The later style replacement CB antenna which I wanted to replace with an original one.
The later replacement style fender bezel looks completely different from the original one.
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…
Thats the CB - load coil, which can be adjusted. The plastic unfortunately got very brittle over the years on all antennas of this vintage.
This are the instructions which came with the car, if you ordered the very expensive CB option…
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.
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.
The new, correct antenna installed into the car.
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.
I decided to take the transducer/amplifier board out of the programmer this time to see where the problem could be. It can be removed very easily - it's only held in place by 4 screws. Be careful not to turn the gear wheel with the potentiometer though as you would have to recalibrate it again afterwards.
After the board came out, I quickly found out where the problem was. Below is a picture of the removed board:
The transducer/amplifier unit was sitting pretty loosely on the circuit board, and one of the very thin and fragile wires going to the coil was broken, as you can see on the picture below:
When I turned the circuit board around I could see that the soldering points on the circuit going to the transducer and the amplifier were broken and that they no longer were making good contact. That was the reason why the system did no longer work.
The pretty simple solution was to re-solder the 3 soldering points and fix the broken wire going to the coil. I then put everything back together and now have a perfectly working ATC again. These old circuit boards can be very troublesome and I think that most of the time when a programmer goes bad on these 70s cars its probably a fixable problem like this. I was very worried that I would need an expensive rebuilt programmer and I am very glad that I could fix it by myself.
I have no idea though why everything worked when I put the car into storage last fall and how it broke while the car was inoperative…
Check my older post of the MKII programmer to also see the electrical diagram for the ATC system.
Before the spring season will start in May, I want to make sure that all my cars are in top notch condition until then.
The radio on my 78 suddenly died last summer. I was driving the car and the radio and 8-track and CB worked flawlessly. It had great sound and everything worked.
Suddenly, when I wanted to turn the volume down a little bit, the antenna retracted, and the radio went off completely and I could not turn it on again. I also could no longer operate the power antenna.
When I was home I discovered a blown fuse and replaced it, but it immediately blew again when I wanted to turn the radio back on.
I took the radio out now, and measured the power source, and I can clearly see that there is a problem somewhere inside the radio.
It looks like the power source is defective.
My friend Steve who is really good in repairing older radios offered to have a look at it. Unfortunately I cant fix this myself, as I have no clue how this could be repaired, or what could be defective…
Its great to have such good and competent friends who can fix such things.
In a very short time Steve found out what was wrong with the radio. One of the many condensators on the radio got dry over the years and caused a short. Steve replaced the broken condesator and even replaced all the other old ones with new ones to make sure that the radio will last for a long time.
I can´t thank Steve enough for fixing the radio for me. It is very important for me to know that it works again - I hate when things do not work properly on a Cadillac.
When I installed the radio back into the car, it came back to life, but the FM functionality did no longer work, and it was stuck in AM mode. 8 track and CB worked perfectly, but I could not switch to FM mode.
So Steve was so kind to disassemble the radio once again, and found the problem with a disengaged spring which could no longer activate the AM/FM switch.
The radio is out of the car - it's the one with 8-track and CB - the most expensive one available in 1978. You can see the replaced condensers on top of the radio.
This bigger condenser was the cause for the trouble - it got dry inside and caused a short. The others were exchanged as well as a precautionary measure.
The back side of the radio.
You have to remove the ash tray assembly to get the radio out
The radio works again and is back in the dash. 8-track and CB work perfectly as well.
The GM demo tape which came with the car sounds amazingly good. Love the sound.
While I was working on the car I finally repaired the glove box light switch which had a problem since I got the car. I got a new switch from Arizona Vintage Parts and it now works perfectly again.
I also replaced the cars original hot water valve, which had a leak at the vacuum diaphragm and could not close any longer.
I found a perfectly working NOS replacement on ebay for it, as the one I got from Rockauto before looked completely different.
The programmer as seen through the glove box with the connectors and the plastic case removed
The 1977 / 1978 Eldorado MK II Automatic Temperature Control Programmer
The transducer which caused the problem (the golden part with the single vacuum line going into it)
The transducer is connected to the electrical board through a couple of pins - it was not connected properly and somehow became loose over the years - that was why the system did not work.
***UPDATE 2015 - its not connected with pins but soldered to the circuit board - 3 of this soldering points were broken***
The vacuum checking relay and the electric connectors.
The vacuum power motor
from the 1977 FSM
Trouble shooting guide for when the system works in full AC mode only.
A color coordinated electrical schematic with annotations to describe the various functions of the system.
My weapons of choice came from the Meguiars dealer...
before and after cleaning
rusty bolts before and after cleaning
Soaking rusty parts in vinegar
Cleaning more rusty parts
with the rust removed
The Hood latch cleaned and painted with Eastwood Silver Cad Paint
The cleaned engine bay
The car after polishing the paint
the polished paint
Besides the carpet - the interior is already perfectly clean. The original floor mat is under the aftermarket mats.
Cleaning the Vogue tires.
Clean paint and tires
Clean tires and perfect hubcaps
I really like this Meguiars wax. Its one of their cheapest but best waxes. A gentleman from Meguiars once told me that it is one of their oldest waxes, but contains a lot of carnauba wax, which makes it so good! Its also offering the best protection of their product range.
Here are some links to Meguiars products I like to use (link to german Amazon Shop):
This was the original choke thermostat on the car . #17059969
The Airtex replacement part in the car.
The original part and the new part - slightly different at the tang of the spring - but it works and fits perfectly...
original and new part
The Airtex replacement choke thermostat
The upper switch is controlling the seat back solenoid. (Picture was taken before cleaning the door jambs...)
The removed door jamb switch. When the door is closed no contact is made and the solenoids are not energized causing the seat back to be locked in position.
You can see that the switch was slightly bent - making no good contact.
When the door is open contact should be made and the solenoid should energize... The switch did no longer make a good contact though.
I had to remove the lower dash to access the cables on the rear of the door jamb switch through a tiny hole and disconnect the connector with a long nose plier...
I´m now in the long process of thoroughly cleaning the engine bay to look like new again...