Indy - Guy
Indy - Guy UltimaDork
11/9/23 8:45 a.m.

I'm searching for an engine donor for the Free RX8 Challenge car.

 

What's a good cost per horsepower ratio? 

Would a 2004 Northstar V8 (producing 320hp) be a good candidate for a donor engine?  I can get this one in Indianapolis for $848.51 all in.

 

Linky to auction listing.

 

It has a $475 " Buy it Now" price.  What do you guys think?

calteg
calteg SuperDork
11/9/23 8:48 a.m.

Absolutely, 1000% stay away from Northstar engines. They leak oil like sieves. 

I'd determine your target power numbers and work backwards from there. Turbo Atlas motor is absurd HP for relatively cheap, but it might be more power/fabrication than you need

camopaint0707
camopaint0707 Reader
11/9/23 8:49 a.m.

no, this is about as bad of engine you could possibly conceive for a swap.

RonnieFnD
RonnieFnD Reader
11/9/23 8:50 a.m.

I 2nd the stay away from the Northstar.   I work at a Caddy dealer and unfortunately am one of the guys that gets pinned with those E36 M3boxes.   You will be doing valve covers and half cases every six months to slow the oil leaks down.

Indy - Guy
Indy - Guy UltimaDork
11/9/23 8:51 a.m.

In reply to calteg :

This is a one and done type of thing.  I won't be owning the car after the Challenge. So oil leaks (as long as not massive) shouldn't be a problem.  I need a donor that I can pull and swap "as-is" no fabricating turbo bits etc.

I thought by 2004 they had made significant improvements to the NorthStar.

RonnieFnD
RonnieFnD Reader
11/9/23 8:53 a.m.

They made them run better but never fixed them.  Guys hide from the dispatcher every time one rolls up on the service drive.  Line for the bathroom lol.

calteg
calteg SuperDork
11/9/23 9:11 a.m.

350 Chevy

eastpark
eastpark HalfDork
11/9/23 9:22 a.m.

Not sure if you've seen this, Calvin Nelson is experimenting with a Northstar:

https://youtu.be/MRHWBP6QB2E?si=XRtwHw-Z_ge79MWw

Indy - Guy
Indy - Guy UltimaDork
11/9/23 9:23 a.m.
calteg said:

350 Chevy

Can I get 320hp for $848.51* from a SBC?

*(including a transmission attached)

Indy - Guy
Indy - Guy UltimaDork
11/9/23 9:25 a.m.

In reply to eastpark :

Thanks for pointing me to that.  I hadn't seen that one yet.  I'll put it on the watch list for later tonight.

calteg
calteg SuperDork
11/9/23 10:44 a.m.
Indy - Guy said:
calteg said:

350 Chevy

Can I get 320hp for $848.51* from a SBC?

*(including a transmission attached)

You can make more power for less money with a SBC, if you're willing to put the sweat equity in. 

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
11/9/23 11:11 a.m.

I have to think that a 4.8 ls is the answer to this question.  I see them all day with transmissions for $600 and if you see it run before they pull it, I don't see where you can go wrong.

There are ways to remove VATS for free if it is counted for challenge budget.I would argue that HP tuner credit cost should NOT be counted since it is just a tool, same as a angle-grinder or a milling machine that you happen to have laying around the shop

Of course this would be with a 4l60E gearbox if that matters. Manual gearboxes for an LS seem to be well above the cost of a challenge car.

singleslammer
singleslammer GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/9/23 11:36 a.m.

Jaguar supercharged straight 6?? It's in MO at the moment but it is 315 hp and ALL the torque. 

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) Dork
11/9/23 11:48 a.m.

From what I remember for the rwd northstars, 2008 and up was better bc you could use hptuners. Also 2008 and up was supposed to have better head bolts or studs and less head gasket issues. But still seems like a issue for all years. 
 

nocones
nocones GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/9/23 12:19 p.m.

In reply to singleslammer :

Please Indy guy do the Jag I6.   We had discussed it as a option when the RX8 was going to be a Endurance car.  It would require cutting the firewall but...

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