New '57 owner. Lots of problems.

Started by car go b00m, August 25, 2022, 11:29:22 PM

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Lexi

A buddy of mine advised that he needs the jack, therefore that part is no longer available.  :(   Clay/Lexi

toybox

 Until you get the shop manual, hook up and adjust the TV rod the car can not and will not shift correctly. My 46 was the same until I read the book and made the correction. Having a plug in the water pump actually not a bad thing but I'm betting the heater core is shot.   As for the brake pedal I would look at the power boost can and master cylinder.   
                                                                     Best wishes, Tim

car go b00m

Update time.

After weeks of being "next on the list" at Fawcetts, they finally came clean and told me that it will be next spring before they could look at my brakes.  I'll sell it before I take it to them.  They lied to me and kept me dangling on a string. I can't forgive that. 

I called another shop that fawcett referred me to, and they [of course] "don't touch anything that old."  Meaning, if they can't plug it in to a computer and get instant answers, they aren't interested.  They can't even bleed/adjust drum brakes.  Sad state of automotive service and repair.  Oh well.  If you want something done, you have to do it yourself.  I'll tow it to my storage unit, put her up on stands, and do it myself.

In my last post I mentioned looking for a replacement engine (if it came to that). I located a place that allegedly sells rebuilt engines. They had a '57 365 listed for $2800.  I emailed them about it. No answer.  I emailed them again.  A couple of days later I get an answer from someone going by "citizen schmitizen" saying "due to the hostile nature of the current government, it is not economical to manufacture parts for internal combustion engines."

O......kay...  what does Brandon, and the green cabal have to do with an engine they currently have listed for sale?  I don't want one built. I want the one that is currently listed in stock for sale.

Am I living in a complete clown world or what?  I have a car that needs work, and the cash to buy parts and have the work done. Yet, its getting to the point where I have to take hostages to get something done. I send an inquiry about something that is listed for sale, and I get a political song and dance.


Work that I have done since the last time:

I burned through two 30 litres of fuel tweaking and tuning.

I ran another compression test. Hot and dry I got 135psi on cylinder 8.  Cylinder 2 came in at 125.  This engine seems to be a seesaw.  One side is high, then they switch.

I ran some sea foam through it, but there was no smoke show.  I also tried a more heavy handed (or footed) approach, and really fed her the beans. Italian Tune Up anyone?  It really seemed respond to that.  The condensation from the tail pipes left a bit of a mess on the driveway.

I went to do another compression test, and found that the spark plug for cylinder 8 was coated in soot. So there is fire in that hole now for some reason.  Hooray!

I worked on the timing, and, set the dwell. Its right on 30 now.  Vacuum is at 18 inches. Timing is set to "A", which was a total PITA because of where the pointer is.  Fortunately I have a hinged timing light, and was able to sneak it down and through the oil filter lines, and it just sat there. I tried to set the idle to 420 like the book says, but she's VERY unhappy at that speed, and will stall at the drop of a hat.  620 seems to be a happy place for it.

It was running pretty good. It still vibrated a bit at higher rpms, but not enough to make the horn ring rattle and the visors droop like before.  I even moved it up and down the driveway a couple of feet (against its wheel chocks).  The only other issue I found was the idle in gear dropped too low, and caused the GEN light to come on.

I can't find an idle speed anywhere for this car, aside from the 420 number in the timing section of the book. 

Yesterday, I double checked the timing, and dwell.  Hooked up the vacuum gauge and retuned the idle mixture, and tweaked the idle again.

Cold starting is always a bit of a chore because the choke isn't hooked up to anything, so its a case of crank and keep it at high rpms manually until it warms up.

The heavy vibration was back again (horn ring rattle).  I decided I'd pull the spark plug from number 8 and clean it, reinstall and run to see if it would accumulate any carbon again.  However...  it was at that point that the spark plug wire decided to disintegrate in my hand.  I swear, everything these days is made of liquid sh#t.  They can't make anything that will last.

I was going to order a new set, and a new dizzy cap, but I decided to hold off.  That didn't work out well for me. 

Just for scientific purposes, with number 8 "off the grid", I fired her up again to see if there was a difference in how it ran (a power balance test), and worryingly there was no decrease, or increase in the vibration, which makes me wonder if number 8 was dead again before the wire broke.


I really don't want to have to pull this engine.  Or even a head. Those exhaust manifold bolts look very happy where they are.

I have a new set of wires, and a dizzy cap on the way.

If this doesn't whip her in to shape, then she's going in to storage until hell freezes over, because I'm completely out of ideas.
The fleet:

1957 Cadillac Coupe de Ville (broken)
1990 Nissan 300ZX (broken)
1999 Honda Prelude (broken)
2011 Ford CVPI (almost fixed)

James Landi

"Just for scientific purposes, with number 8 "off the grid", I fired her up again to see if there was a difference in how it ran (a power balance test), and worryingly there was no decrease, or increase in the vibration, which makes me wonder if number 8 was dead again before the wire broke."

There are many helpful posts here, and while everyone wants to help you, I think being realistic regarding expectations is a good place to start.  Your engine is likely running on "fractional" power and is out of dynamic balance because of poor compression in one or more cylinders. Minute cracks in cylinder heads, leaky, poorly seating valve seats,carbon build up on valve seats,  loose timing chain---any combination of age related, lack of maintenance, "end of service life" challenges are possibilities.  You can get the timing, carburetion, and vacuum right, and then drive the car gently and live with the shakes?   Hope this helps,  James

car go b00m

Quote from: James Landi on October 17, 2022, 07:09:36 PMYou can get the timing, carburetion, and vacuum right, and then drive the car gently and live with the shakes?   Hope this helps,  James



I can't drive it like this. Its down on power, uses way too much fuel, and the shaking is completely unacceptable for a car of this caliber. I bought this car to drive it, and its simply undrivable in its current state.

As a shade tree mechanic I'm just pissing in the wind because I can't go any farther with the tools I have, and the space I have to work in.  I can't even throw cash at it because the professionals are all flops. I can only imagine what a run around a machine shop will be.   I can't even find an engine to swap in to it.


I guess I've got a very pretty paper weight.




The fleet:

1957 Cadillac Coupe de Ville (broken)
1990 Nissan 300ZX (broken)
1999 Honda Prelude (broken)
2011 Ford CVPI (almost fixed)

V63

One issue I can see causing you frustrations is the electric fuel pump MUST be mounted near the fuel tank!

I notice the vacuum plugs are age cracking on your edelbrock and the vacuum hose to your power brake is cracked at the clamp. I do NOT see a vacuum advance, I assume it's there? If so verify it does not leak vacuum.

Run marvel mystery oil in the fuel and with luck a valve is not fully closing and causing your compression loss. 2oz per 5 gallon.

Daryl Chesterman

I suspect that the spark plug wire for #8 was bad from the beginning.  When you get the new wires, put a new spark plug in the #8 hole—then you know that spark plug is good.  I would also suggest that if you don't have the choke linkage properly connected that you wire it open so that it can't get sucked down and make the engine run rich—this might be causing some of the rough running and would definitely contribute to a high consumption of fuel.  Look in the fuel section of your shop manual and the idle specs should be in the carburetor section.  I couldn't find the spec online for a 57, but for a 56 (same engine [365]) it said 400 rpm in drive gear.  Your 18 in. of vacuum at idle, if steady, would indicate to me that the engine is in relatively good condition.

Daryl Chesterman

The Tassie Devil(le)

Quote from: V63 on October 18, 2022, 01:32:05 AMOne issue I can see causing you frustrations is the electric fuel pump MUST be mounted near the fuel tank! 
I know that is what they say, but with my '60 CDV, when the previous owner installed the 454 and TH400, he put the electric pulse pump up on the inner fender.   It fed the Holley 750 Spread Bore with no problems.

It is just in front of the Brake Booster.   The rectangular box.

Never had any trouble with it, so I left it there.

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

harvey b

I would start going to as many cruise nights and car shows in your area as i could find,then i would ask anyone who is driving an older vehicle who is doing their mechanic work.You should be able to get some names of mechanics who do older cars,or a lead on who to ask.I would also visit them at their shop to get a feel for the way they operate,i would not phone them,it is too easy for them to dismiss you.I think your motor needs to be driven some,then it should start to smooth out,its running rough because it is still stiff from sitting,hang in there it will get better.  harveyb
Harvey Bowness

Lexi

Quote from: Daryl Chesterman on October 18, 2022, 01:51:10 AMI couldn't find the spec online for a 57, but for a 56 (same engine [365]) it said 400 rpm in drive gear.
Daryl Chesterman

Period specs for a 1957 365 engine note an idle speed of 420 rpm in drive. Depending on a number of factors you may have to increase this especially due to some modern fuels. Clay/Lexi

Burt6666

BTW...yes your car has fog lights....

59-in-pieces

OP,

I totally mean no disrespect - I have a 57 myself - but your incidents sound like a game of WACK-A-MOLE.
Or, a ping pong ball bouncing around in a glass fish tank.

There have been tons of good ideas as to the likely causes of your problems.
It seems to me what worked with my car was to attack each suggestion 1 at a time.
Eliminate that and move on.
The jumping around or doing multiple fixes at the same time, seems too hit and miss.

I'm suggesting that you not do 1 thing and then drive around or even fire it up, in hopes that's the culprit.
Go through each system and sort it out before going to the next.
In that way, all systems are ready, then fire it up, and fine tune from there.

Have fun,
Steve B.

Apologies - I would strip off all the aftermarket crap - non-Cad GM - and replace it with proper parts, like carb, filters, don't remember if electric fuel pump, etc.
Get back to basics.
S. Butcher

Michael Petti

Read this whole post and looked at the pictures. Very nice car and certainly worth the effort. You sound like you have a lot of ability to work on the car but lack time or space. I am in same boat with space. First, parts sources I did not see are Original Parts Group, Rubber the Right Way, NAPA and Steel Rubber Prodcuts. Secondly winter is coming. You probably won't be driving it. Take next 3 months and do research. I googled Classic Car Repair and got different places one of which is good. Find an old school auto parts store, I like NAPA very much, preferably with an older manager or counter person. He may refer you to people to work on your car. I got my carb and generator rebuilt by referrals with good results. Make your calls and visits so you ducks are in a row and ready to go in late winter so car can be on road in spring. My last suggestion is ask, ask, ask. Even if a referral doesn't do the work, he may know someone who does. Last piece of advice is to relax. When I get angry and P.O'ed I start making mistakes that waste time and money. Good luck on this.

kkkaiser


car go b00m

Quote from: V63 on October 18, 2022, 01:32:05 AMOne issue I can see causing you frustrations is the electric fuel pump MUST be mounted near the fuel tank!

I notice the vacuum plugs are age cracking on your edelbrock and the vacuum hose to your power brake is cracked at the clamp. I do NOT see a vacuum advance, I assume it's there? If so verify it does not leak vacuum.

Run marvel mystery oil in the fuel and with luck a valve is not fully closing and causing your compression loss. 2oz per 5 gallon.

That fuel pump will be mounted in a drawer somewhere once the proper mechanical pump arrives. I don't like the aftermarket workarounds on this car.  I want it back to 100% stock.

I have tested for vacuum leaks around the carb and the entire manofold but none were found.  I agree, that cap does look pretty bad.  The edelbrock will be going bye bye as soon as I have everything to install the Rochester I have for it.

I have been reading about MMO, and it sounds pretty good.  I will pick some up tomorrow and have a go with it.

Thank you.


Quote from: Daryl Chesterman on October 18, 2022, 01:51:10 AMI suspect that the spark plug wire for #8 was bad from the beginning.  When you get the new wires, put a new spark plug in the #8 hole—then you know that spark plug is good.  I would also suggest that if you don't have the choke linkage properly connected that you wire it open so that it can't get sucked down and make the engine run rich—this might be causing some of the rough running and would definitely contribute to a high consumption of fuel.  Look in the fuel section of your shop manual and the idle specs should be in the carburetor section.  I couldn't find the spec online for a 57, but for a 56 (same engine [365]) it said 400 rpm in drive gear.  Your 18 in. of vacuum at idle, if steady, would indicate to me that the engine is in relatively good condition.

Daryl Chesterman


I swapped out the cables with brand new ones. It still vibrates a bit.  The plugs were all brand new.  The one in #8 that came with the car was also spotless.  Now all are showing signs of firing.

It still vibrates.  Not quite as bad as before, but its still there.  Videos:

https://i.imgur.com/IdFgNWg.mp4


I got 19" of vacuum with a bit more fine tuning.

https://i.imgur.com/kuznWwP.mp4


Quote from: Lexi on October 18, 2022, 09:27:37 AMPeriod specs for a 1957 365 engine note an idle speed of 420 rpm in drive. Depending on a number of factors you may have to increase this especially due to some modern fuels. Clay/Lexi

420 is all I could come up with as well, but it is impossibly slow with this car.  I tried 420 (RPM) in gear, and it was ready to die, and the GEN light was brightly lit.  575 is the lowest I can go without the GEN light being on.


Quote from: Burt6666 on October 18, 2022, 01:41:42 PMBTW...yes your car has fog lights....

BTW... no, it doesn't.









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If the weather is good tomorrow, I may take it around the block and see if it's still way down on power. We'll see...





The fleet:

1957 Cadillac Coupe de Ville (broken)
1990 Nissan 300ZX (broken)
1999 Honda Prelude (broken)
2011 Ford CVPI (almost fixed)

Daryl Chesterman

I could be wrong (won't be the first time or last!) but with that high of vacuum and that steady, it must be an ignition problem.  If you have a timing light with an inductive pickup, use it to clamp around each spark plug wire close to the plug and make sure that each plug is getting spark.

Daryl Chesterman

James Landi

When you hook up the vacuum gauge, does the indicator needle stay steady, or does is rapidly vibrate? More to the point,I URGE you to google: "reading engine condition using a vacuum gauge"  --- if you know how to interpret the reading of your gauge, you'll have a much better indication of the engine's internal condition .   Hope this helps.

dn010

-----Dan Benedek
'57 Cadillac Sedan Deville 6239DX
'81 DMC DeLorean

car go b00m

Quote from: James Landi on October 20, 2022, 08:01:56 AMWhen you hook up the vacuum gauge, does the indicator needle stay steady, or does is rapidly vibrate? More to the point,I URGE you to google: "reading engine condition using a vacuum gauge"  --- if you know how to interpret the reading of your gauge, you'll have a much better indication of the engine's internal condition .   Hope this helps.

I posted a video of the gauge in action.

https://imgur.com/kuznWwP


----------------------------------


Current status:

Timing: "A"
Dwell: 30
Vacuum: 19 (steady)
RPM: 600 (idle drive)

No knocking or tapping.
No vacuum leaks in, on, around the carb or manifold. Checked with various flammable aerosols.


Vibrates only in a certain RPM range:

VIDEO:  https://i.imgur.com/IdFgNWg.mp4



Today (if it isn't peeing down when I get home) I am going to pick up some marvel mystery oil, recheck spark on all cylinders, and up the octane of the fuel. 


The fleet:

1957 Cadillac Coupe de Ville (broken)
1990 Nissan 300ZX (broken)
1999 Honda Prelude (broken)
2011 Ford CVPI (almost fixed)

Lexi

#59
Quote from: car go b00m on October 19, 2022, 07:08:00 PM420 is all I could come up with as well, but it is impossibly slow with this car.  I tried 420 (RPM) in gear, and it was ready to die, and the GEN light was brightly lit.  575 is the lowest I can go without the GEN light being on.

If I recall, the specs for my '56 was stated as 400 RPM. Then that was revised to 420 for cars with AC. 400 RPM? My car would never run properly at that speed either. Through much trial and error, "Lexi" seems happiest with a higher RPM setting. I can't remember what idle RPMs are in drive, but I remember that in Park it was in the 575 to 600 range. In drive the RPMs would drop of course, but can't remember what it was. Even with a rebuilt: engine, carb and other systems rebuilt or new, Lexi idles best at a higher spec. Her engine vacuum was up around 21 and steady. At a Grand National I chatted with a fellow '56 owner who had a survivor, reference car, and the subject of idle speed came up. I was advised that his car would never idle at the recommended factory specs. I was told that his ran at 600 RPMs but can't remember if that was in neutral or in drive. He thought the 400 - 420 spec range was nuts. Maybe they ran better back in the day with the leaded fuel that was available?  Clay/Lexi

Edit: Those idle specs of mine were the same for 2  separate 1956 365 engines; one an older rebuilt and the other freshly rebuilt.