Hello 👋🏼 all I'm new to the Cadillac family but not new to cars... so I know all the colorful words..... lol 😝 Ok my newest venture is the gauge cluster....mine is not a 1959 but a 1960 oh my car is a 1959 Fleetwood.... and I believe that the'60 is a different setup so I'm not exactly sure how it is working....well a couple of things light up when key is on.. Oh and have not driven it yet..because it doesn't run as promised.... Anyway.. Previous owner changed the interior and the cluster also..... so I have '60 interior and gauges... so I'm still not sure what options I have or had.. because of this.. I learned all this because I am new to Cadillac and have been reading about them....oh and he told me.... So I got a good used one... hopefully it is good.... So how do I swap them and what can I replace on the " new " one to make it better...? I've read a few posts about this but they are all slightly different and I have to go back and forth... New circuit board New bulbs ( LED ) Clean everything... What else...? Thank you
I wanted to share an experience I had yesterday when my right front tire went flat while driving my Series 63. Photos attached for reference.
A few days ago I posted the need for a fitting that is attached to the bottom rear spring for the jack stand used to keep the wheel above ground after jacking up the rear tire. I reached out to a couple of folks to see if they had the part for my right rear spring. One of those folks was Marty Watkins who recommended I don't use the original jack that came with the '41 models as they aren't very reliable. Marty recommended that I purchase a small floor jack instead with a couple blocks of wood and keep it in the trunk.
Well, I decided yesterday to take my Cadillac for the longest ride since I've owned it and test out the engine performance, front suspension and the brand new Firestone bias ply tires with tubes I purchased. I wanted to drive about 50 miles. The car ran beautifully.
At about mile 45 the car started shaking violently on the highway at about 55 MPH. I tried changing lanes thinking it may have been the pavement which didn't help. I then reduced my speed which helped to a degree and then pulled off the highway to see what was happening. It turns out my right front tire was low and then went completely flat as I was looking at it.
I proceeded to use the jack to raise the wheel and then the stand to place under the car in order to remove the wheel per the instructions in the shop manual. I didn't have the shop manual with me and I wasn't as familiar with placement of the stand for the front tire. The rear is much more straight forward. I called Marty and he instructed me where to place the stand, which is under the suspension arm. I was then able to complete the removal of the flat tire and installation of the spare tire. I made it home fine.
Now for the important part of this experience, mainly for owners who may never have had to use this jack. I was lucky to have had a friend with me to help place the stand under the front end suspension arm while I jacked up the wheel. This would be difficult for one person to maneuver, especially in inclement weather. Luckily for us it was a beautiful day. The jack fits under the top lip of the rim. The jack shaft itself is not very thick and also does not appear to be very stable, especially when jacking up the front of the car due to the weight. I'm taking Marty's excellent advice and will purchase a small floor jack for this purpose in the future. The jack and stand will be used for show purposes.
Now to figure out why my tube went flat as I can't find any punctures in the tire.
Has anyone had the experience on using oil filled shocks that came originally for our Cadillacs and installed modern gas ones, how did the ride quality change? Was it better or worse?
Because I truly feel that the way our Cadillacs were engineered from the beginning especially the Cads that were originally supposed to used oil filled shocks, rode extremely soft and smooth over the roughest pavement.
I am not sure when Cadillacs started using gas filled shocks, but it would seem that the ride quality wasn't as compliant due to the stiff nature and higher resistance of gas shocks. Because I was thinking of purchasing some oil filled shocks from shocks2springs.com and installing them in my 64 and 54 as those cars originally came with oil shocks.
I have owned 5 driver 1964's with the 429, including my current 1964 Coupe de Ville which I have now had 26 years and think these were very dependable engines. I have also parted 58 1963/64 Cadillacs, mostly 1964's with the 429, and one additional flaw I see is the cracked intake manifolds especially with the higher mileage engines or those where the heat riser was stuck closed to some degree forcing the fire hot exhaust gases across the intake manifold from left side to right side. In addition to making the engine run like crap, they eventually crack the internal choke tube and the exhaust manifold cavity itself. Unless you crank and drive your car in super cold conditions I would recommend removing the butter fly in the heat riser (I did) or adding a spacer. As others have posted the RH exhaust manifolds were more prone to crack (again, might be affected by closed heat risers forcing that exhaust to carry almost double the load), but I also see this more with aftermarket, fabricated exhaust setups behind it where there was constant pressure pulling on the manifold.
I think overall the 429 is a great engine, just as the one year only 1963 390 (which was the basically the same engine without the increased bore and stroke in 1964), and the only things that really degrade the engine are external influences such as closed exhaust systems, busted vacuum lines, busted distributor vacuum advance, and worn ignition and fuel supply components. The one inherent flaw that comes to mind with the core engine block assembly itself would be the nylon coated teeth on the cam gear. After 100K miles This nylon coating started to come apart and gum up inside the engine. For that reason I always recommend changing the timing gears and chain out with an all steel setup.
Back to my 1964 CDV with 429, I finally broke down and rebuilt it in 2012 with 158K miles on the engine... not because of any real mechanical issue, but because it was simply starting to leak more oil around the gaskets and seals than I wanted to clean up off the floor, and of course I wanted to freshen up with new internals. From memory I was still getting around 130 to 140 psi per cylinder. Oil pressure was also good... so there's one testament to the 429.
The 429 is basically a bored and stroked out 390 block. The engines are extremely similar and use a lot of the same parts.
My 64 Cad doesn't have any issues with the engine, although the 429 block in my 64 is actually from a 67, but the top end stuff is still from a 64 (intake, heads, carb,).
Sure theres the oil pump issues, nylon timing gears with these engines, but honestly they really don't have a lot faults or major problems. Cadillac built very stout motors back then and I am sure if full synthetic oil was a common place at that time, most pre-mature engine wear and problems wouldn't really exist since high quality of materials and machining were built into Cadillac engines.
They can have low oil pressure problems, which can be temporarily mitigated using higher viscosity oil such as a 5W-40 or 20W-50 motor oil.
Although the 472 was a great engine and the most bulletproof of all Cadillac engines, the one thing that struck me as sort of "cheapening out" of the engine, was in the valve train. All the previous Cadillac engines including the 429 pre 67's, all used a shaft mounted valve train which is much more durable, performance oriented and is less prone to having valve lash problems and valve train wear vs the stud mounted valve train in the 472.
Stud mounted valve trains were always usually used in lower end vehicles or cheaper small block engines for the most part.
Also Cadillac switch from a rear sump oil pan starting in 65, to a front sump which could possibly lead to oil starvation while going up steep hills or on hard acceleration. Just look at Mopar engines, they never truly made it hot rod racing due to the relatively small front sump oil pan and small oil pickup on all there V8's which basically starved the engine of oil on hard runs at the track that scorched the bearings and basically destroyed the motors after one hard pass.
Not saying you're going to race your Caddy, but it's interesting to know how these small changes over time were due to some cost cutting measures IMO that could affect long term reliability of these engines if driven hard. But I am pretty sure the majority of us here don't drive our Cads hard, so you can most likely ignore those 2 changes Cadillac made (front sumo oil pan/stud mounted valve train).
Adding my two cents having owned several 429's, I found the engines to be rock solid; however, the nickel and dime repair humps that occurred were almost laughably predictable--- alternator, water pump, pipes and mufflers, jambed heat riser--all occurring after 60k and 80k I never had issues with the climate control and its cooling/ dehumidifying system, but vacuum hoses leaking would create annoying issues including arcane problems with the repreposed tin can vacuum reservior that would develop leaks from constant flexing, so that the engine would run rough at idle, and vacuum door locks could lock you in the car and the climate control would fail to operate because of insufficient vacuum on that firewall mounted vacuum actuated switch (one could squeeze the bottom, and bingo, the blower would commence to blow, thus indicating a vaccum fault). I think those engines were well engineered, and with proper care would last and last.