GERALD´S CADILLACS


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DRY ICE CLEANING THE ENGINE AND ENGINE BAY OF MY 1974 COUPE DEVILLE. (VIDEO).

During my ongoing engine compartment clean up project, it was time to remove all the dirt, grime and oils which can be found inside an engine bay after 45 years - even in a low mileage car.
A conventional engine cleaning with a strong degreaser, steam or a pressure washer was not successful when I tried, because the main issue I had was overspray, which you cant remove with traditional cleaning methods.

During the undercarriage project last winter - the paint shop did not cover the engine bay good enough, and a lot of overspray settled down on the entire engine bay. It looked terrible!
This overspray is extremely difficult to remove, and this is why I thought of dry ice cleaning for the remains which I could not remove with clay and polishing.

I had some very good results with dry ice blasting during my undercarriage project for removing the undercoating.

Dry ice-blasting is a form of carbon dioxide cleaning, where dry ice, the solid form of carbon dioxide, is accelerated in a pressurized air stream and directed at a surface in order to clean it. An alternative media for non-abrasive blasting is water-ice, known as ice blasting.
The method is similar to other forms of abrasive blasting such as sand blasting, plastic bead blasting, or soda blasting but substitutes dry ice as the blasting medium. Dry-ice blasting leaves no chemical residue as dry ice sublimates at room temperature.
Dry-ice blasting involves propelling pellets at extremely high speeds. The actual dry-ice pellets are quite soft, and much less dense than other media used in blast-cleaning (i.e., sand or plastic pellets). Upon impact, the pellet sublimates almost immediately, transferring minimal kinetic energy to the surface on impact and producing minimal abrasion. The sublimation process absorbs a large volume of heat from the surface, producing shear stresses due to thermal shock. This is assumed to improve cleaning as the top layer of dirt or contaminant is expected to transfer more heat than the underlying substrate and flake off more easily. The efficiency and effectiveness of this process depends on the thermal conductivity of the substrate and contaminant. The rapid change in state from solid to gas also causes microscopic shock waves, which are also thought to assist in removing the contaminant.

Unlike abrasive media blasting you cannot remove rust with dry ice blasting.

With this cleaning process I could remove 99,99% of the overspray and the engine is now extremely clean. I will have to remove all of the remaining surface rust with rust remover, and then re-paint the areas which will then be bare metal. Some of the original paint had flaked off over the last 45 years, but I´m trying to keep as much in original paint as possible and only repaint where it is absolutely necessary. Areas of the block will get some fresh Bill Hirsch engine enamel and I had to repaint some brackets, pulleys and the power steering pump.

Below I have put together a short video to show how dry ice cleaning was done in my engine bay. Enjoy and make sure to watch in HD to be able to view all the details!


Here is a short video I shot during dry ice cleaning - it shows the process and explains it a little.
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You need a very strong compressor for dry ice cleaning - even a very good shop compressor is not strong enough and cant supply the necessary capacity of air.edge
Christoph with his dry ice blasting machine.edge
Loose paint will come off easily
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You can also clean weatherstripping and rubber hoses very well.edge
After cleaning - the overspray is gone :-)edge
After cleaning - the overspray is gone :-) All the hoses and wires are clean again.edge
After cleaning - the overspray is gone :-) All the hoses and wires are clean again.edge
You can also clean the carburetor with dry ice.edge
This is the area underneath the radiator. The surface rust will come off pretty easily with rust removing gel. Afterwards I will re- paint it.edge
As you can see its clean, but there is some surface rust remaining which I will have to remove before applying some fresh paint.edge
As you can see its clean, but there is some surface rust remaining which I will have to remove before applying some fresh paint. I will remove the fuel pump for painting.edge
As you can see its clean, but there is some surface rust remaining which I will have to remove before applying some fresh paint.

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COLOR CODED VACUUM HOSES - BEWARE OF TERRIBLE REPRODUCTIONS!

Cadillac used color coded ribbed vacuum hoses from the 60s to the late 70s to make it easier to identify them on the vacuum schematics in the shop manual.
These vacuum hoses unfortunately get extremely hard and brittle over the decades under the harsh conditions in the engine bay. Often they literally break into pieces by just touching them.

On my 67 Eldorado I had to replace most of the vacuum lines when I got it - and it really has a lot of hoses.
When I searched for reproductions I could not find a really good source and I gave up.
At my ongoing project on my 74 another of these original lines fell apart while working in the engine bay. So I started to look for the correct hoses once again.
Soon I found a link on ebay to a well known seller, whose name I do not want to mention, offering the lines in all the colors I needed.
I ordered quite a few Ft of each color.
The seller describes them as factory correct and as a perfect part - see screenshots below.

As they do not ship to Europe, a friend of mine was so kind to forward the hoses to me.

When they arrived I was shocked - I have never ever seen a worse product.

The paint is peeling off or missing at all. As soon as you even slightly bend the hoses, the paint on the stripes just cracks and falls off. It could not be worse.
Also the hoses are too thick and the walls are to thick. The original hoses are quite a bit slimmer than these crappy reproduction hoses.

They also charged me for 15ft of red striped hoses but only sent 10ft. This was about the worst buying experience ever.
I´m trying to return the hoses at the moment - but communication with this seller is terrible.
I normally never criticize sellers here on my website and never leave any negative comments on ebay - but this is the worst I have ever experienced.

Shipping back these hoses will cost me at least $50 and I already paid $60 for having them shipped to me in Europe - with the import tax I will have lost $160.- for this BS… Money I would urgently need for some other parts… :-(

I´m now trying to find another good source for quality reproduction hoses. There is one Corvette parts dealer which looks promising as he offers some great kits for Corvettes, but they are all pre-cut… I hope he can send me some ft. of the hoses I will need - I hope that I will get a positive reply.

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Ebay seller screenshot - this is how they describe the hoses…
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As you can see the paint stripe is just cracking everywhere.edge
As you can see the paint stripe is just cracking everywhere.edge
As you can see the paint stripe is just cracking everywhere.edge
As you can see the paint stripe is just cracking everywhere.edge
As you can see the paint stripe was not even painted correctly on the green hose…

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DETAILING THE ENGINE BAY AND REMOVING A BROKEN BOLT FROM THE AIR PUMP OF THE 1974 CADILLAC

You can find much more pictures of this project in my 74 restoration gallery.

During the restoration of the battery tray of my 74 Coupe deVille I noticed that the belt from the AIR Pump was a little loose. While I tried to find out how to properly tension it, I noticed that one of the bolts going through the pulley into the pump seemed to stick out a little bit at a strange angle. When I touched it, it immediately broke off… Great…

So I had to remove the pump to be able to get to the broken pulley bolt and replace it with a good new one. It was very common on GM cars from the 70s which used this air pump, that the bolts broke off. GM used 3 very cheap and weak bolts to hold the pulley in place.

Before I took any bolts out to remove the pump, I sprayed every nut and bolt with penetrating oil to make sure I could open them without damage.

I anyway had to take out the AC compressor as well for another winter project. After that I removed the generator and then the air pump including all the brackets.
You can see the at the diagram below where the bolts are hiding.
With these parts removed I now have access to many parts of the engine which I can freshen up to the original factory fresh look. I will remove the surface rust on the block, clean everything and re-paint in the original Cadillac Blue paint.
I can clean the air pump, the generator and will blast the brackets and re-paint them. While the AIR Pump is out you might also want to check the diverter valve atop the smog pump to be sure the vacuum canister holds and hasn't ruptured at the vacuum diaphragm. If the diverter valve does not respond to vacuum, it can lead to all of the positive pressure from the pump being injected into the exhaust stream which can cause a backfire through the exhaust.
Many people also plug the AIR Pump and remove everything inside, so they do no longer have to bother with it. Rebuilt pumps are still available, but you can´t get the diverter valve anywhere.

So it is now officially my winter project to freshen up the engine bay

The air pump is very fragile btw. It's not allowed to put it into a vise. Luckily I could remove the broken bolt with a bolt extractor. I just had to drill into the remains of the stuck bolt a little bit and could then remove it using the left turning extractor tool.

I have now to find replacement bolts now. They seem to be SAE bolts with the following dimensions: 1/4"(diameter)-20(threads per inch) and 1/2" (without the head) long. The original bolts were of the lowest grade material, the new ones I am going to install will be grade 5 or grade 8.

While cleaning the block I decided to also remove the fan and water pump pulley to be able to clean them as well. The pulley was pretty rusty and I had to soak it in rust removing liquid for 48 hours before the rust was gone and I had to paint it immediately as this material develops flash rust immediately.

UPDATE - OCTOBER 28th 2016:


I now also removed the power steering pump to get better access to the front of the engine block. I will also remove the radiator to be able to remove the surface rust underneath. I will then have the entire engine bay dry ice blasted to properly clean everything.

UPDATE - NOVEMBER 5th 2016


I took out the radiator today to be able to clean the surface rust underneath.
I also finished painting all the brackets and the power steering pump which I took down to bare metal before.

You can find much more pictures of this project in my 74 restoration gallery.

As this project is still going on - I will update this posting here soon.

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The engine bay before the start of the project
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AC compressor and generator removed
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The area below the AC compressor will need some good de-rusting, cleaning and detailing
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Here you can see the remains of the broken bolt in the AIR pump
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The AIR pump before cleaning
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The AIR pump after cleaning - some details will still have to be done.edge
First I soaked the removed brakets in acetone to remove the dirt, grime and paint.
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This shows the brackets in the shop manual.
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This shows the brackets in the shop manual.
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This shows the brackets in the shop manual.
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The divert valve which is no longer available. Check the vacuum diaphragm inside while it is out.
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The divert valve which is no longer available. Check the vacuum diaphragm inside while it is out.
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I had to remove the spark plug wires - this is how to put them back correctly.
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The brackets after I removed the paint - soaking in rust removing liquid until all the rust is gone.
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All the brackets and the pulley are now clean, rustfree and ready for paint
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The brackets after painting.
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Rust removing gel in actionedge
Rust removing gel in action - I decided to remove the waterpump pulley and the fan as well after I took this picture.edge
Rust removing gel in action
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Almost clean - one more treatment will be necessary before it is ready for paint. The waterpump was not painted and therefore was pretty rusty.edge
The water pump is now completely rust free and ready for paint.
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I can now fully clean and detail the fan as well. It even still carries the factory stencil.edge
The water pump pulley after rust removal. I had to paint it very quickly because it developed flash rust immediately after removing it from the rust removing liquid.edge
The water pump pulley after rust removal. I had to paint it very quickly because it developed flash rust immediately after removing it from the rust removing liquid. Here it is in black primer to stop it from rusting.edge
The alternator housing after cleaning
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The power steering pump removed
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I took out the radiator to clean up the surface rust underneath…edge
The power steering pump right after painting with wet paint... I took it down to bare metal before painting, but I forgot to take a picture...

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RESTORING THE BATTERY TRAY IN THE 74 CADILLAC

I knew that the battery tray in my 74 did not look exactly very pretty. I finally found the time to remove the battery and to tackle this little project. Most battery trays have some form of rust due to acid-leaking batteries, and the one in my 74 was no exception.
I striped all the rust and paint and removed the headlights to get better access. I also de-rusted all the bolts, nuts and washers with rust removing liquid and removed the old paint with a wire brush.
After everything was completely rust free and down to clean bare metal, I primed the tray and afterwards painted it with 2 coats of Eastwood Chassis Black Extreme, which has an OEM sheen.
Now it is looking very nice again - almost OEM - and the new paint should protect it for a long time.

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With the battery and headlights removed
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Luckily the rust was not too bad
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Luckily the rust was not too bad
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Rust remover liquid in action
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After removing the rust
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I also cleaned the battery hold down
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Almost rust free tray after the first treatment with rust remover. I got it much cleaner after this picture was taken.
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Ready for paint - no more rust. Everything was also wire brushed and and sanded.
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Ready for paint
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The restored tray.
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The restored tray - you can see where the rust was, as it left some marks in the metal. But it is now well protected and rust should be stopped.

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ELECTRIC SEAT BACK LOCK IN THE 74 WAS BROKEN AGAIN

I noticed that my power seat back lock on the drivers side once again quit working, when I wanted to let my little boy climb inside the car onto the backseat, and I could no longer move the seat back without unlatching it manually.
I already made 2 previous repair attempts after the solenoid for the unlatching mechanism failed, and for a while it seemed to work perfectly after the repairs were made …

The last mechanism I installed got so weak that it did no longer unlatch by itself when I opened the door…

So I had to order another used unit from my favorite source - Arizona Vintage Parts.
They sent me a perfectly working unit once again - it only had some surface rust, which I removed with rust removing gel once again (see pictures below). After this treatment it looked like new.
Like the last time, I had to disassemble parts of the back seat to replace the defective actuator with a new working one.
The new actuator I installed did work right away, but upon further investigation, I noticed that the latch did not come off as easily as it should, after it had engaged with the striker. On the passenger side the latch does not even touch the striker while it unlatches.
So the solenoid needed a lot of power to unlatch, and when the door was open for a longer period of time the solenoid got pretty hot and would eventually burn at least one of the coils inside. You can only make some minor adjustments to the mechanism itself, and there was no way to get it right on my seat so that it could clear the striker without hanging up.
This definitely already was not done correctly at the factory, and the misalignment of the striker was the reason why the drivers door side solenoid always broke. I´m sure it worked for a while when the car left the factory, but eventually it caused problems.
The only way to make it right was to slightly modify the catch latch. I just had to remove a tiny bit of metal with a file and the mechanism could then move freely, and now the solenoid only needs very little power to unlatch the seat back, once the door is opened.
I hope this is a permanent fix now…

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The new part I got - before cleaning it up
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Removing the rust
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Removing the rust
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The clean mechanism
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I had to file a little bit of material from the edge of the latch, so that it could move freely. They messed up the striker alignment on the seat in the factory.

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THE ILLUMINATED ENTRY SYSTEM RELAY IN THE 78 ELDORADO

Whenever I connected the battery on my 78 Eldorado - the interior lights came on, and after about 15-20 seconds they would start flickering and turn off with a strange noise.
It took me a while to find out what was going on, but eventually I could track it down to the illuminated entry system relay.
Sometimes the interior lights would not come on at all, as they should when the car was locked and I pushed the door button from the outside, or the lights would only flicker, and one could hear a relay making a ratcheting sound.
After a while it dawned on me that the illuminated entry relay must be faulty.
After browsing on ebay for months, I found an offer for an NOS relay, which is extremely hard to find and not available anywhere, as this system was an extra cost option in 1978.
After mailing back and forth with the very well informed and nice seller, I began trying to locate the relay in my car to compare it to the one he offered. Two different ones where used in 1978. They came from two different manufactures but were interchangeable. They have different terminal locations which do not matter though, as there were two different connectors used which you can connect to both models. The part number for the relay is #3063206 - it's the same for both models.

It took me a while to figure out where the relay was hiding, as the factory shop manual did not reveal its location.
I finally found it behind the drivers side kick panel. You have to remove quite a few of the interior panels and the door sills to get access to it. Another problem is that the kick panel is connected with the hood release lever and cable, which makes it very difficult to remove. Luckily I could spread it open wide enough to access the relay without removing the hood release cable, which would have been a pain in the butt to get out.
I removed the relay and compared it to the one I found on ebay, and it was identical to the one which was offered. So I hit the "BUY IT NOW" button immediately as I was concerned that somebody else could buy it.

I then opened the relay up. I wanted to take more pictures, but the battery of my phone died, and I had no other camera at hand - thats the reason why I unfortunately do not have more pictures of this repair.

Everything looked good inside, but then I found out why the relay did not work properly.
It should be mounted to the car with a screw which acts as the ground for the relay, which acts as a 20sec timer for the illuminated entry system.
But there was no screw on the relay… After further investigation I found a broken screw underneath the carpet, and the rest of the screw was stuck inside the screw hole.
It looks like the screw already broke off when the car was assembled and nobody cared as it might have worked for a while… Sometimes the system worked and sometimes it didn't… Probably the owners did not even notice the problem - it took me about a year to notice it as well…

I had a hard time getting the broken screw out of the hole, but after fiddling with it for about an hour, I got it loose and could screw it out. Luckily I had a spare screw and reinstalled the original relay with the new screw, and voila - it now works perfectly again. It probably never worked that good before - even when the car was new…
Too bad I had already ordered the new relay - but at least I have a spare NOS part now, which I will hopefully never need!

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My original relay after I opened it up
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The NOS relay I found on ebay - part # 3063206 - its exactly the same one as I originally have in my car. It is made by Philips.
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The NOS relay I found on ebay - part # 3063206 - exactly the same one I originally have in my car. It is made by Philips.

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MY 5 MINUTES OF FAME - I´M ON TV

The Cadillac BIG Meet 2016 was featured on 4 different TV stations in Austria. I am in the organization team of the meeting and responsible for media and PR of the event, so I had to give some interviews.
One team even visited me and my friend Christian in our garages.
Thank you very much to all the teams who did a great job, broadcasting these great reports!

You can see the videos of the reports below!

Servus-TV


BTV - Mehr Region für Mich


Info-TV


ORF-OÖ


Enjoy watching them!
Below are two making off pictures I took while the Servus-TV team did its work.
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The Servus-TV cameraman at work in my garage.
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The Servus-TV cameraman at work in my garage.

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CADILLAC BIG MEET 2016

I´m one of the members of the organization team of the Cadillac BIG Meet - Europe´s biggest Cadillac Meeting.
For me, this meeting is the highlight of my favorite hobby. It's not only about seeing some great Cadillacs from all over Europe, but its also about meeting such great people and working in the best organization team you could imagine. All of the members of the team have become great friends over the years, and this is what I´m enjoying most about this hobby.

This years Cadillac BIG Meet had a special exhibition about the rear wheel drive Eldorados, and this is why I brought the 58 Seville and also publicly showed the 74 Coupe deVille after the restoration for the first time.

We had a fantastic time at this weekend, and my family and I enjoyed it very much. I´m looking forward to the next BIG Meet in 2018. We have already began planing.

You can find hundreds of pictures we took at this event on the official website of the Cadillac BIG Meet - here are only a few appetizers. Make sure to check out the full galleries!

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My wife drove the 74 and I drove the 58 to the show - here is a picture at the hotel parking lot
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One of the highlights for me was to
see my former 66 CDV once again - this car is so fantastic. It really is a pity I had to sell it… :-(
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On the hotel parking lot we had the opportunity to photograph my friend Lucky´s breathtaking 1958 Eldorado Biarritz
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My 74 during sunset at the hotel parking lot
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My son Elliot and me enjoying the evening after the Driving Tour on Saturday.
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Some of the Eldorados we had on display - The 60 in the background is Carry Grants former car - the 59 Seville once belonged to Marilyn Monroe
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Eldorado Hill
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Eldorado Hill
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Eldorado Hill
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Eldorado Hill
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Two 74s side by side
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The best organization team and our volunteers
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The Cadillac BIG Meet donates its income to charity - this year we could raise 1.840 Euros which we donated to the Red Cross

CHECK OUT ALL THE PICTURES HERE

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GETTING READY FOR THE CADILLAC BIG MEET

The best and biggest Cadillac Meeting in Europe is just around the corner, and I took a whole week off from work, just to get my cars ready for the show. The theme for the 2016 event is the " Rear Wheel Drive Eldorados from 1953 to 1966" - so I will have to show my 58 Seville there. But I will also display my 74, which just returned from the repair shop where I had the wheel housings done. As the car spent many weeks there, it is extremely dirty. It looked like it was covered with overspray almost everywhere, which is extremely hard to remove.

I had to clay the paint numerous times and also had to compound it 2 times and polish it 2 times before I finally could apply a coat of wax. Also all the exterior glass was extremely contaminated, and I had to use glass polish to get it smooth again.
I spent 12-16 hours a day, for 4 days in a row with almost no breaks, trying to get the car as clean as possible. I do really work fast, and I could not get it to the level of cleanliness I would have liked, but not many people will notice the areas I could not finish ;-) Looks like I will have to spend next winter to get it as clean as I want it to be.

I am looking forward to the Cadillac BIG Meet now! I will drive the 58 Seville and my wife will take the 74 together with my son to the show, as the 58 has no seat belts.

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Manuel was one of the first to drive his Eldorado to the Cadillac BIG Meet this year all the way from Düsseldorf. On his way he stopped by my garage and I gave him tour and showed him my humble collection.
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Getting the paint clean took forever
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I already fully cleaned the 58 Seville for the Cadillac BIG Meet weeks ago - so I just had to dust it off :-)

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