Need Some Fleetwood Brougham HELP!
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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, Need Some Fleetwood Brougham HELP! in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hey everybody! I'm a huge Cadillac enthusiest and have loved them for some reason since I was 6. My grandparents ...
  1. #1
    J_Hess_7 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Question Need Some Fleetwood Brougham HELP!

    Hey everybody! I'm a huge Cadillac enthusiest and have loved them for some reason since I was 6. My grandparents had a 89 Fleetwood Brougham and it was the coolest thing on the planet! I used to love it and just go over to get rides from them. They sold it for a Corolla when I was 9 and that was the last I ever saw it. Flash forward to now, I'm 15 and have some cash saved up for a car. I would kill to find a Fleetwood Brougham to buy as a first car but I'm unsure. Can anyone tell me the pros and cons of a car like that and if that isn't a good choice, what other caddy I could look at. Much appreciated!!

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    drmenard is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Need Some Fleetwood Brougham HELP!

    I have grandkids older than you and none of them want a Brougham... But because you do , I feel the best one to go after is a 94 to 96 ... Fleetwood or a
    brougham those years are all good ... Do you like working on cars? It cost too much to have these fixed if you can't do it yourself...

  4. #3
    cadillac kevin's Avatar
    cadillac kevin is online now Cadillac Owners Master
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    I'm guessing you are looking at late 80s ones since that's the style you grew up with.
    Pros: comfortable, large, solid feeling car. Fairly easy to work on. Parts are mostly easy to find (depends on where you live). Reliable. Cheap to buy (again, depends on where you live). Easy to mod.
    Cons: poor handling, not great on gas, rust (if you're up north), can get expensive if you cannot do basic maintenance. Old people car stigma. Mafioso/ gangbanger stigma. All the vacuum lines that can cause infinite headaches on the 307. No real power
    .
    Personally, I'd pick a 350 powered 90-93 or LT1 powered 94-96. I'd take a 91-92, as you could get a 350 without the stiff tow pack suspension (I don't mind stiff suspension, but some people do).

  5. #4
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    aaron.hudacky is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Need Some Fleetwood Brougham HELP!

    J_Hess_7,

    As kevin and drmenard said, the LT1 Fleetwoods from 94-96 are probably your best bet if you're trying to get something like your grandparent's 89 Brougham that isn't too old. The 307 is a decent engine, but the LT1 is amazing in my opinion.

    If you like the more traditional styling of the '89 but want a better engine/transmission combination, look at the '77-'79 Fleetwood Broughams and Sedan deVilles. The carbureted 425 is one of Cadillac's best engines from a reliability and drivability standpoint, the TH400 transmission is bulletproof, the 2.28 rear end gives 20mpg if you are very conservative, and they ride/handle exceptionally well. I've had four of them and each one was great.

    I also sympathize with you wanting one at 15. I was 14 when I bought my first '75 and '76 Sedan deVilles for $350 with paper route money. Be careful, because a 50 year old looking to flip a good looking Cadillac with hard to spot rust or mechanical problems doesn't care that he's about to wipe out your current bank balance as well as whatever you make for the next three years. I'd post photos of any car you are considering on this forum and see what feedback people can offer. If it had existed when I was 14, I would have learned in a much more affordable manner.
    bigm57ict likes this.

  6. #5
    Cadillacboy's Avatar
    Cadillacboy is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Need Some Fleetwood Brougham HELP!

    I have been smitten by '80-89's design and sold on the Caddies since then . I still love these styling namely design of taillights , rocket emblems embedded on the lights , side view and C pillar is the best looking Cadillacs ever made . For front end my fave is 1993-96s .
    What a shame 80-89's came with analog speedometers like most American cars of that era going as far stretched as distance from California to New York .
    If you have one shot I would recommend you LT1 engines , you won't regret . However, my project car would be a '89 Brougham D'elegance with LT1 engine and having a digital dash like 1993-96s had

  7. #6
    Bro-Ham's Avatar
    Bro-Ham is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    A 1980 would be a best bet with the same body style and also a last of the real (and really good) Cadillac engines.

  8. #7
    csbuckn is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    I second the 80 as one of the top years of the body style. Cadillac motor, th400 tranny and better interior options.

  9. #8
    Bro-Ham's Avatar
    Bro-Ham is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    As I fairly often note, I personally enjoy the overall splendidly stylish and easily drivable 1977-79 Cadillacs which are austerity models compared to the grand 1976 and earlier models which I would super prefer if they would just damn fit in the garage.

  10. #9
    j2rossit is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Need Some Fleetwood Brougham HELP!

    I will try and be devils advocate here.
    Do you have someone who can help teach you how to work on these cars? For me it was a good buddy's dad.
    These cars are toys for most of us, which means we have some money set aside to deal with what pops up (things always pop up). If you know what you're doing, you can find a good cheap one and keep it going on the cheap. But you'll need access to tools and someone who knows what to look for.
    As someone here mentioned already, always be weary as to why someone is getting rid of a car.
    In term of power and reliability, the chevy powered ones are probably the best (90-96). But I find a little harder to work on. They also are hard to find some parts.
    The 80's caddy's have tons of parts available, and are a little easier to work on, but you have to know a little about carbs if you want to run the late 80's version, or be lucky enough to find a goodwrench HT-4100 powered early 80's version (the original (non-goodwrench) HT-4100's were plauged with issues).

  11. #10
    Bro-Ham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j2rossit View Post
    I will try and be devils advocate here.
    Do you have someone who can help teach you how to work on these cars? For me it was a good buddy's dad.
    These cars are toys for most of us, which means we have some money set aside to deal with what pops up (things always pop up). If you know what you're doing, you can find a good cheap one and keep it going on the cheap. But you'll need access to tools and someone who knows what to look for.
    As someone here mentioned already, always be weary as to why someone is getting rid of a car.
    In term of power and reliability, the chevy powered ones are probably the best (90-96). But I find a little harder to work on. They also are hard to find some parts.
    The 80's caddy's have tons of parts available, and are a little easier to work on, but you have to know a little about carbs if you want to run the late 80's version, or be lucky enough to find a goodwrench HT-4100 powered early 80's version (the original (non-goodwrench) HT-4100's were plauged with issues).
    Carbs are a non issue. Have one rebuilt if it is an issue which is rare, then forget about it and enjoy!

    My head spins when I read all the threads on here about codes and trauma with chevrolet and oldsmobile engines. A 425 or 500 (even a 368) cures all ills; you will quickly figure out why 10-12 mpg is a small price to pay.

  12. #11
    Lord Fleetwood is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Need Some Fleetwood Brougham HELP!

    First I must say good for you! I remember being a small child in the 80s and just noticing these cars all over the place and how impressive they were. My father had a 73 Coupe DeVille and my grandfather had several Cadillac boats, one of which was a banana-yellow 86 Fleetwood Brougham. My first car was an 83 Coupe DeVille I saved up for when I was 16. It is nice to see someone from your generation aware of and interested in these amazing cars since they aren't all over anymore.

    I'd be like others and recommend either a late 80s or early 90s Brougham, or mid-90s Fleetwood Brougham with the LT1 engine. The pros are many. You'll have a great soft-and-smooth ride, tons of space and unprecedented comfort, a huge back seat, classic style, a trunk you can put your grandparent's Corolla in, and a conversation starter when you go places. In high school my friends always loved my car because of how big and comfortable it was and how much attention it got. Old guys gave me respect, too!

    The cons are specific to the type you get. Late 80s leaves you with the carbureted olds 307 engine. It is very reliable, but not all that powerful, especially if it hasn't been kept up. Also, with these you should learn about carburetors, which is doable but as time goes on you'll find fewer and fewer people who know about this fascinating device. The mid-90s are quite powerful and stylish, but are more modern and have less of that classic look and have a bit cheaper build quality (more plastic parts). The LT1 engine is very reliable, though, and moves the car like its nothing. A good compromise of power, looks, and quality is the early 90s Broughams, especially with the optional 5.7 liter engine, but they are not easy to find. If you go late 80s or early 90s, try to get one with the d'Elegance trim since they have the most comfortable seats I've ever felt in a car.

    On a final note, it is sad to see your grandparents trading down to a car like a Corolla. When I was a kid, most older people drove nice, large cars like these Cadillacs or others, such as a Lincoln Town Car, Mercury Grand Marquis, Buick Roadmaster, Chevy Caprice, Ford Crown Vic, Olds 98, and the list goes on. Nowadays I see all of these old people in Ford Focuses or Hyundai Elantras with their crammed spaces and slate-like seats and wonder what the hell happened. Why am I the one driving in a big, impressive, comfortable car while they drive a sardine can? These big Cadillacs have traditionally had the supposed stigma of being "grandpa" cars (I always thought of it as a compliment), but unfortunately grandfathers these days are not fortunate to drive them around anymore. Their loss is our gain!
    fixitman likes this.

  13. #12
    brougham is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Need Some Fleetwood Brougham HELP!

    Since it was a 89 you liked I would stick to 1980-1992 since those ones are all similar. Skip the mid 80s ones with 4100. While they didn't have many problems in the RWD cars as the fronts you don't know what the maintenance history is and there's a lot of years on it now that it could have been abused and neglected. If you want power go after a 1980 or 81 or a 5.7L 1990-1992.
    I agree with the comment that you should make sure you know someone who knows older cars that can fix it, and don't just trust that friend who went to shop class and says he can fix anything. Look at the condition of the car and check out a few to make sure you know the different interiors and options they have to make sure you get one with everything you want.

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    Re: Need Some Fleetwood Brougham HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bro-Ham View Post
    A 1980 would be a best bet with the same body style and also a last of the real (and really good) Cadillac engines.
    Quote Originally Posted by csbuckn View Post
    I second the 80 as one of the top years of the body style. Cadillac motor, th400 tranny and better interior options.
    Yup. That's what I own and drive. Cant go wrong with an 80 coupe.. ;-)

  15. #14
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    Re: Need Some Fleetwood Brougham HELP!

    [QUOTE=Lord Fleetwood;12 These big Cadillacs have traditionally had the supposed stigma of being "grandpa" cars (I always thought of it as a compliment), but unfortunately grandfathers these days are not fortunate to drive them around anymore. Their loss is our gain![/QUOTE]
    Shortly after I bought my first Cadillac, I found out my first grand child was on his way! Gotta love it.
    Whatevercar you get, just make sure it was well maintained and not full of rust.

  16. #15
    J_Hess_7 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Thanks you guys so much for the suggestions and help. I do have extra cash to play around with but not much. I do have some friends that either work at a mechanics or fix cars as a source of income. They would come along and look at the cars with me and be more than willing to show me what to do! From what I've read I think a newer model would be better to buy. I also wanted to know how long these bad boys run for. I've seen a lot that have 100,000+ miles that are in range, but I don't want to buy one that's gonna be too costly to run or just up and die on me. If you could tell me how long they go for and what specifications to look for that would be amazing! Again, I appreciate everything!

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