Author Topic: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille  (Read 2294 times)

Offline Bentley

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Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« on: August 09, 2016, 04:26:01 PM »
Today I dropped off my '68 DeVille, which I affectionately refer to as the Mothership, at the body shop for restoration. I bought the car in the year 2000 B.C. (before children) without any real plans for it except to drive it and have fun.

The previous owner put a cheap paint job on the car to make it sellable, and the top was replaced at some point. Other than that the car was original. When I bought it, I restored the dash pad, steering wheel and surrounding vinyl areas. Then I began restoring and R&R-ing the mechanicals. I just did this as time and budget permitted, one thing at a time, and with the help of many of you. Along the way I put 40,000 miles on it, including 4 road trips from my home here in the LA area to Phoenix (about 387 miles each way), two trips to Palm Springs (about 125 miles each way), and many trips to the beach with dogs, kids and surfboards in the back.

I've always kept the car in the garage, but over the years, the cheap paint job has oxidized beyond repair in certain areas, and picked up some nicks and scratches. Since the mechanical work is finished, now is the time to restore the exterior.

All chrome trim and bumpers will be removed, fenders and hood removed, and the car will be blasted down to bare metal, then it will be built back up with filler, primer, paint and clear coat. The bumpers will be re-chromed while they are off. Also, I need to find a place to send the exterior mirrors out for restoration. The whole process will take about 3 months.

I welcome all of your tips, suggestions and questions. I'm busy with family and work, so it may be few days before I reply.

-Wes




Wes Bentley
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Offline Dave Shepherd

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Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2016, 07:43:10 PM »
Based on experiences my friends have had with similar restoration work, I would suggest a contract outlining time frames and money  that you expect during the process, so you don't wind up in "paint jail".

Offline Bentley

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Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2016, 05:26:19 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion. We did that.
Wes Bentley
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Offline DeVille68

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Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2016, 02:40:32 PM »
Will you paint it in the same color? Or at least an original 68 color?
1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible (silver pine green)

Offline Bentley

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Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2016, 06:38:57 PM »
Nicolas, the original color was Topaz Gold Firemist. I like the dark brown paint with the beige top combination, but I don't like the dark brown color from '68, which is Chestnut Brown Irid. I'm not concerned about this being a matching-numbers car, so I chose a dark brown from the Toyota Tundra 19794-edition Pickup, called Sunset Bronze. Here is a link to a photo of that color: http://www.toyota.com/tundra/photo-gallery/exterior
Wes Bentley
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Offline Bentley

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Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2016, 02:18:11 PM »
The car is just about ready for the blaster.
Wes Bentley
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Offline 62 driver

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  • Name: Dave Schneider
Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2016, 06:32:50 PM »
Linco industries
528 S. Central Park West
Anaheim, Ca. 92802
714 635-2800 Dean

They did my chrome and are very good to work with.
Dave
Dave Schneider,  CLC #27889

Offline Bentley

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Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2016, 01:54:31 PM »
Dave,

I've already talked to South Bay Chrome (also in OC) and am comfortable working with them. Do you know of a good source in the area for the interior?
Wes Bentley
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Offline Bentley

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Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2016, 02:04:16 PM »
The car came back from the blaster. The bondo spots are where the filler was too deep for the blaster to remove. The body shop will have to remove them by hand. Overall, I'm pleased. You never know what you'll uncover with a 48-year-old car.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 02:14:37 PM by Bentley »
Wes Bentley
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Offline Bentley

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Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2016, 05:18:35 PM »
The body shop removed the thick bondo patches that the blaster couldn't. There are some issues in the typical trouble spots behind the front fenders. These two spots cannot be repaired by bondo. Therefore they will have to cut out the decayed sheet metal and weld new sheet metal in place. Ughh! More cost. The photos also show two dents that can be repaired.
Wes Bentley
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Offline Chuck Patton

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Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2016, 01:14:04 PM »


Hello Wes

Glad to read you are improving your Cadillac.  Have you consulted your Cadillac & LaSalle Club SoCal Region Director Craig Chally cmchally@robertsresorts.com?  He is a great guy with a lot of resources.
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Offline Bentley

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Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2016, 03:34:01 PM »
Here are some pics of the bumpers, disassembled and ready to go to the plater. Also, I resized the photos so they don't blow up so large.
Wes Bentley
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Offline Highwayman68

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Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2016, 04:00:13 PM »
How did the disassembly of the bumpers go? Did you end up with any damage trying to separate the pieces?

Offline Bentley

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Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2016, 04:22:14 PM »
Mark,

The body shop did the bumper disassembly and there was no damage during the process. I did notice that they use a compressed air ratchet.

Wes
Wes Bentley
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Offline Bentley

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Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2016, 06:23:58 PM »
I am cleaning up the grill by polishing it by hand with steel wool #0000. There is a good thread on this subject from May, 2015. I'm cleaning the horizontal fins first. I found if you use a screwdriver to hold the steel wool down, it cleans the center area well. Just don't let the blade slip off. I haven't found a technique for getting into the corners or the vertical fins yet. After this I plan to polish the grill with Autosol.
Wes Bentley
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Offline Highwayman68

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Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2016, 11:26:56 PM »
Yeah I started doing this too. I was afraid to use the steel wool thinking it would leave a lot of scratches. How did yours look?

Offline Bentley

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Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2016, 06:47:59 PM »
It doesn't scratch. I just cleans all the gunk off. Here's a closeup photo.
Wes Bentley
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Offline Highwayman68

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Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2016, 10:11:59 PM »
I wish that there was a solution I could put in the laundry tub and dip the grill into and all of the crap comes off and the grill looks brand new  ;D

Offline Bentley

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Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2016, 02:51:57 PM »
Check out this thread from last year. Someone recommends hydrochloric acid. I did not try it, however.

http://forums.cadillaclasalleclub.org/index.php?topic=135801.0
Wes Bentley
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Offline john henderson

  • 65 barnfind
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Re: Restoring the Mothership 68 DeVille
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2016, 11:45:43 AM »
 I tried cleaning my 65 grill but got frustrated with the slow progress.I showed to my chrome and he suggested having it dipped. We did that,it removed the anodizing,as he said it would.then I clear coated it with satin clear paint.Looks awesome!! I applaud your effort,just wanted to offer an option.Good luck! John Henderson
65 coupe 76 coupe