1967 Cadillac EldoradoGERALD´S CADILLACS - NEWS

NEW VIDEO OF SOME OF MY CARS

I miss summer! I had some left over 4k resolution video footage from this summer which I put together for this short clip. It features my 58 Eldorado Seville, my 67 Eldorado and my 67 Deville. Enjoy the sunny and warm images from last summer!


Make sure to watch in HD or even better in 4k!

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CADILLAC BIG MEET 2018

The Cadillac BIG Meet is Europes biggest Cadillac Meeting. Its held every second year and it draws visitors from all over the world into the old Austrian city of "Kremsmünster".

I am part of the organisation team consisting of a few good friends who all got the Cadillac bug.
The theme this year was the "1967 - 1970 Eldorados" which we featured in a special exhibition at the venue. So it was clear that I would ….

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The special exhibition for 2018 was about the 1967 - 1970 Eldorados.

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THE 2018 CADILLAC BIG MEET IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER

The Cadillac BIG Meet is Europe´s biggest and best Cadillac Meeting. Its held every second year in a small town in Austria. More than 100 Cadillacs are always attending, among them some very high quality and super rare Cadillacs. ALL Cadillacs are welcome and you do not have to be in any club. If you have never heard about the meeting you can find A LOT of info, pictures and videos on the Cadillac BIG Meet website. My wife and I are part of the organisation team. We just finished the new TV-spot for this years event which you can see below. My 1967 Eldorado is playing a big role in this video ;-) as this years special exhibition features the 1967-1970 Eldorados.

The 2018 Cadillac BIG Meet spot

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My wife and my son Elliot during filming

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I SOLD THE OLD ROADMASTER

Today was a pretty sad day for me as the new owner of our old Roadmaster picked up the car. I sold the car to a fellow car aficionado in Italy where it will be appreciated and loved. My wife and I owned this car for more than 10 years and enjoyed every mile we could drive it. It was our holiday cruiser and we only drove it during the summer months. I had planned to restore the car when I "accidentally" found our new Roadmaster in the fall of 2017.

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Me and Remo, the new owner of our old Roadmaster.

I could not keep both of my Roadmasters as I already own too many cars and I do not have the necessary funds to keep it alive. I'm glad that I found a great new owner for it.
With tears in my eyes I took a last video of the car departing. I know - I'm way too much attached to my cars and I hate seeing them go…


A short video of the Roadmaster driving away.

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CLEANING THE UNDERCARRIAGE OF THE "NEW" 1996 BUICK ROADMASTER

A project that kept me busy for the last few months was to bring back our "new" Roadmaster to its former glory. The car has only 23k miles on the odometer and in many areas still looked like new. The undercarriage was not protected very well from the factory and like on all cars had developed some surface rust over the last 2 decades although the car never was stored outside nor regularly driven in the rain. It also never saw road salt or snow during its entire life. Below are some before pictures where you can see the fantastic condition the car was in before I started cleaning it up.

This is how the car looked like after dry ice cleaning.

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THE 67 ELDORADO RESTORATION IS IN ITS FINAL STAGE

I visited the restoration shop to deliver the newly rechromed rear bumper to finish the restoration of my 67 Eldorado. Unfortunately the quality of the chrome job is not good at all. The chrome shop didn't do an acceptable job. Still I will install the bumper now to get the car home and will try to find a better shop to do it once again. Most people probably would not notice the problems in the chrome, but they are just not up to my standards :-(
The restoration shop on the other side did a fantastic job so far. There are some minor details they still want to address and the car should be ready for pick up sometimes in May.

Here is a short video I took with my phone at the shop when I delivered the bumper, showing the almost finished car. Make sure to watch in HD to see all the details


The almost finished car still in Bernds Restoration Shop

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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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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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MY 5 MINUTES OF FAME - I´M ON TV

The Cadillac BIG Meet 2016 was featured on 4 different TV stations in Austria. I am in the organization team of the meeting and responsible for media and PR of the event, so I had to give some interviews.
One team even visited me and my friend Christian in our garages.
Thank you very much to all the teams who did a great job, broadcasting these great reports!

You can see the videos of the reports below!

Servus-TV


BTV - Mehr Region für Mich


Info-TV


ORF-OÖ


Enjoy watching them!
Below are two making off pictures I took while the Servus-TV team did its work.
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The Servus-TV cameraman at work in my garage.
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The Servus-TV cameraman at work in my garage.

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THE 1974 UNDERCARRIAGE RESTORATION PROJECT - I HAVE TO START ALL OVER AGAIN

For the last three months I have been working numerous hours to clean up the undercarriage of my low mileage, all original 1974 Coupe deVille. As you can see here on my website and in this image gallery.
As I had put so much effort in totally de-rusting the underbody of this low mileage car, I decided to let a professional body shop re-paint the bare metal frame, suspension parts and floor pans this time. My goal was to have the ultimate quality paint job in the factory correct colors underneath the car. I´m not very good in painting and my attempts often result in runnings, which I have to sand out and other imperfections I wanted to avoid.
So I handed the de-rusted car over to the paint shop.

BACK FROM THE PAINT SHOP
When I got the car back, everything looked o.k. as you can see on the pictures below. I was not too impressed by the work they did, as there were quite a few imperfections and some sloppy paint work visible, if you looked very closely. At this point I was already worried that they maybe did some shortcuts before painting, when they should have properly cleaned the bare metal, before they sprayed the primer.
They used some high quality epoxy primer and 2k paint for the job though.

THE MESSED UP ENGINE BAY - OVERSPRAY HELL
There was a terrible mishap at the shop, as they did not mask off the engine bay properly, so all the paint dust and overspray collected inside of the engine bay, and the entire engine bay looked like somebody emptied a spray can into the engine compartment from about 5 feet away. Everything was covered with paint overspray.
I was so shocked when I opened the hood that I almost passed out. The once perfectly clean, all original engine bay was a total mess. It looked so terrible that I could not even snap a picture. Last year I had spent weeks to clean it to my standards…
I had no idea how I could remove the overspray without damaging the original finish of the engine, rubber hoses, cables, wires, accessories and engine parts. This was a terrible situation for me.

REMOVING OVERSPRAY WITH CLAY
I then remembered that detailing clay can be used to remove overspray from paint, but I was not sure if it would work with this heavy amount of overspray. The paint shop gave me a special clay towel to clean up the engine bay, which works like detailing clay, but can be cleaned more often and is easier to use and more aggressive. This thing really works well, but I had to do so much scrubbing on some parts, that some painted areas, like the wheel wells or the air filter housing, turned a little dull after this tiring work. To get them shiny again, I had to hand polish each and every part after claying it. It took me about 25 hours to remove all the accessible overspray from inside the engine bay. I had to thoroughly scrub each and every part, wires and hoses with the clay towel and all purpose cleaner as a lubricant. The areas which I could not clean good enough by hand will be cleaned with dry ice soon. I´m 100% confident that it will look as good again as it did before this happened - I have already achieved 90%, the rest will get perfect again with some dry ice cleaning…

TIME FOR UNDERCOATING
My plan is to protect the undercarriage with a transparent undercoating, which is as good as invisible if properly applied. It will provide a perfect protective shield against road debris, stones and is rust prohibitive. This high-tech material is far superior than the original tar based undercoating which is normally used, and as an additional bonus you can always see what is going on underneath the undercoating. I decided to use a product from a german company called "Timemax USB Clear". Timemax is one of the leading specialists for rust protection, and their products have won some independent tests, done by classic car magazines.

THE PAINT DOES NOT STICK!
Before spraying on the undercoating, I had to mask off the areas like the frame, drive shaft, axle, suspension parts, fuel tank, brake lines, hoses and brakes. After a day of masking off all the areas, I discovered a small paint chip on the frame. When I inspected it with my fingernail, a bigger chunk of paint flaked off the frame. I then used a scraper to scrape the paint, to see if it was just a small area where the paint would not stick properly. The area where the paint came off got bigger and bigger, and soon it became clear that the paint does not stick properly anywhere…
Of course this was another big shock for me, as this meant that 3 months of work were completely destroyed… When I inspected the areas underneath the removed paint, it quickly became clear that the paint shop did not treat and clean the bare metal before painting, as they should have done. They just did a quick wipe with silicone remover.
Of course the bare metal underneath a 41 year old car is full of oil and grease and needs a lot of cleaning with strong chemicals before paint will adhere to it. Unfortunately they skipped this most important step. Although I brushed away all the rust and everything looked shiny, the oil and grease is in all the pores of the metal.

I HAVE TO START ALL OVER AGAIN - REMOVING THE FRESH PAINT AGAIN
This now means that ALL the paint they sprayed on has to come off once again. Also the brown paint on the floor pans has to be stripped again as well.
I asked a dry ice cleaner to try if it can be removed with his method, and it soon became clear that it is possible, but will take at least one full working day, and this will cost a small fortune.
There will probably be some areas left which I will have to rework by hand.
As you can imagine, this is a huge step back for me. I worked so hard and so many hours, often till late into the night, to finish this project for nothing …
The paint shop knows that they did a lousy job and is very supportive to resolve this issue.


This video shows how badly the paint sticks to some of the frame parts. It can be blown off with the pressurized air on some areas…

WHAT´S NEXT?
Before dry ice blasting the undercarriage once again, we will try to get the paint off with a powerful high pressure washer. Once the paint is gone again, we will clean the bare metal multiple times with acetone, marine clean, a special metal cleaner and metal prep. We will also sand everything with some coarse sandpaper to get a little rougher surface to make sure that the paint adheres much better next time.
I also want to go for a black with less gloss, as it was too glossy and did not look correct.

I hope that the weather will be good enough in January 2016, so that I can start all over again. At the moment I do not have the motivation to do anything on the car, and I do not even want to look at it, as it hurts too much. I still have to recover from the things that have happened. This is so frustrating. I hope that it will look like it should after the second attempt.


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The 3 stages of the project so far.
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Everything looked o.k. after painting, but the paint does not stick to the metal due to poor cleaning by the paint shop.
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This is the transparent undercoating I wanted to apply when I found out that the entire paint on the undercarriage does not stick…
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Unfortunately the paint does not stick to the bare metal… I could scrape it of with a simple scraper. You can see all the flaking paint on the floor…
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The paint is peeling off in big chunks…
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So ALL the new paint has to come off again. Here the dry ice blaster is trying if it can be removed with dry ice cleaning.

BE CAREFUL WITH ZINC PLATED PARTS AND RUST REMOVAL SOLUTIONS
Due to all the problems I had, I completely forgot about some fasteners from the rubber splash guards, which I had soaked in the rust remover solution for more than a week. This long time in the liquid removed all the surface rust, but the acid also ate away the zinc plating. So whenever you try to remove the rust from anodized fasteners and screws, make sure not to soak them for too long.
As I can´t get the fasteners and screws very easily here in Austria, I had to brush away the remnants of the zinc coating with a wire brush, and then painted everything with Eastwoods Silver Cad paint. This does not look 100% correct of course, but will have to do until I find some original replacement hardware. Besides a few washers, these fasteners won´t be visible anyway.


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I forgot some of the fasteners for the rubber splash guards in the rust dissolver solution. It ate away the zinc plating. So I had to remove the remains of the zinc plating with a wire brush.
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The cleaned fasteners. I spray painted them afterwards with Eastwood zinc paint.

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DRY ICE BLASTING THE UNDERCARRIAGE OF THE 1974 CADILLAC

I´m restoring the undercarriage of my 1974 Cadillac Coupe DeVille. See below.
As I want to do it as perfectly as possible, I wanted to remove all the undercoating which was applied when the car was new.
I do not like rubberized undercoating, as you cannot see whats going on underneath. It can trap moisture and once it flakes off due to corrosion, there is already some major damage in the metal underneath.

There are different methods for removing the undercoating and most of the methods are a pain in the a**.
This stuff can be removed with a scraper and chemicals, or with heat and a scraper. Both methods will damage the metal underneath and scratch the paint on the underbody, and it takes forever…

As I did not want to use any of the methods mentioned above, I decided that I wanted to try dry ice blasting.

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.

I found a company through the website of a classic car club, which is only a little over an hour away. I wanted to have it done before the first snow and as soon as possible, so that I could continue working on my car during the winter. The owner of the company did a great job. He is a very friendly and competent gentleman and it was a pleasure working with him.
Here is a short video how it was done: (make sure to watch in HD for proper image quality)

You can find all the pictures I took today in my restoration album.

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The car was lifted with a forklift and then covered in plastic.

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One of the rear wheel-housings before blasting - you can see the undercoating everywhere. edge
The same wheel housing after blasting - all the original paint was still very well preserved under the undercoating. As you can see originally the wheel housing was brown. During painting a lot of overspray from the body landed in the wheel housing. Then Cadillac added rubberized undercoating to protect the metal from stone chips and to keep the car more quiet. Luckily there is no rust to be found anywhere.
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During blasting.
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The original brown paint showed up underneath the undercoating. The paint is still in perfect condition.

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The original paint showed up underneath the undercoating in the wheel housings as well.
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After cleaning - it came out really nice! I will touch up some areas and conserve the others with a special transparent coating.
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I´m very happy with the result of the cleaning and will now have to protect everything and paint some areas.

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REPAIRING THE AIRCONDITION OF THE 1966 COUPE DEVILLE

When the 1966 Coupe deVille arrived at my garage the AC was completely inoperable. Nothing worked - the blower would not come on at all.
So I started to search for the cause of the problem.
Everything seemed to be fine on the vacuum side. When the lever on the control panel was moved all the vacuum actuated doors operated and the master vacuum switch also seemed to work.
After some searching I found out that no current was flowing through the master vacuum switch on the firewall.
So the switch was taken apart.
If you do this you have to be very careful not to damage the membrane.
The contacts inside the switch were oxidized and so no more current could flow through.
The contacts were also adjusted so that the switch could engage properly when vacuum was applied.
When everything was put back together the whole system once again worked as it should.
It works absolutely perfect now.
Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the switch rebuild but here is a video on youtube where a gentleman explains how this switch works…

A video that explains how this switch works

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The original AC system of the 1966 Coupe deVille is now working perfectly again.
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Thats the master vacuum switch which was defective.
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The rebuilt master vacuum switch.

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A Hotrod photo shooting in my new Cadillac garage

My wife and I just recently had a photo shooting in my Cadillac garage with the newest Hot Rod creation from the "Haus of HotRod" for a Hot Rod magazine. This is a short look behind the scenes of the shooting. This Hot Rod named "The Patmobil" is equipped with a rotary 9 cylinder airplane engine! My wife Afra is a professional photographer and did this shooting for free for our friend Sepp.

Here is a short
making of video of the shooting. The pictures from the shooting can be found in this gallery.





Make sure to watch the video in HD!

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One of the pictures resulting from the shooting

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The 1967 Cadillac Automatic Climate Control system - more issues - and a final fix. Restoring the power servo valve!

When I took my 1967 Eldorado and my Deville out of winter storage and tried everything, I ran into some problems with the Automatic Climate Control once again. (see this post with vacuum diagrams and also this posting about my blower issue and this post)
The 67 Eldorado lost its complete charge of refrigerant over the winter - so it will have to go back to the shop to see where it is leaking. All components were replaced with new ones last year and so I have no idea where it could have leaked out. A tracer was put in before the last recharge so we should be able to find the leak. I guess that it will be one of the original hoses are a bad fitting.

Another thing that bothered me was that the system basically worked most of the time, but sometimes I had to wait for a long time before the system came on, or I had to switch to “FOG“ or “ICE“ position before the blower would come on in the “Auto“ position. Then sometimes the blower would cut out again if the temperature dial was moved to a colder temperature. Sometimes the temperature would move to full heat regardless off the selected temperature in the 67 Eldorado.
I had the very same problems on my 67 Deville as well - but there also the “Vent“ and “Low“ position did not work at all...

So I started trying to find the issues and finally wanted to fix them. Sounded easy - but it took me 4 full days with long nights in the garage to fix it...
BTW - Cadillactim has an excellent trouble shooting guide for the ACC on his website - its for sale for $ 45.- and I can highly recommend it if you are troubleshooting your 1967 or 1968 Air Condition System.
The best troubleshooting guide for 1967 and 1968 Cadillac´s Automatic Climate Control Systems I got from Gary Sisk - owner of a 1968 Cadillac.
This is a very easy to follow explanation which will save you a lot of time and you do not even need any special tools.
It was written by Lynn Nicholls and can be found on Stampies Cadillac page - here is the direct link to it. I used some excerpts from his document in the explanation below:

I first suspected a vacuum leak to be responsible for most of the erratic behavior of the system. A clear indication was that the system would initially have to be switched to the “ICE“ position to make the blower come on.

Lynn Nicholls writes:

“Sometimes the dash control can be switched to the fog or ice positions to bring the blower motor on and then when it is switched back to auto the blower may stay on and the system seems to work fine until the car is shut off. If the vacuum leak is only moderate there may be enough vacuum to hold the master switch closed once it gets , but not enough to pull it closed in the first place. When the dash control is switched to fog or ice, it assumes the air temperature is cold and that the engine is not yet warmed up, but that the blower is needed immediately for defrosting the windshield. So it supplies vacuum to the master switch through another circuit, bypassing the temperature controlled vacuum switch on the heater core shutoff valve on the right fender well. This source of vacuum is enough to close the master switch.When the dash control is switched back to auto this vacuum source is shut off, but there may be just enough vacuum left from other circuits to hold the switch closed. This routine will work for a while but as the leak gets worse, there won’t be enough vacuum left to hold the master switch closed anymore and the blower will shut off again as soon as the system is switched back to auto.With these symptoms and behavior the problem is most likely the power servo. This is half the brains of the system; the other half is the control panel in the dash. The power servo is controlled by a varying vacuum signal from the transducer. This vacuum supply is a completely separate circuit from that which supplies vacuum to the master switch. High vacuum moves the servo to the maximum heater position, and with low vacuum, a return spring moves it to the maximum AC position. In between these two extremes, it regulates the air temperature door to blend warm air and cool air, and simultaneously regulates the blower speed. It also spins an internal rotary vacuum valve back and forth that makes various connections between the several small vacuum lines on the top. This rotary valve controls the various vacuum motors of the system that operate the AC, heater, and defrost functions. It is this rotary valve that goes bad. l have seen these things visibly warped, and very badly so. It must be caused by engine heat, because there is also one inside the car on the control panel that is moved back and forth by the dash control lever, but that one seldom seems to cause any trouble. A warped rotary valve leaks all kinds of vacuum and the first part of the system to be affected by low vacuum is the master switch; there’s not enough vacuum there to close it and turn on the blower. To verify this is the problem, take some spare vacuum line, some scraps of 1/8 inch pressure line (like for air shocks), and a vacuum T and manually make the connections that the rotary valve should make in the maximum AC position. The connections that the rotary valve makes in various positions are shown in the factory shop manual. Disconnect the black connector with the striped vacuum lines from the power servo. Connect the yellow, red, and purple lines together with a T; also connect the tan and blue lines together and connect the orange and green lines together. If this rotary valve is the one and only culprit the AC will now work beautifully and the blower motor will come on every time, like magic. With the dash control on high the system should be recirculating air and there will be a lot of air noise coming from under the right side of the dash; when the dash control is moved to auto the air door should move to provide fresh air and the system will become much quieter. Of course with these manual connections the system is not fully automatic and the heater won’t work right at all, however this is enough to diagnose the problem.“


I did this test (see picture below) - and with the power servo bypassed everything worked as it should. This way I knew that the power servo was to blame for some of my problems.


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So this rotary valve needed to be repaired...
I removed it from the power servo and disassembled everything.

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The removed power servo

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after opening the cover, you can see the rotary valve in the lower center.

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remove one screw and a clip and the rotary valve comes out.


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The rotary valve consists of two halves which make the connections - as you can see it was very dirty and rough - and slightly warped.

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I started to wet sand both halves with 800 grit sandpaper.

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When everything was flat and shiny again I used some 2000 grit sandpaper for a perfect finish.

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Looks shiny and flat again

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Make sure that none of the ports are clogged - I used compressed air to clean everything.

When you put the two halves together lubricate with WD40 to make sure that when you put them back into the power servo that they are properly held together with the underlying spring.
After I reinstalled them into my cars - almost everything worked as it should. In the 67 Eldorado I still had the problem that in the “AUTO“ position the fan would always be slow - so I knew that the control head in the dash had a problem with the “LOW - AUTO“ switch as well.
In the 67 DeVille the “VENT“ and “LOW“ position still did not work at all...
So I switched the control panels between the two cars and suddenly everything in the 67 Eldorado worked perfectly. I never had such a perfectly working system before. Its like it just left the factory!
In the DeVille I still had no “VENT“ and “LOW“ settings working... So out came the control panels again... (its a pain in the a*** to remove and install them...)
As it turned out the “LOW-AUTO“ switch on one panel was stuck in the “LOW“ position. You can easily remove it and readjust it to work again - sorry I forgot to take pictures. Make sure that all switches on the control head are adjusted properly or they wont work as they should!
So I knew that both control heads were working correctly by installing it back to the 67 Eldorado and the other panel back to the 67 DeVille.

While the 67 Eldorado was perfectly fixed now with everything working as it should - the 67 DeVille was still giving me the problem with a non working “VENT“ position...
I studied the shop manual for hours and could not find what the problem could be. I knew that the power servo was working perfectly now and I knew that the control head was in perfectly working order as well. I verified this once again by switching these parts between the cars once again and everything worked as it should in the Eldorado but not in the DeVille.. I´m really good in switching these parts between my cars now ;-)

I started to look for electric connection problems and finally found out that no electricity was coming out of one of the three power servo connectors, but I did not know why...
After I removed the power servo once again to re-check it again it struck me - one of the pins was slightly bent and the wire connector did not make proper contact. This problem was not visible with the power servo installed in the car. It took me 2 long nights to find this little flaw... I just bent it straight and everything works as it should on both of my 67 Cadillacs. Now I have to recharge the systems and I should have perfectly working AC again... I will also install new dryers and a re-calibrated R134 POA valve before the recharge.
One the one hand the 1967 ACC is very complicated but once you know how it works its pretty easy to fix. The rotary valve in the power servo is pretty easy to refurbish, the dash servo valve is riveted together unfortunately, so its not such an easy fix, but NOS valves are still available at “Classic Auto Air“



Here is a video about the Master Switch that a gentleman posted on youtube

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The 67 Eldorado in front of the garage after the AC system was fixed.

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The 1967 Eldorado headlight door repairs - first spring outing

As we had an unusual warm day today with the snow melting in front of the garage, and having a couple of hours of spare time at hand, I decided to drive the Eldorados out of the garage. They both started right up as soon as the fuel pump delivered fuel to the fuel bowl. Both cars idled beautifully and it was a pleasure to see them in the bright daylight again for the first time since last October when I had put them into storage.

While I had the 67 Eldorado out I also turned on the headlights and was once again annoyed by the fact that the right one opened simultaneously, but closed slightly slower than the left one when I turned the lights off. There was a difference of around 1 second in movement between the two headlight doors.
Being a perfectionist I could not stand this, so I began searching for the problem. I already had spent some time in the past trying to fix this, but I did not succeed. The system is driven by vacuum only, so I started to look through the vacuum hoses once again. I had already exchanged a couple of them last year. I found another two brittle ones going through the firewall to the headlight switch from where a slight hissing sound was coming when the lights were on. When I touched them the hissing would become even more noticeable. I then tried to press them onto the connector of the switch and the first hose began to crumble into pieces. So I replaced all the hoses on the switch and rerouted them through firewall through the rubber insulation. There are three hoses . One is the vacuum feed (the one in the middle - I think it was yellow), one is for opening the doors (green) and one for closing (red). I also replaced the red hose behind the firewall going to a T-connector from where the vacuum is fed to the headlight door actuators. I had already replaced the two hoses after the T-connector in the past. With all new hoses in place the doors now perform almost simultaneously and quite fast. So when you run into troubles with your headlight doors, check and replace all the according vacuum hoses first. Its amazing how brittle the hoses going to the headlight switch inside the car can become over the years. It looks like they used a quite different material for these three hoses, as all other vacuum hoses are in much better shape and do not show any sign of deterioration at all.
You can see a video of the headlight doors in action below. On this video they are slightly out of sync. As it looks like they are slightly different every day, depending on temperature and engine idle...



watch on youtube or below


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the vacuum diagram for the headlight doors

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The vacuum diagram for the headlight doors


While the Eldorados were outside the garage my wife used the opportunity to shoot a couple of pictures she had in her mind, which she is planning to hang into the kids room. Cant wait until the medium format film is back from the photo lab. Below you can see only some digital snap shots I took.
Despite the last two unusual warm and beautiful days unfortunately winter is not over yet here in Austria, as some more snow is predicted for next week and the cars are back in the garage desperately waiting for April to come...

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The Eldorado is enjoying some sun rays for the first time this year
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Although she is 7 months pregnant, my wife Afra is still climbing ladders to get the best angle for her shots...
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The two Eldorados in front of the garage where the snow has just melted away.

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Cadillac BIG Meet 2009 - The Video

Today I finished a short video clip of the Cadillac BIG Meet 2009. This is Europes largest and best Cadillac Meeting held every year at the last weekend of August. The next one will be held on August 29th 2010. More info about the meeting can be found here.
I did some filming at the 2009 event and posted the video in the video section of the Cadillac BIG Meet. Enjoy this nice short clip with some fantastic cars.


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Music video with our Roadmaster in the background

While my wife and I were on holidays in Vorarlberg, we shot this music video for the local band “MAGUAMS” where my wifes cousin played bass.
We shot this “no budget“-production on a rainy sunday morning in a storage facility - the cars in the background were the perfect backdrop for the band. The musicians are a great bunch of guys and we had lots of fun during the shoot. Our Buick Roadmaster also served as a background props for the shooting - thats why I´m posting this video on my website.


the shooting location with our Roadmaster in the background


click on the image to watch the video

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US-CAR-SHOW Dornbirn 2009 - Film online

The US-CAR-SHOW in Dornbirn is held every second year and is Austrias finest car show.
I always exhibited one of my Cadillacs at the indoor show in the past years, but this year I decided to take the Roadmaster for the trip and just take part as a regular visitor.
The show itself is a class of its own. You can find hundreds of Hotrods, Classics and Muscle Cars there which you do not see at any other shows in Austria. We really had a great time there and are looking forward to the next edition of the show in 2011.

I shot 2 hours of footage at the 2 days of the show, which my wife Afra and I edited down to a 11 minute film, which is now available.
It features some great Cadillacs like a 53 Eldorado, 57 Biarritz or a 1959 Biarritz and many other great cars.





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Cruising 2008 - The Video

Last year I shot some video footage with my friends while we were cruising with our American cars. I also had the camera with me while we spent some time in the garage repairing our cars. I just finished editing and the result can be seen on my website now. The new video “Cruising 2008”. Enjoy!


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Mostkost Kustom Video online

The new video of the last „Mostkost Kustom Meet“ which was held 2 weeks ago - is now online. You can watch the high quality Quicktime movie by clicking on the image below. I´ve also added some new images to the photo gallery.



mostkostfilm

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New Video online - Season Opening 2008

I did some filming when my buddy Tayfun was on visit on the first weekend of April 2008.
I edited it into this short clip which is now online. You can see some repairs going on, and Tayfuns first cruise 2008.
Quicktime 7 is required to watch the high quality file which you can find here.

You can also watch it as a flash movie by clicking on the image below!

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Cruising 2007 Video online

I´ve just finished a new video and uploaded it to the video section of this website.

Although I did not film very much during the last 2 years, from the little material I have, I edited a short video. I also used some footage that was shot on real old fashioned Super-8 film.
It features both of my Cadillacs and the cars of my friends like Alex´s new 1963 Buick Riviera, Tayfuns 1981 Pimperado, Richards 1965 Impala and some local cars from Gmunden like Shorty´s Cougar, a great Torino, 2 Camaros and more. There is also some restoration work featured that was done in Richards´s private workshop. You can also watch some burnout action going on on a park deck of a shopping center...
The video is 15 minutes long and 100mb large - so a broadband connection is recommended. Quicktime 7 required to watch it.

Click on any screenshot below to go to the video.



Super-8 Material

1981 Pimperado cruising

Burnout action - Shorty´s Cougar!

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Dornbirn 2007 Video online

The US-CAR-MEETING in Dornbirn/Vorarlberg/Austria is probably the best show held in Austria. Its taking place every second year in may and hundreds of cars are attending.
This is the "homevideo" our friends and we shot there. It also shows the preparation of our cars as we almost could not finish them for the show.
My buddy Tayfun had serious electronic problems with his 81 Pimperado and my 58 Eldo developed a driveshaft vibration only 3 days before we wanted to leave for the show.
Everything was finished at the very last second and we finally had a safe trip to the show.





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The video is also available on my video page.

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Cadillac BIG Meet 2007 - a TV report by TS1

TS1 - a local TV station filmed a report about the cruising tour of the Cadillac BIG Meet which lead us to the shores of the "Traunsee" a scenic lake in Upper Austria. As I am part of the organization team I had to do a short interview for this report.
The report was done by Lorenz Zwicklhuber and Konrad Forstinger who did a great job. The video is now online in the video section of my website. You can click on the image below to go there.

© Courtesy of www.ts1.at 2007.



You can watch the report here through the youtube link.


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Or watch it on my website.

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New video of my 1958 Eldorado Seville online

I´ve updated my website with a brand-new video of my 1958 Eldorado Seville today.
My wife Afra (a professional cinematographer) shot it as she had to test a new camera for work. As it turned out we wont buy the camera - but she edited the test shots into a nice short 2 minutes clip.
Enjoy!



1958 Cadillac Eldorado Seville Video
This video can also be found on the video page of my website.


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"Mostkost Kustom Meet" Video online

The "Mostkost Kustom Meet" is a small meeting of US-Car enthusiast in Atzbach in Austria. It was held for the first time in July 2007. I shot it for the local TV station "BTV" as a cameraman and this is what they made out of my material. Editor: Hubert Huemer. Camera. Gerald Loidl. All rights reserved ©www.btv.cc 2007
I´ve also updated my video pages. Click here for the video:




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58 gets a new fuel pump - Video shoot

Today the 58 got a brand new fuel pump. It was a really quick and easy exchange and it now works flawlessly. It was the first time I had to do a repair like this. Luckily the pump is very easy accessible on the 58.
Later we also did some more repairs on my friend Tayfuns 81 Eldorado. After that we had a nice cruising evening with some friends where we did some professional filming for our next video.

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This is where the new fuel pump goes
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filming

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