: A few questions about the 4.0 Northstar



I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-17-06, 02:27 PM
Alright, so we all know that I love Cadillacs, and I'd love to get a newer deVille, with the Northstar, but, honestly, I don't trust the 4.6 Northstar that much to buy one. I've heard of too many problems and read too many horror stories to go for it. But how about the 4.0 Northstar in the Auroras? Do they have all of the problems of the four-six Northstar? I thought I read somewhere that they had less problems, but I don't remember anything well enough to really give a good answer.

I ask because I really like that Aurora. I've driven a few at work, and I've always been real impressed with them. They're quiet, comfortable, awesome seats great steering feel, decently powerful, they have an amazing interior and exterior design, and they have tons of goodies, and cost less to buy and maintain then a similar Cadillac.

CadiJeff
09-17-06, 02:46 PM
To the best of my knowledge they are for all intents and purposes the same engine (except displacement). Most of the parts are the same.

white97deville
09-18-06, 02:04 AM
When I got my car inspected one of the mechanics there had an Aurora that he couldn't drive because of the bad headgaskets in it. I told him about this site but he is not computer literate.

Apparently the Aurora's have the same issues.

ewill3rd
09-18-06, 06:25 AM
It is the same engine with smaller pistons. Same transmission, different look.
My mother own's an '02 and is happy with it.
Her last repair bill was about $1,100. She is still in shock.
I had to help her pay it. She loves the car though, and I am glad to know she has it. Her other cars were all junk compared to this one. She deserves a nice car.... of course, she's my MOM!

codewize
09-18-06, 08:37 AM
Don't be afraid to buy a 4.6. You'll get a warranty. Just take care of it, coolant, oil, bla bla bla, you know the deal. I think 9.5 out of 10 are fine. They're a great engine don't be scared to own one.

I don't want to say I'm poor but I don't have money to throw around and I own one. I was scared for the first few months driving around saying , what if...., how would I pay for it...., I'll be screwed...... But you know what. I'm over that and now I just enjoy the car every time I get in it.

Get a warranty. I didn't but I should have just in case. It's a good piece of mind.

Also keep in mind that your seeing posts regarding older N* too.

ewill3rd
09-18-06, 08:43 AM
Oh and Technically it is called an "Aurora V8".
Even though it's really the same thing.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-18-06, 12:57 PM
Don't be afraid to buy a 4.6. You'll get a warranty. Just take care of it, coolant, oil, bla bla bla, you know the deal. I think 9.5 out of 10 are fine. They're a great engine don't be scared to own one.

Hmmm.. I wasn't sure if all dealers offer a warranty for a 10 year old Cadillac. What I would really like with the Northstar is a '97-'99 DeVille Concours. That's my favorite N* Cadillac ever. But the most of those are in those little hole-in-the-wall dealers that really don't offer any sort of warranty with their cars. So if I buy one from there w/o warranty, and the headgaskets go, I'm SOL. But if I could find one at a big, reputable dealer, with a warranty, for a decent price, then I'd consider it. But I don't think I'd ever own a N* car without any warranty. I just don't trust it enough.

I can take care of the coolant and oil all I want, but if the previous owner didn't do it, then I'm SOL also. I can't prevent stupidity or neglect, I can try and fix the outcome, but I can't prevent it.



Get a warranty. I didn't but I should have just in case. It's a good piece of mind.

Again, common sense with any used car. Unless you're buying from a private party, in which you can't get a warranty. (I think...)



Also keep in mind that your seeing posts regarding older N* too.

Yes, the 1993-99 Northstar is the engine used in the cars I like, after they redesigned the Seville in '98 and the deVille in '00, the only N* car I'd like to own is the Eldorado with the improved N*, but that's out of my price range at this time.

codewize
09-18-06, 01:48 PM
I understand price range for sure. I thought you were looking for a newer vehicle, I apologise.

Anyway, your biggest enemy is the previous owner. I think you can get a warranty on pretty much anything these days, even from those road side dealers.

Maybe the best bet is to find one that's had the work done already or hope to find a gem that was very very well maintained.

I got lucky with my car, an 01 with 24k. Full service records form day one, and a salesman that was willing to do some research when I asked. But it's still scary and I know what your feeling.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-18-06, 05:37 PM
Good point. Look for one where the major Northstar work has been done.
Another point: What about the work that is needed after the warranty is over? What if the gaskets go after the warranty is over? Can you buy another warranty? What's an average warranty cost and how long does it go for?

weister42
09-18-06, 09:38 PM
Since they share the same possible issues I'd go for a 4.6 instead:bouncy:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-18-06, 11:46 PM
Overall, I like the Intech (and probably the SOHC 4.6) more than the Northstar.
But the Northstar is used in some great looking, awesome cars, whereas the only great looking, awesome car (IMO) that the Intech was used in is the Mark VIII. I've never been that keen on the Continentals and surely not the Navigators! And while the SOHC 4.6 that they use in the Town Car is no where near as quick as the Northstar, it's a lot more reliable and trouble free. The only big problem on that motor is the lower intake manifold, and that's a single, $600 fix at a dealer. Not this reoccuring $2,000 fix that a headgasket is. But the SOHC 4.6 can be built up to over 300hp easily, because you can modify it like you would a Mustang, because they use the same engine. I've seen 4.6 Town Cars into the 14's..from a stock mid 16. You can't take the N*'s 1/4 mile time down two seconds.

bill6ft6
09-19-06, 08:39 PM
I was just recently researching warranties from reputable companies (their are alot of bullcrap warraties.) I investigated the coverage very closely..I know what i was looking to cover. And I found quite a few companies that would not cover the northstar, and the others cost about 50% of the "hg" repair. Not really good odds or payouts.

WRT

white97deville
09-20-06, 01:08 AM
The Lincolns with the 4.6 don't have headgasket issues but the cars are notorious for having problems with the air suspensions....recurring, expensive problems. I corrected that on my VIII with coil springs but the ride isn't as good anymore.The DOHC 4.6 was also used in the Mustang Cobra's from '96-'04. the last two years it was supercharged.

There is a huge aftermarket parts industry for the Ford 4.6...almost nothing for the Nstar.

I agree with you on the full size Lincolns, they just don't do it for me.

99Classillac
09-20-06, 09:51 AM
I bought by 99 deville in 2004 when I came back home. I bought it with appx. 45,000 miles in Tennessee. I also purchased an extended warranty for the car which lasted to 100,000 miles. From Wynns warranty. Cost me $900. 2 years later, I have 126,000 miles on it. The only problems I have were the following...

1. Fuel sending unit went bad at around 80,000 miles. Dealership replaced the fuel pump assembly. $650 the warranty guys paid.

2. Outside ambient air temp. sensor went bad. $20 including shipping from GMPartsdirect.com

3. Water Pump gasket pisses itself. Guess when, 102,000. Right after warranty exp. I paid $270 to get new water pump and gasket and labor.

Those are the only things that went bad. No headgasket stuff, nothing. Well plugs went bad, but they were the originals and had over 100,000 miles on them. Not Cadillacs fault. I just figure I come on here and applaud my Deville and the Northstar for being so great to me. $940 in repairs over 2 and a half years? I think thats more than reasonable. I know some people don't get off that easy, but I just change my oil and take care of my baby. Keep the inside clean. Let it get dirty and the leather will get all cracked up. I do it because I think my Caddy is gonna be a classic one day. Its a 99 guys, last year they put fin lights on a Deville. End of an era. 20-30 years from now I want my baby to still look good so it won't need a lot of work on it. I bet those old timers out there wish they would have took care of their 69 Deville convertibles or 69 Chevelle SS or Hemi Cuda. People treat the newer cars bad because there a lot of them around now so people, but not me. I think of it as a classic now. And I know there are a lot of people on this forum who treat there caddy like I do. I think of it like this. I can always get another wife, they're replaceable. Women all over the place, but I'll never get another 99 Deville that is like the one I got. To me mine is special.

Well thats my piece.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-20-06, 09:54 PM
The Lincolns with the 4.6 don't have headgasket issues but the cars are notorious for having problems with the air suspensions....recurring, expensive problems. I corrected that on my VIII with coil springs but the ride isn't as good anymore.

Precisely, but like you said, there are coil spring replacements for the VIII and Town Car, but I do not think they make one for the FWD Continental. If I got a Town Car, and the 'bags went, I could replace them with another set of airbags..for atleast $800, but they will go again, after 10-12 years. But with the coil springs for a Grand Marquis or Crown Vic, it won't ride as quite as smooth, but the handling will be slightly less boaty. A fair tradeoff I think. If anything, the Town Cars ride too smooth when compared with a similar deVille, and the Cadillac has much better handling. I figure the coil springs will make them ride and handle more like a deVille.




I agree with you on the full size Lincolns, they just don't do it for me.

Well they do it for me, but in a different way than a deVille, especially the Concours. The Concours is a hot rod Cadillac, gadget laden, very technologically advanced and subsequently, more expensive to maintain and upkeep.

The '90s Town Car is a different type of american luxury sedan. It sticks to it's roots. It doesn't pretend to be a sports sedan, it's happy to be a total and utter boat. It's not as technologically advanced, powerful or gadget laden as a Deville (especially the Concours), but it's much simpler to work on, and subsequently, upkeep will be cheaper.

They both have their positives and negatives, but in the end, when I'm looking for a large american luxury sedan to get me around as cheaply and reliably as possible, I'll go with the Town Car. :)

99Classillac
09-21-06, 12:49 PM
Booooooo!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-21-06, 08:34 PM
Besides, the fastest you can get a 275hp Northstar deVille is 15.3 or so in the 1/4.... you can get a 4.6 Town Car into the 14's...

Also, the Northstar is a total and complete PITA to do any work on. Everything is crammed in, and the transverse layout doesn't help at all. All the techs at my work bitch about the Northstar, everything takes so long to do. For instance, according to the labor guide, the alternator is a 3.5 hour repair, it takes our techs 5 hours to do it. That's the same with pretty much all the parts on that motor. The SOHC 4.6 is a dream to work on, everything is laid out easily and there is tons of room under the hood. Much, much better than my 4.9 and the LT1 I had.


Some pics to illustrate my point:

1998 DeVille Concours:
http://imagehost.vendio.com/bin/imageserver.x/00000000/albestway/98CADYDEVCON171.JPG

1993 Town Car Signature Series:
http://luve.darkcom.net/carro16/auto%20(52).JPG

1995 deVille:
http://images.andale.com/f2/125/108/20822745/2006/9/5/95_deville_12.jpg

1995 Fleetwood Brougham:
http://images.andale.com/f2/108/121/10412170/2006/9/17/1158041490630_MVC_013S.JPG

eldorado1
09-21-06, 09:51 PM
Cripes... I wouldn't buy a car because it was easy to work on...

I'd buy a car because it was fun to drive, looks good, etc.

Otherwise I'd buy a land boat like a Ford Galaxy. You could stand in the engine bay, and no computers - just a carb and distributor. Wooo! Go points! They sure are fun to adjust every 10,000 miles! At least I have plenty of room to do it in :p

btw - I'd take a porsche over a galaxy any day. Performance, looks... I don't care if you have to drop the engine to change the transmission fluid. (true story)

white97deville
09-21-06, 11:08 PM
Precisely, but like you said, there are coil spring replacements for the VIII and Town Car, but I do not think they make one for the FWD Continental. If I got a Town Car, and the 'bags went, I could replace them with another set of airbags..for atleast $800, but they will go again, after 10-12 years. But with the coil springs for a Grand Marquis or Crown Vic, it won't ride as quite as smooth, but the handling will be slightly less boaty. A fair tradeoff I think. If anything, the Town Cars ride too smooth when compared with a similar deVille, and the Cadillac has much better handling. I figure the coil springs will make them ride and handle more like a deVille. :)


I converted my '93 Mark VIII to coil springs when the struts and compressor went out but I don't really like them all that much. If I had it to do over and was planning to keep the car longer I would rebuild the air suspension.

I do like my Deville and it is a great car but performance wise the Mark leaves it in the dust.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-22-06, 10:10 AM
Cripes... I wouldn't buy a car because it was easy to work on...

I'd buy a car because it was fun to drive, looks good, etc.

Otherwise I'd buy a land boat like a Ford Galaxy. You could stand in the engine bay, and no computers - just a carb and distributor. Wooo! Go points! They sure are fun to adjust every 10,000 miles! At least I have plenty of room to do it in :p

btw - I'd take a porsche over a galaxy any day. Performance, looks... I don't care if you have to drop the engine to change the transmission fluid. (true story)

Reliability is a big issue for me. If a car isn't reliable (meaning I can't use it to get from point A to point B on a daily basis) then it's not worth my time or money. A classic example is my friend with the '91 Eagle Talon TSi. He loves that car, fun to drive, fast etc etc, but it's been a nightmare to own! Every week it breaks down, massive oil leaks, coolant leaks, tranny problems, no 2nd gear etc etc. He couldn't even drive it 50% of the time because it was broken down and it was his DAILY DRIVER! We had all gotten sick of driving him around and we all told him to get rid of it and buy something reliable, but he didn't....after dumping about $3,000 into it with a new tranny and clutch, now it's decent. If that would have been my car, I would have sold it the first chance I'd got and bought something reliable.

I never said a Town Car isn't fun to drive...it is, but in a totally different way. It's great to go cruisin in it. Plus, unlike a Northstar deVille, you can modify a Town Car or a Fleetwood Brougham (especially the Brougham) so it's faster, better handling and much more sporty. Making it fun to drive, yet relatively easy to work on.

eldorado1
09-22-06, 12:16 PM
Reliability is a big issue for me. If a car isn't reliable (meaning I can't use it to get from point A to point B on a daily basis) then it's not worth my time or money. A classic example is my friend with the '91 Eagle Talon TSi. He loves that car, fun to drive, fast etc etc, but it's been a nightmare to own! Every week it breaks down, massive oil leaks, coolant leaks, tranny problems, no 2nd gear etc etc. He couldn't even drive it 50% of the time because it was broken down and it was his DAILY DRIVER! We had all gotten sick of driving him around and we all told him to get rid of it and buy something reliable, but he didn't....after dumping about $3,000 into it with a new tranny and clutch, now it's decent. If that would have been my car, I would have sold it the first chance I'd got and bought something reliable.

I never said a Town Car isn't fun to drive...it is, but in a totally different way. It's great to go cruisin in it. Plus, unlike a Northstar deVille, you can modify a Town Car or a Fleetwood Brougham (especially the Brougham) so it's faster, better handling and much more sporty. Making it fun to drive, yet relatively easy to work on.

The talon was 15 years old... of course it's breaking down. I had a 91 grand prix that broke down a lot. Stalling problems, brake problems... to be expected for a 15 year old car with 140,000 miles. I fixed all the problems, then sold it, go figure...

You seem pretty convinced with the Lincoln, so go get one. I'm not entirely sure what the point of this thread is, it seems like you're just stirring now. :stirpot:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-22-06, 12:51 PM
The talon was 15 years old... of course it's breaking down. I had a 91 grand prix that broke down a lot. Stalling problems, brake problems... to be expected for a 15 year old car with 140,000 miles. I fixed all the problems, then sold it, go figure...

My deVille is 14 years old and is quite problem free. Maybe YOU'RE the one stirring the pot! ;)

The point I was trying to make is some people will put a ton of money into their car, trying to fix it up. I'm not one of them. If it's going down the shitter, get rid of it and get something more reliable and troublefree.

99Classillac
09-22-06, 02:27 PM
Some people just love their cars enough to put money into fixing it. I would do it to my Deville. I'm never getting rid of it.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-22-06, 03:36 PM
I'm not totally against the Northstar, I'd pick up a '97-'99 DeVille Concours if I ever found one that was nice enough and had all of the stuff I want, in the color combo I want, at a reasonable price.