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.
This is how Cadillac typically mounted its hood standup ornaments.
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.
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.
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.
The finished undercarriage - I applied some transparent undercoating over the freshly painted underbody which is completely invisible. This is some great stuff!
The transparent stone guard reacted with the paint... Now it's peeling off...
The transparent stone guard reacted with the paint... Now its peeling off...
The media blaster at work
Media blasting the undercarriage.
The bare metal wheel housing after blasting. The rest of the paint was removed later by hand and by dry ice cleaning.
Ready for dry ice cleaning.
The dry ice cleaner managed to get the last undercoating out of the rear wheel housings.
Dry ice cleaning
Everything is perfectly clean now.
All the suspension parts were perfectly cleaned as well.
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.
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…
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.
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.
My friend Richard trying to media blast the covers.
Completely rust free after sandblasting - but one can see where the rust once was…
I applied several coats of filler primer and sanded the covers to a perfectly smooth finish.
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.
"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".
The original right front speaker unclipped from the car.
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.
The replacement and the original speaker, as you can see the magnet looks different and you have to cut off the mounting ears.
The replacement speaker with the cover block installed. You have to order it separately for your Cadillac.
The replacement speaker with the old dust screen installed.
The new speaker back in the car with the supplied connectors.
The original left speaker removed - you have to remove the AC hose to get to it.
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.
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.
I drilled out the rivet to be able to remove the bracket. Be extremely careful when you drill it out!
Instead of the original rivet I used a short bolt to install the bracket to the new speaker.
Here I have already removed the original center bumper ends.
I cleaned the rusty hardware before I put it back together.
The old bumpers removed
One of the bumpers had deep scratches and the other one was bent and had some dents.
The "new" bumpers in place.
The removed clock out of my 74.
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.Once 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.Now 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.Heres another shot of the motor that round brown part is what I called the record.Make 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.Heres 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.Once 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. "
The dash removed. The radio is also out for repair.
There are metal clips inside holding the left A/C hose in place. You have to reach in and unclip them.
You will have to remove this support bracket.
Recirculation door - un-plug the orange vacuum hose.
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.
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.
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.
The old core in the heater case.
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.
This is where the old core had developed a leak.
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.
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.
Out of curiosity I checked where the old core was leaking, and the leak was pretty obvious as you can see.
I just used two flat screwdrivers instead of this special tool.
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.
The removed ash tray assembly.
This is the 1974 Cadillac stereo radio with 8 track tape player.
Part # 9344336
This shows where the wires in the connector are going to.
The 3 stages of the project so far.
Everything looked o.k. after painting, but the paint does not stick to the metal due to poor cleaning by the paint shop.
This is the transparent undercoating I wanted to apply when I found out that the entire paint on the undercarriage does not stick…
Unfortunately the paint does not stick to the bare metal… I could scrape it of with a simple scraper. You can see all the flaking paint on the floor…
The paint is peeling off in big chunks…
So ALL the new paint has to come off again. Here the dry ice blaster is trying if it can be removed with dry ice cleaning.
BE CAREFUL WITH ZINC PLATED PARTS AND RUST REMOVAL SOLUTIONS
Due to all the problems I had, I completely forgot about some fasteners from the rubber splash guards, which I had soaked in the rust remover solution for more than a week. This long time in the liquid removed all the surface rust, but the acid also ate away the zinc plating. So whenever you try to remove the rust from anodized fasteners and screws, make sure not to soak them for too long.
As I can´t get the fasteners and screws very easily here in Austria, I had to brush away the remnants of the zinc coating with a wire brush, and then painted everything with Eastwoods Silver Cad paint. This does not look 100% correct of course, but will have to do until I find some original replacement hardware. Besides a few washers, these fasteners won´t be visible anyway.
I forgot some of the fasteners for the rubber splash guards in the rust dissolver solution. It ate away the zinc plating. So I had to remove the remains of the zinc plating with a wire brush.
The cleaned fasteners. I spray painted them afterwards with Eastwood zinc paint.
The Cadillac in the paint shop.
This are the areas on the sheet metal that needed some attention. Nothing serious - but better to fix it now before a problem arises eventually in the future. Here the lower trim is removed to see what is going on.
The lower edge behind the rear wheels had suffered a bit over the last 41 years... I decided to have it fixed properly and sacrifice a little of the original paint for this. Also the area around the fender skirts needed a little attention to look like new again. No real severe rust issue, but more of a preventive and cosmetic measure... Fender skirts will be repainted as well... On this picture you can see the primer and a very small amount of filler for a perfect surface.
The floor pans are now repainted in the correct shade of brown. It will get a little less glossy once the 3 coats of transparent undercoating are applied.
The wheel housing after the first coat of satin black.
The rear axle is back in black. I will paint the rear brake drums in a bare metal look later once the car is back home.
I will also install new shocks and paint the tank with Eastwood Tank Tone paint.
Finding the right shade of Persian Lime for a perfect match. The computer had the color in the system and it already was a very good match.
The paint shop found a perfect match for the Persian Lime paint. Great job Jürgen!
The driveshaft before…
The location of the first two factory markings. I measured them to make sure that I could replicate them when I painted the driveshaft. The first two markings were (light) blue.
The location of the third factory marking. I measured it to make sure that I could replicate it once I painted the driveshaft. This marking seemed to be black once.
I soaked the driveshaft for 48 hours in rust removing liquid and used these two brushes to agitate it into the rust.
This is how it looked after soaking for 48 hours. All the rust was completely gone and only bare metal was left.
The finished drive shaft.
The replicated factory markings on the drive shaft. The correct shade of blue color was only a good guess - I think it comes pretty close to the traces of paint I had found.
Back in the car to be able to move it around.
The car was lifted with a forklift and then covered in plastic.
One of the rear wheel-housings before blasting - you can see the undercoating everywhere.
The same wheel housing after blasting - all the original paint was still very well preserved under the undercoating. As you can see originally the wheel housing was brown. During painting a lot of overspray from the body landed in the wheel housing. Then Cadillac added rubberized undercoating to protect the metal from stone chips and to keep the car more quiet. Luckily there is no rust to be found anywhere.
The original brown paint showed up underneath the undercoating. The paint is still in perfect condition.
The original paint showed up underneath the undercoating in the wheel housings as well.
After cleaning - it came out really nice! I will touch up some areas and conserve the others with a special transparent coating.
I´m very happy with the result of the cleaning and will now have to protect everything and paint some areas.
The 74 has some light surface rust on the undercarriage as most areas were left bare metal at the factory. The original owner did not have the car undercoated. Its nothing major - it is more a cosmetic thing than anything else. I want the car to look as good on the underside as it looks from the in and outside. I will remove as much rust as possible with a wire brush and then use rust removal gel to get rid of all the rust. It´s a messy job - but I want to do it as thoroughly as possible. After everything is clean I will paint the frame with rust preventive paint in semi gloss black paint.
The pit in my garage - this is how I will see my car most of the time for the next months… You can see that I applied some rust removal gel to some areas already. I steam-cleaned the undercarriage before.
A small test spot after only one application of the gel - 2-3 more are recommended.
Thats the gel I´m using - it seems to be a great product. I got it through www.rostio.de .
After the first coat of rust remover gel. It looks very promising.
When the fluid level in the washer fluid bottle drops below 1/3 full, an amber tell tale light comes on labeled "WASHER FLUID".
Engaging the wipers allows a small amount of current to flow from the wiper motor terminal through a yellow wire to the washer bottle float unit. When the fluid level in the washer bottle is low, the float drops, allowing the circular magnet to separate from the cap assembly. This permits the contact points within the cap to close, bypassing the resistor that is in parallel with the contact points, and causing current to flow to the indicator light.
I had two problems:
"I don't remember what year it was that I fixed but I don't remember it being that difficult. There was some rivets or something that had to be drilled out or broken off. I think I used screws and nuts to put it back together. The working bit is what is called a reed switch. They are by today's standards old technology but since there is a fair amount of room in there you don't need to find the exact same one. If you do a search for reed switch you should find em. It's usually a greenish glass capsule with 2 leads coming off the ends. "
“After inspecting the assembly and pulling up on the float, the warning light no longer displayed, so I knew the float was bad. I took the float off and dropped it into the reservoir. It sank like lead, so I knew it was a porous material. I knew I had to remove the moisture somehow, so I thought the safest solution was to slowly heat it up so the fluid would evaporate. I figured it was designed to tolerate extremely cold and extremely hot outside temperatures, so figured the lowest oven setting should work. I got lucky in that there was no distortion. I wouldn't recommend leaving it in longer than a few minutes, though. "
From the 1974 Factory Shop Manual
I checked the switch with a voltmeter.
You have to get the rivets out if you want to access the switch.
The reed switch is under this cap.
The magnet which is normally activating the reed switch.
When I tested the float it sank…
After removing the plastic covers around the seats - it will look like this. The seat back lock mechanism is hiding inside under the seat back.
You have to remove the lower 3 hog rings to get access to the two mounting screws.
The new mechanism I got from AVP on the left and the old original one which does no longer work
After installing the new part all you need to do is to install the hog rings again and install the seat cover surround moldings. Here I´m using a hog ring plier - but you can use some simple other pliers as well.
This is how the disassembled original power antenna looked like when taken apart - you can clearly see that the motor was burnt.
This is how the disassembled original power antenna looked like when taken apart - you can clearly see that the motor was burnt. Also the mechanism itself was damaged.
The 74 has a working power antenna again.
You have to remove the seat back material to be able to access the solenoid and latch mechanism
The latch mechanism
The solenoid disassembled - before cleaning - there are two coils inside.
A quick drawing of how the system works.