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1987 Fleetwood Brougham
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Discussion Starter #1
So this weekend, my wife had a photoshoot for a book up in Atlanta. Being a decent haul up the highway, and the fact that she had to bring a ton of <expletive deleted> with her, I opted to take the old Cadillac. Had I know what events were about to unfold, I would've definitely made another vehicle choice. Here's how it went down.

We left Friday evening, around 6:30, towards Atlanta. Once we were outside of Tampa, traffic let up, and it smooth sailing all the way up I-75. We made it to Lake City before the inevitable need to take a leak struck the old lady. I pull off the highway, towards a gas station, and bam, oil light comes on. I throw her in neutral, kill the engine, and coast her into the gas station parking lot.

So now, I'm parked at the gas station. I pop the hood, check the stick, no oil. I go inside, buy 3 quarts of oil, and the woman starts <expletive deleted> that I better not be leaking oil in her parking lot since she'll have to mop it up. I'm polite and apologize to her if I am leaking oil, and proceed to go outside to put some oil in the car.

I dump the 3 quarts in, have my wife sit in the car and pop the throttle a few times while I inspect, but I see no leak. Where the <expletive deleted> is the oil going? I go inside to ask to borrow a flashlight, the mean woman won't let me, come back out, look under the car, and there's a HUGE puddle. It's leaking pretty bad from somewhere up front.

I hop on the phone, call my buddy and leave him a voicemail, then I call my mom to let her know I'm broke down on the highway. She always worries when I drive out of town. While on the phone, the mean old woman comes out.

"I'm gonna need you to move that car."

"Okay, I'll move it."

"I'm getting complaints from customers that your car is blocking the door. I need you to move it now."

"Alright, let me hang up the phone and I'll move it in just a second."

"How about I just call my son-in-law the sheriff?!"

"What the <expletive deleted> is your problem? I told you I was going to move it!"

She storms towards the door, I let her know she's and old <expletive deleted>, and move the car. I'm glad I left a big 3 foot puddle of oil in front of her store now!

Now, I've noticed when moving the car, the oil light stayed off. I guess it'll still hold enough oil to keep pressure and run fine. I didn't hear any lifters tapping or heads knocking, so it seemed okay to me. This leaves me with the decision of driving it home, or getting to Atlanta so Julie can do the shoot. Those of you who know me, know what I decided on.

So, I'm heading north on I-75, somewhere near Valdosta, GA, and people start beeping, pointing, and flashing me the brights. I figure they're just upset about the smoke coming out of the car since oil is leaking out onto the exhaust manifold. For some reason the car's performance is slowly degrading and my gas mileage is progressively getting worse. I just chalk it up to the car having a billion miles on it and continue on, but you'll read later, this was not the case.

I make it to Atlanta, she does her shoot, and we head home. Over the course of the trip, I eat about 10-15 quarts of oil. I have to dump 1-2 quarts in every time we stop for a <expletive deleted> or gas. We get home about Sunday, I park the car in the driveway, and get some much needed sleep.

Yesterday, I decide to take a look at the car when I get home from work. I simple green the front of the motor, dump some oil in, fire it up, and look for leaks. I hear this strange tapping from the front of the motor, so I home in on it. It's coming from the front passenger side of the motor, right about where I suspected the leak, and I see two hoses moving pretty seriously. I trace 'em, and no <expletive deleted>, they go to the fuel pump!

The bottom bolt for the pump is completely gone, and the top stud is barely holding the pump. I swear the hoses were the only thing holding the pump in place. On top of the oil leaking out of the block, the diaphragm was also shot in the fuel pump, so it was leaking big drops of gas out right onto the cat converter! This leads me to believe that the people were not honking, pointing, and brighting due to smoke, but due to the fact that my car was actually on fire! I bet I was dropping little fireballs down the highway the whole trip! I also have no idea how the thing was still delivering enough fuel to run the car, but that definitely explains my performance and mileage degrading like it was.

After all of that, I have to say, GM makes one <expletive deleted> of a tough car!

Cliffnotes:
Drove the Caddy to Atlanta
Broke down in Lake City, serious oil leak
Decide to drive it to Atlanta anyway
Make it there and back, find out that my fuel pump is almost falling off the engine
Car was one fire on I-75
 

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1995 Sedan Deville Spring Edition
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268 Posts
Wow,

With that level of fault tolerance, it should be a Timex [takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'].

You were very lucky though, the fuel leak could have been disastorous. I can't imagine driving behind that and seeing fireballs coming off on the highway - I'd be scared and laughing my ass off at the same time. Of course, I'd be following at a substantial distance - just in case.

And I think it's great that you left the 3 quart slick for that two legged dog at the filling station. Serves her right for threatening to call the sheriff; I hate people who flex muscle just because they have connections.

At least you made it there and back safely.

KDirk
 

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'93 Fleetwood Brougham...Dad's
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4,382 Posts
Yeah, main reason why, just as a rule of thumb, you should NEVER take such an old beast on a long trip UNLESS it is in darn near perfect condition or, for whatever reason, you have absolutely NO other means of transport. Did you have ANY other car to drive?

Case in point--my father's '92 Roadmaster is years newer than your car and, so far, nearly 100% reliable in short daily trips to work and back, etc., but it does have 191k on the clock and I'd be just a bit worried about traveling any considerably long distances in it.

On the other hand, our '93 Fleetwood is for sure in next to tip-top shape and only has 102k, so relatively long trips are virtually no worry--though not as much so as it would be taking the new Suburban.

Regardless, your car sounds like it was quite the beast!
 

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1987 Fleetwood Brougham
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239 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Eh, I live dangerously, so I figured the Cadillac would be great for a road trip. Plus, the low gearing in that living room on wheels made it quite a comfortable ride.

I have are a 1997 Harley-Davidson Springer Softail. That wasn't really an option because the wife brought a ton of stuff with her. I also have a 1967 Chevy Camaro, 3.73 gearing, 14" wheels, 4 speed manual with no overdrive, 350 SBC, and a 650 CFM Edelbrock 4 barrel. I get something like 6mpg on the highway, it has no A/C, and it's pretty freakin' loud. I didn't really wanna take her up to Atlanta either. My wife has a '96 Pontiac Trans-Am, but it needs an O2 sensor, wires, and a set of plugs, since it's missing right now. It's also too small for me, being 6'2", to sit in for 8-10 hours. You can see why I chose the Cadillac.

If nothing else, I think I finally found my random fuel starvation issue and source of my poor gas mileage. I've been tuning this carburetor since I got the car hoping I could fix the lean knock I'm getting, but all along, I bet that fuel pump was spraying gas into my oil pan! I'll pop the new pump I bought, for $18 mind you, on the car and it should be good for another road trip.

I think I'm gonna write Cadillac a letter to let them know how happy I am with the craftsmanship of their cars. In no realistic scenario should a 20 year old car make it 800 miles with the fuel pump hanging off the side of the engine, and especially without catching on fire at all. They deserve a compliment after all of that.
 

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1987 Fleetwood Brougham
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239 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Oh, I forgot to mention that the Camaro has all poly bushings and monoleafs with traction bars in the back. It's really not a smooth ride at all.
 

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'93 Fleetwood Brougham...Dad's
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FrankieSixxxgun said:
I think I'm gonna write Cadillac a letter to let them know how happy I am with the craftsmanship of their cars. In no realistic scenario should a 20 year old car make it 800 miles with the fuel pump hanging off the side of the engine, and especially without catching on fire at all. They deserve a compliment after all of that.
Haha. That should be an interesting read. Seriously though, how FEW cars could really be that tough?
 

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1987 Fleetwood Brougham
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239 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
caddycruiser said:
Haha. That should be an interesting read. Seriously though, how FEW cars could really be that tough?
Not one new car. If your 80 PSI fuel injection pump came loose, it'd probably shoot off like a rocket!
 

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Well although GM is pretty good all in all the real respect goes to the gasoline manufacturers and them not having made gas so easily igniteable. The pump was probably really old or the previous repairs were lacking a little.

I am surprised that the gas didn't ignite but it does take more than people think to ignite the gas One time a scrader valve went bad on a lumina of ours and the gas spit out the valve and went everywhere including the hot manifolds yet it didn't ignite :duck: much to my surprise.The octane rating must have a lot to do with it.
 

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1995 ETC, 75 Deville, Cad500 powered 73 Apollo, 94 Mark VIII
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Entertaining story. Glad your car didn't ...err... stay on fire.

ocjmakaveli said:
Well although GM is pretty good all in all the real respect goes to the gasoline manufacturers and them not having made gas so easily igniteable. The pump was probably really old or the previous repairs were lacking a little.

I am surprised that the gas didn't ignite but it does take more than people think to ignite the gas One time a scrader valve went bad on a lumina of ours and the gas spit out the valve and went everywhere including the hot manifolds yet it didn't ignite :duck: much to my surprise.The octane rating must have a lot to do with it.
Not really, gas is gas. It's a mix of hydrocarbon molecules, the only difference octane rating has to do with is the resistance to knock, and all the oil/refining companies do is essentially distill it, throw in detergents and it goes into your tank.
 

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1980 FBC
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Sounds like its time to go over the entire car and make sure that you find anything else left loose by the inexperienced bozo who installed that fuel pump.
 

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1987 Fleetwood Brougham
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239 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
The Ape Man said:
Sounds like its time to go over the entire car and make sure that you find anything else left loose by the inexperienced bozo who installed that fuel pump.
No kidding! That's amazing though, isn't it? I'll be popping a brand new pump on this weekend.
 

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1987 Fleetwood Brougham
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Discussion Starter #14
So it took me all day yesterday to put the fuel pump in. Now I know why GM got sued during the time my car was made for making stuff impossible to work on. After I got it on, the car was running so rich that I ate my plugs and apparently my O2 sensor. Just put a new O2 sensor in the car, tuned it up, and it runs better than ever. The old fuel pump lost the rod that holds folcrum on the lever and was able to be pumped by hand! I guess it wasn't working so well.

I also dumped the sludge/gasoline out of the crank case and cleaned the car. I had to wash the whole car with Simple Green to get the oil off the paint. What a mess!
 

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1976 Eldorado project
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Well I just read the original post, and thought it was quite the story. Glad to hear you made it out alright, and that you got the old Caddy running nicely.
 

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1987 Fleetwood Brougham
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Discussion Starter #16
terrible one said:
Well I just read the original post, and thought it was quite the story. Glad to hear you made it out alright, and that you got the old Caddy running nicely.
Yeah, I need some plugs now since I think I fouled them all out with the richness. I also need to find someone to fine tune this Q-Jet for me. Without the little gauges, it's basically impossible to adjust the thing. Good news is that my knock is gone now. I guess I was running that lean before!
 
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