1985 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham 4.1 from North America


Love it


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.

1985 Cadillac Fleetwood d'Elegance HT4100 V8 from North America


One of the best Cadillacs


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

1985 Cadillac Fleetwood D'elegance 4.1 V8 from North America


High maintenence with the 4.1


Within 500 miles of me buying the car, the serpentine belt shredded itself.

I had to replace the belt tensioner, air pump, and alternator.

This happened again within 500 miles.

General Comments:

This car was a sweet ride.

Really comfortable, decent power, and decent gas mileage too.

It handled and drove really well.

I would always clench my teeth when starting it, thinking I would hear the slappety slap slap of the serpentine belt tearing apart again.

I ended up spending more at the shop for repairs, than I did for the car (and that was on my first visit).

At the shop they told me these 4.1 liter V-8s are basically just a money pit.

It's a shame, because it was a nice cruiser.

At least you can sleep in the thing after it breaks down.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd November, 2009

2nd Nov 2009, 14:34

I had one of those little Front Drive Cadillacs with the 4.1 and it wasn't all that bad reliability wise. But it was an '86, maybe they'd improved by then.

But there's no doubt the 4.1 was terribly inferior to the Oldsmobile 307. Does anyone know if it is an easy job to just switch the 4.1 for a 307?

2nd Nov 2009, 17:57

I think Cadillac made a major mistake putting the 4.1 motors, which is way too undersized for a full size luxury car. I think they should've replaced the 368ci V8 with a Oldsmobile 307 motor, although they eventually did so from 1987 onward.

2nd Nov 2009, 20:49

The 4.1 was one of the worst V8s ever made!

5th Nov 2009, 18:49

They did make that body style with the 305 (5 litre) as an option, and both the 305 and 350 smallblock (5.7) will bolt right in. Do that and you got yourself a hell of a cruiser.

7th Nov 2009, 05:43

Actually they made that bodystyle with the Oldsmobile 307 V8 from about 86-90. The 305/350 didn't come along untill about 1990 onwards.

24th Dec 2009, 04:48

I just bought an 85 Cadillac Fleetwood FWD for 3000 dollars. It's in mint condition with 110000, but the previous original owner put in a new engine 30000 miles ago, a 4.1 V8. So hopefully if I keep up with the maintenance, it'll be a nice riding car for a while. But your comments have got me worried.