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getting northstar soon, what do i need to know about swaping in into my fiero by mckay_lee
Started on: 10-27-2003 01:12 AM
Replies: 13
Last post by: Will on 10-28-2003 11:17 AM
mckay_lee
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Report this Post10-27-2003 01:12 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mckay_leeClick Here to Email mckay_leeSend a Private Message to mckay_leeDirect Link to This Post
what do i need to hook this thing up to a 5spd getrag i heard that the northstar is near imposible to get runing corectly, especially if you use a manual tranny. also and other info on the swap would be greatly apreciated.
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Scott-Wa
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Report this Post10-27-2003 09:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Scott-WaClick Here to visit Scott-Wa's HomePageClick Here to Email Scott-WaSend a Private Message to Scott-WaDirect Link to This Post
Maybe you should give us a bit more info on what your electrical/mechanical abilities are? This is one of the toughest swaps out there since it requires custom computer programming/wiring and a LOT of it if your going to run a manual transmission.

This swap will probably run well in excess of $10K dollars for parts and labor if your going to have to pay someone to do it. Custom clutch, custom wiring, custom programming, probably aftermarket fuel/spark ECM. I'll consider the custom exhaust, motor mounts, air intake, gauges the easy part of this swap.

What is your final goal... ie. why are you looking at a Northstar over other engines?

I'm not saying it can't be done, several here have done it, just saying I think it is one of the more involved swaps that needs a much higher level of expertise and a boatload of dollars unless you've fallen into an engine and controller for super cheap. I passed on a crate motor with aftermarket computer for $10K while back... just couldn't justify it.

I'm hoping my complete $800 40K miles 3800 series 2 donor car will be here in next couple of days for my swap. I'm attempting a 1998 OBD2 3800 series 2 swap using a Lumina LTZ. I'm going to use the engine and transmission so that I can keep the entire OBD2 system functional and simplify the wiring by making the car think it's a 1998 Lumina by keeping it's computer and harness. If I ran a 5 speed I wouldn't be able to accomplish the swap without MAJOR modifications to the ECM and wiring.

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Fiero STS
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Report this Post10-27-2003 09:38 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero STSClick Here to Email Fiero STSSend a Private Message to Fiero STSDirect Link to This Post
Do a search, there is a guy named Will who did a very good job of documenting the N* swap with the 5 speed getrag trans. Using a obdI engine setup. If using obdII, You are limited to aftermarket stand alone ignition. obdII ecm will not function properly without the trans. and nobody is really working on the code for caddy obdII ecms. The mounts are not too difficult nor is the exhaust if you fallow Wills instructions.
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aaron88
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Report this Post10-27-2003 10:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for aaron88Send a Private Message to aaron88Direct Link to This Post
Before you make your decision consider what your real reasons for doing a northstar swap. Perhaps you just want to drive a rare car? I donít know.

What I can tell you is the reasons that compelled me to start a Northstar swap.
First and foremost, I had some money to spare (barely enough).
I had access to manufacturing equipment.
I have a background in engineering.
I didnít want turboís or superchargerís to make the power.
I wanted the motor to last a very long time.
I wanted to be able to pound the motor on a regular basis without having to tune the motor afterwards.
I wanted to add as little weight as possible to the back (in this case take some weight out).
I wanted good fuel economy.
I wanted to fix the weight distribution problem with the car?
I wanted a conversion that was undeniably custom, that was undeniably by my hand.

I bought an 88 for this purpose, because if I was going to do it then I should do it right (although using an 88 causes some other problems). Which brings me to another point. If you are going to beef up the power you should strongly consider fixing the brakes and adjusting the suspension (or replacing the suspension).

All totalled I spent $14 000 (Canadian). This includes Koni shocks, sport springs, converting from auto to Getrag 282, various other upgrades and the price of the car. To change the engine alone I think you should budget for between $3 000 and $7 000 depending on your expertise and access to equipment, this does not include the price of the motor itís self. That seems to be a matter of luck. Anywhere between $1000 and $3500 depending on mileage and luck.

Aaron

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aaron88
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Report this Post10-27-2003 10:25 AM Click Here to See the Profile for aaron88Send a Private Message to aaron88Direct Link to This Post
I may get in trouble for saying this but I honestly think, that unless you are capable of doing this swap yourself, including manufacturing some of the brackets. Then it will be imposable for you to make a proper budget. Thus I cannot recommend it to those individuals.

It may be worth your time to wait until someone offers a kit for the manual conversion. If it ever becomes available.

Aaron

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mckay_lee
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Report this Post10-27-2003 11:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mckay_leeClick Here to Email mckay_leeSend a Private Message to mckay_leeDirect Link to This Post
well first off my reasons for wanting a northstar are its a DOHC, i can get the engine for a few hundred dollars, it doesnt weigh alot, it looks good, and nobody has one. i dont have alot of experience with engines, but if i have alittle instruction on how to do things i can usually get things done. as for the have someone do it for me thing, thats not an option since i dont have the money and almost anything i need done i can get a friend to do it for free or near free.
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aaron88
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Report this Post10-27-2003 11:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for aaron88Send a Private Message to aaron88Direct Link to This Post
In that case Iím going to send you off to read.
Do a search here for northstar, then north*, then N*
Read up all you can on that, it has a lot of good instruction between all the way to goís and such. Find the pertinent documenter and skip though all the other stuff.
There is also another good source for information on the northstar getrag swap on this sight. http://www.fierodrivers.com/forum/index.php?board=3;action=display;threadid=765
Itís my swap and itís not quite done yet, but is full of good and expanding info.

Aaron

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86 FIERO GT
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Report this Post10-27-2003 01:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 86 FIERO GTClick Here to Email 86 FIERO GTSend a Private Message to 86 FIERO GTDirect Link to This Post
I dont know where you get 10K for a swap, that is BS. Just the design one is 5k. If you do it yourself with the 5spd getrag, save the trouble of the factory harness and order a cadillac hotrod fab holley commander computer. Only thing can get expensive is rebuilding one but then again its not much more than putting any motor together with good parts.

See sig

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Report this Post10-27-2003 01:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero STSClick Here to Email Fiero STSSend a Private Message to Fiero STSDirect Link to This Post
Very nice Write up. Looks like you are doing a nice clean installation.
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aaron88
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Report this Post10-27-2003 03:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for aaron88Send a Private Message to aaron88Direct Link to This Post
86 fiero gt

the Design 1 Kit is $5000 but they use an auto not the 5 speed mentioned here and they also don't include the engine or transmission, however they told me they could get me one for another $5000. Easy math?

I also mention (previously) that if you know what you're doing (or get lucky) you could do the swap for little as $3000 plus the cost of the motor. No more speed reading.

But I still don't recommend this upgrade without upgrading the suspension and brakes too.

Aaron

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[This message has been edited by aaron88 (edited 10-27-2003).]

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Formula88
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Report this Post10-27-2003 03:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 86 FIERO GT:

I dont know where you get 10K for a swap, that is BS.

This is where:

 
quote
Originally posted by Scott-Wa
:

This swap will probably run well in excess of $10K dollars for parts and labor if your going to have to pay someone to do it.

$10K parts AND labor to pay someone else to do it is a little optimistic, in my opinion.

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white86
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Report this Post10-27-2003 08:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for white86Click Here to Email white86Send a Private Message to white86Direct Link to This Post
will the tranny handle it? i talked to the guy at design 1 today and he said that there is no way a fiero manual tranny would hold that horsepower and torque, but archie said he's put 400+ hp through the getrag. opinions? anyone running strong with that much power?
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sanderson
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Report this Post10-27-2003 11:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for sandersonClick Here to Email sandersonSend a Private Message to sandersonDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by white86:

i talked to the guy at design 1 today and he said that there is no way a fiero manual tranny would hold that horsepower and torque

He might also say that if he doesn't want to to deal with ECM issues making the Northstar work with a manual.

Archie has done something like 220 small block chevies many with the Getrag 5 speed. I'd take Archies word that GM built a lot of conservatism into the Getrag. The real challenge with the Northstar and a manual is apparently getting the engine to run right. There have been several threads discussing this in the past.


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Will
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Report this Post10-28-2003 11:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillDirect Link to This Post
Try some of these threads. Pay attention to the dates. They are a running description of my swap, and sometimes plans have to change in mid effort.
http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Archives/Archive-000001/HTML/20010418-2-005498.html http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Archives/Archive-000001/HTML/20020825-2-021440.html http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Archives/Archive-000001/HTML/20020208-2-012465.html http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Archives/Archive-000001/HTML/20020825-2-017228.html


I've been beating on my Getrag daily for 2 years now. It's doing fine. I've blown up one Centerforce DF201502 clutch and recently broke my rear trans mount bracket, but the transmission itself is perfectly fine.

There are LOTS of reasons why businesses like Design1 or the now defunct ACE might say whatever they say about transmission durability or computers or radiators or whatever. The straight scoop will always come from the guys who've done it themselves. The guys who haven't done it, while mening well, frequently spout misinformation due to the fact that they've read write-ups but haven't actually looked at the parts involved.

There is a chip that will run the N* computer with a manual transmission. I will soon start adapting a 7749 to the N*, so the ECM issues will be out of the way eventually. If you're experienced with wiring, figure close to 40 hours to get the wiring harness setup well. That's probably close to half the work.

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'87 Fiero GT: Northstar, Getrag, TGP wheels, rear sway bar, rod end links, bushings, etc.
'90 Pontiac 6000 SE AWD: Leaking ABS unit fixed, load levelling rear suspension fixed, still slow

[This message has been edited by Will (edited 10-28-2003).]

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