: Reccomend me a Cadillac Version. Need a new car



kcaps
09-16-12, 02:15 PM
Let me start out by saying, I have been doing some searching on the forum and lurking and well I miss my old Cadillac(1980 Brougham D'elegance) and want to get back in one.. A thread I stumbled upon here has peaked my interest.

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/community-lounge-introductions-general-discussion/228957-most-reliable-caddy.html

I am in the same boat regarding being a college student, which means I do not have a money tree. My main concern is reliability.

The thread posted above seems to lean towards the lt1 and 4.9 being reliable, but also upon further research the transmissions are a weak point possibly? I can turn a wrench, but anything higher than fluids, u joints, brakes, water pumps, ball joints and I question my ability/knowledge.


I am looking primarily at the 1994-96 Fleetwoods with the LT1, but also the 1994-1995 Devilles with the 4.9.


Any common issues with these? What to look for? Basic things to know. Cost to maintain. Anything you can think of really that would be insightful. Like a tip I saw on here for the Fleetwoods was be weary of the Brougham soft top because they may hide water and rust.

Speaking of Rust issues, as I am in the rust-belt. This is a big issue, coming from a Jeep guy the salt here eats everything. Are these prone to sever rust issues? Where to look and what to look at?

Are compression tests difficult to perform on these engines, as I have "read" no experience, that the spark plugs are difficult to access on the 4.9. All I keep seeing about the lt1 is the distributor /waterpump issue, which is not a problem with me.

Any other Cadillac I should be considering? Even though to be honest I am kind of set on these two choices, but you never know.

Ok, enough rambling. If I have more questions I will add more as they come.

Thank all for you time.

77CDV
09-16-12, 02:43 PM
Between your two options, I'd probably go with the 94-96 Fleetwood. Proven powertrain, still fairly simple. Only common issue I'm aware of is the touchy Optispark. Aside from that, you know well where rust attacks cars. Undercoat the thing and wash it religiously throughout the winter, with special attention to the undercarriage, rocker panels, and wheel wells. Buy the best, lowest mileage one you can find. Make sure all the options are working, as repairing them can get expensive.

That's my $0.02.

hueterm
09-16-12, 03:06 PM
I've had three Buick Roadmasters (same as FWB)...all have needed transmission rebuilds by 100k miles. ($1000-2500)

Two have needed major A/C work. ($1000+)

Be warned.

brandondeleo
09-16-12, 03:13 PM
I vote '94-'96 FWB. I plan to own one as my next car.

dennis93coupe
09-16-12, 03:14 PM
I have 130k on my 93 with few minor needed repairs. There is not much different from base Deville with a 4.9L. Everybody complains about the plugs being hard to get to, it's a matter of taking some things off to get more room in there. Transmissons are a roll of the dice. Ask for service records.

kcaps
09-16-12, 03:23 PM
Would an external transmission cooler and frequent fluid/filter changes prolong the life, or still a crap shoot? I feel I read on here not to flush them, is that correct?

Also, thanks for the fast responses and advice so far. Did not know if this would be the correct section to post, perhaps later on I will cross post in the Fleetwood section.

Once again, thanks for your time.

brandondeleo
09-16-12, 03:44 PM
Would an external transmission cooler and frequent fluid/filter changes prolong the life, or still a crap shoot? I feel I read on here not to flush them, is that correct?

Also, thanks for the fast responses and advice so far. Did not know if this would be the correct section to post, perhaps later on I will cross post in the Fleetwood section.

Once again, thanks for your time.
Any time you're keeping the fluid cooler is a good thing. Would be cool to have, I guess.
Drain and fill, yes. Flushing machine? No.

cadillac kevin
09-16-12, 03:46 PM
Would an external transmission cooler and frequent fluid/filter changes prolong the life, or still a crap shoot? I feel I read on here not to flush them, is that correct?

Also, thanks for the fast responses and advice so far. Did not know if this would be the correct section to post, perhaps later on I will cross post in the Fleetwood section.

Once again, thanks for your time.
External transmission cooler isn't necessary unless you're towing a big trailer through the mountains

Flushing transmission= bad
Changing (draining and refilling) transmission= good

Personally, I would recommend a 90-93 chevy 350 powered brougham. The chevy 350 is a reliable engine and has good power. The 700r4 transmission they came with was pretty reliable by then as well, but transmissions are always a crap shoot. While true that there can be rust under the vinyl tops, you can always tell if the top failed by either bumps or depressions in the vinyl. Also, for some reason, I see alot of white 90-92 broughams with rust halfway up the doors. I'm not sure if that was due to the plastic cladding ,lack of care, or possibly bad paint.

Playdrv4me
09-16-12, 04:30 PM
The way you solve rust concerns is by starting with a car that didnt come from a rusty place to begin with. Either a local car with a history from elsewhere, or travel for it. Not sure why more people dont do this.

orconn
09-16-12, 04:41 PM
^^^ I agree. Most people want a "quick" fix at the lowest possible cost, so rather than traveling to purchase a car that hasn't suffered the rigors and destructive environment of northern Winters they just settle for what's at hand .... rust and all! This may be expedient for a student or other with limited means, but for those who have jobs and income and desire a really good car, or just a beater with several more years of use left in it, a trip to the West or South should yield better prospects. If you want low mileage, well cared for older Cadillacs (and other makes) Florida is your happy hunting ground!

kcaps
09-16-12, 04:43 PM
While, I understand the logic in that statement. It is not feasible for myself with class, work, and well money to travel. I do appreciate the input. I was more concerned in problematic areas to be weary of while looking, but also as a possible future owner as well.

Cadillac Kevin-It seems that WIKI says the 1993 Fleetwood does not have the 700r4? Rather than a 4L60? I am a fan of the Previous Generation FWB looks wise, being that I had a 1980, I'd like to change it up this time.

CadillacLuke24
09-16-12, 05:16 PM
As a fellow college student, I feel your pain :lol: That being said, I'd go with a 91-95 DeVille with the 4.9. The 4.9 is one of Cadillac's most reliable engines ever built, and it's a common occurence to see one running just fine with 300k on the clock. The C-Bodies (91-93) were incredibly popular cars during their time, and as such are plentiful now, and a good example would be $5K tops. I bet you could find a really nice one for $3k. They're not too bad as far as maintenance goes, and you co do a lot of the stuff on your own with our help (provided you're into that kind of thing). Just my IMHO.

Happy hunting :D

cadillac kevin
09-16-12, 05:34 PM
While, I understand the logic in that statement. It is not feasible for myself with class, work, and well money to travel. I do appreciate the input. I was more concerned in problematic areas to be weary of while looking, but also as a possible future owner as well.

Cadillac Kevin-It seems that WIKI says the 1993 Fleetwood does not have the 700r4? Rather than a 4L60? I am a fan of the Previous Generation FWB looks wise, being that I had a 1980, I'd like to change it up this time.

A "4L60" is a 700r4.
A "4L60-e" is a modified 700r4 which has electronics in it that control shift points, feel, etc. It was used from 94-96 in B and D body applications.

kcaps
09-16-12, 05:49 PM
A "4L60" is a 700r4.
A "4L60-e" is a modified 700r4 which has electronics in it that control shift points, feel, etc. It was used from 94-96 in B and D body applications.
Well thank your for the clarification on that as I did not know. I'm assuming you recommend the 1993 due to less hp and torque, thus being a tad easier on essentially the same transmission.

kcaps
09-16-12, 05:59 PM
As a fellow college student, I feel your pain :lol: That being said, I'd go with a 91-95 DeVille with the 4.9. The 4.9 is one of Cadillac's most reliable engines ever built, and it's a common occurence to see one running just fine with 300k on the clock. The C-Bodies (91-93) were incredibly popular cars during their time, and as such are plentiful now, and a good example would be $5K tops. I bet you could find a really nice one for $3k. They're not too bad as far as maintenance goes, and you co do a lot of the stuff on your own with our help (provided you're into that kind of thing). Just my IMHO.

Happy hunting :DI am still considering the 1994-95 body style Deville. As mentioned above I do not mind turning a wrench for simple replacements. Conversely I would be hesitant taking on bigger tasks.

cadillac kevin
09-16-12, 06:04 PM
Well thank your for the clarification on that as I did not know that. I'm assuming you recommend the 1993 due to less hp and torque, thus being a tad easier on essentially the same transmission.

No, I recommended it because it was the last year for the 700r4, which should be its best year (should have worked out most of the issues by then) as compared to the 4l60e, which was in its first year in the B/ D body in 1994 (typically, the first year is the worst for a new product as not all the issues have been worked out yet)

drewsdeville
09-16-12, 10:06 PM
Reliability of ANY car will be largely dependent on previous maintenance.

Between the two cars, I don't think there will be a significant reliability difference. As far as powertrains, maintenance is relatively easy on both, parts are cheap, and problem areas aren't too detrimental.

The one factor that may make the biggest difference in reliability is the fact that you live in the rust belt. The Fleetwood's platform has a big leg down on the Deville when it is subjected to wintery conditions. By now, just about any Fleetwood that was daily driven in the rust belt is rotted pig, no matter how nice the body looks. If I remember correctly, Hueterm will be able to give some insight on this topic. He's had a a bit of corrosion-related repair - and it's not cheap.

Outside of that, where you will find a the significant difference overall is in how they drive - and in this respect, the Deville wins, hands down (my opinion, of course). The Fleetwood makes the Deville feel like a sports car. The Deville is much tighter, more composed, and overall easier to live with as a daily driver - all while offering a larger cabin.

That said, base your choice on previous maintenance and a test drive. There are many fine examples of both and very poor examples of both out there. Make your decisions based on what you find - make no decisions before then.

hueterm
09-16-12, 10:21 PM
Good D body '93-96 Fleetwoods carry a premium if they're in good shape. For the money/condition/mileage, you're going to find a better deal in the C body '91-93 Deville or K body '94-95 Deville w/the 4.9L engine. My dad still has my '95 Deville Concours that I bought in 2007. I had to fix window regulators, A/C compressor, instrument panel, etc. -- but no powertrain issues. I get the coolant changed in the N* every couple of years. I hacked the DIC to show the engine temp, and it never runs hot -- ever.

Either of those two are also going to have WAY more room inside than the FWB. Turning radius is a bear, though...

Jesda
09-16-12, 10:22 PM
Whether you need a tranny cooler depends on your climate and driving conditions. Creeping in traffic on a 100F day can cause temps to spike.

drewsdeville
09-16-12, 10:25 PM
I hacked the DIC to show the engine temp, and it never runs hot -- ever.


I knew the base 4.9 Deville didn't show the extra DIC functions, but I always thought the Concours did for some reason. Interesting.

hueterm
09-16-12, 11:16 PM
No, it's a hack. It shows the voltmeter, and something else maybe. Forget now...

drewsdeville
09-16-12, 11:28 PM
Tachometer. I did the same hack on my '95 when I had it.

kcaps
09-17-12, 10:41 AM
Ok, some insightful information here and it is much appreciated. I believe you all have swayed me on the 94-95 deville due to a few reasons.
A. Being they are scare in this area at least to find a maintained one, which does not help when I need transportation shortly. B. The rust issue C. They do carry the price tag when properly maintained.

Thanks again. Off to the Deville side forum.

Cheers
-Kcaps

CadillacLuke24
09-24-12, 05:46 PM
Good luck! You will not be dissapointed. While I have a 96 with the Northstar, she's the similar bodystyle, and they are very durable cars.

Jesda
09-24-12, 10:46 PM
I had a 4.9L 1992 STS that, aside from very worn suspension and driveline components (budget $500-1000 every 30-40k), lasted for 200k through some rather unpleasant driving conditions (northern winters, NYC urban traffic). The transmission finally got weak after 20 years and 200,000 miles of service.