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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Upgrade in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Hello, I have a '97 Eldorado with the northstar engine. I'm going to be pulling the engine to do a ...
  1. #1
    barrymarovitz's Avatar
    barrymarovitz is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1997 eldorado etc, N*,4.6L,300hp@6000rpm,50,000miles
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    Upgrade

    Hello,

    I have a '97 Eldorado with the northstar engine. I'm going to be pulling the engine to do a head gasket repair, and was wanting to know if their are any upgrades for it??(new heads,cams,injectors,etc)

    I figure since its out and i don't ever want to have to take it out again i should beef up or fix any weak parts. Try and make it faster or have better mpg's.

    any ideas?



    Thank you

    P.S. any other upgrade ideas would help to shocks,brakes,etc.

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  3. #2
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Upgrade

    The Northstar is as tricked out as it's gonna get - no aftermarket goodies. You can't make it faster or change the fuel mileage. Have a local GOOD exhaust shop mandrel bend up a new cat-back s/s system - 3" through a resonator back to a 2 1/2" smooth Y, then decent s/s mufflers and tips. www.corsaperformance does not make a system for your car, but they sell individual parts and take a look at their work, anyway. Don't get tricked into some so-called CAI with a cutesy filter - the system already in the car flows more air than the engine can use now. Keep clean panel filters in it. Use a WIX or NAPA Gold or Purolator oil filter. Study up on oils and consider the use of a 10W-30 Fleet or Marine HD oil.

    OEM struts and shocks are just fine, not cheap, and will preserve the Road Sensing suspension features.

    For bling, go to a set of EBC Brakes Black Dash rotors and Redstuff pads - dead quiet and no dust. About $490 from www.perfectbrakes.com. Look at the driver's door sticker for the tire size and speed rating, go to www.tirerack.com and look at all-season unidirectional tires in your original size so you don't screw up the engine/transmission/speedometer controls.

    I hope you're using Norm's Inserts or Jake's studs in this engine job........otherwise you'll be very sorry.

  4. #3
    barrymarovitz's Avatar
    barrymarovitz is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Upgrade

    OK thanks, but I'm a little slow, what is a panel filter? And why would i use a marine hd oil in a car? I will get the studs that everybody on here says to use, and like u said. Also one more thing do they sell a kit with all the gaskets and what not for the engine like if i was rebuilding it(which I'm almost doing).plus i was thinking of going with maybe some 20 inch rims not to much don't want to have to change anything or mess anything up.

    Thanks

  5. #4
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Upgrade

    Air filter.

    Fleet and Marine spec oils carry a greater anti-scuff and additive package than standard "starburst" EPA approved oils. Your engine uses flat tappet cam followers (lifters) as opposed to the newer roller followers, so anything you can do to lengthen cam and lifter life is a plus.

    Log into www.bobistheoilguy.com and do some studying. Read the entire Cadillac Technical Archive up in the black bar ^^^.

  6. #5
    tateos's Avatar
    tateos is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Upgrade

    For gaskets, I recommend the FelPro "cylinder head" set, which is for the top end. If you are doing rear main seal/half case seal/front seal/oil pan gasket, also get the "conversion set", which is all the rest of the gaskets and seals. The two combined sets are very,very extensive - you will get more things than you will even use, and will want for none.

  7. #6
    barrymarovitz's Avatar
    barrymarovitz is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Upgrade

    So is the general thought around that its best to keep caddy's stock? Or just the older ones, I see a lot of custom stuff for the new ones. Because i want to keep it kinda low profile but also one of a kind to. So I'm just getting input, and looking around the INTERNET for inspiration.

  8. #7
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Upgrade

    Your engine is a 97 Northstar, which bears very little resemblance to a 2000-2004, and neither group is anything close to the 2004+ (especially the RWD engines), so a goodie for a 2005 WILL NOT fit a 1997 much less a 2000-4.

    About the best bet for your engine would be a decent cat-back exhaust (there's nothing in the way of headers or head pipes to be had) and take a look at http://westers_garage.eidnet.org/news.htm for maybe a small PCM tune that might give you 2 - 3 hp.

    The general thought is NOT to keep Cadillacs stock: There's just nothing out there for the FWD transverse Northstar. We're all screwed. That's why all us FWD Northstar owners are constantly in here, trying and passing on tweaks - anything for another HP, and it ain't easy to come by because there's NO aftermarket support.

    BTW, which engine is in your car - the VIN 9 300hp 3.71 drive, or the VIN Y 275hp 3.11 package ? Update your profile with your car, model and year. Use the User CP up in the blue bar ^^^ because it makes answers easier, and it all makes a big difference in the advice you get.

  9. #8
    barrymarovitz's Avatar
    barrymarovitz is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Upgrade

    ^^^^^^^^^
    l o o k

  10. #9
    cadi509's Avatar
    cadi509 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Upgrade

    Sub is that your red sts with corsa if so DROOL I want I want

  11. #10
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Upgrade

    That's the Red Rocket................

  12. #11
    cadi509's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade

    Hell ya so what all do you have for upgrades, I just put in new ac delco plugs and wires, and a k&n air filter (drop in) in mine, its not a huge difference but I can tell I got a little more power

  13. #12
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Upgrade

    #1: Forget the fairy tale of an aftermarket CAI. The OEM flows more air than the engine can handle as-is, and is already a true CAI which gives you significantly lower intake temps as measured by two different gauge systems: mine and the car's IAT sensor.

    For those with the air intake layout as shown, carefully remove the entire system: flex ducting, resonator, MAF, connector, and airbox. (Careful - those 2 spring clips on the filter case will fall off and head down into the fenderwell.) Remove the entire left hand headlight assembly. Remove the lower engine/radiator splash shield (13 plastic pop rivets - pull out the center pin, out comes the rivet) and drop the lower airbox U-tube assembly and just plain remove the U-tube. (If you feel industrious, you can fabricate a spigot on the lower airbox and run a 3 or 4 inch flex duct over to behind the lower grille area) Install the lower airbox and splash shield. Now take a look at the airbox itself and the irregular shaped hole in the inner fender sheet metal: You want to Dremel out a hole in the side of the airbox (before the filter !) which roughly matches the fender hole. Now you make a soft foam gasket to seal the airbox and fender hole passage from engine compartment air. Put the whole thing back together, using a WIX panel air filter, (if the K&N is an oiled filter, junk it; these MAF's HATE oil vapor) and delete the resonator by plugging the hole with a rattlecan top with the skirt properly trimmed so as not to intrude in the airflow. Watch the locator tabs on the MAF air duct connectors: they give the correct orientation for the inner airfoil flow director. DO NOT mess with the MAF "screen": that's actually a 3/16" deep honeycomb airflow straightener - just like in a wind tunnel. What you have done is to essentially double the area of the airbox inlet.

    While you have it all apart, do a complete throttlebody cleaning.

    You might have just picked up a couple of hp at redline and now, during a WOT, the engine sounds like a giant vacuum cleaner, quiet otherwise

    For those with a 99 Seville or later - CORSA. Dyno'd for about 20 hp at WOT redline, and it's not just the mufflers: it's the layout of the whole system.

    There ain't much else, and the beauty of it all is that the car still runs like a striped ape on 87 octane. Don't forget that there is NO fluid on that transmission dipstick with the engine OFF. Check it only with the engine running warm, in P. (The spring clamp is on the airbox/PCM cover corner because I was seating a new foam gasket........)

  14. #13
    99Classillac's Avatar
    99Classillac is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Upgrade

    Hey Sub, you're all over the forums! After I get my DTS running right again(may take it to dealer...) I want to do the airbox and Corsa thing you have. I live in MD, what shop did you use to bend up your pipes? How much did they run? How much was the Corsa muffler and tips? Also, can I use a hi flow cat? Or should I stick with stock cat? Thinking stock, less problems I guess. I can use extra HP at high rpm's. I'm always up there.

  15. #14
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Upgrade

    I'm an engine builder as well as a past car and motorcycle racer, so that's where I usually haunt. Grew up in Chevy Chase, one block N of the circle off Connecticut Ave.

    The stock cat is already a honeycomb substrate high flow unit.

    The exhaust system is a complete stainless steel cat-back made by www.corsaperformance.com. Surf to your car, take a look-see, and download the install manual. A 30 minute install by a good shop or a couple of hours on your garage floor with the car up on jackstands (use the shop). The system is guaranteed for life, and includes all clamps, O2 sensor bung already welded in, and anti-seize for the s/s clamp bolts. You need to save your original system hanger cookies.

    Shop for CORSA at www.autopartswarehouse.com, your car, parts, left column, engine/drivetrain, "see more", exhaust systems. CORSA p/n 14151, $1185 shipped.

  16. #15
    ejguillot's Avatar
    ejguillot is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Upgrade

    To the original poster:

    Look at the Performance Parts Mega-Post link in the Seville/Eldo section. Notice item #2 on the list? That's the one real upgrade to your Eldo, and Yank Converters still makes it for $495 + shipping. 3000RPM stall, so your Eldo should launch real nice. I ordered this myself since I have my engine out for headgasket repair (used the stud kit). I'll know in about a week how much of a difference it makes.

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