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Thanks for the help. I plan on buying a caddy either with the 4.9 or the 4.6 northstar motor. Please help, I need to know which is the better motor for durability and reliability. Please bear in mind that which ever caddy I decide to buy will be setting for smetimes 2wks without being started. I know that the STS needs to be driven hard and often so which motor will best suit my needs? I am somewhat leery of the 4.6 motor in that the block is bolted together.
 

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From my personal experiences (I'm a valet), I've never had any problems with the Northstar. I've only ever had one not start for me once. On the other hand, I've had alot of problems with the 4.5/4.9 engines. I have the 4.5 in my '89 DeVille and it's alright. Just old technology. The 4.5/4.9 seem to rev up funny and have other weird problems. I've never experienced anything like that with the Northstar. Plus, the Northstars have a really nice growl IMO. They have the 2 mufflers so they sound really nice. The northstar will probably give you better MPG tha nthe 4.9 becasue of the size decrease but also the newer technology. As a matter of fact, when I get another Cadillac it'll be a Northstar one. My aunt has an '02 STS and she loves it. So...I'd say Northstar. However, Northstar owners, please chime in.
 

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mopar50 said:
Thanks for the help. I plan on buying a caddy either with the 4.9 or the 4.6 northstar motor. Please help, I need to know which is the better motor for durability and reliability. Please bear in mind that which ever caddy I decide to buy will be setting for smetimes 2wks without being started. I know that the STS needs to be driven hard and often so which motor will best suit my needs? I am somewhat leery of the 4.6 motor in that the block is bolted together.
For performance, the Northstar is the better engine, and has decent but not perfect reliability from what I've heard. When something goes wrong with the Northstar, they're very difficult for the inexperienced home mechanic to repair. The 4.9 liter is the lowest warranty claim engine that Cadillac has ever made and when something does go wrong with one, they're very easy to fix.
 

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ive owned a 1990 4.5 liter and now own a 1997 N* deville with 118k. my parents own a 99.

ive only had my N* for a month or so, but im loving it thus far. my parents have had the 99 for over a year, its got about 75k on it. no problems with my car thus far, knock on wood. my parents have replaced the EGR valve, alternator, and plugs and wires. repairs are very costly on the northstar, and illumina is correct, the average driveway mechanic will have a very tough time doing anything to it.

to compare...an alternator died on my 4.5 deville and i replaced it myself for 150 bucks. a couple weeks later my parents did the alternator in the northstar at the dealer...500 bucks. see what im getting at.

from what ive heard the 4.9 is as reliable as any other engine out there. of course, each has its own set of downfalls.

do your homework on whatever car you decide to buy, namely in the tranny and coolant departments and test drive both. to me the 4.5 felt more gutsy for some reason, i think cuz it makes its power down low. the northstar definitely hauls, but its like its TOO smooth or something lol.
 

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The condition and maintenance history of the respective vehicles will be far more germane than design differences between engines.
 

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I also have a '90 DeVille 4.5L. I was able to easily remove the alternator when it crapped out, and for 50 bucks have a one-man shop put heavier diodes in it. The dealer would have screwed me good! This car has awesome power off the line, and except for the fact that it won't drop to curb idle until 5 mph, I really like the car!
My other car is a '97 DeVille NorthStar; very smooth and "torquey" in the mid-ranges. Heckuva ride and reasonable economy !!
Matt
 
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