The last time I tried to repair the clock in my 67 Cadillac DeVille I totally failed. This was in 1998…
After I got the clocks in all the other Cadillacs moving again - I could no longer stand watching the dead clocks in my 67 Eldorado and DeVille.
So I decided to try to repair them as well.
The last repair attempt at my 67 Eldorado was very disappointing.
In 1998 I took the clock out of my 67 DeVille the last time, and after my repair attempt the hands started spinning in an extremely fast pace - like a ventilator. So I had to disconnect the power to the clock at the printed circuit at the back of the instrument cluster. When I did that I forgot to disconnect the battery and when the power feed touched some metal I had a short somewhere and some smoke came out of the dash… I could not locate where the smoke was coming from - all wires looked perfect. So I just insulated the clock coil power feed and gave up on the repair and forgot about what had happened.
As I found out now - some connection of the printed circuit board got burned back then…
After the failed repair of the 67 Eldorados clock last fall, I decided to try to find a good used clock. Once again Arizona Vintage Parts - my favorite source for parts - came to the rescue. He sold me two non working Borg clocks for a really good price. Unfortunately by now he has run out of stock for them.
So I tried to repair the clocks he sent me - appearance wise they were in very good condition, and I got one back to life for a short time by just cleaning it.
So I put it back into the car and then I made a stupid mistake and ruined it completely. I wanted to tighten the mounting screws and accidentally grabbed the connector for the coil - as you have to work inside the dash without being able to see what you are doing - and so I overtightened it… This stripped the threads of the coil… I had to cut the nut off then and somehow the oscillator wheel inside the mechanism did no longer work properly and when I tried to adjust the stepper it broke off :-(
BTW - Do not use WD40 for cleaning and lubricating a clock like I did… This will ruin the clock as I found out when it was already too late… There are special clock oils available to lubricate clocks.
The other clock I got had a defective oscillator wheel and I could not repair it as well…
So I contacted Arizona Vintage Parts once again for some new clocks but he had sold all his stock on clocks to Sweden…
I had to contact all the Cadillac Parts dealers I found in Hemmings Motor News for two Borg clocks, but I was unsuccessful or they were exorbitantly expensive. Some of the well known Cadillac Parts dealers either did not have them, did not react to my inquiries or asked up to $ 385.- for a used, rebuilt clock. Others asked up to $180.- for a non working clock.
Luckily I found a company called “The Clockworks" which was highly recommended on some Cadillac and other classic car forums for their good work in repairing clocks and also converting them to a quartz movement.
Everybody seems to recommend to convert your clock to a much more reliable and cheaper quartz movement. I thought about it for a while but I decided that I wanted to go for an original movement for authenticity reasons. If you convert to quartz the "tic-toc" movement will be gone and you can tell by just looking at the clock…
I ordered two rebuilt Borg clock movements for my clocks from "The Clockworks". Their service was excellent and they were a great help. Great customer service! I would buy from them again or have my clocks rebuilt by them anytime.
After I received the movements I installed them and put everything back together. You have the keep the adjustment stem and the housing from your old clocks if you replace the movement.
When I put the clock back into the 67 DeVille it did not work though. I soon found out that no power was coming to the coil through the printed circuit board.
I then remembered about my failed repair attempt 17 years ago and the smoke that came out of the dash… Somewhere the circuit board was burned. So I connected the orange cable going into the multiple terminal connector at #7 terminal to the clock directly and it worked again.
So I installed a cable directly to the clock. This is a temporary fix until I´ll have a new circuit board. Installing a new board requires to take the dash completely apart to replace it.
A printed circuit board is available new here: https://www.opgi.com/cadillac/CE11091/
The 1967 Cadillac Westclox clock out of my 67 Eldorado. Seen from the top with the clock face removed. The clock face on the Westclox is mounted differently than on the Borg.
The 1967 Cadillac Borg clock. The housing cover in place - as you can see it looks completely different than the one on the Westclox.
The 1967 Cadillac Borg clock out of my 67 DeVille.
The Borg replacement clock I got from Arizona Vintage Parts.
The Borg replacement clock I got from Arizona Vintage Parts - this is the original movement removed from the housing.
The rebuilt Borg movement I got from "The Clockworks"
There is a difference in the second arms: On the left the one from a Borg Clock - on the right one from a Westclox. They are not interchangeable. Also the housing of the clocks is different. You cant interchange parts between these two clock types.
I repainted the setting stem in semi gloss black.
The 1967 Cadillac printed circuit. The one for the Eldorado is slightly different though.
After many years they tend to fail for many owners of the 1967 and 1968 Eldorados.
One company has offered a reproduction, but from the experience some people made with it, it was said that it was very poorly made and extremely expensive. I can´t tell anything about it from my own experience though.
But there is a better and much cheaper solution to the problem in the form of a modified reproduction 1969 Camaro RS actuator which is readily available. I´ve written an article a couple of years ago what could be done and I have now updated it, as one reader sent me some excellent description and pictures of how he modified the Camaro actuator to work perfectly on his 1968 Eldorado.
Thanks for the tip Mark Maromonte from Marks Truck and Auto Repair.
THE 1967 CADILLAC AUTOMATIC CLIMATE CONTROL SYSTEM - MORE ISSUES - AND A FINAL FIX? RESTORING THE POWER SERVO VALVE!
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.
A great 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.
So this rotary valve needed to be repaired...
I removed it from the power servo and disassembled everything.
The removed power servo
After opening the cover, you can see the rotary valve in the lower center.
Remove one screw and a clip and the rotary valve comes out.
The rotary valve consists of two halves which make the connections - as you can see it was very dirty and rough - and slightly warped.
I started to wet sand both halves with 800 grit sandpaper.
When everything was flat and shiny again I used some 2000 grit sandpaper for a perfect finish.
Looks shiny and flat again
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“
*UPDATE 2022* - Check out this article and video as well as I had to repair my switch again in 2022 on my 66 DeVille!
Here is a video about the Master Switch that a gentleman posted on youtube
The 67 Eldorado in front of the garage after the AC system was fixed.
I suspected a vacuum leak somewhere in the system. Troubleshooting began with going through all the vacuum hoses. I replaced some which were a little worn out at the connectors. I also cut off the ends of most hoses, as they were all becoming a little loose during the last 40 years. I then plugged them in again.
Not much did change though.
When I came to the hose of the hot water valve and the delay relay, I had the first success. At least the blower motor would stay on in all “Auto” modes, even when the car was idling - but would still go off in “Fog” and “Ice”. I then suspected a leak in the power servo or in the dash controller. So I installed the power servo from my 67 DeVille where everything works perfectly, to be able to rule out any problems. Nothing changed though - the blower would still come on and off depending on the throttle position.
I then soon found the culprit of the whole issue - it was the master vacuum switch - which seems to have a problem with the internal electric switch. As I had a spare one around I installed it - and voilá - everything worked as it should. It always looked good when I checked it before.
I´m very happy that everything is back in working order. The only thing which I still have to repair is the fast idle diaphragm which completely dried out and is no longer functioning. Fortunately I do have a spare 429 engine in the garage from where I can grab and use this part - so I will repair it soon.
I then need a new condenser which is already on the way across the Atlantic coming from Old Auto Air.
By the way - Cadillactim has an excellent trouble shooting guide for the ACC on his website.
The evaporator had to be replaced as well along with the heater core. This is a pretty big task as you can see on the pictures below. You even have to remove the hood to get access to the whole unit. The fiberglass AC enclosure had to be repaired at my car as well as the previous owner tried to repair the evaporator and missed a screw and made a tear into the enclosure. The restoration shop repaired this professionally and it looks like new now.
The best troubleshooting guide for 1967 and 1968 Cadillac´s Automatic Climate Control Systems I got today 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.
Below you can find some pictures of my system:
The whole AC unit has to be removed to get access to the evaporator and heater core... The slight surface rust that showed up where the gaskets were, was removed as well of course...
The big hole on the left is where the blower motor is installed.
This is where the AC box usually is installed
You can see how much has be removed just to get to the evaporator and heater core...
I discovered the first issue at the hot water valve
The hoses around the time relay delay were leaking a little bit
For testing purposes I hung a spare master vacuum switch into the car - this solved the problem
The old fast idle diaphragm was leaking and brittle and was replaced with a better one...
The 1967 Cadillac Automatic Climate Control Vacuum Schematic from the shop manual -
1968 is almost identical BTW... Click on the image for a larger view!
Here is a video about the Master Switch that a gentleman posted on youtube
UPDATE 2010: In the meantime (since 2009) the Boyne switches they are getting reproduced and show up on ebay all the time. Also OPGI shows them in their Cadillac catalog. Its harder to find one for a T&T column as they are not getting reproduced so far. I do not know where one could find a switch for T&T though. If you know of any resource for T&T switches please let me know, I would love to have a spare one for my Eldorado!
When I was looking for a switch for my 1967 Deville, I only investigated resources for cars without T&T columns and this is what I found out:
According to the 1971 parts manual there are two different ones for standard column cars and one for T & T
- 1967 - 1968 (Exc. T & T) Part # 7800483 - Switch, w/wiring harness (Delco-Remy)
- 1967 - 1968 (Exc. T & T) Part # 7805675 - Switch, w/wiring harness (Boyne Products)
- 1967 - 1968 (T &T) Part # 7805676 - Switch, w/wiring harness (Hazard warning switch an integral part)
The two different standard column switches can be identified without removal as the parts manual describes:
„Hazard warning switch is an integral part. Switches can be identified before disassembly as follows: The Delco Remy switch has a square hole for the hazard warning switch in the cover, the Boyne Products switch has a round hole for the hazard warning switch in the cover.“
The problem with the switch on my standard column DeVille was that the return cancel cam broke, and that non of the repair kits were available for the Boyne switch.
Replacing this switch in the steering column is quite a pain - below you can find the instructions from the shop manual on how to do it.
There is also a revised procedure for a much easier installation below in the “Cadillac Serviceman" from August 1967!
The Cadillac Serviceman from August 1967 shows a revised procedure for a much easier installation of the switch.
If you need the shop manual instructions for a tilt and telescope column click here! Or just use the procedure above!
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