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Discussion Starter #1
Hi:
I have to replace the steering damper, and I am wondering if anyone has a recommendation as to get one brand new gas filled or get a "new" old one oil filled. I'm not sure if having my old one rebuilt is a good idea or not. Or if it is even possible. Does anyone have any recommendations as to best brands to go with and best places to buy? Thank you.
 

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1985 Eldorado Biarritz Convertible, Sable Black, HT4100
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Hey Dannie, I just ordered a replacement steering damper for my 85. They're not complicated parts in terms of construction or role. It's basically a shock that doesn't return to extension. I don't see why you should bother doing anything fancy like a rebuild. They're $20 at Rock Auto for a "Gabriel" brand, which I don't recognize. But as I understand it, the damper isn't a "mission critical" part. I say buy a new cheap one.

Others, please correct me.
 

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Scott:
Thank you for your reply. I appreciate it very much. I ordered a Moog from Rock Auto. Thank you for helping me make the right decision.
Annie
 

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I just saw your other thread about this in the Classic subforum. How did the Moog damper work out, Annie?
 

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Hi Scott:
Thank you for following up. As it turns out, the problem was greater than the steering damper. My car initially failed inspection, and the tech told me it was the steering damper. Replaced it, and she failed again. Evidently, it is tie rods. So my mechanic asked me to buy the whole kit, and I am having a hell of a time finding a kit (except from yahooos on eBay charging $400). I can buy separate inner and outer rods from Rock Auto and Carparts.com (my mechanic suggested this site). I'm going to have my mechanic look at it, hopefully this week.
Annie
 

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Hi Annie,
When I bought my car, it had lots of "slop." That is, you turn the wheel and nothing happens for a few inches of rotation. I had to replace all the perishable parts in the steering: Pitman arm, idler arm, and tie rod ends. There's rubber in those parts and they just wear out after a while. Those parts don't last forever.

Here's a helpful diagram of an earlier but probably similar Eldorado steering setup. Click on the image to make it bigger: https://www.caddydaddy.com/1967-1968-1969-cadillac-eldorado-steering-gear-linkage.html

I presume your car has four tie rod ends: 2 inner, 2 outer. Mine has 2 inner, 2 outer.

Appears Rock Auto has the correct outers, and they're ACDelco Professional, which is basically optimal, for $43 each. Seems like a good price. Go to www.rockauto.com and search for this part number: 45A1346

Also here: https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=3404169&jsn=3

CaddyDaddy at www.caddydaddy.com appears to have the correct inners here, $129 for the pair:

https://www.caddydaddy.com/shop-parts/1967-1968-1969-1970-1971-1972-1973-1974-1975-1976-1977-1978-cadillac-eldorado-inner-tie-rod-ends-1-pair-reproduction-free-shipping-in-the-usa.html?___SID=U

That's all I can find. No idea if Caddy Daddy's parts are good quality. Anybody know?

Note well that I really don't know what I'm talking about. Show these to your mechanic and see what he says. Hopefully that helps.

Good luck! Update on your progress.
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Annie,
When I bought my car, it had lots of "slop." That is, you turn the wheel and nothing happens for a few inches of rotation. I had to replace all the perishable parts in the steering: Pitman arm, idler arm, and tie rod ends. There's rubber in those parts and they just wear out after a while. Those parts don't last forever.

Here's a helpful diagram of an earlier but probably similar Eldorado steering setup. Click on the image to make it bigger: https://www.caddydaddy.com/1967-1968-1969-cadillac-eldorado-steering-gear-linkage.html

I presume your car has four tie rod ends: 2 inner, 2 outer. Mine has 2 inner, 2 outer.

Appears Rock Auto has the correct outers, and they're ACDelco Professional, which is basically optimal, for $43 each. Seems like a good price. Go to www.rockauto.com and search for this part number: 45A1346

Also here: https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=3404169&jsn=3

CaddyDaddy at www.caddydaddy.com appears to have the correct inners here, $129 for the pair:

https://www.caddydaddy.com/shop-parts/1967-1968-1969-1970-1971-1972-1973-1974-1975-1976-1977-1978-cadillac-eldorado-inner-tie-rod-ends-1-pair-reproduction-free-shipping-in-the-usa.html?___SID=U

That's all I can find. No idea if Caddy Daddy's parts are good quality. Anybody know?

Note well that I really don't know what I'm talking about. Show these to your mechanic and see what he says. Hopefully that helps.

Good luck! Update on your progress.
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Scott:
As it turns out, you are 100% correct again! :) My mechanic jacked it up yesterday. He said it needs an idler arm and a Pitman arm. I ended up buying the tie rods from Rock Auto anyway, before I got the diagnosis. I will keep them. They are bound to go eventually too! Thank you so much for your hard work and sending me those links. I really appreciate that so very much! I will keep you updated.
 

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1985 Eldorado Biarritz Convertible, Sable Black, HT4100
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Good luck Annie. Unfortunately it seems parts are hard to find for that era Eldorado. (For a 79-85, it's easy and cheap... lots of new old stock still in warehouses). You might need to order from a specialist parts supplier. Here's a place that says they're in NJ. Is it Chinese junk? Dunno. But maybe do some googling about "PST" "Performance Suspension Technology":

https://p-s-t.com/i-23159756-pitman-arm.html#!year=1976||make=CADILLAC||model=ELDORADO

https://p-s-t.com/i-23158482-idler-arm.html#!year=1976||make=CADILLAC||model=ELDORADO

Keep shopping because at $200, that pitman arm seems pricey. Post any candidates.

scott
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi Scott:
Thanks for all the great suggestions. I haven't had a whole lot of time to search, as I don't have any days off until mid-week. However, I did a little searching today, and I think I found both parts at a reasonable price. I will let you know how it turns out. I will come back after receiving the parts to let you know where I got them and the prices. I really appreciate all of your efforts and searching to try and help me.
Annie
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Hi Scott:

As it turns out, you are correct again. Well, I did a ton of research. First off, I called Moog and AC Delco. Both companies have discontinued making the pitman arm and idler arm. Next, I called Cadillac King. All they could tell me is that Moog doesn’t make the part anymore, and they have no further info (other than the model number). Next, I called Kanter in NJ. They told me the Pitman arm is in stock for $236, and the idler arm was on back order for 4-6 months. What??? Also, O’Reilly Auto Parts had the pitman arm from Rare Parts and not the idler arm. Too much money. Next I called PST...the parts can come from any country, and the bushings are polyurethane as opposed to OEM rubber bushings. I found a beneficial article as to the difference between polyurethane and rubber bushings. The advantage of polyurethane...will last the life of the car, most likely. The advantage of rubber bushings...they dampen road noise and vibration while driving. = quieter, smoother ride. Also, I’m trying to keep my Eldo as original as possible. I’ll stick with the rubber bushings. Lastly, I called Rare Parts. They answered the phone immediately. Unlike the other places that kept me on hold for quite some time. The customer service rep at Rare Parts was flippin’ awesome! She told me that the Pitman arm was made right there in house in their machine shop in California. The idler arm was made in Taiwan. She said when they get too backlogged with orders, they utilize trusted vendors to manufacture parts for them. She said Rare Parts is responsible for the design, manufacturing process, and QC of the parts that come from their trusted vendors. Although I would prefer American made parts, I think I have to trust in this since there are pretty much no other viable options. So I made the choice to order from Rare Parts, who also can custom manufacture any steering, suspension part I might ever need. All that is done in house in California. The parts were bloody expensive, but ordering them directly from RP is cheaper than ordering their parts from auto supply stores and specialty online vendors.

Thank you so much for your suggestions. I explored each one, and I’m certain I made the right choice. I so appreciate all your help!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
  • sorry that should have been carpartkings, not Cadillac King.
  • also the pitman arm from Rare Parts was made in Taiwan, and the idler from Rare Parts was made in their CA shop (got that backwards).
 

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Hi Scott: Quick update: I received the parts from Rare Parts today. So far, I am impressed with their customer service and their quick ship time...ordered Friday and received today (Cali to Massachusetts). I will post later in the week as to whether my mechanic is impressed with the parts. Hope you are well, and again thanks for all the great advice! It helped me so much!
:)
 

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Good work, Annie. Sounds like you have very limited options. But at least you know where to go from now on. Update us with the results and what your mechanic thinks of the parts. I think most people agree the Republic of China (Taiwan) is generally pretty good, and far far better than the People's Republic of China. Good luck!

I'm in the same boat as you, btw. Something is sloppy in my steering... some arm or end, or all of them.
 
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