Author Topic: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration  (Read 18398 times)

Offline DeVille68

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1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« on: April 27, 2014, 01:02:45 PM »
Hello Everybody,

I finally decided to start a thread where I report the restoration stuff I do to my 68 DeVille Convertible.
I introduced the car before, see here: http://forums.cadillaclasalleclub.org/index.php?topic=120638.20

And also started some topics about some restoration stuff I did, see here: http://forums.cadillaclasalleclub.org/index.php?topic=122984.0

This topic shall report stuff that is not worth to be but into a single thread and also more general stuff to keep you informed (those who are interested).
I read some blogs here with great pleasure, for example to one from David Smith http://forums.cadillaclasalleclub.org/index.php?topic=116290.0 or the new blog from Ben Friend http://forums.cadillaclasalleclub.org/index.php?topic=127357.0.

I hope that I can contribute to the community. Maybe some of you want to do the same thing, or ask questions. I also hope to get help from you when I get stuck.

So here we go
 :)

Best regards,
Nicolas
1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (silver pine green)

Offline DeVille68

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2014, 01:18:37 PM »
So the first task to tackle was (or still is!) the replacement of all the weatherstripping since I plan (and already did) to use the car in ANY weather, that is sunshine, rain, fog etc. Except snow and ice, the car is stored in the winter.

Since my car is mostly original all the rubbers were original. So I ordered a lot of rubbers from steele and rubber the right way. The rubber products were all a perfect match except those for the door trims (window feltline) - they do say that these are not the correct ones though. So, don't be surprised! They do not want to manufacture the correct rubbers with the chrome trim - I already asked. (the manufacturer is PUI Interiors)

The process is very simple, just remove the old rubber, clean the groove with some cleaner and then glue and clip in the new rubber. The window, trunk, and door weatherstrips were a perfect match. The pictures are attached. I also replaced to convertible top bow weatherstrip and painted the rusted area with some POR15.

You can clearly see the difference, the wind noise has reduced significantly due to the new window post rubbers.

1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (silver pine green)

Offline DeVille68

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2014, 01:21:54 PM »
Here are some more pictures.
You can clearly see the difference the new rubber makes. The doors now close with a nice "whom" and no wind noise anymore.
1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (silver pine green)

Offline DeVille68

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2014, 01:33:30 PM »
As said before, the window felt rubbers are not an exact replacement. The pieces for the trim panel are way off and even have a dent. I already complained, but that is how it is. I will post more details later. First regarding the outer rubber on the chrome trim strip on the door. This is neither an exact replacement. The taps are not correctly orientated, so you cant "slide" the strip nicely in place. It will buckle to some degree, no matter what you try.

Consider the first two pictures, there you see that one needs to cut a relieve, else the strip won't slide into the window post groove. And then look at the taps. They are oriented in the wrong way and some rubber in on top of it.  I had to bent the taps to their proper direction in order to slide the rubber strip in. Still not satisfied. See the third picture.

I tried to glue the weather strip to the chrome molding - but that was no success. Now I adjusted the window to slightly but the rubber when fully up, such that no water can enter the door frame.

Did you guys add additional screws to keep the rubber in place?

Or does anyone know some place that sells the correct window felt line rubbers?

Best regards,
Nicolas
1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (silver pine green)

Offline DeVille68

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2014, 06:48:10 AM »
Hello,

So  I removed also the back seat and panel. Removed the window and removed the beltline outer weather strip with the nylon window guide plate.
See the first picture below. You can see how my rubber is very dry and old. Pieces are broken off. When I read my master parts book correctly, then this has the part number: 9709028 (and for the passenger side: 9709029). Attached also a page from the master parts illustration catalog, where you can see the different weatherstrips.

I ordered from Steele a weatherstrip package, and as mentioned above, these are not quite correct.
The new rubber has some strange ribbles where the weatherstrip curves upward. Maybe production related. This has the effect that you cannot mount the nylon plate to this new rubber because the window will hit it and you are not able to adjust the window properly. So I had to remove the guide plate again.
See the two figures attached.

Does anyone know where to buy the correct weatherstrips?
Are they even made?

Thanks for you help.
Regards,
Nicolas
1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (silver pine green)

Offline DeVille68

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2014, 10:18:57 AM »
Hello guys,

So I am about to install my new vacuum powered trunk release system. The question that I have now is how to route the vacuum line to the glove box?

It goes inside the trunk lid, then needs to go behind the trunk lining and then?
To the passenger side? Inside the rear panel?
Below the carpet?
Or under the step plate? (is there room)?
And then up the kick panel?

I have attached some pictures.
Would be great if someone could give me some hints. Or is there a diagram somewhere?

Thanks a lot!
1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (silver pine green)

Offline mgbeda

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2014, 01:41:27 PM »
Hi,

Sorry I don't know much about '68 Convertibles, except that they may be my favorite Caddy ever.  Looks like you have a nice one and are making it nicer.  Keep it up, and good luck.

-mB
-Mike Beda
CLC #24610
1976 Sedan DeVille (Bessie)

Offline Glen

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2014, 12:11:39 AM »
IIRC on my 68 ELDO the hose runs through the trunk lid down the hinge where there is a clip holding it, then into the passenger compartment, probably as the red line in your first picture, then behind the quarter panel to the door sill.  It then runs under the door sill to the front and behind the kick panel.  Exact routing to the push button from there I am a bit fuzzy on. 

I would think the DeVille would be similar.   
Glen Houlton CLC #727 
CLCMRC benefactor #104

Offline DeVille68

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2014, 03:32:35 PM »
Ah, right. I found that rectangular slot in the trunk lid bracket. Do you know how the clip looks like? Where to buy this one?

I also investigated some more on how to route the vacuum line. There is a round hole in the metal on the passenger side to pass the vacuum line through, will then disappear under the door sill plate. See the figure attached. I hope its visible.

Does anyone know the correct color code of the vacuum lines?

I think the one from the glove compartment to the trunk has a green stripe and the vacuum supply has a white stripe.
I think the supply line should go through the firewall to the vacuum distribution just near the vacuum canister. Correct?

Thanks a lot.
Regards,
Nicolas


P.S: Found another picture (from ebay) where the vacuum line is readily visible. Also the vacuum actuator. See below.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2014, 03:39:56 PM by DeVille68 »
1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (silver pine green)

Offline DeVille68

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2014, 05:51:21 PM »
New update.

Last week I mounted my fender to cowl braces that I got from USParts Supply. Corrects length with (almost) all screws.
I drove the car on various roads, like mountain road, highway, normal back road, bumpy road, flat road etc.

Those braces really make a difference. The fenders do not shake as much, that is they don't shake at all as they did before. Also on very bumpy roads the stuff inside the glove box would rattle like crazy. I don't know if it improved handling at all - don't think so.

So, if you drive up and down mountains a lot (which I do here in Switzerland), I can really recommend installing these braces.

Regards,
Nicolas
1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (silver pine green)

Offline DeVille68

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2014, 10:33:50 AM »
Hi guys,

So I am struggling with my door panel fasteners. I put the door panels in for the last few car shows and trips, but left all the clips out. The problem is that some of my original plugs are gone and also some of the original fasteners are missing.
So I bought new plugs from restoration specialities, part nr. 2146J-CLP - "Trim Fastener GM trim Panel Plug for Door"
Now, these plugs are almost the same as your original ones. However the new ones are made out of hard plastic, which makes it quite more difficult to install (and especially remove!) your door panel.

Now so far so good, the real problem is with the clips that are supposed to go into these plugs. The originals are not strong enough for this hard plastic stuff. Anyway, I tried to buy new clips (also from restoration specialties) part nr. 1969-CLP. I also had some original MOPAR chrysler clips around.

The three pictures below shows the original clip (black) along with the new clip (green) from restoration specialties.

As can be seen: The original ones are much narrower at the tip, less wide and their flanks are much larger.

I was not able to make the new clips fit into the original plugs still on my door or even into the new plugs (2146J-CLP).

The chrysler clips I mentioned fit better, since they are a bit narrower at the top, but still not correct.


It would be nice, if one could sell me the original plugs and clips for 68 or point me to some correct replacement.

Thanks a lot!
Best regards,
Nicolas
1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (silver pine green)

Offline DeVille68

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2014, 07:07:25 AM »
Anyone?

Where do you buy your clips and fasteners if you restore your door panels?
Someone has to know...

Best regards,
Nicolas
1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (silver pine green)

Offline DeVille68

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2014, 08:52:05 AM »
Here are some updates on the restoration.
I did this last year in winter, but will continue this winter. Just now I found the time to write things up. So here we go:

My original rose wood veneer was really beating up by the sunlight, so I had to redo it (see the first picture). Obviously one needs to remove the door panel first so I figured I also restore the door panel. But continuing with the wood veneer which is secured to the door panel with a little glue (which lost its strength in my case) and some screws with some very strange nuts. I made my own tool using a screw and trimmed it using a grinding machine. See the second picture.

Now at this point you remove the wood veneer along with the door pull handle. Don't do the mistake that I did to try to remove the two little screws from the back, it is much easier to remove the handle later. The third pictures shows my mistake by removing them first, but now you know how to do it! :)

Ok, so then I removed the old dry coating with some sharp tools, but being very very careful to not scratch the wood. I used a very sharp tool that is used for cleaning you ceramic cooktop. Worked very nicely. In my case the old coating just chipped of, but I guess you can also sand it down. Then you need to sand the wood smooth, to achieve a smooth finish and nice uniform color. I used special sandpaper with a soft padding. Makes it real nice to work with your hand. I used some medium and a 220 for the finish.

As a bonus: the whole shop smells wonderfully after rosewood. :-)

Then I had a paint shop, which also does wooden boats - so they know what their are doing, to clear coat the wood veneer. Came out really nice, as you can see in the last picture.

Check out the finished door panel and compare with the starting point. Quite a difference!
I am very pleased with the result, the other wood veneer panels will follow soon.

Best regards,
Nicolas
1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (silver pine green)

Offline DeVille68

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2014, 08:53:28 AM »
rest of the pictues
1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (silver pine green)

Offline DeVille68

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2014, 09:43:13 AM »
In this post I'll wrap up the restoration of the door panel itself, restore the water damage and repair the carpet. My car still had the original weatherstripping which were all dry and cracked, hence water was entering and damaged to door panel made out of pressed wood. It would swell and become wavy. See the first picture.
So, to smooth it out, I sprayed it again with some water and pressed and clamped it taut to restore its original shape. See the second picture.

After a few days it will be smooth and flat again, ready to apply some epoxy. I had some experience with that stuff since it is used on building boats too. So it holds the fibers of the wood together and adds waterproofness at the same time. See the third picture. Then I had to repair some damage to the vinyl strip on the carpet, since it had a long rip. After that it is just a matter of applying some glue to the carpet and panel.

I did the driver side door panel the same way and it came out really nice. Nice clean and flat carpet. Mounts nice and easy with the four screws to the door frame, no warpage anymore.

« Last Edit: June 29, 2014, 09:45:27 AM by DeVille68 »
1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (silver pine green)

Offline DeVille68

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2014, 12:28:25 PM »
Recently, I also added my kick-down switch that I got from Tim.
Solenoid of the transmission does work, so it was just a matter of bolting it in. The shop manual has a nice explanation how to mount it such that the kick down is activated at about 60% of throttle.
The pictures below show some more details of the setup.

Regards,
Nicolas

P.S: I think my throttle return spring is wrong. Should it be shorter and attached to the tab of the kick-down & dash-pot plate?
Where can I get that spring? Are the different stiffnesses?
1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (silver pine green)

Offline DeVille68

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2014, 04:51:48 AM »
Hi guys,

Some smaller updates.

1) I installed the vacuum actuator for the trunk lock. Make sure you get the correct one, since I believe it is 68 only. The mounting screws need to be farther apart to clear the locking mechanism. Then you need to adjust or create a new rod that connects the lock cylinder to the vacuum actuator. The distance is about 2cm shorter. I made a new piece out of some scrap metal I had laying around. Works very nice. But yet need to route the vacuum line.

--> Can anyone tell me what color the vacuum line from the main supply to the switch in the glove box needs to be? Black with white stripe?
How is it routed through the firewall?

2) As I mentioned earlier, I installed the braces under the hood connecting the two fenders. Now I have driven some 400 miles more on highway and in the mountains. These braces really make a difference. I would recommend to install these if you drive on twisty roads.

3) I still need to remove my wood veneer of the dash. Can anyone tell me how to remove this veneer? How to access it? Do I have to remove the dash first?

Thanks a lot for your help

Best regards,
Nicolas


P.S: Here are some pictures of the event - it is called "Hangar Rockin' St. Stephan"
A military airfield way back in the mountains. It was used by the swiss military, very difficult to start and land there.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 05:05:54 AM by DeVille68 »
1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (silver pine green)

Offline DeVille68

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2014, 05:08:58 AM »
Drive up the mountain road brünig.
1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (silver pine green)

Offline DeVille68

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2014, 05:10:13 AM »
somewhere besides the road on a farm in the mountains.
1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (silver pine green)

Offline dwbic

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Re: 1968 DeVille Convertible - Restoration
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2014, 06:30:37 AM »
Hi Nicolas,

Is your '68 Caribe Aqua and White in color?  I would love to see a few more pictures of it since that is the colors I'm thinking of using on mine.

Best regards,
Don
Don