: 1987-92 Pontiac Trans AM GTA, 1993-95 Ford F-150 Lightning. What do you guys think?



I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-13-06, 12:54 AM
I was checking out some insurance rates on Progressive.com with the cars I'm considering purchasing next, and I found out that the 87-92 Trans Am's and '93-95 Lightnings are incredibly cheap for me to insure! I think one year, for me, as I sit now, was $2034. The Lightning was like $2,200 a year. My '92 is $2100 a year. Now compare that to a '98 Eldorado at $4600 a year! Heck, I could insure the '92 Firebird and '92 deVille for $3400 a year!

Anyways, this got me to thinking about maybe picking either a GTA or Lightning up next.

I've always loved the 3rd gen F-bodies, and the GTA is the creme de la creme of the 3rd gen. It's like the Cadillac of Firebirds, TPI 350 standard, four speed automatic, and all of the power goodies Pontiac has. They're reasonably good on gas and I'm sure it would be a blast to drive. The later models are good for a high 14 second 1/4 mile, which is plenty for me! But I've heard that they have some reliabilty issues, and the assembly quality on these are far from the best, but hey, it's cheap and fast! Girls love Firebirds too! But on the negative side, they're veritable cop bait and it's probably quite tough to find one in good shape that hasn't been beat or modified to all hell.
http://a332.g.akamai.net/f/332/936/12h/www.edmunds.com//pictures/VEHICLE/1992/Pontiac/1216/008996-E.jpg



Now the 93-95 Lightnings are just plain cool.
A buddy of mine has a black '93 and I've wanted one ever since I first rode in it. It's got the HO 351 Windsor, good for 240hp and 340 lb/ft, which oddly enough, is the same output as the TPI 350 in the TA GTA and IROC-Z, but I think the 351HO is underrated. It moves that 4300 lb Lightning around quicker than my 260hp Roadmaster, atleast from what I remember, but it may be because the Lightning has a 4.10:1 posi rear end, and it'll smoke both back tires until 30mph..he did it in his truck when he took me for a spin. We took it down my favorite road for spirited driving and it hung in the corners real nice for something so large, plus I like the higher viewpoint in that truck. The interior is pretty much like any other 93 F-150, but this one has seats with power bolsters...very cool! And I always liked the interiors on the 92-96 F-150s..pretty simple and straightforward. My only concern with these trucks is the gas mileage, and the tranny. Ford doesn't exactly make the most durable trannys, and it sucks even more when your vehicle is high performance. If I remember correctly, my buddy installed a supercharger on his Lightning, and he blew out 2nd gear within a couple of weeks... Not good...

I love the exterior styling on the '92-'96 F-150. Very masculine..it's like the cowboy of full size trucks. The Lightning is even better too, with those very cool looking wheels that they only put on the lightnings, and the side exiting exhaust pipes, and the cool little Lightning decal on the side. All in all, it's high performance, yet it's subtle enough to not draw everyone's attention.
http://a332.g.akamai.net/f/332/936/12h/www.edmunds.com//pictures/VEHICLE/1993/Ford/6802/003852-E.jpg



Otherwise, the '93-'97 Seville is my current top choice for a next car. I liked how that '99 ETC I looked at drove, but a '99 would be too much for me, and I like the four door utility of the Seville more. The 93-95 SLS is probably my favorite, but I wouldn't be picky if it were SLS or STS. Just as long as it runs well, with the options I like, and is priced alright.

90Brougham350
11-13-06, 09:16 AM
Good choices. I don't care for the redesigned front-clip of the Trans Am's in 90-92; I think '89 is the best looking year. The Lightnings are cool trucks, but you're right on about those Ford trannies.

xxpinballxx
11-13-06, 09:26 AM
Hey luv I had a 91 GTA black with tan interior. Looked great when I got it but started falling apart shortly after. I bought it used with 16k on it so thought it was fairly new and trouble free. Nothing really major but all the little shtuff that kept going wrong. seemed like Iwas always repairing things. I would go for the lightning. I like the sleeper look and boxy manly look of them.
My buddy's dad bought a white one when they first came out and never did anything to it except meticulously cleaned it and changed its oil and rotated its tires and kept it out of the snow. It still looks as good today as it did way back when. Running like brand new.

railven
11-13-06, 09:27 AM
Wow, what state do you live in? My 98 STS with full coverage only runs me $1,100 a year. Then again I'm 23.

Oh that means my price will drop again! WOOT!

EDIT: Stupid question saw it in your info box. Haha.

dp102288
11-13-06, 09:44 AM
My order of preference:

Firebird
F150
Seville

Keep us posted. :)

xxpinballxx
11-13-06, 10:01 AM
My 2004 DeVille costs me 587 a year full coverage. LOL! I guess a perfect driving record married and 33 years old is a plus....at least when it comes to insurance!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-13-06, 10:06 AM
Well, I just did a comparative analysis between the Seville, Lightning and Firebird, based mostly on specifications, and the '94-'95 SLS came out on top, Lightning took 2nd place, and Firebird took 3rd.

I've never driven a Lightning, but I have drove a 3rd gen Firebird before. Granted, it wasn't a GTA, or even a Trans AM, but it still gave me a clue as to what they're like. It was an '89 Firebird Coupe with the TBI 305. Not exactly a fast car, but it would corner like nothing else I've ever experienced.

My biggest thing against the GTA is the build quality (or lack there of), reliability issues and cramped cockpit. I love the airy feeling in my buddies '93 Lightning, and I think it is very cool to have that "above everything else" viewpoint, and still be able to outhandle 90% of the cars out there!

Blackout
11-13-06, 10:17 AM
^^^^^^^ I'm with him. My dad had a (I believe) a 1991 Pontiac Firebird Formula and it was a fast car and all but the build quality sucked and was very cheaply made. They were quicker then the Mustang's at the time but the Stang's had a slightly higher top speed and that would piss my dad off all the time when doing highway runs against them. He would beat them the hwole time then the Mustang would start creeping by and it pissed him off to no end. I would say go with the Lightning. The engine's are bullet proof but I dunno about the tranny's. I would say to go to a SVT forum or a Lightning forum and ask around there about issues to look for when buying one. That's usually the first thing I do when I go to look at a car that I don't know much about.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-13-06, 10:21 AM
Well, according to the Kelly Blue Book, I could expect to pay under $5,000 for a good example of either the Lightning or GTA at a dealer, but I doubt it would be that low seeing as how both are collector vehicles. I could expect to pay $7500 for a good Lightning, as for the GTA, I guess I don't really care. I'd go with the Lightning over the GTA.

Between the two of those, I'd think that the Lightning would be taken care of better by it's owners. Firebirds always seem like they get trashed, but I don't think I've ever seen a Lightning that isn't in really good condition. People seem to buy those and then put them in storage for a long time.

Blackout
11-13-06, 10:32 AM
Around here it is quite hard to even find a 1st gen Lightning for sale let alone worrying about if it is in good shape or not. But I would say 90% of the time when I do see a 1st gen Lightning it is always in prestine condition

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-13-06, 10:34 AM
Yeah. If I do decide to go for the Lightning, I'm gonna have to look wide and long to find one. The 1st gen is rare enough, but it's especially tough to try and find one in the snowbelt.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-13-06, 11:01 AM
Anyways, I'm still not sure if I want to have a newer car as my 2nd car. I'm torn between a newer, faster car (or truck) and a classic. Here's what I'd like for a classic.

- '77-78 Eldorado Biarritz
- Any '79 Cadillac except Seville (esp. a Biarritz or D'elegance)
- '90-'92 Brougham D'Elegance
- '79-'81 Eldorado Biarritz
- '80-'84(5) Coupe deVille or Fleetwood Brougham Coupe (replace HT4100)

I love basically everything about the '70's-early 80s Cadillacs except the economy and stock performance. They'd make an awesome summer cruiser! Plus, a 403,425,472 or 500 can fit in and that would be plenty fast!

dp102288
11-14-06, 09:06 AM
Man you have a lot of choices. I am slowly likeing the Lightning more and more. Seems like that would be the most fun to drive. Plus its way more useful if you ever need that pickup bed!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-14-06, 08:27 PM
Well basically, right now, for a daily driver/fast car, it's either Northstar '93-95 Seville or Lightning. The other Cadillacs don't have that performance feeling that the 93-95 STS's have.

As for the classic, I still don't know. I guess I'll have to go test drive some! :lildevil:

Patrick7997
11-14-06, 08:43 PM
I had a 1989 Trans Am GTA... it was nice. Faster than a Formula, per the prior post... ride was very firm... nice car though. Positively cavernous cockpit compared to a C4 Corvette....

I see you liked the 99 ETC, but feel it's too much.... so, find a 95 or 96 ETC...

Also, I daresay, I had a minimum of police intervention driving the Trans Am GTA.... my Corvettes, however, apparently were fitted with some kind of secret GPS transmitter, activated by turning on the ignition, with the signal immediately being relayed to the nearest PD....

I do agree, however, that at least in this part of the country, GTA's are tough to find in any kind of nice shape... Cadillacs are loved & pampered... Trans Ams are driven hard and put away wet.....

Also, one final thought, the Trans Am is undriveable in the snow, so, in Minnesota, that'd be a strictly summer car....

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-14-06, 08:49 PM
Yeah, that was my intention anyways. Keep the Cadillac as the winter car and use the other car for the summer, and only on the nice days. No rain or snow at all. The GTA's are nice, but I like the Lightning more. Thanks for the input! I feel that the '93-95 STS is the best combination of luxury and performance, and that's #1 on my list now. But the Lightning is probably #2, and the GTA falls behind the Lightning.

Blackout
11-14-06, 08:51 PM
Yeah, that was my intention anyways. Keep the Cadillac as the winter car and use the other car for the summer, and only on the nice days. No rain or snow at all. The GTA's are nice, but I like the Lightning more. Thanks for the input! I feel that the '93-95 STS is the best combination of luxury and performance, and that's #1 on my list now. But the Lightning is probably #2, and the GTA falls behind the Lightning.Be very warey of those first couple year Northstar engines because they suffer bad gasket problems

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-14-06, 09:10 PM
True, but I'll put up with that. The first year (93-95) STS's are the tightest feeling, sportiest and they're the most fun to drive IMO. They also have the best lines of almost any '90s sedan..all around it's a great car in my book. Now if I looked at one that had a headgasket problem, I wouldn't bother with it, but a nice long test drive will determine if it has a problem. After about 20 minutes, it'll start to overheat. The '93 I drove with 112k on it stayed right between 205* and 210* after 15-20 minutes.

Destroyer
11-14-06, 11:46 PM
Never owned a Lightning but I did own several 3rd gen Fbody's. An 83 Firebird w/305 and 5 spd, and 86 T/A, 87 Iroc 350, and an '88 Iroc Vert. Good cars, minimal problems. As crappy as they were built, the pre '87 Mustangs had them beat. I owned several fox bodied Mustangs too. I cant see myself ever owning either car again though.

davesdeville
11-15-06, 01:30 AM
You've got to find a better insurance company, man.

OffThaHorseCEO
11-15-06, 01:37 AM
are you inexperienced (less than 3 yrs)

any points accidents violations

live in parents household?

where do you work?

some companies offer "affinity discounts" to certain employees of certain companies

for example at nationwide we offer discounts to all kinds of folks rangin from north carolina state employees to health club members

if you live in parents household check with parents ins company, at nationwide we'll give you all your parents discounts even if the policy is in your name

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-15-06, 08:40 PM
The insurance isn't the important part right now, I just used progressive.com because I can get a free quote, online in less than 10 minutes. I do it to get an idea if xxx car is cheaper to insure than yyy car. For that purpose, it's excellent.

I am still under my parents plan, I still live at home and we use Allstate. I do not believe that my work offers any other sort of insurance plan, but I know when I drive their vehicles, I'm insured under their plan. I have never gotten in an accident (that was seen by the insurance company ;) ) and I have never gotten a traffic violation of any sort. A oral warning once, but that was over 2 years ago.

Msilva954
11-16-06, 01:25 PM
I have a 1990 Trans Am with a 94 LT1 in it...hauls ass...I love it

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-16-06, 09:52 PM
Heres another (albeit rather odd) idea:

1993-97 Eagle Talon TSi.

I know, I know, I put down DSM's so much, but thats mainly because what I've heard and experienced with my friend's '91 TSi AWD. We got a '97 TSi AWD at work today, for some cooling system issues, and I got to wash it. I drove it probably 1/4 of a mile to the carwash and back, but I could tell that it would be a very fun car to drive.

Sitting behind the wheel is literally like (excuse the cliche) piloting a fighter jet. Everything is low and swoopy, and everything inside is real accessible and close. The interior reminded me of a Mark VIII in a way, just more cramped. I was impressed by the design, power and the way it drove. There was a bit of turbo lag, but you seem to forget about that when the turbo kicks in (around ~2500 RPM) and you hear that whistle and feel that pull kick in.

Another plus of the TSi is the fuel economy/performance balance. It's as fast as a N* Eldorado/Seville and a GTA, and is quicker than a Lightning, yet is rated at 20/25 for the manual..pretty damn good!

Now obviously there are drawbacks to DSM's...poor build quality (evident in this TSi, even at 22k miles), reliability issues, and the punk/idiot/ricer street racer image. But if you kept it stock and didn't abuse it, would you still have the reliability issues?

OffThaHorseCEO
11-17-06, 12:26 AM
eeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwww


go to sleep man

ShadowLvr400
11-17-06, 03:16 AM
If you're looking in those years, I recommend the Camaro more. But, that's a style preference. I love these things, and a cammed up 350 or 383 screams.
http://www.fedrelandsvennen.no/amcar/joyrides/camaro/90camaro.jpg

ottawagta
11-17-06, 06:56 AM
Hi,

I have a 1991 GTA with the 350 TPI. The torque puts a smile on my face every time I launch her.

It's a summer toy, but previous owners drove it all year around.

The wife enjoys driving it to work every now and then...somthing about the power and sound of it transforms her driving habits...

The 99 STS is refined power, the 91 GTA is brute power.

With good tires on dry pavement, it's an awsome drive. With good tires on wet pavement, you'd think it was trying to kill you. If you're not careful it'll break traction in a hurry...a Jekyll and Hyde car.

The Banshee nose on it gets a lot of looks, you don't see that many 3rd gens up here with that front clip.

Only real problem I had with the GTA was injectors, but that's a known problem with GM injectors from those years, and to replace them is not that hard, especially on the TPI.

Talon TSI's are nice, but those Mitsubishi engines have a habit of becoming mosquito foggers.

I've also had a 90 5.0L Mustang LX and a 95 5.0L Mustang GT.

I wish I still had that 90 'Stang. Light and fast.

Best of luck with what you choose!

Eric

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-17-06, 10:51 PM
If you're looking in those years, I recommend the Camaro more. But, that's a style preference. I love these things, and a cammed up 350 or 383 screams.
http://www.fedrelandsvennen.no/amcar/joyrides/camaro/90camaro.jpg

Between the Firebird and Camaro. I'm a Firebird man, never did much care for the Chevy F-Bodies..I like the pop up headlights and sleeker lines on the Firebirds.


eeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwww


go to sleep man

Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking. Talon??? Not my cup of tea.


Hi,

I have a 1991 GTA with the 350 TPI. The torque puts a smile on my face every time I launch her.

It's a summer toy, but previous owners drove it all year around.

The wife enjoys driving it to work every now and then...somthing about the power and sound of it transforms her driving habits...

The 99 STS is refined power, the 91 GTA is brute power.

With good tires on dry pavement, it's an awsome drive. With good tires on wet pavement, you'd think it was trying to kill you. If you're not careful it'll break traction in a hurry...a Jekyll and Hyde car.

The Banshee nose on it gets a lot of looks, you don't see that many 3rd gens up here with that front clip.

Only real problem I had with the GTA was injectors, but that's a known problem with GM injectors from those years, and to replace them is not that hard, especially on the TPI.

Talon TSI's are nice, but those Mitsubishi engines have a habit of becoming mosquito foggers.

The last gen Talons are pretty good looking cars, but I couldn't afford the insurance, which means I'd have to get a 1g, and I hate those. I must have forgotten the horrors that my friend and I went thru last year with his '91 TSi AWD. Sooo many problems!

I've never driven a GTA, but I'd like to, but they're very hard to find around here. I still think I'd pick a 351HO Lightning over one though, and a 93-95 STS or ETC over one of those...

illumina
11-17-06, 10:52 PM
Trans Am.

dp102288
11-18-06, 09:03 PM
Have you decided on anything yet? I still like the F150. Useful and should be fun. But the Firebirds/Camaros looks so damn good. :hmm:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-19-06, 12:09 AM
Right now it's

#1- 1993-95 STS
#2- 1993-95 ETC
#3- 1993-96 Mark VIII
#4- 1993-95 F-150 Lightning
#5- 1987-92 T/A GTA

davesdeville
11-19-06, 05:40 AM
If you get a Mark VIII, find a 96 LSC or do the HID conversion. I just hit a dead coyote today because my lights suck so bad I didn't see it until it was 5 feet in front of me. Now I have to wash the meat spray off it.

Sorry don't mind me just ranting.

dp102288
11-19-06, 07:39 AM
^^ Ewww. At least you didn't kill it! :histeric:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-19-06, 11:22 AM
Dave you and Blackoiut are the Mark VIII kings on here. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but the 93-96 models have terrible headlights, but the 95-96 LSC has alright ones. The 97-98 has some other issues too...a heater/AC blend door and the two piece driveshaft. Am I missing anything?

Blackout
11-19-06, 07:19 PM
Dave you and Blackoiut are the Mark VIII kings on here. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but the 93-96 models have terrible headlights, but the 95-96 LSC has alright ones. The 97-98 has some other issues too...a heater/AC blend door and the two piece driveshaft. Am I missing anything?The 1st gen's headlights blow unless you have a 95-96 LSC because they have the HID's. If you want to upgrade a non LSC to the LSC's HID headlights then your looking at $1000 for the kit. The two piece driveshaft issue was with the 1st gen's (I dunno about the 2nd gen's maybe dave might know) but it would cause the car to vibrate at WOT. I never had that issue with mine but owners have reported that problem with theirs. There are replacement 1 piece driveshafts available. The heater/AC blend door I never even heard of but that doesn't necessarily mean that there isn't issues with that. I've only really payed attention to the 1st gen's since that is what i had so I know more about them then the 2nd gen's. Hope this helps you out and if Dave can add anything or correct me on something that I hope he helps you out as well

EDIT: After re-reading your post I got a giggle out of it because you were saying "Dave you and Blackout...." and my name is Dave also :)

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-19-06, 09:24 PM
Mmmk. Ian (Playdrv4me) has had many Mark VIII's, 1st gen and 2nd gen. he said that the Headlights in the first ones would suck because they'd burn off the reflective backing on the headlights, then they'd yellow up the lenses. And to top it off, Lincoln tried using AC for the headlights, instead of the usual automotive DC. (I think..) As for the 2nd gen, they're Xenon I believe, and they work fine IIRC, but they're expensive to replace. I might be wrong though. As for the driveshaft vibration, I've only heard of the 2nd gen having it, and at speeds above 85MPH. But I'll take your word for it regarding the 1st gen too. I've read reviews on carsurvey.org and that's where I picked up on the heater/AC blend door problem. Sandy had a '98 LSC CE and he said he had that problem too...hated that car. Relibility wise, his was a nightmare.

Oh BTW, what year did they start offering heated leather seats? They aren't listed in the 1995 brochure I have and it's pretty rare to find one with them.

Blackout
11-20-06, 05:54 AM
I believe 1997 was the first year for the heated seats option. Reliability wise it mostly comes down to how well the drivers have taken care of the car. The worst issue I had with mine was the air ride level sensor's going bad and doing a coil over conversion. The headlight issue for the 1st gen's in exactly what you said but I've heard from owners of 2nd gen's saying that the regualr halogen headlights work better on their then on the 1st gen's

RobertCTS
11-20-06, 07:18 AM
opps

Blackout
11-20-06, 09:12 AM
opps

:confused:

dp102288
11-20-06, 09:34 AM
He probably posted in the wrong thread, and then edited his post.

Or he is just post-whoring. (I think its this one!) :D

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-20-06, 10:53 AM
The worst issue I had with mine was the air ride level sensor's going bad and doing a coil over conversion.

Ah, see I'm not worried about the air suspension going south on one. The coil spring solution is cheap and quite easy to do. Davesdeville said his was about $300 for all 4 springs, and about 4 hours to do them all.

Blackout
11-20-06, 10:58 AM
Ah, see I'm not worried about the air suspension going south on one. The coil spring solution is cheap and quite easy to do. Davesdeville said his was about $300 for all 4 springs, and about 4 hours to do them all.I did the same for mine. Mine were $500 with the 1.5" drop kit. Made the car look nice but it would bottom out easily when hitting the right size bump or when going over speed bumps. I actually liked the ride quality better with the coil overs then I did with the air ride setup and it handled better as well (I'm guessing because of the 1.5" drop"

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-20-06, 11:17 AM
With the standard air suspension, it's more plush and cushy than a similar ETC correct? That's not exactly what I'm looking for. I want the tight, connected to the road feeling that the 93-95 STS/ETC has. I suppose the coilovers would make the car feel tighter and more connected.

I'm going to visit some family on the other side of the Twin Cities today. At the L-M dealer near them, there is a '93 VIII for sale. I think i'll go check it out before I go to their house.

Blackout
11-20-06, 03:04 PM
With the standard air suspension, it's more plush and cushy than a similar ETC correct? That's not exactly what I'm looking for. I want the tight, connected to the road feeling that the 93-95 STS/ETC has. I suppose the coilovers would make the car feel tighter and more connected.

I'm going to visit some family on the other side of the Twin Cities today. At the L-M dealer near them, there is a '93 VIII for sale. I think i'll go check it out before I go to their house.I can't honestly say. The last time I drove a ETC was when I was 16 and a barely remember much of the drive. The air suspensionon the VIII was kinda mushy but not too bad. Once it squatted down when going down the road it felt more glued to the road and had better handling. The coilover's I got were from Suspension-Alternative's. Supposedly they are more pricey then other but I was happy with them. I got them in less then two days after I bought them and had directions for the install. But guys from the "other" forum mentioned that I could have picked them up for less else where. I couldn't tell you if the ride was any different with the regular coilover setup versus the coilover setup with the 1.5" drop. With the 1.5" drop the car handled great and had a smooth ride but not mushy like my 1990 Sedan Deville had. But even in the rain trying to bring the ass end around was not an easy task so I felt that the car was quite safe even in less then perfect driving conditions. Hell my gf was at work at Linen's N Things and they just built the whole shopping plaza and it was raining like a bitch out and I had a few minutes to kill and man did I try to bring the ass end around on fresh new blacktop and it stayed glued to the ground unless I seriously beat the crap out of it and then it would finally come around but you would seriously be in bad shape by the time it came around if you were driving normally

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-20-06, 03:07 PM
Hmmm cool! I wonder how it would be in the snow?

Blackout
11-20-06, 03:16 PM
Hmmm cool! I wonder how it would be in the snow?Never got a chance to get it in the snow but if it's anything like my old Mark VII LSC then HAVE FUN!!! The car sucked in the snow. I'd have to put bags of sand or some weights in the truck to keep the ass end from sliding out all the time

davesdeville
11-20-06, 10:42 PM
With the standard air suspension, it's more plush and cushy than a similar ETC correct? That's not exactly what I'm looking for. I want the tight, connected to the road feeling that the 93-95 STS/ETC has. I suppose the coilovers would make the car feel tighter and more connected.

With the air ride, a VIII is way mushier than an ETC or ESC for that matter. The coils improve the road feel and handling, but having driven both at (and past) their very limits, an ETC will still outhandle a VIII. The 1.5" drop might change that, but there are too many potholes here for me to have tried that out. Both cars have a lot of body flex, the VIII has more as well as more body roll.


The coilover's I got were from Suspension-Alternative's.

Actually that's where I got mine as well. Non-lowered though. Made by Strutmasters. I paid $315, I remember because my friend paid around $500 for the same exact parts from Strutmasters.


Never got a chance to get it in the snow but if it's anything like my old Mark VII LSC then HAVE FUN!!! The car sucked in the snow. I'd have to put bags of sand or some weights in the truck to keep the ass end from sliding out all the time

Funny you'd mention the VII. I just bought an 89 base model on Saturday. It's not in real good shape though, I got it at a DWI seizures auction for $225.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-20-06, 11:01 PM
I went out and looked at that '93 VIII. Red/grey, 129k miles.

Didn't get to drive it because big dealers won't let you drive unless you're gonna buy right now, but I got to sit in the interior. Nice design...feels like you're driving a fighter jet. Love the two level dashboard and the radio and HVAC controls are very easy to reach. I don't even have to move in my seat to get at them. Overall, it's a very clean interior design, but I'd like some wood trim... but they started that in '94. The seats were pretty comfy too..more cushy than the seats in the '93 STS, but w/o the lumbar support. They reminded me of the seats in my '92 deVille..just with more side support. It had decent backseat space too, a bit better than my friend's 01 Accord EX-V6 Coupe. Can't compare to the '99 ETC, I didn't sit in the back of that one.

As for the exterior, it's a good looking car..sporty and swoopy, very aggressive front end. On this particular example, the front airbags had gone out, causing the front end to sink down. All in all though, I give the exterior an 8.5/10. The only thing I don't like is how the taillights curve around and come to a point.

I cannot ever seem to test drive one of these. I did back in summer of '05 sometime, but everytime I go to look at one, they won't let me drive it. It's like my friggin unicorn lol!

Blackout
11-21-06, 05:14 AM
Funny you'd mention the VII. I just bought an 89 base model on Saturday. It's not in real good shape though, I got it at a DWI seizures auction for $225.Nice deal. They're awesome cars but in the snow they are wild as hell. You could just be driving along and without any warning the ass end comes around on it. So make sure you put weight in the trunk if you plan on driving it in the snow. Learn from me and my families mistakes with the car!

Blackout
11-21-06, 05:17 AM
I went out and looked at that '93 VIII. Red/grey, 129k miles.

Didn't get to drive it because big dealers won't let you drive unless you're gonna buy right now, but I got to sit in the interior. Nice design...feels like you're driving a fighter jet. Love the two level dashboard and the radio and HVAC controls are very easy to reach. I don't even have to move in my seat to get at them. Overall, it's a very clean interior design, but I'd like some wood trim... but they started that in '94. The seats were pretty comfy too..more cushy than the seats in the '93 STS, but w/o the lumbar support. They reminded me of the seats in my '92 deVille..just with more side support. It had decent backseat space too, a bit better than my friend's 01 Accord EX-V6 Coupe. Can't compare to the '99 ETC, I didn't sit in the back of that one.

As for the exterior, it's a good looking car..sporty and swoopy, very aggressive front end. On this particular example, the front airbags had gone out, causing the front end to sink down. All in all though, I give the exterior an 8.5/10. The only thing I don't like is how the taillights curve around and come to a point.

I cannot ever seem to test drive one of these. I did back in summer of '05 sometime, but everytime I go to look at one, they won't let me drive it. It's like my friggin unicorn lol!Hmmm....thats weird. Hell i called up a used car dealership and told them i was interested in their Mark VIII and the guy actually drove an hour over to where I work just so I could test drive it.

dp102288
11-21-06, 08:46 AM
^^ Damn, nice sales guy!

Blackout
11-21-06, 11:19 AM
^^ Damn, nice sales guy!I know! When the guy started asking me as to where I work at and for directions I was like what is all of this for and he said he was going to get it detailed and bring it up so I could look at it and take it for a test drive during my lunch break. I was very happy with the dealership and to do all of that for a $4000 car is quite amazing

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-21-06, 08:58 PM
A few questions about the Intech V8 used in the Mark VIII's...

In the Northstars, the starter and alternator are in the valley of the motor..which will prove to be very expensive to replace when they go bad, where is the starter and alternator on the Intechs?

Does the Intech hold any real advantages or disadvantages over the Northstar? From what I've heard, head gaskets aren't as much of an issue on the Intechs. Do they have some sort of a general flaw? An example of a general flaw is the main bearing thump on my 4.9L. What are the big things to watch for with the Intechs?

Thanks!
Chad

Blackout
11-21-06, 09:10 PM
A few questions about the Intech V8 used in the Mark VIII's...

In the Northstars, the starter and alternator are in the valley of the motor..which will prove to be very expensive to replace when they go bad, where is the starter and alternator on the Intechs?

Does the Intech hold any real advantages or disadvantages over the Northstar? From what I've heard, head gaskets aren't as much of an issue on the Intechs. Do they have some sort of a general flaw? An example of a general flaw is the main bearing thump on my 4.9L. What are the big things to watch for with the Intechs?

Thanks!
ChadThe Intech is the same basic engine that is found in the Mustang's and Cobra's, so in other words they are basically bullet proof. They offer plenty of power and there is a TON of aftermarket available for them. As for the starter I'm not really sure. Never had mine long enough to really dive into it. The alternator is right on top and as far as I know of it's a simple job to replace it but I would to say check out a Mark VIII forum to answer your question for certain. But the N* suffers from head gasket issues and in stock trim they make more power then the Intech's but in the end the Intech is a much more reliable engine and has a much better aftermarket following then the N* and on top of it the N* is mated to a FWD vehicle. I dunno if thats a factor for you but for me it was an easy choice since I was looking to make a sleeper and having a RWD is much more fun/better for racing setups.

davesdeville
11-21-06, 09:18 PM
A few questions about the Intech V8 used in the Mark VIII's...

In the Northstars, the starter and alternator are in the valley of the motor..which will prove to be very expensive to replace when they go bad, where is the starter and alternator on the Intechs?


Actually the starter is in the valley but the alternator is in the front towards the bottom. The alternator is a couple hour job, but the starter is really not that bad either just a couple bolts for the fuel rail and intake manifold and there it is. It's actually a great place for it since it's well protected from the elements so chances are, you'd never have to replace it anyway.

On a Mark VIII like Blackout said it's right there in the front. I had to change mine out awhile ago, it took me maybe 45 minutes. It's really easy. The starter doesn't look too bad either.

Hey Chad, are you keeping the 92 as a winter car or would you plan to drive whatever you get in the winter too? Because if you plan to drive it in the snow that would be the decision maker right there for me.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-21-06, 09:20 PM
Blackout, I take it you're more biased towards Lincoln, it's nice to have an honest, unopinionated person on here. Everyone else tells me that the Northstar is soooo much better than the Intechs. I love the fact that it's got tons of aftermarket and is a very highly respected motor in the eyes of the gearheads and mechanics. As for the HG issues on the N*, yes, it is an issue, but I wouldn't call it a design flaw. People just don't do the cautionary measures that are associated with aluminum block engines, and thats how the HG goes.

People whine and bitch about how high maintenance the N* is, but it's a hi-po engine, jam packed with technology that was amazing for 1993, and it's gonna need more care and attention than a Cadillac 425 or Ford 460, which are generally regarded as some of the best motors of the '70s. Performance motors? No, not necessarily, but they're very low maintenance and cost much less to maintain. They're the opposite of the N* really, in every aspect. Basically, ya gotta pay to play. The N* (or Intech for that matter) is the closest thing America offers to the super complex, super smooth, hi-po german and italian V8's.

Ya can't think of either like your typical Chevy 350 or Ford 302..they're much more like a Mercedes 5.0L or a BMW 4.4L DOHC motor in design.

Blackout
11-21-06, 10:33 PM
Blackout, I take it you're more biased towards Lincoln, it's nice to have an honest, unopinionated person on here. Everyone else tells me that the Northstar is soooo much better than the Intechs.Well in all honesty look at what forum your on and there's your answer. I have more experience with the Intech then I do the N*. My dad has been around the N* since its inception and with him at the time being part of the largest Cadillac fleet in the US and him being in charge of the service of the fleet and being a GM master tech as well as Cadillac trying to get him to join up with them to head up their build quality for fleet vehicles I hold his opinion above 99.9999999999999% of the members on here who go by opinions and very little technical ability and what they read online. He loved the Cadillac's when they had the Fleetwood Broughams and once they got the first batch of N* powered vehicles in they had the biggest headaches with them and it has left a bad taste in his mouth ever since and after hearing the horror stories they had with him that has in turn left a bad taste in my mouth because my dad isn't biased towards any one brand.


I love the fact that it's got tons of aftermarket and is a very highly respected motor in the eyes of the gearheads and mechanics.It's a good selling point and when you price out a Mark VIII versus any N* powered vehicle you can pick up a Mark VIII for a couple grand less.


As for the HG issues on the N*, yes, it is an issue, but I wouldn't call it a design flaw. People just don't do the cautionary measures that are associated with aluminum block engines, and thats how the HG goes. Well once again according to my dad it is/was a design flaw. Suppoedly when Cadillac made the engines they used two different types of metal that would over time would react to each other and would seperate and would lead to the head gasket failure. Now I'm not 100% sure if I got that right or not so don't hold me too it.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-25-06, 11:40 AM
I was talking to my dad about this topic the other night, told him we just got a '99 deVille traded in at my work..he didn't go for that so much, but he suggested a Town Car. He said they've got that super reliable, almost bulletproof drivetrain and they're the car that always gets converted to limos. To him, that means real durability and reliability... I guess a '93 or '94 Town Car Signature Series would be OK...not as fast or fun to drive as a Northstar Cadillac or LT1 Brougham, but arguably more reliable than the N*, and cheaper and more feature loaded than a LT1 Brougham.

I'm still a little leery of the Northstar, so that kinda complicates matters. I loved driving that '93 STS, but the Northstar in my book, doesn't hold a candle to a 350 or even the 4.6 reliability wise, and that's peace of mind. It's basically a decesion whether I'd rather go with the more fun to drive car or the car that's more reliable, simpler and cheaper to maintain. I drove 90Brougham350's Brougham last night and it seemed like an 11/10's scale of my deVille, the steering was a little more vague, and it wasn't as quite as quick, but it felt about the same as my '92 down a curvy road.

Between the Northstar and the Ford SOHC and DOHC 4.6, my dad views the Ford 4.6 as being simpler and more reliable...I'd agree with him for the most part... I still don't get why the N* has the starter and alternator mounted in the valley... There really seems to be no engineering benefit to mounting those there, it seems like they only did that to complicate matters. Now on the Ford motors, things are laid out much more typically, and they don't use that split block design which is odd in a luxury car.

So I suppose my dad would like to see me go with a Lincoln..which is kinda wierd but hey it's ALMOST as good as a Cadillac lol!

I really like the Mark VIII's, especially the 93-96's.

The 95-97 Continentals have been catching my eye for quite a while too..not as fast as an SLS, but it's much cheaper than a comparable Seville, and just as loaded! Plus, it's got a pretty reliable drivetrain too, same motor as the VIII, just 20 less hp due to a different intake design because of the FWD.

Then again, there's the 93-97 Town Car... Old trusty. Not too fast, simple, reliable, durable, ostentatious (especially the 93-94's)

hardrockcamaro@mac.c
11-25-06, 01:06 PM
Going back to the original topic, I'd have the GTA.
However, I prefer the more angular nose version.

I also prefer the Camaro for looks but then I am biased as I onn one and it's my pride and joy:

http://homepage.mac.com/hardrockcamaro/.Pictures/maro.jpg



I don't know about the USA, but ove here price really reflects condition with a car that wants for nothing and in really excellent aesthetic condition too going for up to $10,000 while cars that are really tired, engines and boxes in need of rebuilds, electirc not working, bits missing and peeling paint going for as little as $2,000 - $2,500. A good useable daily driver condition car could be had for $5,500 - $6,000


I don't know why people complain so much about the build quality, the shut lines are not much worse than a 4th gen and the interior plastics, while looking cheap are fairly robust unless you like kicking your dashboard or putting all your wieght onteh glovebox lid. With 100,000 miles on her mine doesn't have any interior creaks or rattles, the only itmes I have replaced have been the passenger door card (as the prebvious owner damaged it when removing it and bodged a repair) and the glove box lid.
The only other item was the dash pad which had one tiny crack in the corner of it. For an 18 year old car I think that's good going.

However, for every one in top shape like mine there are hundreds that are just trying to hang on.

Mine is a 305TPI (with so few cars over here inteh UK as they were never offically sold here you can't be too picky on exact specs like insisting on a 350) and with the 2.73:1 rear axle I have managed to get 34mpg (US) on the highway at 55mph over a 300 mile trip, at 80mph on the same trip with less sympathetic acceleration it drops to about 26mpg.


Buy on condition and remember that fixing stuff costs a lot more than buying one that's right to beign with. Some parts can be hard to get hold of and thus expensive. For example dash pads ( no longer available from GM) certain badging and centre caps and so on.

davesdeville
11-26-06, 04:51 AM
I still don't get why the N* has the starter and alternator mounted in the valley... There really seems to be no engineering benefit to mounting those there, it seems like they only did that to complicate matters.

Ok Chad, let me try this again.


Actually the starter is in the valley but the alternator is in the front towards the bottom. The alternator is a couple hour job, but the starter is really not that bad either just a couple bolts for the fuel rail and intake manifold and there it is. It's actually a great place for it since it's well protected from the elements so chances are, you'd never have to replace it anyway.

Also, look at a Northstar. It's a big motor with a big transmission, stuck in the front of a car, and there's not much room around it.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-26-06, 09:09 AM
I see. Either way, the RWD Intech has it beat for ease of work. Things aren't as hard to work on and are easier to reach..atleast from what I remember. You said it yourself too Dave..the starter and alternator are up in front and don't take as long to do..

Either way, my dad really wants me to get a 91-97 Town Car next, just because they're so simple, reliable and durable. I especially like the 93 & 94 Signature Series...they're so plush, so ostentatious, yet so elegant. They don't handle the best, or go the fastest, but there is aftermarket for the 4.6, there's that one in Saudi Arabia or wherever that runs 14's consistently..that would be awesome, a 14 second Town Car lol! But I'd still really like a Mark VIII though, or heck, even a 95-97 4.6 Continental...

Blackout
11-26-06, 11:18 AM
I see. Either way, the RWD Intech has it beat for ease of work. Things aren't as hard to work on and are easier to reach..atleast from what I remember. You said it yourself too Dave..the starter and alternator are up in front and don't take as long to do..

Either way, my dad really wants me to get a 91-97 Town Car next, just because they're so simple, reliable and durable. I especially like the 93 & 94 Signature Series...they're so plush, so ostentatious, yet so elegant. They don't handle the best, or go the fastest, but there is aftermarket for the 4.6, there's that one in Saudi Arabia or wherever that runs 14's consistently..that would be awesome, a 14 second Town Car lol! But I'd still really like a Mark VIII though, or heck, even a 95-97 4.6 Continental...Stay away from the Continental's! I've heard so many people that had issues with them that I wouldn't bother wasting your money on one. I'd say if you want performance go with the Mark VIII if your looking for a nice riding cruiser then go with the TC

dp102288
11-26-06, 11:23 AM
Lincoln=:devil:

j/k The Town Cars are nice. Maybe not as much as an Eldo though! :p

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-26-06, 03:28 PM
Well, between an Eldo and TC for a pure "fun to drive factor", the Eldo takes the cake easily, especially the 93-95 ETC. But there are other factors involved, and the Town Car wins in the reliability, durability, simplicity categories. I wonder if you can build a Town Car up to handle real well like you can build a D-Body to handle real well..

Blackout, from all the reviews I've read on carsurvey.org and edmunds.com, the 1995-97 Continental seems to be very reliable. Everyone says it's very reliable and rarely ever breaks down. A common issue on those is the auto dimming rearview mirror going bad. Nearly every review says something about theirs going bad. I wonder if the 98-02 Continentals are less reliable maybe?

Blackout
11-26-06, 05:22 PM
Blackout, from all the reviews I've read on carsurvey.org and edmunds.com, the 1995-97 Continental seems to be very reliable. Everyone says it's very reliable and rarely ever breaks down. A common issue on those is the auto dimming rearview mirror going bad. Nearly every review says something about theirs going bad. I wonder if the 98-02 Continentals are less reliable maybe?I don't really know as to what years are good or not. I've just heard over the years that the Continentals were POS's but I dunno as to what years if some years were good or bad. I just stay away from them but hey I'm no Continental aficionado so I could easily be wrong

davesdeville
11-27-06, 12:56 AM
I see. Either way, the RWD Intech has it beat for ease of work. Things aren't as hard to work on and are easier to reach..atleast from what I remember. You said it yourself too Dave..the starter and alternator are up in front and don't take as long to do..

I never said the northstars are easy to work on. But they are a well designed package and I wanted to clarify some things. Speaking of clarifying things, the Mark VIII starter isn't on the front of the motor, it's still on the back end where the flexplate/flywheel is.

Anyway if you go to a Conti, you're back to having all the problems of a Northstar car. The Intech won't blow as many headgaskets, but are as much of a bitch to work on, and have weaker trans than the 4T80e. Overall not any better of a car from a reliability standpoint, and markedly worse in interior and exterior design, along with build quality IMO.


I'd say if you want performance go with the Mark VIII if your looking for a nice riding cruiser then go with the TC

^What he said.

dp102288
11-27-06, 09:38 AM
^^ Since they mentioned transmission, I don't think I will ever drive an automatic as fast and snappy as the 4T80-E. Its is really great packaged for the Northstar, and its is rated at 8000 GVWR so its amply equipped for the hell a Caddy owner might put it through.

Yeah, maybe the 4T80-E isn't then newest, and it certainly could benefit from more gears (8 would be nice!) but I love this tranny so much in my Eldo.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-27-06, 12:22 PM
Talked to my dad some more today regarding this issue, he says he wants me to get something newer (2000+ I'd assume), with lower miles. There aren't many new (2000+) luxury cars I like though. He also said that he'd rather have me save up a good amount and take out a small loan to get something more expensive than what I was looking at. Something that would last a long time that you could accumulate a lot of miles on.

Basically, he said that the only Cadillac I should get at my age is a Brougham or a Fleetwood Brougham, but he doesn't like the fact that they've been out of production for 10 years now. The Brougham is basically a glorified Caprice, which makes it quite simple and cheap to fix, but on the downside, its old(er) but I can still find many examples with low mileage (less than 60,000). Same thing goes with the Town Car, I'd never buy a 1998+ model, because basically, I think they're ugly as sin. But there are a lot of 1991-97 models with low miles on them and they're quite cheap.

Regarding the Northstar, he says its an incredible piece of machinery, but it's costly to repair, also it's not a simple motor like the Ford 4.6 or Chevy 350. I have two uncles who were mechanics, and my father is a mechanic, and I'd have them work on my cars, before I took them to a dealer. My uncles and father much rather work on a 350, SOHC 4.6 or heck, maybe even the DOHC 4.6 than a Northstar. I would really be doing myself a favor by holding off on the Northstar until I am more established regarding money and credit.

It's a sort of balance though. I could either get a older car, that costs much less to purchase and insure, but it'll probably have more miles and have more things go bad due to age. Or, I could save up and take out a loan for a newer car, probably with lower miles, and be in debt (and I really hate debt) and pay more for insurance.

I'd much rather go buy an older car with low miles. Much cheaper to insure and buy, sure more stuff might go bad, but with the money I've saved by not buying a newer more expensive car, I'll have money to repair it. I wanna move out soon, so I don't wanna be in a lot of debt for a car also.

As for cars newer than 2000 that I'd actually consider buying with these circumstances, there aren't many, but here's what I can think of...
2000+ Regal GS
2000+ Park Avenue Ultra
2000+ Grand Prix GTP
2000-02 Continental (maybe??)
2000-02 Eldorado (probably not)

That's all I can think of now..


So well see...

Blackout
11-27-06, 12:26 PM
I would say to not worry about what your dad wants you to have. What do YOU want to have. I made the mistake before of when I had a chance for my parents to get me a car and my dad recommended the Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V. I went and looked at it and test drove one and it was decent enough but we got it that night. Now I'm not saying that I didn't like the car but I went with what my dad recommended and I kinda wish I looked around more because there were other cars for the price that were much nicer and more refined then the Spec V was.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-27-06, 12:36 PM
Well, my father and I don't have the same tastes in cars, that's obvious. But I'd like to buy something that we can both sort of agree on. Neither of my parents like my taste in cars, so when stuff goes bad on my cars I can't get much sympathy or pity from either of them. I don't want a car to divide the family..if you see what I'm saying. I'm sure it wouldn't "divide" the family per se, but he'd never really like it, and I still have to live with them, even after I move out.

davesdeville
11-28-06, 01:27 AM
Get a 98 LSC.

Lady Danielle
11-28-06, 05:08 AM
I agree with pinball my 86 TA and 87 TA fell apart one thing after another....theres no comparison to these cars the caddy beats them all. Your gonaa be unhappy!

dp102288
11-28-06, 08:53 AM
No F150 lightning? :(

I always did love the Park Ave Ultra, very nicely equipped and good looking.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-28-06, 07:48 PM
I drove a '03 Park Avenue around a bit today at work, those things are sooo smooth, just like the newer deVilles, but w/o the Northstar's thrust.

LS1Mike
11-28-06, 08:01 PM
The GTP you mention is an excellent car. I had a 2001 I put many miles on it like 170,000 realitively trouble free. Very comfortable, ride nice and have cool options.
The 3800 is an excellent motor.
At anyrate I had a 1 size smaller super charger pulley, exhaust, cold air intake and larger rocker arms (I belive they were 1.75) and I was able to touch 13.87 at 101.02 mph. All these things didn't compromise ride or driveability.
I miss that car.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-28-06, 08:11 PM
GTP's/Regals and PAU's are nice and all but on a whole differnt level than a Cadillac, and I love being part of the "club of gentlemen". Buick and Pontiac owners aren't included in said club. You have to own a Cadillac. :D

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-28-06, 09:58 PM
I just thought of another kick ass car that's newer than 2000, reliable, luxurious and fast...

A Marauder!

It's more than I'd like to spend, but if I got forced into some position where I had to buy something newer than '00, and it couldn't be a Northstar powered Cadillac, this would be it!

davesdeville
11-29-06, 01:51 AM
Marauders are cool. But man they have even less low end torque than a Mark VIII or ETC. I don't think I could own one without gears & stall.

Blackout
11-29-06, 06:06 AM
Marauders are cool. But man they have even less low end torque than a Mark VIII or ETC. I don't think I could own one without gears & stall.I believe the 2004 and newer models came with a stall stock

dp102288
11-29-06, 09:41 AM
I remember a good discussion either in the Lounge of the Kill section of the board about Marauders.

Blackout
11-29-06, 09:55 AM
I remember a good discussion either in the Lounge of the Kill section of the board about Marauders.Seeing what people say about Ford products I'd venture to say that most thought it was a POS and somewhere along the lines the Northstar got mentioned and was being touted as the best engine EVAR!!!!!! <---Did it on purpose

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-29-06, 06:51 PM
The thread was '94 SLS v. Marauder. I said the SLS would beat it off the line, but a Marauder would have it in the end.

I looked at Marauders around here the other day, I can't get into one for less than $18,000. They're all around 18-22k..way too much. :(

LS1Mike
11-29-06, 07:32 PM
I am telling you GTP...Cheap to fix, cheap to drive, cheap to modify.
I know you want a Big car, Like a Caddy and who dosen't right?
I am trying to Get a V to replace the WS6.
The GTP is good hold you over car.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-29-06, 08:48 PM
The thing with any car newer than 1994, big insurance increases for some odd reason. I looked up rates on progressive.com and I got some interesting results..

'93 Eldorado was $2140 a year
'94 Mark VIII was $2256 a year
'92 Trans Am was $2064 a year
....
'98 Regal (GS or LS) $3483 a year.
'98 Eldorado was $4641 a year

I didn't try a GTP, because I like the Regal more in almost every aspect, but I'd assume it would be real similar (if not the same) to the Regal. The extra $1000 I saved on insurance by not buying a GTP can go a long way to building up a VIII or anything else really.

davesdeville
11-29-06, 11:03 PM
I believe the 2004 and newer models came with a stall stock

Uh oh... I drove an 04, and it still had no balls under 3500rpm. And wasn't the Marauder only made in 03-04?

Blackout
11-30-06, 05:17 AM
Uh oh... I drove an 04, and it still had no balls under 3500rpm. And wasn't the Marauder only made in 03-04?Opps. Yeah your right. The 2004's came with a stall convertor.