Author Topic: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it  (Read 1628 times)

Offline dochawk

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1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« on: September 04, 2016, 08:33:46 PM »
I bought it about 9 years ago, and then life happened.

Our van had been stolen, and I tripped over my dream car, in running condition, on Craigslist.  The insurance was expected to be enough to spend $2k-$3k each on interior, paint, and new roof.

Driving it home with the kids, one of the 10 year old twins announced "there's mommy's van!" just a couple of blocks from home. 

So it became a project car.

And then life happened.

So I've started again, and figured I'd grab these pictures as "before."

I do have the new carb in, an AC-Delco rebuild for the correct year, which came shrink-wrapped in the Delco box.

We got it in, and were going to take a quick drive around the neighborhood, and . . . putting down the hood, a hinge went, popping a rivet.  Fixed that, and it turned out it was the other hinge that was actually bad, and bent . . .

Replaced the fuel pump over lack of pressure, and found it was leaking lots of water.  So I packed a couple of five gallon kegs, and drove across town to an event--where the varnish smell was recognized, having sat with half a tank for those years . . .

Which brings us to now.

So here it is, with the hood hanging above it, and the tank below:






larger images at http://dochawk.org/caddie

So if I get answers in another question about the fuel lines, the tank goes back on tomorrow, and I order the water pump & fan clutch, and it will move from "before" to "work in progress."
1972 Eldorado convertible, 2001 Deville DHS (daughter), 1997 Eldorado ETC (and now my wife wants an Eldorado!)

Offline savemy67

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2016, 11:04:12 PM »
Hello Richard,

Love the pics of the garage.  Home sweet home, eh?

I like the style of the '71 and '72 convertibles.  It should look great when you are done.  Good luck.

Christopher Winter
Christopher Winter
1967 Sedan DeVille hardtop

Offline NORTHPORTGUY

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2016, 12:08:54 AM »
Richard-    You are fortunate to be living in Nevada  so likely will not have many rust corrosion issues.

  Owning a 71 I'm obviously biased but they're a terrific hobby car,  so best of luck.

Ken Wiebke
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Offline dochawk

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2016, 12:03:23 PM »
Hello Richard,

Love the pics of the garage.  Home sweet home, eh?
Quote

Indeed.   I spent 11 years in exile before I could make it back.

The other side, though, has 2 foot deep shelves that I added in '05 when I got back.  That was fine with the Miata, but with the '72 and a '97 Eldorado both in there, they're going to have to come out.   I've already caught the passenger mirror more than once, and have cut a hole in it now (and am looking for a replacement mirror . . .).  I've also realized that we use almost nothing that is stored there.   (the catch is that now my wife wants me to fix the Miata, too, which will give me three that need the garage . . .

Richard-    You are fortunate to be living in Nevada  so likely will not have many rust corrosion issues.

  Owning a 71 I'm obviously biased but they're a terrific hobby car,  so best of luck.

That's not bias; it's good judgment :)

And this is indeed the eight climate.

It started life in California, then moved here.  The prior owner started having work done on it, then signed it over to the mechanic.  It sat inside for three years there, got handed to a body shop who hung on to it another two years without doing anything, and sold it to me for $2,000 in 2007 (I think).

I started, life happened, and only got back to it in the last few months.

Tons of little things it needs, but nothing major--and only two rust spots, I believe.
1972 Eldorado convertible, 2001 Deville DHS (daughter), 1997 Eldorado ETC (and now my wife wants an Eldorado!)

Offline Carl Fielding

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2016, 09:26:26 PM »
Rick , don't forget what I told you about the timing chain and gears , now that the water pump is off. If not , you , like the terminator , will be back.  - CC

Offline dochawk

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2016, 10:22:53 PM »
I'm going to replace every part that isn't outrageously expensive while I have it disassembled this far.

The radiator will also get checked pulled and checked out.
1972 Eldorado convertible, 2001 Deville DHS (daughter), 1997 Eldorado ETC (and now my wife wants an Eldorado!)

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2016, 09:24:02 PM »
Congratulations on your purchase, and it is great that you are taking pictures.

I like your trust in the hooks you have screwed into the ceiling to hold up the hood out of the way.   Hopefully, the rope won't degrade before you bring it back down.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Offline dochawk

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2016, 07:20:49 PM »
If anyone is thinking of copying that hanging system . . . spend a few more bucks and put a pulley on each hook. 

As I did it, it took two men to get it all the way up, at which point it was easy.   With just one of me, it was grab a section of rope down, and slowly let it up as I pulled down the next section working my way around the ar, retying the not, and repeating . . .

Also, pay attention to the load the hooks can bear; I spent a couple of bucks a hook  . . .

1972 Eldorado convertible, 2001 Deville DHS (daughter), 1997 Eldorado ETC (and now my wife wants an Eldorado!)

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2016, 09:07:10 PM »
Yes, these are heavy.

When I put mine up, I started whilst it was still on the car.   Tied up the front with rope, then with rope around the back, undid the bolts, after putting some cushioning in front of the windscreen, and then slowly raised the back till I could roll the car out of the way.   Then with one hand holding the centre rear, lifted the back up, pulling on the rope, till it was in position, then tied it off, and adjusted the front.

The car pictured is a '71 that I worked on.

Using soft Cotton Rope protects paint.

Putting the hood back on is just a reverse operation of the initial lifting, and can be done single-handed.

The secret is to put the car back in the same place as when removing it.

Bruce. >:D

PS.   My Ranchero Hood is up there now.   But it is there in storeage as the ute is being rebuilt.   
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Offline dochawk

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2016, 02:10:09 PM »
In hindsight, maybe I should have taken pictures during the process.

I fastened a pair of ratcheting tie-downs from side to side, and ran the rope through their hooks. 

I added an additional longitudinal rope under the hood, which also in hindsight, did pretty much nothing.

Once it was held up by the ropes, I removed the bolts from the hinges.
1972 Eldorado convertible, 2001 Deville DHS (daughter), 1997 Eldorado ETC (and now my wife wants an Eldorado!)

Online James Landi

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2016, 08:12:15 AM »
Having owned a 72 Eldo, I found that simply opening up the hood for routine checks required some muscle tone.  Interesting that my '83 downsized Eldo had a very light hood--- somewhere I read that the metal gauge was adjusted to significantly  lighten that element.  DUring the Sandy event, when we lived in a condo  in OCean City, Maryland, I had to use  "old Red" to pick up my wife... with a 60 mph gusts and driving into the wind at 50, my hood dangerously "expanded"  and at one point, I thought it was permanently distorted...Happy ending... it returned to its original shape once out of the blasts.

Offline dochawk

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2017, 06:06:14 PM »
I have the fuel tank back on!

I hunted down 7/16" fuel hose (a few, but not most, O'Rileys have them), as I couldn't get the 3/8 past the nipple ball on the largest line.

Naturally, when I went out today, the 3/8 just slipped right on (leaving me with a foot of 7/16 . . .)

With luck, tomorrow will be the water pump & fan clutch, and inspecting timing chain and so forth (it may already have been replaced; the last folks to work on it replaced all the belts).

bit by bit . . .

hawk
1972 Eldorado convertible, 2001 Deville DHS (daughter), 1997 Eldorado ETC (and now my wife wants an Eldorado!)

Offline dochawk

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2017, 01:33:19 PM »
With the water pump off, I've found impressive calcium buildup inside:



Water here is extremely hard, so I'm really not surprised.  I'll be sure to use distilled water . . .

A right-angle drill with a wire brush at low speed removed most of it.

Getting ready to put it back on, it struck me as odd that there was no gasket. 

On closer inspection, there was indeed the remains of a gasket, much of which had apparently been replaced by calcium buildup over time . . .

Some simply came off by tugging, and more with a fingernail--but there is are significant chunks left.  They don't brush off with the wire drill attachment, either.

What is the best approach?  I'm contemplating the beveled side of a small wood chisel.

Or should this be its own thread in technical?

1972 Eldorado convertible, 2001 Deville DHS (daughter), 1997 Eldorado ETC (and now my wife wants an Eldorado!)

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2017, 04:40:10 PM »
As I am renowned for being cheap, I have a scraper that was made out of a broken heavy duty Hack Saw Blade.   One of those used in the steel industry for cutting steel tubing and flats into length.

It is only 1" deep, and with the teeth ground off, and an edge ground into the end, it never seems to become blunt, and removes any gasket, and other stuff from a hard surface.

You could go out and purchase a special mechanics scraper, but any chisel will do.

Seeing as this surface is a "wafered" plate, you don't want to be creating too much friction (heat) as you don't want to damage the underlying gasket that goes between it and the block.   Disturb that gasket, and you will be needing to remove the plate, and replacing that gasket, which could lead to a leaking sump gasket and oil leaks.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Offline NORTHPORTGUY

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2017, 11:31:15 AM »
   i think of this post often when looking at my eldorado's hinges.  See a formidable path ahead and wonder about the status...

Offline dochawk

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2017, 04:03:58 PM »
The new water pump is installed, after the fiasco with the stripped bolts.

I then managed to reinstall the fan, belts, and radiator cowl.

Charged the battery, tried to start it up, and it cranked away.

And continued after I released the key.

I ran around to break the circuit, but now I have absolutely now electrical anything.  I think the easiest cause is if this blew the usable link.

And now there's the question of whether the solenoid on the starter stuck, or whether I have a problem with the ignition lock.

*sigh*
1972 Eldorado convertible, 2001 Deville DHS (daughter), 1997 Eldorado ETC (and now my wife wants an Eldorado!)

Offline Carl Fielding

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2017, 09:04:48 PM »
Rick , you didn't buy that thing to actually DRIVE it anyway , right ? The GOOD news is , by the time you are my age , you will have fixed absolutely EVERYTHING on it at least once. By definition , you will then know everything about these '71 - '78 Eldos , and perhaps be THE world expert on them. I am aiming to get out of here in a week or so. Practice your double clutching so I can ride in the back seat again. Call me if you ever get out from under it.  - Carl

Offline dochawk

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2017, 11:42:00 PM »
Rick , you didn't buy that thing to actually DRIVE it anyway , right ?

Heaven forbid!

:(

Quote

The GOOD news is , by the time you are my age , you will have fixed absolutely EVERYTHING on it at least once. By definition , you will then know everything about these '71 - '78 Eldos , and perhaps be THE world expert on them.

All in all, I'd rather spend the time behind the wheel . . .

Quote
I am aiming to get out of here in a week or so. Practice your double clutching so I can ride in the back seat again. Call me if you ever get out from under it.  - Carl

I'll try to call tomorrow.

The only thing running with a clutch at the moment is Marlys' musing GT convertible. I'm double-clutching up & down as I drive it, but just a touch of gas on that thing on a downshift goes a *long* way--it doesn't need it to synchronize, and it sure spins it up . . .

hawk
1972 Eldorado convertible, 2001 Deville DHS (daughter), 1997 Eldorado ETC (and now my wife wants an Eldorado!)

Offline dochawk

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2017, 02:31:44 PM »
I am now apparently dealing with a clogged fuel line.  *sigh*.  That's at http://forums.cadillaclasalleclub.org/index.php?topic=145402.0.

The electrical fault turned out to be ridiculously easy to find, though.

As I went to go under, there was a brass nut lying on my creeper.

I was going under with a meter to see where +12 ended, and there it was, hanging free instead of on the starter post where it belonged--thus he bolt.

So the continued cranking was probably from it ambling over to the other post,.  It cranks fine now.

The first bolt, up against the starter, was also very loose.

*shrug*

hawk
1972 Eldorado convertible, 2001 Deville DHS (daughter), 1997 Eldorado ETC (and now my wife wants an Eldorado!)

Offline NORTHPORTGUY

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Re: 1972 Eldorado Convertible, finally restoring it
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2017, 10:42:53 AM »
  The thing about the hobby is every once in awhile you catch a break:  an easy fix.  So it seems your the starter issue,  Of course the clogged fuel line???  GULP.. Good luck