Tick, Suck & Slip!


After installing the clock last week, I left it alone and didn’t look at it again until Saturday.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had only lost 3 minutes in almost 6 days.  This is a great start point.  The clock in the Cadillac is as you would expect a little different to many.  When you adjust the clock faster or slower it makes minute adjustments to the regulation.  For example, if it is constantly slow, every time you adjust it forward it speeds up the regulation a small amount.  This means that you eventually don’t need to adjust it so often.  Very Cadillac!



We all went out on Sunday morning, and it was cold (about 6 degrees Celsius).  We all found that it was quite pleasant in the Cadillac with the heaters blazing!

So now that the heater fan is functioning, delivering vacuum to the actuators is the final piece in the puzzle.  This is primarily needed to enable me to control if the air is fresh or recirculated.  Without vacuum it defaults to recirculate.  Down the track it is needed to enable the A/C to work correctly.

I had a number of ideas on where I would steal vacuum from including tapping into the brake booster vacuum line which has an accumulator tank.  In the end I took the easy way and decided to remove the plug from the base of the front carburettor and use that.  You can see the plug below in the second picture which is right on the centre of the base.

IMG_3610  IMG_3611

I bought a brass threaded insert to suit the thread and screwed it on in.  Pretty straight forward.

IMG_3612  IMG_3613

I routed the hose on the right hand side of the carbs as this is closest to the HVAC unit, using the vacuum advance hose to guide it.  I also inserted a one way control valve to try and smooth out any variations in vacuum.

IMG_3614  IMG_3615

Once I had it all plumbed in I started the car to see if it worked.  Initially the lever only moved a small amount so I adjusted the spring to reduce the tension a little.  Tried again and all was well……

Oil Change

I have now driven the car approx 300 miles on the second oil change, so it was time to change it again and put in the good stuff.  I drove the car a couple of times yesterday so it was a perfect opportunity. I find that there is something therapeutic about changing the oil in an engine.

I took the car for a short drive to get everything hot again and then dropped the oil.  Even though it had only been in for 300 miles I decided to change the filter as well.

Change Date Odometer Distance Oil Used  
Oil & Filter 26/12/15 62670 0 Amsoil Break In Oil New Engine
Oil & Filter 26/12/15 62670 310 Amsoil Break In Oil After Cam Break In
Oil & Filter 05/05/16 62980 290 Valvoline XLD 15W-40 Mineral
Oil & Filter 12/06/16 63270 0 Amsoil AMO 10W-40

As you may remember from an earlier post I have a magnet in the sump plug, and I also placed a couple of small 15x5x2mm magnets inside the oil filter (I should have taken a pic of this…sorry).  I was pleased to see that there was very little metal on the magnets.

My oil of choice is Amsoil Premium Protection 10W40 (AMO).  This is an excellent TRUE synthetic oil with high zinc content, and is close to the original Cadillac oil spec.  In 1959 mutigrade oils were a new thing.  Cadillac specified 20W or 30W oil for the engine, or 10W30 if you were using multigrade.  My decision to use synthetic oil is based on over 20 years experience with synthetic in all sorts of vehicles.  The stories you hear about old engines not being designed for synthetic are ridiculous.  Synthetic oils do the same job as minerals (i.e. they separate metal surfaces), but they do way better.  If you use quality Group IV or V synthetics, another advantage is that it always leaves a film on the metallic surfaces, so you never have a totally dry start which is especially important for a vehicle which isn’t driven regularly.

If you are considering using synthetic, don’t be fooled into buying the cheap ‘too good to be true’ synthetics.  A number of years ago a judge in the US ruled that a Grp III mineral oil which had been hydrocracked could be called a synthetic, however they don’t have the same film strength and cling abilities.  Mobil downgraded Mobil 1 after this ruling, and made it a Grp III hydrocracked mineral oil to increase profitability I assume.  If you want to use a TRUE synthetic, look for brands like Amsoil, Royal Purple, Redline, Motul and Fuchs.  In my opinion it is one of the cheapest insurance policies you can buy!

While I was under the car I noticed that there was a light film of oil on some of the oil pan.  I tightened up the oil pan bolts and found a couple of them were looser than I expected – hopefully this will eliminate any oil weeping through.  I also tried to lubricate a couple of suspension points with a grease gun.  I have bought a number of grease guns over the years and have never found one which works well.  There is always an issue getting them to prime and pump no matter how strong the spring is.  Recently I bought an expensive gun which seems to have all of the same issues.  Any suggestions from the reading audience??

The Bigger Picture

I thought I would just indulge myself and reflect on how far the car has come.

When I first started driving it there were a number of little things which weren’t quite right.  The carbs were a bit of a mess, so hot and cold starting were a bit of a challenge as was idling at the lights.  Every time I pulled up the idle speed would be different with the occasional stall.  This is to be expected with a new engine, but it is still frustrating at the time.  The windows didn’t line up properly and there were a number of little noises.  The driver’s door was especially hard to close with a high load on the door seals.  Not everything worked correctly including the temperature gauge, and the glove box was a bugger to open.  The heater fan didn’t work as you know.

I have now adjusted, repaired, tweaked corrected many of these issues, and as a result the car is becoming a real nice driver.  It is quiet inside with just enough exhaust note in the cabin to remind you that you have cubes without being intrusive.

I also still have a list of things to do including building & installing the missing front cross bracing (in front of the radiator), adjusting the air cleaners so I can use the new filters, changing the drive gear in the transmission to improve speedo accuracy and installing the roof mounted interior lights.  I also need to polish and protect the paint.  The rear window leaks so I need to have it sealed – I don’t know how big and complex this job is.

I will keep chipping away at these and other items, however it is totally driveable which means I have plenty of motivation to keep going!


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