Author Topic: Leaving well enough alone  (Read 1301 times)

Offline LenInLA1976

  • Posts: 7
  • Name: Leonard Grayver
Leaving well enough alone
« on: May 04, 2016, 04:28:49 AM »
Folks - how many here follow this dogma?

The reason I'm asking us this: I went ahead and replaced the front and back speakers in my 76 Eldorado. $200 parts and $300 labor. Oh well.

Got the car back. Radio still works crappy. It looks like there's a short somewhere. Will need to remove the radio and investigate. My PhD in electrical engineering brother promised to check the old speakers to see if they were ok after all.

But here's the bummer. The dash is now a bit loose; annoying.  And on top of that, there's an inch long crack. 40 years without cracks and once I start mucking with it - viola!

So - I should've left it alone. 

What about you? Any regrets about not leaving well enough alone?

Leonard

Offline 76eldo

  • Posts: 6651
  • CLC Number: 22443
  • Name: Brian Rachlin
Re: Leaving well enough alone
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2016, 07:23:55 AM »
These radios were ok when new but never great.

The radio needs to be serviced by someone familiar with them.

Your cracked dash may be a result of rough handling by whoever installed the speakers as is the new rattle.

This is why a lot of us like to do our own work.  When you use shop sometimes it goes well and sometimes not so well.

Leaving something not working is an option but the car is much more enjoyable when everything works

Brian
« Last Edit: May 04, 2016, 07:25:36 AM by 76eldo »
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

Re: Leaving well enough alone
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2016, 08:57:11 AM »
Len,

I hear your pain. Most technicians who may work on our older cars have no idea how fragile they are. They are used to modern cars, all plastic, something doesn't fit just, hammer on it with the heel of your hand (or worse) and it will "pop" into place, get the job done in as short an amount of time as possible.

Two advantages to doing things yourself:

1. You will learn how to do it and do it correctly because you really care.
2. If something goes wrong (yes, I cracked a dash myself when I did my radio) you will have no-one but yourself to blame.


Lucas Feininger
1965 Sedan de Ville
1965 Eldorado
2014 SRX
CLC #15674

"The only way to travel is Cadillac style"

Offline Jon S

  • Posts: 2559
  • Name: J. Schapiro
Re: Leaving well enough alone
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2016, 09:05:03 AM »
Len -

I'm from the school of "If you want it done right, do it yourself."  I don't believe the "technicians" of today are any better working on modern cars with plastic parts.  They break clips and pieces and reinstall them in hopes you will not notice.

Also, today's technicians were taught to remove/replace; not fix as that is more cost-effective for them and requires less expertise.

So yes, I hear your pain.  A poor radio sure beats a cracked dash!  You don't have to play the radio, but you see the dash.

JMHO
Jon

1958 Cadillac Sedan De Ville
1973 Lincoln Continental Coupe
1981 Corvette
2004 Mustang GT

Offline jwjohnson86

  • Posts: 215
  • Jason Johnson CLC 29583
  • Name: Jason Johnson
Re: Leaving well enough alone
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2016, 09:46:58 AM »
Sorry to hear that.  If you do not have a shop manual for yours pick one up.  I was just looking at the dash removal instructions for my 1970 to do a couple minor fixes and everything seems pretty straightforward and goes step by step.  I agree with the other posters that unless you have a trusted mechanic who knows and appreciates classic cars, maybe best to attempt it yourself or not attempt it at all.  I have a local garage where the proprietor is also a classic car hobbyist and takes care of many of the classics in our small community for a reasonable price so I am fortunate, not having a lift, work space, equipment, etc. at home for major repairs. 
1970 DeVille Convertible 472 cid

http://bit.ly/1NhHpdt

Offline cadillac ken

  • Posts: 701
  • Name: k caskey
Re: Leaving well enough alone
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2016, 10:43:07 AM »
Bummer.  you shouldn't have to tolerate inoperable or non functioning options on a car you really want to enjoy.  So I probably would have tried to remedy the radio situation too.  Wish it worked out better.

However, with that said, I would never take your old caddy (or any old car) to a standard repair shop (if that is where it was taken).  The guys that work there usually are too young to understand the way the old cars have to be treated-- even for simple repairs.  After 25 years in the restoration business, I could tell you some very sad stories that came to us along with the customer's cars.

Search out a reputable restoration type shop.  Probably won't cost any more and if it does, remember you are entrusting your ride to someone who "gets" old cars.  Worth the $$ to pay for someone to "first do no harm" and have trained even the young employees on how the old stuff needs extra TLC.

In my shop I once had a 1940 Chevy that had been freshly painted and the owner was too afraid to even open the hood for fear of chipping the paint.  The body shop had no idea how to align the front sheet metal on a 40's car and the gaps were almost nonexistent.  How they let the car go out of the paint shop like this was hard to imagine.  We were able to get things right without incident.

Offline LenInLA1976

  • Posts: 7
  • Name: Leonard Grayver
Re: Leaving well enough alone
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2016, 02:12:28 PM »
The rub is that I take the car to a specialty Cadillac shop - been around for 50 years. The owner has a large classic car collection himself. I just don't think his employees are very good.

Offline jwjohnson86

  • Posts: 215
  • Jason Johnson CLC 29583
  • Name: Jason Johnson
Re: Leaving well enough alone
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2016, 04:22:49 PM »
The rub is that I take the car to a specialty Cadillac shop - been around for 50 years. The owner has a large classic car collection himself. I just don't think his employees are very good.

I would respectfully and politely discuss your concerns personally with the owner.  I was under the impression this was a car stereo shop or something.
1970 DeVille Convertible 472 cid

http://bit.ly/1NhHpdt

Offline Jeff Rose CLC #28373

  • Posts: 2324
  • CLC Number: 28373
  • Name: Jeff Rose
Re: Leaving well enough alone
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2016, 10:24:02 PM »
Yep. I understand.
I dont know how stock you want your car...... We all do but it depends on your preferences.
I searched hi and low for a radio for my 70. Finally found one. Cost $25+ to ship it to me and it sounded like crap. Sent it back for another $25 in shipping. I finally put in one of those retrosound units. Works great and i hook my phone,mp3 and even Sirrus radio to it.
Jeff
Jeff Rosansky
CLC #28373
1970 Coupe DeVille (Big Red)
1955 Series 62 (Baby Blue)
Dad's new 1979 Coupe DeVille

Offline 76eldo

  • Posts: 6651
  • CLC Number: 22443
  • Name: Brian Rachlin
Re: Leaving well enough alone
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2016, 10:32:18 PM »
It's really easy to send out a 70's era radio and get it serviced and repaired.

Suburban Car Audio in Woodlyn, NJ is a good place.  They are reasonable and quick, and their work is great.  There are MANY other regional radio shops all over the country.

Not everyone has the time or the tools or the skills to work on their cars and it's really unfortunate when you trust someone to work on your car and they let you down.

We are not allowed to disparage any vendors on the board, but I am curious Len,  Is the shop you went to on a corner? 8)

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 Scot Minesinger

  • Posts: 6004
Re: Leaving well enough alone
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2016, 11:34:30 PM »
I think you want the radio working.  I'm in the process of replacing the radio in my red 1970 Cadillac.  I had the original rebuilt to modern standards with blue tooth, MP-3 and etc.  The car will look 100% stock and act that way, the guts of the radio are just different.  I already did this myself on my 1970 Cadillac SDV.  All speakers were replaced too.

I have repaired climate controls after a shop replaced a radio.  They way they work on convertibles is they drop the top.  Then they get a back hoe to remove the dash for the radio install.  Just kidding, but wow have seen some terrible work.  There is no way I would let a shop work on my dash.  A shop around here probably could not change a battery on an old car.

You should ask the shop if you can find out what they did, they probably left out screws, fasteners and the like and that is why it rattles.  They might have broken tabs on the plastic dash connectors.  Another failure is installing metric screws to replace the original sae screws they lost.  Hopefully they will clue you in on what might be the cause so you do not have to play 100% detective.  They will blame it on the car, like "the tab on passenger side above glove box was broken (he broke it)" and then at least you can start somewhere.

In the meantime source a dash, and that will not be cheap.

Sorry you are going thru this, many posts discuss the problems of shops working on their cars.  One of my favorite dumb shop stories on this forum is a guy had his 1976 Cadillac a/c repaired at a shop and when they were done, they told the 1976 Cadillac owner that "it needed to be taken to the Cadillac dealer to be programmed".  I hope that he got his a/c working.
Fairfax Station, VA  22039 (Washington DC Sub)
1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
1970 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1970 four door Convertible w/Cadillac Warranty

Offline cadillac ken

  • Posts: 701
  • Name: k caskey
Re: Leaving well enough alone
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2016, 10:15:33 AM »
The rub is that I take the car to a specialty Cadillac shop - been around for 50 years. The owner has a large classic car collection himself. I just don't think his employees are very good.

Really hate to hear about stuff like this when this is supposed to be a classic car shop.  It gives the industry a really bad image.  But with that said there is a very large shop here in Florida that advertises in the CLC that has a terrible reputation.  The owner is a great salesman but has no clue about the work himself, meaning he has never actually worked on the cars. As a result, his employees are not well trained and horror stories abound. 

I keep a small shop with a handful of well paid, well trained guys.  I have my hands in every job and help "supervise" every detail.
For me that's how you keep from disappointing clients that want you to treat their car as if it were your own--- and you'd be proud to drive it anywhere.

It really stinks when a shop saps the joy of ownership out of your experience.  Good Luck to you and I hope you get it resolved.

 

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