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Which means "Evil Twin". Lets see your projects where you change boring into fun or create the fun from scratch.
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 Post subject: Cadillac FrankeNorthStar
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:34 am 
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I'm finally to the point as which I can track progress toward assembly instead of just brainstorming.

Background:
Car: 1987 Pontiac Fiero

Engine:
Block: 2006-2011 Cadillac/Pontiac/Buick 4.6 for transverse mounting. In 2006 GM switched the FWD Northstars over to 58x controls, which means the crank sensor and knock sensors are located in the valley.
Crank: 2005-2009 Cadillac STS-V/XLR-V FORGED from the supercharged RWD cars; 58x trigger wheel
Main Bearings: Clevite w/ Calico coating
Rods: Drop-in Eagle H-beams
Rod Bearings: King w/ Calico coating
Piston pins: PPPC Titanium
Pistons: CP made-to-order with +3.5cc net dome for 11.5:1 compression + ceramic crown and moly skirt coatings (Re-used from prior build); also have valve reliefs 0.100 deeper than stock.
Rings: Total Seal gapless top w/ diamond finish treatment, Napier 2nd and conventional oil ring; 1.5, 1.5, 3.0 ring thicknesses

Head gaskets: Cometic MLS set up to hit 0.035-0.038 quench clearance
Heads: '93-'99 flat for hydraulic flat tappet valvetrain.
Valvesprings: CHRFab (now out of business)
Cams: Stock 266/244 config to begin with... I have 288's on the shelf and will work up to 288/288 over time. There are no Northstar cam cores, so all available cams are regrinds.

The flat tappet heads are well balanced for naturally aspirated performance. The '00+ roller valvetrain heads have better intake ports but worse exhaust ports. The RWD engines have the same intake ports as the roller valvetrain FWD heads, but with significantly improved exhaust ports (and make 20 more HP than the FWD engines due to port flow) but have differences in the block to head interface that make them not readily installable to a FWD block.

The 58x ECMs get a lot of formerly direct wired functions over CANBus, which makes them harder to use by themselves.
Lingenfelter makes a box ( https://www.lingenfelter.com/product/L460065397.html ) that translates the signals from a 58x engine into signals a 24x ECM can understand. The older 24x ECMs have the functions in question direct wired and are better suited to hot rodding an older car. The 58x is constant pulse width. The 24x is pulse width encoded.

So I'll use the 58x=>24x converter and a 24x ECM. That lets me direct wire A/C request, clutch switch, vehicle speed sensor (VSS), cruise control switches, tach output and probably some other things I'm forgetting. The A/C request makes the ECM "aware" the A/C is being used, which lets it turn off the A/C compressor when RPM exceeds 4000 or throttle goes wide open. Along with the A/C Req line, the ECM can use a pressure transducer to cycle the compressor instead of relying on the Fiero's old pressure cycling switch system... just nicer to have modern tech.

The VSS allows deceleration fuel cutoff (DFCO) which does impact gas mileage noticeably and also avoids the exhaust crackling and popping every time I come to a stop sign in a neighborhood.
The clutch switch tells the ECM when I sink the clutch so that it can open up idle airflow to prevent a stall on coast-down.

I'll start off with a cable throttle, and potentially switch over to drive by wire throttle in the future. The 58x ECMs have internal DBW drivers. The 24x ECMs have an external throttle actuator control (TAC) module to drive the DBW throttle. With direct wired cruise control, I can avoid a cruise module completely, although I'll have to have the TAC module... so much for weight savings and simplicity.

Anyway, on to the pretty stuff.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:35 am 
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Total damage on the crank was $435

Forged crank and cast crank next to each other. I've turned the counterweights on the cast crank, so they're a little sharper than they would be stock.

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There are some differences in counterweight shape

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Got some good QC'ing done.

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All the oil holes look the same. It should just be a drop-in swap.

*HOWEVER* the forged crank uses 11mm flywheel bolts instead of the 8mm bolts the normal Northstar uses. Maybe that's good because LS engines use 11mm bolts, so I can spec my flywheel such that I can make use of LS flywheel bolts. That doesn't help the flywheel for the normal engines, but that's the way things work out. Oh yeah, AND my flywheel that I just had prototyped needs to be reworked for this crank. AWESOME!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:35 am 
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Been making progress... just haven't been posting every time. I'm into some of the tedious tasks in the build.

Torquing up rod bolts so I can measure the bearings and get rod/bearing combos assigned to journals:

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Sorting the rod/bearing assemblies in order of increasing size and putting that list next to the list of crank journals sorted by increasing size gives me 5/8 rod bearings with 0.0019 clearance, 2 with 0.0020 and 1 with 0.0021... Pretty snazzy, especially since what I had was as high as 0.003 thanks to a crappy job by the crank grinder.

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That was 3 weeks ago... two weeks ago I pulled the bearings back out and torqued up the rod bolts without bearings so I could measure the big end bores. I haven't done anything with that data yet, though.

Last weekend I stayed at my house because I felt a little under the weather and didn't want to risk exposing my dad *just* in case it was COVID-19.

Also paid for my titanium piston pins, so they should arrive Tuesday next week.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:37 am 
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Here's my flywheel in progress:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:38 am 
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Welded:

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"The perfect weld is always a millisecond from disaster"... Note the bulging on the front surface from the welds on the back surface.

The flywheel ended up right at 11#, which is heavier than I'd hoped, but I deliberately left a bunch of extra steel in it to soak up heat from slipping it in traffic. The most important 3#, the band around the perimeter, is GONE, so that's a big deal and should make this unit spin up quicker than an 8# aluminum unit.

The stock clutch assembly consists of a 14# flywheel, which is already pretty light, a 14# pressure plate an a 3ish # disk. That's 31#. With an 8# aluminum flywheel, that's still a 25# assembly, but with potential reliability problems from the aluminum flywheel.

I'm not exactly sure what the TIlton's final assembly weight is, but even at 10# for pressure plate and disks, the entire assembly would be 21#, which is not only 4# lighter than the stock type assembly with an aluminum flywheel, the smaller diameter gives it SIGNIFICANTLY less moment of inertia, so it will spin up MUCH faster than any stock type clutch/flywheel assembly.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:44 am 
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Removing the old engine

We got my dad's truck put back together and out of the "borrowed" shop space, so I moved The Mule into it.
I got the powertrain pulled and split and the engine on the stand. I'll be tearing it down to look at the oil rings and grooves this coming weekend.

Messy harness that I'll be reworking extensively:

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Harness adapter that let me run the Shelby computer without breaking down my original harness. I built this so that I could go back to the Caddy computer in case the Shelby didn't work.

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I'm always careful and I have the scars to prove it.
I've grafted a Class 3 into The Fiero Store's hitch, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a class 0 or 1 hitch. It's a smidge overloaded in tongue weight like this, but I didn't go very far.

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285/30-18's on C5 Corvette 18x9.5 rears. I'm pretty sure 315/30-18's can fit on 18x11's once I get my strut clamp extension plates finalized.

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Here are some shots of the powertrain out of the car. I don't think I've shown much of my custom exhaust after I built it. It fits *RIGHT* up against the trunk wall... packaged very snugly.

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Here's the X-Pipe assembly straight out of Dr. Seuss; note the bung in the X for wide band O2 use:

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Finally splitting the transmission. It's hard not to feel sorry for that tiny Getrag bolted up to a huge V8.

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The infamous Spec Stage 3. I had a new engine and a new clutch at the same time. I chose to break my engine in properly over my clutch. Little did I know that the Stage 3 would never recover from this insult. SOOO MANY times in traffic I've wanted to shoot someone over this thing being an awful chatter box. I've read comments from people in the community about this clutch being very much hit or miss with regard to smoothness or chatter. If it's *THAT* finnicky about break-in, it's a bad product. This level of goofiness from the OE-based aftermarket clutch industry is why I'm intent on going to Tilton or QM.

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And finally, the engine on the stand:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:45 am 
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Disassembling the old engine:

Last weekend:

I realized I've had a battery boil over event at some point. As you can tell from the pulley end of the forward cylinder head and the condition of the battery tray if I'd posted photos of it, there's a lot more corrosion around the battery than there is elsewhere. Feh.

I asked in some other places about keeping an aluminum engine shiny and found out that POR-15 now makes a CLEAR product, which I think is exactly what the doctor ordered. I'll get some of that on the way.

Fine tuning the block on the stand:

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Getting the balancer off:

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Obligatory naked timing drive photo:

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Some of the brains of the beast:

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Left head off:

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Oh hey, there's a bunch of oil in the chambers... where'd that come from?

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Both heads off:

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Starting on the bottom end:

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Pulling the oil manifold:

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Lower crank case off:

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Measuring rod bolt relaxation to make sure non took a permanent set:

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Got a few more to do:

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I tore the engine all the way down to a bare block last weekend... gotta measure rings, get the block cleaned up and figure more things out.

#'s 6 & 8 have some corrosion from sitting through seasonal changes with the intake valves open, so the block needs to be re-honed. :( Total Seal has a ring at 3.682 bore size, so that sounds like the next step.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:46 am 
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Liberating the block from the new engine I had to buy to get it:

Got the heads off my '06 engine. That's not a lot of progress for a weekend because I spent a good bit of time looking at cam sensor parts and scratching my head.

First, here's a quick tour of a 2006+ Northstar.
Overall picture: Note the Y2K+ style intake manifold. The vehicle this engine was in had a fire, and the plastic power steering reservoir (already removed) and intake manifold were damaged, but it looks like the block is fine. It also sat out in the junk yard for... a while, I guess. It's supposed to have 14k on it, so it should clean up nice. At this point, I've already taken the harness off.

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This is the connector for the "valley harness" which is a new sub-harness element added for 2006 as the number of gizmos in the valley increased dramatically. It's a 10 pin connector with 3 for the crank sensor, 3 for the cam sensor and 2 for each knock sensor. GM eliminated the manifold sub-harness that earlier year engines had. That sub-harness carried wires for the injectors and MAP sensor and made R&Ring the manifold a snap. I still have it in the harness I removed from The Mule and will incorporate both valley and manifold sub-harnesses into my new harness, although I will re-route the valley harness to connect at the pulley end of the engine.
There's also a bullet proof heat shield around the EGR valve.

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Right bank overview with nifty coil on plug ignition. I don't think these will fit the older heads, but I'll check it out. Each bank has a coil sub-harness. The flange on the exhaust manifold is for an AIR pump. The big wire and connector hanging over the cam cover is the crank wire coming out from under the intake manifold.

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The grommets and o-ring seals mechanically isolate the valve covers from the cylinder head for noise reduction. They were built that way from day 1 in 1993. This also means that the valve covers are electrically isolated from the head as well. The <'99 engines have a 8ga or so ground wire from the coilpack baseplate to the cylinder head. Without that wire, the engine WILL NOT run right. When GM shifted to the coil on plug ignition, they had to incorporate healthy grounding for each coil pack baseplate. They chose to use short braids from the valve cover to the cylinder head instead of heavy gauge ground wires from the baseplates to the heads.

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This is the cam sensor connector. These wires run from the valley sub-harness connector all the way under the manifold and come out here, even though this sensor would have been just as easy to reach with a branch off the main harness. Interesting that the organized it that way. This is also the first thing that made stop and think for a minute. This cam sensor is on the INTAKE cam, while the <'05 sensor is on the EXHAUST cam.

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Here's the left bank overview. At some point the dipstick moved outside the waterpump. It used to come up to the left of the waterpump belt. Not sure why they changed that. I can't re-use my old dipstick tube as the new one is smaller, and thus the hole in the lower crank case is also smaller. The exhaust manifold hides it, but this engine has a 3 bolt oil filter adapter flange instead of the older 2 bolt flange. I need to snag a 3 bolt oil cooler filter adapter off eBay...

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Here's the left cam cover ground braid bolted to the bolt hole that the old dipstick bolted to.

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There were a bunch of these connections on the PCV system. The clip on to an upset tube with a nifty little spring clip. They slip right on, then release with the flick of a finger. Super easy to use.

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Here's the DBW throttle acutator, MAP sensor and center feed returnless fuel rail with large diameter tubing to obviate the need to a pulsator. You can also see one of the hose clamps (!) that connects the intake manifold to the water manifold.

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This is one of those weird Northstar things. The water manifold bridging the backs of the block and cylinder heads is the reason this engine fits in a Fiero. If the waterpump were at the front, it wouldn't fit. The water manifold casting has an element that sticks up. The throttle bolts to this element and the intake air passes through it. The MAP sensor and brake booster vacuum connection in the prior pic are actually in the water manifold casting, not the throttle casting. The water manifold also serves as an EGR cooler, and the EGR gas is introduced via the casting element the throttle bolts to. The intake manifold just has a large diameter nipple and a very short hose coupler connecting it to the back of the water manifold casting.

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This view shows the EECS solenoid now integrated to the water manifold casting, as well as the hose clamps between the intake manifold and water manifold.

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Different heater fitting on water manifold than previous years had
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Front of the engine, with the same idler & tensioner layout they've always had. At some point the front cover was changed to expose the bolt hole just to the left of the crank pulley, so I need to keep the newer cover with this newer block. Of course the big wire is the starter cable.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:47 am 
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In pulling the manifold, I got an impression of how long it had been sitting in the junk yard.

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I still have some ground to cover before the block is shiny and pretty, but at least the starter is. My old starter is black. You can also see the valley sub-harness.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:47 am 
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Here are the troublesome cam sensor sprockets:

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It looks like both old and new sensors are at the "6 o'clock" positions relative to their respective cam sprockets. The new sensor is smaller in diameter and the hole is closer to the centerline of the cam. I think an eccentric bushing could mount the new sensor in the old head just fine. It would also allow me to tune the reference angle a little bit if the CASE learn fails when I get an ECM on this frankenmotor.

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Here are the two trigger sprockets next to each other. Note that the older sprocket has timing marks for both right intake and right exhaust. The new sprocket has the fancy 4x cam trigger pattern used by the 58x systems.

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Overlay the two with the exhaust cam drive pin slot on the old sprocket lined up with the intake cam drive pin slot on the new sprocket and they're only off 1/5-1/4 of a tooth. With 40 teeth per sprocket, that's 1.8-2.25 cam degrees. Even if that were the best I could do, I'd bolt that shit together and send it.

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Line up the TEETH of the sprockets and the leading edges of the drive pin slots line up. The new cams use 0.184 drive pins (well... really alignment pins) while the older cams use 0.234 alignment pins. I left the new sprocket with the prototype machinist so he could stretch the slot in the new sprocket on its trailing edge out to 0.234. Then it should exactly match the timing of the original sprocket, while only rotating the 4x trigger wheel by ~2 cam degrees, which is 1 crank degree, which *should* stay under the CASE learn limit of +/-2 crank degrees.

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Lingenfelter confirmed that their TRG-002 58x=>24x converter does not care about crank to cam reference angle, so the ONLY foreseeable problem is the potential for CASE learn issues. As noted previously, I intend to mount the new sensor in an eccentric bushing, which will give me some fine-tuning capability to eliminate any potential CASE learn problems. :mrgreen: :twisted:


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