1972 Eldorado Convertible General Questions
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, 1972 Eldorado Convertible General Questions in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum but not new to older Caddys. My first 3 cars were 78, 73, ...
  1. #1
    smelvis is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    1972 Eldorado Convertible General Questions

    Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum but not new to older Caddys. My first 3 cars were 78, 73, and 77 devilles in that order.

    I am going to spend a little $$ this year on an old convertible beater for the summer. Something safe and fun to drive. It does not by any means have to be showroom condition. In my search I found a 72 Eldorado.

    I didn't think I would find one in my price range but I did and of course she needs a little work. I would like to get your feedback on my concerns so I'll just start with the general overview.

    Engine seems really solid. It was rebuilt 10 years ago and the records are there to prove it. Only 25,000 miles since then and looks to have been maintained properly.

    The body looks her age but nothing I didn't expect and I was happy with the frame. Someone did try to restore her about the same time of the rebuild and hacked it but again any major support structures look good.

    Everything works inside the car and out in terms of electrical, instruments etc.

    My concerns: I hope to avoid any major catastrophes so I'll be as descriptive as possible and offer my diagnosis.

    1. There is a fuel leak somewhere in the center of the line where it runs through the chassis. I remember this happening on my 73 and if I recall I spliced it and it worked out fine. The ends I can see look older but not horrible. Will this be a nightmare or can some tubing and preasure fittings still do the trick?

    2. Front right wheel frozen. He said it was the brakes. After a few whacks it loosened up and after a few pumps it locked up again. I would assume a bad caliper. I'm not overly concerned about the braking system as the parts seem to be available and inexpensive and I am comfortable working on the braking system. My concern is could it be a more serious problem being front wheel drive and if it has been ongoing could there be damage to the drive train somehow.

    3. After the rebuild either they forgot or they have rotted away but there is no gasket between the y pipe and the manifold. And it's loud and obviously not sealed properly. The guy said he bought it that way and his mechanic recommended leaving it as is due to the risk of snapping the bolts. Can this be sealed with some kind of liquid weld or would it be an easy task to disassemble and get some gaskets in there?1.jpg

    4. On pass side the windows don't line up. I'm told the big window was broken and replaced and there were guides missing. Can it be reassembled properly? Will it cost a ton? Will I ever get it to line up again? The door seems to be lined up ok.
    2.jpg

    5. I am ok with some rust here and there she's old. I have very little skill when it comes to body work but the drivers side rear quarter was hit and I would like to try and fix it. I noticed its on solid piece for the entire rear of the car so I cannot just change a fender. By looking at the photo how complicated or expensive (ballpark) would something like this be to fix? Doesn't have to be perfect but I would like it to resemble the original shape to some degree.
    3.jpg

    Thank you all in advance for your input. Again I just want an old school drop top that would be fun to tool around in on nice days and at the end of the summer decide on full resto or just let her age naturally. BTW he is asking $2000. If I can get her road worthy for another $1000 I am comfortable with that.

    Cheers,
    Smelvis

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  3. #2
    carnut is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible General Questions

    Walk away!!

  4. #3
    77CDV's Avatar
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    Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible General Questions

    Looking at the damage on the driver's side and the window alignment problem on the passenger side, I'd say the frame is slightly bent. This car was hit. Hard.

    Bottom line: unless you're prepared to spend $$$$$$$ over the long term, run, do not walk, to the nearest exit.

  5. #4
    Faded Crest's Avatar
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    Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible General Questions

    That is an ugly hit and in a terrible place, but to me the window just looks like it might be loose or misaligned. If you really want the car, I would bring a good frame and body man with me to look it over. Your pics are kind of close and it's hard to see the forest for the trees.

    All the other stuff you mentioned comes with the territory on a 40 year old car. None of that would scare me... Just the condition of the body.

  6. #5
    smelvis is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible General Questions

    Thanks for the feedback guys. The consensus seems to be walk away.

    I will be searching for a some old conv for the summer and in my budget it will probably just be a few month delay to the junkyard for whatever I buy. Judging by the posts it seems the body and frame our the biggest concerns. Is that what I should really focus on while i'm looking?
    Like I said before she don't need to be pretty so I wasn't concerned about body rot. I just wanted to make sure the frame was not rotted. Which it wasn't. I also didn't see any obvious welds or bends. With my limited body knowledge the only indicator to me of frame damage beyond those obvious signs is how the doors, hood, trunk etc line up. Am I on the right track?

    Thanks again for your help. BTW Faded Crest I only posted pics of my concerns. I will post full shots when I get a sec. Just in case there's a glimmer of hope.

  7. #6
    Faded Crest's Avatar
    Faded Crest is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible General Questions

    I'm not ready to condemn it yet. If your budget is $2,000 you can't bee too picky. Get a body man to look at it. It might not be that bad. Good drivetrain is a good start. CV joints go bad on those, but they are cheap and easy to replace. Keep us posted.

    Marc

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    brougham is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible General Questions

    The damage doesn't look too bad and the window alignment could easily just be that the window isn't adjusted properly. You can tell if the frame or body has been tweaked by looking at the rest of the car. You need more pictures of the car to see what it's worth. $1,500-$2,000 is an alright price for it tho if everything is there and in alright shape.

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    smelvis is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Ok here's another update. I spoke with the owner this am. I let him know my concerns and at this point probably leaning towards not buying her. But my mind isn't completely made up. He dropped the price to $1000 if I can get it out of there by Tuesday. Guess he would have to move it by then.

    I haven't been able to grab my buddy who knows bodywork to see it. I hope he calls soon. Here are some other photos. Btw there is a nice front fender in th trunk.
    Attached Images

  10. #9
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    Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible General Questions

    Upon looking at the pics - one word comes to mind - ROACH -

    RUN AWAY -
    there isn't one body part that isn't rotten - bent - or missing -
    this can't even be used as a parts car - unless the interior is PERFECT -

    KEEP LOOKING

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    brougham is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible General Questions

    If you want a driver keep looking. You'd be better off spending more on one that's in better shape. If you want to make some money off it buy it for the $1,000. you'll get your money back parting it out.

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    Faded Crest's Avatar
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    Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible General Questions

    It does look pretty rusty, but $1,000 sure is cheap.

  13. #12
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    Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible General Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by brougham View Post
    If you want a driver keep looking. You'd be better off spending more on one that's in better shape. If you want to make some money off it buy it for the $1,000. you'll get your money back parting it out.
    -----------------------------------
    you'll get your money back parting it out.

    look at the pics again -
    what parts do you see that could be sold?

    maybe the hood ornament -
    77CDV and 77CDV like this.

  14. #13
    Faded Crest's Avatar
    Faded Crest is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible General Questions

    The engine is where the value is as a parts car. I doubt a '72 Eldorado parts are all that hot.

  15. #14
    77CDV's Avatar
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    Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible General Questions

    I think there's more bondo in that car than metal. Take a pass.

  16. #15
    brougham is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible General Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by basscatt View Post
    -----------------------------------
    you'll get your money back parting it out.

    look at the pics again -
    what parts do you see that could be sold?

    maybe the hood ornament -
    You can't see much from the pics other then it's a rusted out shitbox. But you got convertible top parts that go for decent money, glass, the drivetrain and underhood parts, bumper parts, the hood looks alright. Chunks of the dash and other interior parts. Areas without rust can make good patch panels for someone. Parts for 70s Eldorados, especially convertibles, don't just fall out of the sky.
    When you're done stripping it you still get a couple hundred bucks for scrap metal from it.

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