: NEED OPINION! 89 D'elegance vs. 87 Grand Marquis w/ 35k miles

11-10-10, 11:18 PM
Okay so heres the deal. I am looking to buy another car and i have found two that i really like, however i cannot decide! so i am looking for some input from you guys!

The 1st car is a 1989 Cadillac Brougham D'elegance. It is white with Mint red Leather. It has about 60k miles on it, but it has had the engine swapped to a 350 OLDS rocket, the engine only has about30k miles on it and honestly looks new! It runs good. the interior is mint, but headliner sags a bit. Back doors do not open(dont know why). Body is great, only two small spots of rust around door handles. A small crease behind driver's rear wheel. Exhaust is loud but looks like new so i think it is a gasket or something at engine. Undercarriage is honestly one of the cleanest i have ever seen! But the heat and A/C do not work, nor does radio. guy said heat/ ac is due to a vacuum line, from engine swap. but said he didnt know much else as he was selling for a friend who bought car after engine was swapped. The main concern was that he said the tranny slips a little, or kinda shifts funny sometimes, but he said it was also due to a vacuum line...? does that sound right? Well car is overall really nice looking, some minor things cosmetically, and i like the engine swap (since it is what i have always wanted to do)but the lack of heat bothers me with winter coming. and the tranny issue really bothers me. i wasnt able to really drive the car since it is not registered and he lives on one of the busiest roads in around! He is asking $1500 obo. I would offer $1,000 or $1,100. but it is nice looking like i said and body wise a nice find.

The 2nd car is a 1987 Mercury Grand MArquis. It is a fully documented 1 owner car with only 35k miles!! It is white with a red top and red cloth interior. Interior is MINT!!!!! body is very good, has 2 or 3 minor surface rust spots. But looks great! Runs excellent and everything works! Full documentation, window sticker, sales pamphlets, key tags, warranty info paperwork, etc... has a small fuel line leak on driver's side, and brakes seemed old. but ran and drove like new! He will sell for $2,300. and offered to let me make payments if i gave him $1000 down.

I AM TORN!!! i like both. I have always wanted a white D'elegance with red leather. but like the full size 80's ford cars too. The caddy is $1000 cheaper but needs some work(i dont know to what extent). The Merc is pretty much ready to go aside from gas line. And when will i ever find such a low mileage 1 owner car again.... So i am looking for some help form you guys! What do you think and what would you do? Need some help by friday morning!!!!

~Thanks guys!

11-10-10, 11:34 PM
I'd get the mercury. Isn't it a fuel injected 5.0? Sounds better but putting another 1k into the brougham should get it up to par also. When you say the caddy runs good, the carb works correctly? cold choke works? Suspension? Would you be able to swap the tranny yourself?

11-10-10, 11:41 PM
Well i mean the caddy started up fine. And seemed to idle a little high. but didnt stall out or anything. The suspension seems great and she sits good and level ride worked, and as i said underneath was very clean. As for the tranny i cant do it myself as i do not know how or have tools or place too. And i nkow how expensive it can be as i replaced one in my 91 a while back..... The merc on the other hand is fuel injected, and tranny shifts like new.

11-10-10, 11:52 PM
If you have to put it in the shop for the tranny, I'd get the Merc.

11-11-10, 12:02 AM
one thing i forgot to mention is that i have a spare good tranny available with 67k on it out of an 87 brougham. so i could swap that in, but i would have to have someone do it.

11-11-10, 12:20 AM
The Brougham has more potential value. The lack of heat could be from a missing vacuum line to Heater Control Valve, or it could be something more serious like the heater core not being plumbed right. With the A/C, if it just that the compress does not engage, then you just need to ground the compressor clutch relay and the A/C should work. But the entire system could have been f**ked when they did the engine swap. And if the transmission isn't shifting right, it could be just a missing hose to the vacuum modulator (if equipped) or it could be the box coming undone.

If you cannot look at the engine in the Brougham and see if everything was swapped correctly, you should try to have the car inspected before you make your decision. They could have royally screwed up the whole process and made a lot of critical errors, which will cost you. But if everything was done correctly and there are just a few small things to take care of, then I would get the Brougham. With that price, it will leave you a little extra in-case something goes wrong and in the end, will be worth more than the Mercury.

11-11-10, 12:27 AM
Well, maybe the caddy now. Pay someone 250 to swap the tranny out. If the heat/AC dont turn on at all, its not a vacuum line but probably still an easy fix. If it comes out of defrost vents only, that would be a vacuum line. The tranny doesnt have a vacuum hose connected to it so the bad shifts are not vacuum related, it operates off a TV cable with probably just need to be adjusted. I dont see someone putting a bad tranny back in after a swap. But you're gonna have to drive it more, highway and residential, to see how it does with everyday driving.

11-11-10, 01:46 AM
^What CS said. The trans that is in that Cadillac gets ALL of it's shift point references based off of the TV cable. Make sure that it is adjusted properly, because if not it can cause shifting problems or even ruin the trans. I'd jump all over that Brougham, it sounds wonderful. :thumbsup:

11-11-10, 01:52 AM
The TH350 or 400 didn't use vacuum controls?

11-11-10, 07:24 AM
I'd go with the caddy any day...but that's just me :)

11-11-10, 12:00 PM
I happen to be really fond of those really squarish mercs up until '87... Hate them after that. Only like the really angular ones. Lets see pictures of both. They both sound like they are great color combo cars. Let's see 'em!!

11-11-10, 12:33 PM
Yup, pics please both cars sounds very mind and near perfect :)
'80-89 one of my fave stylings for Cadillac but it's your choice :)

11-11-10, 01:10 PM
The back doors don't open on either side? Are you sure the frame isn't bent and is causing the doors to jam? That neither door will open seem really odd. Mechanical parts are easy enough to replace (given enough time and money) since most are bolted in, body work, especially damage that results in a bent frame, requires professional expertise. You could have a bend in the frame that would not necessarily result in obvious sheet metal damage.

If this is to be a daily driver and you have to pay someone to do the work go for the car in the best condition. If this is a second car and you can do most of the mechanical work yourself go for the car you like best.

11-11-10, 02:36 PM
^Door problems are very common on the Brougham. The lubrication on the linkage drys and cause the door to get stuck in a state of being both locked and unlocked, which makes in possible to open. Usually spraying silicone lube into the door will free the linkage, but I had to install a spring to help the mechanism release every time (the daily lube baths weren't helping anymore).

11-11-10, 03:40 PM
If you want a driver right out of the box, go with the Mercury. If you're willing to be patient and fix things a little at a time, and you're OK with knowing that you'll have to spend at least what you paid for the car to make things right, the Brougham is the much nicer car.

11-11-10, 10:37 PM
I'd go with the Mercury myself, the 5.0 fuel injected motor in those are great. They feel a lot stronger than the factory hp ratings as well, about on par with my 350 in my 1991, just not as much off the line torque. Also, I feel like the interiors on the Mercury and Town Car of those years is kind of similar, so I don't feel like you're missing out on a lot like comparing a Caprice and a Brougham. And how often do you find a one owner, 37k mile car???

As for the Caddy, it sounds like somebody hacked it up pretty good. If you don't mind working on it yourself, its a good deal IMO, but I wouldn't buy it if you have to pay a mechanic.

11-12-10, 12:05 AM
Get the Mercury otherwise find a nicer Cadillac. :)

11-12-10, 01:19 AM
Well honestly i love the Caddy. I looked at it and havent been able to stop thinking about it. And the engine looks good in it, i mean aside from the valve covers saying Oldsmobile you wouldn't know its not stock. But i just think something isnt hooked up right vacuum wise but i really have no idea on how to work on the car myself with those kind of problems. As for the back doors, i know it is just the inside mechanics, as the buttons dont release so no worry there i can fix some weekend. im wondering if something fuse wise is blown as now ive been thinking that the radio and the heat control didnt light up. ??? One question i also have is would cruise still work with that engine?? im thinking this could be a nice project as it isn't that pricey... i have a nice base to work with..... but i also want to work on my 88 hearse too.. new engine, duals, and paint....

now the Merc is also nice, it def caught my eye when i drove by it. I love the front ends and turbne style rims on the cars! and it has nice woodgrain inside and i love the dash gauges and speedometer look. but it is a mercury and not a caddy. I am a caddy guy and i just dont know if i wanna take that step but it is nice.... But also not a very rare car aside from the low mileage.

11-12-10, 03:02 AM
But also not a very rare car aside from the low mileage.

Now I wouldn't say that!!!! I can tell you straight up that I see more 80's Caddy Broughams than I do 80's Grand Marquis/Crown Vics/Town Cars. Most of those 80's panther cars were used up as cop cars and crushed, yeah they sold more than the GM B/D body, but it was all fleet/police sales. Same thing with 80's Caprice vs Broughams, I still see more Broughams because they were generally looked after a lot better than Caprices.

11-12-10, 08:49 AM
I had an 86 crown vic before...that thing was sweet! I sold it for $200 when I moved and still miss it.

11-12-10, 11:12 AM
You didn't mention that the ECC didn't have a display... There are few things that could cause them to not display and not work, but I think the power module (which is in the engine compartment) might have been disconnected. Worse case scenario with that is you have to replace the Climate Control, which is pretty simple and the parts can be found in most junkyards (there are three components you need).

Vacuum leaks can be hard to locate and fix. The best way to deal with them is to replace each vacuum hose, one by one. If you get the car, try to locate an emissions schematic for the old's 350, and that will tell you where most of the vacuum line should be connected.

As for the cruise control; I don't see why a system from a 307 won't work on the 350. The only problem you might run into is not having a place to mount the servo.

11-12-10, 07:59 PM
I agree with sven- at the end of the day the Brougham is worth more. If you are interested in that one get it looked over well by someone before you buy it to make sure whoever changed engines didn't just rush it and do a half-ass job. Other then both being RWD these cars are quite different so more then anything else it's whatever one you like the best.

11-12-10, 08:03 PM
Get the Mercury otherwise find a nicer Cadillac. :)

I agree with Bro-Ham, find another Caddy.

11-18-10, 11:07 PM
For me it all depends on why you are getting the car, if it is just another collectors item for you, then get the Caddy and do the fixes. However if it is a car you are buying to rely on immediately I would look for another one (or perhaps get the mercury, but like you, I love Caddys)...My thing is, you never know what you are buying in a car like that, if they did a hack job, you may have to redo a lot of things!! Heck, I would say offer him $700 take it or leave it, see how bad he wants to sell it, lol...I mean c'mon, half the amenities doesnt even work! O and as a sidenote, I would never buy a car that I couldnt take out on the road...yea, offer $700, continue looking for another Caddy or get the Grand Marq...

11-18-10, 11:28 PM
Discipline yourself, save up, and buy the nicest example of what you truly want. You'll be much happier that you're rolling in what tickles you. :)

11-19-10, 12:54 AM
Well as it turns out i didnt buy either car! The Merc is just out of my price range at the moment with christmas coming. And the 89 Brougham needs some work that i realy dont know what i am getting into. But it is nice interior wise and body wise, i want to save it just for those two things.... but i need a car i can drive.

Instead i found a 1987 Cadillac Brougham. It is white with the dark burgundy/maroon leather interior. She has 67K miles on her, runs great and everything(except antenna) works! She has some rust around rear wheel wells and door corners but not terrible. Got her for $500! Just needed a driver's side fornt and rear brake line.
I am gonna have to figure out how to load more pics(as it says i have reached my limit?). I am getting her detailed on monday. Interior is almost mint. Not a bad find i think especially given how good she runs.

~if anyone can help with advice on how to put up pics please do tell!

11-19-10, 01:37 AM
Upload the pics to a file sharing site like photobucket, then copy and paste the IMG links into your post.

Congrats on your new Cadillac!

11-19-10, 08:42 AM
yeah, I use photobucket :)

11-19-10, 09:29 PM
Well here are a few pics so far. She desperately needs a good bath! But she is being fully detailed and waxed on Monday.

11-19-10, 10:10 PM
Very nice. Clear up that bit of rust over the rear wheels and she'll look good as new! :thumbsup:

11-20-10, 11:27 AM
Thanks for the pic , I liked your ride and would like to see the pics lster after a good detailing

11-21-10, 09:04 AM
Wow, great job for $500!

11-21-10, 04:52 PM
WOW! Nice looking car! Congratulations!! :) :) :)

11-21-10, 05:37 PM
For $500?? Man thats a steal, lol...Mucho congrats