: A few '76 Cadillac issues...

04-13-13, 12:37 AM
I'm finally starting to have some time, so I figured that it would be a good opportunity to start fixing some of the small issues on my '76 Fleetwood.

There's a minor amount of rust under the edge of the vinyl roof. It appears that it used to be held down by a piece of plastic, but over the years, this plastic has broken off. The vinyl roof is in pretty good shape, so it seems that it would be a bit of waste to replace it entirely. At the same time, I'm not what it would take, or if it's even possible to lift up the rear part of the vinyl to repair the rust. It seems to only have rust at the lower edges, and there isn't any "crunchiness" to the roof. Is it possible to repair this rust? And if I have to replace it, is there somewhere to get a reproduction of the original vinyl roof?

http://i.imgur.com/n4nXgs9.jpg View from Left side of car

http://i.imgur.com/HV9L4rw.jpg Zoomed in view of rust

http://i.imgur.com/L7Gedr0.jpg Rear, under back window, above trunk.

Today while I was washing the car, I noticed that the passenger side floor was quite damp, and had an oily texture to it. I think it has a bad heater core. I found several reproductions on eBay, but there is a quite a variance in price. Is there a specific one that I need? Or will anyone that says it fits a "1976 Cadillac Fleetwood" be good?

There's also a large gap in the front door's weatherstriping. It's at the uppermost part of the frame-less door. I found a replacement at

but it seems somewhat expensive. Is there another place where I can find weatherstriping for a car of this vintage?

http://i.imgur.com/V4yDjfE.jpg Sorry for the poor picture quality, my garage doesn't have the most ideal lighting at night.

Thanks in advance.

Cadillac Giovanni
04-13-13, 01:17 AM
I'm weary of using ebay for parts. I prefer rockauto.com, especially for older cars. They will always have what you need, and they usually offer several different manufacturers at different prices, so you can pick how much you want to spent. They may also have weatherstripping, although steelerubber is a high quality product.

As for the vinyl top, if you're seeing rust coming out, there's probably already some rust underneath. Might not be bad, but the only proper way to take care of it would be to remove the vinyl. Not sure if it would be possible to just peel back the edge a little bit, but usually the adhesive they use for this is so strong, the vinyl is destroyed as it comes off.

04-13-13, 07:50 AM
That rust around the top looks pretty mild to me unless I'm not seeing it clear enough. Is that a hole going all the way through in the 2nd pic? If not then it just looks like a little surface rust from not getting sanded good enough on the last paint job. Ideally it would be best to remove the top and fix it now. But, if you touched it up, it could easily go a few years without getting much worse. Then you could fix it if you decide to repaint the whole car someday later on.

04-20-13, 01:11 AM
Okay, so some updates. I found a vinyl roof reproduction here: http://www.opgi.com/p/convertible-top/16888/214/CE14131BK.html that seems to be pretty good.

I bought a heater core from Rockauto, and today a friend and I tried removing and replacing the heater core. I managed to get the dash apart, but I'm having trouble removing the heater case. The instructions in the shop manual and the accompanying diagrams are not the most intuitive. I removed disconnected the vacuum hoses and the electrical wires from the programmer. The glove box liner has been removed. I also removed some of the nuts in the cowl from the engine side. Unfortunately, I'm still not sure of how to remove the heater case. Do I have to remove the wood trim too? The instructions also stated at number 4 that the if there's an airbag system, then I would have to follow certain steps. And then it said at number 10, that if I didn't have the airbags to remove the glove box liner. Am I supposed to skip 5-9, since I don't have the ACRS system, or am I supposed to keep following the steps? Anyone have any experience with heater cores?

http://i.imgur.com/uoLbdgzl.jpg - View of cowl from engine compartment. Hoses are disconnected from heater core.

http://i.imgur.com/TctMH58l.jpg - Underneath dash view of Programmer and heater case.

http://i.imgur.com/g4TGgm2l.jpg - View of dash, right side. Aspirator hose disconnected.

http://i.imgur.com/gE6Ozpcl.jpg - View of central dash.

http://i.imgur.com/Sshkr68l.jpg - Wider view of dash.

04-20-13, 10:58 PM
If you don't have the airbags, skip the steps that refer to it.

As far as the vinyl top, you should be able to have it lifted, the rust repaired, and the top laid back down. If you feel you must replace the whole top, SMS Fabrics, while a bit pricey, is the way to go. They will send you a premade top in the original material and in the original color.

Good luck with that heater core! They can be a pain.