1985 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham 4.1 from North America

Summary:

Love it

Faults:

The car sat for almost 7 years and was driven less than 3000 miles in 7 years. I bought it from a friend for 1000.00, and started it and drove away. The only thing I find wrong with the motor is it hesitates on occasion.

I drove it 500 miles to the coast for Thanksgiving and it only used 110.00 in fuel. The gas gauge is broken, but computer says it got 16.5 to the gallon. I like it; a comfortable ride and a perfect interior.

General Comments:

Great car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th November, 2014

25th Nov 2014, 00:20

I hope you know what you have gotten yourself into purchasing an HT4100 powered 80's Cadillac - especially a heavy rear wheel drive one. That engine is the worst engine ever put in a Cadillac. Even worse than the 350 diesel.

The HT4100 is known for the following major failures: camshaft, timing chain, main rod bearing, intake manifold gasket, head gasket, and oil pump. The only advice I can give you is change the oil every 3000 miles, flush the antifreeze and use the very important cooling system sealant annually. The sealant is available at any GM dealer. Never let it overheat and keep your fingers crossed.

This engine was not even intended to be put in a heavy RWD Fleetwood Brougham. They did it to meet CAFE standards for 1982. Cadillac geared this car real short because the engine was so low on power and torque. It's geared at 3.42:1 so the engine is always revving high up the RPM range; therefore the engine is constantly being overworked and tears itself apart over a relatively short period of time - similar to a 60s Volkswagen. The average life expectancy of a HT4100 is 80,000-100,000 miles. Good luck.

26th Nov 2014, 19:22

Is it possible to replace the lousy 4.1 liter with a nice 307 Oldsmobile V8, such as powered later Broughams?

27th Nov 2014, 14:15

It's possible and relatively easy to do. However since you are choosing Oldsmobile power, I'd recommend a 350 or 403 (preferably a 403 if you can find one). The 307 is another CAFE engine and is best suited in a 3600lb car i.e. Cutlass or Toronado. They are underpowered in large GM cars.

When GM redesigned their large cars in 1977, they all featured an engine either 5.7L or 6.6L (7.0L for Cadillac) with anywhere from 170hp-180hp and 275 lbs-320 lbs of torque. Those figures provide the best driving experience for these big cars.

27th Nov 2014, 16:23

Yes, but it involves a lot of work.

27th Nov 2014, 18:53

I wouldn't say it's easy. The computer, engine mount brackets, A/C and other accessories are all different. However I do agree that swapping a 307 for a 350 or 403 is a great idea, and much easier on the 86-89 models equipped with the 307.

The best thing to do with the 82-85 models is stay away from them.

30th Nov 2014, 04:23

The HT-4100 has a storied past. If yours is still alive and kicking, it has likely been replaced by a re-engineered replacement. The original is not likely to have made it this far.

1985 Cadillac Fleetwood d'Elegance HT4100 V8 from North America

Summary:

One of the best Cadillacs

Faults:

Power equipment doesn't work well.

Vacuum pump needed replacing, no longer made so I had to get it rebuilt; dealership told me that it wouldn't be able to be rebuilt again.

General Comments:

This car is a great vehicle. People seem to complain about the HT4100 V8, but I have never had any problems with mine. If you keep up the servicing, it will run just fine.

The cabin is still in good condition, very comfortable, however Cadillac's decision to downsize the cars was not the best; interior room is somewhat limited for a full size luxury car.

The ride is amazing, you feel minimal bumps, it does float quite a bit at higher speeds, but that's to be expected from this kind of vehicle.

Interior noise is quiet, the engine is almost non-existent, the only noise I hear is from the vacuum pump. Road noise could be quieter, currently the road noise is on par with my mothers Toyota Corolla (that's pretty bad).

Overall it's a great car, just the usual to be expected from a 25 year old vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th November, 2010