are out there running that have never been taken apart (including mine). We just hear about the bad ones because owners get frustrated when it happens and they vent to forums like this one. Rarely do people seek out forums just to say, "man, my car is running good." :D

LymanSS
02-14-03, 12:40 PM
I imagine that if they did produce a product such as the one we are requesting, they would provide a warning to owners of early northstars, reccomending the use of time-serts to prevent damage. They would obviously have to produce several versions of such a product with different computer tuning modules, fasteners, and other hardware bits, depending on the year. This is the sort of thing that the engineers would figure out before producing it.

By the way....would it be possible to make this thread sticky so we could get more people to see this? I'm working on hunting down some software for internet based petitions. I've got one thing so far, but it's a little tricky to use.

Scott

BeelzeBob
02-14-03, 01:26 PM
I guess we could set something up right here in these forums for a petition. It would probably be more meaningful if Cadillac knew that only one user per email can sign up here and sign the petition. It's a little more controlled here than elsewhere. The only downfall would be that people have to signup here. But, I can get a quick signup form going where you'd only need to leave your username and email address - or close to it.. So it would be quick and easy...

Let me know what you think. We could have one really long thread with the signed name, VIN if desired, and comments...

ljklaiber
02-14-03, 01:39 PM
The only way all aluminum race engines stay happy with fasteners ,is with studs, ...not bolts . ARP sells grade 8 stud kits, but not for NS. Can be ordered if you lay the boost on it. stud the block.

jadcock
02-14-03, 01:49 PM
You're absolutely right -- studs are the way to go, performance-wise. I bet a stud job on a Northstar would be a custom endeavor -- I don't know of anyone making them either. The bottom end is already very robust on the Northstar. Your normal engine, even a "4 bolt main" engine, has individual main bearing caps. The Northstar uses a main bearing girdle on the bottom end, to really tie everything together. There are 4 bolts at each main bearing, so it's still strong, but it's also sturdy because of the girdle architecture.

There are, if I recall correctly, 29 bolts holding the bottom end together. That's a good many bolts -- and a good many studs for a custom job. :p

elwesso
02-14-03, 05:13 PM
Ill sign a petition, but i dont think it is going to do much. I mean if we got some people from GMF to sign it, and we had like 1000 signatures that would be good.

LymanSS
02-14-03, 09:06 PM
Well...not to sound too wide-eyed and optimistic, but I'm really thinking large scale. I'm pretty serious about this too. I really want this product and I'm willing to sink some effort, and even a little bit of cash into it. I got some petitioning software, and I might go so far as to set up a domain name for it. That way people from any site could easily come and use it. The software that I have also allows them to digitally sign a signature using a mouse. I'm looking for something better. My goal would be 2000 signatures. I'm thinking of writing up a letter about it and sending it to dealers to distribute to their customers. Some dealers don't like aftermarket equipment, but others realise that it does good things for the resale value of the cars when there's a healthy factory backed aftermarket. Anyway, with a domain name, and good software, it'll be easy for people to find it and sign it. We can make a maximum of one signature per email address. I think it's possible to get a decent response to this, and with a 2000 or more signatures it'd be hard for them to ignore it altogether.

Scott

elwesso
02-14-03, 09:14 PM
Go for it, as soon as you get it going ill sign it. I mean it sounds good, but im not sure that they would just start making performance parts for the northstar from 2000 signatures. To them, it isnt enough money. Thats just the way it is. Granted, they wouldnt ignore it. It would be great if they made GM performance parts, but i think it may be a long time off, if it ever happens.

BeelzeBob
02-15-03, 11:29 AM
Oh, I see.. I was thinking this was geared toward Cadillac for some reason. This is more of a GM overall thing...

LymanSS
02-15-03, 03:13 PM
Well it really is a cadillac thing. Other than the Aurora, the northstar is an exclusively cadillac engine. I'm hoping to draw in people from all over the place, because there are a lot of people who own other cars, in addition to a cadillac. Many of them are on forums for their other vehicles (a great example is the corvetteforum, which has lots of caddy owners) but never thought about finding an enthusiast site, or organization for cadillacs. I think the petition would be of interest to them too. Of course once they make it to the petition site, we should bring them over here so they help populate the internet's finest cadillac discussion forum :)

Scott

LymanSS
02-17-03, 02:20 AM
Well I've been doing some looking around, and some work. I'm now determined to get us some sort of performance enhancements. Yes, you can thank me later :) Anyway, www.iIpetitions.com looks promising. I may set up a web site, and then set up a petition on their site, and just frame it into the site. One thing that occurred to me today is that there are a number of other manufacturers out there that I think could provide reasonable products for us. We could send a petition to them too. If you go here ( http://www.whipplesuperchargers.com/products.asp?CatID=23 ) you will find the list of available products from whipple superchargers. They use the best type of supercharger in production - the Lysholm Screw. It has higher efficiency, lower outlet temperatures, and more power with less strain than any other type of supercharger on the market. My brother has worked with the owners of the company (it's family owned business) on several occasions, and by all accounts, they are genuinely nice people, and have a fantastic devotion to quality. Judging by the niche markets they have targeted so far (mostly luxury trucks) I think they may be more than interested in our application. Perhaps if GM performance is less responsive, these folks will step in to fill the gap. What do you all think? I'd like to get an idea of how many people here would actually be interested in a northstar superchargers, so I'm going to start a separate thread tomorrow to get a head count. That'll give me some idea of what we're working with as far as enthusiasm.

Scott

elwesso
02-17-03, 09:58 AM
I would buy a supercharger, if I had the money. I dont have 3 grand to just throw away to a super. I just cant do it, if we could get some lower cost stuff that may be something to look into first. Maybe some sort of professional intake system, like intake, TB, and maybe a different manifold. I think we should start at a smaller scale and work our way up, not try and go for it all on the first swing.

GodspeedRacing
11-05-03, 06:52 PM
Man I'm with you all the way! I'd love to see a GM certified performance line for northstars!