3rd Oct 2012, 14:47

6 liters is not a small engine for a car that weighs a little over 4,000 lbs. It was just in those days, the engines were way too detuned with emissions equipment. The huge Cadillac 500 c.i.d. with something like 7.5 liters I believe had less than 200 HP; that is well below what most modern V6s can muster. I have a Buick Enclave that weighs close to 5,000 lbs, and it doesn't have horrible performance with a 3.6; a larger V8 would be better in this application however.

4th Oct 2012, 16:47

The 500 CI motor was 8.2 litres.

24th Jan 2013, 16:41

I also need to know how to disconnect the 8 6 4, and make it 8 on my 81 Fleetwood 6.0 with 400 turbo.

15th Apr 2013, 09:28

That option was not available until 1981; you are not missing anything, they were a headache unless disconnected. Once that was disabled, it basically was a regular 6.0 litre 368 cubic inch motor, which was a pretty good one.

I owned a 1980; it was my first ride way back in 1989. I loved the car, it was a terrific first car, better than all my friends' T-birds and Camaros of the mid 80's. I've been hooked on Caddys ever since, owning 7 or 8 more!

Currently I have a 1960 with 49,000 miles on it. Cadillac is the king of American cars, and one of the coolest styles is the 1979-85 Eldorado, which is still in style with class, even in today's world, if you are lucky enough to still own one!!

So as far as some minor issues go, keep fixing them and keep an iconic part of history alive.

15th Oct 2014, 03:40

Don't be afraid of this car. It's the last year a Big Block V8 was ever put into a Cadillac.

A simple wire disconnects the variable displacement system, and then the car will drive on 8 cylinders all the time (I recommend doing this).

The car needs premium fuel and has balls when the accelerator is punched.

1979, 1980, and 1981 were the only good years for this body style Eldorado. The 82-85 models should go directly to the scrap yard.

It's not easy finding a well documented low mileage 79, 80, or 81 Eldorado, as most people drove the doors off them.

They are well built, heavy, and you feel safe when driving it.

If you want a great Cadillac that's beautiful and fun to drive, don't be afraid of these cars.

I have a white 1981 Biarritz with dark blue interior and the dark blue roadster top. It's stunning. I purchased it with 56k original documented miles, with all the service records and the window sticker. With the purchase price, servicing the car, and painting the hood and trunk, I'm all in at a tad under $15k. Think about this, the car new was $22k, and I have an absolutely gorgeous classic Cadillac for under $15k.

I have no doubt these cars will be valuable down the road, as fewer and fewer with low mileage will be available.

I recommend the car with great enthusiasm. Don't be afraid of it!!

16th Oct 2014, 13:25

A "Big Block V8" that makes only 140 HP and 265 lb/ft of torque on premium fuel?


16th Oct 2014, 18:54

It was 1981 and they were trying to meet CAFE standards. That's why everything had low horsepower back then. It was a different time.

17th Oct 2014, 00:03

I'm sure the HP figure for the 500 after 1971 wasn't much better. Don't know the figure off hand though.

17th Oct 2014, 21:38

Yeah, that's also why in 1982 they were pretty much forced to rush the junk HT 4100 into production.

The only way the 368 could meet CAFE standards was with the troublesome cylinder deactivation. Like somebody stated above, disconnect it and you had a great motor.

17th Oct 2014, 23:41

Just checked. In 1976 the 500 c.i.d. engine was rated at 190 HP.

19th Oct 2014, 22:24

Yes, but the torque was prodigious and you never had to rev it over about 1,800 RPM. Smooth quiet power - I miss the good old days.

20th Oct 2014, 23:04

1972 & 73 - 235 HP @ 3800.

1974 - 210 HP @ 3600.

1975 & 76 - 190 HP @ 3600.

27th Dec 2014, 08:15

Yep, a common problem seen from holding it in cruise control. I had that happen when I was test driving the car.

26th Jul 2017, 02:35

Could you tell me how to remove the v864 system from my 81 Cadillac Sedan Deville?

8th Jun 2018, 03:31

Hi, does your 79 Eldorado have a 368 cubic inch engine or is it a 350 Oldsmobile engine?


8th Jun 2018, 13:32

The 368 wasn't available until the 1980 model year. This goes for all models.

7th Jul 2020, 02:34

Hello, I know I’m a couple years late, but I just came across this same issue with my Caddy diesel.

The solenoid on the starter is the general GM starter solenoid of the era; problem with it is it’s not designed to take the power of two batteries and it will eventually melt itself or weld itself together. You can buy the solenoid separately at a parts store for the fraction of the cost compared to a starter.