Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Poll - would you buy a supercharger? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Some of you have read my thread on the GM performance Petition. Well I'm working pretty hard on making it ...
Some of you have read my thread on the GM performance Petition. Well I'm working pretty hard on making it happen. But I wanted to get an idea of how many people would actually be interested. I'm looking at petitioning both GM performance, as well as Whipple superchagers, which is a high end supercharger company, working with Lyscholm screw type compressors. What I'd like from you all is just a simple head count. How many people would actually consider buying one if they made it. Obviously there's no commitment in saying yes, but please try to be honest. If you wouldn't really consider buying one, don't say yes. And try to give reasons why, or why not. Here's what I would consider asking for -
a medium boost (up to six pounds) intercooled supercharger, producing about 30 percent more power (approximately 390 hp for the 300 hp engines). CARB EO certification (this makes it emmissions legal in all fifty states) OBDI and OBDII compatibility. Complete bolt on design, with OEM appearance.
You can expect price on a product like this to be about 5000 dollars. Making it cheaper simply isn't realistic, so just assume that'll be the approximate price, if it does happen. I'd like to see it be compatible with both the 300 and the 275 hp version of the northstar in all generations. I know there may be difficulties with some years, but I'd expect them to work that out.
So, please respond, saying whether you would actually consider buying one, what year, and model cadillac you have, and why you would or wouldn't consider it. Any pertinent comments would be very helpful.
I can honestly say I WOULD buy one. It is exactly the sort of thing I am looking to purchase. I own a 94 seville STS. Altough, I would consider more boost, maybe up to 10 psi safely that way we could push like 500-600 HP out of beasts.
If you look at the range of kits listed on whipples website, they range from a low of 3500+ to over 6000. I placed the estimate in the higher end, considering that it's going to require a larger (and more expensive) compressor than say....a PT Cruiser, because of the higher power levels, and because it's going on a slightly higher end car, which as you'd expect would entail a system that includes excellent design, and all the goodies, like a cold air intake, and a good intercooler, and all that. I figured 5000 would be slightly high price, but that should make for reasonable estimates of the actual potential market for a kit like this.
One more thing...As for running higher boost, that's typically something that's left up to the customer. Many forced induction kits out there are sold running well, and tested at one boost level, but can be made to work at higher boost. Since most of the buying public just wants a bolt on power adder that is proven to work well, they sell the kits at a medium boost level. I'd imagine that any medium boost kit that comes to market (say 6 PSI) could be made to run higher boost with a pully swap and some reprogramming, provided the high compression of these engines doesn't prompt detonation.
It shouldn't be a big problem to use it on these engines with say 6-8 psi of boost. The compression ration on these engines isn't sky high. Even on vettes with almost 11:1 compression, people routinely run 6 lbs without an intercooler. Don't worry...a bolt on package is completely reasonable. But from the level of response I'm seeing here, it sounds like there aren't too many people actually interested in seeing a product like this on the market.
Hmm.. How much is installation on something like this? I figured 2 or 3 grand plus installation (how much is that?) would be okay for 90 extra horsepower. But, I don't have a budget for things like this.. I know you've got the money, Scott - but probably not me.. If I had the extra money to spend, I'd be somewhat interested. But, I need to know how much something like this would cost to install. What would be the total investment?
If it would cost me 7 or 8 thousand dollars, I'll have to be honest and tell you it's unlikely I'd be able to participate any time soon.. It's not lack of interest, it's lack of finances...
Installation on a product like that is usually between 8 and 12 hours. If you figure a typical mechanic charges less than 50 dollars per hour (dealer rates may be as high as 60 or 70, but independant rates are lower) that would be between 400 and 600 dollars for professional installation. That's what most supercharger installations run. So you can expect the whole thing, said and done to be say....5500? It's no piece of cake for me, but it's something I'm willing to save up for. If we're in lucky, we can get them to produce something at an even lower price. But whatever they end up producing......having a high end option is better than having no options at all. Thanks by the way for the honest feedback so far. I'm hoping we hear from more people.
I have seen custom 'chargers and turbos on northstars, and the engines apparently dont hold up well to forced induction. I mean their not like blowing out pistons, but they just dont last as long. If I had a cadillac, and money running out of my ears, I may buy one. But I have neither. I dont think I would buy one, because I dont need that much extra horsepower for just driving. Now if I planned on taking to the track, I may.
Good and thorough screw-type supercharging and intercooled turbocharging for late-model Corvettes costs more than $5,000 -- and Corvette surely represents a much bigger performance market than Cadillac Northstar.
I think you might see a tuner step forward with a $10,000 forced-induction package for the next-generation rear-drive Northstars, but I doubt the economics of a worthwhile kit for existing Northstars will ever be there.
Valid points Jinx, but we have to remember a few things: First, there are a lot more northstars out there. They've been in production since 1993, and they sell at least 150,000 of them per year, as opposed to about 30,000 vettes. Second, the northstars need power more desparately than the corvettes do. Third, corvettes are modified slightly less often than they would otherwise be, because of the "all stock" crowd. For these reasons, I think the market is decent. As for price, you're right about turbos being expensive. This is mostly because they are complex (you need two turbochargers, custom exhaust manifolds a whole lot of custom formed tubing, intercoolers and engine management. A simple supercharger is a bit easier. Note the magnuson kit for C5's is under 5000 dollars. Granted a screw type supercharger is a little pricer, but not much. Add an intercooler, and it'd be a little pricer, but nowhere near 10 grand. I honestly think they could bring a kit out for not much more than 5000. Just look at the offerings from whipple for trucks. I honestly do question the market. I believe there's potential for a market (as I illustrated above) , but from what I've seen the owners need convincing, and a relatively low price. I think of they kept it close to five grand, and then advertized it correctly it could be profitable. And all the northstar owners out there would have a great product for their cars.
i have a 97 eldo.4.6 northstar and its fast already and the flowmasters sound good nut more horses are always welcome.I would most definitely be interested in a supercharger and anything else to bring up the horses. i am also interested in any other ideas to boost h.p. and does anyone know if there is a place to have headers made for the 4.6 in a eldo.