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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For a very long time I have been interested in the old northstar v8. I think the engine has a lot of potential and would be great for the road racing I do. Years ago, there was a company called Cadillac Hotrod Fabricators that had all kinds of things for this engine, but they are long gone. I have been trying to track down the old owner of that company; His name is Alan Johnson, but i haven't been able to find anything. Honestly, i dont even know if hes still alive. I think he even wrote a few things for Hotrod Magazine, but his old email links are dead.

Does anyone know anything about these engines or know someone who does?
 

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For a very long time I have been interested in the old northstar v8. I think the engine has a lot of potential and would be great for the road racing I do. Years ago, there was a company called Cadillac Hotrod Fabricators that had all kinds of things for this engine, but they are long gone. I have been trying to track down the old owner of that company; His name is Alan Johnson, but i haven't been able to find anything. Honestly, i dont even know if hes still alive. I think he even wrote a few things for Hotrod Magazine, but his old email links are dead.

Does anyone know anything about these engines or know someone who does?
There was a fella on here & other forums with a tbucket with a north star in it he was from the pacific northwest. Pretty sure he sold the bucket. Had numerous projects maybe someone else has a better memory ...
 

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I looked into the Northstar for an airplane conversion. Decided it was less than reliable and problematic. It has an issue with head bolts/head gaskets and the starter is mounted under the intake manifold. It hasn't become a popular swap due to having lots of issues.

If you are looking for a smaller/lighter engine, you might consider the Rover V8s. They are a descendant of the GM 215 Buick (Olds/Pontiac) engines of the 60s, but with an improved casting process.
You can find various versions up to 4.6 liters and they are very popular overseas.......kinda their version of a smallblock Chevy. They do blow head gaskets when they get old, but they are some good engines and come with carbs or EFI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I looked into the Northstar for an airplane conversion. Decided it was less than reliable and problematic. It has an issue with head bolts/head gaskets and the starter is mounted under the intake manifold. It hasn't become a popular swap due to having lots of issues.

If you are looking for a smaller/lighter engine, you might consider the Rover V8s. They are a descendant of the GM 215 Buick (Olds/Pontiac) engines of the 60s, but with an improved casting process.
You can find various versions up to 4.6 liters and they are very popular overseas.......kinda their version of a smallblock Chevy. They do blow head gaskets when they get old, but they are some good engines and come with carbs or EFI.
I'm aware of the head bolt/gasket issues. Those two problems are one in the same. There is a fix for that now which should make these engines bulletproof. The biggest issue i can see is a bellhousing to fit a good manual trans. The beauty of these engines is that there seems to be a good supply of them that no one wants due to the problems you mentioned. But thats all part of the fun of hotrodding!

I'm also aware of the Fiero swaps, i think it was popular with those guys because of the transverse mount nature of the engine. They didnt really hotrod the engine though and mostly threw it in as-is.
 

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The Northstar was popular in sand rails for a brief time. An Audi transaxle was often used behind them in sand rails. As mentioned the LS series of engines ran past the Northstar for use. For RWD app , you can relocate a bolt hole on a Chevy 60 degree V6 bell housing 700r4 trans. My memory is a bit aged out on this. Check and verify.
 

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The nice thing about Hot Rodding is that there are individuals who like to make their own choices and work thru the problems and find their own solutions. Many people just follow existing trends, but its always good to see someone who is willing to build more unique cars. Often they come up with some pretty nice stuff when they complete the project. I always respect the guys who innovate.

Something you might consider is using a scattershied type of housing and welding a different faceplate to it to fit a Northstar. Also, they make magnesium bellhousings for some of the Chevy engines that are much lighter than even an aluminum one. A simple adapter plate and it should work with a Northstar if you are trying to save every pound.
 
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