: How deep do you go into motors and repairs



Greer/Dallas
12-08-06, 05:00 PM
I've been doing all my overhauls and repairs since I've been able to use a pair of pliers. I'am starting to go through my 4.6 liter northstar engine, code 9 and not Y in my 93' Elderado and would like to be able get some inside help on tips to beef it up while it's apart and, where to buy either OEM parts or quality reman parts. Never been through a northstar but I don't think it will be too difficult. Thanks for any help here.

codewize
12-08-06, 05:07 PM
Well so far there is only one place that I know of that ever attempted a N* rebuild other than GM, So having said that there are absolutely NO performance upgrades for these engines. Unless you have very very deep pockets.

The N* is a disposable engine. When it need rebuilding it's time to buy a new or reman one. Reman N*'s are NOT easy to find at all and they're not cheep. The Cylinder honing alone has never been duplicated, yes it's that complex.

Greer/Dallas
12-08-06, 05:27 PM
This is what I was afraid of,I tried about 2 yrs. ago and got the same response. I think it has a bad crank and, Caddy told me the 93' crank is different then the 94' and later. My luck, they don't stock any cranks that old and when they did they were $1,200.00 bucks. I found a link through this website from GM that offers parts and long blocks but like you said, a long block was about $8,000.00. So it looks like I'll be putting a micrometer on every piece in it and replacing them only if necessary. I hate sound to skeptical but I just want to make sure I get exactly what is in the engine now and, not later model parts that will interchange with different specs. Man this car ran like no other I've ever had, and have been told 93's were the last yr. before they started tuning them down. Thanks for your input.

Ranger
12-08-06, 06:13 PM
For OEM parts try http://www.gmotors.com

zonie77
12-08-06, 06:47 PM
Theoretically the N* is just as rebuildable as any other engine. The fact that there is very little parts supply (beside GM) is the reason they are not easily rebuildable.

They are no harder to work on than any other OHC engine.

Too bad the crank is bad. In your case it is a throwaway engine (I hate to use that term on all of them).

codewize
12-08-06, 07:04 PM
Yes parts are available. Just no hot-rod or 'upgrade' parts. As I mentioned previously the key reason why people don't attempt to rebuild them is because they can't duplicate the cross-thatching in the honing pattern.

Brasington Cadillac is great for parts, that would be the above www.gmotors.com

dp102288
12-08-06, 09:27 PM
the key reason why people don't attempt to rebuild them is because they can't duplicate the cross-thatching in the honing pattern.

Damn that sucks. Such a good engine that can't be revived. :(

Greer/Dallas
12-08-06, 10:43 PM
I sure appreciate the input guys, I just hate what I'm hearing even though I already had the gut feeling about this. I saw the website and am going to give them a try. I will keep you guys informed on my progress. Cross my fingers that the crank is not tore up. I rebuild industrial ammonia compressors for a living and sometimes we have our crankshafts turned down ".015" & ".030" and use oversize bearings. have you guys ever heard of GM offering oversized bearings with these engines.

Ranger
12-08-06, 11:03 PM
Why do you think you need to "rebuild" it. Usually the only reason that anyone opens one up is for head gaskets. Lower end is pretty strong and seems to last forever. If the head gaskets where as strong, the damned thing would be indestructable.

Greer/Dallas
12-09-06, 03:28 AM
Well I let my 19 yr. old drive the car and he drove it like it was a race car. I gave him the car when it had 210k miles, and it has roughly 238k miles on it now, and it has a steady knock. But the knock sounds more like it is coming from the top and not the bottom and, it is a knock and not a tap. truthfully though I haven't pulled the oil pan yet, just going by past experiences with my other cars and trucks. Just trying to get as much info. together as I can so when I do go into it and whatever I find, hopefully you guys will have provided me with enough help and direction I will be able get what I need and be back on the road in style again in a reasonable amount of time.

dp102288
12-09-06, 08:35 AM
I say pull some codesz and try to do a diagnostics first. I am not saying opening the Northstar is bad, but maybe it is something that could otherwise be fixed.

For example, you sound like you know motors, but knocking to me could mean 100 different things. See if you can pull the computer trouble codes (if any). But try even if the SES light isn't on.




Edit: after re-reading I guess the engine is already somewhat opened...

codewize
12-09-06, 08:48 AM
It is a race car :suspense: I mean ummmm what a shame.

At that mileage you can't do that to vehicles. Make him pay for the repairs.

Could it be something silly like a steering pump or something. I had an AC compressor sound like a rod knock once. Scared the crap out of me.

billytheshoe
12-09-06, 10:58 AM
I am new here, These are not race cars. They are Hi po luxo criusers. If you push em too hard they will break. For some reason the G.M. vehicles in the 90's and 2000's had piston knock problems. I know why. They f/u-up on quality control. This is true. I am qualified to make this jugement, I work on a fleet of p/u'S for a large municipal. These vehicles get maintenece every 2000mi. GM give us the runnaround on oil consumption.

Greer/Dallas
12-09-06, 01:00 PM
This sounds just like what Caddy told me. I had an 01' white diamond Eldo that burned 1 qt. per 1k miles. Caddy told me that was an acceptable amount of oil consumption according to some autmotive industry standard code. I told them they could buy the oil then and I would be happy. The service manager told me to call Ford and Dodge that all dealers had the same standards. They eventually caved in and replaced the piston rings but the car was just a lemon, period. But I will give the codes thing a run through, check the A/C also and the pistons too. Sounds better and better all the time, keep the good info. coming guys and maybe I can get this narrowed to something simple.

eldorado1
12-09-06, 02:05 PM
*sigh*

There's a lot of misinformation in this thread. Let me go over it piece by piece....

eldorado1
12-09-06, 02:12 PM
So having said that there are absolutely NO performance upgrades for these engines. Unless you have very very deep pockets.

The N* is a disposable engine. When it need rebuilding it's time to buy a new or reman one. Reman N*'s are NOT easy to find at all and they're not cheep. The Cylinder honing alone has never been duplicated, yes it's that complex.


?

"absolutely NO performance upgrades"? Eagle Rods, pistons, aftermarket regrind cams, blower manifolds that bolt on, performance torque converters, exhaust, intake, etc etc??? Enough to make a 500hp 9000rpm naturally aspirated, or 2000hp FI motor.... If those aren't performance upgrades, I don't know what is.

The northstar is NOT a disposable engine. People just think it is because they're afraid of it. The 4.9L - now THAT's a disposable engine. The northstar can be rebuilt just like a 350 can. It just takes a few extra tools (timeserts, etc). Granted, you won't be able to duplicate the factory surface finish on the bores without special equipment. That doesn't mean you can't rebuild it. In fact odds are you don't need to hone the cylinders.


I think it has a bad crank and, Caddy told me the 93' crank is different then the 94' and later. My luck, they don't stock any cranks that old and when they did they were $1,200.00 bucks.

Don't replace any parts that don't need replacing. Unless a piston ate it, and gouged the heck out of your crank, it's probably fine. If it's not, you can pick up one from a junkyard for about $50. Cranks don't "just go bad", and they should last forever, so a junkyard crank is an option here, and likely won't need any work to plug it in. However I think they do have a few different undersized bearings if necessary...


Yes parts are available. Just no hot-rod or 'upgrade' parts. As I mentioned previously the key reason why people don't attempt to rebuild them is because they can't duplicate the cross-thatching in the honing pattern.

See above. I know of 2 people rebuilding northstars for performance applications (right now), and they are getting them honed and using a profilometer (? or something fancy like that) to get it right. These guys know their stuff. Granted, it took some shopping around to find a shop willing to "get it right". As you should - if you drop your engine off at Ma and Pa's Speciality Ingin Shop, you should be prepared for bad results..... whether you drop off a northstar or a small block chevy.


I rebuild industrial ammonia compressors for a living and sometimes we have our crankshafts turned down ".015" & ".030" and use oversize bearings. have you guys ever heard of GM offering oversized bearings with these engines.

Yes, they exist. I'm not sure if they come from GM or an aftermarket co, but if you want me to try to dig up their name, let me know.


Well I let my 19 yr. old drive the car and he drove it like it was a race car. I gave him the car when it had 210k miles, and it has roughly 238k miles on it now, and it has a steady knock. But the knock sounds more like it is coming from the top and not the bottom and, it is a knock and not a tap. truthfully though I haven't pulled the oil pan yet, just going by past experiences with my other cars and trucks. Just trying to get as much info. together as I can so when I do go into it and whatever I find, hopefully you guys will have provided me with enough help and direction I will be able get what I need and be back on the road in style again in a reasonable amount of time.

Northstars have problems with rods.... Specifically threads pulling and reducing the clamping action. Doesn't happen often, but with over 200k on a 93(?) it wouldn't surprise me. There are ARP or Eagle rods on ebay for the northstar for about $400. Dirt cheap, and insurance that it'll last forever.


I am new here, These are not race cars. They are Hi po luxo criusers. If you push em too hard they will break. For some reason the G.M. vehicles in the 90's and 2000's had piston knock problems. I know why. They f/u-up on quality control. This is true. I am qualified to make this jugement, I work on a fleet of p/u'S for a large municipal. These vehicles get maintenece every 2000mi. GM give us the runnaround on oil consumption.
:lies:

Call yours what you want, but mine is a race car. Northstars have a problem with knocking when you don't race them. (carbon buildup) 1qt/3000 miles is normal for oil consumption on these engines. Why? Because the rings are low tension (so they last forever). The side effect of this is they burn a little more oil than "normal". But hey, you can replace the rings with high tension ones that will cut the oil consumption to nothing....... Your engine won't last as long though. I'll stick with the rings its got. Additionally, variations in production can push that number to 1qt/1000-1500miles.... If you don't drive it hard, expect numbers closer to those.

Greer/Dallas
12-09-06, 04:01 PM
Eldorado1 I appreciate you taking the time to break it down so intensely. Rest assured I will talking with you more, you sound as if you are as big a perfectionist as I am and expect just that when you work for it. Yes if you have time to find these gentlemens contact info. I sure would appreciate it. And as soon as I get this thing broke down and mic'ed I'll be asking all that have helped me for info. And as soon as I get this thing running and get to the support lvl. I'll be sending some pics.

Ranger
12-09-06, 04:54 PM
I am new here, These are not race cars. They are Hi po luxo criusers. If you push em too hard they will break. For some reason the G.M. vehicles in the 90's and 2000's had piston knock problems. I know why. They f/u-up on quality control. This is true. I am qualified to make this jugement, I work on a fleet of p/u'S for a large municipal. These vehicles get maintenece every 2000mi. GM give us the runnaround on oil consumption.
Go to the top left of this page. Click on Technical Archives and read up on OIL CONSUMPTION as well as FULL THROTTLE ACCELERATION.

Greer/Dallas
12-09-06, 06:08 PM
This is a great archive. This is exactly what I was told by Caddy, except the part about driving them hard. And to think all these yrs. I thought Caddy's were for old folks. No wonder why when I went over there, there were alot of old folks complaining, ha ha they drive them to slow and easy. But truthfully when I bought my 01' with the unquenchable thirst for crude, it had been traded in by a woman that was in her late 60's and it only had 15k miles on it. So keep searching long enough and you may just find the answers, might not be what you wanna find but always useful.

codewize
12-09-06, 06:41 PM
I was totally unaware that anyone made rod, pistons or cams or anything else for the N*. Exhaust doesn't count as an engine upgrade.

Why is it when people ask they always get told there's nothing to do just enjoy the car?

I've seen 50 people ask for upgrade paths and no one to date has spoken of any that I've seen with the exception of mentioning CHRF (http://www.chrfab.com/) and even they manufacture all their own parts. This is the only company I know of that's ever acknowledged that they'll rebuild an N*

I still think that rebuilding an N* is a long hard job. Not to mention as soon as you do that you'll tear the crap out of the trans.

eldorado1
12-09-06, 07:08 PM
No wonder why when I went over there, there were alot of old folks complaining, ha ha they drive them to slow and easy.

Yep, and actually a lot of engines were replaced in the early/mid 90's... They were all knocking, so they got replaced under warranty. Later cadillac found out that it was carbon causing the knocking, and the "old people" driving style.

I'm somewhat surprised that didn't kill the northstar right then and there.

eldorado1
12-09-06, 07:16 PM
Why is it when people ask they always get told there's nothing to do just enjoy the car?

...
I still think that rebuilding an N* is a long hard job. Not to mention as soon as you do that you'll tear the crap out of the trans.


Because there is no "easy" horsepower for this engine. People want 50hp bolt ons that take an hour to do. So they end up buying the exhaust and intake, etc and call it good. Nobody wants to spend 48 hours tearing up the engine to install new cams and an air/fuel controller and worse - "tune" it...

And one of the best performance items is a higher stall torque converter.... but that requires engine removal!

Rebuilding any engine is a long hard job. Not particularly fun, for sure... And usually requiring a blood sacrifice and a tetinus shot.

codewize
12-09-06, 08:25 PM
LOL ok I see. I agree though, a lot of work would go into gaining 50 or so HP, other than bolt-ons as you said.

I'm really considering a hi-stall converter solely because of the Volant and I know the torque change is going to get even worse with the Corsa on it. Has anyone doe a hi-stall converter on a Deville? What did they use and what was the result?

Anyway I truly apologise for misspeaking. I guess I was answering a question off the cuff without considering what you really wanted.

dp102288
12-09-06, 10:31 PM
Rebuilding any engine is a long hard job.



Exactly what I was going to say.

codewize
12-10-06, 11:39 AM
Fine fine I'll just stay out of this and go home :hide:

Rebuilding a small block 350 is not a long hard job at all. :) But those days are long gone.

dp102288
12-10-06, 10:02 PM
^^ I just mean for most people it would probably be hard.

Maybe for some a Northstar rebuild would be like changing their oil. Who knows?