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hello all,

new to this forum and cadillac in general but i do appreciate classic cars in general.  recently, been toying with the idea of purchasing an 84' fleetwood coupe.  i have done extensive research and can find no  silver lining regarding the engine.  apparently it is a catastrophe waiting to happen.  also no good engine swap options.  can anybody provide some perspective on whether this is a fool's dream?  i grew up with this car as a kid and am nostalgic, but need something that is halfway reliable.  thanks in advance.

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In that circumstance what you do is plan for success.  Shop carefully for a well preserved example.  Keep an extra rebuilt engine ready to swap in.  Then if you do have an engine problem, you have it covered.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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I agree, find an engine builder that can remanufacture a 4.1 for you, see this link there is a 4.1 for $1900. 

http://remanufactured.com/Cadillac_Engines.htm

Here is another place

http://www.hiperformer.com/cadillac-parts.html

Here is a 82 to 85, $1300 written up,

http://www.hiperformer.com/engines/cadillac-fleetwood-rebuilt_engines-gmc_250mlb_3.html

 

 

 

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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i agree completely with your thought on planning for success--my concern is just that the 4.1 seems to be universally, poorly regarded.  would it make sense to rebuild the same engine that appears to be so troublesome?  i tried to find info on engine swaps, but apparently the longitudinal design in the 84 makes this difficult.  not sure if there are different head rebuild options that might work--seems like the aluminum block and iron head mismatch is the real issue.  thanks!  just trying to get some ideas.

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I just tried to call the high performer link above and reached a fellow who picked up the phone and was really nasty.  As soon as I started inquiring about the 4.1 engine on HIS site he became defensive telling me he hand not done a 4.1 in years.  His web site is obviously out of date with the 4.1 and even cadillac info and he has incapable of acting like a business owner rep and has no interpersonal skills.  Avoid 

Sorry I couldnt help

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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51 minutes ago, sn66p said:

thanks for the effort.  i appreciate it!

I would look into whether the 4.9 powertrain could be installed.  The biggest problem is the PCM and electronics and wiring and getting it integrated into the car..  not easy.

Unless you find a good 4.1 I dont think you have many options.  

Take a look at the 91 fleetwood coupe that comes with the 4.9L a much better engine.  It may not be your 84, but it will get you there in a similar vehicle with better mechanicals

http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/cad1990/cad91f.htm

 

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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A 4.9 will not work - that was only set up for a front drive, transverse mounted car.  The interface to the trans is in the wrong location for a RWD car.

If the HT-4100 is in good operating condition, change the oil, keep the coolant changed every 2 years and use the GM cooling system sealer pellets or the Bars Leaks Golden Seal which was REQUIRED in all the 4.x engines due to wet sleeve engine design and you will be fine.  Most of the horror stories on those engines were really due to lack of maintenance and as we know that is ALWAYS the engine's/car's fault, never the owner's...

We had a HT-4100 in a '85 Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance and it went well over 250,000 miles before the car was sold.  A family friend had an '84 Coupe DeVille and he sold it with 172,000 on the odometer and it was still running fine.  The only real complaint I had was that it was underpowered for a full sized car but it got great fuel economy.  At the time it was developed, fuel economy was the priority.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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thanks for all the replies everyone.  it's a shame about this car--not too many options in a smog state like california unless the cutoff for "classic" cars is changed at some point in the future.  i think you summed up the major maintenance issue khe--i just wish that there was a good option or fallback "in case of".  rebuilding this engine seems like a waste of money if catastrophic failure occurs.  that is the real mindworm for an ocd guy like me.  i like definitive solutions for problems.

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Again I made the mistake that the HT4100 Fleetwood was front wheel drive, sorry about that.

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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1 hour ago, BodybyFisher said:

Again I made the mistake that the HT4100 Fleetwood was front wheel drive, sorry about that.

There were two versions - one for the RWD cars (and the FWD Eldorados and Sevilles with the longitudnally mounted engines and another (transverse mounted) for the '85-'87 FWD cars.  All subsequent 4.x engine variants were transverse FWD only.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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