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Getting Started

In this section we will give you a few ideas to get your project off and running.  

Which flavor of Northstar do I want?

We prefer the '96-'99 simply because they are available at the salvage yards, the heads flow as good as the older SBC race heads, and we have everything you need to get it installed in your ride.  We have a lot of dress-up parts and high performance goodies too.

The 2000-2004/5 front wheel drive engine has larger intake valves (a good thing), but smaller exhaust valves (not good).  The GM engineers changed the heads, water pump, cam covers, and ignition system.  I don't like this engine and we don't have many parts for it.

When GM changed to the rear wheel drive engine, they put the water pump in the front of the engine.  A lot of modifications were made to the structure of the block and they added the vvt (variable valve timing).  We like this engine but we don't have much for it yet. 

  Here are some measurements of the engine:                 

*outside of head/cam cover to the other head/cam cover  - 26.5"  

*front of engine to the rear (bellhousing mounting surface) - 24"    

*from the bellhousing mount surface to the end of the water pump (remember the water pump is on the rear of the '93-'99 blocks) - 31"

The first thing is to get the transmission of interest mounted to the engine.  Are you going to have an automatic or manual trans?  We have a 700 R4 that is built where electronics is not used.  We have a bellhousing, flywheel, clutch and pressure plate to complete a stick shift application.  See these items elsewhere in the web site.

Next is to mount the engine in the chassis.  We have engine mounts for a couple of different accessory drives. 

This one is shown on the left side of the engine.  We supply the rest of the hardware to weld a carbon steel rod or tube to it and the frame.  There are urethane bushings for engine vibration control.

Also shown here is our oil filter adaptor plate that will remote the oil filter.



If you like the Northstar engine and want to have everything already assembled, here is an option.  This engine came out of my '32 roadster and comes complete ready to install and start up.

199X engine, blower, head work, nasty cams, Arias pistons, Eagle rods, blue-printed and balanced, chrome and polish package, New Holley HP ecu and wiring harness, headers, water tubing, polished 700R4, 3500 rpm stall torque converter, etc. etc. 


(all you see here would be approximately $28,000 new)


This is our standard aluminum front cover.  We use this to be able to drill and tap holes for idlers anywhere we want to get the proper belt alignment.

This front cover plate shown also contains an air conditioner compressor mount on the left (right side of the engine).

If you are going to use the factory alternator and air conditioner compressor mounted on the left side, here is another engine mount that is located behind the oil filter adaptor.

Back to the alternator.  Our typical mount is on the right side of the engine.

Well we should talk about the factory intake manifold for a minute.  If you are going to run this intake, the factory location of the throttle body is facing the rear.  This manifold can be unbolted and turned 180 degrees to face the throttle body out the front.  The front location was the factory location for the power steering pump.   Let's say you want to turn the intake manifold around, so let's mount the alternator.  We have to replace the large front black plate with an aluminum one.  This is so we can drill and tap this plate anywhere we need to mount the belt idlers.

On custom and our cast intakes, the alternator can be mounted up in between the heads.





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