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This is my 1952 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75. I traveled 575 miles to get it. It was taken off the road somewhere around 1975 due to an “excessive oil leak.” The engine was removed, the heads were rebuilt. That’s as far as the engine was rebuilt. It sat outside of the car uncovered. I found a couple rebuilt stickers in the car. The brakes were rebuilt, they still have the Made in USA stamping on the pads. The sticker is dated 1976. The regulator was rebuilt. As for that there was nothing else rebuilt from what I saw. The transmission and engine came outside of the car. I’m not sure it’s the same engine as the number starts 5360, which should indicate a 1953 Series 60 engine, but my 1952 parts car has the same beginning numbers. I have rebuilt the engine by myself looking at the shop manual and hoping for the best, and believe it or not it runs very well. I have put about 100 miles on the engine so far. Unfortunately the transmission won’t shift past 2nd so it is at the shop as we speak. I generally don’t like to let mechanics touch my classic cars but this is out of my league. The seats have a professional seatcover on top of them which is hiding perfect broadcloth seats. I am at the very beginning stages of working on the car so the brakes have to be pumped every time you get in it and the lights need to be replaced. The windows don’t work due to the broken hydraulic lines and the pump doesn’t work yet. When you move the switches you do hear clicks at the doors so that’s a plus. I’m hoping to get the car back in about a week so I can actually take it out on it’s first real test drive. I bought it in December 2016. 

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Your engine is not original to the car.   The original engine number would start with 5275.  That's the only difference in the engines, so it will work.  However, there is a difference in the transmissions between 52 and 53.  Both are 4 speed hydromatics but in 52 there are 5 positions, PNDLR.  On the 53 transmission there are 6 positions PN'D'LR.  There are two drive positions.  One it shifts 1,2,3 and holds third gear.  In the other it shifts 1,2,3,4.  Click the shit leaver and see how many positions you have.  If you have a 53 transmission, I may be interested in swapping you a 51 or 52 transmission for yours.  I have a 53 Series 75 that a PO dropped a Chevy 305 with a turbo 350 transmission.  Unfortunately, it was a factory AC car and all the underhood AC components were lost.  It still has the trunk unit.

 

They are wonderfully smooth cars, but have a low (I think 4.11) rear end which limits top ends speed.  Driving mine home when I first bought it, it would run 65 on the flat interstate, but when I hit rolling hills, it would drop to 45 before I hit the top of the hill.  This was with the 305 2bbl in it.  Was a 100 degree day and all the windows were stuck up and the vent windows would open.  It was an interesting 2 hour drive home!

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Based on my knowledge, I have no knowledge. The guy that I got the car from did not say what happened to the engine, except that it was taken apart due to an excessive oil leak. What I don’t understand is why both of my 75s have a 5360 engine number on it. Did the 5275 have a bad engine that needed to be replaced a year later? Unfortunately I had to send the car off to a mechanic. I don’t do that with the old cars because normally I can learn as I go and get it fixed. But this transmission has gotten the best of me. Sadly, it’s been 3 weeks to the day and I have no information on the progress. The woman at the desk has nothing to tell me so I’m in the dark. 

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Yet another restoration I'm looking forward to seeing.  Now if I only had the time to read about all the cars and posts here.  Good luck on another great car.

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On 7/30/2018 at 8:47 PM, 61polara said:

Your engine is not original to the car.   The original engine number would start with 5275.  That's the only difference in the engines, so it will work.  However, there is a difference in the transmissions between 52 and 53.  Both are 4 speed hydromatics but in 52 there are 5 positions, PNDLR.  On the 53 transmission there are 6 positions PN'D'LR.  There are two drive positions.  One it shifts 1,2,3 and holds third gear.  In the other it shifts 1,2,3,4.  Click the shit leaver and see how many positions you have.  If you have a 53 transmission, I may be interested in swapping you a 51 or 52 transmission for yours.  I have a 53 Series 75 that a PO dropped a Chevy 305 with a turbo 350 transmission.  Unfortunately, it was a factory AC car and all the underhood AC components were lost.  It still has the trunk unit.

 

They are wonderfully smooth cars, but have a low (I think 4.11) rear end which limits top ends speed.  Driving mine home when I first bought it, it would run 65 on the flat interstate, but when I hit rolling hills, it would drop to 45 before I hit the top of the hill.  This was with the 305 2bbl in it.  Was a 100 degree day and all the windows were stuck up and the vent windows would open.  It was an interesting 2 hour drive home!

there is no P for park in either the pre-1952 single range hydra-matic, or the new for 1952 dual range hydra-matic, reverse with the engine turned off is the "park" position. also drive right position will hold in third gear until the speed reaches 70 mph, then it will upshift into 4th gear.

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That trans looks notoriously similar to the early 50’s GMC military truck trans I used to rebuild minus the 4 to 1 reduction unit at the tail end. I had always heard stories that the military trucks just took caddy/Olds 4 spd autos, added the reduction unit for low range, then installed them in the M135-211 series trucks. If they are indeed the same (worth researching), Memphis Equipment should have a ton of parts and probably a military rebuild manual. Those trans were a two band, two drum/clutch plate trans with a main shaft governor in the valve body that used the speed of the main shaft to centrifically force the weights out in the governor causing an upshift. We used to put a manual valve body in those trans which got rid of the governor and resulted in no more burnt clutch plates. Reverse was also the weak link as the cone was very small and would fail if high range reverse was used. The quality of the rubber lip seals back then was terrible and many times it was just a bad seal that had crumbled or pushed by its recess. A new seal kit from ME fixed them right up. We mechanically locked out the high range reverse slot in the shift tower with a through bolt. Man, I forgot about doing all these army trucks ( got them with low mileage and bad trannys from the surplus yard and rebuilt them to sell to the guys cutting wood here in New England) when I was young for extra money until I read this thread and saw that picture of the trans! Memories!!

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I have always liked Cadillac based on what the ownership of one of their cars meant. They were status cars showing you had “made it.” I don’t know how much of the story is true but the guy I bought the car from had bought it in the early ‘90s from the son of a Vietnam immigrant. The father had the belief that when he came over he wanted to be as “American” as he could be. That meant buying a house, having children, and owning a Cadillac. So the first car he bought as this one. He named his children, I believe he said 5, after presidents. The guy that the person I bought this car from was named Lincoln. Like I said, I don’t know how much of that story is true but I liked it. 

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I’m getting ansty waiting for the car to come back. I hated seeing it leave on a stretcher to go to the hospital but I have taken the valve body of that transmission apart 5 times and freed everything up and cleaned it and it still keeps sticking. I hate waiting for updates too, especially since they have none to give. I don’t have a heated garage so I only have about 2 and a half months of warm weather and I know I need to drive the car when I get it back to make sure it stays working. Once the snow starts I’m done until about March when it starts to go away. I still have to work on the brakes. They work after you pump them for about 3 minutes. I think the brake booster has a leak in it because I see no wet spots on any lines or tires. I also have to figure out how to get the window hydraulic pump out from under the fender well because it won’t spin. Then I have to replace the metal lines going to the doors for the windows. I also have about 15 light bulbs to replace. This car has 2 on the dashboard, 1 on the roof, 2 behind the rear passenger, and 1 under each rear door, not to mention the gauges and clocks bulbs. There are pin holes and some larger holes in the rear doors that I have to repair as well. 

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So I finally got to talk to the mechanic that is working on the car. He said it’s up on the lift and they have the valve body out of it. Looking at it, nothing is jumping out at him but he thinks he will have it straightened out sometime near the end of the week. I asked him to do an oil change while he has it and he said he is going to use Amsoil synthetic 10W-30 because of it zinc content. 

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A month later and sadly haven’t gotten the car back. He got very busy. But he feels very confident that he found the problem. The 3-2 detent plug was reversed and there was a spring missing on the side. He took the leaking freeze plug out before testing the car so he has been waiting for the right freeze plug to come in. This week it rained pretty hard Monday and Tuesday. Since the windows are hydraulic, and I haven’t gotten to getting that working, he can’t take it out when it’s raining. Monday I will go back up and see what he has done this week. In the mean time I got the back clock that I had taken out working. It’s running a little fast but that’s alright for the time being. 

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On ‎7‎/‎31‎/‎2018 at 3:47 AM, 61polara said:

Your engine is not original to the car.   The original engine number would start with 5275. 

I had a look 2 or 3 times at this post; I don't see an engine number. Where did you see it?

 

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It doesn’t say the full engine number. I put in the first post that the engine block’s number starts with 5360 instead of 5275. I think it’s strange though because my parts car has the same beginning numbers even though it is also a 52 Series 75

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Oups! I found the number you wrote...For 1952,  3200 cars from the Serie 75 have been built and "only" 2200 for 1953 for both versions Seventy-Five Sedans and Seventy-Five Limousines. When an engine went bad, it was more easy to find  an engine from the other series; in '52 there were 16'110 Sixty Special (Serie 60) and 20'000 for 1953. There were much more cars from the Serie 62: more than 60'000 units for '52 and more than 75'000 for '53.

Why both cars you have had a replacement engine from a 1953 Serie 60? I suppose people at that time used what they found...

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What I don’t understand is why both engines would have gone bad early enough in the cars’ lives to get a 1953 engine. One car was put out of service in 1976 and the other was out of service in 1968

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I got a call today that the Cadillac is shifting through all 4 gears and is ready to be picked up. Luckily for me, Hurricane Michael is going to dump 4 days of rain on us. With a car that has no way to raise the windows it means the car is likely to be stuck at the mechanic’s until Monday or Tuesday. I will then attempt to drive it home the 20 minutes. I’ve never taken it for a ride that long. My only fear is overheating. I didn’t really get much of a chance to test things out for very long before I sent it out to get the transmission fixed. 

As for the transmission, the valve body was the problem. After he fixed what he thought was the problem, which was the reversed piston and missing spring, it still didn’t work. He knew someone with a properly functioning valve body and put it on. It immediately shifted 1-4. Then he adjusted the T.V. Rod and road tested it several times. And after all this be kept to the original price he quoted me at. 

Edited by Fleet Meadow
Corrected a spelling typo (see edit history)

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Good news on the tranny! 

 

Take the trip home kinda slow, and stop to let the car cool off if needed. I know what it's like driving a car that you don't have many miles on.......watching the gauges like a hawk. 😊

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Watching the gauges and fear of stalling at stops. But I’m looking forward to getting it back. Once I get it back I’m going to focus on getting the lines remade for the window cylinders so they can go up. 

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The Cadillac is finally home! No overheating, no stalling. Now that it shifts I can see that I need to adjust the carburetor a little more. The shifting needs some fine tuning too. It shifts first to second alright but holds second while it’s revving a little too long before clunking into third. Then you have to let up on the gas for it to shift into fourth. That’s just a linkage adjustment so I’m not overly worried. But it made it the 17 miles home with no problems at all. Next thing on the agenda is to figure out why I keep losing brake pressure. It’s not leaking anywhere and we bled them for at least half an hour. Then it’s on to the window pump, lines, and switches. Then the heating assemblies. 

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I got the radio to turn on. It buzzes from the vibrator then about 5 seconds later I hear static through the front and rear speaker. It gets louder as you turn up the volume so I’m taking that as a good sign. Now I just need to find a station for it to lock onto. I’m not certain the antenna is attached. I haven’t gone under the dashboard to look that much but I know that there are 2 vacuum tubes coming off of the radio that are not attached. 

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The vacuum tubes are just here to rise or lower the antenna. You must see the lead coming from the antenna, that's the vital part. do you still have AM radio stations in the US?

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