Cadillac Moels & Historyd 1979

For some,” the 1979 catalog proclaimed, a Cadillac was “an integral part of the good life. For some the fulfillment of a promise they made to themselves long ago.” Could be, but apart from a daringly downsized E-body Eldorado, the year-brought few stunning announcements. A new electronic-tuning AM/FM stereo radio with signal seeker and scanner included digital display of time and station frequencies. A new convex remote-control right mirror to increase the field of view was standard on Broughams and limos, optional on DeVilles. Lap seatbelts were the new “free-wheeling” style, and chimes now gently warned passengers to buckle up. A new dome light had dual spot map lamps. Seville and Eldorado could have an optional Trip Computer with digital display that showed

  • average speed
  • miles yet to travel
  • engine speed
  • arrival time
  • elapsed trip time.

DeVilles, Fleetwood Broughams, and limousines were powered by a 425 cu. in. (7.0-liter) V-8 with four-barrel carburetor; a fuel-injected version again was available. Oldsmobile’s diesel V-8, first offered only on Seville and Eldorado, could go under DeVille/Brougham hoods by year’s end. Options for the year Included dual electric remote mirrors; an automatically-retracting radio antenna; plus 8-track and cassette tape players (with built-in 40-channel CB available).

I. D. DATA

Cadillac’s 13-symbol Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) was again on the upper left surface of the cowl, visible through the windshield.
Coding was similar to 1977-78.
The model year code changed to “9” for 1979.
The body type code for Eldorado coupe changed to “57”.
Assembly plant codes were:

  • “9” Detroit
  • “E” Linden, NJ (Eldorado only)
  • “C” South Gate, CA (DeVille only)
Sequence numbers began with 100001 at Detroit (except 450001 for Seville); 600001 at Linden; and 350001 at South Gate.
Eldorado’s body identification plate was on the top right side of the cowl.
Diesel Seville body plates were on the top left side of the cowl.

SPECIFICATIONS

FLUID CAPACITIES

Engine V8 350cc (5.7L) V8 350cc (5.7L) Diesel V8 425cc (7.0L)
Crankcase 4 qt 6 4 qt
Crankcase with new filter 5 qt 7 5 qt
AutomaticTransmission after draining 9 or 10 pt 9 or 10 pt 9 pt
Drive Axle 4.3 or 3.2 pt 4.3 or 3.2 pt 4.25 pt
Fuel tank 19.6 gal(US) 19.6 gal (US) 25 gal(US)
Cooling with heater 17.2 qt 17.2 qt 21 qt
Cooling with A/C 17.2 qt 17.2 qt 21 qt
Heavy duty Cooling NA NA NA

GASOLINE ENGINE TUNE-UP SPECS

Engine V.I.N Code B S T
Engine type V8-350cc(5.7L) V8-425cc(7.0L) V8-425cc(7.0L)
Fuel delivery EFI 4 bbl EFI
Manufacturer Oldsmobile Cadillac Cadillac
Original Spark plug R47SX R45NSX R45NSX
Gap 0.060 in. 0.060 in 0.060 in
Distributor Electronic Electronic Electronic
Ignition timing (BTDC) 10° 23° 18°
Intake valve opens (BTDC) 22 21 21
Fuel pump pressure 5¼ to 6½ psi 5¼ to 6½ psi 39 min.
Idle speed 600 rpm 600 rpm 600 rpm

ALTERNATOR AND REGULATOR SPECS

Part # 1102849 1101033
Field current @ 12 V 4-4.5 4-4.5
Output 63 amps 80 amps
Regulator Solid state Solid state
Volts @ 75° 13.8-14.8 13.8-14.8

BATTERY AND STARTER SPECS

Engine V8-350cc (5.7L) V8-425cc (7.0L) V8-350cc (5.7L)Diesel
Battery Ampere Hour Capacity 540 amps cold cranking power @ 0°F
Battery Volts 12 12 12
Battery Terminal Grounded Neg. Neg. Neg.
Starter, Lock Test, Amps Not Recommended
Starter, Lock Test, Volts
Starter, Lock Test, Torque
Starter, No-Lead Test, Amps 65-95 65-95 40-140
Starter, No-Lead Test, Volts 9 9 9
Starter, No-Lead Test, RPM 7000-10500 7000-10500 8000-13000
Starter, Brush Spring Tension 35 oz. min. 35 oz. min. 35 oz. min.

GENERAL ENGINE SPECS

Engine V.I.N Code B N S T
Engine type V8-350cc(5.7L) V8-350cc(5.7L) V8-425cc(7.0L) V8-425cc(7.0L)
Manufacturer Oldsmobile Oldsmobile Cadillac Cadillac
Fuel delivery EFI Diesel 4 bbl EFI
Horsepower [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]
Torque [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]
Bore x Stoke 4.057 x 3.385 4.057 x 3.385 4.082 x 4.060 4.082 x 4.060
Compression Ratio 8.00:1 22.5:1 8.20:1 8.20:1
Oil pressure 35 psi 40 psi 35 psi 35 psi

CRANKSHAFT SPECS

Engine type V8-350cc(5.7L) V8-425cc(7.0L)
Main Brg Journal Dia. 2.4985-2.4995 (No. 1 2.4988-2.4998 in) 3.250
Main Brg Oil Clearance 0.0005-0.0021 (No. 5 0.0015-0.0031in) 0.0001-0.0026
Shaft End-play 0.004-0.014 0.002-0.012
Thrust on No. 3 3

CONNECTING ROD SPECS

Engine type V8-350cc(5.7L) V8-425cc(7.0L)
Journal Dia. 2.1238-2.1248 2.5000
Oil Clearance 0.0004-0.0033 0.0005-0.0028
Side Clearance 0.006-0.020 0.008-0.020

PISTON AND RING SPECS

Engine type V8-350cc(5.7L) V8-350cc(5.7L) Diesel V8-425cc(7.0L) V8-425cc(7.0L)
Piston-Bore Clearance 0.0010-0.0020 0.0005-0.0006 0.0006-0.0014 0.0006-0.0010
Ring Side Clearance: Top Compression 0.0020-0.0040 0.005-0.007 0.0017-0.0040 0.0017-0.0040
Ring Side Clearance: Bottom Compression 0.0020-0.0040 0.0018-0.0038 0.0017-0.0040 0.0017-0.0040
Ring Side Clearance: Oil Control 0.0006-0.0098 0.0078 max. None (side sealing) None (side sealing)
Ring Gap: Top Compression 0.010-0.023 0.015-0.025 0.013-0.023 0.013-0.025
Ring Gap: Bottom Compression 0.010-0.023 0.015-0.025 0.013-0.023 0.013-0.025
Ring Gap: Oil Control 0.015-0.055 0.015-0.055 0.015-0.055 0.015-0.055

VALVE SPECS

Engine type V8-350cc(5.7L) V8-350cc(5.7L) Diesel V8-425cc(7.0L)
Seat Angle 31°(exh) 45°(intake); 31° (exhaust) 45°
Face Angle 30° (exh) 44°(intake); 30° (exhaust) 44°
Spring Test Pressure 187 lb @ 1.27 in. 151 lb @ 1.30 in. 162 lb @ 1.50 in.
Spring Installed Height 1-43/64″ (1.671875″) 1-43/64″ 11516 in.
Stem-to-Guide Clearance: Intake 0.0010-0.0027 0.0010-0.0027 0.0010-0.0027
Stem-to-Guide Clearance: Exhaust 0.0015-0.0032 0.0015-0.0032 0.0010-0.0029
Stem Diameter: Intake 0.3429 0.3429 0.3416
Stem Diameter: Exhaust 0.3424 0.3424 0.3435

TORQUE SPECS

Engine type V8-350cc(5.7L) V8-350cc(5.7L) Diesel V8-425cc(7.0L) V8-425cc(7.0L)
Cyl. Head Bolts 130 ft.lb 130 ft. lb 90 ft. lb 115 ft. lb
Rod Brg Bolts 42 ft.lb 42 ft. lb 40 ft. lb 40 ft. lb
Main Brg Bolts 80 ft.lb (120 on # 5) 120 ft. lb 90 ft. lb 90 ft. lb
Crankshaft Damper or Pulley Bolt 310 ft.lb 200-310 ft.lb Press fit Press fit
Flywheel to Crankshaft Bolts 60 ft.lb 60 ft. lb 75 ft. lb 75 ft. lb
Intake Manifold 40 ft.lb 40 ft. lb 30 ft. lb 30 ft. lb
Exhaust Manifold 25 ft.lb 25 ft. lb 22 ft. lb 35 ft. lb

CARBURETOR SPECS

Carb ID 17059230 (M4ME) 17059232 (M4ME) 17059530 (M4ME) 17059532 (M4ME)
Float Level 13/32 in 13/32 in 13/32 in 13/32 in
Air Valve Spring 1/2 turn 1/2 turn 1/2 turn 1/2 turn
Pump Rod 9/32 in 9/32 in 9/32 in 9/32 in
Primary Vacuum Break 0.142 in 0.142 in 0.149 in 0.149 in
Secondary Vacuum Break 0.234 in 0.234 in 0.164 in 0.164 in
Choke Rod 0.083 in 0.083 in 0.083 in 0.083 in
Choke Unloader 0.142 in 0.142 in 0.142 in 0.142 in
Fast Idle Speed 1000 rpm 1500 rpm 1500 rpm 1500 rpm

WHEEL ALIGNMENT SPECS

Feature Eldorado Full size Seville
Caster Range 1½°P-3½°P 2°P-4°P 1°P-3°P
Caster Pref. 2½°P 3°P 2°P
Camber LH wheel Range 3/16°N-3/16°P ¼°N-1¼°P ¾°N-¾°P
Camber LH wheel Pref. ½°
Camber RH wheel Range 3/16°N-3/16°P ¼°N-1¼°P ¾°N-¾°P
Camber RH wheel Pref. ½°
Toe-In 1/8°P to 1/8°P 0″ 1/16″
Steering Axis Inclination 11° 10-19/32° 10-5/8°

HISTORICAL NOTES

1979 Cadillac Notes

  • Introduced: September 28, 1978.
  • Edward C. Kennard was general manager
  • Robert J. Templin was chief engineer
  • Wayne Kady was chief designer (Cadillac Studio)
  • L. B. Pryor was general sales manager
  • Model year production (U.S.): 381,113 for a 4.1 percent share and a new record.
  • Calendar year production (U.S.): 345,794.
  • Calendar year sales by U.S. dealers: 314,034, which amounted to a 3.8 percent market share.
  • Model year sales by U.S. dealers: 328,815.
  • DeVilles this year were built at South Gate, California.
  • The DeVille Phaeton’s simulated convertible top was hardly likely to satisfy real ragtop fans who could afford the price of one of the re-manufactured versions.
  • One such conversion by Hess & Eisenhardt, called ‘Le Cabriolet’ was marketed through Cadillac dealers.
  • Like other GM divisions, Cadillac had high expectations for diesel power, but that phenomenon was destined to evaporate in the next half-dozen years.
  • Cadillac production figures
Sedan de Ville93,211 (increased 4,260)
Coupe de Ville121,190 (increased 3,440)
Fleetwood Brougham42,200
Eldorado67,436 (increased 20,620)
Seville53,487 (decreased 3,498)
Series 752,889 (increased 507)

1979 Automotive Notes

  • Elliott M. Estes was president of GM
  • Thomas A. Murphy was chairman of the board at GM
  • GM news:
  • Ford news:
  • Chrysler news:
  • AMC news:
  • Other makes news:
  • Top American Automobile Corporations for 1979


1. General Motors5,370,750
2. Ford2,694,621
3. Chrysler1,126,165
4. AMC169,439
5. Others709


  • Top model year production for 1979
Chevrolet2,284,749
Ford1,835,937
Oldsmobile1,068,154
Pontiac907,434
Buick727,275
Skyhawk23,139
Skylark29,026
Century60,183
Regal273,365
LeSabre150,784
Estate Wagon21,312
Electra 225121,631
Riviera52,181
Mercury669,138
Dodge404,266
Cadillac383,138
Seville53,487
DeVille215,101
Eldorado67,436
Fleetwood Brougham42,200
Fleetwood Limousine4,914
Plymouth372,449
Chrysler349,450
Lincoln189,546
AMC169,439
Spirit52,478
Concord96,498
Pacer1,934
AMX3,657
Excalibur367
Checker200
Avanti II142