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MikeKnight

1991 Cadillac Fleetwood Project Thread

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Ooof, those seats! Hnnngg etc. I like the fact its a 4 seater, not a 5, also extra points for digital dashboard that appears to work! Very, very nice that.

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17 minutes ago, Tomtation said:

Ooof, those seats! Hnnngg etc. I like the fact its a 4 seater, not a 5, also extra points for digital dashboard that appears to work! Very, very nice that.

It'll be a 6 seater!  There's certainly a middle lap belt on the back seat, I can see it; and most likely also in front.  Huggy has both.

 

Mike, for service items try Rodley Motors in Bradford, that's usually my first port of call.  There's club discount if you join one too.  I suggest either Cadillac Owners Club GB (or might be UK) or American Auto Club North West.  Or even both!

These cars do get neglected when they get past about 10 years old, so it's delightful to see one getting some love.  I hope it serves you well.

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Thanks for the tips eddy, I'll try those.

Yes it is a 6 seater. The lap belt in the front really threw me at first. I can imagine getting stopped by the cops for having an unrestrained front seat passenger.. then they get very confused.

It gets a lot of attention, a lot more people looked at it on the drive back than even look at my Supra (and that's mostly just because of the noise).

I think it's pretty, but in an ugly and wonderful 90's way. There isn't an angle I don't like on it.

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With the possible exception of a Bentley Mulsanne, it's about the most stylish 90s car there is!  Once you're using it regularly, you will find yourself using it by choice, it should be that nice to drive.  As for lap belts, that's all I ever use in Huggy! 

I'm looking forward to seeing this in the metal.

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Front benches are fun.

In my younger(and slimmer days) I rode more than once in the middle seat of my dad's old S10. I also had more than a few uncomfortable(and mercifully short) trips in the front middle seat of a Town Car. It's definitely not an ideal way to travel, but can actually be done, and since there is a belt it's legal and presumably safe(ish).

The back middle in something like a Fleetwood, Deville, or Town Car is not bad either. At 6'2" and 275lbs, it's a snug fit for me these days, but there was a time where I considered it not bad.

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THE LONG AWAITED UPDATE

I ate the harribo from the glove box.

They were quite nice!

.......

But no really, I've ordered everything I need to fully service it but some parts have to come from the US, so the next proper update might be a while.

Going to remove the radiator soon in the hope it can just be sealed or re-cored.

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11 minutes ago, MikeKnight said:

THE LONG AWAITED UPDATE

I ate the harribo from the glove box.

They were quite nice!

.......

But no really, I've ordered everything I need to fully service it but some parts have to come from the US, so the next proper update might be a while.

Going to remove the radiator soon in the hope it can just be sealed or re-cored.

What happened with the new owner of the Range Rover, did he come back about the gearbox ?

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By 91 I don't think they had introduced the Fairground Ride Stickers:

20200623_120138.thumb.jpg.bc87541966957c427dd8d51da5da8418.jpg

(On both sun visors of my Jeep, just so you can't say you didn't see it).

Re the exhaust- it's considered bad form to rag the tits out of your engine unless you're a complete hoon and attempting to attract police attention. Therefore all aspects of everyday driving shouldn't incur engine speeds greater than 50% of maximum.

You probably find before it landed in the UK the engine had never seen north of 2500 rpm. Unless you're trying to get up to speed on the interstate there's no cause for any particular heavy throttle use in Florida. There sure as hell aren't any hills to worry about...

 

Phil

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2 hours ago, MikeKnight said:

THE LONG AWAITED UPDATE

I ate the harribo from the glove box.

They were quite nice!

.......

But no really, I've ordered everything I need to fully service it but some parts have to come from the US, so the next proper update might be a while.

Going to remove the radiator soon in the hope it can just be sealed or re-cored.

If you've ordered from rockauto the bits will be here within a week. Always pre pay import duties, or you'll end up with an admin fee from FedEx on top of the duty.

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Yup, because the buy online places have learned that if they're not at least as efficient as eBay then their customers go elsewhere.

So, if Barry in the warehouse doesn't get on with Janice in accounts and Stan in shipping hates them both and they all hate their job, the process ends up being rather more protracted than it needs to be. That is what Halfords etc appear not to have figured out how to get around. Rock Auto are still young enough as an enterprise and haven't tried branching out into baby food or bedroom furniture.

 

Phil

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18 hours ago, camryv6 said:

What happened with the new owner of the Range Rover, did he come back about the gearbox ?

Nah he never contacted me again. Good. 👍

Also the only bit I really had to order from the US was the correct radiator cap. One of similar poundage from UK stock would have probably worked, but I'm a sucker for having the right one.

Managed to pick up the coolant additive the booklet talks about, which is supposed to be added on every coolant change. They're simply AC Delco tablets similar to other "stop leak" solutions but should be added anyway according to the booklet.

I discovered paperwork showing one of the previous owners in late 2019 had done a FULL service, plugs, leads, caps, everything! So I don't have to do them. Good. Because I'm lazy.

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I can't find ANYWHERE to re-gas the R12 air conditioning. Yes, I know you can use R24 too (I did this on the Toyota Supra), but finding places that still have R24 canisters knocking about is also quite difficult in the North an I'm not driving 150+ miles just for a re-gas. I bought one of those conversion kits people are raving about, the ones where you swap the connectors over so R134a lines can fit on them. I did a little bit of research and the compressor on this car should be able to handle R134a with absolutely no problems. The kit comes with oil that's inserted at the same time it's recharged, which helps the seals deal with the different gas. I also have a spare AC drier unit that came with the car so I'll swap that at the same time. Opening the system (safely!) should evacuate most of the old gas anyway.

I inspected the tyres on the car currently and while they have tons of tread left on them, the sidewalls have certainly seen better days. I priced up new whitewalls and found these: GALAXY WHITEWALLS

Never heard of Galaxy before but Googling it displays no horror stories and just under £100 a tyre is pretty good. For comparison, MAXXIS also make whitewalls and are a good brand but they're around £150 a tyre. That's £600 for all four. Ouch! A total difference of £200 between the two brands.

I'm contacting Rodley Motors next week to see if they can source the cosmetic items I'm still looking for. Not much needs sorting on this car thankfully, mostly just the drivers side door card, drivers side door seal, rear plastic piece above the bumper, and the front number plate holder which some idiot has mutilated. The drooping headlining does need sorting out and really it needs a new front windscreen as it looks like it's been pummelled with fucking rocks but those are later options. I'll get them to price these anyway, if I can get a windscreen fairly cheaply I'll go ahead and get it replaced sooner rather than later.

I've sourced a "Stormforce" car cover as this car will be stored outside most of its life once it leaves my workshop. It's far too big to store in my garage at home so it'll live on the hard standing.  Once I've got the slight cosmetic work done (a few panels are a bit worse for wear) and the wheels re-polished I need to protect them as best I can. Around £250 for a hand-made cover to accurately fit the car for all weathers isn't too bad at all.

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Small update but no pictures, sorry. I was literally caked in grease and road dirt and didn't want to handle the phone to snap pics.

Removed the radiator today, oh dear oh dear, the "coolant" I removed from it and the engine looked exactly like milky coffee. I ran a sniff test first though, it passed with flying colours so no HGF thank god, the HG's on these engines are pretty bullet proof.

I also found a bottle of water in the boot, so my best guess is the radiator has been leaking for a very long time and the owners have just been topping up with tap water.

What came out the cooling system was VERY rusty, VERY plain, water. It's likely been running on that for a long time. No wonder the radiator gave up. Fucksake.

The rad is being re-cored and should be ready on Monday. When I refit it I'll be flushing the entire system several times with the last flush being a Forte flush (Forte is abso-fucking-lutely awesome, they will always get my business) with the thermostat OUT in order to flush through and not block anything up.

A small oddity was the old thermostat being rated for 91C, I've never seen a thermostat on a V8 be so high on opening temperature. The new one that came with the car is a slightly more sensible 87C.

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134a blah-blah PAG oil. Check the compatibility first, some stuff in the newer regas cans turns the oil into what looks like yoghurt.

Otherwise yeah, doesn't get hot enough there to worry about a 18% loss in efficiency, plus the car's white. She'll be right.

 

Phil

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1 hour ago, bunglebus said:

Isn't R12 a greenhouse gas, which is why it's now not used?

The tiny amount left in the system won't do any harm. I doubt it's even still under pressure, as it doesn't blow cold at all.

The clutch on the A/C engages so the fault will be that most of the R12 has gone bye-bye.

I'd evacuate it "properly" but absolutely no one I can find in a 150 mile radius has an R12/R24 evacuation system.

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On 7/3/2020 at 6:46 AM, PhilA said:

134a blah-blah PAG oil. Check the compatibility first, some stuff in the newer regas cans turns the oil into what looks like yoghurt.

Otherwise yeah, doesn't get hot enough there to worry about a 18% loss in efficiency, plus the car's white. She'll be right.

 

Phil

The R134a conversion kit comes with a plunger and oil that apparently neutralises the old R12 mineral oil and lubricates the seals to accept R134a.

But hey I've never tried a conversion kit before so we'll see what happens. I've heard good things about this kit though.

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Man, how have I not seen this thread before? '91 Fleetwoods are almost peak Malaise, they are still based on Cadillac's downsized models of the early 80s but had just enough styling changes over the years to become somewhat respectable again. At least until they got replaced by the '93 Fleetwood which was the last proper Cadillac landyacht before they canceled that because SUVs... Hopefully this one will be back in the road again, just order anything you need on Rockauto, afaik shipping doesnt take much longer than usual and their prices are still some of the best.

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4 hours ago, paulplom said:

My mate uses rockauto for his smokey and the bandit and his hellcat. He reckons delivery from them is quicker than on ebay.

I'll vouch for that.  I ordered an A/C compressor clutch from them for the Jag a couple of weeks ago.  It was ordered late on Friday, arrived on my door on Tuesday afternoon.  I was rather surprised!

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The radiator has been repaired by another Eddy at a radiator repair place I use all the time.

Turns out it was 3/4 filled with silt, rust, and crap from the moron previous owner running it entirely on tap water.

So that was making it over-pressurise and blow water through the end tank seals. The end tanks are plastic with essentially giant rubber o-rings for sealing so high pressure would do this.

Hope to have it back together and running in a few days. 🤗

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