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Author Topic: 1984 Eldorado possible purchase at auction  (Read 459 times)

Offline rfbahmann

  • Posts: 2
  • Name: rbahmann
1984 Eldorado possible purchase at auction
« on: September 07, 2020, 02:30:01 PM »
Hello,  I found an 84 eldorado with 98,500 miles, 4100 engine coming up for auction.  I've read these are subject to head gasket failure and a host of other problems.  Car seems OK, oil, coolant, trans fluid all look OK, seems to run fine.  Is this a crazy idea and a money pit in the making?  I did notice alot of oil on the cross member, but no active leaking.  Has a newer water pump.  I am a dead man if I bring home a basket case.  Any suggestions?
Interior is OK, it has new tires

Thanks in advance for saving my marriage!

Offline JerRita

  • JerRita #15725
  • Posts: 341
  • Our 1987 Fleetwood Brougham Station Wagon
Re: 1984 Eldorado possible purchase at auction
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2020, 03:30:26 PM »
Look up the VIN # about the 2nd half of 84 they did up grades. You still need to add the radiator tabs but its a stronger engine. I have 3 4100 cars and are happy with them for cruises
Jerry and Rita Trapani #15725 Caddymaniacs

Offline James Landi

  • Posts: 2376
  • 2007 XLR
  • Name: James Landi
Re: 1984 Eldorado possible purchase at auction
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2020, 04:04:54 PM »
They can be a truly painful expense.  One that I purchased  a 1983 Eldo in the early 90's lasted for 317,000 miles and died in 2013, with the original engine and transmission.... another, an 85 Convertible I replaced 2  used 4100 engines --- both having developed death rattles... and finally had an Oldsmobile engine installed.   Leaking gaskets:  Look for accumulated moisture and brown sludgy gunk in the old fill cap.   Also, with the engine running, take off the radiator cap and see if bubbles come up around the cap.   Both are expensive engine failures.  If you purchase the car, drive it was if you had a raw egg between your foot and the accelerator pedal... Pushing the 4100 is a recipe for disaster.  they need to be babied.    Also, the radiator and cooling system need GM pellets ONLY--- NEVER use stop leak.  The cooling system needs to be flushed and renewed with the GM pellets every few years. James

Offline Barry M Wheeler #2189

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 3489
  • CLC Number: 2189
  • Name: Barry Wheeler
Re: 1984 Eldorado possible purchase at auction
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2020, 05:59:18 PM »
Hi, Good advice from all, but the best advice is to keep looking. A divorce AND a 4100 Cadillac engined car is something you might never recover from. Candidly, there are way too many old cars out there that you could have fun with and your wife would actually like to ride in, or even drive.

Remember what the Oriental guy said to Leonard about sharing an apartment with Sheldon...

"Run fast, run far!!!"
Barry M. Wheeler #2189


1981 Cadillac Seville
1991 Cadillac Seville

Offline 35-709

  • Posts: 5347
  • The most valuable antique is an old friend.
  • CLC Number: 4719
  • Name: G. Newcombe
Re: 1984 Eldorado possible purchase at auction
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2020, 07:52:18 PM »
Hear, hear!
1935 Cadillac Sedan resto-mod "Big Red"
1973 Cadillac Caribou - Sold - but still in the family
1950 Jaguar Mark V Saloon resto-mod - Sold
1942 Cadillac 6269 - Sold
1968 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible
1935 Glenn Pray - Auburn Boattail Speedster, Gen. 2

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10182
Re: 1984 Eldorado possible purchase at auction
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2020, 08:22:26 PM »
How much are you thinking of bidding?    And what would you do if a major engine or transmission issue happens?    There are no longer tons of these sitting around in junkyards so you can find a 'good' one for cheap.   I have not looked but I assume rebuilding one of these would be $3k minimum just for the long block.  I would expect another $2k easily to pay someone to install it and then at least another $1k for might as well stuff not counting the transmission.

So the question is if it dies can you accept and afford just 'throwing it away'?  Or would you be willing and able to spend the money to fix it?
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 cadillacmike68

  • Posts: 3438
  • Still crusin'
  • CLC Number: 15823
  • Name: M Santos
Re: 1984 Eldorado possible purchase at auction
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2020, 11:31:38 PM »
If it's not a convertible I wouldn't even bother.
Regards,
"Cadillac" Mike

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10182
Re: 1984 Eldorado possible purchase at auction
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2020, 11:36:16 PM »
I didn't notice that was his first (and only so far) post.   Hope we didn't scare him away from the site and Cadillac's.   
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 James Landi

  • Posts: 2376
  • 2007 XLR
  • Name: James Landi
Re: 1984 Eldorado possible purchase at auction
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2020, 07:01:21 AM »
Never can say we're ones to steer a visitor in the wrong direction-- especially when on a crash course with a deeply flawed set of wheels.   (all puns intended)    James

Offline rfbahmann

  • Posts: 2
  • Name: rbahmann
Re: 1984 Eldorado possible purchase at auction
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2020, 09:13:37 AM »
The auction is Saturday the 19th.  Lets see what happens!  Would be my first cadi!
Thanks for all the advice and tips to look for. 

The car sold for $3,500,  I was lucky a guy outbid me by 100.  I saw a salvage sicker on the lower door jamb and decided not the car for me.  Thanks for all the advice here and a great site.  I'll keep looking...
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 01:08:43 PM by rfbahmann »

Offline 76eldo

  • Posts: 6648
  • CLC Number: 22443
  • Name: Brian Rachlin
Re: 1984 Eldorado possible purchase at auction
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2020, 08:39:03 PM »
If there is no opportunity to drive the car to check out how it runs, do not bid over $1000.00 just in case it has engine issues and you end up parting it out.  Just my opinion.

Brian
Brian Rachlin
Huntingdon Valley, Pa
CLC # 22443
I prefer email's not PM's rachlin@comcast.net

1960 62 Series Conv with Factory Tri Power
1970 DeVille Conv
1970 Eldo
1970 Caribu (?) "The Cadmino"
1973 Eldorado Conv Pace Car
1976 Eldorado Conv
1980 Eldorado H & E Conv
1993 Allante with Hardtop (X2)
2008 DTS
2012 CTS Coupe
2017 XT
1956 Thunderbird
1966 Olds Toronado

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10182
Re: 1984 Eldorado possible purchase at auction
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2020, 12:32:11 PM »
Since I have some time....

These are great looking and riding cars its just too bad especially in Cadillac's case that they never had a really great engine.  The few that had a decent engine was kinda screwed up by the fuel system on it especially this many years later.     

The 4100, 4.5, and 4.9 engines recommended the use of a special GM cooling system tablet which as far as we can tell at least today is Bar's stop leak, the version that comes in big tablets.   At one point someone posted side by side photos and except for the printing the packages were identical.    What this means is if you take the radiator cap off it will almost always be kinda brown and crusty.   Normally this is a bad sign when you are looking at a used car but on these it could be a good thing?   Generally if there was an issue the coolant would end up in the oil so give the oil a good check and be concerned if its over full.   The quick head gasket check of soft hoses when cold and not hard hoses till fully warmed up (usually requiring driving) still works on these.

Rear disc brake calipers commonly have sticking issues when not used regularly because of the parking brake mechanism.  Calipers are reproduced because they are often used for rear disc conversions so they are not a problem to replace.

Worst place for rust on these is the frame and body mount area behind the rear wheels and then the rear bumper mounts.  Its usually not normally visible till the bumper starts sagging and you notice the body mounts in a pile of rust on the ground.  Outside could still look new.

Control module / level sensor for the rear air shocks often fails and no one ever repaired or reproduced them that I know of.   If your compressor doesn't leak its fairly easy to rig up a manual switch or you can just convert to manual fill shocks.  Having good shocks at the proper height is important on these because of their independent suspension.   If its car is too low or bounces a lot you get bump steer from the rear which will really freak you out the first time it happens.

Like all the 80's Cads the blower control module and sometimes blowers don't tend to be reliable.  Some years the modules are available other years not.

Many of the emissions related parts are difficult to find and it can be tricky to get the car to run well without them.

At this age if its not been done a throttle body refresh kit will likely help things.  They are cheap and fairly easy to do, not nearly as complex as doing a carb.     Also there is a piece of fuel line in the tank between the fuel pump and sending unit that could stand to be replaced especially if the car has been sitting a lot and may not have been exposed to ethanol before.   Gives you a chance to see whats in the tank too.

Most of this applies to any 80's Cad except for things like the rear bump steer which is just Eldo/Seville and then things like rear disc or rear air shocks that were options on other models.     
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

 

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