View Full Version : Finally got an Allante after 20 years

11-06-12, 09:52 PM
I just recently bought a 1992 model in Euro red (?) with black leather interior and black soft top from Rogers Corvette Center in Maitland, Florida. The car only has 69,000 miles and all books, keys, documents, etc. Overall condition is near showroom, but the exterior could use a good professional detailing to make it perfect. Everything works, inlcuding the CD player. The car did have some problems with the brakes, but Roger had it repaired at a Cadillac dealer before I took delivery... though the brakes still feel a bit odd to me (but thet work!). I did do some research and learn that the brakes were a problem area prior to the 1993 model year.

He did have a green 1993 sitting next to my 92, but I did not want the Northstar engine. I owned a 2003 Seville STS with the NS and it was a complete nightmare! It would take me all night to list all of the electrical glitches that car had (particularly with the throttle sensor) and how many times it stalled out, hesitated, triggered an SES light, leaked oil, etc. all before 100k miles. I really liked the car itself, but it just wasn't the same Cadillac I was used to... which was my beloved 1990 Coupe De Ville with the 4.5. Ohh did I love that car! She was white with white leather interior and burgandy dash and carpeting. My parents bought it used in 1995 with 75k miles and it later became my first car which I learned how to drive in. That car NEVER gave me a second of trouble and I put well over 100,000 miles on it's clock (and quite a bit of those were pretty hard as I was a young guy with a punchy V8 in front of him). I think it had something like 180k miles when I finally traded it in...still running perfectly. The sales manager of the dealership where I traded it bought it for himself and drove it over the 200,000 mile mark. So, needless to say, I definitely wanted another Cadillac with the 4.5. The Allante is an entirely different car than that Coupe De Ville, but the sound of that engine and it's characteritics definitely bring back fond memories for me.

I've only put about 400 miles on the Allante, but they've been very enjoyable and reliable. It stays in the garage for the most part and will NEVER be driven in inclement weather (so long as I can help it). Other than a few minor typical old car issues, it runs like a champ! It needs a shift solenoid I believe (the transmission doesn't always downshift all the way down to 1st when coming to a complete stop and sometimes it doesn't want to shift into OD), has a minor oil leak from the valve cover gasket and has a couple broken clips in the interior. The good 'ole 4.5 idles butter smooth and pulls like a freight train.


11-06-12, 11:42 PM
Beautiful car, I'm jealous, I've had thoughts on allante's too, I'm a big 4.9 fan (on my 3rd. one) I would go out of my way to find a 4.5 also.

11-07-12, 09:30 AM
Great looking car! I dont see a factory service manual? Buy one if you dont have it. A good parts/ info source is www.allantesource.com Great reference source, very pleasant to deal with. You might verify the TV cable from the throttle body to the trans is not binding causing this lack of 1st gear. Solenoids are almost impossible to find I'm told.

11-07-12, 05:32 PM
Thanks for the tips I will look into getting the service manual... all I found were the owners manual, some service records and the pamphlet on how to raise/lower the top. I will also look into the tranny cable... I suspected solenoid because I had a similar problem with another GM vehicle I owned (2000 Buick Park Avenue with the 3.8) and was told that these transmission solenoids are fairly common across the board with GM vehicles. Most of the time it doesn't start out in 1st and sometimes it doesn't want to shift into OD (though eventually it will... either giving it more gas or letting off the gas will get it to finally shift) and other times it skips 3rd and so on and so forth... the shifts are smooth, it just seems confused as to what gear to go into and when. I drove it out of town the other night and did about 100 miles round trip, most of which it shifted fine (which was great for merging onto the interstate because I was sweating it at first!). I set the cruise control and she just sailed down the highway like my 90 CDV used to do.

11-07-12, 06:11 PM
If the TV cable binds as it pulls out or binds as you come back to idle, it will confuse the transmission. A very easy cable to replace, clips onto the throttle body pivot and one bolt holds it to the trans case. Once you remove the one bolt, lift gently up on the cable and use a surgeon's suture scissors to hold the inner cable to remove it from the spring loaded piston in the trans. Without the service manual, its hard to describe the adjustment once replaced. Maybe someone else has the book and scan that section for you? I'm thinking that's why it was traded in..... You might clean the primary throttle body as well. The throttle body has 2 throttle plates, a small primary and large secondary. Clean only the smaller one. Just remove the rubber boot from the intake throttle body to gain access. Use Throttle Body cleaner and your wife's tooth brush till all the black residue is gone! It will restart very roughly but will eventually smooth out. If the throttle plate is binding because of built up residue, it could affect the shifting as well. It might also run at a little higher RPM at idle in gear after cleaning till the system relearns the curb idle. Run it a few miles (10) with the climate system off in stop and go city traffic, then the same few miles with the system set to 65 or 70 degrees in AUTO. That teaches the system a new idle profile. Report back. The ABS system needs to be flushed once a year without fail! per allantesource's web site. Again, great looking car. Had an 88 and a 91.

11-07-12, 09:24 PM
Carnut, thank you very, very much! I will look into that. I do not know how much of everything is still original... on a 20 year old car with only 69k, it's a toss up... people generally replace maintenance items per mileage rather than age, but perhaps an Allante collector (the 93 belonged to same original owner, not sure why he gave them both up... the 93 had only 32k miles) may have done differently. In any case, I would like to go through the car and replace/clean everything anyway. It does need some gaskets/seals as it has some oil leakage, I was going to replace the belt, hoses, fluids, filters, plugs, wires, t-stat, etc. when we tackled the leaks. The engine has no symptoms of needing anything, it idles and runs top notch... no strange noises (well, except for the piston slap/knock that lasts for a few moments when the engine is started cold... my 90 CDV had it worse than the Allante does). But I'd like the peace of mind and for the overall well being of the car. It will never see duty as a DD, but I'd like to keep it in optimal running condition for as long as I possibly can for future enjoyment.

11-08-12, 01:08 PM
Do the brake fluid flush per allantesource. I wouldn't worry about the plugs or wires yet. They wear out from use not time. Drain the coolant and replace, Do not power flush! I used Rotella oil for a diesel car. Has some zinc to protect the cam and lifters. Coolant hoses are somewhat hard to find, primarily the upper hose.

11-09-12, 08:12 PM
Spark plug wires DO deteriorate with age. 20 years old, is ancient.

D Yaros
11-10-12, 01:14 PM
Congrats on your acquisition! I too have a '92 and really like it. My only complaint is that the seats (which is one of the reasons I went with a '92 over a '93) get uncomfortable after 2+ straight hours behind the wheel.

Brakes: While they do need regular maintenance in the form of bleeding, I am not aware of particular problems. My experience is that the brakes are some of the best I have found on any car I have ever driven. They stop quick and on a dime!

11-10-12, 02:24 PM
I agree, best brakes I've ever used, BUT the design flaw is the one high pressure hose from the ABS pump to the master cyl. If that hose ruptures, you have virtually no brakes. If the pump or pump relay fail, same issue.

11-21-12, 08:17 PM
D Yaros, I know what you mean about the seats... they definitely aren't as comfortable as the seats that were in my CDV... they're geared more towards support. The seats in the 93s were probably a bit more comfortable. My Seville STS had some really nice seats, but I will say that the Allante rides so much nicer than the STS did, and that's a good tradeoff. I don't know if there really was something wrong with the suspension on the Seville (wouldn't surprise me, considering everything else that was wrong with it), but it would 'bang' really hard over dips and bumps in the road. I brought it to the Cadillac dealership while it was still under warranty and they admitted that they felt what I was talking about, but confirmed that was just the way the car was designed to ride. Yikes! I am very glad the Allante most certainly does not ride like that!

Carnut, would the binding of the TV cable cause the shifting problem to be intermittant? Sometimes, I seem to be able to drive the car all around with it shifting through all of the gears just fine, which it actually seems to be doing more and more often as I drive it...but every now and then it will still have moments of skipping gears, not wanting to go into OD and not downshifting into 1st when coming to a stop. My first assumption for intermittant problems like that is electrical.

Btw, I don't have any digital pictures of my old 90 CDV, but I was able to find it's exact replica on eBay a few years back. I REALLY wanted to buy this car, I went into a bid war with several other people and I lost it. If I EVER find this exact car again, I will buy it in a heartbeat. I did find one locally that was similar, but wasn't packaged the same with the Eldorado rims, gold package or digital speedometer. I'd really like the exact car if I can find it. Very beautiful car with many fond memories.


11-21-12, 08:35 PM
Intermittant? Yes. It might be a good idea to change the trans fluid with the newer synthetic Dextron. Its designed to add more lubricity to the fluid. Also have a transmission shop adjust the cable to spec 1st. Should take 15 minutes. That needs to be done to eliminate that as a cause.

11-21-12, 09:17 PM
Got it, thanks! I'll report back with the results.