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1996 Fleetwood
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Discussion Starter #1
I've just joined the Cadillac Forums just for fun and as a source of knowledge for keeping up with the 1996 Fleetwood we
just picked up this past weekend.

We slipped over from west central Texas to Monroe Louisiana to pick up the one-owner car which had been traded in
at the local Toyota dealership there. We figured it was worth a trip as it was advertised to have 63,000 miles (64,000 by
the time we saw it) and the new car dealership had seen fit to place it into inventory rather than to wholesale it which
would be the typical fate for a 19-year-old trade-in.

We'd been a very satisfied owners of a 1996 Buick Roadmaster since November of 1996, our second, the first being
a 1994, but the old red "Roadblaster" needed a lot of TLC to really look slick again and then there was the 268,000
miles staring out at the driver.


Taken a few years ago while on a visit to our son who was stationed at Twentynine Palms, California.

We really enjoyed the big Buicks. Handling, ride, and acceleration were heartwarming. They were trouble-free and
surprisingly economical to operate, getting as good as 28.5 on long-distance, strictly highway road trips, 19 in town.
We'd really hoped to find another low-mileage Roadmaster and continue the relationship for at least a few more years
before capitulating to front-wheel-drive V6 cracker boxes.

Instead, the Fleetwood showed up in searches and appeared to strike the best balance for low-mileage, price, and
reasonable distance away. We were given a bit more for the worn Roadmaster than we expected, the dealership saying
that if it made it from the Abilene, Texas region to their lot then it had to be worth something. They also came
off on the Fleetwood so the final deal proved gratifying.

The '96 Fleetwood behaves much like its '96 Roadmaster predecessor only it drives tighter than our high-mileage example
did. A close check of fuel economy from Monroe, Louisiana west on I-20 to Cisco, Texas found the car getting 24.2
which was fine considering the several side jaunts we made along the way that briefly took us off of the Interstate.

The black wall Wranglers were off-putting so some white walls were installed locally after we returned. These were P225/75s
rather than the original size as supplied when new. We'll see how they work out. I was reluctant to drive off and leave
a perfectly good set of four of the P235/70 white walls on the Roadmaster. Those tires had been discontinued by the time
we wanted to buy again.

This Fleetwood is pretty well first rate, only having some minor fixes required. The power door switch on the driver's door
has come loose. It may still be accessed but one must poke his finger into the door to do it. The factory CD player is
dead. These CD players must have been duds from the beginning for ours died a slow death over several years time in
the Roadmaster. Some nuisance lights were burning and didn't go off during the trip home: the "check engine" light, the
"traction control" light and the one having to do with the ignition key. A trip to the garage just today remedied the "check
engine" light during an oil and transmission fluid change as well as a tune-up (they forgot to look at that door lock switch).
Appearance wise, the car is first rate, inside and out. Color checks out to be called "Medium Marblehead Metallic." I haven't
found online what the interior is called.

With an aftermarket CD player, and something done about those idiot lights, we should be able to enjoy this LT-1 equipped
Fleetwood just as much as we did our beloved red Roadmaster which we still pine for just a little this week.

Some photos pulled off the dealer's web site. Perhaps, when I can clean it up well some more photos can be posted.










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I had some difficulties with computer compatibility and the Forum. Maybe I'll figure it out next time. The lines in the above post are "whopper-jawed."
 

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1995 SEDAN DEVILLE-4.9 & 1978 SEDAN DEVILLE-425
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1,673 Posts
Mr

Great looking Fleetwood---the last generation of the "true" long bodies! 225".
Welcome to the forum!
 

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1979 Coupe deVille, 1995 Sedan DeVille (sold)
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1,846 Posts
:welcome:

I'm glad to see you took care of those tires right away. Blackwalls just do not look right on these cars.

I've always liked those Roadmasters, too. When they first came out, I was driving a '78 LeSabre. I was so excited to see Buick was building a true full-size car again. Too bad it didn't last long.
 

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87 Brougham, 1969 Calais, 95 FWB, 07 SRX, 07 ESV
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4,246 Posts
great looking car! My 95 is that same color but she is now being cannibalized for parts.

If you plan to do any work on the car yourself it's strongly suggested you get a set of factory service manuals. Lots of people here have copies of them, too, so if you have any questions just ask and I'm sure someone will be happy to help!
 

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1993 Fleetwood & 1993 Chevy C-1500
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18 Posts
Looks just like my 93 same colors and all. i opted for a 93 to avoid the LT1 opti spark woes I have heard so much about from people on other sites, here and my local mechanics. I would like the extra 80 HP. :)
 

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96 Fleetwood, 94 Fleetwood, 07 CTS, & 94 Caprice Wgn
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632 Posts

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1996 Fleetwood
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks all for the warm wishes and good tips already garnered.

Do like silverfox103's similar car with the chrome version of the wheels. I'd thought about finding some and doing a swap myself.
 

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1996 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham
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4,414 Posts
Welcome, a pleasure to see these cars floating around
Happy Weekends and Fathers Day as well
 

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1995 SEDAN DEVILLE-4.9 & 1978 SEDAN DEVILLE-425
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1,673 Posts
Welcome, a pleasure to see these cars floating around
Happy Weekends and Fathers Day as well
It really is a pleasure to see these generation Fleetwood`s floating around.
I saw 2 of them last week on the roads locally and they are awesomely huge.
 

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94 Fleet Bro, 64 Deville. Past: 72 Sedan, 68 Coupe Deville
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587 Posts
It nice to see that these cars are still in demand! Congrats on your purchase! GM really did a great job on building such solid reliable cars with the D-B platform, obviously the Fleetwood is the best version of the platform. Question? How does the Fleetwood compare to your Roadmaster?

A little off topic here, but I had to throw this out before I forget Lol.

Although I love my 94 Fleet, sometimes I feel it rides a little too stiff for a Cadillac, going through 3 different set of shocks hasn't helped either. All shocks today are geared towards tight handling. So to everyone here that owns a Fleet, if you notice, the front and rear sway bars are rather thick which contributes to the harsher ride compared to the older Cads from the 60's-80's, and doesn't allow for much suspension travel which is critical for a comfortable ride. If you remove the REAR sway bar in particular, the ride softens up quite a bit in the back, but you sacrifice handling and increase tire wear on turns. It's not too bad though, just go slower, but it did make a big difference in ride quality especially when going over potholes and bumpy streets.
 

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2003 deville
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604 Posts
Remove the sway bar for a softer ride, ummmm what? Thicker sway bars don't give a rougher ride and simply removing a sway bar won't help anything except to increase your chance of an accident. Also the springs have gotten stiffer overtime too not just shocks. I've had mine disconnected to go about half mile to replace broken end links. Rode the same handled terrible. Yes if say you hit a pothole it only is absorbed by that wheel. But going around corners or if you need to swerve good luck. Shocks do tend to soften after a few months. If you change bushings use OEM or rubber/hybrid not pure urethane and you should be happy.
 

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1990 Brougham, 1990 Brougham d'elgance 1979 Coupe
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1,196 Posts
Remove the sway bar for a softer ride, ummmm what? Thicker sway bars don't give a rougher ride and simply removing a sway bar won't help anything except to increase your chance of an accident. Also the springs have gotten stiffer overtime too not just shocks. I've had mine disconnected to go about half mile to replace broken end links. Rode the same handled terrible. Yes if say you hit a pothole it only is absorbed by that wheel. But going around corners or if you need to swerve good luck. Shocks do tend to soften after a few months. If you change bushings use OEM or rubber/hybrid not pure urethane and you should be happy.
Its free and it only takes a minute to lower your tire pressure to 28 psi.

THe 90s cars do ride a little stiffer, but in return you get a whole lot more road "feed back". I like mine.
 

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1996 Fleetwood
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I'm tickled pink with the ride and handling of this new Cadillac Fleetwood just as it is. Feels like our Roadmaster did ... back in the late 1990s when it had far fewer miles. All these big rear-wheel-drive GM cars display surprisingly great handling if pushed a bit. I've seen terms bandied about like "drives like a pig" but never found it so and don't baby the cars either.
 

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94 Fleet Bro, 64 Deville. Past: 72 Sedan, 68 Coupe Deville
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587 Posts
Remove the sway bar for a softer ride, ummmm what? Thicker sway bars don't give a rougher ride and simply removing a sway bar won't help anything except to increase your chance of an accident. Also the springs have gotten stiffer overtime too not just shocks. I've had mine disconnected to go about half mile to replace broken end links. Rode the same handled terrible. Yes if say you hit a pothole it only is absorbed by that wheel. But going around corners or if you need to swerve good luck. Shocks do tend to soften after a few months. If you change bushings use OEM or rubber/hybrid not pure urethane and you should be happy.
Yes, the thicker sway bars doesn't allow for the control arms to fully compress for a longer travel which is important as the wheel/tire has more surface area to absorb from bumps, especially in the rears. When I removed mine, the ride got much smoother and softer compared when the sway bar was installed. A Thinner sway bar that are on Town Cars would be the perfect balance of ride softness and control, but Cadillac definitely was gearing this generation of it's cars towards more firmer handling, so they did so by beefing up the bars.

With the removal of the rear bar, the handling suffered for sure, as it feels like the rear tires are sorta dangling back there. But I've gotten so used to the ride already that I left the rear bar in my car parts storage for kicks! I can always reinstall it, it's not hard just 4 bolts mounted under the axle shaft and lower control arm.

I replaced the upper control arm bushings a few years ago, they look ok, and aren't messed up. I spray WD40 on them here and there so they wont squeak and hopefully allow for more flexibility of the arm. So far so good.

Tire pressure does matter, but 28 psi seems a little too low, but I'll try it out and see how the car rides.

Congrats again!
 
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