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Discussion Starter #1
Hey brand new to Cadillac cars, but Im ready to learn

This is whats going on:

This car is a 1971 Coupe DeVille has 472ci engine with 146,xxx original miles on car. It has a pretty good radiator leak, and the usual transmission rear seal leak. Its got one bad rust spot but no door dings or dents to be seen. The motor seems to run nice, no rough misses. The vynal top is shredded, needs one new tire, has a cracked windsheild, the interior is 40 years old and shows it. And when it runs for more than 15 minutes the alternator light comes on.

But the electric windows still work, new dual exhaust with glass packs, new water pump.

Ill post some pictures, the guy wants $800 for her, and that seems fair but I really dont want this car to nickle and dime me. I just want to fix the obvious, and daily drive it.

So what are the common things, what needs to be asked of the seller, would you buy this car and daily drive it? What else?










 

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1978 Coupe De Ville, 1993 Fleetwood
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One great thing about these cars is that parts are cheap. I'm sure an alternator would not cost much, 15" tires are cheap, and the motor, if it runs well now, will probably continue to do so. One really bad feature of these cars-gas mileage is awful. I had a 71 Coupe in college in 1981, and it was in mint condition, with only about 65,000 miles on it. Around town it got less than 10 mpg. It was properly tuned, ran great, and had lots of power. But boy did it like the gas. $800 for a good running car sounds like a deal, but depending on how much you drive, it could make you go broke.
 

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chevy 350 powered 86 FWB, 00 safari h.t. 66 toro, 83 lesabre
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Would I buy the car? Depending on the shape of the frame and floorpans, yes. Would I daily drive it? Probably not, because I'd go broke paying for gas. It obviously needs some attention, especially the rust on the quarter and fender. Trunk pan looks decent enough though. Alternator probably needs replacement. 800 is an ok price. I'd see about haggling it down some though (because you could probably get it for 100-150 cheaper).
 

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1980 Eldorado, 1974 Talisman, 2004 Volvo C70, 1975 Fleetwood 'd Elegance
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Howdy cowboy, :cowboy:

Full disclosure, I love those years of Cadillac and the coupe you list is beautiful. I would buy it for a daily driver if it checks out OK, but I am learning disabled that way.:cookoo:

Without knowing your skills with working on cars it is hard to say. If you can with the guidance of this forum and a service manual, do the work your self they are not bad to keep running. The crew here can talk anyone who is half a mechanic through just about anything. If wrenches aren't your thing, pass.

As to the car itself, it looks pretty decent for the money. I see two completely different sets of photos, first on a road with tires holding air like it was put in park and photographed. The next set not on a road, flat tire, and snow on the ground. So, the question is, which of those two cars is $800? If it is the first one, cut the mattress open, run over there with the money and snap it up. :getaway:
If, as I suspect, it is the second then it is more complicated.

Why is it sitting? How long has it sat? Was it prepared at all for the inactivity? Those would be the first questions. Being pulled into a field and parked for a long time is not good on a car of this age. Getting them on the road again can bring up a lot of little problem to attend to.

Either way....:welcome:
 

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1989 Brougham d'Elegance, 1985 Fleetwood Brougham *Coupe*
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$800 is more than reasonable for that car...

As for it the money pit aspect; unless you can live with leaving it in that condition, a car like that will nickle and dime you to death. It wouldn't be too expensive to get it in driver condition (not entirely reliable, but not a junk heap), but once you do, all of things that are wrong with it are going to get worse. Overall, to get the car as a reliable daily driver, you will probably throw more money at it than it will ever be worth; you'll need to fix all of the leaks, get new tires, and probably service the suspension before it would ever be dependable.

The good thing is, after you make it a daily driver and put more into it than you can ever hope to get back, you'll have a great car that just needs some cosmetic work and routine maintenance.
 

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84 Coupe w/500
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Seems like a decent buy. For a daily driver, I would put the exhaust back to normal, the engine will love you for doing it and will run so much better. I would not buy it if I couldnt drive it for those 15 minutes first, at least let it run for a while. Do you work on cars?
 

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'66 SDV, '76 FWB, '80 Hearse, '71 Riviera & '75 Chevy RV
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$500.00 would be my top offer. I don't think you'll have much competition. That way you'll have a bit of wiggle room to turn it into an ~$1000.00 driver. Parts are cheap. That car would be a fun driver, albiet a fuel hog. Also make sure the brakes and lines are fuctioning decently. Really stand on the pedal before you buy it. I backed out of a '93 FWB deal this fall: while looking the car over after I applied *just* above what would be considered firm brake pressure and I blew the line right there in the guy's yard.

I can't imagine painting that fill cap & air cleaner green. That's just awful. Keep the duals. The class is all in the exhaust *exit.* On a Cadillac of this era, the less exhaust pipe you see, the better. Nothing would add trash-value to this car like slash cut boom tubes or straight pipes out the back. Put some subtle turn downs and enjoy the mellow sounds and lush acoustics of having your exhaust note deflect of the ground.

As an aiside:

The trunk pic clearly displays the difference that 1971 & 1972 GM full-size cars have compared to '73-'76: a totally flat trunk floor underneath where the spare tire tire is normally stowed. '73-'76 has a hump. This reflects a gas tank with a large hump on top containing the sending unit, as opposed to a flat-top tank, with a flush sending unit.

A person can't buy a new '71-'72 full-size GM gas tank, unless they find one NOS. They can buy a new aftermarket '73-up style gas tank. I learned about this difference the hard way...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow I didnt expect to get so many replies so fast!

You guys bring up some good points, Ill do my best to answer them.

Ill start with me, I am a college student working on my last year of school. I do have pretty devent mechanic skills, but I have spent most my time in the diesel and tractor world. I do have lots of people that I can use as resources and my Dad works at a parts store, which helps alot.

The reason why I want it as a daily, is I'm half helping a friend and half looking for a project. My poor buddy rolled his truck and only had liability and needs a ride mostly for weekends and short trips. I have a pickup that I drive (gets about 14 in town and 17 highway). So we would be sharing it till summer gets here and I drive it 7 hours home.

I did account for the gas these beasts take, a 472 isnt something to scoff at ;) but that could play a factor on how much it sits.

Speaking of sitting the pictures are the same car! The first ones got me in the door the second set made me re-evaluate how this is going to work. the first set of pictures were takin in September and the next set were takin two days ago. The guy has been starting it regularly, but hasnt been driving it do to the radiator leak. Thats how the tire gave up.

I do agree with brougham_geezer that $500 should be plenty, and hopefully with another $100 bill, I can start driving it around. I do eventually plan on getting it in good shape, but I dont have to much of a problem driving it as is. Maybe get that carpet changed out, it looks pretty gross.

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Oh and Thank you for welcoming me to your forum!
 

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1980 Eldorado, 1974 Talisman, 2004 Volvo C70, 1975 Fleetwood 'd Elegance
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One thing you won't have to worry about is having access to an active community! We are a speedy bunch.:burn:
There is a great group here, with their knowledge, your skills, and your dad's connections, sounds like a green light to me! :D
Good luck dealing and be sure to start a project thread if you get it. It will help the next guy take those scary first steps.
 

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1989 Brougham d'Elegance, 1985 Fleetwood Brougham *Coupe*
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There isn't much difference between an old car and a farm tractor (in actuality, I'd expect a diesel tractor to be more sophisticated than that Cadillac). Once you address the immediate issues, I would say the car would be perfect for what your friend needs, but I wouldn't trust it for daily use until everything has been fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So I havent bought the car yet, waiting on the cash.

But what other year of Cadillacs can I get a new fender off of? What years interchange with other parts on the car?

And I want to take the vinyl off since its ripped to shreds how do I do that?

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Also what are other things I should replace right off the bat? Like I figured alternator, batteries, fuel filter, (oil is fairly new in it), air cleaner (what is a good aftermarket air cleaner to replace that green thing?) It has new plugs and wires, maybe a belt or two? Shocks are probably bad. What else?
 

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chevy 350 powered 86 FWB, 00 safari h.t. 66 toro, 83 lesabre
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flatbedcowboy said:
So I havent bought the car yet, waiting on the cash.

But what other year of Cadillacs can I get a new fender off of? What years interchange with other parts on the car?

And I want to take the vinyl off since its ripped to shreds how do I do that?
The vinyl should pull off if its that toast.
IIRC caddy used the same fender from 71-73 (and maybe until 76?) I don't recall if they changed the fenders when they went from round to square lights
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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[/COLOR]Also what are other things I should replace right off the bat? Like I figured alternator, batteries, fuel filter, (oil is fairly new in it), air cleaner (what is a good aftermarket air cleaner to replace that green thing?) It has new plugs and wires, maybe a belt or two? Shocks are probably bad. What else?[/QUOTE]

What is the biggest/widest tire I can fit under the fender skirts? Also are more people running white walls or just blacks? I may think about getting a set of Hoosiers with the big white letters.
 

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1989 Brougham d'Elegance, 1985 Fleetwood Brougham *Coupe*
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The biggest I would go is 235/75R15, and white-walls would be preferably.
 

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chevy 350 powered 86 FWB, 00 safari h.t. 66 toro, 83 lesabre
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[/COLOR]Also what are other things I should replace right off the bat? Like I figured alternator, batteries, fuel filter, (oil is fairly new in it), air cleaner (what is a good aftermarket air cleaner to replace that green thing?) It has new plugs and wires, maybe a belt or two? Shocks are probably bad. What else?
What is the biggest/widest tire I can fit under the fender skirts? Also are more people running white walls or just blacks? I may think about getting a set of Hoosiers with the big white letters.[/QUOTE]
I would replace the belts and hoses, coolant, shocks, battery if it's old, tires, check out the brakes.
If you want an air clenaer, just not a green one, I'd repaint the factory air cleaner to gloss black. might cost you $10 in paint and sandpaper. Rustoleum makes some automotive enamel. I'd try that. It's $5 or $6 a can.
 

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1979 Sedan deVille d'Elegance
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This is like asking alcoholics if you should have a drink. We're all pretty much enablers here, buy the car and have fun - it looks like it has potential and I love it!
 
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