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Cadillac STS-V Series Forum Discussion, N* 4.4L SC Doubts in Cadillac V-Series Forums; Well, having both, both are equal in terms of reliability. The GTO is overall easier to work on, but short ...
  1. #31
    CMNTMXR57 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: N* 4.4L SC Doubts

    Well, having both, both are equal in terms of reliability.

    The GTO is overall easier to work on, but short of actual LSx or Tremec/Hydramatic parts, anything specific to the VZ platform (the GTO), especially drivetrain and body parts are rare, expensive, and have to come from Australia. Heck, even maintenance parts are becoming hard to come by. I've faced this issue with my '04. And if Holden doesn't have the part available anymore, the GM North American SPO network can't even order, which means you're left to your own devices.

    Comparitively, the STS-V, is a lot more difficult to work on in most cases, but parts are availble (except friggin heated steering wheels...), Parts still typically need special order, but are at least available, and here in the states in the SPO network.

    Reliability is a draw. They're both common GM think in most parts and layout/excution, so I see it as a draw.

    I have ~14,000 - 15,000 miles on one of the first 465 GTO's sent to the U.S. As such I was one of the first owners of a GTO, and have owned it nearly 9 years. In that time, mine never, ever, visited a Pontiac (or other GM dealer), for warranty work. Anything that failed on it, was my own doing, and was replaced on my own dime, and generally fortified in the process to handle the levels of power I have it making. Yes, mine is also a sterile garage queen. When I had it in the body shop for some work, the owner (who I've known for some 20 years), commented that "this damn thing is put together as well as a Mercedes, thngs are actually SCREWED together" in reference to the GTO. The Caddy, is put together with stupid press fit connectors and has shit hanging off because it's cheaply put together.

    Conversely, the STS-V has over 50k on it, I am the second owner, and this week, it'll be making it's 3rd trip back to a Cadillac dealer for warranty work.

    As to performance, yes the STS-V trumps it from the get go, but the car is also ~500 pounds heavier than the GTO! Dollar for dollar though, once past the simple bolt-ons (like the gains from the CAI on these cars), the LSx is simply the better bang for the dollar, and obviously has an infinitely greater level of aftermarket support in all aspects. N/A stroker motors, forced induction options, etc... It's all there. There are obviously a few things for this car too, but in order to do it, you need to mortgage your kids body parts. Excellent results, but for the money spent, I could buy a 400+ cubic inch LSX stroker motor for the GTO!

  2. #32
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    Re: N* 4.4L SC Doubts

    Quote Originally Posted by CMNTMXR57 View Post
    Well, having both, both are equal in terms of reliability.

    The GTO is overall easier to work on, but short of actual LSx or Tremec/Hydramatic parts, anything specific to the VZ platform (the GTO), especially drivetrain and body parts are rare, expensive, and have to come from Australia. Heck, even maintenance parts are becoming hard to come by. I've faced this issue with my '04. And if Holden doesn't have the part available anymore, the GM North American SPO network can't even order, which means you're left to your own devices.

    Comparitively, the STS-V, is a lot more difficult to work on in most cases, but parts are availble (except friggin heated steering wheels...), Parts still typically need special order, but are at least available, and here in the states in the SPO network.

    Reliability is a draw. They're both common GM think in most parts and layout/excution, so I see it as a draw.

    I have ~14,000 - 15,000 miles on one of the first 465 GTO's sent to the U.S. As such I was one of the first owners of a GTO, and have owned it nearly 9 years. In that time, mine never, ever, visited a Pontiac (or other GM dealer), for warranty work. Anything that failed on it, was my own doing, and was replaced on my own dime, and generally fortified in the process to handle the levels of power I have it making. Yes, mine is also a sterile garage queen. When I had it in the body shop for some work, the owner (who I've known for some 20 years), commented that "this damn thing is put together as well as a Mercedes, thngs are actually SCREWED together" in reference to the GTO. The Caddy, is put together with stupid press fit connectors and has shit hanging off because it's cheaply put together.

    Conversely, the STS-V has over 50k on it, I am the second owner, and this week, it'll be making it's 3rd trip back to a Cadillac dealer for warranty work.

    As to performance, yes the STS-V trumps it from the get go, but the car is also ~500 pounds heavier than the GTO! Dollar for dollar though, once past the simple bolt-ons (like the gains from the CAI on these cars), the LSx is simply the better bang for the dollar, and obviously has an infinitely greater level of aftermarket support in all aspects. N/A stroker motors, forced induction options, etc... It's all there. There are obviously a few things for this car too, but in order to do it, you need to mortgage your kids body parts. Excellent results, but for the money spent, I could buy a 400+ cubic inch LSX stroker motor for the GTO!
    The "put together as well as a Mercedes" is an ironic comment since Mercedes aren't put together well at all. The GTO is a very unique car for sure, with abnormally high quality combined with a very simple and very robust drivetrain. Fortunately GM is now following the formula it's Australian subsidiary was using to bring this kind of quality to it's entire lineup.

    Your STS-V seems to be another great example to cite when people question my assertion that you don't want these cars above the 50k mile mark. Everytime I hear about someone's STS-V being "nothing but problems", it's always above the 50k mile mark. Conversely there are tons of stories like mine, of cars with 30k and 40k miles on them, who's owners will rave about their flawless experience. Like mine - 32k miles and not a single issue of any kind. No squeaks, no rattles, only tire noise. I'll give mine 10k more miles, and if I haven't bought Russell's car by then, it'll be a V2 for me. Don't get me wrong, I love this car, but I have accepted that it's an asset that I have to dump before the inevitable troubles begin.

  3. #33
    silver sts-v is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: N* 4.4L SC Doubts

    I truly think that the big issue with just about all of the new cars is all of the electronic crap. Honestly, do you NEED a heated steering wheel/seats or electronics that tell you what kind of drawers you are wearing? This stuff seems to be what goes south on most vehicles and NOT the mechanical things.
    Int the STS-V the only real things I have heard about are the terrible motor mounts and the converters. The engines are hand built, hot lapped on a dyno for hours and then installed. The engine is not a worry but it's electrics may become an issue. I have 21K on mine and hope to keep it for a long time IF the electrics don't 500 and 1000 dollar me to death.
    So far - so good.

  4. #34
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    Re: N* 4.4L SC Doubts

    Quote Originally Posted by CMNTMXR57 View Post
    Well, having both, both are equal in terms of reliability.

    The GTO is overall easier to work on, but short of actual LSx or Tremec/Hydramatic parts, anything specific to the VZ platform (the GTO), especially drivetrain and body parts are rare, expensive, and have to come from Australia. Heck, even maintenance parts are becoming hard to come by. I've faced this issue with my '04. And if Holden doesn't have the part available anymore, the GM North American SPO network can't even order, which means you're left to your own devices.

    Comparitively, the STS-V, is a lot more difficult to work on in most cases, but parts are availble (except friggin heated steering wheels...), Parts still typically need special order, but are at least available, and here in the states in the SPO network.

    Reliability is a draw. They're both common GM think in most parts and layout/excution, so I see it as a draw.

    I have ~14,000 - 15,000 miles on one of the first 465 GTO's sent to the U.S. As such I was one of the first owners of a GTO, and have owned it nearly 9 years. In that time, mine never, ever, visited a Pontiac (or other GM dealer), for warranty work. Anything that failed on it, was my own doing, and was replaced on my own dime, and generally fortified in the process to handle the levels of power I have it making. Yes, mine is also a sterile garage queen. When I had it in the body shop for some work, the owner (who I've known for some 20 years), commented that "this damn thing is put together as well as a Mercedes, thngs are actually SCREWED together" in reference to the GTO. The Caddy, is put together with stupid press fit connectors and has shit hanging off because it's cheaply put together.

    Conversely, the STS-V has over 50k on it, I am the second owner, and this week, it'll be making it's 3rd trip back to a Cadillac dealer for warranty work.

    As to performance, yes the STS-V trumps it from the get go, but the car is also ~500 pounds heavier than the GTO! Dollar for dollar though, once past the simple bolt-ons (like the gains from the CAI on these cars), the LSx is simply the better bang for the dollar, and obviously has an infinitely greater level of aftermarket support in all aspects. N/A stroker motors, forced induction options, etc... It's all there. There are obviously a few things for this car too, but in order to do it, you need to mortgage your kids body parts. Excellent results, but for the money spent, I could buy a 400+ cubic inch LSX stroker motor for the GTO!
    Reliability ha!! My 04 GTO has 65k miles on it and is falling apart. This car has been down the track twice in it's whole life and i have been the second ower since 19k miles. Here is my current INTERIOR list of parts that need replacing:

    Seat belt won't retract: Parts/Labor $500
    Horn Doesn't work: Parts/Labor $500
    Door locks don't work: Parts and labor $280 per actuator plus $150 per door
    Windows roll down, don't roll up: Parts Labor $450

    This doesn't even count the rest of the parts on the GTO that are destined to break like the half-shafts and the inevitible fire hazard under the hood. (Google GTO Fuel line chaffing)

    When it comes to the performance, the LSx is a GREAT patform. But if you want a fast LSx car, buy an F-Body. While you can put 1000+ HP in a GTO, you cannot get it to the ground unless you mini tub it. Thats a pain too.

    My GTO has a stalled and built 4L60 and gets 12 MPG no matter how i drive it. Combine that with all around coil overs, and its a pretty unforgiving ride. Can;t really take my family out on trips and adventures due to how low it sits. It is very hard to drive around in an unknown area when speed bumps are like a mountain range. It was a great car for me once, but know i need something bigger

  5. #35
    boomys10 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: N* 4.4L SC Doubts

    then sounds like the sts-v is a good choice and youve talked urself into it. i can attest for the durability. i drive the SH*T out of mine at least every friday- saturday- and sunday (street racing days) and its still going very strong!

  6. #36
    CMNTMXR57 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: N* 4.4L SC Doubts

    Quote Originally Posted by The Raven View Post
    The "put together as well as a Mercedes" is an ironic comment since Mercedes aren't put together well at all. The GTO is a very unique car for sure, with abnormally high quality combined with a very simple and very robust drivetrain. Fortunately GM is now following the formula it's Australian subsidiary was using to bring this kind of quality to it's entire lineup.

    Your STS-V seems to be another great example to cite when people question my assertion that you don't want these cars above the 50k mile mark. Everytime I hear about someone's STS-V being "nothing but problems", it's always above the 50k mile mark. Conversely there are tons of stories like mine, of cars with 30k and 40k miles on them, who's owners will rave about their flawless experience. Like mine - 32k miles and not a single issue of any kind. No squeaks, no rattles, only tire noise. I'll give mine 10k more miles, and if I haven't bought Russell's car by then, it'll be a V2 for me. Don't get me wrong, I love this car, but I have accepted that it's an asset that I have to dump before the inevitable troubles begin.
    Whether you want to believe that or not, I do have to agree with him as I've had most of the car apart and it physically requires effort to undo things. I look at the Caddy and it falls apart. Rocker panels are hung with press fit connectors, all my wreath and crest emblems are held on my one remaining piece of "stickum", interior trim panels are out of alignment, my third brake light lens pops out on the drivers side, etc. etc. Aside from that, mechanically it has been pretty reliable. 3 visits to the dealer over seemingly little stuff on a 6 year old car and 50k on the odometer, is proof. I will admit, I try to do as much of my own work as possible. When I was in service, for N*'s it was usually any over 100k is on borrowed time.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChurchSTSV View Post
    Reliability ha!! My 04 GTO has 65k miles on it and is falling apart. This car has been down the track twice in it's whole life and i have been the second ower since 19k miles. Here is my current INTERIOR list of parts that need replacing:

    Seat belt won't retract: Parts/Labor $500
    Horn Doesn't work: Parts/Labor $500
    Door locks don't work: Parts and labor $280 per actuator plus $150 per door
    Windows roll down, don't roll up: Parts Labor $450

    This doesn;t even count the rest of the parts on the GTO that are destined to break like the half-shafts and the inevitible fire hazard under the hood. (Google GTO Fule line chaffing)

    When it comes to the perfomrance, the LSx is a GREAT patform. But if you want a fast LSx car, buy an F-Body. While you can put 1000+ HP in a GTO, you cannot get it to the ground unless you mini tub it. Thats a pain too.

    My GTO has a stalled and built 4L60 and gets 12 MPG no matter how i drive it. Combine that with all around coil overs, and its a pretty unforgiving ride. Can;t really take my family out on trips and adventures due to how low it sits. It is very hard to drive around in an unknown area when speed bumps are like a mountain range. It was a great car for me once, but know i need something bigger
    I'm well familiar with the car, it's track record of problems, etc as I've been a part of the community long before the first car ever made it ashore. I'm sorry you have some of these issues. It, like any other car is far from perfect.

  7. #37
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    Re: N* 4.4L SC Doubts

    Quote Originally Posted by CMNTMXR57 View Post
    Whether you want to believe that or not, I do have to agree with him as I've had most of the car apart and it physically requires effort to undo things. I look at the Caddy and it falls apart. Rocker panels are hung with press fit connectors, all my wreath and crest emblems are held on my one remaining piece of "stickum", interior trim panels are out of alignment, my third brake light lens pops out on the drivers side, etc. etc. Aside from that, mechanically it has been pretty reliable. 3 visits to the dealer over seemingly little stuff on a 6 year old car and 50k on the odometer, is proof. I will admit, I try to do as much of my own work as possible. When I was in service, for N*'s it was usually any over 100k is on borrowed time.
    For support of my "abnormally high quality" comment, compare a 2004 GTO to a 2002 Trans Am. Nuff said there.

    My 2006 STS-V with 32k miles is still as solid as it was in the showroom. Not a squeak or rattle can be found. I'm not going to begin to speculate why yours is so different, but i've never encountered an STS that's as bad as you say yours is.

    And a side note, in reference to your comment about the GTO requiring real effort to disassemble...i've never had a car that's as hard to take apart as my STS-V is. It's been over a year and I still have been unable to get the door panel switch trims out to properly Di-NOC them. I gave up months ago and just very carefully applied the film in place. The amount of force I needed to remove the center stack trim was what I would consider equal to that needed to forcefully remove the entire dash. From my experience, the STS-V is VERY tightly put together.

  8. #38
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    Re: N* 4.4L SC Doubts

    @ Timmy

    It's just the normal upgrade path(s) that people seem to take (in no particular order) heads, cam, headers, exhaust, suspension, wheels...

    And there aren't multiple vendors.

    That said, I applaud you for doing what you're doing. My intent with the V is simple upgrades. Intake, pulley, tune. I'm not going any further than that.

  9. #39
    TimmyC is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: N* 4.4L SC Doubts

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave G View Post
    @ Timmy

    It's just the normal upgrade path(s) that people seem to take (in no particular order) heads, cam, headers, exhaust, suspension, wheels...
    I'm on that stuff. Anything specific?

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    Re: N* 4.4L SC Doubts

    Cough - no...

    (Shaking my head...just pulley, tune, CAI).

  11. #41
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    Re: N* 4.4L SC Doubts

    has anyone ever tried a small shot of n2o?

  12. #42
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    Re: N* 4.4L SC Doubts

    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyC View Post
    I'm on that stuff. Anything specific?
    You know Tim, i'm just sorta brainstorming here...but do we have a clear idea of what actually works on this car? I mean you already offer some really cool stuff, but as far as I know, we haven't pinpointed the areas that definitely need work. I know for awhile charge cooling was a big deal, but that seems to have faded now. I'm thinking that the biggest help you could offer would be to set up "kits" or even just "plans" for potential buyers so they know what they need.

    For example:

    Stage One:
    TimC intake
    Catback (on that subject, could you get us one that is higher flowing, but not much louder?)

    Stage two:
    2.55 pulley
    upgraded heat exchanger
    dyno tune

    Stage three:
    2.4 pulley
    headers (maybe a cat delete option too? or even just high-flow cats)
    FMIC
    upgraded intercooler water pump (have we worked out if this is actually worth a damn?)
    dyno tune

    The above is just for example, but you can see what I mean...do we know how effective this stuff actually is? It seems to me that your efforts, if you volunteer, would be best put towards determining what actually works first. That's what has kept me out of the game so far...I have no reservations about trusting your parts, but from what i've seen, I stand to gain like 40hp if I use everything i've listed above. If that's really the truth, it's just not worth it.

    I'm open to all criticism and discussion...that's what I was hoping to start with this post.

  13. #43
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    Re: N* 4.4L SC Doubts

    I think adding nitrous or alky into the mix will provide better results than intercooler upgrades. Of course, you have to be tuned for both.

  14. #44
    1madstsv's Avatar
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    Re: N* 4.4L SC Doubts

    I run alky on mine was able to get 10hp for $700. I will be spraying n2O in the spring I want mid 11,s in the 1/4 25/50 shot will do it.

  15. #45
    TimmyC is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: N* 4.4L SC Doubts

    Quote Originally Posted by The Raven View Post
    You know Tim, i'm just sorta brainstorming here...but do we have a clear idea of what actually works on this car? I mean you already offer some really cool stuff, but as far as I know, we haven't pinpointed the areas that definitely need work. I know for awhile charge cooling was a big deal, but that seems to have faded now. I'm thinking that the biggest help you could offer would be to set up "kits" or even just "plans" for potential buyers so they know what they need.

    For example:

    Stage One:
    TimC intake
    Catback (on that subject, could you get us one that is higher flowing, but not much louder?)

    Stage two:
    2.55 pulley
    upgraded heat exchanger
    dyno tune

    Stage three:
    2.4 pulley
    headers (maybe a cat delete option too? or even just high-flow cats)
    FMIC
    upgraded intercooler water pump (have we worked out if this is actually worth a damn?)
    dyno tune

    The above is just for example, but you can see what I mean...do we know how effective this stuff actually is? It seems to me that your efforts, if you volunteer, would be best put towards determining what actually works first. That's what has kept me out of the game so far...I have no reservations about trusting your parts, but from what i've seen, I stand to gain like 40hp if I use everything i've listed above. If that's really the truth, it's just not worth it.

    I'm open to all criticism and discussion...that's what I was hoping to start with this post.
    My Intake, 2.4 pulley, 85mm throttle body, and tune netted me 82rwhp and 40rwtq. 372/398 stock to 454/438 after. There is a thread on that here. Those are the proven gains so far.

    I am doing headers this weekend and I'm going to develop an all-new heat exchanger next. The cats on these motors are welded to the manifolds so I can't offer cat delete pipes or high flow cats for the stock exhaust.

    I will look into a cat back system in the future if there is enough interest.

    I'm thinking about designing a reserve tank for the intercooler system too. One that would increase the fluid capacity significantly and allow the addition of ice for drag racing.

    Alky and nitrous are options but require refilling

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by 1madstsv View Post
    I run alky on mine was able to get 10hp for $700. I will be spraying n2O in the spring I want mid 11,s in the 1/4 25/50 shot will do it.
    I thought you sold your car? What's up?

    I take it you got that snakebite blower fixed again?

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