: The best northstar engine?



john magne
11-30-05, 06:00 PM
have all the northstar engine the same sylinder block and heads?
i want to build a turbocharged northstar engine for my old opel,and i want to know the difference between the engines before i buy one. how many different ones is it,and what is the best engine to start whith. im going to change the rods,pistons,maybe the cams,he whole injection system and turbocharge it.
if anyone have more information about weak points etc of this engines im wery interested in knowing this..

(sorry for my wery bad english)

Regards

John Magne
jm@jma.no

eldorado1
11-30-05, 06:06 PM
For high power/rpm/reliability, weak points are rods and headgaskets. Make sure you time sert the head bolt holes.

Stronger rods, with new springs and you can spin to 8500+rpm.

93-99 are all the same internally, and what you'd want.

93-94 have a metal intake that would be better for boost. 95+ have a plastic intake that have a trap door that would need to be sealed shut. (not difficult, just more work)

You can put the metal intake on any engine 93-99, so any year is fine.

Krashed989
11-30-05, 06:27 PM
...93-99 are all the same internally, and what you'd want...


Yes they are all the same except the way the sensors worked. 93-95 was OBD-I and used removable PROM so you can get a performance chip for that. 96-99 was OBD-II and didn't have removable PROM and there are no known performance mods for the computers (I think anyway).

eldorado1
11-30-05, 07:16 PM
I think it's safe to assume he's going to use an aftermarket ECM. In which case, 93-99 engines are all exactly the same. You ditch the MAF on 96+ engines and run speed density.

lry99eldo
11-30-05, 07:17 PM
Hmmmm, sounds interesting and fun. But..............! Hope you know what you're getting into money wise as well as engineering. As you go along, be sure to keep us informed.
If you are going to all that trouble you might want to get with Banks Engineering, they have done a gazillion turbo jobs and are one of the best. I'm sure that as exotic as the N* is and it's great potential for hot rodding, if you have the dollars, that there are some good sources. Including this site.
Good luck and have fun!
lry99eldo

GreenMachine
11-30-05, 07:50 PM
heres a great site with information on the Northstar and a website that actuallly turns them into hot-rods engines attached to camaro and modifed s-10 pickup trannys.

Links: www.caddyinfo.com and http://www.chrfab.com (stands for cadillac hot rod fabricators)

john magne
12-01-05, 04:22 AM
the newer engine then 99 then? no good? only 93-99 who is good? all 4,6 litre?
i find the web site www.chrfab.com (http://www.chrfab.com) and they selling the 05engine whith an forged crank. i can save some money if i can use a older engine,but then i maybe need to buy a billet or forged crank also. they also recomanded me to use a sleeved block if im looking for over 800hp. im going to use DTA fuel injection,so sensors etc is no issue. probably want to make my own inlet also. i have build some smaler turbo engines,so making exhaust manifold,inlet manifold etc is no problem. just looking for some opinions about this engine before i buy something to start whith. it cost a lot of money,so i dont want to find out that i have buyed an wrong year engine after i have start building..
anyone who know about company who is selling crate engines/engines from salvage cars?

Thanks!

eldorado1
12-01-05, 10:43 AM
The 2000 and newer engines use a "coil on plug" arrangement instead of the typical ignition module with 4 coils. This means only certain ECMs can work. The only one I know of costs $3000.

The 99 and earlier engines use that distributorless ignition with 4 coils, and it basically functions just like a distributor, which means many ECMs work with it.

I don't think you'll need a forged crank, I've never heard of anybody having any problems with them, even at 800+hp levels. If I'm not mistaken, they may ALREADY be forged from the factory... might be wrong though, I don't remember.

john magne
12-01-05, 11:50 AM
The guys from chrfab.com told me that the 2005engine they where selling had forged crank,if im not wrong they ment that some older ones did not have forged crank,but im then interested in knowing wich one who have the forged crank. do you think i need a sleeved block?
is there any problem using normal plugs and cables on the neewer engines? i think i can just trow away the coil-on-plug thing and use normal waste-spark ignition..
do you know about any other company dealing with this engines/parts?
any good place to look for an engine?
i want to test this engines and maybe use them in some of my cars. i want more then the litle 2litre turbo,and i dont want those old V8 engines.. so i think this northstar engine must be a good choise. ?

eldorado1
12-01-05, 12:26 PM
The guys from chrfab.com told me that the 2005engine they where selling had forged crank,if im not wrong they ment that some older ones did not have forged crank,but im then interested in knowing wich one who have the forged crank. do you think i need a sleeved block?
is there any problem using normal plugs and cables on the neewer engines? i think i can just trow away the coil-on-plug thing and use normal waste-spark ignition..
do you know about any other company dealing with this engines/parts?
any good place to look for an engine?
i want to test this engines and maybe use them in some of my cars. i want more then the litle 2litre turbo,and i dont want those old V8 engines.. so i think this northstar engine must be a good choise. ?

You need to spit out some details on your project. What are you looking for exactly? I think one of the best features of the northstar is it's high reving design. If I were building it, I would want an 8500rpm redline, which requires cams to facilitate the breathing, new rods, and new valvesprings.

The problem with the 2000+ engines, is they use a different crank position sensor angle than the earlier engines, so you can't just swap the DIS module onto it. It won't work. So you'd have to fab something up like a crank reluctor bolted to the harmonic balancer or something... lots of work.

You said you're going boost. How much? FWIW, the stock engine can handle 7psi pretty well. That's about 500hp. Any more and you need custom internals.

I really don't think you need a sleeved block, but again, I don't know what kind of numbers you want. maybe 500hp is enough? maybe you want 1000?

Can't help you on sourcing an engine, I bought mine off ebay...

john magne
12-01-05, 02:17 PM
ok. i agree about the high reving,about 8000-8500rpm would be perfect! i own a tuning shop here in norway,so i can get custom made rods and pistons to wery nice prices.
im looking for about 800-1000hp in this engine. so if you have a list of things you mean i have to change it whould be nice!! wery often we use the original NA cams when we boost and they work wery well in many other engines,and we have pulled out over 450hp out of an opel 2litre engine on stock NA cams. do you think i can manage 800-1000hp on stock cams here?
seems like its best to look for a older then 99 engine then. probably much cheaper also.

thanks for all the good help so far!

eldorado1
12-01-05, 03:05 PM
You can do anything with enough boost... :halo:

I just mentioned the cams for NA projects... I don't think you'll have breathing problems when you're forcing it in.

800-1000 may require a sleeved block. my experience is nil in high HP northstars. I would go with whatever CHRFab recommends, they have plenty of experience there.

List of things to make boosted hp and 8500rpm reliably:

93-94 magnesium intake
Rods
Forged pistons
stiffer valve springs (only chrfab sells them)
time sert head bolt holes

john magne
12-01-05, 03:29 PM
i just recive an email from chrfab and they take about 11000usdfor a complete sleeved block with h-beam rods,low compression pistons,ported and reddy assembbled heads. i think this was a ok price. then i probably have an engine for over 1000hp i think. but its much money in one time,so i have to see.

caddydaddy
12-01-05, 03:40 PM
I don't think you'll need a forged crank, I've never heard of anybody having any problems with them, even at 800+hp levels. If I'm not mistaken, they may ALREADY be forged from the factory... might be wrong though, I don't remember.

I don't think the Northstars got forged cranks until 2002 or 2003.

1998Deville
12-02-05, 08:47 AM
:confused: Just a question... why a northstar? There are plenty of other engines of various makes that have already been time and time again proven to handle 800+ HP, look at the tried and true GM 454 or Ford 351 or even a GM 350. Why not use an LS7 or LS6? Just my 2 cents but 11,000 just for the engine without the extras seems a little rediculous??? You still need all the electronics, etc? I'm all for seeing you do this and would love it if you keep all of us informed but I was just curious???

eldorado1
12-02-05, 11:31 AM
I'm going to guess because it's a light high revver like his 2.0

the northstar weighs as much as some V6's. 11k is a bit on the spendy side, but you have to remember most of that is labor. DIY and you can get that cost down to around 3000, which is pretty good considering what you get.

john magne
12-02-05, 02:04 PM
the reason why i want to use a northstar engine is because its light(compare to other v8),high reving,32v(dont want any old 2v/syl in my car). and there is probably some other V8 also who fit this description,but for me its important to use the same brand of engine. my car is an opel,and that is GM. the northstar engine have also been used in the opel astra DTM car and the opel opc X-treme concept car.
i dont think i will spend 11k on only the engine whithout the injection,turboes etc. so im probably going to buy me a used engine and change pistong and rods. maybe change the retainers and port the heads also. i will probably not get 1000hp,but at least the half i think. probably more.
then everyone is agree that i can use anything newer then 93? i find some 99mod in sweeden,this is not so far from me,so i can pick up myselvves.

GreenMachine
12-02-05, 03:54 PM
the new crate engines available form GM are the northstars in the XLR and SRX, thats ideal if you looking for a RWD engine as the older northstars are front wheel drive, they can be switched around for RWD though. When I'm older I'd liked to take a nice old cadillac that had the 16 cylinder engines and hot rod it out with one of these northstars, Thats a long way off and more a dream than anything and its hard to find them unless they are show cars, and to chop a show car is a sack religous act :P Kind of an "old meets new" idea.

LINK: http://www.gmgoodwrench.com/perfpartsjsp/partlist.jsp?cat=9274&section=ce#12499468

john magne
12-02-05, 04:56 PM
there is no problem using the old engine for RWD,and sinse i am changing all the parts inside i think its wasted money to strip a new engine and change all the parts. if its only the forged crang who is the better in the newer engine i think its better to spend 2-3k on a used engine and spend 2200usd on a billet crank from chrfab insted of spending 4500usd on a new crate with only a forged crank.
the car im thinking about using this engine in is a 70 manta a and an 97 omega b. its probably the omega who will get the first engine,and then if its successfull i will build another one for my manta. so the first engine is not going to have so much power sinse the omega is my daily drive.

eldorado1
12-02-05, 05:46 PM
Speaking of which, you *may* want to consider waiting a little while for the new northstars coming out...

4.4L 32V supercharged V8, piston oilers, fortified bottom end, M122 supercharger with integrated intercooler, 440hp stock, with a LOT more potential. Imagine just changing the pulley diameter, and having 500+hp! Reliably too!!

:shocked:


awww yeah. http://popularhotrodding.com/enginemasters/articles/cadillac/0504em_cady/

you may be able to order the engines now, I don't know.

davesdeville
12-06-05, 03:44 AM
Don't northstars have forged rods from the factory in the first place?

For 800hp, I'd start with H beam forged rods, the Arias pistons CHRfab sells, cams and springs, then boost the hell out of it.

john magne
12-06-05, 03:18 PM
ok. i was thinking about the same. i know about one 99 engine,so i was thinking about buying other pistons and h-beam rods for it,and maybe try the original cams in the start.

dkozloski
12-06-05, 03:56 PM
There are no significant improvements to be made. i.e. "cherries picked" in the bottom end of a North*. The engine incorporates hi-tech in materials, design, and manufacture already. The forged crank and powder forged rods with cracked caps are about as good as stuff gets. The bearings look ordinary but are exotic in design if closely examined. The best thing you could do is not mess with it.

eldorado1
12-06-05, 06:12 PM
The forged crank and powder forged rods with cracked caps are about as good as stuff gets.

The problem isn't in the rods themselves, but in their bolts. I don't remember if it was the bolts failing, or the threads being pulled out (like the headbolts)...

dkozloski
12-07-05, 11:02 AM
I have never heard of a rod or rod bolt failure in a North*. I have limited knowledge, however. Can anybody else relate anything other than a rumor? These engines will run all day long at 10,000 RPM as they are.

eldorado1
12-07-05, 11:15 AM
10krpm huh? Swap out your valve springs so you don't get valve float, and lets find out.

I don't recall who I got that information from, it was either Alan Johnson or "rob". (i.e. a reliable source)

dkozloski
12-07-05, 11:49 AM
The IRL engines were limited to 10K by a rev limiter per the rules. According to our old engineer friend, the only people that had trouble were those that deviated from factory specs hoping to get more performance. The bottom ends were pretty much stock.

eldorado1
12-07-05, 12:20 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the IRL engine was a 4.0 engine with a shorter stroke than the production 4.0 aurora engines.

Not exactly comparing apples to apples, it would have less reciprocating mass and lower piston velocities with the shorter stroke.

caddydaddy
12-07-05, 12:41 PM
I have never heard of a rod or rod bolt failure in a North*. I have limited knowledge, however. Can anybody else relate anything other than a rumor? These engines will run all day long at 10,000 RPM as they are.

I have heard of someone throwing a rod on a Northstar powered mid-90's Eldorado on this board. But that was the only instance of me hearing of it!

eldorado1
12-07-05, 04:14 PM
I had a 2000 that did the same thing. Fractured piston, bent rod, and hole in the block were the result.