Author Topic: 1979-1985 Cadillac Eldorado-By Matt Litwin from January 2009 issue of Hemmings C  (Read 467 times)

Offline Matt CLC#18621

  • Posts: 707
  • CLC Number: 18621
  • Name: Matt Shafer
Dated, but appears to be relevant for the most part.

Tim Pawl quoted.

matt CLC# 18621
i am 2nd

Offline 79 Eldorado

  • Posts: 833
  • Name: S Kent
They mention "deduct 15% for the diesel model". I would say that '82 or newer add 15% for the diesel model. I know that could be controversial but if you have the GM diesel the Olds 350 is as close to a drop in replacement as you will ever see. Some of the diesels were changed to Goodwrench service blocks. I've known a couple people who have owned them and liked them.

Always interesting see an article predicting collector car value and as well mentioning the service part status. I love the 79-85 body style.


Offline Matt CLC#18621

  • Posts: 707
  • CLC Number: 18621
  • Name: Matt Shafer
I owned a 79 tutone Black/Silver Seville Elegante and the Oldsmobile diesel engine was trouble free the entire time of my two-year / 30,000 mile ownership, successfully making the weekly NJ Turnpike round trips from Giants Stadium to Belmar without the water separator. Hard to start during cold New Jersey winters without the engine block heater engaged.

Major downside was the diesel soot that constantly permeating the interior and soiling the headliner and the clothing on my person.

matt CLC #18621
I am second

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10184
A DEFI Olds V8 or the Turbo Buick V6 maybe also with DEFI would have been really cool options to have and the DEFI could have still been Cadillac exclusives to make them their own engines different than what you got in a Buick or Olds.  I drove a turbo Riv one time and it was a lot of fun.  A DEFI Olds would have been nice too especially if they were able to keep the 5.7 when everyone else had to drop to 5.0.   I suppose all Cadillac's effort and investment was in the 864 and the 4100 but still how much would it have took to just tweak some of the other GM stuff like they did with the original Seville's Olds motor?

I semi daily drove a diesel E body from around 2011 to 2018.  100's of mile road trips I took a newer car and sometimes I need the 3/4 ton Suburban to haul and other times wanted the top down experience of the 73 is why I say semi daily.  Just before I got rid of the last one in 2018 mostly due to rust issues I did end up taking it on an almost 1000 mile road trip and it did fine.   I did 200 mile trips with them ever few weeks.   I really loved those cars and have had an eye out for another one.  I don't think the engine or make will really matter to me I just want a nice enough body and interior at the right price.  I still have a ton of diesel parts so I'm not afraid of another one of those.  I still have the Eldo and it ran when parked due to a deer hit.  Been sitting in a field for a few years so its likely a stinky parts car now.  The Riv was just a rust bucket but ran good so I gave it to a fellow enthusiast that needed a motor for one of his toys.   

Problem is the prices just seem nuts.   A reasonable condition car that has been sitting so it needs all new rubber, maybe body fillers and a headliner people are asking $3k-$5k and they don't seem to be getting it because I keep seeing the same adds over and over again.  You just can't pay that and then put another $1k-2k into them to make them into decent drivers.   

Then you have the very well kept ones that either have new rubber or still need it that are asking more in the $7k-10K+ range and that is a lot for a car that has a crappy engine and transmission.  You could put that kind of money into many other cars and get much more reliable and easier to support drive lines.   

StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline bcroe

  • Posts: 3895
Derate the diesel, sure.  They have been the majority of cars I purchased
since GM diesel availability.  Pick up a beautiful car for peanuts because
nobody knows what to do with it, take a day or so to drop in a 403.  Have
a car with so much extra equipment and no emissions testing here.  There
are 3 currently on the lot, the first passed 300,000 miles a while ago, the
other 2 add up to 500,000. 

If you keep the diesel, a switch pitch trans will positively transform the
performance, as I found out.  But there is only the TH325 for the 79-85
FWD unless you go to the extremes (I did) of fitting a 66 Toro switch pitch
TH425.  An Olds powered parts car is good converting any of these to gas,
as you will need the gas FWD ring gear/starter, ex manifolds, cruise control,
oil filter mount, and a few other things. 

All my diesel conversions use a carb, no electronics worries.  The 79 Eldo
403 does have the original analog EFI (retuned), the only thing in the
group that can beat it is that turbo charged engine.  Bruce Roe


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