1985 Fleetwood Brougham Limo Project
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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, 1985 Fleetwood Brougham Limo Project in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Here is Black Betty. 1985 with 4.1L (160,000 miles). Bought it to be a personal party car with a buddy ...
  1. #1
    BlackBettyLimo is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    1985 Fleetwood Brougham Limo Project

    Here is Black Betty. 1985 with 4.1L (160,000 miles). Bought it to be a personal party car with a buddy of mine for $800. We figured we could hire a sober friend to drive us around at night, and save ourselves a DUI or two (and it's cheaper than cabs everywhere). It was originally owned by a LA recording studio, so apparently bands like Aerosmith, Guns and Roses, White Snake, Slayer, etc have all partied in this thing. Knowing that, I should probably torch the interior! The car has been eating coolant so we recently pulled the engine, and have just finished tearing it down. It's a total mess. Trying to figure out next steps.

    Here's the scoop on CA swaps as far as I'm aware:
    "Engine changes are legal in California as long as a number of requirements are met. One, the engine must be the same year or newer than the vehicle. Also, the engine must be from the same type of vehicle based on the vehicle's gross weight. For example, you can't put an engine for a heavy duty truck in a passenger car, or vice versa. Additionally, all emissions control equipment has to stay on the installed engine."
    77CDV,
    Given this, the 368 may not be legal (last year of use was 1984, per Wikipedia?), BUT the Chevy 350 (L98, L05 or L31?) could be a candidate? As far as you are aware, are these "easy/ cheaper" swaps? I'll need all the smog equipment from the donor car, etc. The 4.1L rebuild will be about $3k (Needs broken exhaust studs removed form head, minor overbore, liner o-rings, new pistons, piston rings, all bearings including cam, new cam, lifters, pushrods, all gaskets, pins, valve job, hot tanking everything, etc, etc.) I can do all assembly and install. I've made a few frankenmotors before and custom motor mounts, custom exhaust, the need for new trans, driveshaft length adjustments, rewiring new ECU adn harness, etc, can add up fast make it all cost (and time) prohibitive.

    If there's a straight forward swap I'm definitely interested. Any assistance on this is appreciated!

    EDIT: Searching site for some of these answers


    IMG_3526.jpg

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  3. #2
    cadillac kevin's Avatar
    cadillac kevin is online now Cadillac Owners Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackBettyLimo
    Here is Black Betty. 1985 with 4.1L (160,000 miles). Bought it to be a personal party car with a buddy of mine for $800. We figured we could hire a sober friend to drive us around at night, and save ourselves a DUI or two (and it's cheaper than cabs everywhere). It was originally owned by a LA recording studio, so apparently bands like Aerosmith, Guns and Roses, White Snake, Slayer, etc have all partied in this thing. Knowing that, I should probably torch the interior! The car has been eating coolant so we recently pulled the engine, and have just finished tearing it down. It's a total mess. Trying to figure out next steps.

    Here's the scoop on CA swaps as far as I'm aware:

    77CDV,
    Given this, the 368 may not be legal (last year of use was 1984, per Wikipedia?), BUT the Chevy 350 (L98, L05 or L31?) could be a candidate? As far as you are aware, are these "easy/ cheaper" swaps? I'll need all the smog equipment from the donor car, etc. The 4.1L rebuild will be about $3k (Needs broken exhaust studs removed form head, minor overbore, liner o-rings, new pistons, piston rings, all bearings including cam, new cam, lifters, pushrods, all gaskets, pins, valve job, hot tanking everything, etc, etc.) I can do all assembly and install. I've made a few frankenmotors before and custom motor mounts, custom exhaust, the need for new trans, driveshaft length adjustments, rewiring new ECU adn harness, etc, can add up fast make it all cost (and time) prohibitive.

    If there's a straight forward swap I'm definitely interested. Any assistance on this is appreciated!

    EDIT: Searching site for some of these answers

    <img src="http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=123113"/>
    I'd go for a pre 1973 olds 350 or a late 70s olds 403 . Paint it black, and put the smog equipment and carb from a 307 on it. The emissions people will never be able to tell the difference. All olds small blocks are identical externally.

  4. #3
    dennis93coupe's Avatar
    dennis93coupe is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1985 Fleetwood Brougham Limo Project

    Not sure about the 368 but you might be better off asking a referee. Look it up in DMV website pertaining to emissions testing. Better to follow their rules than dump a bunch of money and find out you can't get it registered.

  5. #4
    77CDV's Avatar
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    Re: 1985 Fleetwood Brougham Limo Project

    The good thing about the 350 is that they're cheap, ubiquitous, and have tons of mods available. I would so not refurb the 4.1. It's an utter dog of an engine and grossly underpowered for your car. Lots of guys here have done the 350/TH700R4 swap into these mid-80s Cads. The cars didn't change from 1980-1992, and the 350 was available in the Broughams from 1990 IIRC. If the 350 would be a legal swap, I'd go for that, as it's the option with the fewest hangups.
    BlackBettyLimo and nebulosity like this.

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    Re: 1985 Fleetwood Brougham Limo Project

    Just buy a 91-up Fleetwood parts car, and you will get everything you need for your swap. Engine, trans, mounts, crossmember, wiring, sensors, exhaust, catalytic converter(s) computer, etc, etc. Even the emissions label off the core support. Throw your old 4100 in the trunk of the parts car when done, and you'll still get 300 bucks scrap.

  7. #6
    Faith76's Avatar
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    Re: 1985 Fleetwood Brougham Limo Project

    Ill be interested to know how this turns out. We just bought a 94 Fleetwood Hearse (for 650 bucks) that only needs a few things. I'm sure I'll be tapping your knowledge,.
    BlackBettyLimo likes this.

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    Re: 1985 Fleetwood Brougham Limo Project

    Faith, your 94 has an LT1 with 120 more HP than the fragile 4100. It is a very reliable engine, and can handle more power than the stock 260. Start a new thread for your hearse, and we can easily help out with your issues.
    caddydaddy1964 likes this.

  9. #8
    BlackBettyLimo is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1985 Fleetwood Brougham Limo Project

    Wait a minute, this is all solid rational advice. Have I finally found the ultimate automobile forum???

    Thanks guys. I'll ask a ref (great starting point idea I should have thought of) and run some numbers on the suggested options. I like the idea of the 350 for the previously mentioned reasons, and I hadn't even considered the idea of a complete 91'+ transplant. Good stuff.

    Up until now I've been thinking, well, the 4.1L sucks but at least it's a "known" thing. Even with running completely rich, eating coolant, and bearing knock it was able to pull 7 people "comfortably" enough, freeway onramps included. (When you're pouring drinks in the back of the limo you don't really want jack-rabbit starts or strong acceleration from the driver anyway). From what I've read on this site much of the issues are rooted in poor care, so rebuilding the 4.1 and giving it proper maintenance seemed like a decent option. BUT the consensus seems to be run away.

    More displacement could never hurt for when I want to do incredibly large donuts, so the only financial issue I can see with buying a junk yard/ parts car engine is we won't really know if it's condition (good bearings? will it smog?, etc), so there's a chance I'd have to rebuild that one too (more $$ on top of swap engine cash). But I suppose that's the gamble.

    Time to call some salvage yards and put some pricing together.
    77CDV likes this.

  10. #9
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    Re: 1985 Fleetwood Brougham Limo Project

    That is the advantage of buying a running parts car as Jay mentioned. You can drive it and evaluate the condition of it.
    77CDV and BlackBettyLimo like this.

  11. #10
    cadillac kevin's Avatar
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    I'd buy a whole parts car. There seems to be little shortage of caddys, caprices, roadmasters, and pickups to get an engine from. Getting one that was in a wreck but not bad enough to where you couldn't drive it or to damage any major components would be ideal. The price would be cheap because of the damage, but you'd still be able to get what you need from it.
    Doing an engine swap (or engine and trans swap) from a parts car into yours would be the same cost or less than fixing that 4100.
    77CDV and BlackBettyLimo like this.

  12. #11
    Faith76's Avatar
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    Re: 1985 Fleetwood Brougham Limo Project

    Quote Originally Posted by jayoldschool View Post
    Faith, your 94 has an LT1 with 120 more HP than the fragile 4100. It is a very reliable engine, and can handle more power than the stock 260. Start a new thread for your hearse, and we can easily help out with your issues.
    Thanks, I don't have any specific issues yet, but I will start a new thread when I do!

  13. #12
    turbojimmy's Avatar
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    Re: 1985 Fleetwood Brougham Limo Project

    Quote Originally Posted by jayoldschool View Post
    Faith, your 94 has an LT1 with 120 more HP than the fragile 4100. It is a very reliable engine, and can handle more power than the stock 260. Start a new thread for your hearse, and we can easily help out with your issues.
    Yes start a new thread for your hearse. I have a '94 commercial chassis car, too, but it's a limo. There are some differences, particularly in the brakes and suspension, but they're mostly the same as the "regular" Fleetwoods.

  14. #13
    The-Dullahan is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 1985 Fleetwood Brougham Limo Project

    Sorry I have been busy kids. Spotted this thread linked from the POST A PIC thread and took the bait. Well played, Forum, well played.

    Your beautiful Limousine appears to be an obvious O'Gara (Same company produced S&S Funeral Coaches, but is possibly most well known for producing...basically every noteworthy presidential Limousine to date). I would be particularly interested to see which interior it has. These cars were normally produced with the standard engines for the year/model. A photo of the engine bay may help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Faith76 View Post
    Ill be interested to know how this turns out. We just bought a 94 Fleetwood Hearse (for 650 bucks) that only needs a few things. I'm sure I'll be tapping your knowledge,.
    Now what kind of sick person drives a Hearse?

  15. #14
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    Re: 1985 Fleetwood Brougham Limo Project

    Quote Originally Posted by The-Dullahan View Post



    Now what kind of sick person drives a Hearse?
    Not only does she drive a hearse, she wears a skirt too!

  16. #15
    The-Dullahan is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 1985 Fleetwood Brougham Limo Project

    You guys creep me out...
    csbuckn likes this.

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