69 Sedan de Ville official restoration thread
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1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, 69 Sedan de Ville official restoration thread in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; ...
  1. #1
    CADforce69 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    69 Sedan de Ville official restoration thread

    Itīs time to open an “official restoration thread” for my ‘69 SDV, as someday it may help to someone who have similar car / similar problems. First Iīm gathering up most pictures posted in different threads along the forum.

    I bought the car from a man who seemed to be a compulsive collector of classic cars. He had a piece of land and a warehouse where he stored about 20 classics, Mercedes, Bentley, Cadillac, Lamborghini, Ford, Lincoln… In the past he had about 100 vehicles in this land, some inside and others outside the building. Now he needed some money and had to sell some of the cars. This one started easily, engine run very well, transmission worked apparently well (afterwords I discovered relevant trans fluid leakage) and brakes were apparently well, just some humming in transmission that did not worried me at first. The price was cheap and we made a deal. The car title was not very clear as he confessed but he bound himself to get everything solved so I was inscribed as the carīs owner and the car was ready to run legally. I advanced part of the money and the rest would be paid when I picked up the car. Doing the paperwork would take 1-2 months (Finally it turned to be 3 so I had to wait what it seemed to be an eternity for me).

    Finally, on December 29 2010 I went to pick up the caddy, that was about 280 miles from home, with some paper still not ready but which I received some days later. The travel was a hell as I could check steering was very loose and front tires about 40 years old (and warped). The result was a horrendous trembling every time the car speed was over 25 mph and the road had any slight unevenness. Then I discovered that if I drove at more than 45 mph such effect did not take place. Later on, when I changed front tires the problem disappeared. I also changed tie rod ends, idler arm and drag link and since then, the car drove like heaven. Distributor timing was too advanced so when engine was hot at idle the car stalled when I turned the wheels to top right or left. Apart from that there was no incident (except for the red brakes light on but braking was good enough) and I managed to park it in my underground parking space not without some effort. It stick out near one meter, what aroused some complain.
    A pic of the night travel:


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    Some weeks later I took it to mi girlīs mum country house. It has no garage but I bought a good exterior car cover that is preserving it perfectly. Before that 55 mile travel I changed engine oil, oil filter, gas filter, air filter, sparks, spark wires, distributor cap and rotor. We tried to change points but with new points the car wouldnīt start. When I took the car to an experienced mechanic, he realized that there was not a good ground contact with new points installed. He solved the problem just with a file touch.
    First pics of the engine: Dirt everywhere


    wordpress image upload

    Distributor cap off and very worn tie rod ends:


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    hosting images

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    This plate is the original one. Registered in Madrid (Spain) on july 31 1969




    I know: What are those lights doing in the rear bumper? Requirements to adapt the car to the european car light regulations. Iīm planning taking that out, changing back up lights for turn lights (just an orange bulb and wire change) and looking for the original moldings (not very easy to find)



    Rear view is spectacular. I love it! Original trunk lock emblem and "V" were broken. They were changed thanks to the help of Sven914



    Rear fenders "Sedan de Ville" and trunk "Cadillac" badges were missing but later I got them back to its place.





    There was a lot of work to do with chrome but Iīm making it shine... These headlights were not OEM but an adaptation that former owner screwed on the headlight frame. New OEM type headlights would be installed later on. Left turn light would be also changed for another one in better condition the seller gave me with the car… Cracked but not broken.

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  3. #2
    CADforce69 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): Cadillac Sedan de Ville 1969, Dodge 3700GT '73, Audi A3 1.8T
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    Re: 69 Sedan de Ville official restoration thread

    About the carīs story: Its original color was this:

    I think its name is firemist gold. He had also vinyl roof. It was first bought in 1969 by some V.I.P. in Madrid and 2 years later sold to another person. The car had just 74.000 km. (46.000 miles) on its odometer when I bought it. I think front bias ply tires were original with all of their thread shown. It remained sitting for decades in the open at some estate near Madrid. Paint and viny degraded and interior burned by the sun. It was for sale for long time but the price was high for the car condition. Someday it was painted in pink to film some TV ad. Later on it was taken to a shop in Toledo where supposedly some fixings were done and the car painted in blue (very similar to OEM Athenean blue). The car was left stranded, as the owner never picked it up (and pay the invoice) so the shop had to keep the car for themselves and finally sold it 10 years ago to the man who in turn, sold me the car.

    Some interior pics of my '69 SdV as it was when I bought it. This is the worst part of him. When some electrical problems are solved Iīm going to upholster seats and door panels, as they are very damaged due to long time exposure to sun. Fortunately, dash is not cracked. Just needed a good cleaning and detail fixing.




    Iīm waiting for a 70 steering wheel that for some reason is delaying. Meanwhile, I have put a cover like many '69 have to use due to rim deterioration. There was rust in the levers I already removed:




    Headliners at least are in good condition but somewhat dirty. I was cleaning the part behind the driver sun visor when it ripped about 3 inches. Continuous sun and rain exposure weakened fabric.





    Itīs an export version. It went right from factory to Spain. Dash is in kilometers. Under the dash two buttons: One to turn on the starter motor; the other for the horn (they could not find a more convenient place)
    You turn the key to switch on contact and then push the starter button, but be sure that no gear is engaged, as you can have a surprise when the car starts. The start button was (I think) a botched job done when someday the start system failed to work, so they bypassed it. The collateral damage is the safety switch is bypassed too. The button wires go straight to the starter. Maybe I find someone here that can bring the system back to original.

    Radio turns on but can hear no station (not even white noise). The man who sold me the car told me the problem was due to speakers. These speakers in the kick panels seem another adaptation. I checked them but the wire that should come from radio is detached. Iīll have to open dash top and connect some test speaker to the old ones connection to see if thatīs the problem. Iīm afraid that the problem is not that easy as dial does not change when you move the FM/AM lever (always in AM). Automatic antenna works perfectly.
    Wipers do not work. We checked motor with two wires plugged directly to battery and it works correctly. Wiring was tampered but original relays seem to be in place so the mechanic will try to redo installation.

    Heating/air conditioning did not work. We changed A/C heater ATC power servo and checked fan connection. One wire was detached. Now it works at low speed but not at high. Compressor clutch works but we have to refill A/C circuit to see if cooling system works.

    Parking brake release is broken. Thereīs only a little rest of the manual release lever. What a surprise first time I applied it and realized that it did not release automatically when transmission selector moved to "D" or "R" as it was supposed to. Finally I could use the remains of the manual release.
    Odometer shows 75.000 Kms. I think itīs real; the car spent long time unused, pedals are not very worn, as front wheels (although old, they showed a good thread). Gas prices in Europe combined with high gas consumption kept him as a low mileage unit.


    Here is my 69 Sedan de Ville by a gas station in the way home after a brakes, suspension, steering, ignition and carburetor overhaul. As you can see height is back to normal after changing shocks (rear including a system to keep air level by an inflating valve as original compressor does not work). Some chrome polishing is under progress and A/C Heater ATC Power Servo has been changed so now it works although not in the "automatic" position (A/C gas not yet refilled). Now the car drives like heaven










  4. #3
    outsider is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 69 Sedan de Ville official restoration thread

    Awesome! You've made a lot of progress on this car and it's an amazing specimen. I can only imagine how people in spain look at it as I'm sure there's not much cars like this around there!

  5. #4
    CADforce69 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 69 Sedan de Ville official restoration thread



    Headlight rims were missing but I bought a new set. Below Iīll show you the new rims/headlight set.



    Everything seemed to go perfect but 20 kms before the car arrived home something went wrong: Transmission began to seem retained progressively and then even making a snoring noise and finally like metal were rubbing against metal as I was looking a safe place to stop. When I got out I saw smoke out of the link between transmission rod and differential. I called the tow to take the car to its housing. The car still moves but the rear axle is braking.

    Before it happened I could hear a slight howling noise from transmission. The mechanic told me that it came from a worn rack and pinion but nothing important; just an unpleasant noise. The last section of exhaust (fixed by a clamp) was lost in transport. I think itīs time to think about a new line

    This was the problem: No lube at all and progressive wear of gears until differential has failed. Gears were stained in orange as an evidence of overheating probably when breakdown happened. Rack teeth were even sharpened by abnormal friction.

    The screw top was not the original one and opening it was difficult. Maybe thatīs the cause of negligent maintenance. Probably, differential lost oil through front pinion seal until the problem solved by itself as oil was over

    Finally I received a "new" differential for my 69 SDV. After contacting several companies, I found AA National Auto Parts, in Phoenix, specialized in used cadillac parts. As they have some 69s, they helped down a differential in good condition and sent it to me by air through a local company that crated it thoroughly. They looked for the cheapest way to send it from AZ to Madrid, so finally I paid $ 200 for the part and $ 640 for the crating & transport (just the diff. weighs 95 lbs.!). Itīs the best quote I got. Iīve also bought a new diff. carrier gasket and new diff. pinion seal. We hope the rest is in good condition.

    Here are some pics I took of the diff as I just opened the crate. I havenīt a great experience in differentials, but for the info I checked on Internet this seems to be Ok. Waiting for the mechanic opinion. Now the differential is at the mechanicīs home as heīll start work by changing pinion seal:















    I hope we can change differential this week. Letīs cross fingers. Iīm looking forward to drive my caddy again.

  6. #5
    CADforce69 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 69 Sedan de Ville official restoration thread

    Quote Originally Posted by outsider View Post
    Awesome! You've made a lot of progress on this car and it's an amazing specimen. I can only imagine how people in spain look at it as I'm sure there's not much cars like this around there!
    Thanks outsider It attracts unavoidably the attention of everyone -even those who does not like cars- Classic cadillacs are very rare in Spain as only a few arrived here when new as very few Spaniards could afford buying and keeping these cars. Many of the classic caddies you can see here were imported from USA during the last 15 years. When itīs parked in the street crowds of people gather around it. Even in classic rallies in Spain itīs hard to see a 74 or older cadillac though you can see Fords, Chryslers, Dodges, Pontiac, Chevys... Itīs a rolling show

    The differential breakdown has slowed down my schedule but I went on doing little fixings while the diff. was coming. Iīll try to keep up the speed as some people say the end of the world will take place on december 21 2012... And I have to drive my caddy for many miles before (LOL)

  7. #6
    CADforce69 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 69 Sedan de Ville official restoration thread

    Some progress on my 69 SDV while I was waiting for the new differential. I cleaned steering wheel & dash and painted its totally faded chromed lines. I also took out the wood veneer dash panel, filed it off (it was full of bubbles) and covered it with auto-adhesive vinyl. I also painted the faded "cadillac" letters and lines above the glovebox. I used a silver felt tip pen to renew them. I also covered the sun burned wheel rim.
    First I used engine cleaner, as dirt was stuck to surface from decades without proper cleaning, and then I used a dash renewer :


    post image wordpress


    image hosting service

    You can also see the vintage steering wheel cover to hide rim peeling off while Iīm waiting for my '70 wheel.


    wordpress image upload

    Burned chrome line around dash was renewed also with flexible auto-adhesive chrome line sold by the meter.
    Here is the pic of the flexible chromed molding roll I bought and a detail of the molding:







    I changed old glovebox lock for a new one. It was difficult to close and handle was missing. I have to upload some pic

    I also replaced headlights with original type ones and recovered missing headlight rims. Now high beam center lights work as there were no sockets in the old adapted ones, which were screwed to the frame:

    Left: Old ones. Right: New ones


    image upload

    I also took the opportunity to polish front chrome in detail.


    free image hosting


    post image wordpress

    The mechanic tested wipers. The motor works well but installation is a mess. They are not totally down, awaiting installation fixing.

    Soon pics of turn signal lens substitution adventure!

  8. #7
    77CDV's Avatar
    77CDV is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 69 Sedan de Ville official restoration thread

    Lots of progress here. You've got a fine car, and I look forward to seeing the finished product.

  9. #8
    CADforce69 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 69 Sedan de Ville official restoration thread

    Thanks you for your kind comment. Iīm also looking forward to see it finished but it may take a year or maybe more, as when mechanical, electric and interior issues are finished Iīll get repaired front fenders, as there is relevant rust in the bottom (as most 69-70s) fixed in false with filler and paint and consequently back to surface again.

    I can see signs of rust inside around rear window, as water leaked through the gap where the roof vinyl joined to rear window, that I sealed with polyurethane. As no more water is expected to leak and the car is under cover, I hope it do not get worse as by the moment I can not face a deep body restoring. After all, when inner rear window frame and rear tray behind seat is restored there wonīt be any hint.

  10. #9
    Cadillacboy's Avatar
    Cadillacboy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 69 Sedan de Ville official restoration thread

    Thank you for your submission , it's a pleasure to see these gorgeous rides gettin' back to their heydays

    Have a good time

  11. #10
    77CDV's Avatar
    77CDV is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 69 Sedan de Ville official restoration thread

    Quote Originally Posted by CADforce69 View Post
    I can not face a deep body restoring
    And I don't blame you for that one bit!

  12. #11
    outsider is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 69 Sedan de Ville official restoration thread

    ^ Haha, is yours back on the frame yet?

  13. #12
    77CDV's Avatar
    77CDV is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 69 Sedan de Ville official restoration thread

    Quote Originally Posted by outsider View Post
    ^ Haha, is yours back on the frame yet?
    How about those Mets?

  14. #13
    outsider is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 69 Sedan de Ville official restoration thread

    Oh maybe it wasn't you. Someone was having a 69 restored completely with the body off the frame. I thought it was you but maybe not.

    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...te-blue-3.html <- this car

  15. #14
    CADforce69 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 69 Sedan de Ville official restoration thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Cadillacboy View Post
    Thank you for your submission , it's a pleasure to see these gorgeous rides gettin' back to their heydays

    Have a good time
    Thanx, Cadillacboy. This one, so unfairly treated for decades, deserved that someone took care of him and bring him back to his splendor days. Iīll go on posting progress, maybe sometimes slow but I want it to be steady.

  16. #15
    CADforce69 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 69 Sedan de Ville official restoration thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 77CDV View Post
    And I don't blame you for that one bit!
    I know you speak from experience... In Spain these processes are no easier by no means. Itīs difficult finding someone who dares to do these cars and you have to be very, very patient (Iīm not) and prepare a large sum of money.

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