Super Piston Slap: Loving "The Cadillac of Tomorrow"

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

Sajeev rambles:

Damn that Jack Baruth and his uncanny ability to awaken the latent spiritual needs and carnal passions sorely missing in my life. I’m talking about the love of owning a 99-cent Caddy Limo from a strong bloodline, sporting a nearly perfect black leather interior. With 25 years of historical flaws in full sight, this 3800lb lightweight is still a charmer in the Cadillac Tradition. The designation as “The Cadillac of Tomorrow” holds true, have you driven the latest poseur sedans to wear the Wreath and Crest? Torqueless V6 motors, tall buffalo butts and Euro-wannabe interiors only above that of a Hyundai Sonata. I can hear it now:

“LULZ OMG you are nuts because the CTS-V is awesome and that thing’s a POS. The new Caddies even come in a wagon with a stick! Who wouldn’t want a Cadillac that can do all that?”

My bad, they still make one coupe/sedan that’s somewhat worthy of the Fleetwood 75’s halo effect, but don’t be talkin’ that Euro-Caddy station wagon mess to me. This Houstonian spends too much time watching southern hip-hop music videos with proper American Iron getting the respect it deserves. Where else can we embrace the best remnants of Detroit in popular media? But I digress…

Sajeev writes:

So, a coupla years back, I got “us” an almost free Cadillac Limo. Hell, it even inspired my only GM Deathwatch Article where I dubbed it the “Turd Blossom” in honor of…well that’s not important.

Unfortunately, little changed since I got it: a brilliant rebuild on the Delco/BOSE cassette deck aside, the 1986 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75 Formal Limousine (F75) still won’t run. Won’t you give us a hand?

After a newer (junkyard) TPS sensor was installed and the throttle body was de-coked with a bit of carb cleaner (as per TTAC commentator skor’s recommendation) the car drove better. That ingenious little self-tester on Cadillac’s HVAC-cum-Mission Control panel now registered far smoother numerical transitions from idle to WOT in TPS testing mode. Lumbergh from “Office Space” would be proud.

Of course, that’s only when the F75 would run. Sometimes it runs, then dies when put in gear. Re-crank. Run on 4 cylinders then die. Re-crank. Run on all 8 smoothly. Then die again when going into gear. After significant Caddy forum analysis and a little junkyard prodding, the F75’s distributor is definitely the problem. There’s more “non-committal slack” in its rotor than a carefully worded speech by (insert the politician you most hate here). So I was going to order a new distributor to fix its problematic gear design.

The F75/Turd Blossom was well on its way to being my Judgemobile for every LeMons race. The mean muggin’ from my fellow judges meant approval.

But here’s the rub: no way I can install a new dizzy now that the frickin’ hood cable won’t release. The grille won’t pop out and its impossible to get the hood latches removed from the body. Sort of punching a hole in a perfectly good hood or grille, I am completely dumbfounded. So what do you recommend?

You have a mission: to save the F75/Turd Blossom from itself. Thanks and have a great weekend.

Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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  • RogueInLA RogueInLA on Jul 18, 2011

    I believe you can unbolt the splash pan, lower cover on that car, then get someone with skinny long arms, and a 13mm ratchet wrench, and just unbolt the latch assembly from the core support, then you can cut the cable just long enough to stick out the grille, and you have an old school 'from outside the car' hood release. At least that's how we open 'em at the junkyard when we don't want to cut the hood/grille and the cable is broke.

    • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Jul 19, 2011

      Maybe I can do that, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you very much.

  • RogueInLA RogueInLA on Jul 21, 2011

    Ok, forget what I said before, I checked one out today, and the bolts face the rear, and you can't get past the A/C condenser. Nor will cutting the Grille do you any good, that won't get you to the latch/cable. However, if you go under the car, on the driver side, the hood release cable runs on the inside of the frame, under the battery, etc. You'll probably have to undo the cruise control cables to have enough room, but there's only one bolt holds that to the frame. Then you can pull the cable from it's channel, and cut it to get to the inner cable, and, if the cable isn't broken between there and the latch, you can pull it to release it. If it's broken from the latch.... well then, can I make you a deal on a hood? Good luck

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