: Bye Deville hello fleetwood?



misfit6794
01-25-07, 11:15 AM
I am think of selling my deville and purchasing a 93-96 Fleetwood. I originally got the deville because it was fwd, needless to say, the car has been less than reliable. I love this car though and was thinking, the bigger the better. Are the fleetwoods more reliable than the devilles?, mines a 96. And do the LT1's in these use the optispark, like the transam/camaro? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

90Brougham350
01-25-07, 12:46 PM
The Optispark was improved by 1994, so if properly maintained, the Fleetwoods can run for thousands of miles without any trouble. The 94-96 Fleetwoods are some of the most reliable cars made during that period.

caddycruiser
01-25-07, 12:52 PM
Optispark, yes, as the engine is very much the same as the Camaro/Firebird and the Corvette from the same years, just cast iron vs. aluminum in a few places, and tuning differences. And don't worry about the Optispark--there's still a few bad articles and such out there, but in reality, it's become known as one of the most reliable distributer systems ever used. Most have well over 100k without touching theirs, and we even had a member here who hit well over 300k (big time driver) on his '94 Fleetwood, and it still had the original Optispark at that point. And just in general, the LT1 is quite bulletproof and will run for several hundred thousands of miles without much issue at all. Not at ALL the case as a lot of FWD Northstar cars, as even as reliable as some of them are, the combination of maintenance and repair costs are just astronomical in comparison--and they just are more prone to problems in general.

BUT, to make a long story short, these cars are absolutely dead reliable, even if they weren't maintained very well, and when there are problems, everything is so large, accessible, and simple in nature that it's almost all easy to do yourself or cheap to have work done elsewhere.

Compared to a Deville, they are larger, and being body-on-frame like a lot of larger trucks and SUV's, they're a bit heavier and not as tight in stock form as a Deville would be, but that's not at all a bad thing. The best part, at least for a lot of people like myself who have been buying them in the past few years, is that the guts are essentially identical to an Impala SS from the same era, and being how huge the aftermarket has been for that car, there's an almost endless supply of things you can do to a Fleetwood to also cater the performance to your own level.

We have two, a '93 and a '95, and I thoroughly enjoy both--the first was what made me want the second so much. There have been a few small repairs over the years, which is natural for being over a decade old and over 100k on the odometer, but all has been almost dirt cheap and there's a lot of "driveway" stuff we can do ourselves.

My only "complaint" has always been the somewhat less than stellar overall build quality and materials given the size, weight, and original price of the car, but I've only known them 10 years after the fact, so it's not a fully fair argument. Certainly comparable to most other GM cars of the same era in this regard, though.

Your first step is just to find one in person and drive it...then you'll know.

Hammondsix
01-25-07, 04:29 PM
I would not reccomend a Fleetwood for reasons stated in another thread. The drivetrain is simple BUT it is an electrical nightmare. I have never seen a car with so many different computers and modules. Mine is a Florida car and alot of the electrical stuff is going on it. I think the overall quality is unacceptable. I've been told that mine is a lemon though.

Lord Cadillac
01-25-07, 05:51 PM
I would not reccomend a Fleetwood for reasons stated in another thread. The drivetrain is simple BUT it is an electrical nightmare. I have never seen a car with so many different computers and modules. Mine is a Florida car and alot of the electrical stuff is going on it. I think the overall quality is unacceptable. I've been told that mine is a lemon though.
Yes. Your is a lemon. All these Cadillacs have many different computers and modules. In fact, most cars do today - especially high-tech luxury cars.

At any cost. The 1995 is probably the best model to get. It has something called Quiet Cam which allows the engine to operate with less noise. The doors close quiter. The mirrors are larger (though some say this causes a bit more wind noise than the earlier models). The 1996 model uses a different ODB computer system - which makes modifications more difficult. If you don't plan on modifying it, go for a 96 just because it's newer...

My 1995 Fleetwood Brougham never had a major problem while I owned it. And, all the owners I know have been Very satisfied with this automobile. I give it two thumbs up. :) Go for it and post pictures when you get it...

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-25-07, 10:11 PM
If you're looking for a Cadillac that is more reliable than a problem laden '96 DeVille, then the Fleetwood is for you!

The Fleetwood is very simple for a luxury car, the chassis dates back to '77, the motor, basically dates back to around '55 or so, but there have been many changes made in that time. There are much less electronics in the Fleetwoods to go wrong, and the overall car is sooo much simpler than a Northstar DeVille. The Optispark is a very reliable distributor, and in 200k miles, you'll probably put one on after the one that was original, other than that, the LT1 has no real achilles heel.

But the worst thing about the FWB's (and the other B-bodies) is the mediocre build quality..the interior quality isn't as nice as the other Cadillacs, but it's ok. Plastics are harder, the wood trim isn't real and sometimes gets loose and the leather isn't magnificent, but that's a small price to pay for such an awesome automobile.

caddycruiser
01-25-07, 10:25 PM
If you're looking for a Cadillac that is more reliable than a problem laden '96 DeVille, then the Fleetwood is for you!

The Fleetwood is very simple for a luxury car, the chassis dates back to '77, the motor, basically dates back to around '55 or so, but there have been many changes made in that time. There are much less electronics in the Fleetwoods to go wrong, and the overall car is sooo much simpler than a Northstar DeVille. The Optispark is a very reliable distributor, and in 200k miles, you'll probably put one on after the one that was original, other than that, the LT1 has no real achilles heel.

But the worst thing about the FWB's (and the other B-bodies) is the mediocre build quality..the interior quality isn't as nice as the other Cadillacs, but it's ok. Plastics are harder, the wood trim isn't real and sometimes gets loose and the leather isn't magnificent, but that's a small price to pay for such an awesome automobile.

You made probably the perfect post. For MOST cars, the reliability is dead on, and makes people believers. But, at the same time, you also have to give up some build quality in that.

Devilles of the era were never world class, but even compared to them, the Fleetwoods are a bit lacking. Yes, a lot of people are pleased with how theirs are built, but they just aren't overwhelming in this regard. Not horrible either, and still easy to take apart and fix yourself without having an aneurysm--but you just won't ever be overwhelmed with how solid everything is, or how expensive everything feels. That's probably one let down of the car, but given the era they're from, it's still pretty comparable to a lot of other cars.

I still heartily recommend them, and definitely think you need to find and test drive one for yourself--just like any car.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-25-07, 11:01 PM
Between a extremely durable, simple, slightly boaty LT1 Brougham and a complicated, sweet driving, somewhat reliable 97 STS, I'd go with the Brougham, right now anyways because it's gonna cost much less to maintain and repair, and with the money I save I can fix any small problems that may arise.

codewize
01-25-07, 11:08 PM
Yours is a lemon. These cars, especially the drive-train are very very reliable to say the least. I personally have never seen a Fleetwood of this vintage with an electrical problem.

Mine is coming up on 200k and the only thing I call major that's been done is the intake gasket.


I would not reccomend a Fleetwood for reasons stated in another thread. The drivetrain is simple BUT it is an electrical nightmare. I have never seen a car with so many different computers and modules. Mine is a Florida car and alot of the electrical stuff is going on it. I think the overall quality is unacceptable. I've been told that mine is a lemon though.

Old Fleetwood
01-25-07, 11:25 PM
Hokay - I gotta chime in here with a couple of observations although I'm a relative newbie (alias Rick186) but am consistently amazed at my 95 FWB.
>Regarding the alleged superiority of Front Wheel Drive in bad weather - I saw a "Big-Body" (94-96) do some fancy acrobatics on ice during one helluva ice storm.
What had happened was New Years 1997-1998 and we were next door at the neighbor's celebrating just before midnight when all hell broke loose on the street outside with collisions on the icy street. No less than 8 cars had crashed and the cops were called and my neighbors and I were asked by the cops to try walking up the slight upgrade and around the curve of our street to try to flag any cars coming toward the scene of carnage.
A BigBody Cadillac came roaring toward me going about 40 (30 zone) as I waved - AND FINALLY THREW - a flare at him.
I did some fancy dancing to get out of his way.
He hit the brakes, never skidded AT ALL, popped into an icy driveway, backed out, and went back the way he came !
Maybe he was drunk and when he saw all the cops and ambulances he was afraid to get arrested, but that big Cadillac handled the ice better than I did WALKING!
BTW, by the time all was said and done, there were no less than 15 cars for the wreckers and flatbeds in front of my house and my neighbor's but no really major injuries.
So the traction control and ABS work just fine if they are kept in trim!

And get rid of that LEMON!

caddycruiser
01-26-07, 12:04 AM
^^Yep.

All we own is V8 rear drivers, and I've driven them all in every element. That said, the Fleetwood has never done me a bit wrong even on icy roads--chalk that up to skill, traction control & ABS, and just the fact that a RWD car is more balanced in any situation than a nose heavy FWD. Naturally, a FWD can "claw" through and out of some nasty stuff a bit more easily with the engine weight over the wheels, but once going, you still suffer from having a car with an odd weight balance--where the RWD shines.

Weight, balance, and good grippy tires are key for most situations, along with being smart.

psychosis
01-26-07, 06:46 AM
OK, I have a 1996 Deville that I bought with 45K miles on her and a 1995 Fleetwood with 41K.....both are excellent vehicles but they are quite a bit different. In fact miles apart in feel and driving attitude

Its going to always come down to a matter of personal taste, but overall, I have to say I like the Deville better than the Fleetwood and the Deville is my daily driver of choice.

The Fleetwood is what I think about when I think Cadillac. Its big, its shiny and black, its substantial, its smooth, quiet and powerful. Its at home effortlessly rolling down the open road at 80 or 90 mph with the wind whispering by or slowly slithering through the city like a huge cruise ship in the night with the street lights reflecting across the chrome, windows, and mirror finished body. I rarely see another when I take it out on the weekends and people turn their heads to look at it sitting at the lights. They sometimes stop to look at it when I drive by and I occasionally see women and children point to it as I pass. When you sit in it your surrounded by glove quality black leather and heavy doors it separates you from the world outside and you know its something special. Its reliable, its powerful, its got great brakes, it and its not bad on gas getting about 17/20. I love it but I dont like to try and find parking spaces for it, I worry about it when I can't see where its parked, and it wants the whole road. No matter how fast you drive, people want to pass it as if its a road obstacle. Because it is. I drive it on the weekend and , I play with detailing the LT1 Corvette heritage engine and I enjoy keeping it as a garage queen. Its a beautiful vehicle and there's no mistaking, its a big black shiny powerful Cadillac.

The Deville, thats another story. I see them all the time as I drive it to work every day. Some like new and nicer then mine, some the same year but they're so worn down you wonder why or how they're still on the road. But they are. Its fast, its sounds like a sports car, and its smokes most everything in the city from light to light either becuase it just faster, or its so big they just get the hell out of the way. Its big yes but I feel like part of the road driving it. It reminds me (a little bit) of the BMWs I've owned in the past. Its always needing a little water in the Radiator and the brakes , even though I service them frequently, are always questionable. I keep my distance because I know I'll have to stand on the brakes if I have to stop short. The Northstar engine is world class, there can be no reasonable argument to the contrary. Even so its spots the drive way with oil and I keep an eye on the head gasket slowly weeping coolant. Some day it will blow the head gasket I know. But I also know it will probably keep running for a while even though it did. When I get in it I feel like I'm in a smaller car then the Fleetwood but its actually more comfortable. When I drive it through the City, I'm one of the masses. I'll see a dozen more of them before i get to work. Its good on gas, about 18/22 even though I'm constantly pushing the traction control to engagement zipping through traffic. Its a beautiful vehicle and when this one dies i'll be looking for another. Its a cadillac too, but when I get it it I think I'm in a BMW.

codewize
01-26-07, 09:15 AM
Ohh I agree with that. The cars are fine in the elements and very stable otherwise. They certainly don't drive like a 4500# car.

When the ABS and TC are working correctly it's a great thing. Truthfully I think the hype of FWD is for the regular joe who can't drive to begin with.

If you're experienced at driving in the snow you have a lot more control with RWD than you do FWD. You may have less traction but you have a lot more control.

Note that tires play a biggggg role in this. I don't buy snow tires because I think it's a waste of money. I run all seasons on all my cars and don't have a problem in the winter. Especially this one. LOL

Barrister_07101
01-26-07, 01:02 PM
Caddycrusier, I~Luv~Caddys and Psychosis are all right.

I too own a 96 Deville that I bought a year and half old with 20k on it and a 94 FWB which I purchased last may.

If you are tired of your Deville ... the Fleetwood will bring a smile to your face.

The Deville's suspension is much more sporty than a stock Fleetwood. But time and effort would result in a handling dream (ala SS suspension parts).

Power wise ... my Deville with close to 200k (and yes I've gone through a head gasket) is still impressive. The Fleetwood's torque is at the bottom and the Deville's power really comes on mid-range and up. IMO .. its up to driver taste.

With respect to the interior ... I agree that there is no credible argument. The Deville wins. I have a base Deville (cassette only, no heated seats, etc.) and my fully loaded Fleetwood (only moonroof missing) still does match the feel of the leather, wood or plastics. But I'm thinking of having some of the seats re-done.

Affect with the public ... I find the Fleetwood gets much more attention then the Deville. When I drive up in the Fleetwood ... it seems that people expect a person of some stature to exit. The Deville less so. Its similiar to the difference between a fully loaded Camry and a Lexus ES350. Essentially the same ... but not in the eyes of the public.

Oh yea... After seeing a few good examples of the Fleetwood and discovering the 'Impala SS' that lurks inside ... I too started my search for a FWB. I still appreciate the Deville, but after going through Electronic Struts, way too expensive tune ups, Water Pump belts, Alternators, etc. (which usually require dealer service or a person knowledgable about the Northstar) I am happy with basic a V8 and Rear-wheel drive (though I will the trans wasn't electronic). And to conclude, when you talk about computers ... lets not forget the nightmare you would (or have) encountered when attemptign any aftermarket changes with the Deville [BCM computer talking to radio talking to PCM computer]. No such hassles with the FWB.

I hope that this was helpful.


:welcome:

JoCan
01-26-07, 01:33 PM
OK, I have a 1996 Deville that I bought with 45K miles on her and a 1995 Fleetwood with 41K.....both are excellent vehicles but they are quite a bit different. In fact miles apart in feel and driving attitude

Its going to always come down to a matter of personal taste, but overall, I have to say I like the Deville better than the Fleetwood and the Deville is my daily driver of choice.

The Fleetwood is what I think about when I think Cadillac. Its big, its shiny and black, its substantial, its smooth, quiet and powerful. Its at home effortlessly rolling down the open road at 80 or 90 mph with the wind whispering by or slowly slithering through the city like a huge cruise ship in the night with the street lights reflecting across the chrome, windows, and mirror finished body. I rarely see another when I take it out on the weekends and people turn their heads to look at it sitting at the lights. They sometimes stop to look at it when I drive by and I occasionally see women and children point to it as I pass. When you sit in it your surrounded by glove quality black leather and heavy doors it separates you from the world outside and you know its something special. Its reliable, its powerful, its got great brakes, it and its not bad on gas getting about 17/20. I love it but I dont like to try and find parking spaces for it, I worry about it when I can't see where its parked, and it wants the whole road. No matter how fast you drive, people want to pass it as if its a road obstacle. Because it is. I drive it on the weekend and , I play with detailing the LT1 Corvette heritage engine and I enjoy keeping it as a garage queen. Its a beautiful vehicle and there's no mistaking, its a big black shiny powerful Cadillac.

The Deville, thats another story. I see them all the time as I drive it to work every day. Some like new and nicer then mine, some the same year but they're so worn down you wonder why or how they're still on the road. But they are. Its fast, its sounds like a sports car, and its smokes most everything in the city from light to light either becuase it just faster, or its so big they just get the hell out of the way. Its big yes but I feel like part of the road driving it. It reminds me (a little bit) of the BMWs I've owned in the past. Its always needing a little water in the Radiator and the brakes , even though I service them frequently, are always questionable. I keep my distance because I know I'll have to stand on the brakes if I have to stop short. The Northstar engine is world class, there can be no reasonable argument to the contrary. Even so its spots the drive way with oil and I keep an eye on the head gasket slowly weeping coolant. Some day it will blow the head gasket I know. But I also know it will probably keep running for a while even though it did. When I get in it I feel like I'm in a smaller car then the Fleetwood but its actually more comfortable. When I drive it through the City, I'm one of the masses. I'll see a dozen more of them before i get to work. Its good on gas, about 18/22 even though I'm constantly pushing the traction control to engagement zipping through traffic. Its a beautiful vehicle and when this one dies i'll be looking for another. Its a cadillac too, but when I get it it I think I'm in a BMW.

:yeah: I own a 1994 DeVille 4.9 and a 1995 Fleetwood. This is dead on:yeah:

Destroyer
01-26-07, 06:20 PM
I own a '91 Fleetwood and my wife owns a '98 Deville. I like the Deville cause when driving it easy if feels like a luxury Camry. Idles real smooth and gives no clue that it has a pretty potent V8. When you floor the Deville the mid range and upper range power make it feel more like a sports car (as long as you are not taking turns). Problem with the Deville is that it just doesn't want to retain its fluids. It leaks a little oil and almost always leaves coolant on the ground and wreaks of coolant when parked. I already spent $830 for a waterpump, changed the t-stat and all radiator hoses, problem still persists. I still prefer my Fleetwood even if its the older body style (which I prefer). The Fleetwood rides better/handles better and would probably beat the Deville in a 1/4 mile race (not stock). What I like most about it is that since I swapped in the new motor about 8k miles ago its been extremely reliable and retains its fluids. The Fleetwood also feels better screwed together even though the interior components are not that of German quality. Its become like an old pair of jeans that I am comfortable with even if many around me hate it.

codewize
01-27-07, 01:48 PM
Interesting. I feel that way also but the reactions I get with the 93 are much different. I get things like That big old Cadillac. That's an old ladies car. It looks so old. How old is that car? bla bla bla.

I don't understand those comments but that's what I get from the public.



Affect with the public ... I find the Fleetwood gets much more attention then the Deville. When I drive up in the Fleetwood ... it seems that people expect a person of some stature to exit. The Deville less so. Its similiar to the difference between a fully loaded Camry and a Lexus ES350. Essentially the same ... but not in the eyes of the public.

Steeltag
01-30-07, 11:02 AM
Nice write up JoCan, and I agree with experience Destroyer with my Caddies. I had a '94 Deville (4.9) and really liked it....no problems...just needed new struts before the car was wrecked. My '92 Brougham rides just as good as that Deville and I definitely get the looks in that car....whether its "why are you driving your grandfathers car,' to " wow, very nice car'. I must say the '94 as well as my mom's '01 Deville are quieter than the Brougham.