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 Post subject: V8 Info
PostPosted: January 24, 2007, 10:38 pm 
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For those thinking about V8 Locosts, here is some data for you to consider. I didn't add the Rover/Buick 215 to these values, well, because the Rover is too underpowered for my tastes and doesn't really bring much to the table compared to the other engines.

First Generation Chevrolet Small Block

    5.0/5.7 liters depending on donor
    optimistically 480 punds bare (aluminum intake, heads, electric water pump, DIS) Typically high 500 pounds
    Pushrods!
    ~25" wide
    GM EFI or Megasquirt has been done to death
    easy/honest ~250 hp for the 5.0 TPI, much more potential a JEGS catalog away
    HUGE Aftermarket support
    It is a larger/heavier engine than the small block Ford
    T5 and a 5.7/350 is an unlikely combo for a piggish 3rd gen F-body but in a Locost will it survive?

Small Block Ford

    5.0/5.7 liters depending on donor
    ~460 punds bare (aluminum intake, heads as seen in later Mustangs)
    Pushrods work!
    ~24" wide
    Ford EFI or Megasquirt has been done to death
    easy/honest ~225 hp for the 5.0, much more potential a JEGS catalog away
    HUGE Aftermarket support
    It is a slightly smaller/lighter engine than the traditional small block Chevy
    World Class T5 was typical 5 speed in Mustangs
    Cheap with the correct amount of scrounging!

Cadillac Northstar

    4.6 liters
    DOHC (sexy b!tch!)
    ~400 lbs bare
    ~28" wide (heads are wide)
    Needs[?] aftermarket ECU ($1400USD!!!!)
    No one has published Megasquirt info (fear of unknown).
    can probably source a wrecked Deville for under $1000 the the right contacts.
    easy/honest ~300hp
    Will a T5 live behind 300HP? It's on the edge - light weight will likely let it live.

Second Generation Chevrolet Small Block [LT1]

    5.7 liters
    ~Same size as traditional SBC (~25" wide)
    ~460 lbs bare
    Aluminum heads stock (confirm true for C/K/V truck platforms)
    Aluminum ram intake manifold stock (confirm true for C/K/V truck platforms)
    Easy/honest 300hp
    Pushrods work!
    Huge aftermarket since it is pretty much just a SBC with different heads and reversed coolant flow.
    Seems to be fairly pricey: $1k - $2k used.
    Would need to use T56 transmission (120 lbs vs 75lbs for the T5)
    Use GM EFI Harness. Been megasquirted by others.

Third Generation Chevolet Small Block [LS1]

    5.7 liters
    Touch larger than traditional SBC (~26" wide)
    ~400 lbs bare
    All aluminum - including block in car lines
    Easy/honest 300hp
    Pushrods work!
    Huge aftermarket
    Pricey, more so than the LT1. Some crazy prices out there (because they are the hot ticket these days?)
    Need bigger transmission than T5
    Use GM EFI Harness. Been megasquirted by others.

Toyota(Lexus) 1UZFE

    4.0 liters
    ~250 hp
    ~400 lbs bare
    ~26" wide
    all aluminum
    DOHC
    Expensive to adapt to a 5 speed (T5 is an option though and power level is workable).
    $1500USD EFI ECU. Some people are attempting to Megasquirt but no success as of yet.
    Cheap! $500-$1000


I hope that someone finds this info useful. As sexy as a built Northstar looks and sounds I'll probably stick with my iron Gen I SBC for now since I already own it and can work out the rest of the car and then worry about re-powering at a later date. Run what ya brung!


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PostPosted: January 25, 2007, 2:32 am 
Can't speak much about the others but the 5.0/5.7.

Ford 5.0 V8 411 lbs 89 Mustang 5.0 GT (dry)
inc: manifold, headers and alternator.
Not inc: starter, smog pump, power steering
pump, AC compressor, flywheel

The 351W weighs about 50 lbs more but fixes most of the ills of the 5.0, ie block splits and deck moves enough to blow head gaskets. It isn't hard to get 300hp+ from a 5.0 in the form of a GT40 (or GT40P) heads a F cam and opening up the intake/exhaust flow. The 351 with a 3.85 stroke crank, stock rods and 5.0 pistons with a good cam and heads puts out 500hp+. The longivity of the T5 depends on the manner of operation, my 93 Cobra has 110,000+ miles on the original everything but plugs & belts.

What I've read about the Northstar engine is that it has some issues and is a throw away engine.


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PostPosted: January 25, 2007, 3:59 am 
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Location: Antioch, CA
Ford SHO V8, as built by Yamaha

3.4liter 60° V8, 375pounds fully loaded (supposedly, not verified)

The Volvo V8 are rumored to be based on the same engine, but are 4.4 liter


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PostPosted: January 25, 2007, 9:48 am 
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Location: Lanark Highlands, ON
Interesting point about the Northstar being a throw away engine. I've heard of head gasket issues but apparently can be fixed in the aftermarket.

I've also heard that the SHO V8 is not that durable but if one fell in my lap I'd still run it.

Gotta love sexy DOHC V8s - they make cool noises.


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PostPosted: January 25, 2007, 11:12 am 
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The other good thing about the GM LSX / Gen III and Gen IV stuff is that there ARE tuning packages out there that allow for full support through a factory ECU, including real time data logging and conversion over to use Wideband O2 sensors.

HP Tuners and I do believe EFI Live do this, with the use of Windows based laptop.

Oh, two other things, one being the factory deep skirted and 6 bolt main block, as well as I think Slingsht said you can get a T-5 bellhousing since they are finding their way into hot rods and old school Detriot Iron.


While doing research and tracking, it is possible to find a relatively low mileage engine, trans, harness, clutch, bell housing for somewhere in the vacinity of 2500~4000. Bit price, yes, but people will daily drive these motors and put nothing other than routine maintance into them for 120k+.

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2005 WRX in Rally Blue...stock and slow

Perhaps a 4-4-2 chassis in the future?


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PostPosted: January 25, 2007, 4:37 pm 
Darth V8r wrote:
Interesting point about the Northstar being a throw away engine. I've heard of head gasket issues but apparently can be fixed in the aftermarket....


I found the article in Kit Car Builder and will try to get it scanned tonight.


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PostPosted: January 25, 2007, 4:45 pm 
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FWIW, these cats have a decent reputation making big power out of the Northstar:

http://www.chrfab.com/

Including forced induction...


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PostPosted: January 25, 2007, 9:25 pm 
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I don't know what the reality is, but are you sure your choice of engine can be supported by the frame?


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PostPosted: January 25, 2007, 9:59 pm 
Image
http://www.usa7s.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=467


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PostPosted: January 25, 2007, 10:00 pm 
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UTurn wrote:
I don't know what the reality is, but are you sure your choice of engine can be supported by the frame?


This isn't breaking new ground, there are high powered 7-clones out there in various incarnations. Some were even "factory" offered with the Rover V8. I'm digging the LS1/W56 setup in Slngsht's machine (Rotus). Edit: see picture one post up.

Besides, consider it an R&D project. It's not like torquing the engine is going to lead to an instantaneuous catastropic failure of the chassis and you will end up on your ass on the highway at 100 km/h.

If it breaks, fix/replace.


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PostPosted: January 25, 2007, 10:39 pm 
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It's also worth mentioning that the frame on Slngsht's LS1 powered machine is 1" square tube, just like Uncle Ron's. (although the Rotus frames were not the same design and I think they are larger too)

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PostPosted: January 25, 2007, 11:08 pm 
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chetcpo wrote:
It's also worth mentioning that the frame on Slngsht's LS1 powered machine is 1" square tube, just like Uncle Ron's. (although the Rotus frames were not the same design and I think they are larger too)


I've been thinking about the fuss that is made about V8 power in the book style frame today.

Thinking out loud...

The motor is mounted to the "triangle" on either side of the engine bay. If you do the additional mods for stiffness these triangles get skinned from below with 16 swg IIRC.

You can weld your mount directly to the 16 swg, in fact you'd likely reinforce some or all of it with heavier gauge material or run an extra tube or two. You don't want to have a mount welded to sheet steel - tube is where it's at.

Then you'd likely want to gusset the pointy, leading edge of the triangle into the vertical and the horizontal at the front of the engine bay.

The other mount is at the transmission... Similar ideas at play.

The only extra mount I've seen for a V8 install was the SBC powered Westy. It had extra brackets running from the front of the engine near/at the cylinder head and this was bolted to somewhere in the front, top of the engine bay opening. I'm not sure if this was done on both sides.

I'm seriously thinking about staying with 1" tube and letting intuition take over once the engine is in the bay.


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PostPosted: January 26, 2007, 2:15 am 
This Q/A was in Kit Car Builder Feb 06

Q. Doc, what's your opinion on the Cadillac Northstar as far as its suitability for use in a kit car? Some time ago. I saw some show cars with such engines installed, but I haven't seen many lately. Are there some major problems with these engines, or are they undiscovered gems, instead?
Jeff Wheatley
Boise, ID

A. Thanks for the question, Jeff. We've been meaning to talk about the Northstar, so now we will take the opportunity. The first Northstars to see action were the L37 4.6L units that powered the Eldorado, Seville STS and (c'mon, you remember) the Allante. By present standards, this engine would be considered pretty technically advanced. Back in '93, when it was introduced. it was hailed as a breakthrough powerplant that would be the basis for the resurgence of the Cadillac nameplate. It was even considered to be one of the best engines extant at that time.

Made of a die cast aluminum alloy, sporting four cams and 32 valves, producing close to 300 horsepower using GM's latest powertrain management system, and boastint! of minimal maintenance needs, it appeared. that Cadillac had the dream engine at their disposal. It was promoted as such, which is why it appeared in many shows and custom cars on or around the time of introduction.

Since that time, many of the refinements to this powerplant have been in the name of durability and reliability, although horsepower has increased slightly. For instance, although Cadillac was touting coolant change intervals of up to 150,000 miles, the truth was that the coolant got changed much more frequently than that and in an impromptu fashion due to chronic leakage developing in a couple of different places. Makes you wonder if Cadillac knew something when they included a feature in the engine management that sequenced the cylinder firing in a way that reportedly would allow the vehicle to be driven up to 50 miles without coolant or the subsequent engine damage resulting from its loss! Cadillac also boasted of potentially longer oil service intervals, due to an increased crankcase oil capacity (close to 8 quarts). Of course, this was all moot if the the aforementioned coolant loss occured. Then, all of that extra oil in the crankcase would be called on to perform double duty as lubricant AND coolant! Did I mention that those chronic coolant leaks rarely occurred at the same time? Too frequently, after a few of these coolant loss episodes, another chronic weakness this in the cylinder head bolt/block thread area would manifest itself! It wasn't unusual that around the time of the first tune interval (an otherwise commendable 100,000 miles), the owner would now also be faced with a major mechanical failure.

Experience has shown that the only way to affect a warrantable repair for such a condition is to replace the engine with a new unit. There are a few reasons for this.

The first is that, with the exception of the rare super-low-mileage used engine, any wrecking-yard Northstar engine will probably have a similar history as the one needing replacement. What would be the point of going to all of the work to change engines, only to, in short order, have another of these pattern failures involving the replacement engine?

Got Rebuilt units? I'll have to answer that one with "The Universal Congress of NO!" That's right. Not even the manufacturer offers a remanufactured replacement Northstar engine! You know that if they thought it was a good idea, they would make them available.

Other rebuilders have looked into the prospects, but certain design hurdles (non-machineable, cast-in cylinder sleeves), design flaws like casting porosit in the engine block (see other question in this column), lack of replacement rebuilding parts (oversized bearings, etc.), and the general labor-intensive nature of the task vs. the actual cost of a new engine-have fairly obviated the rebuilding issue.

The third reason for going with a new unit is the fact that you do get quite a lot for your money. It's not just a bare "longblock", as in engine block and cylinder heads only. It's complete with oil pan, timing cover, crank pulley, valve covers, coolant crossover, water pump and thermostat, and many of the needed sensors. Plus, you get all of the available design updates and a decent warranty. Unless of course, use in a kit car voids that warranty (unthinkable)!

The fact that the Northstar powertrain has been used in transverse mounted applications makes it attractive to the kit car community especially those involved in Fiero/Lambo projects.

As you no doubt have already deduced, use of the Northstar engine, while being totally viable in many respects, will be fairly costly in the greenback department.

Additional costs to consider would be the fact that, what with the engine and transmission management systems being fairly well integrated with each other to begin with, you'll do best to use the correct O.E. transmission, powertrain management system and wiring harness.

Rebuilding the transmission is possible, and cheaper than a new one, but still pricey. Good-used electronic control units (ECU's) and wiring harnesses are available for fairly low-bucks and there are some companies out there that know how to handle some of the programming.

I think that for all of that, these Northstar powertrains are not in the "undiscovered gem" category, but they do offer advantages if you are willing to ante up.


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PostPosted: January 26, 2007, 12:13 pm 
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Bah! killjoy!

LOL

So, with that logic, the junkyards should be full of $50 long blocks, right?

LOL


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 Post subject: LT1 SBC
PostPosted: February 7, 2007, 11:54 am 
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Another quick data point for anyone considering a SBC.

If you are concerned about keeping the engine as low as possible but don't want to shell out the coin for a LSx engine, look into retrofitting a LT1 style intake onto your Gen I SBC (or using a whole LT1/GenII SBC).

The LT1 intake manifold can be modified to run on a Gen I SBC. Info on how to do it here: http://lt1intake.com. The LT1 intake will work with TPI injection and this is a nice way to avoid the LT1 Optispark system. You do need to run an external thermostat though.

From appearances, this makes the engine within an inch or so of height as the height of tall valve covers on the heads. If you know SBCs you'll know what I mean. Between this and a shallow sump oil pan there should be no reason why you couldn't get a SBC completely under the cowl/hood of a Locost. Maybe a blister style scoop but I'm thinking not needed. Please note that I haven't tried this!

Here's a couple of images of what it ends up looking like.

With tall valve covers:

Image

With normal, short valve covers (stock LT1 installation - note absence of distributor):

Image

For me the look of an engine is as important as the power output and such. Using the LT1 intake gives the SBC a modern, industrial looking appearance that can still be dressed up using the normal chrome and paint touches.


Last edited by Darth V8r on February 7, 2007, 1:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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