9th Mar 2014, 06:41
Yeah, the Northstar is totally unreliable. The 4.9 was quite reliable. Old is definitely better - I'd rather have the Olds 307 they used to put in Cadillacs over either of these, but the 4.9 is definitely far superior to the Northstar. What you want is cast-iron push-rod simplicity and durability. All these multi-valves and aluminum are disastrous.
9th Mar 2014, 20:15
The Northstar engine is the main reason why I've steered clear of Cadillac models from the late 90's and beyond. It's a shame, because the 94-99 Devilles, along with the last generation Eldorado, were the last of the true Cadillac styling.
The reason I won't buy one of today's models is very simple; they don't represent the Cadillac name at all; way too small, ugly, and harsh stiff riding cars.
Speaking of the 4.9, I did own a 93 Sedan DeVille years back and it proved to be very reliable.
For the past seven years I have owned a 96 Town Car (the most reliable car I ever had). But I still like the styling of all the rear-drive Caddy's much better.
10th Mar 2014, 17:39
I agree that most modern Cadillacs are small and bland looking, plus not very plush riding. But I really like the looks of the 2006-2011 DTS. I thought it was a real improvement over the 2000-2005 model. In many ways the rear styling is reminiscent of the 67-68 Eldorado. It was a great size too, not too big and not too small. Although I really wish we could still buy bigger true full-size cars, these are about as big as you would ever need. I can't speak of the ride as I never have driven one. I did have a 2011 Lucerne, which shared the same platform, and the ride, while smooth, was nothing to write home about IMO.
7th Dec 2014, 05:35
Just to clarify, the 4.9 is aluminum, not cast-iron.
Aluminum engines are not necessarily unreliable.
2nd Mar 2015, 02:16
Just to clarify, the 4.9 has an aluminum block, but has cast iron cylinder heads, which gives the engine the best of both worlds.
Aluminum block for lightweight and to displace heat better than iron.
Iron cylinder heads handle a lot more heat without warping, and are very durable to wear.
The 4.9L was Cadillac's best engine by having the least number of warrantied engine repairs.
One time my serpentine belt came off after I broke down at 2am in a ghetto place of town because my map sensor was loose and my Cadillac said battery discharging. So I was lucky to had a portable charger to charge it, but it keep saying battery discharge, so I drove home about 20 miles and I noticed I'd lost power steering, but I just wanted to get home. I got up in the morning and my dad said I was missing my serpentine belt and it was a miracle my car didn't overheat with having no water pump. I was surprised to be able to start it up the day and it ran great. If it was a Northstar, it would have destroyed the engine by either overheating or by smashing the cylinders into the valves, because the Northstar is an interference engine.
I have 1994 Cadillac 4.9 daily driver with about 246000. The engine hasn't had any work done to it. I'm actually scared to mess with it LOL. I give it some synthetic oil every time the oil turns black.
I really want to fix the suspension, because it's so spongey and you can feel the potholes destroying the car, but it would cost too much for a car that doesn't have much time left. The car was actually on its way to the scrap yard because it would overheat, but I convinced my dad to sell it to me for my first car. The car I guess came back to life the first day I drove it and put premium in it. My dad was upset that he sold it to me for dirt cheap because he thought it would last me a month, and now it's been 5 years, I've grown attached to it, and it's never left me walking yet.
I thought the car was a piece of crap when I first got it, I pictured myself ramming trash cans with it and totaling it. I could have cared less. I later realized that it was one of the last true Cadillacs made. I also lost my virginity in backseat too.
I lost one of my eyes and surprisingly it wasn't any harder to drive.
I have a crazy dream that if I ever get rich, I would do a full restoration on it. I decided though that I'm going to never let it go, and I'll see the end of this Cadillac and keep it when blows up. And maybe somehow it will be a collectible classic someday, but I can't see that happening for 40+ years.