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Characteristics of the 4.1 Caddy engine?

Went to a car show today and drove several older GM classics – one was a beautiful Caddy Biarritz -1985

The car had no power, no acceleration. Is this normal for the 4.1?

Car started fine, ran beautifully, but no power. I did not drive far, but I had trouble merging in traffic. There was engine clatter when I accelerated – no stumbles or loss of power – just hard to build power. Could this be a timing issue? Certainly all those cars can’t be this weak with power? Who has knowledge of these cars/motors? I’d like to own one some day, but not with this problem if it cannot be corrected. Thanks!

The 4.1 was not one of Cadillac’s better engines. It’s almost surprising to find one still running. MANY of them were replaced with later 4.5L engines which apparently “bolt right up”.

When are you going to break down and just buy the Caddie of your dreams?

If it is running properly the 4.1 engine puts out lots of power. I had one in an '85 Deville. The engine was shot before 80K miles. I don’t remember if it was bearings or what, but these motors just had no longevity at all. The car you drove has a bad engine. Just a bad design, not a matter of how well it was maintained. Perfectly maintained 4.1’s still self destructed.

A local Auto shop teacher for a community college near here,developed various fixes for 4.1 problems-Kevin (Probaly not one of GM’s finer designs)

Are you sure that it’s not just the era the Eldo was built? All 80’s cars were pigs compared to earlier and later generations. It only had 135 HP/190 lb-ft. I didn’t drive it, so it’s hard to know how to respond. Find another 1985 Caddie (or Olds or Buick) with the same engine and see if it behaves the same way.

That’s what I am thinking, too. The owner of the car did not seem to think the car was performing poorly. If he is used to it, I guess he would not.

When you say “bad engine,” do you mean it is failing? or that it is just not a good engine from the start? The car runs/idles smoothly – no smoke, no overheat, nothing – just has little power and has clatter or some type of noise when accelerated. The owner does not think this is abnormal.