Hi everyone. I'm a FWD Cadillac man, but I'm looking to buy an '84 Fleetwood Brougham. Here's the deal: I'm currently unemployed, my car ('89 Fleetwood Coupe) was DESTROYED three weeks ago and I need cheap, reliable transportation to replace my irreplaceable car. I was given a total loss claim of $200 on the car and $200 from a junk yard, mind you it was mint before the accident. I'm eying this '84 Brougham mainly because of it's price. It has 160,000 miles with it's original HT-4100 and has a leaking torque converter. The owner says the car runs and shifts great but has light surface rust. Once I get back on my feet, if I buy that car, I will completely restore it and scrap that 4100 for a 425, 368, or maybe a 350. Who knows. Is it worth getting and keeping? How long can I expect out of it until I need to begin overhauling components? Any light shed on this situation will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Eek, an original HT4100 with 160,000 miles...I'd say you're running on borrowed time. With that many miles, the trans will probably go soon, as will the electrical components--if they haven't already. The 200r4 trans wasn't GM's best, nor was the HT4100.
I'd steer clear of it.
I'd look for a somewhat rusty A, J, C, or H body with low miles. You can easily find an A body (Chevy Celebrity, Pontiac 6000, Olds Cutlass Ciera, Buick Century) that's got some surface rust and faded paint with under 80k miles for around $700. I'd go for that.
60k is pretty low mileage for that vintage. however if it has surface rust it probably has underbody rust and probably badly weathered hoses and such. I'd be more worried about holes in the floorboard than anything--you can't really restore that stuff, just patch it, and it's expensive as all get out. Look up under the suspension and engine for bad weathering, look under the trunk carpeting, etc. If it looks okay go for it.
I inspected the car yesterday, and I was very pleased with what I saw. It was in VASTLY better condition than what the ad relayed. The current owners knew about the 4100's issues and have maintained it as required for a long life (coolant tabs, flush the coolant once a year, constant oil changes, etc.) The engine itself has been rebuilt. It fired up quickly and was very quiet with NO burning smell or leaking. All the lights, including the operas and the lamp monitors function nice and bright. The real problem that seems to be with this car is cosmetics. So, to put an end to this story, I'm going to buy it. I hope the eBay gods work in my favor! Thanks for the input everyone!
Thanks for all the support. I've given up a lot in the past and especially lately, but I will not give up my burning passion for Cadillacs. No matter how poor I am, I will proudly sit my butt in the nice comfortable seat of my tank.
Those pictures were taken from the eBay web page. The rims are from a '78 Coupe which the current owner is going to keep and I get the factory locking wire wheel covers. I take her home this Friday and I'll post pictures of what she looks like fully detailed with the corrects rims on. The '78 Coupe wheels do look pretty sharp on that car though.
"Eek, an original HT4100 with 160,000 miles...I'd say you're running on borrowed time. With that many miles, the trans will probably go soon, as will the electrical components--if they haven't already. The 200r4 trans wasn't GM's best, nor was the HT4100. I'd steer clear of it."
Everyone is entitled to make a mistake now and then and thank God this wasn't a costly one. I'm a FWD, TBI 4.5 loving Cadillac guy that wanted a cheap, not perfect looking, but well running car. I haven't taken too well to this thing with all five kinds of fluid leaking out of it. Now I REALLY miss my '89. It's not a bad looking lawn ornament though. It kind of looks like Halloween on my driveway with the red tranny fluid running from underneath it.
I guess the bright side is that I can make my money back on it and maybe a couple extra bucks.
Automobile(s): Cadillac 78 Seville, 78 Coupe de Ville, 92 Sedan de Ville
Re: How long will it last?
Very nice looking car for $550; the surface rust is pretty minimal. Why did you let them give you only $200 for you 89? Can you buy 89 Caddy's for $200 nowadays? They sure got off easy on that one. That's why I always take pictures of my cars in their glory; so if it gets wrecked and looks like crap, the insurance company won't try to shaft me.