Thoughts on Mark VIII, LS, Seville & Eldorado

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  1. skorpiius

    skorpiius New LVC Member

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    Jan 24, 2019
    Calgary, Alberta
    Hi everyone. Last year while at the local pick & pull I noticed and sat in a late 90s Seville and absolutely adored the interior. I also really like cars that are boxy but with flow and rounded corners, if that makes any sense. So I decided to upgrade my late 90s Maxima and to not just restrict my search to Japanese cars. The ones that have stood out to me from Cadillac and Lincoln are:

    Lincoln LS
    Lincoln Mark VIII (both 'gens')
    4th gen Seville 1992–1997
    5th gen Seville 1998–2004
    10th gen Eldorado (1992–2002)

    What I'm wondering is how these compare to each other as far as
    - which will likely need the most repairs (cost wise)
    - how likely the repairs it needs are not typical wear items so you'll have to get them from the dealer
    - how available dealer parts are

    I do like working on my own cars, so things like replacing brakes, sensors, starters, alternators, etc are all things I would do. Replacing/repairing transmissions, exhaust, pulling engines are not typically things I would do (although working on a head is something I might try).

    The stuff I know about is the Northstar bolt issue, possibly poor reliability of the LS V8s, air suspension issues on the Mark VIII, and dealer parts scarcity of Mark VIII parts.

    Anything I'm missing? Sorry for the lengthy post! Thanks!
  2. germansheperd

    germansheperd Active LVC Member

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    Jun 1, 2016
    Wooster, Ohio
    All will give you issues but the 2nd gen Mark VIII should be the best of the bunch you listed.
  3. AmsterDutch

    AmsterDutch Dedicated LVC Member

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    Jul 9, 2017
    If you're going with a Lincoln LS try to find a 2nd Gen LS 2003-2006 preferably 2006 the Timing Chain issues were smoothed out and many, many more features..if you're a glutton for punishment and like to work on a car daily a 2000-2002 LS will fit your needs lol! The LS has Plastic Coolant Parts that break down over time and the Transmissions can be almost impossible for a common man to work on if it's something more than a solenoid pack or as such...The Cadillacs usually have the Coil Packs ..they can get spendy ...the LS has Coil Over Plugs...the COP's are finicky and you need to buy Motorcraft be prepared to spend $50 per COP do the Math $50x8=$400 dollar tune-up not including the Spark plugs ...Changing Spark Plugs on a LS is 100 times easier I think ...GM kinda screwed you with the sideway engine placement the back Coil Pack is a PITA to get out due to them placing a nonsense part in the way ...forgive me can't remember what it is it's been awhile .... The Cadillac has a major issue with Head gaskets and also be prepared for an oil leak ALMOST ALL CADILLACS leak oil ...the only advantage is you are retaining fresh oil in the engine due to refilling the crankcase daily...also the Northstar likes to be worked and driven hard not babied like some would think needs to be WOT everyday to keep the carbon from building far as the drivability of a will float on a cloud of air and not feel any bumps ...unless you purchase a STS that Caddy has a little bit of a tighter suspension cause its GM's Luxury Sport ( If you ever would want to call any older 2000-2004 a Luxury Sport kinda far fetched but after driving an LS you'd know what I'm talking about because the LS has 100% better handling ...rear wheel drive in all LS’s and it’s fast with two over-drives 2nd and 5th) the luxury features are fairly the same when comparing the Caddy to the Lincoln LS it's all based on preference really... the Navigation System is about the same ...I can't say anything about Mark series never owned one's like the old 7UP commercial ( Never Had it, Never will) ...don't like the look ...If your looking for a smoother ride look no further than a 97-99 Cadillac Deville/Seville more sporty 2000-2005 The LS rides rough like a BMW it has a tight suspension ...hence better around corners and handling on the Freeway when you wanna get down... ...The LUXURY CAR is EXPENSIVE! anyway hope this helps you out a little bit..
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
  4. mustpaike

    mustpaike New LVC Member

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    May 26, 2019
    Estonia, Europe
    I've owned a 1997 Mark VIII since fall 2016, and I did own a 1994 Seville STS from 2008 to 2013. Between the two, i definitely recommend the Mark. Cadillac may have had a 300hp Northstar engine, but being FWD, it wasn't made for driving. It was only quick in a straight line, and a major part of the feeling was torque steer. The Mark feels smaller, lighter, tighter and faster. It also feels way better on bad roads, dirt roads and even in snow. In tight curves, the Seville is positively an SUV compared to a MarkVIII. The only advantage of a Seville was 2 extra doors and that a 6'4" passenger could be pretty comfortable behind a 6'4" driver (not as comfy as in a Deville, though). The "Italian tune-up" was a strong recommendation on the Northstar, i.e. flooring it and letting it hit the limiter in 1st and 2nd. With my driving it wasn't/isn't an issue.

    As for the head gaskets, the main issue which causes the head gasket to fail is heat/overheat. Northstars on average run hotter anyways (91 centigrade coolant temperature on average), but this can rise to 112 centigrade at which both electric fans would come on. If they do not, you have both a short term problem, as well as a long term problem. The head gasket issue usually comes up after 100-120k miles, or if keeping the car longer, every 100-120k miles (sooner, if you manage to overheat it), and it can be repaired only twice, the third time the engine block needs to be scrapped. If you find an older Seville/deville/eldorado with the 4.9, then you're fine. They put out similar torque to the N*, but have about 100hp less, yet routinely last over 300k miles with regular maintenance.

    As for the interior, the Cadillac had real wood, which also looked real, the trim on the doors and on center dash. My Mark VIII has sth that looks like wood, but I cannot be sure, to me it looks and feels like plastic. But the leather on the MarkVIII, miles ahead. My Seville had about 113k miles when I sold it and the driver's seat leather was already cracking. My MarkVIII has at this moment about 265k on the clock and the leather is worn but still good. Watch out for the moon roof drains on the Seville. Mine got clogged, the water leaked into the interior and in the end I had to remove the seats and dry the whole carpet in my home for 3 weeks. For a tall driver the Seville is better. I think 6'6" would be pushing it in a Mark, while in a Seville 6'6" is still fine. Getting in however is a whole different matter. With the Mark, a fat 6'4" (like me) can park anywhere and still get in and out. With the Seville, I actually had a problem, I could get out but not in, if in a tight parking spot.

    Overall the Mark8 is a much simpler car, both to work on as well as parts-wise. People rag on the 'personal luxury coupe' being an expensive car on the outside but a cheap car on the inside, but the cheap car on the inside is the only reason these are still on the road. Also, the Mark 8 has an extensive aftermarket due to its parts-bin connection with the Thunderbird, the Cougar and the Mustang. Seville has none. Even the Fleetwood had an aftermarket, since it shared parts with Caprice, but not so with the Seville.

    Back in 2008, I paid €3700 for a really nice well-serviced Seville STS owned by a local Cadillac enthusiast. In five years, I invested about €6000, and when I sold it for €1400 in 2014, it still needed a new windshield for €400, new motor mounts (it ate motor mounts with aggressive driving), and a full brake job. In 2016, I paid €2600 for a crappy Mark8, thus far I am €12000 into it. I have replaced everything that needs replacing and i don't want to sell it. I still don't know where the limits of the car are, or my limits driving it. In the future I will probably add a lot of performance parts, including converting to Brembo or Wilwood brakes, in the far off future I will do a full engine rebuild and add a supercharger. But I don't see myself selling it. Because there is no direct replacement. The 1997-98 is the end of the line. There is no full-size coupe that is equal in performance nor price, Dodge Challenger might be the only worthy one. All the rest are too small, too expensive or not enough aftermarket.

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