: 1985 Fleetwood Brougham Limo Project



BlackBettyLimo
07-07-13, 04:40 AM
Here is Black Betty. 1985 with 4.1L (160,000 miles). Bought it to be a personal party car with a buddy of mine for $800. We figured we could hire a sober friend to drive us around at night, and save ourselves a DUI or two (and it's cheaper than cabs everywhere). It was originally owned by a LA recording studio, so apparently bands like Aerosmith, Guns and Roses, White Snake, Slayer, etc have all partied in this thing. Knowing that, I should probably torch the interior! The car has been eating coolant so we recently pulled the engine, and have just finished tearing it down. It's a total mess. Trying to figure out next steps.

Here's the scoop on CA swaps as far as I'm aware:
"Engine changes are legal in California as long as a number of requirements are met. One, the engine must be the same year or newer than the vehicle. Also, the engine must be from the same type of vehicle based on the vehicle's gross weight. For example, you can't put an engine for a heavy duty truck in a passenger car, or vice versa. Additionally, all emissions control equipment has to stay on the installed engine."

77CDV,
Given this, the 368 may not be legal (last year of use was 1984, per Wikipedia?), BUT the Chevy 350 (L98, L05 or L31?) could be a candidate? As far as you are aware, are these "easy/ cheaper" swaps? I'll need all the smog equipment from the donor car, etc. The 4.1L rebuild will be about $3k (Needs broken exhaust studs removed form head, minor overbore, liner o-rings, new pistons, piston rings, all bearings including cam, new cam, lifters, pushrods, all gaskets, pins, valve job, hot tanking everything, etc, etc.) I can do all assembly and install. I've made a few frankenmotors before and custom motor mounts, custom exhaust, the need for new trans, driveshaft length adjustments, rewiring new ECU adn harness, etc, can add up fast make it all cost (and time) prohibitive.

If there's a straight forward swap I'm definitely interested. Any assistance on this is appreciated!

EDIT: Searching site for some of these answers


123113

cadillac kevin
07-07-13, 08:34 AM
Here is Black Betty. 1985 with 4.1L (160,000 miles). Bought it to be a personal party car with a buddy of mine for $800. We figured we could hire a sober friend to drive us around at night, and save ourselves a DUI or two (and it's cheaper than cabs everywhere). It was originally owned by a LA recording studio, so apparently bands like Aerosmith, Guns and Roses, White Snake, Slayer, etc have all partied in this thing. Knowing that, I should probably torch the interior! The car has been eating coolant so we recently pulled the engine, and have just finished tearing it down. It's a total mess. Trying to figure out next steps.

Here's the scoop on CA swaps as far as I'm aware:

77CDV,
Given this, the 368 may not be legal (last year of use was 1984, per Wikipedia?), BUT the Chevy 350 (L98, L05 or L31?) could be a candidate? As far as you are aware, are these "easy/ cheaper" swaps? I'll need all the smog equipment from the donor car, etc. The 4.1L rebuild will be about $3k (Needs broken exhaust studs removed form head, minor overbore, liner o-rings, new pistons, piston rings, all bearings including cam, new cam, lifters, pushrods, all gaskets, pins, valve job, hot tanking everything, etc, etc.) I can do all assembly and install. I've made a few frankenmotors before and custom motor mounts, custom exhaust, the need for new trans, driveshaft length adjustments, rewiring new ECU adn harness, etc, can add up fast make it all cost (and time) prohibitive.

If there's a straight forward swap I'm definitely interested. Any assistance on this is appreciated!

EDIT: Searching site for some of these answers

<img src="http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=123113"/>

I'd go for a pre 1973 olds 350 or a late 70s olds 403 . Paint it black, and put the smog equipment and carb from a 307 on it. The emissions people will never be able to tell the difference. All olds small blocks are identical externally.

dennis93coupe
07-07-13, 09:36 PM
Not sure about the 368 but you might be better off asking a referee. Look it up in DMV website pertaining to emissions testing. Better to follow their rules than dump a bunch of money and find out you can't get it registered.

77CDV
07-07-13, 09:51 PM
The good thing about the 350 is that they're cheap, ubiquitous, and have tons of mods available. I would so not refurb the 4.1. It's an utter dog of an engine and grossly underpowered for your car. Lots of guys here have done the 350/TH700R4 swap into these mid-80s Cads. The cars didn't change from 1980-1992, and the 350 was available in the Broughams from 1990 IIRC. If the 350 would be a legal swap, I'd go for that, as it's the option with the fewest hangups.

jayoldschool
07-07-13, 10:00 PM
Just buy a 91-up Fleetwood parts car, and you will get everything you need for your swap. Engine, trans, mounts, crossmember, wiring, sensors, exhaust, catalytic converter(s) computer, etc, etc. Even the emissions label off the core support. Throw your old 4100 in the trunk of the parts car when done, and you'll still get 300 bucks scrap.

Faith76
07-07-13, 10:57 PM
Ill be interested to know how this turns out. We just bought a 94 Fleetwood Hearse (for 650 bucks) that only needs a few things. I'm sure I'll be tapping your knowledge,.

jayoldschool
07-07-13, 11:33 PM
Faith, your 94 has an LT1 with 120 more HP than the fragile 4100. It is a very reliable engine, and can handle more power than the stock 260. Start a new thread for your hearse, and we can easily help out with your issues.

BlackBettyLimo
07-08-13, 04:09 AM
Wait a minute, this is all solid rational advice. :hmm: Have I finally found the ultimate automobile forum???:bouncy:

Thanks guys. I'll ask a ref (great starting point idea I should have thought of) and run some numbers on the suggested options. I like the idea of the 350 for the previously mentioned reasons, and I hadn't even considered the idea of a complete 91'+ transplant. Good stuff.

Up until now I've been thinking, well, the 4.1L sucks but at least it's a "known" thing. Even with running completely rich, eating coolant, and bearing knock it was able to pull 7 people "comfortably" enough, freeway onramps included. (When you're pouring drinks in the back of the limo you don't really want jack-rabbit starts or strong acceleration from the driver anyway). From what I've read on this site much of the issues are rooted in poor care, so rebuilding the 4.1 and giving it proper maintenance seemed like a decent option. BUT the consensus seems to be run away.

More displacement could never hurt for when I want to do incredibly large donuts, so the only financial issue I can see with buying a junk yard/ parts car engine is we won't really know if it's condition (good bearings? will it smog?, etc), so there's a chance I'd have to rebuild that one too (more $$ on top of swap engine cash). But I suppose that's the gamble.

Time to call some salvage yards and put some pricing together.

talismandave
07-08-13, 09:09 AM
That is the advantage of buying a running parts car as Jay mentioned. You can drive it and evaluate the condition of it.

cadillac kevin
07-08-13, 09:19 AM
I'd buy a whole parts car. There seems to be little shortage of caddys, caprices, roadmasters, and pickups to get an engine from. Getting one that was in a wreck but not bad enough to where you couldn't drive it or to damage any major components would be ideal. The price would be cheap because of the damage, but you'd still be able to get what you need from it.
Doing an engine swap (or engine and trans swap) from a parts car into yours would be the same cost or less than fixing that 4100.

Faith76
07-08-13, 11:54 AM
Faith, your 94 has an LT1 with 120 more HP than the fragile 4100. It is a very reliable engine, and can handle more power than the stock 260. Start a new thread for your hearse, and we can easily help out with your issues.

Thanks, I don't have any specific issues yet, but I will start a new thread when I do!

turbojimmy
07-08-13, 03:27 PM
Faith, your 94 has an LT1 with 120 more HP than the fragile 4100. It is a very reliable engine, and can handle more power than the stock 260. Start a new thread for your hearse, and we can easily help out with your issues.

Yes start a new thread for your hearse. I have a '94 commercial chassis car, too, but it's a limo. There are some differences, particularly in the brakes and suspension, but they're mostly the same as the "regular" Fleetwoods.

The-Dullahan
07-17-13, 04:27 AM
Sorry I have been busy kids. Spotted this thread linked from the POST A PIC thread and took the bait. Well played, Forum, well played.

Your beautiful Limousine appears to be an obvious O'Gara (Same company produced S&S Funeral Coaches, but is possibly most well known for producing...basically every noteworthy presidential Limousine to date). I would be particularly interested to see which interior it has. These cars were normally produced with the standard engines for the year/model. A photo of the engine bay may help.


Ill be interested to know how this turns out. We just bought a 94 Fleetwood Hearse (for 650 bucks) that only needs a few things. I'm sure I'll be tapping your knowledge,.

Now what kind of sick person drives a Hearse?

talismandave
07-17-13, 11:29 AM
Now what kind of sick person drives a Hearse?

Not only does she drive a hearse, she wears a skirt too!:cookoo:

The-Dullahan
07-17-13, 01:14 PM
You guys creep me out...

brougham
07-17-13, 06:34 PM
Just buy a 91-up Fleetwood parts car, and you will get everything you need for your swap. Engine, trans, mounts, crossmember, wiring, sensors, exhaust, catalytic converter(s) computer, etc, etc. Even the emissions label off the core support. Throw your old 4100 in the trunk of the parts car when done, and you'll still get 300 bucks scrap.

That's what Id do if I got one of those older limos. I always thought it would be fun to have a limo.

Aron9000
07-17-13, 10:03 PM
You can buy a low mile 5.3 v8 out of a 1999-2006ish Tahoe or pickup truck, wiring harness, trans, motor, motor mounts, about everything you need for less than $1500. GM made a ton of these trucks so supply is not an issue.

cadillac kevin
07-17-13, 10:43 PM
You can buy a low mile 5.3 v8 out of a 1999-2006ish Tahoe or pickup truck, wiring harness, trans, motor, motor mounts, about everything you need for less than $1500. GM made a ton of these trucks so supply is not an issue.

I've been seeing several early 00s silverado/suburban/ tahoes and some trailblazers lately in the junkyards....a few torched and alot in severe front end wrecks. Too bad I already have a motor in my caddy :(

Aron9000
07-18-13, 02:45 AM
That straight six in the trailblazer would be a great motor for these old boats as well. Definitely more fab work, but I'm sure there is more than enough room between the firewall and the radiator for that motor to fit. IIRC that straight six made 275hp/275lb-ft of twist. More than enough grunt to move one of these big, heavy cars.

cadillac kevin
07-18-13, 09:40 AM
That straight six in the trailblazer would be a great motor for these old boats as well. Definitely more fab work, but I'm sure there is more than enough room between the firewall and the radiator for that motor to fit. IIRC that straight six made 275hp/275lb-ft of twist. More than enough grunt to move one of these big, heavy cars.

IIRC, you can gain like 30 hp from putting a good intake on it too....GM didn't like having a 6 that was more powerful than their truck V8 at the time, so they put a crap intake on it

csbuckn
07-18-13, 10:32 AM
Any progress on the engie swap or pics of the bad parts in the 4100?

BlackBettyLimo
07-22-13, 02:58 AM
Sorry I have been busy kids. Spotted this thread linked from the POST A PIC thread and took the bait. Well played, Forum, well played.

Your beautiful Limousine appears to be an obvious O'Gara (Same company produced S&S Funeral Coaches, but is possibly most well known for producing...basically every noteworthy presidential Limousine to date). I would be particularly interested to see which interior it has. These cars were normally produced with the standard engines for the year/model. A photo of the engine bay may help.

Sorry for the delay! i've been buried at work. I wish the limo looked as good as it does in that pic. The body is straight, but the paint is less than desirable. Good from far, but far from good, as they say. That said, at night, she's a thing of beauty.

Speaking of things of beauty... embarrassingly enough, this is the only actual photo we have of the interior at the moment...

128410

Back story: We happen to know a Playboy photographer who is friends with Raquel Pomplun, the recent POTY (no we do not get invited to the parties:mad:).

Is there enough there to ID the interior? There are two motorized partitions that separate the main cabin from the driver's compartment, one is glass with etched Cadillac logo on it, and one opaque. There is a badge on the center of the front grill that has a stacked "CC" logo, and reads Classic Cadillac. Don't know if any of that helps.

Here are some ID plates and trim codes. I haven't had the time to decode what they represent yet.

128418128426

Anyway, we got rid of the skull in the rear window (left over rock and roll stuff). The interior is actually a mess and the seats are totally shot. The sunroof leaks and isn't very nice to the fabric. She was a brave girl sitting on those things.

I'll post some engine tear down pics soon.

In other news. When I was tearing down the engine and spec-ing it out (dial bore gauge measurements/ micrometers, etc), I decided to make a spreadsheet for helping with capturing all the info. I'm designing it to do all the math, so you introduce less possibility for human error when making important calculations like bearing clearances. Should be pretty slick when it's done.

128434.

It's a little irrelevant now since I'll be focusing on a swap instead of a rebuild. BUT If anyone is interested in helping improve it, send me you're email and send you the latest version. It needs a little work to make it bulletproof/ more user friendly. It's in the "Beta" stage at the moment

I've been calling around to salvage yards for engines. It looks like people are selling fully dressed (with all accessories) 350 Chevy engines for about $550 (no Trans).
Still need to connect with a DMV referee first before I pull the trigger on this. Good news is we officially have some project cash, so hopefully if my job doesn't kill me I can get this thing running sooner than later.

Sorry for the random post. I'll post more pics next weekend.

BlackBettyLimo
07-22-13, 03:17 AM
Sorry I have been busy kids. Spotted this thread linked from the POST A PIC thread and took the bait. Well played, Forum, well played.

Your beautiful Limousine appears to be an obvious O'Gara (Same company produced S&S Funeral Coaches, but is possibly most well known for producing...basically every noteworthy presidential Limousine to date). I would be particularly interested to see which interior it has. These cars were normally produced with the standard engines for the year/model. A photo of the engine bay may help.

Sorry for the delay! i've been buried at work. I wish the limo looked as good as it does in that pic. The body is straight, but the paint is less than desirable. Good from far, but far from good, as they say. That said, at night, she's a thing of beauty.

Speaking of things of beauty... embarrassingly enough, this is the only actual photo we have of the interior at the moment...

128410

Back story: We happen to know a Playboy photographer who is friends with Raquel Pomplun, the recent POTY (no we do not get invited to the parties:mad:).

Is there enough there to ID the interior? There are two motorized partitions that separate the main cabin from the driver's compartment, one is glass with etched Cadillac logo on it, and one opaque. There is a badge on the center of the front grill that has a stacked "CC" logo, and reads Classic Cadillac. Don't know if any of that helps.

Here are some ID plates and trim codes. I haven't had the time to decode what they represent yet.

128418128426

Anyway, we got rid of the skull in the rear window (left over rock and roll stuff). The interior is actually a mess and the seats are totally shot. The sunroof leaks and isn't very nice to the fabric. She was a brave girl sitting on those things.

I'll post some engine tear down pics soon.

In other news. When I was tearing down the engine and spec-ing it out (dial bore gauge measurements/ micrometers, etc), I decided to make a spreadsheet for helping with capturing all the info. I'm designing it to do all the math, so you introduce less possibility for human error when making important calculations like bearing clearances. Should be pretty slick when it's done.

128434.

It's a little irrelevant now since I'll be focusing on a swap instead os a rebuild. BUT If anyone is interested in helping improve it, send me you're email and send you the latest version. It needs a little work to make it bulletproof/ more user friendly. It's in the "Beta" stage at the moment

I've been calling around to salvage yards for engines. It looks like people are selling fully dressed (with all accessories) 350 Chevy engines for about $550 (no Trans).
Still need to connect with a DMV referee first before I pull the trigger on this. Good news is we officially have some project cash, so hopefully is my job doesn't kill me I can get this thing running sooner than later.

Sorry for the random post. I'll post more pics next weekend.

----------

I'll try to post some pics soon. Front cam bearing was wiped out. Piston tops were all coated in black velvet. Crank bearings were completely worn. They were also undersized .25, so it looks like it was rebuilt at some point. Given the condition of the engine it was a LONG time ago. Ancient thick black sludge everywhere.
Good times!

The-Dullahan
07-22-13, 12:44 PM
Is there enough there to ID the interior?

There...seems to be very little there at all...I mean, all she's wearing is. Oh-

You meant the Cadillac, didn't you?

Oh, I was actually just curious of it's colour and what options it may have had. I am rather familiar with these cars and simply thought it would be nice to see the inside of a new specimen.


Back story: We happen to know a Playboy photographer who is friends with Raquel Pomplun, the recent POTY (no we do not get invited to the parties:mad:).

We seem to know the same type of people.

turbojimmy
07-22-13, 02:06 PM
Speaking of things of beauty... embarrassingly enough, this is the only actual photo we have of the interior at the moment...


The camera is kind to the interior - it actually looks nice (and not just because she's sitting in it).

Sounds like a fun project. I'm sure you've looked, but the coach builders are required by law to add a GVWR sticker in the door jamb. It would have the name of the coach builder. They come off over time, though. My '96 had one, my '94 doesn't. But, my '96 said "Superior' on the sides and my '94 says "Federal" so I know who made them :)

ferrisworld
08-25-13, 12:59 PM
I'd go for one of those newer gm truck engines like everyone is talking about, and just put a car intake on it. I was asking some smog guys about it a while ago when I was thinking of doing it, and they all said to do it because with the car intake, the smog refs won't be able to tell the difference, especially if you can get one of the aluminum truck engines.

BlackBettyLimo
10-06-13, 11:50 PM
Well, I'm finally back on the horse and spent the weekend looking at a ton of Caprices with LT1s. Almost everyone of them was a severely beaten car. Missing cylinders, bad transmissions, "won't smog", extremely high miles, back reg fees are due, etc., etc. Every car was in the asking range of $800-$2,000. All very disappointing. The Roadmasters were even worse shape. Not sure how that reflects on the Roadmaster community at large but wow. I've been avoiding the SUV engine route because I don't know enough about these engines to do a intake swap and have it work our with smog, etc.

I need to call the DMV and find out about buying a car with back registration fees. I don't know if I have to bring the tags current, even if I'm going to scrap the car after pulling the engine?

Also, does anyone know if I will have to shorten/ lengthen the drive shaft if I do a full LT1 engine/trans swap? Would I use the existing LT1 engine mounts?

I did locate an '88 Fleetwood with a "5.0L" (Olds?), but it hasn't been run in a few years. Not sure if that's worth the gamble. I really don't want to have to rebuild an engine. The upside of buying this car is being able to pulling interior donor parts from it. The car is really clean and straight and I'd feel like an ass to have to scrap it after I pulled everything we needed off of it (don't have the room to keep it).

Decisions, decisions...

cadillac kevin
10-07-13, 08:46 AM
Have you looked at 96-00 vortec powered trucks? Occassionally, you can find a lower mile truck that got wrecked.

As for the roadmasters being toast, most roadmaster (sedans, the wagons are typically nice) here have been flogged to death. Most of them are missing trim/ wheel covers, the bodies are smashed in, and alot of them have quarter panel rot and look like they haven't been washed in 10 years. Then there are a few super clean brand new looking ones still owned by old farts. Seems roadmasters have very low resale, even the nice ones.

BlackBettyLimo
10-08-13, 01:57 AM
Hey Kevin,
We haven't looked at truck engines yet because the DMV ref told me to stay away from them if I wanted a no hassle pass.
If we can't find an LT1 in the next few weeks, in reasonable shape, we'll definitely start heading that route. We upped our budget is a bit so we're hoping we'll catch something nice. Who ever originally suggested buying a whole car gave great advice. This way we'll be able to cut the harness ourselves, have all the accessories, and probably salvage the cats.

BlackBettyLimo
10-08-13, 02:13 AM
FYI, here's a few pics of the old 4.1L we are replacing.

Note the sludge:
151218

Just a bit of carbon build-up:
151234

The main bearings have seen better days:
151226

BlackBettyLimo
10-13-13, 08:48 PM
Well I finally found a donor car this weekend. $900. 150,000 miles. The engine and trans seem tight. At more than double the original horsepower I'm hoping we'll have a nice cruiser on our hands.


http://youtu.be/XgDcfrE29oE

BlackBettyLimo
11-27-13, 06:54 PM
Made some progress over the last few weeks.

164354164362164370

Considering trying to do a rear axle swap too (95 Roadmaster to 85 Fleetwood). Anyone know if this is would be a "straight forward" thing, or am I in for a world of pain?

We're sending out the Roadmaster harness and ECU to a guy in Arkansas, so he can delete the VAT from the system and create an intermediate harness/ relays that will connect easily to the Caddy harness.

We also ordered as AC relocation kit which moves the AC unit up to the top of the engine. Unfortunately I've found out it makes you relocate the air pump and modify the air injection system (if I want to keep it smog legal). Since I do want the limo to smog legally, I may deal with all this later. I don't want to fail the smog visual inspection.

We also dropped the Roadmaster fuel tank. Of course there are special fittings on the lines, so I'll have to figure out the best way to connect to the Caddy's current system.

More to come! Happy Thanksgiving!