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#23 of 37 Allante: Good or bad? It depends...
Jan 06, 2002 (11:04 am)
I read some of the posts on this board here and have an interesting perspective about the vehicles. I work with Allantes from time to time and can tell you that most of them aren't bad vehicles per se, the largest difficulty is that many Allante specific parts only are becoming close to impossible to source out. Most if not all of the early vehicles 1987-1989 have had the various updates to improve the water leaks, top concerns etc. The later vehicles, especially those built 90 or later had much improved workmanship and Cadillac had slowly gotten the hang of re-designing various aspects of the vehicle. As a daily driver, its not a bad choice.
But as an investment, well, probably not a good choice. The 1993's, which are highly prized, are more powerful, best built, but, in my thoughts, I'd pick a 1992. The early Northstar engines are not all the reliable compared to the 4.5/4.9 choices and the Northstar engine tends to be expensive to repair.
Jan 06, 2002 (2:25 pm)
Tahnk you, Dennis, that was an interesting and informative post.
Jan 09, 2002 (9:47 am)
Why does the Northstar engine tend to be expensive to repair/fix? I'm of the thinking that it would be really cheap and simple to maintain, just like the old 4.0 straight-six in my '92 Jeep.
Jan 09, 2002 (10:46 am)
...well, it's a DOHC engine, so it's just going to be inherently more complex than the older pushrod 4.1/4/5/4.9 Caddy engine. And as things age and wear out, complexity can work against a car in the long run.
Jan 09, 2002 (12:28 pm)
Yes, it's kind of like those ads that Buick used to run plugging the simplicity of their V6. The idea was that an engine with no moving parts had fewer things to fix .
#28 of 37 Allante Northstar Motor.
Jan 09, 2002 (8:49 pm)
I work with the Northstar motor from time to time and can answer the question about why its expensive to fix. The main problem with the Northstar engine is that it is an all alloy block and head. These engines need regular maintenance and don't take kindly to missing regular service. Personally, I feel that GM recommendation of 5years or 100K coolant changes on some Northstars (up to 7/150k now?) is not doing the engine any favours. The Northstar by its nature can run up to 228 degrees before the cooling fans kick in and reduce the temp back to 192-200 degrees (depending on vehicle equipment and year). When these engines overheat, they pull the threads out of the alloy block and it becomes time to install brass inserts into the block to hold the headbolt threads. This usually requires the removal of the motor to repair it.
The other two issues are that the Northstar and to a lesser extent, the Ford OHC v-8's, use a fair amount of oil and owners don't check the oil level often enough...so they run low and guess what happens...The Northstar is a strong performing engine, but, like some imports it needs to have the right audience who can both appreciate its strengths and respect the maintenance it needs.
Jan 10, 2002 (3:02 pm)
Is the current revised Northstar for 2000/01? which runs on regular gas more reliable or can most of us can expect some trouble down the road like the older northstars that use to run on premium gas in terms of regular maintenance and arm-and-leg type expenses and labor after so many miles put on them?
#30 of 37 northstar motor 2000-
Jan 10, 2002 (8:34 pm)
The fact is that we don't know if the "re-designed" Northstar on 2000+ models will run or last any longer than the "previous generation" Northstars. Only time will tell. But, given the GM history "of design improvements," don't hold your breath.
Jan 15, 2002 (7:42 pm)
I owned one and I can say it was a very tiring car to drive. About eight hours and you were beat tired. The drive was very un sophisticated. After numerous repair trips , sold it and had to sue Cadillac, as the value had declined below the guarantee(as I remember) They would not settle as the contract stipulated, so after I got lawyer, they paid up. It seemed so stupid not to honor what was in writing, and just admit their error. Tony
May 26, 2002 (4:49 am)
I am thinking of buying a 93 Allante (Northstar obviously) Pearl White/Blk top/Tan Int.--car has 52k miles and is in just shy of exellent condition, though not concours, a (it has a ding in the chrome strip in the bumper and has been driven though very well cared for no visible chips in paint). Analog dash, no hardtop, seats covered with sheepskins since new--car but in 1994 and undert the 7/100k warranty till last year. Owner as Bentley, Cornice and New Tbird. So my guess is it was driven often enuf to avoid seals drying out. All service done by CAddy dealer.
I have two questions --what do you think would be the range of good prices for this for me as a buyer.
Secondly what tests would you have done on the car before buying--compression, radiator flow, cooling system pressure, etc etc. Do you know of anyone reputable to perform the tests and work on the car in the Southern Calif area.
Thanks for your help.