GERALD´S CADILLACS


WWW.ELDORADO-SEVILLE.COM

REPAIRING THE 1967 CADILLAC AC CONTROL HEAD

The air condition of my Cadillacs always surprise in a negative way. Every spring something new does not work after I wake them up from their winter hibernation.
This time the 67 Eldorado had a new problem which I had to fix.

It suddenly only blew hot air out of the AC outlets. It did not change modes at all. That was a sign of a weak vacuum signal…

I started to inspect all the AC related vacuum lines of the car which checked out fine. Next I did the test I´m describing here in an older posting, as I suspected that the power servo had a problem.
I soon found out that still not enough vacuum was supplied through the transducer.

That meant that either the transducer could be faulty, the temperature sensor could be defective, or the dash control head would not work properly. I took out the temperature sensor of my 67 Deville to test it in the Eldorado but it did not change anything.

I then removed the control head and tested it with a spare one I once bought cheaply on ebay. It did miss some connectors and switches, it had some blemishes on the chrome and did not look good enough to install it into any of my cars. When I put it into the Eldorado anyway the AC suddenly worked perfectly again.
So I removed all the electrical parts from this working unit and transferred it to the perfectly looking but defective control head. After I had swapped all the usable parts I put the unit back into the car and I now have a perfectly working unit once again.
It looks like that there was a problem in the amplifier part which translates the signal coming from the rheostat into a current going to the transducer which regulates the vacuum going to the control head and the power servo.
Lets see what issue comes up next spring…

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The Rheostat when set to the lowest temperature setting shows around 2,5 Ω You can check if it is working with an Ohmmeter.edge
At the highest temperature setting the resistance is getting lower.edge
The Amplifier part of the control head is on the underside. Something in here must have gone bad on my control head. I will try to find out what went bad and repair it to have a spare part.
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The 67 Eldorado is back on the road for the 2015 season.

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REPAIRING THE 6 WAY POWER SEAT OF THE 1958 ELDORADO SEVILLE

I woke up the 58 Eldorado Seville from its winter hibernation and when I went through all the switches and options I noticed that the front of the seat would neither move up nor down. The motor was running but it did not move. I could see that the front adjuster with the solenoid would not engage.

First I suspected that the switch has a problem - so I took it apart. With a test light you can easily test its function. With a three way jumper wire you can simulate the switch as well at the switch connector. You can see the picture below from the shop manual and its described which terminals you have to connect together to get the desired movement. The shop manual is extremely helpful in diagnosing any seat related problem. Check it out below!

Everything was fine at the switch. So I checked the wires going to the solenoids. There is a plug underneath the switch and I checked the wires from there. Everything was ok there as well.
For some reason the mechanism still did not engage. The front actuator was repaired by the previous owner once, as there were some screws in there which originally were not used. I tightened them and suddenly it worked again when I almost wanted to give up and wanted to try to find a good used one from one of the Cadillac parts places.
I hope it will work now for a long time. The seat is fully adjustable again.

Below are some pictures from the shop manual which should be very helpful if you have power seat problems as well.

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Six-way power seat diagram.
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Thats the front actuator and solenoid which had a problem on my car. The mechanism did not engage for some unknown reason. Probably a bad internal contact or the mechanism was stuck somehow.
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This 3 way jumper wire is very helpful to test the various functions and to rule out any problem with the switch.
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The procedure to test all the functions of the seat.
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The 6 way power seat wiring diagram.
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How to test the circuits.
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Front Seat Adjuster Actuator Assembly (1957 and 1958)

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REPAIRING THE AIRCONDITION OF THE 1966 COUPE DEVILLE

When the 1966 Coupe deVille arrived at my garage the AC was completely inoperable. Nothing worked - the blower would not come on at all.
So I started to search for the cause of the problem.
Everything seemed to be fine on the vacuum side. When the lever on the control panel was moved all the vacuum actuated doors operated and the master vacuum switch also seemed to work.
After some searching I found out that no current was flowing through the master vacuum switch on the firewall.
So the switch was taken apart.
If you do this you have to be very careful not to damage the membrane.
The contacts inside the switch were oxidized and so no more current could flow through.
The contacts were also adjusted so that the switch could engage properly when vacuum was applied.
When everything was put back together the whole system once again worked as it should.
It works absolutely perfect now.
Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the switch rebuild but here is a video on youtube where a gentleman explains how this switch works…

A video that explains how this switch works

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The original AC system of the 1966 Coupe deVille is now working perfectly again.
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Thats the master vacuum switch which was defective.
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The rebuilt master vacuum switch.

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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.

Comments

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.

boosterrepair-SM_MG_8489
The vacuum cylinder
boosterrepair-SM_MG_8492
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As you can see the paint suffered from the brake fluid - a repaint was necessary after the rebuild.

boosterrepair-SMIMG_3635
I started to wire brush the paint off - took it apart once again after this picture.

boosterrepair-SMIMG_3655
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.

Comments

Outlook to the 2012 season - doing the first repairs 2012

As we had a nice sunny, dry winter day today I decided to re-arrange the cars in my garage so that I can start doing some work on them during the remaining cold winter nights.

The following work is planed for the next few months before the cars will be put back on the road in May 2012.

1971 Mark III


1967 DeVille

  • needs new front wheel bearings (I already have the spare parts)
  • will try to find a rebuilt OEM Bendix master cylinder and vacuum booster. These are very difficult to find. Everybody seems to offer Delco Moraine parts only. I have replaced my original booster and master cylinder 2 years ago and I´m not quite happy with the power assist of the new units. It seems that the after market master cylinders from Delco have a smaller bore diameter and therefore you will have to depress the pedal with more force. There is a discussion going on on the topic of finding the correct booster and master cylinder in the CLC forum - check it out for more detail! If you know where I could find a correct Bendix booster and master cylinder or where I could get my original core rebuilt, please let me know!! The parts number for the Bendix Master Cylinder is #1489981 and for the Bendix booster it is: #1489071
  • re-adjust the gear indicator as it's slightly out of line.

1967 Eldorado

  • I will remove the starter motor and have it rebuilt - it sometimes is acting up

1958 Eldorado

  • It needs some new front wheel bearings as well. I already bought the parts.

I will of course post the repair progress here on my website

A new garage?


The biggest planned project for 2012 will be to find a solution for my storage problem. I hope to be able to build another garage or to rent one. I will have to find a solution until the spring of 2012. I´m dreaming of building a building which can hold 8 Cadillacs, but I do not know yet if I will be able to afford it...

Car Shows


I hope to attend and visit the „Klassikwelt Bodensee“ from May 17th to 20th and of course the best meeting in Europe - the Cadillac BIG Meet August 25th to 26th. I will also hopefully make it to some local shows here in Austria.

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As we had a dry winter day I took the cars out of the garage - they fired right up after some months of sleeping

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The Mark III was moved to the back of the garage, so that I can start working on the other cars first


Little Elliot loves Daddy´s cars as well ;-)


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