GERALD´S CADILLACS


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1958 Eldorado Wheel Bearing Replacement - oil change - winter hibernation...

I finally put the finishing touches on the brake rebuild of my 58 Eldorado. Today I bled the brakes after the full rebuild of the Bendix Master cylinder and brake booster I did recently.
The newly installed Speedbleeder valves made the job a lot easier and quicker. I bled the brakes two times and took the 58 Eldorado for a test drive. The brakes worked fine, but felt differently than before the rebuild. The car did stop perfectly, but pedal travel was too long for my taste, before any brake action took place.
I consulted the shop manual for this symptom and it first suggested to adjust the brake pads first.
As I had no brake adjusting tool, I use a flat screwdriver to adjust the star wheel like described in the shop manual and bled the brakes once again.
After this the brakes worked like before the rebuild again — great!
As I had the front brake drums off anyways, I decided to finally change the wheel bearings as well, as they were making a very slight noise, and I had the new bearings laying around in my garage for years now...
They are pretty easy to remove and replace — no big deal — no special tools necessary. Just make sure to tighten them back to specs (shop manual mentions 4 ft-pound of torque (around 5,5nm))

After this, I also changed the oil after I brought the engine to operating temperature and put in 5 quarts of fresh 10W40 oil and a new oil filter. I also lubed some other parts like the alternator.
I then parked the 58 in the new garage - along with my other cars - where it will spend the long, cold winter.
It will get a good coat of fresh wax on the outside and some good leather treatment soon, and I will also treat the rubber parts and weather stripping, so that everything stays soft during hibernation.

I only managed to drive the 58 Eldorado 86 miles this year - way too less!

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Removed the old bearings
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You just have to tap out the rear dust shield
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The new bearings waiting for installation
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Adjusted the star wheel and checked the front brakes
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Changing the engine oil
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In its winter home
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In the winter home
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Sleep well!

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Repairing the Treadle Vac Master Cylinder and Brake Booster of my 58 Eldorado

In June I bled the brakes of the 58 Seville because it needed some fresh fluid, and the fluid level was a little low in the reservoir of the Bendix Treadle Vac master cylinder.
Now as I wanted to drive it out of the garage, I found a puddle of brake fluid under the car.
So I went on to search where it was coming from.
I suspected a leaking wheel cylinder, but could not find any traces of fluid coming from the wheels. After some more searching, I eventually found out that fluid was dripping out under the brake booster along the push rod. When I checked the fluid level it was only half full.

So I knew that the Treadle Vac would need a full rebuild…
I ordered a rebuild kit at Cadillac Parts LTD. They offer a kit to rebuild everything from the booster to the master cylinder. As I found out, the gasket for the reservoir did not fit from their set and some other correct smaller rubber parts are also not included in the set. So remove everything carefully from your unit as you might have to reuse some parts for your rebuild. I contacted them about the wrong parts and they immediately sent me the correct parts by mail. Great customer services - I would order from them anytime again!

As I had never done a full rebuild I asked my Cadillac friend Lucky for help - knowing that he can repair almost everything, and that he had done this job during the full restoration of his awesome 58 Biarritz before.

He was so kind to offer his assistance and invited me to his fantastic work shop where he is restoring his cars.

So I carefully removed the whole unit from my car and visited Lucky´s workshop.

With his skills he managed to rebuild the whole unit within a couple of hours. As it turned out a bad O-ring caused fluid to leak into the booster.
Due to all the brake fluid the finish of the Bendix unit suffered a lot, and so I decided to strip everything on the outside down to bare metal to repaint it.
So I took everything apart once again to make sure to do it perfectly.
I ordered some great spray cans from Eastwood to get the perfect look to match its appearance to when it was new.
Originally the master cylinder was not painted at all - but left in bare cast metal. Of course it started to collect surface rust very quickly - even on new cars back in 1958.
The booster originally was painted in semi gloss black.

Eastwood has a product called "Brake Gray" which I used to emulate this look. It comes extremely close to bare metal, but of course the paint protects the metal from rust. This paint is also resistant against brake fluid. I first primered the master cylinder with self etching primer two times before two coats of brake gray were applied.

For the brake booster I ordered Eastwoods Chassis Black extreme primer and satin black paint - painting turned out really fine! See pictures below

To make bleeding brakes easier and a one person job I also ordered a set of speed bleeder screws. (SB3824-SS)


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The unit still in the car - before removal
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Removal has started
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The unit out of the car - before rebuilding it.
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Out of the car
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In Lucky´s workshop with the rebuild kit I got from the USA
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My friend Lucky at work
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Lucky´s fantastic work shop
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The Bendix master cylinder fully disassembled


Everything disassembled

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This O-ring was leaking and caused the problem.

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The new o-ring in place.

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The vacuum cylinder
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As you can see the paint suffered from the brake fluid - a repaint was necessary after the rebuild.

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I started to wire brush the paint off - took it apart once again after this picture.

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The master cylinder in primer.

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After painting it with "Brake Gray" - great stuff.

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The master cylinder with paint
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The booster in bare metal before primer. I used Eastwood Extrem Chassis Black primer and paint.

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In primer

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Speed Bleeder screws
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Speed Bleeder screws and bag
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The new Speed Bleeder screw in place
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The reassembled unit back in the car.

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Bleeding brakes and spring cleaning

Finally we had some warm weather and it was time to start working on my cars again.
First up was the 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Seville which needed new brake fluid.

So I sucked out the old fluid from the reservoir and flushed all the lines with fresh DOT 3 brake fluid.
I started at the right rear line, the left rear, the right front and left front brake cylinder.
Although I have a pit its still a pain to reach all the bleeding screws. The power brake cylinder itself also needs some good bleeding.
Thanks to my dear wife Afra for gently pumping the brake pedal and helping me out.
When you bleed brakes make sure your assistant does not push the brake pedal all the way through as this could damage your master cylinders membrane.

Next up was a thorough cleaning of the garage floor.
My 3 year old son Elliot also wanted to help his daddy and helped me swiping the floor ;-)

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Bleeding and flushing the 58s brake lines

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The cars are out for cleaning the garage floor

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Floor cleaning

Little Elliot helping out - I´m glad he loves being in the garage.edge
Little Elliot helping out - I´m glad he loves being in the garage.

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Men at work




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On the road again - Season 2013 begins

The car season 2013 just started. I got my license plates again and the cars are back on the road after long winter hibernation.
Lets hope for some really nice weather this summer and that I will have enough time to drive and enjoy my cars.
The 58 Seville came out first and needed some new brake fluid and a complete flush of the brake system and a thorough bleeding. Thankfully my wife helped me pushing the brake pedal while I was doing the bleeding procedure under the car. Its great to have such a lovely helper! Thanks darling!


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My 1958 Seville on one of the first spring days

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Visiting the 67 Eldorado at the restoration shop

Today I visited the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado at the restoration shop where some crucial work is done to it to get it back on the road. The guys are doing a lot of progress. I snapped a couple of pictures with my cell phone while I was there.
Here are some pictures of what is going on in the shop. You can also see all the restoration pictures here!

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The 1967 Eldorado at the lift - the trunk is full of parts

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Look how clean the 429 engine looks inside - it only has 27k miles on it - the valve covers will get a repaint and new gaskets will be installed


The radiator is out for re-coring

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The left front disc brake is sticking a little - it will be completely overhauled as well soon.


Some of the parts - the old ball joints are out. New brake hoses and brake parts are waiting for installation.

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New H4 headlights had to be installed as the original T3 headlights are not street legal in Austria

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67 DeVille Brakes finally fixed

Today I once again tried to fix the low pedal issue on the 67 DeVille´s brakes. I recently replaced the booster and master cylinder and had a low pedal problem then. The brakes worked fine, but the pedal travel was way too long. I first suspected air in the lines, but we really thoroughly bleed the whole system multiple times. I then thought that the push rod of the new master cylinder might need some adjustment, until I found out that the Delco Moraine boosters are not adjustable, whereas - the also used - Bendix boosters had an adjustable rod.
As I replaced the complete front end including the entire front brakes last year, I did not think that the drum brakes might only need a simple re-adjustment. As it turned out the front brakes were out of the range where the star-wheel can adjust itself while driving the car backwards and applying the brakes.
I now adjusted the front brakes pretty tightly and the pedal is now pretty firm again. I hope it will stay like this. If not - there must be something wrong with the automatic self adjuster, but I´m very optimistic that the problem is now solved. I also gave the rear drums a check - they turned out fine. I just wished the DeVille had front disc brakes like my 67 Eldorado...


checking the rear drums - crappy cell phone picture...


the rear drums

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1967 DeVille got new brake booster and power cylinder

While my friend Tayfun was in town to help me with my Cadillacs, it was time to exchange the still original brake booster and master cylinder of my 1967 Cadillac DeVille.
Everything went pretty smoothly at first - only bleeding the brakes was a little complicated and it did not help either that I spilled some brake fluid into the engine bay. Some harm was done to the black paint which had to be repainted immediately. So it took us some unplanned time to get everything back in working order. As it was raining heavily we could not even test the brakes. In the meantime I did a test drive and found out that the pedal travel is way too long. Looks like the push rod in the booster needs adjustment... D*mn this means removing the master cylinder once again... I hope I will find the time to do this soon.



the removed brake booster - the hole in the firewall

the new booster needed some paint before installation

painting the master cylinder

Tayfun painting the primered booster

reinstalling the whole unit

Tayfun bleeding the brakes

finished - looking good

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Cleaning the 67´s front suspension

Today I disassembled the rest of the front suspension and cleaned all the parts before they will be sandblasted. Tomorrow I will finish them and give them to my buddy Richard for sandblasting.


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The brakes before I disassembled them - I hope I can clean the small metal parts with an ultrasonic cleaner

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All these parts will be sandblasted and painted afterwards

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