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1947 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special Electrical problem

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New User

Oct 3, 2017, 8:48 PM

Post #1 of 6 (2624 views)
1947 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special Electrical problem Sign In

Hello, I just purchased this vehicle from a friend (who needed money) It is in beautiful condition (been parked in a garage and not driven for 25 years). Prior to purchasing it, the car actually turned over and started using starting fluid. I had it transported to my house by flatbed, and after delivery, i can't get it to turn over. In fact I can't get any of the electrical to work. Battery is good (6 volt), but just in case I tried a 6 volt jump charge...still nothing. Tried checking the ground and positive connections and they look clean. Am I missing something? Is there a master fuse somewhere or something that would cause no power to the vehicle? Its been a number of years since I worked on an antique vehicle (oldest was a 1965 Mustang) so I'm not real familiar with this car. Any suggestions would be appreciated...thanks.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Oct 4, 2017, 12:09 AM

Post #2 of 6 (2614 views)
Re: 1947 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special Electrical problem Sign In

? Hasn't been driven in 25 years! That's fine but how was it stored to even tolerate that? This wouldn't be for everyone has ZERO to do with a '65 Mustang.
The good news is it cranks you should please not use the words "turn over" as it confused what you mean. I take it that it cranks just doesn't start no surprise.
Fuel barely can last a year never mind this long even fuels available when this car was new. It wont tolerate the ethanol used in fuel today.

What do you want to do? This car should have a drain for the fuel bottom of tank, a glass fuel bowl you can see under the hood you could see dirt, water or what but don't touch anything till you have a parts source quick and ready.

6V is fine alone and still can get new battery - bulbs can be hard to find.

Own a 1948 something. It's a mind twist as pre 1957 vehicles could be positive or negative ground set ups throughout. Need to know for testing anything electrical.

Should not use electric wipers nor even if equipped power windows - were hydraulic or vacuum powered!

In short if you aren't really into this and dedicated plus have the room to store it this isn't for you.

For more info on the exact car I strongly suggest you search out a Cadillac Club for this vintage probably also includes LaSalle (sp?) if only for a look for others like it and what folks are currently doing if they wish to use the car. Not easy - you can't get fuel or fluids easily,


New User

Oct 4, 2017, 12:58 PM

Post #3 of 6 (2591 views)
Re: 1947 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special Electrical problem Sign In

Thanks for the quick and informative reply. Yeah it's definitely a lift. Car was stored in a garage and left for years as owner moved to New Mexico. He was wealthy enough to let the car and house sit all that time without being disturbed. It looks like a mechanic had done some work to it at one time because the belts, hoses and battery cables appear new. The owner's daughter cranked it over for me at one time but I never paid attention to whether she put the cables on the normal red/positive black/negative configuration or opposite that. Your telling me some of those older vehicles are opposite so maybe thats the problem I'm putting the cables on backward. I'm not getting any power to anything...I'll try to find out if this car is positive or negative ground. I see the glass fuel bowl where you stated. Not sure what my plans are with this car, it is beautiful but I'm in the military and have very little time to take on a project I know so little about. My neighbors keep stopping by though to look at it ha ha, body and interior almost looks like it is maybe a year or two old.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Oct 4, 2017, 1:30 PM

Post #4 of 6 (2589 views)
Re: 1947 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special Electrical problem Sign In

Doug - some friendly advice. Seems with this info you don't have tons of time and it would eat up all spare time for quite a while to just check a lot out. New from 25 years ago may be bad in a box still unsold so takes some clue of condition of what new and almost forget what was done as routine 25 years ago.

Good new is you heard it crank. Yes - a 6V can be jump started with a 12V battery out of a vehicle I wouldn't jump to a vehicle for this to confuse the donor car. READ ME: YOU MUST JUST GO POSITIVE TO POSITIVE OF EACH BATTERY FORGET IF "POLARITY IS REVERSED." I DON'T THING MANY GMs did but never say never on that.
Any attempt to fully run should wait just nice to really hear it crank and begin a couple other things. I mean just let it crank a few seconds that it sounds fast enough and 6Vs were slow to crank sounding NORMALLY but with 12V might crank real fast for the vehicle.

Hey - it's a cool thing in front of you and I could and known for going on forever but with time constraints plus some real know how to clean out fuel, know spark is right would take a while to fully run if only for a few minutes. In short I suggest you can prove it can run and just sell it. Take a lot of pictures that you had it and dig up a price for it and put it on the market with good pictures especially any rust, body damage, upholstery include headliner, funky type of flooring not really carpet as we know it. Should be neat with bud vases or chrome holders for them inside is what those things are with a thumb screw!
People took the real crystal out and put cheap stuff in if it has them at all - it might not have come with them?
Total project even if everything looks great will consume tons of time after 25 years. New battery I just got would fit it from NAPA would be best now if you can and charge it first - buy the trickle charger with choice of 6 or 12V automatic off feature best may take a day. Battery should say 6v, top posts measure old one or bring it. Ancient or new today they are marked with "POS" or a "+" sign and "NEG" or a "-" symbol rater on all. Positive posts are larger than negative posts even that old and new today. Don't just let RED and BLACK wires fool you who knows what's on it now for cables called for 1 gauge which is super thick copper inside. A maybe negative is a large braided strap (like flat rope) on a Caddy probably not.

I've done up a bunch of assorted vehicles take every dang thing apart if only to clean all up. Can't count the hours most took - endless it seemed and were good to begin with just not pretty or running new yet.

Think hard and suggest you try to pick up a buck or more and not take this on. If you insist and really want it to be able to use someday let me know. Only so much I can know on the exact car just that almost all were similar in so many ways. Things are fixable on this not just always buy new or harder make up stuff - yikes let's not go that far,


(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Oct 4, 2017, 1:33 PM)

New User

Oct 4, 2017, 2:27 PM

Post #5 of 6 (2575 views)
Re: 1947 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special Electrical problem Sign In

Wow Tom, thanks so much, I am going to go turn off all the electronics before trying to start it again. I will likely take your advice and eventually sell it but you are right, I would love to hear it purr at least once. Tried to load a couple of pictures to let you see it but can't seem to get it to work on this website...oh well.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Oct 4, 2017, 2:55 PM

Post #6 of 6 (2573 views)
Re: 1947 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special Electrical problem Sign In

Pics for this site! It's funky for some folks IDK why and never will. People have luck using a host site or a link to pics from a photo on line like Photobucket. Try not to make them larger than a normal view or whole thread is impossible to read in the current format.
Pics of low areas, paint if any good with lighting. Low inside an open door and inside where rust (ultimate enemy) would be.
Other about running: It should be prepped, existing oil checked, plugs taken out and at least a squirt of oil put in plug holes. Oil full on dipstick of course.
If you are ready air cleaner off also end with fogging oil it's called to mitigate any more rust - it also smokes you out beware. Starting fluid can work well not too much, no puddles of it. Be ready for backfires or flames and nothing near it making a hazard.

Gets more fun. Muffler type if new 25 years ago could blow up - who knows first try. It's unlikely to run on it own for long fuel unless all done first probably wouldn't pass thru a screen in that glass bowl if gelled enough oddly if not just might burn these things were NOT as fussy in the 40s.
If any lasting wild noise and does run shut it down right away there's more to do.
Can't even look it up but know that plugs might be a deep socket 7/8th - don't drop any just glance that they show a gap same as newer even a gas powered anything. They are larger.
Good luck with the pictures if they show great. You can "preview" post with them or post it and should be able to try again deleting or editing your own.
Sorry about pics at this site - issue for me since forever some work, some don't no clue why?

Good luck, Tom
PS - If selling it or any reason good to take a lot of pics. Show dash with odometer too AND show flaws for advertising it show them! Just wastes time if you sell it and don't show anything worn, bad, bubbles in paint or who knows. Nice if all "applices" are intact and hood ornament forget might still be on radiator cap? Nice if in good shape show it............


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