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Cadillac Allante Forum Discussion, Rich...or Mechanic? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I asked this or something similar last year and only got 2 responses. Due to that, (one was pretty negative) ...
  1. #1
    ocsorbil is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Rich...or Mechanic?

    I asked this or something similar last year and only got 2 responses. Due to that, (one was pretty negative) I passed on a '93 with 63k.
    Now I am sort of "looking" again, so I'll ask again.
    Do you need to be rich or a mechanic to buy an Allante'? Or do you just need to be a rich mechanic? I am neither!
    I have wanted an Allante' for 21 years now, although at this point, I would rather have a '91-'93 rather than an original. Thanks for any advice.

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    cadmat's Avatar
    cadmat is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Rich...or Mechanic?

    Your Question is to broad. What is rich? and what is a mechanic? I own a phase 1 Allante, and I am not "RICH" in that I don't vacation in the south of France, don't wear 1000 dollar suits, or a rolex and I can't go out and buy a new Cadillac XLR-V and pay cash for it. I am not a mechanic, but I am an avid do it your selfer, and can read and understand a service manual, therefore I do a lot of my own general maintenance on my cars, and I own more then one car ( not because the Allante isn't reliable, but because I like cars, although many may differ on that reliability point) Where Allante's seem unreasonably costly is that Most trim parts , and some break parts and a few transmission parts cost much more then most late 80's model American cars, and can be really tough to find.( these cars were, afterall, very limited production) Most mechanical stuff is about the same as any other late 80's Cadillac.

    So, based on my experience, if you're not pretty handy with tools, and know your way agound a car, you do need to be able to spend several hundred dollars a pop whenever you need work on the car.. ( but this is true for any old car, or any car out of Warranty)
    And if keeping the car looking perfect is important to you, then you gotta be able to dish out quite a bit for parts that are pretty cheep on other cars.. tail lights 250 to 500 used, head lights, nearly the same.. but tune up parts? tires? oil change? same cost as any old car... and with all that, it's still cheeper then a car payment and insurance on a new economy car..

  4. #3
    Stealth's Avatar
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    Re: Rich...or Mechanic?

    Quote Originally Posted by ocsorbil View Post

    I asked this or something similar last year and only got 2 responses. Due to that, (one was pretty negative) I passed on a '93 with 63k.
    Now I am sort of "looking" again, so I'll ask again.
    Do you need to be rich or a mechanic to buy an Allante'? Or do you just need to be a rich mechanic? I am neither!
    I have wanted an Allante' for 21 years now, although at this point, I would rather have a '91-'93 rather than an original. Thanks for any advice.

    Allante can be either a toy or a daily driver. I choose the later and I wear the cars out with no more expenses than any of my other cars. Exception? damn bumpers, so I learned to fix them by way of the FSM instructions. I also keep a gallon of Super Jet Black Lacquer and an air brush.

    There is a group of Allante owners somewhere that likes to gather around and go from slobbering idiotic praise to non-stop outrageous belittling of the cars .. both extremes are way off. It is just a damn nice car that looks good after 22 years, a bit underpowered, a bit high on style, and at least for me, they have served me very VERY well.

    cost?

    '93s - if the engine quits, the car is most likely done for .. TOO EXPENSIVE.
    fault #1 ? cost of engine repairs.
    fault #2 ? longest stopping distance of any Allante model.
    fault #3 ? when they hit 100,000 miles, no one wants it, worthless.

    '90 1/2 - '92 - a solid 4500 engine, cheap to replace and nice hp;
    gone are many of the faults of the early cars, has all the goodies of the early cars and then some.

    fault #1 ? soft top power latches, but tops go down easy.
    fault #2 ? failing BOSE systems
    fault #3 ? most abused models are the '91/'92, probably due to the fun factor.
    fault #4 ? ABS has to be maintained

    '87 - '90; thanks but no thanks .. i been down that road of floppy visors twice.
    great latches, but putting the tops down is a PITA.

    fault #1 - seriously underpowered even with the HT4100.
    fault #2 ? ABS has to be maintained.
    fault #3 ? seat switches fall apart cuz you have to sit on them.
    fault #4 ? the floppy visors, the deal breaker for me.

    do a google for "Allante XYZ Facts ". lots of details there.

    Prices have never been better,
    the '91 to '92 models can be awesome deals, often in the $3,500 - $4,500 range.
    the '89 to '90 models, $2,500 to $3,000
    the '97 to '88 models, $1,500 to $2,800






    .

  5. #4
    wcoates is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Rich...or Mechanic?

    Quote Originally Posted by ocsorbil View Post
    Do you need to be rich or a mechanic to buy an Allante'? Or do you just need to be a rich mechanic?
    Rich mechanic with Masochistic tendencies. Owners either like having a nice car or getting a car nice. Most of us fall somewhere in between. I think Matt falls somewhere on that continuum.

    Zal, the only, only reason I would buy a '93 is to get away from the Bosch brake system. I don't think I'll ever need the extra 95 ponies of the N*. Our 4.5s do a good enough job for me.

    Floppy visors being enough to stop a '89 purchase--naw! Acculine Engineering still starts with their nicely designed $84.99 starting price on EBAY. Great product but at over $100 very pricey. Hook latches have always made me feel secure unlike the sometimes failing motorized phase two latches. Amps, either Dick or Bose can repair and some do it your selfers fix themselves.

    Hope to get my phase two car delivered soon si I can compare.

    Shop wisely, the chase is worth the effort. Definitely a buyers market. Now is the time to buy.

  6. #5
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    Re: Rich...or Mechanic?

    Quote Originally Posted by wcoates View Post
    Rich mechanic with Masochistic tendencies. Owners either like having a nice car or getting a car nice. Most of us fall somewhere in between. I think Matt falls somewhere on that continuum.

    Zal, the only, only reason I would buy a '93 is to get away from the Bosch brake system. I don't think I'll ever need the extra 95 ponies of the N*. Our 4.5s do a good enough job for me.

    Floppy visors being enough to stop a '89 purchase--naw! Acculine Engineering still starts with their nicely designed $84.99 starting price on EBAY. Great product but at over $100 very pricey. Hook latches have always made me feel secure unlike the sometimes failing motorized phase two latches. Amps, either Dick or Bose can repair and some do it your selfers fix themselves.

    Hope to get my phase two car delivered soon si I can compare.

    Shop wisely, the chase is worth the effort. Definitely a buyers market. Now is the time to buy.
    Ditto on the engine .. also keep in mind that those 95 ponies dont do a damn thing for you at under 65 mph when compared to the Allante 4500. And the N* really shines at 120mph+ where the 4500 starts hitting the ceiling.

    The BOSCH ABS brakes, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THEM .. NO JOKE. The maintainance (flush) and occasional ($200) accumulator is like a drop in the bucket of what the car gives me back in SAFETY. BTW, I got me THREE ABS RELAYS, just in case, but I have yet to see even one fail.

    on the visors .. is not just the visors .. I used to think that until I got fed up with potato bag clips and i cut the visors OFF, super glued the busted map light. GOD did I hate them visors about my '88. EVEN with the $100 gismo, you still got map light breakage .. thanks but no thanks.
    You wait until you compare with that Phase II I found for you. I wish you had let me go down and test it for you, then again, I know you feared that I would take it.

    The hook latches are used on about 10 million cars w/o any problems, including Mustangs and a zillion German convertibles. why they put those dumb power latches on the Allante, I dont know.

    BTW, the '88 retires in TWO DAYS, Sept 19 !
    insurance expires and that is that. She will either become a permanent cave dweller or a donor .. undecided. darn, I think she is got half a tank of $4 fuel in her.



    .

  7. #6
    Ieradi's Avatar
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    Re: Rich...or Mechanic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stealth View Post
    Allante can be either a toy or a daily driver. I choose the later and I wear the cars out with no more expenses than any of my other cars. Exception? damn bumpers, so I learned to fix them by way of the FSM instructions. I also keep a gallon of Super Jet Black Lacquer and an air brush.

    There is a group of Allante owners somewhere that likes to gather around and go from slobbering idiotic praise to non-stop outrageous belittling of the cars .. both extremes are way off. It is just a damn nice car that looks good after 22 years, a bit underpowered, a bit high on style, and at least for me, they have served me very VERY well.

    cost?

    '93s - if the engine quits, the car is most likely done for .. TOO EXPENSIVE.
    fault #1 ? cost of engine repairs.
    fault #2 ? longest stopping distance of any Allante model.
    fault #3 ? when they hit 100,000 miles, no one wants it, worthless.

    '90 1/2 - '92 - a solid 4500 engine, cheap to replace and nice hp;
    gone are many of the faults of the early cars, has all the goodies of the early cars and then some.

    fault #1 ? soft top power latches, but tops go down easy.
    fault #2 ? failing BOSE systems
    fault #3 ? most abused models are the '91/'92, probably due to the fun factor.
    fault #4 ? ABS has to be maintained

    '87 - '90; thanks but no thanks .. i been down that road of floppy visors twice.
    great latches, but putting the tops down is a PITA.

    fault #1 - seriously underpowered even with the HT4100.
    fault #2 ? ABS has to be maintained.
    fault #3 ? seat switches fall apart cuz you have to sit on them.
    fault #4 ? the floppy visors, the deal breaker for me.

    do a google for "Allante XYZ Facts ". lots of details there.

    Prices have never been better,
    the '91 to '92 models can be awesome deals, often in the $3,500 - $4,500 range.
    the '89 to '90 models, $2,500 to $3,000
    the '97 to '88 models, $1,500 to $2,800


    .
    You Really hate those visors!!!!

  8. #7
    c5 rv's Avatar
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    Re: Rich...or Mechanic?

    Say you wanted an early/mid 90s 2-passenger convertible / targa top car. Four choices are Allante, Corvette, Miata, and Del Sol. We've had all four cars, though our vettes were early 80s and early 00s.

    The cheapest and simplest is the Miata. My wife used to have a 92 Miata. It was cheap to run and were plenty of original and aftermarket parts. The car was pretty bulletproof and there wasn't a lot of high-tech items to break. It was quick and fun to drive, but certainly wasn't fast. Many were adult / woman owned and not abused. There are a lot in northern climates that have low miles and have never seen snow and salt. There are a lot of these in the $4-8K range. The car presents an image problem for many men and certainly isn't luxurious.

    I bought one of my sons a 95 Civic Del Sol. This was actually a very practical car with a fair amount of passenger room and a big trunk - even when carrying the targa top in the rack inside the truck lid. MPG was about 33 and since it's a Civic underneath, there are plently of driveline parts and people to work on it. Unfortunately, it is popular with boy-racers and it's hard to find an unmolested one, especially a later one with the V-TEC engine. It's also harder to find one that only used as a summer car becuase it is FWD. These used to be available in the $3-4K range, but many are now selling for twice that due to the MPG. Like the Miata, the car isn't luxurious but it lacks the sportiness of the Miata.

    The early 90s vettes are plentiful with a lot of available and aftermarket parts. However, parts and service often have a "corvette premium" associated with them and there's a fair amount of electronics. There are a lot of low miles, summer-only vettes. Cars that need work can be had for under $10K. Good cruisers and show quality cars with low mileage can be had in the teens. Like Allantes, there are folks who have ones priced in the $20s because they think they are extra-special.

    Allantes are the most luxurious and roomy of this group and the most complicated due to the unique parts content and high electronics content. There is an "Allante premium" for replacement / rebuilt parts and services with few aftermarket accessories. The electronics content complicates the DIY factor. Due to the hardtop and FWD, some were used year-round, especially by second and later owners. Like vettes, there are a wide range in prices.

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    ocsorbil is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Rich...or Mechanic?

    Thanks for the responses. I was looking and bidding on a '91 with 43k on eBay, but thankfully was outbid. I say "thankfully" because I inquired of the owner if he had done any maintainance on the ABS in the 12 years he's owned it. He said, "No, the ABS is checked every time I start it and it has never shown an error on the DIC.
    After having read several threads on here of taking care of the Bosch system, I was happy I had been outbid!

  10. #9
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    Re: Rich...or Mechanic?

    Quote Originally Posted by ocsorbil View Post
    Thanks for the responses. I was looking and bidding on a '91 with 43k on eBay, but thankfully was outbid. I say "thankfully" because I inquired of the owner if he had done any maintainance on the ABS in the 12 years he's owned it. He said, "No, the ABS is checked every time I start it and it has never shown an error on the DIC.
    After having read several threads on here of taking care of the Bosch system, I was happy I had been outbid!

    As long as the ABS is working fine, there is a very good chance that it will remain so if flushed and re flushed.

    I have found that even the accumulator works better and better with each flush. it is like rinsing the system with the brake fluid and the crud goes out with each flush.

    Some go for a flush every two years.

    Personally, I opt for a flush when a car is purchased, followed by another in six months and if the fluid is cruddy then, continue every 6 months until the fluid clears up. Then I go to a flush once a year. Maybe its overkill, but my ABS systems have done just fine.


    When I say flush, I am referring to both a master cyl flush and at the wheels flush. The whole system.




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  11. #10
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    Re: Rich...or Mechanic?

    I am independently wealthy from years of making a lot more than I spend but drive Allante's because it is one of the cheapest cars for me to drive. The initial investment on both my 87 & 93 Allante's was low and they have been reliable in the sense that when I put in the key, the car starts and goes. In the 5 years of ownership, I have spent very little to keep these cars going. The biggest thing so far was replacing 4 tires on my 93 Allante. As Zal pointed out, the 87-88 is severly underpowered. My 87 claims to have 170 hp yet it feels so much more sluggish than my "mothballed" 88 Eldorado with the 155 hp 4.5L engine. I like my 93 Allante but I always worry about the Northstar engine. Not only does it drink fuel but if the headgasket goes, the cost or repair would be more than what I paid for whole car 3 years ago with only 62k miles on the odometer. The Northstar engine has power but it is slow compared to many new cars on the road today.

  12. #11
    TommyAllante is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Cool Re: Rich...or Mechanic?

    I would not be afraid of a high mileage 93 .I found one last year that had over 200K on the speedo and picked it up for under $2K. It did not leak oil so I took a chance on it because the body and interior were still in nice condition. It now has 221K on it and I would drive this car anywhere. I also have an 88 that now has 150K and that too is an excellent runner. I probably would have never bought the 93 if I had not owned one of these cars before.

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