the Northstar and cams???
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, the Northstar and cams??? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; so far im loving my 99 STS. w/ corsa exhaust and a 2.5inch hi flow magnaflow cat welded on, you ...
  1. #1
    1fastSTS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    the Northstar and cams???

    so far im loving my 99 STS. w/ corsa exhaust and a 2.5inch hi flow magnaflow cat welded on, you can really feel the power gains and the loping of the stock cams.

    i feel the potential of this motor. drives like a 3400lbs car rather than a 4000lb car.

    my ques is. has anyone ever installed custom grind cams for this Northstar motor....im just learning this motor so im sure of the degree of aggressiveness the stock tranny can take..how much lift is just a tad more over what the car makes stock? would 525lift be good?
    are there also a set of stronger timing chains when installing the cams..i know the stock chains r never good for a more aggressive cam, they tend to stretch.

    also, obviously cams would and might set a SES code...this prob cant be done since theres really no tuning available for this motor then right?

    id love to see myself make this happen, to hear the beautiful heavy loping once u start the car up would be unreal i bet, along with the power gains.

    any detailed info would be great.
    thanks.

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    davesdeville's Avatar
    davesdeville is offline Banned
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    Re: the Northstar and cams???

    CHRFab sells cams, I'm sure someone's installed them... The prices aren't too bad.

    I just wonder how bad they affect fuel economy. My Eldo is my daily driver so I plan to pull the engine, timesert it, install a Getrag/Muncie 282 5 speed, and run a 125-150 shot of nitrous, the 5spd will help mileage and the nitrous won't hurt it. I'll do cams too if they're not too bad in the mileage dept, cause 525hp and mid 12s sound good to me.

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    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: the Northstar and cams???

    I don't think you have to worry about the timing chains... they're pretty rugged compared to say, the timing belts on the 3.4dohc.

    Quote Originally Posted by davesdeville
    CHRFab sells cams, I'm sure someone's installed them... The prices aren't too bad.

    I just wonder how bad they affect fuel economy. My Eldo is my daily driver so I plan to pull the engine, timesert it, install a Getrag/Muncie 282 5 speed, and run a 125-150 shot of nitrous, the 5spd will help mileage and the nitrous won't hurt it. I'll do cams too if they're not too bad in the mileage dept, cause 525hp and mid 12s sound good to me.
    Hope you're planning on rebuilding that Getrag with some custom HD parts.. Heavy car + torque = hardcore tranny explosion.

    You also might want to consider the 284, since you'll have to wrap the shift cables for the 282 around the engine for it to work... 284 is also stronger, but more rare and more expensive... I still think you'd blow a beefed up 284. Good luck.

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    caddydaddy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: the Northstar and cams???

    How do you plan on getting a manual transmission and aftermarket cams to work with the Northstar computer?

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    Re: the Northstar and cams???

    On top of the trans durability issue, I think even with Time-serts, 125-150 shot of nitrous will be more than a stock Northstar will take for very long. I also feel your expected ET's are way off with the limited mods you mentioned. First of all, to get anywhere near those numbers, you'll need WAY better traction than is capable with anything close to street tires, and "if" you do manage to increase the traction to the level needed, the increased torque would surely destroy the OE axles in short order.
    Getting back to the cam issue, don't forget that a more agressive grind (one that will produce the loping idle you seem to want) will also mean a loss of your bottom end power, decrease gas mileage and increase emissions making it harder to go through inspection.

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    1fastSTS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: the Northstar and cams???

    gas mileage im not concerned about.
    loss of bottom end power can be fixed with the proper cam. a special grind that will keep the powerband steady. i need a good cam with proper lift/ duration etc...
    ill give those cadillac fabricators a call also.
    i dont plan on going too aggressive. i want something the stock valve springs, chain etc can handle with no problem. something mild would be nice, but it would just be the perfect thing where the lope would sound sweet, and the lag from 30mph or 40 would be cleaned right up.

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    davesdeville's Avatar
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    Re: the Northstar and cams???

    I'd prefer a 284 if I can find one (and I will go out of my way to find one since the 282 is only rated for something around 200ft.lbs), it will be rebuilt as best as I can.. It's about the only FWD manual that I can use, and a RWD conversion would take it off the road too long. As long as I'm gentle the tranny will live. I doubt I'll do the cams. The nitrous would only be used maybe 2-3x a month, I don't think I'll see a problem, 125 isn't a huge shot for a 4.6L in fact I Iceheart/shadowwhatever did it in his eldo and it lived until it wrecked. As for the computer, it's a 95 OBD1 so I'll see what I can do with that. My ET estimate was just some calculator I plugged #s into, nothing to take seriously. I might realistically get close to flat 13s. It would probably cost $1300-1500, and if I can put the same amount of money into my 75 and get the same times I might do that instead. I'll shut up now because this thread is on cams not my crazy ideas.

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    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: the Northstar and cams???

    Quote Originally Posted by 1fastSTS
    gas mileage im not concerned about.
    loss of bottom end power can be fixed with the proper cam. a special grind that will keep the powerband steady. i need a good cam with proper lift/ duration etc...
    ill give those cadillac fabricators a call also.
    i dont plan on going too aggressive. i want something the stock valve springs, chain etc can handle with no problem. something mild would be nice, but it would just be the perfect thing where the lope would sound sweet, and the lag from 30mph or 40 would be cleaned right up.
    I don't think so - any gain you get in the bottom end torque will reduce your upper end horsepower/torque. Right now the northstar is a revver - look at the peak torque at around 4400rpm. If you want more bottom end torque, you'll shift the curve to the left, and you'll have 350 lbft and 250hp..... Not much different from a 350.

    You're also going to have to figure out what to do about your computer, which even after a mild cam change, will probably need rework. Ah who am I kidding? "probably"... You will.

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    1fastSTS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: the Northstar and cams???

    hmm. well i was checking around that cadillac fabricators site earlier. they sell mild to aggressive cams, and its stated even thier mild cams put out 75HP. well ill take it lightly b.c you dont know until you go to the dyno. but its something to think about.

    my biggest concern would def. be the computer. allowing more movement of air, and change of flow would def throw a code. and might run lean. why cant this sucker have a MAF-translator to adjust the fuel and air ratio? id be set with that!

    if i run this engine lean im, screwed, installation of the cams, stronger poun dage of valve springs isnt a problem, its the damn computer thats holding everyone back.
    i think we needa hire a computer genious to crack the code LOL
    or put all our hopes into that chrfab company.

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    davesdeville's Avatar
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    Re: the Northstar and cams???

    It can probably be taken care of with the OBD1 computer, and I believe you can use the OBD1 computer through 99 year cars. I mean since domesticperformance has a performance chip for it it can be worked on.

  12. #11
    1fastSTS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: the Northstar and cams???

    on another note...anyone try that electronic shift and line pressure tuner, domestic performance offers for our cars???
    or is it just BS like most of em are.

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    Re: the Northstar and cams???

    I called CHRfab about a year ago, and asked them about those cams. They said it was a bad idea, and that everyone that has tried them in a street car, has immediately removed them, due to poor performance. They will throw codes, and you definitely wouldn't pass emmisions. They actually yelled at me on the phone, wondering why the hall I wanted to put them in my car. Just ask Bbob, he knows them over there, and has said the same thing. Those cams, are not for a daily driver. From what people have said, is that the lack of low end torque, is so bad, that they didn't even want to drive the car.

    I really hate to say this about these cams, since I was thinking about them too for the longest time, but they just aren't practicle for a street car. If you can, try and install a higher stall speed torque converter. That will inprove your launches, and 1/4 miles times.

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    Re: the Northstar and cams???

    There IS NO miracle "custom grind" cam that will improve bottom-end AND improve your top-end. This is the whole reason why OEMs are using variable-cam technology nowadays.
    Another point that you should ponder is that companies like the one that builds the High-Performance Northstars are doing them for racing applications, NOT street use. They don't have to worry about integrating thier hardware with the rest of the car. They can use carburetors instead of fuel injection. They can use stand-alone ignition control modules that don't have to integrate with the PCM and other modules in a car. They're not having to feed all that new found power through a stock FWD transaxle assembly.
    I think there's a lot more to getting where you say you want to be with respect to performance than you think.

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