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Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse


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Lydia_Robinvale
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Apr 22, 2013, 12:02 AM

Post #1 of 37 (3312 views)
Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

Hi everyone! I'm new here. My name is Lydia and I live in LA, in the san fernando valley. I own a 1966 Cadillac S&S Victoria hearse. I am here to get advice and teach myself how to fix her up, since I don't have a lot of money to pay a mechanic. I'm hoping to learn all I can because to me fixing it (correctly) yourself is much more satisfying (and costs less) than taking it to someone else! I think since I am female and due to my lack of knowledge I have been ripped off by more than one mechanic and was actually informed of that once I joined my hearse club, so I'm looking to curtail that too. Anyway, here's me and my baby. Her name is Dusty and she looks like hell, but she is my prized possession!




(This post was edited by Lydia_Robinvale on Apr 22, 2013, 12:05 AM)


nickwarner
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Apr 22, 2013, 2:48 PM

Post #2 of 37 (3272 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

I like it hon. Hot Rod had a similar hearse to your that got customized like crazy a few months back.

We can help you as issues come up to work with it. One thing you might look at is taking a class at a local tech school this summer. Lot of them have an intro course about car maintenance and basic repairs geared towards people at your experience level.

I'm jealous of you CA people. In WI those cars rusted into nothing long ago.


Tom Greenleaf
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Apr 24, 2013, 5:47 AM

Post #3 of 37 (3247 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

1966 - no rust!

Lydia - There's plenty you can do with short bucks but you want to know if this is basically sound so you don't over-invest in it to find a nasty expense later.

I really don't know what might be all different than a regular Cadillac for parts? TKK, only one engine for any regular cars by Cadillac then anyway. Old as it is stuff still available quite easily for many Cadillacs and you are in the right state for good used stuff if needed.............

T



Lydia_Robinvale
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Apr 24, 2013, 9:33 PM

Post #4 of 37 (3237 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

Hi and thanks for the replies. As far as the rust...I have had her for almost 2 years now and I have spent way too much money for any sane person to consider, but for me it's a little bit more than just a car. But her chassis is sound and shes in ok shape as far as that goes. But she needs SO much work, thats why I am trying to cut down cost by doing as much as I can myself. The problem is, I am not like my friend Nik, who can basically do anything ever without having ever done it before haha! I'm trying though. I am extremely attached to her and regardless of how much money it is going to cost me to restore, I really don't care. I love my hearse and I could never just give up, even if the engine gave out. Why? I have no idea, it just is I guess! In the coming days I will post some photos and questions that will probably sound really stupid heh..but you've got to start somewhere right?

As far as I know everything mechanical is stock caddy, but everything pretty much from the dash back is hearse, specifically S&S which is why I can't screw up the trim when I take it off because it would be really hard to source more. Also all the windows are hearse specific because they are curved glass/commercial glass, and have to be salvaged from another 66 or similar year. Fortunately I have a source for the glass, which can be some of the most expensive parts to replace. I believe the engine is a 429. She was built somewhere in the midwest, where all hearses were built at one time...Ohio or something. But she was in service for a German funeral home in san francisco, and the original custom buily plate still exists on the wheel well under the hood. I dont think the funeral home exists anymore.

As it stands, her whole front end needs rebuilding except the centerlink which I replaced a year ago, something is up with the tranny, she has chattering valves (I think), some pinging going on, new tires, she overheats slowly at idle, she needs a rebuilt carb, needs the suspension looked at possibly...and lord knows what else is up inside her engine. As I said though, I dont care about the cost. And I'm not even talking how she looks, as she needs complete restoration outside and in. Its a labour of love :)

I have another hearse thats a cadillac s&s as well, but is an 84. It has intermittent wiring issues. It died in the middle of me driving it a few weeks ago and has been parked ever since. His name is Orwell (yes, I name my cars), and he will start up if we jump him, so theres a newly developed power drain coming from somewhere, but I dont have and dont even know which tools I need to test that stuff. I'm starting from the ground up.

If you look on statigram and type in #hearse, you'll see tons of photos of Orwell. His license plate is LIFENDS. Dusty's is DST2DST. We're freaks :)

Here's a photo of Dusty gettin it on with Orwell (because Orwell's battery was dead)



ETA: I forgot, the over investment and nasty surprise later? I've already gone through that several times. Haha..lady told me there was no bondo on the car, too. Turns out, the whole damn car is bondo! Well, not really..but there is a lot of bondo. And they conveniently forgot to mention the flinstones style hole in the passenger side floor.. I mean it is HUGE. I cover it with cardboard hahaha...


(This post was edited by Lydia_Robinvale on Apr 24, 2013, 9:37 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
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Apr 25, 2013, 6:01 AM

Post #5 of 37 (3228 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

If you are driving this regularly you do need the front end parts and suspension parts all good as well as brakes brakes of course.

The bondo and rusted floor could get expensive to fix.

The pinging you think is transmission could easily be engine knock/ping as it should have been a premium fuel engine and you can't find that octane anymore I know of. Plain tune up especially points and timing set. Could also have too high of compression from carbon build up. Note that as the points wear the bumper to cam in distributor the timing advances till it doesn't run properly and can ping.

If you find compression too high there might be an additive that will help. Can also just make carb eat tons of carb cleaner.

Overheat! Take care of that. I think this has a fan clutch which don't last forever to pull enough air and it needs to. Could be several things causing it to run hot - radiator bad or needing a good flush.

Hey - of course it's old enough to need plenty of things. Gotta make it safe at least first. You should be able to look inside radiator for the overheating to see basic junk that might be in it. If need be there used to radiator shops that could acid boil them or replace just the fins of the core it end the tanks are any good.

Find what makes it ping as if engine as strong as things were could be damaged by that alone.

One more for now. You can tell roughly how much "Bondo" was used with a magnet. If that was to fix rust it wouldn't last well and someday if you painted it the Bondo will not hold paint as well.

If worried, let a body shop take a look. I know you love it but might be a better parts car for another??

T



Lydia_Robinvale
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Apr 25, 2013, 1:16 PM

Post #6 of 37 (3216 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

Ooooh the bondo... Well, I personally haw sanded the entire vehicle and I have completely redone the bondo in a lot of places. Some wingnut didn't mix the bondo properly and the stud was somehow still wet underneath after all that time! There are many cracks going on too straight down from the metal. So I've had to take it down to the metal in some spots...

The good news is I honed my bodywork skills doing his. I'm still not perfect and I don't know how to pull dents or use bodywork hammers yet, but she doesn't really need any of that anyway. Her front left panel and light housing was bashed in by the previous owner and is crooked so that the bezel doesn't fit anymore and is held on by bondo. I will have to have that fixed professionally.

I had the timing and points and things adjusted but that was per a year ago now. I had brand new brakes put in, new shoes, etc.. But whoever did it screwed it up. I had the radiator fixed as it had 5 leaks in it but I need a flush because its real rusty in there now. I Donno. Dustys a mess but I'd never use her for parts

I asked some questions about noises she was malign in a separate thread, but I guess I'm not supposed to have more than one thread about the same car, so I've got a few issues I need to take care of regarding those. I have more research to do, and I know the clunk in the front which I didn't mention is due to a rotted rubber thing pushing itself all the way out, I'm not sure what to called but I will take a photo I suppose and post it..


nickwarner
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Apr 25, 2013, 1:48 PM

Post #7 of 37 (3213 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

With the age of this, I don't think Alldata will have any specs available. I'd be checking on EBay to see if you can find a factory manual for this one. That would be a gold mine for info for you.

I've had holes in the floor like you do on 13 year old trucks. WI salt eats cars apart.


Lydia_Robinvale
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Apr 25, 2013, 1:52 PM

Post #8 of 37 (3212 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

What manual would I look for? 66 Cadillac I'm assuming but I don't know anything about manuals, they don't include how to take panels and pieces like the bumper off do they? Because a lot of the car is hearse specific and I'm pretty sure S&S didn't make manuals lol..

I managed to figure out how to take the bumper off should I need to replace the tail lights, though. My right red lens is smashed so I will need a new one soon, it caused a wiring meltdown last year being exposed :(

Eta: I'm confused as to whether its a Cadillac fleetwood or series 75 and I want to figure out the difference between the two regardless. All I know is it is a commercial chassis and the hearse club throws around the word fleetwood a lot but also deville....?


(This post was edited by Lydia_Robinvale on Apr 25, 2013, 5:08 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
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Apr 25, 2013, 5:14 PM

Post #9 of 37 (3206 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

Manual: Is the company that made it still in biz? Find them if so. Some silly things may be unique to this vs a regular 66 Caddy. A lot of custom cars like it, limos, even ambulances would be different in some areas. Engine and trans probably the same. Ebay out an old "pro" edition of a Chiltons - all American cars were in one big book. They were expensive books back when not the junk paperback stuff you might find.

Back then those books covered 9 model years. Must be the "pro" editions as some stuff really is useless otherwise,

T



Lydia_Robinvale
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Apr 25, 2013, 5:18 PM

Post #10 of 37 (3204 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

I think I remember looking for a chiltons but not finding one. Let me ask my club people which manual I should get.. I know that year has shop manuals, is that maybe something to try? The cd version was $30. S&S was bought out by Supeior I think, another coach company but they still use S&S as a name, but I could be wrong. As far as coach builder specific manuals, every hearse owner would have them if they existed. I could attempt to contact S&S.

If I had loads of money I could send her back to S&S to be redone by the actual coach builder, but alas.. I haven't yet a money tree :)

Oh and Tom, carbon buildup.. How do I clean that out? I know it needs a flush but what kind of stuff do I need to get the carbon out or is it even possible?


(This post was edited by Lydia_Robinvale on Apr 25, 2013, 5:22 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
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Apr 25, 2013, 5:26 PM

Post #11 of 37 (3201 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

I'd bet a used paper manual would cost more to ship than the price. I have a 1961-1969 one that is awesome. Specs, drawings, pics, wiring diagrams. I'm talking about a dark green book with almost a cloth covered hard cover. Sorry to say but another was better by the early 1970s than those were,

T



Lydia_Robinvale
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Apr 25, 2013, 5:29 PM

Post #12 of 37 (3199 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

Do you know who the manual is by? Just the manufacturer? I'm wondering if I can get my hands on one maybe on eBay but these things seem so rare now


nickwarner
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Apr 25, 2013, 7:40 PM

Post #13 of 37 (3190 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

Look for one by Motor or Cadillac itself. Try Amazon too, they are great for used book sales. Another source which you should look into is Hemmings. They are they authority on classic cars like this one, and they cover things clear back to the brass era. Look them up, they have a on of vendors that can get you what you need.


Double J
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Apr 25, 2013, 9:20 PM

Post #14 of 37 (3185 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

Cadillac had different series vehicles.

The Fleetwood series included the Eldorado, 60 Special, Fleetwood Brougham, 75 sedan and Limos
The Deville series included Coup de Ville, Sedan de Villes, both hardtops and convertibles
The Calais Series included Calais Coup, Hardtop Sedan and Sedan


Lydia_Robinvale
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Apr 25, 2013, 9:30 PM

Post #15 of 37 (3183 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

A hearse is most like a limo, in length anyhow. I know it's a commercial chassis, so I'm assuming I would go with the fleet wood series. I'll have a look around and see what I can drum up. A wiring diagram would be super useful too for when I replace the instrument panel. I scavenged one from a regular 66 that was sitting in a junkyard last year.


(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Apr 26, 2013, 2:11 PM)


Double J
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Apr 25, 2013, 9:35 PM

Post #16 of 37 (3181 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

In 1981, Superior Coaches acquired the Sayers & Scovill funeral coach business, better known as The S&S Coach Company. At that time, all S&S Coach designs, dies, fixtures and manufacturing techniques were merged into the Lima operation and the Company name became S&S/Superior of Ohio.



I deleted these pictures to make this thread readable again.


(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Apr 26, 2013, 2:12 PM)


Lydia_Robinvale
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Apr 25, 2013, 9:41 PM

Post #17 of 37 (3178 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

What a great post! Thank you for that info and picture.

I really wish I had some money so I could do more/take her to be looked at. I feel like I have a sick pet!


Double J
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Apr 25, 2013, 9:45 PM

Post #18 of 37 (3177 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

Click Here


Lydia_Robinvale
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Apr 26, 2013, 2:21 AM

Post #19 of 37 (3167 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

There is currently a thread in the car troubleshooting section called "tranny noise". This issue is the exact one dusty has. I'm afraid it's time to rebuild her transmission, because the people who owned it before me never serviced it. It's made the noise ever since I got the car, but has become much worse. I figured the lunging forward and backward when shifting into drive/reverse was tranny related but it might be bad u-joints if I'm understanding what I'm reading online correctly. Regardless, do you guys think its time? I dont really have $700 but will find it if I have to..


(This post was edited by Lydia_Robinvale on Apr 26, 2013, 2:22 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
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Apr 26, 2013, 3:23 AM

Post #20 of 37 (3160 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

$700 for a trans job? No - lots more. The driveshaft on this may be all different. These and others used a CV joint made of u-joints.

Lunging isn't really the symptom when those went bad, noise and vibrations more likely,

T



Lydia_Robinvale
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Apr 26, 2013, 2:02 PM

Post #21 of 37 (3148 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

Dusty is making a new noise and pop banging on startup after sitting for a while. I turn it off, try again and it doesn't do it.

Actually my friend has a 64 combo ambulance and a place near me did his for $550. They don't like hearses he said so they get them in an out as fast as possible. He said he has has no issues.

She started idling really high util I press the gas a little. If not u joints, why is she lunging forward and backward?


(This post was edited by Lydia_Robinvale on Apr 26, 2013, 2:03 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
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Apr 26, 2013, 4:20 PM

Post #22 of 37 (3129 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

Any vehicle old or new an automatic will be confused about how to behave if engine isn't running properly. Lunging depending what you mean probably isn't caused by trans or u-joints/driveshaft.

You pricing is all wet - sorry. If somehow this is trans itself and an overhaul is in order you really don't know what it will need till it's apart. You can look up what a kit cost for a normal just worn common parts but that's only valid if hard parts are usable. Newer vehicles some trans shops will just dump yours and rebuid a good "core" which will be VERY hard to find and probably nobody or junkyard is going to know it that one is any good.

Why not spend a couple bucks and have a professionals check out making a list with estimates of what this will need mechanically in general? Then a quick guess by a body shop (you'll need that and harder + more expensive because it's already bondoed up.

Now if this popping and banging when sitting for a while could be nasty expensive up to redoing the engine and it may be too far gone. Just a carb redo if possible can cost several hundred and still not be done.

Perhaps join a Cadillac club that may have major parts available. Already said I think - HemmingsMotorNews.com is the old to much older car place for both parts, whole cars, and people that will work on them. I think they still sell the paper magazine which at least was like a phone book of adds and no doubt now with websites. My guess is many parts will be from So. Cal. or at least Southwest US.

This stuff is tough when you have all the tools and place to do it AND THE KNOW HOW,

T



Lydia_Robinvale
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Apr 26, 2013, 5:22 PM

Post #23 of 37 (3120 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

Man, that sounds tough! I understand what you're saying though.

We have a friend in the funeral business who sells drivetrains, trannie and engines complete package salvaged from old limos nobody wants anymore. I'll hit him up and see what he says. Rumor has it he comes down on his prices if you take him out to dinner LOL

as far as putting it in, I have a friend who can do it, with cherry picker and all. Right now he's done both a 70s hearse ad is working on his 58 as well as a 59. Ill be damned if I can ever get him when he isn't busy though!

When I get a few bucks I'll take her in to have her properly looked at. Hopefully that won't be too long from now. I'll keep this updated with stuff as I find it. She didn't do the popping today. Maybe she just needs to be driven more? I checked the oil as transmission fluid. All is good.. Her noises seem to quiet down the more I drive her but come back when it's cold.

All in all when it's warmed up it runs alright for an old engine. But as a person who knows next to nothing about that stuff, I can't really say either way.


Discretesignals
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Apr 26, 2013, 6:11 PM

Post #24 of 37 (3118 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

Maybe you could start by seeing what kind of mechanical condition the engine is in. If the engine is worn out and can't make good manifold vacuum you'd be wasting time messing with everything else.

Pick up a compression gauge and run a compression check on all the cylinders. There is loads of information on the internet and youtube on how to perform that test.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Apr 26, 2013, 6:14 PM)


Lydia_Robinvale
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Apr 26, 2013, 6:38 PM

Post #25 of 37 (3112 views)
Re: Hi, new here - 66 Cadillac Hearse Sign In

Compression gauge. Gotcha. I will have a look..






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