Question about 1976 Cadillac Eldorado

3 Answers

I have a 76 Eldorado Convertible with a 500 cubic inch engine. My car runs hot and reaches temperatures of 230 in traffic. I have done the following: Changed the radiator to a 3 core radiator(this is what the shop manual calls for), put in 180 termostat(this has helped I have gotten it down to 200). Also put in Purple Ice solution to let the radiator run cooler. Adjusted the timing to make it run smoother, rebuilt part of the distributor with a curved advanced unit.I have had the engine rebuilt two years ago. big bucks also transmission rebuilt rebuilt the carb. I have been told that a 4 core is part of the answer, but I just purchased the 3 core. 4 core is $500 just for the item . I also put in Sea Form to clean the carbon build up in the engine. Although the engine was rebuilt, I still have a cylinder noise when it is cold.Piston rods and connecting rods make noise.It calms down when the oil reaches the head gasket. I PLease help Tony

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  • topcat46 Apr 11, 2011

    Techman,

    I liked what you said about the shroud,and the electric fans. I have neither of them; I have been told about the shroud and electric fans at local car swaps and meets. I wasn't aware of "viscous" fan unit on the water pump. The water pump was changed with engine rebuild. I have been told that the compressor might not be the correct compressor for that car.I am suspect about that. I have changed all the external parts of the engine, alternator, carb., starter with a blanket covering to protect it from heat of engine. The other guru talked about the possible knock and tapping noise. I do have the tapping noise when it is cold, no knock(thank god). he mentioned changing the rocker arm or adjusting the valve lifters.( I hope they can be adjusted- may be permanently adjusted) I know the guy did an honest job, but it should not be noisy for $3500 dollars??He also mentioned oil sludge build up. I believe it is combination of what you said about the fans, shroud and the internal parts of the engine.lifters, connecting rods, etc.I am very happy that you owned one of these beautiful pieces of Americana. I will keep you updated. If you have other tidbits of important advice, I am all ears By the way, the car is sea form green with matching hubcaps and white convertible top, and white interior. thank you, Tony

  • topcat46 Apr 11, 2011

    Thank you Mr. Caroldon, I do appreciate all your expertize. It is very helpful so I can make an informed decision. (All three gurus have been very helpful please pass it along) The oil pressure seems to be okay. On the needle it reads between 40 and 60 when I am driving along, but it does drop to 20 -30 when stopped at a light. Is this normal? Engine is very quiet now that my mechanic adjusted the timing and rebuilt the advance curve kit. This is my dilemma, The motor man who did the engine, guaranteed the engine for !00.000 miles through the company that he dealt with, but I do not totally trust him to fix it properly because this problem started almost immediately after he rebuilt the engine( $3500). In addition he is small time engine rebuilder, so I do believe he will not want to do it for free. I believe he owes it to me, due to fact that it always ran hot . As far as your comment on the expensive radiator, I believe your are correct. I believe that by changing the radiator again, I am only treating the symptom, but not the root cause. In addition I leave Florida for several months(snowbird) and the car sits for several months with stabilizer in the gas tank and the negative cable disconnected. Should I drain the oil for this time period as well?? Now that I changed the radiator, changed the thermostat, and put in Purple Ice in the radiator,the car is running at 190 to 200, which is in the normal range. I only take it locally, not on the highway yet. However the engine and the fenders are still hot. This is Florida and it does get to 85 to 90 degrees?? Any comments will be greatly appreciated and implemented wisely. Thank you again.

    tony

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  • Cadillac Master
  • 17,129 Answers

I am sure the fault lies in the last part of your observation. No matter what cooling is done if the engine does not have a smooth friction less operation specially when it is working at such high rate , the heat will only build up.
If there is slapping of the connecting rod /piston rods, then THIS SEEMS TO BE THE IMPORTANT ISSUE. Your engine is not smooth, the oil pressure gets down as there is gap in the connecting rods and thereby even to the crank. So the low oil pressure will reduce lubrication and this will keep on building up heat as the rods are SLAPPING and not moving smoothly.
I suggest that the engine be taken out and the connecting rods/piston pins be reset with correct bushes and sleeves.ONLY if the engine builds up the oil pressure does the heat reduce as there is less friction of movement.
You must also check the compression and cylinder bore for perfection. If not this is also very much important to help the engine develop the power or an underpowered engine will ONLY overheat.
Other wise you have observed the faults well but this is my suggestion before you spend on an expensive radiator --- which can be tired from a swap so as to confirm this issue.

Posted on Apr 11, 2011

  • Donald DCruz
    Donald DCruz Apr 11, 2011

    The oil pressure must not drop down but must show healthy because when the engine heats up the oil gets lighter and your pressure drops. So I still think the rework is not done with good care unless the engine has a running period to smoothen out- in case the bore/pistons were changed.

    Not necessary to drain oil but you can change the oil soon after your trip.

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  • Expert
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I had one of these and it never overheated,so lets look at the tests.
1.Has it ever overheated prior to this?
2.check the viscous fan unit on the water pump if your model has this..It should be pulling the heat off the radiator when running at temperature.If it is still free spinning easily when you turn off the engine,replace it.Usually as they leak out dust forms at the center of the hub where seal is.
3.If it is either the above or a fixed fan,does it have the shroud on the radiator that allows the fan to draw the heat off effectively.
4.Is the fan pulley the correct diameter for fan speed?(has it been changed)
5.If electric fan(s) fitted,are they coming on at all?
perhaps if you don't have an electric fan and all else mentioned checks out,you could fit one on a switch as a precaution.
I hope this helps you solve this,if not get back to me with your findings.

Posted on Apr 10, 2011

  • Peter da techmen Apr 11, 2011

    depends on the noise to what it is.incorrectly set valve lash on hydraulic lifters will make a tak tak type noise until they are pumped up.Did you ever take it back for service check over?Usually we get owners to bring engine back after 1500mls for a recheck of all bolts,valve lash,oil pressure and leak check etc.
    There should not be any noise from pistons,gudgeons or rods,as all clearances should have been checked at strip down,pre assembly and final assembly.Poor assembly,incorrect clearances can cause heat and wear issues

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  • Master
  • 2,187 Answers

This would pose question on the quality of the rebuilt done. Normally on a quick rebuilt, it may be an issue with the clearance of the cylinder wall and the piston. I would think that this is a problem with the piston skirt, normally you would get a knock. A heavier sound would lead to the bearings (but would get louder as the temperature increases) and while a fast one would most likely be the piston. If it is a tapping noise, it could be the valve lifts or you may have to change the rocker arm or it could be as simple as oil sludge that has built up.

The temperature may be related to the issues above as they would produce friction and in turn heat. The basics need to be checked such as the water pump. Check if you have white smoke, you may be burning coolant.

Posted on Apr 10, 2011

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