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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, New to forum, getting a caddy, some advice needed... in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Hi all, first post here. I've wanted a Cadillac for years, now I'm thinking is the time to do it ...
  1. #1
    tommygun is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    New to forum, getting a caddy, some advice needed...

    Hi all, first post here. I've wanted a Cadillac for years, now I'm thinking is the time to do it with many deals on second-hand cars. I can't decide which way to go- Northstar, full size 5.0/5.7 Brougham, (rare nowadays) or 4.9 Seville/Deville. (The latter 2 because of reliability over the Northstar.) I'd really like a Northstar, but I hear so many bad things about them. Yet, a couple of guys I work with own them and have never had a problem. I'm very concerned about the shocks on these cars as well, as I hear it can really add up if they go bad. Do you guys have any advice for when I'm searching for and looking at cars?

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    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New to forum, getting a caddy, some advice needed...

    True for any car, but more so with the Northstar,make sure that the cooling system has been maintained. 2 year coolant changes on pre '96 (green coolant engines) and 5 years on '96+ (Dex-cool) coolant engines.

    Elcetronic struts can be expensive to replace on models that have them.

  4. #3
    tommygun is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New to forum, getting a caddy, some advice needed...

    Are there any year STS's to avoid? I'm considering something between 1996 and 2000. If the struts go bad, can they be replaced with some kind of normal strut?

  5. #4
    dp102288's Avatar
    dp102288 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: New to forum, getting a caddy, some advice needed...

    You can get passive struts for a caddy if you don't want the expensive OEM type ones. There is a good writeup on them somewhere I think. I would get the passive ones over the active ones, jsut haven't had any problems yet.

    Some Northstars are bad, but I am blessed with the one in my 95 Eldo. Never gave me a problem.

  6. #5
    MUGSANDLUKE's Avatar
    MUGSANDLUKE is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New to forum, getting a caddy, some advice needed...

    Stick with the N*. The percentage of problems are really small compared tothe number of engines out there. They run great, scream with power, and are pretty reliable even though you see problems listed in this forum. People usually list the bad and not the good in these forums. There are thousands of happy guys vs a few unhappy ones. Go the N* route and drive it hard, the way they were made to drive.

  7. #6
    codewize's Avatar
    codewize is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: New to forum, getting a caddy, some advice needed...

    I would strongly suggest going with something 2000 or newer as some significant changes have been made to the N* after 1999.

    The N*, if maintained properly is a long lasting high performance engine designed from the ground up for many years of maintenance free service. Most, not all, of the problems, namely head gasket derive from poorly maintained cooling systems. If the DexCool has been properly changed on schedule that significantly reduces the chance of HG failure.

    That, I think is the only Major problem the N* has.

    Suspension; all Cadillacs have level-ride. Those aren't bad to fix. I assume you're referring to the RSS systems?

    Unless there is a clear maintenance record, when you get the car; change the coolant, the oil, and check the wheel bearings.

    Those are my suggestions.
    Ownership:
    91 Brougham d'Elegance 350
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    01 Deville DTS:
    Custom installed Volant CAI
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    Future Plans: More interior work.


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