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John Zicha
04-08-2017, 01:10 AM
Hello-
I am the President of the Howell Township First Aid and Rescue Squad #1 in New Jersey. On November 29, 2016, we took delivery of a 1970 Cadillac Superior Ambulance. This isn't just any old beat up Ambulance, this rig belonged to our squad when we purchased it NEW in 1970. We traded it in to Wolfington 1972 for a newer rig and it hasn't been seen till it resurfaced in a junkyard in Iowa. It was saved 3 years ago by an Iowa State Trooper who purchased it from the junkyard for his Volunteer First Aid squad- West Hancock Ambulance. It was going to be restored but, that never came to fruition. They did however find the original Cadillac build card inside the car with our name on it.

In October I received an email from the Trooper who found our Facebook page and website. He wanted to let us know that they were looking to sell it and would like to give us the option to purchase it. After a unanimous squad vote we coordinated the shipping and got her home where she belongs.

As of right now, she is running once again! One of our local repair facilities- Certified Auto Mall has Volunteered their time and manpower to get it driving again. We just have to foot the bill for the parts. We couldn't be more grateful for their donation to us and getting this car back on the road. It's not going to be an easy, quick or cheap restoration, but it will be restored in time.

Right now we are in search of a new or used in good condition fuel tank. If anyone knows where we can get one, that would be greatly appreciated.

I've attached the link to the photo album that I'm in the process of uploading.
http://www.professionalcarsociety.or...hp?albumid=333
http://www.professionalcarsociety.org/forums/picture.php?albumid=333&pictureid=3431

www.htfars.org

Daniel Scully
04-08-2017, 08:14 AM
Good luck on the project. I have nice tank out of a 72 ,will need to check and see if they are the same ,I believe they are but I, am on the left coast and shipping might me prohibitive. There are a few companies that can renew the tank. Here is one= http://www.gastankrenu.com/how.htm

Bill Marcy
04-08-2017, 08:43 AM
First of all, WELCOME to the forum. Second, this story is what makes being involved with these cars so cool. Good luck with your project, it will be well worth the effort and it looks like you are off to a good start.

There are many friendly, helpful people here, with lots of knowledge to share. If you need anything, someone will have it.

Nicholas Studer
04-08-2017, 12:39 PM
John - welcome to these forums. Please consider having you/the Squad join the Professional Car Society itself. The magazine alone is worth the $40 a year (less if you sign up for three), but also gives you access to the archives, etc.

I am really glad to see a squad interested in preserving their history. The folks in the Society will be more than pleased to help you. It's unfortunate there's not more like you out there. At one point recently, I had a 1971 Superior-Cadillac that was almost untouched from when it was taken out of service with a Volunteer Ambulance Corps - that still exists. I ended up getting deployed rather unexpectedly, and needed to cut down one ambulance quickly - and knew this car would've been 5-10 years out from any significant work happening. I tried to see if the Squad would want it - and didn't even get the courtesy of a response to voicemails and e-mail. It now resides in probably the Society's largest collection - and I hope one day to be able to make it mine again.

Two pieces of advice on restorations:
1. Take tons of photos now and during the process of tearing down, etc. It's really easy to forget where things went, etc. Once it's gone, it's gone.
2. Some folks who do restorations on regular cars don't understand what's important on an ambulance. They can understand the "Concours" folks who obsess about the proper hose clamps in the engine compartment, and can generally see the differences. However, somehow as long as there's "something" in the back and a siren and light of some kind all is well. I recently had to explain to folks working on a long-term restoration for me on why I didn't want to throw away the unique rear-heater system that was installed in my C/B-Oldsmobile Cotington 48. As we're preserving a historical artifact, what we do will be what folks will end up seeing as "historically correct." It is quite possible to fix (or replace, if absolutely needed!) most things and make it look just like it did or as close as possible.

If I may be of help - don't hesitate.

James Fischer
04-08-2017, 03:24 PM
Welcome to the forum John.....:applause:

As a owner of a 70 Superior I can say it is a great joy (usually) to restore this particular model....:thumbsup::thumbsup:

I wish you and your squad good luck and hope you have many happy hours in her restoration.:)

And as Nick stated please consider joining the Society...you will not regret it !!;)

John Zicha
04-09-2017, 12:52 AM
I'd like to thank everyone for the welcomes and suggestions. We were lucky to get the old gal back after so many years. I am HUGE on history of an organization. We were founded in 1957 and our founding member, who just turned 90 this year, still comes to the squad and attends all of our meetings. I've also had a couple classics myself over the years (1974 Lincoln Mark IV and a 1971 Lincoln Mark III) so when I got the email about the car when it was in Idaho, I thought "perfect, A classic car I can get and play with and NOT have to pay for" lol.
On the car, we are lucky to the extent that all of the red light covers (cones) are still in place and in great shape. Although there is no floor in the front (rusted) I already purchased new floor pans. Once we get it back from certified Auto (doing all the engine and drive train work for us), I'm going to take out the front seat and get those floor pans in. Although we are going to work on it little by little, we just want to get it presentable for right now for public outings, parades etc. We don't have the money to invest in a frame off restoration.
Does anyone know if there is any other Caddy fuel tank that will fit in the same location as the stock one? The one in there now is all dented and has some holes in it. These seem very hard to locate.

John ED Renstrom
04-09-2017, 11:59 AM
Life gets confusing when we get things scattered out. The key to getting one back up and running is to do something every day in a positive direction. Get your mechanicals done first as you are doing . Then get the body sealed up. Decide how far you want to take the project. But when you do something. Finish that before you go in another direction. Don't have 6 different things on different steps at the same time. You pull the seat then think about doing that spot in the car. Then do it. The car might be ratty all-around it but when you open that door it looks great in the driver's seat. By doing it this way you see progress don't get lost in the project and can learn as you go about superior​s construction so the next place is easier to do. The first thing you want to do is clean it up inside And​ out. Get the mice out and find all your problems. That way you have time to gather the nessary parts and have them when you need them. Then form you plan of attack you will find the car will decorate just what gets done when as some things you forced to do before others for any number of sessions. There a money pit. You can sink a lot into it and have nothing to show. Or spend your money wisely and have a solid car with only twice in it as it's worth.

Mike Barruzza
04-12-2017, 10:31 AM
Hi John,
Auto City Classic has Comm chassis gas tanks and sending units for our vehicles, 1 800-828-2212 or www.autocityclassic.com (http://www.autocityclassic.com) . Contact me if you need any further info. Mike Barruzza

Richard Vyse
04-12-2017, 05:36 PM
Two pieces of advice on restorations:
1. Take tons of photos now and during the process of tearing down, etc. It's really easy to forget where things went, etc. .

Another piece of advice is do it right the first time even if it cost more money. It will be well worth it over the long haul.

Best luck!

John ED Renstrom
04-13-2017, 12:06 AM
look who I got the sending unit to put in my 67 from. remember same tank same sending unit from 59 to 70

Paul Steinberg
04-13-2017, 06:58 PM
From the auction on ebay.... (http://www.ebay.com/itm/1959-1968-Cadillac-commercial-chassis-gas-tank-W-0-30-ohm-Sending-Unit-/330896716783?fits=Year%3A1967%7CMake%3ACadillac%7C Model%3ACommercial+Chassis&hash=item4d0afb33ef:m:mHVhdxHNlFLHfiyv2YEBGEA&vxp=mtr)

New steel reproduction fuel tank for your 1959-1968 Cadillac commercial chassis (hearse, ambulance, etc.). These tanks are a correct stamped reproduction of the original 20 gallon tank. This tank fits only commercial chassis this will not fit the standard passenger cars!


The stainless steel sending unit is a 0-30 ohm sending unit that is correct for the 59-64 models.

John ED Renstrom
04-13-2017, 11:51 PM
so strange how people do not have any Ida what they are selling.
57 and 58 used the standard 57 tank 59 threw 70 use the standard 58 tank and all are using the 57 sending unit up to the 70 year.

71 to 76 are center fill tanks.

John ED Renstrom
04-14-2017, 11:37 AM
Ok I will say on the later the cars with AC had a return line which was a plumbed into the tank. None AC cars this was just caped off . So if you were using the remanufactured 58 tank on a 69-70 AC car you would need to swap the fitting for the return line. If there was a change in the residence in the sending units in 65 one would have to check that out. Not Shure it is in the service manual or not. But the change would most likely have been across the board in the GM line up. I do know the units are the same shape and will bolt in. I'll relay my experience when I put this one I got into the 67. The fuel gauge is just a ohm meter with different markings.so if the sending unit has more resistance the gauge will read off on the low end.

John Zicha
07-31-2017, 07:44 AM
We are still in need of the rims. Do we need 15x6 or 15x7. Some people have said that the heavy duty GM police rims will work and those are 15x7. Other's have said that early 70's vans/pickups are compatible and I found 1972 chevy C10 15x6 rims. Does it even matter considering this isn't going to be driven regularly?

Nicholas Studer
07-31-2017, 09:15 AM
We are still in need of the rims. Do we need 15x6 or 15x7. Some people have said that the heavy duty GM police rims will work and those are 15x7. Other's have said that early 70's vans/pickups are compatible and I found 1972 chevy C10 15x6 rims. Does it even matter considering this isn't going to be driven regularly?

Few folks outside the PCS sphere seem to understand the nuances of the Commercial Chassis. I'm sure there's a lot of guesses folks will offer you.

I don't understand - you already asked this question at http://www.professionalcarsociety.org/forums/showthread.php?t=20337 and it is well known that there are specific CC wheels that are designed for the significantly increased weight of your car. A member even offered to give/sell you a set. There are other posts that can be found with search, but http://www.professionalcarsociety.org/forums/showthread.php?t=11950 is useful.

i would suggest it matters, particularly for you as an agency and not just an individual. If the vehicle fails on the road and has an accident, surely your insurance wouldn't want it easily found out that this heavy, big ambulance had built-in point of failure

John ED Renstrom
07-31-2017, 11:34 AM
just put standard caddy wheels on it. make sure the wheels on each axle have the same off set and width. are they the correct wheel for the car no, will they work yes. pickup wheels are a different bolt pattern. you can do all the checking you want on load ratings. but for use as you describe the lighter wheels will work. the were all using welded wheels buy 77 and today they are those ugly spoke aluminum ones. the big thing is if it's a drum brake use a drum brake wheel. the matting surfaces are different between drum and disks.

now me if it was my car I would put the correct wheel on it. but I have used standard wheel till the right ones came along

Kurt Arends
07-31-2017, 12:38 PM
I have to correct you on the C.C. rims Ed. They used a riveted C.C. rim all they way through 1984, which was the end of the Cadillac commercial chassis.

I agree with Ed on using a standard Cadillac rim, if the rig is not going to be driven much. However, you will want to make sure that you are using a correct Cadillac rims as you WILL, at the very least, want the wheel covers to stay on when they do drive it.

John Zicha
08-01-2017, 12:26 AM
Sounds good thanks! I'm just looking for whatever will work. I could care less if it's heavy duty or not. It's not an "in service" vehicle and will be stationary except for parades and shows.

Paul Steinberg
08-01-2017, 12:46 AM
I am going to strongly disagree with the advise to use the light weight passenger wheels in place of the heavier steel and riveted commercial chassis wheels. Should a wheel fail, even at a slow speed, and the vehicle veer off to one side, who knows how many people might be injured and permanently maimed. Sure, it is a long shot that this might ever happen, but then again, how many times have you been to a motor vehicle accident that the cars barely look like they touched, but a person with badly injured, or a fatality occurred. How about the times that the cars were smashed to the point that you couldn't even determine the make, but the occupants walked away unharmed. Weird things happen in life, and to just save a few bucks, you are willing to gamble on parts that GM knew were not suitable for the commercial chassis. If the car was going to be in a static situation, such as a museum, then it would be OK, but you have said that it will be used for parades, etc..

John Zicha
08-01-2017, 05:02 AM
I am going to strongly disagree with the advise to use the light weight passenger wheels in place of the heavier steel and riveted commercial chassis wheels. Should a wheel fail, even at a slow speed, and the vehicle veer off to one side, who knows how many people might be injured and permanently maimed. Sure, it is a long shot that this might ever happen, but then again, how many times have you been to a motor vehicle accident that the cars barely look like they touched, but a person with badly injured, or a fatality occurred. How about the times that the cars were smashed to the point that you couldn't even determine the make, but the occupants walked away unharmed. Weird things happen in life, and to just save a few bucks, you are willing to gamble on parts that GM knew were not suitable for the commercial chassis. If the car was going to be in a static situation, such as a museum, then it would be OK, but you have said that it will be used for parades, etc..
Thanks for the advice, but I'm always the person willing to roll the dice and safety is never a concern of mine lol (just honest and it's my nature). Until I can find the ones I need that are correct for the car, I'm going to be putting on a set of 1970 Fleetwood rims from someone in the NJ area that has them in stock.

John ED Renstrom
08-01-2017, 11:50 AM
what was on the car when you received it? the picture has it sitting on 4 wheels.

were I agree with Paul that there is no substitute for the correct heavy duty wheel I will say that I have never seen a steel wheel that has failed. seen them bent usually by tire machines, a few sliding off the road. but I have never seen them comply fail. seen a lot of broken Mags through

Peter Grave
08-01-2017, 01:42 PM
We have for many years interchanged Pass. and Comm. wheels with no issues. Using other than Cadillac wheels although many interchange invites one problem Cadillac wheel covers in most cases attach to the outer edge of the rim while other do not. Most other interchangeable non CADILLAC rims will not accept Cadillac Wheel Discs. NEVER a wheel failure.

Channing Spencer
08-01-2017, 04:37 PM
Thanks for the advice, but I'm always the person willing to roll the dice and safety is never a concern of mine lol (just honest and it's my nature). Until I can find the ones I need that are correct for the car, I'm going to be putting on a set of 1970 Fleetwood rims from someone in the NJ area that has them in stock.

Paul said, "Should a wheel fail, even at a slow speed, and the vehicle veer off to one side, who knows how many people might be injured and permanently maimed."

The implication of, "who knows how many people..." is that you may not be the only one affected by a failure, however rare, of an under-rated wheel. Respectfully, you may roll the dice for yourself and for your safety; you have that right. You do not have the right to "roll the dice" for anyone else.

The engineers that designed the vehicle thought that it should have a Commercial grade wheel. I think it would be wise to go with their recommendation.

There are Commercial grade wheels that come up on E-bay occasionally; I have purchased a few. There are also PCS members who would be willing to sell you what you need. I strongly encourage you to put safety before convenience.

That said, you may run under-rated wheels for years without any problems at all...it is possible and likely. You may also run under-rated wheels for 3/4 of a mile and wreck it into a van full of nuns and orphans. Personally, I feel that human decency dictates that we all follow the rules of safety with respect to how our behavior may impact another; that, and I have too much to lose to "roll the dice".

My St. Christopher watch over you and your awesome coach! :angel:

Bill Leverett
08-01-2017, 05:09 PM
Of course the next question is...what tires are you putting on ambulance?

Again, you can find many tires that will fit but not meet the needed weight rating.

As it goes, safety never takes a holiday so I'm in the camp that says go with the CC rims and the proper rated tires.

The engineers may have over-engineered the parts but there's a reason,. Safety!