: Smelly fumes when driving 68 sdv



mharker
06-24-09, 02:55 PM
Hi guys.

Just putting together my laundry list for the '68s annual trip to the local mechanic. He's good with older cars, but no Cadillac specialist. (I don't do my own repairs... 1 too busy with work and kids... 2 it's a crap job when I do it)

Anyway I've had a problem for a few years now of a fume smell when driving. This occurs with either windows open or closed, in traffic and at speed. The best I can describe it as a light "chalky" fume smell. Last year mechanic said I had no exhaust leaks so it's all fine, but I want him to check again.

What else can we look for? My fuel tank has a leak at the top when full, which I'm addressing this year, but I don't see how it could be that. And if it's carbon monoxide would I smell anything? It's a mild smell but after a long drive I sometimes feel pretty lousy and suspect the car.


http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f77/mharker/2007Summer084.jpg

robb257731
06-24-09, 03:27 PM
Nice car!!!

I'm in Ontario too...Hamilton, so I smell fumes all the time. :)

sven914
06-24-09, 03:57 PM
If your smelling it coming through the vents, then there is something burning on the engine. When my top radiator hose blew, and sprayed golly good green crap all over the engine, I smelled a "chalky" smell for the entire summer. You could have a minor coolant leak at the head or intake that is causing the smell. An oil leak might also produce a similar smell.

Have you had to top of the radiator or oil pan?

mharker
06-24-09, 05:57 PM
That's a pretty good theory. My engine is actually totally original and unrestored. Never been rebuilt or anything. It does have a few minor oil leaks that burn up on the top of the engine but not so much that there is any smoke. If I give it an extra quart of oil once per summer that's plenty.

So... possible I have oil or coolant leaking somewhere and burning up in the engine bay. This smell gets through the vents and maybe even through the outside of the car and into the windows? Maybe it's time to get some of these leaks fixed.

MT-ED
06-24-09, 09:18 PM
Nice car!!!

I'm in Ontario too...Hamilton, so I smell fumes all the time. :)

Ha ha! Hammer time!

Nice car mharker. Welcome to another TO Caddy owner :welcome::highfive:

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u88/Martin_Thoene/BroShinePostRd_01_opt.jpg

I'm noticing a hot oil smell with mine when sitting in stop-go traffic after a long run. I'm thinking it's the transmission getting hot.

Martin.

Angry Matt
06-24-09, 10:25 PM
Any holes in the floor, or the trunk? Exhaust could be coming up through there. I just cut a 2'x2' spot of rust out of my floor and by the time I drove it to my buddy's shop to patch it I almost passed out. Do your clothes smell after you get out of the car?

Hooligan63
06-24-09, 11:18 PM
Carbon Monoxide(what makes exhaust leaks deadly) is odorless.If it's a chalky smell,could be coolant leak somewhere burning off of your motor,or p[ossibly your head gaskets getting ready to go.

Hooligan63
06-24-09, 11:19 PM
Ha ha! Hammer time!

Nice car mharker. Welcome to another TO Caddy owner :welcome::highfive:

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u88/Martin_Thoene/BroShinePostRd_01_opt.jpg

I'm noticing a hot oil smell with mine when sitting in stop-go traffic after a long run. I'm thinking it's the transmission getting hot.

Martin.

Yours could be a valve problem or piston ring problem,or maybe a slight oil leak burning off of your exhaust pipes.

mharker
06-26-09, 10:10 AM
Well guys we might have found the answer. Went to the shop last night and here's what the mechanic found when he peeled back my trunk carpet.

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f77/mharker/2009Cadillactrunk.jpg

Back in 2001 when I did a "mild restoration" of the car I didn't have a great budget. Got a $2K paint job which has lasted reasonably well, but on the inside of the trunk he just sprayed some think black coating. Then I got an upholstery guy to make a custom trunk carpet which still looks awesome.

But after peeling back the carpet yesterday we noticed a couple holes starting. This could likely be the source of the bad smell (I had noticed the smell in the trunk before). Also for good measure we're going to replace some leaky valve cover seals but I'm pretty sure it's the trunk holes.

Now my dilemma: (1) mechanic offered to do a cheapo fix with fiberglass or whatever. or (2) go to a body shop, cut it out, and get some new metal put in. The latter of course is more expensive and hassle. I got this car when I was 28 and plan to keep it for life. I was figuring maybe on it's 50th birthday (2018) I'd get a whole new body job and restore the car with a better budget. Maybe do the cheap fix now and wait until next body job to do it right?

(PS... Q. Where were you when you heard Michael Jackson died? A. I had just learned there were holes in the trunk of my 68.)

sven914
06-26-09, 01:15 PM
(PS... Q. Where were you when you heard Michael Jackson died? A. I had just learned there were holes in the trunk of my 68.)

Ironically the moment they found him collapsed, I was driving my Cadillac, listening to news about Farrah fawcett.

As to your problem, I would save as much money now, because a full resto will drain your accounts fast (that's why you always see half done project cars on eBay). You don't want you kids coming to you and asking "Wheres my college fund?" and you having to point to your shiny new car and saying "See that beautiful Cadillac? That would have been Princeton." :D

Angry Matt
06-26-09, 05:40 PM
I just did a cheapo job on my floor pans for minimal budget on monday. I went to sears hardware and bought 22awg sheet metal (2'x2' for under $20). That thickness is strong but is easily bendable. We cut it with tin snips and formed it with a ball peen hammer. Neither the welder nor the rivet gun worked, so unfortunately had to screw the pieces in place, with some rtv sealer sandwiched in between. Cut and grinded all the rust out first and painted with rust proof spray paint afterwards. It turned out better than I thought and was pretty easy. It costs too much to have other people do stuff anymore and most of the mechanics around my way would do a worse job than I can in my driveway.

Hooligan63
06-26-09, 07:06 PM
Well guys we might have found the answer. Went to the shop last night and here's what the mechanic found when he peeled back my trunk carpet.

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f77/mharker/2009Cadillactrunk.jpg

Back in 2001 when I did a "mild restoration" of the car I didn't have a great budget. Got a $2K paint job which has lasted reasonably well, but on the inside of the trunk he just sprayed some think black coating. Then I got an upholstery guy to make a custom trunk carpet which still looks awesome.

But after peeling back the carpet yesterday we noticed a couple holes starting. This could likely be the source of the bad smell (I had noticed the smell in the trunk before). Also for good measure we're going to replace some leaky valve cover seals but I'm pretty sure it's the trunk holes.

Now my dilemma: (1) mechanic offered to do a cheapo fix with fiberglass or whatever. or (2) go to a body shop, cut it out, and get some new metal put in. The latter of course is more expensive and hassle. I got this car when I was 28 and plan to keep it for life. I was figuring maybe on it's 50th birthday (2018) I'd get a whole new body job and restore the car with a better budget. Maybe do the cheap fix now and wait until next body job to do it right?

(PS... Q. Where were you when you heard Michael Jackson died? A. I had just learned there were holes in the trunk of my 68.)


Go the correct route and have the trunk patched with steel.If you guy the quick and easy fiberglass,you'll end up doing it again

Stingroo
06-26-09, 07:13 PM
^ Agreed. How much more would it be to do it properly than to fiberglass it?

maloCoupe
06-26-09, 10:16 PM
Fix it right the first time....if the budget permits of course.

Hooligan63
06-29-09, 04:36 PM
^ Agreed. How much more would it be to do it properly than to fiberglass it?

The problem with fiberglass,is that if it heats too mutch from the exhaust,it could catch fire,and fiberglass burns pretty quick,I know.A friend of mine a a 77 El Camino we too to Pomona Swap Meet to try and sell,and on the way back home we had a fuel line rupture from under the passenger seat area(Where I was sitting),and the car caught fire,and let me tell you,the fiberglass bed cover went up faster than anything else on the car and accelerated the fire even more.The car was a total loss.

Now,to answer your question,may be a little bit more expensive at first,but in the long run,much cheaper.See,if you fiberglass it,it's only a temporary fix,because you still have the remnants that formed the rust in the first place,and now you're just fiberglassing over that,which won't prevent further rust.So,the scenario is that the existing metal that is rusted could continue rusting,and eventually you'll have a bigger hole and a chunk of fiberglass,leaving you with a bigger hole to fix.Better to just patch the area with steel and then give a good rust preventive coating top and bottom.