Are the 4.9L's good over 140,000 miles
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, Are the 4.9L's good over 140,000 miles in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I have a 1991 Eldorado. It has 137,000 miles on it right now. I run premium fuel it and check ...
  1. #1
    jd7
    jd7 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Are the 4.9L's good over 140,000 miles

    I have a 1991 Eldorado. It has 137,000 miles on it right now. I run premium fuel it and check all fluids regulary. I dont know if I should keep the car or sell it because of its high mileage. I have to redo the front leather seats and get the struts rebuilt, together will cost $700.00. However every thing does work in it. Should I keep it?

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    Katshot's Avatar
    Katshot is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Totally subjective call on this one. The only advice I can give you is to keep the car if your main worry in the engine's durability. The 4.9 is a great engine and will last well into the 200K range with only basic maintenance.

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    elwesso's Avatar
    elwesso is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    I agree too. If you plan on keeping the car and not selling it until it dies, then im not sure if I would fix the seats. But if you may sell it, go ahead and fix the seats. But on a car that old with that many miles i might just invest in some good seat covers. Another consideration is to do the seats in vinyl rather than leather. im not sure on the price differential between the two, but it may be something looking into.

    How much did you get quoted for you seats?? To do driver and passenger seat bottoms, and driver side left lumbar support was $475. This is all in real leather.

    These engines last a long time, and possibly one of cadillacs best engines in recent history, reliability wise.

  5. #4
    jd7
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    Well the seats would probally be done in vinyl. I am really not to sure about a price thought that was just an estimite.

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    elwesso's Avatar
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    It is all your call- If you think your car is worth it, go for it! If you have any doubts, just get seat covers.

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    kcnewell is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    My 4.9 has 156,000 on it and is in perfect condition with NO problems. I wouldn't hesitste to keep the car and run it out You've more than likely got another 100,000 in it!

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    Katshot's Avatar
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    Check out this site. They do GREAT seat covers.
    http://www.katzkin.com/SITE/HTML/index.html

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    andymac is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    I have a 1992 seville w/ 178k now. Runs great. Only problem is other non engine things are expensive..... shocks, air conditioning parts, oil pan screwed up and took out like 400 worth of electrical.... other than that great car.

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    gorky is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    i have a 1994 seville SLS with the 4.6L Northstar.

    It blew up one evening last month, billowing thick white smoke (oily) for the 4 block drive to the dealer.

    Next morning, dealer started it up and no smoke, just a metallic knocking sound coming from the bottom of the motor they said.

    The car has been sitting in my garage for the past few weeks, while I have been trying to figure out what to do. The motor only had 120k miles on it, and had regular maintenance, in fact the oil is barely dirty between 2k mile oil changes.

    But the dealer wants $1800 to just open it up to look and $5900 for a new motor.

    Any suggestions?

  11. #10
    Katshot's Avatar
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    Junkyard motor.
    God I hope Jason and Brett don't read this, it might shake their faith in the almighty Northstar

  12. #11
    kcnewell is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    The Northstar ain't that bad Dude....Like many motors it has its issues. Some break and some don't......Many more don't than do! You are rather jaded on the subject of the Northstar engine, That's fine! Many people are very happy with the motor.....Every Northstar owner I know LOVES the thing, None of them have any of the issues referred to as common here. We do need to remember that on these sites we see mostly the problems. Most N/S owners don't come to a site like this to say " Hey, Everythings great! " They come here when they have a problem...If they don't have a problem, They don't come! In your case, You used the cars in a way that exasserbated whatever problems they might possibly develop. Most people will NEVER see the problems that you have seen in livery service....Those are my thoughts on the subject.

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    Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance! As for the 4.9, like Kev said, it's a very good engine. It is aluminum, though, and needs to have the coolant changed with the supplement every 2 years or 24k miles. You don't have to do this, but you risk internal engine damage.

    Same deal with the 1995 and previous Northstars. They're aluminum engines and need maintenance just like the Cadillac 4.1/4.5/4.9 engines do. Gorky, do you know the maintenance history of the '94 that blew up with white smoke? Did you buy it new or used? Keeping the oil changed is important, yes, but so is keeping the coolant changed. If you bought it used, you unfortunately have no or little record of the maintenance before you bought it. That's obviously a head gasket problem, and I'd make a wager that the cooling system maintenance hadn't been performed as called for by Cadillac. The head gaskets started to corrode and over time, failed completely.

    A great thing happened in 1996 -- DEX-COOL. This coolant has organic corrosion inhibitors which last 5 years or 150k miles. The old green stuff had silicates, which were depleted quickly (and thus the short change intervals). With an iron engine, that's not such a big deal, but with an aluminum engine, it's imperative that the corrosion inhibitors stay in the system! With '96 and later engines, the inhibitors are long life, and it's much less likely to have head gasket failures due to corrosion (there could still be a mechanical problem obviously).

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    Katshot's Avatar
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    The problem is that engines as late as '01 (that I have personal experience with) are still having blown head gaskets due to mechanical failures, due to improper manufacturing. I just talked to a guy yesterday that had his '01 ETC blow a head gasket and it was determined that at least one cylinder had "stripped" head bolts.
    All the coolant changes in the world won't stop that from happening. Like I've said millions of times before, the design was great, the "execution" was (and is) the problem.

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    eehoepp is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Originally posted by gorky
    i have a 1994 seville SLS with the 4.6L Northstar.

    It blew up one evening last month, billowing thick white smoke (oily) for the 4 block drive to the dealer.

    Next morning, dealer started it up and no smoke, just a metallic knocking sound coming from the bottom of the motor they said.

    The car has been sitting in my garage for the past few weeks, while I have been trying to figure out what to do. The motor only had 120k miles on it, and had regular maintenance, in fact the oil is barely dirty between 2k mile oil changes.

    But the dealer wants $1800 to just open it up to look and $5900 for a new motor.

    Any suggestions?
    This one has all of the earmarks of a headgasket failure. Coolant getting into the combustions chambers shows up as steam in the exhaust - but not when the engine's cold (in the morning). Coolant mixing with the oil emulsifies & trashes the main bearings, rod bearings, etc., resulting in the metallic thunking sound from the bottom of the engine.

    Check the dipstick for a frothy substance that looks like a chocolate milkshake - that's the emulsion & it's a harbinger of death.

    Junkyard engine sound like the best option.

  16. #15
    jadcock's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Katshot
    The problem is that engines as late as '01 (that I have personal experience with) are still having blown head gaskets due to mechanical failures, due to improper manufacturing. I just talked to a guy yesterday that had his '01 ETC blow a head gasket and it was determined that at least one cylinder had "stripped" head bolts.
    All the coolant changes in the world won't stop that from happening. Like I've said millions of times before, the design was great, the "execution" was (and is) the problem.
    Huh. I wonder what they're doing wrong and I wonder why they haven't fixed it yet. And I wonder why all engines don't see the problem. I think anything assembly-related would show up very soon, not 130k miles down the road. For instance, my 115k-mile example. I think any assembly error would certainly have shown up by now, no?

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