With a beautiful Cadillac like this on the cover nothing can go wrong ;-) I think it is about the 6th picture that made it on a cover of a CD which I´m all proudly displaying in my garage.
CornFed Bruiser is a four-barrel, full-throttle rock and roll flame-thrower out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.Congealed from the primordial ooze of the underground dirt-rock scene, the Bruiser combines heavy riff-driven guitars and fat grooves, topped-off by a soul-shredding vocal.Late 2010, CornFed Bruiser set out to record its first EP entitled “Road Rash” scheduled to be released early 2011. Feature tracks “Road Rash” and “Fu Man” are just two of the tracks that define a new sound with an old school vibe.
I will eventually put some new rear shocks and front wheel bearings on the 67 DeVille, do some minor detailing work like putting on some new decals in the engine bay and try to safe as much money as I can, to hopefully be able to afford a new concourse grade paint job for the 1967 Eldorado next fall.
This season I did not drive my Cadillacs very much - all in all a tank of fuel on every car... We had a very wet summer, my job was very demanding and our baby son Elliot was born in May, so I did not have much time to enjoy my cars as much as I would have liked.
Miles driven in 2010:
- 1967 Eldorado: 275 miles
- 1967 DeVille: 189 miles
- 1958 Eldorado: 187 miles
Looking forward to the 2011 season with some great shows coming up. In June 2011 the US-CAR-SHOW Dornbirn will be held again and of course the Cadillac BIG Meet on August 28th 2011 will be my personal Cadillac highlight again.
I ordered a new pump from Rockauto. When it arrived I dropped the tank to get access to the unit. You also need some special tools to disconnect the fuel lines. I found these tools at Summit racing and ordered them.
When I had the fuel sending unit out of the tank I noticed that at the previous repair they did not install a strainer. I also got the tip that it would be a good idea to also exchange the whole fuel sending unit, just to be sure that I would not have to remove the tank again anytime soon. So I bit the bullet and also ordered a complete fuel sending unit including a strainer. So the car was sitting there waiting for the parts to arrive from the USA blocking the garage for the 67 Eldorado which I already wanted to put into winter storage.
As it turned out the parts where delivered to Australia, not Austria where I live... After 3 weeks they finally arrived. My wife helped me putting everything back together. The most difficult part turned out to install the strainer, as it came loose whenever I wanted to reinstall the fuel sending unit back into the tank. Eventually everything was back together and it was time to reinstall the tank. I worked from underneath the car, standing in the pit and my wife helped to reconnect the fuel lines. Everything is back together now and works as it should. So the Roadmonster is ready for the 2011 season waiting in its garage for spring to arrive.
Also the ignition and the rebuilt carburetor were not quite up to my standards yet, and so I decided to ask for some professional help for the last finishing touches. So I delivered the car to the shop, and the experts did some more tweaking. The result is that I finally have a perfectly working AC on my car. It took a while, but finally it's working as it should. When I got the car, a lot of AC parts were defective or torn out, and now everything is back to factory specs.
Also the carburetor is finally working as it should.
From a technical standpoint the car is now in perfect condition - you wont find anything that´s not working as it should.
Great! - next up is a repaint...
The Eldo at the shop.
I took my little son with me to show him whats going on in the restoration shop.
Looking at so many cool cars made little Elliot very thirsty. Here he is having his milk in the shop.
I´m already looking forward to the Cadillac BIG Meet 2011 on August 29th 2011.
the first cars are gathering before the start of the Cruising tour
During the Cruising tour
a special area of the show field was reserved for convertibles only
the 67 at the show field...
A report from the local newspaper “Rundschau“ - click for larger view
Click on the image below to go to the photo gallery with more pictures.
Afra used her old trusty Hasselblad camera which, even in the digital area, is better than any new camera, and shot a roll of good old black and white film and another roll of color slide film. She now scanned the films and the results can be seen here!
At the photoshooting with the light meter
Afra giving her best to avoid any reflections in the chrome
the sun is setting
click on the image to see all the images from this shooting
click on the image to see all the images from this shooting
He made his dream come true and built an awesome home for his car collection including a private dinner below the garage. The whole building is just amazing. On his 50th birthday he invited some friends for the grand opening of his new building. Congratulations Christian!!!
He built the whole garage including the diner with his own hands with the help of his family - an enormous task, and perfectly executed.
A panoramic picture showing his showroom - the cars and the building are just spectacular!
The private diner below the garage.
the birthday party had a 50’s theme - so we dressed up accordingly. Elliot was only 3 weeks on this picture.
The car on the left is Cary Grant’s former 60 Eldorado Biarritz btw....
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 instructions on the reproduction part mentioned that one could use silicone spray to lube the internals of the actuator through the vacuum inlets - this would also make the rubber parts in there soft for a better sealing. So I thought it might be a good idea to spray something in my old part and really soak it...
I had the impression that the rod was easier to move after application. I also put some gasket sealant around the vacuum inlets, just to make sure that there is no leak anywhere.
So I installed the old unit once again and it still did not work properly - but it worked fine if I only installed one vacuum line at a time. Suddenly it rang a bell. There are some T-connectors which also act as a valve going to each actuator. They do vent the system on one side when the doors are operated.
I cleaned the connector valve and reinstalled one hose going there and suddenly everything was back in working order! It now works like it should again!
Looks like I bought the new actuator for nothing... It cant hurt to have a spare though, as they are pretty fragile and even failed when new in 1967... In the meantime I might also find a way to install the original rod ends... Let me know if you have an idea!
If you are looking for a vacuum diagram for the Eldorados headlight doors you can find it on my website.
on the left the original actuator - on the right the reproduction unit from a 1969 Camaro RS
The different rod ends - the original one on the left - the headlight door mechanism is installed in the center of the rod end with a pin.
On the Camaro unit one could probably install it on the side using a bushing.
I have heard that this worked fine for some Eldorado owners as you can see on the picture below.
This is how it worked for another Eldorado owner - he installed some bushings on the new unit.
I found this picture on ebay at the auction for a 1967 Eldorado recently.
Update November 2014:
I have been in contact with Mark Maromonte who found this post on my website and replaced his bad OEM actuator with the 69 Camaro RS unit. He did some modifications and sent me some pictures to share here. Thanks Mark! I´m sure its helpful to others as well:
Mark wrote (all pictures below were provided by © Mark Maromonte):
I bought an actuator for a 1969 Camaro RS. I removed the two pins that held the attachment to the end of the rod. Then I cut 3/8 of a inch of the rod off, so the rods were the same length. Then I beveled the end of the rod on a grinding wheel, for about a ½ inch at the end of the rod. This was done so that I could start a ¼ tap on the end of the rod. After the tap was done. I threaded on the Eldo clevis pin. Done! 20 minuets, $76 vs $245. Works fine. Thanks again for suggesting that in your post. Take care, Mark
The 1969 Camaro RS headlight actuator is slightly different from the original Cadillac actuator. It can be made to fit though.
The original Cadillac OEM actuator on top and the Camaro RS actuator below. You can see the difference on the mounting. Also the air outlet is slightly curved on the Camaro. There is a thread on the Cadillac actuator and a clevis pin on the Camaro rod end.
The original Cadillac OEM actuator on top and the Camaro RS actuator below. You can see the difference on the mounting. Also the air outlet is slightly curved on the Camaro. There is a thread on the Cadillac actuator and a clevis pin on the Camaro.
Mark beveled the end of the rod on a grinding wheel, for about a ½ inch at the end of the rod.
Mark cut a thread onto the Camaro shaft so that the original Cadillac clevis would fit.
Finished- works perfectly. The modification is done.
Of course his first trip in a car was in a Cadillac - I used the 1967 Eldorado to drive him home from the hospital. You can´t start early enough with the Cadillac education!
The right headlight door actuator also suddenly no longer works correctly. All hoses are new and it worked perfectly until recently. I can now only make it close if I jiggle on the actuator. Is there any way to rebuild them? A source for new or rebuilt ones? I have heard that the ones from the 1969 Camaro is very similar and only needs some minor modifications to work on the Eldorado as well. So I went ahead and ordered one. But the worst thing was that the freshly rebuilt carburetor made strange ticking noises and sounded like a tractor while accelerating. It worked well though, but the sound was unbearable. Could it be a defective gasket? It was also idling quite badly. Acceleration was superb though, its much more powerful than before, but still something was wrong... The ignition also was completely rebuilt. So I played around with the ignition first, but the ticking sound did not go away, no matter in which direction I changed the timing... Almost sounded like an exhaust leak, but there seemed to be none... I´ve uploaded a soundfile of the carburetor while idling. http://www.speedometerfilm.com/carb.wav It was recorded with my phone, so the sound-quality is not the best, but it should give you an idea. The phone was about 20cm away from the carburetor while recording. It was LOUD! Before I had the carb and ignition rebuilt, it was extremely quiet and idling smoothly but had misses while accelerating.
I got some very valuable tips from fellow Cadillac aficionados and the previous owner of this Eldorado even called me from the USA to give me some tips to solve this issue, and he was spot on with his diagnosis...
With a hose held to my ear and the other end to the carburetor, I was able to locate the source of the noise. It came from the carburetor below the choke assembly. So I took the freshly rebuilt Rochester Quadrajet out again, only to find out that the gasket and the metal shim were installed the wrong way around. This burned a hole into the brand new gasket where the exhaust gases from the heat crossover passage could escape and make this noise.
Of course I did not have a new gasket at hand, so I carefully removed the old one from my spare engine, which was in pretty good shape and installed it.
No more ticking - no more noises, no more bad idling.
The car now drives amazingly good and is silky smooth. It could not be any better.
The shim was installed first and then the carb - thats wrong! The gasket has to go on the intake manifold first - then comes the metal shim.
Here you can see the burnt gasket and the metal shim
Putting everything back together again
Test drive after the repair - perfect!
Also on the „to do list“ is to install a new condenser for the air condition, recharge it with good old R12 and to fix a problem with the ignition timing. Cant wait to have the car back!
There are only very few possibilities why this could have happened.
- The thermostat did no longer open
- The waterpump failed
- Air was trapped somewhere in the cooling system
So I removed the thermostat housing first to check the thermostat. This is when disaster struck. The two bolts in the thermostat housing snapped off immediately when I tried to unscrew them. *Cr*p”
I then removed the thermostat and put it into boiling water and it worked perfectly. So I think I can rule out the thermostat.
As the upper radiator hose stayed pretty cool and it did not feel like there is any coolant circulating through it, I suspected the water pump. Maybe the impeller does no longer work. I will have to remove the pump to check it.
My friend Richard came over to help me to try removing the broken bolts which got stuck in the cylinder head water outlet pipe. As all methods we tried to remove the broken bolts failed, we began drilling the remains out. This did not turn out very successful either... The threads also got damaged with this method. Of course one could now rethread this part, but I decided to order a good used one.
Once again Arizona Vintage Parts is the company where I ordered all the spare parts. They are really a great company! They are reasonably priced and so far they had everything I ever needed and inquired for. They are a pleasure to deal with and I can highly recommend them. I´m looking forward for the parts to arrive, as the car in its current state is immobile and blocking the garage...
UPDATE 03/09: The parts from Arizona Vintage parts already arrived within a couple of days after ordering! Wow thats fast! Now I need some time and warmer temperatures to install them...
My friend Richard drilling out the snapped off bolts...
Normally the thermostat is in there. You can see the mounting holes from where we drilled out the bolts. Unfortunately the threads did not survive this treatment...
I removed it from under the seat, what was a little tricky and involved getting in some strange positions to access all the screws. It would be easier if one removes the seat from the car, but thats a rather unpleasant work as well...
Eventually it came out of the car. I disassembled it and at first everything looked pretty good, but it soon showed that the old grease became rather hard and sticky and one of the three solenoids was no longer able to push the gear into a locked position.
I thoroughly removed all of the old grease and re-greased everything with white lithium grease. I then reassembled everything, reconnected the gear cables, reinstalled the transmission under the seat (thats a very tricky part...) and everything worked like new!
I now have perfectly working power seats again!
This is how the doorjamb switch looks like on a 1967 Eldorado when removed. Sorry for the crappy cell phone picture!
I will have to clean the paint in the doorjambs soon as you can see in this picture...
While I had the 67 Eldorado out I also turned on the headlights and was once again annoyed by the fact that the right one opened simultaneously, but closed slightly slower than the left one when I turned the lights off. There was a difference of around 1 second in movement between the two headlight doors.
Being a perfectionist I could not stand this, so I began searching for the problem. I already had spent some time in the past trying to fix this, but I did not succeed. The system is driven by vacuum only, so I started to look through the vacuum hoses once again. I had already exchanged a couple of them last year. I found another two brittle ones going through the firewall to the headlight switch from where a slight hissing sound was coming when the lights were on. When I touched them the hissing would become even more noticeable. I then tried to press them onto the connector of the switch and the first hose began to crumble into pieces. So I replaced all the hoses on the switch and rerouted them through firewall through the rubber insulation. There are three hoses . One is the vacuum feed (the one in the middle - I think it was yellow), one is for opening the doors (green) and one for closing (red). I also replaced the red hose behind the firewall going to a T-connector from where the vacuum is fed to the headlight door actuators. I had already replaced the two hoses after the T-connector in the past. With all new hoses in place the doors now perform almost simultaneously and quite fast. So when you run into troubles with your headlight doors, check and replace all the according vacuum hoses first. Its amazing how brittle the hoses going to the headlight switch inside the car can become over the years. It looks like they used a quite different material for these three hoses, as all other vacuum hoses are in much better shape and do not show any sign of deterioration at all.
You can see a video of the headlight doors in action below. On this video they are slightly out of sync. As it looks like they are slightly different every day, depending on temperature and engine idle...
watch on youtube or below
While the Eldorados were outside the garage my wife used the opportunity to shoot a couple of pictures she had in her mind, which she is planning to hang into the kids room. Cant wait until the medium format film is back from the photo lab. Below you can see only some digital snap shots I took.
Despite the last two unusual warm and beautiful days unfortunately winter is not over yet here in Austria, as some more snow is predicted for next week and the cars are back in the garage desperately waiting for April to come...
The Eldorado is enjoying some sun rays for the first time this year
Although she is 7 months pregnant, my wife Afra is still climbing ladders to get the best angle for her shots...
The two Eldorados in front of the garage where the snow has just melted away.
Today I started to repair the broken wires by soldering them together and put some heat shrinking tubes and electric tape around the repaired areas.
You can see some image below. More of them can be found in the restoration section.
Everything now works as it should! Lets hope that the repaired wires wont break again any time soon ;-)
Next up - repair the door jamb switch of my 1967 Eldorado and install a new power seat transmission as the front up/down solenoid does no longer work and therefore does not engage the according seat transmission. This will involve removing the front bench seat which is very heavy... Oh it is so much fun owning these cars! ;-)
I removed the kick panel, heater-box and door sill scuff plates to get access to the broken cables.
They broke at the area where all the bending is taking place when the door is opened. Here the first wire is already soldered together
I put some heat shrinking tube around it after soldering
Just to be safe I wrapped some more electric tape around it
All the wires are back together
The wires are back together in the metallic tube going through the door
Kick panel and everything else back in place. Everything works as it should now.
As I work as a cameraman I had a good film light at hand to light the working area properly.
Yesterday when I was repairing the 6 way power seat which had a contact problem somewhere at a solenoid - suddenly the power vent window started to close itself when I shut the door. So the problem was back! (At least the power seats do work perfectly now!)
So I decided to spend the day in the garage - rewiring the 58´s passenger door as there definitely was a short somewhere in the power vent window circuit. Thats the kind of work I absolutely HATE! 52 years of bending the wires whenever you open the door took its toll.
The bug was easily found after I removed the kick panel, door sill plates, parts of the heat tubing, and the metal tube which is going through the door to protect the wires. 5 (!) cables were broken and only held together by the original fabric covering around it. The cables all broke exactly at the end of the tube where all the bending is going on when the door is opened. I will now have to splice the cables back together somehow and get them back into the tube. No idea how I will do this - I will have to buy some electric supply material first, but the shops are all closed over the weekend. I´m still stunned that the windows still worked and the only sign of failure was that they started to open or close themselves sometimes when I opened the door, and that the battery was drained at one occasion. I guess I was lucky that the car did not catch fire...
UPDATE - Feb. 8th:
I fixed it - read everything about it above or by clicking on this link!
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