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Discussion Starter #1
I want to know what kind of miles you all have on your fleetwoods, and what kind of problems there are. I just got to thinking about this last night when I was driving the fleetwood with 36k. It has never missed a service interval, and they are usually done early. I have heard these are really reliable powertrains.

I could never picture the FW with something wrong with it!!
 

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I've been involved with Cadillac's for over 22 years and when it came time for me to buy one of my own, I had NO CHOICE which Caddy to buy. IMO, the final iteration of the Fleetwood was (and is) the best. The LT1 did great in our fleet. Absolutely the most reliable engine we ever had (with the exception of the Olds 307).
There is absolutely nothing needed for this engine other than a timing chain and gears at about 140K miles to get it to well beyond 200K miles. We had literally hundreds of these engines between '94 and '96 and I can tell you that most were never replaced during our ownership (which usually lasted 250K miles).
The only issue we encountered routinely was cracked right side exhaust manifolds, broken exhaust manifold bolts, and oil fouled #8 plugs that were caused by a leaking intake manifold seal. There were the occassional distributor failures, coil failures, etc. but overall, the engine was a reliable, powerful beast.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
how reliable do you think they are in comparison to other cars, ie lexuii (pl lexus), the northstar, and other V8s in that time frame.
 

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The 4.9 Caddy motor is a great motor, the 4.6 Northstar gave us more trouble than I would've thought it should. During my time in the business, we ran the following:
Cad 472
Cad 425
Cad 368
Cad 4.1
Cad 4.6
Olds 307
Chevy 5.7
During my time there, the Olds motor was the best, followed by the LT1.
Comparing it to other engines outside GM would be tough.
 

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My 1994 Fleetwood has 87Ks on it.

The engine has never betrayed me. It runs just fine. My car let me down only twice: batteries and fuel pump sending unit. Nothing to do specifically with engine itself.
The down side of them is, according to my mechanic, that you have to tune them every 60-70K miles, which is extremely laborious and wallet-thinnig procedure. Same with starters, water pumps, and cap and rotor.

So, on the final note, given the proper maintenance, the LT1 is great.

P.S. By the way, I believe what my mechanic says because he drives the car with the same engine as mine (not a Cadillac, though).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thats great information. It basically sounds like the wear and tear items are the ones that go out. I didnt know that the LT1 still uses a distributor (most use coils over the plugs right?)
 

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The LT1 has what is called "Opti-Spark". It's a distributor mounted right on the front end of the camshaft. It is under the waterpump. You can get a cap/rotor kit for it but you'll need "special" tools to take it apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Now what is the use of doing that?? Making it so normal people with normal tools cant get to it??
 

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The LT1 is cool as long as you don't go the route I did. then reliabilty is shot the hell out the window. I can't say I've had serious engine problems but more accessory problems. Alternators, water pumps, starters, ignition... oh, and multiple tranny failures. My car has around 110K miles on her. There's 2 times she's left me stranded, once was when I completly demolished the tranny. The other was when the water pump went. Otherwise I've always been able to at least limp her home. As long as you don't crack the motor open it'll run for ever. Hell, mine still sorta runs, it just argues a lot :D.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Do you thinkt the LT1 or the 4.9 is better??
 

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elwesso said:
Do you thinkt the LT1 or the 4.9 is better??
Do you think a Lear is better than a Cessena?
 

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kcnewell said:
Do you think a Lear is better than a Cessena?
I'd go with the Lear. Cessna's and ALL those other little pieces of flying tin are just plain dangerous.

Oh wait, you weren't being serious? Sorry dude ;)

As for the LT1 vs. 4.9 question, even though the 4.9 was a great motor, I still think Cadillac has a REAL POOR track record when it comes to aluminum engines. They can't build one worth a damn! I'll take my iron-block LT1 any day ;)
 

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Yeah, Kev's right, they can't build an aluminum engine to save their butts! Oh wait...mine's aluminum...Mine's got 115k miles and hasn't even had a valve cover off it...Mine even runs circles around stock Impala SSes (and stock Fleetwoods). Damn aluminum engines. ;)
 

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Don't get me wrong here...I like my 4.9 and it runs really good and has taken to the mods I've done on it really well. But it was never intended to be modified and there is virtually NO aftermarket for it! The LT1 is a different story entirely and it's kind of like comparing apples and oranges...Traditionally (Last 30 years or so) Cadillacs have been out of the hotrod limelight and were considered to be for a more sedate crowd. That is changing, What remains to be seen is whether there will be enough of a market to support aftermarket goodies for these engines.
As to which one is better? They're to different in fact to be compared they were designed for different uses and believe me when I say that Cadillac had NO IDEA that anyone would ever hotrod a 4.9 when they introduced it.
 

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jadcock said:
Yeah, Kev's right, they can't build an aluminum engine to save their butts! Oh wait...mine's aluminum...Mine's got 115k miles and hasn't even had a valve cover off it...Mine even runs circles around stock Impala SSes (and stock Fleetwoods). Damn aluminum engines. ;)
I KNEW I'd get an answer like that! And I was pretty sure it would come from you Jason.
Like it or not, Cadillac's track record speaks for itself. They have yet to build an aluminum engine that didn't have major problems. The 4.9 is the only one they did that was actually pretty good, but that was just the final itteration of the HT4100. As is so often the case, just when they get something right, they discontinue it. You can bet the final year or so of Northstar production will fianlly be a great, trouble-free engine. But it will most likely NOT be in a car you'd want. The latest/greatest car will have an ALL-NEW engine with ALL-NEW issues.
 

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Unfortunately.....That's probably true! Let's hope they break the trend...
 
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