BADASS of New England

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 Northstar Swap

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Sweet Seventy9



Posts: 64
Join date: 2012-03-12
Location: Upstate NY

PostSubject: Northstar Swap   Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:57 pm

This would look SICK under the hood of my car!



Has anybody done a N-star swap?
Anybody have any links to info?
Google hasn't been much help.
Mostly just links to replacing 1 for 1 in N-star equipped cars.


Thanks
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Matt Trakker



Posts: 4884
Join date: 2009-07-30
Age: 33
Location: Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:10 pm

It would be interesting and different but thats about it, I say. An LS swap would be cheaper, more powerful, and reliable IMO, the Northstars are known for having issues with oil and coolant loss, porous aluminum, I think even the starter is/was in the lifter valley or some ridiculous spot like that, so I've been told! I personally would never buy a car that came with a Northstar, a walk around any salvage yard would tell ya why! Laughing

Go LS!
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1984twodoor



Posts: 3960
Join date: 2010-03-30
Age: 21
Location: Wilmington/North Reading

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:22 pm

It would be cool for the dare to be different card. Especially because the whole LS game is now HUGE! I think that a caddy 500 would be even better in there ya know!
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bowtiepimp



Posts: 1530
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Age: 29
Location: working a corner near you

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:29 pm

what did the motor come out of?
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Ironfistdog



Posts: 2047
Join date: 2011-01-10
Age: 33
Location: Warren, MA

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:44 pm

If you went with a caddy 500 you better make sure it's a 1970 or 1971 block.... All the rest 72-76 make less hp than an lt1.

Northstar engines are wonderful if taken care of properly. It's all the idiots who just drive and drive and drive and expect it to last forever with no maintenance.
275/300 hp stock from the factory! my 97 deville was faster than ANY b or d lt1 car in stock condition that I ever owned.

I know they were fitted in the aurora's without the N* name badge as a 4.0l, check out a google search using olds aurora v8 swap instead of northstar.
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:26 pm

I looked and found plenty on google- that pic posted at the beginning of this thread is from a swap into a 4th gen Camaro. They had to use a 3rd gen automatic trans. for the 6cyl applications to make it work. Whether or not that tranny would hold up to the HP who knows. I assume the bell housing pattern on the Northstar is the same as the old 2.8s that came in the 80s F-bodies, etc.

Seems that people usually only swapped these over in certain places because they are very light, dune buggies, etc. They're still super complicated and there's not much of an aftermarket for them, most forums where this was brought up, people said what I already did. Laughing

I am sure that some people ran them into the ground because of the commercials saying the engines could run 50 miles with no coolant, blah blah, but I am certain there are just as many people who took care of them and still had stuff happen...I had a shop teacher who was also a service manager telling me that in like 1998...and you DO have to pull the intake to change the starter! Laughing

Would still be an interesting swap though. I remember seeing one in a Fiero someplace. The engine was very advanced for it's time but has so much weird crap going on in it's design it's nuts.

There used to be a version with 2 cylinders lopped off in the Olds Intrigues, the "Shortstar", that I'm pretty sure you can't even get parts for anymore, lol.



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bowtiepimp



Posts: 1530
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Age: 29
Location: working a corner near you

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:35 am

pretty sure the only N* motor that will work and be cost effective is the the one used in the XLR or RWD SRX....


...... Doubt you'll find a XLR motor for cheap...... best bet is a wrecked RWD SRX from down south. Being in New England Ive never seen a non AWD SRX up here. Im sure if you swapped trannys the AWD SRX may work....


Also, besides a hyper chip, I havent seen anything for performance up grades to bolt on a N* motor. If you do the swap to do it , then hey hats off and way to be original Arrow , but if you want to built it for performance you might as well piss facing the wind Rolling Eyes



Indy is right the have lots of power and the do go! but only if well maintained. A lot of people blow these motor up, thinking it was a head gasket job. Most are to cheap to do the time certs and if not done then the head gasket job is pointless. Seen it over and over again mostly with the 96 - 2005 motors, after 2005 GM stepped up the quality in production.
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Cadet57



Posts: 4443
Join date: 2010-03-14
Age: 27
Location: Chicopee, MA

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:01 am

bowtiepimp wrote:
, but if you want to built it for performance you might as well piss facing the wind Rolling Eyes

If you have a 305 to begin with in your car, isn't that what you're already doing? Wink
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waynes91



Posts: 221
Join date: 2009-03-04

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:44 pm

man..wish they made a header /y pipe set up like that for tbi single exhaust
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bowtiepimp



Posts: 1530
Join date: 2010-06-18
Age: 29
Location: working a corner near you

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:05 pm

Cadet57 wrote:
bowtiepimp wrote:
, but if you want to built it for performance you might as well piss facing the wind Rolling Eyes

If you have a 305 to begin with in your car, isn't that what you're already doing? Wink





.... Almost, you can at least go to mullet racing and do a few maro bolt ons to a 305 rabbit
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Matt Trakker



Posts: 4884
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Age: 33
Location: Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:13 pm

305>L99

Razz
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1984twodoor



Posts: 3960
Join date: 2010-03-30
Age: 21
Location: Wilmington/North Reading

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:25 pm

Matt Trakker wrote:
305>L99

Razz

x2 Though I've only experienced one
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Machine-De-Zine



Posts: 508
Join date: 2010-11-16
Age: 57
Location: Wrentham

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:44 pm

IMHO, the 4.3L L99 is superior to the 5.0L LO3 for possessing:
Better engine management from comparatively advanced data utilization.
Far more efficient ports & combustion.
Higher specific output.
A cylinder case that is adequate for stock HP & TQ.
Some down sides are:
The L99 is less forgiving if poorly maintained.
Has limited hot rodding potential, especially in the aftermarket.
Less power than the LT1 for the same size & weight package.

As far as I can tell, the Northstar appears to represent Cadilac's less than stellar attempt to lure American car buyers back from purchasing foreign makes such as BMW, Jaguar, Lexus, MB, etc., or even the domestic Lincoln Mk 8 with it's modular 4OHC, 4 valves per cylinder engine.
GM figured that that demographic believed in the notion that luxury cars were not worthy candidates WITHOUT 4 Overhead Cams and 4 Valves per Cylinder.
They OBVIOUSLY borrowed HEAVILY from the very excellent LT5 originally installed in the C4 ZR1 Vette.
That engine was reliable, powerful for it's day & had the "exotic-factor" in spades, especially for a Chevy!
The Northstar also has limited displacement headroom due to it's tight bore center spacing.

I wouldn't be surprised if the N/S suffered from the same marginal aluminum alloy that Caddy used in the 4.1 - 4.3 - 4.5L series.
On those, upon installing the OEM main cap fasteners into the block, while following the factory torque specs., more than half the time would lead to block thread failure.
I always installed two inserts per hole (every hole) just to get a reliable bearing crush in order for the crank to survive.

If someone donated a perfect low mile Northstar to my garage, I could definitely find a good home for it in some type of project or another.
SBCs & BBCs are everywhere, so a NorthStar should be a little more interesting if placed in the right home.
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No Moa



Posts: 3730
Join date: 2009-02-21
Age: 42
Location: Midcoast Maine

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:43 am

If your going to do that, get a Northstar V motor out of an sts-v. 469hp supercharged madness. It's only 266ci, and They did have issues though unfortunately.
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Sweet Seventy9



Posts: 64
Join date: 2012-03-12
Location: Upstate NY

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:13 am

Boy there sure seems to be a love/hate thing going on with the N* engine.
People either love them or hate them.
I'm sort of on the fence still.


Matt Trakker wrote:
It would be interesting and different but thats about it, I say. An LS swap would be cheaper, more powerful, and reliable IMO, the Northstars are known for having issues with oil and coolant loss, porous aluminum, I think even the starter is/was in the lifter valley or some ridiculous spot like that, so I've been told! I personally would never buy a car that came with a Northstar, a walk around any salvage yard would tell ya why! Laughing

Go LS!
Everybody's doing LS swaps so they're (at least to me) nothing special. An LS engine won't stand out in a crowd like the N* will. If I do get into doing this, it'll be mostly for the WOW factor.
I'll bet if you opened the hood of my 79 and saw a N* engine you'd say either: WOW! Nice engine, or WOW! what kind of idiot puts a N* engine in a 79 Impala. Either way I get the WOW factor, lol!

1984twodoor wrote:
It would be cool for the dare to be different card. Especially because the whole LS game is now HUGE! I think that a caddy 500 would be even better in there ya know!
Exactly, Bro! You open the hood and see an LS, people are like meh, seen it before.... A N* or even something like the 500cid engine imo would be better. For weight savings and efficiency though I'd go with the N*. I had a 75 Eldorado with the 500 in it. The torque it produced was a lot of fun, especially for doing fwd burnouts, but it only got like 6mpg.

Machine-De-Zine wrote:
IMHO, the 4.3L L99 is superior to the 5.0L LO3 for possessing:
Better engine management from comparatively advanced data utilization.
Far more efficient ports & combustion.
Higher specific output.
A cylinder case that is adequate for stock HP & TQ.
Some down sides are:
The L99 is less forgiving if poorly maintained.
Has limited hot rodding potential, especially in the aftermarket.
Less power than the LT1 for the same size & weight package.

As far as I can tell, the Northstar appears to represent Cadilac's less than stellar attempt to lure American car buyers back from purchasing foreign makes such as BMW, Jaguar, Lexus, MB, etc., or even the domestic Lincoln Mk 8 with it's modular 4OHC, 4 valves per cylinder engine.
GM figured that that demographic believed in the notion that luxury cars were not worthy candidates WITHOUT 4 Overhead Cams and 4 Valves per Cylinder.
They OBVIOUSLY borrowed HEAVILY from the very excellent LT5 originally installed in the C4 ZR1 Vette.
That engine was reliable, powerful for it's day & had the "exotic-factor" in spades, especially for a Chevy!
The Northstar also has limited displacement headroom due to it's tight bore center spacing.

I wouldn't be surprised if the N/S suffered from the same marginal aluminum alloy that Caddy used in the 4.1 - 4.3 - 4.5L series.
On those, upon installing the OEM main cap fasteners into the block, while following the factory torque specs., more than half the time would lead to block thread failure.
I always installed two inserts per hole (every hole) just to get a reliable bearing crush in order for the crank to survive.

If someone donated a perfect low mile Northstar to my garage, I could definitely find a good home for it in some type of project or another.
SBCs & BBCs are everywhere, so a NorthStar should be a little more interesting if placed in the right home.
All this negativity wont deter me!!! LOL! J/K, J/K

No Moa wrote:
If your going to do that, get a Northstar V motor out of an sts-v. 469hp supercharged madness. It's only 266ci, and They did have issues though unfortunately.
Now we're talking!! I have my eves on a low mileage (77k) STS with the 330hp (I think, lol) engine in it.
LOL, according to GM, it doesn't even need a tune-up until 100k miles! < (j/k)
The car was totaled from a rear end accident, but the front end was untouched so I'm hoping it still starts and runs.


I'm only in the info gathering stage at this point.
I can't say for sure if I'll even have my Impala a month from now.
If do start buying parts though, hopefully it doesn't go the way of my LT1 swap which is still sitting out in the shed 3 years later, lol.


.
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Cadet57



Posts: 4443
Join date: 2010-03-14
Age: 27
Location: Chicopee, MA

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:38 am

bowtiepimp wrote:
Cadet57 wrote:
bowtiepimp wrote:
, but if you want to built it for performance you might as well piss facing the wind Rolling Eyes

If you have a 305 to begin with in your car, isn't that what you're already doing? Wink





.... Almost, you can at least go to mullet racing and do a few maro bolt ons to a 305 rabbit

True. Then again, the 305 isn't too bad. My bros car has plenty of power for a sedan, But I think i'd kill myself if I had a 305 wagon. Laughing
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No Moa



Posts: 3730
Join date: 2009-02-21
Age: 42
Location: Midcoast Maine

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:42 am

Cadet57 wrote:

True. Then again, the 305 isn't too bad. My bros car has plenty of power for a sedan, But I think i'd kill myself if I had a 305 wagon. Laughing

My OCC has the 305, burns tires like crazy!
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Cadet57



Posts: 4443
Join date: 2010-03-14
Age: 27
Location: Chicopee, MA

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:45 am

No Moa wrote:
Cadet57 wrote:

True. Then again, the 305 isn't too bad. My bros car has plenty of power for a sedan, But I think i'd kill myself if I had a 305 wagon. Laughing

My OCC has the 305, burns tires like crazy!

Wait... you still have the OCC? Laughing
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No Moa



Posts: 3730
Join date: 2009-02-21
Age: 42
Location: Midcoast Maine

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:49 am

Yup, couldnt' find anyone to buy it, so i'm going to save the glass and the cadding and crush the rest.
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Cadet57



Posts: 4443
Join date: 2010-03-14
Age: 27
Location: Chicopee, MA

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:02 am

No Moa wrote:
Yup, couldnt' find anyone to buy it, so i'm going to save the glass and the cadding and crush the rest.

I wish I knew this before I spent all this time doing body work. Laughing

Also, my car would look sweet with a blue interior....
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No Moa



Posts: 3730
Join date: 2009-02-21
Age: 42
Location: Midcoast Maine

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:13 am

Cadet57 wrote:
No Moa wrote:
Yup, couldnt' find anyone to buy it, so i'm going to save the glass and the cadding and crush the rest.

Also, my car would look sweet with a blue interior....

Make the trip. Small cash transaction and the interior is yours/
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Sweet Seventy9



Posts: 64
Join date: 2012-03-12
Location: Upstate NY

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:44 am

No Moa wrote:

My OCC has the 305, burns tires like crazy!

Hold on a minute - you've got an Orange County Chopper with a chevy 305 in it ?!?!?









LOL, just kidding!


.
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No Moa



Posts: 3730
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Age: 42
Location: Midcoast Maine

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:46 am

lol, An orange county crapper maybe.
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bfurches



Posts: 1057
Join date: 2010-04-20
Age: 27
Location: Springfield, MA

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:48 am

Here is my .02

I think it would be pretty cool from a stockish injected driver standpoint.

The N* utilizes the same small fwd bell patteren (4t65e and the likes) that the 3.8v6 camaro/ firebirds use. To me this is the bigggest limiting factor...but there are ways around it. There are several companies that offer bellhousing adapters to go to the standard SBC patteren (so you could run 4l60, 4l80 th350 th400 700r4), however you will be limited to a smaller diamter clutch and or convertor (yes i said CLUTCH Wink )

I have a bunch of info tucked away, and you may or may knot know that 2 of my best friends own junk yards Wink
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Matt Trakker



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Age: 33
Location: Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:02 am

I can do a tune up on my 305 in about 1/10th the time with no special tools compared to an L99 and it gets probably the same MPG...to me that's why I like them better, lol. I just bring it up all the time because of people constantly shitting on my car, which has probably broken down the least amount of times out of anyone here (except for when my father returned it to me with no gas... Laughing )

Now I'm sure it will shit the bed tomorrow...

Everyone is hating on the LS motor swaps all of a sudden, for what? They're the best family of engines overall out there on the market. The junkyards can't seem to get rid of them, because they're so good, people rarely need replacements. I've seen at the most probably 20 LS swaps in person in my entire life, and I go to a lot of shows. I definitely see it being exponentially more popular, but I wouldn't say "everyone is doing it". One of the coolest things I've seen recently was a medium/light two tone green 57 Chevy with an LS swap at the cruise night in N. Reading a couple weeks ago, it was amazing. It even had color matched widened steel wheels with original poverty caps, with wide (section width tread speaking) whitewalls! To me, that was different and interesting. In the same vein someone could argue dropping a Buick 4.1 liter NA v6 out of a clapped out 1981 LeSabre is cool because it was different! lol

The fact is the older Northstar is/was an advanced engine at it's introduction for it's time, and they do run great and powerfully, but they also run great and powerfully up until the head gaskets go and you have to either shell out more than your car's book value to have it repaired, fix it yourself, or scrap the car leading to the overabundance of Sevilles and Devilles in the junkyard with perfect interiors left exposed to the elements... Laughing

I say that '79 is too damn nice to ever have a Northstar in it!!! Now a Duramax, or Cummins 6bt/4bt swap...that's something that would turn heads and be efficient/powerful/different Smile


Last edited by Matt Trakker on Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:05 am; edited 2 times in total
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Sweet Seventy9



Posts: 64
Join date: 2012-03-12
Location: Upstate NY

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:03 am

bfurches wrote:
Here is my .02

I think it would be pretty cool from a stockish injected driver standpoint.

The N* utilizes the same small fwd bell patteren (4t65e and the likes) that the 3.8v6 camaro/ firebirds use. To me this is the bigggest limiting factor...but there are ways around it. There are several companies that offer bellhousing adapters to go to the standard SBC patteren (so you could run 4l60, 4l80 th350 th400 700r4), however you will be limited to a smaller diamter clutch and or convertor (yes i said CLUTCH Wink )

I have a bunch of info tucked away, and you may or may knot know that 2 of my best friends own junk yards Wink

Oh yeah? Will you be my new BFF?



I was on a site last night where they had a blown N* that dyno'd out at over 700hp. In their car they were using a 4l80e.

Me thinks the nay-sayers might simply be uninformed about the potential of these engines.
Up until a couple days ago, I sure was.
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No Moa



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PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:08 am

N* sts-v find one, stuff it in there with the tranny to a nice 8.5 and go.

Oh ya and Matt. Dmax in a 2 door Bbody would be the most awesome thing ev-a!!!!!
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Matt Trakker



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Age: 33
Location: Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:37 am

LOL it would!

So would this...



Sourced from...





With this for forced induction...


Quick, someone buy that '87 2 door with the bad engine from Craigslist!
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Cadet57



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PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:39 am

What about the red Kingswood in the scrapyard picture? Laughing
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:40 am

I'm sure that and the pale green 74 Impala sedan in front of it no longer exist... Crying or Very sad
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Cadet57



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PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:41 am

Matt Trakker wrote:
I'm sure that and the pale green 74 Impala sedan in front of it no longer exist... Crying or Very sad

Neither does Rock Island. Laughing
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bfurches



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PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:10 am

I still really want to see someone swap a 8.1 gas motor with the allison transmission in one of these. Factory 496ci with lsx family engine management....bust still uses BBC mounts, bellhousing and potentially front accessories.

Yes please and thank you Wink
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:51 am

http://bangshift.com/blog/car-feature-the-secret-weapon-a-1980-olds-wagon-with-496ci-of-vortec-big-block-and-a-doug-nash-5-speed.html

Very Happy
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Sweet Seventy9



Posts: 64
Join date: 2012-03-12
Location: Upstate NY

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:10 am

Matt Trakker wrote:
LOL it would!

So would this...



Sourced from...





With this for forced induction...


Quick, someone buy that '87 2 door with the bad engine from Craigslist!

Great idea!
Do you think it's compatible with my Impala's engine diagnostic "computer"?



.
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bfurches



Posts: 1057
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PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:40 am

Matt Trakker wrote:
http://bangshift.com/blog/car-feature-the-secret-weapon-a-1980-olds-wagon-with-496ci-of-vortec-big-block-and-a-doug-nash-5-speed.html

Very Happy

Thats funny...i forgot all about Jesse's car. Hes over on my local board. Good guy.
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JaySS



Posts: 85
Join date: 2009-05-18

PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:40 pm



Looks like a 4th gen cradle - got any more photos or info on it?

- J
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1984twodoor



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PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:41 pm

Matt I think that 87 landau sold on flea bay. I wanted it to re-purpose the 305 sitting in my tent on a tire... BUT way she goes!


I think a two door with any diesel would be SWEET! But a woody boxy wagon with that beefy limo rear end (14 bolt LOL) on CL and a big strong Dmax on lots of boost rolling coal down the drag strip would be even cooler... Twisted Evil
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boojum



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PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:31 pm



http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/186397-northstar-camaro.html

http://www.hpsalvage.com/projects.htm


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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Northstar Swap   Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:43 pm

http://caddyinfo.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=6695

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