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Discussion Starter #1
Hey;
I just saw a 92 Northstar engine (165K) on eBay for ~$130. My 94 (143K) has a blown head gasket. First question is - will the 92 engine drop in without mods? If so, is it worth it to replace the bad engine instead of doing Timecert repair? It would seem to be much cheaper, assuming the replacement engine runs well of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
WarrenJ said:
The Northstar wasn't available in 1992.

Regards,
Warren
Well I'll have to see what the deal is - maybe he 'just' got the year wrong ...
 

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Re: 92 SLS not really 92 - VIN substitution?

Well here's one of those odd situations.

Ok, I now have the engine and tranny from this car. Got tranny for free just to save owner time in removing tranny! Salvage car - theft recovery. Seats had been stolen. Car body was in great shape - owner is body shop guy who needed front clip. Title says 92. Car trunk says SLS. No tag on doorjam. Carfax says this VIN was in accident in 2000 with airbags deployed. Last reported mileage for this VIN in 2003 was more than the current displayed mileage. However, Engine/tranny looked very much like original factory install. Everything had normal connections.

Owner had started engine 2-3 times, for < 5 seconds each time thankfully. I heard it run once but since the exhaust was disconnected it was hard to tell if engine knocked. The dipstick was gone so I wanted to add oil before we ran the engine much. I saw the oil drain out - so I never started the engine again. I guess the salvage guys punched a hole in the engine and tranny pans to remove oils - I told the body shop guys this was standard practice for salvage yards. And the 2 bolts holding convertor to exh pipe from engine were missing - maybe they were trying to steal the cat convertor? I thought about not taking the engine but he said he'd refund my money if it was bad, gave 30 days. And I was there, so I took it. Got 4T80-E (Code DD) tranny free.

It's certainly a NStar with a 4T80-E tranny. Dash VIN code is 1G6KS53B7NU840356

Maybe they installed a new dash from the 92 that had the 2000 accident - so now this car has a new VIN?? Not sure how hard it is to do this.

How do I ID the actual year of the engine and body other than VIN? Is there a site that shows taillights that might show what year this body is?

Is the VIN stored elsewhere in these cars?

I'm thinking about plugging the pan holes just enough so that I can take this engine somewhere that can hook it up to run it for a few minutes. Suggestions? I'd really like to know more about the engine before I install it in my 94 SLS (head gasket issue).
 

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If it is a Northstar SLS, it will have Y in the VIN. If it is a STS N* it will have a 9 in the VIN. You dash theory may be correct, or someone switched the VIN tag.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: 92 SLS not really 92 - VIN substitution?

Andrew60SP said:
I'm not 100%, but I don't believe they started using the SLS name until 1994.
According to KBB.com, you're right. They don't show an explicit SLS model until 94. I should have thought of this before. Now I just need to learn how to discern between the early SLSs (94,95,96,97) so I can decide exactly what year it is. I've asked the owner so send me some pics.
 
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