1969 Coupe deVille Convertable

Started by Hugh Humphreys, January 01, 2005, 10:34:26 AM

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Hugh Humphreys

I finally had my car shipped to my new house AFTER 8 years in storage!

Its a 1969 deville convertible, and while it looks rough, it ran like a top all those years ago.  I had a couple grand put in it by a mechanic I trusted over those years, so when I tried starting it in 20 degree weather, VROOOM!  (unsettling watching it cough from 4 to 6 to 8 cylinders, but when it got there, oh man).

Long story short:  This is my project now.  Does anyone have any advice as to the first step?  Tune up?  Change fluids?  Etc?

Mick Harrison CLC #20844


When I got my 67 out of its 23 year break, first thing I did was took a ton of pictures of it the way it was when I got it, and then I drained and replaced all the fluids, next thing mine needed was wheel cylinders, and belts!  

Make sure you take the time to give it a good once over before you try and drive it, my first drive around a parking lot brought my failed wheel cylinders to the top of the need to fix list! ;-0

You can set up a cardomain site for free and show us your progress!  Here is my lac http://www.cardomain.com/id/67cadi TARGET=_blank>http://www.cardomain.com/id/67cadi



Thanks Mick!  I checked out the 67.  Slick slick slick.  When I went hunting for my wheels I wanted 67 to 69, but found a 69 conv. I could afford (like that is realistic) and here I am.

Ill get photos this weekend and over time, cruuuuzzz

Brian Rachlin


Change the oil as soon as possible, and dump the coolant and replace with 50/50 mix. Check all belts and hoses, and make sure your tires arent dry rotted and cracked.

Please take the time to pull the wheels to check the brakes.

At the risk of sounding like an old man, make sure you check out the brakes thouroughly.  After 8 years of inactivity, the brake fluid is probably in need of a complete flush, fill, and bleed.

Pull the wheels and make sure that all of the wheel cylinders/calipers are working.

In 1993 I bought a 1951 Packard convertible.  A nice clean runner, that wqs not used much bu the previous owner.  When I bought it, I started using it a lot.

The rear axle seals were shot, and the rear brakes became saturated with gear oil.  The front brakes were worn, and soon wore our, but never made any squealing or grinding.  One day, I woas out in the car with my wife and 2 small kids, and experienced total brake failure.  The front brakes were so worn that one of the pistons came all of the way out of the wheel cylinder, and the brake fluid shot out.  In 1951, the master cylinder was a single reservoir type, so if you have a major leak like that, the pedal goes to the floor.

I was coming off of a highway offramp, heading downhill and no brakes.  The emergency brake was only marginally effective because of the gear oil saturation of the rear shoes.

I was able to steer around some other cars, and the emergency brake eventually slowed the beast down enough to get it stopped, but it was very scary.

The point is, I put myself, my family, and others at risk because I was too lazy to pull the wheels on my new ride.  I just wanted to be out driving it.

Now, any time I get a "new" old car, I really check it out.

Good Luck,



Your words rang true, although I ran out of cash after my question.  (Dont want to think about the caddy until I can afford to run her).  

Anyway, when I bought her the brakes went coming down a bridge in Newport News, VA with a stoplight at the bottom of the bridge.  Like you I had precious cargo and managed to make a stop.

I took all of your advice to heart and have good, new fluid, well bled (including a new left rear line) brakes.

Thanks you!

Geoff Newcombe #4719

I wouldnt just change the fluid and bleed, those wheel cylinders need to come off and be rebuilt!  If its been 8 years in storage, and who knows when they were looked at before that, it is almost a certainty that those wheel cylinders need to be rebuilt.  MAYBE, and only maybe, if the brake system had DOT 5 silicone fluid in it they might be OK, but for such an important safety consideration those cylinders should be looked at.  Brakes are usually the FIRST thing on my list of things to do.   Good luck.

denise 20352

  Flush out the fuel tank and lines.  Change the fuel filter, and replace all of the fuel hoses.

  Check all of the engine and transmission seals, and all of the hoses for leaks, coolant, power steering, etc.

  Check the refrigerant in the air conditioner before you try to turn it on (is so equipped).  If it is empty or even really low, you will have to flush out the system and replace the drier, and maybe the hoses.  The reason you dont want to turn it on is that dried-up oil will be congealed in the evaporator and/or condensor, and you dont want to circulate it through the system.

  Check tires and belts for cracking.

  Condition the leather and vinyl, so that it doesnt crack with use.

   Whatever the convertible top needs...I dont know, but I would be worried that it would crack when I tried to move it.

   Flush the cooling system and replace the antifreeze.

   Inspect your brake hoses, caliper and wheel cylinder seals for leakage.


Doug Sprinthall

Those single brake line systems scare the crap out of me.  They didnt used to untill the day I blew a cylinder in my ex-wifes 64 tempest convert.  I was pulling into the driveway at the time.  fortunately the shattering garage door slowed the Pontiac down enough that I didnt totally trash my 69 MGB that was in the garage at the time.