: Buying High Mileage Northstars?????



aamusls06
01-03-08, 03:20 AM
Alright, I've been looking for a 94-96 Impala SS. From reading up on what the boys over there at Impala Forums are saying there is nothing wrong with buying high mileage Impala. The LT1's are almost bulletproof. I've seen this with my own eyes. So, I'm pretty much set on stock well maintained Impala that is not too far out of my price range is for me, but........

I've also did research on here about high mileage Northstars. Northstars are pretty reliable motors besides the head gasket issues. My Northstar SLS has 150,000 miles+ on it and she still ticking knock on wood. Also, it has been said that newer 2000 N* motors are more reliable than pre 2000 motors. Would it be wise to buy a 120,000-150,000 mile N* post 2000? I've seen a few N* go over 200,000 over here my way, so i have faith in them. What do you guys think? Opinions welcomed.

Crown Vic Owner
01-03-08, 08:16 AM
The northstar has no trouble lasting, id start to get worried about the trans and the headgaskets personally.

Fyi, get the goddamn impala, you WONT regret it, even if it does sit in your garage all the time.

EcSTSatic
01-03-08, 09:56 AM
The Impala SS was a classic from day 1. If you can find one for a reasonable price go for it. The resale value won't diminish like the SLS.

misfit6794
01-03-08, 11:12 AM
When you aren't sitting on the side of the road with a 270 degree engine, you will be glad you got an LT-1

When you can buy aftermarket performance products for your car, you will be glad you got an LT-1

When you can do a proper burn out, you will be glad you got an LT-1

And when people ask you if thats a cop car, you will kinda wish you got the Northstar.

c5 rv
01-03-08, 11:53 AM
One issue to look out for with the LT-1 engines is the coolant incompatability issue. Wrong antifreeze = goo instead of coolant. Being a used car, you have no idea if someone goofed in the past. A friend who likes the old Buick Roadmasters with the LT-1 said that a good symptom to look for is lack of cabin heating since the heater core tends to goo-up first.

As for N*, the demographic of Cadillac owners trends towards persons who don't drive their cars hard and have the dealer perform regular maintenance.

Cadillacboy
01-03-08, 12:59 PM
I would go for LT1 , you can also add some mods on it ;)

Jesda
01-03-08, 01:52 PM
LT1 > N*

That said, the Northstar's issues are related to defects, inconsistencies, and engineering. They fail early and often, or they stay in one piece forever. If it lasts 150k miles, it will likely see 250k+.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-03-08, 02:18 PM
They fail early and often, or they stay in one piece forever. If it lasts 150k miles, it will likely see 250k+.

That's what I'm thinking too...if it's made it this far without a problem, especially with the headgaskets, then I'd say you're fine for the long run.

With that being said, I trust the LT-1 more, but the Northstar is a much more exciting motor to drive, and the SLS might be quicker, atleast at higher speeds.

hardrockcamaro@mac.c
01-04-08, 03:34 AM
For all the talk about bulletproof LT1's don't they eat through Optisparks though?

Night Wolf
01-04-08, 06:25 AM
For all the talk about bulletproof LT1's don't they eat through Optisparks though?

shhhh :shhh: that dosn't count!

misfit6794
01-04-08, 08:17 AM
I'd much rather pay for a 1000 dollar distributor job than 3500 dollar headgasket repair.

a027418
01-07-08, 12:09 PM
Hello. New to the forum and I owned several Cadillacs in the 80's and early 90's. Looking to get another one. I hope you all can help me out. Looking for a used Cadillac from 1995 - 2005. Are there any models thru these years that do not have the Head Gasket issues? What seems to be the mileage this gasket lets go. Thanks and take care, Joe

Brizzal
01-07-08, 12:16 PM
early 90s sedan deville has the 4.5L and 4.9L

hueterm
01-08-08, 10:41 AM
Hello. New to the forum and I owned several Cadillacs in the 80's and early 90's. Looking to get another one. I hope you all can help me out. Looking for a used Cadillac from 1995 - 2005. Are there any models thru these years that do not have the Head Gasket issues? What seems to be the mileage this gasket lets go. Thanks and take care, Joe

Early N*s have the most common HG issues. In 2000, apparently the problem was rectified somewhat.

I don't think there's any particular mileage when it becomes a problem. Actually, if I read a lot of the posts right, the higher the mileage the engine has w/o a HG problem, the less likely it is to occur.

In 1995, the Sedan DeVille still had the old 4.9L, I believe everything else (Concours/SLS/STS/ESC/ETC) was N*. In 1996, all DeVilles had N*. (Other than the Fleetwood, of course.)

CadillacSTS42005
01-09-08, 11:25 AM
lol
did someone say optispark!?!?! lol
the advantage is there is a coil pack solution for opti
as regular maintance is to longevity of the N*
the sad part is it isnt always a saftey net, mom and dad never replaced their coolant in thier 96 Deville (went 145k before traded in) and the 98 STS (at 120 K). However my ETC soon after i bought with 79K it blew the engine up (not my fault and the dealer took full responcibilty and replace it for free with an engine from a 96 STS with 46K) and at 100K with the new engine the HGS went and during this time i had replaced the coolant before.

The N* is certainly a gamble but i and my family keep coming back for more

N0DIH
01-10-08, 12:12 AM
Early ones did have some issues, it isn't very common anymore...


For all the talk about bulletproof LT1's don't they eat through Optisparks though?

LS1Mike
01-10-08, 12:42 AM
Yes, but if taken care of properly you will be fine I have had 2 LT1 Z28 both had original optis at over 100,000 miles you have to make sure the water pump dosen't leak on them. The motor will go for a long time.
An opti is a lot easier to change then a head gasket and LT1 cars are RWD not FWD or wrong wheel drive.

LS1Mike
01-10-08, 12:44 AM
lol
did someone say optispark!?!?! lol
the advantage is there is a coil pack solution for opti


Except the coil packs still need the optical part of the opti to function for them to work. It acts as the sensor to fire the coils but you don't get the carbon arcing in side of the opti because the charge goes to the coils. So it last much longer.

CadillacSTS42005
01-10-08, 01:17 PM
ah
that i didnt know
i though they made a kit which bypassed the distributer entirely
i had a 94 Z28 for a couple months at 134k and i never had problems with the opti
wicked fun little car
but ill tell you what after working on cars all day having to go home with that cars ride....
lets just say i love my STS lol

N0DIH
01-10-08, 01:29 PM
I haven't ridden in one, but thinking of getting a LT1 Z28 or Trans AM as a nice "economy" car, 6 speed and all.... But if the ride is pretty harsh, maybe not, I drive 120+ miles a day for work and back, over backroads too....

Considering my FWB is give or take 15.2 in the quarter, almost stone stock (swiss cheesed air box and my own PCM tuning) on 87 octane, imagine in a lighter Z28/TA/Corvette....

Like I said recently, raced a SS Silverado, LQ9 6.0L V8, AWD and 4.10's (he has factory 20's) and 10-105 mph we were essentially even, he was a tad stronger 0-60, I was stronger 60-100+.... Yeah, the LT1 Fleetwood is a ball to drive! I still NEVER got "slower" than my front bumper to his pass door.... And at the end, my rear bumper was at his front.... And it was an uphill run.... those trucks are solid 14.8 in the quarter, so I figure mine isn't too shabby for a 240K mile stock LT1....



ah
that i didnt know
i though they made a kit which bypassed the distributer entirely
i had a 94 Z28 for a couple months at 134k and i never had problems with the opti
wicked fun little car
but ill tell you what after working on cars all day having to go home with that cars ride....
lets just say i love my STS lol

Spyder
01-10-08, 02:10 PM
Driving a hundred and twenty miles a day, much of it backroads is a GREAT reason to buy a rough riding fast good handling daily commuter! :D

N0DIH
01-10-08, 02:14 PM
I guess rough too can be subjective.... My 80 T/A is NOT rough (firm yes), but yet it is harsher than my 94 Fleetwood Brougham V4P (FE2 suspension). But all are rough compared to a FE1 (mush suspension) Fleetwood/Deville....

I guess I need to ride in one. I did ride in a 01 Z28 once, lowered car too, and I didn't think it was bad.... It was a 12.80 car in the form then, now the supercharger has been added.... I guess depends on the bumps you are driving daily....

I need to find one to drive to see what I like/dislike anymore....

CadillacSTS42005
01-11-08, 12:03 PM
Egh
the worst car ive ever owned was a my 83 TA Daytona Pace car
all the options including WS6 suspension recaro racing seats etc etc etc
my back KILLED after driving that car after a long day of doing engine jobs
but that car would out manuver anything i swear to god...

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-11-08, 12:08 PM
I haven't ridden in one, but thinking of getting a LT1 Z28 or Trans AM as a nice "economy" car, 6 speed and all.... But if the ride is pretty harsh, maybe not, I drive 120+ miles a day for work and back, over backroads too....


Three letters. G. T. P.

N0DIH
01-11-08, 12:19 PM
I drove a 81 NASCAR T/A with Recaro's, they were awesome, stiff, but not uncomfortable. Very strange....

Sorta like a Chiropractors table, supporting you in the perfect places, oddly comfortable, but different....

But take a corner hard and you stayed perfectly put. It was nice.

But on hard bumpy roads a lot, might be a pain... The roads I drive aren't too bad, but are getting worse, more and more holes showing up every day...

CadillacSTS42005
01-11-08, 12:22 PM
lol
by the time i got to my 83 TA the seats were pretty ragged lol may be why they felt so horrible
i mean there wasnt springs exposed or anything but the bolsters were beat lol

i live in PA and penndot does an AWESOME job taking great care of our roads
*cough* bullpoo *cough*