1968 SDV build (going to be a lot of pics)
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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, 1968 SDV build (going to be a lot of pics) in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I am going to make a thread here as well as another forum. i dont want to link between the ...
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    01devilledts's Avatar
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    1968 SDV build (going to be a lot of pics)

    I am going to make a thread here as well as another forum. i dont want to link between the two because I dont know the rules on that, so here goes.

    So after about 5 years my project is coming to an end. It has gone through quiet a process most of which was done within the first 1.5 years. Then there was a 2.5 year hiatus (because of a crack-head painter) and the rest being finished up just recently. I have taken quite a bit of pictures through-out the whole process so if there is anything you would like to see more pictures of, let me know I probably have more than im going to post here.


    This is/was my first "old car" before this I was only used to the more modern vehicles. This has been an amazing learning experience.


    Here is was June 7th 2008 when I picked it up in Reno NV













    A few interior shots
















    Few engine ones








    Good news: With a new battery, plugs and wires and the fuel tank drained, treated and refilled the motor fired right up.


    Bad News: Water was pouring out of the block as fast as I could put it in. Looked underneath and found the rear freeze plug was missing. Had it towed to my shop and we took care of that.
    Cadillacboy, 77CDV and CADforce69 like this.

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    01devilledts's Avatar
    01devilledts is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 1968 SDV build (going to be a lot of pics)

    I had the carb rebuilt by a local guy who did an amazing job on it and, if i can remember correctly, only charged me $80. Still runs great to this day!


    once it was running good, the next thing was to start the air suspension. this consisted of 4 2600lb AIRLIFT dominator air bags, a AIRLIFT "easy street" digital controller, and 2 viair 480c compressors and a 12gal air tank. I also decided (at this time) to change the front drum brakes to disc. Using Bruce's writeup that I found quite sometime ago (actually i think that was the main reason i found this forum as well) I found a local junk yard that had a 69 with disc brakes and bought the spindle assembly.





    then mounted them up with the one piece rotor from the 72 rotors





    Here are some of the suspension


    the front:
    Had to cut the stock spring bucket out to fit the large air bags





    Plated up the shock mount, and smoothed it over for the air bag to have a nice flat surface to sit on.




    freshly undercoated





    front completed





    found a "better" front fender and door as well when I was looking for the disc brakes. (This is with a 22" test wheel)





    Rear:


    the back was easy too. Just plated up the spring perch and drilled a hole to bolt the bag to it. Also made a small 2" spacer to give it full range of the bag. used some doetsch 4000-g nitro slammer shocks


    Cadillacboy and 77CDV like this.

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    01devilledts's Avatar
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    Re: 1968 SDV build (going to be a lot of pics)

    Trunk:


    soo much room!





    Air tank mounted with manifold and compressors in-front of it








    all done! Also removed the cloth top, welded up the side trim holes, handles, and antennae








    Different wheels














    These are the wheels that would eventully go on it. (they make a transformation soon though)









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    Re: 1968 SDV build (going to be a lot of pics)

    Back to the build...


    After I finished up the suspension, I figured I wanted to see it all one color. So I stayed late one night and masked it up (quickly) so I could spray it the next day.








    The next day. Here goes nothing :yes: ...














    Here are the finished un-masked shots














    Now I hope where you can see where im going with this look...

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    01devilledts's Avatar
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    Re: 1968 SDV build (going to be a lot of pics)

    Now that the outside looked a lot better, and was good enough to hold me over until it was time to do paint/bodywork. It was time to start with the interior. Now im the kind of person that likes to keep things simple and sweet as far as colors and modifications go. (not saying that they will be small easy mods but I try and keep things pretty close to the original design)


    So I started with the door panels.
    (I should mention that the whole interior was in pretty good shape. other than the hardened and ripped seats. The headliner, carpet and paneling were probably a 9/10 in my book. So I didn't really need to do much.)


    I didn't like the chrome accents and brown wood paneling that was in there, but I wanted to keep the "wood" in there so I made up some black burl-wood inserts and painted all of the chrome trim black.


    Before:



    After:






    Its hard to tell from the way the camera changes the color of the insert but its a dark black and grey burl-wood. The camera makes it look blue/greyish


    After finishing the door panels, I decided to do the trim under the gauges, so I made a template from the original piece of wood trim that was on there and went to work...


    Before:



    After:



    You can also see in this picture where I removed the factory radio and used the space to mount the digital air suspension controls.


    Next up was the seats, so I had them re-done in a black kiwi-grain leather and decided to keep and reuse the original buttons to keep a little history in the car.


    Front power bench
    Before:



    After:



    Rear bench
    Before:



    After:



    So basically now I have the whole interior where I want it, and the out side looked good enough to drive around, so basically for the next month or so I just drove it like that...

    ----------

    Im going to put a date stamp here. As of the picture of the rear seat finished and installed it was June 12, 2009. The day I unloaded it into my driveway was June 8, 2008 so basically a year had passed in the last couple of posts.

  7. #6
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    Re: 1968 SDV build (going to be a lot of pics)

    Looks like a fun project, and a really nicely done job. Saw the finished product in the other thread, and, while it's not something I'd want for myself, it looks very classy and sinister. Well done, sir!

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    Re: 1968 SDV build (going to be a lot of pics)

    I love the interior treatment you went with and the Burlwood is gorgeous!

    Excellent balance of radical modification and classic restoration.

    Very cool. Thanks for taking the time to share it.

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    cadillac_al is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1968 SDV build (going to be a lot of pics)

    What is up with that headliner? Is that a factory design or some camera trick? It looks very cool anyway.

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    outsider is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1968 SDV build (going to be a lot of pics)

    great work. Pretty daring to spray the car outside but i guess with a flat black it's not so crucial to be in an enclosed area.

    The car looks awesome and the wood inserts are great. Any tips on doing that?

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    Re: 1968 SDV build (going to be a lot of pics)

    Subscribing!!! What a great car.

    --No worries about the message, there's even less of chance I could afford that machine now.

  12. #11
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    Re: 1968 SDV build (going to be a lot of pics)

    This is surely the coolest '68 SDV may be the coolest '68 among any other cars .I reckon you picked up the harder way by just redoing whatever you have done and put your time and money according to your desire and finally made the way for a work of art rather than keeping and restoring all original
    I prefer keeping the things as is but updating things when necessary w/o hurting originality if possible because you can easily ruin the car or make the things bad to worse ,however yours is masterpiece in it's class
    Great work ,thanks for posting

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    CADforce69 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1968 SDV build (going to be a lot of pics)

    I can see a balance in the radical exterior and the classic interior as Dave has mentioned. Itīs spectacular and simple at the same time: The key to success

  14. #13
    01devilledts's Avatar
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    Re: 1968 SDV build (going to be a lot of pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by 77CDV View Post
    Looks like a fun project, and a really nicely done job. Saw the finished product in the other thread, and, while it's not something I'd want for myself, it looks very classy and sinister. Well done, sir!
    Thanks, It was fun, a lot of headaches, as you will see later on in the build. Its not for everyone, but I tried to keep it semi-appreciative by everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by talismandave View Post
    I love the interior treatment you went with and the Burlwood is gorgeous! Excellent balance of radical modification and classic restoration. Very cool. Thanks for taking the time to share it.
    Thanks, I didn't want to take away from the OE look, and that was wood grain, so I felt just a slight change was in order

    Quote Originally Posted by cadillac_al View Post
    What is up with that headliner? Is that a factory design or some camera trick? It looks very cool anyway.


    Its just the way the camera took the photo, its just a bunch of lines really close together.

    Quote Originally Posted by outsider View Post
    great work. Pretty daring to spray the car outside but i guess with a flat black it's not so crucial to be in an enclosed area. The car looks awesome and the wood inserts are great. Any tips on doing that?
    Thanks, It was just a prime, and just wanted to get the car all one color, wasn't really concerned about the overall outcome of it, since it was just temporary and all. As far as the inserts go, there was a wood dash company that I dealt with quite often, that I had send me some flat pieces that were larger than the pieces needed to be. Then I made templates, and then cut out the burl-wood pieces on a router table.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrHolland View Post
    Subscribing!!! What a great car. --No worries about the message, there's even less of chance I could afford that machine now.

    Sounds good, ill try to finish this thread soon, it just takes a while to move everything over.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cadillacboy View Post
    This is surely the coolest '68 SDV may be the coolest '68 among any other cars .I reckon you picked up the harder way by just redoing whatever you have done and put your time and money according to your desire and finally made the way for a work of art rather than keeping and restoring all original. I prefer keeping the things as is but updating things when necessary w/o hurting originality if possible because you can easily ruin the car or make the things bad to worse ,however yours is masterpiece in it's class
    Great work ,thanks for posting

    Thanks! I just really wanted to make something simple that kind of made you think when you looked at it. I feel that technology has progressed and I should incorporate that into my build but try and leave the overall look alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by CADforce69 View Post
    I can see a balance in the radical exterior and the classic interior as Dave has mentioned. Itīs spectacular and simple at the same time: The key to success
    That is exactly what I was going for.

    ----------

    Back to the build...

    So after driving it like that for a while, about 5 months, I had a few electrical issues, mainly because of the way GM decided to run a bunch of +12v power wires off the starter into the cabin right under the exhaust manifold.





    After that was fixed, I was making a left turn across a pretty busy 2 lane road and the car stalled out and any/all lights came on the dash. So I quickly tried to fire it back up and give it some gas so I could get out of the way of on-coming traffic, and it fired up and I was able to get it out of the street. It died within 100ft after that, would only crank and wouldn't turn over. I had spark, and fuel but couldn't figure out what was happening. (good thing I have AAA) So they came and picked it up and towed it to my shop so I could see what my new problem was.


    Back at the shop, I checked all the normal things and could not figure out what my issue was. So the next thing was to check timing. Did that, and that was a no go. So I pulled the pass side valve cover and found the start of my problem. The first rocker was super loose like a valve had broken :curse: So I proceeded to pull the head on that side and saw this





    Actually the broken off valve was stuck into this...





    Yeah that is a clean hole through the top of the piston.


    pulled the front timing cover off and this was my problem all along...








    the gears didn't quite look right so i did a little googleing and found out (what you guys already know im sure) is that the old timing gears were nylon coated! sounded like a stupid idea to me. but as you can see by the picture, there aren't any "nylon teeth" left.


    So there goes the next couple of weeks of my free time. Time to pull it and figure something out.


    Looking for a new 472 I made a few calls to the local junk yards, and happened to find one that had just got in a 70 something (im not exactly sure of what year it was) 500. I went down and checked it out, it was all there they drove the car into the yard to be parted out. Coolant was still green in the motor and all the fluids looked good so told them i'd take it.


    The next day they called and said come pick it up so $500 later I had my new heart...









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    Re: 1968 SDV build (going to be a lot of pics)

    So out comes the old











    So dirty and gross








    time to start scraping...












  16. #15
    01devilledts's Avatar
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    Re: 1968 SDV build (going to be a lot of pics)

    Didn't want to pull the whole core support off and wanted to make it a little easier to drop the new motor in so I decided to make a small mod to the support











    now the top center section is removable for another 12" of room when dropping the new motor in.


    So after everything was cleaned up, I decided i dint want to see the wires running over the inner fenders so I extended them all and re routed them through the outer fenders. I filled the extra holes (left by the harness ties) in the fenders and painted everything



















    While I had the motor out, figured i'd redo all of the bushings/ball joints in the front end while it was there.


    New upper and lower ball joints



    New tie-rod ends and lower control arm bushings (bad picture)



    also not pictured are the front strut bushings in the front cross member and the center link/drag link ball joints.


    While all this was going on, I pulled that old timing gear out of the (new to me) motor and replaced it with an all metal cloyes one with a new chain as well. Then cleaned it all up and painted it so it was nice and ready to go in.














    I was really happy I could ditch the points style distributer. The red cap was the one on there when I bought it. It gets changed out later on.

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