View Full Version : 69 CDV Convertible Refresh project

03-25-13, 09:45 PM
Hi everyone, I figured I would introduce myself and start a thread to document my progress. First a little background on the car. I bought it in I think it was '86 or ’87 as a weekend cruiser. I was only out of high school a couple of years so I drove it around and had some fun. It was in pretty good shape then and even in the local parade one year carrying a politician who was a friend’s brother in-law. Then other things came up and it sat for a few years. It was a little beat up from sitting so I had someone do some quick body work and fresh paint on it to clean it up and drove it for a couple more years. I ended up getting other interests and once again it sat. Unfortunately I never had a garage and it sat out in my parent’s back yard for years. I also learned of proper storage the hard way and not to wrap it up on a tarpaulin. It kept the rain water out but not the humidity.. I would still fire it up once or twice a year and sometimes even get it out for a spin. I did end up getting it into storage by renting a garage for the last 8-10 years. The last 5 years or so I’ve been telling myself I was going to start working on it again. I would make the effort every year but seemed like every time I would go to get it something would break, one year break lines let go, another year the water pump, and another was the fuel pump. Each time I would just fix the issue and park it back in the garage. A lot of stress at work last year and I finally said that is it I need something to keep me occupied and my mind off work. So I had her towed to my house last summer to start the caddy refresh. I started a story book of pictures on photobucket and hope to keep it updated as I go. http://s867.photobucket.com/user/wavedog/story/10193

03-25-13, 11:47 PM
That's awesome. Love all the pics. It's gonna be great!

03-26-13, 01:51 AM
Very nice. Thanks for joining up and sharing with us. Beautiful car! I luvs me da triple white!:cloud9:

03-26-13, 02:05 AM
Thanks for sharing.

03-26-13, 10:34 PM
Thanks, I’ve been a member for almost 6yrs now and this is only my 3rd post. I have been to the site and learned a lot from the group over the years though.

As you can probably see from the pictures the motor and tranny are out. The motor is at a machine shop right now and I’m waiting on an appraisal for a rebuild. The tranny will be next for rebuild soon too. I scraped and sanded the engine bay and under carriage as far back as the rear axle so far. I painted it all with POR 15. I have one spot on passenger rear floor that needs some work. I just painted it for now, lots of tiny holes and pretty thin on most of it. The rear channels that hold the body mounts are gone too. I’m not sure that is something I will be tackling or sending out. I would like to do as much as I can myself Anyone have any experience with these? Are they available or is it a fab job?

cadillac kevin
03-27-13, 12:58 PM
Car still looks pretty nice, despite having sat for a long time. I'd be interested to see what the undercarriage looks like.
Nice job on the engine bay btw. It looks really nice

03-27-13, 06:15 PM
Keep up the good work

03-27-13, 10:51 PM
She'll be a treat when she's done. Don't lose hope! :)

03-28-13, 11:28 PM
Too bad cars still don't look like this. At least we at the forum have style.

04-01-13, 03:13 PM
You have done a wonderful job so far. I´m sure she´ll be awesome when the work is finished. I like white '69 convertibles :thumbsup: Looking forward to see next step.

04-15-13, 09:41 PM
The motor is at the machine shop and the tear down is complete. Overall not too bad but I am glad I decided to pull it and have it checked out rather than just change gaskets and timing like I had originally planned. There are a couple of broken rings and parts like cam were starting to show some wear. I'm not sure of actual millage on the motor and the fact that the pickup tube was loaded with plastic I'm sure didn't help much.. I added pics of the motor and tube http://s867.photobucket.com/user/wavedog/story/10193#. Still waiting on estimate and trying to decide if I should go all stock or make some modifications?? already know bored and new piston and rings, valves hardened and cam etc.. , but do I get stock cam or take it up a knotch? I plan on just cruising this around and gas mileage will be bad enough.. but I do like to stomp the pedal. I guess the price will probably decide but any advice?

04-15-13, 09:49 PM

Good to have it taken care of. You two will have a long future together.

04-25-13, 09:53 PM
well, finally got the quote for the motor rebuild.. came in at $4800 for a pretty much stock rebuild. I knew it was going to be more than a sbc but that is more than I was planning on spending so guess I'm going to have to shop around.
Does anyone know of a good shop in the Rhode Island, Mass area?

07-17-13, 01:42 PM
Finally got back at it. The heat is making it slow going out there in my driveway. The motor is at another shop and waiting on estimate. I started to clean the remaining undercarriage. Going to remove the gas tank but the nuts are frozen.
Does anyone know where I can get a set of the “J” bolts that hold the straps up? I’m afraid I will snap them on removal and if not I wouldn’t mind a new set if someone makes them anyways.

07-25-13, 11:13 PM
Gas tank is out, wasn't as bad as I thought. Just used air gun and took it easy. still wouldn't mind bolts if anyone knows where to find them?? Tank had a shipping label on the top (picture added) so guessing it was replaced at one point? must have been sometime during its first 15 yrs. Started rust removal on frame and under body from rear axle back now. Cleaning up stuff like intake, ps pump, ac pump, oil pan, etc. and sent out pulleys and fan to be powder coated too. Haven't got estimate back yet on motor (told one week and tomorrow makes 3). Really surprised there aren't more shops around they always seem to be busy :) new pics added - http://s867.photobucket.com/user/wavedog/story/10193

01-08-14, 10:07 PM
Haven't posted in awhile.
Update on progress. Updated pictures added to link in post above..
I finished painting the under carriage, rear axel, etc.. new rear brakes and brake hardware, and full set of stainless brake lines. I didn't think it was going to be possible to get that one piece (front to back) up in there. I had the tank, shocks, and springs out which helped a lot. still had to do a little bending and twisting but got it in there without any damage. painted the gas tank up and added a new fuel sending unit and put it all back together. I had the car towed back to storage in November, really was hoping to drive it back but still waiting on the engine rebuild. which brings up the engine, the bottom end is just about finished. heads need some work and was told I would be better off finding a good set.

*** does anyone know of a set of heads around New England? I'm in Rhode Island but willing to travel a little to pick them up. looking for the 76 chamber heads from 69 or 70. I have the 1486250 and prefer this one. I did remove the smog pump but wouldn't mind the option to put back if I wanted later on. Need to get this motor done by spring :) Haven't driven it in a few years and would like take it out this summer (even though it has a long way to go).

01-09-14, 04:17 AM
I don't know how specific the J-bolts are, but what about places like fastenal.com?

01-09-14, 07:02 AM
That car looks sexy.

01-09-14, 06:42 PM
Wow!... You are doing an impressive work with that '69. Keep up the good work :thumbsup:

01-10-14, 05:51 AM
Nice car and that engine bay looks good! What did you use on all the grey/silver parts on the firewall?

01-26-14, 10:41 AM
Nice car and that engine bay looks good! What did you use on all the grey/silver parts on the firewall?

sorry, not sure right now. I don't remember and car is stored off site so I can't test to see. It is either PlasiKote rebuilders cast (282 Cast Aluminum) or Rust-Oleum High Heat ultra (Silver 270201). Rustoleum has less in can so I'm leaning toward that one.

01-26-14, 08:27 PM
That's a DeMassi car.
One of the best known Cad dealers in the NY/NJ area.

01-26-14, 08:47 PM
Wow! Impressive labor of love for your awesome car! Thank you so much for sharing! :)

01-26-14, 09:33 PM
Wow nice work Rick. I didnt notice the photo link before. We gotta get these 2 ladies together this summer. Daisy needs company.

01-27-14, 05:51 AM
I didn´t notice both of you live in R.I. It would be great you meet some day. Surely, you will have a lot to talk about ;)

01-27-14, 06:43 AM
That would be a really worthy family reunion! Lots of photos please.

You two are both at the same high skill level of Cadillac restoration and would surely have a good time swapping horror stories.

01-28-14, 07:02 PM
That's a DeMassi car.
One of the best known Cad dealers in the NY/NJ area.

That sounds about right. I have the original protect-o-plate and the original owner was from Yonkers NY.

01-28-14, 10:38 PM
Wow--love the '69 DeVille Convertibles--and your work looks superb! It will be stunning when it is completed! Thanks for posting the photos!

02-19-15, 10:18 PM
Over a year since my last post and still working on the car. About 3-4 feet of snow on the ground and car is in storage so haven't done much on the car so far this winter. I didn't get the motor last summer so decided to tear out the interior and start the floors. I bought a mig welder and figured I would use the learn as you go plan. I cut out rear floors from a doner car and got them welded in. I'm pretty happy with the way they came out. I had a few small holes in the front that turned out to be bigger holes once I did some grinding. I still have more work to do on them and might try looking for a drivers side pan. then I will move onto the trunk which I already cleaned the undercoating and seam sealer out like the rest of the interior so I could see what I have to work with. It also has more holes than I thought.
I did find a set of heads that were not too bad just had some broken exhaust bolts. The motor is still not finished. Just need some more work done on the heads.

A couple of pics have been added. http://s867.photobucket.com/user/wavedog/story_10193/story

This brings me to the million dollar question. To harden the exhaust valve seats or not? I have searched all over the internet and it seems most people say they are hard enough and not to. Some say that just like any other head built for leaded gas they should be done. I want to get this right while it is apart and don't want to visit this again down the road. Also don't want to add any additives as the high octane gas is expensive enough. I do plan on taking the car on trips but won't be pulling any trailers with it. the only negatives I can see in hardening would be the possibility of hitting water. this would result in my having to find head(s) again which wasn't easy and would be costly.
What do you all think?

02-21-15, 09:39 AM
Real nice job. keep it up. There is a comp cams cam for this engine that does not decrease idle quality.

02-23-15, 01:26 AM
Nice to hear you're making progress. I'm not sure about the valve seats but gm changed them to hardened ones a few years later so take that into consideration. I've never added anything to Daisy's fuel just always used premium and she handles long road trips very well.

I don't have the garage anymore so you might be on the road before me this year. The winter started mild so I didn't even look into renting another garage just got a decent cover. Heck I had been rolling her around every couple weeks until late January. Right now she's a 8ft tall cadillac shaped snowbank 😞. I'll need a loader to get her out.

Good luck.

Jeff R
02-23-15, 10:33 PM
I have about 350 miles on my rebuild. I had the seats done. I don't know if it will make a difference or not but in for a penny, in for a pound.
I figure this will last for the rest of my lifetime. I don't want to have to do it again.

02-03-16, 10:15 PM
Hi everyone,
well I have still been at it slowly making progress. Here it is another year gone by and still not even close to being finished. This past summer I ended up ordering a trunk and front drivers floor from an Arizona junk yard. my trunk didn't look too bad usual rot behind wheel wells etc,, and a lot of pin holes when I checked it out closer. the real problem was all of the mounts were rotted right out and beyond repair. So drilled out all of the spot welds on the doner trunk and on my trunk and dismantled both. did the same for the drivers floor too very time consuming. I got plenty of welding practice too. Finally finished that up end of summer and got a coat of por 15 on everything.
The big surprise is I finally got my motor back after over 2 years in the machine shop. That was a long story he ended up in the hospital for a few months and the shop was closed. I installed motor and tranny in November hoping to get it running in time to drive it to my storage before snow began. Well I got it running but only for about 5 minutes. During cam break in could hear a rapping noise that continued to get loader so shut it down. Ends up one of the valves got stuck open. Tore the motor back down and took heads back to machine shop. Had to have the car towed to storage (day before first snow storm). I have one head back and waiting on the other now. while fixing the stuck valve checked others and not seating properly now. had to re- grind ? lap? not sure of exact process. Blaming it on too much heat, carb not dialed in properly ?
Have a little more body work on interior for next spring then put it back together and get it running. then have to start exterior body work, plenty to do there.
have some pics up will organize later