: True Duals On Our 1980 Hearse! (Pics/Videos)

06-13-09, 05:01 PM
Hey guys. Hope your summers are starting up great, and that you're all getting plenty of cruising in! Just an update on one of our Caddies, as we just got it back from the shop.

The exhuast on our 1980 Cadillac hearse (built by Superior Coach, with 59,000 miles and wearing it's original paint), was totally shot and the rear air shocks were finished. A trip to the shop was in order! The air shocks were removed and replaced with heavy duty coil-over style models. It's like there are two additional springs in the rear now! The car rides beautifully and does not squat down no matter how much weight you load it up with. I reccomend them for anyone with a sagging rear end... well, if your car's rear end is sagging that is! :o Looking back I would've installed them instead of the replacement Level Ride system on the '89 Brougham I used to have.

We also decided to try true dual exhaust. My dad works at Canadian tire, and his friend and co-worker Rick took it on himself to complete all of the welding, hanging and bending. We didn't want the car to be too loud, as it is a hearse and a Cadillac, both of which should always be dignified. ;) We also decided to not cut the transmission crossmember (we did on our 1985 Pontiac Parisienne for its dual exhaust system), and routed the left pipe over to the right side, through the factory exhaust opening and then back to the right side again. There are no catalytic converters (not required on a car of this vintage in this province), and no resonators. The mufflers are Cherry Bomb Turbos (not glass packs) which provide a nice, deep, powerful tone at the back, but are not loud or annoying when driving. We have cherry bomb glass packs on the '85 Pontiac and they're extremely loud on the highway, and a little too "blat-blatty" for the Caddy. We saved some money with the tailpipes: Instead of custom bending them, we bought a set for a Grand Marquis/Crown Vic as they are readily available, and matched the 2" diameter of the rest of this system. They fit over the axle beautifully, but were a little too long and pointed at the ground harshly past the rear bumper. This was fixed by cutting the ends of the pipes off and installing two formal-looking turn-down chrome exhaust tips, which we think caps off the system in just the right way.

It's fully welded, front to back. The down pipes from the manifolds were made by cutting up a brand new crossover pipe for a 1978 Chevrolet pickup with the 350 small block. It was cut in two and altered to gather the 368's exhaust. This is a fully welded system! The only clamps are for use as hangers.

I hope you guys like this, or that it is of some help to those of you who are thinking about doing this... just don't make your Cadillacs too loud! Anyone can make a car LOUD, but making it sound like a Cadillac while flowing well can be a challenge. :D

This whole job was done as a favour, and we are very happy with it. Not sure if I want to put duals on my '80 coupe any time soon, but we thought it would be fun to try on the hearse, which is really just a fun car for carshows in the summer. Our '76 Fleetwood brougham has a beautiful exhaust system done by a previous owner, which is intersting as well. It features a single exhaust that splits into two pipes behind the rear axle. It's quiet, looks great and gives that stereo-sound to the exhaust tone... but nothing can quite match true dual exhaust for sound on an american V8, which is why we wanted to try it on the hearse!

Please excuse the filty whitewalls and grubby body. The car hasn't been washed since it spent time sitting next to the undercoating bay. Enjoy these photos, as well as a video of its first test run before we cut the pipes and installed the tips. Let us know what you think, have a great summer guys and keep looking for more updates as the season continues.






06-13-09, 05:04 PM





06-13-09, 05:06 PM





06-13-09, 05:08 PM
Guys, watch this all the way through or skip to 3/4 of the way through to hear the car come off choke and reeeally rumble. :cool:

YouTube - Rick's Custom Dual Exhaust For Our 1980 Cadillac Hearse

06-13-09, 10:36 PM
Here's another video, now freshly cleaned and being garaged for a car show tomorrow.

YouTube - 1980 Cadillac Hearse Dual Exhaust

06-14-09, 12:10 AM
Nice work! I love a Cadillac with attitude :lildevil:

06-14-09, 01:26 AM
Nice job. Fully welded exhaust sounds so much better than a clamped one and its worth the extra moolah.

06-14-09, 04:00 AM
Do you put a coffin in it when you go to car shows? I know I would, hell I'd even sit in the coffin and jump out and scare little kids.:lildevil:

06-19-09, 03:25 PM
Dual exhaust is nice. But what bending did he do? With all those different chunks of pipe it looks like they just raided the big basket of pipes and welded them all together. The hearse still looks nice like when you got it!

06-20-09, 01:45 PM
Thanks guys! And no, no coffin! :) The hearse seems to freak people out enough on its own. We just love the car for its uniqueness, quality assembly, above average original condition, beautiful ride, history and of course, that interesting choice of color. We like to take it to car shows and show people that commercial chassis were a big part of Cadillac's history, and that these vehicles were lovingly built on a very capable platform. This car represents a time when Cadillac's "Z" code chassis was still built specifically as a platform for hearses and ambulances, unlike those of today: their frames are cut and lengthened by the cochbuilders to accommodate the bodies (no pun intended!). A lot of people are interested in the car, but usually for "freaky" reasons. Many people are truly uncomfortable with it. That is why we don't put many miles on it, I suppose. We aren't "morbid" and feel bad when people are upset by us driving it around. It usually sees one or two car-shows a summer, maybe a drive-in visit or cruise night... less than 150 miles every summer since we've owned it! This summer is a little different, though. After installing the duals and new rear suspension, we drove it 10 hours round-trip to New Brunswick to take my cousin to her prom, on her request! We even made the inside cover of the newspaper the next day, as the hearse turned more than thousand heads during the prom parade! :suspect: My cousin certainly had a big entrance!

We (my brother and I, who are co-owners), wish more people would see it as we do: a rare, beautifully styled, heavy-duty Cadillac that deserves to enjoy a respectful retirement!

brougham, you're right. I should've selected my words more carefully. A few peices had to be heated and manipulated to fit, but no pipe bender was used. The pieces that were on hand at the shop were perfectly suited for the pattern required.

09-27-09, 04:05 PM