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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well I had a few people ask me to post up pictures of my 54 Cadillac that Dad and I started about 2 weeks ago. First I'll start by saying this one is kind of going kinda a*s backwards. This car reads 17,297 miles on the odometer, it's a 331, p/s, p/b, p/w, power seat, wonderbar radio, vacumn antenna, autronic eye, and most of all rear a/c car, so we are starting with, by far, the nicest car we've ever started with. I've had more people tell me I'm crazy than I've ever heard...especially the true Cadillac guys. So here's our initial plan, we're going with more of a retro rod on this one. The outside wil appeare to be an almost 100% stock 54 cadillac, with a few minor things removed, vees, emblems, hood bord,and prob door handles, but the rest remains. We installed a 1980 Firebird subframe already, and have the 2004 GTO LS1 mocked in, motor mounts arrive tomrrow, so it'll have an updates supension, drivetrain, steering column, and the rest will be 54 Cadillac, so we're mating 3 generations of parts...Ok enough talking, Heres what we have so far, remember, the first pictures are what we started with....

Yes a little pose, me, my dad, and my son
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I ran out of space...



And that's as of today, this weekend, motor mounts, tranny mount, and keep working at the radiator support. Typically in the rods, we try and use the outer edges of the original rad supports, so it makes lining the fenders up much nicer, on the caddy, we are lamost using all of it, which should make life easier when mounting the 200 lbs on chrome on the front..lol..enjoy...ask any questions if you have any....I love to talk about this stuff..as you can tell...:lol:
 

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Explain the use of the firebird front clip/frame. Have you though of replacing the front suspension with something from Detroit Speed and Engineering?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Explain the use of the firebird front clip/frame. Have you though of replacing the front suspension with something from Detroit Speed and Engineering?
We've used GM subframes now in 5 different cars that we've built, honestly its a much cheaper way of doing than the typical mustang II set up that alot of guys seem to use, I just looked at there website and it looks like they build some pretty hot front clips, we can usually pick up an entire subframe for $150, and put in new bushings,brakes calipers, rotors, steering box, and end up under $700-800. Dont get me wrong, the aftermarket stuff out there is really nice, we're budget guys and like to do things ourself. The only downfall to the 70-81 front steer subframes, is they are a little wider, so you need to backspace the wheels more, and the steeringbox/sway arm sometimes gets in your way of the radiators, but that is all workable. On my 39 chevy I ended up putting on a set of Fatman shortened control arms that gained me an inch, that worked out nicely in that instance. Now that we're this far on the Cadillac, I realize that a rear steer early model Camaro/Firebird subframe, may have worked better, but we'll work with this one.On my Dad's 37 Chevy coupe, we used a 69 Firebird rear steer subframe which worked better for that application.

This is a picture of my 39 Chevy frame, this was a 79 Camaro subframe

And here is our 49 Pontiac, this is a 77 Trans am subframe
 

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I was wondering how you keep the sub-frame's straight when connecting to the frame. I know that you're not "eyeballing" it with the cars that you're completing so how are you doing that?

I know how we shim/straighten engine placement in a boat but now sure how to take the front end of one car and place it on another...and it be true!:lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was wondering how you keep the sub-frame's straight when connecting to the frame. I know that you're not "eyeballing" it with the cars that you're completing so how are you doing that?

I know how we shim/straighten engine placement in a boat but now sure how to take the front end of one car and place it on another...and it be true!:lol:
Well the first and most important thing is your wheel base, you need your tires to end up centered in your fender or you are truly SOL. So the real rod shops use a tram guage...we use 2 ferring strips and some threaded dowel rod...lol. Then you need to know your heigth, so we always take several key measurements on the existing frame, this measurement isnt as imporatant bc that can be adjusted. Then we have to determine the best location to cut the existing frame, its usually nice to find a straight area, preferabbly in front of the firewall only bc its easier to box it back in once your welding....then you hack away. Once we have it set in, we typically will do cross measurements from about 10 different points on the car, this sometimes is a little tricky, but usually things like the tranny crossmember bolts, body mounts, things like that work best, then we find matching points in the subframe on side to side, and do cross measurements..these,by far, are the most critical, bc if they are off, the whole frame will be crooked. We also use a plumb bob sometimes to help in measuring. Every car is different, we've already welded the sub in below the original frame, to the side, on top, and even inside, all depends where it falls the best.....Honestly its not that bad once you do one, we had the Caddy frame mounted in 1 day, and about 2 more to weld/box the metal around it.....
 

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may that was a nice looking cadillac from the start. i would have just painted it flat black and drove it. was there anythign wrong with the motor or did you just want modern? cant wait to see it when your done. i wish i had the ability to do something liek that. you got me wanting to look for a caddy again! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys, Yes Mucker, my pop is my best buddy in the world, he was my best man in my wedding, that garage is our "man cave", it's a passion that we both share. I'm fortunate to have dad's 40+ years of body work experience behind him, he painted some award winning Vette's in the 70's..thats when metal flake was hot...lol. And TXSS, I'll try and keep posting pictures as we make progress, as I stated earlier, I love talking about this stuff....soemtime I yack way to much....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
may that was a nice looking cadillac from the start. i would have just painted it flat black and drove it. was there anythign wrong with the motor or did you just want modern? cant wait to see it when your done. i wish i had the ability to do something liek that. you got me wanting to look for a caddy again! :lol:
It was a super nice caddy from the start, this was the first car that we paid "enough for" to get a nice car, up unti this cadillac, we never paid over 3-4,000 for a starter, but you get what you pay for. The motor purred like a kitten, shifted, drove, just like the saying, it drove like a Cadillac. But now that we did one, we love modern motors so much, there just so more reliable and driveable...Well hopefully this gave you the "Cadillac Fever" again....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
if you dont mind me asking....how much did you pick the car up for?
No problem, I gave $14,000 for the car. The odometer does read 17,297 miles on it, can I prive thats not 117,297 miles, I cant, but I bought it from a man who owned it for almost 40 years, and he owned a huge fur factory back in the day. So far I've taken every bolt off the car with a 3/8" air ratchet with no issues, the floor is one of teh nicest we've ever seen, so I did give a little extra for it, but I knew that up front. The car would have been a prie candidate for a A1 100% restoration, but thats not what we do.
 

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Nice work !, thats so cool you and your son and dad are doing to these cars, I wanna get my boy more involved in to doing work on my 68 & 70 Pontiac's, I'd like to pull the body off the 68 here in the next year or two, get the frame checked & blueprinted & boxed in, I couldn't do the welding, I got flash burn when I was younger & not knowing what I was doing :facepalm: but I want to do all the body work that doesn't require any welding.. but I need to find a good welder to cut my rain well's off & shave my door handles before I remove the frame, a great friend told me to start from the top and work my way down.
Its great to see a family like yours working on such cool cars a thousand thumbs up !
Sorry for going on like that, I too tend to go on for ever a bought this stuff...Many thx for making this thread, I for one hope to learn some stuff too :D

Thank you :thumbsup:



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Discussion Starter #16
Nice work !, thats so cool you and your son and dad are doing to these cars, I wanna get my boy more involved in to doing work on my 68 & 70 Pontiac's, I'd like to pull the body off the 68 here in the next year or two, get the frame checked & blueprinted & boxed in, I couldn't do the welding, I got flash burn when I was younger & not knowing what I was doing :facepalm: but I want to do all the body work that doesn't require any welding.. but I need to find a good welder to cut my rain well's off & shave my door handles before I remove the frame, a great friend told me to start from the top and work my way down.
Its great to see a family like yours working on such cool cars a thousand thumbs up !
Sorry for going on like that, I too tend to go on for ever a bought this stuff...Many thx for making this thread, I for one hope to learn some stuff too :D

Thank you :thumbsup:
I'm always willing to chat with a fellow motorhead....I have to admit though, I'm not to sure on the start at the top and work your way down, maybe there is some reasining there, but we always start on the floors, rockers, quarters before tackling the roof area. Your floor is your core support and should be the strongest, now that our opinion, again maybe he knows something we dont, and thats very possible. Welding flash sucks, I do most of the welding, dad does most of the holding, hes usually good for one flash per project, he desribes it as "sand in your eyes", so far ive been lucky there. Yeah its funny, my 17 year old son isnt really interested to much in it right now, but honestly when I was 16-20, nor was I, my dad coudlnt drag me out there....guess i was to busy messing w/ girls...lol...Well I hope to keep this thread going, hopefully more motorheads chime in here to...
 

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14 is nt a bad deal for that. especially if it is in as good of condition as you say. and only 17k on the odometer, thats just amazing. i guess i understand why people are giving you $hit about not restoring it. but its your car. if i would have gotten ahold of that car, the cadillac old timers would probably have shot me. :lol:
 

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:werd: bud !
I need to fix the roof to the 68, the top use to be a rag-top, their was a ton of damage that needs cut out & my friend told me the work is more than my frame being boxed... so forth, also because I'm on a low cal budget (Lol.. :facepalm:), he told me to get the top done first, because of the cost & time it takes to do the work :facepalm: & because I could have sections done one part at a time, the frame he states would be the cheapest to do last, since theirs not much to do to it., specially if I plan on getting my vert in the next year or two, my funds would be much lower :( & I don't want to do the frame in sections (a lil work here & their), from what my friend told me., so I/we guess the top would be the best.



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Discussion Starter #20
I love pics like this Thank You for sharing and keep us updated.
Thanks Jekyll, I'll try and keep the post updated, Dad just called motor mounts came today, hopefully we'll get the motor and tranny hard mounted this weekend.....
 
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