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97 ETC x2, 04 GXP, 04 STS x2, 97 ESC, 99 Deville, 05 SRX
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Discussion Starter #1
The bank doesn't have enough faith in me, I guess, so I'm on my own with "truck financing".

My current truck, which I use to haul Cadillacs when I need to, is showing some age. The 350 TBI runs like a clock and is pretty good on fuel. The interior is great, low mileage, but the body could use some attention. It still drives great.

The VIN 9 Northstar has 295 ft. lbs. of torque. The truck has 3.73:1 rear gears and the common 700-R4 trans. It's a 3/4 ton truck, so it has the 14 bolt rear diff.

What do you guys think about a Northstar in the beast? I have no shortage of these engines. I want/need towing power and also some freeway passing power. We all know the Northstars can fly by almost anything at speed but I'm a bit worried about low-end torque for hauling 4000 lb cars.

I could build a 383 stroker for a bit more power but a Northstar in a truck is a bit different. It's been done, but there aren't many around. And the chrome Escalade rims that are already on it would be a perfect match.

The LD8 would probably be better for off-the-line performance.

I want to do this for a few reasons.

1. fuel economy- Northstars are great in this area
2. it's different. Not many trucks have a DOHC V8 under the hood.
3. hopefully more speed.
4. I love the old truck, it still handles great.

Obviously it would be installed longitudinally so headers would be a relatively easy job.

If I use an aftermarket ECM, supercharging would be very easy at this point. I don't think I have much of a choice but to go with an aftermarket ECM.

Any thoughts on this? Seems easier to just save up for a while and get a newer truck, but then again, I never seem to do things the easy way.
 

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I'm a bit worried about low-end torque for hauling 4000 lb cars..

Get a torque converter with a stall speed that starts in the N* torque range.

I was not aware you could put a 700R4 on the N* or that they even had a aftermarket ECM. Interesting.

Keep us posted on your progress if you decide to do this.


00
 

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Past: 95 Fleetwood, 91 Brougham. Now: 92 Lexus SC300
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Unless you have a Northstar lying around, it really isn't worth it IMO. Just build a cheap 383 carbed motor for your truck. That's an easy 350hp/400lb-ft tq with a factory idle in that truck.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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Truck = torque. The Northstar is a 280 C.I. engine that makes its torque way up in the rpm range. The SB/383 is set up for torque much lower in the powerband.

A high stall convertor will do nothing for truck power except overheat the transmission fluid from too high a slip ratio at low speed/high torque operation.

If you're set on stuffing a N* in a work truck, the best one would be the mid 90's VIN Y engine - it's already set up to bring the torque in lower down in the band, but it's still a little engine - a tad smaller than a '57 Chevy 283.
 

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97 ETC x2, 04 GXP, 04 STS x2, 97 ESC, 99 Deville, 05 SRX
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Discussion Starter #5
That's just my dillemma. I need torque. Supercharging the N* would bring in the required torque. I don't see being able to decently haul a 4000lb car with a N/A northstar. Even the VIN Y engine. I think I'm stuck between a S/C Northstar or starting with a regular 2-valve V8.

Sub! Build me a 455 for that truck! :D
 

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'03 STS 122K, '01 STS 161K - 3/3/11
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I'd love to own something with a N* in it and creeper first gear:stirpot:
 

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97 ETC x2, 04 GXP, 04 STS x2, 97 ESC, 99 Deville, 05 SRX
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Discussion Starter #8
Very true. The truck has 3.73's in it already, which is pretty much the same as the STS's 3.71's. But the tire size. 265/65/17 I believe. I need something more like 4.10's and that gear-doubler.
 
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That's just my dillemma. I need torque. Supercharging the N* would bring in the required torque. I don't see being able to decently haul a 4000lb car with a N/A northstar. Even the VIN Y engine. I think I'm stuck between a S/C Northstar or starting with a regular 2-valve V8.

Sub! Build me a 455 for that truck! :D
I towed a GMC 1500 van the other day with my '00 Ranger w/3.0 over 60 miles. I think the N* can handle it (if it don't blow captain). Not worth the time or money but it would be cool to see..............from afar.
 

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97 ETC x2, 04 GXP, 04 STS x2, 97 ESC, 99 Deville, 05 SRX
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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, probably not worth the time or money. But it would make the Northstar Performance logo on the back window make a little more sense :D :thumbsup:

I think if the RPMs were kept up on the Northstar she'd do fine, even naturally aspirated. I know that the truck would do great with fuel economy unloaded. Or at least, I'm pretty sure.

The frame is rock solid on the old 2wd truck, needs a good body job though. I have an uncle who is the best bodyman I know. He's just not the best painter. That's where I come in.

Now - if I were to go with a 4 barrel and aftermarket crank triggered igniton, or even an Edelbrock EFI system, I could adjust the timing curves/fuel trim to exactly what I need. I thought about running an GM HEI ignition off the water pump drive but that's job in itself making that work and fit. I'd like to keep moving parts to a minimum anyway. The engine debuted with fully electronic ignition, why change that.

Roller heads, or the 93-99 style? The roller heads can be bolted to even a 1993 block. I still have forum member "Davz" block from his '97 STS- the one that had the failed _orm's inserts. Stud that one and install the '00 STS heads.... If I go that route I'm on my own with a custom intake. No problem there.

To supercharge, or not to supercharge, that is the question.....
 

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2014 ATS 3.6 Premium RWD, 2016 Corvette Z06, 2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD Diesel
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Jake,

Since you are very good with "slightly problematic" GM engine designs, maybe you should transplant one of the 6.5 turbo diesels into your '91. They hold up pretty well in light duty towing work and the majority of problems were with the electronic control of the injection pump. I had a '95 GMC "light" 3/4 ton with the 6.5 and it never gave me any trouble. I sold it in 2001 and bought one of the 6.6 Duramax GMC trucks when they came out and one of the local farmers bought and ran my old truck for a number of years. I think he replaced the injection pump and water pump and otherwise it did fine. Mileage was around 18.5 to 19 unloaded (extended cab 4X4) and towing of course depended upon the load.

With the kind of quality work you are doing, if your bank credit isn't good enough you aren't charging enough!
 
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Jake,

Since you are very good with "slightly problematic" GM engine designs, maybe you should transplant one of the 6.5 turbo diesels into your '91. They hold up pretty well in light duty towing work and the majority of problems were with the electronic control of the injection pump. I had a '95 GMC "light" 3/4 ton with the 6.5 and it never gave me any trouble. I sold it in 2001 and bought one of the 6.6 Duramax GMC trucks when they came out and one of the local farmers bought and ran my old truck for a number of years. I think he replaced the injection pump and water pump and otherwise it did fine. Mileage was around 18.5 to 19 unloaded (extended cab 4X4) and towing of course depended upon the load.

With the kind of quality work you are doing, if your bank credit isn't good enough you aren't charging enough!
No, let him do the N* thing. It fits with his business plus I've always wondered how a N* would fare in a truck. Ford has proven itself worthy by sticking DOHC in trucks for years, why not see how a N* powered truck stacks up?. Even if it blows a H/G, it's no big deal for Jake.
 

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Past: 95 Fleetwood, 91 Brougham. Now: 92 Lexus SC300
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I didn't know you were the headgasket guy. Definetly go for it:D

Also, how hard is it to swap the northstar from transversly mounted to north/south in the truck? Will your 700R4 trans bolt up?

I know this might seem crazy(and expensive), but would it be easier to start with a wrecked RWD STS or SRX?
 

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The Northstar Tuner
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We can make this work. I need a Northstar connected to a 4L60E trans very badly.
R&D
 

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2007 srx 1997 etc 1993 allante 1970 coupe deville 1979 t/a
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remember guys the northstar is a small bell housing pattern like the ones behind the 2200 engines in the s10...700r4 and the 4l60e come in both sizes
 

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2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
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No, let him do the N* thing. It fits with his business plus I've always wondered how a N* would fare in a truck. Ford has proven itself worthy by sticking DOHC in trucks for years, why not see how a N* powered truck stacks up?. Even if it blows a H/G, it's no big deal for Jake.
Hall-Scott engines in trucks since the 1920s are OHC.
 

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The Northstar Tuner
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remember guys the northstar is a small bell housing pattern like the ones behind the 2200 engines in the s10...700r4 and the 4l60e come in both sizes
 
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