500 CID swap: Building the '79 Cadillac that should have been
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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, 500 CID swap: Building the '79 Cadillac that should have been in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; The 1977-1979 Cadillacs. Beautiful cars caught in an unfortunate time in American history. Though we still had the big blocks, ...
  1. #1
    bicentennialcadillac is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    500 CID swap: Building the '79 Cadillac that should have been



    The 1977-1979 Cadillacs. Beautiful cars caught in an unfortunate time in American history. Though we still had the big blocks, they had been gutted in efforts to appease the CAFE overlords.

    I had long daydreamed about rectifying this travesty with my 1979 Sedan deVille. The opportunity presented itself when the 425 gave up the ghost.

    After a year and a half of saving up, I proceeded with the purchase of the donor car:



    This '76 Coupe deVille had just 70,000 miles, but 35 years of unsheltered punishment had taken its toll. After a bit of hesitation over whether to tear her apart or not, I went ahead and took her to the best mechanic in these parts - Chris Sasko at Five Star Auto - to begin the donation:





    Chris sent this one to his friends, dubbed "500 Cubic Inches of Fun."


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  3. #2
    Benzilla's Avatar
    Benzilla is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 500 CID swap: Building the '79 Cadillac that should have been

    Cool, can't wait to see progress.

    BTW I have that magazine add sitting framed on my desk as I type this!

  4. #3
    bicentennialcadillac is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 500 CID swap: Building the '79 Cadillac that should have been

    This is going to be a mild build: a plenumless intake from a '68 472, MTS #5 cam, massaged heads, as well as the requisite new lifters, freeze plugs, timing chain, gaskets, water and oil pumps.

    After the heads were sent to a veteran machinist for mods suggested by Marty at MTS, it was time to clean up years of grime:







    The accessories sit idly by, awaiting a return to action:



    Freeze plugs had just about had it, so out they go ... brass is going in.





    More to come, including a look at the lucky recipient.

  5. #4
    Angry Matt's Avatar
    Angry Matt is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 500 CID swap: Building the '79 Cadillac that should have been

    Looks great so far, can't wait to see it done. I was going to suggest eastwoodco.'s cadillac blue paint, but I can't seem to find it on their site anymore. Are you keeping the appearance original?

  6. #5
    outsider is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 500 CID swap: Building the '79 Cadillac that should have been

    nice man. i wish I had the time/money/knowledge to rebuild my 472 but for now i'll be running it as she is.

    keep the pics coming, love seeing them

  7. #6
    bicentennialcadillac is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 500 CID swap: Building the '79 Cadillac that should have been

    Since it's going into a '79, it'll get the '77-'81 light blue as was applied to the 425. Rattlecans are on the way from Bill Hirsch.

    Thanks for the encouragement fellas. This has been a long time coming; I can hardly believe that it's actually happening.

  8. #7
    77CDV's Avatar
    77CDV is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 500 CID swap: Building the '79 Cadillac that should have been

    Never had any complaint of the 425, but I'm eager to see how the car performs with the 500. I'll be interested to hear your impression of the difference it makes in the car when it's all done. Can't wait to see pics of the lucky recipient '79!

  9. #8
    csbuckn is online now Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 500 CID swap: Building the '79 Cadillac that should have been

    What did you use to clean the block? Looks like it worked pretty good.

  10. #9
    Aron9000's Avatar
    Aron9000 is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 500 CID swap: Building the '79 Cadillac that should have been

    So I take it you're not messing with the bottom end. What sort of compression will this thing run when its all said and done??? That was one of the pitfalls of the smog era 500's, low compression killed the horsepower.

  11. #10
    brougham_geezer is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 500 CID swap: Building the '79 Cadillac that should have been

    You know I fully support this project, my friend... but just one question: what is the status on those tail fins? Can my brother's '76 Fleetwood benefit from the parting out of this ol' coupe?

    Obviously, your own motor swap is top priority... but I am seriously interested if those fins are in good shape!

    Power to you... 500 cubes of it!

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    Re: 500 CID swap: Building the '79 Cadillac that should have been

    May as well swap the rear end while you're at it....

  13. #12
    bicentennialcadillac is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 500 CID swap: Building the '79 Cadillac that should have been

    Quote Originally Posted by Aron9000 View Post
    So I take it you're not messing with the bottom end. What sort of compression will this thing run when its all said and done??? That was one of the pitfalls of the smog era 500's, low compression killed the horsepower.
    8.2 to 8.5. Anything better will have to wait for non-smogger heads.

    Bottom end is in good shape, so we're letting that be.

  14. #13
    bicentennialcadillac is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 500 CID swap: Building the '79 Cadillac that should have been

    Quote Originally Posted by csbuckn View Post
    What did you use to clean the block? Looks like it worked pretty good.
    It was some stuff from PB Blaster.

  15. #14
    bicentennialcadillac is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 500 CID swap: Building the '79 Cadillac that should have been

    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Matt View Post
    May as well swap the rear end while you're at it....
    I plan to down the line. I want to get some kind of OD in place if I'm gonna run 4.10s, as this is going to be a daily driver in the non-salt months.

  16. #15
    bicentennialcadillac is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 500 CID swap: Building the '79 Cadillac that should have been

    This is the intended recipient. '79 Sedan deVille, leather, cruise and nothing else.





    The car had taken a hit to the passenger-side quarter when I bought it out of Union, SC with 44,000 original miles. One rust-free quarter and full respray later, and I thought I had myself a steal - until the 425 developed a knock that would eject ashes from the dash-mounted tray.

    Some may wonder why I would put so much effort into such a plain model. The simplicity is what I love about this car - the white color and clean top really stand out IMHO.

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