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55 caddillac

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by crackernutz, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. crackernutz
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 407

    crackernutz
    Member
    from tx

    Got a couple of questions for you. I need to replace the gas tank, floor pans, and exhaust. The engine is burning a bit of oil as well. Should I work on the mechanical aspects first or the body? How much would it cost me to get it rebuilt? I think it has a 331 in it. thanks for your help
     
  2. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,670

    pwschuh
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Sounds like a car you're not driving, so get started on everything. Yank the motor and get it on a stand. Start the body work and then work on the engine when you want a break from body work or you're waiting for the paint to dry, etc. Cost depends upon many, many things. Are you just buying parts and doing the work yourself, or are you paynig someone to do everything?
     
  3. crackernutz
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 407

    crackernutz
    Member
    from tx

    your right i'm not driving it and paying on the loan for it! I definately need some help working on it since i'm a noob when it comes to car engines etc.
     
  4. squints
    Joined: Dec 16, 2006
    Posts: 115

    squints
    Member
    from dallas, TX

    hey man i used to own that caddy. it needs new rings.... peace
     

  5. r8odecay
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 787

    r8odecay
    Member

    331/365/390 engine rebuild parts are pretty pricey. get USA made lifters if you can find some. search Cadillacin Marcus thread here for LOADS of info. good luck to you...
     
  6. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,493

    40StudeDude
    Member

    No need to replace the tank unless it's rotted or crushed...boil it and seal it...'54 and '55 tanks are the same...'56 might be too...

    Do the mechanical first. We've gotten prices on rebuilding a '54 331" (same engine) all the way from $1500.00 (minus parts) to $5500.00 (including parts)...so do some homework and decide what is best for you...

    If you want to see what a 3 year build on a '55 Caddy Coop DeVille looks like...from body off, to installing the Trans Am subframe to putting in the 500" Caddy and T400, do a search, look up " '55 Caddy build" (or under my user name)...there's five installments beginning in April, '08...check it out, there's a lot of good info in each installment.

    R-
     
  7. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,641

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Does the car need full floor pans or are the footwells just lacey? If you're going to replace the entire floor pan, and you haven't done anything like this before, you're in for a nasty surprise. If you're going to pay someone to do this for you, better plan on finding a second job...There are no commercially made replacements, it'll all be custom, hand formed stuff.

    Vintage Caddy engines are more expensive to rebuild than an SBC, by more than double. It's the cost of parts. Just to give you an idea, I spent about 2K on my '68 472 for parts and machine work. It's not exotic, just a basic rebuild. Stuff for the 331 will be equally expensive.

    Sounds like the car needs a total restoration. My advice would be, if you're going to forge ahead, to do one thing at a time. Pull the engine, get that done, do the trans, get that done, while they're out, clean up and paint the engine bay/front of the frame to your liking, then put it back together. Then, do the brakes, and put a fuel tank in it, get it running and driving, and see how much you like it and how much money you want to pour into it.

    It's fun building a car, but it's a huge amount of work. Don't bite off more than you can chew.
     
  8. Flop
    Joined: Jun 8, 2006
    Posts: 3,886

    Flop
    Member

    used to own that car too it needs rings smokes on the drivers side bank... the gas tank has a life time seal on the inside done in the past five years by a top notch shop up here .. unless ssomehow it got a hole put in it .. exhaust was also new 5 years ago. and hell i put 40 thousand miles on that car with bad rings the number one cylinder will foul every 3 thousand or so .. i dont kno what the guys did to it that bogught it from me though.
     
  9. crackernutz
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 407

    crackernutz
    Member
    from tx

    yeah the car smokes quite a bit, my guess is the rings are shot. Yeah, the car is low enough i ran into some shitty roads and hit something and it put a whole in it. Exhaust I've had fixed twice and it still leaks alot. could be headers i guess are those new to?
     
  10. Flop
    Joined: Jun 8, 2006
    Posts: 3,886

    Flop
    Member

    hmmm car didnt have headers on it when i had it just cast iron manifolds.
     
  11. crackernutz
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 407

    crackernutz
    Member
    from tx

    a reputable shop here is looking for some rings for it. said the gas tank can be fixed for under 100 bucks, exhaust is going to be fixed for free . thanks for your help guys.
     
  12. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,843

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If it runs and drives now I would get a lot of the other things take care of one at a time.
    Obviously the gas tank takes top priority.
    They you can work on the floor boards one section at a time and the car will still be able to move and drive under it's own power. when all that is done and you have the cash rat holed for the rebuild on the engine and trans do that. As long as you do the engine work before you do the finish body work and paint you won't have to worry about skinning up fresh paint getting the engine worked on.
     
  13. There's a guy down around Myrtle Beach, SC that makes floorpans for those caddys. My dad has a 55 vert he just got floors for. I'll try to find out more info.
     
  14. crackernutz
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 407

    crackernutz
    Member
    from tx

    thanks for the help. i got an estimate on for a ring job locally and they are quoting me 1500 dollars. they seems steep to me.
     
  15. crackernutz
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 407

    crackernutz
    Member
    from tx

    haha. just got another quote for a ring job. 6000 dollars
     
  16. r8odecay
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 787

    r8odecay
    Member


    Get the manual and do it yourself...

    3 1/2" - 4" ball hone - 40 bucks
    torque wrench - 100 bucks
    gasket kit - 100 bucks
    Rings - 180 (guessing) bucks
    Manual - 50 bucks

    send the other 5500 to me...

    :)



    oh ya, Hastings has the rings #4236. http://www.hastingsmfg.com/
     

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