Sunday, July 15, 2018

41 Cadillac Frame & Running Gear

Last post I got the 2007 front subframe on the 41 frame and decided to try to fit the 07 engine and transmission next. The reason the subframe is important is that all the engine mounts, computers, wiring, fuel & brake lines as well as all the accessories will go right back in the locations where they were in the 2007.

 The engine was lowered onto the frame and found a couple of places the frame needed to be cut away, the goal was to have the engine mount right back on to the original mounts.
 The 41 radiator support; that the front grill assembly bolts to, was set in place on the new front cross member to check clearances and radiator mounting.
 Two problems showed up that the engine was too close to the radiator support and it was too low.
 While supported on the chain hoist I moved it back and up to get the clearance I wanted then set the 07 radiator in place to make sure it would fit behind the grill of the 41.
 Motor mount extensions were made that moved the engine back 6" and up 3" the drivers side being the hardest to fit around the oil filter and power steering lines.

 The passenger side was easier with a short piece of 3" square tubing from the engine mount to the subframe.
 I also had to lay out the 41 firewall and hood locations to make sure they would clear the engine.
 The next 3 pictures show the new engine mounts and back support brackets that I fabricated and welded to the frame but bolted to the mounts so the subframe and mounts could be disassembled for final welding, finish and paint.

 The engine was set in place and bolted in making sure it was centered and straight in the frame.
 Transmission mount was tried with a cross member style piece of steel but I did not like the way it fit the 07 mount so I made a cardboard pattern and fabricated the offset mounts from 4" X 5" aluminum angle.
 Transmission mounted and bolted in place. 
 Next was the front suspension supports where the coil over/ shock assembly support the weight of the front of the car.
 I decided to use the 07 shock tower for spacing, angle and location of the front wheels and cut the front of the 07 off from the fire wall and lower frame.

 I made a temporary brace, tower to tower to hold the correct spacing, and tried it on the front of the 41 using the overhead chain hoist.
 The fit was good with the unibody frame resting on the 41 frame then I scribed the bottom of the front clip to get a better fit onto the 41.
 You can see that about 1/2 of the 07 frame has been cut off where the 2 frames meet.

 To check ride height I used cable come alongs over the top of the shock towers, one on each side, to hold the weight of the engine and frame.
 With all the weight now on the front wheels the temporary brace was to light and would not hold the shock towers at the correct spacing. I fabricated a new brace that will be permanent out of 4" X 5" alum. angle and 1/2" alum. plate
 Lower support plates were made from frame to frame then welded to the 07 frame and bolted to the 41 frame so it could be removed later for finish work. With all that done the car was set onto it wheels and found it to be too low with only 3" of ground clearance.
 The only thing I could do to fix the ground clearance is raise the front clip shock tower assembly.
 After thinking about how to raise the front clip for a day and to change the mounting just once I used jacks, blocks and the overhead hoist to reposition the front clip.
 The tower brace is raised 3" above the engine and will be remade to fit better later.

 Above and below are the extension plates, front and rear, welded to the first mount plates and bolted to the 41 frame, similar on both sides. Additional plates will be added when the car is taken apart for finish.

 The back of the 07 was next to get cut up so the rear end mounting frame could be used in the 41.

 Most of the burned areas were cut off so I could get to the inner wheel wells and subframe that I wanted to save. The trunk floor pan spare tire area were to far gone to save.

 The rear clip is removed with the excess metal being cut off.
 the rear clip was cut at the front of the back seat with the intent of using the back seats and package shelf where the wiring can be reinstalled.
 The rear clip is set in place to see where it needs to be cut to fit where the rear end assembly can be bolted to the original mounts.
  This is what is left of 2007 I will probably cut the roof off and try to use the floor pan and dash / fire wall in the 41. More to come.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Cadillac Project

The 41 Cadillac project is ongoing and will be for quite a while. I decided the next part of the puzzle in this build would be the frame and suspension.  My choices were to use the 41 frame and incorporate the 2007 components into it, or cut up the 2007 and graft the unibody on to the 41. I opted for the first to keep the 41 frame. The 41 Engine, transmission, rear end and body was removed and the frame stripped.

 The body bolts to the frame were badly rusted and had to be cut off . I could not reach the rear fender bolts to cut them off and will remove them later.
 The steering column was unbolted from the frame and stayed with the body until I decide what the steering will be.
 Put the body on a couple of moving dolly's so I can move it around. 

 Engine, trans., rear end and suspension were next and are for sale. If any one is interested I can be E-Mailed at for more info.

 The engine has 138,000 miles on it and is a 346 CI flat head V8 with a hydromantic transmission complete with all the components clean oil on the dip stick and turns over with a ratchet and socket.
 Do not know the condition of the rear end but it is complete with springs.
 The rusty frame was taken to Blastco Company in Henderson NV as I could not find any sand blasting Co. in Kingman.
 Blastco will also media blast the 41 body for me when the time comes. 
 I made a frame/body dolly out of 2 in. and 2.5 in. square tubing and used 8" swivel wheels on it. Above and below is when we picked up the frame all nice and clean.
 The frame was put on the rotisserie when I got it home then painted with gray self etching primer.
 I used my airless spray gun to keep the overspray down and put a 1/2 gallon on the frame.
 The X member will be modified for the 2007 floor pan's 
 The frame all primed and ready for modification.
 Next on the agenda was to remove the engine, transmission and suspension from the 2007. With the car on the hoist I built a dolly with a pallet on it then blocked it up to about 3' off the floor so I could get under it. All the wiring harness's, A/C, heater and water lines disconnected then only 6 large bolts on the bottom held the subframe, engine, transmission and front suspension the whole assembly came out the bottom of the car while lifting the body on the hoist. I was amazed.
 This is a 4.6 L duel overhead cam V8 North Star with 32 valves and a 6 speed transmission.
 The sub frame was removed from the engine but the front suspension was left in place then moved under the 41 frame. In the background the 2007 body was put in the new frame/body dolly I made.
 I had trouble locating the correct place of the front wheels and had to move them forward to match the 126" wheel base of the 41 as the 2007 is 116.4" wheel base, this moved the radiator into the grill area that I will deal with later as it is more important to have the front wheels centered in the front fenders.
 The old motor mounts, some brackets were removed and a couple of notches made in the frame to make room for the new subframe. Plates were made with 3/8" steel for the rear 2 mounts and welded the the frame, the 2 center mounts will be where the frame is notched with plates welded in at the correct height after the frame and motor mount are level with each other.
 The front cross member must be cut out for the engine so a new front cross member was fabricated to support the 41 fender and grill assembly at the correct location.
 The new front cross member is also the 2 front subframe mounts. All 6 of the subframe mounts are bolted in place so it can be removed as it was in the 2007.
 Final adjustments were made and the plates welded in. I notched the frame where the steering rack and pinion shaft is for a new u-joint to extend the steering shaft back to the column.
 The car ride height can be adjusted by moving the front and rear coil-over's mounts up or down at a later time.
 The 2007 rear end and subframe was moved under the 41 frame to figure out what must be done to make it fit.
 That is the progress I have made over the last several weeks and will post as this project goes along.