15th Oct 2014, 14:33
The 4.9 as far as reliability has been (as a fact) according to warranty claims, one of Cadillac's best engines in the modern era. To discount any Cadillac that is not equipped with a Northstar is really scoping out some great reliable cars with more than sufficient performance. Yes the NStar is more powerful. But that does not make a 4.9 powered vehicle inadequate by any means, and to claim it's not a Cadillac with it, quite honestly, is very closed minded.
The early Nstars were also very prone to head bolt failures, and needless to say, that's a costly repair, often more than the car is worth. It was not until approximately 2000 that the Nstar reached more reliable ground, and by that time, its reputation preceded later efforts, and the Nstar a few years after was nixed.
Myself, just an opinion, as is yours... I would not touch an NStar... and by the time Caddys were equipped with it, body styles changed with it. I like the classic styling of my 91 Eldo. Google info on Nstars and it's lots of talk of head gaskets.
19th Oct 2014, 03:01
Excellent point. The 4.9 was eclipsed by the Northstar - for a while. People were bowled over by its heretofore unheard of for a Cadillac rev range, and its initial reliability. As time went on, oil consumption, oil leaks, and eventually, nagging head gasket failures surfaced. Meanwhile the final iteration of the HT4100 family - the 4.9 - was holding up relatively well.
The 4.9 may not have the rev range of the Northstar, but it has a enough of a rev range, and a very nice subjective feel, with a torque curve that is well-suited to the wide-ratio automatics that both engine families were hitched to.
19th Oct 2014, 22:22
I don't like to rev a car past about 2,000 RPM, and the wonderful thing about the old V8s (and even a few of the old push-rod sixes) is that you didn't need to. Comfort and torque, that's the answer... too bad it's gone.
21st Oct 2014, 21:31
Yes, I agree. And the 4.9 is great for torque throughout the band. Merging on to the highway, passing, highway cruising... I don't seem to ever have to push the pedal any more than an eighth of the distance to the floor. Pulls like a bear. Nice and quiet on the highway because it's just not huffing at all to do the job.
25th Oct 2014, 03:30
I would take a 4.9 over a Northstar any day.
I have owned 4x 4.9 liter cars and one 4.6 Northstar, and the 4.9 is far better for reliable, consistent mechanical performance.
The Northstar may be a more sophisticated engine, but it's far less reliable. I have belonged to two Caddy websites, and have found common faults with the Northstar that are expressed.