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121 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm new to this forum and to Cadillacs in general. I inherited my '86 Sedan DeVille from my Dad who recently passed away. I want to do everything I can to keep this car, because it is near mint except for the 4.1L engine, and obviously for the sentimental value. The car and engine is basically stock with 88K on it.

I've spent the last couple of hours scouring this site for info, and I'm very discouraged to find that my little 4.1L is not just underpowered, but is prone to other problems, the worst being blowing head gaskets if the coolant changes are not done every 12-24 months, and if the BarsLeak is not put in. I don't know if my Dad was aware of these issues, but in general, he did everything he could to maintain every vehicle he had to the best of his ability.

Well, now that I've had it for a few weeks, I've noticed an antifreeze smell that I haven't been able to track down to a hose, radiator, etc., and neither has my mechanic. I'm suspecting that I may be running up against the head gasket problem. If that's the case, and I need to spend big bucks to fix it, I'm wondering what my alternatives are.

My head is spinning after all the reading I've done on this site. It seems that possibly I have the option of finding a replacement 4.5 or 4.9 engine. Obviously I'd love to have a 500 CID, but I have no idea if this is even possible with an '86 SDV.

So, any advice as to what engine alternatives I could consider are greatly appreciated. And also any info as far as what I'm getting into with an engine swap (I've heard about trying to fool the computer into thinking that it's a 4.1L, issues with the transmission not being able to handle the added HP, etc.). I'd love more HP, but if the most economical thing is to stick with the 4.1L and rebuild it, I'll do that. Just exploring alternatives.

Thanks in advance,
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