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1986 Fleetwood Brougham
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is a follow-up to my older questions listed here.

It's been nearly five (5) years since my engine blew. Many of you gave me great advice back in 2010, and sadly I have just let my car sit until I could save the money up to get it back on the road. Five years later, costs and labor have gone up, but I continue to cut back on my living expenses and save cash (the Dave Ramsey way). At least now . . . I am debt free!

I am leaning toward replacing the 307 engine with another 307, instead of going with a 350, LT, or something else. My thinking is . . . my wife and I don't drive that much, but we could take a few long trips knowing that a 307 will get us better gas milage - because we don't need power as much as economy. When the car was new, we got 28mpg with the AC on. Before the engine stopped, we got 20mpg at 225,000 miles. (Driving 55 on the roads and not gunning it really paid off)

In the older thread it was mentioned that keeping everything the same size, etc, means in-and-out and less custom hookups . . . and maybe less labor. This is attractive to me, unless someone can add more input.

When I visited the Cadillac dealership recently, they said the 307 is no longer available new. And with Cash for Clunkers, there appears fewer choices that have missed the scrap heap.

What's more, I should replace or rebuilt the transmission, right?

And what are your thoughts on the Electronic Qjet carburetor? It's never been touched, and am not sure if a rebuild kit is the answer or a rebuilt or a new one?

The cost of a 307 appears to be around $900 plus several hundred for shipping. Someone did mention I could go with a 350 and buy local, get a scrap rebate, and save shipping . . . but am unsure about that choice and all of the unknowns of labor, hookups, conversions, and other items.

And last . . . it appears my wife and I own a somewhat rare package . . . known as the triple-black with the tuck & roll leather (which may help keep the value decent for many years to come):







(I guess I could also use some encouragement since last time here)
 

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2014 ELR
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Your car is beautiful, and certainly worthy of a re-power. If it were mine, I would consider ordering a complete 350 OLDS long block from a local parts store, and using your original engine's accessories on it.

For example:

5.7 350 V8 R - 77-80 R Type Original Olds engine, A.I.R. holes in head, 4 hole A.I.R. pump in head. Will replace 1980-84 307 Olds DO01 $1,990

http://remanufactured.com/Oldsmobile_engines.htm
 

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chevy 350 powered 86 FWB, 00 safari h.t. 66 toro, 83 lesabre
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6,397 Posts
I'd go with an olds 350 or 403 (after finishing my Chevy 350 swap, even with a complete engine, it nickels and dimes you on the piddly stuff since you can't reuse your accessories).
If your transmission has not been rebuilt at some point, I would recommend rebuilding it or sourcing a low mileage take-out.

Whereabouts are you located?
 

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84 Coupe w/500
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5,665 Posts
Whoa, thats nice. With that car, that package and your needs, I'd rebuild the current or order another just like it. If the power is enough for you, I bet it rides like a dream. That motor is a really smooth running motor and if you get rid of that crossover pipe with the new motor, you'd get even better highway mileage. Or....you could sell it to me:)

Can you post a hi rez shot of the two front interior shots? I could use a new screensaver, lol
 

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1983 FWB (Mac), 1981 SDV (Junkyard Dog)
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734 Posts
I would have to agree with Jay. That is a rare and stunning car that you have and if it were to be re-powered properly, it will last you a lifetime. That presupposes that you really like the car and want to keep it. If it were mine, I would go with a built 350 Olds and I would have a trusted automatic shop rebuild the T200 trans. Art Carr (http://www.cpttransmission.com/ ) says that that trans can handle up to 1000 HP if done properly with all the latest bullet-proof parts and re-install it.
I will be faced in the coming months or years with the same circumstances that you are facing now with my 83 FWB, which is the best car I have ever owned and one which I will have until I am in the box and being lowered into the other side of the grass.

Cheers..............R.
 

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1979 Sedan deVille d'Elegance
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4,153 Posts
Beautiful car! Is the 403 a relative of the 307? If so, and if you can find one, I would think that would be a splendid choice! Glad the car is loved by you and that you have been patient enough to keep it in your life plan! Good luck! :)
 

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1980 Eldorado, 1974 Talisman, 2004 Volvo C70, 1975 Fleetwood 'd Elegance
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7,963 Posts
As the very happy owner of a 307 powered 87, I would find another 307 and just put it back in.

I have been very happy with the performance of the engine driving in a slightly spirited style as I do.
I personally would have no use for any additional power and have enjoyed the 18 MPG it has given me.

Can the larger engines give that MPG? Probably, but not if driven the way I drive my 307. And, if I had a larger engine, I would be "in it" even more so it would just cost me more.

I don't know what condition the cars are that people have driven with the 307 and found them to be dogs. I had a dog. (HT4100)
At the CLC Museum Grand Opening in Sept of last year I drove a fellow forum member and two others on a night of bar hopping, and about half way through the forum member and multiple Cadillac owner even commented on how well the old 307 got up and played.
Will I be making a trip down the quarter mile? No, but a perfectly good engine for my needs.

There are 307 Cadillac's hitting ROW 52 every day, if mine ever goes, I will either rebuild, or wait for a local one to hit the scrappers.

BTW, that is a beautiful Classic Cadillac!
Get it going again and drive the hell out of it!
 

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70 Deville 77 Fleet 78 Seville 92 Deville 03 Deville
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3,310 Posts
WOW! what a beauty. Your Caddy is one of the few Broughms/Fleetwoods that actually has some resale/collectible value. I think a new 307 would be the best investment if you really don't need more power. Those 307's have enough power for normal driving. If it was mine, I would put in whatever engine I wanted because I would never think about selling it. I have seen a couple Beautiful 80's Fleetwoods that I almost pulled the trigger on but they weren't anywhere near as nice as yours. That black is so classy. I am going to hold out for a black one now. Has that ever been repainted or is your garage like a museum?
 

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87 Brougham, 1969 Calais, 95 FWB, 07 SRX, 07 ESV
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4,246 Posts
If you don't care about power, I'd say get the original 307 rebuilt to keep it all original. Locally here it's around $1000 to have one rebuilt but I'm not sure about where you are.
You can probably even get them to do the removal and install for you for a little extra.

As for Transmission, it depends. I'd start by dropping the pan and adding a filter and some fresh fluid. It doesn't sound like you abused it at all so the internals should be OK but you'll probably know more once the pan comes off.

The quadrajet on these cars are really nice. You'll be hard pressed to find a better suited carb. I've never rebuilt one though...I did order a rebuild kit and have to admit i was too intimidated to perform the rebuild after seeing the kit. lots of small parts. I ended up ordering a rebuilt one.
 

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2014 ELR
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What is exactly wrong with your "blown" engine? Anything can be fixed. Well, unless you threw a rod through the side of the block.
 

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87 Brougham, 1969 Calais, 95 FWB, 07 SRX, 07 ESV
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4,246 Posts
Original post says this:
"My 1986 Fleetwood Brougham with 225,000 miles developed a stuck thermostat, overheated the engine, and blew the primary water hose. Got it towed, mechanic replaced hose, but said it was not running on all 8 cylinders. I drove it home (barely) coughing and spewing a lot of blue smoke, and stalled at every stop sign."

probably a blown head gasket? Maybe some other damage from driving it home in that condition? With that many miles a complete rebuild would be in order anyways. I'd go for it...or at least have it torn down and see if it's rebuildable. Since it didn't seize up it should be.
 

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84 Coupe w/500
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5,665 Posts
Yep, since it sounds like a blown head, I'd rebuild the current motor. The saved money could go towards a tranny rebuild if needed.
 

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2014 ELR
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It's all cast iron, overheating rarely damages an iron head or block. If it's just a head gasket, it's only a couple days of work, and the minor expense of a top end gasket kit.
 

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1986 Fleetwood Brougham
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks so much for both your encouragement plus your ideas.

Some answers and questions:

* My wife I purchased the car new in 1986 from Martin Cadillac in Los Angeles with a discount. Funny though, living and working in Newport Beach got me to call a closer dealer in Santa Ana . . . and the sales manager refused to give any discount (even though my dad had bought from them over the years). As if to add grease on a fire, he said he could easily get $5000 above window sticker! One call to Martin Cadillac (which at the time was the largest selling dealership in So Cal) . . . cinched the deal.

* When the droughts and taxes got too much for us, we moved to Western Montana (just south of Glacier National Park). Nearby Kalispell, Montana is the local hub with an international airport. Although we have a few yards for used engines, it seems there is a daily truck that delivers to repair shops from the yards in Spokane, Washington.

* I had a cylinder check done on the car a few years before it stopped (from a Montana Cadillac Dealership) and although some of the cylinders were getting real low - it continued along.

* We were returning from a rural trip on a warm summer day (with the AC on) . . . and the idiot light (red engine light) went on. I pulled over to the only gas station for miles . . . kept the engine running, turned the AC off, popped the hood, and added water to the over-flow container. I may have pulled the radiator cap off after a few minutes . . . or maybe not, can't remember. But I do recall adding water - but I was surprised it did not take much water.

Got back in the car, red light is now off, put AC back on, and continued down the road for another 20 miles when the red light returned. Turned AC Off, and slowly lost torque until the car could do no more than 15-20 mph - which I noticed "white smoke" or something like that. Pulled over completely, engine died, and a lot of white vapor was seeping through the hood. By the time I got out of the car . . . KA-BLAM - a huge "explosion", so I thought, from under the hood.

Once I opened the hood I could see there was a huge hole in the radiator water hose. It appeared the thermostat was not working and perhaps had starved the engine of water.

Auto Club towed the car to a nearby garage (not dealer) . . . and replaced the hose. The engine started, but huffed and puffed blue smoke (I think) . . . and felt like it was running on 3 cylinders as I tried to lump it home. Horrible experience.

* One garage said he is not sure if the engine is too far gone until he actually opens it up. (I don't recall hearing anything like "rods going through the block"). I am sure head gasket is gone, but the blue smoke and the feeling of running on 3 cylinders may be something to worry about.

Question:

You've heard it before . . . how to choose a mechanic? We do have a quality dealership here (Essinger Cadillac), but am unsure of whether their current mechanics would even feel comfortable with working on an 86 model overhaul. I would hate to pay someone to learn on my money and make mistakes.
 

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1980 FBC
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3,164 Posts
Cooking an engine with high miles would point me in the direction of simply getting a rebuilt unit form a reputable outfit.
 

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84 Coupe w/500
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5,665 Posts
Ape has a point, it's a well worn engine may need a bore and valve guides to tighten it up again. But your mechanic is right, you won't know until you take the motor apart.

I still vote to get another roller cam 307, they just run so quite and smooth and have the power you need.
 

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1991 Cadillac Brougham D'Elegance 5.7 Litre, 1994 DeVille
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6,796 Posts
Go for a rebuilt 307. You could go 350 or bigger but that will also affect your gas mileage. Changing to a different size engine isn't going to affect the value of the car especially with that mileage. It's not an ultra rare car.
 

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81, 87 and 95 Fleetwoods, 89 Brougham
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305 Posts
If 350s are equipped with the roller cams as our 307s, go for THAT. Most are happy with a 307, but not satisfied when a bit more power is needed. I would do a 350, good torque cam, intake, and dual exhaust. Excellent machining and quality parts are at your expense, and the 350 will still look like a 307.............
Nice Cadillac. We have identical interiors:)
 

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1990 Brougham, 1990 Brougham d'elgance 1979 Coupe
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1,196 Posts
If the current engine is rebuildable bore it out to .030, that will give a touch more power.

Im all about original, and I really liked all the 307 Broughams Ive owned.
 
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