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1995 Eldorado ETC worth the resto?


allenew

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Hi All,

My first posting here after being a lurker for a very long time. Have been a Caddy freak all my life and am so glad to see a discussion group like yours. Lots of invaluable info up here! My first car was a 1963 Coupe de Ville, and later a 1967 Eldorado. I'm running a British SUV currently and also have a 94 GMC Silverado.

What brings me here now is my current plan on picking up an Eldo ETC. If any of ya are bored tonight and feel like reading or commenting, I'm leaving plenty here for you!

Like alot of folks, I watch EBAY constantly for what's out there and what you get for the cash expenditure. I've sort of made up my mind to locate a Diamond White or Shale model and have had some luck outside of Ebay. If the photos attached will take, you can see what I drummed up this afternoon. I'm thinking of making a lowball offer on it. Can't decide. I already located another identical to this (but it's a '96) for $3800. It has 160K on it, but is mint all the way through and totally maintained.

The one here is a 1995 ETC, owner is looking for $3500, but ain't gonna get it (not out of me, anyway). It's only showing 103K on the odometer. Paint, body, tires and general exterior are actually quite nice. I'm in Arizona, so you know how hot it gets out here...which makes the car's interior another story. A good cleaning will restore the carpet and rear seat to a nice quality. Two Front seats are hard as rocks and leather is totally dried out. Not the nice plush seats I remember from driving one of these brand new back in '96. Passenger window is stuck all the way down the door and is supposedly in pieces. I can get hold of a new window glass, so am not concerned about it. Window motor still works. The leather is what concerns me. Can't find a pair of these seats in this color anywhere. Am sure I can probably get a new set of covers from Cad dealer at extortionist price, though. The inside really needs a complete scrubbing down to put it back up to snuff.

As of yet, I have not run carfax on it or gone back over to see it again and run the codes. Underhood, it is missing the Northstar beauty plate over the intake. The engine runs very strongly--and I mean it ROMPS when you get on it wide open. No sign of oil or other fluid leaks anywhere. Brakes are starting to squeak. warm idle shows around 1000 rpm.

I think a backyard mechanic worked on the cooling hoses himself. They look new-ish, but they're not routed the way they should be from factory. Head gasket closest to firewall looks like it might be newer. At idle for over 20 min, dashboard temp reads as 207. Driving this thing with lever in regular "D" position, everything's fine. Start off with lever in 1st and shift into 2nd manually, and there is no change until it's back into "D". No noise, no drama or anything. Just no change up. Solenoid / relay, maybe? Positive battery cable insulation is being eaten into by the v belt pulley. Cable is simply not run to the right location or harness and it rides right next to the pulley...

Dunno what to think. To be a 3500 dollar car, the interior really has to be sorted. Not to mention the potential tranny issue. Any of you have thoughts on price? I think $2000-2200 is probably optimum considering all.

PHOTO LINK:

http://new.photos.yahoo.com/dustyslad/albu...460762391648001

Thanks for reading--hope to join in on the discussions here soon.

Allen E

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Leatherique works very well on petrified leather (best I've used), however, those seats need to be recovered.

There are too many nice Eldos out there to waste your time on this...

Hey, Thanks for the reply. That's sort of my thought already anyway. Just thought this might be a fun project if the price was right.

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There are too many nice Eldos out there to waste your time on this...

Absolutely Agree. I've put well over 2 grand in parts and tires into mine, and it was in incredibly good condition to start with.

Take your time and find a nice one.

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There are too many nice Eldos out there to waste your time on this...

Absolutely Agree. I've put well over 2 grand in parts and tires into mine, and it was in incredibly good condition to start with.

Take your time and find a nice one.

Yeah, sounds like the right way to go. I've got a super low mileage (43K) '97 Land Rover already and I judge every Eldo I see by the minty condition of my current car. No reason for something so nice as an old ETC to look like a toilet inside. But I do cringe everytime I think of the $2500 brake job I had done on that SUV....and that's why I've been thinking of a semi-project Eldo on the cheap.

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Is it worth it in terms of money? Probably not in the immediate sense; if you buy a 95 ETC for $3,500 and put $1500 into it, it will not then sell for $5K, but likely for only what you paid or less.

Is it worth it in the can you pick one up and drive it for a year or two and enjoy the heck out of it? Probably. I'd have a mechanic check a car before I bought it, and carfax, but probably.

To restore an older Cadillac to like-new it would be better to start with a more rare Cadillac, and lower miles, and very well maintained. I would look for a 89-92 Allante; before the Northstar engine got added in 93 the prices are less. Maybe a 95/96 Fleetwood Brougham, RWD with a small block chevy LT1 engine. I really enjoyed my 96 STS, but it was not an inexpensive car to maintain (except compared to my current CTS new car payments!)

For under $4K I would look for the best car you can find for around $5K-6K then offer $4k...

Bruce

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Is it worth it in terms of money? Probably not in the immediate sense; if you buy a 95 ETC for $3,500 and put $1500 into it, it will not then sell for $5K, but likely for only what you paid or less.

Is it worth it in the can you pick one up and drive it for a year or two and enjoy the heck out of it? Probably. I'd have a mechanic check a car before I bought it, and carfax, but probably.

To restore an older Cadillac to like-new it would be better to start with a more rare Cadillac, and lower miles, and very well maintained. I would look for a 89-92 Allante; before the Northstar engine got added in 93 the prices are less. Maybe a 95/96 Fleetwood Brougham, RWD with a small block chevy LT1 engine. I really enjoyed my 96 STS, but it was not an inexpensive car to maintain (except compared to my current CTS new car payments!)

For under $4K I would look for the best car you can find for around $5K-6K then offer $4k...

Hey, thanks. Tonight I'm hearing alot of what is already in my head, so it's nice to know everyone here is of the same mind. I figured for $2k-ish, I could probably have fun with it, but definitely not profit with a resale. Have already set myself a $4,000 purchase limit for an Eldo. There are loads of 'em out there and deals can be had.

I did also stumble on a nice 89 Allante with Hardtop this week. $3K will buy it, but I am just not sure about those for many reasons. And I HATE digital dash display systems. Problem with that particular Allante is that it had 235,000 miles on it and runs now on a replacement engine. Things have been worked on in that car's engine bay and I don't know by whom. Allantes are not every mechanic's forte...but it is in beautiful condition otherwise. Oh--this is off topic: saw your username profile and we share a birthday. Happy belated!

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A 95 ETC for $3,500 with only 103K on it is not bad provided it doesn't have any major problems. Did you ask the owner if there are any trouble codes? If the leather can be restored and the body is in good condition then I could see spending $3,300. Even on ebay you won't find many low mileage Cadillacs for less than $3,500. A Cadillac that has about 100K and less I would consider low mileage if it's about 10 years or older. On ebay right now there is an AZ Eldorado for sale with 83K miles for buy now price of $6,950.

Welcome to caddyInfo.com.

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I had the driver's seat cushion rebuilt in my '94 Eldorado two or three years ago. They replaced the center panel and outboard side bolster and rebuilt the cushion springs. The cost was about $200, if I remember correctly. Based on that, I'd guess it would cost $750 or more to restore the seats in the picture (depending on how many panels are actually salvageable). You could show your picture to an upholstery guy and get a pretty good estimate very easily. The seat cushion springs in that car are also broken down (it's a very common problem with those cars).

When you pencil this project out, bear in mind that there will almost certainly be things the car needs that you'll become aware of after you buy the car. Be sure to allow for that.

A word of caution: Cadillac suspensions can be very expensive to work on. Shocks and struts for that car could set you back a small fortune. Be sure to evaluate the ride very closely before you buy it.

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Happiness is owning a Cadillac with no codes.

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I had the driver's seat cushion rebuilt in my '94 Eldorado two or three years ago. They replaced the center panel and outboard side bolster and rebuilt the cushion springs. The cost was about $200, if I remember correctly. Based on that, I'd guess it would cost $750 or more to restore the seats in the picture (depending on how many panels are actually salvageable). You could show your picture to an upholstery guy and get a pretty good estimate very easily. The seat cushion springs in that car are also broken down (it's a very common problem with those cars).

For $799 you could purchase a complete set (front & back) genuine leather OEM replacement seat covers from Auto Interior and Upholstery.

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