1971 Cadillac Deville- Cruise Control, Clock, Radio problems, help?
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The Classic Cadillac Forum Discussion, 1971 Cadillac Deville- Cruise Control, Clock, Radio problems, help? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Good evening everyone, I have owned a '71 Cadillac Sedan Deville for about a decade now since I inherited it ...
  1. #1
    ZeldaOoT is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    1971 Cadillac Deville- Cruise Control, Clock, Radio problems, help?

    Good evening everyone,

    I have owned a '71 Cadillac Sedan Deville for about a decade now since I inherited it from my grandfather. Since that time, a few problems have been around and I finally think I have the time to fix them. That said, I don't have the know-how to understand whats wrong. I apologize in advance for my lack of mechanical insight.

    Cruise Control- The cruise control doesn't work, but the speedometer does. From some limited research I have done I know there are some cables that need to be connected, but I don't understand which effects cruise control and how the speedometer can work through it if the cruise control doesn't. I cannot recall if anything lights up on the dash with Cruise, but I don't think the button on the turn signal makes any difference.

    Clock- The clock sometimes operates, and typically at nearly triple-speed. Other times it doesn't move.

    Radio- The radio turns on and scans, and the speakers are fine. Sometimes AM will play, but not always, and the FM never plays. I know the antenna is fine as well since the windshield was replaced somewhat recently due to a small crack.

    Any suggestions on how to repair any of these issues? Any insight is appreciated.

    Thank you,
    -ZeldaOoT

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  3. #2
    DouglasJRizzo is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 1971 Cadillac Deville- Cruise Control, Clock, Radio problems, help?

    Hello and welcome to the classic forum! You have come to the right place for help!
    1971 is a glorious year! Great styling!
    Color? Interior? Pictures?

    Cruise - many times a bad switch or blown fuse can be the source of problems. You're right on the speedometer but seeing as yours works, that's probably not an area causing the trouble.

    Radio - to my knowledge this is the "black box" for problems. Older car radios are temperamental and the heat/cold/humidity/dust can be absolute HELL on the circuits and wiring.

    Clock - after a while, the little gears and windings go bad. If you look in Hemmings there are places that restore auto clocks to like new and they actually keep good time!

  4. #3
    77CDV's Avatar
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    Re: 1971 Cadillac Deville- Cruise Control, Clock, Radio problems, help?

    First, your best bet is to buy a factory service manual. They're available for cheap on ebay all day long.

    Cruise control in 1971 is a vacuum system. Most commonly, the diaphragm or one of the vacuum hoses develops a leak. The mechanical linkage may have become disconnected. To tell, take the car up to a speed above 35mph and try to activate the system. Does the light on the dash switch come on when you flip the switch to on? Does the light come on when you depress the button at the end of the turn signal stalk? Does the car feel like it's trying to engage but can't hold a speed? Answers to these questions will differentiate between electrical, mechanical, and vacuum problems.

    The clock is an electric self-winding mechanism. Since it sometimes works, most likely it needs cleaning and lubrication. This should restore it to normal operation.

    As to the radio, you say the speakers are good, so I'm assuming you hear the characteristic "thump" when you turn the radio on. Did you trim the antenna after the windshield was replaced? If not, AM reception will be spotty. I'm assuming you have the AM/FM stereo. These units still used an external amplifier I think. If that's bad, FM will not play. AM/FM monaural radios do not have the external amplifier. All 1971 Cadillac radios are solid state units, so there may be a bad transistor or capacitor inside the unit. That will require professional service, unless you're well versed in electronics repair.

    Good luck sorting things out.

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    ZeldaOoT is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1971 Cadillac Deville- Cruise Control, Clock, Radio problems, help?

    Thank you for the feedback that you have each offered! I will check these things out sometime this weekend and follow-up. Until then, here are some pictures as requested! If you can't open them let me know, but I think I uploaded them correctly.
    Attached Images

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    77CDV's Avatar
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    Re: 1971 Cadillac Deville- Cruise Control, Clock, Radio problems, help?

    What a beauty!

  7. #6
    ZeldaOoT is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Thanks so much! I forgot that I had one other question:

    If I try to unlock the drivers side door from the outside with the key, the key gets stuck (and takes about 5 minutes to pry out). The passenger side works fine. Is this something that you think I could fix with some WD40? If not, any other suggestions?

    Thanks again for all the help. I hope to follow up soon on the other issues

    Edit: I should mention there is never a problem locking and unlocking it from the inside.

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    Re: 1971 Cadillac Deville- Cruise Control, Clock, Radio problems, help?

    Beautiful car. That is a great color combination! Made even better, I'm sure, by the memories and history with the car.

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    CADforce69 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1971 Cadillac Deville- Cruise Control, Clock, Radio problems, help?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeldaOoT View Post
    Thanks so much! I forgot that I had one other question:

    If I try to unlock the drivers side door from the outside with the key, the key gets stuck (and takes about 5 minutes to pry out). The passenger side works fine. Is this something that you think I could fix with some WD40? If not, any other suggestions?


    Edit: I should mention there is never a problem locking and unlocking it from the inside.
    I would try to apply some WD-40 in the lock slot and see if it works. That will not do any harm.

    Congrats for your caddy. Itīs a beauty, and itīs even more valuable for you since it remained in the family for so many years

  10. #9
    ZeldaOoT is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    One more question and hopefully I'm not a fool for asking. For a 1971 what type of fuel do you recommend? My manual says leaded fuel OR unleaded at 93 octane I believe. Do you think fuel back then was the same standard as it is today? Should I use 93, or something less like 91 or 89 as I am out of lead substitute?
    Thanks all!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeldaOoT
    One more question and hopefully I'm not a fool for asking. For a 1971 what type of fuel do you recommend? My manual says leaded fuel OR unleaded at 93 octane I believe. Do you think fuel back then was the same standard as it is today? Should I use 93, or something less like 91 or 89 as I am out of lead substitute?
    Thanks all!
    I'd try regular. If it knocks, move up a grade. Then if it knocks, I'd move up another grade.
    As for lead additive, it was for lubrication. I'm not sure if you'd still need it.
    I know my dad had cars back in the 80s that ran on leaded fuel and he used unleaded regular with no ill effects.

  12. #11
    ZeldaOoT is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Okay folks, here's an update and question!
    First WD40 did wonders on car door lock, thanks!

    Issue: the windshield washer fluid isn't pumping properly. After hours of troubleshooting, here is what I know.... First, the washer fluid balloon isn't properly working... Not sure if a piece is missing or not. Second, the pump looks operational, still moves well, but doesn't seem to have enough force to pull in liquid and expel it. If I low fluid into the system then it shoots out but I am unsure how to resolve the problem since the pump is clean and moving fine...
    Any suggestions?
    Ps- you guys rock! I will let you know how the other issues go as I haven't tested the cruise, radio, or clock suggestions yet.
    CADforce69 and CADforce69 like this.

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    CADforce69 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1971 Cadillac Deville- Cruise Control, Clock, Radio problems, help?

    You could first try to lubricate the moving parts of the pump opening the outer lid. These old mechanisms that never were lubed for decades often go fine when they get some attention. Maybe you have to change also some parts that use to deteriorate with time. Here you have a repair kit if it was necessary: http://www.ebay.com/itm/68-69-70-71-...f217fd&vxp=mtr

  14. #13
    ZeldaOoT is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Thanks for the reply, lubing didn't work but I am going to try to replace some of the old tubes and see if that helps... That old rubber looked a little rough. More updates soon!

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    Re: 1971 Cadillac Deville- Cruise Control, Clock, Radio problems, help?

    I'd use unleaded premium for your car.

  16. #15
    ZeldaOoT is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Good afternoon all,

    Here's a cruise control update: the switch when turned to "on" glows red/amber. When I get up to speed and depress the button on the turn signal bar, cruise doesn't engage and the word "cruise" doesn't appear/glow as it should as indicated in my manual. This said, any suggestions? To me it seems like something may be wrong with the button since I doesn't try to engage or make sound or glow in the trigger panel.

    Any thoughts?
    Thank you!

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