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NTX5467 last won the day on April 9 2016

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About NTX5467

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    Sr Mbr -- BCA 20811
  • Birthday 12/25/1951

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  1. Oil drain plug

    All you're finding is the "oversize" plugs as they figured that IF there were any of those oil pans still in use, they'd need that oversized drain plug (wear on the three threads of the "bung" inside the oil pan). OF course, all that "bung" is is a large nut with the correct threads tack-welded to the inside of the oil pan. It CAN be replaced, if needed. NTX5467
  2. Right Tire Pressure

    (NEW hobby? How many round rocks are there in Round Rock?)
  3. Buicks to disappear?

    Some might not remember, but GM and Ford, possibly Chrysler, had "natural gas" vehicles in the 1990s. Usually pickup trucks and "fleet" vehicles. Ford did some NG Crown Vics, but as NG has a power reduction, few police depts. wanted them (at a time when the normal Ford OHC V-8 was doing good to produce 210 horsepower). In more recent times, seems like Honda had some too, but there were limited fueling station options at the time. The first "hybrid" pickup that GM did had some batteries under the rear seat of the 4-door cab. Engine stop, too! Didn't work too well in TX as when the engine stopped, so did anything operated by the engine (think a/c compressor!), which didn't play too well in TX in July, as in Dallas or Houston traffic in the summer. We sold one of the display models that was used at the TX State Fair. The batteries were not inexpensive, either. Some cars work better than others, in the "Start/Stop" mode, on the "re-start" situation. If you're in normal city traffic and make all turns at red lights, no big deal. But IF you're trying to get to that gap in cross-traffic, if you sit there long enough, the engine stops. Stay longer and it restarts. But in that time when the engine is stopped and you see that gap approach, THAT's when the stop/start can become a dangerous liability! Or so it might seem. NOT something I'd desire to deal with, either! Hope the alternator belt doesn't break, either!!! On "mild hybrids", those aux batteries have their own cooling system. They have their own desired temp range and their "temp regulation system" tries to accommodate that so the "hybrid" part will work. Out of temp range? No workie. NTX5467
  4. Buicks to disappear?

    One of the reasons for "fly by wire" throttle is that the rate of opening of the throttle plates can be controlled. One of our former techs noted that on a cable system, with the vehicle hooked to a 4 gas emission analyzer, if you open the throttle suddenly and forcefully, then snap it closed, the meters will go wild as the enrichment for acceleration spikes with that sudden throttle movement. In the earlier systems, there seemed to be a tad more slowness of the reaction to throttle pedal input, but that now seems to have generally disappeared. What GM still has, it seems, is something that we learned about at the 2004 Grand Prix dealer training ride/drive event. Garage mode. What that means if the throttle is moved slowly and vehicle speed is basically "stopped", as if you're putting the car into the garage, or backing out, it takes more throttle to get the car to move, seeming unresponsive. On our department pickups, I've learned to pat the throttle lightly as to jab it more when the truck doesn't initially moves results in "a lunge", which is usually not good. So, I'll put my left foot on the brake and use the right foot to modulate the throttle while backing up, especially if there is an incline involved. With advancing time, the cruise control, traction control, and other functions have been added to the initial fly-by-wire throttle controls, plus the garage mode operation which I might not have known about except for going to that particular dealer training event. AND, there's a fail-safe mode on some of the pickups. TWO throttle position sensors, one on the accel pedal and another on the throttle body. Their readings have to agree and correspond, lest a "code be set". On a few model years, there were quality issues with the connection on the throttle body that drove techs crazy. But that was about 10 years ago. On some GM vehicles and in some model years, you can put the trans shift lever in "M": and manually keep the trans from downshifting, but doing so might cause the engine to lug in the higher gear, with even more decreased fuel economy. There are, by observation, some different programs in the trans control module, so this might not work for them all. I believe the 6-speed auitomatics first used the "M" position (P-R-N-D-M-L shift quadrant display). One customer noted that he used that "M" to keep his car locked into a particular gear in hilly terrain. In the hilly terrain, the trans is acting like it was designed to do, even if it might not seem that way. As throttle is applied to maintain speed uphill, the torque converter clutch first unlocks, then a downshift to a lower gear happens if the unlocking converter was not enough. From there, an additional downshift can occur. Once the hill's crest is reached, then the reverse happens as the trans upshifts and the torque converter locks back up again. Using "M" might limit the shifting, but not necessarily what the torque converter does. On the prior models without the computerized trans controls, the same scenario would happen, but governed by engine manifold vacuum levels. I fielded many calls from customers who had bought pickups where the dealer had ordered "highway gears" to allegedly get better fuel economy (in the '90s or earlier). The V-8s were running about 2000rpm at 60mph with the 5.0L 4bbls we had back then. So the engine was not high enough into the torque curve to pull itself up a mild hill without some "help". So with the cruise control set, the trans did its thing, shifting down and then back up. I'd ask the customer why they were inquiring about a getting a different rear axle ratio for their truck. I'd ask them to get a option code from the SPID label (later, just a VIN was needed). They'd recount the "always shifting" scenario, then I'd explain why it was doing that, acting "as designed", on the particular Interstate they were on when it happened. PLUS why the truck was equipped as it was. A new rear gearset was about $550.00 back then. Then several hours labot, plus some new lube and such. Ended up being close to $1000.00. Getting one out of a salvage yard and getting it useable was a little more money. My end recommendation was that the vehicle was acting "as designed", as intolerable or different as it might be. But the best option was to get a different pickup, paying attention to the rear axle ratio to not repeat what they were trying to get away from. I told them what codes to get checked. They appreciated my explanation and understanding of their concerns. Use to be that the rear axle was an important spec on pickups, but the rear axle ratio/tire sizing now seems to result in 1700rpm at 70mph. If more load is encountered, the trans downshifts as it needs to, as the two or three top gears on the 6-speeds are "OD" ratios. The 8+ speeds seek to keep the engine rpms in a particular "efficiency" band so not a lot of throttle is needed to get the car down the road, up hills, or similar. Better fuel economy and fewer CO emissions should result. I have driven a few new Silverado 5.3L trucks with the 8-speed and they drive a good bit better than the 6-speeds did. Once the first few shifts happen, I didn't notice the rest of them. Kind of neat watching the tach needle swing up to 3000rpm and them quickly back to a lower point and do it again! Think of the desire to have a "geared CVT" of sorts, with all of those gears to be used as needed. I don't believe most V-6s have the "start/stop" tech on them. One quick way to tell is on the tach, it'll have an "Engine Stop" mark between the "Zero" and "500" rpm marks. The V-6 and V-8s will have "Active Fuel Management" or "cylinder de-activation", which can be watched in the fuel economy function screen on the Driver's Info Center. No matter what prior orientations might have been, the best way to get fuel economy on recent-vintage vehicles is to use the cruise control on the highway and just drive. Using the + and - buttons to modulate speed changes, if possible. Reason is that gradual throttle/speed increases, but the main benefit is that going down hills and such, if you watch the Instant Fuel economy readings, in "coast-down", the mpg will go to 99mpg as long as the throttle is closed, until about 35mph or of. What this also means is that if you need to use a good bit of throttle to accelerate around something, when done, just back out of the throttle and let the cruise return the vehicle back to the set speed (getting 99mipg in the process). One time, I was in a rented Impala SS 5.3L V-8. I was running 65mph in the inside lane, legal speed, when I noticed a raised-up FE250SD diesel approaching in the rear view mirror. No place to change lanes, where I was, so I nailed it and safely ran it up to about 100mph, pretty quickly, then coasted back down to speed in another lane (at 99mpg). As the coast time was longer than the power time, the average mpg actually increased a few tenths mpg. Coast time usually is longer than power time, by observation. The days of having a larger torquey V-8 that got along just fine with a 3-speed or 4-speed OD automatic only exist in older vehicles. We NOW are in the age of miniature, highly-stressed 4-cylinder engines with turbos and such, plus mighly-multi-geared transmissions. No need for optional axle ratios as you gear it for ultimate fuel economy and let the trans adjust to conditions as programmed to do. I understand why we have all of this "stuff", but I'm not sure it's really beneficial in a significant manner, in all cases. What I DO like is that when I put my foot into the throttle on the 2017 5.3L pickup I'm driving, it DOES move with no trouble and gets not more than 1mpg less than the 2014 4.3L VorTec V-6 it replaced. Not a bad deal, in that respect! AND, if you can keep it in 4-cyl mode (by some unknown manner), it'll show 30+mpg at about 65mph steady/level ground cruise. My normal mpg runs about 19.5-22.5 average, but gets decreased when I have some down time during the day. Considering what we lived with in the middle 1980s, all of this tech results in a dang sight better fuel economy! When we got the TBI 5.7Ls in '87, with a 3.08 rear axle ratio and careful 55-60mph cruise speeds, I documented several 20mpg tanks of fuel. Hugely better than the new '77 350 C-10 I drove that never got more than 13mpg on its first tank of fuel! And it didn't run nearly as well as the more recent trucks did. Progress, but sometimes "at what cost"? Sorry for the length . . . NTX5467
  5. "S"-Blazer or "C/K" Blazer? Considering that the C/K would have 11x2 rear drum brakes, whereas the "S" would have 9.5x2 rear drum brakes, it's probably the C/K version. I don't recall what's unique about the particular model year's rear brakes, though. Unless there was some change, they should have a much wider model usage, I suspect. Just some thoughts, NTX5467
  6. Right Tire Pressure

    When the P-metric radials came out, they were usually physically under-sized and needed the additional pressure to ensure they would carry the weight. As things progressed, the "revs/mile" spec tended to apparently become more operative . . . also as many learned to get the metric measure conversion for their existing tire width. When the '58 was built, it was deep into the "balloon tire" era, or toward the end of it. Larger section width tires (still on narrow rims!) for more air volume at less pressure. It was about "smooth ride", but many owners manuals might also contain info on how to modify the base recommendations if more passengers and luggage were in the car, plus if the car was driven at "highway speeds". About this time, the base tire pressure tended to become 24psi. If more passengers/load was in the car, more tire pressure. If the car would see highway speeds and normal loads, then about 28psi cold was the recommendation. These would be the MINIMUM COLD recommended inflation pressures! NO bleeding of air pressure from a hot tire! Although others have stated they generally run more air pressure, you might start with 30psi cold on the radials and see if that works for how the car is used. Some in here go higher than that, but usually not more than what the sidewall pressure specs for "Max Load". I used something akin to what Barney mentioned to first get the lighter-loaded rear tires to "min spec" for highway speeds, then increase the front tire pressure as that's where the greater axle-loading is, so that the front tires and rear tires have the same load-carrying relationship. For a car with 55/45 f/r weight distribution, that ended up being 30 f/28 r pressures on bias ply and bias-belted tires. I started to use 32psi front on radials and 30psi rr. AND then you get to the relationship of the tire's tread width and wheel rim width, such that the tire's tread doesn't bow outward too much, which might be more of an issue with bias plies than with radials. IF you think those repro 4.5" wide treads look skinny, consider they were usually on 5" wide rims, which worked pretty good. The recommendation is that the tire's tread width be in a range of +/- 1 inch from the wheel's rim width (measured BETWEEN the "lips" on the rim's edge, where the tire's bead seats. Using a little wider wheel width can necessitate the use of higher air pressure to get the tire's tread flat against the road surface AND make the tire's sidewalls more vertical than rounded, which can hurt ride softness and help steering response/handling. Several things to consider! NTX5467
  7. Buicks to disappear?

    The engine "start/stop technology" has been hailed as needed to meet tightening emissions AND fuel economy targets. On several of the later-model GM cars I've driven/rented, it ! to be modulated off of the brake pedal pressure. IF you can stop, then immediately (before the timer cuts off the engine) slightly ease off of the brakes slightly so the vehicle remains stationary, the engine will keep running. BUT on many, after the engine is off for a short period of time, it starts back up by itself and STAYS running for the rest of the long red light! Fuel savings from being off about 30 seconds? The 2019 Silverado will have a switch to deactivate it, as a current model car (Cadillac?) has a hidden switch in the console compartment. INTERESTINGLY, the Nissan Altimas I've rented have better highway and city fuel economy than similar GM vehicles AND have no "start/stop technology"! And, even more interesting (and probably desired by customers!), are the "detents" in the throttle linkage travel, equating to "gears", it seems. As always, how a dealer (any dealer or car rental/leasing company) orders a vehicle can relate to the driving experience. I would NOT have ordered any of the "electro-boost" 4-cylinder engines in ANY car--period. It might have been a tech "tour-d-force", BUT and expensive one when component replacement (alternator) time comes. Another reason to get the extended warranty and THEN replace the vehicle before any factory warranties run out! I'm NOT a big fan of the more recent downsized turbo engines replacing non-turbo engines of slightly larger size. They seem to drive nicely, but the mpg promise of the smaller engine doesn't seem to be there other than in EPA ratings. ANY time the turbo's working, there's MORE fuel being used, by observation, even at light throttle. In using the newer turbo4s, GM is getting the horsepower numbers they need, but if it were not for the gazillion-speed automatics, they would not drive as good as they do. ONE thing about these automatics, the "top gear" ratio is still pretty much close to what it was with the original 4-speed OD automatics of the 1980s! The new GM 8-speed works very nicely, much nicer feel and performance on less throttle than even the 6-speed it replaces, by observation. BUT there are still issues which can be related to how GM engineers seem to believe they need to program them to act! The 8-speed that Chrysler has been using for several years works flawlessly, at least in the Charger 6-cyl and HEMI rent cars I've driven. Shifts very quick and smooth! Why GM just doesn't co-opt that programming seems ignorant, by observation. And then Cadillac has/had a V-6 with double turbos and 400 horsepower? Might be technically appealing to some of the people that lease their cars and brag about "tech" to their buddies, BUT what's that going to mean 20 years from now when people are searching for fixes on the Internet? Or trying to find a reasonably-priced private mechanic to work on them? IF it takes that much $$$$$$ in vehicle production cost/complexity to appear that they are trying to compete with Audi and such, might there be better ways to do it? Oh, and the 2019 Silverado V-8 can deactivate up to 7 cylinders, rather than just 4! Getting the vibration down in that situation might be technically interesting, but how much is THAT going to cost the customer down the line? It's all been previously related to the configuration of the engine, whether 60degree or 90degree firing intervals. The Vortec 4.3L V-6 would only deactivate 2 cylinders, as It was a 90 degree engine, whereas the Chevy 3.9L V-6 would kill three cylinders, as it was a 60 degree engine. By observation, the Impala SS 5.3L V-8 would equal or best the 3.9L V-6 in highway fuel economy. At the first elevation change going over an overpass on the Interstate, the 3.9L would immediately go back into V-6 mode, from V-3. The larger V-8 would stay in V-4 mode longer. The engines would always idle on their full number of cylinders, only going into deactivation mode in cruise conditions. On the 2018 Sierra TX Edition I'm driving, I must have gotten a tail wind while it was in V-4 mode as the "Last 25 miles Fuel Economy" almost pegged the display at 29.5mpg, as normal cumulative mpg for about 15K miles has been 18.5mpg, in the way I drive/use it. Normally, on freeway runs, it is between 19.5mpg and 23mpg, depending upon various factors, including which way the wind's blowing! In their defense, those smaller turbo4s in Impalas and CADILLACS might be good for what I term "a general drive-around car". BUT if there's any need for acceleration to freeway speeds on a shorter on-ramp, from about 35mph at less than WOT, THEN you wish you had the V-6 (in the absence of a real V-8!). If the trans will do a quick downshift (not in the code it seems!!) rather than taking several seconds to get the first downshift and THEN the next downshift to get things moving, that gap you were trying to slot into has vanished! Even worse if you might have been coasting to wait for that gap to verify itself to you!!! IF you'd been in a Charger or Chrysler 300, THEIR 8-speed would have gone to the gear the throttle position and other inputs indicated (after all, the electronics sample at millions of times per second!!) and what you desired to do would have happened. IF you coast up to a red light, then throttle into a GM vehicle, it's like there's a big flatspot in the throttle response, THEN it responds. If it had been a carb, we'd be chasing accel pump issues! But that's the way GM has their code written, it seems!!!!! Worse on some vehicle/engines than others, but still there. Is that what it takes for them to get past the emissions/fuel economy certification tests? Do they actually drive what they sell, or what others sell??? As for the keychain issue, it's not always the younger females, but the grandmothers seemed to be at fault too. "Charms" for each of their kids and for the grandkids, typically. Nothing wrong with that at all, but it makes for a "different' situation when you duplicate a key on one of those keychains. Pardon my angst at how GM perceives they need to do things these days. I guess I'm on the downside of the learning curve and those being paid the "massive bucks" to make decisions at GM upper management are still on the initial up-slope of their learning curve??!! THAT's what happens when there is not a lot of continuity in leadership or really paying attention to what others are doing . . . so you don't do something worse. I was hoping the engineering side of GM was running things now, but I'm not so sure about that, by observation. The talent is most probably there, but getting to it seems to be an issue! NTX5467
  8. Buicks to disappear?

    IF Dad had had a J-2 Olds, that would have been "a keeper". I used to do the Susan G. Komen driving events that were co-sponsored by BMW. If they had openings in their schedule, you could drive them all, if you wanted. Once, I did a 5-series "M" hot rod. For some reason, I was not impressed with the 6-cylinder power nor the chassis calibration. The metallic feel of the throttle pedal was a turn-off. Another year, I reserved a 7-series "non-V-8" sedan. The host rep walked me out to it. He asked if I wanted an iDrive demo. I replied "Just show me how to drive it". At that time, iDrive was much-maligned in the press, so it was of little interest to me. On some of the more current Buicks, having a central menu selection would be a big help as many functions are spread from the turn signal stalk to the center console! It all kind of makes sense once you get it all figured out, what is where, BUT that first time, you wonder "Did they really design this to be used?" Just to change the radio station is bad enough, much less deal with the speaker balance or tone controls! Had to get out the manual! That 7-series V-12, THAT was something else. When I got on the freeway, got to "traffic speed", I heard a sound, Somebody had set the speed warning to 62mph. A yellow triangle appeared in the driver info center. When I slowed down a bit, it went away. Another guy in a 7-series V-8 seemed to suspect I wasn't driving fast enough, as he stayed on my rear bumper. So, when I got to the turn-around, cross the freeway, and head back location. I had to wait for traffic to clear. When it did, I turned onto the access road and nailed it. A 30mph sign was a short 1/2 block away. When I went past it, the speed warning was going off again. I could feel the various stages of the engine management/traction control release. It just went faster and faster! I backed off and coasted. The 7-series V-8 car was nowhere to be seen. hehe Once on the freeway, I set the cruise and settled in to pay attention to the car and how it felt. As far to the front as I was, I kind of felt like I was piloting a jet airliner. I imagined the house I'd need to part this car in the driveway of, so it'd all look like it all belonged together. Then the freeway exit came up and I took it back on the surface streets. Handed the keys back to them, thanked them as they thanked me for participating, realizing that that car (and many like it) had waayyy too much tech and engineering in it for many of the customers to really understand the reason for it. I was glad it was "theirs" as I don't know that if anything had happened, that my insurance would have had enough money to pay for it. I walked back to my "survivor" '77 Camaro (parked 1/2 block away) and returned to my "normal" world with cars that I could work on myself. I used to really like the "Pagoda" top Mercedes coupes of the middle 1960s. The later Grosser Mercedes "limo" sedans, wondering how they got a 5.0L V-8 to push that thing around as it did, all the way to about 140mph in "nothing flat". Past that, no real interest. CAR AND DRIVER liked the 3-series BMWs, so that as in interest. I thought it was neat that they were tuned for oversteer in tight turns, so they'd navigate the switch-backs on their test roads in Germany. The engine tech was interesting, too. That was well before BMW became a Mercedes luxury alternative vehicle. Many who owned Bimmers knew what they were, what their performance pedigrees were, and understood the cars themselves. I respect them for what they are, but with no desire to own one anytime soon. Bernie, I hope you don't need the window glass adjusted! Best way to now own a BMW is to lease it with a complete-vehicle warranty/extended warranty that also includes full maintenance. Best of luck. Still, BMW has had some interesting cars over they years! NTX5467
  9. Buicks to disappear?

    I respectfully submit that many of the "marketing" orientations are advocated by people who have LITTLE real knowledge of effectively marking products in a compelling manner. Remember when Cadillac went from "names" to "letters of the names"? Eldorado Touring Coupe became the Cadillac ETC. Somebody obviously signed-off on that! DTS would have been "DeVille Touring Sedan". Mercedes, BMW, and others have used alpha-numeric names as model designations for ages, BUT the progression of letters and numbers actually mean something of which model it is, which engine size, and "FI" or "Carb". So it all makes some sense, that way, IF you care to understand it. Kind of bland, in some cases. The USA brands typically used names for their vehicles. Names which alluded to vehicular properties . . . grace, elegance, luxury, toughness, speed, power, or some desirable geographic location. Going far beyond "Special", "Deluxe", or "Custom". If you cared, it could be a nice geography lesson! And then there were the model designations which meant "hardtop", too. And with all of the theatrics in the car commercials, those names had real capabilities for sounding spectacular AND aspirational. A way of making them seem "exciting" and "something a customer would want to go see in person". In that orientation, can you imagine some alpha-numeric designation generating that same level of excitement? Just the names "Buick", "Chevrolet", "Pontiac", "Oldsmobile", and "Cadillac" had those theatrical qualities by themselves. I suspect that one reason Buick sedans have not sold well is the price point they are at. That's MY suspicion. The high-selling Encore is a very nice vehicle at a good price point for what it is. If it were not an SUV-type, it would be a tiny sedan that couldn't carry very much at all. The Envision is a little larger and has an instrument panel design that is unlike other GM vehicles, which is GOOD! The current Lacrosse is a very nice car, but looked bloated to me. It looks better in some colors than others. The "Lucerne" came about due to a request by the dealers that they wanted a name that was not the same as they'd had before. A new model name that would draw people into the Buick showrooms to see "a new Buick", rather than a name they were familiar with. Unfortunately, as good as the Lucerne might have been, it was as unremarkable as the name it was given, by my observation. It was a "place-holder" of sorts. I looked at that body for hours, off and on again, to see how it might be spiffed-up and made more distinctive to look at. My orientation was that many of the great-looking cars of the '50s were just basic shapes, with chrome trim and two-tone colors which really made them look sharp. Take the Buick grille, any VentiPorts, and the tri-shield away, and the Lucerne could have been pretty much anything, unfortunately. Remembering one of the comments at the 75th Anniversary banquet in Flint . . . "You could tell a Buick two blocks away". That sort of visual brand identity went away sometime in the 1980s. Well before the "What car is that" Oldsmobile Intrigue came to be. The marketing people always like to frame their "new" way to do things as "New, Different, and Better". Got to keep the customer interested! So they change something that probably shouldn't have been changed, but rather expanded and refined instead. On the other hand, some "static" orientations can be bad for the product. So there would need to be some newness along with some stable product orientations for best results. Oldsmobile had a very recognizable "Rocket" logo. Everybody knew what it was and what it was applied to. But as the upcoming Aurora and other cars were on the drawing board. Cars which would be very different from prior Oldsmobiles. There seemed to be a need for a new logo to reflect the "newness" of these cars, after the disasterous "Not Your Father's Oldsmobile" ad campaign! So they got a new logo that nobody knew what it was. Didn't recognize it. The cars could have have been a Mazda for all anybody knew! And THEN . . . the ONLY place the Intrigue name was was on the rh backup light lens! Cast into it with no accent paint, just clear plastic! Doomed to failure from the start, as if "by design" . . . although the car got very good reviews from the likes of Road & Track. "Intrigued" by what that car is? AND this was all during the "brand management" phase of GM's life, when they lost market share, made a little money with fewer products at about 20% market share (which Wall Street loved), but when market share went down a few more percentage points, then the financial people got scared. Few other "properties" to sell-off to maintain dividends . . . and we know what happened later on. Olds could have been saved and revitalized by changing the focus of it competing against Lexus and Infinity and looking more toward the Jag S-Type and Chrysler LHS instead. Not very much additional investment as much of what might be changed would have cost pretty much the same as what it replaced. BUT, by that time, there was no "will" inside GM to do that as they even ran off some loyal Olds customers with "no bench seat" in the Aurora, so the loyal Olds customers kept their trusty Delta 88s a few more years. We tend to consider "Buick" to be a USA brand with the bulk of them being sold in the USA. Yet the Chinese have a real affection for Buicks, as Buick was GM's "export" brand into China ages ago. And more Buicks are still sold in China than in the USA, significantly so. It was THIS that kept Buick alive, not that Buick was the founding brand of GM. The fact that Pontiac was the choice of many to keep alive should have been a red flag of sorts for Buick marketing. The other side of the deal is that all of the last Pontiacs didn't really have a "dual" product in GM-NA. Buick was still considered a "grandparent car", as Pontiac was still perceived to be a more youthful brand, even after the Aztec. Therefore, it was less "Invasive" to then-current GM operations to delete Pontiac and to keep Buick. The statement that GM lost money on every Oldsmobile is suspect, as the Intrigue was built on the same line as the Pontiac Grand Prix. After the Riviera went away, there was no companion product for the Aurora, although the Olds Alero was a Pontiac GrandAM under the skin. The Olds Bravada became the Buick Rainier, to fill those gaps on the "TrailBlazer" assembly line. I know that each product has a "life of the tooling" that dictates and is planned for in each new vehicle to be built. I have observed that advertising can be diminished ("blah" sales brochures, too!) if the product will be ending and nor up for renewal. This was highly evident in the final years of "Camaro and Firebird", until the groundswell of support for the Camaro happened. Suddenly, Chevrolet started paying attention to what "the customers and enthusiasts" were saying, as Ford had done when it was leaked that the "next Mustang" was going to be on a Japanese platform (as it was too late to stop that vehicle from its new plant and production, it became the Ford Probe) and the Mustang spent several more years on the Fox platform with new "Mustang" styling, power, and excitement. The KEY Thing is to keep the product people aimed in the "right direction". Those at Buick? There's promise, but after the flat end of the Avenir and the "just after than" Buick cope on the Corvette platform, I don't know if THEY really know what they need to do. At this time, they are riding the wave of SUV-type vehicles, it seems, which is not that bad of a place to be. They might point to the very small percentage of "sedan" sales as a reason to not do any different sedans, but that small percentage of sedans might also be due to the fact that the current products aren't nearly as good in the USA and/or Buick orientations as they probably should be? I'm not sure that GM has really "found its way", other than for Chevrolet, in general. Many GMC SUVs seem to be emulating what some Oldsmobiles were in the past, by observation. Buick hasn't really mounted a decent "charge" against Lexus in many years. Cadillac? "Audi-llac"? GM can do the products, just getting the dang things sold! NTX5467
  10. Buicks to disappear?

    A very in-depth commentary on "Seeking Alpha" website. Sales numbers, USA and China. Also indicates where the growth is in the brand and how the "sedans" are not "sales leaders". As long as China Buicks are selling in large numbers in China, there will be "a Buick". The issue of using nameplates, logos, and alpha-numeric model designations seems to be somewhat cyclical, except for Mercedes. Seems to depend upon "the latest" thoughts on that issue. OR if one brand changes to something and it works for them, others surely follow. By observation, the longest-running USA brand model designations were "names" of special places, not alpha-numeric combinations. NTX5467
  11. 1970 ignition switch questions

    Thanks for that link, Frank! NTX5467
  12. 1970 ignition switch questions

    "Cut code" is the depth of the cuts, not the key code itself. The stated "key code" has the "cut depths" from the numbers a particular code relates to. THAT "key code" would have been stamped onto the outer housing, if it was there at all. The tilt wheel items are a little different from the non-tilt column ignition cylinder items. No interchange, but look "the same" at first sight. Number of teeth in the gear that is turned by the key cylinder is one less, I believe, than for the tilt column. "Rack" that it turns is specific, too. Matched set. Check the Dorman website and/or local auto supply HELP! rack as those items from GM are probably not serviced any more. Or NOS vendors might have them. I somewhat doubt these are Buick-only items. NTX5467
  13. 1970 ignition switch questions

    The actual electrical switch is at the base of the steering column, run by a rod which is run by a "rack and gear" as the lock cyl turns. it should sit parallel to the steering shaft, with the actuator rod on one side of the switch or the other. You'll probably need a service manual to look at the way the cylinder locks into its housing. On some, it seems like there's a wire clip and on others there's a plastic tang that sticks up on the end of the switch. There might be a flat area on the housing, accessed after the steering wheel and maybe turn signal switch is removed, which will need to be knocked out to normally get the cylinder released. I'm wondering if that number on the side of the cylinder is the "cut code" for the key? The "cut code" would be the depth of the respective cuts on the key, what the "key code" results in. Many of those cylinders have become rather inexpensive at the auto supply stores AND they come keyed. NTX5467
  14. 1962 Buick Electra Brake Problem

    As for the metal brake lines, you can either build your own (time consuming and tedious!) with a 25' roll of steel tubing or use segments from the auto supply. You might be able to get some pre-made from Fine Lines or other similar repro brake line vendors. Even in stainless steel, if that's desired. NTX5467
  15. 1962 Buick Electra Brake Problem

    Rather than "shot gun it", pulling everything off at once and replacing all of it, you'll not really find where the issue was. Start with the brake lines, all THREE of the rubber lines (2 front, 1 at the rear axle). Then work back toward the master cylinder and booster. As noted, there is probably brake fluid pooled in the bottom of the rubber bellow inside the booster, behind the master cylinder. Somewhat common with time and age, so unless it's deteriorated the booster internally, just wipe and clean it out, put the new cylinder on, and complete the installation. Once the "top side items" have been done, then move down to the wheel cylinders, linings, and hardware kit items. Plan on some new wheel bearings and seals, too, on the front! I tend to concur with the newness of the brake linings. Brake lining formulations have changed over the years, due to federal FMVSS regulations. So get the best brand and quality you can obtain. Modern formulations will have decreased copper, compared to earlier formulations. Not sure how that will affect things on the older drum brakes. So, plan your project and proceed at your own pace. NTX5467