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Northstar rebuild: Will style by Will
Started on: 12-29-2003 09:00 PM
Replies: 870 (63472 views)
Last post by: Rickady88GT on 12-02-2018 11:13 PM
Will
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Report this Post12-29-2003 09:00 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 think my N* just ate a head gasket. It blows coolant out the rear bank pipe. True duals really are good for something.

Anyway, time for some engine work. Since I have to take the head off... I want to thread-sert the head bolt holes to avoid problems. Since I'm doing one side, I might as well do the other, and springs & retainers while I'm at it.

If I have the heads all the way off and the engine all the way out, I might as well do something about the oil smoke on coast down problem.

option 1: rehone and new rings. Prolly work. Boring.

option 2: mild performance build with stock replacement components. Wcapman's done one with eagle rods and I don't remember what pistons, so I can do what he's done. But who wants to do what's been done before?

option 3: exercise creativity...

I just happened to notice that DSM rods have the same pin diameter (0.866") as the N*, and the same center-center length (151 mm or 5.944"). They have a 45mm rod journal instead of a 54mm journal, however. Extra length DSM rods are available. If I offset ground the crank, I could destroke the engine to 75mm (from 84) and use 155.5mm rods. Not that it needs it, but I like short strokes. I'm kinky that way.

I also noticed that the N* rod journals are 54mm (2.126"). They could be turned down or offset ground to 2.100 in order to use 6.000" large journal Chevy rods, narrowed. Pistons would have to be custom...

How far can a N* be bored? I don't remember seeing that in the manual. I recall something about early LS1's being limited to a clean up hone but nothing else. Is the N* the same way?
If the N* can tolerate a 0.020 overbore, I could use 60 over 3.4 pistons with a relocated pin. 5mm up for stock Caddy compression height, or a little more for a 6" Chevy rod.

Jstricker: what TSB's will I need to properly overhaul a '95 engine?

Thoughts?

------------------
'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

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GSXRBOBBY
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Report this Post12-29-2003 09:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GSXRBOBBYClick Here to visit GSXRBOBBY's HomePageClick Here to Email GSXRBOBBYSend a Private Message to GSXRBOBBYEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Will, Since you have helped me out in the past and I am sure I will be needing your help next month when I do the sway I will port and polish the head for free if you would like!

------------------
Bobby from NW Indiana
86 Fiero GT, Looking to ad a 93 Northstar soon

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Report this Post12-29-2003 11:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Howard_SacksClick Here to visit Howard_Sacks's HomePageClick Here to Email Howard_SacksSend a Private Message to Howard_SacksEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Blowing head gaskets suck.

You could do option four, which would be Arrow (www.arrowprecision.co.uk) will make you any rod you want so you dont have to modify DSM crap. And you can get Ti.

Then call up Mahle and tell them you want MMC pistons like they make for Ferarri. Theyll laugh at you for a bit, but eventually you will get a quote.

Seriously, if its just a head gasket, I would replace it, possibly rering the motor, and then find another block to start doing the crazy stuff to, if thats the path you want to go.

Good luck.

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caddyrocket
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Report this Post12-30-2003 12:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for caddyrocketClick Here to Email caddyrocketSend a Private Message to caddyrocketEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Sorry to hear that. I know Cadillac Hot Rod Fabricators sells the parts for a 1000hp bottom end build up and I also noticed a set of Eagle H-Beam rods on eBay for the N*. If I recall, Ross qouted me aronud 600 dollars for a set of forged northstar pistons although I have no experience with Ross. If nothing else, there is what I have off the top of my head for N* upgrades. I'm 1/2 thinking of keeping the 98 engine I have and getting brutal with it in another Fiero this summer. We'll see tho. Good Luck!

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Report this Post12-30-2003 05:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for aaron88Send a Private Message to aaron88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I donít think boring is a good idea. The block is aluminum which means that the cylinder walls are hardened by anodizing. Anodized surfaces are much harder than steel, which is why the Northstar doesnít appear to wear on the cylinder walls (the rings wear instead). An anodized surface is typically 0.01 mm thick (thatís .0004 inches). Thereís really not a whole lot of room to play with there. Iím not saying that, that is the thickness that GM anodized to on the Northstar, but itís really hard to anodize deeper than that. Harder means more expensive and more expensive means that GM likely didnít do it. Regardless of how deep they went, were still talking one thousandth of an inch deep, tops.

Ask someone that has bored out an aluminum block before! See what the results were after a few thousand miles. Iíll bet the wrecked the motor, not that Iíd know. All I'm saying is check out the cost of anodizing those cylinder walls after you bore them out, before you decide to do it.

Aaron

.

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jonmulzer
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Report this Post12-30-2003 06:12 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jonmulzerClick Here to Email jonmulzerSend a Private Message to jonmulzerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by aaron88:

I donít think boring is a good idea. The block is aluminum which means that the cylinder walls are hardened by anodizing. Anodized surfaces are much harder than steel, which is why the Northstar doesnít appear to wear on the cylinder walls (the rings wear instead). An anodized surface is typically 0.01 mm thick (thatís .0004 inches). Thereís really not a whole lot of room to play with there. Iím not saying that, that is the thickness that GM anodized to on the Northstar, but itís really hard to anodize deeper than that. Harder means more expensive and more expensive means that GM likely didnít do it. Regardless of how deep they went, were still talking one thousandth of an inch deep, tops.

Ask someone that has bored out an aluminum block before! See what the results were after a few thousand miles. Iíll bet the wrecked the motor, not that Iíd know. All I'm saying is check out the cost of anodizing those cylinder walls after you bore them out, before you decide to do it.

Aaron

.

Aluminum blocks have steel cylinder liners. Even an anodized coating on the cylinder walls would not hold up to the wear of the piston rings.

Feel free to correct me if I am wrong though....

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LS1swap
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Report this Post12-30-2003 07:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for LS1swapClick Here to visit LS1swap's HomePageClick Here to Email LS1swapSend a Private Message to LS1swapEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

yes they usually have steel sleeves. I don't know about the N*, but as you mentioned Will the 98 LS1 can only take a .005 hone wear as the 99+ can take .010

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Report this Post12-30-2003 07:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for aaron88Send a Private Message to aaron88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Well; if Iím wrong then Iím wrong, what can I say. I know metallurgy, but I donít know cars.

Make no mistake thou, an anodized surface is much harder than steel. If itís not in use on the cylinder walls then it must be because the process affects the thickness of the material penetrated or because the coating isnít thick enough.

Aaron

.

[This message has been edited by aaron88 (edited 12-30-2003).]

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Report this Post12-30-2003 08:47 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero STSClick Here to Email Fiero STSSend a Private Message to Fiero STSEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Cylinders in the N* are steel. All of the sleeveless aluminum bores I,ve seen have been chrome plated or very high silicate aluminum ether of which cannot be bored. Will, What about an Aruora crankshaft is it the same stroke and smaller bore or a shorter stroke and same bore? Also did you ever swap ecms? or are you still running the stock ecm with the test cell chip?

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1) Figure out why the head gasket went and repair it (them)
2) Do the cam and heads.... remember the N* was tuned for a very heavy car
so giveing up a bit of low end torque will gain some midrange and top end
3) unless you are adding over 50 % more hp rods are just an unecessar outlay
of cash
4) Establish a goal for your project or build up. some how this thread went fom
a discussion on mild build ups to cylinder sleaves...
5) An overbore won't add as much hp as getting more air through the engine
with intake, cam heads, exhaust and chip tuneing to take max advantage of
the new setup
5) German engines usually make 100 more hp than the N* with care and attention
to the areas in 4) and the N* is a perfect candidate
6) Supercharging or a turbo setup for 6 lbs of boost will yield far more
fun/$ and still maintain the mild personality of engine untill boost of course
7) The same cash out lay for a fart can muffler and tips probably equals a cam
and some head work

------------------
84 Fiero Turbo Vortec 4300 Phantom GT
L35 block, Syclone Intake and ECM with Moates adapter
50lb injectors, 3 bar map sens, T04B H3 Turbo www.cardomain.com/id/vortecfiero
Murphy's Constant Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value
Murphy's Law of Thermodynamics Things get worse under pressure.
Arthur C. Clarke "Any significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"

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Will
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Report this Post12-30-2003 10:36 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

GM uses centrifugally cast grey iron cylinder liners, which are cast in place when the block is poured. Some other companies like Honda, Toyota, BMW, and Mercedes are messing with aluminum cylinders, but I don't know much about them. I've just heard of high silicon aluminum from European manufacturers and fibre reinforced aluminum from Japanese manufacturers.

Resleeving is definitely out of the question. That's a $2500 operation. I'll build such an engine eventually... but not right now.

An Aurora crank is the same as a N* crank.

This is going to be a high RPM N/A engine, no N2O, no boost, just compression. It doesn't need anything super exotic as long as it can take 8K RPM or so. I'm also looking for cheap. that's why I was looking at OTS (off the shelf) Chevy rods. Can't get much cheaper than that. Right now I'm just building a short block. Heads and cams work will come later.

CHRFab makes some nice stuff, but they're expen$ive. Per the prices on their website, rods and pistons would come to $2000, which may be necessary if you're building a 1,000 HP enigne. However, for my purposes, $500-600 for rods and $500-600 for pistons seems more reasonable. Summit has full floating pin 6.000" Chevy rods from Lunati for $400. If pistons can be had reasonably, then paying an extra $100 for proper N* rods would be fine.

I'm not looking for an overbore to add more HP... I'd just like to use a convenient piston size. Too bad the N* bore isn't 94.5mm, then I could bore it 0.016" and use high pin 305 pistons...

I really don't know who to get in touch with for custom pistons or rods, however.

------------------
'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

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Report this Post12-30-2003 10:57 AM Click Here to See the Profile for aaron88Send a Private Message to aaron88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Given you budget and power requirements, you could get new rings, gaskets and a cam grind along with some heavier valve springs (dare I say cams and springs from aforementioned Cadillac fab). Itíll give you about 80 more ponies and a 7800 redline.

Itís less work?

Aaron

.

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86 FIERO GT
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Report this Post12-30-2003 11:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 86 FIERO GTClick Here to Email 86 FIERO GTSend a Private Message to 86 FIERO GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Will, sorry to hear about the head gasket, if you need any factory parts let me know.

If you want some spare rods from a 93 or 94, I have six spares from a bad motor I have laying around.

Would it be that difficult to go in and clean up a pair of heads without paying someone. I have done some polishing in some aluminum 350 heads, but would it really be that effective for me to go grind and polish alittle in a set of heads? CHRFAB is expensive because he is the only one that is selling N* parts. He needs some competition, hint hint Will.

------------------

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Report this Post12-30-2003 04:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bushrootClick Here to Email bushrootSend a Private Message to bushrootEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Will:

CHRFab makes some nice stuff, but they're expen$ive. Per the prices on their website, rods and pistons would come to $2000, which may be necessary if you're building a 1,000 HP enigne. However, for my purposes, $500-600 for rods and $500-600 for pistons seems more reasonable. Summit has full floating pin 6.000" Chevy rods from Lunati for $400. If pistons can be had reasonably, then paying an extra $100 for proper N* rods would be fine.

I really don't know who to get in touch with for custom pistons or rods, however.

http://www.bbandtracing.com/EAGLE.html CADILLAC NORTHSTAR (3/8 bolt) 5.943" $499
http://www.rosspistons.com/custom/eightcylinder.php3 The site is down for maintenance, but I believe they were $613 for a set.

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Will
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Report this Post12-30-2003 04:49 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'd found the BB&T racing page before. I hope the Ross website comes back up soon.

If I can put together the reciprocating parts for $1000-$1100, that should work pretty well.

------------------
'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

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Report this Post12-30-2003 05:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bushrootClick Here to Email bushrootSend a Private Message to bushrootEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

That's the same package I'll have in my second engine. If you decide to build a 2000+, you can use those rods and pistons. You'd have to use both though. The wrist pin is a little smaller on the 2000+ engines.

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Report this Post12-30-2003 05:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jstrickerClick Here to Email jstrickerSend a Private Message to jstrickerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Like STS said, the sleeves are steel, cast in place in the aluminum block, and they are a very HARD steel. When we honed mine, we had to get pretty aggressive with it to get a decent pattern. My engine had about 135K on it IIRC and measured "0" taper in the cylinders but the pattern at the top was getting pretty weak so we just freshened it up a little bit.

One of the first engines I can recall to actually use an aluminum bore was one of the silicate aluminum variety in the old Vegas. They were not known for their longevity.

John Stricker
 
quote
Originally posted by Fiero STS:

Cylinders in the N* are steel. All of the sleeveless aluminum bores I,ve seen have been chrome plated or very high silicate aluminum ether of which cannot be bored. Will, What about an Aruora crankshaft is it the same stroke and smaller bore or a shorter stroke and same bore? Also did you ever swap ecms? or are you still running the stock ecm with the test cell chip?

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Report this Post12-30-2003 05:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jstrickerClick Here to Email jstrickerSend a Private Message to jstrickerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

There has been a guy on EBay that's been trying to sell a set of Eagle H beam rods for a couple of months now. The last auction he had for them ended with no bids, again. You might email him about them but they didn't seem like a screaming deal to me. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2449717768&sspagename=ADME%3AB%3ASS%3AUS%3A1

Arias makes custom pistons to your specs. All it takes is $$$. I've heard that they will NOT make pistons matching CHRFabs specs, though, as Alan has a lot of time in the design of them and they give him some respect on exclusivity. I haven't checked that out personally, but I've heard it from a couple of places.

John Stricker
 
quote
Originally posted by Will:

GM uses centrifugally cast grey iron cylinder liners, which are cast in place when the block is poured. Some other companies like Honda, Toyota, BMW, and Mercedes are messing with aluminum cylinders, but I don't know much about them. I've just heard of high silicon aluminum from European manufacturers and fibre reinforced aluminum from Japanese manufacturers.

Resleeving is definitely out of the question. That's a $2500 operation. I'll build such an engine eventually... but not right now.

An Aurora crank is the same as a N* crank.

This is going to be a high RPM N/A engine, no N2O, no boost, just compression. It doesn't need anything super exotic as long as it can take 8K RPM or so. I'm also looking for cheap. that's why I was looking at OTS (off the shelf) Chevy rods. Can't get much cheaper than that. Right now I'm just building a short block. Heads and cams work will come later.

CHRFab makes some nice stuff, but they're expen$ive. Per the prices on their website, rods and pistons would come to $2000, which may be necessary if you're building a 1,000 HP enigne. However, for my purposes, $500-600 for rods and $500-600 for pistons seems more reasonable. Summit has full floating pin 6.000" Chevy rods from Lunati for $400. If pistons can be had reasonably, then paying an extra $100 for proper N* rods would be fine.

I'm not looking for an overbore to add more HP... I'd just like to use a convenient piston size. Too bad the N* bore isn't 94.5mm, then I could bore it 0.016" and use high pin 305 pistons...

I really don't know who to get in touch with for custom pistons or rods, however.

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Will
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Report this Post12-30-2003 07:32 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 jstricker:

Like STS said, the sleeves are steel, cast in place in the aluminum block, and they are a very HARD steel. When we honed mine, we had to get pretty aggressive with it to get a decent pattern. My engine had about 135K on it IIRC and measured "0" taper in the cylinders but the pattern at the top was getting pretty weak so we just freshened it up a little bit.

The Ross pistons are exactly the same diameter as stock, right? What did your bore clearance end up being? Gapless rings? What other machining did you have done to the block?

How did/will you handle break-in? I've been thinking about following the break-in procedures outlined here: http://mototuneusa.com/thanx.htm

The sleeves are actually steel, not cast iron? Shop manual calls out cast grey iron... But we all know that FSM's are not necessarily 100% reliable for some things...

------------------
'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

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bushroot
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Report this Post12-30-2003 07:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bushrootClick Here to Email bushrootSend a Private Message to bushrootEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by jstricker:

There has been a guy on EBay that's been trying to sell a set of Eagle H beam rods for a couple of months now. The last auction he had for them ended with no bids, again. You might email him about them but they didn't seem like a screaming deal to me. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=244971 7768&sspagename=ADME%3AB%3ASS%3AUS%3A1

Arias makes custom pistons to your specs. All it takes is $$$. I've heard that they will NOT make pistons matching CHRFabs specs, though, as Alan has a lot of time in the design of them and they give him some respect on exclusivity. I haven't checked that out personally, but I've heard it from a couple of places.

John Stricker

I E-mailed the guy about the Eagle rods about a month ago. He told me he'd sell them to me for $450 shipped. I don't think he's in a real hurry to get rid of them. He had horrible grammar too. I don't think English was his first language.


Edit: That didn't come out the way I intended. He was simply very hard to understand.

[This message has been edited by bushroot (edited 12-30-2003).]

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Report this Post12-30-2003 07:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bushrootClick Here to Email bushrootSend a Private Message to bushrootEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Will:

The Ross pistons are exactly the same diameter as stock, right? What did your bore clearance end up being? Gapless rings? What other machining did you have done to the block?


You can get the Ross pistons in stock or oversize. They'll do oversize at no extra cost. If you want a dish or dome, it's a little more. Call them, they're really reasonable people.

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Report this Post12-30-2003 08:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jstrickerClick Here to Email jstrickerSend a Private Message to jstrickerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Will,

I'd have to get my notes to give you what the bore clearance ended up being. IIRC, they would be about 1.5 thousandths loose for a normal piston, but mine have had their skirts coated with a moly-disulfide coating from Swain Tech in NY.

I'm still waiting (less and less patiently) for Total Seal to make me a set of gapless rings. They make some that are in the catalog, but didn't recommend them for my application, but they did offer to make me a custom set that would work. That was last August.

Break-in hasn't been an issue since the engine is still in pieces. I plan to break them in either a) the way I normally do, which is run it like I'm going to use it being careful not to run at a single rpm for any length of time for the first couple thousanc miles or b) howver Total Seal recommends I break in their rings, if that method is substantially different than what I nomrally use. I have everything I need except the rings. The heads are together with the CHRFab cams and springs. I did some mile clean-up and polish on them is all. When the rings get here, I'm ready to assemble.

John Stricker

Edited for the sleeve material. I saw that in the shop manual as well. All I can tell you is that if that's regular cast iron like a normal block, that's the hardest cast iron *I'VE* ever seen. A normal honing procedure hardly made a mark on it and in fact, acted almost like it was polishing it.

 
quote
Originally posted by Will:

The Ross pistons are exactly the same diameter as stock, right? What did your bore clearance end up being? Gapless rings? What other machining did you have done to the block?

How did/will you handle break-in? I've been thinking about following the break-in procedures outlined here: http://mototuneusa.com/thanx.htm

The sleeves are actually steel, not cast iron? Shop manual calls out cast grey iron... But we all know that FSM's are not necessarily 100% reliable for some things...


[This message has been edited by jstricker (edited 12-30-2003).]

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Report this Post12-30-2003 08:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jstrickerClick Here to Email jstrickerSend a Private Message to jstrickerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I never emailed him. The last I saw he was starting them at more than that and his buy it now was $479. If somebody really has the need for the Eagle rods, they're not a bad deal. Maybe after I toss one through the block I'll wish I had them.

John Stricker
 
quote
Originally posted by bushroot:

I E-mailed the guy about the Eagle rods about a month ago. He told me he'd sell them to me for $450 shipped. I don't think he's in a real hurry to get rid of them. He had horrible grammar too. I don't think English was his first language.


Edit: That didn't come out the way I intended. He was simply very hard to understand.

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Will
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Report this Post12-30-2003 09:02 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 jstricker:

Will,

I'd have to get my notes to give you what the bore clearance ended up being. IIRC, they would be about 1.5 thousandths loose for a normal piston, but mine have had their skirts coated with a moly-disulfide coating from Swain Tech in NY.

I'm still waiting (less and less patiently) for Total Seal to make me a set of gapless rings. They make some that are in the catalog, but didn't recommend them for my application, but they did offer to make me a custom set that would work. That was last August.


What was wrong with the catalog rings for your/our application? Not durable for high RPM?

How much did the coating cost?

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Report this Post12-30-2003 11:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jstrickerClick Here to Email jstrickerSend a Private Message to jstrickerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

The rings they have listed are not sutitable for boosted applications, even mild boost.

Here's a link to the Swain Pricelist. They coat darn near anything. http://www.swaintech.com/price.html

John Stricker
 
quote
Originally posted by Will:


What was wrong with the catalog rings for your/our application? Not durable for high RPM?

How much did the coating cost?

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Report this Post12-31-2003 02:42 AM Click Here to See the Profile for I'm BackClick Here to Email I'm BackSend a Private Message to I'm BackEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Will for president!!!!

Sounds great - can't wait to see the outcome. So you do have true duals. Do you think they help balance/HP/or???? Any cats? I really want to go true duals; what size pipe did you go?

Thx, Ed

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Report this Post12-31-2003 11:45 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 jstricker:

The rings they have listed are not sutitable for boosted applications, even mild boost.

Here's a link to the Swain Pricelist. They coat darn near anything. http://www.swaintech.com/price.html

John Stricker

How much were you quoted for your custom rings?
I'm getting ideas...
If I read the Swain price list correctly, I'd be down $18 a piece if I had my skirts coated with the high end PC-9 stuff (where do they describe the different coatings, anyway?), and $42 each if I have the skirts coated with PC-9 and the tops coated with GC, which is actually more cost effective than skirt or dome coatings by themselves.

Rods: $450
Pistons: $600??
Rings: ??
Coatings: $350
Block machining: $300+ (Wcapman spent about $300, but didn't have the head bolt holes thread-serted)

Looking like it'll be close to $2000 by the time everything's put together, but that will be one built shortblock.

The fortunate aspect of this is that I don't have to do this quickly, as I'm still 5 months out from being 100% after knee surgery.

------------------
'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

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Report this Post12-31-2003 11:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lateFormulaSend a Private Message to lateFormulaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Aaron88,

You need to go back and study you aluminum coatings more. Anodizing is only a protective coating, it is not a hardening process. To harden Al you need to heat treat it. For example Al alloy 6061 is a very strong and durable aluminum alloy, but 6061 with T6 heat treatment is even stronger. Anodizing is simply a protective coating that has some variable properties depending on the coating. Most anodizing is decorative, it protects the AL from oxidizing and protects the surface better than paint or powdercoat because it forms a molecular bond with the surface of the AL. Military spec hard coats of anodizing are the most durable, and the most resistant to surface abuse, but these hard coats leave the surface with a texture (they're never smooth), and even these hard coatings can be scratched through with a carbide scraper.

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Report this Post01-01-2004 03:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jstrickerClick Here to Email jstrickerSend a Private Message to jstrickerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Will,

The rings were ballpark quoted me at $350 minimum to $450 maximum. I'm betting it's going to be at the higher end of the scale, what do you want to bet?? Which pistons are you using? Mine are the early pistons with the thick lands. The later, thin land pistons use different rings (I know, you already knew that, but some other readers may not have).

Swain's web site doesn't explain the differences very well at all. I had to call them and talk to them about them. On the dome coatings, the Gold Coat (GC) is a better, more durable coating. All but one of the Indy cars last year used Swain Tech GC on their pistons. The downside of it is that the GC needs to be installed and run in the engine within 30 days of them coating it to final cure the coating. I wasn't going to be able to do that, so I went with the Thermal Barrier (TB) coating on mine which is about 90% as effective as the GC, according to them. For the skirts, The PC-9 is more durable than Poly Moly (PM) but their "slipperiness" is about the same. Because of it's durability, they can also coat the piston thicker with PC-9 and control it very well to make an even coat across the skirts. I had mine done with the TBC top and PC-9 skirts. Yes, I know it's expensive. In fact, it's about half the cost of a new set of forged pistons. Frankly, unless I get into some severe detonation that breaks the lands out, I think the durability should be as good or better than forged, but that remains to be seen.

Even if I had gone forged pistons, I would have at least done the TBC on the tops. In the two engines I've had ceramic coatings done on the domes, I saw about a 30į drop in oil temperature because it keeps the heat out of the piston, which is transferred through the rods and rings to the rest of the engine components. I think it's worth it, but a lot of people don't so the usual caveats apply, of course.

Give Swain a call. Tell them how you're going to use your engine and they'll help recommend the coating that will help you the best. They won't try to oversell you with something that won't help. I was very happy with them. In shop turnaround for them was about 7 days. That goes to 14 days at certain times of the year when they're doing a lot of racing engines that HAVE to be done on time.

John Stricker


 
quote
Originally posted by Will:

How much were you quoted for your custom rings?
I'm getting ideas...
If I read the Swain price list correctly, I'd be down $18 a piece if I had my skirts coated with the high end PC-9 stuff (where do they describe the different coatings, anyway?), and $42 each if I have the skirts coated with PC-9 and the tops coated with GC, which is actually more cost effective than skirt or dome coatings by themselves.

Rods: $450
Pistons: $600??
Rings: ??
Coatings: $350
Block machining: $300+ (Wcapman spent about $300, but didn't have the head bolt holes thread-serted)

Looking like it'll be close to $2000 by the time everything's put together, but that will be one built shortblock.

The fortunate aspect of this is that I don't have to do this quickly, as I'm still 5 months out from being 100% after knee surgery.

[This message has been edited by jstricker (edited 01-01-2004).]

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Report this Post01-12-2004 12:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NashcoClick Here to visit Nashco's HomePageClick Here to Email NashcoSend a Private Message to NashcoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Any progress/closure on this? Interesting reading.

Bryce
88 GT

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Report this Post01-12-2004 02:42 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 1986GTV8Send a Private Message to 1986GTV8Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

See below, 520 - 2000 hp N*


http://hotrod.com/techarticles/engine/113_0303/north

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Will
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Report this Post01-12-2004 09:41 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

I'm going to wait a few months to do it the way I really want to. Eagle rods, forged pistons, high end skirt and top coatings, gapless rings, timeserted block, etc.

Here's some stuff from Allen Cline:

 
quote
Your Fiero Northstar...I would just replace the head gasket and timesert
the head bolt holes while I was at it. If you decide you REALLY want to
re-ring it just put in new rings. Don't hone it. You'll just mess up
what was there. You'll likely still see the factory hone pattern still in
the bore if you look closely. Re-honing is greatly over-rated and not
needed....especially with the Northstar with the aggressive plateau honing
used. Just replace the head gasket. Don't disassemble the heads or
anything, they are fine. Do the timesert inserts on the head bolt holes
to prevent any head bolts from strippping and to make it bulletproof. Use
the factory head gaskets and new head bolts with no sealers or addtives to
the head gaskets. Timeserts are the only thread inserts to use on the
Northstar head bolt holes and there is a special kit and inserts for the
Northstar head bolt holes. Use only that special kit and inserts.
Helicoils and others will not work. Trust me.

At that time I'm also going to install SPEC stage III and aluminum flywheel, as well as CHRF springs and retainers. And maybe install the 3.94 FD and 1.02 4th I have lying around.

------------------
'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

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Report this Post01-13-2004 12:06 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

More stuff from Allen Cline:

 
quote

Glanced at the website you mentioned about the breakin. Don't totally
disagree with him....but...the falicy in his reasoning is that the rings do
NOT stay in position....so...."wearing" the ring into the cylinder wall is
not what happens. On a perfectly green engine there is the act of
scraping down the high spots on the cylinder wall on break in. This is on
a microscopic level, of course. Just the "peaks" of the honing marks and
other surface irregularities are very quickly worn away by the rings. The
rings actually seal against the SIDES of the ring grooves....so...the
greatest factor in ring break in is mating the rings to the side of the
ring grooves. At high speed/high RPM the rings constantly rotate around
the piston.. So, it is wrong to assume that the ring mates to the cylinder
wall to any degree. If you run an engine for breakin as I have done and
examine the rings carefully under magnification (remember those 150
Northstars I mentioned..??) the ring face will look brand new...totally
unscatched. All the breakin is getting the high spots off the cylinder
walls (this just reduces friction...nothing to do with sealing to speak of)
and seating the rings against the SIDES of the ring grooves. That is why
it is important to have goo prelube on the rings as the pressrue actually
burnishes the ring against the side of the groove making a good seal.
so...the fellows guidelines for breakin are not totally out of line. I
just think he invented to wrong reason to explain why it works.

My favorite break-in maneuver is to get on the freeway where 55-80 MPH is
no big deal. You'll have to substitute the appropriate speeds for your
vehicle and gearing but on the Cadillacs with Norhtstars I use manual 2nd
gear at about 60 to start. Go full throttle to the normal shift
point/redline , let off completely to allow heavy engine braking down to
about 4000 RPM, go full throttle back to redline, let off completely back
to 4000 RPM, etc. Do this cylce maybe 20 times and then drive normally
in 4 to cool things down. Repeat as often as necessary. The alternate
load/overrun condition is very good for exercising the rings and the
alternate loads against the sides of the ring lands will seat them quickly.
The high RPM will promote ring rotation which is good also.

If anyone tells you the rings don't rotate you can be assured that they do
not know what they are talking about. All the conern over ring alignment
and such at assembly is a great idea...but...it really doesn't matter much
as the ring gap will rotate to new locations when the engine is run. I
have seen data on engines from the past where a radioactive tracer was
placed on the rings so that a gieger counter external to the engine could
pick up the radioactive tracer as it went by. It was possible to actually
calculate the ring rotation RPM at a constant high speed load point..!!!

------------------
'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

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Report this Post01-13-2004 12:08 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

 
quote

If you eliminate the oil filter adapter and go to a remote one realize that
ALL the engine's oil goes out that port in the block. ALL of it. There
is no provision for internal bypassing or anything. Use large line with
an ID of AT LEAST as large as the ports in the side of the block. The
Northstar engine flows a LOT of oil. About 12 GPM at 6500 RPM. You do
NOT want to restrict that oil circuit. The normal bypass circuit is built
into the oil filter adapter so you must make provisions for a bypass in the
remote filters and/or have sufficient filters to not bypass. It will take
large lines and two of the big truck filters in parallel to make sure there
is no pressure drop with no bypass.

The piston skirt coatings are OK. I don't know that you'll see any
advantage with them but they don't hurt. The main advantage to us is that
they let us fit the pistons a little tighter for less noise (less piston
slap) wihout worrying about scuffing a piston when the engine is cold and
the pistons expand rapidly on a WOT maneuver. Personally, I wouldn't
bother on a stock engine like you are dealing with..or one that is slighty
warmed over.

------------------
'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

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Report this Post01-13-2004 12:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jstrickerClick Here to Email jstrickerSend a Private Message to jstrickerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I thought the old wives tale about the rings not rotating had gone away a long time ago but I guess not. There ARE some rings that don't rotate, mostly in two strokes that have pinned lands, but everything else rotates and, in fact, is designed to rotate.

Nice quotes Will.

John Stricker

 
quote
Originally posted by Will:

More stuff from Allen Cline:

If anyone tells you the rings don't rotate you can be assured that they do
not know what they are talking about. All the conern over ring alignment
and such at assembly is a great idea...but...it really doesn't matter much
as the ring gap will rotate to new locations when the engine is run. I
have seen data on engines from the past where a radioactive tracer was
placed on the rings so that a gieger counter external to the engine could
pick up the radioactive tracer as it went by. It was possible to actually
calculate the ring rotation RPM at a constant high speed load point..!!!

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Report this Post01-13-2004 12:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jstrickerClick Here to Email jstrickerSend a Private Message to jstrickerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I have no idea what happened with this.......................................

[This message has been edited by jstricker (edited 01-13-2004).]

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Report this Post01-13-2004 08:06 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

A bit more:

 
quote

If you eliminate the oil filter adapter and go to a remote one realize that
ALL the engine's oil goes out that port in the block. ALL of it. There
is no provision for internal bypassing or anything. Use large line with
an ID of AT LEAST as large as the ports in the side of the block. The
Northstar engine flows a LOT of oil. About 12 GPM at 6500 RPM. You do
NOT want to restrict that oil circuit. The normal bypass circuit is built
into the oil filter adapter so you must make provisions for a bypass in the
remote filters and/or have sufficient filters to not bypass. It will take
large lines and two of the big truck filters in parallel to make sure there
is no pressure drop with no bypass.

The piston skirt coatings are OK. I don't know that you'll see any
advantage with them but they don't hurt. The main advantage to us is that
they let us fit the pistons a little tighter for less noise (less piston
slap) wihout worrying about scuffing a piston when the engine is cold and
the pistons expand rapidly on a WOT maneuver. Personally, I wouldn't
bother on a stock engine like you are dealing with..or one that is slighty
warmed over.


I think that because I have obligations to Street Dreams to test the aluminum knuckles, I'll go ahead and re-ring, timesert, and install new gaskets. Quick and cheap. I'll go valvesprings, and SPEC clutch and flywheel while I have the engine out. Maybe I can even find the time/money to overhaul another Getrag and install the 1.02 4th and 3.94 final. I want that transmission!

------------------
'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

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Report this Post02-04-2004 01:21 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

Working up the budget...
code:

Eagle Rods $450 (to be ordered shortly)
Pistons $0 (already had a set of stock early style)
Piston Coating $300 (Swain Tech TBC dome and PC-9 skirt, also to be ordered shortly)
Piston Rings $330 (Total Seal MaxSeal gapless top ring with Napier 2nd ring, also ordered shortly)
Bearings $?? (wcapman used Clevite mains with GM rods, but CHRF may have some new specialized bearings soon...)
Machine work $300 (align bore block, align grind crank, balance rotating assembly)
TimeSerts $43.80 (www.timesert.com, $2.58 each for <20, $2.19 each for 20 or more. Jstricker has graciously offered
to let me use his TimeSert toolset, which would be $294 direct from TimeSert)


Looking at $1420+ for the short block... may have to pass on the valvesprings this time...

Another $1300 for a $500 Getrag overhaul and $800 SPEC clutch and flywheel

Looking for the week of the 22nd of March to do the work.

------------------
'87 Fiero GT: Low, Sleek, Fast, and Loud
'90 Pontiac 6000 SE AWD: None of the Above

Do that again, only mean it this time

[This message has been edited by Will (edited 02-04-2004).]

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Report this Post02-04-2004 05:38 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

ARP does not make head studs specifically for the Northstar, however, a VW stud works just fine. The kit is ARP P/N 204-4204. The cheapest place I've seen it is from Summit for $97.39 each. Two kits are required for a Northstar.
No ARP rod bolts of main studs exist for this engine, but I will be sending them a rod bolt or two once the pistons are disassembled, and will work with them on main studs... we'll see what I actually deem cost-effective. CHRFab obviously has to use stock rod bolts, since nothing else is available, and those seem to tolerate plenty of RPM.

Still need: main studs/bolts, new style oil pump

Jstricker, I know I get the pump from GM, but what do I need to ask for there?

------------------
'87 Fiero GT: Low, Sleek, Fast, and Loud
'90 Pontiac 6000 SE AWD: None of the Above

Do that again, only mean it this time

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Report this Post02-04-2004 11:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jstrickerClick Here to Email jstrickerSend a Private Message to jstrickerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Will,

I'll get you the pump P/N tomorrow when I'm back over at the shop, sorry I didn't see the thread sooner. As you're working up your budget, I noticed you don't have anything for gaskets. There are no sets available that I've ever found and not all of them are available from GMPartsdirect, I had to order some of them from my GM dealer. You'll have a minimum of $200 in gaskets, IIRC. You might also consider the late balancer. It was part of a SB and the old style could allow it to lose tendion on the oil pump drive sleeve. I don't remember what year your engine is, so I'd have to check if the SB applies to your engine to tell if you have the early or late style.

Now that I think about it, I might just email you a copy of the SB's on the pump and the balancer in the morning. They have the P/N's in them for both and you can determine if you need them or not.

I haven't gotten around to ordering my timeserts yet, either you or I could order enough for both our engines and split the cost, save some money on the quantity and shipping, maybe.

I'll email you in the morning.

John Stricker
 
quote
Originally posted by Will:

ARP does not make head studs specifically for the Northstar, however, a VW stud works just fine. The kit is ARP P/N 204-4204. The cheapest place I've seen it is from Summit for $97.39 each. Two kits are required for a Northstar.
No ARP rod bolts of main studs exist for this engine, but I will be sending them a rod bolt or two once the pistons are disassembled, and will work with them on main studs... we'll see what I actually deem cost-effective. CHRFab obviously has to use stock rod bolts, since nothing else is available, and those seem to tolerate plenty of RPM.

Still need: main studs/bolts, new style oil pump

Jstricker, I know I get the pump from GM, but what do I need to ask for there?

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