restoring a 1940 Series 90 V16 Town Car

Started by JLB, May 18, 2022, 10:34:04 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

JLB

Posting a video of pressure cleaning the block after machining.
Jim LeBlanc
jim_leblanc@yahoo.com
1940 V16 Town Car
CLC Member #33340

jp1gt

While researching chrome on youtube there was a video that showed the whole process of re chroming the grill. Amazing!!! I hope yours is in good shape---

JLB

Jack,

I did see that video. RestoreCars, Mark Clayton, suggested that if I were building a driver car that the new chrome paint looks real good. I gave that serious thought. After looking at that video I got a chrome repair estimate. That number is about $10,000 for re-chrome and any needed pitting repair. On the subject of restoring a car, there is a theme:

  - you need to love the car more than you love your money

Pictures of the grille are attached.

A link to the uTube video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27tD_K2t84U&t=13s

Best Regards,

Jim LeBlanc
Jim LeBlanc
jim_leblanc@yahoo.com
1940 V16 Town Car
CLC Member #33340

JLB

Reader,

Adding Chapter 6 which is all about restoring two of the Cadillac crests (logos). The important points to share are (1) using a toothpick in the place of a paintbrush and (2) the difficulty of using a clear coat over paint. An important technique of polishing rough brass surfaces with a steel pick is documented.

I hope to greet some of you at the upcoming Chicago Grand National meet.

As always I welcome questions and comments.

Best Regards,

Jim LeBlanc

Jim LeBlanc
jim_leblanc@yahoo.com
1940 V16 Town Car
CLC Member #33340

JLB

Adding more pictures of the engine block. From the top view, almost looks like two V8's end-to-end.
Jim LeBlanc
jim_leblanc@yahoo.com
1940 V16 Town Car
CLC Member #33340

DBOT805

I have a 1940 series 62 4dr convertible,that I did a partial rest on.Paint,upholstery,dash woodgrain,rims with pinstriping.All done in original colors,and specially made oem style leathers.Im down to making conv top,which is no easy feat,not having an original rear bow height prior.It was a lot of work,thus far! Other Cads I take care of are: 1940 2dr conv,1950 conv,1957 eldo biarittz conv,1960 conv, and the low brow 55 4dr sedan,orig from Mx.Ive rebuilt all engines,except 41.Removed 60 cross member that severly cracked thru,and replaced with a cut out salvage yard unit.That was an impossible job,that I doubt anyone has done?Beginning new leather interior on 60 soon.I will post pics of my 40conv soon.It was said to be owned by C Gable,but have not found proof yet.It was 1st registered to Don Lee of Beverly Hills Cadillac&LaSalle in 1940,a friend of Gales?

James Landi

That grill reestoration video is extraordinary.... I posted my comment on the youtube comment section as follows:   So glad that you took the extra time to curate your work with this impressive video... as the saying goes, pictures are worth a thousand words; however, your narrative adds the absolutely necessary details to understand the hands-on effort and expertise that culminates in this extraordinary restoration.  This video also left me wondering just how these grills were originally designed, manufactured, and assembled when new.  Likely, nothing remains of those processes...  and finally, metal/chromed grills and metal bumpers evaporated from car manufacturing nearly a half century ago...everything now is plastic...

Mike Baillargeon #15848

Quote from: James Landi on June 10, 2022, 08:09:30 AMThat grill reestoration video is extraordinary.... I posted my comment on the youtube comment section as follows:   So glad that you took the extra time to curate your work with this impressive video... as the saying goes, pictures are worth a thousand words; however, your narrative adds the absolutely necessary details to understand the hands-on effort and expertise that culminates in this extraordinary restoration.  This video also left me wondering just how these grills were originally designed, manufactured, and assembled when new.  Likely, nothing remains of those processes...  and finally, metal/chromed grills and metal bumpers evaporated from car manufacturing nearly a half century ago...everything now is plastic...


WOW !   Jim you made me watch that grille restoration video from start to finish....

You can see why a restored car costs so much to restore....And why a seller asks so much for the finished car....

Can you imagine the invoice on just this grille ?.....I'm sure it would buckle your knees...

But it sure is a nice piece of work !!

Mike
Mike Baillargeon  #15848

Brad Ipsen CLC #737

At the factory putting this grille together would not be that bad.  The pot metal parts would be precision with no thickness errors due to plating or age warping.  The plating process new was just a light polish of these parts.  No copper build up to take care of pits.  The brass vertical bars would all fit at the intersection of the pot metal parts.  I have watched the video and don't remember if this was mentioned or not but the vertical spacing of the horizontal bars is not even.  I had to make the center vertical bar in brass and learned this when making it. Apparently this uneven spacing was done so when you stood in front of it and looked the spacing would look equal despite your eye looking at them from a different angle.  When these really high end cars were made the people working on them would be the best of the best.  You have been working on the line for many years and then get selected to work on the special cars.  This must have applied to the upholstery shop also because there is some amazing work there also.  You worked 8 hours or more a day for many years and then the best of the best get to work on the V-16's and other show cars, etc.
Brad Ipsen
1940 Cadillac 60S
1938 Cadillac 9039
1940 Cadillac 6267
1940 LaSalle 5227
1949 Cadillac 6237X
1940 Cadillac 60S Limo

James Landi

"At the factory putting this grille together would not be that bad.  The pot metal parts would be precision with no thickness errors due to plating or age warping.  The plating process new was just a light polish of these parts.  No copper build up to take care of pits...  When these really high end cars were made the people working on them would be the best of the best.  You have been working on the line for many years and then get selected to work on the special cars.  This must have applied to the upholstery shop also because there is some amazing work there also.  You worked 8 hours or more a day for many years and then the best of the best get to work on the V-16's and other show cars, etc."

All salient points... I've selected two for additional comment.   The gentleman who narrates the resortation video of the grill did point out that the extra plating material would make the assembly process more challenging.  The other point you made regarding the experienced and more skilled employees was a "marketing feature" for two other much more contemporary Cadillac models (I've purchased).  BOth the Allante and XLR were promoted, in part, as having highly skilled workers on a slow moving assembly line... with the XLR V, the engines are "signed off" by an individual assembler.   THe promotion of the ALLANTE as having been assembled next to the Ferrari in Italy was intended to "transfer" the reputation as a hand crafted machine to  new Cadillac model--- requiring 747 cargo planes to what became know as "the longest assembly line" in automotive history.  Both attempts by Cadillac failed to impress most of the popular publications of America's automotive reviewers, who, apparently, never reviewed a Cadillac they liked, but apparently are passionate about German and Japanese cars.

JLB

Reader,

Chapter 7 is all about starting the body work. Attached are:

Discussion of how we got into repainting the car
First of two videos. The next reply will offer the second video. 


Jim LeBlanc
jim_leblanc@yahoo.com
1940 V16 Town Car
CLC Member #33340

JLB

Reader,

This post is the second video showing the bare metal along with a picture of the skinned driver's door.

Best Regards,

Jim LeBlanc
Jim LeBlanc
jim_leblanc@yahoo.com
1940 V16 Town Car
CLC Member #33340

2manycars

You def did the right thing stripping that car. I couldn't believe that driver's door. They must have laid the bondo in there with a trowel. How are you going to address that door skin? Are there still folks out there that can fabricate that?
1964 Coupe de Ville
My Current Projects:
1957 Ford Thunderbird
1967 Chevrolet Camaro RS Convertible
My Special One:
2001 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible (bought it new)

JLB

Bill,

Mark Clayton is a sheet metal expert and will fabricate a new exterior door panel. A major criteria I used for selecting his shop is his ability to fabricate parts. He does not cut new gears. For new gears, I use Al Meekins' shop.

For sheet metal fabrication, the key tool is the English Wheel. For an introduction to this tool, see uTube video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHm3-lu3e2Q

For cast metal replacements, the CNC machine is used to cut new parts. Mark's shop has in house CNC services along with many other tools and skills. I was surprised to find he did in house crankshaft grinding. Some needed services are shopped out, for example Babbitting, cam grinding, porcelain coatings, chrome, etc. 

So in summary, there are folks out there who can fabricate everything you need. My observation is that as baby boomers retire, finding these few people is getting harder.

Best Regards,

Jim LeBlanc
Jim LeBlanc
jim_leblanc@yahoo.com
1940 V16 Town Car
CLC Member #33340

JLB

Reader,

Once a month I get an invoice and a review of work accomplished and planned. This is typical of any project management meeting. I expect the next update to take place early July. Meanwhile the machinist, Kevin McCormick, has sent a few new pictures to share. The one showing the new rear main engine seal is my favorite. One of the major reasons this car went to the shop was the huge amount of oil draining out of the rear main.

The installed seal is from a Ford 428 V8.

The second picture shows measuring connecting rod side clearance. Notice the NOS (new old stock) gray oil filter canister.

I found the oil filter on eBay and added it to the project. The original engine, as I received it, was running without an oil filter. As we started the project I asked Kevin to install a full flow filter. He has measured the distance oil travels thru the engine and recommends against installing the full flow filter. The full flow filter will add more distance and thus add more stress to the oil pump.

Best Regards,

Jim LeBlanc
Jim LeBlanc
jim_leblanc@yahoo.com
1940 V16 Town Car
CLC Member #33340

JLB

Added the pictures as a reply and used the moment to add pictures of a correctly installed oil filter. Thanks to Brad Ipsen for those two pictures of a correctly installed oil filter.

It is worth mentioning that the Ford 428 V8 oil seal is a two part seal and is installed where the rope seal would reside. The red lubricant was used to check that the seal is riding on the crankshaft.
Jim LeBlanc
jim_leblanc@yahoo.com
1940 V16 Town Car
CLC Member #33340

JLB

I received a new video showing:
- rod and main bearing clearances
- checking of cam timing
Jim LeBlanc
jim_leblanc@yahoo.com
1940 V16 Town Car
CLC Member #33340