Fleetwood Meadow

1952 Cadillac Series 75

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The heater core looks great! Who did the work on it?

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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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Posted (edited)

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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That’s what I’m going to do. The engine only has about 200 miles so the rings may not have seated yet. 

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Posted (edited)

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
Added last question (see edit history)

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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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Posted (edited)

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
Added the last line (see edit history)
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Looks like a project!

i know because I also have one that I have had about 20 years.

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Posted (edited)

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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Time to repair the holes in the back doors. I removed the paint and ground the holes to remove the rust. Then I took my welder and started filling in the holes...

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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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I had also noticed that day that the radiator hoses were 209 and 185. That seems kind of high for a temp. I am trying to figure out why so much heat is staying in the engine bay instead of going out the exhaust pipes. 

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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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Keep at it!

You're making progress and there are a lot of complicated systems on that beast.

Hopefully, you find joy in the journey.

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As Joe said, please keep posting.  I think a lot of times, folks just do not say anything. Personally, I have been missing this thread for some reason.

 

  Keep on keeping on.

 

  Ben

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

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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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