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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Bearings? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; I just got my '93 N* block back from the machine shop, and in the course of the rebuild I'm ...
  1. #1
    botboy is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Bearings?

    I just got my '93 N* block back from the machine shop, and in the course of the rebuild I'm performing I'm going to need some bearings. cadillac wants $30/rod(8) and $50/main(5) for a total of $490 to just do the bearings....honestly this is money better spent elsewhere, if I could get the same or comparable quality bearings for cheaper elsewhere. Any ideas?

    Also cadillac wants a whopping $250!!!!! per piston (2000$ total)! for stock pistons! Jumping jesus on a pogo stick!

    CHRfab has arias performance pistons for the N* in any compression ratio for $1104 + SH (138/piston). Any other sources for pistons (at this time I would be happy with stock/near stock pistons rather than performance ones but performance ones at under $1100 would be appreciated too)

    Thanks in advance.

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    growe3 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Unfortunately the parts, although very high quality, are overpriced.

    I think that it would be cheaper to by a new engine than to rebuild one.

    Cadillac pretty much has a lock on the parts for the Northstar.

    Try searching the threads for a new engine, there have been several business's and EBay that have them for sale periodicly starting at $2,500 for a complete engine (less intake and starter motor).

    Regarding the bearings, I note that the manual says that you can not have the crank machined, it must be replaced. Hence if your bearings and crank are still in limits you could reuse them.

    The bore unless badly damaged could be honed and the rings replaced with double moly type.

    PS
    I have recently repaired my headbolts and found the engine to be in very good shape for over 140,000 miles on it. One item that usually needs replacing are the valve seals.

    -Good Luck

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    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    I don't have any info but I'm wondering if you had it bored out.
    How were the cyl walls? Does the machine shop have any supplier of parts?

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    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    I did a little internet search and didn't find any parts for the N*. Checker and Autozone have some gaskets and headbolts but no hard parts.
    Do you have an old fashioned autoparts around? Occasionally I had good parts guys find parts by looking at specs in the manuals. It is possible you may be able to use bearings from another brand or size engine. Look at some of the interchanging speed-o-motive is doing on their "long rod" kits. That may not fix your piston problem though.
    Keep us posted on what you find and Good Luck!

  6. #5
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    01STS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Talking Re: Bearings?

    J-E pistons should be able to custom make you a set for about $1000.00 and if you want to upgrade the connecting rods at the same time Eagle has you covered as well. Have you checked Federal Mogul or M77 for any bearings? You should be able to get a set for WAY cheaper from them.

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    botboy is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Bearings?

    Quote Originally Posted by growe3
    Cadillac pretty much has a lock on the parts for the Northstar.

    Try searching the threads for a new engine, there have been several business's and EBay that have them for sale periodicly starting at $2,500 for a complete engine (less intake and starter motor).

    Regarding the bearings, I note that the manual says that you can not have the crank machined, it must be replaced. Hence if your bearings and crank are still in limits you could reuse them.

    The bore unless badly damaged could be honed and the rings replaced with double moly type.
    -Good Luck
    I had the machine shop break glaze on the bores. Somewhere I've heard that the bores cannot be bored out over .005 or something to that extent, but mine were in good shape. The engine I got (for about $250) had around 115k on it and had a light rod knock.

    The crank is still in fairly good shape, I am having the shop polish it right now because it had a few tiny scratches. The engine didn't actually spin any of the bearings (fortunately). I would rather rebuild this engine than buy a new one because then I can build it to my spec rather than just what they came with - this is going to be going in something of a hotrod when its done.

    As I see it:
    Headgaskets/bottom end gaskets: $250 or less
    Bearings $490 or less
    performance rods $500
    used engine $250
    Performance pistons $1000

    I'll probably end up close to the $2500 mark, but I'll be pushing more HP than your average northstar too...

  8. #7
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Do the pistons look reuseable? If the cyl walls were that good how are the piston skirts and clearance?
    $1000 would make me look hard at them.

  9. #8
    botboy is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Bearings?

    Quote Originally Posted by zonie77
    Do the pistons look reuseable? If the cyl walls were that good how are the piston skirts and clearance?
    $1000 would make me look hard at them.
    I've got access to a parts washer at school, so I'm going to bring in the old pistons, wrist pins and rods/rod caps, clean them up good, and sell them on ebay to try and recoup some of the money that the new pistons and rods are going to cost me (which will be something close to $1600...yikes). While they might be reuseable, this engine is going to get dropped in a hotrod...and I want more power than I'm going to get with a stock rebuild N*.

  10. #9
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    growe3 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Botboy,

    Take a look at Cadillac Hot Rod Fabricators site. It may give you a few ideas.

    http://www.chrfab.com/

  11. #10
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Factory compression is 9.3 or 10:1. I'd feel these are about right for me but in a fun driver it could be more. What are you thinking of for compression ratio?

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    growe3's Avatar
    growe3 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Zonie77,
    I'm not sure of the different compression ratios that were used in the Northstar. My 93' is 10.3 : 1.

    I'am actually suprised that they were able to have a compression ratio that high, and run so well on the "cat pee" gasoline that is availible.

    I would not want to go higher than the stock compression ratio due to the problems preventing detonation. Keep in mind this engine was designed to be micro-managed by computers to achieve its power.

    I think one way to gain a good horsepower increase is by replacing the cams. It dosen't take much of a duration and lift increase to add a nice chunck of power. Too much cam would lose your bottom end torque.

  13. #12
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    My thought was 10:1 or so is about right for a street engine but botboy may have big plans.

  14. #13
    botboy is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Bearings?

    Quote Originally Posted by zonie77
    My thought was 10:1 or so is about right for a street engine but botboy may have big plans.
    Not really...I am debating the eventual possibility of running a turbo on this engine (unlikely but I can dream) and I don't especially want to build it now with a really high compression ratio that would make any boost cause excessive detonation. Right now I'm just concerned with rebuilding the bottom end and it will probably be the stock compression ratio (since no local gas stations have race gas and even if they did I wouldn't want to pay for that for a semi-daily driver).

    So back to the original topic of my thread - I'm emailing federal mogul but any other ideas for cheaper bearings?

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