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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, The 585k miles Guiness Record Holding 1979 SDV in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Originally Posted by lacville78 there is the matter of adding special tablets or powder to the cooling system That started ...
  1. #16
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lacville78
    there is the matter of adding special tablets or powder to the cooling system
    That started with the 4.X engines. No longer recommended, and not necessary in the Northstar anyway.

    the oil consumption problem
    A small amount if consumption is by design. Excessive consumption is caused by...

    carbon build up
    ...between the pistons and rings. Some WOT once every month is all that's needed. And come on, who would buy a 275/300 HP luxury car, and not want to have some fun once in a while?

    Then there is the matter of replacing the head gasket when it goes out. I am sure there are a few that have made it without it, but let's not act like that engine is without head gasket issues.
    IF it fails. MANY more cars without an HG issue than with.

    Don't get me wrong, I won't try to tell you it's not an issue. The shorter head bolts, fine threads, and casting issues were problems, And GM took way too long to resolve them. However, the number of engines that have issues is MUCH lower than most "car guys" will lead you to believe.

    In '00, changes were made to the casting process, and there was a switch to longer head bolts, substantially reducing the failure rate.

    In late '04, a switch was made to course thread head bolts, virtually eliminating the problem.

  2. #17
    lacville78 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: The 585k miles Guiness Record Holding 1979 SDV

    Quote Originally Posted by MoistCabbage View Post

    Don't get me wrong, I won't try to tell you it's not an issue. The shorter head bolts, fine threads, and casting issues were problems, And GM took way too long to resolve them. However, the number of engines that have issues is MUCH lower than most "car guys" will lead you to believe.

    In '00, changes were made to the casting process, and there was a switch to longer head bolts, substantially reducing the failure rate.

    In late '04, a switch was made to course thread head bolts, virtually eliminating the problem.
    Thanks, for informing me of GM’s updates to the N*. I have always been interested in them, and even owned one in a 97 Concours. That being said, I still think that we are comparing apples to oranges here.

    The 77-79 Cadillacs were designed with durability, and serviceability in mind.
    This record holding 79 Sedan went over 585k with NO major repairs. While EVERYTHING on the N* cars tend to be a major repair. This is important over a long period of time. Eventually both car's parts will wear out. Starter replacement, alternator replacement, valve job (oh wait better buy new heads for the N*), timing chain, oil pump, ABS module and pump,A/C Compressor and evaporator, and ultimately engine and transmission rebuild will be ridiculously expensive and time consuming on the N*, while cheap and easy on the 77-79.

    If you plan to own a N* car for a long period of time be prepared to preform nightmarish type repairs, or have a really fat wallet.
    For these reasons and more it becomes clear that the N* car does not age gracefully compared to the 77-79. It is by far easier, and much cheaper to keep a 77-79 on the road for many years and miles than a N*. For this purpose the N* car isn’t fit to hold a candle to the 77-79 Cadillac.
    Benzilla and Benzilla like this.

  3. #18
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    Apples to oranges, absolutely. Modern cars with more features/parts, and drivetrains packed tightly into a relatively small space, are always going to be more expensive to own. Any make, any model.

    .....I'm always on the lookout for my ideal '71/'72 Sedan Deville. When I find it, I have no doubt it will be cheaper to maintain, even being 40+ years old.

  4. #19
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    Re: The 585k miles Guiness Record Holding 1979 SDV

    Quote Originally Posted by MoistCabbage View Post
    Apples to oranges, absolutely. Modern cars with more features/parts, and drivetrains packed tightly into a relatively small space, are always going to be more expensive to own. Any make, any model.
    Which is why I moved to the Fleetwood after I totaled my DTS. But that '01 DTS was hands down my favorite car (daily driver) ever. The Northstar engine is an awesome powerplant - very smooth and deceptively powerful. The FWD and Stabilitrack made it great in bad weather. We've had 4 Northstars in the family so far ('95, '00, '01 and '07). One (a 2000 base Deville) had bad head gaskets. All 4 leaked oil at the rear seal and 3 of 4 had the TCC solenoid go bad (not the engine, I know, but a repair expensive enough to total the car). If you can afford to maintain them properly, they will treat you well. Heck, my '01 was completely submerged in a flood. I basically just drained the fluids, replaced them, and drove it for years until the Unfortunate Incident.

  5. #20
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    I believe a properly sorted 77-79 Cadillac with the silky smooth 7.0/425 is the epitome of solid. The 425 can take wear and tear and/or use and abuse and never miss a beat. In addition to the awe inspiring reliability and durability, there is also the inexpensiveness of parts, and simplicity of repairs. All of this taken into consideration makes me feel that somewhat lower fuel mileage is almost inconsequential.

  6. #21
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    Re: The 585k miles Guiness Record Holding 1979 SDV

    I flirted with some of the N* cars when i was looking for another daily driver. I've always been a big fan of those late model Eldorados, ever since i played Midtown Madness as a kid and that was the car i always selected in the game.

    The only thing I couldn't get over is the fact that I LOATH having to work on transverse mounted engines!

    Once i get some things paid off i would like to invest in a 77-92 RWD, i love how they look and the parts availability is astounding!

  7. #22
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    Re: The 585k miles Guiness Record Holding 1979 SDV

    Meh... N*, 425, 350, or a 12hp Briggs - they're all machines, and they all break. I used to consider perceived reliability a lot more than I do now - at some point, I realized that considering reliability too much inherently closed my eyes to some amazing machines - and I just can't let everyone else have all that fun while I putt around in the same old boring vehicle for 585k as this thread represents. You only live once, and you gotta pay to play, right? Besides that, even the most unreliable modern vehicles aren't all that unreliable anyway... certainly much more reliable than a 30 year old Cadillac, though many would never admit it.
    MoistCabbage and MoistCabbage like this.

  8. #23
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    Re: The 585k miles Guiness Record Holding 1979 SDV

    There's a difference between regular breakdowns head gasket failure. I agree, though, I wouldn't let general perception of an unreliable vehicle keep me from driving it, especially if it's a car I really like. I can't say that for any of the 90s Northstar Caddies, they never particularly thrilled me. I'd rather pick up a Fleetwood. Bigger, bolder, almost as fast and RWD. If the LT1 was considered a less reliable engine than the Northstar, I'd still gravitate towards the Fleetwood just because I like it more as an entire package, so I see where you're coming from.

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    Re: The 585k miles Guiness Record Holding 1979 SDV

    Quote Originally Posted by Cadillac Giovanni View Post
    There's a difference between regular breakdowns head gasket failure.
    There's little difference - "regular" (whatever that is) or other, they are all an inconvenience and they all need fixed. I've replaced plenty of head gaskets, bearings, and complete engines - and Chebby's are definitely no exception. Recently took care of a 3800, PERCIEVED to be GM's reliability king, that leaked coolant into the oil and trashed the entire rotating assembly. Is that somehow different (better?) than a head gasket replacement? S*** happens, we all have to deal with it.

  10. #25
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    Re: The 585k miles Guiness Record Holding 1979 SDV

    Well of course. No engine is perfect. Nobody ever made the claim that a reliable engine will always work perfectly forever with no repairs, or that a "less reliable" engine will start blowing gaskets if you look at it funny. There's always exceptions to the rule.

  11. #26
    Gman1023 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: The 585k miles Guiness Record Holding 1979 SDV

    Quote Originally Posted by MoistCabbage View Post
    Some WOT once every month is all that's needed. And come on, who would buy a 275/300 HP luxury car, and not want to have some fun once in a while?
    Old people. Or should I say, old people who drive like such. I've known of 90+ year old guys who have no problem lighting up the rear tires in their classic.

  12. #27
    jamespowers is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: The 585k miles Guiness Record Holding 1979 SDV

    Quote Originally Posted by Gman1023 View Post
    Old people. Or should I say, old people who drive like such. I've known of 90+ year old guys who have no problem lighting up the rear tires in their classic.
    I would if I was 90. I hope to reach that age to try it out---lots of times.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by drewsdeville View Post
    You only live once, and you gotta pay to play, right? Besides that, even the most unreliable modern vehicles aren't all that unreliable anyway... certainly much more reliable than a 30 year old Cadillac, though many would never admit it.
    Interesting to have that point of view and post in this section of the forum. I'll take the 30 year old Cadillacs every day of the week. I'll even take a 60 year old Cadillac even better. Anyone who doesn't think their old Cadillac is as reliable as the newer N*. You can always give them to me. I'll take them off your hands. lol lol lol

  13. #28
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    Re: The 585k miles Guiness Record Holding 1979 SDV

    I'll be the first to admit my 75' Coupe Deville has actually given me FAR less problems than my 03' Escalade ESV, however that works!

  14. #29
    jamespowers is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: The 585k miles Guiness Record Holding 1979 SDV

    Quote Originally Posted by YoshiMan View Post
    I'll be the first to admit my 75' Coupe Deville has actually given me FAR less problems than my 03' Escalade ESV, however that works!
    My 75 Eldorado has given me less problems than my 2008 Escalade. Fortunately the Escalade problems have all been everything except the running gear---so far. back up camera, radio and Nav, window trim flaking, pillars cloth sagging, door latches, window regulator, door handle, passenger side electrical harness for windows, tow hitch cover, center console, faded emblems(front and back), luggage rack and a host of other problems all fortunately within the warranty period(except the tow hitch cover which cost a fortune to replace after it fell off). Now, the engine is running a little rough and I am just cringing over whatever the heck else might be wrong. The Eldorado has needed none of those things fixed. Ridiculous....
    YoshiMan and YoshiMan like this.

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