: northstar engine



C5JIMMY
04-12-08, 12:05 PM
I'm thinging of buying a used Seville what are the Nortstar problems. Are some years better than others? Are there any early indicators to look for?

CadillacSTS42005
04-12-08, 12:11 PM
2002+ Sevilles
Best

C5JIMMY
04-12-08, 12:15 PM
What are the major problems with the earlier year sevilles

I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-12-08, 12:17 PM
They were more prone to headgasket failure.

Ranger
04-12-08, 10:40 PM
Pre 2000 are the most head gasket failure prone. Watch for overheating and be sure that the cooling system has been maintained.

chubbyranger
04-13-08, 08:10 AM
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-seville-cadillac-eldorado-forum/137222-getting-seville-soon-hopefully-need-advice.html

Destroyer
04-13-08, 10:44 PM
I've owned many, many cars (over 150) of all different makes and models and I will tell you in all honesty that a Deville/Seville/STS or anything else that has a Northstar between its fenders is a vechicle that is destined for the junkyard. I know, the junkyard is full of them. Dont worry about getting that high repair bill, high end used German car, it WILL be cheaper and more rewarding in the long run.

CadillacSTS42005
04-13-08, 10:52 PM
and again Destroyer went pro troll....

ill take my 83 TA (one of the worst build quality cars) over my 78 Stang Ghia any day....

Submariner409
04-14-08, 10:18 AM
If ou look at all of the headgasket problems encountered by all of the Northstar owners in this set of forums, the actual number is such a small percentage of the total number of units in the field as to be statistically on the order of 1% to 3%. And those failures were clustered in the mid 90's. If you look in the 2001 - 2003 year groups you'll come up with a clean, low mileage car for a fair price. It won't be instant gratification, and you'll have to do some homework, but you'll learn a lot. The insertion of someone's blanket condemnation particularly from someone who is not and probably never has been a Cadillac owner is misinformation at best and just plain nastiness at worst.

Destroyer, If you have owned "over 150 cars", are 36 years old, and started driving at 16, that comes out to 7.5 cpy (cars per year). Can you possibly be one of the reasons the junkyards are full of cars ??? (Not because you don't know how to drive; because you don't know how to care for them........) At 7.5 cpy that's one car every 6 weeks. You must have a stack of parts and service manuals second only to Ford/GM/Chrysler combined, andthe tag and title people at your local DMV must love you for paying their salaries. Nice try, Tiger, but this ol' fart ain't buying your story.

dkozloski
04-14-08, 10:42 AM
If ou look at all of the headgasket problems encountered by all of the Northstar owners in this set of forums, the actual number is such a small percentage of the total number of units in the field as to be statistically on the order of 1% to 3%. And those failures were clustered in the mid 90's. If you look in the 2001 - 2003 year groups you'll come up with a clean, low mileage car for a fair price. It won't be instant gratification, and you'll have to do some homework, but you'll learn a lot. The insertion of someone's blanket condemnation particularly from someone who is not and probably never has been a Cadillac owner is misinformation at best and just plain nastiness at worst.

Destroyer, If you have owned "over 150 cars", are 36 years old, and started driving at 16, that comes out to 7.5 cpy (cars per year). Can you possibly be one of the reasons the junkyards are full of cars ??? (Not because you don't know how to drive; because you don't know how to care for them........) At 7.5 cpy that's one car every 6 weeks. You must have a stack of parts and service manuals second only to Ford/GM/Chrysler combined, andthe tag and title people at your local DMV must love you for paying their salaries. Nice try, Tiger, but this ol' fart ain't buying your story.
Sub, he's the used car dealer you keep seeing over and over in judge Judy's court. You know, the one that covers his ass with both hands as he runs out after the chewing.

dkozloski
04-14-08, 01:11 PM
One of Destroyer's drinking buddies in the car "horse trading" business got the best of him in a deal. He's a sore loser and never got over it. He's been taking wild shots at Cadillacs ever since. I for one am getting a little tired of his tirades. He needs to grow up and move on.

dwight.j.carter
04-14-08, 08:15 PM
I agree if you don't have a cadillac and are going to talk smack you need to beat feet and leave geek !
Bottom line is we knew what we where getting into and some of us did the research and still chose the Northstar Cadillac just for our love of the car. And not to mention when the headgaskets do go bad they can be replaced with better gaskets that will last longer and you have an awesome ride resulting in the repair.

Destroyer
04-14-08, 09:39 PM
Destroyer, If you have owned "over 150 cars", are 36 years old, and started driving at 16, that comes out to 7.5 cpy (cars per year). Can you possibly be one of the reasons the junkyards are full of cars ??? (Not because you don't know how to drive; because you don't know how to care for them........) At 7.5 cpy that's one car every 6 weeks. You must have a stack of parts and service manuals second only to Ford/GM/Chrysler combined, andthe tag and title people at your local DMV must love you for paying their salaries. Nice try, Tiger, but this ol' fart ain't buying your story.I never junked a car. I always resold them and got either my money back, almost all my money back or I made some off them, except for a few like the '98 Deville which I took a beating on. I do care for my cars during my tenure with them. I like and have always liked buying and having different cars and sharing my experiences with them. I have had many Cadillacs that I will give glowing praise too, even an '87 Sedan Deville w/4.1 that was reliable for me (only 30k orig miles). If I had a bad experience like I did with the '98 Deville I will share my opinion with that as well. My answer was the truth as I see it, I would not recommend a N* Cadillac to my worst enemy or even my mother in law. When someone asks, especially a prospect for a used N* car I will advise against it and thats not based on my experience alone but from all the research I have done here, all the mechanics I spoke too when trying to have mine fixed and the fact that my buddies '01 had a H/G failure within weeks of mine. I believe that all views are necessary both good and bad so the prospect can make a wise decision as to whether he/she should buy that second hand N* powered car. I'm not telling anyone to buy a Lincoln but if asked I would share my experiences with them with no bias whatsoever. I like cars and I have no loyalty to ANY brand, just experience with almost ALL brands but especially American cars.

dwight.j.carter
04-14-08, 09:50 PM
point taken. I can also say I jumped into my current STS after selling my 99 STS due to bad head gaskets. But the real reason I didn't fix it was because there where other things wrong with it and I found my 2000 STS at the same time. That and the black interrior of my 99 in the summer burned my ass up on several ocasions lol.

Destroyer
04-14-08, 09:56 PM
Bottom line is we knew what we where getting into and some of us did the research and still chose the Northstar Cadillac just for our love of the car.
Now that is a different story. If you absolutely LOVE the car and have done your research and know the possible troubles ahead, accept them and decide that this is the car for you no matter what the cost then by all means go for it!. Nothing wrong with that, lots of people get real emotional about cars and love them cost be damned. For others, those that look at the money involved vs. actual worth of the car and just kinda like the car and aren't emotionally bonded to it, its a sizeable gamble. I personally dont feel that a car blowing a head gasket at 80k++++ miles is a big deal (mine went @98k). God knows there's a TON of Fords, GM's and many other makes that have that problem. Most of those cars are easier to work on not neccessitating all the work required just getting to the motor and dont require timeserts and so forth and THAT is the difference and THAT is what future prospects should know. They should know that this repair that the Northstars are well known for (especially the '96-'99 models) can cost between $2500 on the low side and $5k on the high side. This repair often exceeds the value of the car. Financially speaking, this may not be the car for everyone. I repaired the head gaskets on my cousins 3.8 '94 Mustang (just an example). Took about 6 hours (I'm not a mechanic) and like $140 in gaskets, try doing that with a Northstar. Even a mechanic quoted him at $800. That happened 8 years ago @80k miles give or take and he still has the car and it now has 155k+ and still going strong. I replaced the radiator/water pump at the same time.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-14-08, 10:09 PM
Atleast with the Northstar, you get the pride of ownership after you replace the HG's. When you replace the HG's on a 3.8L Ford, you still feel like an idiot for owning it.

Destroyer
04-14-08, 10:26 PM
For all those that think I "hate" Cadillacs I offer some pics of my last two. These pics are old to some, new to others. I'll start with my Deville. This was always a Florida car. Leased by Disney and then purchased by friend when it had 51k miles on it. I bought it with 88k miles on it.

Here's what it looked like when I bought it:
http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z251/AstrocreepVIII/Caddy986.jpg

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z251/AstrocreepVIII/Caddy982.jpg

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z251/AstrocreepVIII/Caddy984.jpg

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z251/AstrocreepVIII/Caddy98.jpg

I extensively detailed it. Fixed lots of little odds and ends, put 17" wheels/tires from an '04 STS, tinted the windows, put new headlights in, replaced the rear air suspension with conventional coils. Car was looking great and running great for the next 6k or so miles, then the smell of antifreeze started and I replaced numerous parts including water pump, thermostat, etc. Still had the smell which eventually turned to overheating and pulling on the side of the freeway, etc. Turned out to be the head gaskets. I sold the car for $1600 as you see it here. I had a total of $8k into it in only a years time. I'm not bitter, I should have done my homework BEFORE I bought it. I blame me, I always liked this body style and when they were new I frequently rented them and loved the N*. Problem is the rentals were new, this wasn't. Look at the time and money I put into it and tell me I hated this car................
http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z251/AstrocreepVIII/98Deville1.jpg
http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z251/AstrocreepVIII/98Deville4.jpg
http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z251/AstrocreepVIII/98Deville2.jpg

Here's a couple of pics of my '91 Fleetwood which I owned for 3 years (long time for me). In that time I installed a freshly rebuilt 5.7 '87 Iroc motor with several upgrades but I'm not gonna get into all that. This is what I consider a real Cadillac. The car/motor/trans/wheels/suspension and everything else in this car cost me less than half of what I had into the Deville and this car was dead on extremely reliable. I chose to do the upgrades, car didn't need them.
http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z251/AstrocreepVIII/DSC02370.jpg
http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z251/AstrocreepVIII/DSC02369.jpg
http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z251/AstrocreepVIII/DSC02372.jpg

I HAVE HAD MANY, MANY MORE CADILLACS. YOU GUYS REALLY THINK I HATE THEM?

Destroyer
04-14-08, 10:32 PM
Atleast with the Northstar, you get the pride of ownership after you replace the HG's. When you replace the HG's on a 3.8L Ford, you still feel like an idiot for owning it.That certainly is an interesting perspective Chad. I dont get it cause I was actually full of pride getting my cousins car back on the road after a successful repair though. Would you attempt to do the repair on a N* head gasket yourself?. I wouldn't and I didn't. Do you think my cousin is an idiot for owning a '94 Mustang with a 3.8?. He had the since new and aside from the head gasket issue its been the most reliable car I've seen in a long time. Back in '94 he was only 18 years old, he beat the crap out of it (5 spd). It's slow but its been trustworthy and reliable. You know I've owned many cars Chad including one EXACTLY like yours and I wouldn't call anyone an idiot for their choice in cars, I'm actually surprised by your response here.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-15-08, 02:01 AM
Haha, I must be getting cynical on the verge of my 21st birthday. What I meant by that is after you replace the HG's on a Northstar, you've still got a car that's fun to drive and satisfying to own, albeit one that may not be cost effective. After you replace the HG's in a 3.8L Mustang, you've still got a....V6 Mustang, but it's much more cost effective. No offense to you or your cousin, if he likes it, that's cool for him, and all the more power to him. But on one hand, you've got a pretty dang powerful American luxury car, and on the other, you've got a underpowered (compared to it's V8 brothers) pony car.

It's all a matter of perspective though. I was never much of a Mustang guy, and I've always been a Cadillac man. I'm sure there are millions out there that would argue what I just said. Although doesn't Ford's 3.8L V6 enjoy the same reliability "reputation" that the Cadillac 4.1L does? I'm not being sarcastic there either Nick, but it seems to me (and I may be wrong about this) that I've read an awful lot of bad reviews on them on Carsurvey.org.

Destroyer
04-15-08, 08:25 AM
Haha, I must be getting cynical on the verge of my 21st birthday. What I meant by that is after you replace the HG's on a Northstar, you've still got a car that's fun to drive and satisfying to own, albeit one that may not be cost effective. After you replace the HG's in a 3.8L Mustang, you've still got a....V6 Mustang, but it's much more cost effective. No offense to you or your cousin, if he likes it, that's cool for him, and all the more power to him. But on one hand, you've got a pretty dang powerful American luxury car, and on the other, you've got a underpowered (compared to it's V8 brothers) pony car.

It's all a matter of perspective though. I was never much of a Mustang guy, and I've always been a Cadillac man. I'm sure there are millions out there that would argue what I just said. Although doesn't Ford's 3.8L V6 enjoy the same reliability "reputation" that the Cadillac 4.1L does? I'm not being sarcastic there either Nick, but it seems to me (and I may be wrong about this) that I've read an awful lot of bad reviews on them on Carsurvey.org.
Truth is I dont care for his Mustang either, I simply used it as an example to show that an H/G issue on an average car isn't a make or break deal as it is with a Northstar. In regards to the Ford 3.8, I would not compare it too a Caddy 4100 but instead more towards a Buick 3800 for reliability. I had an '83 Mustang V6 with a 3.8 and it was in my family since new, it was bullit proof. My cousin's V6 Mustang aside from the head gasket issue 75k miles ago is another example of how reliable these motors are. They are known for head gasket problems but its not a very costly fix in the RWD Mustang, it is in a FWD Taurus and other cars though.

dwight.j.carter
04-15-08, 01:10 PM
If the headgaskets go on the northstar and they are repaired correctly the car will more than pay you back in the long run.

Lou_50
04-19-08, 01:53 PM
Question, What is involved in swapping a 1995 Northstar out of an Eldorado ETC into a 1997 Sedan Deville?? Have both and hit deer with Eldorado lower milage than the Deville.

Lou_50
04-19-08, 02:04 PM
the 1997 Devill has 227,500 mi still runs o.k. nothing like the Eldorado though.