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Customs 1959 Cadillac find!!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by spacecowboy81, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. Crystal Blue
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 609

    Crystal Blue

    Great find. Great price. Best of luck with her.

    My stash (no repops) :D

  2. robertsregal
    Joined: Oct 2, 2008
    Posts: 743


    A Awesome car and yes you stole it!!
  3. That's a great car for a great price
    Enjoy it.

  4. That's stupid cheap.
    Ratfins56 likes this.
  5. Luther Grimace
    Joined: Jul 6, 2011
    Posts: 28

    Luther Grimace

    Excellent price. I am jealous. It is crazy that you scored it here in the South too. I looked for one a couple of years ago. The only ones I could find were from the North with trashed rockers. Thumbs up for LS reliability. Ready to see a build up of this.
  6. tevintage
    Joined: Mar 12, 2014
    Posts: 262


    great find. lots of work but a solid beauty to start with. redo the original engine. nothing is more fun than to look at a period engine saved and made new. besides it's a cruiser you don't need speed. good luck it is always great to see the most iconic bit of American Iron saved and reborn!!!
  7. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,685


    Build it to suit YOU!
  8. Johnny Chaos
    Joined: Feb 27, 2009
    Posts: 28

    Johnny Chaos

    Wanna double your money :)
  9. Great score, one of the true milestone cars. It looks pretty decent after some clean-up. Sure you have a lot of work to redo all the brakes and fuel system. Plus an engine swap of some sort. I would get a 472/500 Cad engine and T400 trans. That would keep it all Cadillac and also have plenty of power to move that big car. You can probably find a 68-75 donor Cadillac for cheap that still runs good, most of them were never run hard and were generally taken care of. The donor body and interior may have gone to crap, but the drivetrain is still solid and waiting for your swap.

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  10. LordoftheDance
    Joined: Oct 17, 2006
    Posts: 34

    from Fargo, ND

    Awesome find!

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  11. drflex
    Joined: Jan 31, 2007
    Posts: 280


    you should sell that to me. :)
  12. seatex
    Joined: Oct 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,661


    Great Score!
  13. INTMD8
    Joined: May 13, 2011
    Posts: 82

    from Il.

    Great find, you stole it!

    In my opinion a stock-ish northstar or LS will not move this car around as well as the 390.

    The 390 is designed for all low and mid range power and makes for a very nice ride in my opinion. I've driven one also with a stock LS engine and it felt lethargic in comparison due to the lack of off idle torque. Changing rear gear ratio would help a lot.

    I think if you want an LS motor to move this much car around properly you will need to build a big cube motor, LSA supercharged as previously suggested or my preference, turbocharged.
  14. Great Find. Good Luck with it.
  15. ottoman
    Joined: May 4, 2008
    Posts: 276

    from Wisconsin

    LS or Northstar will move this along just fine... and more reliably if your gonna put a lot of miles on it.
  16. low51fan
    Joined: Nov 17, 2013
    Posts: 66


    Glad you found it before the crusher did. What a great looking car.
  17. Skavangs49_Merc
    Joined: Nov 10, 2012
    Posts: 158

    from Sturgis,SD

    There is a guy selling tailight assembly for that on here!!

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  18. spacecowboy81
    Joined: Dec 9, 2012
    Posts: 67


    Ive had some time to research a little. Looks like the original 390 produced 325 hp and 340 ft lbs. Of course Im not converting for the change in rating horsepower that occurred in the early 70s but I see lots of LS motors that produce similar horsepower and torque, specifically some that were put in 2000 decade Cadillacs like the ls6, also a related motor that went in the escalades. In my mind if I have comparable horsepower and torque and select the right gears in the diff, if should have plenty of performance...if anyone knows anything about this kind of transplant Im all ears! I found a little article where they put an ls into a 59 cad and they were custom building across number because the engine was too tall? I also havent ruled out a northstar... Only thought there is that they make a lot more for the LS.

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  19. I'm unclear why the 390 would have to come out and a new style motor with the same horsepower would be the choice to replace it? Sounds like a ton of work and cash for little gain. Is fuel injection the goal?
    I would think a 472/500 with hei ignition and a bolt on fuel injection would give the 1-reliability, 2-massive torque 3-all weather drivability that you'd need to make that a driver. That's a big chunk of steel to move and cubic inches is gonna be the key. My 2 cents
  20. yetiskustoms
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 1,932


    Nice score. Don't come across cars like that often. And the fact he sold it and didn't say he was planning on fixing it one day is shocking too
  21. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,060

    from Germany

    A great find. It's cool you rescued this from a certain death. Well done.
  22. white64
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 672

    from Maine

    He didn't really steal it, he found a guy with an old car that was realistic about his chances of restoring it himself... maybe that's rarer than the car itself!
  23. EurekaFreak
    Joined: Apr 18, 2009
    Posts: 22


    Awesome photo Tom!
  24. boomosby
    Joined: Dec 20, 2009
    Posts: 413


    first of all , wow! to find a complete 59 coupe for 1k is soooo hard to do! great job on the find. i am in Virginia, and finding any kind of 59 you just but it right away cuz they are so few and far between. a year or so ago , i found 59 fleet wood, for 900 dollars, so i know your joy!

    secondly, DO NOT , go with a north star. one more time! NO NO NO! northstar engines are actually quite bad when it comes down to alot of bottom end work; ie (moving a 59). they have 2 or 4 camshafts, ,which are great for horsepower and and fuel economy. but the cubic inches is about 275. very small stroke, small torque. not only that, northstar never made a rear wheel drive setup. so switching over to a transmission will require for you to buy a tranny adapter. and then you will need to buy a complete new transmission, then you will have to get a controller for that transmission. did i mention the flywheel? you can run a th400 or built th350, but then whats the use of having fuel injection to have 3 gears?

    i agree with the other hambers, 425-472-500, th400 setups will provide you with ample torque and reliabilty for your car, but you will have to modify your frame rails.not impossible , but will take work. a 1968-1970 cadillac 472 or 500, with ported head, aluminum intake and headers and a built 700r4, will give you about 390 horsepower , AT THE REAR WHEELS, and a reliable 525-550 lb ft or torque .......why reliable? because you will be making those numbers between 1800-2800 hundred rpm!!!

    if you were to go fuel injection, i would highly recommend going with a LQ4, LQ9, which are the 6.0 blocks that they used in the silverado SS and Cadillac Escalade engines up until about 2007. also found in hummer, but horse power was much less. those engines were also used in heavy duty 2500 and 3500 series truck, even up into commercial box truck and heavy truck applications. in other words they have the torque you need! and last time i checked, escalades and silevradoes were getting about 18-22 mpg! the lq4 was at about 390 lb ft torque and about 300-315 horse. the lq9 for ss and escalade was 365 horse and 410 lb ft torque. with headers and a ecm flash, your lq9 will make 405 horse and about 440 lb lft torque. these engines , use a 4l65e transmission, and there are millions of them made with no adpartes needed. and the truck harness will control the tranny. your harness can be sent out and simplified or retrofitted for your car with some of the vendors offering the service.

    there is a newer chevy engine out, i dont know the code for it, but it should be getting to the time where they are filling junkyards now. it is 6.2 liter and is the later version of the lq9. this engine comes stock with 417 horse, and i think 450 lb ft toruqe, and got the escale about 24 miles per gallon, and the escalade is weighing at 8000 pds, 3000 more then your 59. and you have a non ac car, so drop another 300 pounds or so. that motor will be a little more pricey , but again, its will be 08 and up. a hamber told me, "there is no replacement for displacemnet" ...

    think long and hard before you stuff a 275 ci engine into your 5000 pound car. big engines are made for big cars for a reason bro! i dont mean to hijack your topic or i am no ace at this car building thing, but i will tell you from 'experience"! a good friend of mines put a lq9 in his 57 chevy and its alsmost impossible not to roast the tires, 400 ft lbs at rear wheels will scare you! he gets 30mpg btw.....

    again, i dont want to hijack your thread, but putting a 4.3 or 4.6 (275ci) northstar in your car would cost you alot of headache for hardly no power. go with a lq9(370ci) or the newest 6.2(380ci) you will be so happy you did, no frame mods, motor mounts, and everyone is flashing those ecms.

    goood luck on build and keeep that 59 rolling bro!
  25. spacecowboy81
    Joined: Dec 9, 2012
    Posts: 67


    Boomosby, thank you for all the great information and details about specific engines and horsepower torque ratings, etc . And thanks everybody else that taken an interest and shared great information! What I have been learning about lately is the LS engine line. How is the LQ related?? Up until now my research has led me to a 5.3 LS engine as some of them turn low to upper 300 horsepower and torque range. I'm thinking why worry about displacement if the horsepower and torque is going to be ample? Mpg is a major factor because I want this thing to be a driver! As you are outlining some of these LQ engines could be the perfect answer. All the articles I was able to find so far online didn't really refer to any of the engines as lq so I'm not sure exactly what the difference is. I just need to learn more about the various available drivetrains... And if you can explain the difference between LQ and LS I sure would appreciate it..

    The other major benefit I'm going to achieve going with a modern drivetrain is they are so much lighter than the 390 and hydra thats in it. I think I can shave the weight by 450 pounds! The 390 is one of the heaviest engines GM ever used and the transmission in the 59 and 60 was also one of the heaviest hydramatics.

    Sent from my GT-P5113 using H.A.M.B. mobile app
  26. boomosby
    Joined: Dec 20, 2009
    Posts: 413


    your welcome man! i spend so much time researching everything there is to know about 59 and 60 cadillacs that i feel im becoming an almanac! haha

    so, you are corrcet, the ls1 engine was the first generation L series engine. there was the lt1 which started back in the 70s and became tpi in corvetts then lt1 as we know it in teh 90s and was used from fullsize cadillacs to camaros. the lt1, which in 94-96, ( someone can orrcet me if i am wrong) was a iron block design, and the sports verisons used free flowing alluminum heads to shed weight and get better performance. this was a realy good engine, and had a good compression ratio 10-1. ihad a lt1 in college in a fleetwood cadillac and id race guys on teh highway all the time and they be surpised that i would keep up in my 5k pound car! the lt1 was the last generation of the "old" l series engines, there were also vortec 350s being produced but those were mainly used in truck and suburbans. great torque, but with teh demand of engines growing and the power that they need, a newer design had to start be implememnted.

    hince the ls1, as it was the first l series engine, came into being. it was still a 350 block, but none ofthe parts are compatible to any of the older 350 engines from the last 40 years. this block was used primarly in sports cars and corvtettes. it was a new design, so horse and toruqe numbers were modest, but then the produced a complete new set of engines.

    the light duty truck engine was the 305, now became the 5.3. it is a very good reliable motor, but again, its meant for smaller suvs and medium to mid size trucks. this engine has great low end torque and decent horse power , but will now wow you in any stretch. you can put it in your cadillac and it will do just fine. mpg wont be as great as if you put the 6.0 in because of torque.

    the ls1, lived till i think 2002-04 ,when they decided that they can start to beef up the 6.0 with cam and headers, do you rememeber the 6.0 gto of the early 2000s? classic example.

    next in line was the 6.0. the primary 6.0s were very head actually, all iron block designs and like the initial ls1s, these 6.0s from 98-01 wont have many interchangeable parts with the 6.0s of the two thousands. they had modest numbers again, but were to replace the standard 350. in 2002, they uped teh cam and the torque and those were the motors i was exclaiming to you about earlier. lq4 and lq9......lq4 is the base 6.0 standard truck...lq9 is the escalade and silverado ss engine with bigger cam and such. producing much more power. much better bang for the buck. these engines also kind of became know as ls2, or second genertaion ls engines.

    they also made a 496 big block with was in hevay duty, trucks , suburbans even buses. but that engine was discontinued in 2007 i believe. super duper toruqe, just like a cadillac 500, with fuel injection. but becasue production numbers were so low, not many performance parts exist for this engine and its all iron. s would ne weigh down the fornt of your car.

    the lq9 , has aluminum heads, im sure but not sure about the block, but i rememer when we installed teh lq9 in the 57, we had 2 inch drop spindles on front and we had to figure out how to get the car even lower becuase teh 327 we removed was so much heavier!

    chevy would go on to make an LS7 motor. which was a 427 basically racing engine for corvette. it produced about 475 horse i believe and torque being the same. but had so much cam, that it coudl spin very fast, not really intended for what you are doing here.

    the ls1, is a much older engine and design , will work well for your car, but again, its just a 350 block, will produce torque but since the engine was designed at a "muscle car" mentaily, it neeeds to winde up fast. thats not what you will do in the cadillac.

    what you should do , is go drive a 2500 series truck or a f250. they both have 5.3 and 5.4 liter engines repsectivly. and you will see how it feel to drive that car. again, its not a bad engine, but its mean to be a pulling engine with much low toruqe and not much top end. you will feel frustarted when on the highway trying to pass someone because the 5.3 just have enough there to get your 5000 pound car from 55 to 70 in a split. they do all there work below 3000rpm

    the 6.0(lq4) or 6.0(lq9) or the later 6.2.....would be the best of both worlds. you will have so much torque that you can get off the line with ease and enjoy doing it. and you will have enough horsepower and cubes, to be able to pass on the freeway, and pass at 2500-3200 rpms. the cubic iches give you more flow which means more horse and more torque. the late model fuel injection will keep you at a low 14mpg and a high 22mpg dependiing on how you accelerate.

    i will post up some pics of how a 6.0 fits in the engine bay of a 59 cadi, it drops in and the mounts are really close to where the original mounts line up. with the 500, you have a oil neck sticking out where the frame would be so you would have to notch your frame to clear that. also the oild pan is in teh front, so you would need to scavenge a rear sump eldo pan and tube. if you want to go that route i can walk you through it also!!!

    the 4l65e will fit into your tranny hump and not floor modifictaion....let me get some pics up....again bro not trying to hijack your topic
  27. spacecowboy81
    Joined: Dec 9, 2012
    Posts: 67


    Boomosby thank you again... This is the exact information I've been seeking. I spent a lot of time a few weeks ago searchin Google for pictures and info about putting LS series engine in 59 and 60 Cadillacs. So glad to hear a first hand account that the entire drivetrain will fit in with minimal issues. Regarding the 500 route, it doesn't really excite me. The 1970s stuff to me is not nostalgic nor period so why not go with the more optimal modern electronic fi drivetrain.

    I'm going to research those engines a little more and price them out. I'd love to see the pictures of the one you mentioned! And like you said having a drivetrain combo that will fit right with both engine and transmission would be excellent. That is if I I find a junkyard that will sell them that way.

    Have you done a swap like this in a cadillac? The 59 Cadillac has been a dream of mine since I was a child. Now that I have one I see why - its low and wide. Its sleek even though its so massive. And its looong, lol. The glass goes all the way around, the rear pillars are as skinny as the front pillars. When you are inside you have 360 visibility, except for what is blocked by the tail fins! The other thing is I can probably count with 2 or 3 fingers how many times I've seen one of these going down the road. I've seen them at car shows but man would it be cool to have one that you could jump in and drive anywhere.

    The very first thing I do is going to be the drivetrain too. I'm going to drive this all over town and work out the mechanicals before I spend money on the interior or body.

    Sent from my GT-P5113 using H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Ratfins56 likes this.
  28. oldsjoe
    Joined: May 2, 2011
    Posts: 2,511


    Sounds like a plan spacecowboy! I'm still lusting over that Olds!
    Ratfins56 likes this.
  29. spacecowboy81
    Joined: Dec 9, 2012
    Posts: 67


    That olds has definitely moved to the back burner!... I have a really nice factory correct replacement harness laying on the hood that I have to install. And then it might run! I'm so slow to get things done on that car... some Hambers really knock out a lot of work in a short time. It might be the winter months before I really get back at it. Winter is just too short here, lol.

    Sent from my GT-P5113 using H.A.M.B. mobile app
  30. oldsjoe
    Joined: May 2, 2011
    Posts: 2,511


    I can relate to the HAMBER'S that hammer projects out! Takes me awhile some times a long while to get things done. Heck we had a long cold winter and my accomplishments are very few!

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