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Provenance of my 1997 ETC

Cadillac Jim


I'm a car enthusiast, and my 1990 Grand Am GT Quad 4 HO was aging, with 80,000+ miles and seven years, interior and exterior plastic body parts were cracking, and I wanted to trade it in. I went to a Chevrolet-Cadillac dealer to buy a 1998 Corvette but was unable to penetrate the Chevrolet people's way of doing things with Corvettes. While I was trying, I cooled down browsing the STS and ETC examples on the Cadillac side. The Cadillac people were very aggressive, with several 1997's on the lot and the 1998's out for a week, and they kept shoving money across the table until they found my threshold. I picked the ETC, a color -- gray or blue -- and options -- all of them -- all they had available with all the right factory options within delivery distance was this Dark Cherry with 18 miles on it (out of gas; they put 1 gallon in them at the factory). They put in the dealer-installed sunroof and OnStar and I took the car in October 1997.

The color grew on me quickly. It's deep red from a distance, but up close in the sunlight it has a deep cherry red glow that you won't see anywhere else. It has every available option except heated windshield, seats, and engine block; these are hard to get in L.A. in a dealer stocked car, and I had only mild regrets about one, the heated seats, and I got over that pretty quickly. This fine car became my daily driver.


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I have been very, very happy with this car from the first few seconds behind the wheel. After 10 years I still love to get behind the wheel of this car every day, consider it rock-solid reliable, am king of the road in freeway commutes -- courteously and legally, and still get 23 mpg on trips, when my wife is in the car to inhibit my lead foot. There is no question in my mind that, within a couple of years, I would have grown tired of the constant tire wear worries, suspension tuning, and inappropriate attention from idiots of a 1998 Corvette.
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I agree. I am very happy for you. I can really feel your enthusiasm especially towards this car. I wish you good luck in the maintenance of your car. I'd love to hear the modifications that you've put into it.Thanks
I love this replacement engine assembly that I saw last week.
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Only after I started using the FSM (Factory Shop Manual) and my experience to help others on Caddyinfo did I fully understand my car. Everything is done over a computer network. The server is the IPM (Instrument Panel Module) and everything else reports to it. Sub-networks include the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) which includes the transmission control module, and the ignition control module, and the platform module (chassis computer) which includes the ABS, electronic stability, traction control, and automatic leveling. Once you understand the network, then you understand the diagnostics that provide the first things to look at in any maintenance or repair situation. The OBD II codes give you all the information that a detailed overall inspection would in, say, 1 1959 Chevrolet Bel-Air with the 235 cid inline OHV six-cylinder with iron-case two-gear Powerglide transmission -- but the electronic diagnostics tell you much, much more.

My database includes 558 OBD II codes for the body, 226 for the chassis, 995 for the powertrain, and 90 for the network. It's a rare situation when simply reading the codes doesn't tell you more than anything short of a teardown.

The up side is that careful tuning of DFI through a PCM that is integrated -- or at least designed to work with -- cruise control, automatic overdrive transmission with torque converter lock-up, and the chassis, suspension and tires, can provide a combination of fuel economy and performance that would be dismissed as impossible a few decades ago. My Northstar has 300 hp and weights 355 pounds. My 1959 Chevrolet had 135 hp (150+ hp with 261 cam and head, aftermarket carburetor) and weighed about 800 pounds. My goodness.
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