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Just trying to make it road worthy (1958 Cadillac Eureka)

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  • Just trying to make it road worthy (1958 Cadillac Eureka)

    I put a lot of this in an introduction thread I started but since this will be an ongoing project and I'll appreciate some technical assistance along the way, I thought it a good idea to start up something in this forum. I figure so long as I put my stupid ideas out for all the world to see I stand to save some money aggravation by voicing really bad ideas before they become really bad experiences. Also, all of the pictures I have can be found at http://www.dickeysgarage.com/images/hearse if anyone is curious.

    So anyway, the car in question is my 58 hearse that I had delivered to the front yard last Friday. Before I took a chainsaw and cut out about 15 saplings that had grown around and through the mobile, this car had been sitting in the same spot at the edge of some woods for 23 years. Saturday I couldn't do much because of rain but Sunday I went to Autozone and bought all new plugs, wires, points, condenser, rotor button, and even picked up a new fuel pump so as to bypass any fuel delivery issues that such storage often entails. Monday evening I had the engine turning over by hand without issue and confirmed the starter would also behave properly. Tuesday evening I had installed a q-jet from the shelf in place of the Carter AFB and was able to fire up the engine but because I was missing some bolts there was a nasty vacuum leak that kept me from trying to get it to idle. Wednesday I sorted out the leak as well as set the idle and ignition timing. Six degrees btdc for easy starting at the moment, will advance to the requisite 10 after I've gone through the engine. Still need to set the dwell for proper ignition longevity but was more concerned with getting it into my garage so I could work regardless of time or weather. I also topped up the coolant system and transmission fluid.

    That brings this post up to speed with today (yesterday as of an hour ago I suppose).

    Today I did some cleanup on the interior and made sure the transmission would engage in drive as well as reverse. Once confirmed I very gently coaxed the beast around the driveway and into the shop. This was necessary because the brakes are completely gone. The pedal is rock solid and the only thing slowing the car down was the two rear tires which are completely flat. Wasn't too bad though I'll admit the hydramatic's multiplication in first gear did force me to bump the car to neutral when I needed to come to a dead stop.





    Not much room to say the least. First order of business is some brakes. Now that the thing is indoors on a solid surface with ample lights and outlets nearby, I can get stuff done a bit easier. I do have to admit to a certain nostalgia from this past week though. It reminded me of being 18 again after just moving to my own place with nothing resembling a garage and a 55 Belair as my only transportation.

    Anyway, so I've got a horizontal mount master cylinder that I believe I can temporarily attach to the firewall in place of the booster/cylinder that is currently there. I figure I can block off the line feeding the rear drums and just concentrate on the fronts for the time being. I'm not taking the car on the road in such condition but I absolutely need a pedal that will let me stop once I get some inflatable tires on the back wheels. Hopefully the drums themselves aren't in too bad of shape and I can get by until I have all the details I need for the disc brake conversion. Once I have brakes, I can shuffle the car around a little easier and get it up on my lift and begin the real work.

  • #2
    Appears the sweet DeLoreon is the newest car you have in there.

    All look to be sweet rides.

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    • #3
      heh, yeah it is the newest car by over 20 years. The OD green bike with drag bars is a 2001 though. I'm looking to get a WWII scout bike look out of it when all is said and done.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Dickey View Post



        .
        One of the problems I can see is not only that the radiator fan is obviously an aftermarket device, but it should be located between the radiator, and the engine block!

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        • #5
          The firewall on my 57 Eureka has a been a pain in the ass for brakes. Mine has a airbox where there should be firewall. I had to put a delete plate in.

          This is who I used for my disc brake conversion, and I love it!


          http://www.scarebird.com/index.php?id=1

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          • #6
            Actually, after looking at your introduction thread, you're going to be in the same boat. There is an airbox bolted to your firewall. Here's some pictures of what I'm talking about...

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            • #8
              More in common still, my scarebird caliper brackets shipped this past Tuesday as I recall. They haven't arrived yet, I'm expecting them on Monday though.

              My brake setup is a little different than yours and I've got a question regarding yours about that. On mine, the brake pedal has a pushrod for the master cylinder that is directly behind the pad itself (bottom of the pedal). As I am accustomed, the brake pedal generally has the pushrod several inches up from the foot pad attached to the pedal arm so as to offer some mechanical advantage when pressing the pedal. On my 58, this mechanical advantage is accomplished by the use of a bell crank assembly directly under the airbox that directs the forward motion of the pedal pushrod directly up and down in front of the air box into the vacuum booster. To which, the master cylinder sits on top of all that. From your pictures, it appears that your pushrod may be done the same as mine but there must be some kind of lever that translates the motion into the back of the booster assembly. Do you have any pictures of that by chance?

              This evening I took my vacuum booster/mc assembly out and looked over how it was done. After some consideration I ordered a single circuit Wilwood remote reservoir master cylinder from Speedway Motors as well as the necessary heim joint and 10psi rpv. This master cylinder can be mounted vertically and with a 1" bore should be adequate for use without any power assist (neither of my 55's have power brakes even after I converted them to discs). I considered the tandem one they offer but it only does a 50/50 volume movement, cost almost twice as much and I'm not sure if I'll be getting rid of the drum brakes in the rear. While I'm waiting for that to show up I'm going to go ahead and tear into the front drums and get them in working order. The local parts house has a rebuild kit for the wheel cylinders though I have no idea how bad off the rest of the brake drum assembly might be. I figure if I can get at least the front drums working, I'll plug the port on the distribution block that would normally feed to the rears and be able to maneuver the car around the yard and in the shop.



              //Otto, that cracked me up. I laid that up there because I thought it might help get the heat dissapated more quickly so I could return to work on it sooner that evening. Didn't pan out unfortunately.

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              • #9
                My Scarebird caliper brackets arrived today. I've already priced out the stuff needed to make them useful and all told, with new components from Advance, the entire kit will only cost $550-$600. I realize I could save some money by sourcing some of the details from a junkyard but I can't tolerate that much uncertainty with regards to brakes. Last night I disassembled the driver's side brake drum assembly. After seeing how internally corroded the wheel cylinder was in addition to how utterly useless the brake lines will be with all the corrosion I found, I'm going to forgoe my original plan to get the drums working and just install the disc setup right away.

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                • #10
                  So I stopped by the parts house on the way home with the list that Scarebird sent. $320 later I've got everything (or at least will have it tomorrow) I need from the hoses to the castle nut. Would have had the driver's side rotor mounted this evening except that both I and the parts guy missed a detail regarding wheel bearing # A5 vs A2. A2 is considerably smaller than A5. The outers were ok though. My calipers won't show up until tomorrow anyway so I'll just exchange the bum ones I got for what I need and I'll be good to go. Did get some pics in case I ever try to forget the amount of turd that was tied up in the front suspension:

                  to give an idea of how filthy this thing is:



                  Goodness on the way:



                  Mr fat nasty rotor waiting for an inner bearing and wheel seal:



                  These caliper brackets are top shelf and I recommend them to anyone who's considering the upgrade for their Cadillac. The new master cylinder ought to arrive Wednesday or Thursday so I'm expecting to have a functioning brake pedal (to the front wheels anyway) in time for Labor day.

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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Dickey View Post
                    My brake setup is a little different than yours and I've got a question regarding yours about that. On mine, the brake pedal has a pushrod for the master cylinder that is directly behind the pad itself (bottom of the pedal). As I am accustomed, the brake pedal generally has the pushrod several inches up from the foot pad attached to the pedal arm so as to offer some mechanical advantage when pressing the pedal. On my 58, this mechanical advantage is accomplished by the use of a bell crank assembly directly under the airbox that directs the forward motion of the pedal pushrod directly up and down in front of the air box into the vacuum booster. To which, the master cylinder sits on top of all that. From your pictures, it appears that your pushrod may be done the same as mine but there must be some kind of lever that translates the motion into the back of the booster assembly. Do you have any pictures of that by chance?
                    We have the same set up. I have a really small master cylinder mounted on the frame, just ahead of the brake pedal. I've cut all that out and bought a universal hotrod brake pedal set up with a polished master cylinder. I like the idea of the remote mount master cylinder you got. Please take some pictures and let me know how that works out for you.

                    I'll see if I can drum up some pix.
                    Last edited by spastic_chicken; 08-29-2011, 11:48 PM.

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                    • #13
                      Your last few pictures explained it, I get it now. The hydro boost for the 57's is two separate pieces and not one piece like I'm used to with diesels. Your smaller cylinder, that the pushrod from the pedal actuates, must drive hydraulic pressure to the booster on the airbox that forces a separate piston forward to apply pressure to the wheel cylinders.

                      Mine is much different than that. I have only one master cylinder mounted on top of a vacuum booster. My pedal actuates a bell crank instead of a hydraulic cylinder on the frame. I've removed the treadle vac booster and master cylinder and I'll make sure to take a picture when I'm in my shop again now that the bell crank is easy to see. Thank you for the extra pictures and I'll be sure to follow up with some of my own after I get the disc setup working.

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                      • #14
                        Getting closer;

                        Will take enough pics for a legitimate write up tomorrow when I do the passenger side.

                        snagged some shots of the old brake booster setup too:

                        whole booster/mc assembly


                        all kinds of awesome in there


                        a shot of the pedal pushrod and bell crank assembly with the pedal up


                        what it looks like with the pedal to the floor


                        overhead shot

                        mostly because I was really impressed with the flash quality on this phone's camera

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                        • #15
                          New master cylinder mocked up, probably will end up rotating 180 degrees since I plan to put the reservoir towards the fender side of the airbox. I intend to weld a small piece of flat stock between the gaps from the two pieces of steel bolted to the MC. That should make it sturdy enough to get the front discs online and useful. If I like it, I will use the resulting flange as a pattern for making something for holding a small booster inline with it. I'll likely not keep the offset if I find a better alternative to the heim joint that was handy for connecting to the bell crank.







                          btw - last night I installed the new brake on the passenger side. Took a lot better group of pictures that might be useful to someone who is attempting such a thing on a 57-60 Cadillac, basically just stopping after each step to snap a pic - http://www.wheresmyjeffdickey.com/im...se/DiscBrakes/
                          Last edited by Dickey; 09-01-2011, 11:54 PM.

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