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1981 Cadillac Fleetwood 4-door V-8-6-4
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is the thread where I will put all the progress/ work on my newly acquired Fleetwood.

It's a 1981 Fleetwood with a 6.0 DFI with cylinder deactivation. It has a solid body, but as with any car of this age, needs tweaking on several fronts.
 

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1981 Cadillac Fleetwood 4-door V-8-6-4
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Re: 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-864 6.0 DFI

The first step was to replace the battery; the one in the car did not hold its charge for more than 5 minutes.

Then, an easy gain was with the trunk pulldown motor, which was broken and missing its switch on the car - I had already bought one for another project, and it fits the Fleetwood perfectly. It operates very nicely, I have always been a fan of trunk pulldowns.
 

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1990 Brougham, 1990 Brougham d'elgance 1979 Coupe
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Re: 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-864 6.0 DFI

I think I like that car as much as you do! Congrats!

Does the cylinder disable work?

Also is the chrome as nice as it appears in the pic? The interior look real nice in your other pics.
 

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1981 Cadillac Fleetwood 4-door V-8-6-4
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Discussion Starter #4
When I got the car, I depressed the emergency brakes and they are stuck since. Need to fix this first before I get to see live cylinder deactivation :)
 

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1990 Brougham, 1990 Brougham d'elgance 1979 Coupe
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Re: 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-864 6.0 DFI

If the pedal doesn't come back up try the lubrication trick you did on the window, also theres a manuel lever, don't force it because its not all that strong.

Id be going nuts by now if I couldn't drive it.
 

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1926 Model T street rod, 2000 Jaguar XJ8, 1999 Corvette.
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Re: 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-864 6.0 DFI

The little release black lever is just to the right of the pedal. Be careful, It will pop up and slap your wrist. That vacuum diaphram mounted up high above the park brake pedal is common to leak. It can affect climate control operation. You can pull the small vacuum hose off it and plug the hose till you're ready to stand on your head under the dash to replace it! A common issue with this engine is the belt arrangement. The alt. belt only wraps around the water pump. So, if the smog pump belt is loose/worn out, the alternator will slip on the w/pump pulley and slowly discharge the battery. The 82 thru 85 4100's had the same issue and I think the 425 engine in the 79 and 80's as well. A poor design IMO.
 

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1981 Cadillac Fleetwood 4-door V-8-6-4
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Discussion Starter #7
Pedal does come back - but the cables or the mechanism withim the drum is stuck.

Thanks for the hints. I love that "automatic" release on the parking brake. Really cool engineering they did there.
 

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Re: 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-864 6.0 DFI

If you're going into the rear drum brakes, I highly recommend you replace both wheel cylinders. They WILL leak eventually from old age, trust me!
 

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Re: 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-864 6.0 DFI

You have to put both the wide whites on one side!

Love the car, can't wait for more progress.
 

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1990 Brougham, 1990 Brougham d'elgance 1979 Coupe
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Re: 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-864 6.0 DFI

If the parking brake mechanism is working on the inside and the car will move Id try driving it slowly without backing up. It could be the cables have frozen, but more likely the brakes have a lot of rust from sitting.
 

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Re: 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-864 6.0 DFI

We're talking about brakes! So... pull the wheels and inspect them before you drive anywhere! Rust doesn't go away by driving! Welcome to old cars with hydraulic issues.
 

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1980 FBC
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Re: 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-864 6.0 DFI

A common failure of parking brake components on this line of cars is the emergency brake cable sheath.

They collapse. The common failure spot is right where the rear cable clips onto the rear axle cover bracket on the top side of the differential cover. The cable will be fat there or nearby.

Symptom is emergency brake won't hold car and emergency brake pedal has no resistance when pressed plus does not spring back when released.

Very common problem. Many parts houses sell the rear cables.

If the rear brake service history is unknown it's probably time to replace everything back there anyway.

Always check axle bearing side clearances when doing brakes on these. Also look for gear oil leaking past the axle bearing seals onto the backing plates. That means the axle bearings could be sloppy and will wear the rear brake linings prematurely plus cause crummy brake pedal feel.
 

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1990 Brougham, 1990 Brougham d'elgance 1979 Coupe
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Re: 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-864 6.0 DFI

We're talking about brakes! So... pull the wheels and inspect them before you drive anywhere! Rust doesn't go away by driving! Welcome to old cars with hydraulic issues.
I got ya, but if the brakes are rusted to the drum it will be a real nightmare to get them off, driving the car may free the brakes up.
 

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1981 Cadillac Fleetwood 4-door V-8-6-4
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Discussion Starter #14
Bad weather today, no day to work on the brakes.

I looked into the ECC and the MPG sentinel (Econominder or FDC), which are both not displaying anything. The ECC fuses are both OK in the fuse block. Removed most of the connections from ECC and FDC and also the radio. This, for some surrealistic reason, triggered the wipers to work again (but intermittently only).
 

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2010 Platinum Escalade, 1996 Fleetwood Brougham
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Re: 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-864 6.0 DFI

The joys of tinkering!!!
 

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Re: 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-864 6.0 DFI

Someone sure dicked around with this car's electricals! I knew it was going to be tough sledding as soon as you mentioned the tape over the check engine light. :/
 

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1981 Cadillac Fleetwood 4-door V-8-6-4
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Discussion Starter #18
Re: 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-864 6.0 DFI

The wire harness all look stock, nothing "frankeinsteined", so I am assuming what I have are contacts that need some cleaning in the dash.

Also ordered the 1981 Cadillac Electrical Troubleshooting guide. On top of the Service Manual, I'm pretty sure I'll see clearer pretty soon :)
 

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1990 Brougham, 1990 Brougham d'elgance 1979 Coupe
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Re: 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-864 6.0 DFI

I have no idea why, but sometimes the electronics in these will start working once the car is back on the road.
 

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1983 Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance
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Re: 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-864 6.0 DFI

Had the same problem. ECC control head and fuel data display weren't working. A new ECC control head and both worked again. The fuel data display is controlled by the ECC control head.

Beautiful car btw. Love it.

Regards
Felix
 
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