Author Topic: motor change feasibility  (Read 843 times)

Online chrisntam

  • Posts: 1192
  • Dallas, Texas
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #29206
  • Name: C. Jessen
Re: motor change feasibility
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2017, 05:44:30 PM »
Kim , you are talking about Cadillacs here. I have had Cadillacs from the '20s , '30s , '40s , '50s , '60s , '70s , '90s , and on into the 21st Century. They have been my daily drivers since my '39 and '49 in high school almost 60 years ago. My friend Steve hung the "Cadillac Carl" handle on me back in '71 or '72 when I drove up in the '57 Eldo Bi'z which I had just purchased for $500 , to take the daily driver spot from the gorgeous '49 fastback which had cost me $250. Just great old used cars back then. The only one which broke my heart was my exquisite 2002 STS. Northstar , 4T80E issues. I overreacted on that one , and misplayed my hand. Turned my back on the then modern Cads , and jumped right out of the pan into the drivers seat of a mighty fire breathing 400 h.p. Mercedes-Benz. That one is .................... Uhhhh , I was,about to say something VERY complimentary about 2007 & 2008 E550s , but CADILLACS here. I really should have fixed the STS. So safe and comfortable. And handle ? I'm here to tell you ! I had rented one of these new (I always like to rent new Cads when I travel - consider it to be a peep into my future - in order to test drive them extensively) , and loved it so much. It was a gut shot when it let me down. No Cadillac had ever failed me before. Uh oh ! I'm running out of time and starting to ramble a bit. The point I will elaborate on , is that all my other Cads went ANYwhere and EVERYwhere you can conceive of , and then some. If I survive the rest of the day , I'll be back to further ease your mind. In the meantime , tell me the years of your Cads , the mileage , and condition in your opinion on a 0 - 10 scale , 0 being a rusted out , stripped down hulk out in the woods , 10 being a brand spanking new one on the showroom floor with 19 miles on it. ALWAYS put your money in the very best old Cadillac you can find. That is if you like to drive them. If you have an enormous amount of money and time , and prefer working on cars to driving them , go get a "bargain" Cadillac at 1/2 or 1/4 the price of a properly maintained low mileage beauty. (In the end you will have 2 - 4 times the money in the former , and it STILL will not be as nice as the latter). Please do not inferr a value judgement here , I know guys who really don't like driving at all (!!!) , but love to save beat-up ugly ducklings I wouldn't even salvage any of their worn-out parts from - I have utmost respect for these guys , if they follow through with the decades of effort and scores of thousands of bucks spent , if they were not experts on the particular car they have spent all of their discretionary time and money on when they began as a relatively young man , now the old wise man will have become one of the world authorities on the particular model. If they start out with unrealistic understanding , they will perform certain tasks multiple times. For example , they may be smart enough to have the radiator rebuilt when they put in the 3rd waterpump , but not go deeper to do the timing chain. 1000 miles later , out it all comes again. And then , after chasing their tail round and round and round and round , they realize they are in it so deep that the engine really must be rebuilt anyway. They finally yank it for an overhaul , and now wiser , they do the trans on the beater at the same time too. On the 0 - 10 scale , some guys buy what appears to be say a 6 , which really has so much neglect and deferred maintenance as , say a 4 , that they may never get it right. A low mileage 7 or 8 will keep you wrenching from time to time , but you will get to drive it a lot. A well sorted 8 or 9 will be the most economical purchase in the long run. You will literally be able to drive that Cadillac around the World. I gather you prefer driving to working on them. Me too. It's a little like fiberglass boats and wooden boats. I love sailing. I love wooden boats. Fiberglass boats keep you busy enough. I love looking at wooden boats. I gaze at them in the boatyard. If I had the fortune I made on the tech bubble on the upside , and Amazon off the bottom where it settled after Monday's bubble burst at $6(!!!) , yes , in at 6 before the recovery started , yeah if I still had that fortune , I would still get no closer to the work , er , I mean wood boats than the boatyard. Some guys really do take pride in their shipwrights skills , though. I prefer sailing them over working on them. Same with my Cadillacs. I really should have hung-up earlier. Bye for now.  - Carl

I'm sure there is a lot of good information noted above.  May I be so bold as to suggest you break up your thoughts using paragraphs?  Makes for an easy, comfortable read.

 ;)
1970 Deville Convertible  MTS 507
Dallas, Texas

Offline Carl Fielding

  • Posts: 344
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #10797
  • Name: Carl Fielding
Re: motor change feasibility
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2017, 05:47:28 PM »
KIM , I GOT YOUR  P.M. BUT AM HAVING TROUBLE RESPONDING. PLEASE CALL ME ASAP REGARDING YOUR VERY APPEALING "FIND".   - Carl ,  408-621-8261 , or. 206-790-6912

Offline Carl Fielding

  • Posts: 344
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #10797
  • Name: Carl Fielding
Re: motor change feasibility
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2017, 05:52:03 PM »
Chris , thank you very much. I should know better , and agree with you entirely. I have a drop-deadline in just over an hour , and just keep running on in misplaced haste. Sorry , guys. I will certainly try to be more considerate. Thanks again for the reality check gotta go RIGHT NOW !.  - Carl

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 7296
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #18992
  • Name: Bruce Reynolds
Re: motor change feasibility
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2017, 08:35:36 PM »
.......do or would any of you take your 60 -75 year model on a three day 30 hour drive,, ?   
I purchased my '72 on ebay in 2007, and when I arrived in USA in 2008, after a couple of checks, which included an oil pressure gauge, I proceeded to drive 4,500 miles over North-eastern USA and South-eastern Canada.

Then when I got her home to Tasmania, I went to two CLC Rallies in Australia, travelling 6,000 Kilometres with one, and 4,000 Kilometres to another one.

I was going to drive around Australia in 2014, attending a Rally in Western Australia, and be away from home for 3 months, but got crook, and had to cancel it.   

These cars were built to be driven, and I have no hesitation in driving mine anywhere, and distance isn't a problem.

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

Offline Jay Friedman

  • Posts: 1640
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #3210
Re: motor change feasibility
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2017, 06:07:59 PM »
I've driven my '49 on more than 15 long trips, mostly to Grand Nationals, up to 1,200 miles from home.  I keep it in excellent "driver" condition and have only had one breakdown (generator failed) and 2 minor problems (clutch slipping, universal joints clanging) on the trips.  (Lucked out with the generator problem when I was directed to an auto electric shop who fixed it.)

I take spare parts and tools in the trunk and check all the fluids etc. each morning when on the road.  An essential publication to have on the road is the CLC membership directory, so in case of a breakdown you a member can direct you to the nearest garage (or maybe even bale you out him/herself).

I respectfully submit that if you must have a car with all the computerized mod cons, maybe an old Cadillac would not be a good fit for you.
1949 Cadillac 6107 Club Coupe
1932 Ford V8 Phaeton (restored, not a rod).  Sold
Decatur, Georgia
CLC # 3210
"If it won't work, get a bigger hammer."

Offline kkkaiser

  • Posts: 116
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #30660
  • Name: Kaiser
Re: motor change feasibility
« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2017, 01:55:46 AM »
I think i put in there somewhere,, I like the body styles, in and out.  just looking for reliability.   common sense to the un informed would indicate that a new engine would be more reliable than a 40 to 50 year engine,, i dont want all the wifi and computer screens and lights flashing,  everything as it was but the motor was what i was looking for input for,,

Offline Scot Minesinger

  • Posts: 4209
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #20543
Re: motor change feasibility
« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2017, 07:00:27 AM »
An older Cadillac should be absolutely no problem on a long trip if it is in good repair.  The key words being "good repair".  Many often take a cosmetically good Cadillac in poor repair on a trip, it brakes down and the age of the vehicle is blamed. 

An older vehicle in good repair would have at a minimum and not limited to:  all rubber on car is less than a dozen years old, trans sealed, engine sealed, replace timing chain if 1963 - 1981, all brake lines (metal with modern lined metal), pistons, master cylinder, power booster and the like replaced within 12 years, all fuel line (metal with modern lined metal) replaced within last 12 years, all rubber suspension bushings replaced, all rubber vacuum lines replaced (even if the 40 year old sections look good), all heater and radiator hoses replaced, all belts replaced, points/cond, tune up items, recent oil and filter change and etc.  Plus then it should be driven on a Sunday or two on a 100 mile trip in advance to be used to long trips.
Fairfax Station, VA  22039 (Washington DC Sub)
1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
1970 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1970 four door Convertible w/Cadillac Warranty

Offline bcroe

  • Posts: 2016
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #14630
Re: motor change feasibility
« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2017, 11:49:29 AM »
Quote from: kkkaiser

do or would any of you take your 60 -75 year model on a three day 30 hour drive,, ?   

This decade I took my 77 on a 21 hour non stop trip from Rockford IL to Fort Meyers
FL, 19 MPG.  A few days later I reversed it, 2500 miles total, no problem.  The
old cars are simpler to take care of; they just need maintenance kept up to date. 
Bruce Roe
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 07:51:20 AM by bcroe »

Offline bcroe

  • Posts: 2016
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #14630
motor change feasibility
« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2017, 12:14:11 PM »
I have rented a few cars over the decades, always a new model.  In every case
I found it inferior to my own car.  Reasons, no heavy duty suspension, not
enough power, not enough space, trans not as good as mine, more I forget. 

I hear a lot of questions about "fixing" a car by putting in a totally different
major component.  What I see is a car that has been run down and needs
A LOT of work to get back the original performance.  Sometimes a 3 speed
trans is swapped for a 4 speed, or the other way around.  But since they didn't
finish the job by changing the axle ratio and recal the speedo, its just a kluge. 

Owners don't seem to realize, converting to something new is ORDERS OF
MAGNITUDE more difficult/expensive than the present outstanding repairs that
they don't understand, and then some of their problems would STILL be there. 

When owners say they don't want the maintenance, I say buy a Honda.  Pick
your poison.  As good as hers has been, my Olds is going to outlast it.  Bruce Roe. 

Offline kkkaiser

  • Posts: 116
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #30660
  • Name: Kaiser
Re: motor change feasibility
« Reply #29 on: June 16, 2017, 12:45:16 AM »
thanks again for all the replies,,,, pretty much killed that idea... my inexperience in cars led me to the question...

again,, thanks

Offline INTMD8

  • Posts: 732
Re: motor change feasibility
« Reply #30 on: June 16, 2017, 10:31:48 AM »
thanks again for all the replies,,,, pretty much killed that idea... my inexperience in cars led me to the question...

again,, thanks

It's not at all impossible to repower the car with a newer engine. I have done this many times on older vehicles but more for the reason of higher performance than reliability.

I kept the original engine/trans in my 59 and just rebuilt it.  Would not hesitate to drive it anywhere.

Just depends on what you're trying to accomplish but reliability can be had with the original drivetrain.

Jim Moran.   1959 Series 62 Convertible

Offline BigBlock83

  • Posts: 34
  • 1983 Coupe deVille
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #30149
  • Name: R Francis
Re: motor change feasibility
« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2017, 09:52:03 AM »
I just swapped a 425 from a 78 Coupe deVille into my 83 Coupe deVille and it was much more of a project than I thought it would be. And this was putting a Cadillac engine into a Cadillac of the same platform the engine originally came in (downsized C body). I can't even imagine what it would be like dealing with modern electronics in an old car.

Offline bcroe

  • Posts: 2016
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #14630
motor change feasibility
« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2017, 10:10:20 AM »
In the later 60s the General went to the BOP engine/trans interface, and torque
converter transmissions.  This made swaps from this point forward through a
couple decades much more straightforward.  About any RWD trans would bolt
into the standard position, and any engine bolted to any trans.  Going back
before this era there was no standardization, you are talking all manor of custom
made adapters.  If poorly planned, it may perform badly. 

When sideways engines appeared, the BOP advantage started melting away. 
Add the electronics challenges, and you have a project for the professionals,
good ones.  Much is possible, how much time and money do you have? 
Bruce Roe

Online chrisntam

  • Posts: 1192
  • Dallas, Texas
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #29206
  • Name: C. Jessen
Re: motor change feasibility
« Reply #33 on: June 17, 2017, 01:41:37 PM »
.....snip
  Much is possible, how much time and money do you have? 

Bruce Roe

A lot of folk out there write that check and have it done, generally never to see any real return on their investment.  Is that why they call it "disposable" income?

 ;)
1970 Deville Convertible  MTS 507
Dallas, Texas

Offline TC

  • Posts: 20
  • Name: Tom Stephens
Re: motor change feasibility
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2017, 04:40:05 PM »
really?  check out my post on my 57 that i cant get to run.  good luck finding anyone that knows how to work on it, correct parts that you can get cheap and easy or any sort of troubleshooting other than "i once knew a guy who had a similar problem and he did this"

versus hook up a scan tool, it tells you what the problem is, buy the part and plug it in.  all while making reliable power, good millage and not having my kids complain they smell like gas anytime we get somewhere.

if i had the money, id have a modern drive train.  i dont so my car sits broke for months at a time while i track down the tools to try and troubleshoot the issue hoping to limp it along until the next leak / breakdown.

I agree that there are most mechanics today grew up with fuel injection and computer controls so are unable to repair the older carbureted engines with distributor ignitions. However any decent mechanic could at least be able to get your 57 to run. Maybe not its best but run. I would find a better mechanic.

If you think a modern car is fixed by just plugging in a scan tool and replacing a part that is not true. This is the strategy of a inexperienced "parts changer" and not a true technician. The scantool does not tell you what part is defective but rather what system or circuit is malfunctioning. Often people replace the part related to the fault code and the CEL comes back on because there is a wiring problem, ground problem or defective ECU.

The comment about installing fuel injection does have some merit, including reducng engine wear on dry starts,  however, passengers smelling like gas is not the cause of a carburetor but fuel leaks. Yes, older carburetted engines will put off a fuel smell but when sitting and is often noticed parked in a closed up garage. I think what you are smelling is exhaust and depending on how rich or lean your carb is tuned the smell will vary. Install a catalytic converter and most of the exhaust smell will go away because the CAT will convert the smelly Hydrocarbons and Carbon Monoxide into Carbon Dioxide and Water.    :)