Author Topic: Fixing power door locks on a '73  (Read 1595 times)

Offline mistertudball

  • Posts: 125
Fixing power door locks on a '73
« on: January 26, 2013, 06:19:44 PM »
Since I'm officially retiring at the end of February, and to keep the spousal unit happy, I'm looking to spend more time in the garage when it gets warmer fixing stuff that hasn't worked on my autos in years.  I'm marginally "handy" but willing to try.  First things up are the power locks on my 73 Eldo convertible, which is sorta stupid but I really want them to work.  I think they both worked in 1988 when I bought it.  But side by side, it went from up-down to just "click" and then no sound whatsoever from the switch.  I have the shop manual so that, plus many curse words, should help me remove the door panels.  But what gets replaced?  Where should I buy the parts?  And are there any wise words to save me from the DOH! moments?  Thanks in advance.
David Bartosic CLC19619

R Schroeder

  • Guest
Re: Fixing power door locks on a '73
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2013, 06:32:19 PM »
David, I wouldn't be tearing the door panels off just yet.
If you can remove the power door lock switch to test , that would be good. Fairly easy to check.
Check the fuse block.
The other area that could be the problem is inside of the rubber boot where the door opens. Wires could be broken in there.
I'm sure you will get more info on this problem.
 Roy

Offline 76eldo

  • Posts: 6651
  • CLC Number: 22443
  • Name: Brian Rachlin
Re: Fixing power door locks on a '73
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2013, 06:42:54 PM »
David,

Is it both sides or one side?

There is a relay that can be bad.

If it's only one side it's probably a bad actuator.  They are available used and I just looked for a 77 and they were available new.

Either way about a $40.00 part.

Brian
Brian Rachlin
Huntingdon Valley, Pa
CLC # 22443
I prefer email's not PM's rachlin@comcast.net

1960 62 Series Conv with Factory Tri Power
1970 DeVille Conv
1970 Eldo
1970 Caribu (?) "The Cadmino"
1973 Eldorado Conv Pace Car
1976 Eldorado Conv
1980 Eldorado H & E Conv
1993 Allante with Hardtop (X2)
2008 DTS
2012 CTS Coupe
2017 XT
1956 Thunderbird
1966 Olds Toronado

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10184
Re: Fixing power door locks on a '73
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2013, 06:57:19 PM »
Can you still manually move the locks?    On the converts from that era its common for them to just bind up so they don't move at all.
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 12400
  • CLC Number: 18992
  • Name: Bruce Reynolds
Re: Fixing power door locks on a '73
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2013, 07:08:21 PM »
If the '72 is the same, I had one on mine that refused to operate, and when stripping it down, I found that the rubber sealing sleeve between the pushrod and the body of the solenoid had perished, and the solenoid plunger had rusted solid.

A lot of rust penetrant and work freed it up, and I got it to work as it should, after I stripped it down, and then put it back together, plus replicated the waterproofing sleeve with a piece of bicycle tube.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe
1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe
1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe

Offline mistertudball

  • Posts: 125
Re: Fixing power door locks on a '73
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2013, 09:14:24 AM »
The passenger side lock works freely with key or manually pulling up the plunger.  Driver's side doesn't budge.  When I opened the passenger side door to crawl across and check the driver's side (the car is up against a garage wall with its winter sweater on) I flipped the power door lock switch and the interior lights dimmed a bit when pressing in "lock" and "unlock" positions so that tells me the switch is getting power,right?  But no sound anymore.
David Bartosic CLC19619

R Schroeder

  • Guest
Re: Fixing power door locks on a '73
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2013, 11:25:24 AM »
It is starting to sound like the same problem Bruce had. Bulbs dimming would be a good indication that power is being drawn.
 Roy

Offline mistertudball

  • Posts: 125
Re: Fixing power door locks on a '73
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2013, 04:36:37 PM »
Looks like I spend the frigid months ahead reading up on how to take door panels off without wrecking anything.  If it turns out to be an actuator (or two!) where would one go to buy one?  eBay has a couple 1971-76s but they are for non-Eldos and apparently there is a difference.  I've checked a bunch of online Caddy parts places but they don't mention that part.  It's easy for Corvairs (Clark's in MA) but so far not so much Cadillac.
David Bartosic CLC19619

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10184
Re: Fixing power door locks on a '73
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2013, 06:40:15 PM »
The door panels is not really that difficult to get off on these.  Its an upper and lower section so I think it makes it a little easier than the later ones where its all one part.    If yours did move somewhat recently I would think they should not be that difficult to get freed up and working again.
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 12400
  • CLC Number: 18992
  • Name: Bruce Reynolds
Re: Fixing power door locks on a '73
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2013, 09:00:52 PM »
One thing that I found with my car when the solenoid was frozen (Rusted), I could still lock and unlock the car by the key, and the interior knob.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe
1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe
1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10184
Re: Fixing power door locks on a '73
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2013, 11:07:45 PM »
Inside the doors is one of the few places I have not been in my 73.  I know the knobs are frozen but I don't know if I have ever tried the key.  Its just not something that has come up in the last 15 or so years. 
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline Glen

  • Posts: 2789
  • CLC Number: 727
  • Name: Glen Houlton
Re: Fixing power door locks on a '73
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2013, 12:28:35 AM »
  If it turns out to be an actuator (or two!) where would one go to buy one?  eBay has a couple 1971-76s but they are for non-Eldos and apparently there is a difference.  I've checked a bunch of online Caddy parts places but they don't mention that part.  It's easy for Corvairs (Clark's in MA) but so far not so much Cadillac.

According to the 1974 Master Parts List the 71 – 74 (and probably later) actuators for all coupes are the same. 

Glen Houlton CLC #727 
CLCMRC benefactor #104

Offline mistertudball

  • Posts: 125
Re: Fixing power door locks on a '73
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2013, 08:21:39 AM »
I know what you mean TJ.  Door locks on a convertible are kind of useless, but it would be a HUGE thrill to get them working again.  Then on to the signal-seeking stereo (which just faded away over time) the clock and the heater.  At least the car won't have to be towed away if I screw up!
David Bartosic CLC19619

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10184
Re: Fixing power door locks on a '73
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2013, 09:45:32 AM »
Funny you should mention heat.   I drove mine for 5 or 6 years without heat.  I don't drive it in the winter but those spring and fall days used to get a little chilly.   Most of the time it seemed about the time I pulled into the garage it would finally kick in.  Turned out to be the temp sensor behind the alternator was never hooked up.  I think the AC stuff was in the same harness that was just loose.  What happened is the harness was melting into the exhaust manifold and when it got hot enough it would make contact and let the blower run.  It was one of those things I would think about fixing those first few weeks in the spring then forget all summer then again in the fall think I should figure that out but usually forget till spring again.  I think the alternator went out and when I was replacing it saw the sensor not hooked to anything and started reading about the system. 
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline 76eldo

  • Posts: 6651
  • CLC Number: 22443
  • Name: Brian Rachlin
Re: Fixing power door locks on a '73
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2013, 09:54:23 AM »
Depending on the position of the actuator and the rod going to the lock, I can understand the one side being stuck.  The other side should work though.  They could both be bad.  If you are hearing a click, that's the relay.  The best way to tell if the circuit is correct would be to use a test light on the wires going to the actuator.  It should light up in either direction you push the switch.  With a volt meter, one way it's plus voltage and the other way the polarity reverses, so if using a volt meter you need to move the leads back and forth to check for 12 V.  Also make sure your battery is charged if the car is in storage.

The one that is stuck needs to be freed up at a minimum.  I recently participated in the R and R of a door lock actuator on a 77 Eldo.  That required drilling out the 2 or 3 rivets on the door edge that hold it in place and carefully re-installing the new one and connecting the rods.

Spend some time looking inside the door and making mental notes or photos on how the rods connect.  The body manual is sketchy and has multiple models shown and they are all different in the way they go together.

You will need a large rivet gun to put it back together like factory, and a 2nd guy to help.

On a scale of 1 to 10 I would say a 7.5 in difficulty.

Brian
Brian Rachlin
Huntingdon Valley, Pa
CLC # 22443
I prefer email's not PM's rachlin@comcast.net

1960 62 Series Conv with Factory Tri Power
1970 DeVille Conv
1970 Eldo
1970 Caribu (?) "The Cadmino"
1973 Eldorado Conv Pace Car
1976 Eldorado Conv
1980 Eldorado H & E Conv
1993 Allante with Hardtop (X2)
2008 DTS
2012 CTS Coupe
2017 XT
1956 Thunderbird
1966 Olds Toronado

Offline mistertudball

  • Posts: 125
Re: Fixing power door locks on a '73
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2013, 05:52:55 AM »
a 7.5 job?  YIKES!  Maybe I should go for the clock or $ignal $eeking radio first!  And I'm going to check the temp sensor just for jollies, even though my problems are never that easy.  Maybe this time ... 
David Bartosic CLC19619

Offline 76eldo

  • Posts: 6651
  • CLC Number: 22443
  • Name: Brian Rachlin
Re: Fixing power door locks on a '73
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2013, 08:20:05 AM »
It's hard because of the limited access through the hole in the door and lining up the rod of it pops off at the top, coming off of the lock itself.

Also holding it in place and using the rivet gun. A second set of hands is needed.

Brian Rachlin
Huntingdon Valley, Pa
CLC # 22443
I prefer email's not PM's rachlin@comcast.net

1960 62 Series Conv with Factory Tri Power
1970 DeVille Conv
1970 Eldo
1970 Caribu (?) "The Cadmino"
1973 Eldorado Conv Pace Car
1976 Eldorado Conv
1980 Eldorado H & E Conv
1993 Allante with Hardtop (X2)
2008 DTS
2012 CTS Coupe
2017 XT
1956 Thunderbird
1966 Olds Toronado

 

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