In September 2016 I started to repair the AIR pump which had a broken pulley bolt. The repair of this little bolt resulted in a partial engine bay restoration, which was never planned. But as I had to take out quite a lot of parts to access the pump I noticed all the flacking paint and surface rust any 43 year old original car develops. I did not want to put all these not so good looking parts back into the car, so I decided to clean everything up and detail everything. It included taking out the radiator, condenser, all brackets, AIR pump, generator, all pulleys, power steering pump, AC compressor, removing all the rust from the parts and repaint them, repaint the engine, have some parts powder coated like the fan, dry ice cleaning, rebuilding the AC compressor, straightening the condenser fins and MUCH more. Everything that came out was cleaned up, and wherever I found some surface rust or flacking paint it was completely removed and the according part was repainted. I had to do all of this on a very tight budget, but luckily the total cost of this project was extremely low, as all I needed were 3 cans of paint, some wire brushes and some cleaning chemicals .
I took a break from Nov. 2016 to April 2017 where I did not do any car related work at all. During the last 2 weeks I finished everything, and the car is now ready and only needs a good cleaning prior to the upcoming season. When everything was back together the car started up immediately (see video below) but I could not let it run for a longer time yet as the engine enamel (I used Bill Hirsch engine enamel) needs at least 2 weeks to fully cure.
I did not restore parts which still had their original decals, because some are irreplaceable, as there are no correct reproduction decals for the 1974 Cadillac out there. Many decals for sale for the 1974 Cadillac are totally incorrect - beware! For example there is no correct "Caution Fan" decal or AC compressor decal available anywhere. So there is still some patina left on some areas, and at first glance the engine bay does not look restored at all, but more like an extremely well kept car with very low mileage. I did not want to go for this over restored look.
During winter hibernation I´m using the time to fully clean and detail all of my cars for the next season. Some things I have to do regularly, like waxing, cleaning the interior, treating the rubber weatherstripping and many other things. Now it was time for a thorough cleaning of the fabric roofs of the 58 Eldorado Seville and the 67s convertible top. I have tried a variety of cleaning methods and cleaners over the years.
This time I used Meguiars professional vinyl cleaner #M39 ( I think this product is no longer available and they only offer #M40 now) along with their stiff nylon brush followed by a special nano foam sponge which is called "dirt eraser". It really removes dirt very thoroughly even from textured materials. Both tops came out very clean - I then used Meguiars Convertible top impregnation to protect them from getting dirty again soon. It also weatherproofs the tops. (not that I would ever drive in rain with my cars... ;-) ) I have heard really good things about Meguiars Convertible Top Cleaner as well - will try it out next time...
Disclaimer: I´m not getting paid or receive any free products from the companies I´m mentioning here. If I like products or services I mention them and if I dislike things I will also talk about them in a less positive way ;-) I just like to share my findings.
One of the dirt eraser sponges in action on the original roof from 1958. White tops are a pain to keep clean...
Looking o.k. now - its still the original top from 1967...
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 ;-)
Bleeding and flushing the 58s brake lines
The cars are out for cleaning the garage floor
Little Elliot helping out - I´m glad he loves being in the garage.
My friend Tayfun came to visit to prepare our Cadillacs for next weekends Cadillac BIG Meet in Kremsmünster. It´s the biggest and best Cadillac Meeting in Europe and I´m a proud member of the organization team. My friend and I will spend the rest of the week in the garage detailing our cars for the big show. I usually take a week of from work a week before the Cadillac BIG Meet to have a good time in the garage. Tayfun is here with his newly acquired 1990 Brougham D`Elegance which needs some detailing and I will take my 67 DeVille to this years show. Both our cars will get full attention to the last detail.
In the garage with the Brougham and the 1967´s Detailing the grille of the Brougham Detailing work
I neglected my garage a little bit during the last time - and as I had a day off today, I decided to give it a good spring cleaning. I cleaned the entire epoxy floor - and now everything looks clean and tidy again. The Cadillacs like it clean... I will rent a floor polishing machine soon - for the extra shine ;-)
The garage floor before cleaning - the Eldorados had to wait outside After cleaning-still wet Clean and dry - the 67 Deville stayed in there...
I spent quite some time during the last weeks in the engine bay of the 67 Eldorado. I tried to clean everything in there as good as possible. After cleaning and degreasing everything I also gave all the metal parts a fresh coat of wax. I also cleaned all the rubber parts and cables and applied some vinyl and rubber conditioner. Everything is sparkling clean now. I´m now thinking about painting some of the parts where the paint has some imperfections or is worn off. I will have to find the right correct paint first. The engine looks quite presentable now. What will get a new paintjob first will be the airfilter housing, which looks pretty worn. It will be stripped to bare metal before painting of course. Below you can find some pictures of the now clean engine bay.
Today I started cleaning the engine bay of the 1967 Eldorado with its mighty 429cui V8. Amazing how much dirt could collect on a car with only 27k miles on the clock. Its a pretty dirty job and will keep me busy for a while. Surprisingly, below the thick, oily and dirty surface there is still some shiny paint appearing! I hope though, that I will ever be able to get my hands clean again as well... I guess I should wear a pair of gloves next time...
This is how the engine bay of my 1967 Eldorado looked before cleaning - I will also have to install the new evaporator later, reinstall the blower motor, connect all the AC hoses and recharge the AC... lots of work ahead . The engine degreaser is pretty aggressive on the oily gunk and dirt.
Today I started to clean up the 67 for the new summer season. The car is in storage since the end of August 2006 and is eagerly waiting to see some daylight soon. I started to clean the car and gave it a new coat of wax. In about 2 weeks I will bring it back to live and hopefully drive it a little bit more than last year when I only did about 300 miles.