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Red-headed stepchild? Cadillac 368 engine

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by retromotors, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. retromotors
    Joined: Dec 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,045


    Anyone have any actual experience with the Cadillac 368 engine?

    My HAMB and web searches turn up very little info on these engines, mostly rants about the infamous V8-6-4 version that was only produced for one year. Lots of folks also confuse it with the 4100 aluminum-block engine that came later.

    I realize the 368 was Cadillac's attempt at a smog/fuel mileage engine in the early '80s, and it showed pretty dismal HP and torque figures compared to the other big block Caddys. However, Cadillac used the engine in hearses and limos up until 1984, so I figure it can't be all that bad. Even the nay-sayer sites acknowledge the engine was robust and durable.

    I'm looking at a 368 in RWD configuration, THM400 trans and 4-barrel. Seller is throwing in a rear sump oil pan too. It's a runner and it's priced real right.

    So, anyone with real hands-on experience with a 368? If your only comment is "I heard they ain't worth a shit", or "get a 472 or 500, they smoke the tires better", thanks anyway but I already know all that.

    I figure the engine suffers from (in addition to less displacement), retarded cam timing, low compression and all the other smog tricks. Am I correct in assuming it can be made to perform better?

    Anyone know of any good links to info or specs on these engines. I'm kind of a "search dummy" and so far I haven't come up with much.

    Thanks in advance for any input.

    Regards, Retro
  2. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,856


    Even if the seller gave it to you for free, you'll spend plenty in trying to gain performance from it, and you'll still have a red-headed stepchild in the end.

    Rare doesn't always equal desireable. I'd pass on it.
  3. poncho catalina
    Joined: Sep 22, 2008
    Posts: 81

    poncho catalina
    from summit il

    I have one. but it is in an 80 cady. If your looking for some thing dependable go for it. If you want performance I will agree it is not worth the time
  4. Swifster
    Joined: Dec 16, 2006
    Posts: 1,456


    I worked at a Caddy dealership in the mid-'80's and never had a problem with them. Heck, I never even had a 4-6-8 engine come in with problems (sorted out by then). The only real problem you'll have is finding parts (none) to increase the performance unless you have it custom made. Obviously if the deal is right...

    Of course a 425 used in the late '70's is the same engine family and has the 50 extra cubes. I don't think the price varies that much between the two.

  5. retromotors
    Joined: Dec 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,045


    Thanks for your responses.

    I guess I should have been a little more specific when I made the remark about making the engine "perform better". I'm looking for a cruiser engine, not a tire burner.

    My performance needs are actually pretty modest. If it will keep up with everyday traffic and cruise legal highway speeds at a fairly relaxed pace it'll tickle the hell out of me. Dependability is a big factor, and what you've said in your posts agrees with what I've read on other sites.

    The price involved would be a pretty good deal for the Turbo 400 alone, so I guess you could almost say the engine was free. If it was a real turd, I'd already be set up to bolt in one of the larger displacement engines at a later date.

    OK, lots to think about. I'll go into deep meditation mode.
    Thanks again all!:D
  6. Ramblur
    Joined: Jun 15, 2005
    Posts: 2,101


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