: To sell, or not to sell?



79Devil'Girl
01-23-11, 12:22 AM
My '79 has been giving me problems every other week it seems. I've replaced many things on the car and it still runs like crap. One day I put it up for sale for 2000 on craigslist because I was so P/O'd. I bought the car for 2500 ( WAY overpriced, it shouldve been 1400 bucks but I was stupid back then) and put a good 2500 into it.
She's so MOODY! Some days she runs fine.. most days.. just ticks me off.. ugh the FOREVER SQUEAKY BRAKES!
...why she stumbles and sometimes doesn't start (even after a long drive) is still a mystery.Not to mention embarassing, when you're trying to start your car for the 5th time in a crowded parking lot, because she attracts attention I'm being watched.
One person already asked about it, but offered me only 1500 bucks. She's worth more than that.
Idk, should I just endure it and keep fixing her little quirks? .. not to mention getting like 9mpg in city is kinda crappy. The odo reads 91k, but now I'm wondering if it's really 191k.
...Whatcha think guys? Sell and lose money, or keep and dump more money into her? :P

Rolex
01-23-11, 08:51 AM
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/community-lounge-introductions-general-discussion/219852-barely-used-cadillacs-so-affordable.html

Money pit cars are money pits.

mhamilton
01-23-11, 09:52 AM
What's in that '79, the 368ci with 4bbl carb?

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-23-11, 10:04 AM
No, it's got the big four and a quarter.

ben.gators
01-23-11, 02:26 PM
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/community-lounge-introductions-general-discussion/219852-barely-used-cadillacs-so-affordable.html

Money pit cars are money pits.

I was going to say the same thing... :D
Anyway, keeping such a car and using it as a daily driver is trashing your money plus it will be the source of headache for yourself.... However it will be totally another story if you like to keep the car as a project car in your garage. But as a daily driver, I would say NO! There are very affordable Cadillacs around and the money you want to spend for repairing your DeVille can be a good down payment for a barely used Cadillac.

mhamilton
01-23-11, 02:36 PM
No, it's got the big four and a quarter.

Oh okay, 425ci and a Qjet, plus a HEI--that's not really a complex engine system there... it's not even CCC. Are you paying someone to fix these starting/stumbling issues?

I would say you can probably get the engine running right with a quality carburetor service and maybe some work to the distributor. I know it's difficult when you're relying on someone else to do work the right way, but if it were my car I would start with a carb overhaul. Not just a gasket kit, but have the throttle bores bushed with bronze inserts (this carb was NOTORIOUS for throttle shaft wear in the aluminum base plate), check the rods and jets for wear, new float, etc. Carbs are a PIA... they need service a lot more often than anyone would like, and especially with the fuel today dissolving old plastic and seals.

Then go over the vacuum system with a fine-tooth comb. Replace all the lines if they're original. Check the TVS switches for operation and vac leakage. If someone's been in there before and plugged off vac lines trying to re-engineer what GM designed, it'll never run right.

Then, take apart the HEI and make sure the mechanical advance is working. This era the vac advance did most of the spark advance, but the mech is still important. You can't use any kind of petroleum based lubricant in there, you need a 100% synthetic grease for the advance mechanism. When I did mine I took it down to pieces, and polished the shaft so the advance mechanism was completely free of old gunk. (If you have the electronic HEI then none of that applies, but looks like that was CA and limo only)

orconn
01-23-11, 03:28 PM
If this is the Cadillac you can afford then I would say dump the car before you spend any more on it. I don't know what the used car market is like in New Mexico, but I would think you could come up with a better alternative than a clapped out old Cadillac for daily transportation. By and large cheap old Cadillacs, or any other luxury cars, are money pits to be avoided if at all possible. If you cannot afford to spend $5000. or more on a used Cadillac, I would strongly suggest finding a car for daily driving that will be a lot cheaper to keep on the road.

cadillac kevin
01-23-11, 03:30 PM
I say dont sell it. with cadillacs, it seems like everything wears out at once, especially if nothing was really replaced on it (typical for a car that wasnt driven much). my car went from a creampuff to a lemon in about 3 months because with daily driving, everything wore out pretty quick.
as long as its cheaper to fix it than to pay the monthly note on a car I say keep it.

when you start the car, do you pump the gas pedal down slowly to the floor and release twice before you start the car? if you do, and you're still having problems, most likely the choke on the carb is acting up and needs to be adjusted.
as for the issue of the car not firing up after a long trip, at least in my experience with a carb, thats normal carb behavior, especially if the carb needs to be adjusted. sometimes it will fire right up, sometimes it wants to be stubborn. its just how a carb is. also if the carb looks dirty inside, try seafoam.
since caddys are heavy by nature, are as aerodynamic as a flying brick, and have massive engines, its pretty much a recipe for bad mileage. you can help it get less worse mileage though. using heat or AC will affect your mileage. use cruise control if you have it, even in the city. it should be able to idle down the street in cruise control. overdrive helps (can't recall if 79's had OD though) , as does being uuber conservative with the gas pedal. it should not take much gas for it to move down the street, or even maintain highway speed.

Playdrv4me
01-23-11, 03:52 PM
Get rid of it, take the money and if you must still have a Cadillac buy yourself an early 1990s 4.9 Deville. Rock solid, takes abuse, and is the quintessential Caddy all our younger member start with. Best of all, you could almost take what you get for your '79 (if really worth what you think it is) and get a DAMN nice Deville.

drewsdeville
01-23-11, 07:18 PM
Get rid of it, take the money and if you must still have a Cadillac buy yourself an early 1990s 4.9 Deville. Rock solid, takes abuse, and is the quintessential Caddy all our younger member start with. Best of all, you could almost take what you get for your '79 (if really worth what you think it is) and get a DAMN nice Deville.

This is pretty good advice.

Really, anything '88-'95 with a 4.X will be your best bet for cheap-to-maintain Cadillac. My vote on these actually usually goes for the '88-'89 variants, as I find the TBI equipped engines to be less finicky and overall more reliable than the PFI units. Those can sometimes be a little problematic with their finicky injectors and fuel pressure regulators, though they still aren't that expensive to maintain. You sacrifice a bit of power, however :(

But still, even those are getting to be 15 years old, at the newest, with the 88-89's being over 20 years. Once you are getting that old, even with low mileage, anything is game for failure IMO.

Perhaps it wouldn't be unreasonable to look at a different brand, considering your requirements.

Ranger
01-23-11, 10:37 PM
Hard starting on an engine like that is almost always attributed to a misadjusted choke system. Find some old guy :hide: who still understands carburetors if you decide to keep it. Probably a simple adjustment. Remember, it is after all, older than you and WILL need parts and repairs. You'll probably have a hard time getting what you want out of it. See what KBB says it's worth for a place to start.

77CDV
01-24-11, 02:20 AM
Where is Bro-Ham to sing the praises of using these old battlecruisers as DDs? All the mechanical stuff has been pretty much covered. All I can say is, the car is 32 years old. It's going to need service to be serviceable, and that costs money (unless you DIY). But, once you get the carb dialed in, the vacuum set, and the HEI working right, it'll all hold very well with routine maintanance if you continue to use the car as a DD. It's sitting for ages and not being driven that's often the death of these cars.

As for the gas mileage, it's a 425 V8 with a 4bbl carb and a three speed auto in a machine pushing 5000lbs. What do you expect? Nine to 11 mpg around town is considered normal, and was perfectly acceptable in 1979. If that by itself is a problem for you, then this is not the car for you.

Aron9000
01-24-11, 02:28 AM
Hard starting on an engine like that is almost always attributed to a misadjusted choke system. Find some old guy :hide: who still understands carburetors if you decide to keep it. Probably a simple adjustment. Remember, it is after, all older than you and WILL need parts and repairs. You'll probably have a hard time getting what you want out of it. See what KBB says it's worth for a place to start.

Good advice here!! I'd have that said "old guy" completely rebuild the carburator and look at your distributor, change your plugs, fuel filter, and do any other routine maitence on the car. Does this car have to pass emissions? If not, I'd remove the cat converter and disconnect the AIR pump as well, just to rule those out as possible sources for it running like crap.

Anyways, I'm convinced that you haven't found the "right" mechanic, and that with another $400-800 the right guy could replace a lot of worn parts on this engine and get it purring like a kitten.

If this is your daily driver/reliable car, I'd probably dump it honestly. Its going to need a fair amount of tinkering to get it running like it should, and that can get aggrivating on something you rely on to get to and from work.

If you want to stay in the Cadillac family, look for a 90-93 Brougham with the TBI 350 Chevy(option code LO5) or a 91-92 Brougham with the smaller TBI 305 Chevy(option code LO3). I'd stay away from any 1986-90 Brougham with the 5.0 Olds v8, its carbed and will have the same sort of issues you get with your current engine.

79Devil'Girl
01-25-11, 11:27 PM
I had the carb rebuilt, taken apart and looked at, adjusted and put back together again. I have a retired state mechanic working on it, he loves Q-Jets so he had fun tinkering with mine. He got the engine timing dead on, and the choke is set. Like I said, some days, it starts like it should and runs fine. Just, severe lack of power ( the cat is gone, the AIR pump is disconnected)... then again, it hasn't had a transmission kick down switch. I ordered one, just got it today - we'll see if anything improves with the kick down switch installed. Well, see, I had an '88 Brougham for my first caddy, with the olds 307, that got great gas mileage despite also being a POS (got it for $500, sold it for a grand) and my dad had a '77 Fleetwood Brougham that he said didn't suck gas despite having a big block. So I thought nothing of the '79. Big mistake!
Daily driver ? I have a '88 chevy suburban, "ol' reliable" as my daily transportation, but I'd rather have my caddy as its easier to drive ya know?
Well, if I sell this I wouldn't be getting another car; my sitting project is a '67 Fleetwood, that actually runs better than the '79 at this point, but needs minor things like a driver's window switch panel. I haven't registered that one yet.
Oh, anyone have any idea how much a power steering box is for a '79 Deville? seems after I replaced the power steering pump, the box is going out now.
Oh, and the engine ticks loudly, even with 91 octane. Maybe a lifter ?

mhamilton
01-26-11, 12:37 PM
Oh, and the engine ticks loudly, even with 91 octane. Maybe a lifter ?

Octane won't make the engine tick (low octane will knock under load), if you have a lifter ticking then I can nearly guarantee you have a wiped camshaft. GM had lots of issues with heat treating cams in the late '70s and early '80s before moving to roller tappets. That absolutely explains a lack of power and poor running, but not necessarily the hard starting.

79Devil'Girl
01-26-11, 08:34 PM
Uh oh.

jayoldschool
01-27-11, 04:14 PM
I haven't heard of any Cad big blocks with bad cams. Lots of 305 Chevys, but no 500/472/425/368s.

The squeaky brakes are a twenty minute fix. Just need the pads swedged to the caliper.

Starting issues still sound like choke to me.

Might want to get this moved over to the RWD section where the resident experts will chime in with help...

79Devil'Girl
01-27-11, 06:05 PM
Before this gets too technical lol. Guess I have too many cars.. '79 deville, 67 fleetwood, 88 suburban.. but now's not really the time to sell as everyone else is selling their "gas hog"..
..Honestly, I guess the '79 aint too bad. The suburban SEEMS to get better mpg only because it has a 40 gallon tank, and the 79 has a.. what, 20 gal tank? So I have to fill up more often, giving the illusion that it's getting worse mpg.
...Hmmmm..
An illusion!

Stingroo
01-27-11, 06:11 PM
I'd be terrified of filling a 40 gallon tank. Here, that turns out to be uh...

$3.05*40... $122. Screw that.

drewsdeville
01-27-11, 06:16 PM
$122? wtf?

I'll stick to filling my current tank for $45. $122-$45=$77 beer money. That's a lot of beer, and it tastes a lot better and is far more enjoyable than 40 gallons of gasoline.

Stingroo
01-27-11, 06:25 PM
No shit. lol I can fill the wagon on $50 and be good for almost a month.

79Devil'Girl
01-28-11, 09:26 PM
I don't disagree with you guys lol. I never let the tank go past half 'cause it DOES cost over a hundred to fill ( gas is still 2.99 here) But, it's a beast with a new GM crate motor & fun for offroad excursions.
However, I would pick the Cadillacs over the truck if it really came down to it.. Why didn't the deville come with a 30 gal tank? 20 gal seems too small..

77CDV
01-28-11, 11:05 PM
The tank on the '79 holds 24.5 gallons. Even my '69 FWB only holds 26 gallons.

79Devil'Girl
01-29-11, 12:05 AM
Heh, guess they weren't too concerned with frequent gas station stops. Ah well, more time for others to gawk and stare ;)

Rodya234
01-29-11, 01:33 AM
Get rid of it, take the money and if you must still have a Cadillac buy yourself an early 1990s 4.9 Deville. Rock solid, takes abuse, and is the quintessential Caddy all our younger member start with. Best of all, you could almost take what you get for your '79 (if really worth what you think it is) and get a DAMN nice Deville.

From someone who has a bunch of them, I wouldn't recommend a C-Body Deville to someone who doesn't do 95% of their own work. The reliability of these cars has decayed exponentially in recent years, and if I didn't wrench mine myself I probably couldn't afford to keep it.

That being said, they're pretty simple cars (Yes, I realize that "simple Cadillac" is an oxymoron) and if they're kept up well they'll pay you back with a ton of miles.

EChas3
01-29-11, 06:30 PM
My '93 Roadmaster got 25MPG on the interstate at 75MPH. It was possible to put 20 gallons in at a fill-up but only by driving in on fumes. I miss having that kind of range.

For the OP, if you're beginning to have doubts, it's time to get a daily driver that you can count on. All the trouble you descibe on that car sounds correctable on a limited budget but life is to short to have your daily driver govern your life. Trade if you must but you gotta be reliable or life isn't much fun.

orconn
01-29-11, 07:17 PM
The OP sounds as though she has a much higher than average knowledge of auto mechanics and may well be on her way to a solution to her problem.

EChas3
01-29-11, 08:31 PM
The OP sounds as though she has a much higher than average knowledge of auto mechanics and may well be on her way to a solution to her problem.

Great! When I encountered this thread earlier I was tempted to start going down the fuel vs fire diagnosis and point out the liklihood of various components subject to temperature sensitive failures. Technology of that era is more often ignition than fuel.

79Devil'Girl
01-30-11, 12:45 AM
*blinks*
I must admit, it's nice to actually have a conversation with you guys on here. 99% of the time, I'm just looking up threads and reading.
It's nice to.. talk to other Caddy owners.
Er, anyway!
About the hard starting problem, I did alittle testing and it seems like the carb is flooding. My retired mechanic friend and I took apart the Q-jet and discovered some tiny ( but apparently important) pieces were MISSING. I have no idea what to call them but he pointed out some holes and slots that should have some tiny rods & whatnot, I guess used for very fine tuning.
So.. the "Carb Shop" that I had sent the damn thing to back when I was still very new to carbs, charged me 300 bucks to rebuild the carb, and left some pieces out!?
WTF man?
....Ugh. I am SO getting a Carb book to learn the insides of these things.
So.. he's gunna look at some of his cores and see if he finds any of those interior.. pieces.
..However, the flooding is being caused by the choke not adjusting quick enough as the engine warms up, thus.. not getting enough air yadayada.
So, wired the choke open & now it starts fine but I have to keep it at a fast idle til it warms up enough to stay running on its own.
..Anyways, I got my whitewalls on my '67 finally! Looks good, she just needs a paintjob! I'm gunna try painting her when the weather warms up, my mechanic friend has his garage set up for painting & has offered to teach me.
Excited. Yes I is. :D
.. So I decided that I'm gunna keep the '79 for sale for $2k, if anyone bites great, if they don't, oh well. But, I'm saving for a newer, 4 cyl gas saver starting today.
http://i828.photobucket.com/albums/zz210/79DevilleGirl/0124111827.jpg

Stingroo
01-30-11, 10:19 AM
Where did you get those whitewalls? Those are MASSIVE.

mhamilton
01-30-11, 11:29 AM
So.. the "Carb Shop" that I had sent the damn thing to back when I was still very new to carbs, charged me 300 bucks to rebuild the carb, and left some pieces out!?
WTF man?
....Ugh. I am SO getting a Carb book to learn the insides of these things.

Sorry to hear, that's a PIA. It figures, you pay someone you think will do a good job and end up getting taken. Been there, done that.

The good news is that the only things that should be specific to your carb model are the rods and jets. If you can get a junkyard carb all the extra pieces should interchange. But hopefully your mechanic has the bits around.

Also, for a really thorough manual on the carb, look no further than the GM factory manual. They include a chapter on the fuel system with complete carb disassembly and assembly, step by step.

77CDV
01-30-11, 02:02 PM
This is true. The factory service manual goes into excruciating detail on the Q-Jet. Looks like you're making progress with the '67. Best of luck!

Koooop
01-30-11, 03:10 PM
If you have ticking lifter in a 425 you need to put a quart of Transmission fluid in the oil. Drive it 200 miles and be sure not to leave that stuff in the crank case for more than 2 or 3 days. This will probably eliminate your sticky lifter (unless you have a bad cam, but cams really don't go bad in the 425's)

You might also consider running the idle up to about 2,500rpm and running some of that transmission fluid through the carburetor. This will clean things up and make lots of pretty smoke, it does help that motor run smoother.

It sounds like your carb could be out of whack, the hard to start thing sounds like you're flooding it. Next time it won't start, sit and wait for about 30-45 seconds, then push the accelerator to the floor and keep it there and crank the starter.

A guy named Hamilton taught me how to keep a 425 running, but he moved out of So Cal decades ago. He'd be an old Bastard by now...

79Devil'Girl
01-30-11, 06:31 PM
Thanks for the tips! I will try the transmission fluid in the oil as my next oil change is coming up anyway.
I'd love to visit So Cal, that's cool you live there.
My '67 is from Burbank, kinda neat. Wonder how it got out here to Santa Fe.

Aron9000
01-30-11, 06:50 PM
I'd actually use Seafoam, its an oil detergent, designed to be put in your crankcase, I'd bet that would take care of your sticky lifter problem. You can also run about half a can through a vacume line or down your carb throat and clean out the carbon deposits in the combustion chamber. If you do run it through your combustion chambers, you need to change your plugs, as it will foul them up.

Koooop
01-30-11, 08:05 PM
If you run Transmission fluid right down the throat of the carb you won't need to change your plugs.

The trans fluid should be put in the crank case every 10,000 miles just before an oil change in an older 425 to keep the lifters from sticking.

I've tried various other chemicals, I did not have good luck. One of them broke to much stuff free and caused other problems.

Just remember 2 or 3 days! NO MORE!

drewsdeville
01-30-11, 08:35 PM
Oh god, more recommendations on dumping magic potions down your engines throat...

You two ladies had better get your flame suits on :)

77CDV
01-30-11, 11:35 PM
The trans fluid down the carb bit does work. Trans fluid can also be added to what passes for gasoline in some parts of the country to eliminate vapor lock and pinging from all the ethanol they add.

Bro-Ham
01-31-11, 10:55 AM
Where is Bro-Ham to sing the praises of using these old battlecruisers as DDs?

Here comes some singing. :) There is always a simple solution to making a 425 car work, and work well, if properly maintained. I keep my 79 Cad up as a daily driver, just as an owner would have done when the car was young, and it works FLAWLESSLY, and it's a daily driver. :)

I don't think it's very reasonable expect a very old car to simply perform unless you know that you have completely set the car right with renewed and refreshed mechanicals. Once these 425 cars are in top shape they are hard to beat; no electronic components to fail or trigger "check engine lights," cars are supremely simple and easy to work on, parts prices are practically free.

It is not cheap to gas these cars up but I say that's a small price to pay considering how otherwise inexpensive they are to operate. :)

79Devil'Girl
01-31-11, 01:35 PM
I suppose an engine rebuild would work wonders on my '79. I really like the styling, the look of the car, if I got the A/C system working with a new compressor and and some lines, a new steering box, and perhaps an engine rebuild ( the transmission's fine) and I'd have a new old car.
It's only 12 bucks a month for insurance, can't beat that, and she does get looks wherever I go.
Okay.. maybe I will keep her.

Stingroo
01-31-11, 01:36 PM
$12 a month? I envy you.

EChas3
01-31-11, 08:24 PM
Please do be safe.