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1978 eldorado convertible


98deville

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I'm debating whether to get it or not, the guy is asking 2500 but said he'll take 1500 for it it needs minor stuff here and there and the conv. top has to be redone, he says it has 60k original miles. think it's a good deal?

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The price would be high at $1500 if it wasn't a convertible. The fact that it is a convertible means that it is a rare model that has a unique desirability to collectors and others. The convertible is a conversion from the Eldorado hardtop. The conversions firm may have been Convertibles, Inc. of Ohio. The convertibles were likely sold through the dealers; this is customary for convertibles, which are usually built as hardtops and sent to conversion firms by the manufacturers. For a lot more information about the 1978 Eldorado, see this page:

http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/cad1970/1978/CAD78E.HTM

Like any other car, I would run a CarFAX or similar check using the VIN. That will tell the true tale of the miles, which is extraordinarily low for a 1978 model year car. Don't forget to have the car inspected by a mechanic.

This car came with one of two 425 cid engines, 180 hp with a carburetor or 195 hp with fuel injection. The Olds 350 cid diesel was also offered, but I wouldn't expect it on a convertible.

The VIN should be in this format:

6L47TSQ100001

where the last six digits are the serial number. If there is a discrepancy with the format of any of the first seven letters and numbers, you can check with the link I gave above to see what is different about the car from a 1978 Eldorado with fuel-injected 195 hp 425 cid engine.

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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
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Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Are you sure the year is right? The last year for a production Eldorado convertable was 1976. The '84 and '85 Eldorados had a convertable option but those cars were not built on the assembly line - they were converted by a coachbuilder.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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As far as I know, Cadillac hasn't made a convertible on the assembly line in modern times, and neither has anyone else, with the exception of roadsters like the Corvette, Solstace, early Thunderbird, etc. Karmann builds the Crossfire convertible for Chrysler, Genaddi Design Group builds the convertibles for Rolls Royce, Maybach, and the Ford GT1 T-Top. Zagato builds the covertible conversions for BMW. Draus builds the convertible conversions for Porsche.

Convertible-ready hardtops are another matter, and deals with coachbuilders to the point of supplying pre-release prototype models to allow them to design in synchronization with the model years ended for Cadillac in 1976. Cadillac had a "last convertible" sale in 1976 that marked the end of the convertible model offered through Cadillac, but the convertible-ready Eldorado two-door hardtop was always available -- through 2002.

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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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I'm debating whether to get it or not, the guy is asking 2500 but said he'll take 1500 for it it needs minor stuff here and there and the conv. top has to be redone, he says it has 60k original miles. think it's a good deal?

I had a '74 Eldorado Convertible for many years, and it was a spectacular car! Its one of the cars I've sold that I wish I never did.

My uncle (RIP) was a mechanic for 60 years, and in the last years of his career got a job fixing heavy equipment - earthmovers, dumptrucks and the like. This was after 10 years at a Volvo dealership. I asked him why in the world he wanted to work on those big things, and he said: "when you fix something on one of these big machines, it STAYS fixed."

The same principle goes for the early to mid '70's Eldorados. Everything on it is big; there's very little plastic on it, and they give no trouble at all. The engines don't have a whole bunch of power due to the then-nascent smog controls they were putting on the cars, but then, the car does not lend itself to fast driving anywhere other than on the open road, and, once its on a highway, it handles high speeds masterfully, without a hint that you're way over the limit. You hardly know you're moving.

The heater and a/c is strong enough on that car so you can turn it on full blast and put the top down and still be comfortable in all but the most extreme weather conditions.

She'll probably need some front suspension work like tie rods, idler arm, shocks etc. due to the enormous weight of the car, but the cool thing about those cars is that parts are inexpensive and they are very easy to work on.

I've seen people change convertible tops on them with disastrous results if they don't use a top-of-the-line top kit. If you get a lower priced top, the whole car will look like hell. I got a tan top, had it put on the car which was black, and it looked real good even with the top up. The tan went great with the black, and didn't show dirt like the white ones do. Depending on the color of the car, consider getting a tan top. Do your research on it and make sure the trim shop installs the brand of top you select. Don't let them make one from scratch.

They mostly all rust some on the lower front fenders and at the rockers below the doors, and some around the base of the top, but its usually easy to repair and shouldn't steer you away from purchasing the car.

Make sure you tighten the door hinge bolts from time to time. They're heavy doors, and I've seen the bolts get loose from time to time.

Use white lithium grease on the top mechanism hinges and apparatus. It has a scissors-type top mechanism, and it don't work well unless you keep it well lubricated. I did mine about every 6 months.

Use a can of spray lubricant with the little tube on it and lubricate every moving part you can see and those you can't but suspect are there; spray into every hole and orifice you can find on the car. (at the heater controls put the tube into the space where they slide, for instance) A car that old will have alot of dry spots, and fresh lubrication will make them work elegantly, like controls on a Cadillac should.

Change all the vacuum hoses. That car is heavily vacuum driven, and old hoses leak at the tips when they get hard from being stationary and subject to the heat generated at the nipples. If you can't get at the whole hose, cut off about 3/4" from the tip of each hose, and reattach it. The fresh rubber there will seal better than the old hardened tip, and most hoses have that much give so you can do this without a problem. That includes removing the lower trim on the dash and under the steering wheel, and crawling under there with a flashlight and a pair of snips to get the a/c and parking brake hoses.

The expensive part of the car will be buying an assortment of authentic vintage hawaiian shirts and extra-cool sunglasses to wear while riding with the top down. Once you drive it a little bit, you'll feel compelled to dress the part. And, if you've got a female squeeze, she will require a whole new wardrobe, including extravagant scarves. Consider reading some Hunter Thompson!

The price sounds great. You couldn't buy a car that will move you around with such style and dependability for any less.

I have some parts left over from mine - if you get it drop me a line to coolnesss@aol.com and I'll let you know what I have. I want them to go to a good home. They are mostly trim parts, all in great or NOS condition.

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Ed Hall -- The Allante body was made by Pininfarina in Turin, Italy.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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The XLR and Corvette are roadsters, which must be made as either a convertible or coupe from the ground up; the most you could do in a conversion is make a T-top out of a closed coupe. I don't know whether the Camaro and Firebird convertibles were coachworks conversions but I do suspect that they were.

My wife had a 1991 Pontiac Sunbird convertible that came with an addendum on the certificate of origin that was certified by the coachworks firm that converted it from a hardtop to a convertible. We bought it new at a Pontiac dealer as a Sunbird convertible. I was sensitized to the issue in 1997, when Eldorado convertibles were being sold like hot cakes in L.A. and I found that they were coachworks-converted by arrangement with GM. Every time I have researched convertibles since then, I have found a similar arrangement, except for roadsters.

You can see why this is true. If you look at sales figures for full-size convertibles, they are rarely over 5,000 a year, and usually the number is under 2,000. It doesn't make sense to have a separate production run that small when you can work with a coachworks firm and offer a convertible model.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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From the Cadillac History Page for the 1976 Cadillac, the VIN 6L67S6Q209867 means:

6 == GM

L == Eldorado

67 == Two-door convertible

S == 500 cid V8 (!!!)

6 == Model year 1976 (!)

Q == Made in Detroit

209867 == Serial number, in the range 100001 to 400000, shared with all full-size Cadillacs made in Detroit.

Check the link and the linked 1976 Eldorado page for more information. The optional FI motor was 215 HP and the carburetor motor was 190 hp.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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I decided to go ahead and get the car, got it yesterday and drove it about 20miles home from san antonio....the overall condition of the car is great except for a few minor things, like the back glass window needs to be replaced, the power steering , and brakes , the coolant stuff like that other than that everything is original( color, 8 track etc.) not bad for 1,500 i'll try to take pics today

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I had a 74 eldorado and the head light adjusters were broken and the head lights flopped around. If you have this same adjuster, I would be glad to send you the three adjusters that I have saved (for 20 years :lol:) Here is a photo of them:

post-2998-1171126261.jpg

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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Congrats on the new car! I think that is a terrific price for a 76 convertible, if it is in drive-able condition. That would be a nice car to restore to original condition.

Bruce

2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

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You can tell if it is fuel injected by looking under the hood for the air cleaner. If the air cleaner is a big circular thing right on top center of the engine, with a snorkel off to one side, there is a carburetor under it. If you see a flat engine top or a box on top of the engine, with a large hose coming off one end to an air cleaner off on a fender well, it's fuel injected. Of course, some badging "Digital Fuel Injection" or some such may survive. Also, if there is a horsepower rating anywhere, the carbureted engine is 190 hp and the fuel injected engine is 215 hp.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Yea if you dont mind sending those light adjusters. that would be great...

Check to see if its the same adjusters, if they are send me an IM with your info, Mike

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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Try lifting it while someone pulls up on the top it might be binding. I had three caddy convertibles (66, 68 and 74).. Keep your hands CLEAR of all of the works I was warned that you can loose fingers and hands!!!

If that does not work, if i recall there is a cable that looks like a speedometer cable that you might be able to disconnect and raise the top manually in an emergency...since you are going to replace the top it won't matter.. I paid $350 for a new top on my 74...

post-2998-1171155512.jpg

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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I'll try that. Is there a fuse I can check?

No doubt there is, but you said you heard noise....

The top comes up in an X, it might need help, the side bars fold in when the top is down, and they need to fold out again...Use plenty of LIGHTS and STAY CLEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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