How GM should have done the 94-96 Fleetwood
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Community Lounge, Introductions and General Discussion Discussion, How GM should have done the 94-96 Fleetwood in General Discussion; Just my warped thoughts... Chevy Caprice, 4.3L L99 V8 2.56 to 3.23 gears. 5.7L LT1 V8 special option, 2.93 gears ...
  1. #1
    N0DIH's Avatar
    N0DIH is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    How GM should have done the 94-96 Fleetwood

    Just my warped thoughts...

    Chevy Caprice, 4.3L L99 V8 2.56 to 3.23 gears. 5.7L LT1 V8 special option, 2.93 gears max.
    Buick Roadmaster 2.93 gears, 5.7L LT1 V8 only
    Cadillac Fleetwood, 5.7L LT1 V8 2.56 gears or 2.93 gears iron heads
    Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham 5.7L LT1 V8, alum heads, 300 hp cam as in Corvette/TA/Z28, 3.42 gears only, looser converter to make use of the power from the 300 hp cam. REAL wood on the interior, much more supple leather. 17" wheels should have been the Brougham std. Fatter than F41/FE2 sway bars, Impala SS springs (same rate already as FE2 cars, just lower, so no penalty on ride). More aggressive alignment, 4 wheel discs from 9C1 car only 12" rear vented rotors and 13" front rotors and Corvette hubs.

    GM has rode the make it cheap and charge too much for cheap too long. GRRRRRRR

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    ferrisworld is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: How GM should have done the 94-96 Fleetwood

    I would say it should have been better positioned against the 7 series and the S class. At the very least what you said, plus new front and rear suspension designs with an IRS in back.

    Oh yeah, plus the Roadmaster should have brought back the 119 inch C-Body frame so the back doors didn't look so out of proportion.

  4. #3
    SDCaddyLacky's Avatar
    SDCaddyLacky is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: How GM should have done the 94-96 Fleetwood

    I'd say leave FE1 suspension alone. If their is one biggy that I have with the suspension is that it's not soft enough for a Cadillac. GM should have put Air Springs in for the rear suspension instead of stupid air shocks that don't do the ride any justice.

    My Beefs with the car after owning it for 2 years.

    1. Boring interior, with subpar materials, fake wood trim, and "now" creaky door panels.
    2. On the 93-94's when closing the doors, it's not a smooth "thunk" sound like when closing a Lexus door, but clanky sounding, the 95-96 fixed it with the quiet latch, however that works.
    3. Rear seat legroom is questionable, 43 inches of it, but think because of the seat design and rear seat pockets, it feels and looks much less than 43 inches.
    4. Cheap straps that hold the exterior chrome panel trim.

    I can go on and on, but I'll stop here.

    GM should haves....

    1. Offered higher levels of trim, i wished they could of kept the De'Elegance package that would have made the interiors much nicer with variations of styling. Pillow tuft seats, velour and such.
    2. More power from the LT1! 260 HP from a 350 block ain't cutting it, Cadillac could have made it much more powerful. We must understand though, most of the people that bought these cars were over the age of 65.

    3. Changed the DAMN location of the Opti Distributor! Retarded engineering at its best.
    4. Made the frame a little tighter feeling, supposedly Fords Panther platform was more advanced than GM's D-B bodies, and was much stiffer from what I hear. But maybe because the Fleetwood was a slightly lengthened Impala, this could of made the frame weak in certain area's without good reinforcements.
    5. Added metal window rollers instead of plastic, only GM of the 80's and 90's!
    6. Some exterior trim seem loose or not bolted down fully, they definitely should have just added real chrome on the exterior trim where the vacuum plastic chrome trim is now, it wears out and bubbles and doesn't look nice at all.
    7. Added a nice long piece of chrome going straight towards the end of the hood ornament.
    8. Made the dash not so freakin deep.
    9. Even softer seats.
    10 Rear footrest, or pull down tray.
    11 Standard chrome wheels.
    12. Interior floodlamps for the rear door panels like they have up front. Common sense would have alerted the designers to automatically install them for the rear seat passengers.
    13. A wider track. 60-61 inches aint that wide, a wider track could of help in handling.
    14 More interior chrome.

    I can't think of anything else at the moment, others can chime in.

  5. #4
    turbojimmy's Avatar
    turbojimmy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: How GM should have done the 94-96 Fleetwood

    By the mid-90s, the Fleetwood was a car without a real market. The market for a large, RWD Cadillac was literally dying off. It's pretty obvious GM didn't go out of their way to improve them during the last few years. The Deville was the car positioned against the larger European and high-end Japanese brands. The Deville had all the gadgetry, more luxurious appointments and a modern dual OHC, FWD drivetrain.

    After owning a few Devilles, the first time I even got near a Fleetwood was when I bought my '96 in October of last year. At first I was put off by its lack of amenities compared to the Devilles, but it grew on me and I came to appreciate the simplicity. I bought the car because the drivetrain would be easy to work on, but it turns out EVERYTHING is easy to work on. I couldn't do the most basic of repairs on the Devilles without devoting half the day to it. I give the engineers credit for shoehorning that bulky V8 sideways under the hood, but working on it was rough.

    The Optispark thing is a small price to pay to have a tried-and-true Chevy 350. The Fleetwood was a victim of the fact that a real distributor couldn't fit under the cowl of the F-bodies and Vette. It wouldn't be cost effective to create a different distributor for the relatively-low production Fleetwoods. The F-bodies of the era were 275 HP, so the Fleetwoods weren't really de-tuned that much. You can get that back with a PCM flash.

    I'd have preferred
    - real wood inside the car,
    - better exterior mirror design (really? no one tried to use the side mirrors during the design process and noticed that the huge dash was in the way?)
    - better/tighter fitting rocker molding (springs to hold the front pieces in place? come on....)
    - Deville-like dash with the "Driver Information Center"

    But, all in all I love the car. It was designed (or not designed) to appeal to people like my Grandfather (may he rest in peace) who thought the FWD Devilles were an abomination. My parents gave him their '95 when it wasn't really that old. A nice blue/green metallic Deville Concours with a beautiful tan leather interior. He parked it on his lawn and never drove it, preferring his '79 Fleetwood for as long as he was able to drive it.

  6. #5
    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is offline GM RWD V8 addict
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    Re: How GM should have done the 94-96 Fleetwood

    The F body and Y body cam is a TERRIBLE choice in a car that is 1000lbs heavier. A looser converter? In a Cadillac? That cracked me up. Cadillac did build the car you are looking for. It's called the XLR.

  7. #6
    N0DIH's Avatar
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    Re: How GM should have done the 94-96 Fleetwood

    Glad to feel I am not alone, most of the comments are stuff I have complained about to my wife.

    Heck, even a GS430 Lexus got REAL walnut wood. What did we get? Plastic. The chassis dates to 1973, the front suspension, 1970 (this suspension is virtually identical to my 80 T/A). Basic design 1964.

    GM had rode the lets make it cheap bandwagon too far. GM would spend thousands if not 100's of thousands to save $1 in the car, when everyone knows that if GM tagged $1 into the price of the car no one would care, and everyone would rather PAY an extra $1k or more gladly to have real wood, an aluminum suspension, parts that won't break or leak or fail in under 100k miles.

    But no, GM will fight it the other way. Like they set the selling price in stone 4 years before the car is to be released and do everything in their power to get the car CHEAPER to make more profits. They don't get it. They really don't.

    I have read very very little of http://www.amazon.com/Car-Guys-vs-Be.../dp/1591844002, but this spells it all out and why GM is where they are today.

    They did to Cadillac what they should have done to a Chevy. Cadillac is no different than Chevy the last 30 years. Just a Chevy or Buick with more options.

  8. #7
    Bro-Ham's Avatar
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    Re: How GM should have done the 94-96 Fleetwood

    I disagree with all of this Chevrolet stuff - Cadillac should have kept their own well made engine from the 472/500/425/368 family. Suspension calibrations, styling changes, etc., should have been industry leading rather than trailing into the dark ages. When large Cadillacs became incrementally modified from a Chevrolet is when these cars died; they were no longer special. Buyers understood this and down the drain went the full size traditional rear drive Cadillac. Mercedes and Lexus assumed the writing of the rules for the playbook. Cadillac was in the wilderness for years, I'm not quite sure they are even out of it yet.

  9. #8
    N0DIH's Avatar
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    Re: How GM should have done the 94-96 Fleetwood

    I guess you haven't driven a B/D Body car with a 4L60E and 3.42's. It is too much gear for the super short duration on the cam. It NEEDS to be looser to improve drivability, I am NOT talking a 3000 rpm stall. Stock is 1400 rpm, that DOES make for brutal burnouts in a 3.42 geared car. I am talking stellar burnouts. But when I swapped in 3.08's the car was much more drivable with the stock converter. It NEEDS to be looser with the 3.42's. And the bigger cam is also needed, remember, I am cruising at 2200 rpm down the highway at 75 mph. If I drop to D, I am roughly 3000 rpm. The stock cam peaks much lower in rpm. So when you are towing (mine is a 7000 tow package car) in D like you are supposed to be, you are around 400+ rpm past torque peak. The super tight converter and 3.42's honestly makes the car NOT drive like a Cadillac. It is choppy in first, there is soo much gear and so much rpm drop. Not smooth, the passengers don't get the best ride with 3.42's in traffic... But if you need to punch it, heck yea!! It pulls HARD.

    Now, with 2.56's or even 2.93's, the stock converter and cam are just fine. The 3.42's change the ball game....big time. I have logged over 100K miles in mine, I can say without a doubt, the cam and converter need changing. The S10 converter is a good choice, around 2300-2400 stall. I drove a 2000 Deville with a 3000 rpm stall with 3.71's (but 275 hp cams), honestly it drove good, very good, really the first Northstar I drove with a tach, and honestly how I would have expected it to come from Cadillac.

    My 3800 Supercharged has 2.93's and a fairly loose converter, it runs pretty good, I wouldn't loosen that converter much at all, if at all.



    Quote Originally Posted by jayoldschool View Post
    The F body and Y body cam is a TERRIBLE choice in a car that is 1000lbs heavier. A looser converter? In a Cadillac? That cracked me up. Cadillac did build the car you are looking for. It's called the XLR.

  10. #9
    N0DIH's Avatar
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    Re: How GM should have done the 94-96 Fleetwood

    I don't agreed the 472/500/425/368 family would be the best to KEEP around, that is one of my beefs with GM. I have a supercharged 3800. I have good power, but lacks refinement, it is still a buzzy engine. Sure, pulls great, but come on, how much has really changed since 1961 on it? Same with the 472/500 family. It was a pretty dated design. And GM was making it lamer every year till it died. It should have been making no less than 300 hp in 6.0L (368) form. Imagine if GM had the Chevy's making the lethargic hp they did in the 70's and 80's and Cadillac never dropped below 300 hp in the 368 and not below 350 hp in the 500?

    The Northstar would have worked with more inches, 4.0L for Olds, 4.6L for Cadillac, and 5.2L for the Fleetwood. GM didn't design a single NEW design gas V8 until the Northstar since the 50's. And now we have the Gen III/IV engines, and that took till the 90's to finally realize they needed to do. They should have done that in 1973 when the gas crisis hit. Hit the drawing boards with a fresh design. GM DOES look at the other car companies. They knew what was already out and what worked. And they had the people there to design something modern. But we got the 5.7L Diesel. I guess the 6.2L diesel was a new design, but not gasser, and not a cutting edge modern design.... It was, like most GM, made to be cheap and get by. (ok, I will be blunt, it sucked...)

    Looking at what was out in 1994-1996 from Mercedes, they had the S-Class to compete with the Cadillac. It was better, had a modern suspension, and more power from smaller displacement, but worse mpg. And I would bet in a drag race a LT1 Fleetwood would probably win, at least with 3.42's. But lose sadly in the corners. And a much higher pricetag. So the Fleetwood did hold its own to a limited point. But I agree, it lost the edge when the 77 cars came out. Soon after the Fleetwood Body company died off and became part of Fisher Body. Many exclusive Cadillac stuff was gone or going all in the name of profits. The Cadillac edge was lost.

    It became a glorified Chevy Caprice/Impala.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bro-Ham View Post
    I disagree with all of this Chevrolet stuff - Cadillac should have kept their own well made engine from the 472/500/425/368 family. Suspension calibrations, styling changes, etc., should have been industry leading rather than trailing into the dark ages. When large Cadillacs became incrementally modified from a Chevrolet is when these cars died; they were no longer special. Buyers understood this and down the drain went the full size traditional rear drive Cadillac. Mercedes and Lexus assumed the writing of the rules for the playbook. Cadillac was in the wilderness for years, I'm not quite sure they are even out of it yet.

  11. #10
    turbojimmy's Avatar
    turbojimmy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: How GM should have done the 94-96 Fleetwood

    The Fleetwood was effectively put out to pasture in '93. I have no complaints with the LT1 - it's actually one of the biggest reasons I bought a Fleetwood.

    I haven't been paying attention - how much of the current Cadillac line-up is exclusive to Cadillac? I thought the Devilles were unique, though the Northstar engine has been shared with Buick?

  12. #11
    N0DIH's Avatar
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    Re: How GM should have done the 94-96 Fleetwood

    I can't complain about the LT1, not even the Opti as most do. Being realistic, how much more maint is it than a DOHC engine that you have to change the belt every 100k? You don't CHANGE the Opti as most do, just replace the seals and cap/rotor. With that alone it will give a lifetime of service. It just needs seals. People with distributor caps know that it is part of tune up maint, do the cap/rotor. The LT1 people saw it as Oh goodie I don't have to do it anymore! And guess what, after 100k you are on borrowed time. Replace the seals. Not that hard to do really.

    Yes, the LT1 is a ball to drive. Tons of torque, killer mpg all things considered, and torque, did I mention that yet? All from a 1955 base design small block Chevy. And the other companies made similar with less torque at low rpm with a DOHC 3-5 valve per cyl V8 and a zillion extra $ spent. And the mpg of the LT1 almost always was better than the others.

    If GM would have let Cadillac balance the engine properly and use the alum heads to lose some weight, and install a better cam, a good comprimise between the LT1 B/D cam and the LT1 300 hp cam in the F/Y cars, the Cadillac would have got some exclusivity, a lot of desire and a car leading a lot of other car classes when it comes to power/economy.
    Alscad56 and Alscad56 like this.

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    turbojimmy's Avatar
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    Re: How GM should have done the 94-96 Fleetwood

    Quote Originally Posted by N0DIH View Post
    All from a 1955 base design small block Chevy.
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it ;-)
    Alscad56 and Alscad56 like this.

  14. #13
    SDCaddyLacky's Avatar
    SDCaddyLacky is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: How GM should have done the 94-96 Fleetwood

    Even tho I have many complaints about the 93-96 FLW's, I still would rather drive my Fleetwood than a any new Cadillac today. That is unless Caddy actually came out with that bad ass Ciel Concept! Once Caddy went on and started to build sports cars, I lost all respect for the brand, and I'm young guy in my 20's.

    I like old school boatish luxury cars, that's just what I like, American cars used to have that gravitas, and presence, not anymore. Everything looks like they were designed from the movie "Cars".

    I always get people staring at my Fleetwood, complimenting it, saying "Wow you don't see these kind of nice big Caddy's on the streets nowadays" "what a great car you got there". I mean hearing these words from strangers means something. It tells me that most newer cars to them are simply not impressive. Plus big Caddys are dead, so it makes all Fleetwoods and Broughams from 96 and down extra special cars that definitely get noticed and respected on the streets.
    pompste likes this.

  15. #14
    N0DIH's Avatar
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    Re: How GM should have done the 94-96 Fleetwood

    I do like my Fleetwood, nothing in the world like it. But Cadillac should have done better for the $$$. The Fleetwood went out for GM as a cash cow. Mine listed at $43k For a chevy powered 1973 chassis car with not a lot of features, but it sure ran like a bat out of heck!

  16. #15
    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is offline GM RWD V8 addict
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    Re: How GM should have done the 94-96 Fleetwood

    I guess you haven't driven a B/D Body car with a 4L60E and 3.42's
    Yes, I have. Along with 2.56s, 2.73s, 2.93s, 3.08s, 3.73s and 4.10s. Also I had a looser converter in my Impala SS before I swapped it over to the T56. I understand what you are trying to say about towing RPM, but realistically think about what percentage of driving is done while towing. Now, think about how many owners (even with tow pack cars) never tow at all.

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