: Honestly, is a Northstar Cadillac a wise purchase for a ~20 year old?



I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-21-07, 12:39 AM
I've been thinking, let's say I find a nice, low mile (>100k) 1993-95 STS (my favorite Caddy ever) in great condition for $7000 when I have about $9000 saved in the bank for a new car. Is a Northstar Cadillac of this magnitude and age a wise choice for a car that is being purchased by a 20 year old who is trying to get a car that's gonna be cheap to own and reliable? Or would I be walking on thin ice with this purchase? Cadillacs tend to be expensive to fix and maintain, compared with other cars, and there's more stuff to go bad, all the electronic goodies and whatnot. Now my Cadillac is relatively simple, as far as newer Caddies go, but compared to other cars from that time period, it's quite complex.

Now I've had pretty good luck with mine, the majority of the stuff that's gone bad is regular maintenance stuff, but I've heard loads of horror stories about many, many things going wrong on the newer Northstar Cadillacs. So would it be in my best financial interests to wait off on the Northstar Cadillac I so desire until I am more financially established or just splurge on it now?

So basically, let's say I find a near mint, low mile, '93-'95 STS that's been owned by a person who's kept up on the maintenance religiously for $7,000...or a near mint, lower mile 97-99 Riviera or Park Avenue Ultra for $9,000, which car would be the better buy for a 20 year old who's very concerned about saving as much money as possible for the future and a house?

Now granted the theoretical STS is $2,000 cheaper, yes, but it might need $2,000 worth of work or maintenance in the upcoming future. Also, there's a lot more to go wrong on the STS than there is the Ultra or Riviera.

The hardest part is trying to find an STS like I described, all of the ones I like (1993-97) are getting to be over 100k, and one of my priorites on my next car is to get one with under 100k on it...preferably 60-80k. Otherwise it's hard to find any nice STS or Northstar Eldorado or Deville Concours with under 100k on it, for under $9,000.

aamusls06
01-21-07, 01:02 AM
I'm your age and I own a Northstar Caddy. I feel as long as you can work on it yourself you will save alot of money. That's what I found out personally. I'll never go back though. I came from the 4.5 motor to the 4.6 N*. My next Caddy will be the 2000 and up model Seville. Honestly, my only problem is that I can't work on my car right now because college takes up too much time, and I have no where to work on it. You can't just drop an engine in the dorm parking lot...lol.

It's up to you on that....If you can foot the chance, time, and have the experience go for it.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-21-07, 01:09 AM
Well I'm not mechanically inclined, so working on it myself is beyond me. I've got family that is mechanically inclined, two uncles worked for Chevy dealers in the '80s and '90s, but the Northstar is much differnt than what they're used to tho, and they told me they don't wanna work on any Northstars.

Luckily, I work in a dealership that is one in a chain of dealers, one of the other dealers is a Cadillac/Pontiac/GMC dealer. I could get any work done there at a discount on parts and labor.

1997BlackETC
01-21-07, 02:10 AM
I suggest keeping the deville, those are bullet proof cars, I have a '93 and it still runs great, never lets me down. I also have a '97 eldorado that I bought around a year ago for 5 grand with 75,000 miles. I'd say if you can find a deal like the one I got go for it and then you will have some money left over for repairs should it need them. Just make sure to check the car over carefully before buying, test drive it for a while and then check for codes in the computer, make sure its not overheating and there are no bubbles coming up from the overflow tank indicating a head gasket problem, maybe even check the coolant for signs of carbon contamination (get it analyzed) to cover yourself, make sure the trans shifts ok. If all this checks out, go for it and then sell your deville. If you follow these steps, I think you will be ok, once you have the car just make sure to change the coolant every 3 years or so and maintain it well. Just dont rush into something and keep driving you deville in the meantime until the right one comes along at the right price. Follow ebay and check your local car classified magazines. The biggest mistake you could make would be to pay 7 grand or more for one that has over 100k miles and has existing problems that you overlook. If you are unsure how to check for problems with these cars and you think you found a good one, see if you can get a dealer mechanic from the Cadillac affiliate you work for to check it out for you and pay him 50 to 100 bucks or something.

GreenMachine
01-21-07, 11:04 AM
depends on how much you can afford truely, and what parts you put on it. The key is not going to a shop where as soon as they see a Cadillac, the see $$$. Happened to me a good year, wanted 60 bucks for a gatorback belt, 90 to put it on!, got the same belt at a parts store for 25 and an hour of my time later the belt was changed.

The biggest expense the car asked for is brakes, tires (any car will ask for that), and a waterpump...if I was a little wiser when I first went hunting for waterpump info I could have done it myself.

The suspension components can be a bit pricey if they are active suspension, otherwise just the regular stuff (with auto level) isn't really that bad.

If you can get the work done cheap, its a great car. But remember it is very old at this point and as any car ages it runs up the bills quicker, I personally think 7 grand can get you something newer (7 is kinda high for that age caddy I would think) with a similar power train, like an 4.0 Northstar Aurora and it wont have the expensive stuff at the corners. If it has all its service history documented and it looks like the big expensive stuff has been replaced, then it is worth a consideration.

pimpin88
01-21-07, 12:00 PM
Yea, 7 grand is definitely high considering my 01 SLS with 87k miles was $6700.

mtflight
01-21-07, 12:20 PM
$7K is a lot, for that age. I have a feeling it would be closer to $5K.

I paid $8995 2 years ago, for a 98 ETC with 68K. It now has 101K.

I say the big thing is the cooling system maintenance, and if you could get a garage-kept it would mean the car aged less (less exposure to extremes which age the rubber/plastic components).

I did purchase an aftermarket warranty, which I've only used once. It cost about $1600, which may be pricey since I've only used them for a $450 claim so far and only have 5K miles to go on it. That should speak about the reliability of the car. It did help with the peace of mind, as my main concern was headgaskets (from reading this forum). I see that problem may be about 1-2% on the forum, possibly less than that, which means out in the real world it may even be less than that.

My biggest expenses have been the blower motor fan (it was under warranty but I R&Rd myself for $200), the radiator ($70 on eBay, OEM old stock!) since the side tank sprung a leak, and the generator which was the recent one which I paid $300 and the warranty co. paid $450 (included an 07 DTS loaner for a day). The reason I paid so much was the warranty co maxes out at $75/hr for labor and my Caddi dealership was a whopping $125/hr.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-21-07, 12:23 PM
I suggest keeping the deville, those are bullet proof cars, I have a '93 and it still runs great, never lets me down.If all this checks out, go for it and then sell your deville. If you follow these steps, Just dont rush into something and keep driving you deville in the meantime until the right one comes along at the right price.

The deVille is going, one way or another. That car is at the point where it's nickle and diming me, and my parents and I have decided the time is coming to get something new. I have been consistently putting $150-$200 a week away in my bank account towards a new car, I believe right now I'm at about $2700, which is pretty good considering I've been saving up for about 4 months or so. So yes, I'm in no direct hurry to get something new, but it's my next big purchase, as I will be buying a new car before I move out. Honestly, I'd like to get the new car by December '07, I feel that is a plausible date, at 150 a week, times 4 weeks in a month, times 10 months...that's about $6000 give or take a few hundred for various stuff that I may need to do. Now with the $2700 I've already got, that's about $8700..give or take a few hundred. I can buy a pretty nice car for $9000..whether it be a Cadillac, Buick, Nissan, Pontiac or what have you.

But yeah, if I do somehow get my parents to approve the Northstar, which would be very hard, I know there are many things you have to check for when you're test driving them to make sure you're not gonna buy a soon to be opened can of worms.

RunningOnEMT
01-21-07, 12:30 PM
its all about what you can afford, honestly.

I get shit all the tim for driving a CTS-V at 25. But hey i can comfortably afford it, so who's to say any age is too young for any car. If you can afford it witout taking handouts from mommy and daddy ... more power to you

just evaluate all the costs, fuel, regular maintenance, and whatever mods you plan on doing.


just have fun, my motto is do it now while you can before you have a house and rugrats to worry about, thats why i'm gonna have my V paid off before i buy a house, all part of my 4 year plan

HAVE FUN!!!!!!!

blb
01-21-07, 12:47 PM
'93 to '95 STS's with < 100,000 miles around here are $1500 to $3000. I would strongly recommend NOT purchasing one of these unless you own a complete set of tools, feel comfortable doing your own repairs, and have plenty of spare time. There are many better choices for a young person who does not want to work on his own car and is concerned about saving money for the future.

Cadillacboy
01-21-07, 12:58 PM
For anyone who thinks Cadillac is a grandpa car and a young driver should drive a sports car. Do they ever consider average age for the sport cars owners ?
Porsche owners are above 40,Ferrari owners well past 45 and Lamborghini should be same neighborhood as well.
I don't care anyone can buy any car at any age .Should I say more any lol
Back to the thread, I think the best looking STS models are around 98-04 . For that money I mean 7 Grand, I would recommend you to buy those years.I came from '96 to '00 and there is almost a night and day difference . Gauges are nicer and much better looking,seats are much smoother and comfortable , ride is out of this world . I can gladly put same comments for lade as well.
May be what makes me say that I bought a car that I shouldn't . Because that car was a trouble bag so to say .Perhaps, had I known this site earlier prior to buying that car , I wouldn't have bought it .Thankfully my current is excellent and I just love it .
You can also consider FWB but Northstar is a nice engine when you rev it up you can get much better what I stress on .
Anyway, good luck for your choice and hope you will enjoy it ;)

bhoppes
01-21-07, 06:19 PM
If it was me and I had $7000 to spend on a car, I would buy a 2000 or newer Seville which does NOT require Premium fuel. Also they are more advanced after 2000, so reliability and dependability will go up because it will be a newer car. You also have a better chance of finding a car that is around the mileage you are looking for.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-21-07, 07:30 PM
I'm not concerned about the proper age of a Cadillac owner, nor have I ever been. I've been driving "old farts cars" as long as I've owned cars and it doesn't bother me one bit, I think matching a car with a certain age group is juvenile and close minded, it's stupid.

I've heard that the 2000 Northstar was improved in the areas of reliability and efficency, that sounds like it's been much improved since the motor came out back in '93, am I correct? If I were to go newer than 2000, I'd be going Eldorado. The 00+ Deville is ugly in my book...too bloated and rounded and the 00+ Seville (which dates back to '98) never did anything for me. They lost the sharp, european lines the gorgeous 92-97's had..they kinda remind me of Nissans or Toyotas.

Cadillacboy, yes I've considered the FWB, and as a matter of fact, I still am. I've owned a Roadmaster, so I know what those B and D bodies are like, but I'll have to drive another to see if I like 'em or not. I've discussed those with my dad and he didn't say no to them, but they're not his top choice, nor are they mine right now...too big and too simple...Cadillacs should have more gadgets than those do, also, I wish they had more in the way of instrumentation...I'm sick of cars that only have a fuel guage and speedo, I want a tach, a speedo, temp guage and fuel guage, atleast.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-21-07, 08:07 PM
Just thought of something.

The "good" Northstar came out in 2000, 2000+ Eldorados are still over 10k, whereas the 2000+ Park Avenue Ultras are below 10k, that's enough to push me in the Buick.

Jesda
01-21-07, 08:26 PM
Any luxury car will cost plenty to own and maintain. PLENTY. You need to have the means or have the tools.

Ranger
01-21-07, 08:34 PM
I've been driving "old farts cars" as long as I've owned cars
Hey,hey :tisk:


've heard that the 2000 Northstar was improved in the areas of reliability and efficency, that sounds like it's been much improved since the motor came out back in '93, am I correct?
2000 runs on regular, got roller followers and longer head bolts I believe.


I want a tach, a speedo, temp guage and fuel guage,
Seville, Eldo, DHS & DTS all equipped as mentioned above.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-21-07, 08:37 PM
(To what Jesda said) Well in that case, Buick. It's the more logical choice for somebody of my age and seeing as how I'll be paying for everything myself, and even though I work full time, I'd like to save up for the apartment, which is the next major purchase.

I had to wash a '95 Park Avenue the other day at work, and I almost bought one of those over my deVille, and the entire time I'm in that car, I'm thinking "boy, I really should have bought one of these, so cheap to own, cheap to run, reliable, efficent"..the only thing my deVille has over that car is the additional power and the exterior design, along with some little stuff. Basically the Buick would be the more logical choice, and the Cadillac is a dream car...for now.

ELDOminator
01-21-07, 08:38 PM
Hey, I got a 97 ETC with 101k miles for 5 grand at the age of 17. I am mechanically inclined, but I still say: Why be so darned afraid of the Northstar?! What is there more to go wrong with this car then others? Sure they have a lot more electronics, but it's rare, if at all that any of the "brains" of the car kicks the bucket. If it's electronic, it means you gotta replace the spark plug wires. That counts as electronics right? :D Other then that, these Cadillacs have just the same things to go wrong as any other car! What I've gone through is a window switch, a trunk pull down, an A/C repair (which I didn't realise was bad when I bought it...) and I think thats it. Obviously I've done brakes and tires. But all cars need those eventually. What could really go wrong that you, yourself, couldn't fix? As long as you're not "afraid" of turning a wrench, or getting your hands dirty, you can do almost anything you'd need to on this car. Almost all repairs that you might have to do is just as easy as an oil change: Untwist old part; twist on new part. There you have it! :yup: (A FSM helps!)

davesdeville
01-22-07, 03:25 AM
I got a N* car at 17 years old, they're not that expensive to maintain/repair if you can DIY, hell I wrecked mine, transferred the steering box, trans, and engine seperately onto a new subframe and replaced the oil pan as well for a total cost of around $220. But if I had to have a shop do it the bill would've been well into the 5 digit range. If you can't work on it yourself go L67 or Mark VIII.

TripleblackETC
01-22-07, 08:05 AM
I say if you can afford it, buy it. Things never go as planned with cars anyways. If you buy a new car, your making payments on it. If you buy a used car, you do maintenance and repairs on it. You're going to have to dump money into any car you have one way or another, why not put it into something you really want.

I'm on my first Northstar and I love it. I'm only 3 years older than you, work on the weekends while going to school and have no problem keeping up on repairs and maintanence.

I say go for what you originally wanted.

Cadillacboy
01-22-07, 09:30 AM
I've heard that the 2000 Northstar was improved in the areas of reliability and efficency, that sounds like it's been much improved since the motor came out back in '93, am I correct? If I were to go newer than 2000, I'd be going Eldorado. The 00+ Deville is ugly in my book...too bloated and rounded and the 00+ Seville (which dates back to '98) never did anything for me. They lost the sharp, european lines the gorgeous 92-97's had..they kinda remind me of Nissans or Toyotas.

Cadillacboy, yes I've considered the FWB, and as a matter of fact, I still am. I've owned a Roadmaster, so I know what those B and D bodies are like, but I'll have to drive another to see if I like 'em or not. I've discussed those with my dad and he didn't say no to them, but they're not his top choice, nor are they mine right now...too big and too simple...Cadillacs should have more gadgets than those do, also, I wish they had more in the way of instrumentation...I'm sick of cars that only have a fuel guage and speedo, I want a tach, a speedo, temp guage and fuel guage, atleast.

I talked to one of gurus on this instrument panel issue.He told me that average age of the owners of those cars were above 50 and + .So, they wouldn't need such gadgets unlike us like tachymeter that's why Cadillac made it so basic and readable as much as possible.What would you expect from retired people lol .
Anyway, what makes me more sick is those cars seem underpowered and by no means I wouldn't accept that even though I know those earlier FBWs weren't meant to be so fast but at least they should compete a Jag Series III. My most fave instrument cluster is what 90-97 Jaguars have .
I also considered and been on the fence on what model to buy next a '00 STS or '95 FWB .It was a very tough decision and still is for anyone imho.
Those cars damn too long and owing to maneuverability issue STS seems sharper on the turns .

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-22-07, 11:03 AM
I talked to one of gurus on this instrument panel issue.He told me that average age of the owners of those cars were above 50 and + .So, they wouldn't need such gadgets unlike us like tachymeter that's why Cadillac made it so basic and readable as much as possible.What would you expect from retired people lol .


That's exactly why they never put them in, but it just bugs me so much. The only feasible way to get all the guages I like would be to do an aftermarket guage pod on the a-pillar, and that's kinda ricey.


I say if you can afford it, buy it. Things never go as planned with cars anyways. If you buy a new car, your making payments on it. If you buy a used car, you do maintenance and repairs on it. You're going to have to dump money into any car you have one way or another, why not put it into something you really want.

I'm on my first Northstar and I love it. I'm only 3 years older than you, work on the weekends while going to school and have no problem keeping up on repairs and maintanence.

I say go for what you originally wanted.

True, I can expect to repair and maintain any used car I'd buy, but any L67 car has less stuff to go wrong and is generally simpler. Plus, like I've stated before, I do not have the world's biggest budget and I should live within my means. I could theoretically afford to fix anything that went bad on a Northstar car (except maybe the headgaskets), but worst case scenario, I'd never have any money saved up for anything else.

I've talked to people, and read reviews online of people spending anywhere from $3000-$7000 to fix and maintain their Northstar Cadillacs. One lady brought in her '94 SLS with 177k miles for an oil change or something, I told her how much I liked those cars and she said it was a POS and she spent over four grand in the last year to keep it going and would like nothing more than to see it gone! There was another person who bought a Jaguar X-Type and we were talking, and he said he had a '96 STS...spent $7,000 to keep that driveable. Now those are worst case scenarios, and probably a VERY small percentage of Northstar owners, but that's what I'm thinking about....what's this gonna cost me if everything goes wrong.


I got a N* car at 17 years old, they're not that expensive to maintain/repair if you can DIY, hell I wrecked mine, transferred the steering box, trans, and engine seperately onto a new subframe and replaced the oil pan as well for a total cost of around $220. But if I had to have a shop do it the bill would've been well into the 5 digit range. If you can't work on it yourself go L67 or Mark VIII.

I can't DIY though, mechanically, I'm no good and a Northstar is not a good "starter" engine to learn DIY work on. It would be like having an apprentice architect right out of school to design the world's tallest building.

Night Wolf
01-22-07, 08:06 PM
a tach and temp gauge really isn't a big deal.... surely not one that I woudl let me decide what kind of car I would get, or to sell one.

Especially on an automatic, non-race daily driver car... a tach is cool to look at, but not very useful other then diagnosing some problems, in which case the on board tach on my Coupe was always handy.

Most of all.. these can be added... and are better then factory when they are. I added a small tach to my '79 DeVille... when the car got wrecked, I took my tach and it is now on my Isuzu (base model... no tach) and it is a whole lot more handy with a 5spd... even though I drove it fine with no tach when I first got it.

The temp gauge is handy too.... I guess I used to wish my Coupe had one too... I was going to mount a triple gauge cluster (oil press, volts, and temp) under the dash... make it all cool... that was going to be my next big project... car got stolen before that. But really, a temp gauge is... well... just that... I stare at the one on the Isuzu everyday.... in the morning it is on the bottom below C, I drive around it goes about 1/3 the way up and stays there, I stop for a few hours, it goes back to C, I drive, it goes back up around 1/3 the way etc.... Great to see for an overheat... but then again the cars have the light too.... although I like the temp gauge.

For volts... my radar detector (Escort Passport 8500 X50) has a system voltage feature.... really neat, it'll display the cars electrical system voltage on the display all the time... I've used that to diagnose plenty of problems on both the Coupe and the Isusu. Oil pressure is redundent... either its pumping oil or its not.... and again, for that there is a light... the light comes on, pull over and check it out.

Only idiot light I ever had come on was the no charge light on the Coupe... when my power cable for my amp broke the tie down and rubbed against the power steering pump shorting everything out... nothing was damaged though, just replaced a section of the wire and rerouted it.

Even the tach on the Coupe... which I did want, I was going to hook up in the car really neat.

A-pillar gauges are not ricey.... a huge 7" tach screwed the the top of the dashboard when there is a tach in the dash already on an otherwise near stock Accord is ricey, but a nice 3-pod A-pillar gauge set is not.... I was going to rig up something for the Coupe, and even on the Isuzu.... well, there are other places I can put gauges... but the A-pillar would be a great spot too.

Night Wolf
01-22-07, 08:40 PM
and... whats wrong with learning to work on a Northstar? spark plugs are spark plugs etc... sure the starter is in a different location... but... its a starter... not like they are repalced every week anyway.... plus they rarely fail on Northstars.

The 4.9 is a perfect engine to learn to work on.... though it can be tight due to the engine compartment, it is still very good to learn with....

modern engines really don't require much "work"... I know... I get bored fast... though I am kinda lucky... the Isuzu has no hydraulic lifters... so the valves get to be adjusted :).

Anyway, the only "work" that a Northstar needs is regular oil changes (no different then any car) regular coolant changes (no different then any other car) spark plugs/wires (I would do every 50k or so and..... no different then any other car) air filter and fuel filter (both of which are..... the same as any car) and thats it! no distrubutor or carburator to worry about nor is there a timing belt or a timing system that even wears much at all... I mean, really thats it... 3 important systems... fuel delivery, ignition and timing... are nearly eliminated from any maintenace at all on this enigne. This engine was made to be low maintenace and thats what it is.

Cadillac says the green coolant needs to be replaced every 2yrs or 24k miles...

I just got a brand new owners manual for my Isuzu in the mail today... which thumbing thru it.... at the maintenace part... Isuzu reccomends that the coolant in the 2.6 I4 to be replaced every 3yrs or 36k miles.... and really, all the manufacters said the same... its just.. .people would neglect the coolant change (as with alot of other stuff on the car) and the Northstar is more tempermental to it then other engines.

But here we have a top of the line luxury car, and on the other side... a down to basics truck... both with very similar service scheduals(?.... I'm tired) Except the Northstar dosn't have an AIR pump, a distrubutor, valves that need to be adjusted (according to Isuzu every 15k) a timing belt that needs to be rpleaced every ~80k etc.... none of this stuff bothers me anyway..... I actually think its.... fun.

And if it makes anyone feel any better.... Cadillacs aren't the only brand tempermental to overheats.... My Isuzu 2.6 dosn't like overheats either... the head is known to warp and crack if it gets too hot. So you know what is funny? Here on the Caddy site when somone asks about a Northstar (or 4.9) everyone says "make sure the cooling system was maintained" and.... get this.... on the Isuzu site, when someone asks about a Rodeo or Tropper with the 2.6.... everyone says "make sure the cooling system has been maintained" For me, I don't need to worry about that, I have a brand new water pump at the time of timing belt change (since it was staring right at me) new radiator hoses, thermostat and fresh coolant.... and a temp gauge to keep an eye on it all ;) :).

A car is a car, all engines operate the same way. If you compare a Cadillac 500 to the Northstar, the Northstar is a whole lot more complex... but somehow in the mix of things, it became a whole lot more simple in its own right.

On top of that the car will tell you if its low on oil, time to change the oil, low on tranny fluid, time to change the tranny fluid, low on coolant, coolant hotter then normal etc....

I am back to looking at 1995 Eldorado ETC as my next car (keeping the Isuzu tho) and I once again am looking forward to owning a Northstar.

The Northstar would not be the primary enigne powering Cadillacs for over 15 years if it wasn't any good.... how long service life did the HT4100 have, or the V8-6-4 (although I disagree with the common reasons why that engine was bad)

Ah well, I'll get off my soap box now.... I am just looking at this ~1995 Seville STS and Eldorado ETC.... and what you can get for $5,000 is truely amazing.... step up to $8,000 and you are in a ~2000 Seville STS.... practically a brand new car.... its pretty pathetic the way the value drops thru the floor... but awesome for buying a car.

I think buying a 10-12 year old car is awesome... get it so cheap, and all the normal wear items (brakes, suspension etc...) are worn, which ticks the current owners off... but when I get a car, I'd rather put new shocks/struts in it and new brakes.... and have peace of mind it was done correctly, using quality parts, with stuff that is all new.... then buy a car that is 6 years old with factory stuff that is just going to wear out in a couple years.

If I bought a 1995 Northstar Cadillac for $5,000, I would have $1,000 set aside for repairs... simple as that.

I used the same logic on my Isuzu... and I now have a 13 year old truck with 126k miles on it that runs, drives, and performs like new, that will give me years and years of trouble-free service all for about the same cost it would be to insure a new truck for 1 year ($1,800 for truck plus maybe.... $800 in various stuff? $2,600 is a darn good price for what I've got)

Thats the same way I worked with on the Coupe.... although on top of that I had the mentality that I was never going to ever get rid of the car... so it was a bit more.

When I worked at Advance Auto, I had alot of free time some days, and I would sit there looking up prices of parts for all types of used cars..... Here is what I have come up with:

Imports are quite a bit more to repair then domestics... atleast Mitsu/Honda/Toyota/VW/Volvo etc... (Isuzu isn't too bad at all actually... atleast the 2.6) Ontop of that... out of GM.... the difference for a given part between a Northstar to a 3800 to an Ecotec is very, very slim... witht he 3800 leading the pack in most cases (due to larger demand) but thigns like water pumps? all around $40-$70.... $30 difference in a water pump isn't anything near choosing what type of car to get... batteries.... they all use the same types of battieres.... shocks.... all the same, even Caddys and Buicks with air leveling struts... very similar (around $50 each for the nice ones.... if a complex strut, up to $80 each) brake pads are all the same ($40/set for nice ones) rotors will get ya.... $20-$50 depending on car... starters are $100-$250..... alternators are the same.... spark plugs and wires are all the same unless its those Ford modular things, then its like $20 each (there are 8) but $30 for a set of wires is common... air filters... $10... fuel filters.. $5 etc....

It's all the same... the biggest in a cost *difference* would be around $150, and thats comparing an alternator from a 1983 Chevy van (like $60) to a late model luxury car etc.... check it out for yourself... go to advanceautoparts.com and compare prices... it really isn't all that different.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-22-07, 11:42 PM
Well I talked to my dad about this earlier today, and his responce wasn't as bad as I'd imagined.

I posted the hypothetical question to him about having $9,000 saved up for the next car, and told him about finding some nice, low mile (under 100k) Rivieras and Park Avenues for $8500-$9000...and hypothetically finding a nice, well maintained, low mile (again, under 100k) Northstar Eldorado or STS for $6500-$7000. I asked him "well because the Northstar Cadillac is cheaper to start, wouldn't that make it the smarter buy, because you're saving $1500-$2000 right off the bat? He said something along the lines of "yeah, I suppose but it's more expensive to maintain the Northstar." Then I said "yeah, but I could do a lot of possible repairs and maintance with the $1500 or $2000 I initially saved" then he said "yeah, but you won't keep that money, you'll spend it". I can't feasibly see my self spending money out of my savings account, especially not that much. I mean, sure, maybe if I wanted to do something aftermarket to the car, but there's nothing available for the Northstars, so I'd just keep the money in savings, keep adding money into it, for the next major purchase I'd buy, whether that be a Laptop or an apartment or what.

He never said no to the Northstars, but he actually said and I know this is funny, "Wouldn't you rather have the Buick?" We both know how good of a track record the 3800 has, but he seems to think that the Northstar doesn't have a good track record...maybe not the early ones so much, but they wouldn't have kept making the Northstar for 14 years if it wasn't any good. I know the Northstar (especially the post 2000 model) is a great engine, and I've been told that by some mechanics I've spoken to, but the thing that'll kill that engine is how it was maintained by the previous owner. If it was maintained well, like stated in the manual, it'll be a great engine. If it wasn't, I'm gonna have problems...expensive problems and I will avoid any without extensive maintainance records.

I think it's possible to sell him on these, tough, but possible. When I get the necessary money for the next car, I'll bring him on my test drives...I'll look at a Riv and an Ultra, but also I'll look at a STS or Eldorado in good condition, show him what the Northstar is really about and maybe that might help him see the appeal to me. Thanks to this site, I know what to watch for on a test drive to make sure the Northstar is in proper running condition.

Jesda
01-23-07, 12:04 AM
For an affordable hobby that you can drive to work and school, I suggest anything powered by an LT1.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-23-07, 12:17 AM
Yes, those are good too, but I'm not sure if I want anything that large and plain, technically speaking.

gdwriter
01-23-07, 12:19 AM
One lady brought in her '94 SLS with 177k miles for an oil change or something, I told her how much I liked those cars and she said it was a POS and she spent over four grand in the last year to keep it going and would like nothing more than to see it gone!Sheesh, the car has 177,000 miles on it and it's 13 years old! Of course it's going to need some repairs. If it were a total POS, it wouldn't have lasted that long.

blunted
01-23-07, 01:45 PM
Buy whatever you want buy definetly keep a couple grand set aside.. ESPECIALLY, If you dont have a lift/garage and need to go to the mechanic.
The labor is what they kill you with on the Northstar, the engine compartment is tight so getting to stuff isn't always easy. Even the battery is a bitch to take out if it doesn't have a handle mounted on it.

So here's my first car story.. I bought my 94 Eldorado 2 1/2 years ago for $4700 with 59K on her... She now has cost me over $14K (over course that includes cosmetic stuff) Great deal I figured, got it checked by 3 mechanics and everything was fine except rusted exhaust & waterpump which made me feel "safe" about spending the cash I had left on wheels,tires,stereo.
So everything was ok for a couple months, then all this happened (*note* I baby this car and never skimp) :
- Entire suspension started going out.. had to replace everything (struts,mounts,linkss,bushings, ball joints)
-Stupid stuff started breaking.. Oil filter adapter, oil switch,sensor
- A&B Solenoids went on the tranny
- Very bad half-case leak.. makes alot of smoke
- Coils/Plugs blowing
- Radiator Went
- Engine/Tranny Mounts have gone bad
- My brake lines now need replacing
-Car squeaks unexplainably
-Panels warping

Overall if you like things to be perfect.. a 10+ yr old car isn't the smartest move. My friend who is a pilot laughs and says this Eldorado gets treated like a plane.. couple years the only original thing on it will be the frame and (please God) the drive-train. I'm not saying this will happen to you but there's always a chance. Either way.. always put money aside for repairs, if you dont end up using it, you'll just be that much richer.

bcs296
01-23-07, 04:57 PM
With $7-9k, you should DEFINITELY be able to get one with less than 100k. With that much cash, I would be looking at 96 and 97's. Have it checked out for any signs that the head gasket is in less than great condition and see if the coolant looks reasonably fresh. Otherwise, I wouldn't be too nervous about them.

The head gasket is really the only thing short of the transmission blowing up that would cause problems for a 20 year old on a budget.

Suspension components are going to go on any car and could last until 100k.
If you could find an STS (much more car than SLS) for $6-7k, the extra cash will be WAY more than enough to cover a new [passive] suspension.


A&B solenoids are NOT an expensive repair. Ignition components you will prob want to replace upon purchase anyway, just as part of a tune up.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-23-07, 08:03 PM
Blunted, yours sounds like the nightmare, worst case scenario Northstar Cadillac I was referring to earlier, it seems that everythign that could go did go, plus more. I bet not more than 4% of all Caddies go that bad, but since all that happened, your input is that much more worthy to me.

blunted
01-24-07, 09:20 AM
A&B solenoids are NOT an expensive repair. .

True.. that is IF you actually find a decent shop that wont try to kill you on the price. When mine went everyone wanted $450+.. and the dealership wanted to pull the tranny. :annoyed: I was screwed until a fellow local caddy member on the board saved my ass and did it for me. :highfive:

blb
01-24-07, 07:24 PM
- Entire suspension started going out.. had to replace everything (struts,mounts,linkss,bushings, ball joints)
-Stupid stuff started breaking.. Oil filter adapter, oil switch,sensor
- A&B Solenoids went on the tranny
- Very bad half-case leak.. makes alot of smoke
- Coils/Plugs blowing
- Radiator Went
- Engine/Tranny Mounts have gone bad
- My brake lines now need replacing
-Car squeaks unexplainably
-Panels warping


Been there, done that, with the brake lines. Its interesting that my 16 year old beater import has the brake lines coated in plastic so they won't rust but my babied GM Flagship STS with only 56,000 miles had metal brake line failures. What kind of garbage metal are they made of that they rust so quickly?
Other items that typically need attention around or before 100,000 miles on these are the A/C compressor bearing (most places typically want to replace the entire compressor instead of replacing just the bearing), water pump, alternator, (PITA to replace), power window motors, CD player (if equipped), serpentine belt idler pulley, tensioner pulley and front hub bearings.

If you can do the work on these items yourself and you have the time, go for it. If you have to pay someone else to do it, it can get prohibitively expensive very quickly. These cars just won't go 200,000 miles with most of the original parts like many of the imports will.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-24-07, 07:34 PM
These cars just won't go 200,000 miles with most of the original parts like many of the imports will.

Or anything with a 350 or 3800 :)

blb
01-24-07, 08:56 PM
Or anything with a 350 or 3800 :)

Actually, I've had pretty good service out of Camaros with the 350 and Bonnevilles and Park Avenues with the 3800. Generally speaking, there was more room to work under the hood with the 350's and 3800's vs. the Northstar Caddy's. And the low end torque on both the LT1 350 and 3800 are great. True, there is the occasional alternator or water pump to replace, and in the case of the 3800's, the plastic intake manifolds tend to warp and leak coolant into the cylinder, but I never had near the multitude of problems with the Chevy's, Buicks or Pontiacs than I did with the Caddy. Keeping the Caddy on the road sometimes is like a second job....and until I see several of the latest model years in succession where the headgasket issues seem to have been resolved, I will not purchase another one. I think it's great that you are taking the time to learn from people that have owned these cars, so whatever you decide, you will be well informed. Good luck with whatever you decide.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-24-07, 09:01 PM
Thanks, I've heard all of the above concerning the 350 and 3800. There are two other american engines that I'm looking at..the L67 S/C 3800 in a Park Avenue Ultra, Riv or GTP and the LT1 350 in a Fleetwood Brougham The L67 Supercharged 3800 doesn't have the intake manifold problem the N/A L36's do because the supercharged ones have an aluminium intake manifold. And the LT1 is pretty much bullet proof, except for an issue with exhaust manifold bolts.

Dooman
01-26-07, 11:16 AM
Check out the Black one in the Classifieds.. Benjamon Simon.. Right price range

chuckdobbins
01-26-07, 06:47 PM
chad ive had my 97 deville for about a year and a half. bought it with 117 and its got 135 now.

i absolutely love this car.

best part...it was dirt cheap.

age dont mean a thing my friend.

test drive, test drive, and test drive...then buy....and enjoy.

ps: you can get a good one for less than 7k

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-28-07, 07:17 PM
I want something newer than 2000, or I'd really prefer it that way. Also, I want something with less than 100k miles, but more like 60-70k, and the only 2000+ Northstar Cadillac I like is the Eldorado, it's very hard to find one that meet those criteria, with the options and colors I like, for less than $10,000.

I've been searching around here a lot lately, and on autotrader.com I found a number of Eldorados from 93-02. 14 matches were found, one met my criteria for years, price and mileage. It was a white '01 ESC for $9,900 with 84k miles and it looks mint, otherwise everything else was too old, too high of miles or too much money. These Eldorados are quite expensive too, some of them are still going for 12-16k!

TripleblackETC
01-29-07, 08:25 AM
Just curious, but any particular reason why you want a 2000 or newer N*?

You could probably find a MINT 1993-1995 with really low miles for the kind of money you're willing to spend.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-30-07, 11:03 PM
It doesn't matter right now anyways, whatever I'd get next would have the L67 Supercharged 3800. I couldn't even get an LT1 Brougham.

TripleblackETC
01-31-07, 08:48 AM
It doesn't matter right now anyways, whatever I'd get next would have the L67 Supercharged 3800. I couldn't even get an LT1 Brougham.

Well happy hunting man. Hope everything works out for you. Definitely lets us know what you end up getting and post pics of her right away. :)

CadillacSTS42005
01-31-07, 10:27 AM
Chad ive taken my time to think this through and this is my 1st post in this thread
at 15 i owned a 1969 Camaro, had it for about 5 mths trying to restore it when i made a mistake went cheap and tried to have a vocational school rewire it, it never worked right so i sold it and make a cool 2k off it
then at 17 on the day i took my SAT, i came home to learn my dad went to the auction bid the amount of money i asked him to bid on my behalf, and won my 1983 Trans Am Daytona 500...
Worked on that car was fun and then came winter... i will never own a rwd car in the winter again.. so come the next fall being worried about having to slide everywhere i went hunting and bought my current 1997 ETC in august
At 8990, with 71K she had every option from Bariel Cadillac. On the test drive the car had some issues, needed the rotors cut, and the car actually overheated in that the a.c shut off due to engine temp lit up. I told the salesmen with me i know northstars and this is either just a water pump or something worse, they called me the next day waterpump replaced and rotors replaced, they also told me if i decided to purchase the car theyd offer me a 3 mth 3k mile warranty instead of the 1 mth 1k advertised, so i took her, 1500 down and a 4 year loan, my mom actually cried when i brought it home, she was happy i had a "nice" car instead of the unreliable junk i had.
First day i had the car the CEL came on, went to the dealer and they found the air box sensor became unpluged probably when they detailed the engine.
Second day all was well no issues
Third day i drove all over showin it off to friends etc etc, on the way home the oil pressure lamp came on on rt 28, about 15 mins from my house. As soon as i got off 28 i added the 2 qrts i keep in the trunk into her and the light went out, for about 3 mins, then it came back flashing every so often, i was about 4 miles from home so i figured id baby it, i didnt want to be stuck on back roads at 2 am.
I turned on to my street and then it came on SHUT OFF ENGINE LOW OIL PRESSURE. I pulled into the driveway and there it was from when i parked there earlier an oil puddle, the car had been leaking oil pretty steadily for about 250 miles...
In the morning i called the dealer they said bring it in, i asked if i should tow it or drive it under the conditions, they said thats up to me. So i loaded up and drove it, got there an oil coolant line came lose they tightened it i was on my way, got about half way home hit 4K and BAM a loud nock, turned around back to the dealer, and they said it threw a rod. They gave me a loaner and had the car tied up for about a mth and installed a 96 STS engine with 20K on it with brand new gaskets all around. Invoice stated 6K in total, they didnt charge me a DIME.
Week later the blower motor goes, i was still within warranty, however it didnt cover it, i asked to speak with the manager, told him my story, they put in a rebuilt one for free.
Since then and now its long out of warranty and heres what ive replaced
alternator
a.c compressior with suction line
drivers side window switch
radiator
She now has 92K doesnt leak a drop, runs at the top of her game and i love her, only thing id trade her for is a 2002 ECS ETC.

Would i do it all again? Considering all the nightmares i went through with the Trans AM and Camaro, yes, these things i considered to be pretty much routine maintence, and me fixing them myself ive learned so much and can work on an engine (the N*) that most mechainics wont touch....

If i were you get a northstar, and enjoy her man, but id play it safe and get one with at least a 3 mth warranty to give you time to work the bugs out and make sure all is well

sorry for the long ramble hahaha

misfit6794
01-31-07, 10:45 PM
I'm 22 I got a one owner Florida Car 1996 Deville with 82,000 miles. I paid 1800 for it after some argueing with the owner. So far I am into it for $4000, and its back in the shop as we speak. Car blew a head gasket, hence the price, fixed the head gasket and the engine runs perfectly. Now its a matter of replacing the suspension. The car looks perfect and the interior is perfect. I think the car was a good investment. Whatever you get the newer the better, maintained. Any car that hasn't had proper maintainence is going to have problems. especially a car as complicated as a cadillac. BTW my first car was a 98 Olds Intrigue with the 3800 series engine. Car had 192,000 miles on it when i totaled it, and it never had a major problem, ever.

GreenMachine
02-01-07, 05:29 PM
^whats it in the shop for at the moment?

internetauto
02-04-07, 10:30 AM
I'm going to add my .02
ANY car will have issues.
at least with the caddy you can pick up the parts easily in Delco without necessarily having to go to the dealer.
By comparison my current car uses a 3 year only motor that share almost nothing with any other motor or car! But it is fun to drive.
the northstar has it's reputation, but even when something like the active suspension breaks you can pick up the parts to fix at most mom and pop part stores.

I'm likely picking up a 93 sts for $500 with 175k on it from a guy I know. He bought almost everything for the car from me. he put in a tranny within the last year. He's just waiting on me to come look and buy.

I'd just like to sell my current car first (not really, but moey has to come from somewhere)

misfit6794
02-04-07, 11:05 AM
The a/c compressor clutch went, not sure if i will have to replace the whole unit ($1200) quote or just the clutch, either way the labor is a bitch. I am starting to feel like i am restoring an 11 year old car. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world tho, except mabye another intrigue. Also have to replace coolant tank. If I were you I would be more worried about gas mileage, mine sucks.

Haleykeek
02-04-07, 12:21 PM
well one thing's for sure,you got style.when i was in college all i could afford was a 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass.so you got a good start on getting a NorthStar powered Seville.I have a 94 STS,and will eventually buy an 01 or 02 STS in the near future.they are good cars,and if you keep the oil changed often,and other minor servicing on them,they'll last a long time.changing spark plugs are not the easiest on these cars,but it certainly can be done.