I've been lurking around for a few weeks trying to read up everything I can on the HT4100 engine. I'm seriously considering purchasing an '83 Fleetwood Brougham from a guy up north for $250.
I have read the 'horror stories' and have already reconciled that even if I maintain the engine very carefully there is a good chance it will fail anyways based on previous owner care.
That being said here is the condensed history of the car (that I have collected anyways)
Original owner was from Newfoundland and drove infrequently - then sold to the little old lady in Pasadena up in Northern Ontario where she used it as the occasional grocery getter.
Finally sold last year to a 19 year old kid who wanted to 'pimp it out' but didn't stick with it. Mileage is 108,000km so still below 65k miles on it. He has replaced the front end components, new battery, new tires and detailed the interior.
All electrical apparatus are in working order, the frame is rusted on the surface but seems very solid still, doesn't appear that anything is unsafe in that regard. The body is still beautiful, somehow the vinyl top has stayed immaculate and with a couple of coats of turtle wax the paint should be 80% as well. There is only a small spot of rust and it is on the front chrome bumper. Leather seats have held up pretty good (they are comfortable but the leather is not genuine which I thought was odd for a caddy - I would have preferred the velour seats I think).
Engine starts up and runs I don't hear any knocking or odd noises coming from it. Seems to idle fine but when I put into drive the car almost stalls out but then recovers. No smoke (black or white) coming out of the tailpipe, exhaust sounds a little loud. The engine oil is black and smells of gas but I don't see any sludgy buildup on the oil cap although a flashlight into the valve covers shows that it is by no means clean in there. The kid says he changed the oil when he got the car but it's pretty hard to believe since he's only driven the car 500km in the year he has had it. The coolant jug is empty but when you pop the rad cap it's filled right up to the brim with nice green coolant (he hasn't changed it and didn't know about the additives).
Do you guys think it's worth the trouble? I want this make and model so don't try and convince me to buy a different vintage with a different powerplant