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I've enjoyed reading about your project, but it seems like you're jumping from job to job and never really finishing any of them. If the car runs right for 10 minutes, you seem to be assuming that all is good, take it for a drive, then something else goes wrong so you start working on the radio or the gas gauge. Getting it running properly should be your #1 priority. Gauges and radios can wait. Fixing bodywork can wait. If it doesn't run, those things are worthless anyway.

 

It seems to me you're having several problems at once with the engine. The most important thing is oil pressure, so you should have a gauge to verify what the pressure actually is rather than relying on an idiot light whose sending unit can go bad. If you don't have oil pressure, then fixing the carburetor won't matter.

 

Second, if it's making black smoke that's a carburetor problem--it's too rich. Blue smoke is oil, white smoke is coolant. White vapor is normal until the car is completely warmed up. Your plugs being fouled like that suggest either it's running pig rich or an oil leak, and my suspicion would be valve guides, not rings (did you do the valve guides when you rebuilt the engine?). If you had a ring problem, you'd have fuel in your oil pan as well as saturation in the cylinders. If the plugs were merely wet, not black and wet, then I'd think carburetor. It might be both--a small oil leak combined with a very rich condition that fouls the plugs. You may also have a weak ignition system--another piece of the puzzle. It is likely a combination of all of these things which you'll have to address one by one. You'll find that as you solve them, it gradually runs better and runs better for longer periods of time.

 

Third, if it's running hot, it may still be a timing or carburetor problem, but your radiator may also be struggling, your water pump may not be doing its job properly, or several other things up to and including the block is still full of gunk (most likely unless you had it hot tanked). The hot running can also affect both your ignition and carburetor, so you can see how randomly spot-fixing individual things isn't going to give you any real progress.

 

Focus on one issue at a time, get it completely resolved, then move on. Otherwise you're just spinning your wheels in the mud because each solution leads to solutions of the other problems. You can't really know if you have cooling system problems unless you have the engine running right. You can't get the engine running right if you don't have oil pressure. Etc.

 

Good luck, I'll keep watching!

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I tackled the speedometer cable today, it is essentially the wrong cable. I didn’t know that the cables inside the cable housing were different sizes. I took the gear out and checked it thinking it was broken or that some of the old cable was broken off in it but it wasn’t. So I put the old cable in it and tried to spin it without spinning the gear and it wouldn’t because it was the right size. I put the new cable in it and the cable spun inside the gear housing. So that means the cable I bought has a smaller diameter than the original and that was the problem. I checked the speedometer to make sure it will function and I checked that the gear was locked into place properly so when my new cable comes in everything should work properly. 

 

With that being all i could do with the speedometer I moved onto the rear door that I lit on fire. I still have some body work to do on it but at 90 degrees I wasn’t feeling it. I prepped the inside of the door to receive some sort of undercoating or bed liner material, something to help it not rust when water sits in it from a rain or washing the car. I left the drain hole alone so the water will exit when the door is opened. I had to weld a little of the bottom of the door to get the hole for the under door light screw to screw into properly. I know we all love pictures but I didn’t take any of it yet because I’ll do a before and after when I finally coat it. I found a replacement rubber boot for the door light too because it melted away when the door was on fire. I’ll put that back in after I coat the door. 

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While on a roll with fixing stuff I decided to replace the destroyed wires in the door. There were three of them: 2 for the in-door light that lights up the ground when you open the door and 1 for the window cylinder. The wire covering was completely gone on 2 of them. I thought they were going to be tricky to get at but I cut the wires at the door and then made new wires and snaked them back through the door. Now I have to find the metal covering that goes on the to protect them when the door is opened and closed. The metal connectors previously used were pretty interesting. I tested the wires and they worked great. I haven’t put the light back in so it is sitting in the door and since I have no cylinder in the door I can’t hook up that wire. And then finally I finished the wiring for the back seat controls by adding a ground wire to the driver’s side passenger cigar lighter. The cigar lighter itself doesn’t work but I tested it with one that does and it worked. It’s a shame that you can’t show videos here or I’d show that. Maybe I will make a YouTube page with links to it so you can see video progress. That may also help with diagnosing issues better than words can. 

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Fleetwood Meadow,  Matt is right about sticking to one  job at a time.Once one job is done and put to bed,, then go on to the next. It just makes things easier. doing great work on a cool Caddy. 

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Absolutely not my friends. Sticking to one job until the whole thing pisses you off and you give up is entirely ridiculous. You need to have little wins. I am fixing a door so that I can have windows. That is what I am sticking too. If I decide that that frustrates me I will move onto another thing and have success and feel rejuvenated to go back to finish them further. These cars are meant to be enjoyed and used, not hidden away dismantled for years while we pretend we are making progress. And certainly not sent out to get everything done by someone else then we pretend we did the work. And CERTAINLY not bought to be fixed up and sold again. These are my cars and I am fixing them how I see fit. And if I don’t have the money to play around with that engine I will certainly not stop working on the car until I do. Instead of telling me what I’m doing “wrong” perhaps you should be giving me credit for taking on this project at all. I’m 33 years old. I’m sorry I don’t have thousands of dollars set aside to rebuild an engine. I’m baffled how nobody was talking to me on this until a great guy said he enjoyed reading about my project, at a time when I was writing one last post then stopping the chronicle. It made my day so I continued with the posting. Then Matt comes in and said some great stuff that was positive but added a flawed thought which was don’t bother working on the rest of the car if the engine isn’t 100%. I ignored that part because that car has one hell of a strong engine and even though it has some issues it is still a serviceable engine. Now I’m getting votes to stop ALL other projects on that car because I haven’t stuck to playing with the engine? I’m sorry if this all sounds harsh but imagine being on my side. I am part of only a select amount of young classic car owners and it’s because when we try to reach out to people who have been working on them for years we are met with less than encouragement. I’m disappointed in anyone that does not applaud any little success made in getting these beautiful cars one step closer to being as great as they once were. And think about it, at least I’m not taking that great engine out and swapping it for an LS1..

Edited by Fleetwood Meadow
Spelling error correction. (see edit history)
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Fleetwood, bottom line this is your car, so you choose to work on it the way which is best for you. Everyone attacks a redo on an old car in a different way. Keep plugging away at your Caddy, you are definitely making progress!

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Fleetwood Meadow, I apologize if you had taken my post the wrong way. I was just passing advice that an older mechanic gave me when I started working on old cars as a kid. I have nothing but admiration for what you and everyone else is doing on the forum. Great work as always on both the Caddy and the Dodge. Thanks, John

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I dont mean to be picky but why did you use all red wires? Do you have a wiring diagram? Someone in the future maybe even you is going to be pretty angry when they try to fix those windows again and cant figure out what was done here. That car is worth doing things right. Costs more takes more time but always a better results.

 

You probly shouldn't take others advice as meaning to be mean to you. People here have alot of experience to share. Just because you dont agree does not mean they are wrong. Learning sometimes means setting aside what you already think you know and being openminded. Nobody expects you to need to be rich to do this but you can be poor and smart just as easy. Nobody said stop working if you cant fix one thing. They said chasing 2 or 3 related problems without solving any of them is not the best way to get a win as you say. I agree with that. If you think about it it makes alot of sense. Fixing cars is a process not a win lose thing.

 

You can accept knowledge without worrying about how its delivered. Thats ok. Nobody is insulting you. If they didnt care and didnt want you to succeed they wouldnt say anything or give you any help at all.

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To answer that question, it’s all I had. Today I decided to start tackling the rust inside the door so I could finish the door and put the new window cylinder in. I wire brushed the inside of the door then sprayed it with a rust reforming/converting spray. I then put the wires in the channel and moved onto the next door to remove the cylinder assembly and rewire it. Now both rear doors are rewired and sprayed with a rust converting agent. My next step is to apply the bed liner stuff to the inside of the door so when it rains or the car is washed the water won’t sit on the metal and the moisture won’t start to rust it. Then I will put the new window cylinders into the assemblies and the new rubber lines to them and move to the front doors and front seat cylinder. I bought a coil of black wire and attempted to make a differentiation between the two wires that go to the light in the door. Now the hot cylinder wire and initial hot wire to the light are red and the tail end wire is black. 

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Have you considered hooking up a test gage to watch oil pressure. If you could tie near the pump you could check oil pump pressure. If you use a long enough hose you could hold it in a spot you could view while driving.  If you then tap i near a crank gallery you can perhaps see the rod bearing pressure. It may be fluctuating based on a large bearing clearance. Look on youtube for plastigage and how to use it. You can measure you bearing clearances. Cold oil is thicker and can fill the enlarged clearances. As it gets hot it gets thinner. Then oil pressure drops at the enlarged clearances. What oil viscosity are you running? You may get away with 20W50 oil and keep pressures up?

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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Spinneyhill, I agree with you on the heat shrink. I like using it but I didn’t have any. The closest stores to me are 45 minutes away so when I run out of stuff it’s not a quick run to the store I have to improvise on several things. That has been my fear about the tape as well. To combat that I wrap it one way, overlapping, then overlap it wrapping it the opposite way then 3 laps in one place generally to make it harder for it to just untangle. Where these wires are connected they are under a cover that has no clearance so they can’t move and don’t have really any chance for them to unravel. The next time I get to the store I will be getting some heat shrink to go over single wires like this. 

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Keith, I’m using 10w-30 currently in the car. I have an oil pressure gauge that I am going to use to test the engine pressure. I get a little confused on oils because it was my understanding that this oil starts off thin and then gets thicker as it gets warm. Someone suggested using straight 30 weight and it may help. I have added Lucas oil to thicken it but the warning light still comes on when going slow in 4th gear or at idle when the engine warms up. When the engine is cold the light does not come on. 

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Oil does not get thicker as it heats up. The exact opposite occurs. Think of cold butter versus warm butter left on the counter in summer.  Oil’s ability to flow in both cold and high temps is measured by a viscosity index.  A multi viscosity oil shows two ratings. For example 10W30. The 10 number would be its ability to flow when cold. For the sake of this discussion lets say the “W” means winter. 10 when cold in the winter! 

 

If you had a 5W30 or a 0W30 it would flow better when cold. The lower the first number, the better the oil flows when very cold. Remember oil is thicker when cold. 

 

The second number in our example, the 10 is the high temperature flow (viscosity) rating. The higher this number, the thicker the oil stays when it get hot. So a 20W50 would be a bad oil in cold weather but a good choice in hot temp conditions. Say, an air cooled engine for example. It gets hot! The 50 weight would stay nice and thick, which we want, when its hot. 

 

Back in the old days, I suspect  chemists had not likely perfected a multi-viscosity oil yet.  Nor a detergent oil. A straight 30W has to try and perform well in all temps. It does not perform as well when compared to a multi-viscosity oil in wide temp ranges. 

 

If you drive your car all summer, I’d certainly consider trying 20W50 in it. Especially if you have incorrect engine bearings installed. 

I would not run this oil into the cooler temps in the fall. Nor winter. At cold winter engine starts, the thick oil cannot moving to important galleries quickly. 

 

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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Here is a chart showing various oil viscosity and temp ranges.  It’s in celsius. Not farenheit.  0C cel is 32F if I recall. 

 

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Considering the year of the car, the condition of the engine, the tolerances, and low oil pressure issues, I’d be game to try heavier oil. Not my car tho so you can decide. 

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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Jumping the gun a little, I had a couple minutes to do some body work and for the sake of giggles I painted the bare metal with some black lacquer I had in the garage. I can see why they were mainly painted black. However, when I bought the blue parts car, in the trunk there was quart of some old old paint which matched the car. It is a blue that is very pretty in the sun. Way down the road when I paint the car I’m going to get them to try to match the color.

 

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Edited by Fleetwood Meadow
Took closer picture of blue metal. (see edit history)
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On 7/24/2019 at 9:38 AM, Matt Harwood said:

Third, if it's running hot, it may still be a timing

Matt, the book says to set the timing to “A” for premium and “C” for regular gas. This was back in 1952. With gasoline’s changing to unleaded and the octanes being different, I’m assuming, what is considered premium and what is considered regular gas to this engine? Currently the car has 87 in it. Out of habit I put it in because I remember the octane debate with my ‘51 Meadowbrook on P15-D24 and they said that that engine is a tank and can handle lower octanes without a problem. Anyone can answer that if they know. 

Edited by Fleetwood Meadow
Added the last 2 lines. (see edit history)
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The insides of the front doors have been sprayed with rust converter. When it fully dries I will apply the bed liner material then put the cylinder assemblies in, flush the system, then put ATF in it and the windows will be done. Then on to the next fun adventure on that car. 

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Minus the hydraulic lines, the front windows are back together! I finished coating the inside of the door earlier today and then replaced the old cylinders with the new ones and put them in the doors. I aligned and connected the window glass to the cylinder assembly and wired it. Unfortunately I have the new lines but am still trying to collect the fittings to connect them. It’s hard to imagine but the shops around here only had a limited amount of them and I had to order some online. I had enough to connect the rear ones so I started connecting them and split an old brass connector so I will replace those and by then the parts should be in. I didn’t think before I acted and I blew into the new line to make sure it wasn’t leaking and spat brake fluid into the rear door through the other end of the line. I will be doing that later but when I’m prepared to flush the lines. 😝 

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Before I install the rear window cylinder assemblies I want to take the rear windows out and replace the rubber trim at the bottom of the windows. In order to do that I need to remove the window from the door, pry the metal from the bottom of the window glass and replace the rubber, then reinstall it. But when I lower the door to remove it it gets stopped by the block that connects the cylinder assembly to the door and the metal covers that protect the electrical wires and metal lines. They stop the windows as if they are a stop for the windows right at the bottom of the window opening. There is no wiggle room for me to pry the windows out and I don’t see any screws to move the window channels. Any ideas of how to get them out? If I can’t get them out I will have to disassemble the window and replace the rubber in the door which will be very difficult because you really have to press with a lot of pressure the rubber and metal around the bottom of the door. The first picture is the bottom of the door, the middle picture is the front of the door, and the last picture is the back of the door. 

 

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Edited by Fleetwood Meadow
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  • 2 weeks later...

Although it was a warm day today I decided to tackle the windows. The rubber sweep for the bottom of the windows case in and I was feeling excited about being almost done with the windows finally. I only had the rear windows to do. I turned on an old country song that I love and got the first of the two windows done. So I moved onto the second one and was putting on the track when it slipped off and the window fell forward. It cracked the glass in one crack on one side and two on the other. It wasn’t flimsy or falling apart so I decided to keep going and finish the job. I got one half of the track on and then the track slid and the glass folded in half. Rather than try to keep playing with it I put everything down and walked away. For now, today’s adventures with Ricardo are done. Now I have to order a new piece of glass and wait the week for it to come in. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The windows are in and they are working beautifully. I took it out today and put the windows up and down a couple times. I gave it its first wash in probably 45 years. Naturally it leaked at the door seals and a tiny drop of water showed up on the inside of the rear window but didn’t leak off of the gasket. It’s got a long way to go before I’m comfortable taking it anywhere (front tires, suspension front and rear, tightening the steering, fixing the vapor locking symptoms, fixing the internal engine issues that cause the low oil pressure when warm and the faint smoke coming from the left tailpipe) but it’s getting there. Starting it is a monster, it cranks so slowly and just as it slows down to where you think it won’t crank anymore it fires up. Its a newly rebuilt starter so I know the starter is not an issue. Overall it was an enjoyable trip. Coming off of a stop sign I floored it and was surprised at being pushed into the seat as it took off. Who would have thought this big boat would act like a sports car with pickup..

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Edited by Fleetwood Meadow (see edit history)
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Yes it’s a 6 volt. I’ve been toying with the idea of making the starting system 12 volt and keeping the rest 6 volt with voltage reducers because it cranks so slowly and just as I think the battery is dead it fires. I might get a battery with more cranking amps. Today I started it and let it idle while I worked on getting the vacuum antenna to work. It took about 30 minutes for the oil light to start flickering. But the second I put it in gear the light came on steady. So I had thought that maybe there was a chance the oil pressure was getting better since I’ve been running the car more but that isn’t the case. I did get the antenna working. I wish I could put a video up because a picture of it being up does nothing. Maybe I’ll start putting stuff up on YouTube.. 🤔

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I’ve been trying to take Ricardo out now that the windows are in to try to get it moving again. Last night I timed the ignition. It was severely advanced so I brought it back to the C, which is the mark for regular gas. However, I don’t know it today’s 87 octane is the same as 1952’s 87 octane or if this is what they would have  considered premium gas with all the new techniques they use with gasoline now. Adjusting the timing did not help the heat issue in the engine. When I stopped after the drive and was letting it idle today the temp gauge was at 1/4 but the upper house was 180, the lower house was 160, and the housing for the thermostat was 220. What temp should that housing be? I’m using a 180 thermostat. The oil light came on whenever I would stop and go away as soon as I pressed the accelerator. The other night I took it out and the oil light didn’t come on at all except when I was slowing down it would turn on just before it downshifted to 1st gear, then it would downshift and the light would go off and stay off. I had great success with cleaning out the coolant system with using Evaporust Thermocure in my Meadowbrook. It used to overheat and after a couple weeks of using that and flushing it didn’t overheat so I’m using it in here now. I can see some rust residue on the inside of the radiator so it doesn’t hurt to try to get rid of that. But from what I’m seeing, I think the sending unit is a 12 volt unit which is causing the reading to be at 1/4 when it’s fully warm. Which of those readings am I suppose to be using for measurement of the coolant? Also what am I suppose to be looking for as a normal temperature reading? The top picture is the Cadillac radiator and the second picture is the Dodge Meadowbrook head after using Thermocure for a couple of weeks. 

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Have you thought of removing freeze plugs to poke out and flush the sediment at the bottom and back of the block?

 

If you do, be sure to run a Tefba coolant filter to keep any remainder of schmutz out of the radiator.

 

Cool car, and I like your work!

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  • 3 weeks later...

That hot idle does seem somewhat low, but there may be contributing factors that can be looked at without major work. 

 

What SAE weight oil are you running? If you are using a multigrade oil (for example, 10W30 or 10W40), you might consider experimenting with a straight weight oil.

 

Also, if you are having overheating issues, that can make your 'hot' oil pressure lower. 

 

What type of oil filter does your engine have - a full flow or a partial flow filter? If a partial flow filter, usually they have some sort of restrictor to maintain a metered oil flow. I know of Studebakers folks who have found that restrictor missing on their filter/lines, and it was lowering their oil pressure at idle. A quick check would be to temporarily disconnect the supply to the filter and plug the port and see if that appreciably improves your idle oil pressure. 

 

Keep us informed on what you find. I enjoy your posts on your progress. 

Edited by r1lark (see edit history)
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I’m running 15W-40 oil. The book says use 20W oil. The car doesn’t overheat to the point of it spilling out of the radiator. As you have seen the temps seem a little high but I don’t know if they are considered too high to cause problems. The oil filter is a partial filter. It has the tiny little metal tube going from right next to the breather tube to the oil filter, then it comes out through a tiny little metal tube going into the breather tube right above the fuel pump. 

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What is the oil pressure at 30 mph at the end of your drive? I would imagine that is much more important than at idle when there is no load on the engine. Of course, with low pressure at low engine speeds, you should not pull away in high gear and low engine revs of you want the bearings to last a bit longer.

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That I could not tell you. This gauge was installed into the hole for the oil pressure light sending unit and I could only see it when I open the hood. The car is a 4 speed automatic and it insists on getting to 4th gear so when I’m going 25-30mph it shifts into 4th and the oil light comes on. After about 5 minutes of that sort of speed I hear the knocking in the engine from a lack of oil. 

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