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Ok caddy guru's. Here comes a good one. I KNOW, I'm not the only person with this issue, otherwise the part that I'm about to bring up wouldn't be so scarce.

In by beloved 98 eldorado, I'm having some issues with the wood trom on the right side of the dash. I think anyone with a seville or eldorado, or any caddy for that matter that has wood trim, probably has this issue. Yet, all the sevilles and eldorados that I ever see, ALL have this problem, if not the part is already gone off the car before I can get a good one from the salvage yard. These pieces are like gold.

My question is, the wood on the right side seems to develop "cracks" or "splits" in the finish. 1. What causes this? 2. What can been done to prevent it? 3. Is the wood piece "clear coated" or is it polyurethaned ?

I picked up a spare right side trim panel to see if I can sand out the "splits" or "cracks". Yet, I need to know what type of finish was used to get it so shiny.

Thanks.

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Yeah, my car has had this for a few years now. The large Zebrano panels that begin at the A/C bezel and go to the door jamb are very expensive new. The finish is very thick clear *something* and cracks.

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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Yeah, my car has had this for a few years now. The large Zebrano panels that begin at the A/C bezel and go to the door jamb are very expensive new. The finish is very thick clear *something* and cracks.

I checked the dealer, it's about 500 dollars?! I was stunned.

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I have that issue too, only on the left side, and the piece that wraps around it actually broke off the other day. connie_mini_wipetears.gif

I believe the coating is a non-yellowing polyurethane. There is also some kind of stain on it (in my case) as the wood where it broke is VERY much lighter in color than the finished product.

I think maybe the cracking is caused by sun exposure. I could be wrong.

big4870885.jpg

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Well, after searching on line about refinishing wood. I'm going to experiment on refinishing this plate. In reality, this one might be in better shape than the one in my car. Whichever is the worst of the two is going to get refinished. I'm going to probably refinish it in polyurethane.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, after searching on line about refinishing wood. I'm going to experiment on refinishing this plate. In reality, this one might be in better shape than the one in my car. Whichever is the worst of the two is going to get refinished. I'm going to probably refinish it in polyurethane.

The "experiment" with the dash trim so far has been a success!!!!! I used polyurethane spray. I didn't take the finish completely off thr trim panel. Just sanded it smooth so that the crack couldn't be felt by my finger nail. The spray was self leveling and looks like it filled in the cracks. When I get it to fill all of them, I will let it dry completely. Re-sand one more time for the final coat!!!! :hatsoff:

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When you're done, please post the exact brand and product number of the spray that you use.

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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When you're done, please post the exact brand and product number of the spray that you use.

Ok. So far it looks good. The cracks are still so slightly visible, but it needs a recoat.

I'm waiting for this coat to completely dry and plan to resand again. Compared to what it looked like before, I'll put in the car. Before, it was ready for the trash.....

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I'm curious too as to what brand of spray polyurethane you used. My trim has some cracks in it, and is broken on one end, and I would like to redo mine this spring/summer. Post pics if you can of what it looks like when it's all done.

big4870885.jpg

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Is it the same for 97, my scrap yard got a new Eldo in the other day

Take a photo

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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Is it the same for 97, my scrap yard got a new Eldo in the other day

Take a photo

my car is a 98. I believe 97 is the same, but in reality as long as the "end" on the right side isn't broken off, you should be able to refinish all of them to some degree.

The coating on that trim piece is so thick(at least on the 98), I believe that's part of the reason it cracks. The wood underneath may be "breathing" and posibbly causing the splitting. I'll have to experiment on an earlier version.

What I should have done was take some before and after pictures.

I'll make sure I do that on the next one I try.

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I believe that the 1997 and 1998 Eldorados were identical except for the radios; I had a choice when I was buying and took the 1997 for the close-out price. The Zebrano wood trim is the same part number for all the 1992-2002 Eldorados, I believe.

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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Here is a firm that can restore the Zambrano "real wood"

http://www.maderaconcepts.com/NewSite/VehiclePages/cadillac.html

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 believe that the 1997 and 1998 Eldorados were identical except for the radios; I had a choice when I was buying and took the 1997 for the close-out price. The Zebrano wood trim is the same part number for all the 1992-2002 Eldorados, I believe.

Really? Some of the plates had different numbers on the back of them. Maybe those were the casting numbers. I was a little concerned about the earlier eldorado plates because if the different instrument cluster. If, they're the same, then that opens ups a few more options. Thanks

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Is it the same for 97, my scrap yard got a new Eldo in the other day

Take a photo

I attempted to upload a photo of my trim piece, but I received an error message stating that the picture was too big. I have to figure out how to change the setting on the camera or resize it. Hang tight.....

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Go to Photobucket.com start an account, upload the photos there, then link them as "photos" here, it saves space here and you don't need to worry about their size

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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sorry, guys and gals. I've been away with a cold the past few days. I just sprayed the final coat of polyurethane on. I saw a few dust bunnies that I'll have to polish out. Yet, after numerous sanding with steel wool pads and coats of poly urethane. I'm pleased with the results. I"m going to take pictures of the finished producket and post them on photo bucket. See you soon.

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Well, as the first intial coat of polyurethane dries on the shifter bezel here are some items you will need to attempt refinish.

single edge razor blades

miniwax fast drying polyurethane (clear gloss)

lint free cloth/rags

miniwax wood finish stain marker. (I used 2716 dark walnut. worked great)

steel wool(coarse, medium and fine)

If refinishing the right side a/c vent panel, remove the vents completely if possible from the wood. That means vents and housings, it'll be easier to work with and have a cleaner look.

Take the razor blade and scratch along the top of the crack in the same direction of the crack. Then, take the razor blade and run 45 degrees across the crack. Do this a few times until the crack can't be felt by your finger nail.

Repeat the razor blade process for all cracks in the wood.

Wipe down wood with the lint free cloth that is slightly damp with water.

Let the panel dry. Inspect all known areas that were cracked, if the crack now looks a little "ashy", it's ok. Wipe it down again,let dry.

Take the steel wool (coarse) and sand the panel in the direction of the wood grain. DO NOT SAND AGAINST THE GRAIN. Sand in long even strokes if possible, don't skimp on the edges. Not too rough, but enough to rough up the surface for the polyurethane to stick to.

(wipe down)

At this point, you have to make sure your hands are clean and are not oily because that will end up on the wood surface wherever you touch. Take a piece of paper towel, dampen it with water and add a drop or two of dish washing soap. (You don't want the panel sudsy, just enough soap to get it clean)Wipe the panel down. Let dry.

Take the wood stain marker and trace over all cracks in the panel. Let the marker stain semi dry, wipe excess stain off with slightly dampened paper towel. Let dry. Take another piece of paper towl dampened with water only, wipe the panel down. Let the panel dry. Take your CLEAN lint free cloth and completley wipe the panel down any and everywhere you plan to spray polyurethane.

Set up where ever you can to spray the polyurethane, but have plenty of ventilation and keep dust to a minimum. Adjust the spary nozzle to what suits you best and the direction that you are spraying in. Follow the directions on the can, they are very good. YOU ARE GOING TO BE APPLYING MULTIPLE COATS. DON'T APPLY ANY HEAVY COATS, AVOID RUNS IF POSSIBLE, IT JUST ADDS TO SANDING TIME.

After the first coat is semi dry, look at the panel with some decent lighting. Do you see sand marks? Do you see runs or spots the polyurethane didn't adhere to? IT'S OK. Let the coating dry at least 8-12 hours, depending on the temperaure you sprayed in and how heavy you sprayed will vary the drying time.

Any flaws noticed after the first coat will be addressed now. Resand with steel wool in the direction of the grain, using more or less pressure to get the desired results. Use the stain marker to fill in the cracks to avoid showing the flawed spot. Wipe excess off. Follow the wipe down procedure stated above to avoid excess dirt sticking in the polyurethane.

Reapply the polyurethane. When you have applied the first coat and it's semi dry after 15 mins, check the surface. Are there any flaws? If not, apply a light even second coat. Don't mind the cracks. If there are flaws, let dry, resand and stain the cracks again. This process of spraying and checking will go on until you have almost a perfect finish.

If you had no flaws after the second coat has dried, use medium steel wool to lightly scuff the surface. Re-stain all cracks, wipe excess off again, wipe down with dampened lint free cloth, let dry. Apply third coat.

By now you will see that stain and the polyurethane are filling in the cracks in the wood. Let third coat dry, resand lightly with medium steel wool, apply stain if needed to fill crack. (The polyurethane should be filling the cracks by now if it has been applied correctly).

When you feel what should be the final coat, spray a nice even flowing coat of polyurethane across the surface, avoiding runs or sags. Whatever lint that my unfortunately land in the surface can be rubbed out with the fine steel wool and the surfcae polished once it has dried.

How many cans of urethane will be used will be dependant on how big the area is to be repaired, How many mistake one makes in refinishing and how thick you want to lay it on. PLEASE take your time, this won't be a one day project. Good luck

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