GERALD´S CADILLACS


WWW.ELDORADO-SEVILLE.COM

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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THE 1974 IS NOW STREET LEGAL IN AUSTRIA

If you import a Cadillac into Austria, you have to make some modifications to it to pass the state inspection, which is necessary to get a registration, which is needed to be able to legally drive the car here.
This state inspection is very thorough, and they do test everything. Everything like the brakes, lights, horn, wipers and everything else has to work. They also check and test the complete suspension.
It's not allowed to have rust, and the car has to run as clean as possible to pass the smog test.

One of the major modifications that need to be done involves converting the lighting system of the car. Red directional lights are not allowed - amber blinkers are obligatory. The parking light has to be inside the headlight. T3 - sealed beams are not allowed - we have to have H4. We have to make room to be able to install license plate holders for our huge number plates, and the rear one has to be lit. So a lot of modifications have to be made - some of them are pretty major and involve the cars wiring of the tail lights.
For an originality freak like me, it hurts a lot to do these modifications, and I´m always doing them in a way that they could theoretically be undone and reverted back to original condition after the inspection… (only if it would be legal of course) So the most important goal is to do everything without destroying anything and not cutting any wires.

Together with my friends Lucky and Steve I spent a whole evening in the shop where my undercarriage project was still going on, to do all these necessary modifications to pass the inspection.
Steve is the electrical genius among my great Cadillac friends, and he found the perfect solution to pass the inspection without wire cutting involved. He also fabricated the illuminated license plate holders. My friend Lucky also helped a lot!
Thank you guys - it's an honor for me to have you as my friends.

On August 11 th the 74 passed the state inspection with flying colors. The inspector was extremely impressed by the condition of the car. He said that it looked better than a new car. He also could not find any technical flaws. Thank you to Mike Meier from Mikes Garage for helping me as well!
The car now has a registration as an "historic car", and I can finally legally drive it!

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My friends Lucky and Steve at workedge
My friend Steve at work - working on the wiring for the rear blinkersedge
My friends Lucky and Steve at workedge
My friends Lucky and Steve at work. The car did not come with a front license plate holder - so Steve fabricated one for our huge Austrian platesedge
This is how we did the rear turn signal conversion on my 78 Eldorado - on the 74 its almost identical.edge
In Mikes Garage
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During the state inspection - here they are testing the front suspension on a moving plate.
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I now have all the necessary documents to drive the car.

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THE 1974 UNDERCARRIAGE PROJECT IS FINISHED

The cleanup of the undercarriage of my low mileage, all original 74 Coupe deVille turned into a big project, which almost took a year instead of only a few weeks.
I had some really bad luck with non sticking paint, undercoating reacting with the paint and shops not doing their job right…
The goal of this project was to remove all the surface rust, clean everything up and paint it in the correct colors again. For the ultimate, invisible protection I applied transparent undercoating from "Timemax" and transparent stone guard to the wheel housings. It was very important for me that the car looks as original and as perfect from the underside as the rest of it.
You can read reports about what I had to do by clicking here. You can also see all the restoration pictures in this gallery.

The undercarriage restoration project involved the following things:

Other things I did on the 74 during this project:
  • Repaired seat back release (3 times)
  • Repaired the transmission shift dial indicator which was stuck in “L“ position.
  • Replaced some of the plastic headlight adjusting parts which were broken.
  • Fabricated license plate holders for Austrian plates.
  • Repaired front ashtray mechanism which was stuck.
  • Fixed loose left outer rear view mirror.
  • Fixed a hole in the exhaust. (Temporary fix before I will replace the still original system which was installed in 1974)
  • Replaced numerous burnt bulbs inside and outside of the car.
  • Replaced AC compressor as bearing and clutch was shot.
  • Repaired clock .
  • Repaired radio.
  • Replaced all speakers.
  • Replaced heater core.
  • Replaced front center bumper ends.
  • Adjusted grill which was misaligned by the factory.
  • Restored battery tray.
  • Adjusted doors as they did not close well.
  • Repaired door striker on passenger side.
  • Replaced door bumper rubber.
  • Installed new reproduction - correct heater hoses.
  • Flushed cooling system.
  • Changed oil.
  • Changed shocks front and back.
  • Changed stabilizer link and rubber.
  • Replaced incorrect lug nuts.
  • Changed lighting system to Austrian standards to get it road legal for the inspection.
  • Replaced hood ornament.
  • Replaced panel in dash.
  • Sandblasted and repainted valve covers.
  • Repaired washer fluid sensor.
  • Replaced antenna.
  • Fully detailed the paint and interior.
  • Polished the windshield with glass polish.
  • Painted oil pans.
  • Painted fuel tank.
  • Touched up some small stone chips
  • Perfectly removed dents on the roof which happened during shipping of the car from the USA to Europe
  • Tuned carburetor to factory specs

I´m sure that I have already forgotten some details - unfortunately I often forgot to take pictures, so I cant document everything with pictures…

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The various stages of this projectedge
The re-painted wheelhousings. There are a few coats of "Timemax transparent undercoating" and "Timemax Body transparent" - a stone guard applied to protect the paint underneath.This stuff is great and also almost invisible.
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The re-painted wheelhousings. There are a few coats of "Timemax transparent undercoating" and "Timemax Body transparent" - a stone guard applied to protect the paint underneath.This stuff is great and also almost invisible. You can also see the detailed splash guards back in place.edge
The re-painted wheelhousings. There are a few coats of "Timemax transparent undercoating" and "Timemax Body transparent" - a stone guard applied to protect the paint underneath.This stuff is great and also almost invisible. You can also see the detailed splash guards back in place.edge
I removed all the rust inside the fender skirts as well and painted them afterwards to protect them. I also undercoated them with transparent undercoating as well.edge
I used tar remover to clean the inside of the fender skirts which still had some factory applied undercoating on them.edge
This is how the rest of the underside of my 74 is looking now. I painted everything in the correct colors and protected it with transparent undercoating afterwards.

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PHOTOSHOOTING WITH THE 58 ELDORADO SEVILLE

When we did the test of the Driving Tour for the Cadillac BIG Meet just recently, I did not have a Cadillac with me, as the weather forecast was not too good. Today after work I wanted to test the steep mountain we are planning to drive up on the upcoming tour with an older Cadillac. So I hoped into the 58 and drove up the mountain just before sunset. Luckily I had a camera with me and I could snap a couple of nice pictures up on the mountain - right after the sun had set.
The 58 made the hill climb without any problem. Here are 3 pictures I shot - you can find the rest of the pictures here:
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TESTING THE CADILLAC BIG MEET DRIVING TOUR

I´m a proud member of the organization team of the Cadillac BIG Meet, which is Europe´s biggest Cadillac Meeting.
On the day before the meeting we always organize a Driving Tour with about 50 cars participating.
Today out team tested the tour in advance of the actual event on August 25th 2016.
We drove up a nice mountain - the "Gmundnerberg" in the "Salzkammergut" where we will have lunch.
All cars in our little convoy made it without a problem.
While we were up on the mountain we used the opportunity to shoot a couple of promotion pictures, which you can find below - or all of them here:

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1964 Cadillac and 1965 DeVille in rare Samoa Bronzeedge
1964 Cadillac and 1965 DeVille in rare Samoa Bronze
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1965 DeVille in rare Samoa Bronze
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1965 DeVille in rare Samoa Bronze
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1964 Sedan deVille
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PHOTOSHOOTING WITH THE 78 ELDORADO

My 78 Eldorado Biarritz is a low mileage all original car with only 11k miles on the odometer. My plan is to not drive it more than 100 miles a year. This evening I had a very nice cruise with my wife and luckily we brought our camera with us and snapped a couple of very nice pictures during sunset. You can find the whole gallery by clicking here. Here are 2 previews.
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FIXING A LEAKING VALVE COVER ON MY 1967 DEVILLE

The right valve cover on my 1967 Cadillac DeVille always had a small leak and eventually some oil would seep down on the exhaust manifold and cause some smoke when it burnt.
The gasket was replaced a couple of times since I own the car, but it never was very successful in stoping the leakage.
After my last attempt it leaked even more than before…

The valve cover design of the 429 engine is not exactly the best from a technical standpoint. It's only held in place by 4 screws.

I did some research and tried a different approach this time to seal it.

First I used a different valve cover from a spare engine I have in my garage which did not show any signs of leakage.
I had to fully detail it first to make it look perfect. I repainted it with Bill Hirsch Engine enamel in the correct color.
I made sure that everything was flat as these cover often get warped at the bolt holes by over tightening them.
They checked out flat. I then glued the new cork gasket (I used a Fel-Pro gasket) to the valve cover with high temp gasket sealer. To make sure that it stayed where it belongs to I used a lot of cloth pins to keep the gasket in place.
I let it dry over night.
The next day I put some wheel bearing grease to the other side of the gasket and put it back on the heads. The grease helps to make sure that you can remove the gasket any time again.

I then tightened the four bolts to 28 INCH/Pounds of torque as specified by the shop manual. (thats 3,1 NM) I had to buy a small torque wrench for such a small torque rating first… I could have never guessed how much torque it is.

I then ran the engine and let it cool down and re-torqued the bolts afterwards.

After the first 25 miles test drive it seems that the valve cover is 100% leak free for the first time since I own this car.
I´m not sure what fixed it this time, but during my research I read multiple times, that for cork gaskets one should not use gasket sealer on the head side of the gasket, and one should only use grease instead. Some recommend that gasket adhesive (spray) should be used to keep the gasket in place in the valve cover.

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I know it looks very strange, but I used cloth pins to make sure that the gasket is glued to the valve cover properly…

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THE 1967 WATERPUMP PROJECT IS COMING TO AN END - DETAILING THE AC COMPRESSOR AND A LEAKING VALVE COVER

The engine in my 67 Deville is back together after the water pump replacement and engine bay detailing.
The project had a major delay as the reproduction radiator hoses were held by customs for 5 weeks. Its unbelievable…

I could now finally refill the cooling system and start the car again with the new water pump in place.
The car fired right up although I had also removed the distributor and forgot to mark how it was in. So I had to find TDC (top dead center) before I could install the distributor back into the car.
I also bought a cheap timing light and set the timing to 5 degrees.
You have to set idling to 480 rpm, disconnect the vacuum hose to the distributor and the parking brake and plug the hoses to set timing correctly

After the first few miles I am quite satisfied with my work. I hope that everything will stay like this and that no leaks will show up.
Only the right valve cover where I had replaced the gasket seemed to have a slight leak with oil dropping on the exhaust manifold... Looks like I will have to take the compressor out again to be able to take the valve cover off again and install another new gasket… But first I will have to find out why it is actually leaking. I hope that the cover itself is not warped as it was already leaking before on exactly the same spot. Often these covers get tightened down too much. All it needs is 28 INCH pounds of torque (3,1 NM) I will also make sure the screw holes have not become dished (usually due to over-tightening of the screws).  Use a small block of wood as an anvil and a small hammer to flatten the screw holes back out.

The engine somehow runs and idles better than before and has more power. It seems like the ignition was off before. I had the car tuned by a professional years ago - another thing they did not get right...

The new reproduction hoses I got from Fusik are also in place with the correct tower hose clamps. The hoses have the correct numbers stamped on, but compared to my original hoses the stamping looks different where the numbers are much smaller. The hoses fit very well, only the lower radiator hose had to be cut a little to fit.

I also detailed the replacement AC compressor I installed years ago. I bought a new reproduction decal which is a very good match to the original decal. In general I found out that all the reproduction decals available out there are not a 100% match. They look very similar but they all differ in size, spacing of the numbers, and most of the time the font used is very similar, but not exactly the same. I have no idea why the manufactures did not get it 100% right. Maybe I will have to produce my own decals in the future… Most of the AC compressor labels you can buy are incorrect for the year or model they are offered. If you want to get the correct one for the 67 Deville you will have to buy the one for the 67 Eldorado. Often these reproduction decals have the wrong colors, numbers and R12 capacity on them. So do your research to get the correct one.

Another challenge was to reproduce the O.K. inspection stamp. Years ago I found the stamp on ebay and experimented with different kinds of paint and never got any useable results.
Eventually I found a stamp kit set for Corvettes which included the correct yellow paint and a stamp felt and the Corvette stamp. I could not use the Corvette stamp of course, but the rest of the kit is perfect and finally I could apply the stamp to my AC compressor which now looks factory new again.

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The engine is back together
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The detailed AC compressor
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The O.K: final test stamp

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A NEW WATER PUMP FOR THE 67 DEVILLE AND DETAILING THE ENGINE

I woke the 67 from its winter hibernation recently. Everything was fine at first... I changed the oil, flushed the coolant and brake fluid and checked everything through. After I finished the annual service work, I started the car again and suddenly the water pump started to make terrible noises. It looked like the bearing of the water pump was shot... It seems to have also started leaking at the shaft...
So I ordered a new, high quality rebuilt water pump from one of my favorite sources.
When I got it, I found out that it was one for a 64/65 Cadillac with an additional water outlet. This seems to be the type everybody is selling nowadays and it is much more common. It will fit the 1967 429 engine and it even has the additional water outlet pre-plugged with a rubber plug. The problem I had with it, is that it looks completely incorrect on the 1967 Cadillac, and so it was not acceptable for me.
I then found
a very good source for Cadillac parts. They are priced higher than other outlets (if you can even find this parts anywhere else..), but David - the owner - offers only 100% correct and high quality parts. He also has a huge collection of NOS parts. I found some parts through him that I did not find anywhere else. His customer service is excellent as well - I can highly recommend him.

Until around 2009 I had most work on my cars performed by a restoration shop specialized in American Cars. Then I decided to no longer go there for a lot of reasons. With the growing numbers of cars I collected, I could no longer afford to pay somebody to have all the work done, and I no longer accepted to pay good money for lousy work and bear the shop owners terrible attitude against his clients.
Now that I´m trying to do everything by myself,
I found a lot of bad work the professionals did, and sometimes I´m really shocked to see what I wasted my money for, but I had no idea about cars and they could have told me everything and I would have believed them…. Lots of work they did leaves a lot to be desired, and you can see some examples in the pictures below…
When they repainted parts of my 67 Deville´s engine,
they used the completely incorrect Cadillac blue, which was used from 1977 on. I always hated it, and now that I had to disassemble so much to replace the water pump they did in 2001, I decided to paint everything correctly.

I detailed all the parts I took off and had them media blasted. After they were cleaned, I painted them with the correct shade of Cadillac Blue. Bill Hirsch engine enamel is the best and most correct engine enamel for Cadillacs. You can see lots of pictures below which document what I did. Besides the incorrect paint I found out that fuel lines were damaged, bolts were missing or broken off and many other small flaws which I corrected now.
I´m now waiting for
the correct upper and lower radiator hoses to arrive, which are reproduced by Fusick, to replace the still original hoses from 1967! The originals still look great and would probably last for a long time, but I do not want to take any chances… I am now hoping that nothing is leaking and that I wont have to re-do any of the work.

When I took the r
adiator out, the overflow tube came loose. I already had the same problem years ago, and it was not fixed properly by the restoration shop… Luckily I found an old gentleman locally, who could brace it back together the old school way. I will of course detail the radiator as well before installing it back into the car.


This is a short video which shows the problem I had with the water pump and the bad bearing. You can clearly see the wobbling of the shaft and hear the shot bearing.
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This is how the engine bay looked like before, with everything painted in the incorrect later Cadilllac Blue...
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The defective water pump is about to come out. I will also replace the painted fuel line with a correct one from a spare engine I have. The water pump made a loud bearing noise and the shaft was a little loose.edge
I will sandblast and repaint the hot water crossover passage.edge
Water pump, radiator and valve covers removed.edge
The water pump was removed - the front cover looks pretty good.edge
This is the incorrect 1965 water pump everybody is selling for the 429 engines. It will work with the 66 and 67 Cadillacs as well, but it has an additional water outlet which was not used from 1966 on. If you buy them for your 66 or 67 the no longer used outlet is often blocked like you can see on this picture. The correct 1966/67 pumps are much harder to find and way more expensive.edge
The original water pump on the left and the correct rebuilt 1966/67 Cadillac pump on the right in the correct color.edge
I will sandblast and repaint all this parts soon.edge
I do have two bigger projects in my garage at the moment and it looks like a mess in there.edge
The parts before they were media blasted.
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1967 Cadillac Water Pump torque specifications - make sure to follow them EXACTLY!edge
This is how a professional restoration shop damaged the original fuel line when it tightened it 15 years ago during a carburetor rebuild. i think I was lucky that it did not leak and still let fuel through...
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I detailed the fuel lines I have from my spare engine and installed these instead..
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Another construction the restoration shop made for the AC compressor bracket: - instead of rubber bushings they installed this nuts, bolts and washer construction ...edge
Another construction the restoration shop made for the AC compressor bracket: - instead of rubber bushings they installed this nuts, bolts and washer construction ...edge
I changed it back to original with the correct bolts and rubber bushings which I soaked in silicone lubricant for a couple of hours to make them soft again...
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When I removed the overflow hose from the radiator the neck came loose. Luckily I found an older gentleman locally, who could brace it back together the old school way. I will of course detail the radiator as well before installing it back into the car.edge
I did not want to remove the front cover so I had to repaint the oil filler tube inside the car... First I brought it back to bare metal.
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Oil filler tube - painted in the correct shade of Cadillac Engine Blue.
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I detailed everything I removed from the car.edge
I primered and fillered the valve covers and sanded them to perfection before painting.edge
The distributor after painting. This spray gray paint from Eastwood replicates cast steel very very well. I tricked a lot of people with this paint who insisted that it must be bare metal.
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I used Bill Hirsch engine enamel to paint all the engine parts.edge
The new water pump and the mediablasted and then repainted parts back in the car. Also painted the water pump pulley in the correct color now (black).edgeedge
Most things are back together. I am still waiting for the correct reproduction radiator hoses to arrive. I did not repaint the intake manifold in the correct color as I did not have the necessary gaskets to reinstall it. I will do this eventually later, in the case that I have to remove the carburetor...

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RESTORING THE 1974 CADILLAC´S WHEEL HOUSINGS ONCE AGAIN

I do not know why I have such bad luck with my 1974 undercarriage project. I already had to do it twice and I just found out that I will probably have to do at least the inner fenders a third time... On Thursday, as a final step, I added a transparent stone chip guard to the wheel housings and it somehow reacted with the paint underneath and caused ripples. The manufacturer insists that this is impossible and has no clue what could have caused this, and I had to send them some samples for further investigations. Normally I never give up, but all I know is that I do not have the power, time, money and motivation to do it a third time all by myself.
I have already been so close to the finish line...
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I have no idea how to finish this project now, I will most probably have the 4 wheel housings done again by a professional restoration shop eventually. The rest of the undercarriage is finished and looks fantastic. I used the correct colors and replicated the factory new look.

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The finished undercarriage - I applied some transparent undercoating over the freshly painted underbody which is completely invisible. This is some great stuff!edge
The transparent stone guard reacted with the paint... Now it's peeling off...edge
The transparent stone guard reacted with the paint... Now its peeling off...

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1974 HOOD ORNAMENT, DASH TRIM REPLACEMENT AND SPLASH GUARD DETAILING

I did some more detailing work on the hood ornament, replaced a dash trim part and also detailed the rubber splash guards in the inner fenders.


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Some 1974 models like the "Cabriolet" Coupe DeVille version were equipped with see through hood ornaments. The one on my car was quite pitted so I got a new used one which looks much better.

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This is how Cadillac typically mounted its hood standup ornaments.
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The previous owner glued some emblem to the dash which came off and left some residue on the plastic wood. I got a good used part and replaced it. Here you can see the old part in the front and the "new" part already installed. As I had the dash cover still removed from my heater core replacement and radio/speaker repair it was only a matter of removing two screws.
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I removed all the rust from the splash guards in the inner fenders with rust remover gel and repainted them afterwards. Here you can see the applied gel.
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The original rubber splash guards got a very good cleaning and are still in very good condition. The rubber has white/grey fabric woven into the rubber - therefor it's not completely black and the white dots you see are not dirt.

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1978 CADILLAC ELDORADO CB ANTENNA

I just recently found out that the power antenna in my 78 Eldorado is not the factory correct one anymore.
My Eldo comes with a radio with the CB option, so it should have the according tri-band antenna for the 78 Eldorado.
One of the previous owners had replaced the original antenna with a replacement antenna, which worked, but it had very poor CB reception and of course it does not look correctly.

What I have found out is that #22010515 was the original part number for the antenna.
This antenna was also used in the 1977 to 1982 Corvette and is extremely rare...
Replacement antennas had the part number #22010661 on the sticker with a date code below.
When these replacement antennas were no longer available, it seems they switched to a different antenna design as a replacement #12355706 (which I had in my car). This last design came with a special antenna splitter. I do not know if this splitter is essential or of it would also work with the original splitter which is still in my car.

It took me quite a while to find the correct antenna for my car as it seems to be made out of "unobtainium". I did search the net for days and somebody sent me an incorrect antenna which was for a Buick… Suddenly during my daily search, a correct, working antenna showed up on ebay, and I immediately hit the "Buy it now" button. It was not exactly cheap, but I was happy to have finally found it. When it arrived I cleaned it up properly.

I then found out that I would also need the correct antenna bezel on the fender. Various sellers sent me incorrect ones which they claimed would be the correct ones, and eventually I found a good used one from the seller of my antenna and a NOS one from a parts vendor (it has not arrived yet as once again USPS sent it to Australia instead of Austria - don't ask what this little bezel has cost… :-( )

I then also had to replace the thinner replacement antenna lead with an original one going from the antenna splitter behind the glove box to the antenna. I got this one from Arizona Vintage Parts.
I can say now that my car is 100% correct again. Unfortunately this project was an extremely expensive project and I will now try to sell all the not needed parts on ebay. They will fit Eldorados with non CB antennas and the other wrong CB antenna I got will be for Buicks, but could also be installed into the 78 Cadillacs, as the mast itself is exactly the same as on the original antenna and from the outside it would look completely stock. But purist as I am, I just needed the 100% correct antenna ;-)

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The later style replacement CB antenna which I wanted to replace with an original one.
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The later replacement style fender bezel looks completely different from the original one.
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On the left you can see the official later style replacement CB antenna which looks very different. It does not have a load coil and no additional stub antenna. This is part #12355706. On the right you can see the original 1978 CB power antenna with the load coil on the mast and two antenna leads and the additional FM stub antenna. This antenna is nearly impossible to find…
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Thats the CB - load coil, which can be adjusted. The plastic unfortunately got very brittle over the years on all antennas of this vintage.
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This are the instructions which came with the car, if you ordered the very expensive CB option…
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The antenna trim bezels for the 1978 Cadillacs. On the left the one for the regular antenna - on the right the one for the CB antenna with a larger diameter in the plastic part. The chrome ring is exactly the same for both. These two are used ones I found.
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I cant believe that I was lucky enough to find this super rare antenna bezel as a NOS part - still wrapped in its original plastic bag. Not exactly a bargain, but its 100% perfect.
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The new, correct antenna installed into the car.
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This is the incorrect CB antenna I got. It could be installed into a 78 Eldorado without any problem and would look 100% correct from the outside. It works perfectly smooth, and the chrome mast is in excellent condition. The load coil and the FM stub antenna are all there. The previous owner of this antenna removed it from a 78 Eldorado, but it would normally be correct for Buicks. If you are not such a purist as I am, you can buy it from me for what I paid for it. ($250 + shipping) It comes with all the necessary hardware to install it.

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SANDBLASTING AND DRY ICE BLASTING/CLEANING THE UNDERCARRIAGE OF THE 74 CADILLAC

The work on the undercarriage continues now after the problems I had last fall. As the new paint did not stick to the undercarriage at all, I have to redo the entire project I started in the fall of 2015 once again. The car already looked fantastic when I found out that I have a problem.
The paint shop wanted to have the undercarriage media blasted this time, to make sure that everything is 100% clean, and that the paint can stick to the metal much better due to a rough surface.

Personally I´m not a big fan of media blasting a non disassembled car, as so many things could go wrong and I do not recommend to do it to anybody else.
The paint shop really wanted to go this route though, and they said that they have a very experienced media blaster to perform the work.
They did tape the car for hours to make sure that the blasting media would not go close to any mechanical or fragile parts.
The blaster worked with very low pressure (1bar - 14psi) to get the old paint off and it really came off within minutes. He did not want to risk anything and so there were some areas with the old paint left after he was finished.

We then spent a whole day trying to get rid of the rest of the remaining paint, by hand. With 240 grit paper we worked on all the areas we could reach. After a whole day under the car it was clear that we could not reach all the areas and that the job would not be good enough.

I then contacted a dry ice blaster who took over to remove the rest of the remaining paint. Normally you cannot remove paint with dry ice blasting, but as the paint on my car´s undercarriage does not stick, it works. It took him a couple of hours to get everything off.
The undercarriage is now completely clean and back to bare metal once again. He even was able to remove some of the old undercoating in the rear wheel wells which the other dry ice blaster could not get off.

We will now degrease everything multiple times and then scuff all the metal. Then its time to mask all the necessary parts and repaint everything once again with 2k paint. I will keep you updated here on my website about the progress.

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The media blaster at work
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Media blasting the undercarriage.
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The bare metal wheel housing after blasting. The rest of the paint was removed later by hand and by dry ice cleaning.
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After blasting
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Ready for dry ice cleaning.
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The dry ice cleaner managed to get the last undercoating out of the rear wheel housings.
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Dry ice cleaning
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Everything is perfectly clean now.
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All the suspension parts were perfectly cleaned as well.

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FLUSHING THE COOLANT OF THE 74

I had replaced the heater core recently as it was leaking and it was disconnected when I got the car. As I did not know when the cooling system was flushed for the last time I wanted to flush everything before I reconnected the heater core.
I first flushed everything with a cooling system flush chemical followed by fresh water and then I put in all new coolant (I used Prestone) and connected the heater core to the system again. Everything came out very clean, so I think that a good flush was already done a short time before I got the car.
It took a while until I got the air out of the system and the new heater core did not work at first. But after about 30 minutes of letting the car idle at about 2.000 rpm, the air was out and the AC finally blew out warm air.
Its great to have heat in the car again.

When I reconnected the heater valve to the heater core I needed a short piece of heater hose. I found perfect reproductions at Fusick - they look exactly like the original GM heater hoses with 5 ribs and are available by the foot. They are not exactly cheap, but perfect replacements if original appearance is important for you. They are also available in the correct size - 5/8 and 3/4. The smaller diameter goes from the heater core to the hot water valve.
By the way - Fusick has exceptional customer service , which impressed me very much. I will definitely buy from them in the future again.

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Fusick offers a perfect reproduction of the original ribbed GM heater hoses. The original heater hoses had 5 ribs just like these super nice reproductions.
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I re-connected the new heater core to the cooling system and used correct reproduction heater hoses to connect the original heater valve which is still working perfectly. The hose clamps are not the correct ones yet. I think there should be tower style hose clamps which I do not have at the moment. There is still an original one on the bottom of the valve and also one on the other heater hose, thats why I´m very sure that the other two clamps should be tower style as well. I have not found a perfect reproduction clamp yet, but I´m still looking…

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PAINTING VALVE COVERS

I´m still improving the appearance of my already fantastic 74 Cadillac. I want to keep it as much original as possible, but there are some things which I wanted to improve cosmetically.
The valve covers still wore their original factory applied Cadillac Blue paint which had suffered quite a bit over the last decades. Thats why I decided that I wanted to freshen them up.

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Thats how the engine bay looked like when I got the car.

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As you can see - the valve covers did not look too nice after all those years…

I bought "Bill Hirsch Engine Enamel" which is the perfect color match among all available engine enamels. Some others are good matches as well, but its said that Bill Hirsch is perfect. Also it seems to be the most durable engine enamel on the market.
The color match is really absolutely spot on. The only "issue" I had, was that the enamel is not exactly easy to work with. I have to admit that I´m not very good in spray painting, so I had to do the covers 4 times until I was happy with them.
I always had some paint runnings or dirt on the covers after spraying on the paint what is of course my fault.
Normally you can wet-sand imperfections out of the paint, but thats not possible with this enamel. You also cant spray over the paint to correct problems as the new paint will eat up the old one and damage it permanently. Its also drying extremely slowly and is extremely soft, so you can get scratches even with a microfiber cloth if you are trying to clean them.
It can take up to 4 months until the enamel is fully cured and hard.
These are things you have to be aware of if you are using this high temperature engine enamel.
I still highly recommend Bill Hirsch Enamel and I would not use anything else on my cars.

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Bill Hirsch Engine Enamel - the perfect color match for the original Cadillac dark blue that was used from 1949 to 1976. Make sure to read the instructions before using this enamel - its quite different to use than other paints…


When I took the covers off my car, I media blasted them, as there was some rust on them where the paint has come off. I then used several coats of filler primer and wet-sanded between coats to fill up the former rust pores. So I got a perfectly smooth surface again.
In the meantime I thoroughly cleaned the surfaces on the rocker arms where the gasket was, to make sure that I would get a good sealing once a new gasket was installed.

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My friend Richard trying to media blast the covers.
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Completely rust free after sandblasting - but one can see where the rust once was…
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I applied several coats of filler primer and sanded the covers to a perfectly smooth finish.
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After spraying them with Bill Hirsch Engine Enamel…


After the application of the engine enamel I let the covers dry for 2 weeks before I installed them back into the car. I made sure that the new cork seal was well seated and tightened the screws carefully. You only have to tighten them to 3nm - thats only hand tight. After the first test run they seem to seal perfectly.

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Back in the car.
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Back in the car
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Back in the car - as you can see there are some more areas which could use some fresh paint as well. I will do that later,

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1974 CADILLAC SPEAKER REPLACEMENT

When I got my 74 only one speaker inside the car did still work. I was not sure if the radio was the problem, or if the speakers were shot. I tested the speakers while they were still inside the car, and they were indeed defective.
I have to repair my radio anyway (see here) as it does not work properly. My friend Steve who is so kind to repair the radio for me already found out that the radio had a defect which caused the speakers to burn through.
So it was clear that I would need new speakers for my car.

In the past I already had to install replacement speakers in most of my cars. I´m always replacing them with replacement speakers from Turnswitch. They do have some really good reproduction speakers which fit perfectly with only minor modifications necessary. I have dealt with them a couple of times and they are always extremely helpful and friendly and their speakers are great. That is why I can truly recommend them and will use them again if I ever need some speakers in the future.

If you have a stereo/tape radio you need their round 3 1/2" speakers with the block cover to be able to reuse the factory mounting clips for the front speakers in the dash.
The mounting ears have to be cut off and the speaker is then held in with the wire clips used on many GM applications.

The cover blocks are the shape of the original magnet structure and go over the magnets for the wire clip. They are made of wood and you have to glue them onto the speaker in the same orientation as the original magnet. Also make sure that polarity is correct - for some reason it's exactly opposite to the original speakers and you have to connect the positive cable (green or blue) to the speaker lead with the red dot. On the original speakers the wires on the front speakers were soldered on - I re-did it with connectors on the new speakers as they are easier to install and to remove with them.
The new front speakers do not have a dust screen on them, so I carefully removed the screen from the original speakers and glued it to the replacements speakers. So they are protected now and it looks factory correct as you could see the missing screen through the speaker grilles on the dash.
To remove the left speaker and install the new one you have to remove the AC hose to get access to the speaker. The speaker cables are relatively short so be careful not to damage them when you pull the speaker out.

For the rear speakers you need their 6x9 speakers which come with a dust screen already installed.
Here you need to do some more modifications as the original speakers have an additional bracket with a bolt, which holds the insulated cardboard cover in the trunk in place. Without this bracket you cant install this cover.

I carefully drilled out the rivet which holds the original bracket in place and also drilled a hole into the metal frame of the new speaker. I then used a small bolt and nut instead of a rivet to install it onto the new speaker. This works really well, but you have to be extremely careful when you drill this hole as you can easily damage the membrane of the speaker underneath if you drill too deep … (I made this mistake when I drilled out the rivet on the old speaker and immediately had a hole in the old membrane…)

The terminals of the rear speakers were connected with a special connector which you can´t reuse with the new speakers unfortunately, so I had to cut the wire and install a supplied connector instead. On the rear speakers you also have to ground the negative terminal to the car. A short ground cable to do this properly is also supplied with the speakers.
Then you can screw the speakers back into the car and connect them.

Here is some more useful info about replacement speakers from the turnkey website:

"Many replacement speakers now sold by the discount stores, auto parts stores and mail order restoration parts houses are labeled as  "4 to 8 ohm compatible"  and are in fact 4 ohm speakers. These speakers can damage the older transistor radios. 4 ohm speakers will measure around 3.2 ohms with a DC ohmmeter. An 8 - 10 ohm speaker will measure around 7.4 ohms with a DC ohmmeter. The DC resistance is the critical number for the Delco radios as the output transistor is in series with the speaker. A properly operating Delco radio should have 1.5 volts DC across the speaker voice coil. A 4 ohm speaker will draw twice the current of an 8 ohm and cause the amplifier transistor (the half dollar size device mounted to the black finned heat sink on the back of a Delco radio) to run very hot. The speaker cone should be displaced in an upward (away from the magnet) direction about 1/8" when a Delco radio is turned on. If the cone moves down toward the magnet, the speaker leads need to be reversed".


I´m looking forward to installing the hopefully eventually repaired radio into the car and to test the sound of the new speakers. They should normally sound a little better than the original ones.

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The original right front speaker unclipped from the car.
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The original right front speaker unclipped from the car. Here you can see the original dust screen which you will have to reuse with the front speakers.
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The replacement and the original speaker, as you can see the magnet looks different and you have to cut off the mounting ears.
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The replacement speaker with the cover block installed. You have to order it separately for your Cadillac.
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The replacement speaker with the old dust screen installed.
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The new speaker back in the car with the supplied connectors.
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The original left speaker removed - you have to remove the AC hose to get to it.
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The replacement 6x9 speaker and the factory installed original speaker. Note the bracket - you have to move it to the new speaker and install it there.
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The replacement 6x9 speaker and the factory installed original speaker. Note the bracket - you have to move it to the new speaker and install it there.
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I drilled out the rivet to be able to remove the bracket. Be extremely careful when you drill it out!
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Instead of the original rivet I used a short bolt to install the bracket to the new speaker.

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1974 CADILLAC FRONT BUMPER ENDS REPLACEMENT

The front center bumpers on my 74 CDV did not look good enough for my taste as they had some deeper scratches, dents and the one on the drivers side was slightly bent. I got some really good used replacement bumpers from my favorite used part source once again. Arizona Vintage Parts sent me some really nice bumpers.
To remove and to install them you only have to remove two nuts at each bumper. You can reach the one on top from the top of the grille. To get to the other one you have to remove the center splash guard in front of the radiator. You only have to loosen two clips and put the rubber away to get access to the two remaining nuts.


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Here I have already removed the original center bumper ends.
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I cleaned the rusty hardware before I put it back together.
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The old bumpers removed
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One of the bumpers had deep scratches and the other one was bent and had some dents.
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The "new" bumpers in place.

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1974 CADILLAC DIGITAL ROTARY DRUM CLOCK REPAIR AND SERVICE

I'm working on my 74 over the winter and just replaced the heater core. Today I took out the clock as it was so easily accessible while the dash was apart.
The clock still works on warm summer days or when the heat is on, but it can get stuck from time to time and does not work on colder days at all.
Its a clear sign that it needs a good cleaning and some fresh oil. My guess is that it was never serviced as the car is a low mileage beauty which was stored for longer periods of time.
While I have successfully brought some regular clocks from 1958 to 1967 back to life in the past , I have never worked on a digital rotating drum clock before, and somehow I can't find any information on the internet about it...
I have already showed it to the clockmaker in my town and asked if he could service it, but he did not even want to touch it...

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The removed clock out of my 74.
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The 1974 Cadillac clocks were produced by General Time Corp. They were used up to 1978, but 1978 had different connectors on the back.

I contacted the excellent Cadillac La Salle Club forum and got valuable tips on how these clocks can be serviced by oneself.
Unfortunately these tips came a little late as I had already sent out the clock to a professional clock restorer in the USA. A company called "The Clockworks" will do the service for me. I cant wait to get the clock back hopefully by the end of February 2016.

Nevertheless here are the instructions on how the clock could be repaired by user "Aprules2" who was so kind to take pictures and upload them to the CLC forum:
All pictures and description © Aprules2



"OK, I finally got around to getting some pictures for you. The clock is super simple, nothing like what you're used to. I apologize that its dirty I apparently took it apart, cleaned and oiled it and never put it back together and it sat in my tool box all this time.So this is a picture of the front of the clock - this part wont come off.edgeOnce this case is open you'll be able to see this. This is the black cover that protects the clock motor. Just carefully get under that silver ring and work it off so you can remove the cover.edgeNow you'll be looking at this that thin round piece standing in the middle is what I was calling the little record - thats actually the armature of the motor. Try not to get any oil on it but it's not the end of the world if you do. Just drip some on the ends of the shaft it rides on and put a bunch on any gear you see including the one on the end of the shaft the record rides on. If you do get oil on the armature just wipe it carefully with a q tip with rubbing alcohol on it.edgeHeres another shot of the motor that round brown part is what I called the record.edgeMake sure to really oil these gears you want to try and get oil on every tooth you see. This isn't like the old school mechanical clocks that wont run right with too much oil. These seem to run better when oiled.edgeHeres the back side of the clock put a liberal amount of oil between each reel, and you'll notice the real with the seconds on it has a gear built into it try to oil all those teeth too. Sometimes once it's running Ill dribble some on while it rotates.edgeOnce you've done all that plug it in with it still apart. If it doesn't start instantly, give the clock a slight shake or GENTLY roll the record just to get it started, it should start spinning and your clock will now keep time. I usually leave it to run all night, and if it stops in the middle of the night I add some oil and restart it. Im pretty sure it's the same issue as most old mechanical clocks and watches the oil dries up and becomes sticky and because the motor has very little torque it cant keep the clock running. But adding the slot car oil loosens it up, its just got to migrate through all the friction points. So it's not uncommon to have it stop 2 or 3 times, before it starts running reliably, which is why I like to bench test them. "


Thank you Aprules2 for this great description - whenever I need to service another clock like this in the future I will definitely do it myself.

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REMOVING AND REPLACING THE 1974 CADILLAC HEATER CORE

When I got my 74 Cadillac Coupe DeVille the heater core was disconnected. Unfortunately the previous owner could not tell me why, as it was already disconnected when he got the car.
There could have been 3 possible scenarios why it was disconnected:

  1. The heater core is leaking
  2. The heater core is blocked
  3. The heat could not be turned off in the heating system due to a problem in the ATC

Most probably the core is leaking on such old cars. So I had ordered a new core a while ago, but I never really wanted to tackle this job as it needs quite a bit of effort to get it done and it is not a very funny job. It's not that technically challenging but very tedious. I finally bit the bullet and decided to finally do it.

You can normally detect a defective heater core by fog build up inside the car and by the smell of coolant.

I studied the shop manual and started to tear the dash apart to get access to the heater box which houses the heater core.
I found out that the shop manual lists a lot of necessary work and does not show all the screws that you have to remove to get the box out. Some of the screws are very well hidden and finding them was the most frustrating part of this job.

Here is how to remove the heater core: (text in black is from the shop manual - my remarks are in green)
First you have to remove the Instrument Panel Pad

Removal of Instrument Panel Pad

  1. Disconnect negative battery cable.
  2. Remove three climate control outlet grilles - right, left and right center (see picture below on how it is done with a special tool - I just did it with two flat screwdrivers)
  3. Working through outlet openings, remove 3 fasteners securing pad to instrument panel support.
  4. Remove screws securing pad to instrument panel horizontal support.
  5. Pull pad outward and disconnect electrical connector from windshield wiper switch.
  6. Remove pad.
(Note: To facilitate removal or installation, place shift lever in LO range and on cars equipped with tilt wheel, place wheel in lowest position.)

Heater Case Removal

  1. Drain radiator. (not necessary if you just clamp the hoses off, but flushing the system never can hurt)
  2. Remove hoses from heater core nipples and plug nipples to prevent spilling coolant remaining in core. (Thats indeed extremely important as you have to move the heater case around and it would definitely spill any remains of coolant on your carpet. Also make sure that there are no traces of leaked coolant underneath the carpet from the bad core.)
  3. Remove instrument panel pad. (As described in the chapter above.)
  4. Remove center A/C outlet support and connector from position between cowl and horizontal support, Fig. 1-36. (Scroll down to see the illustration, You basically only have to unhook the rubber part of the outlet and push it downwards.)
  5. Remove left A/C outlet hose from A/C distributor. (There are some steel clips inside the tube where it is mounted to the plastic distributor. You have to reach in and unclip them to be able to remove the hose without using a lot of force and maybe damaging it. See the picture where I put my arm into the opening below.)
  6. Remove center support and associated braces as shown in Fig. 1-36. ( I can´t see any reason why this should be done - I removed only one of the braces, and it was completely unnecessary. You only have to remove the round bent brace on the bottom of the heater case as its in the way to get it out - see the picture where I am unscrewing it below.)
  7. Remove two screws securing A/C distributor to heater case and remove distributor, Fig. 1-36. (If you did not remove the braces mentioned above like I did, you can´t get this part out. I just put it to the side where the glove box normally is, which you will also have to remove anyways - see later.)
  8. Remove one screw securing defroster nozzle and remove nozzle. (You have to remove the screw - but leave the nozzle in place. There is no whatsoever reason to take it out. And its also impossible to get out if you did not remove ALL the braces and brackets.)
  9. Remove glove compartment liner. (Its self explanatory - just remove all the philips screws you see inside.)
  10. Remove vacuum and electrical connectors from programmer. (You can do this now through the glove box opening.)
  11. Disconnect vacuum hose from recirc door actuator (Orange - near the right door kick panel.) , defroster door actuator (You can see it on the left side of the heater box with a blue and a yellow hose going into it.), mode door actuator (There is no way you can remove these hoses now, as they are on the back of the heater case. The upper mode door is green and the lower one is tan. You can really only remove them once the entire box comes out.) and position vacuum harness out of way, Fig. 1-37.
  12. Disconnect aspirator hose from in car sensor. (The thick black hose on top of the heater box)
  13. Remove three nuts and one screw securing heater case to cowl on engine side of cowl, Fig. 1-8. (It was the most tricky part for me to find these screws. See my picture below where I have marked the location of the screws as seen from the engine bay.)
  14. Remove heater case from position under instrument panel .(See picture how you have to position it to get it out - remove the two vacuum hoses mentioned before on the back now. Be careful - they are attached with metal clips)
  15. Replace heater core. (Only 2 screws - self explanatory - also re-use the rubber seals from your old core around the water nipples.)

You can then put everything back together which should be much faster, but before you could also remove the clock, which is very easily accessible now and clean and lubricate it (the shop manual recommends to do this every 2 years). You also have access to all the dash lights, tell tale and warning lights and to the speakers (which are shot on my car due to a defect in the amplifier in my radio) while everything is apart. While I had the heater box out of the car I also cleaned the inside of the programmer and re-lubricated it with white lithium grease. I used electronic cleaner to clean the electric contacts inside the programmer while it was open, as most probably the contacts will have some oxidation on your car as well. While the heater box is out you can also lubricate the various doors and clean out all the dust which has collected inside the box over the last decades.

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The dash removed. The radio is also out for repair.
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There are metal clips inside holding the left A/C hose in place. You have to reach in and unclip them.
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You will have to remove this support bracket.
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Recirculation door - un-plug the orange vacuum hose.
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You have to remove these 4 screws/nuts on the firewall. You can access number 4 from underneath the car only. Number 3 is hidden underneath the cables.
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The number 4 screw on the cowl is holding a cable clip in place and the other end is the right bottom screw of the heater box - you need a second person with a 7/8 wrench to release it from the side under the car while you unscrew it from inside the car with a 3/8.
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Once all the screws are off you can carefully remove the box. You have to slip it to the passenger side to get it out.
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The old core in the heater case.
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The 1974 Cadillac heater case and heater core. You can see the two mode doors here and on the right is the recirculation door. The thick hose on top is the aspirator hose going to the temperature sensor in the dash.
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This is where the old core had developed a leak.
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The old core still in place. Note the rubber seals on the tubes of the heater core. You have to move them over to the new core.
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The new heater core in place. I got mine from rockauto.com. Its very similar - the only difference is how the two tubes are braced to the core, but that is no problem at all.
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Out of curiosity I checked where the old core was leaking, and the leak was pretty obvious as you can see.
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I just used two flat screwdrivers instead of this special tool.
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REMOVING THE 1974 CADILLAC RADIO

I took a little break from the restoration work on my 74 Coupe deVille, after the problem I had with the flaking paint on the undercarriage, to motivate me again.
The first work in 2016 was to remove the radio of the 1974 Coupe DeVille to repair it.
The radio basically works, but the volume dial is a little quirky and sometimes does not work as it should. The radio sometimes only comes to life if the volume is turned to maximum.
The 8 track and AM/FM reception all work like they should. Also 3 speakers do not work at all, and I have to find out if the speakers themselves are defective, or if the radios output has a problem. Its more likely that the speakers are defective after so many years, as the membrane tends to dry out, get very brittle and tear apart. So far I had to change the speakers and/or repair the radios on most of my cars when I got them.

The radio out of the 74 can be removed pretty easily:

  • Remove the lower steering column cover - there are 4 screws on top of the cover and 4 screws on the lower edge and one in the door jamb facing the drivers door.
  • Then remove the ash tray assembly. There are 4 screws. You have to put your head underneath the dash to get to all of them. For the one on the right side you need a 5/16" nutrunner or socket with 3" extension. Work from lower edge of instrument panel to get to it. Then disconnect the electrical connector and bulb.

  • Remove the radio knobs, wave washers, control rings and hex nuts.
  • Remove radio to lower instrument panel support brace nut at rear of radio.
  • Loosen brace to support screw and rotate brace to the right.
  • Slide radio from instrument panel and disconnect antenna cable, speaker connector and power connector.
  • Rotate dial side downward and lower the left hand side of the radio.
  • Remove through ash tray opening.

Out of my personal experience its easier to remove the radio than getting it back in. Especially connecting the cables again is a pain…

The radio is now out, and I will hand it over to my friend Steve, who will have a look at it, and see what he can do. He already successfully repaired the radio of my 78 Eldorado. He is a genius, and I´m very glad to have such fantastic and talented friends.

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You have to remove the lower steering column cover and the ash tray, to be able to get the radio out. On this picture you can see the removed lower steering column cover and the removed ash tray assembly.edge
The removed ash tray assembly.
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This is the 1974 Cadillac stereo radio with 8 track tape player.
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Part # 9344336
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This shows where the wires in the connector are going to.

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