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1969 Cadillac Deville
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've neglected my Cadillac far to long and I really want to get her up and running BUT I'm outside my comfort zone. I'm trying to get over the intimidation factor I've had all this time of fixing this, and that would require filling in a small knowledge gap which I hope i can get here.

Background
2 years back I made the mistake of trying to change the headers myself. Long story short 5 bolts were already broken, had to take the engine head off, and send it to a shop to remove the studs. Forward 2 years, persion who was suppose to help me hasn't and I want to put it back together.

Current Status
Engine
Engine closeup
Head 1
Head 2
Head 3

So what should I do to clean up the engine and heads as well as the process of putting the heads back on. Easier said than done, right? Thanks in advance.
 

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84 Coupe w/500
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5,665 Posts
Not really that hard. The only thing I'd be worried about is the rust in the cylinders, not sure how you'd clean them out. The heads dont seem like they need any work, probably just bolt them back on. You're really not that far from being done. Bolt the heads on, bolt the intake on and it will look like a normal motor. Once it looks like a normal motor, you'll get over the intimidation factor. Just got to figure out how to clean the rust out of the cylinders or if you're gonna just run it like that. Any questions about whats next or what torque specs are, just let us know. We can easily help you get it back up and running if you ask detailed questions. Now that I'm thinking about it, I dont think you can do much about the rust in the cylinders, just hope it doesnt eat those piston rings.

Looking again, might want to get new lifters. How does the cam look? The motor sat just like that for two years with nothing covering the intake?
 

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2014 ELR
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9,725 Posts
For rusty cylinders (surface rust) you use a Lisle honing tool, lube with WD 40
Make sure you use the right torque and sequence on the heads.
 

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84 Coupe w/500
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5,665 Posts
So, Jay, he should just drop the pistons down to BDC and hone them out? Seems like everything would fall into the cylinders.
 

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2014 ELR
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crap, no, he should hone without the pistons in. Not sure if you should hone with them in there. Maybe wash them out with WD after, wipe, then brake cleaner, then oil? I don't know... it would be a guessing game which would be worst for the rings, rust or crud. I'd say rust, but that's a WAG. The surface of the block needs to be cleaned up before the head gasket goes on, for sure, so you may as well hone the cylinders, and then clean everything out as best as you can. Start it up, then change the oil and filter right after.
 

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84 Coupe w/500
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5,665 Posts
69Deville, is pulling the motor for a rebuild an option? Jay, I was thinking hone with compressed air blowing everything out. Yahoo search for WAG bring up wifes and girlfriends...you kids and you're lingo now a days.
 

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1980 Eldorado, 1974 Talisman, 2004 Volvo C70, 1975 Fleetwood 'd Elegance
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Wild A__ Guess!

Here is another one. How about WD40 and 0000 synthetic steel wool? I am sure a lot of old cars were started after long storage and had some ​rust inside.
 

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1969 Cadillac Deville
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Wild A__ Guess!
thanks for definition. Between the rust, google search, and erection I was a bit confused.

69Deville, is pulling the motor for a rebuild an option? Jay, I was thinking hone with compressed air blowing everything out. Yahoo search for WAG bring up wifes and girlfriends...you kids and you're lingo now a days.
Well from what I'm gathering here it seems like the right way to do this now is to take the engine out, otherwise it could be a gamble. Oddly enough I feel a lot more comfortable doing this than tackling the original problem. The block right now is sitting on an open engine mount. Won't be to hard unhooking the transmission and lift it to a stand.

It seems I have two options:
  1. super simple: I think I could get away with just changing the piston rings? Correct?
  2. budget upgrade: Rings, slightly agressive cam (MTS #10), lifters, rods, and rockers.
Is there anything else?
 

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1991 Cadillac Brougham D'Elegance 5.7 Litre, 1994 DeVille
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6,796 Posts
You've pretty much left it in the worst way you could have with the heads and the intake off like that. Before going into rebuilding it tho I would use some steel wool or something else not too abrasive to clean the cylinders see what it looks like and then carefully go thru the intake valley and make sure there's no crap fallen in there. Worst case you get it back together and it might have problems shortly after but then you'd be into a rebuild anyway and there's also a good chance of it running alright and avoiding that.
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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3,963 Posts
I'm going to buck the trend here and say just slap it together. Do your best to get the rust off the cylinder walls with some steel wool and/or a green ScotchBrite pad, rinse it well with WD40 and blow them out with air. Looking at the close-ups, it appears to be a very thin coat of oxidation that the rings would clean up pretty quickly. Before you get too much further, turn the engine by the balancer bolt to make sure its not seized (if it is seized, report back here for further instructions :). Get the block/head mating surfaces as clean as possible using a green ScotchBrite pad, too.
 

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2014 ELR
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I think the steel wool would be the worst choice. It will leave particles that will do damage. The hone or the Scotchbrite would be a better choice, either lubed by WD40. Yes, the best choice would be to pull the block and do it properly. You've done the hard work already, may as well drop the block off at the machine shop, and call MTS for some goodies... it's only money... ;)
 

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2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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Scotchbrite?!?!

NEVER, EVER, EVER use Scotchbrite on an engine!!! Scotchbrite is full of aluminum oxide particles, a very aggressive abrasive. It'll get everywhere, it's nearly impossible to completely remove, and it would love to destroy your bearing surfaces.
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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Scotchbrite?!?!

NEVER, EVER, EVER use Scotchbrite on an engine!!! Scotchbrite is full of aluminum oxide particles, a very aggressive abrasive. It'll get everywhere, it's nearly impossible to completely remove, and it would love to destroy your bearing surfaces.
I use it on everything. Dishes too. Never had a problem. Though the GN engine kept grenading main bearings, but I think it was the 30 PSI of boost.
 

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1975 Coupe DeVille
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17 Posts
Hmmm. From what I'm seeing in the pictures, it looks as though the broken studs were removed from the heads but in the process the threads were also removed. The threads will need to be there for the header bolts to screw into. Maybe I'm seeing it wrong. Perhaps a machine shop can replace the threads

As for the rusty cylinders, they would be in much better shape had they been coated with oil or light grease before storage. Anyway, some 180 grit Emery Cloth (auto part store) and oil will likely clean the rust on the cylinder walls. The oil on the emery cloth not only helps the cutting action, it will help contain the debris. Clean up thoroughly after sanding with clean rags. On cylinders with the piston further down in the bore you might put an oil dampened rag down on top of the piston before you start sanding to help contain debris.

Good luck.

caj
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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No matter what you use for an abrasive - steel wool, emery or scotchbrite - you're going to have to wash the cylinders down and drain (preferably remove) the oil pan. The abrasives and materials removed with said abrasives need completely flushed away. As someone else mentioned, you're this far along so if budget permits yank it out and bring it somewhere to be properly machined and reassembled. Otherwise, I stand by my slap it together and see what happens advice. My dad's '33 Buick seized from decades of sitting in a damp basement/garage. After months of spraying WD40 and Marvel Mystery Oil into the cylinders, it freed up one day. I don't know what the cylinders looked like inside, but it couldn't have been pretty. The car still runs to this day, though we admittedly haven't put any substantial mileage on it.
 

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1969 Cadillac Deville
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
So there it is. I'll take the engine out and hone the cylinders. I'll keep you guys posted! Any reason why I should say away from hot tanking it after?
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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So there it is. I'll take the engine out and hone the cylinders. I'll keep you guys posted! Any reason why I should say away from hot tanking it after?
If you're going through that trouble, just take it to your local rebuilder and have them dip it, deck it and clean up the cylinder walls. Maybe bring them the heads, too...
 

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1969 Cadillac Deville
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Discussion Starter #20
If you're going through that trouble, just take it to your local rebuilder and have them dip it, deck it and clean up the cylinder walls. Maybe bring them the heads, too...
Sounds like a plan! Thanks, guys! I'll post pics of the progress.
 
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