One of the most read articles on my website is about how to repair the somewhat troublesome headlight actuators on the 1967 and 1968 Cadillac Eldorado. After many years they tend to fail for many owners of the 1967 and 1968 Eldorados. One company has offered a reproduction, but from the experience some people made with it, it was said that it was very poorly made and extremely expensive. I can´t tell anything about it from my own experience though.
Today I managed to solve the issue with the partly non working Automatic Climate Control of my 1967 Eldorado. As described in the entries below, the blower would only come on in full heat modes when the car was accelerating. The AC of the Eldorado is very similar to the one from the DeVille btw. I suspected a vacuum leak somewhere in the system. Troubleshooting began with going through all the vacuum hoses. I replaced some which were a little worn out at the connectors. I also cut off the ends of most hoses, as they were all becoming a little loose during the last 40 years. I then plugged them in again. Not much did change though. When I came to the hose of the hot water valve and the delay relay, I had the first success. At least the blower motor would stay on in all “Auto” modes, even when the car was idling - but would still go off in “Fog” and “Ice”. I then suspected a leak in the power servo or in the dash controller. So I installed the power servo from my 67 DeVille where everything works perfectly, to be able to rule out any problems. Nothing changed though - the blower would still come on and off depending on the throttle position.
I then soon found the culprit of the whole issue - it was the master vacuum switch - which seems to have a problem with the internal electric switch. As I had a spare one around I installed it - and voilá - everything worked as it should. It always looked good when I checked it before. I´m very happy that everything is back in working order. The only thing which I still have to repair is the fast idle diaphragm which completely dried out and is no longer functioning. Fortunately I do have a spare 429 engine in the garage from where I can grab and use this part - so I will repair it soon. I then need a new condenser which is already on the way across the Atlantic coming from Old Auto Air. By the way - Cadillactim has an excellent trouble shooting guide for the ACC on his website.
The evaporator had to be replaced as well along with the heater core. This is a pretty big task as you can see on the pictures below. You even have to remove the hood to get access to the whole unit. The fiberglass AC enclosure had to be repaired at my car as well as the previous owner tried to repair the evaporator and missed a screw and made a tear into the enclosure. The restoration shop repaired this professionally and it looks like new now.
The best troubleshooting guide for 1967 and 1968 Cadillac´s Automatic Climate Control Systems I got today from Gary Sisk - owner of a 1968 Cadillac. This is a very easy to follow explanation which will save you a lot of time and you do not even need any special tools. It was written by Lynn Nicholls and can be found on Stampies Cadillac page - here is the direct link to it.
Below you can find some pictures of my system:
The whole AC unit has to be removed to get access to the evaporator and heater core... The slight surface rust that showed up where the gaskets were, was removed as well of course... The big hole on the left is where the blower motor is installed.
This is where the AC box usually is installed
You can see how much has be removed just to get to the evaporator and heater core...
I discovered the first issue at the hot water valve The hoses around the time relay delay were leaking a little bit For testing purposes I hung a spare master vacuum switch into the car - this solved the problem The old fast idle diaphragm was leaking and brittle and was replaced with a better one... The 1967 Cadillac Automatic Climate Control Vacuum Schematic from the shop manual - 1968 is almost identical BTW... Click on the image for a larger view!
Here is a video about the Master Switch that a gentleman posted on youtube
The 1967 Eldorado is now back home from the restoration shop. They wanted to recharge the AC on the day before I wanted to pick it up only to find out that the condenser is also leaking badly. I´ve ordered a new on from Cold Air Products in USA in the meantime which I will install later. The recharge will then take place in spring.
During the rebuild of the whole AC system I found out that I´m also having a little issue with the blower which does not always come on at full heat. So as a first step I started to go through the numerous vacuum hoses in the car yesterday. I soon found some old and brittle ones which fell apart when I just touched them. The two hoses that fell apart were the ones going to the right headlight doors. Original color coded hoses seem no longer available anywhere. Thats why I had to buy regular black ones and paint the red and green stripes on them. Looks almost perfect - I did not think that it would turn out this nice. Will go through the rest of the hoses soon. With the replaced hoses the headlight doors now work 100% simultaneously, whereas before one was slower. I still have to find the issue with the blower motor - but I now suspect either the AC controller or the power servo. It works perfectly in full cold - only when I set a higher temperature the blower will cut out. Another problem to solve over the winter... I had almost the same problem with the 67 DeVille before which I could successfully repair. BTW - if you know of any source for the GM OEM style color coded vacuum hoses please let me know. You can find a vacuum diagram for the headlight doors here!
There are lots and lots of vacuum hoses in the Eldorado to check - here are only a few going to the storage tanks... I will also give them a good cleaning during the winter.
The new hose with the painted red stripe is already in place - looks some kind of original...