The Truth About Cars » HT4100 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 20:01:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » HT4100 Thursday Trivia: You Coulda Had A V-8 Thu, 02 May 2013 15:45:42 +0000 These were the good old days. Picture courtesy

There are bad ideas, there are terrible ideas, and then there’s the transverse V-8 drivetrain. There’s just something comically pathetic about having eight cylinders sitting sideways in the front of a car. The Eldorado you see above and its predecessors didn’t suffer from that; they had the engine pointing the right way so you could open the sharply-creased hood and see a proper mechanical vista. In those cars, and in the Toronado, front-wheel-drive was a nifty engineering trick for low-speed traction and a flat floor so all three of your bitches could sit in the back of your pimpmobile without discomfort.

The transverse V-8, however, was something else. It reeked of cost-cutting, of easy assembly, of last-minute decisions to add a decent engine to a middling platform. With very few exceptions, it’s been a lousy idea. And yet there were two vehicle platforms that had not one, but two completely different V-8s installed in them. One of them, of course, was the Cadillac E/K-platform, which shouldered the load of both 4.9-liter OHV and Northstar DOHC engines in the Eldorado, Seville, and Deville/DTS. (Arguably, the E/K was similar enough to the G-body that one could add the Aurora “Shortstar” to the mix for a total of three difference V-8s.)

And the other? Make your guess and click the jump.

Why, it was the Ford DN101!

SHO is. Picture courtesy Wikipedia

Your humble author was in the business of selling the third-generation Taurus SHO, which featured an absolutely pointless and thoroughly gutless Yamaha V-8. In a straight line, the SHO was barely any quicker than the three-liter Duratec Taurus and considerably less sprightly than the previous-gen V-6 stick-shift SHO. It had special ZF steering, so it was pleasant to drive, and its full complement of features made it kind of a left-field entry into the entry-luxury class. But it wasn’t very fast. If you wanted a fast Taurus you had to go across the street.

A kiss on a hand is quite Continental. Picture courtesy Wikipedia.

DN101 also spawned the Continental, which had a detuned, 260-horsepower “InTech” mod-motor V-8, later bumped up to 270hp during a facelift. For years, Mustang guys have been pulling these engines out of junkyard Continentals, hoping they’ll drop into V-6 SN95 platforms, but so far it hasn’t worked out. There’s a missing motor mount and the bellhousing pattern is different. It wasn’t a horrible car, and it could apparently be coaxed into running a very high fourteen in the quarter-mile, but the mod-motor was simply too large for anything like effective or convenient servicing, making these relatively new cars a rare sight on the modern road.

Lincoln and Cadillac are out of the transverse-V8 business now, as is everyone else; the MKS offers the EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6 while the XTS is, apparently, about to have something similar. We’ll never again see the day when a company commissions a bespoke V-8 that cranks out 230 horsepower and swallows its cam gears right after the warranty runs out. It’s even possible that we’ll never again see a major manufacturer offer a transverse V-8-powered automobile.

And that’s okay.

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Super Piston Slap: Loving “The Cadillac of Tomorrow” Sat, 16 Jul 2011 16:09:56 +0000  

Sajeev rambles:

Damn that Jack Baruth and his uncanny ability to awaken the latent spiritual needs and carnal passions sorely missing in my life.  I’m talking about the love of owning a 99-cent Caddy Limo from a strong bloodline, sporting a nearly perfect black leather interior.  With 25 years of historical flaws in full sight, this 3800lb lightweight is still a charmer in the Cadillac Tradition. The designation as “The Cadillac of Tomorrow” holds true, have you driven the latest poseur sedans to wear the Wreath and Crest? Torqueless V6 motors, tall buffalo butts and Euro-wannabe interiors only above that of a Hyundai Sonata.  I can hear it now:

“LULZ OMG you are nuts because the CTS-V is awesome and that thing’s a POS. The new Caddies even come in a wagon with a stick!  Who wouldn’t want a Cadillac that can do all that?”

My bad, they still make one coupe/sedan that’s somewhat worthy of the Fleetwood 75′s halo effect, but don’t be talkin’ that Euro-Caddy station wagon mess to me.  This Houstonian spends too much time watching southern hip-hop music videos with proper American Iron getting the respect it deserves.  Where else can we embrace the best remnants of Detroit in popular media? But I digress…

Sajeev writes:

So, a coupla years back, I got “us” an almost free Cadillac Limo. Hell, it even inspired my only GM Deathwatch Article where I dubbed it the “Turd Blossom” in honor of…well that’s not important.

Unfortunately, little changed since I got it:  a brilliant rebuild on the Delco/BOSE cassette deck aside, the 1986 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75 Formal Limousine (F75) still won’t run.  Won’t you give us a hand?

After a newer (junkyard) TPS sensor was installed and the throttle body was de-coked with a bit of carb cleaner (as per TTAC commentator skor’s recommendation) the car drove better.  That ingenious little self-tester on Cadillac’s HVAC-cum-Mission Control panel now registered far smoother numerical transitions from idle to WOT in TPS testing mode.  Lumbergh from “Office Space” would be proud.

Of course, that’s only when the F75 would run. Sometimes it runs, then dies when put in gear.  Re-crank.  Run on 4 cylinders then die.  Re-crank.  Run on all 8 smoothly. Then die again when going into gear. After significant Caddy forum analysis and a little junkyard prodding, the F75′s distributor is definitely the problem.  There’s more “non-committal slack” in its rotor than a carefully worded speech by (insert the politician you most hate here).  So I was going to order a new distributor to fix its problematic gear design.

The F75/Turd Blossom was well on its way to being my Judgemobile for every LeMons race. The mean muggin’ from my fellow judges meant approval.

But here’s the rub: no way I can install a new dizzy now that the frickin’ hood cable won’t release. The grille won’t pop out and its impossible to get the hood latches removed from the body.  Sort of punching a hole in a perfectly good hood or grille, I am completely dumbfounded.  So what do you recommend?

You have a mission: to save the F75/Turd Blossom from itself.  Thanks and have a great weekend.





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