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  #1  
Old 01-12-2008, 07:49 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Default Performance Rebuild? High quality parts for northstar.

I have a 97 Cadillac Deville, and mostly likely going with a re-manufactured Northstar. since the rebuild seems likely to fail unless you have a good mechanic with Northstar experience.

My mechanic is highly experienced with subaru 20+ years lots of rebuilds. Hes actually willing to undertake the rebuild of the northstar even though the only thing he really knows is its close 60 hours. somewhere in the neighborhood of $3500 dollars labor at $60 an hour. Now, i don't doubt his abilities.

But, I'd like to know what the benefits would be of having a custom rebuild as appose to buying a remanufactured one. I'll make a quick pros and cons of my thoughts and feelings on the issue.


Remanufactured pros:

warranty
highly quality machines used to clean and hone check everything.

remanufactured cons

total cost. around 3600 dollars and 4000+ if your core is not reuseable.
no performance parts, or highly quality assurance.

Rebuild pros.

low cost of rebuild since i've already invested $1500 dollars in mechanic.
low cost on parts, since i have someone who owes me a ton of money and he can get the parts for me at little or no cost. but, they have to be from napa.

I can order or pay extra for anything that should be upgraded.

I read that the newer northstars have more steel parts. which would be a great upgrade since the rebuild will already be taking place. but, i know nothing about what performance and simply upgraded parts are available. Anyone actually look into some alternative metal which is less corrosive which could be used for the gaskets. I don't know, i might be talking about something i know nothing about. but, I'd like everything possible to be made of steel or metal not plastic. like i found my heater core to have plastic end connectors which broke off. the new heater core was all metal. I'm sure there are lots of parts that are crap. because they wanted to save money. my problem is how do you find them until they're actually broken.

I've read about northstars being used in hot rods and dune buggys what kind of parts do you guys know of that have been used so theses engines can perform and last under such harsh conditions. Surely, some type of modifacations are being made. And, is some of kind of trade secret. I just don't see theses stock northstars being used that way with such high rates of failure do to bad gaskets.

I'd also like to add some other thoughts. Like an alternative to dexcool. If the coolant is the problem why can't we find some alternative. No matter the cost!! if it cost 1000 dollars for some type of space age coolant. its most likely worth it, lol. I want better coolant if i buy a brand new northstar and i will search high and low until i fully understand the working of the cooling system. Key points being better metal mixture for gaskets, and higher quality coolant. NO MATTER THE COSTS!

I even read something about a northstar in a marine/boat application.. Now thats just nuts.. There's something going on that the end consumer doesn't get. This forum doesn't seem very advanced. I'm looking to theses applications to see what they've done, and i'll report my findings. Please, don't be offended it looks like theres not much available, (some kind of trade secret as i suggested).

Just some random thoughts no more then a couple hours of reviewing posts. It seems that the oil, coolant and possibly low quality fuel contributes to the demise of theses great engines.

1. What type of additives are available? are tested, safe and show benefit of being used.

2. I'd like to stay far and clear away from the quote "EVIL" dex-cool. kills cooling systems and engines. Maybe its not a name brand cooling product we are looking for , maybe its something nasa uses.

3. I've considering a rebuild of the transmission , and only using some kind of top quality transmission fluid.. there has to be something anyone want to add a comment. remember, if it costs even hundreds of dollars to fill your brand new $3000 transmission with high quality fluid its probably worth it. the problem is everyones fluid or product is the best.. This one is the best dex cool// mobile 1 oil/ etc..

4. what if its that the engine is a prefect example of high quality engineering. And the products that are being put into the engine are garbage? and whatever is considered the best. is because, its up for sale to the highest bidder. Are we not knowing what should actually be used with todays technologies? They create just about anything in a lab. But, we can't get something that won't eat metal. to work as a coolant, maybe theres something organic that could be used. like the pellet additives aren't they made of ginger. maybe theres something that will eat the stuff that makes it so corrosive.


Rebuild cons.

mechanic with 20+ years certified lots of subaru rebuild experience. Although, never touched a northstar rebuild. But, With your guys help i'd like some detailed information on what are the best techniques and parts to use.

I'm sure he'd do the best job he can, but i wonder how much difference it makes to have a super clean remanufactured northstar. I'm sure he'd would clean it. but, i know it wouldn't ever be as close to whats being done with remanufacturing at the big companies with high cost machines and honing boring everything else you could imagine.

what do you guys think, i would only have to invest another $1500-2000 with my mechanic do get him rebuild. any part from napa would basically be money owed which i don't really have to spend.

I'd really like your guys ideas on performance and upgrade parts. anything steel/metal on theses things would be great. Can I get my rebuild to be better then what a remanufactured engine would be if i used top of the line rebuild parts and upgrades?
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2008, 09:06 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Default RE: Performance Rebuild? High quality parts for northstar.

anyone at all?

Maybe the point i made about dexcool has already been over stressed. But, i'm not seeing much about the metal being used for the gaskets. Or alternatives to any of the name brand products.


I found this:

in a multi-million dollar study, GM quietly discovered that Dexcool was incompatible with the Nylon 6/6 that they were using in many parts of the engine and cooling system - gaskets, radiators, heater cores, etc. Rather than risk the tax credits they get from the Gov't for long-life coolant, they are quietly changing the plastics rather than the Dexcool.
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  #3  
Old 01-12-2008, 10:21 PM
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Default RE: Performance Rebuild? High quality parts for northstar.

What is your engine budget. If you have deep pockets CHRFab can hook up with performance parts. "Rebuilt for you" can bring a certain satisfaction seeing and/or particepation in your engines assembly. However with little to no warranty there is an element of risk. Racing engines have almost no warranty. Most of your post sound like you want to re-invent the wheel. Northstars with stock replacement parts can offer outstanding performance, you just have do regular maintaince and dont overheat it
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Old 01-12-2008, 10:47 PM
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Default RE: Performance Rebuild? High quality parts for northstar.

Check out...

http://www.chrfab.com/

http://www.aa1car.com/library/2002/us100232.htm

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  #5  
Old 01-13-2008, 02:45 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Default RE: Performance Rebuild? High quality parts for northstar.

I don't know about that. I'd like to find the wheel, if its broken then fix it. But, I don't know where the wheel is so how can i reinvent it.


Wow, looks like http://www.chrfab.com/ is just what i am looking for. I'm sorry i'm still doing research, but you can't tell me that dex cool is the best and even the transmission fluid that is used has changed . The best is always going to be the company with the most money, telling everyone is the best. Because, they offer more for less. Like wal-mart everything else thats gone to crap. from my stand point theses engines cost to much for anything less then top shelf products to go into it. I'm on a mission to find the best! If you know where the wheel is thats all i am asking. Better coolant, better filters, oil, air and gas. Wouldn't having a coolant with a higher boiling point make all the difference in the world. Had gasket failure is being caused by corrosion, from dex cool reaching boiling point and letting off corrosive steams/gases? How are other engine manufactures dealing with heat? What about german manufactures, I think they're cars actually run at hotter temperatures, and there is no way they're using steel blocks theses days. So, what gives?

as for the performance parts, I figure if its there its great to have on demand. If its engine is running at normal operating ranges. then having high quality parts that are designed to last longer under harsh conditions. would, only help in a long term perspective. I'd like this engine to last 100,000+ which is not likely i suppose. But, if it cost more for it too last longer then 2-3 years. I'm up for the investigation into reinvention of this so called wheel i hear so much about.
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  #6  
Old 01-13-2008, 03:26 AM
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Default RE: Performance Rebuild? High quality parts for northstar.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: infowarrior

I have a 97 Cadillac Deville, and mostly likely going with a re-manufactured Northstar. since the rebuild seems likely to fail unless you have a good mechanic with Northstar experience.

My mechanic is highly experienced with subaru 20+ years lots of rebuilds. Hes actually willing to undertake the rebuild of the northstar even though the only thing he really knows is its close 60 hours. somewhere in the neighborhood of $3500 dollars labor at $60 an hour. Now, i don't doubt his abilities.

But, I'd like to know what the benefits would be of having a custom rebuild as appose to buying a remanufactured one. I'll make a quick pros and cons of my thoughts and feelings on the issue.


...........................


I've read about northstars being used in hot rods and dune buggys what kind of parts do you guys know of that have been used so theses engines can perform and last under such harsh conditions. Surely, some type of modifacations are being made. And, is some of kind of trade secret. I just don't see theses stock northstars being used that way with such high rates of failure do to bad gaskets.

.....................
a little confusing .. what do you use the car for?
you ask for a lot .. the engine design is fine, the cooling system dex .. so so ...
aside marine and off-road, you missed FAA/aircraft use.

on the "trade secret",
- read post #7 in this thread, then read the whole thread ...
- keep clear of the 1st gen engines, circa '93 - '95 ...

http://www.cadillacforum.com/m_6258/tm.htm


on the type of replacement, assuming yours is STOCK .. there are many choices:

1. stock engine from low mileage wrecked car (around 75,000 miles) - i like rear ended cars. about $1,111
R&R is around 3 hrs x 2 ? Get a compression test BEFORE pulling salvage engine or before shipping.
Get a warranty. You can buy 3 or 4 or 5 of these for the cost of the one any other way.

2. stock REM engine, $3,500+

3. stock engine with aftermarket performance mods, $5,000+

4. high performance REM engine, $8,000++++

5. certainly check out the sites Fox provided. Fox has an uncommon "performs better than stock" Northstar
on that custom hot-rod Allante.


if your engine had a gasker failure,
- the headbolts may be an issue even after rebuilt ... the threads.
- engine overheated at some point. the headgasket failure on the N* is a 2+ event issue, one of which has to be an overheat. you most likley got other issues that may affect any engine you get, ie.. radiator, heater core, etc. address those also. if it was my car, i drop a new rad, heater core, hoses, sensors, etc .. etc .. NEW.


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  #7  
Old 01-13-2008, 04:47 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 12
Default RE: Performance Rebuild? High quality parts for northstar.

So, if i take the green dex cool pill. I wont even notice the world is not what it seems. And drive down the yellow brick road beyond the mythical 100,000 mile marker provided i keep taking the pill atleast once every 2 years.

Or, i can take the orange dex cool pill. I can finally wake up to the fact that either the northstar is a piece of crap, or some $15 dollar toxic waste that couldn't be given away and is some how sold for profit. And, put into my 10,000 dollar engine and expected to perform for 5 years. When it probably wont last 5 months.

its sounds like so many things that are plaguing todays society. Money talks, just look at the use of corn syrup, instead of actual sugar. Sure, its causing people to gain excess of amounts of fat, and slowly killing them. But, hey its good business, sugar is expensive. And what else are we going to do with all this gm corn the rest of the world won't touch. Good things theres about a million different products they can slowly take over. Theres almost no sugar being used theses days. Aspartame, also highly toxic. but, much cheaper then actual sugar. may cause cancer, and other very serious side effects. Because, some greedy company doesn't actually care if its product works, as long as they sell it. when they probably would have had to pay to get rid of it. Has, become the amercian way of life. I'm looking towards mecerdes or volvo. Cars and companies used to mean something to the country as a standing point of how well we are doing.

am i fooling with something thats suppose to be broken? By design technology is suppressed so that we end up and having to take a step backwards, when we move ahead too quickly. because, everyone knows that cadillac didn't know what they were doing when they built the northstar. and the northstar engine is a throw away engine. I have to believe this? I wonder if urine would make a good coolant. Cause thats what i'll be doing if i spend my money on this engine.
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Old 01-13-2008, 09:47 AM
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Default RE: Performance Rebuild? High quality parts for northstar.

High performace engines require maintaince. Chemicals wear out. It seems Dex cool is you major issue, no one says you have to use it. It is unlikely you will find coolant that doesn't wear out. Most dex cool bashing relates to early dex cool which had issues. It has been improved, just no one made anoucement about it. With the trans fluid it has gone from semi to fully synthec. All product manufactures want you to have a good experience with their product, so you will buy again. Engineers make the spec.s for their suppliers, including fluids. With powertrain related products, the problem is they can put 100k miles on vehicle in a month and take it apart and analyze it. They just cant 3-5 years of thermocycling in even 1 year. Companies who spend the $$$ to meet spec.s want to be able to start recooping their costs as soon as possible not 5 yrs down the line. Their no different than the drug companies trying to push their products thru the FDA. Just as you have do thing to keep you healthy, there are things you have to do to keep car healthy. There are Northstars out there that have in acess of 200k miles with no major failures. Not all Northstars will blow head gasket(s). In the US car and trucks are most peoples most expensive personal possession. They count on them to go about their daily lives. Yet they are concidered disposable, and most owners don't maintain them properly. Then when is a failure it's the manufactures fault. Maintaince doesn't by itself won't stop will not stop all failures, but it will normally reduce them. GM they led the way in trying to build maintaince free vehicles, They have moved most services till 100k miles and put a lights in vehicles to to tell you when they need serviced. One last note: Of GM's race inspired DOHC engines that hit widespread production 2.3,2.4,3.5,4.0,4.4, and 4.6 ( LT5 & cosworth Vega limited production) we they wrong to give the public? Something that most car nuts could only dream to have.
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:46 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Default RE: Performance Rebuild? High quality parts for northstar.

I didn't mean to sound so cynical, or belligerent.. lol.. Not usually my nature when someone is only trying to help me. I've searched this forum, not really find much information and has been somewhat frustrating.

Anyone actually have a good alternative to dex-cool or higher quality gaskets? What about the point i made about german cars aren't they running hotter then the northstar? How are they preventing coolant burn off? Adding to the higher corrosive rates.

My engine is probably junk, and not worth the rebuild. I believe it may have already been rebuilt once. I need to have my mechanic tear into it and find out if they actually tried to repair the threading. Or just did a shotty job and put a gasket set.

i bought the car with 85k with rebuild and warranty. But, i don't think they'll honor it. The guy probably scammed me i even went to shop. before, i actually purcahsed the car. Where he said it was still under warranty. They wanted $300 dollars to transfer the warranty. but, said i could pay $150 and they would accept that. Thinking back now, i should have got everything in writing. They made an excuse that they would have the paper work. but, not right now cause they were really busy and would have to search for it. (yeah right! psst only my second car buying experience.)

ran the car until 115k. when i started noticing that i was loosing coolant from the overflow. I thought i could be some kind of pressure issue and air could be in the cooling lines. I never got the cooling system serviced. before most of the problems the heater core busted and i replaced it myself. before that i was loosing coolant from the overflow. But, it wasn't that bad and only at high rpm. filled the system with 50/50 dexcool. I should have most definitely took it in to have the cool system serviced. anyway.

I have a coolant leak at the top end, right side, rear, near and below the egr valve. But, I haven't actually taking anything apart to find out for sure. I'm waiting to get all the rebuild parts.

I never actually ran the engine overheated. But, i don't know about the previous owner he had heat problems and he may or may not have had it rebuilt. if its already been rebuilt do you guys think i should attempt another rebuild? I really want to find out if its been re-threaded.

During the 30k that i put on the engine i watched the temperature very closely as i didn't want it to overheat, and was always worried about it happening. It preformed well never going above 220 and staying around a stable 186-195 degrees. always changed the oil every 3k or less w/ castrol gtx (this stuff any good?)

Its only been about a year since i purchased it. I drove it for very extended periods of time all day everyday. I really fell in love with this car and engine. I'd like to repair it. but, i'm worried that the choices i make wont be the right ones.

1. used 75k engine with compression checks. $1000-1500.

2. re-manufactured engine $3600 super clean.

3. rebuild current engine $1500 invested in mechanic wants around $3600. I can get all the parts from my other guy with his napa account. Any upgraded or performance parts could be purchased myself.

I'd like to completely replace the cooling system or anything thats been actually been compromised. Could anyone help me get a list together of everything i need? I can have my mechanic help. But, its easy for me to get the part numbers from napas website. Then have my guy go get them for me.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what parts i should get to upgrade the engine if i decide to do the rebuild myself. I want to do timeserts althought its expensive i think i could resell it on ebay. I'm going to check out this forum for anyone selling their sets.

What are the gaskets made out of? Theres nothing on earth better then whats being used already?

I can't believe some of the applications that are being applied to the northstar. Dune buggy's, marine/boats, and even aviation.. This engine really is great!

As for the transmission work. I'm sure it needs service its still really strong. but, doesn't seem to shift as smoothly as it did when i first got it, i couldn't even tell when it changed gears. Any upgrade parts would be nice to know of. And i'm considering getting a high performance transmission cooler. Do you think its worth the extra bucks. they're suppose to keep your transmission much cooler. Anyone already using one?
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Old 01-14-2008, 12:09 PM
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Default RE: Performance Rebuild? High quality parts for northstar.

Lets not get too far out here? The previous owner could have lost a hose and coolant and overheated and then failed to do the right things afterwards. Now, you get to pay for his ignorance. PLEASE, lets not blame THAT on GM! Blame GM for not changing the maint sched on coolants, maybe that. AS i have stated over and over, this takes at least TWO events, one being "overheating."

You complain about being frustrated about lack of info here? u gotta be kidding .. dare you to find another site anywhere that offers more info in the matter of headgaskets and overheating of the Northstar - it was a monster effort for me to find, collect and post the info in the FAQ as it relates to this matter.

I even got plenty of flack from our own TECHs for being up-front with my findings.

Its all there my friend ...










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Old 01-14-2008, 12:09 PM
 
 
 
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