'87-'92 Cadillac Brougham first car
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1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, '87-'92 Cadillac Brougham first car in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I'm 17 and I'm about to buy my first car. What I'm thinking about now is an '87-'92 Cadillac Brougham. ...
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    '87-'92 Cadillac Brougham first car

    I'm 17 and I'm about to buy my first car. What I'm thinking about now is an '87-'92 Cadillac Brougham. I'm not really concerned about power. The 307 Olds will do. It's torquey enough for quick passing (346 lb/ft) and all I care about is it riding smoothly. Not really worried about drag racing from light to light.

    I wanted to know if these cars are reliable and durable though. I've always been a fan of Cadillac's, but my dad is bent on the idea of making me buy a small, gutless Japanese sardine can. He says they're more reliable (said nothing about safety though) and thinks that Cadillacs are money pits (as if they were all the same). So, if any of you can give me some anecdotal evidence, that'd be nice. My dad also called a mechanic who said Cadillacs were unreliable also, but he didn't even know what a D body was? I think I'll talk to some more credible mechanics about this. Thanks.

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    tenmark is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: '87-'92 Cadillac Brougham first car

    You're headed in the right direction. The 5.0 and 5.7 were both good motors. Stay away from anything diesel or V8-6-4 or 4100 and you'll be ahead of the game. Cheers to your interest and good luck!!

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    Re: '87-'92 Cadillac Brougham first car

    Thanks. I also hear that parts for the 307 are really, really cheap.

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    Re: '87-'92 Cadillac Brougham first car

    I just saw a 92 FWB with 288K on the digital dash. One of mine says 212K. Just make sure the tranny is good and you will be alright. I personally would try for a 91-92.

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    Re: '87-'92 Cadillac Brougham first car

    You remind me of when I was 17....wanting a big Cadillac Brougham, parents wanting you to get into a piece of jap crap...

    I bet you've got the same "Standard Guide to Cadillac; 1903-2000" that I had, that's where you got that quote of 346 lb/ft...it's not nearly that much really, the stat is off. It's 255 lb/ft at like 1600 rpm. It's not fast at all, but it is reliable, and *decent* on fuel from what I've heard. I drove one once and I swear it was slower than that '84 Eldorado Biarritz I drove last summer, and that had the HT 4100. The 0-60 for the 307 Brougham comes in at 13-14 seconds, and it doesn't offer any better acceleration in the higher speeds...it's slow. But, luckily, with a decent amount of torque at such a low rpm, it does move around alright if you drive it lazily. But I'm sure you'll find that out if you drive one..... Sorry, long tangent..

    Anyways, glad to hear we've got another fan of the big old Broughams, and what a beautiful car. I still think the 77-92 (specifically the 80-92s) are some of the best looking cars America ever built. But if it were me, I'd hold out for a '90-92 with the TBI 350 or a '91-92 with the TBI 305, and the level of comfort and splendor inside the car is to DIE FOR! The first time I rode in one was over two years ago, and I still remember how I felt like a king when I rode in it. You'll love it.
    "They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, call me Deacon Blues."

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    Re: '87-'92 Cadillac Brougham first car

    Quote Originally Posted by I~LUV~Caddys8792 View Post
    You remind me of when I was 17....wanting a big Cadillac Brougham, parents wanting you to get into a piece of jap crap...

    I bet you've got the same "Standard Guide to Cadillac; 1903-2000" that I had, that's where you got that quote of 346 lb/ft...it's not nearly that much really, the stat is off. It's 255 lb/ft at like 1600 rpm. It's not fast at all, but it is reliable, and *decent* on fuel from what I've heard. I drove one once and I swear it was slower than that '84 Eldorado Biarritz I drove last summer, and that had the HT 4100. The 0-60 for the 307 Brougham comes in at 13-14 seconds, and it doesn't offer any better acceleration in the higher speeds...it's slow. But, luckily, with a decent amount of torque at such a low rpm, it does move around alright if you drive it lazily. But I'm sure you'll find that out if you drive one..... Sorry, long tangent..

    Anyways, glad to hear we've got another fan of the big old Broughams, and what a beautiful car. I still think the 77-92 (specifically the 80-92s) are some of the best looking cars America ever built. But if it were me, I'd hold out for a '90-92 with the TBI 350 or a '91-92 with the TBI 305, and the level of comfort and splendor inside the car is to DIE FOR! The first time I rode in one was over two years ago, and I still remember how I felt like a king when I rode in it. You'll love it.
    Heh. I can't imagine the regret I'd feel driving a Civic and watching a Brougham roll up next to me at a red light. I just need to test drive one. Where? I don't know.

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    Re: '87-'92 Cadillac Brougham first car

    They're out there, just check the small used car lots in your area. They're too old to be at the big dealers.
    "They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, call me Deacon Blues."

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    Re: '87-'92 Cadillac Brougham first car

    I guessed as much. Have you driven a Brougham with the 350 before? What's the difference between the two? I'm sure the 350 can actually move unlike the 307. I'm not picky though. Everyone should move out of my way if I can't accelerate fast enough to merge. I'll be in a Caddy.

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    Re: '87-'92 Cadillac Brougham first car

    If the mechanic guy didn't know what a d-body was, then he probably has know idea what kind of Cads you're talking about. He's probably thinking of late-90's and early-00 cars with headgasket issues on the Northstar engine. But these old Broughams with the Chevy and Olds engines are pretty reliable, and so are the oldies with the 425 (1977-1979) and 368 (1980) Cadillac engines.

    I had a '90 Brougham with the Olds 307 and it will NEVER leave you stranded. I now have a Chevy 305 Brougham (1992) and it never needs anything! My whole family has had 307s for the last 30 years so I can vouch for that. We're on our 10th 'Delta 88' and it's the same motor as the 1986 to 1990 Broughams.

    Just remember to avoid these years: 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1985. They had a tiny 252 engine that was terribly susceptible to problems. '81 had the Cadillac big block engine, but it had problems with disabling cylinders. Some have been retrofitted to all-time V8s, so they might be okay. Personally I think 1980 is the best for the big block cads. '91 and '92 Broughams with the small block Chevys are also excellent, being a little more modern and throttle-body injection. And the gas is not that bad, it's still better than any new truck or suburban.

    These tubs ARE reliable. I mean I still see these oldies on the road everyday. But I never see a ricer on the road more than a couple years old, none certainly from the 80's. GET A CADILLAC!

    Greg

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    Re: '87-'92 Cadillac Brougham first car

    Quote Originally Posted by My_favorite_Brougham View Post
    If the mechanic guy didn't know what a d-body was, then he probably has know idea what kind of Cads you're talking about. He's probably thinking of late-90's and early-00 cars with headgasket issues on the Northstar engine. But these old Broughams with the Chevy and Olds engines are pretty reliable, and so are the oldies with the 425 (1977-1979) and 368 (1980) Cadillac engines.

    I had a '90 Brougham with the Olds 307 and it will NEVER leave you stranded. I now have a Chevy 305 Brougham (1992) and it never needs anything! My whole family has had 307s for the last 30 years so I can vouch for that. We're on our 10th 'Delta 88' and it's the same motor as the 1986 to 1990 Broughams.

    Just remember to avoid these years: 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1985. They had a tiny 252 engine that was terribly susceptible to problems. '81 had the Cadillac big block engine, but it had problems with disabling cylinders. Some have been retrofitted to all-time V8s, so they might be okay. Personally I think 1980 is the best for the big block cads. '91 and '92 Broughams with the small block Chevys are also excellent, being a little more modern and throttle-body injection. And the gas is not that bad, it's still better than any new truck or suburban.

    These tubs ARE reliable. I mean I still see these oldies on the road everyday. But I never see a ricer on the road more than a couple years old, none certainly from the 80's. GET A CADILLAC!

    Greg
    I try to remember that small and FWD and American cars don't mix well, and of course the mechanic had no idea what kind of Cadillac I was talking about. My dad asked him about "these Cadillacs" as if over the 100 years plus of its existence, they have made the same quality level of cars.

    I see old Caddies on the road everyday too. Just saw a '92 Fleetwood today.

    The only problem is convincing my dad. He's so stuck on small foreign cars. We might have to talk to an owner who's not selling in person.

    Edit: Actually, my mom knows someone who has a '98 Caddy (she didn't know what model), but it has the Northstar engine, and no one can find out why it runs hot.

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    Re: '87-'92 Cadillac Brougham first car

    Think of it like buying a truck. After all, these cars basically have truck engines. Would you buy a foreign truck? No! You'd buy and American pickup like a Silverado. They're tough, reliable, and flat-out run forever. Same goes for the Cads.

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    Re: '87-'92 Cadillac Brougham first car

    Quote Originally Posted by My_favorite_Brougham View Post
    Think of it like buying a truck. After all, these cars basically have truck engines. Would you buy a foreign truck? No! You'd buy and American pickup like a Silverado. They're tough, reliable, and flat-out run forever. Same goes for the Cads.
    +1 to that, at least for the early 90s years.

    I own an '82 DeVille w/ a 4100. The motor is a POS. I've replaced more on it than it's probably worth in my ownership of it. I did buy the car w/ a rebuilt motor and rebuilt trans but everything else on the car was shot. If you're mechanically incline, like me who works on his own cars, it's not such a big deal. Head gasket blows, you replace it and test the head to see if it's warped. It's a day of work but it is a Caddy., so it's worth it. I've been debating the 307/350 swap for some time now and I think I'll go ahead with it w/ the next head gasket / intake manifold blow. (More head than intake b/c it's more work).

    I'd say the year you're looking at are wayyyyy more reliable than the year I own. You shouldn't have the same problems. (If so, not to the extreme). Just keep up w/ maintance and you'll be fine just like any other car on the road. (Be it american or other).

    All I can say though, is the ride of the car is beyond worth it. How can you compete w/ something that rides and drives so nice?

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    Re: '87-'92 Cadillac Brougham first car

    To be exact. I'd buy a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 HD. Never a Tundra.

    I see you got your Brougham from far away. I was wondering I could do something like that, but I'm not sure. It might be expensive, and driving an old car like that for such a long distance...

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    Re: '87-'92 Cadillac Brougham first car

    Gas is an issue, but these cars get around 17 mpg city which is better than trucks and towards the low end for cars, but still do-able.

    Like I said before though, if you're mechanically inclined (or even want to be, learning is never ruled out! ESPECIALLY on your first car. ), you'll save more on mechanic fees than probably gas... or at least break even. (lol, I can't reallly back that up but I'm sure it's pretty close... especially once you factor in the time you've owned the car)

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    Re: '87-'92 Cadillac Brougham first car

    Yeah I bought my first one in Nebraska and my current one in northern Arkansas. And I'm in Dallas! But you just have to know what you're looking before you buy the car.

    Always inspect the car, especially under the hood thoroughly. Before starting it, look at the fluid levels to make sure it's not leaking/low and check the ground for drips too. That means oil, antifreeze, power steering fluid, and brake fluid. If you see sparkles in the oil, that's shards of metal and a sign of catastrophic engine problems, like cylinder or block warping and ringing. Check the tranny fluid while the car is running in park. Look at the exhaust when you start it; white smoke means a water leak, blue smoke means an oil leak, and a gas smell means a rich mixture with possible FI, carb, or O2/cat converter problems. Let her get good and hot before test driving it. Many problems, if any, reveal themselves only under fully-warmed running conditions. Listen for knocks, pings and stuff like that. And avoid any cars with such problems. Have someone rev it up while you listen with the hood up. Then drive the car around streets and on the highway. Feel how it shifts and make sure it's smooth. Then check the under the hood with her running when you get back; look for drips again, etc. At this time, make sure the fan is turning, as the fan clutch should have engaged by then. These can go bad and can cause over heating. Though not a huge problem, it will put an end to a long trip.

    Also check the brakes. While on your test drive, try braking hard and braking slow. When braking hard, make sure it's effective and does not pull to any direction as that's an indicator of bad lines, calipers, master cylinder, etc. When braking slow, make sure the pedal is not spongy and stops going to the floor when the car stops; any of those means bad lines and/or master cylinder. If you hear that ubiquitous "squeak" then that means a brake job is necessary.

    If all is well, and she sounds good to a trained ear, then she'll be good for a 1000-mile trip as much as a 1-mile trip. Just be sure to have another way home if the car turns out to be a dud; basically don't get a one-way plane ticket. Go with a friend in his car. Pictures are usually a give a good idea worth traveling for; I'd never throw away gas money on an ad with no pics or shabby ones. Post the ads of candidates you have in mind, and we'll try to advise you on whether or not it's worth a look.

    Good luck!
    Greg

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