Getting caught up - '75 Eldo convertible rejuvination
Cadillac
 

Cadillac Forums | Help Us Help You | Advertise | Cadillac Parts | Cadillac News | Cadillac Classifieds / (Old System)

Cadillac Technical Archive | Cadillac Dealers | Cadillac Reviews | Cadillac Dealer Reviews | Cadillac Vendors

CadillacForums.com is the premier Cadillac Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 48
Like Tree46Likes
The Classic Cadillac Forum Discussion, Getting caught up - '75 Eldo convertible rejuvination in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I've been pretty busy lately and haven't posted here in quite some time so I thought I'd update you guys ...
  1. #1
    Rockhead261 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1975 Eldorado Convertible
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    64

    Getting caught up - '75 Eldo convertible rejuvination

    I've been pretty busy lately and haven't posted here in quite some time so I thought I'd update you guys on what's going on with Jennifer. I have some pics to post now, and I'll add some later today or tomorrow. Plus, I'll try to keep this current to document my progress.

    Oh, this is Jennifer:



    Named for her Jennifer Blue paint, I got her last summer knowing I had some work to do. The paint and bodywork was about ten years old and holding up pretty well. The motor and transmission had been recently rebuilt, but the ball joints were shot. The tires were 20-year old Firestone 721's with dry rot so bad I was afraid to drive it home! The uphostery was original and badly weathered, and the carpeting had been replaced (poorly) with what looked like a berber remnant from Home Depot, plus it was the wrong color. The top was ratty but presentable, and aside from a quirky center bow, worked fine all by itself. A quick peek under the carpet split under the front seat revealed a small hole in the rear floorpan, but up on the lift the rest of the floor was pretty solid.

    Or so it seemed.

    I got the front end work squared away and installed a fresh set of Champiro whitewalls.



    A few issues with vacuum line and actuators were not allowing the HVAC to work properly, and debugging was driving me insane. I finally caved in and brought her to a local dealer that has a throwback mechanic for just this sort of thing. I got Jennifer back with fully functional A/C and a bunch of other nit-picky things fixed. I fixed the over-sensitive horn pad so as not to draw attention to myself every time I turned the wheel and drove her around a bit the rest of the summer. In late fall I put her in the detached garage with plans to pull the seats for reuphosltery over the winter.

    So... my detatched garage is at the bottom of my property, about 150' from the main house. I have to drive over the grass to get there, but it's not really a big deal as long as it's not too wet out. Welp, like most of the rest of Snowville, I got dumped on repeatedly over the winter which limited my access to the garage and my ability to drive the car out for any sort of work. I think my yard was 100% snow-covered from mid-December through mid-March. I didn't get to pull the seats out until April. When I did, I found this:







    It seems one of the previous owners did a pretty convincing job on the undercarriage with some bedliner. When I had the car on the lift it really did look and feel like the floor was solid - I poked around with a screwdriver and all seemed well. Now, with the carpet and padding out, I could see the floor was MUCH worse than I thought. Chunks of the rattlecan bedliner actually came off attached to the carpet padding where the holes were.

    At this point there was only one thing to do.







    I gotta say that the 3M panel adhesive is pretty damn good stuff - I made a test piece and I'm unable to pull it apart. I combined it with a bazillion rivets to ensure zero chance of movement.

    Here's a tight shot of one of the seams:



    I also pulled the whole interior (sans dash and front door panels) and had it all redone in a very nice vinyl. Yeah, I know the seat covers were leather, but I simply could not justify spending $4K as opposed to $1K when I still need reserves for the top.

    This moving blanket in my basement has been hiding the goods for about two months now, and my wife has just about had it!



    Those two pieces on top are the metal base trim off the front bench.



    More pics in later posts.

    While I was at it, I pulled the dash apart and did a radioectomy. The OEM 8-track radio worked somewhat, but the 10 ohm speakers were all disintegrated and I didn't feel like fiddling around with 40-year old electronics. I installed one of those old-looking shaft style-yet-modern radios with some new speakers. This alone saved about 45 pounds.



    The modern Dual coaxial looks a bit out of place in the rear panel. I also had to do some clearancing for this 6x9 that was apparently a bit larger than the factory speaker.



    Not shown are the 3.25" Pyle coaxials in the dash. I'll just say this; the driver side dash speaker had better NEVER go bad, because it ain't ever getting replaced again!

    I got creative and replaced the DOA OEM power antenna with a cheapo manual one, but I wired it with a relay using the OEM dash switch. It actually works and looks just like stock and cost me a whopping $25 combined.

    <pics to follow>

    All this took me through mid May to accomplish. At this point I have the dash back together, new carpet, and all the interior pieces ready to go. I still need to prep and paint the new floor and should be able to get around to that within the next week or two.

    Again, more pics and updates to follow.
    77CDV, CADforce69 and talismandave like this.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    CadillacForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Jeff R's Avatar
    Jeff R is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 1970 Coupe De Ville//Cessna 172
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    St. Louis
    Age
    44
    Posts
    236

    Re: Getting caught up - '75 Eldo convertible rejuvination

    Wow, looks great. Are those premade floor pans? You attached them with 3M adhesive and rivets?
    Jeff

  4. #3
    77CDV's Avatar
    77CDV is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 77 CDV, 06 DTS III, 69 FWB
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Newbury Park, CA
    Age
    42
    Posts
    9,483

    Re: Getting caught up - '75 Eldo convertible rejuvination

    Well done! Looks like Jennifer is progressing nicely!

  5. #4
    Loveldos is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): Cadillacs: '13 CTS Cpe, '01 SLS, '71 Eldo Conv
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    815

    Re: Getting caught up - '75 Eldo convertible rejuvination

    Glad to see a beautiful car like Jennifer rescued! Great work! You'll be enjoying your improved ride soon!

  6. #5
    Rockhead261 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1975 Eldorado Convertible
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    64
    Thread Starter

    Re: Getting caught up - '75 Eldo convertible rejuvination

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff R View Post
    Wow, looks great.
    Thanks.

    Are those premade floor pans? You attached them with 3M adhesive and rivets?
    Jeff
    Yes, and yes. The rusted floor came out surprisingly easily. I took my time and was able to break the factory spot welds at the bottom of the firewall and along the frame members. I made the long cuts along the wiring channel with an angle grinder and a cutoff wheel. The surface rust on the firewall is already flapped off and the metal is fine. So is all the framing. It looked like the car simply got rained in a few times and the carpet and padding was left wet.

    If you look closely you'll see that I originally tried to leave a strip of the original floor in the center, but then cut it out and added a piece of U-channel as a center support. I was able to catch a frame member where the seats bolt in and then added bends as needed in order to secure it just under the transmission mount. This results in a flex-free floor that is much sturdier than what came from the factory.

    The pans themselves were about $90 from Rock Auto. They came pretty flat and required quite a bit of cobbling in order to fit the floor contours correctly. Good thing for me I was an HVAC tech in a past life and kept all my old tinknocking tools, the most valuable being my air nibbler and a good, solid ball peen hammer.

    I decided on the 3M panel adhesive since:

    (A) My welding skills are limited to soldering and brazing pipe and tubing,
    (B) I don't own or even have access to a decent welder,
    (C) the adhesive is actually commonly used by body shops on modern cars,
    (D) the floor of this car is not a stressed member - it's simply a place to put your feet, and
    (E) the adhesive would also act as a "filler" where imperfect fits would create gaps.

    According to pro's I spoke to, this stuff is becoming the norm and is MUCH easier to work with than welding. It's expensive - $50 per tube, and I used two of them - but it turned out to be well worth it. It worked fine without the rivets, but my degree of pathology requires overkill.

    I'm pretty stoked to have the dash back together and all the electrics working; though it seems petty, little things like getting the factory antenna switch functional again was pretty cool.

    Sloooow going thanks to a the floor setback and the uncooperative weather, but I should be rolling again pretty soon. I didn't get any new pictures over the weekend since I worked Saturday and spent Sunday by the pool. Should have some up by midweek.

  7. #6
    CADforce69 is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): Cadillac Sedan de Ville 1969, Dodge 3700GT '73, Audi A3 1.8T
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Madrid (Spain)
    Age
    47
    Posts
    1,601

    Re: Getting caught up - '75 Eldo convertible rejuvination

    Congrats for keeping this beautiful baby blue car on the road in such a good shape. It seems youīve done a great job with the floor pans. Modern radio & speakers with classic look is a great solution. I chose this option too and the sound quality is excellent in addition to the USB and Aux. Plug and the possibility to add a CD charger.

    Canīt wait to see the final result with new carpet and upholstery

  8. #7
    talismandave's Avatar
    talismandave is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 1987 Brougham, 1974 Fleetwood Talisman, Volvo C70,
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Madison WI
    Age
    55
    Posts
    6,307

    Re: Getting caught up - '75 Eldo convertible rejuvination

    Great job Rockhead.
    Jennifer is a beautiful and classy lady! One of those perfect colors for a classic Cadillac convertible.
    I love to see the work you have done to her.

  9. #8
    Rockhead261 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1975 Eldorado Convertible
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    64
    Thread Starter

    Re: Getting caught up - '75 Eldo convertible rejuvination

    Thanks for the comments, gang!

    I added a ton of pics to the original post, so please take another gander at it. Still, it looks like I hit the forum limit with pics in an individual post, so here are a few more of the interior pieces waiting to be installed.

    A teaser of the rebuilt/reuphoulstered rear seat backrest and the front of the seat bottom, waiting to be installed.



    Pads for the rear upper side panels - the guy did a tremendous job with these.



    Rear lowers. Material is left loose to facilitate addition of the courtesy light, ashtray, and window switch. The stitching is not OEM but was necessary... I actually prefer it over the molded look; it's quite elegant. (The pics do these pieces no justice)





    Keep the comments coming, and I'd appreciate any sound advice you guys might have.

  10. #9
    amunderdog is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 1994 SLS x 2 ---- 1993 Eldorado Sport ----- 1994 Deville 4.9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sunbright, TN
    Posts
    1,384

    Re: Getting caught up - '75 Eldo convertible rejuvination

    Looks like you have it going on

  11. #10
    CADforce69 is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): Cadillac Sedan de Ville 1969, Dodge 3700GT '73, Audi A3 1.8T
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Madrid (Spain)
    Age
    47
    Posts
    1,601

    Re: Getting caught up - '75 Eldo convertible rejuvination

    The upholstery looks really good... I agree: The stitches give it a classy look. In my opinion, for a convertible a vinyl upholstery is more reasonable regarding maintenance and cleaning, considering itīs going to be in the open frequently. A fine leather upholstery, probably would prevent you from opening your top and enjoying that dimension of the car in several occasions... In addition, this vinyl is fine looking, so you have most of both worlds

    Just a tip for improving the radio buttons finish: I bought some auto-adhesive wood veneer vinyl to re-do the original on the dash and the wheel so I cut two discs and stuck hem on the buttons, just as the original 69 radio:





    The friend who changed the front speakers for me had to be also very ingenious to place the new left speaker, heavier than original and not exactly the same measure but similar. Original 1969 measure does not exist nowadays.

  12. #11
    Rockhead261 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1975 Eldorado Convertible
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    64
    Thread Starter

    Re: Getting caught up - '75 Eldo convertible rejuvination

    CADforce, that looks like a slightly different version of my radio. How's it been for you?

    My OEM knobs have the Caddy crest on them, not the wood grain. They don't fit the new radio at the moment, but I'm debating making a small modification to them so they would work. The problem is I'd have to enlarge the hole slightly - an irreversible mod - and they would no longer fit on the factory radio. I'll live with the cheapo plasticky-chromey knobs for now until I get more pressing things squared away.

    All I need is two or three dry days to get the floor painted and the interior in. Naturally, a stalled weather system has brought rain, fog, and generally crappy weather to my area for the last week. It's supposed to clear up tomorrow, but of course I'm working through the weekend.

    Maybe next week....

  13. #12
    CADforce69 is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): Cadillac Sedan de Ville 1969, Dodge 3700GT '73, Audi A3 1.8T
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Madrid (Spain)
    Age
    47
    Posts
    1,601

    Re: Getting caught up - '75 Eldo convertible rejuvination

    Your Custom Autosound radio looks just like mine (USA 630) so I think it must be the same model. So far Iīm happy with it. I mostly play mp3 music stored in my USB pendrive and tune some FM stations. I have also tried connecting a CD player and it sounded fine, considering all of the 4 speakers are new and have a good quality. At some moment I have noticed a slight distortion but only for 2 days. Then worked ok. Maybe the connections...

    Another option for the knobs, could be taking some used ones from a junkyard to play with them. Maybe some 70s-80s cadillac have the same or similar ones than your carīs original ones.

    I hope weather on your area improves soon. Summer is just around the corner... BTW, Where do you live?

  14. #13
    Rockhead261 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1975 Eldorado Convertible
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    64
    Thread Starter

    Re: Getting caught up - '75 Eldo convertible rejuvination

    Quote Originally Posted by CADforce69 View Post
    BTW, Where do you live?
    Here

  15. #14
    talismandave's Avatar
    talismandave is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 1987 Brougham, 1974 Fleetwood Talisman, Volvo C70,
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Madison WI
    Age
    55
    Posts
    6,307

    Re: Getting caught up - '75 Eldo convertible rejuvination

    How clean is your frame?
    This one sure looks sweet!
    http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/pts/4498294380.html

  16. #15
    CADforce69 is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): Cadillac Sedan de Ville 1969, Dodge 3700GT '73, Audi A3 1.8T
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Madrid (Spain)
    Age
    47
    Posts
    1,601

    Re: Getting caught up - '75 Eldo convertible rejuvination

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockhead261 View Post
    It must be a beautiful place to live, but weather does not seem so good in that area. In Madrid we are more fortunate about weather but when I have to do something with the caddy I only have the parking space. Fortunately the owners of the building seem to have a "live and let live" policy but I can not do important jobs unless I take the car to my girl familyīs estate, 55 miles away.

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Register Now

Please enter the name by which you would like to log-in and be known on this site.
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.

Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Bookmarks

Cadillac Posting Rules

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Read about Lincoln | Buick | Kia Forte Forum
Need products for your Cadillac? Check out your options at the links below:

custom floor mats | Cadillac Chrome and Black Chrome Wheels | window tinting