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We're purchasing a condo in Florida and from the estate of the now deceased owners. When we checked their parking spots, they had two cadillacs, a 2000 Seville and a 1976 Eldorado. We're going to have them add the cars to the deal.

The '76 doesn't look like its been started in years, but only shows 20K miles on the odometer. It has a flat, has a rear window that is wedged closed with newspaper, is missing the front bumper plastic, and has a dead battery.

1st Q, how should I start the car? I was thinking of replacing the battery, removing the plugs, spraying in some oil, spray starter fluid in the carb (does this have a carb?) and seeing if I can get it going. I suspect that the gas is bad, which would need to be drained.

2nd Q, where are the best places to find parts?

3rd Q, where can I find more info on these cars?

Thanks!
 

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first off congrats! it's unfortunate the previous owners died but a 76 convertible is a lucky find. your plans sound pretty good in terms of trying to get her started again.

First I'd check the oil level.. and what condition the oil is actually in. if it smells bad you may want to change it. I'd recommend changing the oil a bunch of times within the first few thousand miles to help clean things out anyhow - oil's cheap.

I would definitely change the battery but disconnect the distributor and crank it a dozen times or so to re-lubricate the engine. The biggest problem you'll likely find with a car that's been sitting so long is that the gaskets and such have dried out and are no longer making a good seal. With any luck cranking it dry will help re-lubricate things some.

if there is still gas in the tank - if you have no idea how old the gas is, I'd drain it and discard it. old gas can turn to crap pretty badly and will seriously gum everything up.

next check the transmission fluid and see if it's still pink and there is actually some left in the pan.

the newspaper jammed in the window is intriguing.. heh. If that's how he kept it closed, I'd say you've probably got a leak problem and could have mold/rot issues in under the rugs. I just went through this problem with my 78 Barritz and it can get kind of disgusting. The rug underlayment is essentially like a huge sponge and boy it smells RANK when you take it out after a few years of standing water.

in terms of more info - there a several eldorado fan sites around the web. do a search on google. If you plan on keeping it and bringing it back to life, get the user's and shop manuals from either ebay or you can try www.helminc.com haynes manuals and chiltons manuals are good but can be too broad at times.

Soak any bolts that even look SLIGHTLY rusty with PB or WD40 or the like... otherwise you'll get real good at drilling/tapping new holes for the sheared off bolts you'll undoubtedly run into :)

as far as parts - I typically go to froogle and type in what I want.. and sort by price. This should bring out the most common and best suppliers in the search results. In my area it's been really tough finding parts from local stores for my 78 so I imagine you're going to run into the same deal with the 76. It's ok though - the internet is usually cheaper in the long run anyhow.

oh and yes - this car almost assuredly has a carb. odds are you've got the 500CC engine with a 4 bbl rochester. Change the fuel filter and tighten down the bolts holding it to the intake and give it a healthy dose of cleaner if you get it running. rebuild kits are still fairly reasonable for these monsters - however it can be a little intimidating to a first-timer. just go slow, have a nice big flat space to work on and take pictures as you go.

post a picture if you have a chance! sounds like you've got one hell of a fun project on your hands! enjoy it :)
 

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Thanks for the response. The cool thing about this car, even though it wasn't started, it sat in a secure, underground parking garage completely protected from the elements.
 

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Just a quick note, many of these Eldos had the electronic fuel injection. There will be badging on the rear deck lid (and I think on the front fenders aft of the wheel wells, too, IIRC) if the car is so equiped. Also, I think it will also say "ELECTRONIC FUEL INJECTION" in the air cleaner cover. Good luck with your new treasure!

Craig
 

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If the car is Fuel Injected I'd have it towed to the mechanic, you don't wanna mess that system up I've heard parts are scarce. If the car is White with White interior with red piping you'd likely have a Bi Centennial edition (it could happen) which increases the value by at least 20%. A base car with 20,000 miles in exceptional condition is easily a $20,000 - $25,000 car. To me Fuel injection on that car adds a ton of value since it makes a whopping 85 or so extra HP over the carb model (190hp vs. 275hp?). Should you have the Bi Cen.. with Fuel injection at 20,000 miles you've got a serious collectors item that could fetch in the high $30's maybe even break into $40's, but it would have to be DAMN NICE. If the odo has not turned over, at 20,000 miles the drivers seat will have almost no wear what so ever in that model, they don't start showing wear until 100,000 or so and then it's minimal.

Research that car before you mess with it.

Parts are at

www.cadillacville.com

The plastic parts near the bumpers are called body fillers.

Have fun!
 
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