: Why with the Northstar 4.6?



odarodle
03-26-06, 11:56 AM
Don't know how many people have or had the problem but Cadillac decided to put the starter inside the engine under the intake manafold, So after 50,000 miles when the car gets hot the solinoid expands and the car doesn't start, I would like to know if there is a way around replacing the starter and solinoid, It's like a $700 to $1000 job.......Thanks..

Pjs
03-26-06, 12:21 PM
My original starter lasted for 150K miles and was about a 20 min. job to change. I didn't have to get under the car to get at it AND it wasn't an oily mess. I would say this has been one of the easier starters to change, and I've changed a lot.

Patrick

eldorado1
03-26-06, 01:37 PM
$1000 job? ha! I think your shop is trying to ream you.

It's probably not a 20 minute job if you've never done it before... but it's very straight forward and a very easy job. I happen to like where the starter is put, it's protected from the elements so it lasts longer. I think your starter is an exception. Usually they last forever (just about).

chevelle
03-26-06, 04:11 PM
Don't know how many people have or had the problem but Cadillac decided to put the starter inside the engine under the intake manafold, So after 50,000 miles when the car gets hot the solinoid expands and the car doesn't start, I would like to know if there is a way around replacing the starter and solinoid, It's like a $700 to $1000 job.......Thanks..


Actually.....putting the starter in the valley of the engine keeps it cool and clean and dry so it lasts virtually forever. If you search thru the archives of this and other cadillac forums you will find few problems with Northstar starters. There are many many original starters working perfectly fine with well over 100K on them.

If you think it gets "hot" inside the valley of the engine then just imagine how hot it gets in the "normal" position outside the engine just beside the EXHAUST MANIFOLD. The starter inside the valley stays at or below coolant temperature (that is what is surrounding it...the coolant jackets) so it is actually very cool compared to conventional starters that get baked by the exhuast manifold and splashed with water and saturated with salt. THAT is what wrecks starters.

If someone is charging you $700 for a starter replacement they are hosing you to the extreme. Wipe the stupid off your forehead and find a shop that knows what they are doing. It is an hour change at the most the first time and 30 minutes once you know what tools to grab. It is easy to do over the fender (no rust in your eyes lying under the car) with simple tools. Loosen the intake bolts, prop the intake up and R&R the starter. There is no coolant in the intake manifold and the gaskets and seals are reuseable so popping the intake up to get to it is a piece of cake. Drive it into my driveway and I'll have a Bud (on you) and hand you your starter in 20 minutes.

$1000 job...???.....get real. This is one of the easiest starters in the world to replace. Period.

ELDOminator
03-26-06, 06:41 PM
Wow... I never knew where the starter was... I guess I never really paid attention to it, but now knowing that, it's pretty cool lol. I got another thing to brag about to my buddies!

1993 eldorado green1
03-26-06, 08:37 PM
holy crap!!!!!! did he say 1000.00?? we got our starter for 129.00 from autozone and had it installed in 20 minutes. its the easiest thing to do on these cars beside drive em..

buddy, its a do it yourself kinda job, very easy, we can walk you through it with no problems.. dont pay that kinda foolish money for nothing.. i bet the dealership isnt even that much..

wow 1000.00 thats just pure rediculous!!!!!!!!

acklac7
03-26-06, 10:35 PM
It's interesting, I've talked to several random people about the northstar in the past year or so...And 3 of them have said something about the starter...IMO there are a number of false "N*-isms" going around out there...And they spread like wildfire...Here are a few of the responses I got from people while talking about my car (they weren't driving a Cadillac btw"

"That's go the N* right?....Man I heard them starters are a pain to change"

"My boy works at so&so auto repair...Says he gets rich off the N* starters...Takes him like 3 hours just to get to the darn thing!!! Evidently the starter is under the intake manifold...Some stupid GM design"

"I was going to buy an STS but I just can't afford the repairs...And I like to work on my own cars...You know the starter is under the intake manifold??? You need to drop the Engine just to work on it!!...I can't do that myself."



My guess is these FALSE N*-isms get started by stealerships that charge WAY to much & that BS the customer into thinking it's a "really difficult job..and is going to cost $1200"

They then explain why it costs so much...tell the pissed off customer it is a bad design...Replace the starter for about $250 (labor included) and pocket the rest...The customer then proceeds to tell everyone he know's about the "horrible problem with the N* starters...I know for a FACT this happens all the time with the notorious case-half leaks...Dealership charges about 20 hours of labor...And only has to expand 5 hours to get the job done...Im sure service advisors have a "lie at all costs policy" in order to get the job...I mean there making more on that job than they would on a new car....

In the end all your average Joe can say about the N* is: "I heard them starters is real expensive to fix"......And the other false ism you hear all the time is "I heard them N* have major oil leak problems" agian..the major leak is the case-half leak...And it drips a drop or two of oil from time to time...Hardly a major leak...

96-deville-man
03-27-06, 02:43 PM
It's interesting, I've talked to several random people about the northstar in the past year or so...And 3 of them have said something about the starter...IMO there are a number of false "N*-isms" going around out there...And they spread like wildfire...Here are a few of the responses I got from people while talking about my car (they weren't driving a Cadillac btw"

"That's go the N* right?....Man I heard them starters are a pain to change"

"My boy works at so&so auto repair...Says he gets rich off the N* starters...Takes him like 3 hours just to get to the darn thing!!! Evidently the starter is under the intake manifold...Some stupid GM design"

"I was going to buy an STS but I just can't afford the repairs...And I like to work on my own cars...You know the starter is under the intake manifold??? You need to drop the Engine just to work on it!!...I can't do that myself."



My guess is these FALSE N*-isms get started by stealerships that charge WAY to much & that BS the customer into thinking it's a "really difficult job..and is going to cost $1200"

They then explain why it costs so much...tell the pissed off customer it is a bad design...Replace the starter for about $250 (labor included) and pocket the rest...The customer then proceeds to tell everyone he know's about the "horrible problem with the N* starters...I know for a FACT this happens all the time with the notorious case-half leaks...Dealership charges about 20 hours of labor...And only has to expand 5 hours to get the job done...Im sure service advisors have a "lie at all costs policy" in order to get the job...I mean there making more on that job than they would on a new car....

In the end all your average Joe can say about the N* is: "I heard them starters is real expensive to fix"......And the other false ism you hear all the time is "I heard them N* have major oil leak problems" agian..the major leak is the case-half leak...And it drips a drop or two of oil from time to time...Hardly a major leak...

are you talking bout the plate that goes between the oil pan and block? mine has some seeping from there because they dont use a gasket and didnt put sealer on it. can you pull the oil pan form under the car?

chevelle
03-27-06, 04:20 PM
are you talking bout the plate that goes between the oil pan and block? mine has some seeping from there because they dont use a gasket and didnt put sealer on it. can you pull the oil pan form under the car?


See...more Northstar falsehoods. Who told you there was no "gasket" in there? The lower crank case has a silicon seal inserted into a groove to seal it and the oil distribution plate has a molded in place silicone beaded gasket around the perimeter and in beteen the internal oil passages. The oil pan has a silicon beaded gasket inserted into a groove in the oil pan mating surface.


Another dealer/service garage favorite ripoff is the Northstar water pump. Same story...i.e...poor design, impossible to change, must take half the engine apart to get to it, etc. $500/$600 water pumps jobs are common out there....all for a $75 water pump over the counter and 1 hours worth of work. Easiest water pump in the world to change just like the starter.

Some garages and dealers are very short sighted in this respect it seems. They justify an ultrahigh charge for repairs by bad mouthing the engine and then drive customers away in the long run. Stupid. Part of the problem is the lack of service and warranty work with the new cars that need infrequent oil changes if you follow the oil life indicator as desired and actually have very good track records overall for reliability and dependability. Dealer service departments just do not get rich off warranty work anymore. And they don't see the cars in for warranty work so as to sell the customer unnecessary trinkets and service procedures and oil additives and such.

Dooman
03-28-06, 07:18 AM
See...more Northstar falsehoods. Who told you there was no "gasket" in there? The lower crank case has a silicon seal inserted into a groove to seal it and the oil distribution plate has a molded in place silicone beaded gasket around the perimeter and in beteen the internal oil passages. The oil pan has a silicon beaded gasket inserted into a groove in the oil pan mating surface.


Another dealer/service garage favorite ripoff is the Northstar water pump. Same story...i.e...poor design, impossible to change, must take half the engine apart to get to it, etc. $500/$600 water pumps jobs are common out there....all for a $75 water pump over the counter and 1 hours worth of work. Easiest water pump in the world to change just like the starter.

Some garages and dealers are very short sighted in this respect it seems. They justify an ultrahigh charge for repairs by bad mouthing the engine and then drive customers away in the long run. Stupid. Part of the problem is the lack of service and warranty work with the new cars that need infrequent oil changes if you follow the oil life indicator as desired and actually have very good track records overall for reliability and dependability. Dealer service departments just do not get rich off warranty work anymore. And they don't see the cars in for warranty work so as to sell the customer unnecessary trinkets and service procedures and oil additives and such.

I agree 100% there. I put off replacing my leaking water pump for cash reasons and it eventually let go and lost coolant.. Well, you know the rest.. $4500 later I am up and running! The dealer gave me a rediculous rate over the phone so I was saving up some money to do it. If i had called around, or found this site beforehand, I would have saved a boat-load of money..

GreenMachine
03-29-06, 12:06 PM
I agree 100% there. I put off replacing my leaking water pump for cash reasons and it eventually let go and lost coolant.. Well, you know the rest.. $4500 later I am up and running! The dealer gave me a rediculous rate over the phone so I was saving up some money to do it. If i had called around, or found this site beforehand, I would have saved a boat-load of money..
$4500 for a waterpump? or problems compounded by the bad waterpump? You could have used that much money for a down payment on a used Cadillac. I don't care how complicated the dealer might say a waterpump is to replace that would sound waaay to high. He rebuild the tranny while he was putting in the new pump?

I hope you saved your invoice, I would mail a copy of that to cadillac corporate and demand some money back.

my waterpump invoice: Click INVOICE (http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=15938&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1133926949)

Raze
03-29-06, 02:57 PM
GreenMachine, I think Dooman was implying that when the coolant let go, he overheated the engine causing either a HG failure, or a warped head, resulting in an engine pull, timesert of the block, possibly having to have the head/block machined, or a new engine put in, the cost is between 2500-4500 depending where you live for such work. I recently had to have my block serted due to pulled headbolts and it cost 3500, it's the only job I haven't done myself on the Caddy.

As for starter replacement you can check the website I put together for the intake manifold gasket replacement as it's all you need to get to the starter, You can see it around Step 10 when I'm looking at the intakes:

http://www.caddypics.741.com/

Dooman
03-29-06, 03:57 PM
Correct, at the time, the car went to limp home.. I went maybe a half mile to my house.. I got the waterpump replaced and told my mechanic "what the hell, do 4 rotors and brakes while you have it" When it was back together, he tested the coolant and diagnosed a bad headgasket, probably caused from the overheat. At this point I had him do a factory starter, all hoses, belts, case gaskets, whatever he could find, why stop now, right? I ended up with a new battery also and a 2-page GM parts list that we replaced. The car is a "keeper" now.. It's since paid off, I've owned it since 99 and am shopping for a Cts-V as my good car and this will be my beater..

Raze
03-29-06, 09:10 PM
I hear you Dooman, I also had all my belts, pulleys, tensioners, A/C compressor, Evaporator, Radiator, hoses all replaced at the same time, I mean what's an extra 1k when you're at 3.5? :)

Zorb750
03-30-06, 02:23 AM
1/2 mile in limp won't kill the headgasket. My 99 STS did that more than a handfull of times (never had to drive it more than a couple miles each time) until the problem was diagnosed as a plugging purge line. There was some garbage in it and it would happen over and over again, causing vapor lock, causing coolant to not circulate, causing it to boil out.

The boil out and limp thing happened probably about 15 times over the course of 3 months, and it was just fine 40K miles later when I got rid of it.

Dooman
03-30-06, 06:24 AM
1/2 mile in limp won't kill the headgasket. My 99 STS did that more than a handfull of times (never had to drive it more than a couple miles each time) until the problem was diagnosed as a plugging purge line. There was some garbage in it and it would happen over and over again, causing vapor lock, causing coolant to not circulate, causing it to boil out.

The boil out and limp thing happened probably about 15 times over the course of 3 months, and it was just fine 40K miles later when I got rid of it.

Absolutely could and most likely did. I lost coolant, not a boil over. Your car probably had more coolant in the block, doing some cooling.. Different cars in different conditions with different results. My motor did have over 130,000 miles when this hapened. Yes, I could have sold it or traded it when I found out because it was all back together and running fine. I even drove it before deciding to fix it, my call. The testing showed contaminated coolant but it ran great. I'm almost at 160,000 miles now and has never even had a 'service engine' light since..

GreenMachine
03-30-06, 10:41 AM
Absolutely could and most likely did. I lost coolant, not a boil over. Your car probably had more coolant in the block, doing some cooling.. Different cars in different conditions with different results. My motor did have over 130,000 miles when this hapened. Yes, I could have sold it or traded it when I found out because it was all back together and running fine. I even drove it before deciding to fix it, my call. The testing showed contaminated coolant but it ran great. I'm almost at 160,000 miles now and has never even had a 'service engine' light since..

I'd imagine the headgasket was already getting ready to go if it did happen, the most common problem from my understanding of head gaskets going is corrosion not heat persay...but since all that was replaced and the car is running strong it basically gave an old engine a new breath on life and I bet it will go to 200,000 and beyond (that is if stuff around it doesn't go bad).

In the above example its a good thing these cars have this "limp mode" or "camel mode" otherewise you would have been stranded possibly (not to big a deal) or destroyed the engine all together. It really is one of the perks of owning a cadillac :)

Zorb750
04-01-06, 05:49 AM
Well, one problem is that people drive it too far in limp. I used it to get the hell off the freeway or highway and into the closest available parking lot. There isn't always a good place to stop on the freeway, and one of the times I ended up going 4 or 5 miles to the next exit because the car could literally not fit into what shoulder there was (due to guard rails.)

Either way, the temp isn't what will hurt you. It IS the chemical errosion of the gasket caused by the older version of GM's red coolant, or the simple lack or protection provided by green coolant if it isn't changed very regularly, or by simple lack of maintenance.