GERALD´S CADILLACS


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CLASSIC CADILLAC CLUB OF GERMANY - ANNUAL MEETING - 2017 - HUGE IMAGE GALLERY.

The German Cadillac Club (CCCD = Classic Cadillac Club Deutschland) held its annual Club Meeting in Bavaria / Germany at the "Starnberger See" in 2017. It was a perfectly organized meeting with about 60 cars of all ages attending. As I am no member of any club, I was allowed to participate as a guest with my 1974 Coupe deVille which performed perfectly. I joined my Cadillac friends from Austria in a convoy to Germany, and we had great fun there. There were two driving tours on Friday and Saturday through the scenic landscape of Bavaria. Thanks to Christian Doerk for organizing this fantastic event! The whole trip was 503 miles for me which I enjoyed thoroughly.
You can find all the pictures of this event in my gallery here or by clicking on one of the images below.
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R.I.P. MOM

Hildegard Loidl
*August 28th 1929 - † May 15th 2017


My mom unexpectedly, peacefully passed away yesterday evening. I found her this morning. We had a great day with her yesterday when she celebrated my boys 7th birthday with us. Nobody expected that this would be her last day. At age 87 she still drove her car, regularly rode her bicycle and went shopping on her own, although her heart was a little weak.

She did not have an easy life. She lost both of her husbands in work related accidents. I was only 4 years old when my father passed away. She was a fighter and rose me and my sister on her own.

She fully supported my Cadillac passion and liked my cars, and had a good time when I took her for a spin in one of them. She was always interested what was going on in my garage.

One Cadillac related story with her was especially funny:
In 2015 - after her 85th birthday - there was a big helicopter event in our town. Mom decided that she wanted to go for a helicopter round trip and I reserved a flight for her. She wanted to go there in style, so we took the 78 Eldorado and I drove her through the huge crowd of people directly up to the helicopter landing area. She had great fun that all the people were gazing at us. She then got out of the car and directly boarded the helicopter for her flight. 10 minutes later she returned from her flight and got back into the Cadillac. People could not stop staring at her ;-)
We had a good laugh - everybody must have thought we were millionaires ;-)
Thats the kind of fun she liked :-)

I miss her very much! Love you mom!

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Mom in my 58 Eldoradoedge
Mom in my 74. She liked this car very much!

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FINISHED THE 1974 CADILLAC ENGINE BAY RESTORATION PROJECT

In September 2016 I started to repair the AIR pump which had a broken pulley bolt. The repair of this little bolt resulted in a partial engine bay restoration, which was never planned. But as I had to take out quite a lot of parts to access the pump I noticed all the flacking paint and surface rust any 43 year old original car develops. I did not want to put all these not so good looking parts back into the car, so I decided to clean everything up and detail everything. It included taking out the radiator, condenser, all brackets, AIR pump, generator, all pulleys, power steering pump, AC compressor, removing all the rust from the parts and repaint them, repaint the engine, have some parts powder coated like the fan, dry ice cleaning, rebuilding the AC compressor, straightening the condenser fins and MUCH more.
Everything that came out was cleaned up, and wherever I found some surface rust or flacking paint it was completely removed and the according part was repainted. I had to do all of this on a very tight budget, but luckily the total cost of this project was extremely low, as all I needed were 3 cans of paint, some wire brushes and some cleaning chemicals .

I took a break from Nov. 2016 to April 2017 where I did not do any car related work at all. During the last 2 weeks I finished everything, and the car is now ready and only needs a good cleaning prior to the upcoming season. When everything was back together the car started up immediately (see video below) but I could not let it run for a longer time yet as the engine enamel (I used Bill Hirsch engine enamel) needs at least 2 weeks to fully cure.

I did not restore parts which still had their original decals, because some are irreplaceable, as there are no correct reproduction decals for the 1974 Cadillac out there. Many decals for sale for the 1974 Cadillac are totally incorrect - beware! For example there is no correct "Caution Fan" decal or AC compressor decal available anywhere. So there is still some patina left on some areas, and at first glance the engine bay does not look restored at all, but more like an extremely well kept car with very low mileage. I did not want to go for this over restored look.

But let the pictures speak for themselves - here are 3 Before/After pictures (Click on them for a larger view) and the rest of the restoration pictures can be found here.

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The radiator support frame before, after removing the rust and after painting
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The radiator support frame before, after removing the rust and after painting
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Before and after rust removal

Here is short video of the first start up after the restoration.

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The finished engine bay looks pretty nice!

More pictures of the finished engine bay can be found here.


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A TV COMMERCIAL WAS SHOT IN MY GARAGE

My wife and I were asked to film a commercial for a local TV station. We decided to film it in my smaller Cadillac garage where I have three of my cars in winter hibernation. My wife did the camera work and I had to "act". (I know I am terrible at it ;-) )

Here is the finished spot:

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WEBSITE UPDATE

As its too cold in my garage to work on my 1974 Coupe deVille at the moment, I spent some time to update my website.
I added a couple of images to the "Best Of" image gallery on my website and put a couple more of my videos online in the video gallery.
Check them out - here are a few previews of the new pictures you can find in the "Best Of" gallery.edge

I had the pleasure to photograph my friend Lucky´s 1958 Eldorado Biarritz in August 2016.
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I shot a couple of pictures of my 58 Seville at a mountain at sunset last summer
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My wife and I crossed the Swiss Alps during a road trip with our 1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate in August 2016.
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The Cadillac BIG Meet 2016 was one of my personal highlights in 2016. We took lots of great pictures there like this 1964 Cadillac Fleetwood.

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SEASONS GREETINGS 2016

For a few years now it's a tradition to shoot a card with one of my cars for the annual season´s greetings. This year my 1978 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz made it on our card.
All the best to the visitors of my website!

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My lovely little family

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Behind the scenes ;-)

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My son Elliot - Behind the scenes ;-)

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A6 AC COMPRESSOR REPAIR - BAD BEARING ON THE 1974

When I bought my 74 the seller informed me that the AC compressor was bad and that it was disconnected due to a bad clutch or another problem. So I ordered a new rebuilt AC compressor with the car.
Due to all the other projects I never managed to get the AC back in fully working order until now.
Unfortunately the rebuilt AC compressor came with the clutch coil terminals in the wrong position. They are available with the terminals at the correct 10 o clock position or the 2 o clock position, which is correct for other years.
If the terminals are in the wrong position you cant connect the original wires to them as they are too short. With the high shipping costs it was no option to send the incorrect compressor back.

As it turned out the cars original compressor had a bad bearing and that was the reason why it was disconnected.

My friends Lucky and Steve were here to help me with the compressor project and so I took both of my compressors to Lucky´s workshop, as he has all the necessary tools and experience with these compressors from his own cars.
Originally I just wanted to turn the clutch coil on the rebuilt compressor into the correct position, but then we decided to rebuild the original compressor instead, because it still has the original decal, which is not available as a correct reproduction. All the available compressor reproduction decals are TOTALLY incorrect for the 1974 Cadillacs. The 1974 reproduction decals all show the wrong amount of refrigerant! They are also different in many other details. The closest match of reproductions for 1974 are the ones from 1972 Cadillacs…

We still disassembled the rebuilt compressor to "borrow" its pulley bearing to replace the bad one on the original compressor.
The procedure to be able to replace the bearing and to turn the clutch coil is not too difficult - but you need some special tools. Without those you cant do it. You´ll need a basic clutch puller / installer set for this job and some long nose snap ring pliers to get the retaining rings out.
First remove the shaft nut and the snap ring ( the rebuilt compressors always seem to come without this snap ring) and then pull the clutch with the special puller. Pull off the pulley and take the bearing out and replace it with a new one.
To be able to turn the clutch coil you´ll have to remove another snap ring. This snap ring was the biggest challenge for us. The shop manual lists a special tool for this which we of course did not have… It could be done with a very long nose plier as well, but we did not have these either. So it took us quite a long time to get it out with screwdrivers and self made hooks… You can then simply turn the coil into the correct position.
Putting it back together is pretty straightforward as well, but again you need a special installer tool to get the clutch back on and to adjust it properly.

I will now have to buy a new bearing so that I can put the rebuilt compressor back together and have it as a spare.
I have attached some pics from the shop manual which show how to remove the various parts of the compressor to remove the pulley and the clutch coil.

As always you can find ALL the pictures in my restoration gallery!


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You need some special tools to disassemble the A6 AC compressor.
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On the 74´s original AC compressor clutch the bearing was bad.
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The compressor clutch removed. You can see the bad bearing inside which is normally sealed. Some balls were already missing.
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The clutch with some remains of the bearings.
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The clutch and pulley removed on the original compressor.
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My friends Steve and Lucky at work. We also replaced all the O - rings.
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Removing the pulley
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Removing the pulley from the rebuilt compressor.
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There is this one snap ring we just did not have the right tool for. The shop manual lists a special plier for this. After a lot of fiddling we got it out eventually…
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The magnetic coils on the rebuilt and the original compressor
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Lucky in action
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Once the snap ring is out you can turn the coils terminals to the 11o´clock position or the 1 o clock position. On the 74 it has to be at the 10 o clock position, otherwise the connecting wires are too short.
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Getting this snap ring out was the hardest part on this job, due to not having the right tool for it.
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The terminal at the incorrect position at the rebuilt compressor.
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We turned the terminal to the correct position.
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We sandblasted the pulley while it was out of the car so that I can repaint it now. Note the original decal! All the available reproduction decals are totally incorrect for the 1974 Cadillacs. The reproduction decals all show the wrong amount of refrigerant! They are also different in many other details. The closest match of reproduction decals for 1974 are the ones from 1972 Cadillacs…

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DRY ICE CLEANING THE ENGINE AND ENGINE BAY OF MY 1974 COUPE DEVILLE. (VIDEO).

During my ongoing engine compartment clean up project, it was time to remove all the dirt, grime and oils which can be found inside an engine bay after 45 years - even in a low mileage car.
A conventional engine cleaning with a strong degreaser, steam or a pressure washer was not successful when I tried, because the main issue I had was overspray, which you cant remove with traditional cleaning methods.

During the undercarriage project last winter - the paint shop did not cover the engine bay good enough, and a lot of overspray settled down on the entire engine bay. It looked terrible!
This overspray is extremely difficult to remove, and this is why I thought of dry ice cleaning for the remains which I could not remove with clay and polishing.

I had some very good results with dry ice blasting during my undercarriage project for removing the undercoating.

Dry ice-blasting is a form of carbon dioxide cleaning, where dry ice, the solid form of carbon dioxide, is accelerated in a pressurized air stream and directed at a surface in order to clean it. An alternative media for non-abrasive blasting is water-ice, known as ice blasting.
The method is similar to other forms of abrasive blasting such as sand blasting, plastic bead blasting, or soda blasting but substitutes dry ice as the blasting medium. Dry-ice blasting leaves no chemical residue as dry ice sublimates at room temperature.
Dry-ice blasting involves propelling pellets at extremely high speeds. The actual dry-ice pellets are quite soft, and much less dense than other media used in blast-cleaning (i.e., sand or plastic pellets). Upon impact, the pellet sublimates almost immediately, transferring minimal kinetic energy to the surface on impact and producing minimal abrasion. The sublimation process absorbs a large volume of heat from the surface, producing shear stresses due to thermal shock. This is assumed to improve cleaning as the top layer of dirt or contaminant is expected to transfer more heat than the underlying substrate and flake off more easily. The efficiency and effectiveness of this process depends on the thermal conductivity of the substrate and contaminant. The rapid change in state from solid to gas also causes microscopic shock waves, which are also thought to assist in removing the contaminant.

Unlike abrasive media blasting you cannot remove rust with dry ice blasting.

With this cleaning process I could remove 99,99% of the overspray and the engine is now extremely clean. I will have to remove all of the remaining surface rust with rust remover, and then re-paint the areas which will then be bare metal. Some of the original paint had flaked off over the last 45 years, but I´m trying to keep as much in original paint as possible and only repaint where it is absolutely necessary. Areas of the block will get some fresh Bill Hirsch engine enamel and I had to repaint some brackets, pulleys and the power steering pump.

Below I have put together a short video to show how dry ice cleaning was done in my engine bay. Enjoy and make sure to watch in HD to be able to view all the details!

Here is a short video I shot during dry ice cleaning - it shows the process and explains it a little. MAKE SURE TO SET THE QUALITY TO HD TO SEE ALL THE DETAILS!edge
You need a very strong compressor for dry ice cleaning - even a very good shop compressor is not strong enough and cant supply the necessary capacity of air.edge
Christoph with his dry ice blasting machine.edge
Loose paint will come off easily
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You can also clean weatherstripping and rubber hoses very well.edge
After cleaning - the overspray is gone :-)edge
After cleaning - the overspray is gone :-) All the hoses and wires are clean again.edge
After cleaning - the overspray is gone :-) All the hoses and wires are clean again.edge
You can also clean the carburetor with dry ice.edge
This is the area underneath the radiator. The surface rust will come off pretty easily with rust removing gel. Afterwards I will re- paint it.edge
As you can see its clean, but there is some surface rust remaining which I will have to remove before applying some fresh paint.edge
As you can see its clean, but there is some surface rust remaining which I will have to remove before applying some fresh paint. I will remove the fuel pump for painting.edge
As you can see its clean, but there is some surface rust remaining which I will have to remove before applying some fresh paint.

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COLOR CODED VACUUM HOSES - BEWARE OF TERRIBLE REPRODUCTIONS!

Cadillac used color coded ribbed vacuum hoses from the 60s to the late 70s to make it easier to identify them on the vacuum schematics in the shop manual.
These vacuum hoses unfortunately get extremely hard and brittle over the decades under the harsh conditions in the engine bay. Often they literally break into pieces by just touching them.

On my 67 Eldorado I had to replace most of the vacuum lines when I got it - and it really has a lot of hoses.
When I searched for reproductions I could not find a really good source and I gave up.
At my ongoing project on my 74 another of these original lines fell apart while working in the engine bay. So I started to look for the correct hoses once again.
Soon I found a link on ebay to a well known seller, whose name I do not want to mention, offering the lines in all the colors I needed.
I ordered quite a few Ft of each color.
The seller describes them as factory correct and as a perfect part - see screenshots below.

As they do not ship to Europe, a friend of mine was so kind to forward the hoses to me.

When they arrived I was shocked - I have never ever seen a worse product.

The paint is peeling off or missing at all. As soon as you even slightly bend the hoses, the paint on the stripes just cracks and falls off. It could not be worse.
Also the hoses are too thick and the walls are to thick. The original hoses are quite a bit slimmer than these crappy reproduction hoses.

They also charged me for 15ft of red striped hoses but only sent 10ft. This was about the worst buying experience ever.
I´m trying to return the hoses at the moment - but communication with this seller is terrible.
I normally never criticize sellers here on my website and never leave any negative comments on ebay - but this is the worst I have ever experienced.

Shipping back these hoses will cost me at least $50 and I already paid $60 for having them shipped to me in Europe - with the import tax I will have lost $160.- for this BS… Money I would urgently need for some other parts… :-(

I´m now trying to find another good source for quality reproduction hoses. There is one Corvette parts dealer which looks promising as he offers some great kits for Corvettes, but they are all pre-cut… I hope he can send me some ft. of the hoses I will need - I hope that I will get a positive reply.

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Ebay seller screenshot - this is how they describe the hoses…
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As you can see the paint stripe is just cracking everywhere.edge
As you can see the paint stripe is just cracking everywhere.edge
As you can see the paint stripe is just cracking everywhere.edge
As you can see the paint stripe is just cracking everywhere.edge
As you can see the paint stripe was not even painted correctly on the green hose…

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