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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am keen on getting a luxury malaise era American car as my first car and I found a decent condition 83' Seville for sale, I would like to also say that I do not live within the U.S. but in eastern Europe so I assume parts maybe a difficulty.
 

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1992 Seville
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Concerning parts, Rockauto.com offers nearly everything for reasonable price and with international shipping. Many European american car owners rely on them.

Concerning the "daily driver" thing. The car is almost 40 years old. keep it in mind that all plastic/rubber parts may start to fail.
On a practical aspect, I would not recommend it if you live in an old town with small streets, lateral parking spaces and/or steep slopes. The car is long, wide and steering radius is rather large compared to euro/asian cars. The car will feel at home cruising on a highway.
I daily commute with my 1992 Seville, 30 km, mostly highway, I get 12.5l/100km mixed. In-town driving only may exceed 20l/100km. Be ready for a very special relationship with your gas station.
 

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The 1983 had the HT4100 (4.1 liter) engine. It is terribly under powered.
The diesel was no better.

Here is a clip from Wikipedia.

"In 1982, Seville offered heated outside rear-view mirrors with an optional rear defogger. Inside, a "Symphony Sound" stereo cassette tape system was available. The previously standard diesel engine became an option with the introduction of a new 4.1 L (250 cu in) HT-4100. This engine had a number of reliability issues, such as weak, porous aluminum block castings and failure-prone intake manifold gaskets. "

Head gaskets where also a problem.
 

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Based on the responses above and more on Cady's engines of that model, I'd offer one of the wisest decisions would be NOT to consider any Eldorado/Seville from that gen. On the other hand the OP would do well to keep an open mind with the '79-'85 E-body Buick or Toronado. The 403 in a friend's '79 Toro performed well, and I really enjoyed the Rocket 350 Olds in my '80 Riv. I had 2 other Rivieras with the 307 Olds offered later and both ran pretty well considering the pitiful smog HP numbers back then. Mid ''80's offered a Riviera T-Type with a turbo V-6, but no memory of its performance. Just some things for our comrade overseas to consider if the lines and drivetrain are other wise attractive and not set on a Cady.
 
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The 1983 had the HT4100 (4.1 liter) engine. It is terribly under powered.
The diesel was no better.

Here is a clip from Wikipedia.

"In 1982, Seville offered heated outside rear-view mirrors with an optional rear defogger. Inside, a "Symphony Sound" stereo cassette tape system was available. The previously standard diesel engine became an option with the introduction of a new 4.1 L (250 cu in) HT-4100. This engine had a number of reliability issues, such as weak, porous aluminum block castings and failure-prone intake manifold gaskets. "

Head gaskets where also a problem.
Well the one that is for sale in my area is the gasoline engine variant.

Based on the responses above and more on Cady's engines of that model, I'd offer one of the wisest decisions would be NOT to consider any Eldorado/Seville from that gen. On the other hand the OP would do well to keep an open mind with the '79-'85 E-body Buick or Toronado. The 403 in a friend's '79 Toro performed well, and I really enjoyed the Rocket 350 Olds in my '80 Riv. I had 2 other Rivieras with the 307 Olds offered later and both ran pretty well considering the pitiful smog HP numbers back then. Mid ''80's offered a Riviera T-Type with a turbo V-6, but no memory of its performance. Just some things for our comrade overseas to consider if the lines and drivetrain are other wise attractive and not set on a Cady.
If I there was a Riviera or a Toronado for sale in my area I would go for it but currently there is a only an early 80's Seville and Eldorado.
 

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Anytime I've read a similar question the consensus is the question isn't whether or not the HT4100 will go bad it's when...meaning they will all go prior to what most people consider as normal. In addition it seems to be a fact that the HT4100 is less rebuildable.

That said if you buy it with the idea that you will need to change the engine when it goes bad and you adjust the price accordingly it would be possible to install an Olds small block in the Seville. All of the parts needed existed in the Toronado and the Riviera (1979-1985). You will need an entire set of brackets. They do not necessarily need to be from an E-Body Riviera or Toronado but having a Riviera or Toronado would make it easier.

I personally cannot stand the look of the "bustle back" Seville. I think the Toronado/ Eldorado and Riviera are much better looking cars. The Toronado and Riviera will have much more reliable engines once the Seville/Eldorado moved to the HT4100. If you find an E-Body in great shape please do not sacrifice it to save the Seville. Any set of Oldsmobile brackets with the AC compressor on the passenger side, alternator on the driver side should work. The fan shroud is a question. You will need to get engine mounts, should be replaced anyway, and you will need to at least rework the AC suction/discharge hose assembly. None of that should be that challenging. The radiator shroud might be a question but without trying it I wouldn't guess. The left/right position should be correct but not certain about the up/down location and not certain about the distance from the radiator. There's also an axle support bearing/bracket which may be specific. I'm not certain how close the similar bracket is for the HT4100.

Where in Eastern Europe are you?
Scott
 

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1984 Eldorado Biarritz, 1983 Sedan deVille
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You will have far more problems with every other 40 year old piece of equipment on that car before the engine that has powered it for all that time gives you trouble. For that reason, 40 year old cars tend to be horrible daily drivers...though I suspect if you’re asking this question, you’re in for fit over function :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Anytime I've read a similar question the consensus is the question isn't whether or not the HT4100 will go bad it's when...meaning they will all go prior to what most people consider as normal. In addition it seems to be a fact that the HT4100 is less rebuildable.

That said if you buy it with the idea that you will need to change the engine when it goes bad and you adjust the price accordingly it would be possible to install an Olds small block in the Seville. All of the parts needed existed in the Toronado and the Riviera (1979-1985). You will need an entire set of brackets. They do not necessarily need to be from an E-Body Riviera or Toronado but having a Riviera or Toronado would make it easier.

I personally cannot stand the look of the "bustle back" Seville. I think the Toronado/ Eldorado and Riviera are much better looking cars. The Toronado and Riviera will have much more reliable engines once the Seville/Eldorado moved to the HT4100. If you find an E-Body in great shape please do not sacrifice it to save the Seville. Any set of Oldsmobile brackets with the AC compressor on the passenger side, alternator on the driver side should work. The fan shroud is a question. You will need to get engine mounts, should be replaced anyway, and you will need to at least rework the AC suction/discharge hose assembly. None of that should be that challenging. The radiator shroud might be a question but without trying it I wouldn't guess. The left/right position should be correct but not certain about the up/down location and not certain about the distance from the radiator. There's also an axle support bearing/bracket which may be specific. I'm not certain how close the similar bracket is for the HT4100.

Where in Eastern Europe are you?
Scott
I am in Lithuania, appearance wise of the car I am in favour of the unique rear end as it makes the vehicle look very quaint in my opinion, if I find a Riviera or a Toronado I'll go for that in a heart beat but so far there's no luck.
 

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I don't know about Lithuania specifically, but in most (all?) of European countries, doing engine swaps are either outlawed or an administrative nightmare. The "grey card", equivalent of the car title, lists most of the characteristics as weight, HP, displacement, number of seats, outside colour, etc.
Changing one of these characteristics leads to having the title changed and an inspection will be conducted, you'll have to show homologation certificates for everything that is not stock. And you can't hide it because you have mandatory safety inspections at regular intervals.
I put better brakes (the PowerStop kit with bling-bling drilled/slotted rotors, yeah I know) on the Seville. Nope, no way. Had to buy plain rotors in emergency to pass as the maker did not have a certification sheet that certifies these are conform and made for a 1992 Seville.
So yeah, if OP bites the bullet, he may have to stick to the HT4100.
 

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Joel,
I don't know the rules in Lithuania either but the annual inspection where I lived, Poland, was a functional safety check. They had a functional brake check to make certain left and right were consistent. They perform it for the back and front separately. They also check the shock absorbers. The equipment is sophisticated with a dyno-like drive driving the wheels. A computer program determines if left/right and capability are in an acceptable range. They check the all the lights and aiming of the headlights. They go underneath and do a manual/visual inspection of the steering and suspension components. It actually felt like you really went through something to ensure your safety compared to at least what's done in NY (OBD computer hook-up, lights, wiper blades, obvious visuals and pulling a couple of wheels to look at the brakes). In Poland I don't believe they were ever required to verify the engine. The reason I say that is a friend owned a car which was honestly and accidentally registered with the wrong engine (different available engine for the same year). It makes a big deal for taxes, due to displacement, and it makes a big deal when trying to sell it, but it was never an issue during inspection. Those are of course functional experience versus written experience. It would be interesting to know the written rules.

Purple,
It seems like you would need to research the rules specific to Lithuania. That "Bustle back" is certainly unique. It's polarizing for most people; either love or hate. I've had 3 Toronados ('2x '79 and an '84) and 2 Eldorados ('79 and '84). None of these cars will be common in Lithuania; they aren't even common in NY anymore. Most people think my Toronado must be a Cutlass. I have an '83 Olds Delta 88 and someone told me nice Monte Carlo. That brings me to another point to consider: Body/Model specific parts are nearly impossible to find for "oddball" cars. They simply are not supported by the aftermarket. If you buy a Chevelle, Camaro, or Mustang you can essentially buy the entire car sometimes down to the body shell (Chevelle and Camaro at least). It's sad because a lot of these "oddball" cars were really unique and cool but people gravitate to the vehicles which were initially more popular and once parts are no longer available it makes things much more difficult for those of us who wanted or liked something different.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't know about Lithuania specifically, but in most (all?) of European countries, doing engine swaps are either outlawed or an administrative nightmare. The "grey card", equivalent of the car title, lists most of the characteristics as weight, HP, displacement, number of seats, outside colour, etc.
Changing one of these characteristics leads to having the title changed and an inspection will be conducted, you'll have to show homologation certificates for everything that is not stock. And you can't hide it because you have mandatory safety inspections at regular intervals.
I put better brakes (the PowerStop kit with bling-bling drilled/slotted rotors, yeah I know) on the Seville. Nope, no way. Had to buy plain rotors in emergency to pass as the maker did not have a certification sheet that certifies these are conform and made for a 1992 Seville.
So yeah, if OP bites the bullet, he may have to stick to the HT4100.
Well one of my relatives there swapped a Volkswagen Passat B3 engine for a Seat engine so I do not believe there should be any issues regarding swapping engines.
 

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I am keen on getting a luxury malaise era American car as my first car and I found a decent condition 83' Seville for sale, I would like to also say that I do not live within the U.S. but in eastern Europe so I assume parts maybe a difficulty.
Any old Caddie is a wise choice for driving for the pure pleasure of driving a classic. However, there will be constant challenges driving and parking. I say go for it.
 

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Any old Caddie is a wise choice for driving for the pure pleasure of driving a classic. However, there will be constant challenges driving and parking. I say go for it.
Wise choice for owning*
Not necessarily daily driving...

My 1st car was an 82’ Eldorado, and even 24yrs. ago it wasn’t exactly a smart decision of mine to pick that as my 1st car and daily driving it.

But for someone to attempt that today, with a nearly 40yr. old HT4100 under the hood, it’s seriously only a matter of time before it completely implodes. Most would consider it a small miracle that it’s lasted 38yrs.


Don’t get me wrong, I still have a soft spot in my heart for those cars, but the only way I’d buy 1 today would be if I had a garage to put it in, because that’s exactly where it’d spend about 90% of its time. And I’d have new engine money set aside just waiting for the inevitable day.



But there’s no way in hell it’d be my only car/daily driver in the present day.

P.S. There’d be absolutely no challenges “driving and parking” the car...
 

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Guess I should clarify. I say "go for it" provided this car is NOT your only means of transportation. I love old cars, especially the big gas hogs, but you have to be realistic. A 40-yr.-car, classic or otherwise, will spend lots of time sitting in the garage while your less-than-ten-yr.-old Subaru gets you to work.:D
 

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Robroy,
That last link for the bronze colored Seville is really nice looking and that's the RWD car and only RWD Cadillac which ever had the Olds 5.7L. In my mind that car would be the clear choice. It has the 70's Cadillac EFI but there is still quite a bit of knowledge regarding that system.

I have a retired colleague who loves the 5.7L Diesel but those were never highly regarded. He has 2 of them. He knows them well and can work on them. Many were replaced under warranty with a "Goodwrench" engine. If it has been replaced it will say "Goodwrench" on the valve cover. Outside the USA I would think parts are even harder to find and it's not easy here so I would avoid that car. The other 3 are really large cars compared to the Seville the OP was originally looking at. Those older '76 - 79 Sevilles have a look which seems to have survived time quite well.

Still doesn't change the fact that you should have a back-up and I'd hate to see that bronze Seville driven in the salt of winter.

Scott
 
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