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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Northstar Oil Usage in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Originally Posted by Destroyer History has shown the 4.9 to be the superior overall motor as compared with the N*. ...
  1. #46
    drewsdeville is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Northstar Oil Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Destroyer View Post
    History has shown the 4.9 to be the superior overall motor as compared with the N*. It's funny to see 4.9 owners state that there cars are not "N* powered" as a selling point when they sell their cars.
    I'm a little biased being a 4.X fan, but I also find them to be superior engines. Of course, they are very basic and aren't nearly as impressive from a technical standpoint, but I think the end result to the user, which is very important, is superior. Rock solid reliability, low cost of operation, great powerband that offsets the low peak power numbers, with mileage that's just as good as the Northstars.

    That said, the 4.X couldn't go on any longer, and a replacement was necessary. I thin , fundamentally, the Northstar was the perfect fit. I just think they could have done a better job updating the Northstar's trouble spots (rather than riding them out for 20 years) and it's performance (again, instead of riding it out for 20 years). The Northstar needed a much more significant update than it received in 2000, IMO.

    As far as sales ads, I've noticed the same and eventually assumed that the N* has developed a poor reputation for the public outside of enthusiasts.

  2. #47
    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Northstar Oil Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Destroyer View Post
    Its an '02........................give it time.
    BUMP !!! "Time": Is 3 years and 2 months enough ?? .............and nothing - nothing is any different from Post #32. Matter of fact the engine is a regular fuel highway runner, sees about 8,000 miles/year, and the last quart of oil went right at 4,600 miles. No complaints.

  3. #48
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    Re: Northstar Oil Usage

    My N* powered Cadillac has been very reliable in the year+ that i've owned it ...

    i've been on two long trips ... alternator is the only major repair that i've done

    and i would hate* to have a 4.9 powered vehicle

    IMHO the N* is by far the superior engine ... and then on top of that there is all the other technology in my car that is superior to the tech in the 4.9 powered vehicles

    * - hate is the wrong word here but is quick and easy so i'll use it even though it might be inflammatory
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  4. #49
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    Re: Northstar Oil Usage

    We lose sight that every Northstar failure or shortcoming in these Forums represents a tiny fraction of total FWD Northstar production.

    Let's guess, for openers, that over the 8 years of CF there have been 8,000 FWD Northstar threads of problems from 8,000 different posters. That's 1,000/year, a bit high in my estimation.

    Quick - as of December, 2003 (the last of the predominantly problematic FWD Northstar production) how many engines were built - TOTAL ???

  5. #50
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    Re: Northstar Oil Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by submariner409 View Post
    Quick - as of December, 2003 (the last of the predominantly problematic FWD Northstar production) how many engines were built - TOTAL ???
    a decade's worth.

    ...


    what do i win?

    ..

    counter debate point will state that there's a ton of failures not reported here...
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  6. #51
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    Re: Northstar Oil Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by RippyPartsDept View Post
    counter debate point will state that there's a ton of failures not reported here...
    True - but how does one get the true "big picture" for FWD Northstar and assume that no other vehicle engine has problems in order to place the FWD Northstar at the bottom of the heap ???

  7. #52
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    Re: Northstar Oil Usage

    Sometimes a reputation earned can't be explained - it is what it is. I can't give scientific evidence as to why, but what Destroyer said about John Doe taking the time to advertise that "this is the better 4.9, not the Northstar" certainly occurs on a semi-frequent basis - and that has nothing to do with reported failures or perception on cadillacforums.com .

    EDIT: Hell, 10 seconds after opening a craigslist tab I find this, posted today. Perfect example.

    http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/cto/2429066862.html

    Whatever the reasons, the N*'s reliability reputation, whether it's accurate or not, appears to be lower than average. It's not because "no other vehicle engine has problems".

  8. #53
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    Re: Northstar Oil Usage

    That CL ad doesn't mention anything about one motor being better than the other. It just clearly states which engine the vehicle in the ad has. Since 1994 was a year where there might be confusion on that point it makes sense that they would state clearly which engine is in the car. "4.9L NOT the Northstar" does not sound like an endorsement of one or the other to me
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    Re: Northstar Oil Usage

    Oh, sorry man, here you go :

    http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/cto/2422517419.html

    I know I used the 4.9 in my '95 as marketing leverage when I sold it I'll never know if it ever helped or not, but I figured it couldn't hurt.

  10. #55
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    Re: Northstar Oil Usage

    This week it's Northstars and 4.9 GM engines; next week it will be 4.6 Ford OHC's and turbo v-6's. The week after that it will be Mercedes something-or-anothers. My reliability opinion goes to the Olds 455 RWD engine series, but then, engine opinions are like buttholes: everybody has one.

    This thread is doing pretty well for 7.5 years old !

  11. #56
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    Re: Northstar Oil Usage

    Hmm, bottom line reliability opinion? That's really hard to pinpoint for me. I'm gonna have to stay with fuel injection on this one and say the later (post-2002) 2V Ford 4.6. Too bad they were dogs though.

  12. #57
    89falcon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Northstar Oil Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by drewsdeville View Post
    Sometimes a reputation earned can't be explained - it is what it is. I can't give scientific evidence as to why, but what Destroyer said about John Doe taking the time to advertise that "this is the better 4.9, not the Northstar" certainly occurs on a semi-frequent basis - and that has nothing to do with reported failures or perception on cadillacforums.com .

    EDIT: Hell, 10 seconds after opening a craigslist tab I find this, posted today. Perfect example.

    http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/cto/2429066862.html

    Whatever the reasons, the N*'s reliability reputation, whether it's accurate or not, appears to be lower than average. It's not because "no other vehicle engine has problems".

    Hmmm.....
    If I'm out shopping for a 15 YO car, I'm doing so to have a nice car that hopefully won't be expensive to keep on the road. If I was shopping for a high performance luxury sedan, I'd be down at the dealer picking up a new CTS-V. Given my "needs", a 4.9 with it's MUCH easier/cheaper rebuild makes MUCH more sense.

  13. #58
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    Re: Northstar Oil Usage

    what about the person shopping for the best cadillac they can find under $6000?? it's not going to be a 4.9L that's for sure

    there's a lot of room between a 15YO 4.9L car and a new CTS-V ... lots of northstars in that room
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  14. #59
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    Re: Northstar Oil Usage

    Yeah there are, somebody's gotta buy them. As long as it's not me, I'm happy . It's clear that many others out there feel the same. Good thing "best" is a relative term. There's something to make everyone happy. One man's junk is another man's treasure, right?

  15. #60
    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
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    Re: Northstar Oil Usage

    Sucks to be the guy who thought that gold was junk...

    although i'm glad that the original owner of my '99 didn't' think it was junk... it sure doesn't look like junk
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