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About fordrodsteven

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  • Birthday 01/05/1954

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  • Location:
    : North Andover, MA


  • Biography
    All-round machinist, Hydro-mechanical technician, Took night course in auto body, Been working on cars & motorcycles since the age of 12.
  1. My story is that I was "messing" around on E-bay and I bid a lowball figure on a Reatta. I won the bid and that's how I got into it. I really didn't expect to get the car. I went the 90 miles to where it was I hooked up the battery and drove it home. It had seen some better days but it was a "project car" for me to tinker with until I retired. Now that I'm retired I really want to work on the "project" I bought 42 years ago. I have now started doing the work on my 1955 Thunderbird project and really have no more interest in the Reatta. I still marvel at the electronics and troubleshooting capabilities. It is pretty much mechanically just like working on any other car. The electronics throw a lot of people but the guys here at the Reatta websites and the shop manual walk you through any issues to get it sorted. The only problem I have run into is that when I give it to someone else to work on it they don't have the patience to dig out the real problem to fix it and become frustrated with it. Usually I get it back from the "certified professional mechanic" who has given up and I can get it all set within a day or two. I'm now in the process of fixing something that "I" broke and once it's up and running again I am planning to sell. It's a very long list of things that I have repaired since I got it and as stated by someone earlier I'm into it for a LOT more money than I can get for it. But my focus is now on my Thunderbird and I really don't need or require the Reatta.
  2. FYI - I went back and did a quick edit on that previous post. I added the sizes for the diameter to be modified from 0.750 down to 0.625-0.650 and II added a note that there is a spring on the cable similar to what we have on the front cable. I left the spring installed when I put it on my car.
  3. Hi Barney, I was just trying to help anyone in need. I'm perfectly satisfied that I have mine all set. I just thought there may be others who don't want to do the mods and would want to just get something that can be easily installed. The cables do stretch over time. They break and they rust. At least I've left something here that can help. I'm going back to my transmission work on the car so I can prepare it to go to any new potential owner. I have other interests I would rather pursue. Steve
  4. Hi. I'm back. This didn't seem to garner as much interest as I thought. So, I PM'd a few people who I thought may be interested and now I will add in the information here regarding the cables. I have a working NEW system on my car and I know I won't have to touch it again as long as I own this car. SO, for any future need by any of you here is the information; If you need to replace your intermediate brake cable and you want a NEW cable you are pretty much out of luck. here’s some information if you want to try to find a new part for the Buick Reatta. All the years are the same . The OEM P/N is 1642481. An aftermarket cable from Wagner brake is BC129671. There is also a Bendix P/N C1703. I have not been able to find any of these anywhere. I tried to find an alternative solution; I wrote to Inline Tube Company in Shelby Township, Michigan. They made a duplicate cable (not quite exactly the same) for $100.00 plus shipping. The cable is the correct length and has correct fittings on the outer casing and the correct cable end at the rear. They also put on an outer protective sleeve similar to what came originally on the Reatta but it is larger diameter and is a bit of trouble to feed the cable through the openings where it gets routed. Unfortunately the threaded rod for adjustment has the wrong size thread. They supply the cable with 5/16-18 threads. The original GM cable and replacements listed earlier have metric M8-1.25 threads. That special order part number for the Inline Tube cable is SFT-15 at a cost of $100.00 plus shipping. An alternate solution that I have come up with follows. I have made the modifications and installed the cable on my car to insure fitment and functionality. I bought a cable for right rear Chevrolet and GMC trucks 1984 through 1986. Price range from around $10.00 up to $30.00. This cable also fits a few other models of truck. There are four different numbers I have found. This cable is very close in length of cable and length of outer casing to the original Reatta part but this cable also has the 5/16-18 threads. I have used and proven the first cable made by Dorman. 1) Dorman P/N C93249 2) ACDelco 18P428 3) Wagner BC108764 4) Pioneer CA5580. The modification to the cable is to remove the locking fingers at the rear cable casing fitting. I then removed material (a lathe would be nice but I did it on a bench grinder) from the large diameter of that fitting to allow fitment of the rear Reatta equalizer (ACDelco P/N 25515645). The large diameter measured 0.750 before I ground it. It needs to be around 0.625 to 0.650 diameter. After this modification the cable is ready to use. Also,please note that the cable has a spring on it similar to the Reatta front cable. I left the spring on the cable when I installed it in my car. I bought the equalizer with the internal nut. Price ranges from $10.00 to $20.00. The Reatta adjusting equalizer is ACDelco P/N 25537451. The modification is to re-tap the threads in the nut from M8-1.25 to 5/16-18. Then this part is ready for use. Ready to install to the car!
  5. Okay... So here is an update! I have some bad news but I also have some maybe good news! Bed news is that there is nothing available new that is a direct replacement onto the Reatta. Even a $100 special order part from inline tube is not plug and play. They supply it with the wrong threads on the adjustment rod. It is supposed to be M8-1,25 but they will only supply 5/16-18. The sales engineer there thinks he knows more than any of us and insists that the part will fit perfectly and the thread difference will not affect fit or function. That is because he thinks the rod just feeds through a hole on a bracket and any hex nut will do the job. He does not understand that the Reatta has a nut enclosed in an equalizer where the adjustment is made. and yes, I feel like I wasted $100 for a special order cable that is not plug and play. I figured since I was not really satisfied with Inline Tube I would try something else. Now this is what I am calling the maybe good news! I just successfully replaced my intermediate cable on my car using a brand new cable that is readily available at many sources. (less than $20 plus shipping) It turns out to be inexpensive, but.... The cable has to be modified a little bit to work on the Reatta. This other cable also has the 5/16-18 thread so I had to re-thread the nut inside the equalizer. (which I can also buy new readily available for less than $10 plus shipping) I found that the outside diameter of the 5/16 and the M8 threaded adjusting rod is the same diameter. The difference is that the metric thread has one more thread per inch. I don't like re-cutting threads with a different pitch because there ends up being some disrupted threads but I put it together and it works. I know I can buy another adjustment nut / equalizer so I wasn't too worried about that part of the equation. So... Now I have a couple questions. I want to know if anyone might be interested in the information (both the Inline Tube and the other process / parts that I used) or if anyone would be interested In me getting the materials together and doing the modifications and you pay me $60 plus shipping and I will send a brand new cable and adjusting equalizer that will be plug and play to the Reatta. I'm going out to supper with my wife right now. I'll check back here later to see what you guys think.
  6. Hi, I'm currently pulling my transmission on my '88 to fix a problem inside. Anyway I thought I would jump in here with my experience. I bought the lower mounts (all three of them) because I'm under the car pulling out all kinds of stuff anyway. I bought them from Rock Auto. My front (engine) mount is DEA/MRC # A2943. My left transmission mount is DEA # A2671. It looks like there is another configuration with a cage that bolts there on the left side. That configuration uses left mount #2779 instead. My right Transmission mount is DEA # A2691. I have also written to the people at Rock Auto and asked them to add the right transmission mount (A2691) to the listing under '88 Reatta. I cannot say for certain regarding the front (engine) mount. I have not yet started trying to assemble it together but I held it in close proximity to the one in the car and it "looks" right. When I ran the GM part number for the right transmission mount at GM parts direct (1646517) they show it as also used on Reatta 89 - 90, Cadillac Allante 89 -92 , El Dorado 89 - 90, Seville 89 - 90 and on Oldsmobile Toronado 89 - 90.
  7. Wow!!! I E-mailed Federal Mogul Motorparts. They are the parent corporation for Wagner Brake Parts. I asked them for price and availability for 25 cables. They sent me an E-mail with a 1-800 number to call. I called the number. They asked if I had a Federal Mogul account. I said no. They wanted the name of my business. I told them I just want to buy some cables. She said she would tell me local suppliers who sell federal Mogul parts. I said they would have to order it so why can't I just order it. I said I know for a fact that the local parts house would not have it and they would probably tell me that they cannot order it. She asked for the part number which I gave her. She looked it up and said that it's an obsolete part and not available. I asked if I could buy some quantity where they would make a run of the part. I told her I would buy 100 cables. She just apologized and said sorry that there was nothing she could do. So... I returned my "new duplicate cable" made by Inline Tube to see if they can get it right on the third attempt. We will see......
  8. Sometimes when I think about this I could just kick myself. About three years ago I was able to procure a brand new Wagner brakes cable (BC129671). I think I got the last one in the country! I threw it on the shelf in the garage because I was able to get my original cable functioning fine. I had contact with Machiner55 (john) in Michigan and he asked if I would be willing to sell him the Wagner cable. I said "sure! no problem!". I even had another used one off a Reatta rear end that I bought to put in my car (replaced a rusted out rear end). I sold both of them to John. He seemed VERY HAPPY. Now I know why! Oh well. LOL
  9. FYI. When I sent the original Reatta cable in the beginning they called me. They said one end is missing the locking fingers. I told him that it was supposed to be that way and that the equalizer hooked on there. They made the cable and sent it (with my original) in the same package. The FedEx guy delivered it to the wrong address here in town on Friday. He went and got it. He delivered it here on Wednesday. That is when I found the end with the fingers assembled onto the new cable. I called there three times and kept getting told the guy I needed to talk to was not available. When I called the fourth time and asked for a Return Authorization number I was all of a sudden connected to that guy who was not "available". Funny how that works, eh. I told him I would not be returning my "valuable correct original" cable but would send him an Allante cable with the equalizer attached so he could see how it assembled on the car. Now I find wrong threads on the cable they "fixed" because I didn't catch it the first time I had it in my hands. Oh well, Live and learn!
  10. In my E-mail to him I told him I was pretty frustrated with the whole mess and I didn't like the incompetence. They might just tell me they are not going to fix it for me. I was pretty hot when I wrote it and you know how it is..... just hit that "SEND" button! In the past I would have looked at it for a couple hours before sending (probably with a few edits and rewrites) LOL
  11. Thank you 89DRG I was pretty careful about it. It looks a lot closer in the picture than it actually is. The end is more than 6" from the windshield. Although. I was thinking about bolting it down at that back end and then I can cut it to be flush at the back of the cross brace.
  12. Well.....I got my two cables after the Memorial day holiday as promised. I opened it up. The cable they made had an incorrect end assembled at the aft end of the outer casing. I returned the cable to them for repair. I sent them an Allante cable the second time. I was not about to possibly lose my original cable again!. They fixed the end on the outer casing and sent the cables back to me. I got them yesterday afternoon. I decided today to put the cable on the car and ran into another problem. They installed a 5/16-18 threaded end. The original is M8-1.25 threads. So I could not thread on the captured adjusting nut in the front equalizer. I sent them an E-mail. Maybe it can be made correctly on their third try. They have issued a part number but I'm afraid to share it at this time. If they can get it right I will then share the part number. It looks like the cost will be $100. I will update when I know more.
  13. I made my engine support toady. Used scraps of metal from the garage. Bought two pieces of 2" square tube four feet long (cost $23). I like it!
  14. Getting ready to start. I fabricated this engine support today.