Author Topic: 1955 cadillac coupe deville  (Read 426 times)

Offline bigbry13

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  • Name: Bryan McGarthy
1955 cadillac coupe deville
« on: October 12, 2017, 07:17:51 PM »
Hey everyone
So forgive me for posting another of these types of threads but I figured I'd address the experts. I originally joined this forum last year and asked a question regarding a 1955 cadillac coupe deville that I was thinking of purchasing. Well my uncle ended up buying the car as I was tied up in another car at the time, but now he's going to put it up for sale as he just doesn't have the time to enjoy it. I'm really thinking about purchasing it and I guess I'm looking for some reassurance lol. Some backstory on the car. It's a 1955 cadillac coupe deville. Body color is arlington green with a alibaster gray roof. The car is as original as they come. It has 42,000 original miles and is matching numbers everything. The great thing about the car is that it has every single piece of paperwork that originally came with the car which is all in brand new condition. I mean EVERYTHING, including the original owners manual with all 4 numbers matching keys. Never been restored. There was some touch up paint at one time on the passengers side front fender but 99 percent original paint. The car even has the original tag in the engine compartment with the original owners information on it! It's all power including a working radio and has every factory option except ac, even has a continental kit the vogue tubeless original whitewall tire. Only thing done are new stainless dual exhaust and white wall radial tires .Mechanically it is pretty sound. The engine does tick a bit but it runs and drives well.

My questions concerns are
1) engine ticking. Is that common with these motors that have been sitting most of the last few decades. I'm hoping to avoid a rebuild. I'm thinking it either just needs a valve adjustment or it has a slight exhaust leak perhaps.
2) does all the original paperwork/original components improve the value significantly, somewhat or not much at all.
3) any idea on the ballpark value of the car? I know what I'll be paying for the car but I also want to buy something that would be a solid investment in terms of holding its value/slightly appreciating.


I apologize for the long post this will be my first classic caddy purchase if i pull the trigger. Just need some good advice of the benefits/pitfalls. Thanks!!!
Bryan
Bryan

Offline Mike Josephic CLC #3877

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Re: 1955 cadillac coupe deville
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2017, 12:13:24 AM »
I'll comment on your three questions one at a time:
1)  Ticking valve
Could just be from sitting with dirty oil & filter and one valve "sticking".
Common issue on earlier Cadillacs.  Change the oil but add in 1 quart
of Marvel Mystery Oil.  Drive the car for 2-300 miles, some at highway
speeds and then do the oil / filter change again.  This may cure it.

2) Original Paperwork
It's always good to have but you can't expect a large premium in price
for having it unless it has "provenance" which means it belonged to
someone famous, a celebrity, etc.  Say, for example, a documented Elvis car.

3)  Price Range
Without pictures and some detailed descriptions about underside, interior,
paint, chrome, what's been done, et. the number would be so broad as
to be useless.

Mike
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Offline James Landi

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Re: 1955 cadillac coupe deville
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2017, 07:13:50 AM »
Mike's advice and assessments are spot on.  I wish to add some experiences I have had with these model year cars, having owned 2 1956 Cadillacs that I used as daily drivers for approximately  a decade and a half during the mid-60's through the-70's.   Unlike modern cars, the engines in these cars truly respond quite differently to the kind of use they receive.  Short trips, long periods of idle, stop and go, really negatively affects them over time.  The oil sludge accumulates in part because there is no positive PVC device to pull the inevitable "rain clouds" that form and create moisture in the oil.  The oil filters and not "full flow" and heat distribution seems to be an issue for "around town" driving-- alas, similar to the way collectors use their cars.  I recall just how amazed I was after a 600 mile trip with my first '56... I felt as if the engine had received a "rebuild!"  The engine was more responsive, sounded better, idled better, and the accumulation of carbon on the external "rear bumperettes" was a very nice color instead of black carbon.   All this is to say that Mike's advice can "free up" a partially stuck lifter... the Marvel additive and a long drive will likely do the trick.  At the risk of repeating myself, it's the short runs, brief warm ups in the garage, that creates problems for these fine cars.  So before you decide that the engine needs a rebuild, take Mike's advice... and if you still have concerns, at the very least, test the oil pressure with a gauge, and take a compression reading of each cylinder.  In my experience, as long as the radiator is serviced (de gunked-- and not simply flushed), and your running the car and heating up the engine on the highway, you're likely good for 100,000 miles (before a ring job).

Offline lexi

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Re: 1955 cadillac coupe deville
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2017, 08:00:38 AM »
Both Mike and James comments are dead on. Clay/Lexi

Offline Cadillac Slim

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Re: 1955 cadillac coupe deville
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2017, 08:07:56 AM »
My 53 had a ticking noise when I purchased it as well.  Sounded like a bad lifter at idle.  It was also a low mile car that sat around a lot.  The culprit was there was so much sludge in the oil pan that the oil pump could not pump hardly any oil & had next to zero oil pressure.  The sludge measured over 1 1/2".
If you purchase the car i would highly recommend dropping the pan for inspection prior to putting any miles on it.
1938 Lasalle - Sold
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1953 Coupe De Ville
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1959 Series 62 2 Door
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Offline walt chomosh #23510

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Re: 1955 cadillac coupe deville
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2017, 08:39:11 AM »
Believe it or not but the service manual calls for removing and cleaning the oil pan once per season! (it was somewhere near this time when detergent oil came into being which was a good thing) I own a 1955CDV and love it....how do you top it?....walt...tulsa,ok

Offline Jeff Rose CLC #28373

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Re: 1955 cadillac coupe deville
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2017, 03:53:27 PM »
I have also read that the ticking could be the fuel pump. Next time she is running see if it comes from around that area.
I would LOVE to tell you what it is like to drive one of these..... we have had ours for about 4 months and have only 10 miles on it.  We are getting close tho.
I also second the sludge issue. I had over half an inch in the pan, however, oddly enough there was not a lot under the valve covers.
Jeff
« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 03:55:04 PM by Jeff Rose CLC #28373 »
Jeff
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Offline James Landi

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Re: 1955 cadillac coupe deville
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2017, 08:55:58 PM »
Tapping from the fuel pump is the sound of a developing issue...As some of you already know, the fuel pump, located as it is on the oil filler tube above the engine, must be packed with grease, as the fulcrum's pivot that drives the diagram  is actuated by the cam follower, and is not lubricated by the engine.  Many of the original fuel pumps back in the day came with a zerk fitting on the lower-bottom of the pump for the purposes of regular greasing.   

Offline Glen

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Re: 1955 cadillac coupe deville
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2017, 01:07:51 AM »
  Short trips, long periods of idle, stop and go, really negatively affects them over time.  .... I recall just how amazed I was after a 600 mile trip with my first '56... I felt as if the engine had received a "rebuild!"  The engine was more responsive, sounded better, idled better,.......

I noticed the same thing with my 68 ELDO.  As a daily driver with a 22 mile round trip, it seemed OK.  But if I took it over the mountain to see family it ran so much better after that run. 
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Offline 5390john

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Re: 1955 cadillac coupe deville
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2017, 11:08:32 PM »
Question regarding James Landi's comment....On my '55 CDV, the engine oil filler neck has the fuel pump actuator inside it at the base where it attaches to the engine. The oil return line from the oil filter canister is attached to the oil filler neck just above where the fuel pump attaches.  I just checked and there's nothing in the service manual regarding packing the fuel pump actuator with grease, just "lubricate with a drop of engine oil".
If you zoom in ( A LOT) on the attached photo of my chassis, you can see the line from the oil filter canister to the base of the filler neck. It attaches just above the fuel pump mount.
I assume the designers at GM figured the oil returning from the canister would lubricate the push rod and the contact surface for the fuel pump actuator.
I hope I'm not missing anything, any comments from the gallery?
John Adams
 

Online Roger Zimmermann

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Re: 1955 cadillac coupe deville
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2017, 01:47:44 AM »
On later cars, the line went directly to the engine block. On my '56 de Ville and Biarritz, I never put some grease on the fuel pump lever...And never had a problem with that.
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Offline James Landi

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Re: 1955 cadillac coupe deville
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2017, 07:35:07 AM »
I believe some of the replacement pumps were not sufficiently durable to last without any lubrication at the fulcrum.  The issue was difficult to diagnose, especially if you had recently replaced the fuel pump, and your car was stalling out on the highway under load-- because it was, in fact, running out gas.  I won't bore you with exciting details, but I vividly recall checking my recently installed fuel pump on my '56 on the New Jersey Turnpike with the fam in the car. Had the fool thing in my hand, actuated the pump lever, and fuel gushed out.  REinstalled, same problem-- cam follower was in prefect condition-- new pump (sans worn fulcrum) pivot, got us back on the road... and as mentioned above, there was no direct lubrication to the pivot point on the fuel pump.    James