New Owners of a 1987 Allante.....
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Cadillac Allante Forum Discussion, New Owners of a 1987 Allante..... in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; My girlfriend's dad gave her an 87 Allante he bought in non-running condition. He's currently working on the car so ...
  1. #1
    DopeStar 156's Avatar
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    New Owners of a 1987 Allante.....

    My girlfriend's dad gave her an 87 Allante he bought in non-running condition. He's currently working on the car so it runs (ignition system/distributor issue) and as soon as it does we're taking possession of it. I don't have any pictures of it yet, but I do have the owner's manual and full service manual in my posession. This won't be a daily driver for her, it'll be a weekend fun car, or something for cruise nights or events in the Cadillac Club I belong to. I have a few questions about this car since it's out of my Cadillac expertise....

    1. My 89 brochure shows the Allante having optional analog gauges, but the owner's manual for our 87 shows only the bar graph digital version. Was this the only kind offered in 87?

    2. Were there any common problems to keep an eye out for? I know this car has the HT4100 engine which is dreaded in the large RWD cars, but how does it fare in the small Italian Pininfarina body? Any tips on how to keep it happy?

    3. I know the car needs a new grille (broken tooth) and perhaps a new front bumper (small crack where someone must've hit a parking brick) so my question is how easy or impossible are parts to get for this car?

    4. How do you guys rate this car? I know there were better versions (4.5L, 4.9L, N*) but still, is it an all around good car?

    I'm looking forward to getting to work on the car to make it look and perform as great as it did back when it was new. It's a pretty exciting part of Cadillac history to own if you ask me so I'm eager to get going on it.....

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  3. #2
    babylac89's Avatar
    babylac89 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Thumbs up Re: New Owners of a 1987 Allante.....

    Get in contact with Johnny Monzo...Cadillac Allante Club-President...8 Eagle Rd....Turnersville , NJ 08012...Phone Number 609-634-6518 ... itsonlyluv@comcast.net

    He can help you with anything you need!

    Chief

  4. #3
    OffThaHorseCEO is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: New Owners of a 1987 Allante.....

    Wow what a gift!

    Im currently in the market for an Allante so ive been doing a LOT of reading and research. I will answer what questions i can.

    1. for 87 and 88 only the digital cluster was available. for 89 the digital was standard and the analog was introduced as an option. for 1990 the analog was standard on the softtop w/no hardtop version (available as a cost option), and a no cost option for the hardtop version. for 91 they switched it up and the digital cluster was the option at no cost to the hardtop and a cost to the softtop only model. it stayed that way until the end of the vehicles life... clusters from 93 will only work/fit on 93 models. clusters from 90-92 are cross compatible, and the 87-89 clusters are cross compatible.

    2. based on what ive seen the engine is the least of your concerns. the brakes are not necessarily a COMMON problem, but they are one to avoid if you find it as parts are cheap. also, the bose systems tend to go out, and the window switches and regulators tend to need repairing. the seals also tend to dry rot and leak if not properly cared for.

    3. i wanted a black car and wanted to get an extra grill to paint black. i found two on ebay, one for 30, one for 80. i considered myself lucky. the parts mentioned above can get very expensive with brake repairs being a deal breaker if youre buying an allante. allantestore.com is a good but expensive source.

    4. Based on what I've read, the 1992 is the most liked model and also one of the most rare. By that time it had airbags, traction control, a redesigned top (Phase II, less leaks so ive read) a cd player and the 4.5. The 93 seems to me the worst choice being that it had the N*, cheaper door latches cheaper seats, and cheaper doors among other things. The one plus IMO of the 93 is that they ditched the Bosch brake system that can get expensive to fix in these cars. MY personal favorites are the 87-89 due to the availability of Saddle tan interior, LACK of northstar, and LACK of airbags.

    I may have found the allante i will end up buying. im VERY excited at the idea of having it haha. i cant wait!. I hope youre as excited to own it as i am to even THINK about owning one.

    Definitely please post pics soon!

  5. #4
    DopeStar 156's Avatar
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    Re: New Owners of a 1987 Allante.....

    Quote Originally Posted by OffThaHorseCEO View Post
    Wow what a gift!

    Im currently in the market for an Allante so ive been doing a LOT of reading and research. I will answer what questions i can.

    1. for 87 and 88 only the digital cluster was available. for 89 the digital was standard and the analog was introduced as an option. for 1990 the analog was standard on the softtop w/no hardtop version (available as a cost option), and a no cost option for the hardtop version. for 91 they switched it up and the digital cluster was the option at no cost to the hardtop and a cost to the softtop only model. it stayed that way until the end of the vehicles life... clusters from 93 will only work/fit on 93 models. clusters from 90-92 are cross compatible, and the 87-89 clusters are cross compatible.

    2. based on what ive seen the engine is the least of your concerns. the brakes are not necessarily a COMMON problem, but they are one to avoid if you find it as parts are cheap. also, the bose systems tend to go out, and the window switches and regulators tend to need repairing. the seals also tend to dry rot and leak if not properly cared for.

    3. i wanted a black car and wanted to get an extra grill to paint black. i found two on ebay, one for 30, one for 80. i considered myself lucky. the parts mentioned above can get very expensive with brake repairs being a deal breaker if youre buying an allante. allantestore.com is a good but expensive source.

    4. Based on what I've read, the 1992 is the most liked model and also one of the most rare. By that time it had airbags, traction control, a redesigned top (Phase II, less leaks so ive read) a cd player and the 4.5. The 93 seems to me the worst choice being that it had the N*, cheaper door latches cheaper seats, and cheaper doors among other things. The one plus IMO of the 93 is that they ditched the Bosch brake system that can get expensive to fix in these cars. MY personal favorites are the 87-89 due to the availability of Saddle tan interior, LACK of northstar, and LACK of airbags.

    I may have found the allante i will end up buying. im VERY excited at the idea of having it haha. i cant wait!. I hope youre as excited to own it as i am to even THINK about owning one.

    Definitely please post pics soon!
    I will when I get a chance, it's currently at her parents house about 40 minutes away from our apartment. The car is white outside but I don't remember the interior color. It might be a brownish color since that's the color of the owner's manual. The car is all stock and in pretty good shape but is really filthy since most of her property is woods and the car is covered in dirt, and tree refuse. Once her dad gets it running again we'll take it to my parents house and really clean it up. Other than what I can see I don't know too much about it as far as mechanical condition goes since I've never seen it alive. I'm hoping all that changes soon.....

    Almost forgot, since the car is equipped with the HT4100 engine, where do I get that special GM coolant with the pellets?

  6. #5
    carnut is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: New Owners of a 1987 Allante.....

    Log onto www.allantesource.com for pointers on the brake system. The engine is much better in this car.

  7. #6
    DopeStar 156's Avatar
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    Re: New Owners of a 1987 Allante.....

    As promised, I've got pics. Enjoy....
















  8. #7
    OffThaHorseCEO is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: New Owners of a 1987 Allante.....

    wow thats the exact color combo of mine!

    if for some weird reason you decide to part it rather than fix it, ill take the grill please

  9. #8
    DopeStar 156's Avatar
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    Re: New Owners of a 1987 Allante.....

    Quote Originally Posted by OffThaHorseCEO View Post
    wow thats the exact color combo of mine!

    if for some weird reason you decide to part it rather than fix it, ill take the grill please
    The grille is broken, two teeth are busted out. If you really want it you can have it when it gets replaced......

  10. #9
    OffThaHorseCEO is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: New Owners of a 1987 Allante.....

    taking a better look at those pics it actually doesnt look that bad. nothing looks broken except the grille. its just dirty from sitting.

    i hope nature didnt take too big of a toll on the electronics. if you ever need help with anything im in the same boat so chances are ill have already been through it.

    on that note im gonna go ahead and let you know that a good grill replacement is going to run you $2-300 so maybe hold on to yours for now.

    allante owners seem like great people, and they are ALL very helpful but they also like to jack up the prices on parts for our cars. Did you know people are charging a couple hundred bucks for a repair that costs a couple of dollars?

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    DopeStar 156's Avatar
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    Re: New Owners of a 1987 Allante.....

    Quote Originally Posted by OffThaHorseCEO View Post
    taking a better look at those pics it actually doesnt look that bad. nothing looks broken except the grille. its just dirty from sitting.

    i hope nature didnt take too big of a toll on the electronics. if you ever need help with anything im in the same boat so chances are ill have already been through it.

    on that note im gonna go ahead and let you know that a good grill replacement is going to run you $2-300 so maybe hold on to yours for now.

    allante owners seem like great people, and they are ALL very helpful but they also like to jack up the prices on parts for our cars. Did you know people are charging a couple hundred bucks for a repair that costs a couple of dollars?
    The day I took the pics I got to work on it a little bit, basically my first exploratory venture into the car. My girlfriend's dad and I did some talking about the car and turns out it did run when he got it. He drove it around for a while until it stopped running. He replaced a module inside the distributor but that didn't fix it so there's an internal problem with the distributor. The car also has two flat tires on the passenger side, and the AC compressor is shot which I hear kills the entire climate control system. The battery was also stone dead from sitting for several months so as I got to work I started to recharge the battery.

    I was able to get enough of a charge outta the battery to power the car on for a brief minute before I killed it again, the only thing I remember seeing on the DIC was "Lighting System Fault." My girlfriend's dad told me he could throw a couple tires on the car to replace the flat ones so that'll get taken care of, and he has an extra AC compressor for the car so I can go ahead and install that at some point too. My friend happens to have a distributor from a 4.5 so I've got a suitable replacement for that.

    To recap the car has a few problems but I seem to have solutions lined up as well as a few spare parts that are coming with the car should I need anything else. I hope to have the car up and running by the end of the month since it's stored 45 minutes away from where I live and I only get a couple days off a week.......

  12. #11
    OffThaHorseCEO is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: New Owners of a 1987 Allante.....

    i wish you the best of luck!

    If i had the time and money i would love to have come accross a vehicle like this. Getting it on the road and rollin with the top down would be that much more satisfying.

    Its satisfying enough as it is though haha!

  13. #12
    mark antony is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New Owners of a 1987 Allante.....

    Nice car, I just got one in dirty condition also, A black/burgandy 88. The car cleaned up really nice. I'm having the "lighting fault" issue with mine too, and the lights don't work. My battery was dead and I replaced itwith a new one. The dash started working better after that. Apparently from what I've figured out, the battery had better be in tip top cond. for the systems to work. They say now to check all my battery terminals! Anyway let me know if your exterior lights work please and/or how you fixed them and eliminated the "lighting fault" message Thanks so much, you will have alot of fun with this car. Mine is a blast but only during the daytime!

  14. #13
    carnut is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: New Owners of a 1987 Allante.....

    The lighting fault on a car sitting for a long time usually is a corroded bulb socket. Also you MUST use silver base bulbs in this car, not brass. All the bulbs were sourced in Europe. If a brass bulb is in any socket, it will work but the lighting system fault message will remain on. Also anytime a connector or bulb is removed apply dielectric grease to the socket and/ or the connector. This system relies on very low resistance wiring and any increase in resistance causes issues with false readings from the info center. Hold the OFF and red WARMER buttons in at the same time about 10 to 15 seconds with car running and write down any messages displayed and report back. This car requires either an OPTIMA sealed battery or a DELCO with vent ports on the filler caps to vent the acids out of the passenger compartment.

  15. #14
    DopeStar 156's Avatar
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    Re: New Owners of a 1987 Allante.....

    Update: My friend and I took a look at the Allante last night. We hooked up the battery with a full charge and got the system to power on, we even ran the diagnostics. We weren't in a position to record any codes, but I'm not worried about them at this time. I intend to spend more time with the car on Sunday. Here's a shot of the dash come to life.



    I scored big at the junkyard yesterday, grabbed a brand new distributor out of a 1990 FWD Fleetwood which had a receipt in the glove box stating the part was bought two weeks ago. I intend to toss in the new distributor on Sunday and see where that takes me. So far I got the car to crank but won't start yet. More updates to come.....

  16. #15
    OffThaHorseCEO is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: New Owners of a 1987 Allante.....

    nice!

    i lovee those gauges. theyre very 80's futuristic lol. as much as people say they are trouble prone, i am glad mine has the digital gauges instead of analog

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