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eddyramrod

1973 Cadillac: period correct repairs

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Huggy spent Saturday and Sunday nights in the alley behind my house (where Tomato was attacked, you may remember...).  Yesterday after work I parked it in the next street, in exactly the same place where I often park Swoopy, at the end of a kerb where the next alley emerges.  There's even a lamp post, so you'd think it was pretty safe.  That was at lunchtime.

Took the dog out for her teatime walk, and there's a note on an envelope, tucked under the wipers.  Please park your 30 foot car in your own back street as we are having difficulty parking.  Er, yeah.  If you were having that much difficulty, you'd have said something about the Saab, surely?  It's almost as big!  Or perhaps the modern Khan Jeep that's there every day.  Or the Transit.  Or... or...  No wonder you're having difficulty parking if you think a 19 foot car is 30 feet long!

 

Fuck 'em.  He's back in the alley now.

Fucking arse holes! It's taxed, it's MOT'd and it's insured so maybe they should fuck right off and mind their own business. It's irrelevant how big it is. Big vans are parked everywhere now and that's no different.

It's most likely some stupid git with a life so miserable all they do is sit watching out the front window for anyone or anything to moan about, or some twat that thinks it's their right to always park directly outside their own front door. I've had this before with people moaning about where I park my work van. Get a life!

 

Trouble is if you leave it there you don't know what they might do to it I suppose.

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Exactly.

 

I don't think it would be the house owner, as we've talked about me parking there before and he's fine with it.  All he asks is that I leave him room to put his car (Jag X type) by his door, as his wife can't walk very far.  So I've always tried to take the end slot, which happens to be alongside his garage.  He puts the Jag in, but as the garage door is in the alley rather than the street, I'm not in his way.  It'll be someone from one of the other cottages attached.

 

However.... wherever I park it takes me at least half an hour longer than it used to, to do whatever I'm doing, because total strangers want to admire the car.  So that's compensation!

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Is it hard to find a parking space? Sometimes when I'm driving the work van (LWB Sprinter) in town it can be a right pain to find a parking space big enough for it at certain times, mainly after everyone's come home from work.

I'd imagine with this Caddy being of similar size to a big van it'd have a similar problem finding a big enough space. I can't say I've ever had this problem with mine.

 

How's it going anyway, now it's been used a few days? Any other problems come to light or all ok?

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Where I live is a very tightly-packed block of terraced streets, so yeah, it can be tough to find a space.  It does go in the car park at work, which is tiny, but I'm not looking forward to the day it has to go to Martin for anything, as I have to leave them in the (packed) public car park in front of his garage.  I might have to drop it off in an afternoon so it can go straight into his yard.

 

I didn't go anywhere on Sunday, after the big trip, but yesterday and today I've been to work in it, and so far so good, in general.  A couple of the electric windows are slow but I think that's largely lack of use.  Everything else is as expected, really.  The steering is vague and very light.  There's plenty of power, but you can certainly feel the weight of the car!  Oh and there's no heated rear window, which points to that Florida plate in the trunk being correct.  A southern-state car often wouldn't have the same options as a northern one.  The door mirror on the right hand side is a bit loose, although it shows no sign of falling off; but I can see enough in it, so it's low priority.

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Mine doesn't have a heated rear window either. It was a right pain using it in winter after I got it back, just had to wait for the blowers to clear the glass instead.

It sounds very much like mine. It's got plenty of grunt but it still feels heavy. I think most of them are like that on the steering tbh, it's not got anything wrong with it but it's just incredibly light power assistance. Sometimes with mine as you go around a corner you can actually over do it by steering a bit to far, if that makes sense.

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Yes exactly!  I never expected anything less, tbh, after owning two Cadillacs and driving others, not to mention my several other American autos.  In the 60s and 70s the British motoring press were very snobby about them, calling the steering "over-assisted" which, tbh, it was.  But they didn't have to use that as an insult! 

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Ed,squirt some Wd40 on the window felts/rubbers,probably got a bit of crud in em.Should free them up :-)

Meant to tell you,Now you've gone HUGE again,I've gone tother way,got myself a 91 mini Mayfair (last of the carbs)Just ripped out the 3 clock dash(in front of driver) and put in the Classic mini 3 clock centre binnicle,

Seems it spent all it's 25years on the road around Formby/Burscough + Scarisbrick area,(still has original vented sills) 8)

Just tarting it/her/him up in my kerb/garage.

Don't half bring back memories drivin around,and the amount of people pointing and staring,keep thinkin somethings up :-D

So your back in the Premier League,and I'm back in 4th division :-D  :-D

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Ed,squirt some Wd40 on the window felts/rubbers,probably got a bit of crud in em.Should free them up :-)

Silicone grease or silicone spray is good for them too. I've used the grease on my Granada door window felt channels and it's freed them off really well.

Just don't overdo it or dirt and stuff sticks to it.

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Huggy is now in at Martin's garage for a couple of little electrical things, and MoT.  The starter, which has always done the usual slow-slow-zoom thing, now appears to be giving up.  I'm going to have to order one.  Bugger, more outgoings at exactly the wrong time.

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Parts generally aren't too badly priced. There's nothing particularly sophisticated about them to make them expensive.

Starters here at RockAuto http://www.rockauto.com/m/mobilecatalog.php

It's the postage that adds up from the US, especially heavy stuff like a starter motor. You can get some things in the UK, but cars like this it can be a bit hit or miss.

I managed to get some brake hoses for my Mercury from a UK supplier off the shelf, yet other simple things I had to get from the US. Obviously popular cars you'll get more parts already in the UK, Mustangs, Corvettes etc are way more popular than these big beasts so suppliers see it worthwhile keeping things in stock.

 

 

Eddy, can't you get a local company to recondition the old starter? Probably a lot cheaper than getting a new one. I got my old Mercury one rebuilt and it was in a right state! Means I've got a spare now. It wasn't expensive to recon though.

Hope it doesn't need much for the MOT.

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I've had the MoT verdict today.  It did fail, not unexpectedly, but only on one item, which was a surprise.  Or maybe not, given it's over 40 years old... a couple of holes in the floor under the rear seat that need cutting out and patching.  Martin reckons he'll be on that today.  So that was the good news.

He also said that getting the starter rebuilt would cost about the same as a new one anyway, so I might as well go for new.  That is what I was thinking really.  I'm typing this between searches...

 

Edit: starter ordered, with Next Day delivery.  Ah the joys of credit cards!

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Huggy will definitely be there, or at least will be setting off from Barrow!  MoT gained yesterday, and new starter now fitted.  This is the second one, as the first was significantly too small.  I'll probably just park up and go to sleep for an hour.  Do Not Disturb!

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How are consumables for a car such as this? Can you get the starter from a UK supplier for example, or strictly US?

And what's the ££ damage?

 

Summit racing (in the USA) have come good on a couple of parts for my AMC recently.

 

I also had starter woes - ordered a set of brushes from Rockauto, but then checked Summit.  It cost around £200 in total for a brand new item off the shelf and it only took about a week to arrive.

 

I've just ordered a new fuel pump from them too.

 

There are established specialists here and in the US, but some of them are pricey and/or unused to shipping outside the USA.

 

It's vehicle dependent too - some AMC parts are tricky, but pretty much everything for my (much older) Chevy is available as they are popular and there are so many still around.

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More expense coming up... the speedo cable appears to have failed, as it no longer registers speed or distance.  While I'm just knocking around town it doesn't matter but I will need it done before I go to Portsmouth at the end of January.  Bugger.

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Would a sat nav not help to show speed?

What have you been drinking, man?  Wash your mouth out!  Satnav indeed... I'm a professional driver, I use actual maps and something called a brain.  Satnav... as reliable a mark of the amateur as reversing into traffic.  Dear me!

 

FPB: same time, same place, Friday 27th.  ;)  You know what you must do, Earthman...

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What have you been drinking, man?  Wash your mouth out!  Satnav indeed... I'm a professional driver, I use actual maps and something called a brain.  Satnav... as reliable a mark of the amateur as reversing into traffic.  Dear me!

 

 

If you already own a smart phone then a free speedo app is a lot cheaper than a speedo cable from the US plus fitting.

 

That said, being a 'professional driver' you'd be earning shit loads of money so could afford the speedo cable and enough labour to fit and restore the whole car.

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