Bought a '90 with 21k miles... really
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Cadillac DeVille 1985 to 2005 including:
1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, Bought a '90 with 21k miles... really in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; This white 1990 DeVille is the original "little old lady" car. She bought it new and drove it rarely, and ...
  1. #1
    Notaguru is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Bought a '90 with 21k miles... really

    This white 1990 DeVille is the original "little old lady" car. She bought it new and drove it rarely, and upon her death her estate donated it to a local charity, to which I paid an embarrassing price - $2,600.

    It is 99% flawless, with excellent paint, original tires, brakes, fluids, etc. The records indicate there have been five oil changes since new, all at the dealer. The interior leather looks nearly new and has not begun to dry out - I want to keep it that way. Everything works perfectly, no codes. There's a small scratch in the driver side armrest, and no other wounds anywhere.

    Under the car, everything looks like a 21k mile California car - clean, and with no evidence of any repairs. Every body panel lines up properly, with no gaps suggesting body work.

    My plan is to replace the Vogue tires with something better, wax/buff the finish, and treat the leather to keep it perfect. The engine is already clean, as is the suspension and undercarriage. QUESTIONS:

    What can I use to refresh the leather?
    What about Premium fuel (I'm a very mild driver)?
    What tires work well and are very quiet?
    Is there anything I should check or look out for?

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  3. #2
    89devillle is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Bought a '90 with 21k miles... really

    wow man nice find, posts some pictures

  4. #3
    Notaguru is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Bought a '90 with 21k miles... really

    Just discovered that the remote (I was given two of them) will not control the door lock on the front passenger side.

    Also, I plan to flush the PS - what fluid should I use?

    Otherwise, it's a decent car in amazing condition.

    AS FOR PICTURES, just go to google images, 1990 DeVille. This car is white, and looks like it left the showroom a month ago.

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    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Bought a '90 with 21k miles... really

    Change the coolant (if it's not already too late). It should have been done every 2 years. Wouldn't hurt to flush the brake lines as well. Any approved P/S fluid should be fine.

  6. #5
    Notaguru is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Bought a '90 with 21k miles... really

    ok - thanks.

    Coolant is conventional ethylene glycol (luminous green)?? Brakes are a little soft - a flush would help.

    Looks like I'll need to pull the right front door inner panel to get to the lock mechanism. There's a missing link, so to speak, because the inside slide button won't lock the door. A key will, though.

    I used Lexol on the leather and dashboard this afternoon - it really looks new. Even better was the 20 miles I drove, which were flawless. My paranoia is fading...

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    Re: Bought a '90 with 21k miles... really

    w/out pics it didnt happen....












  8. #7
    Notaguru is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Bought a '90 with 21k miles... really

    Quote Originally Posted by steck View Post
    w/out pics it didnt happen....


    Is there a PLONK capability in this forum? Or a stupidity filter?

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    Re: Bought a '90 with 21k miles... really

    Quote Originally Posted by Notaguru View Post
    Is there a PLONK capability in this forum? Or a stupidity filter?
    Plonk -

    Congrats on STEALING a great car. Oh and...

    The above post is my 2 cents....nothing more.

  10. #9
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    Re: Bought a '90 with 21k miles... really

    Do run the premium fuel. It's essential. I accidentally went along running 87 and I could hear and feel the detonation/knock. Added the high grade next fill-up and it stopped.

    Did you get a window sticker, too? Congrats on a great find. Love to see some pics!

  11. #10
    Notaguru is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Bought a '90 with 21k miles... really

    No window sticker. I bet the heirs will find that document tucked away in the owner's possessions somewhere. What was it then, $27,000? The price of a Camry today...

    And ok, if the weather's suitable tomorrow I'll try to take some photos. Someone will have to help me post them.

    I did another run, and am happy to report that at 90mph the car is fine, though it "floats" a bit above that speed. Driving conservatively, it's solid as a rock with no strangeness, vibrations, or noises. It's very silent, which is a big deal with me. So far, so good.

    The interior has a sort of "old car" smell so I put it in the garage, sprayed Febreze, and will run a fan through the opened windows overnight.

    Tasks for tomorrow:

    1. Pull the passenger side door panel and repair the link between the actuator and the lock.
    2. Bleed/flush the brakes.
    3. Replace the PS fluid.
    4. Replace the coolant.
    5. Replace the tranny filter (not the fluid).
    6. Wash and wax.

  12. #11
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    Re: Bought a '90 with 21k miles... really

    ???? why replace the trans filter without also doing the fluid? I am 100% behind the argument of not flushing, but I have not heard any argument for not replacing.
    also, Keep in mind on the deville's, the lock linkage has to be aligned to the lock lever, they are not perminatly attached; so you may not need to remove the whole panel. The symptoms you described (key works, slide lever does not)also descirbes this scenerio.

    A thought on the old car smell....arm & hamer carpet powder, one of the other members introduced me to it recently, sprinkle down, let it sit for a few hours, vaccum up, leave the car smelling great.

    Great find...enjoy it.

  13. #12
    Notaguru is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Bought a '90 with 21k miles... really

    Quote Originally Posted by timothyr View Post
    ???? why replace the trans filter without also doing the fluid? I am 100% behind the argument of not flushing, but I have not heard any argument for not replacing.
    also, Keep in mind on the deville's, the lock linkage has to be aligned to the lock lever, they are not perminatly attached; so you may not need to remove the whole panel. The symptoms you described (key works, slide lever does not)also descirbes this scenerio.

    A thought on the old car smell....arm & hamer carpet powder, one of the other members introduced me to it recently, sprinkle down, let it sit for a few hours, vaccum up, leave the car smelling great.

    Great find...enjoy it.

    This morning the car smells fine - the combination of Febreze and a night of air moving through it seems to have done the job. But I'll keep AH powder in mind.

    The trans fluid is red, healthy, and smells right, so for now I'll leave it alone. The car shifts perfectly, too.


    Your comment regarding the door lock linkage is really important - what, exactly, do you suggest?


    THANKS!

  14. #13
    timothyr's Avatar
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    Re: Bought a '90 with 21k miles... really

    pull the shroud around the door lock button and the lock/unlock slider, (held in by one screw) there should be the metal linkage behind it. it litterally justs wedges in a plastic cutout on the back of the slider...and there is plenty of room for it to go everywhere other than the wedge cutout and jam up on stuff.

    In rereading the thread another thing came to mind, with the factory remotes first unlock click is drivers door, second click (within 5 secs) is all doors...also does the door lock work with the power switch?

  15. #14
    Notaguru is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Bought a '90 with 21k miles... really

    DIAGNOSTIC DATA

    1. Remote works on driver door only, and the response is very slow. No number of presses will activate any of the other three doors. A second push creates a "click", but no action. This is true with either remote.

    2. The push panel on either driver or passenger door operates a mechanism energetically and immediately, but that action never reaches the door lock on the passenger side.

    3. I pulled the shroud from around the lock mechanism and see nothing obviously abnormal. No dirt, rust, cracked items, and nothing loose. The pin fits properly into the slot on the slider.

    4. The key works properly on both sides.

    5. Rear doors can be opened only from inside - the reverse of child-proofing.

    THOUGHTS: Perhaps there are TWO problems.
    a) a mechanical disconnect between the door handle mechanism and the rest of the system? From behind the switches I can see rods moving, but nothing happens.
    b) a remote problem? Why is there a 3-4 second delay after pressing the remote? Does the radio receiver activate a common relay, or perhaps more than one? I wonder if there's a simple relay malfunction...
    c) is it just a coincidence that both rear doors are not working automatically, or by using the interior unlock buttons?

    Could there be one single problem that is causing it all?


    Advice welcome before I rip things apart.

  16. #15
    timothyr's Avatar
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    Re: Bought a '90 with 21k miles... really

    sounds like you are correct on the linkages in the pass door...your gonna be stuck ripping off the panel...its pretty easy and if you want a quick tutorial I can post.
    as far as the rear doors, keep in mind the power switch only locks, there is no unlock function from the rear doors. As far as the reverse child lock thing....never seen that before. As to the delayed remote response, 3~4 seconds is not normal...but I would start by getting the simple stuff out of the way first.

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