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Cadillac Jim

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Everything posted by Cadillac Jim

  1. I would just say no on modifying the title in any way, particularly for something like a door dent.
  2. Thank you for getting back to us with the straight skinny, with all important detail. What I was thinking is that the Blue Book Wholesale value is what insurance companies use as a ceiling on compensation, and a salvage title reduces that to zero. What you are telling us is that for older cars in demand or as classics do have BBW value in CA and almost certainly elsewhere, which is news to me. What you say about actual value being better reflected by sources other than Blue Book Wholesale (which is said by Blue Book to be compiled from dealer sources for recent actual prices paid to individuals for similar make and model cars) is, of course, true. Note that BBW is intended as a measure of what to expect of an average sample offered to a dealer (possibly a used car dealer) as trade-in value, and that individual sale price is another number in the Blue Book prices for a car, as is Blue Book Retail, which is what you might expect to pay for the same car at a dealer as opposed to from an individual. But the main point remains mostly unscathed by facts: a salvage title on a 1996 Deville pretty much removes it from the financial spreadsheets of the insurance companies. And, asking to do that to a car for a rear door dent and paint work is unconscionable.
  3. I recall a friend from my high school who put a 1955 Chevy V8 in his 1949 Oldsmobile (huge fastback, as you recall) and it woudln't go over 110 mph or so because the rear wheels would come off the ground. I asked why the Olds V8 didn't run at least as good, and he said that the Chevy V8 was much faster. What I didn't know at the time was that the 1949 Olds V8 was 303 ci but only came with a two-barrel and was rated at 135 hp. The standard 1955 Chevy V8, 265 ci, was rated at 162 hp with the two-barrel, 180 hp with the four-barrel and dual exhausts (and probably different heads), and 195 hp with the "power pack" (4 barrel carb, cam, dual exhausts, very probably different heads and valve sizes). And, it was instantly recognized as tunable. The 1956 Corvette offered the 265 in 210 hp, 225 hp, and 240 hp. But that technology was available to the rich kids, none of whom I knew other than to recognize in the hallways at school.
  4. You are the expert on the requirements and design for your application, which, as I recall, is autocross/gymkhana contests. I would think that total agility contests like that would favor a level car, as you say. I qualify my opinion that the rake is for high speed stability as just that, an opinion. I based it initially on these points: My ETC came with the rake. The car was exactly on the ride height specifications in the FSM (with new tires) throughout its life. My ETC did not come with a spoiler. I don't believe that a factory RPO spoiler was available for the 1997 ETC. The owner's manual states "This car will go 150 mph." Car & Driver timed a 1997 ETC (I believe, it might have been an STS) at 145 mph on their home test track, which has a good straightaway but is not suitable for testing top speed of very fast cars. I'm not at all sure that the ETC body style would be stable above 120 mph without the rake; this is, of course, yet another opinion. The ETC/STS (VIN "9" cars) designed to run with the big dogs on the Autobahn, and the VIN "Y" cars were designed to keep up with traffic (up to 120 mph or 195 kph) . This is from the car trade mags of the time. The throttle response and stability at 100++ certainly supports real-world long-distance driving at those speeds, while dealing with similar-speed traffic and real-world roads that are designed to support such traffic. So says a friend. Now, if I had one to test, and had wheel height sensors available in real time with output available for recording, I could verify the utility of the rake in keeping reasonable weight on all four wheels at speed. Wheel height, with spring rate, translates into weight on the wheel, a point that is used in the PCM/PZM/BCM in traction control and electronic stability control.
  5. I think that the 1/4" rake is intentional for stability and downforce at very high speeds. You won't need it if you stay under about 120 mph. There may be some other benefits.
  6. Web search on "spray max 2k clear coat" turns up lots of sources. Here's Amazon photo that clicks through to their page, price $23 with shipping included (Prime members).
  7. Logan: Looks like you are presenting the Cadillac of solutions here. Thank you for that. I've never seen the activator built into the can and activated separately from the spray. There are lots of lesser solutions available at auto parts stores, hardware stores, hardware departments of Target and WalMart, etc. that offer two spray cans, one to use with a buffer or elbow grease, and a second one to renew the coating. The cans are available separately, and the instructions on the first can say to always use the second can and renew the UV protection, but often the second can is not even on the shelves. I see lots of cars with cataracts out there. I don't think that it's legal to drive at night when they get as bad as a lot of them that I've seen. I wonder if it's legal to drive in the rain, because of compliance with the "wipers on, headlights on" laws.
  8. The headlights on Cadillacs and many other cars are just fine until someone buffs off the hard outer coating. After about a year, they go cloudy. They can be buffed but until the coating is renewed, they will go cloudy again in a few months. The key is to be careful who washes your car, don't have it detailed with a shop that has a mouth-breather buff the car, and if it ever does happen to you, do the two-step treatment that includes renewing the coating. I've thought for years that a good way to get Mercedes, BMW, Lexus and Infiniti drivers to drive a Cadillac is to offer guaranteed headlight renewal. The coating takes time, so they need a loaner...
  9. If I could look at the car, I might be able to fix the oil burning problem. My ETC never burned a drop of oil until the dealer decided to do whatever it took to get me to trade the car. I got it down to a quart every 2000 miles by simply having it serviced somewhere else and using top-notch oil. The first oil change got it from a quart every 100 miles to a quart every 1000 miles, and after the second oil change it dropped to a quart every 2000 miles or better. I changed the oil every 6000 miles and never had to add oil anymore. Oil leaks are another matter. Torquing oil pan bolts is a good thing but you should use a snap-over torque wrench to be safe.
  10. You might fix the car first and make sure that it's OK before you commit to another car. That puts you back into a normal situation when looking at a later model. It also gives you something to compare to, the same day, when you drive both cars. There are a lot of things about the E/K platform that makes those Cadillacs special: rubber-mounted subframes for both front and rear suspension for quiet and vibration-free ride, multi-link rear suspension with alloy rear A-frames, load leveling, slow-closing trunk lids, etc. and if any of it is not in good shape, you can tell by getting back into your car and driving the same day. Something that occurred to me after I thought about why they wanted to put your car under a salvage title, when there was no discernible reason for that: it can never get another insurance claim again. The car becomes uninsurable if it has a salvage title. It also reduces the BBW value to zero. I'm not a lawyer and I don't have experience with this kind of thing, so if you know better on good authority and I'm wrong, please step up.
  11. I won't be offended if you copy me on the new thread. I know nothing about late model Ford truck engines. I thought that their engine design process was on a par with GM's, but this BS about EGR/coolant leaks in engines less than 10 years old leaves me to wonder what their endurance testing process is. Back to the subject, or one of the sub-subjects, the web site http://www.chrfab.com is still down, and defaults to an Earthlink page that says that they hold the registration of that URL for somebody. A web search on "Cadillac hot rod fabricators" turns up the business at 3313 Live Oak Park Rd. in Fallbrook, CA 92028, phone (760) 451-8794. Further research shows another business name at the same address with nearly the same phone number, (760) 451-8796, A. W. Johnson & Association (instead of Associates, apparently to avoid duplication of another business name). The local Chamber of Commerce listing for CHRFAB lists its customers as including "Commercial Vehicles , Japanese , Performance Cars , Domestic , British , German , Diesel , Fleets" which are all licensed street and highway vehicles, but not sand cars and such. The other company, A W Johnson & Associates, does have a web site, that advertises state-of-the-art welding expertise and training, and his resume in includes NAVSEA representative, a civilian employee of Navy procurement. It has a different phone number, (760) 310-9138, which is a cell phone also in Fallbrook, CA. The address is home to Alan Wayne Johnson, age 65+, CHRFAB, and several other people in their 60's. They have a bio page on Alan Johson that has his photo: http://www.awjohnson.com/alan-johnson
  12. I think that the engine that they are referring to is a Ford 6.0 liter truck V8. The 1999 Northstar oil cooler is in the right radiator tank. I'm not sure that the VIN "Y" engines had an external oil cooler at all. A reasonable upgrade for a Northstar for trailer hauling or use in rough or hilly terrain, ir urban use in a hilly city like San Francisco or Seattle, would be an external tube-and-fin oil cooler. For low speed heavy use as in urban driving, one with an electric fan on it as opposed to mounting in front of the radiator/evap/intercooler assembly would be preferred. Went to www.chrfab.com to look for oil coolers and find that the web site is down.
  13. Tell the lawyer that you need a few days but don't tell him anything else. IANAL but I don't think that you ever need to give anyone your title or power of attorney over your title (the same thing, legally) except to sell the car. "Under Florida law" can mean anything; the exact statute, and case law on that statute, does have meaning but may or may not be relevant to any particular situation. As a generic phrase, it's BS. As a legal technique that they teach in law school under the topic "persuasive logical fallacies" it's called "appeal to authority" or "false authority." If you have decided to use another lawyer (which seems to be a good decision based on what I see on this thread), protect his ability to negotiate by not providing other hooks for the insurance company through further communications of any kind. That means being noncommittal with your current lawyer. Anything you tell him will almost certainly be passed on to the insurance company after being filtered. For example, if you say to your current lawyer not to tell the insurance company anymore, or that you plan to get a second opinion, they will likely covey that to the insurance company. Remember that this is a public forum and is picked up by search engines. If your user name here is known to your insurance company, you can bet that they are following this thread. There is a distinct possibility that it is anyway. Photos of your car, particularly if the license plate is not obscured, will identify the car for them, if they find the thread and people familiar with your case examine it.
  14. Yes, it was a take it or leave it offer, true. They said take a salvage tile and a lowball repair that you probably would not be satisfied with, or take a lower ball cash settlement that wouldn't pay for the damage or repair. And you are saying fix my car, please, you broke it. And, hey, that's their contract. In addition to not making a fair offer that satisfies their obligations, what really raised my hackles was threatening to put a salvage title on the car. If you have that in writing, keep the original, and make sure that your lawyer has a copy; that would not look good for them if push comes to shove, because they have no standing to write anything on ayone's title that they don't own. It does sound like the lawyer is working for a cash settlement rather than paying for a repair.
  15. I predict that you will hear nothing for a week or two, then your lawyer will tell you that they are fixing your car.
  16. I've heard of many cases where insurance adjuster's first offer was a huge lowball. It happened to me, once. About 1977 I was in a 1969 Chevrolet 9-passenger wagon with the 427 engine, and a visibly stoned kid in his daddy's new Dodge Diplomat ran out of a blind parking lot entrance right in front of me. Reflexes and brakes saved the day pretty much, as my car had minor RF fender damage and a tilt in the front bumper, but the Dodge Diplomat did not fare so well, not having a bumper on its left front fender. I recall the guy standing in front of the car; he saw the left headlight wavering on what was left of its support and tried to steady it - and when he touched it the headlight fell off into the street. I put the radar detector in the glove compartment while we waited for the police. The cop walked around the scene, came up to us and asked "Is there any question about what happened here?" and the kid hung his head and said "No, sir." His insurance adjuster took one look at that old car with the dent in the fender and the crooked bumper and offered me $250. I said that he could fix it or he could replace it, but if he replaced it I wanted another 427 station wagon. At the time I didn't know that only about 400 1969 Chevrolet wagons were sold with the 427, but the body shop just sent them the bill and everything was OK. A few years later (1979 I believe) I was parked somewhere and got back into he car and started it. When it started, some dude ran up to me and offered me thousands of dollars for it. I said no, and he doubled the price. I put on my game face and drove off. I drove that car for another several years, until I couldn't get parts for it anymore.
  17. If you have a lawyer talking to the insurance company, you should NEVER talk to them yourself. Insurance agents may try to undermine negotiations with a lawyer by talking to you directly; if you get a letter from them, give it to the lawyer. If you get a phone call from them, give them your lawyer's phone number and name and NOTHING ELSE WHATSOEVER. If the call and ask if it's raining, tell them to ask your lawyer. In other words, your lawyer is looking out for your interests when he tells you not to talk to the insurance company yourself. If they feel unduly imposed upon by dealing with the insurance company, they will tell you so and you can seek other help, or they can recommend an additional or substitute attorney. The fact that your insurance company has offered two unacceptable alternatives to you tells me (and any lawyer) that they don't have a leg to stand on and they are trying to abrogate their contract by bullying you. Solving this kind of problem falls into those problems solved by a phone call beginning with "You can't be serious!" In any con, the critical moment is when the mark says "yes." Never forget that. One of the reasons that your lawyer doesn't want you to talk to the insurance company is because many of them are experts at getting an innocent communication that does just that for them.
  18. What he says. If you have a family lawyer, ask him about it. Here, you have been given an ultimatum with specifics. IANAL but I think that OldCadTech's point that you have a right to be restored to the condition that you were before the accident is key here. If they refuse, ask for their proposal in writing so that you can review "their offer" with your attorney. And, get an attorney, don't just bluff. This is a minor matter, any good family lawyer should be able to deal with it in a few minutes. Most gnarly consumer legal problems are solved in seconds by a decent lawyer calling another decent lawyer on the phone and saying "You can't be serious!"
  19. I think that the biggest tip is to use a hose as a mechanic's ear for finding vacuum leak hiss under the dash.
  20. I think the cigarette lighters come back on when the PZM wakes up, which will happen if the car is tapped. Try rocking the bumpers with something plugged in one that has a pilot light.
  21. The Eldorado never changed platforms after 1992, and the 1998 and later models mixed design details with the Seville/Deville of the same year and the Eldorado, depending on the item. As OldCadTech says, you need the FSM for the given model year to make sure. According to the 2002 FSM, the temperature doors are controlled by stepping motors that are run by electrical signals. No vaccum on the controller or the temperature doors. The doors that control the inside air/outside air are vacuum operated. The doors that control circulation from the defrosters, dash vents, or floor vents are vacuum operated. Poking around in the HTML available to me as the 2002 FSM, I find a vaccum actuator schematic. The vacuum operated under-dash items are: Air/Defrost door Air up and Air down actuators (two actuators in one housing) Recirc vacuum actuator (has a hose obstruction that implements a time delay) Parking brake release You could start by checking the parking brake release to see if the vacuum is making it all the way across the car. Start the car and leave it idling in Park for a few seconds, press the parking brake and wait a few more seconds, then take the transmission out of Park. If the parking brake releases, you have vacuum all the way across under the days. This does not mean that you don't have a vacuum leak, it just means that you don't have a hose pulled off somewhere. There is a vacuum tank under the hood. The vacuum hose from it goes to the firewall with a tee, the other hose goes to the throttle body. You can place where the vacuum goes through the firewall by spotting the hose off the vacuum tank. The vacuum control assembly is behind the glove compartment. It's mounted against the firewall. The FSM R&R procedure is to remove the glove compartment, but you can probably detect whether the main hose is off, or otherwise find the leak, by just removing the insulator panel (the leather panel under the glove compartment) and using your ears. If it's back there but you need to be more specific, you can use A 3/4" heater hose about 3 feet long, one end to an ear and poke the other back there to find the leak Do the same thing with a mechanic's ear Use your imagination The vacuum hoses run from the vacuum control assembly to each of the actuators except the emergency brake release, which is all the way across the car, so you can follow the vacuum hoses from there to the actuators.
  22. You can rent a good truck, but you can't rent a good truck driver.
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