CAR This is not a milk thread. I have owned my '74 Eldorado convertible for 2 years now but it's time for a build thread

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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,948
Greenville, SC
Now I needed to make mounting brackets to actually bolt the console to the floor. The factory mounting was two "U" shaped brackets with four bolts that go through the sides of the console. I made brackets that screw to the floor and use the same mounting points.

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I put slots in the sides of the brackets and clip nuts so I have some adjustment on the mounting.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,948
Greenville, SC
I pulled all of the windshield stainless molding to clean and polish everything. All of this has to be done before the interior windshield trim goes back on.

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It was all in good shape and cleaned up well.

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(I'm missing a pic of the parts put back on)



To put the interior windshield trim back on, you have to start with the sunvisor mount. This mount is also the latching point for the convertible top.

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The passenger side sunvisor has an illuminated vanity mirror and the wire that feeds power was corroded and just not very nice looking.

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The wire itself has an RCA connector on the end where it feeds into the visor. The other end is just crimped to the body harness.

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With the new wire made, I could feed it though the mount and connect it to the body harness.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,948
Greenville, SC
The power door lock actuators on the coupes and convertibles are mounted in such a way that when the rubber boot on the top fails, water gets inside the actuator and rust it solid. I have a number of rusted actuators and several actuators from sedans that work fine. I decided to see if it was possible to repair one. The actuator is crimp on the top and everything should just slide out of the end when you uncrimp it.

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With the end uncrimped, I was able to slowly push all the parts out of the end. Everything was rusted and I had to be careful to not damage the connector and the breaker on the end.

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The failure mode is here. The plunger gets water in it and it rusts to the brass sleeve. The sleeve expands with the rust and locks it all together so you cannot even press the parts out

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I cleaned and greased the piston, put all the guts back in the case and crimped the top back together.

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Dodgers

2020 World Series Champions
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Mar 9, 2005
24,654
San Diego
@jelloslug I haven't really seen an old steering wheel that doesn't have those large splits and gaps on the rim. Does it do that because the plastic shrinks over the decades?
 
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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,948
Greenville, SC
One of the other "upgrades" with the Talisman package was different door trim on the inside between the carpet and the vinyl on the lower door panel. Obviously, the actual Talisman trim would not work since they were only 4 door cars and it would be too short. I already knew this and also knew that Cadillac had used the same trim on an option package on deVilles called the d'Elegance package. Finding a coupe deVille that was being parted out that had that package proved to be very tough. I searched for quite a while and one day, I happened to notice that '71-'74 Oldsmobile Toronado had the same trim! I also found out that the Buick Electra 225 had the same trim. With that knowledge, I went to my local vintage junkyard and found all the trim pieces that I could carry. The last little bit of the puzzle would require a real coupe deVille d'Elegance though. There was one small trim piece on the rear panel that was not on any other car. I did finally find a set of those pieces just a few months ago.

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Here is the difference between the standard trim and the Talisman trim.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,948
Greenville, SC
To trim the carpet to the upholstery, I would need several pieces of the Talisman trim. I had several piece from some of the Electra 225 cars that I had salvaged. I also 3D printed some retainers to hold the trim.

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All of the stainless trim pieces I had were too long. I had to cut them to length and then for manually for the end to match the other factory ends.

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The new trim snaps into the 3D printed retainers and it also cover the rear bolts.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,948
Greenville, SC
I made an adapter harness that piggy backs into the power seat circuit to power the lights and also adds an extra circuit for future devices in the center console.

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I also carpeted the storage container to match the floor.

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The fit to the floor turned out nice.

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It's at the proper armrest height also.

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The console upholstery turned out well enough but I think I will redo the side panels at some point in time to get them a bit more smooth. I will also move the front mounting bolts down under the stainless trim.
 
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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,948
Greenville, SC
Just recently I found an NOS console lock with the key. The key for the console was different than the door key and had little notches cut out of the sides to signify that it was for the console. It's also the correct key blank for a '74 and even still has the key code knock out in the key.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,948
Greenville, SC
This car is from the era when Cadillac started using the flexible plastic fillers with the 5 MPH bumpers. As most of you know, those plastic parts rotted off the car after about 10 years leaving the bumpers hanging out in the air. This car is no exception to that and needed all of the fillers replaced. NOS fillers are few and far between, plus there is a great chance that they will just fall apart in no time. There are several companies that make reproductions out of fiberglass or ABS but frankly, they are crap. They don't fit very well and many of them are not even close to being the correct part. This leaves me with either making due with the crappy parts or making my own fillers. I chose the latter. I started gathering what NOS parts I could find and good used (or bad used) so I could make 3D models and then print them myself. The first ones I was able to make were the ones for the headlight bucket to bumper and the front turn signal to bumper. This is the headlight filler. The gray part is NOS, the white one is printed.

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I got a quart of paint mixed up and sprayed the printed filler after some light sanding and priming.

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The fit was nice.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,948
Greenville, SC
Here is the turn signal filler. I do have an NOS turn signal filler but it already has cracked and broken while I was making the model for the printed version.

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After a bit of sanding and paint:

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And finally mounted to the turn signal and the car:

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I have since adjusted the bumper so everything is centered properly.
 
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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,948
Greenville, SC
Just to give you an idea of how poorly the aftermarket fillers fit, here is an aftermarket ABS rear quarter extension.

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And here is a good used factory extension:

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The aftermarket extension does not have the proper shape at the peak of the body line, the part is too narrow at the trunk lid, it does not have the inner "wings" to block the inner parts of the filler, the walls are too thin and like many of the fillers, it's marketed to fit 74-78 Eldorados even though the 74-76 and the 77-78 car have completely different rear quarters and rear bumpers.
 

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