: So, I looked at a 94 FWB yesterday...

07-03-11, 02:24 PM
...and I'd like to know what you folks think of the car and the few problems it has.

I've been cooresponding with this guy selling the car for a while now and finally getting to a point where it's about ready for sale. The vehicle in question is a 1994 Brougham in Dark Green Gray Metallic, 120k mostly highway miles, loaded with every option except for the Tow Package. Chrome Wheels, Astroroof, Keyless Entry, CD/Casette, Sungate, Locking Fuel Door, Full Size Spare, Vinyl Top. Also is one of 250 or so that year with the Gray Cloth interior. On the good side, the engine fires right up and there is no sign of oil or coolant leaking onto the opti, transmission (rebuilt 2004) shifts smoothly and it's very smooth and responsive. The toys (Astroroof, pulldown, power antenna etc...) all work, and the interior is flawless (due in part to the cloth upholstery). Car was garage kept and no signs of corrosion. For the most part the paint is perfect and the body is mostly straight. Rockers are in perfect condition with no pitting or dents, still firmly attached.

On the bad side, therre are several little dents (parking lot?) on both rear doors, all four quarter panel upper chrome moldings are peeling/rippling, both headlights have large cracks from rocks, one of two backup lights is broken at the mounting bracket. Also missing the cap for the RF bumperette. The tires are pretty well worn and there are some small cracks. Bottom line is I think they've had it. Car has a small oil leak which I noticed as well. Level Ride doesn't work (I think it's disabled somehow because the compressor doesn't run and the light on the dash doesn't come on). I believe that the previous owner took out the relay and put normal shocks in without changing the springs. Also there is a definite clunking noise when the wheel is cut over, not sure if that's a suspension problem or if the tires, which are 75R15 instead of 70R15 are slightly rubbing when wheel is hard over. Slight squeak from rear drums as well. Also, the LR window rollers are toast and the window falls forward when lowered. Finally the LH Vinyl top reveal molding is missing clips and loosely off track, also lots of paint chipped off so that'll need to be resprayed.

To top it off the car really hasn't been driven in two years as it was owned by an older guy who was in failing health. The seller is having it thoroughly inspected at a Cadillac dealer and having them fax me the results though. I guess what I'm wondering is what I'm getting myself into. The is asking a reasonable price although considering the problems maybe a bit high. Do you guys think it's worth buying up as a fixer thats in generally good mechanical and solid body shape, or should I run and not look back, and wait for the next one to pop up whenever that might be up here (not a whole lot of these in Canada)?

07-03-11, 02:38 PM
Rust free body? Clean underside?

Most of the stuff you mention seems minor.

Window rollers are easy.
235/75 tires shouldn't produce a clunking noise, that size was standard on the limousine service cars. May need front suspension work.
Bumperettes are easy to come by, as are headlights and reverse lights, etc.
Check to see if the level ride fuse is inside the fuse block. My wagon has level ride and I hate it - I just pulled the fuse because the bags are leaking. This owner probably did the same.
Pull the rear drums off and just look at the shoes - easy enough to replace (springs are a pain in the ass though... I hate drum brakes lol)

The deal breaker for me would be the chipping paint. Show us some photos. If it's really bad, a good respray of a metallic paint can get pricey. The rest of that stuff is minor. If you did all the work yourself, parts to rebuild your front suspension should run you around $350-400 US (don't really know about Canadian prices... can't imagine them much worse?) tires are a given expense with almost any used car, and the rear brakes are another $200 or so (rough estimates).

If you can stand to sink another grand into it for repairs/maintenance items, give or take, go for it. But like I said - paint would kill it for me. Paint's expensive.

If you can't wrench, or don't have a good cheap trusted mechanic - walk. Or, you could learn to wrench.

Another 20 year old with another 20 year old car. :thumbsup:

07-03-11, 03:46 PM
When I mentioned the chipped paint, I should clarify that I was referring specifically to the vinyl reveal *only*, with the exception of a couple of rock chips on the hood the paint is more or less intact, so is the vinyl on the top for that matter save for a small stain towards the back. The underbody is pretty good too, the wheel shrouds have surface rust from sitting and there is some spotty surface rust on the frame from sitting as well but nothing that you could consider structural. Learning to wrench couldn't hurt. I've been telling myself that if/when the Opti goes, it's something I would likely do myself, and I'm not all-together opposed to figuring out and replacing those rear suspension components myself either Front suspension is more complex but I'll reserve my judgement for the inspection report. I have friends who are in the business who'd be willing to help me out. I've got the Factory Service Bible for these cars already, not some Haynes that's going to get me into more trouble than I can solve. It's not like my livelihood and mobility would be affected if it takes me a few weeks to get her fixed up at my pace anyways. My daily driver is a 2007 Impala LS with the Canadian-spec "Sport Package" (basically equipped like a US-spec LT); this car is more of a project/fun purchase anyways. Dumping a grand into more parts is certainly something that my budget can sustain as well given the seller's asking price.

Some pictures from earlier this year:


cadillac kevin
07-03-11, 04:03 PM
depending on the price, I'd say go for it. its pretty clean (especially for a car from the rust belt) and tires aside, seems like a good car. (I'd get some good quality tires on it first thing).

07-03-11, 04:07 PM
1500 or under, max.

07-03-11, 05:28 PM
Everything you mentioned is small stuff that you'd have to fix on any car. It's probably worth a few grand. Even in Canada they aren't too hard to come by so if something worries you about it keep looking.

07-03-11, 06:54 PM
I'm with Jay. If it's $1500 or less, snag it. If it's more, walk. You can find others.

Also depending on where in Canada you are, a trip to the States to find one might also be something to consider.

Regardless, welcome to the forums. :)

07-03-11, 07:39 PM
About the oil leak, was that engine oil? The LT1's can leak in the rear of the intake manifold, making it hard to see. It's not that hard to fix, but time consuming.

Also check the exhaust manifold bolts, especially the rear ones if they are missing or broken off.

07-03-11, 08:01 PM
About the oil leak, was that engine oil? The LT1's can leak in the rear of the intake manifold, making it hard to see. It's not that hard to fix, but time consuming.

Also check the exhaust manifold bolts, especially the rear ones if they are missing or broken off.

Exhaust manifold bolts seem to be okay, also the onboard diagnostic unit isn't throwing up codes. As for the leak, it was engine oil, and it was about dead center in terms of where it was coming from under the car's engine bay. Didn't look like it was coming from the intake or anywhere up top.

As for where I'm from, I'm from Southern Alberta. Trips into Montana, Idaho, Washington, the Dakotas or Wyoming aren't really off the table, but I'd like to avoid the hassle associated with bringing something accross the border. I'm really only looking in BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan, with my schedule anything realistically east of Saskatchewan is too far. Too bad because there is a nice white one for sale there in the GTA with 101km for about $4000. These cars aren't as common out west as they are in Ontario, if only because of population density. I can easily count on my hands how many I've seen since last fall. We'll see depending on what the inspection turns up, I might go for it for a good price if there are in fact just small problems.

07-03-11, 08:09 PM
Maybe it's just leaking from the filter or plug then? I hope you will enjoy the car if you get it. After having one for a year now I'm still excited every time I take it out.

07-03-11, 08:57 PM
Just curious. How common is the cloth interior in Canada? I don't see many in the states with the option. I guess most people see cloth as a downgrade from leather, and cant see paying extra for it.

07-03-11, 10:06 PM
My dream Fleetwood would be a '95 DCM, no vinyl roof, cloth interior. Perfection. I hate leather - it's too damn hot.

07-03-11, 10:07 PM
Just curious. How common is the cloth interior in Canada? I don't see many in the states with the option. I guess most people see cloth as a downgrade from leather, and cant see paying extra for it.

From a purely observational angle I'd say that a disproportional number of Fleetwoods with Prestwick Cloth came to Canada. It's just colder up here and Leather isn't a warm or inviting thing in -30* weather. A pretty significant number of the Fleetwoods that I've seen for sale in Canada in the last year have had Cloth interiors of a variety of colours. Some blue, some burgundy, a couple grays as well. During that period I've seen maybe one or two American based units for sale with Cloth. Bear in mind that out of ~27000 1994 Fleetwoods only ~750 were sold in Canada. Out of that same number of ~27000 Fleetwoods only ~1800 had cloth. Maybe someone with a compnine subscription could narrow it down exactly. I don't consider cloth to be a downgrade if the cloth is *nice cloth*. The stuff they put in the Fleetwoods was a VERY NICE cloth with a luxurious feel. Kind of reminds me more of the cloth in my Impala or the Buick Lucerne/new LaCrosse. Not like the rat fur they pass off as cloth in Cobalts, Focii, and Chrysler Sebrings.

07-04-11, 11:20 AM
A Fleetwood Brougham with cloth interior ,it's very rare to me eyes . The car looks nice as well , wheels are perfect chromed

07-07-11, 09:07 AM
For a northern car it looks pretty good. The suspension clunk is a common thing in older B and D body cars, and it's actually not difficult to fix, but I have to call my friend and ask what exactly it is again. I've been ignoring mine for so long I've forgotten what I need to fix there. It's like a bushing or something though I think.
$1500, I'd say snatch it no problems. 2k, I'd try negotiating down a bit. 4k, the guy's a little tweaked from the cold. :)

07-08-11, 10:51 PM
He wouldn't budge below 2500 so I passed. When you consider it's been sitting for two years (fluids all need changing), tires need replacement, needs new headlights and backup lights (not cheap), etc etc... and factor in the fact that it came in as unroadworthy based on worn shocks and springs in the insurance inspection (can't be registered until this fixed by licensed mechanic, and a no doubt excessive labor rate in additon to parts for something I could otherwise do myself, I think I can do better than spend $2000 fixing it up. I'd even be willing to dole out $4500 for a more trouble free and or lower mileage model. I guess I can keep hoping for a Dark Triple Blue Brougham like I would ideally want.

07-08-11, 11:08 PM
Right decision.

07-08-11, 11:08 PM
Definitely. Bummer, but you'll find what you're looking for at the right price with a little more hunting. :)

07-10-11, 06:55 PM
Just to ask, have you tired craigslist? I found mine there, using google as a search engine. Agree 100% that $2500 isn't a reasonable price, given the repairs needed. Good luck & happy hunting!

07-22-11, 10:25 PM
Great western score! Check the body mount under the battery tray I`ve got a triple black `94 from Ontario and the mount is completely out of it! Likely salt related. Apparently the chrome plated PLASTIC mouldings on the quarters and front fenders where a real pain in the ass for the General! Warranty issues. The chrome always peeled off the plastic.Hows the rear bumper? they are notirious for rot too!