Northstar cooling system question

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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Northstar cooling system question in Cadillac Engine Discussion; Greetings all, Is there a "rule of thumb" to follow when building a custom cooling system for the Northstar? Since ...
  1. #1
    Enygma's Avatar
    Enygma is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Pacific Northwest

    Northstar cooling system question

    Greetings all,
    Is there a "rule of thumb" to follow when building a custom cooling system for the Northstar? Since it is aluminum, is bigger always better when it comes to radiators? I have plenty of room in my '53 Panellac, so I can put in just about anything. The original radiator from the donor '97 Deville was mangled, so I cannot use that.

    So, what do you experts think I should build? Obviously, there will be an electric fan. Are two fans better than one? What about dual or single cores? I know I will be using products from Be Cool, Inc. and they offer pretty much everything I will need.

    As always, any and all advice will be greatly appreciated.
    1953 Ford Northstar Panellac

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  3. #2
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Woodstock Ill.

    Re: Northstar cooling system question

    I am really not sure what to tell you, but I have read that todays cooling systems are much smaller than when you and I were cutting our teeth on cars. That is evidenced by todays cooling system quantities. That means that they must operate at peak efficiencies. I'd opt for bigger and keep the two fans.

  4. #3
    EDBSO is offline Awaiting Email Confirmation
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Re: Northstar cooling system question

    I like two fans each with two speeds.

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  6. #4
    JimD is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): '98 STS (RIP @ 206,xxx miles)
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Metro ATL

    Re: Northstar cooling system question

    If I were doing a similar build, I would use a single core radiator with the same square inch area and H x W dimensions as the OEM part. More than adequate heat dissipation capability.

    Since you have the entire front clip you should / might have the OEM fans. I would use both of them and allow the PCM to control the fan operation just like in the donor vehicle. You already have the wiring harness.

    Looks like a serious project. Keep the board up to date on your progress.

  7. #5
    jss is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 94 Seville
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Suburban Dallas

    Re: Northstar cooling system question


    I've checked out your page and am very impressed. I hope you'll update the page when she's finished so we can have a look at her. Having maintained the equipment, house and vehicle of a family member who is C7/complete (3 years post), I am familiar with the kind of modifications that you are having made.

    I would certainly encourage raising the capacity of the cooling system because of the increased load you'll be putting on your Northstar. I'd bet that a 53 Ford is considerably heavier than 2000 Seville, so you've got more of a load to haul. I'm assuming that your electrical accessories will operate from a second battery that may require upgrading to a larger alternator; and because of the increased cabin area you may also be upgrading to a larger compressor; and depending on a number of things I don't know much about, you may have to go to a higher volume power steering pump. Each of those upgrades will tax the cooling capacity of your Northstar.

    I don't know how to calculate how much capacity you'll have to add to the cooling system, but I do know of a Ford dealer on the north side of San Antonio that until recently specializing in selling vehicle with the modifications in question. They don't modify the vehicles themselves but could put you in touch with the company that does.

    Good luck, Jeff

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