looking for some new ideas and help with northstar motor
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, looking for some new ideas and help with northstar motor in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; hello reads, im currently a diesel tech and 21 yrs of age, im an owner of a 98 s-10, i ...
  1. #1
    jon_finkel2002 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Lightbulb looking for some new ideas and help with northstar motor

    hello reads, im currently a diesel tech and 21 yrs of age, im an owner of a 98 s-10, i have been tossing around the idea of putting a 32 valve northstar motor with a t-56 transmission, to be the powerplant of my s-10, for one i was wondering what transmission opitions are out there for the northstar, i have heard that there is Co. that makes a bellhousing adapter from the engine block to the transmission, if anyone know of a site i should look at please let me know, 2) i was wonder is it better to go with a GM Performance northstar motor or with a rebuild one , since i pretty much plan to take it down to the bare block and rebuild it from the ground up, complete stud kit instead of bolts, forged crank, rods, and pistons, for the bottom-end, porting and polishing the heads, and getting some agressive cams, from somewhere, i havent really found a company that makes cams for the northstar that i know of, im looking for some help on that, and has anyone heard of bee-hive valve springs before, that are suppose to be a variable rate spring, elminating the need for double or triple stack springs, and help reduce valve train wear, and weight with some other things and a gain in hp, and intake manifolds seem to be a hard thing to find, from what i have read its seems like that are all pretty much custom build, looking for some help on that, one of the reason y i have decided to use the northstar is its all aluimuin, motor helps save wieght, 2) its dohc, and 3) 4.6 would prolly be easier to put in an s10 then a 5.7(350ci), im looking for some help on ideas of how to get as much hp out of this motor as possible and also be relaible and run like a spotted ass egg and i have some question about what all does the motor come with if u buy it from gm performance parts, and if anyone has some good site that i should keep out to see what all is out there for after market performance parts, i saw a twin turbo kit for that was pretty sick looking and looks like a fun idea to put in an s-10, oh ya a twin turbo 32 valve northstar hehe thank you for ur time if u have any information please post a reply or email me if u have some question or something u want to decuss with me about my ideas at jon_finkel2002@yahoo.com
    -jonathan

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  3. #2
    davesdeville's Avatar
    davesdeville is offline Banned
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    Re: looking for some new ideas and help with northstar motor

    Check with chrfab.com, they're pretty much the only real performance place for Northstars. They can get a N* to work with a RWD manual, they have aftermarket engine management systems, they have experiance working with the N*s. But it will cost you, and FWIW I'd go with some cheaper more traditional pushrod motor.

  4. #3
    Raze's Avatar
    Raze is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: looking for some new ideas and help with northstar motor

    (I'm going to take a stab at this one, anyone else wanna correct me, please feel free)

    Due to the extreme lack of aftermarket, you're probably looking at one of the most expensive builds money can buy. I don't mean to be discouraging, just realistic. The standalone fuel management system required for many of the chrfab.com engines like the Holley Commander which is carberuated not fuel injected (I think) run around 2k without any tuning. Many of the fellas over on fiero.nl who have swapped N*s into Fieros use this setup but spend alot. For transmissions they use 4t60e since the 4t80e is too large for the subframe, but both of these options would limit you to FWD or chopping your bed to make it RWD. More research on transmission options will yield you better results. There is one guy over on the fiero boards running a Turbo N* and another one in the works, but the tuning dollars he spent was significant.

    To my knowledge there are no 'GM Performance N*s' only new GMGoodwrench N*s that run around 5-6K with no core charge and remanufactured/rebuilts by various builders (jasperengines, GMGoodwrench, etc) anywhere from 3-7k with core charge. A used N* is a crapshoot, however if you are planning on a teardown anyway a used block that is undamaged may be the way to go and can be had from anything on up from junk/salvage yards. Agressive cams can be had, chrfab.com does a number of different grinds up to 292 angle I believe. When upgrading cams new springs and lifters have to put in as well. However, as Bbob (resident expert and former Northstar design engineer that posts often) has discussed on numerous occasions you aren't going to get much out of the cams except altering high end horsepower while loosing low end torque and since these engines already produce pitiful torque down low it's a questionable idea at best. Although a possible option to help overcome this shortfall is an upgraded stall/torque converter but the jury is still out on this whole idea...

    Cost Estimate (again guys feel free to correct me, this is what I could find with limited time):

    1) 'good' used/new N* 1-7k
    2) upgrade parts (cams, springs, lifters, pistons, rods, custom headers, mufflers, etc) 1-4k
    3) standalone fuel management system 1-4k (4k assumes reprogramming/tuning of OBD-I to get functional)
    5) Turbo (intercooler, down/up pipe, plumbing, turbo, etc) 1-3k
    4) tuning 1k+

    Most of these numbers are hugely variant because of how much time you have and how resourceful/patient you are to find parts for cheap. None of this includes labor (minus tuning but that's open ended) and even if you were right in the middle on all of these you're looking at rougly 10k for main components, no tools/external labor.

    I wish you luck sir.

  5. #4
    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: looking for some new ideas and help with northstar motor

    Quote Originally Posted by Raze
    (I'm going to take a stab at this one, anyone else wanna correct me, please feel free)
    Will do.

    For transmissions they use 4t60e since the 4t80e is too large for the subframe, but both of these options would limit you to FWD or chopping your bed to make it RWD.
    That's not true. I've got an 80e in my fiero... the 60e wouldn't be able to handle the power. a 65e is the next likely bet, but from what I've been told, it won't fit the northstar (not the bolt pattern, but it won't physically fit around the northstar like the 80e)

    When upgrading cams new springs and lifters have to put in as well. However, as Bbob (resident expert and former Northstar design engineer that posts often) has discussed on numerous occasions you aren't going to get much out of the cams except altering high end horsepower while loosing low end torque and since these engines already produce pitiful torque down low it's a questionable idea at best.
    Not quite - CHRfab doesn't even sell lifters to my knowledge. They recommend new heavier springs to take advantage of a higher redline, but they are not needed... How much do s10's weigh? 3000lbs? That's pretty light compared to a heavy fully loaded caddy... If you go RWD, you'd DEFINATELY want to give up some torque for HP. Trust me here. Your first gear will be worthless otherwise..

    You can get someone to reprogram the OBDI ECM for you for a few hundred bucks, which is a lot less than the $1500 for an aftermarket ecm, but then aftermarket cams are out.

    Before you start getting too deep, you might want to make some tower-tower measurements to make sure it fits..... the northstar is WIDE. We've got 4x the cams of most engines

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    Re: looking for some new ideas and help with northstar motor

    The Holley Commander is FI, however chrfab does sell 4bbl intake manifolds for northstars and ignition controllers as well.

    The Northstar also can be made to work with some RWD transmissions that use the 60* V6 (2.8, 3.1, 3.4) bolt pattern. I think a 700R4 will work as well with a bit of modification. Again, chrfab is the source for this info and parts...

  7. #6
    dkozloski's Avatar
    dkozloski is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: looking for some new ideas and help with northstar motor

    I don't think you are going to find a forged crank that will fit anything other than the latest engines. Add about 15 large for a custom billet crank.

  8. #7
    jon_finkel2002 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: looking for some new ideas and help with northstar motor(update)

    ok let me restate my position on this i honestly looking to get a N* motor here http://www.crateenginedepot.com/stor...68-P827C2.aspx its looks like a great starting base for what i want to honestly achieve out of this motor im looking to get 400 or more hp out of this motor N/A hooked up to a 5 or 6 speed manual(preferably the 6 speed) by changing anything internal, and i wanted to try to make with work so obd 2 on my truck so i could read engine codes if something was to go wrong, im trying to fit this N* into a 98 s-10, i have found some good site for some performance parts like this one http://www.mechtech-ms.com/indexcatalog.html it seems to have some good stuff, http://chrfab.com/ i seem to have a problem b/c everytime i bring this site up all the catagories are 'X' out and i can link on anything so i really dont know what the site has to offer, i wanting to make a strong relaibe motor with this so it can be a daily driver and wank the doors of cars if need be, please leave ur ideas, and what ull have heard or know, b/c i honestly dont know to much about this motor
    -jonathan

  9. #8
    davesdeville's Avatar
    davesdeville is offline Banned
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    Re: looking for some new ideas and help with northstar motor

    Find some way to get the chrfab site to come up. Try a differant browser, differant computer... otherwise their contact info is sales@chrfab.com, 760-451-8796.

    BTW the engine you linked is a 320hp VVT verison... which if you have to go to an aftermarket engine management requires the Magneti Marelli SRA ECU, priced at about $2750. It would be easier and cheaper to start with an older FWD 300hp engine.

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