: Reviving a 1976 Coupe deVille

07-22-13, 12:18 PM
Firemist Blue/White Leather 72K. Its been sitting for 7 years, five of those outside. Started up a year ago and has stabiliser in the tank. I’m a little worried about the timing gears…rumour has it that the plastic gear is prone to getting brittle after 36 years and breaking. I do have a Royes steel replacement but fitting that seems to be quite a task! Thoughts on that chaps please!
I’m thinking …renewing all the fluids and oil/fuel filters, spark plugs (the plug wires were replaced just before it was laid up). What about wheel bearings, diff, brakes, suspension etc? Would appreciate any ideas or opinions. Thanks guys. I intend to get Blueboy back in shape and repainted in time. The plusses are a dash with no cracks and interior that is in 7/10 condition. Will need a new vinyl top too!
Caddys Rule!
Rock on

07-22-13, 12:24 PM
Blueboy 10 years ago. Drove from Los Angeles to NAshville...didn't miss a beat!

07-22-13, 12:51 PM
Ten years ago she was a beauty. How about some current pictures.

Good luck!

Tom C.

07-22-13, 01:07 PM
Yeah that picture looks great! shame he had to sit so long!

07-22-13, 10:40 PM
My very first car would have been a 76 cadillac coupe, guy wanted $500 and all I had was half, wouldn't except half and other half a week later. Once I had all my money, car was already sold. It was green with a white top. Interior was horrendous. I was told the owner let the dog be inside car constantly and tore up the interior bad....
Still it was a nice caddy...
Good luck with this one. Please do post current pics...

07-23-13, 07:21 AM
I just pulled a 400 out of a 75 Impala with 120k miles last year. The plastic on the timing gears was perfect. It's the first time I have seen them in good shape like this but I think they can go 100k or so before failing. The engines I have taken apart with bad gears still ran fine before dis-assembly. I wouldn't stress over them too much.

07-23-13, 12:10 PM
UPDATE JULY 23RD 2013: Thanks folks. I'm getting some pics of Blueboy in current shape up here in the next day or two. Paintwork is not as bad as I first thought. This car had had a repaint just before I bought it in 1996. The paint job was not that good and had just been layered over the original finish. This has served as a sort of protectorate in a way. Rust around the base of the rear window where the vinyl top meets the body and also bottom of the trunk lid...not unusual. Most of the trim is in good shape and the chrome is pretty much in shape. The front bumper has been bent a a little outta shape. Will definitely need a vinyl top and paint job but mechanics first. We are going to fire up the engine next just to see if we can...! Then it will be fluids, filters, plugs and seals. The interior is in good shape...leather will need rejuvenating but no tears and most importantly no cracks on the dash! Found a few 'dirt dobber' nests inside the engine compartment and the wire wheel caps!

07-23-13, 09:32 PM
Glad Blueboy is in better shape than feared. :thumbsup:

As someone who has owned 4 Cadillacs with the 472cu engine over 15 years and about 135,000 miles, the motor itself is likely to not be any problem!

My first (74 Fleetwood) I drove for 5 years, parked in a dirt floored shed for 5 years with no prep.:banghead: Fired right up with old gas and all when time to remove it. (had 110,00 on it).

My second one (1976 Coupe de Ville) I drove it to 125,000 with a young broke guys maintenance.:rockon: (Just kept it running and full of oil.) :burn:Never had a stitch of trouble with the engine and was running strong when sold on.

My third (1976 Fleetwood) I drove from 98,000 to 129,000 over several years. It was ten years old when I bought it and was a dependable family car when I was a broke young father of three.

My current one the original owner put 95,000 on it and in 1986 parked it in his backyard due to emission fail:annoyed:. It sat until I bought it and was started and driven onto the car carrier!:bows:

Blueboy will fire up. I have no doubt from my personal experience.:yup:

:welcome5: Glad to have another of my favorite model Cadillac around here!

07-23-13, 10:52 PM
Sounds like a solid project! Can't wait to hear of your progress. These are really solid cars mechanically. I don't forsee any major issues ahead. Good luck with your resto!

07-24-13, 01:00 AM
Mines exactly the same but the color scheme is reversed!: Blue top with white body, and blue interior.

Definitely flushing ALL the fluids out i likely the best thing you can do for it. Mine sat in a warehouse for quite some time before i bought it, and the washer fluid had turned into a jello-like consistancy! So long as the brakes can stop the car okay, i wouldn't get TOO overly ambitious about replacing them, However i have toyed with the idea of replacing all the moving brake parts on mine just for safetys sake..

I was actually very surprised when i first got into the scene at how well built and reliable the 68 and up big block models are!

Welcome aboard, it's good to see another one getting a new lease on life.

07-24-13, 02:36 AM
Blueboy 10 years ago. Drove from Los Angeles to NAshville...didn't miss a beat!

Absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

07-24-13, 06:50 AM
I am always scared to start an engine with old old oil in it. I would splurge $30 on some fresh oil before starting.

07-24-13, 12:07 PM
We're going to do just that...new filter etc. Also fill up the gas tank with fresh premium fuel.
A friend of mine's father in law used to work on these at the factory and told me the tolerances and even the quality of the metal used were far superior to other GM models. Unfortunately my driveway is chigger infested and I got severely bitten over the weekend. Looking around for an inside space to work. I tried putting air in the tyres but I think they are probably shot so first get the wheels off, shot blast them, paint and fit fresh boots. Pics soon guys...excited to get Blueboy back in shape.

07-24-13, 04:04 PM
BTW, I know there's a lot to do before I roll Blueboy but what experiences do fellow Caddites have regarding brakes, wheel bearings and suspension on a car left idle for so long ?

07-24-13, 04:33 PM
I'd just look em over and see what needs to be replaced. Pull the back drums off and check that everything looks good. Maybe spray down with some brake parts cleaner incase there's anything built up on there that you can't really see.

Take the car out for a little ride on an empty street if possible before you start replacing anything.

The Ape Man
07-24-13, 06:01 PM
Wheel bearings will have no problem sitting for decades as long as it isn't under water or wrong lube used on front bearings. Some do-it-yourselfers use chassis lube unknowingly.

I'd worry about core (freeze out) plugs, carbonator, fuel pump especially the bypass valve, distributor mechanical advance binding and idiots on the highway.

Start spraying brake bleeders with brake fluid or penetrating oil. I'd gravity bleed all brakes just to get that old fluid purged out of there.

Still have not seen a Cadillac engine with any performance issues due to a timing chain. I did see one with 16 piston skirts lying inside the oil pan.

cadillac kevin
07-24-13, 06:53 PM
Wheel bearings will have no problem sitting for decades as long as it isn't under water or wrong lube used on front bearings. Some do-it-yourselfers use chassis lube unknowingly.

I'd worry about core (freeze out) plugs, carbonator, fuel pump especially the bypass valve, distributor mechanical advance binding and idiots on the highway.

Start spraying brake bleeders with brake fluid or penetrating oil. I'd gravity bleed all brakes just to get that old fluid purged out of there.

Still have not seen a Cadillac engine with any performance issues due to a timing chain. I did see one with 16 piston skirts lying inside the oil pan.

16 piston skirts in the oil pan? Did it even turn over?

07-24-13, 10:55 PM
Wait, i forgot to ask? I thought the timing chain gears on these were metal from the factory? Whats this talk about the Plastic gears?

07-25-13, 09:38 AM
The original cam gear was aluminum centered with a molded nylon gear set on the perimeter. This was done to reduce the engine noise from the gear set. Personally, I have never heard anyone complain about the increase in noise from replacement full metal gearsets.

07-25-13, 11:23 AM
Here's pics of Blueboy as of today

07-25-13, 11:59 AM
So i gotta ask, why was it just dumped outside and left to sit? What happened in between that first picture and now?

From the looks of it, she will clean up quite nicely!

07-25-13, 12:48 PM
Here's some pics of Blueboy as of today.Not too bad eh? Apologies if I posted twice :-)

07-25-13, 12:55 PM
It's not bad. My car was looking like that when I got it and now after some good quality time spent on it it's a beauty :) it's a really nice caddy u have there

07-25-13, 02:29 PM
@ Yoshiman: I had a job in Mexico for a year and left it with a chap in Selmer, Tennessee who was sup[posed to replace the top and paint the car.His paint shop got storm damaged before he got started and he fought the insurance company but still he hasn't been settled and to rebuild his paint shop. I might add I had given him a deposit of $1500 which I have now written off. It was still inside when I went to Switzerland in 2006 for 4 years. By the time I got back to the USA in 2010/11 it had been left outside.
This weekend sees fresh gas, new belts, new battery, air in the tires and a fire up the engine. What advice on the transmission and diff guys?
My girl friends don't understand..."why do you want to spend money on that old heap!".
Fortunately my daughter loves the car and it is going to be brought back to A1 condition......Roll On Blueboy!

07-25-13, 02:48 PM
Check your diff fluid to make sure you still have some and it's still good. Pretty easy to change it out if it's not good.

Tranny, check the fluid for color and smell. If it looks OK i'd try it out. If it's not shifting right after a quick drive I'd go with a filter and fluid replace.

07-25-13, 05:24 PM
Thanks guys. What is really nice is the interior. White leather with no tears and no cracks on the dash. Will need new carpets and the passenger side upper panel/armrest is cracked but replacements are readily obtainable. I had the original 8 track/radio taken put and a nice 'fake' am style radio (actually an am/fm stereo radio/cd changer) installed with a cd changer in the trunk. We uprated the speakers without putting any more holes anywhere and it has central locking/alarm. I'll post a report after the weekend when the Phase one is completed......Excited!

The Ape Man
07-25-13, 06:11 PM
16 piston skirts in the oil pan? Did it even turn over?

It was running fairly well in a car that was on the road. Used a little oil. I'm not sure if someone ran it with severe detonation or if it sat somewhere really damp and the wrist pins were grabby.

07-26-13, 01:24 AM
A lot of TLC but looks like it faired pretty well for outdoor storage. All in all has got good bones to work with!

07-29-13, 12:08 AM
130681Oil Checked, Transmission fluid...checked. Put a new front belt on....... 4 gallons of fresh 93 octane. Fired up after some coaxing with quick start. Drove 10 yards and backed up. I'm so happy! The old battery (a sealed unit eight years old) held some charge after we jumped it from my truck. Turn her off and then she started on her own. Ran it for a while to set the plugs. Turned off started up first time.....YES!

07-29-13, 02:20 AM
LUCKY! I definitely understand the feeling. :D I'm enjoying your project thread! What's next on the to-do list?

07-29-13, 08:24 AM
Great news, but not surprising. These old beasts want to run! Give them abuse and they reward you with undeserved loyalty!

I have done it(unfortunately), and seen it over and over again. They are a hard car not to love.

07-29-13, 02:26 PM
Started up second try this morning. I'm amazed that the 8/9 year old battery is holding enough charge to start !
This week will see all the fluids/filters drained and renewed, plugs extracted (ooh that rear passenger side is a bugger...grrrh!), replaced or cleaned and gaps reset. Will check the diff oil and renew or top up. Flush the cooling system and check/charge the A/C.
Then we will get her off the ground and look at the brakes, suspension et al. Hopefully we will be ready to test drive in a week or two.
Has anyone tips for removing the trim without damaging same especially the vinyl top that will definitely need replacing? I have noticed that trim is very expensive to replace so I do not want to damage it on removal. Full workshop manual arrived today!

07-29-13, 03:13 PM
Get the proper trim removal tools. You may only use them once but they'll be worth it. I'm not sure which ones you'll need for this car but you may need a couple different ones.

07-29-13, 05:14 PM
It has been a while since I did mine, but I think that was covered in the Body Manual, not the shop manual.:duck:

07-31-13, 08:31 AM
I've ordered up some roof rail replacement rubber to get the doors/windows sealed properly. I need to address the interior pretty soon, the leather is like cardboard and it may be that the front seat will need replacement at least on the drivers seat side although I'm about to order some rejuvenating oil and cleaner from http://www.leatherique.com/products.html Has anyone had experience with this company's product?
I have been putting fresh 93 octane fuel in the tank 2 gallons at a time (gosh, I'd forgotten how awkward that gas filler behind the licence plate is when filling from a gallon container !). Starting up second or third go in the mornings....presume it will get easier when I finally get the plugs out, clean and gap and a new battery...can ya believe this 8 year old one is holding a charge? Transmission oil needed a top up. Haven't got to check the diff yet. Firing up once a day....a little lumpy' at first but after a few minutes the idle settles down and pumping the throttle gives instant response. Quite remarkable considering how long she was abandoned.........I feel guilty at times but I know she loves me :-)

08-03-13, 10:49 AM
A slight hitch this morning :-( I tried to start up and just got click's...no starter engagement. I did have a Viper alarm system installed around 2000 and it maybe that this has compromised the electrical circuit although it has started up regularly since being brought back to my house. Here's what happened this am....The battery is fully charged so I put it back in the car. when I tried to start up it 'clicked' but not a wisp of turning over. Also there has been a clicking noise and the panel lights ....speedo, radio lights were flashing on and off as were the side lamps...but intermittently ??? Strange stuff. On reading the workshop manual I realise that the electrical system on these cars is very complicated. Next step is to take off the lower steering column panel and start going through the fuses and wiring under there. We will check the starter motor too. If anyone has advice regarding electrics and electrical wiring on these cars, post info please. Thanks for all the help here...what a boon to those of us reviving these fabulous cars :-)

The Ape Man
08-03-13, 11:06 AM
Either the battery is not really fully charged or there's a loose connection in a high current area of the wiring. Most likely right at the batt terminals.

08-03-13, 12:19 PM
Charging right now. Checking connections. Probably need a new battery...this one is eight years old and I'm surprised its still got any ability to hold a charge!

The Ape Man
08-03-13, 02:22 PM
If the charger has a meter that reads "charged" take it with a grain of salt. Headlights make a cheap load tester.

08-04-13, 06:50 AM
The workshop manual that I bought on ebay for $30 arrived :-) I am fascinated by the wealth of information contained therein! The detailed instructions for removing and repairing almost everything on the car is most impressive. Makes one wonder at the workmanship and the great mechanics that kept these cars running back in the day. No wonder I can't find any mechanics who will work on this car...they don't have the skills or the knowledge anymore. When a modern car goes wrong they just unplug the offending part and plug in a new one! Don't get me wrong I have a recording studio that is full of computers...I love them and I've been a Mac person since 1989 but give me a Studer 16 track 2 inch analog tape recorder any day...would match up with Blueboy perfectly!
Rock on my friends!

08-04-13, 11:11 AM
OK, I think I may have partly solved the 'clicking' and not starting problem. Way back in 2001 I had a Viper alarm/remote door lock and a Custom Sound 'vintage' look AM/FM radio/CD changer(unit in the trunk) fitted. It worked perfectly and it never gave me a problem. However, I dropped the under dash cover and gosh! the Viper Alarm unit fell out along with a whole bunch of wiring! The Viper unit was where the clicking was coming from. I pulled the big multi connector from its side and turned the starter.....hey presto engine fired up! I'm useless at electrical stuff so I'm on the hunt for a good auto electrician. BTW the metal bar to which the under dash cover affixes is well rusty...presume there maybe rust in other hidden interior parts :-( I will start pulling the interior apart soon.


PS, I love almost everything about Blueboy. One exception..... the dam fuse box location !

08-04-13, 08:44 PM
Pulled the side lights, headlamps and their respective trim today. Thought as good soak in soapy water might do them good...hope that leans up the plastic anyway. Then I'll try some of that plastic lens cleaner stuff that is supposed to bring modern plastic light lens back to life. 9see pics) After they will be put aside until after the paint job. Then front passenger side bumper end piece has got bent (see pic) ...probably in transit...didn't notice until after the transporter had left...grrrh! Still it needs to come off anyway for the paint job. After looking it up in the manual and reading about the energy absorbing unit...it seems quite a tough job getting the bumper off and back on again!

08-04-13, 08:49 PM
Here's a pic of a neat job on a vinyl padded top. Not as per factory bit it looks like it might be a sensible way to go...any comments? Well I say that but for some reason it won't let me attach the pic up and its only 156KB ?????

Classic L
08-05-13, 11:05 AM
Congrats on your resto project. It looks like it's coming along. I love 76 Coupe Devilles:thumbsup:, am in the process of acquiring one myself. Plus I'm into recording music, (ahhh, two inch tape machines) on Mac platform and have a brother in Tennessee. I might check for you one day when I come down there. I recall you mentioning starting to have issues with your interior that you had previously been quite happy with. I don't know what condition it is in now, but I use Lexol cleaner and conditioner on my leather seats (of my 95 Concours) and I love the result. Plus I know several detailers who say it's a good product. Some people may disagree or have something they like better, but it's what I know to be good and just thought I'd share that. Continued success and positive vibrations.:blurock:

08-05-13, 09:54 PM
Classic L.....yes do check with me if you visit..I have a recording studio here and yes, Mac based. My friend Dan Penn has an all analog studio...2 inch Ampex 16 track, MCI 500 series and lots of old analog outboard gear. I recorded my solo album, 'A Little Bit Of Soul' at Dan's 'Memphis Room' in 2001 with the Muscle Shoals boys and The Memphis Horns. All in the studio at the same time...well, the Memphis Horns were in the garage! No way one can get that feel any other way :-) Yes love those 76 CDV's...this one looks very nice for $5K http://www.carsonline-ads.com/colsite/col?use=UC3_ViewPosting&cmd=showPosting&postingID=54003
Keep on Rocking!

Classic L
08-06-13, 07:33 PM
Thanks man. I'll take you up on it. My brother is a big Caddy head too. He likes the 77 Sedan Deville. We used to do music together. Now he's right outside of Memphis. Your man Dan's set up sounds nice ( and I bet is sounds nice too). You can't get that sound without that analog gear and tubes and what not. Man I always wanted a 76 CDV since I was about 14. The one you pointed out does look nice too. I've got my hooks into one that does need some work, but it cost significantly less. I'm still reeling it in, but once I do get it in the boat, I'll be posting info up here on it. Wish me success. I'm striving not to let this one get away. More power to you.... L

08-12-13, 06:38 PM
Hello Chaps. I have been applying leather conditioner liberally on the front seats. Its getting them to be softer and more pliable but they are heavily creased and I think eventually they will need recovering..at least the front bench. On to the next stage. The trunk has a rusty floor as a result of water getting in and the trunk carpet getting wet. I'm experimenting with different ways of dealing with it...I am currently using a wire cup brush on a small rechargeable drill to get the surface rust off and then using a shop vac to get the debris out. Its not too bad but should be addressed as it could go further if left untreated. I will use a rust inhibitor/paint probably this one:
The wheels will be off this weekend and they will also get cleaned, rust proofed and painted before a new set of boots are installed.
Next is to fit the vintage plate, start Hagerty insurance and then a test drive! Watch this space!

08-12-13, 10:44 PM
For the seats check around this website. You can probably fix them up with this for cracking.

The rust treatment you noted I am not familiar with, but the latex based product I tried I was not happy with at all! :rant2:I now use Rustoleum's Rust Converter.

Can't wait til' Boyo is street legal and you can relive some memories!:cloud9:

08-13-13, 08:39 AM
the trunk pan in my 69 was rusted very badly too. it felt like if I pushed hard it would crack and break.
I used POR 15 and now it looks great and is very solid. Now I can pound on it with my fist (or even a hammer) and it won't break.

08-13-13, 01:52 PM
http://i866.photobucket.com/albums/ab227/CadillacMatt/IMG-20120805-00110_zps295f6c54.jpg (http://s866.photobucket.com/user/CadillacMatt/media/IMG-20120805-00110_zps295f6c54.jpg.html)

Here's a pic of my trunk pan after POR 15. Sorry, no before pic.

cadillac kevin
08-13-13, 02:18 PM
Did it look worse than this beforehand?
This is the trunk in my former 74 apollo. It was not very solid (metal was still there, and I could stand in it, but felt like I was going to go through it.) BTW, that dark spot is not water. That is the metal (that spot was very weak).

08-13-13, 03:12 PM
Yes, it did look worse than that for the most part. The really dark part may be worse than what mine was but mine really felt like I could put my finger through it if I poked hard... Mine also had (if you can see) a small rust hole starting in the top left lip of the pan. I didn't feel like patching it so I just forced a lot of por 15 in there. Checked it recently and it hasn't weakened or anything so I'm still calling it good :)

08-14-13, 11:59 AM
Good tips chaps..probably going to go with the POR 15. Currently getting as much loose rust off in preparation. Does anyone know what the two access plates are for?


The ones that are either side of the centre tunnel?


Finally got pics on Flicker so here's some:
Bottom of Vinyl Top
Bottom of Trunk lid
Front Bumper
Here's the access plate I was talking about.
Let me know if these are viewable please.
Thanks guys.

cadillac kevin
08-14-13, 12:43 PM
I think those are for water drainage? They weren't for acessing the top of the tank (I removed the one on my apollo and there was nothing accessable beneath it.) The trunk floor looks like a good POR15 candidate. The trunk lid and under the rear window look rough. Shame the yard near me crushed the 74 (they only keep cars for 2 months at most)....the trunk lid was pretty nice and the area under the rear window was usable. I'm not sure if you can sand those down and save the metal or if you'd have to cut it out and replace it.

08-14-13, 01:33 PM
Yeah I agree with kevin on the trunk floor. For the others you should pull out the grinder with a wire brush wheel and get off all of the rust, see what you're left with and if it's repairable or replaceable.

08-14-13, 07:42 PM
Yeah the trunk floor will get the POR 15 and I'm pretty confident that will solve that problem. I've found a decent trunk lid. Its in primer too! I will get it shipped soon so with new rear fillers that will solve the back end of the car apart form the base of the back window where the vinyl top meets the body. Yes, a grinder and getting the top off and stripping it down will reveal whether or not some replacing of metal will be required. Watch this space!

08-18-13, 01:28 PM
Oh Dear, Oh Dear, Oh Dear :-(

Can't see this being anything but a candidate for welding in new metal......Sob, Sob!

08-18-13, 01:41 PM
yeah that's pretty ugly! we had to do some patching on my 69's also and it didn't come out great. it's a tough area to get right but I'm sure you'll get it presentable!

08-18-13, 02:42 PM
On the other hand, the trunk floor is ok.
Does anyone think I should just block up those funny drain holes or put the plugs back in and seal them?


Yup gotta find a really good welder...an artist !

Mark 78 Coupe
08-19-13, 12:32 AM
I don't know if this is true or not. I read somewhere that prior to paint the body of the car was dipped in rust proofing, and that those cover plates were to let the excess rust proofing, and then primer drip out. Of course when the car was done those caps were sealed shut.

08-19-13, 09:28 AM
Those plates were generally tin plated (galvanized). The plates were there so that moisture could be removed from the trunk. Of course the fuel tank is located below this area. We have left them open when restoring trunk pans to allow air to circulate and aid in curing the paint. If the galvanizing has rusted through, we coat the plates with a metalized paint and reinstall them. :)

09-01-13, 09:23 PM
Started pulling off the vinyl top today starting at the back deck lid...oh dear whatta mess. I did not know how the back window played into this scene...now I know! There is a channel running around the window which is set in rubber. The whole channel is rusty although it feels solid but the rubber is perished. I really didn't want to remove the rear window. However........I will take i'll take some pics tomorrow. Grrrh!

09-01-13, 10:27 PM
On mine, I was trying to remove the rubber/caulk only. I wanted to get to the metal to treat it and paint it. In the process the sealant came out from under the glass and I removed the window.:noidea:

I also repeated the whole process on a donor car this spring. this one was a bit tougher because the rust was not as bad.

I did manage to remove it without damaging the glass on both cars.

:thehand:NEVER PRY UNDER IT...EVER! :ohnoes:You will be sorry. (Take it from the 16 year old me, he knows!) :wisdom:

Once the molding was out I scraped the sealant loose from underneath, little at a time, doing about a foot at a time. Tools I used were a slotted screwdriver, utility knife, and a plastic trim removal tool. Start where it is rustiest and when you get a couple inches you can grab, pull and scrape as you go around.
When I would come to a section that was really stuck I would use the utility knife and cut along the edge of glass at an angle. (In underneath it as much as possible.)

*Pro tip: always use Irwin brand utility knife blades. They are unbreakable. You can bend them into a 45 degree angle! I use them at work as a screwdriver all the time, have never been able to break one. Also keep an edge better/longer than other brands.*

Once you have the channel clean then you go to just cutting with a knife, getting it as far under the glass as you can. Because the channel around the window is so wide you can get a good enough angle on the knife to cut the glass free.
It isn't that bad a job and I would not think twice about doing it a third time. I just couldn't see leaving the rust under the window seal to deteriorate further and eventually leak. Oh, and one more thing............NEVER PRY UNDER IT, EVER! :D

09-03-13, 04:13 PM
Here's pics of Blueboy topless. As you can see its a mess. I really don't want to take out the windows if at all possible and I'm now thinking fiberglass and bondo. I know some of you will shriek, "no no no...do it properly, get new metal welded in". Thats easy to say but finding a good welder who can replace the sheet metal properly is a gamble. I will make some enquiries but.....
Thanks for your tips talismandave, you are right that is the only way to get the glass out. BTW when reinstalling the glass does one use butyl from a tube?





09-03-13, 07:05 PM
I actually "installed" mine yet because I am having a replacement piece from a donor car put in. Mine is tacked in place with some double sided tape until then. I believe that it is a butyl tape that you put it in with though. Hopefully someone fields that for us!

he need to I understand the need to draw the line somewhere on what is to be a driver quality car. I have made trade offs on items I know should have been done better. If mine looked as good as yours I would hit it with Rustoleum Rust Convertor and Bondo myself. The replacement one I am using is about the same as yours.
http://s5.postimg.org/uyvjdnuaf/20130703_134418.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
screen shot pc (http://postimage.org/app.php)
http://s5.postimg.org/gw9lyoown/20130703_134421.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
taking a screen shot (http://postimage.org/app.php)

I don't have any photo of mine, but there wasn't even enough left to have a line to work along to glass or Bondo. I tried and failed at mocking it up from metal window screen and Bondo and was thankful to find an unusually solid (For Wisconsin) donor. I got the panel and a trunk lid for $105.00 so I couldn't go wrong.

09-04-13, 08:47 AM
It doesn't look that bad! Clean it up with a wire brush wheel and fiberglass it in. That would be my approach on that. I know some people say fiberglass/bondo is the devil but it's going to be under the top and if you clean that rust up and treat it the fiberglass will help seal it and then you can prime the whole thing with a primer/sealer and you'll be all set. It won't rust again for many many years. Probably just as long as a replacement part would last if not longer.

09-09-13, 02:02 PM
Well guys.... I've cleaned, rust proofed and painted with POR 15 both the trunk, battery tray and rear window deck lid.
I have decided not to weld a new piece of metal into the deck lid. Taking out the window and the interior is just too much of a hassle. Eastwood Products have a good selection of body fillers and hardeners etc. I just feel to weld a new piece in place, although it might be the 'proper' way to go is just too much cheese for the monkey and as 'outsider' says, "its not that bad". I'm not trying to build a concours winning '76 CDV. I just want it to look cool and drive well. I will be cleaning and starting to sand the deck lid very soon before the weather turns here in Tennessee. Did I mention that I have found a place that will put on a new top for $450 all in ?
I have been running Blueboy backwards and forwards in my drive to test trans and brakes. Yesterday the brake pedal did not come back up. I will take the front wheels off and check the rotors and to see if the calipers are sticking...also do a freshen up of brake fluid. The back drums will also be checked. Could it be the power brake unit?
More soon.

09-09-13, 03:08 PM
Nice work on the POR 15.

As for the brake pedal if you figure it out please tell me. My 69 is still having this issue after replacing power brake booster, master cylinder, rebuilding rear drum brakes. I'm not in the process of switching out some brake lines. Front calipers look OK on mine but the pedal will not come back up...

cadillac kevin
09-09-13, 04:02 PM
Good job with the POR15. I'll be using alot of it on the toronado. (Not looking for a show car, just a fun driver.)

09-10-13, 04:29 AM
Looks good and seems like a good price on the top install. :thumbsup:

09-13-13, 01:22 PM
The weather here in Tennessee has been weird, lotsa thunderstorms and lotsa rain! This is unusual and has had a delaying effect on my work. I wish I could get Blueboy inside but right now my driveway is the only place I can work. Maybe a temporary tent type of covert...more for keeping off the leaves!
Anyway I am pleased with the POR 15 it is a wonderful product. The trunk interior and battery are fine with no signs of any rust returning ...as yet! The next step is the filling, sanding and finishing of the rear deck and this will be started very soon. This weekend looks like fine weather so until my specialist filler arrives I will concentrate on cleaning off the roof, removing the trim, checking out the brakes and tracing the screeching noise coming from the engine compartment...could it be the air compressor? I will also change out the filters, fuel, oil, trans etc.
She's Moving!

Classic L
09-14-13, 09:51 AM
Hey man, congrats on the progress. Very inspirational. I'm sure we all wish we had garages with bays big enough to have two Cadillacs in tandem and two flanked (with doors open). But it's good that you keep working on whatever you can in the conditions/challenges we are faced with. More power to you! ... and may we have a short dry and unseasonably warm autumn/winter! (people up here in New England have already got the wood burning stoves firing up, and Summer's not even over yet... yeesh!)

09-19-13, 02:18 PM
Thanks Classic L. Yes we had a very mild winter here last year but one never know.....
Determined to get Blueboy running.....replacement title on its way, tag and insurance (Antique) next. Gotta get the brakes fixed (brake pedal not returning) and that might entail a new master cylinder/power booster. Keep y'all posted.

09-24-13, 12:13 AM
We have the viper alarm/remote door lock system sorted. I had this installed along with the 'vintage' look AM radio that is actually an AM/FM stereo radio with CD changing facilities. The 6 changer was mounted in the trunk before I removed it to derust, paint etc,etc. The trunk lid is corroded along its bottom end so its going to be an angle grinder, POR 15 followed by filler, sanding and shaping. It will get painted with the rest of the car sometime in the future. Got some trim off and it will get the stainless steel treatment. I've got the spats stripped down and they are in pretty good condition. Little bit of rust but nothing serious. Stripped all the stainless trim off which will need new mounting catches and screws. Once the trunk lid is done I will get the trunk underlay, carpet and the new weatherstripping installed . The light units need cleaning and new bulbs installing. I have got the antique plate and insurance will be limited classic. Blueboy is firing up first time right now and as soon as the brakes, tires, filters, and fluids are sorted it will time for a run around the block!

10-10-13, 05:15 PM
Sorry chaps. Had a couple of weeks of intense money paying work. back to Blueboy this weekend. Report early next week. Rock on Caddy Lovers

10-10-13, 05:18 PM
Gotta grab the cabbage! Not always harvest time!

10-14-13, 01:51 PM
Does anyone have ideas on how to revive this piece of dash trim?

I got the angle grinder out and worked on the trunk lid:
Its going to get a dose of bondo....actually what preferences do any of you have for body filler?

gettin' there!
Rock on

10-14-13, 10:16 PM
Hit those with a rust converter before you bondo. I use Bondo, but I'm a hack, so see what others who do this more say.

Those extreme close-ups have an artistic beauty to them....until you realize what you are looking at, then, not so much...:ill:

The dash I am stumped by.
Possibly use a syringe to put a dab of glue under wood grain and tack it back down? You can get nice ones for injecting marinade in meat. I would try Weldbond. It is a white glue, looks like Elmers school glue, but is much stronger. Very low volatility, unlikely to damage plastic or film. For the chrome edges, I bought chrome pinstripe tape from a model store. Comes in widths under a sixteenth of an inch. http://www.modelexpo-online.com/search.asp?SKW=cat1_bt
Would work to restore edges.

Otherwise, strip it all off and paint until you can find some at a junk yard? Post up some photos of all you need, full view and I can check when I go to my local yard.

Keep on plugging away at it!:thumbsup:

10-15-13, 02:41 AM
I noticed that my car's faux wood trim had a bit of that plastic/vinyl trim coating starting to come loose, so I went to Home Depot and got a really liquid-like type of glue. I wanted something that wasn't quite as viscous so that I could dab a drop on a pin and slide it underneath there. Unfortunately I can't remember what that glue was called. Yours looks like it's bubbling up a lot more, so you'll have to be a bit creative in how to secure all of that down. Good luck!

cadillac kevin
10-15-13, 01:30 PM
2 body guys I know recommended evercoat rage xtreme for its ease of application and sandability. It only comes in a gallon though. I bought evercoat rage (also recommended, but not as highly due to being slightly harder to sand)

Mark 78 Coupe
10-16-13, 01:55 AM
I've also personally used the Evercoat Rage Xtreme and it is great. It sands very easily, and smooths out very nicely with a good smooth edge. Most body shops I've seen use it. It is going to cost twice as much as the cheaper stuff you'll find at Autozone, but I would buy it because is such a good product. Working with a top quality product will help make up for your lack of experience. Body work is like any other car repair- the more you do it, the easier it gets. Good luck.

10-16-13, 03:29 PM
I just use whatever I can find at the parts store or walmart really...usually it's bondo brand or some off brand.

10-24-13, 09:17 AM
Ordered my Evercoat Extreme filler.
I have unplugged the tail light assemblies and cleaned up the lenses although I think the reversing lenses maybe too far gone./ Gosh replacement reversing lenses are expensive!
But now I have a wee problem....how the hell does one get the old bulbs out of the holders? I'm reticent about using force as it may break the glass of the bulbs...any ideas? The reversing bulbs were shot but as they are at 90degrees they were easy not so the others that are at an angle and impossible to press and turn......
I'm also looking to replace some of the wiring...as a fellow enthusiast said, "that wiring was never designed to last 35 years!".
I'm certainly no expert when it comes to electronics so I am on the look out for a good auto electrician in my area...Nashville.

10-24-13, 09:27 AM
Whouaaaaaaa ! bravo très beau travail :) :) :)

Good job :) :) :) very nice car..

10-24-13, 10:32 AM
I'm pretty sure you just push in and then twist the bulbs and they should come out

10-25-13, 11:04 PM
Yes, but these bulbs have been in their respective sockets for some 30 odd years and they are stuck!

10-25-13, 11:50 PM
yes, but these bulbs have been in their respective sockets for some 30 odd years and they are stuck!wd40?

10-26-13, 10:20 AM
Yeah dosed the units with WD penetrating oil well already..still stuck. I think I will put the whole unit into a bath of degreaser and then spray with WD penetrating oil. Otherwise I'm going to have to try and get the plugs off the back...not an easy task. I've cleaned up the rear light lenses and they are looking really nice. I would like to replace the reversing light lenses as they are really 'foggy' and one of them is cracked, I will try the defogger kit on them but I think I may try a few parts shops to see if they are available and at what cost. Its a radiator flush today and then anti freeze installed. I love this forum...its great that like thinking Caddy fans can impart knowledge, experience and help to each other here. Thanks to the moderators and web page gurus. Rock on!

12-01-13, 07:57 PM
Hi - I assume you've got the bulbs out by now, but if not....
Only way is brute force - had to do the same with mine on my 76 CDV.
Break the glass out. Put heaps of WD40 or similar in around the base.
Get some long nosed pliers and bend the brass case of the bulb in on both sides so that the bayonets pull away from the slots in the side of the holder.
Then pull it all out.
Put more lubricant in cos the base of the holder is spring loaded and seizes up - then push it in and out till its all free.

03-13-14, 05:04 PM
Hel;lo Chaps, Sorry its been such a crazy winter here in Nashville with record lows of 20 below!
To continue the above:
The side front and rear (vertical) lights reinstalled. The indicators are working but the flasher is not, the indicator lights staying on when the indicator arm is used for left or right. I presume this requires a new flasher unit?
The headlamps have new sealed beam units but are not working. Could be the inline fuse (why?) which we will check this weekend. The bulbs have been extracted form the stop light and reversing light holders and new bulbs will be installed. The good news is that after I got the insurance and we stuck the antique plate on the back, we ran Blueboy around the block and it felt pretty good :-) I had forgotten how big this vehicle is and the limited visibility. Next will be checking of the brake drums at the rear and some fresh pads on the front discs. We will also check the diff this weekend and make sure its topped up. Mechanically everything feels fine, starting up easily. The heater is not working nor is the A/C. Will have to get an expert on that but no shortage around here in Tennessee. I'm not worried about the paint yet as the car is solid and no rust at the bottom and around the wheel arches. I want to get the mechanics solid first so there are no driving or reliability problems. If anyone has anything to add to my list below please don't hesitate to post.
Check Diff. Top up or renew.
Check brakes Front & Back.
Renew front pads (I took off a wheel, they need renewing)
Check rear shoes an renew if necessary.
Top up or renew brake fluid.
Renew Freeze plugs.
Remove, clean and check plugs. (New plug wires installed just before storage)
Check all seals and renew where necessary. (Some people think this to be very important !)
Drain Tans fluid, renew filter and refill.
Drain engine oil renew filter and refill
Remove wheels, shotblast and paint.
New boots.
Rock on, Tim

03-13-14, 10:52 PM
Hi Tim, I have thought of you and Blueboy several times over the winter, we have had it bad up here too. (Not unusual for us.)
The only thing that comes to mind reading your list and comparing it to my own for my 74, is the short rubber lines that lead from the metal brake line to the piston. I don't know that it is needed, but it seemed prudent to me to do them while I am under there and dirty.
Mine sat for 20 years so the shape of such things is far worse, but failure of one would be an unfortunate experience. I also had the power steering line on mine fail and got a replacement off ebay for around $25. One of the two lines is fitted with metal couplings on the ends, the other is just a length of hi pressure hose which I bought bulk at a parts store. 400 PSI if I recall correctly.
I also bought and have yet to install the formed lower rad hose and plan on replacing all rad and heater hoses when I flush and fill.
Here is a link to my project thread where the PS hoses are pictured.

Good to see you back at it, I will be a couple weeks behind you by the time it warms up up north here!

03-21-14, 08:41 AM
Try Ebay...
Perfect for you:

03-22-14, 10:11 AM

I've enjoyed reading about your 76. I have a 73 that has been sitting for three years now, that I plan on getting back on the road. Hopefully she will just start with a jump like yours, old gas and all. It was parked with about a third of a tank of premium, so maybe it won't be too gummed up.

My brother had the car repainted about four years ago, and it has been stored outside but under a decent cover so the paint still looks great. It was parked due to a leaky radiator, and no prep was done to store it. He didn't plan on letting it sit for so long, but he didn't have the money to put into it at the time. He has since moved to Canada, so he sold the car to me.

My car is also located in Nashville at my parents' house, but I live in Asheville NC now so it's going to be tricky to get her going while living 300 miles away...

Hopefully by the end of the summer I will get her going again!

04-10-14, 07:00 PM
Gosh what a crazy winter we've had here in Nashvegas! I've had no chance of working on Blueboy at all :-( However, we have finally turned the corner and the weather is now improved somewhat. I finally got the non functioning bulbs out of the rear light clusters and replaced the rear passenger side ok and reinstalled...working fine but I'm having problems getting the replacement stop and turn light bulbs in the driver's side cluster ...grrrh! I've also found that the turn indicator flasher unit is kaput and they tell me in the manual that I have to remove the steering wheel to replace same ! Anyone got an easier method? We installed the replacement headl;amp sealed units but no light? I will check the 'awkward to replace' in line fuse (my goodness they did make it difficult to repair these cars....as for that bloody main fuse box position!!!) Once the lights are all working I will roll Blueboy to my local car guy to have all the seals, hoses, fluids replaced, brake lines/pads/shoes checked and replaced where necessary. My theory is to get Blue mechanically up to scratch and riding well then address the bodywork/interior. Oh and I can't get the heater to chuck out any heat ????

07-07-14, 09:11 AM
I'm guilty! Haven't done much work on Blueboy at all this spring/summer. I did get to drive around the block and all in all Blueboy behaved. I'd forgotten just what a huge vehicle the 76 Coupe De Ville is...dam wide!
I have managed to prime and paint the top where I pulled off the vinyl roof. My next job is going to be filling in the base of the trunk lid and attempting to repair the bad corrosion below the back window. I've cleaned the window corrosion and covered it with antirust paint (POR) It seems to be fine after six months, no rust apparent so its fill and sand next and I will have top put a fibre bandage up from underneath to hold the filler in place. Mechanically the oil change. trans filter and fluid are next and then I will look at the brakes. I have cleaned and replaced the lights all round, renewing the bulbs where necessary. I have a few problems! Although the emergency flashers work the turn indicators do not flash on and off. I presume this is a different flasher unit to the emergency unit? I have looked this up in the manual and it seems the flasher unit is on the steering column is this correct? Also the headlights are refusing to light up? I presume that this is the inline fuse? I'm not very good at electrics and the design of the fuses, circuitry are not exactly easy to deal with...gosh that fuse box is such a pain to get to!
So, if anyone has a tips on the lights, turn indicators, headlights and their respective fuses I would really appreciate your help.
One other point. I have tried the heat/air and discovered that the only position of the climate control unit that works is full on and it doesn't get hot! One would have expected it to do so considering how hot the engine bay gets when idling for any amount of time! As I expected the AC is not working and that maybe a number of things but is the climate control unit subject to failure and should I consider a replacement? Can one get them repaired ?
Once the brakes have been checked I will take Blueboy to my local shop where they can get the car up on a lift and we can check out the diff, brake and fuel lines, trans and generally look at the bottom of the car. Fortunately Blueboy starts easily and seems to run well. I'm putting 93 octane fuel in the tank.
I have kept up with the prices of these cars on the market and it seems that they are rising yearly. Not yet in stratospheric areas but certainly getting to be worth saving these fabulous examples of classic American land yachts!
Rock on