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2015 ATS Coupe
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Cadillac Team,

I just wanted to lean on you guys/gals for some questions regarding a pending purchase. I found a car for sale in Ohio and have a deposit on it. Just wanted some input from the Cadillac Fleetwood gurus. It has a little more mileage then I wanted (106K) and is probably in a little worse condition (Ohio rust), but tell me what you think. Service records unknown but Carfax does show several visits.

I will be going to take a look. So far I am focusing on rust on the body but I was looking for some specifics. Thank you in advance for the help.

Link to some photos and video.


Carfax


Tell me what you guys think!
 

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96 Fleetwood, 94 Fleetwood, 07 CTS, & 94 Caprice Wgn
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628 Posts
Low mileage for a 25 year old car, one owner. From the pictures body and paint look decent, but you will need to look underneath, at door jambs, under the hood for rust. Interior looks clean and taken care of. Rubber body mouldings look good as does the chrome. I did notice there was rust by the gas filler. Being from Ohio, there's going to be rust on it. The light surface rust would not bother me. The crusty orange rust is what would bother me, if there were much. At some point in the next 5 to 10 years, you're probably looking looking at replacing the vinyl top. As long as it's in decent condition and no signs of rust on the edges, it would not bother me.

Look for leaks underneath. It's 25 years old, you will see some wetness underneath. Most are easily fixable.

Good Luck

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I did have the fuel fill area checked and it seems like just the lid was rusting, the actual fuel fill area looked clean. It is shown in the photo.

Every time I go check for rust, I feel like i lose my thought process and panic. Everything starts to look bad. Realistically, I know the floor will needs repairs after 25 years and its hard to see. The place does have a lift so I should be able to get some good photos. I am wondering if someone can explain to me what the difference between okay and "no-go" is.
 

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From what I seen the body & interior looked clean.
Seemed to have surface rust & coroasion on on many underhood parts.
Not to say that it bad. Just a sign it was exposed to a coroasive enviroment.

On mine the body has no rust except maybe a surface chip.
Problem was underneath. Lots of flaky rust pieces.
To the point of washing the bottom off or working in a area leaves a pile of rust on the ground.
Seems like stock there was not enough protection on the frame, steel lines, diferential, etc.
Still fine to drive. But makes you wonder how much metal can flak off the rear end before a problem.
I cleaned / scraped off the loose rust and spray painted to control it.

Working on the car is where the rust becomes a PITA.
It just every external bolt, nut, & screw needs to be removed very slowly carefully to avoid breakage.
Then threads cleand & some hardware replaced.
Then you have the fuel line & brake line problems. Not super expensive to order prebent & replace if you have the time.
Problem is when you don't plan on a brake line failure, then before your done you end up fabercating rebuilding it because you can't wait.

Rust causes problems with the brakes. They may work. But to get orignal quality stopping it can call for replacement of a number of parts. No big deal if you order online & do yourself. Paying a shop could get expensive.

Even my stainless mufflers are rusting out. This again is a clean Vegas car.

IDK what you're looking at paying for the car.
The trouble with these cars is they are made to go a long time with little maintence.
But then it all starts to add up what sould be done as replacing word, fixing a problem & preventive maintence.
An example is a complete tune-up. I believe the idea was the water pumps & ign caps were designed to go 100K miles. Not saying they won't go 150k. But at some point it may need a day spent doing a complete tune-up & water pump.

Never seen one of these cars that didn't need upper control arm bushings.
Fuel pumps go bad with age.
Then don't forget about the rubber parts, belts, hoses, tires, etc.
Oil leaks could be easy or hard to fix.

Kinda depends on your comfort level what work you want to do and money you want to spend.
 

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96 Fleetwood, 94 Fleetwood, 07 CTS, & 94 Caprice Wgn
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Agreed, car is 25 years old. Like LV said, many of the parts will last 100K miles. Through wear and deterioration, parts have to be replaced; not all at once, but you have to get on a program. You should either be able to do some repairs or afford to have them done. Not to discourage, as we all have had to learn. I would also not have this as a primary car.

This past October, I picked up a 94 FW. I figured it might be in my garage for the best part of a year. Doesn't need any big repairs, just everything needs to be looked at. I take that back the first job that had to be done was the rear end, drum to drum had to be replaced. The pinion seal leaked, previous owner didn't catch it. Hundred dollars for the rear end assembly, $650 to have it done. But at 70, those days of doing jobs like that are in the rear view mirror.

Tom
 

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1996 Fleetwood hearse
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I bought a Minnesota/Florida car off the internet after viewing the reseller's photos. Needless to say, the reseller only provided photos that didn't show the rusted out frame, lack of hanger bearing bracket, broken exhaust hangers, etc. Get it on a lift because depending on who built it and how many salted roads it traveled, it may be a good looking death trap. The frame on the first car is paper thin in front of the doors and could not be saved. When I started stripping out the interior, there were huge holes in the wheel wells and over the axle. That is the bad, the good is I now have a spare engine and transmission, interior, wheels and tires. Unfortunately I'm not sure how much of the wiring and dash electronics I can use as this is a 1995 OBD 1 and my 96 is an OBD 2.
 

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Just Walk Away

OMG that license plate holder was enough to convince me. Bathed in salt. Why no telling what condition the brake lines are in. I bet you'll be looking to replace those for sure.

Shop around some more. Facebook marketplace, cargurus, autotempest, classiccars, autotrader, carfax, hemmings
 

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A car like that from Ohio rust belt why no telling what the inside of the doors are like that you can't see. Those do rust from the inside out. Someday you'll wipe your hand underneath the door to clean it and OMG your hand breaks thru the bottom.
 

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If you are really worried, take some pics on the lift and show them to us. I drive a 96 Acura that has never been in a garage and has driven in Maine winters all it's life. The underside of the car has surprisingly little rust and the factory paint and undercoating is still black. It only has a couple quarter size rust holes near the bumper cover that have already been fixed. Sometimes you never can tell until you look at them. If the rust is crusty and flaky it may be terminal cancer but it could surprise you and be fairly clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the feedback. I will get some photos from the dealer if they want to comply with my request. I have been having a heck of a time getting anyone to do any work to sell their own car by taking some photos for me.
 

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Why do I get the feeling, you have not even as much as looked at this car.

If that's the case, you need to go look at the car and stop wasting everyone's time that is trying to help you. Then, ask questions after you have taken additional pictures.

Tom
 

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Thanks for the feedback. I will get some photos from the dealer if they want to comply with my request. I have been having a heck of a time getting anyone to do any work to sell their own car by taking some photos for me.
You too also. I bet in the last week I have asked 3 or 4 sellers to just get me some photo's of the underside around the rear. Not too difficult to stick a phone camera under there and do it as well as photos of under the doors. If they don't reply I say screw them. Not worth my time to haggle with them. How I phrase my request is I'd like to see some underside photos to pass onto Ziebart to see if they can undercoat it. I don't get it myself either they are too lazy or aren't all that interested in selling. Most dealers will get me some photos. Two sellers listed on cargurus that I contacted to even find out of the cars are available haven't even replied. WTF... some of those websites they should put a condition on a listing either reply in something like 2 days or we'll jerk your listing off of the website. Stop wasting people's time. My rant for the day!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Why do I get the feeling, you have not even as much as looked at this car.

If that's the case, you need to go look at the car and stop wasting everyone's time that is trying to help you. Then, ask questions after you have taken additional pictures.

Tom
The car is in Ohio. I live in Michigan. I was leaning on people who have more knowledge than me after I got the first set of photos. I thought that's what forums were for. I just got the underside photos as well. I don't think I am wasting anyone's time. I just didn't have access to the vehicle immediately but I placed a deposit. Doing the 3 hour drive on Saturday.

Photos now updated to includes under-body shots.


Thanks for all the help.
 

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OK!

You are right, we are here to help, just look at your posting. Probably would have been a good idea to have mentioned that you are 3 hours away, and going to look at it Saturday.

Now, back to the car, I think you need to put your eyes on the underside of the car, as it is hard to tell from the pictures. It may be perfectly fine, or it could be covered by undercoating or an oily substance.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Exactly I think I have maxed out my ability to just judge from photos so I will have to make a call on Saturday from what everyone has told me so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You too also. I bet in the last week I have asked 3 or 4 sellers to just get me some photo's of the underside around the rear. Not too difficult to stick a phone camera under there and do it as well as photos of under the doors. If they don't reply I say screw them. Not worth my time to haggle with them. How I phrase my request is I'd like to see some underside photos to pass onto Ziebart to see if they can undercoat it. I don't get it myself either they are too lazy or aren't all that interested in selling. Most dealers will get me some photos. Two sellers listed on cargurus that I contacted to even find out of the cars are available haven't even replied. WTF... some of those websites they should put a condition on a listing either reply in something like 2 days or we'll jerk your listing off of the website. Stop wasting people's time. My rant for the day!!!
Haha I have had my fair share of ghosts. Most don't offer any further info at all beyond a few exterior shots.
 

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Yeah, it has to be seen in person. It appears to have some fresh paint in some rust prone areas. It may still be all solid. I have no idea if they painted the front of the rear control arms to protect them or hide something.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Where can I get a maintenance schedule? Its not included with the owner's manual.
 

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I always thought it was in the owner's manual. It is nice to have receipts and records. Judging from the Carfax, there was a lot of dealer work done.

Tom
 

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Looking at the updated pictures you got a rusty fleetwood.
Then spray bombed by the seller.
These cars the exterior metal holds up a lot better than undernieth.

The mufflers have been replaced and 1 clamp has already rusted off.
When you get your fuel pump done you realize how little metal on the straps & bolts held around 200 lbs of fuel.

The rear frame rails looks like you could brake off a sovinier.

You may need to do brake lines. Then wheel cylinders & calipers so you can bleed it.
Even power steering lines will be too rusty if you need to disassemble.

Guessing it was degreased to hide oil leaks.
Notice how the crossmember is rust free behind the trans.
Thats where all the leaking oil collects, before it was washed off.

Floorboards don't look rusted out, but have had a flacky rust.

Not condeming this car. It still may have some good lis in it.
Just understand it's not a cream puff.
And that everything on the bottom of the car is a problem waiting to happen.
It's hard to do just 1 thing without another rusted out thing needing to be repaired.

If you can get a great price, have at it.
A dealer selling it as a high price clean classic, no thanks.

Most sellers would rather not show the bad.
If requested, then just wait for the next sucker.
Once in a while someone tries to cover it up.
This looks more like someone tried to cover the rust vs cleaning & painting to protect.
 
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