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KnightOwl

Northstar GP

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That is crazy cool!  Was he a member at one time or something?  That car and the idea of doing that is wild!  I hope whoever bought it is really having fun too.  That sounds tough!

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I gotta admit, I think the Northstar is one of the best sounding V8 engines ever...even over some European exotics. They have a bad rep for being unreliable and in stock trim that is true, but if you can afford to pull one down and stud it top and bottom, it becomes a bulletproof monster. That sound is like a drug!

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Never been around one personally.  I do remember visiting some friends in Chicago and my buddy's brother in law worked at a GM dealer at the time.  He took us out on the town for dinner in a brand new Aurora, black with tan leather interior and it was a pretty nice car.  That was my only experience in a Northstar and it was pretty quick (Chicago drivers go fast)!

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I know this would not be a cost-effective swap, nor would it mean big hp gains, but I cant help being curious how difficult it was to pull off. The concept of that sound coming from my car is just hypnotic

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Just had a seriously funny moment. While Googling for W-body Northstar swap, I came across an older thread from this board. Turns out the original poster was ME! LOL This was during the time I owned the 2001 and my screen name was "ThunderBat"

 

You know you've gotten old when you start running across your own tracks covered in dust! LOL

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I'm not sure how you guys can tell it sounded good when the audio was recorded with a potato. Sweet V8 sounds or not, at the end of the day, I cannot fathom why anyone would go through that much work to swap an L67 with an engine that is much, much heavier, fuel thirstier, and much less reliable, all to make the same amount of power.

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From what I've read the LS4, Northstar, and L67 are all about the same weight (LS4 actually a touch lighter) since the V8s are alloy vs cast iron. As far as thirsty goes, when you crank the power from the L67 mpg will go down. My stock L36 only avg about 20mpg now...crank up the boost and mpg will suffer. Yes the V8 will do worse. Maybe this guy had plenty of skill and resource at his disposal...who knows, but any kind of engine swap is plenty of headache. Its all in what the person wants. One thing is for certain, no blown or turbo 3800 will ever sound like a Northstar at any price. The N/A V8 sings a tune no other engine can match. The exotic builders know it and so do many others. You can easily spend $4-5K in mods and machine work building a stout 3800. A Northstar can be made just as reliable with a stud kit (and plenty do that to the 3800) If I had money to go either route, I'd do the V8 too, because getting the enjoyment out of the car every time you drive is worth more than 5 mpg, 15hp, or another 3 tenths drag time.

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I agree the 3800 stands out as one of the last, tough-as-nails, iron horse of an engine. The fact it came supercharged as an option made it a giant-killer in its day, and it remains one of the easiest to mod with plenty of aftermarket support even after so much time. The fact its still viable in the OHC multi-valve world today says a lot. The ones I've owned have been reliable, fun-to-drive vehicles BUT......I have easily spent more cash trying to find a decent sounding exhaust on those engines than any other by a wide margin. Its kind of sad that such a great engine, even the ones I've heard with cams and headers, still fail to push the adrenaline button. I like the sound of mine when I stand on it, but I cant do that all the time! LOL I've heard many other 6cyl engines that have a nice tone and growl without the "buzz" that seems to be the signature of the 3800. Its unmistakable, thats for sure.

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I thought it was interesting over on Bonnevilleclub.com, there is a guy that lives up north that runs a side business in Bonneville spare parts. He decided to build the "ultimate bonneville" so he chose a pristine GXP (which has all the toys and best suspension/brakes)...yanked the Northstar and installed a full-tilt supercharged 3800...he called it the best car with the best engine....obviously that guy "gets it" in the biggest way possible.  ;)

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