'88 Brougham D'Elegance Running Rough
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5.0 and 5.7 Discussion, '88 Brougham D'Elegance Running Rough in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; I just purchased an '88 Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance with the 307 Olds VIN "Y". The body is in great shape, ...
  1. #1
    torontofleetwood is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    '88 Brougham d'Elegance Engine Running Rough

    I just purchased an '88 Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance with the 307 Olds VIN "Y". The body is in great shape, as is the interior. The dealer I bought it from claims the car is a one owner and the original km's on the car is 85,000 although I don't believe him as the odo is only 5 digits. I also can't believe that because the engine is running really rough. Here are my observations and maybe someone can give me some clues before I take it to my mechanic tomorrow and let him charge me a bunch of money to figure it out:

    1) It smells like burning oil after driving it for a while, although its not leaking anywhere and the oil level seems to be stable, although the dipstick seems to show full on one side and add 1 quart on the other. Also, I found a plastic bag with an oil funnel in it under the hood when I bought the car, so that confuses me a little too.

    2) When I hit the gas pedal hard to kick down a gear for passing, a big puff of white smoke comes out the exhaust. I've checked the coolant level, and that is not receeding so I don't think its burning engine coolant.

    3) I've sprayed carb cleaner in the carb, but that has not helped. The plugs and wires are fine. The airfilter is new. I can't seem to locate the PCV valve.

    4) The theory is its burning rich and needs a carb rebuild, but the last owner tried to pass emissions testing 3 times with no success. That leads me to believe that the car need much more serious work and he wasn't prepared to invest in it. A car rebuild is relatively cheap compared to the cost of a new car. However an engine rebuild is not.

    I am a little confused by this car...anyone have any ideas? Also, it has no power (I know the Olds 307 is weak, but I mean no power) and it sucks gas like crazy.

    Any help that is forthcoming is greatly appreciated.

    TorontoFleetwood

    PS Anyone know any good Cadillac mechanics in Toronto?

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  3. #2
    ACDC686 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: '88 Brougham d'Elegance Engine Running Rough

    White smoke wouldnt indicated to rich of a mixture, its usually a darker smoke when its too rich, at least in my experiences, mostly with small engines. If it failed emissions three times, try having the cat inspected. Usually white smoke is a sign of a blown head gasket, but you said coolant and oil are staying level so that kind of throws that idea out the window. Also try pulling the codes from it and see what turns up. Also, when it does give the puff of white smoke, try to get a wiff of the exhaust, if you can. It should be kind of a sweet smell if its burning coolant, and if its odorless its burning water and might just be from condensation.

  4. #3
    N0DIH's Avatar
    N0DIH is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: '88 Brougham D'Elegance Running Rough

    Congrats on the new ride! You'll love it!

    Quote Originally Posted by torontofleetwood
    1) It smells like burning oil after driving it for a while, although its not leaking anywhere and the oil level seems to be stable, although the dipstick seems to show full on one side and add 1 quart on the other. Also, I found a plastic bag with an oil funnel in it under the hood when I bought the car, so that confuses me a little too.
    People who don't know how to properly install a gasketless Olds 307 valve cover often damage them. If it has a gasket, it has been off and messed with. Might be some minor repair work to fix it. Look for oil dripping down from the valve covers onto the manifolds. Gasket Maker for them provided excellent leak free valve covers for many years.

    Quote Originally Posted by torontofleetwood
    2) When I hit the gas pedal hard to kick down a gear for passing, a big puff of white smoke comes out the exhaust. I've checked the coolant level, and that is not receeding so I don't think its burning engine coolant.
    I blew a head gasket in my Olds 350 that replaced my Olds 307. It ran fine, never really smoked though, but lost some coolant. Keep an eye on the coolant level. But that was me running it hard too. If it has sat for a while, it could be just excess condensation. Drive it for 50-100 KM's or so, should boil it out eventually. Is it grey? A cat converter can smoke grey if it isn't stepped on much, just carbon buildup.

    Quote Originally Posted by torontofleetwood
    3) I've sprayed carb cleaner in the carb, but that has not helped. The plugs and wires are fine. The airfilter is new. I can't seem to locate the PCV valve.
    The 307 has the PCV in the pass side valve cover. Make sure it rattles, and make sure it is proper one, some places put in the early Olds V8 PCV, this is incorrect for the 307. The carb/ECM is calibrated for the 307 PCV. Look for large vacuum hose running to it. This hose gets hard over the years and leaks, good idea to replace it. Make sure if the hose doens't fit tightly to use hose clamps. Check power brake vacuum hose at same time. Make sure all the passeges in the carb are sprayed directly down. Make sure they are super clean. Ensure carb is properly torqued to intake, 10 ft lbs, no more!! Any more will damage the carb. Especially the front bolts. Snug all screws in the carb (9 I think)

    Check Primary Vacuum break for proper operation. Remove vacuum hose, plug break, release. It should hold for no less than 1 minute. Else, replace. This has 2 functions, secondary opening rate and also is the primary choke pulloff. So if you 307 owners have a stall immediatly after you crank it, then it starts fine. Look here, very very common problem on Q-Jets. If the choke isn't opened up slightly withing a set amount of time from cold start, there isn't enough O2 present (the engine just consumed what it had in the intake manifold), it will die. 307's are awesome easy starting engines. Even in -10F weather mine started as good as any EFI engine.

    Quote Originally Posted by torontofleetwood
    4) The theory is its burning rich and needs a carb rebuild, but the last owner tried to pass emissions testing 3 times with no success. That leads me to believe that the car need much more serious work and he wasn't prepared to invest in it. A car rebuild is relatively cheap compared to the cost of a new car. However an engine rebuild is not.
    What failed in the emissions test? That will lead to what needs to be done. Don't waste $$ on it until you are confident that it will be fixed. Look for "soap box" by searching the forums for my complains on idiot mechanics that don't know how to troubleshoot and waste a lot of your $ R&R parts and leaving new parts on the car in place of good parts. See if you can find out more on the emissions test failing.

    This isn't a complete list by any means, but some ideas to start with:

    High CO = Look for anything causing not enough O2 (air) present to complete combustion. This fuel had access to the flame front, but there wasn't enough O2 to complete the burn. Plugged up air filter, Cold engine, choke on, thermostat bad, etc. Sometimes has rotten egg smell with exhaust (rich mixture, too much sulfur in gas, not enough getting burned)

    High HC = Look for something that would cause lean mixture, or poorly design chamber that has "hiding" places for fuel. Think of it as fuel that didn't get access to the flame front. Vacuum leaks, bad plugs, wires, cap, rotor. Too bad cam with too much overlap will cause this too. Anything that causes weak spark.

    High NO2 = Look for lack of EGR (EGR does not work at idle), too high compression, too high ignition timing, Carbon in chamber. Typically cat converter has no effect on NO2.

    Quote Originally Posted by torontofleetwood
    I am a little confused by this car...anyone have any ideas? Also, it has no power (I know the Olds 307 is weak, but I mean no power) and it sucks gas like crazy.
    The 307 isn't a race car, but it is a solid runner, often lasting an easy 200-250K miles if not abused.

  5. #4
    torontofleetwood is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: '88 Brougham D'Elegance Running Rough

    Thanks for your help guys. I found a great mechanic who used to work at a Cadillac store back in the 80's and worked on these things all the time. Turns out it was two things. 1) Valve cover gasket leaking. That was the burning oil problem. NODIH was right. 2) Carb was never adjusted from the factory! Can you believe that? The actual mileage on this 17 year old car is 85,000 KM and no one ever adjusted the carb.

    Anyways, it's running great now. Like a new car. Not bad for $2,500 total invested. I love this car. Now onto upgrading the stereo and figuring out why the A/C works only intermittently.

  6. #5
    pimpin88's Avatar
    pimpin88 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: '88 Brougham D'Elegance Running Rough

    if your mileage keeps sucking, have the carb rebuilt, or do it yourself. it really isnt all that difficult. and have the timing set along with doing all the other normal maintenance

  7. #6
    N0DIH's Avatar
    N0DIH is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: '88 Brougham D'Elegance Running Rough

    The floats tend to sink with age, so that is a must for any carb rebuild. Even the brass floats will deteriorate the solder joints and start to fill up and run richer.

    Careful setting up of the Q-Jet will make the car run great. You get plenty of people who rag on the Q-Jet, but a properly setup one can't be beat by much, even EFI. The fuel metering on those carbs was excellent. Throttle response was excellent. Again on a tuned one.

    I did several mods on mine, I don't know if I could have called it heavily modified, but fairly moded and it ran great, got 21.5 mpg with a 350 Olds, no OD and 2.56 gears (with short 205 60 15's) Got 23.5 with 2.14's. Power was very smooth and 4bbl transition was excellent.

    I can get into the mods I did and why if anyone is interested. Maybe start a new thread for it. You have to determine what mod you want to do, and why and see how it affects the car. Doe Roe's book is awesome, although it doesn't cover the E4MC/E4ME carb well, you can apply most of what you learn in it on the M4ME/M4MC/4M series carbs quite easily.

    I strive for driveability and power. The E4MC/E4ME carb is as good as it ever got, just needs a computer to control it. But considering a carb survived where EFI reigned for emissions and economy all the way up to 1990 is darn impressive.

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