1981 Brougham Project - Page 5
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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, 1981 Brougham Project in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Well to be honest you may be able to just use your existing harness for now. If you replace the ...
  1. #61
    Fleetwood472 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 1981 Brougham Project

    Well to be honest you may be able to just use your existing harness for now. If you replace the 368 throttlebody with the 454 throttlebody and hook up all of the sensors you can trick the ecm into thinking its still running the 368. To keep the computer from trying to kick into v6 or v4 mode there is a wire that you can disconnect from the transmission. It connects to the same plug the kickdown switch does. Otherwise ya you could grab the harness from a 90-92 brougham that used the 305 and 350 tbi motors. The 454 would come from an 80's/early 90's pickup truck or suburban. You might have better luck searching car-part.com for it if you cant find it at your junkyard. What's nice is since your 81 originally came with tbi you're all set with the fuel pump and return lines so you wont really have to make many modifications.

  2. #62
    Angry Matt's Avatar
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    Re: 1981 Brougham Project

    I had an awesome day at the junkyard on monday. Three 90's (one complete), but not one with a useable wiring harness. But I did get a complete header with lights and grill and a set of taillights and also enough moldings to start making my two door rocker panels. I am going for the complete outer 90 look so I'm hoarding parts for now. Also got an almost perfect set of rear fillers. Didn't even make it to the truck section, but I got a buddy looking for the 454 tbi. I'm almost done removing the overspray from one side of the car and it looks like the paint is actually going to clean up pretty decent. If I can get four sides of pictures that look good I'm going for antique plates which will allow the car to go uninspected and unemmissed (making up my own vocabulary), then I can do whatever, as long as it appears stock for the most part. This weekend I plan to get most of the car cleaned and the rear sway bar in. All the bolts snapped as I was removing it to drop the rear so I had to get new mounts in the yard also. I'm putting the hearse sway bar I've had in since it's about three times the thickness of the stock one. And again, the car wont start. I put a new air pump belt on today because it was shot and slipping tremendously, tried to test it and nothing but cranks. Started a bunch yesterday when we were checking the belts. Is it worth it to swap the distributor? Or maybe just the module? I have a spare I think. I don't know what could be causing it to not start every once in a while.

  3. #63
    Angry Matt's Avatar
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    Re: 1981 Brougham Project

    I started messing with the distributor the other day and found the ground wire to the coil was barely snug. It's been starting fine ever since, although someone did strip one of the bolts that holds down the cap and another one is missing. So eventually I'm going to have to break the cap off when I go to replace the distributor, but it runs fine for now. They also must have broken a plug wire since I had one rotten 7mm and the rest nice 8.5's. My buddy made it over with his polisher today and he got a good bit done. I got the rear fillers on, one front, and the new trunk lock emblem rivited in place. Got the new(ish) power window motor in and fixed the passenger side mirror (which are electric). Also put a new hood on that has no rot holes. Now with the paint cleaning up so good, I'm having issues with 90ing it. Here's some fresh pics. (The roof's not polished yet).


    Cadillacboy and Cadillacboy like this.

  4. #64
    cadillac kevin's Avatar
    cadillac kevin is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Matt
    I started messing with the distributor the other day and found the ground wire to the coil was barely snug. It's been starting fine ever since, although someone did strip one of the bolts that holds down the cap and another one is missing. So eventually I'm going to have to break the cap off when I go to replace the distributor, but it runs fine for now. They also must have broken a plug wire since I had one rotten 7mm and the rest nice 8.5's. My buddy made it over with his polisher today and he got a good bit done. I got the rear fillers on, one front, and the new trunk lock emblem rivited in place. Got the new(ish) power window motor in and fixed the passenger side mirror (which are electric). Also put a new hood on that has no rot holes. Now with the paint cleaning up so good, I'm having issues with 90ing it. Here's some fresh pics. (The roof's not polished yet).
    I wouldn't 90 it. That car is sharp as is. It cleaned up nicely.
    1980coupe and 1980coupe like this.

  5. #65
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    Re: 1981 Brougham Project

    Quote Originally Posted by cadillac kevin View Post
    I wouldn't 90 it. That car is sharp as is. It cleaned up nicely.
    Same here, don't do it...looks clean the way it is..

  6. #66
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    talismandave is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 1981 Brougham Project

    My thoughts exactly! Looks great sounds like it has been easy on the pocketbook (if not the back) so far. Elbow grease and ingenuity take the day! Thanks for the update and enjoy that beauty the way it is.

  7. #67
    csbuckn is online now Cadillac Owners Master
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    90'd, tinted windows, hard top and 93-96 Brougham wheels would be slicker then worm sperm or maybe vinyl top that matches the interior.

  8. #68
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    Re: 1981 Brougham Project

    That is one sexy car! I agree, keep it as it is! To my eye, you're taking a nice, sleek, original looking car that says classic Frank Sinatra and messing with him by making him wear clothes from the closet of Liberace or Elvis in his later years to create that overdone 90-92 look. I know, opinions are like rear ends, everyone has one and most stink.

  9. #69
    Angry Matt's Avatar
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    Re: 1981 Brougham Project

    This car is quickly turning into a nightmare. I've got it all cleaned up and polished, later red center wire hubcaps and enduro 75's. Got some great pics, but I can't get into my photobucket account, so whatever. I drove it to work twice this week then moved it to wash and take pics and it wouldn't start again. Got a distributor code from the cc, so went to mess with the distributor. It was so corroded the cap wouldn't even come off. Long story short, broke it into pieces just to get it out, plopped the newer one in and went for a ride (removed the a/c in the process). Car died about 1/4 mile up from the house, just shut down. Cranked and cranked, then stepped on the parking brake and starts right up. Realized the other night when it died after work I was under the steering column. There must be a loose wire or relay or something. I'm thinking fuel pump relay? It looks like someone engineered some of their own wiring under there, so this might get messy. Any other ideas on what would kill the engine that's near the parking brake pedal?

    And was anyone aware that they don't make the Enduro tires in ww anymore??

  10. #70
    csbuckn is online now Cadillac Owners Master
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    I would just run a new ignition wire from the fuse box. With the custom wires, find out which is constant and which is powered with ignition on. Just so you know. Maybe even redo the connections.

  11. #71
    Angry Matt's Avatar
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    I spent a few hours rewiring the mess and cleaning up the solder. At some point (nothing that I did) the car lost all power. It's like the battery is disconnected. The fuse box had jumpers and external fuses wired in. He had something (can't remember what exactly) ones a 75 amp fuse with 12awg wire snipped from 18awg when the shop manual called for a 10 amp. Four foot of wire to a switch from the parking brake pedal to the steering column. I don't understand why people can't just do it right the first time. Whatever. Tomorrow I'm going to start testing for power. We'll see how this turns out.

  12. #72
    Mark 78 Coupe is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 1981 Brougham Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Matt View Post
    I spent a few hours rewiring the mess and cleaning up the solder. At some point (nothing that I did) the car lost all power. It's like the battery is disconnected. The fuse box had jumpers and external fuses wired in. He had something (can't remember what exactly) ones a 75 amp fuse with 12awg wire snipped from 18awg when the shop manual called for a 10 amp. Four foot of wire to a switch from the parking brake pedal to the steering column. I don't understand why people can't just do it right the first time. Whatever. Tomorrow I'm going to start testing for power. We'll see how this turns out.
    Man, you are patient! By the way, the car really looks great. I'm curious-what is with the 90's look? I guess I could understand it back when these were new cars, and the 90's look would update it. But now, 80's or 90's, it is still an old Cadillac. My vote is to leave it as is. I think you have a very stylish and sharp car as is.

  13. #73
    Angry Matt's Avatar
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    Re: 1981 Brougham Project



    Here it is cleaned up, all the fillers replaced and new wheel/hupcap/tire combo. I'm not 90'ing it for now or maybe ever, I think I'm over that. Now for the problems. The battery was drained flat which doesn't make sense because it's a fairly new battery. The blower was running on it's own so I unplugged that, charged, started and timed the car. Shut it down to hang the wiring back up and the battery was dead in about 15min of the doors being open (I mean dead). Its on the charger now to see if it will hold. I tried to pull the codes, but it flickered 88 and all the dots lit and everything read 6's. Never had that happen. I'm starting to think the hole below the windshield (above the ECM) may have done more then just wet the carpet. Is there a way to test the computer?

  14. #74
    csbuckn is online now Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 1981 Brougham Project

    Looking good!

  15. #75
    Mark 78 Coupe is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 1981 Brougham Project

    Man does that look nice!! When I get to painting my 78 Coupe (next year or two) I am doing exactly what you have done; stock with the same wide white walls and the newer style wire hubcaps(both of which I already have). I think that is all these cars need. As to the 90's thing- I think the older 80's style is more classic. Almost the whole bumper chrome is visible, and it looks massive. The 90's style has the huge impact strips, which I don't find as attractive. Just my 2 cents.

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