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MikeKnight

1991 Cadillac Fleetwood Project Thread

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Fantastic.

They're thirsty, handle about as well as a bowl of jelly thrown down a flight of stairs and every car of that type has at least one routine maintenance job that's an absolute pain because something is in the way.

However nobody as far as I've found has quite so perfected the formula for a car that is simply a supremely comfortable, low stress way to waft around.

Even the smaller motors seem to do it...Still kick myself for not buying the Buick Eighty-Nine a friend had years ago.  Did many miles in it, knew I liked it... should have bought it.  Was the brownest car to have ever existed aside from anything else.  The Yanks did go to town on colour coding the interiors in the 80s didn't they...

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6 hours ago, warch said:

I rofled at this sentence. 

They've done that 90s thing where you take a 70s or 80s shape and soften the edges a bit like its been lightly melted. It's horrible but I kind of like it.

Yes. A bit like your reflection in the back of a spoon.

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I keep having to chuckle at what the yanks thought "luxury" was.

Everything in the interior is plush, I'll give them that, but everything is also.. slightly off.. in a way that's very difficult to put into words. Like how the arm rests are nicely made.. but wobble all over the place when you shut the doors. Or how the controls on the arm rests are painted black, but underneath the paint is a lovely plain stainless steel piece of trim. Why the hell paint it?? The paint just ends up flaking off and looking awful.

Then there are the things are literally make no sense. You have indicator flashers on the dash, so why do you need a pinhole bulb above the back shelf that flashes too to tell you the indicator is on? Then MORE things that flash on the wings, pointed at you, to tell you the indicator is on. You know, just in case you didn't get the hint from the other two flashing things telling you that.

I'll have to get some more pictures of the handbook and repair book that came with the car, some parts of it are absolutely hilarious.

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That's not counting the part of the book that tells you, in detail, how to wear a seatbelt. Or the part that shows a woman laying down on the drivers seat with a warning, "Do not operate the vehicle like this.", like yeah I wanted a nice nap while driving but whoops I better not because the book told me not to.

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2 minutes ago, MikeKnight said:

the part of the book that tells you, in detail, how to wear a seatbelt.

Given how few Americans used to use seatbelts in the 80's, that absolutely does not surprise me at all.  No-one used them and many people didn't know how to.  It's absolutely true that American airbags are much more powerful than European ones, as American ones are designed to restrain an un-belted driver.

2 minutes ago, MikeKnight said:

Or the part that shows a woman laying down on the drivers seat with a warning, "Do not operate the vehicle like this."

You can bet good money that someone in the USA did exactly this, and then when they crashed the car managed to successfully sue Cadillac because it didn't expressly say in the handbook that you couldn't do that.  So Cadillac then change their handbooks.  I'll bet there are several other specific "do not do this" statements in the book elsewhere, based on lawsuits.

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As many have said before me, you sir, are a winnar! Much enviousness, i really fucking WANT a yank tank but would only let myself settle for a 1965-1970 caddy floppy top. They are, of course, one of the more expensive models... Bonus points for having the 500ci motor too (carb obvs, none of that 180bhp emission bullshit, i mean that little power from an 8.2 V8? Just wrong.).

+1 noise/acceleration video but bet it's disappointingly quiet?

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When I was a kid, a friend's mother had a black Fleetwood. His dad, at the same time, had an Impala SS(the B body one). I remember how comfortable they were to ride in-especially the Fleetwood.

They're massive cars, but there's a whole lot to like about them.

BTW, I wish that the fuel filler under the license plate would come back. It's not likely to with the push against having tanks behind the rear axle(BTW, the Panther kept its rear-mounted tank up to 2012, and the only stories I can find on late models catching on fire have to do with police cruisers being rear ended at 70+mph), but that has to be the single most convenient place to put a fuel filler ever devised.

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3 hours ago, Zelandeth said:

The Yanks did go to town on colour coding the interiors in the 80s didn't they...

When I was a kid growing up in the 90s, my family and friends had a lot of Ford and GM products(plus a few Chryslers thrown in for good measure) that had either dark blue or that awful maroon-red color. I hated the red in particular, although blue wasn't so bad.

On the whole, I've been happy with the switch to largely more neutral colored interiors across the board, although I'm still not a big fan of black-on-black.

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2 hours ago, Tomtation said:

+1 noise/acceleration video but bet it's disappointingly quiet?

Unfortunately it's almost completely quiet.. until you put your foot down then it's like RRRRAAAAGHHH I'M A V8.

No noise vid until I fix the overheating problem, which will be a week or two as I have to finish a gearbox swap on a miserable Rover 75 first.

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This could only be a better Cadillac by having two doors. Excellent.

Much more smiley-shiteness in Caddy-Kitsch than in any L322 Git-Panzer. (Even one that worked)

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On 5/8/2020 at 2:51 PM, Talbot said:

 

You can bet good money that someone in the USA did exactly this, and then when they crashed the car managed to successfully sue Cadillac because it didn't expressly say in the handbook that you couldn't do that.  So Cadillac then change their handbooks.  I'll bet there are several other specific "do not do this" statements in the book elsewhere, based on lawsuits.

This was a case for Winnebago I think. Got sued by a bloke that set his cruise control to 55mph then went in the back to make a brew. They got sued because it didn’t specifically say you couldn’t do that in the manual. Because Murica! 

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2 hours ago, sutty2006 said:

This was a case for Winnebago I think. Got sued by a bloke that set his cruise control to 55mph then went in the back to make a brew. They got sued because it didn’t specifically say you couldn’t do that in the manual. Because Murica! 

Think it was to do with the wording, along the lines of "vehicle will drive itself" - actually just checked and it's an urban myth. The Yanks do have lots of arse-covering in any documentation to protect against lawsuits though

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What sort of value are these then ?  

What I meen to say is are they a good starter yank classic or is it better to start with something else,  insurance wise and purchase price is obviously the starter bit.

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5 hours ago, garbaldy said:

What sort of value are these then ?

Values seem all over the place and I can't find many in the UK in order to base prices on. They seem to go for between £500 or £5000 or more. Prices are wild and don't seem to have any basis in condition etc. It's further confused by the fact it's a top end model, but also a bit of a runout model, so.. fuck knows. Throw a dart at a dartboard covered in prices and go with that one.

For comparison the RR L322 I swapped it for had a value of between £4000-£5000.

3 hours ago, Isaac Hunt said:

Car looks ACE.  I’d get stuck into that steering wheel though, looks like a proper Covid Catcher does that.

Yeah.. I don't even want to get back in the car until I go to the workshop on Monday and spend a few hours scrubbing.

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Do have to wonder how many horses that exhaust system alone restrains...never understood why the yanks seemed to think "that's fine" having engines large enough to power a cruise liner exhausting through a drinking straw.

Think the worst example I've seen to date was on a Ford LTD (okay, this was an Australian import, but I believe it's a US design) which had an engine capacity somewhere around 6 litres as I recall - and had two exhausts smaller than the one on my Metro.  No wonder it wouldn't rev!

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7 minutes ago, Zelandeth said:

Do have to wonder how many horses that exhaust system alone restrains...never understood why the yanks seemed to think "that's fine" having engines large enough to power a cruise liner exhausting through a drinking straw.

If I enough dough left over after fixing the bits it needs, it'll be getting a new exhaust. The current one is original and yeah it's bloody tiny.

With it being a 1991 car I can remove the cat and it shouldn't suffer from it in MOT terms.

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Gosh! Well and truly gosh.

Also, I can't see any hideous commie add-on tail light import amber indicator bodgery; does this mean that the entire cluster flashes with the indicator as God intended?

One of my favourite old yank car attributes.

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On 5/7/2020 at 11:58 PM, somewhatfoolish said:

A true Detroit nadir; you are winning at life. You'd need a Mopar K or perhaps a Sunbird to outdo this. Do you own a tan suit and a pair of loafers to go with it?

Epic win here. Brings back memories of my weapons-grade-shite Sunbird - I sold it to Warner Bros Leavesden Studios a couple of years ago and hasn't been MOT'd or taxed since December '18, really curious whether it died of natural GM causes or was blown up on a movie set. Guy from the studios who acquired it said they were always buying up huge numbers of yank tanks, worth bearing in mind if you ever need rid of it in a hurry. 

sunbird.jpg

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4 hours ago, RoadworkUK said:

Gosh! Well and truly gosh.

Also, I can't see any hideous commie add-on tail light import amber indicator bodgery; does this mean that the entire cluster flashes with the indicator as God intended?

One of my favourite old yank car attributes.

Yes! Yes it does! I was super happy when the seller pointed that out too. 🤩

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Renamed the topic as I'll be using this as the project thread.

Here are some recent pictures of it sitting at my work unit. Yes my unit is full of junk at the moment.. tried to get as many cars squeezed in as possible before closing up because of the virus. The cooker range is my dads, trying to sell it but no one wants a cooker range right now.

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The engine is in surprisingly good condition, I need to change a few of the caps and maybe the rocker cover gaskets as they're all a bit leaky and dribbly.

Here's a picture of the inside of the radiator, it's chock full of rust and the "coolant" (it's mostly fucking water) turns brown almost instantly. I'm having trouble finding any parts inside the UK so I'll likely just get it re-cored once the place that does the re-coring for me has reopened.

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It's difficult to see but this is the inside of the coolant bottle. Brown and awful. Poor baby hasn't had a good coolant service in forever.

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I'm still pretty sure it's not a HGF on one or both of the heads, as there's no sludge in the oil and no sludge in the coolant bottle. The oil actually looks nice, clean, and pretty golden still. If I had to guess I'd say they'd kept losing coolant so just continually refilled the bottle with water, and since the block is cast iron that lead to a lot of rust.. blocked rad.. rad rusts out and holes because of pressure build up. I need to find a parts supplier still because I'll need a whole engine refresh kit (inlet manifold, thermostat, water pump, belts and tensioners, all liquids).

I'll still run a HGF sniff test when I'm back at work properly to rule out the heads. I'm not too worried even if it is HGF as the engine seems very accessible and easy to work on.

Below is a very rough to-do list for the car... and yes new speakers because the current ones are all original paper cones and utterly fucked.

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