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1996 STS
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1,489 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Is this common for this engine, a blown headgasket?
The car is an 85 Sedan Deville that is overheating. Havesnt seen it, it is what the owner is reporting to me. He is not mahcanically inclined and the car is about 60 miles away. I can get it for a song. Im just wondering if it is worth it.

At least the engine isnt as hard to repair or as expensive as my N* (geez!!!!)
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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They are not known for bad head gaskets to my knowledge (assuming proper maintanence).
 

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2003 STS w/BoseNav, 1993 Deville, 1985 Deville
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1,089 Posts
That's right. It had an HT4100. I had an 85 Deville. I parked it in the weeds when I blew the head gasket following an engine overheat due to a catastrophic loss of coolant.

I took it to a local mechanic. He pressurized the coolant system and a stream of air came out the exhaust - blown head gasket. He said that he hasn't seen anyone replace heads on the 4.1L correctly. He advised me to not spend money to fix it. Car had 238,000 miles on it. Good advice.

That's when I gave it to a friend who parked it in the weeds. This wasn't a hard decision as I immediately pulled my 1993 Deville 4.9L out of mothballs (it was only a year old and had 17,000 miles on it). I ran that car until it had 298,000 miles. I still have it - needs tranny work.
 

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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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Just out of curiosity, why would anyone want a '85-87 deVille?
They're slow, have terrible motors, they're not very aestetically pleasing (IMO) And the newer, better devilles (1988-93) are better looking (IMO), more powerful, more reliable, and have more features, and they aren't that much more expensive.

I mean no offence to any diehard 85-87 deville/fleetwood owners here, but I'm just curious, why?
 

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2005 Escalade 6.0L 2WD, 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited CRD
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Why do people still restore Pintos and Gremlins??? Same theory! The love of cars goes beyond aestetics or mechanics!
 

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'87 SDV
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I~LUV~Caddys8792 said:
Just out of curiosity, why would anyone want a '85-87 deVille?
They're slow, have terrible motors, they're not very aestetically pleasing (IMO) And the newer, better devilles (1988-93) are better looking (IMO), more powerful, more reliable, and have more features, and they aren't that much more expensive.

I mean no offence to any diehard 85-87 deville/fleetwood owners here, but I'm just curious, why?

No offence taken, but I happen to love my '87 SDV. It has less than 50k, runs like a swiss watch, and rides as good or better than any of the luxoliners I've owned (1966 CDV, 1973 Imperial LeBaron, 1972 Ford LTD, 1976 Lincoln Mark IV). I'm quite certain my Caddy won't win any awards at the local show and shine, but who cares? I long ago lost my need to have everybody swoon over how cool my car is. From the inside, it's a leather wrapped cradle of comfort; and looks exactly the same as every SDV through 1992.

As far as the 4100 being a terrible engine, that's just wrong. The early 4100s had lots of problems, but virtually every Cadillac tech I talk to says the same thing: the vast majority of the failures were a direct result of owners not following the maintenance schedule. If you don't change the antifreeze and don't use the pills, any 4.1, 4.5, 4.9, and most Northstars will experience similar faiilure rates. Because it came on the heels of the V-8/6/4 engine (which really was a nightmare), the 4100 saddled Cadillac with an avalanche of bad press and a bunch of pissed off customers. The reputation lingers to this day.

But if the 4100 is so awful, why does eBay motors have a slew of 82-87 Cads for sale every day, with good running 4100s, and 100, 150, 200K or more on the clock? Compare the numbers to 82-87 Lincolns, Chryslers, Buicks, etc. It ain't even close.

So I get to drive a fine luxury automobile, get 22mpg and a Bose stereo - all for less than 3 grand. What's not to like?
 

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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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Ah yes, I forgot that the problems with the 4.1 were due to owner neglect. I have the same problem with my 4.9. Someone didn't change the coolant on a yearly basis, and the coolant got corrosive and began to eat through my block.
I think Caddy should have stuck it out with the 368 V8 a couple of years more, and made the 8/6/4 an option.

Thanks for the information though :)
BTW, You had a Mark IV!?!?!?!?! I love Mark IV's! :D
 

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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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How was the performance? Did that big 460 do a decent job of pushing that 5200lb monster down the road? What kind of gas mileage did it get? How was the ride and handling? I can imagine the steering was totally vague, but that's beyond the point. I've sat in a triple white '73 and it was very nice. Very comfortable seats, lots of wood grain trim and a very large dashboard with very ornamental guages. It had a massively long hood which I thought was very cool :cool2: I remember the interior didnt have very much space in it, it was surprisingly cramped considering how large the car was.

I REALLY want a Mark IV!!!! I'm destined to have one after college!
 

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1991 Cadillac Brougham D'Elegance 5.7 Litre, 1994 DeVille
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6,796 Posts
noahsdad said:
But if the 4100 is so awful, why does eBay motors have a slew of 82-87 Cads for sale every day, with good running 4100s, and 100, 150, 200K or more on the clock? Compare the numbers to 82-87 Lincolns, Chryslers, Buicks, etc. It ain't even close.

So I get to drive a fine luxury automobile, get 22mpg and a Bose stereo - all for less than 3 grand. What's not to like?
Because no-one wants them. You don't see as many Lincolns and Chryslers and Buicks for sale because the people who own them don't want to get rid of them. Even a few years ago when there were still a lot of those Cadillacs around almost every one that you'd see for sale in the auto trader said so many miles on new engine. People think those engines are bad because they are. It had nothing to do with the 8-6-4 engine.
 

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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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The '80s Lincolns are gold as far as the drivetrain is concered. The 302 V8 is an excellent motor, probably one of Ford's best, and the AOD is a great tranny if I remember correctly. And the '80s big Buicks were pretty solid too with the 307 V8 and 3.8, later 3800V6
 

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1991 Deville / 1989 BMW 635csi
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896 Posts
If the 4100 is such a terrible engine, why does my dad have an 87 deville with 210,000 miles. The engine was never touched, tranny is original, and coolant wasn't changed till the rad blew. He owned that car for 9 years and it NEVER gave ANY problems! We took it on a 5 hour uphill trip in the hot summer day. That thing pulled pretty good, the lifters always made a faint mallot knock when warm and never caused any problems. This car is the most reliable out of all cars he has owned. The car weighs 4000 pounds, so don't expect it to be real quick. My 87 deville has 94,000 miles and i have a flowmaster 40 series delta flow on it. My dad has been asked many times about his car and many people asked about the engine since it sounds like a big block with borla. It still drives like new, but started to suck a little bit more fuel. Nothing wrong with these engines if maintained! My car idles as smooth as silk and sounds unbelievable and has lots of power, it'll have more with an MSD 6A ignition. I already have the MSD coil, MSD cap, MSD rotor, MSD ignition control module, & bosch plugs and MSD super conductor wires.
 

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93 Fleetwood RWD, 99 Deville
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There are good engines in all of them. I have a Cadillac with the worse engine known to man, oldsmobile 350 diesel. It has been perfect since new. Ht4100 are known for headgasket failures. I just about tag the Northstar for that just as much as the 4100 though. 4100 are good engines, the heads dont seal very good. I have heard of people having a gasket failure and having them fixed to get several hundred carefree miles.


Blaze
 

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'87 SDV
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brougham said:
Because no-one wants them. You don't see as many Lincolns and Chryslers and Buicks for sale because the people who own them don't want to get rid of them. Even a few years ago when there were still a lot of those Cadillacs around almost every one that you'd see for sale in the auto trader said so many miles on new engine. People think those engines are bad because they are. It had nothing to do with the 8-6-4 engine.
I respect your opinion, but you missed my point. Car salesmen will tell you that if large numbers of a particular car shows up on used car lots, it's a sign that nobody wants them. That's a B.S. line to steer you into something that earns them a bigger commission.

The reason there are so many more 4100 Cadillacs on eBay than comparable makes is because there's more of them. Go visit the local junkyard; the big one in my town has 6 thousand cars; there are two Cadillacs with 4100 engines; one has 151K, the other 243K, and interestingly neither car is there because the engine blew. One was rear-ended, the other had a trans failure. In the same yard, there are 9 Lincolns from the same era, 31 Chryslers, and over 50 Buicks and Oldsmobiles with the much ballyhooed 3800.

Look, I'm the first to admit the 4100 is flawed; but with a little luck and proper maintenance, it can run as good and last as long as anything else out there.
 

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93 Fleetwood RWD, 99 Deville
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There use to be over a 500 4100 in my junkyard in Saint Louis, but they are so old and have been stripped to the point that they are slowly dissappearing and with soaring scrap prices the yard isnt going to let something that old sit around if there are no parts left. The 3800 was in production a great deal longer than the 4100, that is why you see a difference in how many are sitting at the yard. Personally, I wouldnt want a 4100. Why have that when you can have a 4.9 and more power. I know what you are saying though. There are good and bad in them all. I have owned something from the big three and got many miles and have had some stuff not last worth crap.

Blaze
 

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1991 Cadillac Brougham D'Elegance 5.7 Litre, 1994 DeVille
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noahsdad said:
I respect your opinion, but you missed my point. Car salesmen will tell you that if large numbers of a particular car shows up on used car lots, it's a sign that nobody wants them. That's a B.S. line to steer you into something that earns them a bigger commission.

The reason there are so many more 4100 Cadillacs on eBay than comparable makes is because there's more of them. Go visit the local junkyard; the big one in my town has 6 thousand cars; there are two Cadillacs with 4100 engines; one has 151K, the other 243K, and interestingly neither car is there because the engine blew. One was rear-ended, the other had a trans failure. In the same yard, there are 9 Lincolns from the same era, 31 Chryslers, and over 50 Buicks and Oldsmobiles with the much ballyhooed 3800.

Look, I'm the first to admit the 4100 is flawed; but with a little luck and proper maintenance, it can run as good and last as long as anything else out there.
I didn't miss your point at all. I gave you the reason why there are so many on ebay. There are other cars that are just as old as these Cadillacs and you see just as many of them or even more of them driving around but there aren't nearly as many for sale... it's not that hard to figure out why.

There are a lot more people around who have had major problems with their 4.1L engines then people who had no problem with them at all. If they were so great no-one would be complaining about them.
 
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