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Any Northstar people? by copperhens
Started on: 07-10-2020 12:56 PM
Replies: 28 (454 views)
Last post by: Will on 08-07-2020 01:04 AM
copperhens
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Report this Post07-10-2020 12:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for copperhensClick Here to Email copperhensSend a Private Message to copperhensEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I’m getting ready to put my Northstar in my Fiero after a full tear down to the block of the engine. I just have some questions for how other people have done the coolant and fuel routing.


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Will
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Report this Post07-10-2020 02:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I used early Fiero 4 cylinder fuel lines that run up the left side of the engine compartment along with the stainless steel fuel rail. I have an inline fuel filter down by the tank, but it's small and difficult to access. I'm swapping over to an ACDelco GF831 as used on the SSR, Trailblazer and other reasonably powerful vehicles, and I intend to put it in the left rear corner of the engine bay, just inboard of the left strut tower, against the trunk wall.

For coolant outlet (upper) to left coolant pipe, I use a short 1 1/4" hose coupler, a Moroso inline filler neck and a CarQuest 20898 hose.
For the thermostat inlet (lower) connection across the cradle to the right coolant pipe, I have an oil/water heat exchanger. You can see more starting here:
http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F.../000121-21.html#p822
The oil/water HEX development and plumbing goes through the end of the next page, though.

Shots of the more-or-less complete system here: http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F.../HTML/000121-23.html

What engine management are you using?
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RCR
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Report this Post07-10-2020 09:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RCRClick Here to Email RCRSend a Private Message to RCREdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Does an Aurora count?

I would bow to Will's knowledge, but of course, I did mine different.

I used an intank Walbro 255 fuel pump, using the stock 84 lines. They come up the driver's side strut tower where I come across to the stock rails, using flex hoses.

For the coolant lines, I made a cross-over pipe out of a set of Fiero lines, that is mounted to the cradle. Rubber hoses make the interfaces. I'm using a Grand Am coolant recovery bottle for my fill and air evac.

Bob
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Report this Post07-11-2020 10:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by RCR:

I used an intank Walbro 255 fuel pump, using the stock 84 lines.
Bob


Oh yeah, I'm using a '96 Corvette fuel pump in the tank.

Also, I only have the stock Fiero overflow tank on the car. I use a lower pressure cap at the Moroso inline filler neck than I have on the radiator, but I cap the overflow at the inline filler neck. This means that the system can vent air at the rear cap when it warms up, but has to draw in water from the Fiero overflow bottle when it cools back down. This bleeds both ends of the cooling system with only one tank. I replaced the "bleed bolt" at the top of the water manifold with a bespoke fitting using a brake caliper bleeder screw. This lets me bleed as I fill, then just snug the bleeder screw to close that leak path.
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Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post07-11-2020 02:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Never did the N* swap but in reading about that engine the early ones had problems with head bolts pulling out and head gasket failures. Apparently that was fixed. Don't know what years to avoid. Will seems to be the N* man here, so I would ask his opinion.

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Report this Post07-11-2020 02:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for sourmashClick Here to Email sourmashSend a Private Message to sourmashEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Supposedly they rectified the situation by the 2005 model year and by then it had a steel crank too. But the 2006 to 2011 has some other advancements that make tuning more agreeable.
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IXSLR8
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Report this Post07-12-2020 01:36 AM Click Here to See the Profile for IXSLR8Click Here to Email IXSLR8Send a Private Message to IXSLR8Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Regarding fuel and coolant routing:

Fuel: I just used the stock Fiero location for a WIX filter and plumbed from there to the forward side of the fuel rail using an Aurora stainless fuel rail. My 1996 Northstar engine originally had the plastic fuel rail with the fuel inlet/connector opposite side of the Aurora's. Used a high flow Corvette fuel pump in the tank.

Coolant: made a crossover pipe out of Fiero's stainless coolant pipe. Went from the water pump area down and along the cradle to the passenger side. I used a black square-like coolant overflow bottle from a Landrover Discovery. I have a 20lb cap at the front on Champion V8 radiator and a standard 16lb cap on the Discovery bottle in the engine bay. Don't be fearful of the higher N* operating water temps compared to other Chevy V8's. They run hotter. I don't have a bleeder and have thought about putting one in the front radiator somewhere to get that air pocket out.

[This message has been edited by IXSLR8 (edited 07-13-2020).]

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copperhens
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Report this Post07-12-2020 05:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for copperhensClick Here to Email copperhensSend a Private Message to copperhensEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thank you guys for all of the replies! It’s nice to hear all of the different ways people have done it. Just waiting on a pair of caps for the struts and then the engine can go in the car. Gives some time to brainstorm how to route all of these systems.
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Report this Post07-12-2020 05:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for copperhensClick Here to Email copperhensSend a Private Message to copperhensEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

copperhens

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quote
Originally posted by Dennis LaGrua:

Never did the N* swap but in reading about that engine the early ones had problems with head bolts pulling out and head gasket failures. Apparently that was fixed. Don't know what years to avoid. Will seems to be the N* man here, so I would ask his opinion.



Northstar Performance makes a a head stud kit that’s not cheap($600), but should do the trick. I ended up buying one since I had the whole engine apart anyway. My engine appeared to have a leaky head gasket by the damage to one of the cylinders.
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IXSLR8
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Report this Post07-13-2020 01:30 AM Click Here to See the Profile for IXSLR8Click Here to Email IXSLR8Send a Private Message to IXSLR8Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yes, earlier engines had head gasket issues and some had weeping blocks. However, if you take care of the head gasket issue, they are totally durable and long-term engines.
I have studded (used Norm's N* inserts as opposed to Northstar Performance's studs which are great too) two 1996 engines with Cometic head gaskets in two of our Fieros here in Portland. I have another 1995 engine done mounted to an 88 cradle. It's supposed to go in my 85 GT. Just can't seem to get to it!

Will has documented his well and its in the Construction zone. Well worth your time to follow it.
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Report this Post07-13-2020 01:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by copperhens:


Northstar Performance makes a a head stud kit that’s not cheap($600), but should do the trick. I ended up buying one since I had the whole engine apart anyway. My engine appeared to have a leaky head gasket by the damage to one of the cylinders.


Unless your block is really corroded (IE, you should find another block), TimeSerts are perfectly adequate. All studs do is make it impossible to deck the block.

[This message has been edited by Will (edited 07-13-2020).]

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Report this Post07-13-2020 01:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Dennis LaGrua:

Never did the N* swap but in reading about that engine the early ones had problems with head bolts pulling out and head gasket failures. Apparently that was fixed. Don't know what years to avoid. Will seems to be the N* man here, so I would ask his opinion.




 
quote
Originally posted by sourmash:

Supposedly they rectified the situation by the 2005 model year and by then it had a steel crank too. But the 2006 to 2011 has some other advancements that make tuning more agreeable.


Yeah, there have been some hardware updates throughout the years.

'93-'99: 32x wheel, cam sensor on right exhaust, crank sensors on the front side of the block straddling the crank centerline, waste spark ignition with 4-coil pack. The Shelby ECU and '7730 V6 DIS code have run these engines

'00-'05: Unique 24x wheel, cam sensor on right exhaust, coil on plug ignition. Roller valvetrain with followers common to Ecotec and Atlas engines (and later high feature V6's) and improved intake manifold introduced in '00. Other than the factory ECU with 4T80E autotragic, I've only ever known of a Big Stuff 3 ECU used to control this one. There were significant hardware changes, including the forged crank and 11x2.0 head bolts, implemented in '04. The 11x2.0 head bolts eliminated the prior engines' problem with stress corrosion cracking of the 11x1.5 head bolt threads.

'06-'11: 58x wheel with crank & knock sensors in the valley, cam sensor with 4x cam wheel on the right intake. Pretty much any 58x ECU should work.

[This message has been edited by Will (edited 07-13-2020).]

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Zac88GT
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Report this Post07-14-2020 10:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Zac88GTClick Here to visit Zac88GT's HomePageClick Here to Email Zac88GTSend a Private Message to Zac88GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Will:

'00-'05: Unique 24x wheel, cam sensor on right exhaust, coil on plug ignition. Roller valvetrain with followers common to Ecotec and Atlas engines (and later high feature V6's) and improved intake manifold introduced in '00. Other than the factory ECU with 4T80E autotragic, I've only ever known of a Big Stuff 3 ECU used to control this one. There were significant hardware changes, including the forged crank and 11x2.0 head bolts, implemented in '04. The 11x2.0 head bolts eliminated the prior engines' problem with stress corrosion cracking of the 11x1.5 head bolt threads.



We used a megasquirt and ford edis8 ignition system to run the one in my friends Esprit. When we started the project he was supposedly getting a '99 engine, but when it showed up it was a '00. So we had to find something to make it work.
https://youtu.be/LxLN5a5q_Lk
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Will
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Report this Post07-15-2020 07:36 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Zac88GT:

We used a megasquirt and ford edis8 ignition system to run the one in my friends Esprit. When we started the project he was supposedly getting a '99 engine, but when it showed up it was a '00. So we had to find something to make it work.
https://youtu.be/LxLN5a5q_Lk


What did you do to correctly interpret the crank sensor pulse train?
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Report this Post07-15-2020 11:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Zac88GTClick Here to visit Zac88GT's HomePageClick Here to Email Zac88GTSend a Private Message to Zac88GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Will:


What did you do to correctly interpret the crank sensor pulse train?


We cheated a bit because we didn't use the Northstar wheel or sensors. We mounted a new 36-1 ford trigger wheel on the crank pulley.
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Report this Post07-15-2020 03:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Zac88GT:

We cheated a bit because we didn't use the Northstar wheel or sensors. We mounted a new 36-1 ford trigger wheel on the crank pulley.


LOL!
So the count of '00-'05 Northstar run by an aftermarket ECU on the stock wheel still stands at 1.
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Report this Post07-15-2020 09:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for sourmashClick Here to Email sourmashSend a Private Message to sourmashEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Occasionally on the Cadillac Forum someone asks about using the LS4 in place of the problem years of Northstar. It's pretty annoying to read the same replies from the same person who doesn't agree with the proposition. Today my favorite yard placed a gorgeous black 03 STS. No damage. You know it's an engine failure and they just threw the car away for a few hundred dollars.
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Will
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Report this Post07-16-2020 10:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The repair makes the engine bullet proof, but is labor-intensive. With the depreciation of luxury cars, particularly Cadillacs, the economics of repairing frequently don't work out.

These guys rebuild Northstars: https://www.cadillac46northstarengines.com/

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sourmash
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Report this Post07-16-2020 09:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for sourmashClick Here to Email sourmashSend a Private Message to sourmashEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
What is the cost of a Northstar head repair job? LS4s are cheap right now and bulletproof on their own. The upside hp is easier to get to. My '09 I pulled with trans, ecu, gas pedal and harness was $500. It doesn't need $600 in head threading repair to get it to just being normal again (before labor). It needs a cam and lifters and will be better than it was.
The Caddie is a throw-away because of the several thousand dollar repair to the Northstar, and you still have less power with no aftermarket support. The N* sound is very nice but I'm a little underwhelmed at the power when I drive my DTS. A 400ish LS in there would be fairly easy and have room for a turbo for 500.

This car made me a little sad. It's pretty nice. For less money in repairs it could walk the Northstar.

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Report this Post07-17-2020 10:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If that's the direction you want to go, go that direction.

Northstar is still easier to fit in a Fiero.
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Report this Post07-17-2020 12:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for sourmashClick Here to Email sourmashSend a Private Message to sourmashEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I like both; the idea of the LS4 in the Caddie, and the N* is good in the Fiero. But is it really easier to fit it in the Fiero?
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Report this Post07-19-2020 10:35 AM Click Here to See the Profile for sourmashClick Here to Email sourmashSend a Private Message to sourmashEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Seems I mentioned this somewhere but maybe not: in traffic this week, was a McLaren 12C. The exhaust cadence and tone reminded me of the Northstar, but sounded smaller CID. A turbo N* would probably sound very similar, even being the larger V8.

[This message has been edited by sourmash (edited 07-19-2020).]

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Report this Post07-19-2020 01:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by sourmash:

Seems I mentioned this somewhere but maybe not: in traffic this week, was a McLaren 12C. The exhaust cadence and tone reminded me of the Northstar, but sounded smaller CID. A turbo N* would probably sound very similar, even being the larger V8.



Heh... you reminded me.

The only time I have ever heard a Northstar Fiero at "full song" was, strangely enough, at one of the early Fiero Factory swap meets.
It was the D1C demo car, that the Design One folks had brought from... wherever. The shriek was incredible.

The only thing I can compare it to was a GT1 SCCA car that was at the runoffs - probably in 83 or so.
It was, essentially, an old Can-Am car that had been "repurposed" by an owner/driver who probably had more money than Bill Gates. It looked like an old McLaren. Or maybe a Lola. Kind of Candy-Apple red. Closed cockpit. (Owner/driver was Jerry Hansen.)

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Report this Post07-19-2020 06:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for sourmashClick Here to Email sourmashSend a Private Message to sourmashEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
This 12C was really surprising how sedate it sounded. Really it could stand some more volume, unless you like understated exhaust.
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Report this Post07-20-2020 12:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by sourmash:

I like both; the idea of the LS4 in the Caddie, and the N* is good in the Fiero. But is it really easier to fit it in the Fiero?


The LS4 water manifold needs work to fit in the Fiero engine bay, PLUS the same sheet metal mods the Northstar requires. The Northstar only requires a little trimming of the right hinge box and body-side dogbone mount.
the Northstar ALSO brings its own starter, so doesn't require any of the starter shenanigans that the LS4 requires. Oil filters on both interfere with forward cradle rail, but forward cradle rail can be modified or either engine converted to remote filter.

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Report this Post08-05-2020 01:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for copperhensClick Here to Email copperhensSend a Private Message to copperhensEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have another thing i’m curious about. The shift cables. I have the 5spd. My select cable is seized, and my shift cable is too short by seemingly 4in. The 4cyl Fiero has longer cables, so I may go that route.

I also figured out what I’d like to do for fuel. I’m going to relocate the filter to the driver side, and just run the lines up the driver side. The passenger side seems so right to me.
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Report this Post08-05-2020 03:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Which 5 speed? The Getrag (V6 five speed)? The shift cable in my car goes right over the waterpump drive belt guard without any problems... It's close, but not tight, doesn't touch and never had any issues.
Are you sure you have the right cable?

The passenger side is pretty close and there's not much room for other stuff there.

[This message has been edited by Will (edited 08-05-2020).]

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Report this Post08-05-2020 06:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for copperhensClick Here to Email copperhensSend a Private Message to copperhensEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Will:

Which 5 speed? The Getrag (V6 five speed)? The shift cable in my car goes right over the waterpump drive belt guard without any problems... It's close, but not tight, doesn't touch and never had any issues.
Are you sure you have the right cable?

The passenger side is pretty close and there's not much room for other stuff there.



Yes it’s a Getrag. I’m out of town for a while so I don’t have access to my engine. I may just order the parts so they’re there when I get back, we may have just routed them wrong. Did you use Rodney cables or TFS?
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Report this Post08-07-2020 01:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It had the original shift cable for quite a while... Actually not sure what it has now, as I've also replaced my '88's shift cable
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