New Owner Red 1970 Deville Convertible
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The Classic Cadillac Forum Discussion, New Owner Red 1970 Deville Convertible in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I've been lurking on this forum for a few months now, but I finally took the plunge and purchased a ...
  1. #1
    klinebau is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    New Owner Red 1970 Deville Convertible

    I've been lurking on this forum for a few months now, but I finally took the plunge and purchased a red 1970 Deville convertible. Overall, the condition is not bad, but there are a number of things that I will need to address.

    The vehicle arrived on Monday so I have not had much time to really dive into it. It starts and runs pretty well and I have driven it a few miles. I know that it needs a new top and paint, but the interior is in really great shape. As I go through the process of restoring, I expect I will have quite a few questions and I thank everyone in advance for their helpful advice. My intention is to keep the car original.

    Already, I noticed that I have a power steering leak-- It seems to be leaking from the input shaft so I am probably going to replace entire steering gear. The pittman arm seems to be in good shape. How hard is it going to be to get it off the drag link and steering gear?

    My wife likes the car, but is concerned about safety as there are no seat belts installed right now. The front seat retractable lap belts came with the car, but not the section that they clip into. What have others done for seat belts? I had delusions of bringing my two year old daughter in the car but won't be able to hook in child seat without rear seat belts. I did a quick search, but couldn't find original belts in red. Ideally, I'd also like to install shoulder belts in the front, but don't even know if a retrofit is possible.

    I haven't taken any pictures myself, but this is a picture from the seller.
    Deville 1970 Red 03.JPG
    70eldo likes this.

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  3. #2
    Bro-Ham's Avatar
    Bro-Ham is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: New Owner Red 1970 Cadillac Deville Convertible

    Welcome! LOVE your fancy new car!

  4. #3
    cadillac kevin's Avatar
    cadillac kevin is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Welcome. Thats a nice looking car.
    As for the front seat belts, have you looked under the front seats? Its possible the front seat belt retainers are shoved under the seat.
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    77CDV's Avatar
    77CDV is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: New Owner Red 1970 Cadillac Deville Convertible

    Looks like a great project that's going to be great fun. Check under the seat for the buckles. They often slip down. As far as shoulder belts for the front, they weren't even an option then, as there is no good place to anchor them. I don't think they were an option for the convertibles even in the rear, although rear shoulder belts were an option for the closed cars, and front shoulder belts were standard for closed models.

  6. #5
    talismandave's Avatar
    talismandave is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: New Owner Red 1970 Cadillac Deville Convertible

    Great looking classic Cadillac. Should be a lot of fun.
    As to the belts. I am sure that anything can be done if you want it bad enough and money is no object.
    If you have a good local wrecking yard, that has a lot of late 60s and early 70s in it you should be able to find some red belts. I remember that my 71 Monte Carlo had a shoulder belt that was clipped up on the roof and separate from the lap belt. Extremely popular way of doing it, and they were stupid long. For the front you could probably find a spot to anchor it through the floor.

    This is where it gets tricky.
    How much do you value your passengers/self, and how bad a crash do you plan on having?

    I am not trying to be an SOB but that is really what it comes down to, and about 20 years ago I had the same decision to make. I had three kids and a four passenger Jeep Wrangler. We wanted to use it on nice days to run around town with the top off. I wanted a third belt in the back.

    I could have run a bolt through the floor and the frame rail and had a mount that would rival the original in strength. That would have required a 12" 1/2 drill bit with a reduced shank for my 3/8 drill, and then 10" 1/2" grade 8 bolts. It also would have required a spacer between the floor and frame, and a set of belts that were much longer than the ones I just happened to have. Perhaps even so long they would need to be sourced from a racing supplier. Had this been a car that would regularly had all of us in it, at highway speeds, I would have done it without thinking about it.

    I could also have had a 6'x6" steel plate welded to the floor and then drilled and used a much shorter set of bolts and drill to mount the belts I had. Another system that would have been nearly as good as stock.

    What I ended up doing was using a set of 1" grade 8 washers(about 2 1/2" OD) and a smaller washer inside it to keep the larger washer centered and drilled and bolted through the floor.
    I figured for occasional in town use it was safe enough. I figured even if for some reason an accident happened at speed it would still take a heck of a lot to rip it out and in the process it would have slowed the passenger a lot and at least lessened the injury.
    My wife and I felt confident in this system and we all enjoyed a lot of family top down drives.

    As I said we felt comfortable with it. It is a decision you and your wife have to make as to how much is enough. I hope it gives you some things to think over and discuss. I am sure others will have ideas and opinions of what I have covered. My wife and I were both born and raised in an era where seat belts were optional, very optional! As we were discussing in another thread, we all slid around in the load floor of our family station wagons so we were not as worried as newer generations would be.
    Good luck with the new Cadillac and have fun with it and on the forum.
    CADforce69 and CADforce69 like this.

  7. #6
    klinebau is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New Owner Red 1970 Cadillac Deville Convertible

    Good thought about checking for the buckles under the seats. They are definitely missing for the front seats. I stuck my hand around behind the back seats and couldn't find anything either, but I haven't removed the rear seats to be sure. I guess I will start looking around for red belts. I am not too worried about the shoulder straps, but would like to get the lap belts installed particularly in the rear for a child seat. Times sure have changed from when I was kid.

    The first priority for the car is to get it running right. I took it for a short drive yesterday evening and it bogs down when pressing the accelerator. It also bogs when speeds reach 35 mph at partial throttle. If I let off the accelerator and ease into it, I can get past it. I am guessing this is an accelerator pump problem in the carb. The previous owner said that the carb was rebuilt, however. I think I need new plugs and wires and haven't looked at timing yet so I know that isn't helping either.

    I will try to get some more recent pics of the car on here.

  8. #7
    cadillac kevin's Avatar
    cadillac kevin is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by talismandave
    Great looking classic Cadillac. Should be a lot of fun.
    As to the belts. I am sure that anything can be done if you want it bad enough and money is no object.
    If you have a good local wrecking yard, that has a lot of late 60s and early 70s in it you should be able to find some red belts. I remember that my 71 Monte Carlo had a shoulder belt that was clipped up on the roof and separate from the lap belt. Extremely popular way of doing it, and they were stupid long. For the front you could probably find a spot to anchor it through the floor.

    This is where it gets tricky.
    How much do you value your passengers/self, and how bad a crash do you plan on having?

    I am not trying to be an SOB but that is really what it comes down to, and about 20 years ago I had the same decision to make. I had three kids and a four passenger Jeep Wrangler. We wanted to use it on nice days to run around town with the top off. I wanted a third belt in the back.

    I could have run a bolt through the floor and the frame rail and had a mount that would rival the original in strength. That would have required a 12" 1/2 drill bit with a reduced shank for my 3/8 drill, and then 10" 1/2" grade 8 bolts. It also would have required a spacer between the floor and frame, and a set of belts that were much longer than the ones I just happened to have. Perhaps even so long they would need to be sourced from a racing supplier. Had this been a car that would regularly had all of us in it, at highway speeds, I would have done it without thinking about it.

    I could also have had a 6'x6" steel plate welded to the floor and then drilled and used a much shorter set of bolts and drill to mount the belts I had. Another system that would have been nearly as good as stock.

    What I ended up doing was using a set of 1" grade 8 washers(about 2 1/2" OD) and a smaller washer inside it to keep the larger washer centered and drilled and bolted through the floor.
    I figured for occasional in town use it was safe enough. I figured even if for some reason an accident happened at speed it would still take a heck of a lot to rip it out and in the process it would have slowed the passenger a lot and at least lessened the injury.
    My wife and I felt confident in this system and we all enjoyed a lot of family top down drives.

    As I said we felt comfortable with it. It is a decision you and your wife have to make as to how much is enough. I hope it gives you some things to think over and discuss. I am sure others will have ideas and opinions of what I have covered. My wife and I were both born and raised in an era where seat belts were optional, very optional! As we were discussing in another thread, we all slid around in the load floor of our family station wagons so we were not as worried as newer generations would be.
    Good luck with the new Cadillac and have fun with it and on the forum.
    Dave, thats what I was thinking. I had a 74 apollo with roof mounted shoulder belts that were stupidly long. You could probably mount the belt retainer on the floor behind the seat, have it go through a seat belt holder loop (get one from a late 80s/ early 90s GM coupe where it sits on the headrest post) and be set.

  9. #8
    CADforce69 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: New Owner Red 1970 Cadillac Deville Convertible

    Welcome to the forum and congrats for your caddy Itīs now a beauty. Having a good interior will save you a lot of money. You donīt have to be in a hurry for paint. A critical point to check is lower fenders (specially front). Check there is no rust or bondo covering it.

    Quote Originally Posted by klinebau View Post
    Already, I noticed that I have a power steering leak-- It seems to be leaking from the input shaft so I am probably going to replace entire steering gear. The pittman arm seems to be in good shape. How hard is it going to be to get it off the drag link and steering gear?
    Pitman arm does not wear on these cars; just idler arm and drag link (check these parts as maybe itīs a good moment to get them changed). Thatīs why you canīt find remanufactured P.A. Probably youīll need a puller to get Pitman arm off the drag link.

    Quote Originally Posted by klinebau View Post
    My wife likes the car, but is concerned about safety as there are no seat belts installed right now. The front seat retractable lap belts came with the car, but not the section that they clip into. What have others done for seat belts? I had delusions of bringing my two year old daughter in the car but won't be able to hook in child seat without rear seat belts. I did a quick search, but couldn't find original belts in red. Ideally, I'd also like to install shoulder belts in the front, but don't even know if a retrofit is possible.
    Iīd bet you can find the holes to fit belts behind the rear seats. Here you can find some non original new red seat belts that will probably fit ok on your car: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=...belt&_osacat=0
    Original belts had no Cadillac script; just GM script so you can use any 68-72 GM red belt you can find on a yard. This is the look of the original ones: http://www.ebay.com/itm/MISC-LOT-ORI...02c571&vxp=mtr

    My '69 Sedan de Ville has 3 front waist belts and 2 front shoulder belts but upper section is attached to the roof so I guess you would need developing another system to have your own shoulder belts, maybe inspired on Daveīs experience. You just need for each side an attachment on the floor side, behind the door and a new attachment on the middle behind front seat; this last section goes under the seat back and the other section over the seat back to clip together on your chest. My rear belts (3) are only waist, but if you wanted shoulder belts on the rear seat, you could repeat the same method than the one described for the front.

  10. #9
    CADforce69 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: New Owner Red 1970 Cadillac Deville Convertible

    Quote Originally Posted by klinebau View Post
    The first priority for the car is to get it running right. I took it for a short drive yesterday evening and it bogs down when pressing the accelerator. It also bogs when speeds reach 35 mph at partial throttle. If I let off the accelerator and ease into it, I can get past it. I am guessing this is an accelerator pump problem in the carb. The previous owner said that the carb was rebuilt, however. I think I need new plugs and wires and haven't looked at timing yet so I know that isn't helping either.
    First of all, I would check plugs and wires. If I had any doubt I would change them and see how the car goes. If still the same problem, Iīd bet the problem comes from the carb.

  11. #10
    DouglasJRizzo is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: New Owner Red 1970 Cadillac Deville Convertible

    Gorgeous '70! LOVE that year! San Mateo Red. Seat belts are a must and seat belts from either a 69 or 70 will work. Try the Cad specific wrecking yards. Beautiful car, welcome!

  12. #11
    klinebau is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New Owner Red 1970 Cadillac Deville Convertible

    Gonna put new plugs and wires in this weekend and see how it goes. I checked the dwell and its at 30 degrees, so the points should be ok. My timing light isn't working so I gotta figure that out or get a new one. It's got a new distributor cap, but I don't know the condition of the rotor. Once I get the ignition in order and the situation doesn't improve, then I'm going to pull the carb and get a rebuild kit.

    I want to look at the convertible top a little this weekend. The bottom of the glass window is separated from the vinyl and the window sags. I'm afraid to put the top down because I am worried about breaking the glass. I might try to tape it back up and then put the top down. How careful do I have to be with the glass? I suppose I could just take the glass completely out.

    I will look at getting some inexpensive red seat belts while I look for something more original. Do you think the aftermarket buckle (female) will fit the retractable part of the belt that I already have? I also can't find the old bolt holes. Did these just attach over top of the carpet?

  13. #12
    P.Katson is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New Owner Red 1970 Cadillac Deville Convertible

    The glass will be replaced with the new top. It is separate from the rest of the top and the old glass cannot be reglued to new vinyl when the top is replaced.

    As a sidenote: You mentioned you want to keep the car original, I may have a set of correct '70 hubcaps. They were a one-year-only style for '70. Looks like you have one 68-69 style and one 74-75 style.

  14. #13
    CADforce69 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: New Owner Red 1970 Cadillac Deville Convertible

    Quote Originally Posted by klinebau View Post
    I will look at getting some inexpensive red seat belts while I look for something more original. Do you think the aftermarket buckle (female) will fit the retractable part of the belt that I already have?
    Iīd ask the seller. If heīs not sure maybe he allows you to return the item if they wonīt fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by klinebau View Post
    I also can't find the old bolt holes. Did these just attach over top of the carpet?
    Maybe you have a new carpet and that could be the reason former owner took belt attachment off. Perhaps you have to make 2 holes on the carpet to find the floor threaded holes where bolts were screwed. On this pic of my '69 SDV you can see where original ones were:







    Iīve added one more pic to show original belts.

  15. #14
    klinebau is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New Owner Red 1970 Cadillac Deville Convertible

    Quote Originally Posted by CADforce69 View Post
    Maybe you have a new carpet and that could be the reason former owner took belt attachment off. Perhaps you have to make 2 holes on the carpet to find the floor threaded holes where bolts were screwed. On this pic of my '69 SDV you can see where original ones were: /
    Thanks for the pictures showing the seat belt bolt locations... that will help.

    Quote Originally Posted by P.Katson View Post
    As a sidenote: You mentioned you want to keep the car original, I may have a set of correct '70 hubcaps. They were a one-year-only style for '70. Looks like you have one 68-69 style and one 74-75 style.
    I didn't notice that I had non-matching hubcaps and I also didn't know that the year is incorrect. I may take you up on the correct hubcaps, but I am working through the higher priority items first.

    I replaced plugs and wires this weekend, but it did not fix any of the problems I was experiencing. I mentioned that I am having trouble figuring out the ignition timing. It seems that the plug wires in the distributor were not mapped as the show in the service manual (although they were in the correct firing order). I believe that the notch in the harmonic balancer does not line up to the marks on the engine block. I've attempted to fix this by remapping the wires in the distributor to look like the service manual (got a nice little backfire out of the carb after I did this ). I forgot that I also have to rotate the distributor to match wires on the cap. I followed the procedure in the service manual for re-installing the distributor, but now I can't even get the car to fire. I am assuming I didn't do something right, but I will have to figure that out later. Is it possible that someone put the harmonic balancer on wrong and that the notch doesn't line up to TDC for cylinder 1?

    Finally, here a few more recent pictures. Obviously the hood ornament is not original, but I am think the chrome trim down the hood might have been a dealer installed option.
    P9242947 640x480.JPG

    P9242954 640x480.JPG

    P9242950 640x480.JPG

  16. #15
    klinebau is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New Owner Red 1970 Cadillac Deville Convertible

    Removed double post

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