: Red 1979 Coupe DeVille project thread.



Benzilla
08-27-07, 09:59 PM
Yes..... I bought it.

I like how Rick has a running thread for his '89 Brougham, so I decided to do the same type of thing, whenever I make progress on the car, I'll post here.

Went over this afternoon and worked out the deal. It started on the first try, but took a few gallons of gas to keep it going. I drove it home six miles without a hitch, after sitting for a year and a half. It looks rough, but all of the power accessories work; windows, locks, trunk, seats, lights, everything. It drives nice, and the doors close very solid. 133,000 miles, I need to change the oil, and it has a tick. Although it's getting better the more I drive it. I cleaned the exterior up, it was FILTHY. Then I rubbing compounded a spot on the hood to see what it'll look like. The paint is actually in nice condition under all the oxidation. Just have to worry about the rust spots. Oh, and it turned out that the wheel covers were in the trunk! So I put those on. Also, I noticed of all things, it has Gabriel HiJacker rear air shocks, just like the ones I put in my Phaeton. It needs tires, these are too big (225 series, 215 is correct for a Deville) and they're just ugly in general, but at least it doesn't have black walls! This car seems to have had a diverse history, nit sure where it's originally from. I know it spent some time in Indiana, and Chicago, then ended up here. The previous owner - judging from the bumper stickers - seemed to be a pro cop, jesus loving gimp. The interior is just filthy, there was a two year old Burger king sack with stuff still in it. That's all that needs to be said. Although it does have all four original floor mats.

Anyway, I know it looks like a hunk of shit to most of you, but I'll make it shine. Here are some pictures of how it looks now. I need help thinking of a name, suggestions? I get a female vibe.


http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0191.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0193.jpg

Yes, that is moss growing on the car.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0194.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0195.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0199.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0200.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0201.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0202.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0204.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0214.jpg

Benzilla
08-27-07, 10:02 PM
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0213.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0217.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0218.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0216.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0219.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0221.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0223.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0224.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0228.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0230.jpg

1990CaddyBrougham
08-27-07, 10:34 PM
Your neghibors must think you are crazy... But give it time and they wont even know its the same car.

This one will def. test your "detailing" skills.

I just got that fleetwood coupe home....

So... READY SET GO!!!!!

Though your already ahead, you have keys and a title.... lol
I cant wait to see progress

Benzilla
08-27-07, 10:41 PM
lol, yes they do. Although at least the ones on my right are also car people, so they partially understand. Although other people that live in my neighborhood would drive by and look in like 'WTF? another one!' lol.

You'll get a head start, I won't have too much time to do more work on mine until the weekend. That spot I polished on the hood gives me hope. Glad you got the coupe! I hadn't heard.

BRICKS
08-27-07, 10:44 PM
how bad is the rust at the bottom of the vinyl top? usually its the worst places. that rear bumper looks rough too. but hey all 4 wheelcovers and all 4 floor mats. sounds like a good find.

still starting with a better foundation then i have at the moment lol. good looking lac cant wait to see it resurrected!

Benzilla
08-27-07, 10:48 PM
Thanks, the rust isn't as bad as it looks, mostly just loose paint and runs. Probably this weekend I'll take off all the loose stuff and sand it down. After I get the rust off, I'll probably just prime & paint it as I don't want to get it all full of bondo if I'm going to have it redone eventually anyway. That's the worst rust on the whole car. That and the rear bumper... that thing is shot. I'll have to replace it sometime. It's pretty solid for spending some time up north though. I thought about flipping it, but it runs so nicely I think I'll keep it around.

1990CaddyBrougham
08-27-07, 10:52 PM
Im probably not going to do much to it till i go threw this title process....

We both have very very dirty diamonds in the rough.....

Gotta love a bright red caddy with a white top hat.

What did you use to shine the hood?

Benzilla
08-27-07, 11:00 PM
Yeah, I've always loved big '70s caddies in red, but never got to own one 'till now. When i was five or six, my neighbor let me sit behind the wheel of her red on red with a white top '74 Eldorado. I've been hooked ever since then.

To shine the hood I just used liquid rubbing compound applied to a damp kitchen sponge, followed by scratch remover. It's not the full process I'll use on the whole car, I didn't even clay bar it, just wanted to see how it would basically look. I'm going to get a porter-cable buffer to do the rest of the car, my old buffer crapped out and I'm not doing it by hand...

It'll look much better once the bumper fillers are in, too.

Destroyer
08-27-07, 11:48 PM
Its in good hands, thats for sure but why?. :confused: You already have the Phaeton why bother with this one?. Regardless, better with you than with some punk that beats it up then junks it. :thumbsup:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
08-27-07, 11:50 PM
CHRISTINE! That is the name you MUST use.

Any pictures of the contents of that two year old Burger King sack?

What is this? Your 4th 77-92 D Body and your 2nd 1979?

Benzilla
08-27-07, 11:55 PM
Its in good hands, thats for sure but why?. You already have the Phaeton why bother with this one?. Regardless, better with you than with some punk that beats it up then junks it.

Well, for one thing I got bored. I didn't have anything I could spend a weekend working on and actually make a difference, The Phaeton is pretty much done, and none of the others needed work to begin with. Plus I'd like to have a big block caddy to drive around in, that I don't worry too much about getting a scratch on. Now that the Phaeton has been painted, and I have antique plates on it, she's mostly a weekend cruiser. Plus I've always wanted a red & white one. It's just something to have fun with.

So the plan is, not to do a full restoration, but just clean it up and fix what needs it, and have a good looking driver/cruise-in prowler.



CHRISTINE! That is the name you MUST use.

Any pictures of the contents of that two year old Burger King sack?

What is this? Your 4th 77-92 D Body and your 2nd 1979?

lol, you know I'm getting a vanity plate with her numbers, it's just required. Sorry to disappoint, that burger king bag went straight to the trash! When I picked it up, something moved.... eww. I don't know what the hell happened in the trunk, but it smells like death. I'll have to rip everything out and let it air. Thank god the interior isn't too bad, just the trunk. hmm, it is from Chicago after all..

I see you're keeping track, lol. Yes, the math is right. Guess I just have a thing for 'em.

77CDV
08-27-07, 11:59 PM
The only two names I can think of (without driving her to get a sense of personality are Miss Scarlett or (it's the red and white) Candy. Good luck on this one. She seems reasonably solid, but there's still a huge amount of work ahead. And WTF happend to the center of the dash?

Benzilla
08-28-07, 12:23 AM
Good question, Craig. Somebody deiced they wanted to install a custom radio. So they pried the center stack out of the dash, cut a MUCH too large hole in it, then gave up only after cutting off the factory wiring harness! *ugh* So I'm still thinking of what to do about that, the rear speakers are also gone. Haven't tried the A/C yet. I have a symphony sound radio from an early '80s Cad, and a Realistic brand cassette deck made in the '90s. The car originally had a CB radio, and the mic is still hanging under the dash.

eldorado99
08-28-07, 12:43 AM
Ooooh... I can't wait to see what you do with this one! I'd like to get another Caddy in a couple years when the one I'm working on now is totally done. I don't know what I'll end up with yet though. Good luck with your endeavors on this Caddy, it needs some work thats for sure, not quite as much as mine did, but certainly lots of work.

That rust in the vinyl top looks like it has perforated the metal. Are the pics just playing tricks on me?

Wheelman322
08-28-07, 12:59 AM
As usual a big Congrats...But there's no way this is gonna be a small project. Once you get one thing fixed and the cars starts looking better you're gonna slowly but surely turn it into a full resto. Believe me...I've lied to myself before too. Can't wait to see the progress. Maybe between the two of us...all 77-92 D bodies will be salvaged from the junkyards.

Highway Star
08-28-07, 02:02 AM
There was a local salvage yard that had a white 79 coupe with red interior that I was getting a few parts off of earlier this year. Had some real nice interior parts that you probably could have used, door panels etc. Went back one day and they had crushed it. Pissed me off big time.

77CDV
08-28-07, 01:14 PM
Good question, Craig. Somebody deiced they wanted to install a custom radio. So they pried the center stack out of the dash, cut a MUCH too large hole in it, then gave up only after cutting off the factory wiring harness! *ugh* So I'm still thinking of what to do about that, the rear speakers are also gone. Haven't tried the A/C yet. I have a symphony sound radio from an early '80s Cad, and a Realistic brand cassette deck made in the '90s. The car originally had a CB radio, and the mic is still hanging under the dash.
I do love it when the six-toed among us try to act on their brilliant ideas.:bigroll: At some point, try tracing what's left of the radio harness back, I think you'll find a snap connector, so the damaged part may be replacable rather easily. Otherwise, get hold of the wiring diagram (they do exist, I have a copy) and start wiring. This one should keep you off the streets for a while.

DopeStar 156
08-28-07, 02:04 PM
That drooling rust by the vinyl top, I have the same problem with that on my 76 DeVille. HJow would you go about getting rid of the "drool" on the paint?

Night Wolf
08-28-07, 05:57 PM
Congrats!

I bet you'll make her look good again :)

The rust scares me, but if you can get thru that, then you'll be golden :)

I~LUV~Caddys8792
08-28-07, 06:00 PM
lol, you know I'm getting a vanity plate with her numbers, it's just required. .

CQB-241 ;)

Benzilla
08-28-07, 09:10 PM
I got to work on her for a few hours today, I started with the interior. Some interesting things were found, there was an old bill with the owner's name & address on it, two grandparent's day cards, ketchup packets, a steak knife, an old Avon catalog, and some sort of itch and odor ointment among other things. It really isn't in bad condition, after I got all the junk out of it. It actually looks nice! I vacuumed & shampooed the carpet, cleaned & conditioned all other surfaces, and got the mats back in. I didn't tackle the dashboard center yet, and yes Craig, they cut the wires behind the factory harness. So, since I don't want to just hard-wire in a radio, I'll try to get a harness from somebody who's parting one of these out, attach that, then plug in the radio of choice.

After I got the interior done I inspected the rust under the landau. Slightly worse than I thought, but not absolutely horrible. Since it won't be show car, but just a nice looking driver, I'll do a quick bondo patch job, then have it cut out and replaced when I have it painted. It'll turn out okay. I also got some more polishing done. Dopestar, use polishing compound to get off the 'drooling rust' It'll take a couple applications, but it will look better.

Sorry no pics, I'll probably have some tomorrow.

BRICKS
08-28-07, 09:20 PM
aint nothing like a frame off resto! y everyone scared of rust? always a couple deep scars behind the beauty. how was the underside of the floor pans? any surface rust showing? im doing a frame off with my 77 and gonna do a clean hardtop for a while.

Benzilla
08-28-07, 09:32 PM
the chassis is pretty clean, a little surface rust on some parts, but no cancer problems. Clean floor plans. The most amazing thing is, it doesn't leak anything... at all. Not a drop, I can't believe it.

BRICKS
08-28-07, 09:37 PM
sounds like uve found a better car then imaginable. my radiator leak was so bad my radiator support was close to being 2 pieces lol.

Destroyer
08-29-07, 11:39 PM
The only two names I can think of (without driving her to get a sense of personality are Miss Scarlett or (it's the red and white) Candy. Good luck on this one. She seems reasonably solid, but there's still a huge amount of work ahead. And WTF happend to the center of the dash?
Firecrotch will work

Benzilla
09-01-07, 12:09 AM
Update

I got the whole car buffed out, it looks 100x better than it did. Although I got impatient waiting for the buffer, so I ended up doing it all by hand. But I don't care. The sides are very shiny, and the top surfaces are shiny, but still a little cloudy. If it didn't have the rust issue, I'd have it wet sanded, but I think it would be a waste since I'm considering a paint job. Speaking of the rust, I was going to fix it this weekend, but I can't find the right color red, so I'll have to order it. I had originally thought it was Firethorn red, but in fact it's Saxony red. Also, I found out that it's been professionally repainted at some point, they did a great job though. That's probably why it buffed up so well. I still have to make an appointment for the rear fillers too. And I'm ordering a new set of front springs, right now the front sits about 0.5" lower than the back, and though most people don't even address this on show cars, it bugs the HELL out of me.

Now the interesting part. I noticed she has a rear anti-sway bar. Didn't this only come on the Fleetwoods? Maybe it's a custom installation, I haven't looked at it closely yet, I'll take some pictures.

BTW, I think her name is Denice, with a C not S. I was just looking at the car and I heard it.

Benzilla
09-01-07, 09:25 PM
Pictures!

Note that these were taken before I buffed the roof. I've been working around the weather lately, so things get done in spurts. I think it looks pretty nice considering that I've only put $20 into it since I bought it. You can see the rust exposed fully by the landau, I was going to fix that this weekend but I couldn't get paint in time. So, next is rear fillers, front springs, then take my time fixing things here and there.


http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0279.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0274.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0278.jpg

A couple quick interior shots. I still need to get the center stack back in, I've been hunting for a wire harness.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0302.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0284.jpg

Today I gutted the trunk, the pictures tell all. It was horrible, the guy had transmission parts sitting in there, so there is oil and trans fluid all over the rug, which I might replace. All sorts of other junk too. No rust though!

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0253.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0260.jpg

I found the paper that went on the original flat fix, kinda cool but not much.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0263.jpg


That's all for now. :)

CaddyshackCadillac
09-01-07, 11:45 PM
Wow that paint came back tremendous the before and after is insane great work here.........

kwaobus
09-01-07, 11:56 PM
Amazing work on the paint and interior so far. May I ask what products and orbital/rotary you used? See your point about the ride height, right now mine sits lower on the front left by 0.5" and it bugs the crap out of me. I guess I need a new spring there.

Benzilla
09-02-07, 12:09 AM
Thanks, the bulk of the paint work was done by hand with old fashioned polishing compound. Then I put on a scratch remover with a cheap orbital I keep around for a back up. But the compound made most of the difference. That's the benefit of lacquer, it'll almost always come back with enough work.

Some of you might have noticed the sheep skin steering wheel cover. It's not something I'd usually put on a car, and the original wheel isn't in too bad condition. But when I was a little kid, a neighbor of mine let me sit behind the wheel of her red & white '70s caddy, and it had a sheep skin cover, so I put it on to remind me of old times and pay tribute. That car helped to build my love for Cadillacs, so it's nice to have a reminder.

Cadillac_Fan
09-02-07, 12:26 AM
Great pictures. So glad you found "Denice." She really cleaned up thanks to your elbow grease, and it is hard to believe it's the same car. Looks like there is some phenomenal potential with your red DeVille. Any thoughts for a front vanity plate for her?

There is something special about that color combo. It's Cadillac through and through.

(PS - I passed on that '92 Coupe DeVille. Too many sketchy issues, including electrical bugs. Thanks agian for your input and insights.)

Benzilla
09-02-07, 12:45 AM
Thank you, by the way, do you think Denice fits? It came right to me, but I've had a couple people laugh at it.. then again, one of them said I should name it cherrybomb, so I guess I shouldn't be thinking about their opinion, lol.

About a vanity plate, yes, she needs one. Right now I have one sitting around that's a mirror backing with a gold wreath & crest, so I might put that on. I had thought about a CQB-241 (Christine) front plate, but now that I've gotten to know her, I'm not sure I want some other broad's number on the front, you know? Maybe I'm just crazy, lol.

Thanks for the kind words.

Wheelman322
09-02-07, 01:04 AM
Lookin good. You have to put a hood ornament on soon...She looks naked without it.

Highway Star
09-02-07, 01:30 AM
Be sure to save those small chrome trim pieces attached to the rear plastic fillers (near the lower trunk molding). They usually get tossed with the old fillers (or fall off). If original, they will have a single rivet. The rivets can be drilled out and the trim pieces can be bolted to the new fillers. While you're at it, why not do a frame-off resto?....


(just kiddin, that would be a major bank account drain!)

Cadillac_Fan
09-02-07, 01:33 AM
Yeah, Denice is a pretty good fit. Dena wouldn't be half bad either. Cherrybomb is too much of a Mellencamp tribute - although some of his songs do take the edge off.

eBay has some interesting 1979 plates. I typed into the search field: '1979 License' and some good vintage stuff popped up, including some old Michigan tags from '79. At the end of the day, you can't go wrong with the wreath and crest plate you have on-hand.

As for the hood ornament, will you seek to keep it true & genuine to the era with a crest-only ornament, or pick up a wreath & crested one?

Christine's tag is a good thought - but Denice might become tempermental sporting another girl's tag. (Yes, we are totally nuts about our love affair with these Cadillacs.)

Night Wolf
09-02-07, 04:45 AM
It really is amazing what rubbing compound/polishing compound can do to a weatherd paint job, especially older ones. Just the cheap $2 Tutrle Wax stuff works great.

My friends old '94 Jetta after just a quick hit with rubbing compound:

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachments/cadillac-forums-lounge-member-introductions/17230d1138595600-go-easy-polishing-compound-okay-pdr_0037.jpg

trunk on my '79, half done half waiting:

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachments/cadillac-forums-lounge-member-introductions/17229d1138595600-go-easy-polishing-compound-okay-pdr_0031.jpg

hood:

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachments/cadillac-forums-lounge-member-introductions/17228d1138595600-go-easy-polishing-compound-okay-pdr_0027.jpg

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachments/cadillac-forums-lounge-member-introductions/17227d1138595600-go-easy-polishing-compound-okay-pdr_0026.jpg

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-02-07, 02:15 PM
Wow, cool! That car reminds me of that other Coupe deVille in Goodfellas...the one the man bought for his wife, but then they both got murdered in it. Do you remember that scene? Remember what song was playing when they showed them gunned down in that car? Layla. I'd name that car Layla.

Highway Star
09-02-07, 08:38 PM
Wow, cool! That car reminds me of that other Coupe deVille in Goodfellas...the one the man bought for his wife, but then they both got murdered in it. Do you remember that scene? Remember what song was playing when they showed them gunned down in that car? Layla. I'd name that car Layla.

LOL, sorry, Layla has been taken. :thumbsup:

CaddyChillin77777
09-02-07, 08:58 PM
with some fixing up that car would be sweet. i would def. do it

Cadillac_Fan
09-08-07, 12:42 PM
(Thread Bump To The Top)

Keep us updated, Ben!

77CDV
09-08-07, 06:30 PM
Looks like you still have the factory radio in the trunk along with the wiring. Any chance of putting the harness back together with that? Paint looks great so far, really came back nice. I love lacquer, so forgiving.

Craig

Benzilla
09-08-07, 11:00 PM
Another update!

I spent today cleaning the engine, I didn't go into extreme detail, but I made it look more respectable. I will, on a later occasion, go into more detail taking down the under hood insulation and freshening up the hinges. I think it was already quite a nice change. The original snorkel hose was damaged, so I removed it until I could find a suitable replacement.

BEFORE

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0192.jpg

AFTER

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0344-1.jpg


http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0193.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0350-1.jpg

Sorry that the following came out blurry, but no matter, it isn't of extreme importance anyway. This is how the paint looks now, after further polishing & waxing it really has come back nicely. the rust spots are tragic, if it wasn't for that, she wouldn't need paint at all. I believe I have found a rear bumper, which I shall have installed along with the new bumper fillers.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0359copy.jpg

Wheelman322
09-08-07, 11:17 PM
Did you repaint the hood bolts Cadillac blue or did they just clean up that nice? Talk about a 180...What did you use? That motor looks fantastic. I also noticed that's a decently optioned Deville with the air ride compressor.

Benzilla
09-08-07, 11:25 PM
The bolts were just that dirty! I used this industrial ultra high strength cleaner/degreaser concentrate I found at a janitorial supply store and used it almost full strength, it's the best stuff I've ever used to clean engines.

It's funny that you mentioned the air ride compressor, this is the first Cadillac I've had with that set up, my Brougham apparently has a newer setup. I didn't know what it was, because apparently the car has been retrofitted with Gabriel hijackers and regular springs. I'll have to look into that.

Wheelman322
09-08-07, 11:43 PM
The bolts were just that dirty! I used this industrial ultra high strength cleaner/degreaser concentrate I found at a janitorial supply store and used it almost full strength, it's the best stuff I've ever used to clean engines.

It's funny that you mentioned the air ride compressor, this is the first Cadillac I've had wit that set up, my Brougham apparently has a newer setup. I didn't know what it was, because apparently the car has been retrofitted with Gabriel hijackers and regular springs. I'll have to look into that.

If the air lines are still running to the rear it should be easy enough. Just make sure the compressor is plugged in and add a set of fittings to the air shocks.

Benzilla
09-08-07, 11:50 PM
Wouldn't it also require different springs? Whenever I go to order springs, there's separate springs for the air ride setup. No matter, I'll leave it for now. I actually am going to get new front springs and probably shocks to match, because the front sags about an inch.

Wheelman322
09-09-07, 12:04 AM
Wouldn't it also require different springs? Whenever I go to order springs, there's separate springs for the air ride setup. No matter, I'll leave it for now. I actually am going to get new front springs and probably shocks to match, because the front sags about an inch.

Not positive but I don't think so. I had HD Limo springs put in the rear of my 78 and it didn't interfere with the Air ride. I think the compressor runs lines directly to the shocks. I know there's a level ride position sensor, but not sure what it mounts on.

kwaobus
09-09-07, 12:06 AM
amazing transformation!!

Highway Star
09-09-07, 12:28 AM
It's looking mucho better!

Night Wolf
09-09-07, 12:54 AM
Wow! That red really cleaned up.... this old lacquer paint really is forgiving. Red absorbs the most UV rays from the sun too, so it really gets pounded.

springs should make no difference for auto level, the compresser has small diameter plastic tubing that runs right to the shocks (normal air-shocks) and thats what controls ride height.

You need to get new headlight adjustment screws, cause the lamps are at weird angles, Advance Auto has them, only a couple bucks each.

Engine looks really good though, it cleaned up nice. You painted the air cleaner assembly tho, right?

I'd snag the side support bars from an 80's Brougham, I think they should be bolt in.... I dunno if they do anything other then look really cool when you open the hood :)

Has the A/C been converted to R134A? One of the charge port adapters looks like a 134A retrofit adapter.... maybe not tho.

Looks good though... your car and what you are doing to it is some of the best inspiration for my Fleetwood :)

77CDV
09-09-07, 01:10 AM
Ben, you, sir, are a true magician! Only magic can explain the transformation that car has undergone. I just hope it wasn't black magic. Chicken blood tends to leave nasty stains.....

Benzilla
09-09-07, 01:13 AM
Wow! That red really cleaned up.... this old lacquer paint really is forgiving. Red absorbs the most UV rays from the sun too, so it really gets pounded.

springs should make no difference for auto level, the compressor has small diameter plastic tubing that runs right to the shocks (normal air-shocks) and that's what controls ride height.

You need to get new headlight adjustment screws, cause the lamps are at weird angles, Advance Auto has them, only a couple bucks each.

Engine looks really good though, it cleaned up nice. You painted the air cleaner assembly tho, right?

I'd snag the side support bars from an 80's Brougham, I think they should be bolt in.... I dunno if they do anything other then look really cool when you open the hood :)

Has the A/C been converted to R134A? One of the charge port adapters looks like a 134A retrofit adapter.... maybe not tho.

Looks good though... your car and what you are doing to it is some of the best inspiration for my Fleetwood :)
Thanks! I had the headlight adjustment screws replaced on the Phaeton while it was being painted, my painter just threw them in for free since he already had the front taken apart. I didn't know you could get them at Advanced, that makes it easier. Yes, I painted the air cleaner housing, which made a huge difference by itself, and you wouldn't believe how dirty the old air cleaner was when I dragged it out! I'm not sure what side support bars you are talking about, think you could post a picture?

About the A/C, I hadn't really noticed, I knew it looked different but never thought about it since the center of the dash has been apart and I haven't really fussed with the air yet. I do know, however that it doesn't work right. Not even cool, and it makes noises if I don't unplug it, usually just a droning, but then it screams. Not the compressor, back by the the condenser. even when the air is off and the car is just on 'run', it makes noise unless I unplug the harness on top of it. Any idea what it is?

Glad I'm helping to get your beautiful old Fleetwood back in shape, your '79 helped me out when I was fixing up my Phaeton, so in a way I guess we're even. :)

77CDV
09-09-07, 01:21 AM
Sounds like the blower motor bearings. My 77 used to do the same thing until I replaced the blower motor (easy and cheap, thanks to the j-yard).

Night Wolf
09-09-07, 01:25 AM
Thanks! I had the headlight adjustment screws replaced on the Phaeton while it was being painted, my painter just threw them in for free since he already had the front taken apart. I didn't know you could get them at Advanced, that makes it easier. Yes, I painted the air cleaner housing, which made a huge difference by itself, and you wouldn't believe how dirty the old air cleaner was when I dragged it out! I'm not sure what side support bars you are talking about, think you could post a picture?

About the A/C, I hadn't really noticed, I knew it looked different but never thought about it since the center of the dash has been apart and I haven't really fussed with the air yet. I do know, however that it doesn't work right. Not even cool, and it makes noises if I don't unplug it, usually just a droning, but then it screams. Not the compressor, back by the the condenser. even when the air is off and the car is just on 'run', it makes notice unless I unplug the harness on top of it. Any idea what it is?

Glad I'm helping to get your beautiful old Fleetwood back in shape, your '79 helped me out when I was fixing up my Phaeton, so in a way I guess we're even. :)

Yup, the things are only a couple bucks each, just remove the 2 dozen torx/phillips screws to remove the headlight bezel, then remove the headlight (I'd replace them with Silver Stars at that time) and put the new adjusting screws in.... then have fun adjusting them :)

I remember when I painted the air cleaner assembly on my 425... it made a huge difference... but then I put the 14" open element Edelbrock on.... that was cool :) The OEM air cleaner on the 307 is now rusty too, but that now has the Edelbrock, so it looks cool.

You have the 4 big bars, but then there are 2 smaller bars (1 on each side) that go from the fender to above the wheels, where it bolts to the other 2 braces.

Like I said, it MAY somehow stiffen up the front end a bit, I think the 80's Brougham also has a couple extra braces underneath that are similar to these, but it looks cool.... I like opening up the hood and seeing all the braces.... I think its neat :)

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Brougham/6-24-07/IMG_0033.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Brougham/6-24-07/IMG_0034.jpg

Check the service ports for the A/C if it looks like there are retrofit adapters that are screwed on to the R12 ports, then its been converted.... now that could mean it has a new compressor, or accumulator/orrifice tube, or that it just had a vaccum pulled on it and was then charged with 134A (like my '79 and Olds were)

I don't know what the sound could be... its something I would have to hear... only thing in the dash that would make sounds like that, that I would know of would be blower motor, or blend door? maybe the motor or something? I know the climate control system is full of vaccum lines, so it could be some of them messed up, or leaking, or something...

Trust me, the electronic climate control on my '89 is a mess, that is going to be a fun one to figure out...

Yup because of your pictures after the rubbing compound, it gave me inspiration to go and do the same to the Fleetwood, even tho I did it to the '79, the '89's paint is alot worse so I was like.... well, whatever... but... I am shock... its still bad, but it is much, much better, and from 20 feet away, dosn't look half bad... atleast right now I woudln't mind showing it like it is.... for being almost 20 years old, and a daily driver that whole time, and atleast the 2nd part of its life, not cosmetically taken care of at all.... its doing better.

Benzilla
09-09-07, 02:10 AM
Yup, the things are only a couple bucks each, just remove the 2 dozen torx/phillips screws to remove the headlight bezel, then remove the headlight (I'd replace them with Silver Stars at that time) and put the new adjusting screws in.... then have fun adjusting them :)

I remember when I painted the air cleaner assembly on my 425... it made a huge difference... but then I put the 14" open element Edelbrock on.... that was cool :) The OEM air cleaner on the 307 is now rusty too, but that now has the Edelbrock, so it looks cool.

You have the 4 big bars, but then there are 2 smaller bars (1 on each side) that go from the fender to above the wheels, where it bolts to the other 2 braces.

Like I said, it MAY somehow stiffen up the front end a bit, I think the 80's Brougham also has a couple extra braces underneath that are similar to these, but it looks cool.... I like opening up the hood and seeing all the braces.... I think its neat :)

Check the service ports for the A/C if it looks like there are retrofit adapters that are screwed on to the R12 ports, then its been converted.... now that could mean it has a new compressor, or accumulator/orrifice tube, or that it just had a vaccum pulled on it and was then charged with 134A (like my '79 and Olds were)

I don't know what the sound could be... its something I would have to hear... only thing in the dash that would make sounds like that, that I would know of would be blower motor, or blend door? maybe the motor or something? I know the climate control system is full of vaccum lines, so it could be some of them messed up, or leaking, or something...

Trust me, the electronic climate control on my '89 is a mess, that is going to be a fun one to figure out...

Yup because of your pictures after the rubbing compound, it gave me inspiration to go and do the same to the Fleetwood, even tho I did it to the '79, the '89's paint is alot worse so I was like.... well, whatever... but... I am shock... its still bad, but it is much, much better, and from 20 feet away, dosn't look half bad... atleast right now I woudln't mind showing it like it is.... for being almost 20 years old, and a daily driver that whole time, and atleast the 2nd part of its life, not cosmetically taken care of at all.... its doing better.

Okay, now I know what you're talking about with the bars, my '90 has them, and I guess I never really thought about putting a set on an older Cadillac. Guess It's just not high on my list. I'll go out in the next couple days and really look at the A/C, the thing is, it never made noise until I switched it on a few days ago (and had a poof of black dirt and dead spiders blown all over me, lol) All I can say is... you know that sound a printer makes when it's out of paper and you try to print? It sounds a lot like that, and it's coming from the condenser I think. Then one time it just... screamed. like a woman screaming, it was eerie. Then I just pulled it until further notice.

With all this talk of headlights, I remembered a night shot I took of it about a week ago that I like, might as well post it here, where else?

I'll think about the Silver Stars, but right now I hardly drive the car, let alone much at night, so it doesn't really matter yet. But if all goes right I might put it into semi-daily driver status, so I'll think about it.

I'll end the night with this, see 'ya later fellas!



http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0336v2.jpg

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-09-07, 11:33 AM
Holy crap Ben, it's like a whole new car!

deVille33
09-09-07, 12:16 PM
Your diamond in the rough is polishing up nicely. You didn't answer the post about the radio in the trunk. If you had the CB unit, there should be a converter stuck up in back of the glove box, and you should find some coax going out to the ariel mast. There is an extra wire in that original radio harness that is used as a signal so that your auto antenna will raise the mast.

Benzilla
09-09-07, 01:57 PM
Just missed that one :) It does have a Cadillac radio, but it isn't the original radio, it's an early '80s Symphony Sound cassette deck. But it does have the harness attached to it, so I *might* be able to piece it together with the stock wires in the dash. The only thing is, the hole in the dashboard for the radio has bee enlarged to accomidate a custom radio, so a stock one would just be kinda... floating. I do, however, have a standard DIN sized CD player I could put in with an installation kit, and I'd have to get a set of rear speakers too because one is MIA.

Benzilla
09-16-07, 04:44 PM
Small update, she now has a hood ornament. Last summer after I got the phaeton, I took the original off because the plastic pieces were coming off, it was dull, and I wanted one with a wreath. But I kept the old one, so I thought 'what the hell' and got it out, polished it, took the plastic pieces out, repainted the colors, and stuck it on Denice. Big improvement.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0371.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0372.jpg

Also put the trunk back together. The last owner had kept transmission parts in the trunk, so there were massive amounts of transmission fluid and oil soaked into the rug. So I literally cleaned it with dawn dish soap and a broom, lol. I had to do it twice to get it all out. Came out very nice though. But the cardboard side panels were beyond salvage. So if anybody knows where I might pick up a set, that would be great.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0377.jpg

My_favorite_Brougham
09-16-07, 04:51 PM
Small update, she now has a hood ornament. Last summer after I got the phaeton, I took the original off because the plastic pieces were coming off, it was dull, and I wanted one with a wreath. But I kept the old one, so I thought 'what the hell' and got it out, polished it, took the plastic pieces out, repainted the colors, and stuck it on Denice. Big improvement.

How do you remove the plastic to get back there? I had a dullened hood ornament, and took a butter knife to get the plastic out, and it shattered into pieces and the artwork underneath was completely disintegrated. It's like the design is embedded into the back of the plastic which was glued into bear metal. I completely ruined that hood ornament. Oh well.


Greg

Benzilla
09-16-07, 05:41 PM
On some of them, the design was in the back of the plastic, on this one however, it is actually in the metal which is the only way I was able to do it. In case you can't tell in the pictures, I just left the plastic off because it was hazy and warped. I still might get a wreath hood ornament later, and that's the only reason I salvaged the old one; I'm still unsure, and it really needed something.

This is how that same ornament used to look.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0437.jpg

JoeT1224
09-16-07, 06:54 PM
Benzilla, you are to be commended for the life you have breathed back into these tired automobiles. Like me, and so many others that frequent these boards, you give attention to every finest detail. You are the consumate Cadillac owner.

Looking at your Phaeton, and this beauty makes me think back to my daddy's old '78 Coupe deVille. It was silver with gray leather interior and I tell you that car sparkled. It had such a great presence and every line and curve it had was perfect. He kept that car until 1994 and to this day I miss it. I'd give ANYTHING to find an exact replacement. BUT only if the price was right lol.

Say, what did you use to repaint that hood ornament? I have an old hood ornament sitting around here that could use a freshening up.


Joe

Benzilla
09-16-07, 08:16 PM
Thank you Joe, it means a lot to me. Your father's car sounds like a real gem, I too love the classic and refined lines of the slightly downsized late '70s Cadillacs, to me it's the perfect blend if vintage elegance, yet slightly more 'lean' if you will, than previous generations.

To repaint the hood ornament, I used Testors brand model car enamel, it comes in little jars and can be found at places like Hobby Lobby, Wal*Mart, etcetera. Then just use a fine artist's brush and it's quite effortless. Just keep a lint free rag around in case you color outside the lines ;)

deVille33
09-17-07, 10:12 PM
On some of them, the design was in the back of the plastic, on this one however, it is actually in the metal which is the only way I was able to do it. In case you can't tell in the pictures, I just left the plastic off because it was hazy and warped. I still might get a wreath hood ornament later, and that's the only reason I salvaged the old one; I'm still unsure, and it really needed something.

This is how that same ornament used to look.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0437.jpg Sometimes you can take that haze off with jeweler's rouge or rubbing compound.
I hate to point it out, but that ornament was for the 1978 devilles. The 1979's had the wreath.

JoeT1224
09-17-07, 10:34 PM
Kind of strange but my daddy's old '78 CDV came with a W&C hood ornament when it was new. I didn't know about the "wreathless" ornaments until years after we sold it.

Joe

bicentennialcadillac
09-17-07, 11:14 PM
Sometimes you can take that haze off with jeweler's rouge or rubbing compound.
I hate to point it out, but that ornament was for the 1978 devilles. The 1979's had the wreath.

No, in '79 the deVilles still got vees, and on up through the 1980s.

brougham_geezer
09-18-07, 05:56 PM
'79's don't have a wreath, unless it's a Fleetwood. My '79 has the identical hood ornament, and V on the trunk as bicentennialcadillac pointed out.

Keep up the incredible work Benzilla, this is my favorite of your cars.

Benzilla
09-19-07, 01:09 AM
Another small update.

Today I replaced the headlight adjusters. Which, in itself was easy... but I can't simply take something apart and put it back together leaving anything looking less that how it should. So I took all of the headlight trim off, polished it, repainted the black stripe that runs along the top, polished the turn signal with Meguiars PlastX, and than put it all back together. (those springs are a pain in the ass, by the way) So tomorrow I have to take the other side all apart to make it match. Her grille is badly pitted, so I'll just replace that instead of touching up the black on this one.

Also, I have a new rear bumper on it's way from the west. From a parts car, but in nice condition. I'll have that put on at the same time I get the fillers done, since he'll be in there anyway I won't waste the effort :p .

Here's the bumper, no pics of the headlights yet since only one side is done.


http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/3fcb_1.jpg

deVille33
09-22-07, 12:15 AM
No, in '79 the deVilles still got vees, and on up through the 1980s.


The V on the trunk lid was there in 1977 and possibly 1978, I'll have to look at my Brogham. The crest and wreath hood emblem was used on the Fleetwoods, Sevilles, & Eldorados. In 1979 they put the C&W on the deVilles, also.
In 1977 Cadillac had an open crest on the hood. The Filled crest, as seen on this project coupe is from a '78.

bicentennialcadillac
09-22-07, 02:18 PM
Any '79 deVilles you see with wreaths have been altered from factory spec.

MaineWater
09-25-07, 06:48 PM
benzilla, how do those bumpers come off, is it the same for a 1980-1992 model. I want to try taking the bumper off my deville to make it easier to replace my gas tank and flat fillers. i cant seem to get that flace piece in.

MaineWater
09-25-07, 06:51 PM
everone says it is possible but there are like screws that go in

JoeT1224
09-25-07, 07:46 PM
Our '78 came with the V on the trunk, but the hood ornament did have the W&C. I KNOW that the SDVs and CDVs came with the wreath only hood ornament, but I have seen a handful (late '70s models only, I have yet to see an '80s model DeVille with the W&C hood ornament) that had the W&C hood ornament. The hood ornament not the decklid emblem. Ours came new with the W&C, I don't know why, maybe McIllwain Cadillac installed it, but it did come with it.

Joe

My_favorite_Brougham
09-26-07, 12:59 AM
I have yet to see an '80s model DeVille with the W&C hood ornament) that had the W&C hood ornament.

So it sounds like the '77-'79 Deville ornaments had the truncated-oval base just like the '80-'92 FWBs had. That's why so many folks switch them out (like Benzilla did). That being since it did not have a chrome strip going down the hood. Well my question is, is there a way to get W&C ornament for an '80-'84 CDV?? I think the base is a small circle. Would a '74-'76 FWB W&C ornament (the big thin one) work? What about the little FWD Devilles with W&C ornaments (though I think they're a little small IMO)?

deVille33
09-29-07, 12:56 AM
benzilla, how do those bumpers come off, is it the same for a 1980-1992 model. I want to try taking the bumper off my deville to make it easier to replace my gas tank and flat fillers. i cant seem to get that flace piece in.

I always take the bumpers off by unbolting the low speed impact cylinders, and sliding the whole unit out of the frame tubes. Then you can get at everything and support the bumper on the cylinders, while still in the frame tubes.
That way you don't have worry about getting everthing out of alignment, when you remount the bumper.

MaineWater
09-29-07, 11:44 PM
that made no sense to me, i am new to this stuff, i think i just might need pictures. I just don't want to mess anything up!

77CDV
09-30-07, 04:52 PM
77 and up RWD deVilles have just the crest on the hood UNLESS it's a d'Elegance model, then it got the W&C from the Fleetwood. The hood ornaments on all C/D-body RWD cars are interchangeable from 77-92.

Benzilla
09-30-07, 06:49 PM
I didn't know that about the d'Elegance package, although I've still seen a good amount of base level coupes with the crest ornament. I'm thinking that dealers probably put some on just to dress up the DeVilles.

No big news about Denice yet, just been putzing around doing little stuff. I have the bumper (which is as nice as the one on The Phaeton), so I just have to get it into my paint guy to put the fillers on with it. Like I said, if I wasn't having the fillers done I'd tackle it myself, but why waste effort of it'll be coming off anyway.

1990CaddyBrougham
09-30-07, 11:05 PM
What are you doing about the rust on the roofline?

Benzilla
10-01-07, 01:30 AM
I'm going to grind it down, fill & paint it until I decide if I'm getting the whole car done of not. If I do, at that point it'll probably be cut out. If no, that should still hold up well I think.

Benzilla
11-12-07, 01:50 AM
Update. I got the rust filled... It was worse than I thought, by the time I got all the loose metal off, I saw that it had gone up around the corner following the molding. There were a couple huge gaping holes under the edge of the landau, sorry I didn't get and pics of it raw, but you get excited, 'ya know? lol, anyway I got all the rust and loose metal taken off, then got the screening on and started laying Bondo & glaze. here's the result. I make no claims to be a body man, by any means, but it looks a lot better than it did, and it doesn't jump out if you're not looking for it. I don't have the molding put back on yet because I'm polishing it while it's off, but you can get the idea. Not the greatest pics, I know, I was cold.

BEFORE

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0200.jpg

AFTER
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0578.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0569.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0581.jpg

I got the paint from a near by Dupont store, they mixed it & put it in an aerosol can while I waited. Great match. Then I just patched the pinstripe with the tape stuff. Next I'm getting the rear fillers done, and a new perfect rear bumper put on... that will make a huge difference.

So, that's all for now.

Cadillac_Fan
11-13-07, 12:07 PM
Phenomenal work, Ben. That DeVille was a diamond in the rough, and you had the vision to see its amazing potential. It's really looking great!

JoeT1224
11-13-07, 01:46 PM
What's that old Platters song?

"you've got the magic touch..."

They were talking about you Ben.

Joe

brougham_geezer
11-13-07, 02:42 PM
Honestly Ben, great work again. I'm jealous as anything, because you've got a sharp looking coupe with the best colour combo... and you didn't have to spend a fortune. I want a '77-'79 coupe so badly! You do have magic hands for certain. I'd let you detail my car any day.

Most impressive is the finish you managed to get out of that paint.... I'm blown away. Can you list the products and proceedures again? I'd like to give my '79 sedan that sort of shine again... although navy blue doesn't shine up anywhere as nice as that I'm sure.

One more thing: I'm beginning to think that my '79 was originally silver... would you be able to tell for me if I took pictures of some appropriate codes/tags /areas for you to look at? Thanks Ben, keep on trucking and keep the pictures coming. :yup:

Benzilla
11-13-07, 03:07 PM
Thanks fellas, it's just what I do. Geezer, bring that Sedan down here for a few days and you'll get a different car back, haha. Every time I see pictures of it I just want to dive in! The finish on Denice was brought back by the old stand by - rubbing compound. I applied turtle wax liquid rubbing compound with a kitchen sponge (more even application, good for around moldings & edges, lots of cut), followed by Meguiars scratch & swirl remover, followed by zymols cleaner wax... that's it. Ya gotta love lacquer. Plus red is the second easiest color to bring back, right after white. Your dark blue is metallic, right? If so, it probably won't shine up quite as well as a gloss. The metallics never do, don't ask me why. But there's still a lot of room for improvement, it'll look a lot richer once you get it buffed.

I'm curious, just why are you beginning to think it was silver? lol. Actually, I'm still trying to figure out the codes/tags too, in fact I had to go to a website I know of to get the right code for the touch up paint. If I could just figure out where it was in '79, I'd have it made. I could still post the code sheet for the different colors if you think it could help you. But I've yet to find the right tag with the code on the car.

My_favorite_Brougham
11-13-07, 07:55 PM
I got the paint from a near by Dupont store, they mixed it & put it in an aerosol can while I waited. Great match. Then I just patched the pinstripe with the tape stuff. Next I'm getting the rear fillers done, and a new perfect rear bumper put on... that will make a huge difference.

So, that's all for now.

You're telling me you rattle-canned a sanded spot and at came out that nice?! :eek: Makes me want to go rattle-can a whole car. Any wet sanding, etc.?

BTW, how much was it go get an aerosol can of car paint? I need to bondo up some bad spots, and this looks like a good alternative to going to a paint shop and paying $200 buck for them to spray four inches, simply because they have a gun.

Benzilla
11-13-07, 10:38 PM
Yup, plain old rattle can. No wet sanding, just went over the area with rubbing compound to blend it in and bring up the shine. There's no line at all along the bottom edge, the new paint actually goes about 4" below the pinstripe, I had to take off more old paint than I had planned on. And it's not clear coated either, just single stage to match the original paint. They mixed & canned it for $20 exactly, but I had to go to three places before I found one that would do it.

CaddyshackCadillac
11-14-07, 01:21 PM
any plans for the roof?

Wheelman322
11-14-07, 02:37 PM
That's seriously impressive work Ben. Make sure you show the guy who sold it to you....along with reciepts of what you spent.

Benzilla
11-14-07, 03:47 PM
any plans for the roof?
Yes, the roof will definitely get redone at some point. Just not sure where it falls on the list of things that need to be done ASAP. But I will def. get it redone in white again, that much I know. I still have to put the molding back on, but with it on, the whole package really doesn't look too bad. So, first comes the new rear fillers & bumper, then new front springs (old ones sag slightly), then new tires and top. Also gotta throw in a radio installation kit somewhere in there since the gaping hole in the dash is much too big for a stock unit to go back.

77CDV
11-14-07, 07:37 PM
:jawdrop::worship: That is a truely stunning job! If ever I decide to sell Rebecca, I know where she can find a good home. Keep up the good work, and keep us posted.

Craig

Benzilla
11-29-07, 07:44 PM
Well, today Denice almost took a victim. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Anyway, since I bought it, I haven't had too much free time to do as much work as I'd have liked, and since I hadn't needed another car to drive around, I hadn't done much mechanically yet, just cosmetic. So, the day before yesterday I drove it over to my mechanic's shop so we could look it over on the rack. The chassis really is very clean for being a northern car, no cancer at all, only some minor surface rust. Although it's strange, somebody had put some money into this car before she was left for dead. She has a brand new catalytic converter; new plugs & wires; some new brake lines; somewhat fresh Gabriel Hijacker rear shocks, and some other minor details. It's like they had a good project going on, then just abandoned her. She needed a new fuel pump; the old one was actually squirting gas out the side. The brakes were horribly out of adjustment (when you hit them she would veer right, left, then right again, without moving the steering wheel) and the rear diff. was leaking. So we got the brakes adjusted; changed the oil & filter; trans fluid & filter; flushed the radiator & pressure checked the cap; repacked & resealed the rear diff, and we're still waiting for the fuel pump to come it.

Thing is, today while I wasn't there, Al my mechanic decided to take her for a test drive. Apparently, he said she was running perfectly, the brakes felt fine, but as he was coming up to an intersection, he hit the brake pedal and it clicked then went to the floor.... no brakes at all. So he ran the light, dodging cars, turned around and tried to navigate back to the shop. He couldn't slow it down enough and ended up circling a few times before he could bring it back in. He discovered a brake line had burst. A line with no rust, and nothing wrong with it. A gaping hole just formed seemingly out of nowhere. He got the line replaced today, still waiting for the fuel pump. I'll have a couple fresh pics tomorrow or the day after, I pinstriped the trunk in the factory location, it was never redone after the repaint.

Oh, and remember that 'pounding on the trunk lid' I was hearing? We both searched extensively and haven't yet found ANYTHING that could be causing it. Everything looks to be in tip-top condition.

Stay posted.

Ben.

79caddy1
11-29-07, 08:25 PM
Yup, the things are only a couple bucks each, just remove the 2 dozen torx/phillips screws to remove the headlight bezel, then remove the headlight (I'd replace them with Silver Stars at that time) and put the new adjusting screws in.... then have fun adjusting them :)

I remember when I painted the air cleaner assembly on my 425... it made a huge difference... but then I put the 14" open element Edelbrock on.... that was cool :) The OEM air cleaner on the 307 is now rusty too, but that now has the Edelbrock, so it looks cool.

You have the 4 big bars, but then there are 2 smaller bars (1 on each side) that go from the fender to above the wheels, where it bolts to the other 2 braces.

Like I said, it MAY somehow stiffen up the front end a bit, I think the 80's Brougham also has a couple extra braces underneath that are similar to these, but it looks cool.... I like opening up the hood and seeing all the braces.... I think its neat :)

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Brougham/6-24-07/IMG_0033.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Brougham/6-24-07/IMG_0034.jpg

Check the service ports for the A/C if it looks like there are retrofit adapters that are screwed on to the R12 ports, then its been converted.... now that could mean it has a new compressor, or accumulator/orrifice tube, or that it just had a vaccum pulled on it and was then charged with 134A (like my '79 and Olds were)

I don't know what the sound could be... its something I would have to hear... only thing in the dash that would make sounds like that, that I would know of would be blower motor, or blend door? maybe the motor or something? I know the climate control system is full of vaccum lines, so it could be some of them messed up, or leaking, or something...

Trust me, the electronic climate control on my '89 is a mess, that is going to be a fun one to figure out...

Yup because of your pictures after the rubbing compound, it gave me inspiration to go and do the same to the Fleetwood, even tho I did it to the '79, the '89's paint is alot worse so I was like.... well, whatever... but... I am shock... its still bad, but it is much, much better, and from 20 feet away, dosn't look half bad... atleast right now I woudln't mind showing it like it is.... for being almost 20 years old, and a daily driver that whole time, and atleast the 2nd part of its life, not cosmetically taken care of at all.... its doing better.

There is a shutoff valve on the one heater hose? Is that there for a reason?....Just curious!

My_favorite_Brougham
11-30-07, 02:50 AM
Oh dang, that was a close call. You're lucky Denise came out unscathed. Did you have old old brake fluid in the system? If so, then it can begin to corrode away at the insides of things, hence the recommendation to change it frequently. That may also explain it's okay outer appearance. Same way with coolant; if you don't change, it can begin to corrode leaking holes throughout the system.

Benzilla
11-30-07, 03:59 AM
I'm not sure how old the brake fluid was, it was still the stuff that was there when I bought it. So it had been sitting in there at least 18 months. Although it still *looked* fine. But the lines are getting bled anyway, just to be safe. If Denice actually had crushed some import while on her rampage, you're right; I would have spent hours scraping bits of plastic off the bumper. That really would've been a pain. ;)

Still waiting for the damn fuel pump! So she's still resting up on the hoist.

More as it unfolds.

Ben.

MaineWater
11-30-07, 04:08 PM
Do they sell that pinstipe in auto stores? i think my car needs some on the trunk as i am pretty sure it was repainted at some point(and it was a terrible job) from the original Cotilltion (SP?)White to a btighter white and there is no pinstriping on the trunk.

77CDV
12-01-07, 02:44 AM
Why didn't he just use the e-brake? It's mechanical and would have stopped the car (eventually). Or is the e-brake disconnected?

Benzilla
12-01-07, 09:17 PM
Do they sell that pinstipe in auto stores? i think my car needs some on the trunk as i am pretty sure it was repainted at some point(and it was a terrible job) from the original Cotillion (SP?)White to a btighter white and there is no pin striping on the trunk.

Yeah, it's the tape kind, you know. Not too hard, actually.


Why didn't he just use the e-brake? It's mechanical and would have stopped the car (eventually). Or is the e-brake disconnected?

Hmm, not sure, but I think I read it the owner's manual that it can't be engaged while the car is in drive.

Anyway, I got her back today. Really runs nice. Took her out to run some errands, and it felt solid as a rock.

Here's a pic of my pinstriping job. All it took was patience and a razor blade.

BEFORE

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0581.jpg


AFTER

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0702copy.jpg

Still can't wait to get the bumper & fillers done, that's next. Notice that they've crumbled even more between pictures taken two weeks apart.

77CDV
12-02-07, 12:36 AM
Ben,

That's excellent work! You must have the patience of a saint (and a very steady hand!). Once the fillers and bumper are on, Denise is gonna like almost like new. You've brought her a long way in a very short time. BTW, the parking brake/e-brake can be engaged while the car is in drive. In fact, that's how it's designed. I've had occasion to use it. Try it some time in an empty parking lot. The car won't stop quickly, but it will stop, and the e-brake pedal won't lock down unless the car is in park or neutral.

Keep up the great work!

Craig

deVille33
12-29-07, 11:50 AM
Great work. Every time you touch it, you give it the Midas touch. It just gets better and better. Your neighbors must wonder where you keep getting all those red cars.

How did you get color match? Did You use color code or did you bring the car to the body supply store for color match?

UltraGary
02-22-08, 01:04 PM
Wow! I just spent over an hour reading this whole thread Ben.....and I'm beyond impressed! (I see it's been months since a reply has been added, so I do hope you're still tuned in here) I recently got a great deal on my '79 Sedan DeVille, which looks great (almost) all over, but sorely needs rear body-fillers. Does anyone have advice on who I should buy these from? I see them on a few sites but now nothing about the sources. Any help would be appreciated!

Benzilla
02-22-08, 04:02 PM
Thanks for the feedback, I'm still here, and I still have Denice. But it's hard to do much with winter and all.

When I had my '79 Phaeton repainted, I ordered a new set of ABS plastic bumper fillers, just as preventative medicine. I bought them from www.bumperfillers.com, and they look as good as any other aftermarket fillers look. I'd love to see some pics of your '79, you should start a thread about it (unless you have and I missed it).

Ben.

1990CaddyBrougham
02-23-08, 12:59 PM
Any updates on what your future plans are for it ben?

You got quite the fleet of Broughams and devilles

UltraGary
02-23-08, 01:30 PM
THANX Ben, your advice is appreciated. (though I'm slapping my head on how obvious 'bumperfillers.com' sounds!) I'm not sure how to even start a thread here, though my progress on my car won't be anything compared to your's, so that's OK. I've attached a couple of pix of my '79 Sedan DeVille, which is said to have just 68K original miles on it from the elderly couple I bought it from. As you can see, it's VERY clean in & out and I'm loving it. It seems I did so well hiding the missing/damaged bumper-fillers from the camera that I don't even have a clear shot of my problem in the back! I'll post some before/after shots before I make the big fix on that. Thanx again and I look forward to tapping into the brilliance on this site as I check off my little list for this one.

77CDV
02-23-08, 11:02 PM
Beautiful ride, Gary! Are you in SoCal? Looks like you took those pics at the top of Topanga.

UltraGary
02-24-08, 02:31 PM
Thanx & Good eye there '77'...you're quite close. That was actually just a few miles east of where you're guessing, above Sherman Oaks.

Benzilla
03-12-08, 02:37 AM
Well, Denice is still here, and doing great. Since the last update on December 1st I'd been toying with the idea of selling her, as I shouldn't have two projects at once, and I couldn't part with the '89. But today I got her all washed up, and went out for a drive, for the first time since early January. And.. I forgot what a nice old car she is. I guess since she had been sitting around collecting dust, my mind reverted more to images of how she was when I found her; a little shaky, unpredictable, and basically tired. But that was a long time ago. She's doing much better now, even after sitting unstarted for weeks, she started up strong on the first crank, and except for one quick stall at the end of the driveway (my fault, didn't let the engine warm up) ran like a top.

Visually, it also helps the she sits level now, you might remember that the last owner had installed Gabriel HiJacker rear shocks, which made the rear sit about 1.5" higher, and that one of them was clunking. So in December, faced with the thought of impending shock replacement, I decided to let all the air out, and let thing settle where they may. Fortunately, the rear springs had sagged to the same height as the front, so without support of the shocks, the car sits level. And since the shocks are still existent, the rear doesn't bounce or anything, and since she has a rear stabilizer, cornering isn't affected either. So now I'm just waiting for a shock to blow, at which time I'll probably replace both front & rear springs and shocks, so she'll sit factory level.

Other than that, no real changes since last time. Just a rekindled attraction to the car. Now I'll probably end up selling my '84 Cutlass Supreme. I hate to part with it, but a guy in my neighborhood has been eyeing it since last summer. Letting it go will free up some space, and since I'm not in dire need of cash in other areas of my life, it'll probably be split between the two projects. Everybody's happy.

Here's a pic I had to take. Only a driveway shot, but she just looked so pretty to me today, I had to try and capture it. *sigh* just somethin' about a red & white Cadillac.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_0909.jpg



Ben.

Highway Star
03-12-08, 03:20 PM
Looking much, much better. Surprised to hear you may part with the Cutlass.

Benzilla
03-12-08, 03:59 PM
Thanks, I think so too :p

I know, my grandfather bought the Cutlass new off the lot in '84, then after he died in '89, my grandmother drove it to church and back until '97 when it was given to my cousin. She drove it through college, then I bought it in '01 for $1500. Since then, I've replaced the engine; and almost everything else under the hood too. So it runs like new, looks great, and is fun to drive except for being underpowered. But right now it's parked on the grass... to me that's a huge red flag meaning that something has to change. And if this guy buys it, I know he'll take care of it, and I'll still get to see it. Plus I'd have first chance back at it if he decides to sell it later. And really, if I just saw a red & white '79 CDV and a light blue '84 Cutlass Supreme sitting on a used car lot somewhere, I know which one I'd be looking at first, know what I mean?

Ben.

77CDV
03-12-08, 04:20 PM
Wise move, Ben.

CaddyshackCadillac
03-12-08, 08:33 PM
i am still astounded at how that paint job looks i havent been thru here in a while but ben ya car still looks great.

Benzilla
04-18-08, 09:30 AM
Denice has a new issue... I think the left front wheel bearing need to be done. I was driving her home, and I started to feel a vibration from the drivers side front area. the further I drove the worse it got, until the steering started to feel uneasy. Right now she's parking in the driveway, I thought I'd start by taking off the wheelcover and making sure it isn't something like a loose lug nut or thrown wheel weight. But something tells me it isn't.

More to come...

Ben

75sled
04-18-08, 02:26 PM
Man what a change from then to now. I still want to know more about the cleaning you did under the hood.

What was the name of the concentrated stuff you used and did you have to scrub, did you use a pressure washer or just a water hose with a nozzle or what?

My 75 needs a paint job really bad, but what bugs me the most is how nasty she is under the hood. I would love to clean it up and make her look as nice as Denice does "behind closed doors"...or closed hood as the case may be.

Faded Crest
04-18-08, 04:56 PM
Hey Benzilla,

Just now read the thread. Very cool. You are making me want another Couple DeVille. Last one I had was a 3x Light blue '79. It was nice when I bought it, (84K mi.) But that was a several years ago. Somehow it's more satisfying to revive one like you are doing. I haven't really messed with too many old Caddies in the past 10 years, used to play around with a lot of '50s and '60's models, but the parts were so high and hard to find that it took away from the fun.

BTW, I see you are a transplant to the South like me. How's the adjustment? How long you been in TN? I moved from Maine to NC about 19 years ago, and I am still not used to it. LOL.!!! Best part, though is a lot more old cars still on the road.

75sled
04-18-08, 05:52 PM
Hey Ben,

I was just gazing back thru the pics again. I noticed the vinyl part of the floor mats was a little worn and faded. Ever thought about some red "cream style" shoe polish. My wife has some that came in a little jar. I bet it would make those floor mats look like a million bucks...along with the rest of the car. This thread should be called "how to make a lump of coal into a diamond for a little of nothing". You have SO transformed this car. I am so amazed at the difference you've made with as little money as you spent.

75sled
04-23-08, 01:14 PM
Hey Ben, your holding out on us about the brand of product you used to spiff up that engine compartment. I want mine to look like that.

My_favorite_Brougham
04-23-08, 01:55 PM
Hmmm.... I only know of one product that will produce those results; I think it's called "elbow grease." lol :p

75sled
04-23-08, 02:07 PM
I HEARD DAT! He did mention some sort fo industrial degreaser though, and that is what i was curious about. I just keep coming back to this thread and looking at the pics. The results are flippin amazing.

deVille33
05-11-08, 11:15 PM
What's the story on that wheel bearing? Problem I've had with them is that if you have to go too far on a bad bearing the inner race fuses to the spindle and then you are out looking for a replacement spindle. Hope you caught it early enough.

gornati
03-04-09, 04:05 PM
just bought one 1978 coupe deville, wich i am going to bring it to Brasil!

Nice car the red one!

cadillac_al
03-05-09, 11:24 AM
How do you get a car to Brasil?

gornati
03-06-09, 08:21 AM
How do you get a car to Brasil?
Have to get all the papers, bill of sale, invoice, title from previous owner request a permission here in my country, after the permission is given i put the car in a shipping container and we are good to go!

Benzilla
03-08-09, 05:04 PM
Here's an update.

Denice sat for a long time since I couldn't figure out what the front end shimmy was about. It was winter, so it was usually too cold to work on it, and I refused to take her to a mechanic. So, once the weather warmed up, I went out and replaced booth of the front tires with spares, and amazingly, that fixed the problem! So the whole time, all that was wrong with here was old tires. That was a few days ago. Since then I've just been putzing around doing different things to get her back into shape again. After a quick wash and vacuuming, she perked right up, and still looks just like she did after I polished out the paint for the first time.

I put some Sea Foam in the oil & gas, and that did wonders! The tranny it still a little slow shifting into second, so I need to look into that. The brakes are a little spongy, but drivable. The carb is a total turd, it's amazing she runs as well as she does. So - it looks like the next project is putting Rick's rebuilt carb from his '79 on her. Can't wait to see how it runs!

Oh yeah, the bumper fillers are history... One fell off when I washed it, then a couple hours later, my Dad came out to look at her, just touched the other one and it collapsed. So, I'm still going on with the plan of repainting the original ones from the Phaeton and putting them in with the fresh rear bumper I have waiting. Only thing is, I have no idea how to get the metal brackets that hold the fillers off the car. Any tips? Anybody?

Also, need to get a set of tires. A shop 2 miles from me is selling 215-75-15s with a 1.3" whitewall for $67 a tire... Hell yeah! Just gotta get the cash together, I know it sounds like change, but being unemployed in a recession sucks. lol.

So, that's the latest, maybe I'll post some new pics soon, but not much has changes since the last ones were taken.

Glad to be back around here!

later,

Ben

Benzilla
03-08-09, 08:28 PM
Another small update

since I posted, I spent the last few hours in the driveway working on her. (once you start, you can't stop, gotta love it huh?) I'm working on the paint again. The first polishing I did right after I bought her took off the worst of it, and made the paint look presentable. Now I'm going over it getting every last speck of oxidation I can find off. So far I only have the driver's door, front fender, and part of the hood done. But it looks great! Honestly, the sides easily look as new as the Phaeton's paint. I'll post pics once I get more done.

Also went over most of the window trim with Mother's Mag & Aluminum Polish and #0000 steel wool. It's not perfect, but a lot less cloudy than it was. I'll probably go over it again, and see how it turns out, then leave it.

More to come!

Ben

Benzilla
03-13-09, 11:21 PM
Update

I finally got the back bumper put on! And I decided to paint the fillers myself, they both have a small crack in them, so they look good enough to be on the car, but I didn't want to pay for perfect paint when their days are numbered. They still came out rather well I think. I still have to get one side put back together, a cold snap hit. But it's turning out well so far.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_1256.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_1257.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_1259.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_1260.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_1261.jpg

In the last pic, I was half way through polishing the vertical part of the trunk lid, so only the driver's side is shiny. That's also why the Cadillac script is off, in case you were wondering. Heh, I'm still impressed at that pinstripe I did on the trunk.. I have no idea how it came out as well as it did.

I still haven't polished the fillers or put the pinstripe on, so this is more of a preview. But I was so excited I couldn't wait to post :p

Ben

cadillac_al
03-14-09, 06:00 PM
Hi Ben, did you buy a new bumper of have yours rechromed? I sure need one of those for my 77.

Benzilla
03-14-09, 07:08 PM
I got a nice original from a guy who was parting out a Coupe out on ebay. Really nice chrome for being an original.

Ben

90Brougham350
03-15-09, 09:58 AM
Stunning! Looks like you're doing awesome work on it. Any chance you'll bring it to Chicago?

Brian

BRICKS
03-15-09, 10:44 AM
great job! looking for my 4th slant back as we speak!

77CDV
03-15-09, 11:28 PM
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Ben: you are a miracle worker, sir!

deVille33
03-16-09, 07:17 PM
Ben,
Bernice lools like she's shaping up fine. I was going to post and tell you how to get to the extension frames, but it looks like you figured it out. If you get fiberglass or ABS replacements, you end up having to trim the frame to fit inside the extension. Originals are best, but getting hard to find.

Al,

The '77 bumper is a one year only item, unless your not concerned with originallity. Nuchrome in Worchester, Ma. can repair yours for a price.

CaddyshackCadillac
05-01-09, 02:24 AM
b en all your cars are georgeous but for some reason this is my favorite project of yours...

Benzilla
05-31-11, 01:27 PM
Update!

As some of you might have noticed, my Dad (aka DaleCad) registered here last night. He's been taking care of Denice since I moved to Chattanooga in 2009. Recently, he took her to the shop & had a new carb, distributor, plugs & wires, exhaust from the muffler back, & tires put on. Also had some electrical issues worked out. (Head & tail lights worked only when they wanted to, battery would go dead in an hour).

Here are some quick pictures that he sent me.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_1826.jpg

Quick sheet to cover up the sun damage on the top of the back seat. (Trust me, it looks better than yellow foam & dry leather) You can vaguely see in some old pictures where the leather was curled up & back.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_1824.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_1820.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_1822.jpg

So, she's finally on the road! The thing runs great, and I love how the new tires look. Stay posted for updates from both of us.

Ben

Edit: Here's a link to the thread he started last night about the windshield washer pump not working.
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/rwd-19xx-1984-deville-fleetwood-1985/231460-windshield-washer-pump.html

outsider
05-31-11, 01:50 PM
Nice update! The car looks great, it's a good thing you had someone to take over for you when you moved. If you couldn't take the car with you then the next best thing is to leave it in the hands of someone you can trust with it :D

Car is looking great and the sheet trick is what I am doing on my 69 caddy for now, too. Until I can get the capital together to have them redone :)

brougham_geezer
06-01-11, 11:18 AM
Great to see this car lives on. I remember the original post, with the photos you took when you first saw her. Cudos to your dad for his efforts!

jsherid1
06-03-11, 11:49 AM
Benzilla--great save, these cars deserve to be taken care of. The car has come so far, it is a real testament to your skill and dedication.

To get back to an earlier question on engine cleaning--I use (I am not kidding) SC Johnson's Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom cleaner. I learned about it from the M6 forum and was amazed at how well they work. Make sure the engine is cold and bag up electrical stuff like the distributor, put the Bubbles on and let them sit for a little bit, use a paintbrush to scrub a bit where needed (I also use Dobie pads on stuff that does not have a painted finish) and rinse using low pressure water--do not get out the pressure washer. Start the engine (after unbagging the distributor and other electrical stuff) and let it idle to dry the compartment.

Benzilla
04-29-12, 01:31 AM
Hey guys, thought it was about time for some kind of update to this thread. Not living in Morristown with my parents any more, I don't get much done on this car until I come up for a visit & my Dad & I work on it together. It looks basically the same as it did a year ago. In Feb my Dad discovered it has a leak in the gas tank when you fill it much past half a tank.. Haven't addressed that yet. Big family trip coming up to save for, after that we'll probably get that looked at.

My Dad has put around 800 miles on it in the last year, he really likes fixing what he knows how to, keeping her polished up & driving her as a second car. They recently got a 2000 DHS as a trip car, and his daily driver is a Sentra, so Denice is purely for the joy of driving her. Every time I come up to visit, we go hit the local Pull-A-Part to score parts for both of our '79s. This time I FINALLY got a new headlight bezel for my Phaeton, some sail panel interior light covers, new rear side marker light to replace one that the clips broke on (it was bad, he had it taped on, lol), some extra little parts like vinyl top clips, and new license plate filler panels off a really nice Couple that shouldn't have been in a scrap yard. I also stocked up on about 4 extra headlight bezels, lol. While we were there, we scoped out some nice body panels on the nice '79 coupe that we're hopefully going back to get for Denice as soon as we can borrow a friend's truck to haul them back in. We found a nearly perfect trunk lid to replace Denice's rust-bubbling one, and a potential set of doors, though the handles are shaved off. Will have to see if that would be reversible. Denice also needs a set of "fins" with nicer chrome on them, hers are a bit pitted and look old next to the replaced rear bumper.

Not much new to show other than the old Michigan plate we dug out from one of my Mom's cars in the '70s. It's one of the cool old bicentennial plates from '76 (though if you go up to MI, there's still a few on the road!). We thought it looked nice with the colors of the car, and if you didn't know the story, it could pass as a one owner survivor from Michigan, lol.

As you can see, my bumper filler project from a couple years ago didn't stand the test of time too well, the used fillers I took out of the Phaeton went south & fell out like the originals. Meh, it was worth a shot. Now we're looking at getting a set of the fiberglass ones & redoing it... hopefully for the last time. Rust patch job under the vinyl tops isn't doing so great either. A bit of rust is coming back through, and the paint / primer I used didn't play nice with each other over time. It was never intended to be a permanent fix though, so I'm not mad. A full repaint / body job is somewhere on the horizon for sure, just a matter of time. We've kinda reached the point of no return with Denice, she's family now, lol.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/DeniceDHSpictures021.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/DeniceDHSpictures023.jpg

We patched the dashboard together & filled the hole cut with a Kenwood CD player... Right now it's decorative, lol. Still have to muster the intestinal fortitude required to tackle the rats nest of wires the last owner left where the radio once was.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/DeniceDHSpictures044.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/DeniceDHSpictures035.jpg

My Dad is a man of smaller stature, and he needed the seat back to be more upright feel comfortable driving, so he came up with this fascinating wood thing he routed out from a piece of banister molding to fit over the seat base & push the seat back farther forward. Rather ingenious I think.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/DeniceDHSpictures038.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/DeniceDHSpictures039.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/DeniceDHSpictures042.jpg

I also scrounged around and found on eBay a vintage universal 3rd brake light I wanted for the Phaeton. My Dad saw it & wanted one too (lol), fortunately, the seller has two. This is a *test fit* of the addition to come. I personally wanted a 3rd brake light for the Phaeton because I drive in heavy traffic in Chattanooga & worry about getting read-ended. I can justify it because the Phaeton in Goodfellas had one installed, too. Not sure why my Dad wants one too, I think he just felt left out, lol.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/DeniceDHSpictures008.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/DeniceDHSpictures012.jpg

Well folks, that's all for now. Let me know what y'all think of the 3rd brake light. Pretty sure I know what to expect, but I like it. Thanks for checking in! It's really fun to look through this thread & see all the comments & conversations from over the last few years. I'll try to keep this updated whenever something noteworthy happens. :)

-Ben

csbuckn
04-29-12, 01:52 AM
Looking good. Let me know how you install the 3rd brake light because I saved the one from the 90 to install in mine. I think its a good idea.

talismandave
04-29-12, 09:55 AM
Thanks for the up-date on the thread. Being new to forum I had not seen it before. What a transformation! I really enjoyed reading the old posts. As someone who recently undertook an "on the cheap" resto project myself I found it educational and inspiring. A couple of notes along the way. Love the color match on the sheet seat cover, never would have thought of Scubbing Bubbles, and being a hardware guy, your dads seat adjuster is my kind of fix! You just need to use some of your paint to color match it to your sheet!:thumbsup: I personally think the 3rd brake light is a good idea. It looks just like the one I installed in the 76 Fleetwood I had in the 80s. To me it's not a fashion statement, it is just valuing the rear end of your ride. The movie tie-in is a cool coincidence though!

Seville fan
04-29-12, 02:42 PM
That's such a pretty car in that car combo. How do people react when you drive it around? I'm sure everyone notices and likes it.

77CDV
04-29-12, 11:54 PM
I always knew Denise would be a keeper! :thumbsup:

1980coupe
04-30-12, 06:32 AM
looking nice. I installed a 3rd brake light on my coupe and painted it to match the interior color. Wired it up to the brake switch so it'll only come on when brakes are applied. I recall my dad once installed one on a olds 88 we had and it would flash whenever the blinker was on to the left but never on the right, lol.
You do need some door sill trims, the ones on your caddy are all banged up..

Benzilla
04-30-12, 04:58 PM
1980Coupe,

Yes, I do need to get a new driver's side door sill piece. What happens is that occasionally the seatbelt doesn't retract right, and gets shut in the door... effectively smashing the trim plate. My Phaeton has the same problem. I always try to remember to make sure the seatbelt has retracted right before I open the door, but you know how it goes.. Didn't really want to replace the trim piece until I figure out how to keep the seatbelt from doing it again.

I got the 3rd brake light installed in Denice today. It went surprisingly well. The hardest part was making sure I had the right wires before splicing in the new ones. I found a '79 Deville wiring diagram on The Old Car Manual Project that was a lifesaver. My service manual was pretty vague about it.

I just used a Dremel to route out a hole under where the base sits to run the wires through to the trunk. The old cardboard pokes through pretty easily, just make sure you're ready to pick old insulation out of your drill bit for about 5 minutes. There's a metal plate that runs under the rear shelf, but it has enough holes in it that I was able to pull the wires through without much trouble, and without drilling through it.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/3rdbrakelightDenice005.jpg

You have to find a spot to run your ground wire to, on Denice the rear trunk pulldown is unhooked with a manual latch rigged up until I can find a working one, so I just used the grounding hole for that (on the right side of the trunk). The other two wires for the light I ran down the left, using the factory wire hooks as a guide.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/3rdbrakelightDenice006.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/3rdbrakelightDenice011.jpg



On a 1979 Deville, the wires you want to cut are yellow, and green for left & right blinkers / brake light. The harness for these is on the left side of the trunk compartment, right in front of the taillight. Make sure you don't accidentally wire it into your taillights, or you'll confuse a lot of people at night, lol. Now, the wires running to the taillight area are pretty big. It's about a 12 gauge, and one single wire instead of several fine ones bundled into one. This made crimping it with the 3rd brake light wires a bit harder because I should have probably used a size bigger crimper (didn't have any) But it worked out just fine. So, just cut the yellow; strip both ends; wrap one of the 3rd brake light wires around it & crimp it all back together. Repeat for the dk green wire (pass side).

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/3rdbrakelightDenice012.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/3rdbrakelightDenice007.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/3rdbrakelightDenice008.jpg

Then just test it, align the rear window unit & use the supplied screws to secure it to the shelf. Done!

Will get back to you with a night shot of it lit up.
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/3rdbrakelightDenice014.jpg

Here's the wiring diagram: http://oldcarmanualproject.com/manuals/Cadillac/wiring/index.html

Benzilla
04-30-12, 10:39 PM
Night shots. I'm really happy with how this little project turned out. Can't wait to do the one for the Phaeton.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/3rdbrakelightpt2007.jpg
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/3rdbrakelightpt2009.jpg

jayoldschool
04-30-12, 11:09 PM
mmm... working opera lights...

http://www.macobserver.com/imgs/MGG_Jim/TMOW/20120428_Jason/20120425_tmow_jason_homer.jpg

1980coupe
05-01-12, 03:45 AM
@ benzilla why go thru all that wiring when you could of just run the wire up to the brake pedal switch up under the dash? That is what I did. It's only one wire coming out of switch, which is white. It is spliced in with a U clip and ran the wire under the carpet on the driver side, up on the side of the rear panel, to the rear deck, to the rear 3rd brake light and presto.
My door sills were just as bad as yours on both sides and on a trip to the JY, I came across 2 sets that were surprisingly in perfect shape, bought both, sold a set already and kept the other for my Caddy. I ALWAYS, ALWAYS make sure my seatbelt retracts all the way and instruct the passenger to do the same. So far so good. If I find a set I will let you know...
BTW, if you do not remember who I am, lol I own that yellow Cadillac thats is on cardomain, remember?
Nice to know you still got your Caddies.

Mark 78 Coupe
05-01-12, 01:07 PM
Don't forget, any 2 door GM sill plate of that era will fit. The Cadillac specific part says body by fleetwood (I think) and all the other makes say body by fisher. It is just a decal which can be removed and re used. I found mine on an early 80's olds 88 coupe. Also, that weird shaped plastic piece that goes from the sill plate in the rear to the headliner is the same on all GM cars of that era too.

MoistCabbage
05-01-12, 01:42 PM
The Cadillac specific part says body by fleetwood (I think)"Interior by Fleetwood / Body by Fisher"

Benzilla
11-09-14, 04:22 PM
Back from the depths... Again! poor old Denice really hasn't had much going on since my last post 2.5 years ago. Good GOD time flies! I can't believe I've had this car for over 7 years now. The original radiator sprung a leak last summer, and in the process of replacing it, we discovered that the fan clutch was also going out. Both got fixed. New alternator and battery at some point, too.



Last fall, my Dad's church had a fund raiser car show. So for the fun of it, Dad got Denice all shined up & drove her over to get some attention. He was absolutely tickled when he ended up getting the People's Choice trophy! He still says its unbelievable the amount of attention this car sill gets, even in less-than-stellar condition. I think the color combo has a lot to do with it.

Dad & Denice with their trophy.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/C0BF0D59-6329-4AC0-9B7D-05C84FA6A699_zps2bpmd5lc.jpg

I'm thinking about bringing her down to Chattanooga with me at some point in the near future... My Phaeton is living with a very dear friend now, who's continuing the work I started, but now I miss having a big old coupe around!
I just got back from visiting my parents, so of course while I was up there, I did some work on Denice & took her out to blow the soot out... My God this car handles well with the big stabilizer bar under the back axle! It was insanely fun to get back behind the wheel of a ridiculous 19 foot long luxury coupe and belt it daftly around like I thought it was a mustang.
I'm pretty confident that this would be a pretty reliable driver at this point. It took anything I had to throw at it without complaint on the couple of "road tests" I put her through. I'm anxious to get back to work on it, and finally make some real progress on the rust problems.

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We bought a set of the reproduction abs plastic bumper fillers, and while I was up in Morristown last week, I painted them & attempted to install them. Now, anybody who's tackled that project knows that it takes some massaging to get those abominations to come close to lining up with anything. That part actually went pretty smoothly, though. Just had to enlarge some screw holes (giggidy). The real problem arose when I was trying to bolt the taillight housing back on. See, the way the housings are made, there's two bolts that are welded in place, that go through the bumper and are supposed to stay in place while you tighten the nuts down on them... Except on Denice's rusty old fins, the bolts have come unwelded, so they just spin freely & won't tighten back down. The only way I could get the taillight back on was to remove the bumper filler & brace the housing at a weird angle so the bolt would jam in the bumper & not spin when I was tightening it... So... I need a new set of taillight housings that haven't stood up to god knows how many northern winters. Then, I shall have bumper fillers again!

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Sorry for multiple posts, I'm having trouble editing my post for some reason.
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/194031C3-3F8D-474C-9E33-A208EF16D27B_zpsidwk1ab0.jpg

outsider
11-09-14, 06:40 PM
looks good! glad to see a little update.

77CDV
11-13-14, 12:13 AM
Great color match, Ben! If you take Denise down to Chat, you'll be back up to three Cadillacs in residence! :cool:

Benzilla
11-13-14, 11:40 AM
Thanks! Helpful tip: Rustoleum's Colonial Red is almost a perfect match to the original Saxony Red & much cheaper than having paint mixed!