4.6 Northstar Swap Project
Topic started by: copperhens, Date: 10-09-2018 08:09 AM
Original thread: http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/098529.html


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #1, 10-09-2018 08:09 AM
      I picked up a project the other day. I hope I didn’t just get in over my head, but gotta start somewhere... I have always been interested in an engine swap, and this one was already started at least. Yes, I’ve heard about 3800sc are easier, why would you go for the Northstar?! Isn’t that the hardest and most expensive swap? We’ll figure this out.

Anyway, the car is a 1988 GT 5spd. I thought my California fiero was clean... this thing is soooo rust free you can lick it(ps, don’t lick it)! The Northstar is already in car. The coolant lines have been started. Looks like there is a new fan in the car. AC was deleted. The trunk has been chopped for the exhaust. Looks like wiring is almost done and it comes with a computer.

Now, the big issue is that the motor is seized and the clutch is shot. I found a new running motor for $300. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick that up and start there.

I’m on my phone so I’ll have to post pictures later.


Gall757 MSG #2, 10-12-2018 11:47 AM
     

Lunatic (shaynes@rogers.com) MSG #3, 10-13-2018 06:53 AM
      I have two Northstar engines here. One is a '95 and the other is a '96. I also have two LS1 PCM's, an F23, flywheel, and a few other odds and ends. You can have everything for $300 Canadian. I'm downsizing.

[This message has been edited by Lunatic (edited 10-29-2018).]

copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #4, 10-15-2018 08:29 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Lunatic:

I have two Northstar engines here. One is a '95 and the other is a '96. I also have two LS1 PCM's, an F23, flywheel, and a few other odds and ends. You can have everything for $300 Canadian. I'm downsizing.


PMing


motoracer838 (jmartin@musicunveiled.com) MSG #5, 10-18-2018 01:06 PM
      You have a pm.

Joe


RCR (rcrabine@comcast.net) MSG #6, 10-18-2018 08:00 PM
     

Bob



copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #7, 10-19-2018 03:35 PM
      Alright, here she is. Looks pretty sad, not sure if its saying "fix me", or "put me put of my misery".


Here's the rear... I suppose you guys wanna see what is underneath now.


I honestly have not checked if its seized. Probably should, though I shouldn't get my hopes up.


As you can see, my seats are state-of-the-art racing seats.


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #8, 10-19-2018 03:42 PM
      So, from it looks like in the car, is that the POs were almost done with wiring. The engine looks almost hooked up, but nothing inside is connected to the computer.


Also, I found this dash in the car. Looks kinda cool, but why put a dash in a fast car that only goes up to 100mph? Also, they also started converting the interior to gray instead of tan. Least they didn't get too far. There is also a switch they wired by the shifter. Don't know what that is for yet. They also deleted the AC.


The tires were holding air, until they weren't. Ugh.


Lunatic (shaynes@rogers.com) MSG #9, 10-20-2018 06:55 AM
      That swap looks crude and butchered. You've got your work cut out for you.

I have lots of fabrication, machining, wiring and CNC experience so a Northstar swap would be easy for me. If you were closer to me, I'd be willing to help you out with it.

Good luck with the project.


Patrick (mnofony@yahoo.com) MSG #10, 10-20-2018 04:38 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by copperhens:

I hope I didn’t just get in over my head...


Oh my... that looks like quite a challenge. I certainly admire your courage. Hopefully the people here who've done a swap of this sort can help steer you in the right direction(s). Good luck!


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #11, 10-20-2018 07:39 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Lunatic:

That swap looks crude and butchered. You've got your work cut out for you.

I have lots of fabrication, machining, wiring and CNC experience so a Northstar swap would be easy for me. If you were closer to me, I'd be willing to help you out with it.

Good luck with the project.


Yeah that’s too bad you’re so far. Would be nice, because there are definitely fewer resources for this swap compared to a 3800.


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #12, 10-20-2018 07:41 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

Oh my... that looks like quite a challenge. I certainly admire your courage. Hopefully the people here who've done a swap of this sort can help steer you in the right direction(s). Good luck!


Thank you. Definitely looking challenging...


RCR (rcrabine@comcast.net) MSG #13, 10-25-2018 07:24 PM
      Not sure where you're located, but you're welcome to see what I did.

Bob



copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #14, 10-27-2018 06:11 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by RCR:

Not sure where you're located, but you're welcome to see what I did.

Bob



That's about an hour or so from me.


Lunatic (shaynes@rogers.com) MSG #15, 11-04-2018 04:23 AM
      It was nice meeting you and your family. You have a lot of work ahead of you but it sounds like you're up to the task. And now you have enough parts to get up and running.

Thanks for the smooth transaction and I (we) look forward to your progress and updates.

Maybe next year we'll make a road trip and come out and see you.

Shayne


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #16, 11-04-2018 06:20 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Lunatic:

It was nice meeting you and your family. You have a lot of work ahead of you but it sounds like you're up to the task. And now you have enough parts to get up and running.

Thanks for the smooth transaction and I (we) look forward to your progress and updates.

Maybe next year we'll make a road trip and come out and see you.

Shayne


Thanks again for your flexibility. It was a pleasure to deal with you. These parts do bring me one step closer to at least getting this car going. I'm really excited to get home now, and start pulling the engine that's currently in the car. I've already started reading your build thread, and it's awesome how far that car has come.
Although, I'm wondering if I should at least do time serts and new gaskets on the engine I end up putting in to replace the seized one... guess I'm gonna keep pouring over various build threads, as this time change is killing me.



Gall757 MSG #17, 11-04-2018 10:30 AM
      Looks like that white paint will come off pretty easily. I would do that just to make the project a little easier on the eyes. The headlights may be an easy fix too.....looks like the plastic rollers are crunchy. Where are you in Michigan?

copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #18, 11-04-2018 06:53 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Gall757:

Looks like that white paint will come off pretty easily. I would do that just to make the project a little easier on the eyes. The headlights may be an easy fix too.....looks like the plastic rollers are crunchy. Where are you in Michigan?


Haha, some day I’ll make it more pleasing to look at. And I’m glad it has gen 2 headlight motors. I like fixing those much more.

I’m in Milford.


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #19, 11-05-2018 07:40 PM
     
Here are the new motors. For my future reference...
The engine on the left: ‘96; ran five years ago when the pulled(car had rusted brake lines). Has 298km, so about 185k miles.
The engine on the right: ‘95 from STS; tranny went, according to friend the engine had ran two years ago. Miles unknown. The coolant lines on this one are a bit more rusty though than the '96.

I just got some dollies from Harbor Freight today. Hopefully gonna get the engines off the trailer by this weekend.

[This message has been edited by copperhens (edited 11-05-2018).]

copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #20, 11-08-2018 06:24 AM
      Yesterday, my dad and I got the motors off the trailer and the car into the garage.

I haven't yet bought a cherry picker, but at least my dad is handy with a skid steer.


The one and only picture I have of the three Fieros. We had to drag the red with the tractor.


We got it up on jack stands. We were going to start dropping the cradle, but the one lug nut on the driver side rear wheel would just not come off. It take an hour of heat and breaker bars to finally get it off.



KissMySSFiero (ssfiero@aol.com) MSG #21, 11-08-2018 09:09 PM
      here's some history on the car. Looks like it was sold several years back as an unfinished project. The PO was my roommate for a while and he started the swap when he lived with me.

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/A...0323-2-058686-2.html



KissMySSFiero (ssfiero@aol.com) MSG #22, 11-08-2018 09:21 PM
      Btw, if the clutch is toast, that implies to me that it ran at one point.
Whee did you find the car?


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #23, 11-09-2018 10:17 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by KissMySSFiero:

here's some history on the car. Looks like it was sold several years back as an unfinished project. The PO was my roommate for a while and he started the swap when he lived with me.

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/A...0323-2-058686-2.html




Oh wow, that’s awesome! Thanks for sharing. This is my first fiero to have a Pennocks history. I’m excited to read the thread, and may ask you some questions down the road.


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #24, 11-09-2018 10:18 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by KissMySSFiero:

Btw, if the clutch is toast, that implies to me that it ran at one point.
Whee did you find the car?


The guy I bought it from said he tried engaging it today and unstick the engine, and that’s when it broke. Not sure if that’s possible since it doesn’t run.


Patrick (mnofony@yahoo.com) MSG #25, 11-09-2018 03:36 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by copperhens:

The guy I bought it from said he tried engaging it today and unstick the engine...


"engaging"... or disengaging?


KissMySSFiero (ssfiero@aol.com) MSG #26, 11-12-2018 09:13 AM
      Unless someone changed it, that clutch should be a $500 Spec stage 3+ setup. Hopefully you can get it separated and find out it's still serviceable.



copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #27, 11-12-2018 11:26 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

"engaging"... or disengaging?


I’m not sure, I’ll have to ask.


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #28, 11-12-2018 11:28 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by KissMySSFiero:

Unless someone changed it, that clutch should be a $500 Spec stage 3+ setup. Hopefully you can get it separated and find out it's still serviceable.

Wow, that would be nice if it is in decent shape still.



copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #29, 11-12-2018 09:06 PM
      There was an incident with the car earlier. My dad and I were both home early, so we figured we should work on dropping the cradle.

So, we had to jack it up high. Our garage is technically a pole barn, so we can't use any sort of chain from the ceiling.


Inched it down some more. Nothing was hooked up, and just had to push the harness out of the fire wall to get it unattached from car. We started to have some issues with clearance here. We had some 4x4s on the jacks to get the car up higher to clear engine. We were able to squeeze the engine out, but lowering the car would end up being the issue.


My dad and I had to try and lower the jacks at the same time from each side. Well, one let down a bit quick and the 4x4 slipped, and the car toppled. I am a) glad my dad and I figured this would happen and were out of the way, and b) glad the car toppled the way it did, as if it went the other way, it would have messed up my other Fiero. The red car does now have a cracked rear clip, side skirt, and the trunk is busted.



This was unrelated to the fall, and you can actually see it broken in pictures previous, but my brand new dolly broke. Harbor Freight took it back no issues.


Somebody beat the crap out of the rear suspension.


She lost some weight!


Now to start tearing into some engines, and figuring out which one I am going to rebuild...

[This message has been edited by copperhens (edited 11-12-2018).]

Spadesluck MSG #30, 11-13-2018 12:10 AM
      Glad no one was hurt. A cherry picker would have worked out with better results if you had one.

copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #31, 11-13-2018 06:19 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Spadesluck:

Glad no one was hurt. A cherry picker would have worked out with better results if you had one.


It’s on the list that’s for sure.


Dennis LaGrua (dlagrua@comcast.net) MSG #32, 11-17-2018 11:58 AM
      Sorry to hear about the incident but if everyone is OK thats good news. IMO, it difficult to do a swap without a hoist or lift. The N* swap has been done before but I don't believe in great numbers on Fieros. You can locate good engines but the N* is known for head gasket failures so I would recommend a compression or cylinder leakdown test before you install it. The good news here is that you have the trans, axles and mounts so its just a new clutch and connection of wiring, coolant and fuel lines that should get you going. Best of luck on the project.



copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #33, 11-18-2018 04:50 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Dennis LaGrua:

Sorry to hear about the incident but if everyone is OK thats good news. IMO, it difficult to do a swap without a hoist or lift. The N* swap has been done before but I don't believe in great numbers on Fieros. You can locate good engines but the N* is known for head gasket failures so I would recommend a compression or cylinder leakdown test before you install it. The good news here is that you have the trans, axles and mounts so its just a new clutch and connection of wiring, coolant and fuel lines that should get you going. Best of luck on the project.



I just picked up a cherry picler the other day. Would've been nice last week though, so we could've held up the car.
I am going to get a Northstar head stud kit. I only need the studs though because a friend of ours has all the stuff to drill them in. It doesn't seem like a lot, but it also does seem like a lot haha.
Thank you.


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #34, 11-18-2018 05:22 PM
      Today has been very busy, and expensive lol. I bought a cherry picker Thursday, and an engine stand today. Harbor Freight has been having 20% off deals, which is nice. My dad and I built them both today. I was really close to buying a used cherry picker for $75, but it didn't fold. I'm pretty happy I got a new one that does fold now that I think about it.


With the new cherry picker, we got the seized off the cradle. The mounts were well done it seems, but the guy who built it used a bunch of different sized bolts. Anyway, the driveshafts were being stubborn so we had to disassemble the linkages.


The tranny was also a bit stubborn to get off. The PO said he broke the clutch when he tried to crank the engine. I had my fingers crossed, and the clutch seems to be in good shape, which would be great since it's apparently a spec 3.


I had a suspicion the transmissions I had were different... And they are. The one that came with the Northstars I got is the F23, the the rear. The one that came from the seized engine is in the front, is a MG2(thanks to Charlie for that info). If I decided to use the F23, which I probably should, I will have to alter the trans mounts.


Also, a good family friend of ours, Mr. Eric, offered that I bring the engine I am going to rebuild to his garage since it is heated. He lives a few minutes away only, so we loaded up the '96 Northstar and brought it over. I can't thank him enough.


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #35, 11-21-2018 09:13 PM
      I only worked on the '96 for an hour yesterday, and I'd like to think I had made some pretty good progress. I'll try to take some more pictures in the future, to show what I'm doing more. I really didn't document well last night...

I started with clearing off the spark plug wires, some vacuum lines, and some coolant lines. The rear valve cover was easy to remove.


It was also super dirty, and was among some of the parts I brought home so I could at least clean it.


The intake and manifold also came off easier than expected. Do have to remove the fuel rail first though that is mainly clipped on.


I took the starter out and brought it home. It's not very dirty, but I will clean it up anyway, and crack it open to check the insides too.


Not too shabby. I will have to compare this to my spare set of heads I have at home and see what is in better shape.


For having almost 200k miles, this engine is cleaner than I expected. I bought the bolts to get this thing up on the engine stand to continue disassembly. I hope to get it up there on Friday.


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #36, 11-23-2018 06:44 PM
      Today, Mr. Eric helped me out and we got the engine torn up.

Our first issue came with the engine stand. The bell-housing was too small and the one arm didn't fit. So, had to drill a new hole in the arm, and it worked out nice.


To get the crank bolt out, we had to flip the engine, so we could jam a piece through the windage tray the stop the engine from cranking. Also, had to buy a pulley puller for it, and modify it to fit of course.


There was more coolant that spilled out than oil when the engine was rotated.


Caught some pieces in here.


There sure are a bunch of pieces.


Now to take this backer off, so we could loosen then chains that were around the cams.


Mr. Eric said the chains and gears had very little wear on them.


The head bolts were tough to get out. Here's to breaker bars and busted knuckles.


This engine wasn't driven too hard. Lots of carbon build up.


The head gasket seemed to leak at this one piston. You can see the rust build up. The other ones were good though.


So much carbon.


It's getting barren.




The crank is clean too.






Apparently I don't have to send the bock out to be honed, because Mr. Eric has the tools to do it.



These guys are also in good shape. I'm going to clean them up and reuse them.


Now that the block is barren, I'm going to take it to the local "do it yourself" car wash, so I can clean all the grease and crap off. Once it's clean, we can finish honing and start reassembly.


Phlebmaster (phlebotomite@gmail.com) MSG #37, 11-26-2018 09:45 PM
      Subscribed! I have a Northstar donor car (my daily driver now) and was curiously considering this option. Thank you for all of the pictures, I look forward to your progress. Nice work so far, keep up with those descriptions with your pictures so I can glean as much as possible.

Good on you for taking on the challenge!



copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #38, 11-27-2018 06:41 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Phlebmaster:

Subscribed! I have a Northstar donor car (my daily driver now) and was curiously considering this option. Thank you for all of the pictures, I look forward to your progress. Nice work so far, keep up with those descriptions with your pictures so I can glean as much as possible.

Good on you for taking on the challenge!


Thanks, man! What type of Cadillac are you driving?

A great Northstar build was done by Bloozberry as well on Pennocks, which I'd suggest checking out. I've referenced it several times.


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #39, 11-27-2018 06:52 PM
      On Sunday, I took the block to the local car wash and power washed it. A guy stopped by and said you don't often see someone pull out an engine block from the back if their car(thank goodness aluminum is light). I told him about the engine and how it's going into a Fiero, and he told me his neighbor keeps a Fiero in a heated garage. More Fieros popping up in my town(there has been a half dozen in past year)! Anyway, even after a power wash, there was still a lot of grime on it , so took it back to Mr. Eric's garage to do some more cleaning.


I ran up to Harbor Freight and got some fine brushes for a dremel, which got pretty beat up, but did their job. Carb cleaner and purple power helped too. I don't think I'll polish it... It looks pretty good just being wire brushed and clean!


My dad was standing around, so I had him work on the water pump lol.


My gaskets came today. I got them from partsology.com for $154.42, which included free overnight shipping. I ordered them Friday though, and the holiday messed that up. Either way, still need my piston rings to come before I can do much to assemble the engine. Also waiting on the head studs, and the oil distribution manifold.

[This message has been edited by copperhens (edited 11-27-2018).]

Phlebmaster (phlebotomite@gmail.com) MSG #40, 11-27-2018 07:04 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by copperhens:

Thanks, man! What type of Cadillac are you driving?

A great Northstar build was done by Bloozberry as well on Pennocks, which I'd suggest checking out. I've referenced it several times.


It’s a 2000 Deville. Runs great with lowish miles for the year ... 130,000. That engine is a rocket in the big car and it would be amazing in the light GT.

Thanks for the tips on more swap information. Looking forward to seeing your version.



copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #41, 11-27-2018 07:48 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Phlebmaster:


It’s a 2000 Deville. Runs great with lowish miles for the year ... 130,000. That engine is a rocket in the big car and it would be amazing in the light GT.

Thanks for the tips on more swap information. Looking forward to seeing your version.

Nice! I've never driven a northstar, so it'll be interesting for me. Those 2000s Cadillacs are pretty sharp for how old they are.


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #42, 11-29-2018 03:24 PM
      The oil distribution manifold came today. Nothing really wrong with my old one, but it's recommended to get a new one since the seals are melded into it. I bought it from eBay for $45.99.





shemdogg MSG #43, 11-29-2018 06:32 PM
      Looking good man looking good! Never buy anything from HF without that 20% off coupon. I got the same cherry picker for pulling my jetski motors, its a handy sumbitch and nice it folds up!

shem


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #44, 11-30-2018 09:07 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by shemdogg:

Looking good man looking good! Never buy anything from HF without that 20% off coupon. I got the same cherry picker for pulling my jetski motors, its a handy sumbitch and nice it folds up!

shem


Thanks! Yup, this 20% coupon is pretty great. I’ve necer been to harbor freight before this year, I like it a lot now.


Phlebmaster (phlebotomite@gmail.com) MSG #45, 11-30-2018 09:35 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by copperhens:

Nice! I've never driven a northstar, so it'll be interesting for me. Those 2000s Cadillacs are pretty sharp for how old they are.


Thank you. Yes they seem to have that classy look even today. You will not be disappointed with your northstar in the Fiero. The sounds are intoxicating under the hood and the exhaust notes will make you giggle. The engine launches this tuba lard off the line and can embarrass a stock mustang but the 45-70 mph launches are the best.... I can pass pretty much anything without breaking a sweat.

Keep it up!! Good work


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #46, 12-01-2018 11:22 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Phlebmaster:


Thank you. Yes they seem to have that classy look even today. You will not be disappointed with your northstar in the Fiero. The sounds are intoxicating under the hood and the exhaust notes will make you giggle. The engine launches this tuba lard off the line and can embarrass a stock mustang but the 45-70 mph launches are the best.... I can pass pretty much anything without breaking a sweat.

Keep it up!! Good work


That’s good to hear. I’m excited for the his swap.



copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #47, 12-06-2018 05:20 PM
      Another boring post. I haven't had time to work on the motor aside from some cleaning. This Saturday I hope to make some progress.

The last of the goodies came. Here are the Northstar Performance head studs. They're heavier than they look(8lbs!).


I also had to get 16 new rod bolts(part #12552947) , because they are TTY. I got these from GM Parts Direct for $5.04/bolt. Don't use this company! They would not ship the bolts until I sent them a heated email. Took two weeks to get these bolts. I should've checked the reviews, because they were all bad. Oh well, at least I got my stuff. I've heard good stuff about "Cheapest GM Parts", and their rod bolts would've been cheaper by $3. The more ya know lol.


Look at those threads!


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #48, 12-20-2018 07:25 PM
      I have made sporadic progress. Been waiting on my friend to help me drill for the head studs. He just picked up the bit today, so hopefully this weekend we'll drill the block.

I took al of the mounts off the cradle. I POR-15ed(partially) the control arms. The poly on them looks good.


Turns out, my old valve cover had a crack. We only noticed after my poor dad cleaned the thing all nicely. Good thing for spare motors, because I just took the cover off the siezed engine. Look at that poor cam, yuck!


Today I also worked on trying to get the sheet out of the trunk. It busted up when the car fell, and it may be easier to do the exhaust without it in the way. Will probably cut out a new sheet and weld it in later; this one was just held in with screws and foam.


Took the cradle, and some mounts to get powder coated. Also need to drop off the rear knuckles and the other valve cover off to be done.

[This message has been edited by copperhens (edited 12-20-2018).]

Patrick (mnofony@yahoo.com) MSG #49, 12-20-2018 09:11 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by copperhens:

Today I also worked on trying to get the sheet out of the trunk.


Excuse me? That doesn't sound too lady-like.


You're doing a great job. I'm enjoying following your progress.


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #50, 12-21-2018 04:56 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

Excuse me? That doesn't sound too lady-like.


You're doing a great job. I'm enjoying following your progress.


Hahaha, it was getting frustrating in all fairness. Of course one screw is stripped.

Thanks. I should be going over to a friend's house tomorrow to get some parts for my red car.


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #51, 12-22-2018 08:16 PM
      I went over to Charlie's today, and picked up some stuff. He has four cool Fieros.


This one is a super duty.


I'm debating what to do about the carpet. The car smells yucky, and according to Charlie(he's the one I bought the northstar Fiero from), it was filled of mouse poop when he got it. New carpeting is around $150, although the carpet is in pretty good shape. The foam just looks yucky. Oh well, not really an immediate concern. When I was peeling the carpet back I found something really strange.


I also got some seats! I swore I had a better picture of them, but this is all I got. I just put them inside the car so my dad wouldn't have a heart attack from the garage being more messy. These seats are from an '84, so they have that stripe, and speakers! I'll need to figure out to wire those in though. The passenger seat is flawless. The driver side has two rips. but they're not worn.


fieroguru MSG #52, 12-22-2018 08:23 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by copperhens:
I'm debating what to do about the carpet. The car smells yucky, and according to Charlie(he's the one I bought the northstar Fiero from), it was filled of mouse poop when he got it.



Take the carpet out and to the car wash. Clip up with the floor mat clamps and spray it down until the water coming off of it is clean. I do this to every new to me fiero.


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #53, 12-23-2018 08:04 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by fieroguru:


Take the carpet out and to the car wash. Clip up with the floor mat clamps and spray it down until the water coming off of it is clean. I do this to every new to me fiero.


Messing with my carpet seems like a spring project... I'll try to save it, as it looks pretty good on top, just stinky. Thanks.


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #54, 12-23-2018 08:21 PM
      Made good progress today on the engine!

My dad and Mr. Eric are pictured here trying to align the block on the Bridgeport. This took an hour or so.


I worked on getting the cam bolts(10mm) off. They were coming off at first, and then they kept stripping, no matter which 10mm I used. I had to pound a 3/8in on to get quite a few off.


Turns out both 10mm had split.


The exhaust lifters and cams on my heads were pretty awful. Luckily I not only have a spare set of lifters, but a spare set of heads too.


The surface was pretty rough, so we shaved off two thousandths of an inch.


The first two holes are tapped in this picture. The Bridgeport was having some alignment issues and needs a new scale, but we still got it done. Just took a while since we had to do a lot of the math the scale couldn't. We started the taps with the Bridgeport, and finished the, by hand. We were able to get this half of the block done.


Made a temporary dowel pin for the piston so it could be bead blasted.


Looking good!



Phlebmaster (phlebotomite@gmail.com) MSG #55, 12-24-2018 09:03 AM
      Nice work! I bet it feels good to get this far... The assembly will be the fun part, but then are you ready to start the swap? Thanks for the good pictures and descriptions

[This message has been edited by Phlebmaster (edited 12-24-2018).]

copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #56, 12-25-2018 01:38 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Phlebmaster:

Nice work! I bet it feels good to get this far... The assembly will be the fun part, but then are you ready to start the swap? Thanks for the good pictures and descriptions



I've been lucky so far that a lot of the custom work has already been done. My Christmas break goes until January 6th. What're the chances I'll crack down and get the engine together by then? I have all of the parts, so in theory it's possible.
The transmission situation is going to get difficult because the engine came with a stock Fiero 5spd trans, and I have an F23... So I will have to make a new trans mount for that at least. As well as the guts of the trans may differ.



Lunatic (shaynes@rogers.com) MSG #57, 12-26-2018 06:22 AM
      I'm going to dump some information in this reply as it's Northstar/F23 related. If you think it's too much, let me know and I'll remove it.

I've decided to add some information to those interested in mating the Northstar to a F23 transaxle.

Notes;
1a) The Northstar has one mounting flange hole (on the bellhousing) offset to clear the 4T80-E transaxle. Therefore we will need to clearance the block for a bracket.
1b) The Getrag F23 will physically bolt to the Northstar. Although the F23 is secured to the block with six bolts while attached to the 2200 SFI or 3800 engines, on the Northstar we will use four for sure. There is a possibility to use the 5th hole.
2) Stock Fiero axles fit right in, no modifications are necessary.
3) The Northstar is neutrally balanced. Therefore we need a flywheel that is also neutrally balanced. With some minor machining, you can use the one that came from the 2000-02 Sunfire or Cavalier. The part number for this flywheel is: 14018712. If you Google that number, you'll see it was used in many applications.
4) Fiero clutch and pressure plate can be used.
5) Transaxle mounts. You'll have to fab up some mounts as the F23 doesn't really line up with anything on the Fiero cradle.
6) Flywheel bolts. The Northstar flexplate bolts are too short to use on the manual flywheel. You'll need to find something suitable. Whatever you end up using, use Loctite and torque to the manufacture's specification. FYI: Make sure the bolts used aren't too long or they'll hit the rear bearing and either damage it, or cause the crank not to turn. The maximum length they should protrude from the flywheel is .530" The holes in the crankshaft flange are M8x1.25
7) Despite what others think, you can use the stock Fiero clutch master cylinder. But there is a catch; you'll have to make sure to measure the concentric slave cylinder travel and see if you need a spacer or not.

I'll be using a Gen 1 (93-99) Northstar block and F23 from a 2000-02 Cavalier or Sunfire with the 2200 SFI engine for this tutorial.

Here's the dirty F23 and Northstar somewhat bolted together.


In this photo, we can use the bottom left and top left bolt holes. The middle one is not tapped and there isn't enough material to do so safely. We'll leave it alone. You can also see there is ample clearance on the left side for the water log.


On the right side, this is the hole that doesn't line up. We'll take care of that later on.


That bolt hole isn't used, although it can be. I'll show that later on as well. You can see the F23 has a casting that interferes with the water log and must get removed.


Using a hack saw, remove the offending area. It only takes a minute.


Then I chose to use a sanding disk and clean up the area a little.


The water log on the right now clears.




Now we have the filler cap to deal with. It hits the water log! This means you'll have to remove the water log to fill the trans, or fill the trans then install it onto the engine. This is nowhere near ideal.


Two simple 45° elbows (not shown) will remedy this by offsetting the filler away from the water log.


Another tight spot is the right tripod. The boss on the block is in close proximity to the axle. While it does turn, I don't have the CV boot on. The boot may foul if in place. Grinding the boss looks like it'll have enough room to clear the boot. Doing it this way should work and avoid having to use a jack shaft.


Starter clearance: As we know, the Northstar has its starter in the "V" under the intake manifold. We must clearance the inside of the F23 for the starter. Using my technique with a grinder and used (therefore smaller diameter) abrasive wheel, one can make a nice looking cut.




You'll need to go in at least 1 5/8".


Your cut should like this.


The camera gives the illusion that the left side of my cut isn't enough; it is.


If your cut looked like mine, then your starter will fit.


Now the flywheel, which needs some machining. This is the one from the 2200. It has the right ring gear diameter to work with the Northstar starter. The seven holes will need to be plugged. Either machine some pins and press them in or tap and thread in some set screws. Use high strength Locktite if tapping. After the holes are filled, one must drill new holes to match the flange of the Northstar. The pattern is 8 on 78mm. The holes should clear the 8mm bolts and be around 8.2mm; a 21/64" drill bit should be good. After that, machine off the rear flange of the flywheel. It's around 0.060" thick and needs to be removed. This is because the Northstar crankshaft is larger in diameter and needs a larger base. After the material has been removed, use the spacer that came on top of the Northstar flexplate and place it between the flywheel and crankshaft. This plate is around the same thickness as the material that has been removed. Now we need a bushing made to center the flywheel onto the crankshaft. Make it a press fit into the flywheel and the inner diameter should match that of the Northstar crank.






Here's the bushing that's needed to center the flywheel onto the Northstar crank.
Note: I say "my application" below. Measure "your" Northstar crank lip and flywheel ID to get the proper measurements.
Dimensions:
The inner diameter (in my application) was: 1.102"
The outer diameter (in my application) was: 1.263"
The overall length (in my application) was: .356"







Here's a metric layout of the bolt circle, for the flywheel, that's needed when using a mill with a DRO (digital read out).


If one had access to CNC equipment, making a flywheel would be easy. Here's a few quick drawings of what it would look like.




Oh yeah, the ring gear!








If designing your own flywheel, you can pick up an aftermarket ring gear as seen below. Using the flywheel shown, it'll work with your existing starter. These are fairly inexpensive at around $40.
This ring gear is installed as a "shrink fit". Meaning one will heat the ring gear to expand it, then quickly install it onto the flywheel. As it cools, it shrinks into place. If I was going this route, I'd machine the mating surface on the flywheel around .020" bigger than the inner diameter of the ring gear. I'd say 0.002" per every 1 inch of ring gear would be an interference fit. Therefore a 10" ring gear should have 0.020" of interference. Steel expands when heated. So, for every 100° in temperature rise, you gain 0.006" of ring gear expansion. Therefore at 400°, you should be around 0.024" of expansion. I'd also place the flywheel in the freezer for a day too.
Some specs:
-Pioneer part number: FRG 142W
-Outer diameter: 11.910"
-Inner diameter: 11.088"
-Pitch 12
-Width: .453"


Addressing the mount that doesn't line up.
As seen in this photo, one can see the mount that doesn't line up.
Note: The centerline of these bolt holes is 1.0625" apart or 1 1/16".


That's okay, this is an easy fix. I used a piece of 1" round stock. Coincidentally, it had the perfect inner diameter of 1/2", which is what we need.
Note: The length of my tube was .970" (thickness of the flange) + .240" (thickness of the material) = 1.210" long.


I chose to slip a bolt through the tube that I just cut and used that to scribe a line.


As seen here, this is what you need to remove from the block.


Take your time here with the die grinder and you can make it look factory.






I also added a fillet to clear the weld.


Checking the fitment.Looks nice and like it belongs.


Oh yeah, here's the mounting lug adapter that we're making.








Here's the piece that was laser cut out of 1/4" mild steel.


Here's what it'll look like after I attach it to the tube that I cut earlier.


After TIG welding the two components, I now have this mounting lug assembly.




And lets install it.








Now for the fastener lengths. These are M12 x 1.75
Hole A = 45 mm
Hole B = Not used
Hole C = 45 mm
Hole D = 45 mm
Hole E = Not used
Hole F Upper = 30 mm
Hole F Lower = 55 mm




copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #58, 12-30-2018 05:57 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Lunatic:

I'm going to dump some information in this reply as it's Northstar/F23 related. If you think it's too much, let me know and I'll remove it.

I've decided to add some information to those interested in mating the Northstar to a F23 transaxle.


Thanks for the info. Leaving it up is fine, in case another member has questions.

I believe I have the same trans that’s shown in that tutorial? If that’s the same one I got from you a couple months ago. The starter area is already cut, as well as the the other protruding pieces.


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #59, 12-30-2018 06:36 PM
      In the words of Mr. Eric, "we have some good news and bad news. The block is drilled, but its also cracked." I thought he was joking about it being cracked, by alas, it is.

It goes through the block heater, that we took out. It's not that bad, and I think it may have started when the block was cut by a PO. That curve there isn't factory. We're gonna v the crack, and weld it together.


Mr. Eric bought a sand blaster, so we tested it out on the block. It looks great.


I can't find the pictures, but two days ago when it was 50F out, I worked on the car's interior. I changed the guage cluster surrond back to tan, since PO tried to change to gray. Also took out driver side carpet, and cleaned the crap out of it. The foam was in pretty good shape.


copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #60, 01-13-2019 06:49 PM
      Still haven't worked on the block. This week hopefully.

I did take all of the transmission stuff off the seized motor today though. Apparently something in here was supposed to be broken(according to PO), but it looks fine to me.



copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #61, 05-26-2019 04:56 PM
      I know I have not been updating, but don;t worry because I've still been at it!

Back on the 24th of February the pistons got cleaned up.


Rebuilt the heads late March. New valves, and cleaned everything else up.






Sand blasted the block in below freezing weather.


Pistons in in May.


Headstuds in on the 21st,


Heads on.


Cams on and the followers on today. The exhaust ones all came from the spare heads I have because the ones that were on this engine were pretty beat up.


I had to order new timing stuff because the stuff was pretty worn. Also had to pull new valve covers since the ones pictured are all pitted. I'm wondering if anyone has relocated the oil fill. Currently it is on the front of the engine, and that just looks awkward in a Fiero hmm...


Vicophine (vicophine@gmail.com) MSG #62, 05-28-2019 08:23 AM
      Subscribing! Seeing this is giving me motivation to finally drop my V6 donor engine! Looks fantastic, and clean!

copperhens (copperhens@icloud.com) MSG #63, 05-29-2019 09:08 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Vicophine:

Subscribing! Seeing this is giving me motivation to finally drop my V6 donor engine! Looks fantastic, and clean!


I have a pair or Northstar engines for sale if you ever wanna go that route too.