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Aha! I found the leak in the tube. I decided in the my last warm day before the snow to tackle the window problem. I tried to move the front seat forward to get access behind it but it didn’t move. So I removed the cylinder/spring mechanism from the seat and tried to move it but it didn’t let me see behind it. So that’s when the bolts came off and the seat was removed from the floor. But Cadillac put this cute little piece of fabric from the back of the seat to the partition behind it so i couldn’t move it away from the area I was working. I ended up taking off the top trim on the partition and removing the nails holding the fabric on. Then it was time to take what someone else on this forum called a “fender” which covered the space between the partition and the back of the seat. I lowered a window to see exactly where it leaks and it’s about an inch from the bend. I’m not sure why they bent it to run towards the middle of the car to bend back to the same place it would have been if it had stated straight. I had to notch out the wood to get to the coupling. I haven’t decided if I want to go further with the disassembly and try to find the rest of the pipes and replace them or just replace this one and be able to use the car with it’s windows working. The other pipe goes up into the wood and then into the B pillar before turning and going into the rear door. While I was in there I cleaned the 50 year old mess that the mice made and out popped the mummied mouse in the picture. 

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The new window pipe is in. I hooked up the battery and pushed the switch. The window motor spun a very small amount and now the relay clicks like a starter with a dead battery. So now I have to determine what the problem is, whether it is a connection issue or inside the motor. It worked in November when I parked the car and the motor spins by hand but it wont spin on its own. Taking it out of the car is a hassle so I'm trying to explore options to fix it without taking it out. If the snow would stop I could take it out of the garage and get the windows operating then fill it with gas and see if the gas tank gasket that I fixed sealed the tank. Then it is on the brakes to adjust them properly so I don't need to pump the pedal twice to get brake pressure.

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I took the pump out of the car. With it all apart I didn’t see much of anything jumping out so I cleaned the metal between the windings, the armature, and the metal where the brushes rise (the name of that area escapes me.) I took the brushes off and cleaned them along with the area that they sit. I also retwisted the wire connected to the brushes. I tested the continuity and things seemed different than I had expected so I took the housing from the parts car and tested it and it seemed right. I cleaned that and put it on and tested it and sure enough it worked. So I went to put it in and when loosening the nut on the relay it snapped the stud. Since the original relay worked I started taking off the broken relay only to snap the bolt in the housing. So it all had to come apart. I put the other housing back on and closed it all up. When I tested it the pump ran very quickly and shot fluid out of it. So back in the car it went. 

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Edited by Meadowfleet
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I turned on the pump and found a broken line right at the firewall so I replaced that and turned put every window up. They went up very quickly. The driver’s rear window stays open 1/2” though. The underseat cylinder sprays fluid when it’s fully extended. 2 of the other cylinders leak slightly down themselves also. I’m hoping that if I use them a little the rubber will swell inside and they won’t leak. 

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I took the firewall heater out of the parts car and took the heater core out of it. It’s a rear hassle to get at, I’m assuming these were an early-days throw away and replace part based on how it is constructed. The whole thing is plug and play. The heater in my green car leaks as soon as the system builds up pressure. So I figured that since I have another one I can explore the options or replacing the core. Every screw had to come out in order to allow clearance of the heater core to come out. I took it to the sink and flushed the pipes. That’s when I noticed this one leaks too. There are 4 holes at the bottom of it opposite the inlets. I am going to send it out and get it repaired then I will attempt to replace it in the green car heater box. In the pictures it is wet from me washing off the dirt and it leaking. 

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I went out to move the windows up and down to see how they handled. The seat cylinder didn’t leak anymore. The front windows went up and down perfectly. The front passenger cylinder still leaks as it is going up though. The rear windows don’t have the large spring to move them down and the switches don’t work back there so I could only pull the drivers rear down. It worked great but leaks. And then I saw the big puddle under the door. The line in the door has let go. So it is another line to replace. I think I’m going to buy a roll of tubing and make as many new lines as I can access. The. I will know the lines are good. 

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Edited by Meadowfleet
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I have finally figured out the shorting issue in the rear of the car. Whenever I would open the rear doors the interior light would turn on but the window switches would no longer work. With the doors closed I would press a switch and nothing would work in regards to the windows but the interior light and light under the door would turn on very dim. I spent the last 3 hours tracing wires and using different lead wires to pinpoint the problem. It turned out to be the hot wire coming from the front of the car. It was broken in half. Somehow it was grabbing power from the dome light, I’m assuming, because when I took wires off and tested them individually they would all turn on the dome light. I am going to replace as much of the wire as I can access because the harness is covered in brake fluid from when the window line broke. With that being figured out, and I found the driver’s side door light wire, the puzzle is complete and I should have a fully functioning electrical system. I do not know if the brake fluid is what ate through the wire or helped corrode it or if it was coincidence. In the pictures I have the broken wires tied together to confirm that I figured out the problem. I also found the tag for the rear seat when I flipped it over. I thought that was pretty cool. The circle says Dennison Mfg Co USA. The numbers say 52 81, which is a commercial chassis isn’t it?

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The radio works! Well sort of. I wish I could add video so it could be heard. The radio has a Selector bar so it scans for the signal. I can hear random voice and music sounds but it doesn’t stop of any of the stations. The car is in the garage so that might be why but I’m excited; it’s the first time I’ve heard sound come out of it. I’ve had it one several times before but never with any sound. 

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That’s hard to really answer. The mechanic that did my transmission has a guy that does them. It took about 3 days. In-Gear Transmission in Douglas, MA is my mechanic. Does great work and has a lot of experience with Hydra-Matic transmissions. 

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So I got the seat back into the car and tested the cylinder for it and it moved the seat back and forth beautifully so I took it to the driveway and fixed the speedometer cable and the driveshaft insulators that were broken. I put 5 gallons of gas in it and took it down the road. It shifted 1-4 perfectly, which is unusual for the first mile in that car, but it ran rough at idle and still a little rough driving. When I stopped the car at the garage there was light smoke coming from the driver’s side exhaust. I parked it and took out the spark plugs. 2,4,6,8 were all a uniform light brown color. 5,7 were the same light brown color except 7 was a little darker towards the threads. 1 was covered in oil, and 3 was caked up. What do I do about that? Do I need to disassemble those two cylinders and get larger rings? I do lose some oil out of it but I haven’t driven it enough to see how much, plus it leaks from the side of the oil pan so it’s tough to tell how much is going where. Pictures are from top to bottom: 1, 3, all of the rest. 

 

And the speedometer is brand new and installed.. but it still didn’t move the gauge so I will have to take it back out and check. 

 

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Edited by Meadowfleet (see edit history)
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So I took the car out and did the hill thing, and rougher driving as was suggested. The car ran great for about 20 minutes. Then i started hearing what sounded like a rod knock. So I headed home. Every time I stopped the car it stalled. When I parked the car and shut it off the carburetor kept dumping gas into the intake, which explains the hard start when I stopped to get gas along the ride. I took the covers off and assured that oil was getting up there. Then I saw it.. the broken valve spring. I wouldn’t have been so concerned about it because I didn’t replace them when I rebuilt the engine, except that is the second time that same spring has snapped. I also had noticed that the #2 spark plug wire hadn’t been reattached when I took them off the last time. That might explain the stalling, along with the frustrating carb that was dumping in fuel out of the forward ports. The broken spring was in the #3 cylinder, the same as the caked up spark plug. The #1 and 3 spark plugs looked great though. It’s kind of hard to see the gas but it is shooting straight out of the port, and the car is off.. so now what?

 

What causes the spring to break?

 

What causes the fuel to be coming out of the primary ports of the carburetor with the car off?

 

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Edited by Meadowfleet
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Sigh, to add to the lost battle today I went back into the garage tonight to get my ‘51 Dodge to go out for a spin and the overwhelming smell of gas was in the garage. I pushed the Cadillac out of the garage because I knew it came from me filling it up. And this is what I found. I thought I fixed the leak at the sending unit but the little rubber gaskets seem to be worthless. I’ll end up making a cork one once I can get the car running again and get it to the driveway. Until then I don’t know what I’m going to do with the leaking gas. All I do know is I couldnt leave it in the garage dripping on the floor. 

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Exciting news is that the radio was finding stations! I had the volumn all the way up and it was barely a whisper but I could hear it and the video I took of it you could hear it clearly. I wish I could put the video here, but imagine One Direction playing through an almost 70 year old radio. 🤪

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I replaced the valve springs on the odd side. I know I’m not supposed to do a compression on a cold car but I did just to see where it stood:

#1 80

#2 90

#3 95

#4 120

When I did start it I ran it fast and checked to see that oil was getting to the rockers. Oil came out nicely as it should. 

 

I took the electric fuel pump wire off and ran the car strictly on the mechanical fuel pump. It ran great. Unfortunately I forgot to look and see if the carburetor was still shooting gas out when it was shut off. I will look the next time I run it. There was so much black smoke coming out of the tail pipes I couldn’t see clearly through it. I’m assuming after looking online a little that it is more of a carburetor issue more than it is an engine issue. It didn’t smoke like that before but perhaps that has to do with the weak springs that were on it and now that they are replaced the hidden issues came out. But it was definitely not encouraging to see all of that smoke. 

 

The oil light still comes on when the engine warms up and idles. I don’t know if it is the sensor that loses itself a little when it warms up or if that is a symptom of something else. I was watching a video online and the mechanic said that bearings that aren’t the right size will cause that. But I don’t know. It’s the sensor that came with the block.

 

Despite all of the issues that keep coming up the engine revs and idles smoothly. 

Edited by Meadowfleet
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

I have been so frustrated with the old guy that I gave not had the energy to post about him. (My aunt named the big green boat Ricardo.) My has gauge will not read over 1/2 even when full, except for about 5 seconds one time before I turned the car on. I haven’t gotten to the bottom of that yet. I pulled the antenna all the way up and turned on the radio and it started working. Exciting day for me. It kept going in and out but I had 2 AM stations and I was happy. So the girl and I took the 20 minute ride and did errands in it.

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Edited by Fleetwood Meadow (see edit history)
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Feeling cocky her and I decided to take Ricardo to the pool store to get chlorine for the pool. We got there and it was about 80 degrees. Since the car is hard to start when the engine is warm I left him running. After about 10 minutes it sputtered and died. I knew what it’s issue was, vapor lock. So I had to let it cool down and I poured some water on the bowl to re-liquify the gas. Then it started and we left, with my pride in the trunk, to go home. Sad day and it has completely made my faith in the car sink. So I have to figure that out, probably when I take the engine out to rebuild it for the second time..

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Everything was going fine until... I took my helmet off and could see the black smoke that I had been checking constantly for but didn’t see because of the dark lenses. The inside of the door caught on fire. Both doors did that to me. I would be fine with that because it’s all metal except I had window cylinders with wires and the under-door lights that had wires. All of the wire coatings were burned off so now I have to find a way to get my hands in there to do the work of rewiring them. And now I found that one of the door’s metal that holds on one of the lights has deteriorated so I have to fix that too.

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With the wires and cylinders being burned I decided to buy new cylinders so that I can replace the old cylinders and put ATF in the new system like Hydro-E-Lectric says to. But I am not putting them in until I finish prepping the doors. I will finish smoothing the exterior of the door and then I am going to spray some sort of undercoating/bed liner material on the inside so when water gets in it cannot deteriorate the doors from the inside. 

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I took the car for a ride today and it worked great, got some compliments at the gas station too. I noticed that when stopped and then taking off up a hill the transmission seems to slip. At one point up the longest hill of the trip from a stopped position I floored the pedal and the engine revved as though it was in neutral. Once the car levels out the car takes off and the transmission works great. The dipstick showed the fluid at a little above full. I had forgotten to check it when the car was running but I had shut it off about 1 minute before. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like reading about this project.  Your like a bloodhound with his nose to the ground.  Just keep plugging away.  

 

I personally refuse to work on a car like that unless the owner lets me install a new wiring harness.  They all need a new harness and it's just a matter of time before the car burns up or worse.  Unfortunately they aren't cheap for a car like this.  

 

Did you have the radiator recored during the engine rebuild?  Another must do.   It's automatic, just gets replaced.  

 

Did you ever find out where your brake fluid was going?  

 

You might want to install a bypass fuel filter near the carb with a return line to the tank.  All the Caddy A/C cars of this era ran a return off the fuel bowl.  Really helps eliminate vapor lock.   

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Thank you for that message. Very few people respond in this thread while less exciting (in my opinion) projects have a million people following them. I have been debating lately to just stop writing in it because nobody seemed interested. On the mopar website there is a buddy of mine with a 1951 Dodge Meadowbrook and he has 33 pages in his story with people constantly writing in it. I thought about showing my car here but I don’t have as many fun stories as he does. And that car is pretty good on repairs so I don’t have much to talk about with it. But it was my first old car, bought it in New Jersey 5 years ago. 

 

As for the brake fluid issue, I thought I had said that the issue was in the Hydro-vac brake booster. I took it out and ran the line without the booster and held pressure in the pedal. I finally adjusted the brake pads to .015 like stated in the book and the pedal is even better. I didn’t do the back yet but I’m sure it will be even better after I do.

 

The radiator was not recored. I rebuilt the engine myself. It was my first and I had no assistance so I did a couple things wrong. The oil pressure drops and turns the warning light on  at idle after the engine warms up. When moving the light stays off. So I have to replace the bearings with a different size. I never bored the cylinders and they seem to be ok now that they have been broken in. On the driver’s side I do see some blue smoke from time to time so more than likely I will have to yank the engine back out and bore the cylinders and replace the pistons, rings, and bearings. The engine runs so smoothly and sounds great though. The radiator seems to be doing it’s job since the coolant going from the engine into the radiator was 209 but the coolant going back into the engine from the radiator was 185 so it dropped the temperature almost 25 degrees.

 

I did not put on the fuel filter between the fuel pump and the carburetor. I watch the fuel boiling in the fuel pump. I have an electric pump that I can turn on in an issue but when I had it on before it would bump the pressure too high since it was a 4psi pump and the fuel pump was pumping I’m assuming 4psi as well so I put it on a toggle switch. I see no connections at the tank or carburetor for a return line so I would have to make one. I’ve never done that so I would have to figure out how to. 

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8 hours ago, Fleetwood Meadow said:

I am trying to figure out why so much heat is staying in the engine bay instead of going out the exhaust pipes. 

That might have a lot to do with the octane of the fuel these days. It is higher and burns less quickly than the fuel back then, meaning there is still a lot of heat in it when it is pushed into the exhaust manifold. So the exhaust side of the engine gets a bit hotter than it did back in the day. This is part of the reason for vapour lock problems. The other part is the lower partial pressure of today's fuel - meaning it is more volatile and some fractions boil at a lower temperature.

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Before I start ripping this engine apart again I have to be certain what I’m looking for. When I put the bearings in I used std bearings. I didn’t measure because being new at it I didn’t know I had to. When I start the car the oil pressure light shuts off and I’m happy. The car runs great and I take it for a ride. The first stop sign the light is off still. After about 10 minutes and the engine is warm I stop at a stop sign and the oil light comes on. I take off and the light goes off. If the car goes into 4th gear while I’m driving about 25 around town the light flickers on and off and after about 5 minutes of driving slowly like that I can hear the rods. So I drop it into 3rd gear on the selector and the engine revs a little higher and the light is off and the rods quiet down. As long as I am driving in 3rd at around 25mph or in any gear when going faster the oil pressure is fine. When I come to a stop the light comes on. The oil is full. Is this an oil pump issue or a bearing issue or something else? I don’t want to tear down that engine if I don’t have to. It runs so smoothly and sounds so good. 

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9 hours ago, Janousek said:

 

You might want to install a bypass fuel filter near the carb with a return line to the tank.  All the Caddy A/C cars of this era ran a return off the fuel bowl.  Really helps eliminate vapor lock.   

1957 was the first year for the return line, for cars with A/C. The specific fuel filter body with the return line provision is not easy to find

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1 hour ago, Fleetwood Meadow said:

 The oil is full. Is this an oil pump issue or a bearing issue or something else? I don’t want to tear down that engine if I don’t have to. It runs so smoothly and sounds so good. 

The oil pump is seldom the reason for a low oil pressure. Before undertaking anything, you should let measure the oil pressure when warm. The oil pressure switch is not always a good indicator because they can fail and close the circuit for the lamp too early. However, if you are hearing some unusual noise when the lamp is on, there is some pressure loss. It's hard to tell where without opening the engine.

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5 hours ago, Fleetwood Meadow said:

So would the racing fuel, which I think is something like 110 octane lower the temperature 25 degrees to get the engine to 180?

That is very high octane so slower burning again. You want a low octane fuel. What was available when it was made? 73 RON?

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Put a small pressure gage on the engine and check what the oil pressure really is.  You could have plasti-gaged the engine when it was apart as a cheap way to measure the clearances.  But.. if you have to pull the engine then just get the crank ground and put new bearings in it.   I also run straight 40w in a car like this unless it's driven in winter.  Might help your oil pressure for a while until you rebuild it again.  And recore the radiator while your rebuilding the engine.  I know I'm a broken record on the subject but it's from experience.  

 

The fuel filters with return line are readilly available from 5th avenue garage and I usually put a fitting in the sending unit for the return fuel.  You usually get by without the return if you have an electric backup pump like you have.  Run the filter if you really don't want to think about it.  

 

Roger is right the original fuel bowl with return is hard to find.  The filter will work or you can make make a fitting the top of your bowl.  The hole diameter is .50" or .90" for the restriction.  Not for sure which one.  

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