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  #1  
Old 07-02-2005, 02:40 PM
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1952 Cadillac Sedan and 501 Caddy engine?

Hey there, and I am sorry this isnt a Ford related topic. I recently gained the opportunity to wrench on my grandpa's '52 caddy that has been sitting in a dry garage for 25 years. The body is immaculate, and the interior is ok, but I am assuming that everything mechanical will need work. I plan on getting a 501 cadillac engine a TH400 transmission, and putting a ford 9" in the rear. Does anyone here have experience with a caddy 501 engine? Also does anybody have any suggestions as to what else to do on this classic steel beast?


Thanks for the input (and don't worry I wont quit wrenchin on the Ford)



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Old 07-02-2005, 03:29 PM
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Has it been run at all in that time? What engine is in it? It may be easier and cheaper just to get the old bird to run the way it is.
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Old 07-02-2005, 05:05 PM
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I would try and keep it stock if at all possible.
Am not up with Cadillac resale values, but would imagine a good condition (running) 52 would bring some dollars.
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Old 07-02-2005, 05:21 PM
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Yeah, keep it original. transplanitn an engine and tranny that don't belong may be fun but will hurt whatever value the car has. Besides, it would be cool to drive around in the car as originally made.

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Old 07-02-2005, 05:38 PM
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I saw a 53' go for over 100K in auto trader. Model 60 or 62?

NADA Values: 1952 Caddy Model 62 4 Door sedan
value 10-17 K

1952 Caddy Model 60 4 Door sedan
Value 12-20K

I'd just get the original motor running rebuild it if needed. It would make an awsome car to take to cruise ins.

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Old 07-02-2005, 05:59 PM
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I have to agree with DT 466Man. If you really want to make a street rod, the 500 incher is a consideration. But get out a tape measure and take a look. I have a hunch the original 331 cubic inch engine in your '52 is a bit smaller. You would probably have to do some major surgery to get it to fit. It will be easier to resurrect the stock engine.

Here's a bit of info for you:

http://64.78.5.28/public/494.cfm

Don't get delusions of grandeur. The very high prices you hear about are commanded only by certain cars, and in excellent condition. For example, if you found a 1953 Eldorado, you could pay $30K for a rusting hulk, spend $60K restoring it, and still make a pile when you sold it. Likewise, '59 Eldo's are valuable. But the more common models are not in the same ballpark. Just enjoy your car.

Good Luck. We still miss our 1958 Series 62.
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Old 07-02-2005, 11:47 PM
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Just for a little inspiration- the '53 Roadmaster Riviera has a modern chassis and a built 455. Plan on spending a lot more than you think, though. This guy claimed he had upwards of $100K into that ride.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-02-2005, 11:51 PM
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leave it stock and enjoy the looks of us old timers who remember riding in them when they where new.
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Old 07-03-2005, 02:48 AM
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Yep, those 50's Buicks and Cadillacs are big roomy soft riding comfy cruisers.

The Buick reminded me: The other two incredibly valuable and desirable companions to the '53 Eldorado are the 1953 Buick Skylark convertible and the 1953 Olds Fiesta convertible.

But they're all cool.

Naturally, as a Northwest native who'd love to have a convertible, I dream of a '59 Ford Skyliner retractable.
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Old 07-03-2005, 02:59 AM
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'59 Ford Skyliner retractable

Good taste- one of my favorite years of full-sized Fords.
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Old 07-03-2005, 05:57 AM
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i like the 58. that was a ride ahead of it's time .
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Old 07-03-2005, 06:18 AM
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one thing to remember about the 52 caddy is that it is a 6 volt electrical system. and the 331 was notorious for heat soak in the starter. they tried all kinds of sheilds and heat wraps, but no matter what you did, they would not start when hot. you have to let it cool down before trying to start it.
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Old 07-03-2005, 11:04 AM
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Aha! I hadn't thought about that. That must have been just before they swapped over. Dad's '53 Buick hardtop had that funny long skinny 12 volt battery, and a V8 in an engine bay still designed for a straight eight. And that weird starting method of turning on the key in Park, then pushing the accelerator to the floor. You could consider that an anti-theft device these days, as nobody will know how to start it.

Guess that Caddy is in a league with a bunch of old Cornbinders, when it comes to hot restarts. I recall a '49 KB6 that sometimes Dad would get out the crank, and have me hit the starter button at the same time. And we got a tractor battery and changed our 6 volt '56 to an 8 volt system. Just adjusted up the voltage regulator a bit. The generator worked fine, and the lights lasted pretty well, while being nice and bright.


The truth is, ANY of those Ford Retractables would be fine with me. The first time I saw one operate, it was like a magic show. There were fewer made, each of the three years they were in production, and Ford did improve the mechanism, so '59 will be most rare and have the best mechanism for the top. But they are all really cool, a natural for the soggy Pacific Northwest.
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Old 07-04-2005, 11:35 AM
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A '52 Caddy has a 331 CID V-8 in it. Please don't cut it up, either restore it as is or sell it to someone who will. Over time, restored cars are always more valuable that "kustom" hot rods. Check out what 100% stock muscle cars bring versus kustomized jobs. You have a piece of history in that car, and if you chop it up, it's gone for good. Like painting a beard on the Mona Lisa.
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Old 07-04-2005, 12:11 PM
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I used to have a 52 Cad Convertible, sure wish I had it back. Anyway, if it was me, I'd leave it stock. The V8 that came with it has enough power to keep you smiling all of the time that your behind the wheel. If I remember right it got around 15 or 16 MPG also.
I used to live near Palmdale, CA. Real hot summers, and never once did my Caddy fail to start on the first try. Maybe some people just have bad luck with their starters.
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Old 07-04-2005, 12:11 PM
 
 
 
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