Automobile(s): '76 Fleetwood Brougham, '79 Sedan deVille
STS-V Northstar reliability
As a casual observer who will be on the hunt for an STS-V in a little over a year, I am impressed with the lack of "Northstar issues" reported here in comparison to the older, FWD engines. As a former owner of a self-destructed Northstar, I was a bit hesitant to get back in the game, but the early returns seem very encouraging. One should hope so given the premium for this hand-built version.
So, any owners here who will let the air out of my balloon?
I have a great article about the development of the supercharged Northstar 4.4 liter (267 cid) V-8 (designated RPO LC3). I can't attach it ... invalid format (MSWORD) converted to a PDF but was to big for the format as it has pictures. If you PM me your email I will send it to you.
I was told the cylinder head sealing issue was solved before this engine was built.
They did revise the standard Northstar head bolt design once in '00, and again late in the '03 run as they developed a RWD Northstar. The late '03 revision moved to LSx-style bolts which were longer with a coarser pitch. They also revised the block casting somewhere in the '00-'04 timeframe, as the porosity was a leading contributor to the bolt threads pulling out. Supposedly the RWD Northstars (and recent year DTS FWD N*) are essentially cured of the failings of the FWD version with respect to headgasket sealing.
It's also worth noting that the LC3 Northstar is a closed deck, vs. an open for the other, non-SC versions. Closed deck is inherently superior for block-to-head sealing.