Parking brake pedal rusted - still hanging. can't find a functioning replacement.
PS squeal - fixed by changing to Valvoline Synpower, $2.50x2 on sale.
Exhaust manifold gasket on right side was blown (standard 472 problem). replaced it myself and had the manifold fixed in a machine shop due to extreme pitting, $50.
It fried my old medium-size battery in 2 starts. I bought the biggest longest-warranteed battery the store had (65 series) for 50$ and replaced rotten battery cables for 17$.
Automatic climate control did not work at first- fixed itself, but sparks when switched around.
Heater still not even warm - probly the heater core is clogged.
Steering pulls right slightly - currently trying creative tire pressurization.
Clonk from the rear suspension - all rubber is good?$?
Rear springs sag badly when air shox are deflated. I am planning to replace them with fleetwood-75 springs so I won't need air shox.
Typical land-yacht creaks, rattles, and squeaks. rusted roof under the vinyl top and right fender behind the wheel. I sealed the roof leaks with windshield glue, black Permatex sealant, and Permatex glass sealant.
Passenger power seat is shorted. on driver's the switch works intermittently.
Cruze and auto-leveling are long-dead.
Power windows need help going up on cold days. I spray the linkage with lube once in a while to alleviate this.
Fuel level sender does not work. I simply refill every 200-250 miles. I drove 250 miles in-town once and did not run out of fuel.
Fender skirt busted off. this is a standard cadillac event. can't find a replacement.
My car attracts onlookers wherever I go; because it looks like a giant metal coffin that's been dug up for forensic re-examination, hahahh. Even after thorough scrubbing and washing its cheapo green repaint coat is covered with dead mold on horizontal surfaces. That just comes with the territory. It actually looks cool that way, my friends dig it. I sprayed chipped spots with Permatex rust-killer right away.
It has a massive cradle-style hitch welded on. they were all the rage in the 70s. it drags on steep driveways with a trough, but protects the nice bumper. new 75 springs should help against such bottoming-out. ground clearance is a problem on this car due to long wheelbase. I keep to paved roads. at one point it had a brake controller and the wires are still there. it has a large trans cooler as well.
THM400 was rebuilt 26K miles ago. I was told the engine was rebuilt 75K ago, but there is no receipt in the folder of paperwork. the receipts detail all kinds of repairs since the 1980s. couches and headliner have been reupholstered and look great. I dig the cool-car smell. most of the important things work on this car. It has HEI conversion and bigger chrome open air filter.
Considering all the mechanical repairs I bought this car for pennies on the dollar - 375$. The guy already had a 500 in his Lemans, daily MPFI mustang, and a Gremlin project-on-hold (too narrow for 472), so my cadi went whole.
Under-hood layout seems inefficient. Things are crammed together randomly. It should look 1/2 empty considering the sheer volume of the compartment. exhaust manifolds are hard to R&R, exhaust pipe fries the starter, engine mounts are buried, steering gear box is hard to get at. It was designed for profitability.
I the last few years I'v owned a few turbocharged 4-bangers. Acceleration of this Cadi is nothing to brag about - it is a led sled. it sounds vicious and rips hard off the line through the first gear... that's it. My previous '85 saab turbo sedan would run circles around it. I also drag-raced my friend's late-model scion and no cigar. (he was lighting a cigarette as he drove away after ~35 mph :) (The only reason I sold my Saab is stiff spine-destroying ride, it was the best otherwise). Nevertheless this car is awesome to drive.
Steering on this car is loose compared to anything modern. So I learned to steer proactively.
I am a pilot and driving this car is a lot like flying - it requires constant minor corrections, smooth control inputs, and planning ahead.
Rough driving would not only break your wallet at the pump, but also the guard rail and the trees down below.
I drove through a weigh station and measured 5220 lbs. And 11.4 MPG highway at 45-53 mph. Around town it gets 10. Terrible fuel economy is not a problem for me because it is parked most of the time. I ride a bicycle to work. I fill up every ~3 weeks for 60$. The novelty is unaffected yet :)
This is not a good car to hurry anywhere. This is a great car to realize that you only live once so why not take a nice day off and go gliding down endless 2-lane blacktops, enjoying fresh (or ACd) forest air. work can wait :) peel-out ad lib.
This car is the best for long road trips. A cup holder is not necessary because it is drivable with 1 hand. Basically I just sit on the couch and enjoy the 3D movie on glass screens with soundtrack of my choice - it has a tape player, with 2 speakers!
The trunk is rather flat compared to anything modern. I bring flat cash :)
A magic carpet ride may be only a fantasy, but a magic cadillac road trip is certainly still possible!
23rd Oct 2006, 00:20
Regarding the described road trip:
11.4 mpg was mostly uphill into the mountains. going back down the other side (same distance around) it made 19 mpg. of course these figures don't average-out. I would guesstimate highway mpg around 13 while light-footing. I found and old receipt under a seat from a road trip to the coast (over hills) with 12.3 mpg calculation.