Project: 81 FWB D'Elegance coupe
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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, Project: 81 FWB D'Elegance coupe in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Well, the time has come for me to FINALLY start a project thread for my coupe. I bought it almost ...
  1. #1
    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is offline GM RWD V8 addict
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    Project: 81 FWB D'Elegance coupe

    Well, the time has come for me to FINALLY start a project thread for my coupe. I bought it almost two years ago, and it sat in storage for a full year before I moved to my new house. It's time to get to work!

    I thought about what I like when I read other's project threads. Details on what they are working on, and PICTURES! I have been motivated by the other project threads, so here we go...

    Here is where the coupe has been hibernating since last October (that light spot on the top is just where I gave it a clean to see how it would come out):



    A couple of the other toys that see a little more use than the Cadillac:



    Started right up, so I snapped a before pic. This thing hasn't been washed since I bought it.



    Hmmm. Dirty hubcaps. That can be improved on.



    Let's get that beast up in the air and get the wheels off. Some different wheels will make it look a little nicer.


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  3. #2
    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is offline GM RWD V8 addict
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    Re: Project: 81 FWB D'Elegance coupe

    On to the interior...

    DIRTY!



    Cracked wheel:



    Time for a new wheel:



    Typical cracked dash, too!



    Stripped down, ready for nicer parts:



    What could be in that box?



    A crack free dash, of course!



    One last piece of wrap to pull off:



    Uh oh. The dash had flexed during shipping. I bent it back after the pic, and the crack is almost unnoticeable:



    Day one complete. A nice dash, and a nice leather wheel:





    Tomorrow brings cleaning, inside and out. Also, a functional power antenna.

    Here's a little sneak preview of the wheels:

    greencadillacmatt likes this.

  4. #3
    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is offline GM RWD V8 addict
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    Re: Project: 81 FWB D'Elegance coupe

    I want to give a big thanks to Anthony (1990CaddyBrougham) who has been my parts connection. I first met him when I bought parts off ebay from him, and we have stayed in touch since. I stopped by his house when I was on vacation, and picked up enough stuff to fill my wagon to the roof. The border guards just sighed and waved me through. More details as the project continues...

    Hey, does anyone know where the other connection for the "aspirator" tube is??? It was just hanging behind my glovebox. I stuffed my head inside the dash, but couldn't find it. I checked the FSM, and it is supposed to connect to the interior temp sensor. I can't find that, and the FSM isn't specific...


  5. #4
    arnauts's Avatar
    arnauts is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Project: 81 FWB D'Elegance coupe

    Sweet looking coupe, it really helps me crack my "reasonable" side that prohibits me spending all my money on my project. Rent is important, but if worse came to worse, I could live in a Cadillac, right?

    BTW, where did you get the dash from justdahses.com or is it an original? I am going to be ordering a new one for my phaeton this week.

  6. #5
    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is offline GM RWD V8 addict
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    Re: Project: 81 FWB D'Elegance coupe

    I got the dash from Anthony when I first bought the car...

  7. #6
    Cadillacboy's Avatar
    Cadillacboy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Project: 81 FWB D'Elegance coupe

    You have done a great job so far , well done kudos to you

  8. #7
    brougham_geezer is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Project: 81 FWB D'Elegance coupe

    Nice job. The car is gorgeous, of course.

    By the look of that gigantic spring popping out of the steering wheel-backing in one of those pictures, you must have the telescopic wheel. Any advice on taking that all apart and putting it back together?

    The telescopic lock on my '80 CDV won't engage, and the wheel telescopes in and out all the time. Very annoying and dangerous especially in hard stops or acceleration, where I find myself 3 inches closer or further away from the dash.

    Any tips welcome. You're in Ontario, right? Keep up the good work fellow Cadillac-Canadian.

  9. #8
    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is offline GM RWD V8 addict
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    Re: Project: 81 FWB D'Elegance coupe

    Yes, it's a tele column. You have to remove the tele assembly to swap the wheel, so I know exactly how to fix your problem.

    If it is telescoping all the time, then the part that locks it is loose. Take off the horn pad (two 7mm in the back), unplug the horn by pushing down and turning right on the black connector. See the metal ring that the tele lever is bolted to? Take out the three little bolts (also 7mm), then grab some channel locks. Tighten that metal disc until it can't turn any more. I believe the FSM spec is 30ft-lbs. Once you have done that, re-attach the lever in the RIGHT posistion. Then, when you slide it to the left, it will unlock. Done!

    Yes, in Ontario. Just a bit east of Ottawa...

  10. #9
    I~LUV~Caddys8792's Avatar
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    Re: Project: 81 FWB D'Elegance coupe

    Very nice car! An '80-81 Brougham Coupe with the D'Elegance package is still one of my favorite Cadillacs of all time. The 82-85's are awesome too, but I'd like to avoid the 4100.
    "They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, call me Deacon Blues."

  11. #10
    1990CaddyBrougham's Avatar
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    Re: Project: 81 FWB D'Elegance coupe

    When you say you were motivated by other project threads, i hope this doesnt include mine. Im SLACKING. But that motors almost done... so ill be back on track yet again.


    What did you do to that dash pad?????? I know it wasnt like that when it left the USA sir, but lucky for you i have another dark blue one here.
    Leather wheel looks good, and those wheels....... Where are the wide whites??? Anychance you got that haze off?

    Looking good for sure.

    So Whos going to be the first with a moonroof????

  12. #11
    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is offline GM RWD V8 addict
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    Re: Project: 81 FWB D'Elegance coupe

    What did you do to that dash pad?????? I know it wasnt like that when it left the USA sir, but lucky for you i have another dark blue one here.
    Leather wheel looks good, and those wheels....... Where are the wide whites??? Anychance you got that haze off?

    Looking good for sure.

    So Whos going to be the first with a moonroof????
    lol, I didn't do it, USPS did. Keep that blue one for me, I'll get it next summah! The wheel is really nice. The WWWs are on the rack (look right in front of the 65. I won't put them on until the car hits the road. I'll store it on the scrap tires (that leak like crazy around the beads!). I don't have plates on it right now. I haven't gone hardcore on the haze yet, but I'm positive that it will come off. It scrapes right off with a fingernail, so I'll give it a go with the stripper.

    The great Astroroof race... well, I'm off to the yard tomorrow to cut one out, but you'll likely get yours in first. If you stop slacking with that POS 57

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    jayoldschool's Avatar
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    Re: Project: 81 FWB D'Elegance coupe

    Back with another update. I'm tired! A full day out in the garage today...

    First up, a new power antenna. The old one is unplugged, and when you plug it in, the motor runs non-stop. That means broken mast cable...

    First up, off with that wheel that I just put on yesterday. Then, you have to remove the "wheelhouse extension". (Makes the job a lot easier than on the B body that has one piece steel inner fenders!):



    Two 7mm bolts up here:



    Unplug the power connector, and the coax antenna lead:



    A hidden 10mm sheetmetal bolt down here...



    This one makes me sad. My mast wouldn't go down, no matter how hard I pushed. This prevented me from getting the assembly out the bottom. So, on goes the mini tubing cutter...



    And, a few turns later, we see the reason why this is getting replaced...



    A couple of mounting differences with the new one that is out of a 93:



    Since I was working by myself, it was really hard to hold the antenna in place to start the bolts. I came up with this:



    After that, it was just a matter of pulling the wires up. I used an electrician's fish tape, but a coat hanger would work well, too.

    Click HERE for the moment of truth.

    Next up, replacing a broken hood spring:



    Here's the correct size that I put on (got it from an 81 parts car):



    And here are the monsters that someone else installed:



    Wait, what's that duct tape? The spring is so big, they had to grind a section out of the fan housing! The hole is closed with duct tape.



    On to the interior...

  14. #13
    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is offline GM RWD V8 addict
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    Re: Project: 81 FWB D'Elegance coupe

    Gave the interior a very thorough vaccuum, and wipe down clean/treatment. Came out very well. The floor mats are still drying:



    Those pimp velour seats cleaned up nice! (but they just might be leaving for leather...)



    Back seats look as good as the fronts! Do you know how long it takes to vaccuum out each one of those buttons???



    Someone loved this car enough to give it a personal touch. Check out the crests on the rear mats. They did the trunk mat, too. Looks OE...



    What's this? Hello, it's a factor Cadillac three door garage door opener! Doubt I'll ever get it to open my doors, but it is cool anyways



    Clicks right in here:



    Did a full wash, also. Boy, was it ever dirty. No pics of that yet, because I was going to take it out, and the battery was dead. I had reconnected it to test the antenna, and having the doors open on the interior detail killled it. I'll get some soon...

    Tomorrow: let's just say I'm off to grab something of ASTROnomical proportions...

  15. #14
    1990CaddyBrougham's Avatar
    1990CaddyBrougham is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Project: 81 FWB D'Elegance coupe

    Gona be able to eat off that motor!!!!!


    I cant wait to hear about the wheels. Get that other cap cleaned/fixed up?? Im on the hunt still, Let me know if you find any. Did the car-part wheels work out? When i got the car that had the wheels, it sat for a few years without movement. I looked at it the guy had the car moved and running, and i took it home that day.

    I remember 2 going flat quickly, but they came right off the car after i cleaned them up. Probably from sitting so long flat, a little rust on the bead. Like alloy wheels when they oxidize.

    IF you dont remember.....




    Cleaned up nice huh?

    So what else do you have planned? 90 kit????
    How bout that egg crate grille? You know how i feel about those.



    Ohhhh Look at that power Antenna go!!!!!!!

  16. #15
    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is offline GM RWD V8 addict
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    Re: Project: 81 FWB D'Elegance coupe

    Yeah, they cleaned up nice. Wait until you see it in the sun! They'll be even better when they are stripped!

    No luck on the car-part.com stuff. I'll keep on the hunt.

    I will sneak the car out to my buddy's shop and I will remount the tires with some bead sealer. That will fix them. Right now, the worst one is loosing 20lbs in four hours...

    No, no 90 kit. When I started on the search for one of these, I was all about the 90'd coupe. After having this one, I have grown to appreciate it. I love the egg crate. It is very old-school Caddy, and I think the best grille of the 80-89 cars... I know you want to smash it, though..lol

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