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My son is thinking of buying a 76 Calais (first car) with 67,000 miles, but we are worried about getting into a maintenance headache. The car is clean on the outside, but I can't tell about the mechanics.

Does anyone have any experience with that vehicle and advise on the maintenace history?

Thanks for your feedback.
Mac
 

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There really shouldn't be a whole lot to worry about. The motors were really strong and would run for years with very little maintenance. The transmission should be a TH400. Those were used for years and yeilded very few problems. The suspension is pretty much standard fare (with the exception of the rear air suspension.....if the car has it).
Cadillacs of this era were not much different than their Chevy, Buick and Olds counterparts......just a little fancier, heavier and had a different (bigger, more durable) motor.
Is there anything in particular that you are worried about?
 

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Lux,

Thanks for the reply. I don't have a specific worry, although I hear it was the first year of the EFI. Also the car has been sitting for 6 months and I am concerned about replacing gaskets, etc.

The car has 67K on it, looks clean, but as my son's first car, I want to make sure we are not getting into spending more on maintenance that we paid for the car. We expect to replace breaks, hoses, etc...just concerned about known issues with the transmission and engine...the big ticket items.

What do you think?
 

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Bob,
I don't know much about the injection units on these. They didn't build many cars with EFI.....I believe it was an option on all 75 and 76 models but most had a carb. I don't know if there are any replacement parts available for this system but if it became a problem, a carb could be put in its place (not sure if the intake is different though). Maximum Torque Specialties sells a complete Cadillac 500 EFI system for $795 (hotrodders like them:)).
The motors have a higher nickel content than most other motors thus making them physically harder and less prone to wear. My 500 (out of a '72 Eldorado) has 96,000 miles on it. I started pulling it apart for a performance rebuild. There is very little wear in the cylinders. In some cylinders you can still see the original (from the factory) hone marks.
As long as the trans shifts well, you shouldn't have a problem. The Turbo 400 was used in all sorts of different cars and trucks over the years. It was GM's heavy-duty automatic transmission.
As for gaskets and seals.....this car shouldn't give you any more problems than any other car of that age. Any seal and gasket can get brittle over time.
Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Lux,

Thanks for the feedback. I am getting a better feeling on the stability of the big items like engine and tranny. Sounds like you feel like it is a good machine.

Appreciate your help.
 

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I find it easier to find a Turbo 400 than it is to find a C-6.
 
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