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2003 deville
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604 Posts
Lighter and more powerful, hmmm. The 4.9 does have alot of the low-end torque but it'd have to be a short race to have a chance.
 

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1998 Seville STS / 2013 Chevrolet Impala
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1,889 Posts
^Most 4.9 cars are actually lighter than their Northstar counterparts...for instance my Deville has a 542lb advantage on my STS.

Anyways, this thread has no point, the 4.9 was never a viable option for OP to begin with, and the preference between 4.9 and Northstar is simply a matter of personal choice and what kind of ownership experience you're looking for. It depends on your personal definition of "better" as to which one you would like more.
 

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1993 4.9L Seville - X920BT Navigation w/ backup cam, Flowmaster 40 Series Exhaust
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463 Posts
While I have spent a lot of money over the years on my Seville none of it has been due to engine problems. My garage kept 4.9L Seville has been very reliable and if it came down to me picking up another Seville I would opt for the 4.9L. Yes the N* does have far more power and a smoother delivery of that power, but the old pushrod 4.9L is a very smooth engine as well and has taken me on thousands of miles of highway cruising very comfortably. And as others have mentioned it is surprisingly powerful around town too.
 

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14 SRX, 00 SLS, 99 Deville 50-year Anniversary
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4,121 Posts
It probably depends on what we are driving now or what we had driven. It's all personal matter.
 

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2003 deville
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604 Posts
I actually meant the engine weight not car, though the 10th gen would be 3800 pounds the 9th gen 4000. Both good though its hard to compare since you have to go back to 95 at least to have the 4.9.
 

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‘66SDV,‘76FWB,CDV, SDV,‘77 BRTZ‘78CDV,FWB,‘90,‘91x2,‘92FWB,‘98,‘00,‘05 DTS
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3,219 Posts
Both my parents and I have had several 4.9 cars and the worst thing that has ever happened to any of them is a single water pump replacement on a 1992 Eldo. I guess I simply disagree with the premise that more powerful/more horsepower is necessarily better. Traditionally, Cadillac has always been a LUXURY car, not a performance car, at least not until the past 10-15 years or so.

I think the 4.9 is one of the best engines Cadillac ever made. I am old school, so I suppose my perspective is a little slanted, but if you compare a 4.9 to anything that ever came before it, it absolutely rocks. Great take off power, very good gas mileage and incredible reliability. You would have to go back to the old 425 CID of the late 1970's to find a comparably good quality engine.

That being said, I agree with the comment about the 4T60-E... Mine has been getting worse and worse over the past 12 months.

Marc
 

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1992 Sedan DeVille
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821 Posts
I agree, I just take it easy with my transmission. I need to change the fluid but its December here and it makes working on your car pretty difficult. I want to take it someplace to do it but most of the place want to use cheap generic fluid. I want Synthetic in there and I want to add the Lucas Conditioner as well. I don't care if it costs more or if its a waste of money. If it helps me sleep better I'll take it. :D

Both my parents and I have had several 4.9 cars and the worst thing that has ever happened to any of them is a single water pump replacement on a 1992 Eldo. I guess I simply disagree with the premise that more powerful/more horsepower is necessarily better. Traditionally, Cadillac has always been a LUXURY car, not a performance car, at least not until the past 10-15 years or so.

I think the 4.9 is one of the best engines Cadillac ever made. I am old school, so I suppose my perspective is a little slanted, but if you compare a 4.9 to anything that ever came before it, it absolutely rocks. Great take off power, very good gas mileage and incredible reliability. You would have to go back to the old 425 CID of the late 1970's to find a comparably good quality engine.

That being said, I agree with the comment about the 4T60-E... Mine has been getting worse and worse over the past 12 months.

Marc
 

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1991 Cadillac Sedan deVille
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591 Posts
Why would someone think the 4T60E is a v6 transmission?!? It doesn't matter that most of the GM vehicles using it are with v6 engines. This is a fine transmission with lots of possible applications; the gear ratios on it can be done 12 different ways.

Talking about transmission failures, the problem seems to be mainly in the owners, and not the transmissions. A lot of people perform maintenance to their engines etc. but do not service their transmission until it's too late. Remember, a lot of things can be prevented from happening if there is proper maintenance, regardless of what we're talking about.
 

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1992 Sedan DeVille
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821 Posts
Well if you've googled it you would find out that the transmission is only designed for torque in the 200 range. The 4.9 puts out 275lb/ft. Right at the borderline for this transmission. It was originally designed for V6s. Everyone knows that. I'm not saying it won't run for a long time and work well in a Cadillac V8, it's just not as "built" as the engine or as the car's other components.

My suggestions would be to try and let the car warm up as much as possible during winter to get the oil up to temperature. Some people say its a waste of gas, well I rather waste 2 dollars worth of gas then destroy my 3 thousand dollar transmission. Makes sense to me.

Change the transmission fluid every 20-30k. Is that a bit extreme? Yea, but it's worth it and will prevent any problems from occuring. Use Dexron 6 or any Synthetic Fluid. Synthetic Fluid is designed for high stress and high torque applications.

Definitely try not to make the car shift "hard" or "rapidly". Meaning try to keep the car in a single gear for a long period of time. Pace yourself and your speed. Don't mash the pedal or use full throttle if you can avoid it, that puts a lot of stress on the transmission. Also try to avoid hills and if you're going up hill try to gain momentum before you reach the hill to take less stress off of the transmission. Always try to apply constant steady throttle and predict your movements with the vehicle. No need for Gas/Brake syndrome.

The idea is to try and keep as much stress off of the transmission as possible.

Maybe most of the stuff I said to do is "plausible" and most of the old guys in here will tell you to just "drive it" or put generic oil and all that stuff I just said really doesn't matter...Well, why take a chance? Take care of your car and your stuff and it will take care of you. I know I don't have the money to shell out for transmissions or engine failures so why not take all the measures and steps to prevent it?? It's a no brainer to me.

Why would someone think the 4T60E is a v6 transmission?!? It doesn't matter that most of the GM vehicles using it are with v6 engines. This is a fine transmission with lots of possible applications; the gear ratios on it can be done 12 different ways.

Talking about transmission failures, the problem seems to be mainly in the owners, and not the transmissions. A lot of people perform maintenance to their engines etc. but do not service their transmission until it's too late. Remember, a lot of things can be prevented from happening if there is proper maintenance, regardless of what we're talking about.
 

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69 Thunderbird | 90 Seville | 03 Corolla | 89 Marquis(scrapped) | 72 Torino(scrapped)
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2,026 Posts
I reckon the engineers who designed these cars were a bit more educated than a bunch of shade tree mechanics. I think they could account for and accommodate a +75lb/ft increase to the transmission.
 

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2011 Crown Vic LX, 2009 Chevy Malibu 2LT
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I agree.

Now all of that said, I still wonder if the rumor of high failure rate is justified. If you search these boards, you'll see a TON of "I heard these transmissions suck" and "4.9 is great, but the transmission won't last", but you'll find little mentioned as far as firsthand experiences. I myself have owned 4 vehicles with 4.X drivetrains, all were sold with just under 200k, and all but one still had original transmissions in perfect working order. This includes my '95 which served as a towing vehicle for a 18.5' 3800lb boat. My current appears to have had a used transmission installed at one point before my ownership, which began somewhere around 130k. Couldn't tell you what happened there.

In addition to that, I've owned a number of V6 4T60 drivetrains with no failure either.

So speak up: who here has had their 440-T4/4T60 fail on them, and what were the circumstances?
 

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1992 Sedan DeVille
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821 Posts
Ok so you guys claim there's no problem with the extra 70+ pound feet of torque the V8s make over the V6 version. You say there were changes made to accommodate this increment.

What were the changes they made from the V6 4T60 and the V8 4T60 found in Cadillacs?
 

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69 Thunderbird | 90 Seville | 03 Corolla | 89 Marquis(scrapped) | 72 Torino(scrapped)
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The problem is the fact that a failing transmission is more likely to be mentioned by it's owner than one that is 'doing just fine' or has lasted XXX,XXX miles. That, coupled with the assumption that the cads get the exact same trans as the V6 cars creates a huge bias against their reliability.

One person reads about a failure, then posts about it, XXX amount of people read the post and retort the information. A couple cycles later and pretty soon it becomes common "knowledge" then gets circled around the forum for years and years. I wish Mr.B would come back and set some of these rumors straight!
 

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1992 Sedan DeVille
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821 Posts
It's just common sense that a transmission made for V6 engines that Cadillac put in their V8s will not be as reliable and durable as if they were to design a transmission from scratch or use a transmission specifically designed for V8s.

The problem is the fact that a failing transmission is more likely to be mentioned by it's owner than one that is 'doing just fine' or has lasted XXX,XXX miles. That, coupled with the assumption that the cads get the exact same trans as the V6 cars creates a huge bias against their reliability.

One person reads about a failure, then posts about it, XXX amount of people read the post and retort the information. A couple cycles later and pretty soon it becomes common "knowledge" then gets circled around the forum for years and years. I wish Mr.B would come back and set some of these rumors straight!
 

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69 Thunderbird | 90 Seville | 03 Corolla | 89 Marquis(scrapped) | 72 Torino(scrapped)
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Ok so you guys claim there's no problem with the extra 70+ pound feet of torque the V8s make over the V6 version. You say there were changes made to accommodate this increment.

What were the changes they made from the V6 4T60 and the V8 4T60 found in Cadillacs?
I'm saying, based on the overall quality and design complexity of these cars, the folks responsible for their engineering were probably keen enough to accommodate the extra torque in the design of the 4T60's that were installed in the Cadillacs.

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It's just common sense that a transmission made for V6 engines that Cadillac put in their V8s will not be as reliable and durable as if they were to design a transmission from scratch or use a transmission specifically designed for V8s.
Sure. But only if you assume that these 'dummies' simply slapped oldsmobile transmissions onto the Cadillacs.

I would say that it's common sense that these guys would make appropriate changes to accommodate the extra torque.
 

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1992 Sedan DeVille
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821 Posts
Well can you prove or mention the difference between the two 4T60s that were used in the V6 and V8 Cadillacs?

I'm saying, based on the overall quality and design complexity of these cars, the folks responsible for their engineering were probably keen enough to accommodate the extra torque in the design of the 4T60's that were installed in the Cadillacs.

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Sure. But only if you assume that these 'dummies' simply slapped oldsmobile transmissions onto the Cadillacs.

I would say that it's common sense that these guys would make appropriate changes to accommodate the extra torque.
 

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69 Thunderbird | 90 Seville | 03 Corolla | 89 Marquis(scrapped) | 72 Torino(scrapped)
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I dont have proof. But neither do you. We're not GM Powertrain Engineers from the 90's.

So all we have on the table is common sense. That common sense points to the likelihood that these highly educated individuals with vast automotive knowledge and experience would be able to deal with the extra 75lb/ft by making the changes necessary within the transmission to take the torque and avoid a warranty claim.

75lb is a big oversight on behalf of the engineering department. I think Mr. Wagoner would have brought out his firing stick and sent a handful highly paid engineers to the unemployment line if that were the case.

If you ever question the integrity of the folks that made your car nearly two decades ago, and have long forgotten more than you and I will ever know about these cars, read just one chapter of the factory service manual. You will be humbled.
 

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1993 deville
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113 Posts
Im not sure you understand what you are talking about. to simply compare a "v6 transmission" to a "v8 transmission" is silly the cylinder configuration has nothing to do with the power of the engine or the transmissions capability to handle the power of the two differing power sources. I believe later generation 3.8l v6 motors produced 170 hp and 225 lb/ft torque. Now to believe that the transmission would be capable of handling the extra power our 4.9l v8 produces is very obvious.
To say that a transmission in a car is made to barely withstand the forces it is going to receive with everyday driving is somewhat silly. Every modified car on the road would be having transmission problems. there would be widespread posts on this forum about failing transmissions in the 16+ year old transmissions that everyone has.
Everything is designed and engineered to be overkill a 225lb max ladder can hold well over 500lbs safely for example. They designed this transmission for a different application originally, you are right. But they did not make a mistake by throwing an incapable transmission into a $35 000 car. It is designed to handle this much power.
 

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1992 Sedan DeVille
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821 Posts
No but I have common sense on my side. It's like putting AA batteries in a generator to power a house. You just can't do it. You need a stronger power source. You keep saying they have automotive and knowledge experience. Yea so? That doesn't mean that they didn't just slapped in a transmission because they didn't feel like designing a new transmission to cut costs? I already have a FSM. You keep saying that they some how improved the transmission. I'm asking how did they? Tell me something that's different between the transmissions used in Oldsmobiles, Buicks, Pontiacs of the day that used the same exact transmission. How can you say that it will be just as reliable as the transmissions in the V6s if it has about 75lbs more torque to deal with? That's going to add a lot more stress everyday than you think. You may get 50k or 100k out of them but that's with gingerly driving and proper maintenance. It's rare to see anyone over 100k on the original transmission just because of what I just stated. But it's not rare to see them over 100k on the original drivetrain on the V6 models. Do the math, you'll see the difference 75lbs of torque makes. Go and drive a Buick or Olds with the V6 and 4T60 and then Drive a 4.9 Cadillac with the 4T60 and you tell me the difference in both. The Cadillac will have rougher shifts and you can feel the difference in torque by a large margin. I've driven both models and I can say that for a fact.

I dont have proof. But neither do you. We're not GM Powertrain Engineers from the 90's.

So all we have on the table is common sense. That common sense points to the likelihood that these highly educated individuals with vast automotive knowledge and experience would be able to deal with the extra 75lb/ft by making the changes necessary within the transmission to take the torque and avoid a warranty claim.

75lb is a big oversight on behalf of the engineering department. I think Mr. Wagoner would have brought out his firing stick and sent a handful highly paid engineers to the unemployment line if that were the case.

If you ever question the integrity of the folks that made your car nearly two decades ago, and have long forgotten more that you and I will ever know about these cars, read just one chapter of the factory service manual. You will be humbled.
 
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