14th Jan 2004, 15:58

This isn't so much a comment as much as it is a question. I have a 1983 Eldorado. It has the 4.1 throttle body injection. When accelerating slowly or cruising there is a significant amount of rattle from the engine. Like "pinging" however, it is far worse than that. Also, there is a knock that is very evident. Now I understand that the knocking could be coming from a wrist pin, or connecting rod or even the fuel I'm using. The pinging / rattling could also be fuel. I have tried 5 different gas stations and every different grade of unleaded at each of them. Does anyone know of some defect that may be causing this problem. The ride and comfort of the car are phenomenal. However, this engine noise is enough to make me get rid of it.

Help if you know what it is. Thanks.


11th Feb 2004, 10:30

I just bought a used 83 Eldorado. It is absolutely the best riding car I have ever owned. Everything works well except the Radio. I have been getting about 15 MPG. It does seem a bit under powered, but is faster than my 300D Turbo Mercedes Benz. I think the best feature of the car is its ride. The worst feature seem to be some mysterious oil leaks which may be coming from the valve covers or the pan.


19th Feb 2004, 00:20

My boy recently purchased a 1983 Cadillac Eldorado Biaritz. It needs to have the heater core replaced. Do you know a reasonable place in Portland, Oregon to get this done. Most quotes have been running in the $500-$600 range. Thanks.

20th Mar 2004, 04:09

While I live in the Midwest, I've found small dealers in places like the phone book offer competitive prices and I didn't have a heater core to deal with, but I did buy a GM service manual and kept it even after selling my Eldo because I knew I wanted the convertible version and still do. The HT4100 can muster 100+ MPHs though it takes a minute at least to get up there ;:~) I've done it to watch it read out on my digital dash. Mine had a Bose system switched that didn't take into account the backwards wiring from front to rear and the speaker/amp configuration with low watt ratings... Something else to be aware of, you can use the speakers, but by pass the amp... they won't be perfect though.


28th Mar 2004, 19:51

Have a 1983 Eldorado... LOVE IT!!! Its in near perfect condition with a repaint due to the horrindous painting GM did in the 80's. I just took it on a 500+ round trip excursion in one day... performed well, but now overheating. It has not run hot for any length of time as I stopped as soon as the coolant temp light came on. It has a new thermostat, but I noticed that the belt to the water pump seems to have more slack than I would expect, and more than all the other belts. No leaks and plenty of fluid. I am confounded as to the problem. Does anyone think that the loose belt is the problem?...even though the pump is turning at idle speed.

28th Jul 2005, 19:54

From my experience most pinging noises that come from those engines are caused by the build up of carbon in the cylinder heads. The ping is actually a secondary spark. This is more annoying than destructive. the 4.1 and 4.5 engines from GM did this. But the 4.5 is a much better setup. Most 4.1L engines should be junked because of the poor performance. Low horsepower + big clunky car = dead 4.1L engine. Sorry folks.

19th Dec 2005, 21:41

In reference to your loss of power. I have an '83 Eldorado and had the same problem. It was fixed by an old mechanic for Cadillac. There's a part in the distributor that had to be changed, and that fixed the problem. If you still have the problem, e-mail me at Rickylen@AOL.com, and I'll find out exactly what has to be done.

My car has only 69,000 original miles on it, and I love the car. Yes, it's underpowered, but who cares. I use regular gas and baby the car whenever I drive it, and get no less than 21 mpg and up to 26 on the road.

5th Feb 2006, 23:59

Sorry guys, I owned 45 Cadillacs, and the 4100 from 1982/1985 is a total nightmare. It's a great looking car, but you may want to buy a 1979/1981. Same looks, much better engine.

4th May 2006, 14:25

84 Eldorado, 4.1 V-8. I am in the process of changing the water pump. However, this necesitates removing the power steering pump or at least the pulley. How is this accomplished? The pulley has no bolts on it, it just has a 3/8 inch hole in the center which is a hex pattern.

5th Jul 2006, 14:11

I also have an 83 Eldorado and I've come to the conclusion that the ht4100 v-8 was one of Cadillac's biggest mistakes. I've had nothing but problems with this car. I'll drive my 67 Eldorado more after the headaches associated with this car. Everyone that has one - good luck.


16th May 2007, 08:03

For the owners of the 4100 low performance engine, try installing a high flow exhaust system.

I put a Flow Master on my wife's 1984 Eldorado and what a difference it made on the cars acceleration.

You won't regret it.

22nd Nov 2007, 15:11

As many know the HT 4100 is a poor engine and it developed many problems due to GM's failure of proper testing. One of the common problems is the combination of an aluminum block and cast iron heads that create coolant leaks mixing with the oil.

Many confuse a knocking noise as a timing/fuel related issue, but most of the time its worn bearings due to lubrication issues. If the knocking gets to this point the motor is done. This seems to be what happens to all of them.

3rd Mar 2010, 20:45

I've got an 84 Eldorado Biarritz aluminum hardtop, and I have the same issue with the dead spot while accelerating. The majority of the problems with this 4.1 crap-8 is poor ignition (i.e high resistance), the coolant mixes with oil because of an aluminum block and cast heads. Overall it has 76,000 miles, and the engine is the first thing on the list to become a Chevy 350. I just repaired a head bolt, did all the top end gaskets, and the water pump and thermostat.

9th Apr 2010, 02:08

I just picked up an 83' HT 1400, and flushed the engine and the radiator, and had the 125,000 mile tune-up. However I'm still getting a light vapor like smoke from the AC vents when I'm driving it. I think it's a little bit of freon left in the system, but the AC is broken. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'd really appreciate it thanks.

26th Jul 2010, 00:53

I owned an 82 Eldorado which I bought new.

There are many nice features in this car. Unfortunately most of them did not continue working.

The 4100 engine is probably the worst engine in the history of cars. Under warranty, Cadillac replaced the crank shaft and cams at separate times. The knocking noise created by the crank came from the crank knocking on a part of the block because the block was not cast correctly (according to the dealer).

The electronics were the worst. Nothing in the information center worked correctly on a continuous basis. The daler just looked at it and wrote on the repair order, "could not duplicate." They would not repair or replace under warranty.

The gas mileage was good. The car overheated when going up long grades. The head gasket developed a leak systematically and you need to add the GM sealer to prevent water and oil mixing in the engine.

I am very frustrated about the quality, it is the last Cadillac I ever bought and will never buy another.