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Old 04-29-2008, 11:48 PM   #1
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Default Need input on Cadillac I might buy.

So, I was thinking of buying a 1985 Cadillac Fleetwood with the HT4100 motor in it. The car has about 50,000 miles on it and was originally driven by an old lady and given to her relatives when she died. The relatives bought a new car off me and have the Caddy to get rid of and I told them I'm interested. It needs minimal work as far as I can tell...she says it needs a distributor cap. The car'* in pretty good shape for its age and being in this part of the country.

Just wondering if you guys know much about the 4100 engine in these cars? I've heard horror stories and I've heard good things. I can pick up the car for a few hundred bucks and need to know if I'm in for a headache or just normal maintenence stuff.

Oh, I do know about the supplimental coolant additives that are needed too...
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:53 PM   #2
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From what I have heard I would not buy a car with the 4100 in it period regardless of price or even being free. Just not worth the headaches currently or down the road.
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:56 PM   #3
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DO NOT TOUCH A 4100. EVER.
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:03 AM   #4
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oh? why?
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:35 AM   #5
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4100s are just so awful. Dirtracer95 wrote about that engine here:
http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...ic.php?t=96572

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Here are some of the problems with the 4.1 just in case you decide to use one (please dont)

1) The sand-cast aluminum block was so porous engine oil would sometimes seep right through it. This was "to be expected," according to the Cadillac Service Manual (citation needed).

2) If the engine were not stone cold when the heads were removed, they would never again align properly with the block.

3) The camshaft was mounted on babbit bearings. Removing it destroyed the bearings. A warning not to remove the camshaft was eventually cast into the block.

4) Because of the high operating temperature, sludge built up quickly if the oil were not changed frequently. At the same time, the holes that drained oil from the rocker panels to the crankcase inexplicably intersected two of the head bolts; the oil was expected to wend its way along their threads until it eventually found its way back to the sump. Thus the slightest amount of dirt or sludge was sufficient to plug these holes and cause oil to pool in the rocker panels, starving the crankshaft and main bearings of oil.

A mechanic familiar with this engine would have to make sure the engine was stone cold, and then a)remove the two relevant head bolts, b) ream the holes with a bottle brush, and remember to c)avoid torquing these bolts to the 95 ft-lbs specified in the service manual unless he wished to Helicoil the stripped aluminum threads deep in the block.

5) Clearance between the piston and combustion chamber was so minimal that carbon on the piston would make the engine pre-ignite badly (other GM engines also had this problem). (citation needed). Thus the vehicle had to use premium gasoline at all times. The carbon could only be removed by either a) removing the heads, or b) pouring GM Top End Cleaner, a potent solvent, into the throttle body with the engine running. If all went well, the engine would produce huge clouds of white smoke and run better for a while. If all did not go well, it would go into hydrolock and seize, never to run again
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:13 AM   #6
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Umm, yeah, suffice it to say the 4100 was probably one of the worst motors GM ever came up with.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:03 AM   #7
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I thought I read that the reman enginess fixed all these problems. Is that correct?

Couldn't I also use the 4100 and swap out 4.5L parts to convert it to be a better engine? The 4.5 is just bored out more I believe.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:48 AM   #8
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i had a HT4100 powered coupe deville in college. at the time i hated the car and beat the crap out of it trying to blow it up and i could not. i shifted the 2004r manually holding onto 1st so long it would chirp 2nd gear. the HT4100 had 175k miles on it when i traded the car for a Muncie 4spd.

granted i did change the oil EVERY 3000 miles. i wish i had that car today.

i'd personally take my chances with another 4100 powered car but i'd have to pay less than $1000 for it.
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:46 AM   #9
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I just talked to the tech at the shop where the car is at and he said it needs a new distributor which is 300 bucks. I can probably pick up the car for 300 bucks.
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:00 PM   #10
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I wouldn't even touch a Caddy with the 4100 or 4.5... unless you plan on doing copious amounts of repairs to it that simply aren't worth it.

If you absolutely have to have a V8 Caddy... go with a 4.9, probably the most reliable out of the 4.xL series of those engines. I believe they have around 200hp.
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