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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. We've all got orientations about younger drivers and "collectible" cars as "first cars". AND the orientations are highly variable! A good while back, a good friend said he was going to buy his niece a '66 Mustang as her "first car" and such. I kind of cringed, but then realized that so many repair parts were available for those cars, at that time, that it could be fixed if it got damaged. A body shop customer found and restored a '67 Mustang for his daughter's first car. She wanted no part of it, wanting something "more acceptable" as a Honda like her friends had . . . he was devastated as he's put his money and time into his "labor or love" and it got flatly rejected. MANY side issues, there! But he scraped the money together to get what she desired. As "social" as some younger folks can tend to be, if they aren't in their car, they'll be in somebody else's car. I think I'd be more concerned about her having a very capable cell phone and possibly a tracking app on it. Congrats on your daughters many accomplishments and wising her well in her future involvements! NTX5467
  2. My suspicion is that it is an advisory to check the emissions system for correct performance. Depending upon if it's a "Federal" spec or a "California" emissions spec motor, but we didn't get "Check Engine" lights until we got electronic carburetors in the 1981 model year. Whatever caused the "sign", it's mileage-based rather than malfunction-based. There should be a way to deactivate the advisory. The catalytic converters on GM cars back then were designed to be serviced at a mileage interval. The plug on the bottom (or top, too, in some cases) was designed to be removed and the converter beads vacuumed out, then replaced with beads from a new bag. GM was the only OEM to use the bead-converters as upper management wanted the "service rather than replace" orientation as Ford and Chrysler were using honeycomb monolith ceramic catalytic converters, which would need replacement when they didn't work. GM sold specific cup plugs (the earlier ones had a female hex on a screw-in plug), BUT a friend of mine determined that a freeze plug for a small block Chevy V-8 worked just fine. When the beads would clump and internally clog-up the works, the engines didn't run too well, as mostly all they would do is idle. Any throttle past that did not allow engine rpm as the exhaust system was basically clogged/restricted. We saw a good amount of that on the middle 1980s cars with the Olds 307 V-8 in them (as LeSabres and such). In the USA, the new cars had to meet emissions standards for 100K miles (initially in California and then nation-wide a few years later). It could well be that the earlier cars, in some cases, needed a converter bead replacement to ensure compliance. That's how I remember it, from back then. NTX5467
  3. I watched the Reatta product "come and go", at the dealership level. I watched the GM training and information videos, which had some tricks of how to do things like change a rear tail light bulb. The car was definitely "high tech" at the time and had many neat features, as did the similar Rivieras. I always thought it very neat that a tech (or owner) could sit in the comfort of the front seat and run diagnostics on the vehicle via "the screen" (another high tech feature!), although some of the same things could be done with Cadillacs and "no screen". I never did figure out why GM had so many anti-lock brake systems! Almost as if the various engineering departments couldn't determine which was best or they were looking at which one caused the most problems! Unfortunately, at the time, ABS was something new and the non-availability of parts to repair them was ONE thing which "did in" the Reattas, by observation. One would come in with a brake system issue about 3-4 years later, a needed part had been discontinued from GM, and generally not available in the aftermarket, so the eventual fate was "for sale" (as it was also at that time in its life for the 2nd owner to appear). MANY of those owners already knew about OR had heard of Barney Eaton as a source of parts/information on Reattas! A plus! One thing I discovered is that EACH of the three model years of "TV Screens" was a different part number, with a dealer cost of over $2500.00. Later, as many other GM electronics, there were places to send them for repairs. Many of the earlier generation seemed to end up on used car lots (at Buick dealerships in larger cities) at bargain prices, even back then, by observation. More of a novelty item, I suspect. Unfortunately, to me, most just didn't have the eye appeal of a desirable vehicle . . . color, wheels, etc. To me, the first generation was "more restrained" in styling and such than many other Buicks of that time. But when the second gen cars came out, with a more conventional design instrument panel, it was a GREAT improvement to me. The convertibles were especially nice, and served as "pace cars" for the Interstate Battery "Great Race" that year. Pretty neat! On those 2nd-gen convertibles, our F&I guy wanted a Reatta convertible. He arranged to get one that had been in "factory service", driven by a local GM rep. White with red interior. There was an issue with the sealing weatherstrip on the rear deck surface of the body, so I sought to get a new weatherstrip from GM. That part had a special procedure to go through to get. I had to contract a particular person at GM to even order it . . . all of which was in a TSB from Buick! Not unlike the PowerMaster power brake boosters!! Or the 1987 Buick Grand National GNX cars . . . nothing specific to THAT car in the GM parts book, it was ALL in a Buick TSB. At this point in time, having those original TSBs can be critical to just getting some parts that would otherwise be in a GM parts book. If I was looking for a Reatta, it would be a second-gen car, especially a convertible. Cosmetics and adornments just look best to me, of any of the Reattas. Powertrain items are more modern and closer to current production cars in form and function. It just seemed than many things that didn't get done on the first-gen cars were done on the second-gen cars. ONE thing which should be mentioned was HOW the Reattas were assembled at the Reatta Craft Center. The facility was an advanced-tech-design facility where the individual vehicles moved from work station to work station on self-guided carts. No normal-style assembly line! The paint supplier was in the same facility, too. End result . . . The Buick Reatta was as close to being a "hand-built" car as anything in modern time from a USA-brand car company. Every one I saw had excellent assembly quality, when new, all through the years of production. I drove the second-gen convertible our F&I guy had and was impressed at the quietness with the top up. It was a double-layer top, which helped with sound and heat insulation. I believer the only other double-layer top was on the Chrysler LeBaron/Sebring convertibles? I don't see myself owning a Reatta, but I know there are others that do like and appreciate them for what they are and can be. i'm not sure I'd pay a premium for the rarer Select 60 cars, but that's just the realities I see of that. Low production and "rarity" does not always equate into added value. More collectible due to what they are? Certainly. Pay a premium? That depends upon a combination of factors. I know where TWO of the first-gen Reattas were/are with the factory cell phone option. One of our chapter members tracked them down and purchased them. Pretty neat and high tech for when they were built. Nicely integrated into the console compartment!! There were some Rivieras with that same option, too! Only thing is, as with the earlier OnStar units, the cell phone equipment upgrades now make them non-functional and of "novelty value", only. Kind of like GM's earliest navigation systems which use CDs to make work . . . or more current DVD-based navigational mapping systems, the most current information is on the newer DVD you don't have. But for the time, as with the color instrument panel displays on the Olds Toronado Trofeo, pretty dang neat when they were new! With that optional color instrument panel display AND the factory option cell phone, the Trofeo could be programmed that in the case of an auto theft, the cell phone would call the owner and police to notify them! Even now, such functionality would be pretty dang neat! NTX5467
  4. GLAD it's all better now! The "right" carburetor, like the "right" spark plugs, can make more difference than many suspect! NTX5467
  5. In general, the "heat riser" passage is also used to provide a "hot spot" in the base of the intake manifold plenum to help vaporize any "liquid" fuel which might accumulate down there. Plus it gets the intake plenum heater quicker for more efficient operation. The reason that "racers" plug it is to keep heat out of the intake itself, other than what migrates in through other hot engine parts. Modern FI engines don't have heat passages in the cylinder heads with the feedback loop operation of the injection system, so they can better compensate for "warm-up" performance with what fuel goes into the manifold itself. Carbs can't do that. The heat track in the front of the carb base pad was there to help with "carburetor icing" (where ice actually builds up on the venture in certain humid and cool atmospheric conditions. Remember that fast-moving air has less heat, especially with atomized fuel being sprayed into it, than ambient non-moving air. The ice would accumulate and eventually strangle the engine until it stalled. Once thawed out, things "as normal". The other thing which modern engines also have is aluminum cylinder heads (with no heat riser passage in them). They heat quicker than cast iron, which can help lessen the need for the passage, too. Even with the earlier cast iron heads and the heat riser passage blocked, in more temperate areas of the USA, little cold-start performance affects have been noticed, past the first minute or so or run-time. BE SURE to use the correct OEM-spec carb base gasket arrangement! Never did use a round table with a white table cloth in carb rebuilds! Hope everything on there was "clean"! The "heat trick" is a neat one, but the Dawn soak might work better for oiled ducks, to me. IF, for some reason, the carb does fine on the "main system", but won't idle, check the diameter or the "low speed jet" in the bottom of the idle tubes of the venturis. They can become partially clogged and restrict idle fuel enough that a "no idle" situation results. As long as the throttle is on "fast idle", things will seem to work well, but as soon as "hot base idle" is desired, the engine will die. THAT is a hard situation to track down, by observation (and my own experience)!! Hoping everything works well! NTX5467
  6. "Crank, but won't start" is the classic "failed fuel pump" symptom. Unless there is about 53+psi at the injectors, you can crank all you want and the injectors won't "fire", even the throttle body systems were this way. If "extended crank time", then a start, same thing . . . with a fuel pressure gauge hooked up appropriately, in these cases, you can watch the fuel pressure build slowly, then when it hits the min pressure level, the engine fires and runs. Change the fuel filter, too, as that is a contributing factor as it can make the pump draw too much "juice" just to run, which can also compromise wires on the fuel pump module, negatively. We used to see this a lot on Suburbans and such when they'd get to about 80K miles and no fuel filter change. Dorman now has a pigtail to repair the melted harness at the module, or you can purchase a new module from GM for more money (and a warranty). Advise of what you find, please. NTX5467
  7. There are lots of use IT or lose ITs! Even with those extra left-over parts! NTX5467
  8. Vacuum switches turned the lockup-torque converter on and off, with varying vacuum levels. Should be several different ones for GM vehicles. Easy to make that situation work! NTX5467
  9. You're thinking of the Air Injection Reactor (A.I.R.) pump, which supplies air to the exhaust manifolds through an assemblage of valves and such. NO vacuum pump back then. The belt-driven aux vacuum pumps were originally on the (low vacuum, as they had no power and ran lower manifold vacuum as a result) Olds 307 in B/C platform cars. The vacuum pumps for the GM diesel V-8s went in the same place as the distributor, in the block, not belt-driven. This is one of those "emission things" people didn't like, as they took horsepower to run and, along with other changes to the engine calibration, allegedly resulted in a few horsepower less being available. In most GM cars, the default mode for the hvac air distribution network when manifold vacuum goes away is "floor heat & defrost", even if those positions are not selected. If an engine stays on low vacuum for an extended period of time and the reservoir vacuum is depleted, the air will suddenly start to come out of the floor/defrost vents all by itself, even if it's on a/c. When vacuum returns, normal vent operation returns, too. The belt-driven aux vacuum pump should prevent that from happening. On diesels, I believe the whole hvac system is run off of the vacuum pump that goes in the engine block, where the distributor normally would be. I don't believe you can run a compressor backwards and make it a vacuum pump. You can change the hoses to make it pull a vacuum, but not hook the wires up backwards to make a compressor a vacuum pump. For newer vehicles, there are booster electric vacuum pumps. OEMS are over about $200.00. Aftermarkets are in Summit Racing and similar. Using one of those wired to come on with the vacuum wipers, plus the check-valved vacuum reservoir, might be an option if you can get it all hidden somewhere. NTX5467
  10. I'm wondering if the rheostat on the sender itself (inside the tank) might not have some corrosion on it, which is "short circuiting" the resistance to read "Full"? When you get the sender out, you might be surprised how dainty those contacts are! IF you do pull the (near empty!) tank, also replace the fuel line from the tank unit to the metal chassis fuel line! It needs the upgraded ethanol-resistant rubber line as the old line is not ethanol resistant and will start to seep after exposure to the modern gasolines . . . which happened on my '77 Camaro about 10 years ago. When I'd go home for lunch, I'd come back out and smell gas, but nothing on the ground (as it had evaporated) but I also noticed a drop in fuel economy. Ethanol "cleans and dries" the rubber hose from the inside out on rubber items. What might look good at first glance might be ready to flake off the outer layer of rubber on the hose. NTX5467
  11. (1972)In the middle 1980s (30 years ago) we were very happy with a 250 rated horsepower V-8 as "the most powerful" US V-8 motor. Although many 4 cyl engines had abot 140 horsepower, even that was generally a little more than the middle 1960s inline 6 cyl motors. Many of these engines were being "strangled" by "highway gears" in the rear axle, although they all had modern 3-speed automatic transmissions. Now, we have turbo 4 cyl engines that are normally close to 270 horsepower (or more) with 8 speed automatics (all of the modern "more-speeds" automatics generally have a 4.50 low gear + torque converter multiplication + about a 3.3 final drive ratio). These smaller engines rev quick and the 4.50 low gear ratios accentuate that fact. They also have good and wide torque curves and make some really nice sounds (even at part-throttle acceleration). The proliferation of such vehicles makes our older vehicles, even the now-30 year old "modern car" ones, "slow pokes" when we are driving them as we did when they were "newer cars". The younger generations who've grown up with the smaller and faster cars don't seem to understand . . . kind of like some of us might have tended to do with older cars when we were growing up. Some of the cars of the '50s can be tweaked for improved performance, but others generally can't without extensive modifications to powertrain items (even re-powering). Plus, how many times have the extra space we've allowed in braking, between our car and the vehicle in front of us, as being "extra space" that a smaller car can zip into as we stop? Many of our older vehicles were designed and built before government-required braking performance standards were in place (the later 1960s). Not about fade performance per se, but brake pedal pressure after extended numbers of stops. In earlier times, some vehicles stopped well as others were "more normal" in their standard configuration. NOT to forget the role of modern tires (wider treads) put into that equation! To be sure, older cars had more performance in their "road performance" than we might believe. It just took more finesse to get that performance out of them. With the older 2-speed automatics, getting them rolling from a stop with part throttle generally works better than WOT just off of idle, by observation, which can also work better for smaller engines and heavier vehicles. Using WOT too quickly just bogs the motor and delays higher rpms as a result. Not to mention taking all of the vacuum advance out of the distributor from the lower intake manifold vacuum! As I alluded to, learning how to drive the particular vehicle for best performance rather than using seemingly-good techniques. Sometimes, less throttle can mean more performance. Similarly, transmission shift points (from the factory) are not best for general performance. When I took our '66 Chrysler to school in Lubbock (1972), I felt it ran good in the DFW area, but out there, it's a drag race at every red light, seemingly. I'd learned to do a manual downshift to "2" to compensate for the lack of part-throttle downshift, which later TorqueFlites gained later, but at red lights, I was getting left in the dust. I figured out that a little more throttle, manually shifting at a little higher speeds, would allow me to keep up or in front of traffic. What that later involved was tweaking the kickdown linkage a little to move the shift points in "D" upward a little so less throttle was needed for better acceleration. Kept the lower gears a little longer with less throttle. Even modern (non-electronic control, BUT adjustable linkages) can need this modification! Vacuum modulated automatics generally don't seem to need this "help". Not a major adjustment, but a significant one at that AND it's "invisible". In general, at low throttle, let the trans get into "direct" of "high gear" at about 1000rpm (depending upon axle ratio, 25-30mph) . . . which generally worked well on many vehicles. Otherwise, after the shift into "high", any acceleration was "on the converter" rather than "gears", with "gears' working better. NTX5467
  12. As mentioned, the radio pictured in your instrument panel is NOT a factory or even factory-style radio. The Delco radio pictured is an AM/FM/Stereo/Cassette tape unit. The cassettes came out in 1979, before that the tape units were 8-track, but similar cosmetics. You can do the vintage radio route and get all of what you desire, PLUS "more amp" for "more sound". They are about $450+ just for the new Delco-look radio. There are several dynamics of the factory radios GM car lines used back then, which can be unique to GM. One is the speakers. They were typically "self-grounded" speakers, which means only ONE wire going to them as they ground internally when bolted to the vehicle's speaker mounting mechanism. "Normal" radios use two wires per speaker, one "+" and one "-". ANOTHER thing is that GM used only two speakers for factory stereo radios, one front and one rear, NOT all were 4-speaker systems. There will be a place for two speakers in the rear package tray, but two in the front can be problematic. There were some places that used a mounting plate to mount two 3.5" speakers so there could be "R" and "L" speakers in the front, side by side, rather than one at each corner of the instrument panel at the base of the windshield. If the vehicle does not have power windows, there can be room in the door panel to mount 5.25" round speakers, one in each door, near the front lower corner. BUT you'll need to cut things to get them installed, whereas the 2x3.5" speaker plate mounts in the same place as the factory front 4x10" speaker, under the dash pad. Considering what's in your instrument panel now, you'll probably need a rear brace to keep the radio anchored in the instrument panel, in addition to the "shaft nuts" under the knobs and such. This will help ground the radio chassis and keep it from vibrating on rough roads. ONE more thing to be cognizant of is the distance between the radio's shafts. Just for good measure as in some years, they were NOT all the same for all Delco radios. It could well be that by the time you found a '79-style radio (better amps, a much better rear wiring plug-in) and then have the USB ports and such added to it, you could well be near the price of the retro-style aftermarket radio with all of that stuff already installed PLUS the "more amp" included. Perhaps your smartphone can be loaded with your music and played through a pair of wireless Bluetooth speakers? That would be much easier to do! Put one speaker in each corner at the base of the windshield, securing each with a spot of Velcro. Might not shake the inside rear view mirror on the bass notes, but would be easier and less expensive to do. I think some phone have an FM radio in them, or an app you can download to make your phone a radio tuner? NTX5467.
  13. On later model vehicles, there is usually a "dead spline" on the wiper transmission stub shaft. Usually a similar dead spline on the wiper arm. That's the alignment positioning system. One other possible issue could be the bushings in the wiper transmission pivots? No "bad egg" or "rotten egg" or anything of that sort! For some reason, there do seem to be more "learning situations" than might be suspected. When the cars of the 1950s were designed, although there was plenty of planning for future uses, I doubt that any engineer/designer back then might have dreamed that what was so advanced back then is now very deficient compared to newer vehicles, even newer vehicles which are now 40 years old. Driving patterns are now generally more intense in nature, which can show up the "weak points" of the earlier engineering advances and some of the improvements which came in the next-gen platforms a few years later. And then there were the demographics of a "typical Buick owner" which Buick apparently knew very well. When other GM divisions were investigating OHC engines in the 1980s, somebody asked a Buick rep why they were not doing that too? The reply was that for a Buick customer, "acceleration ended on the other side of the intersection", which is where low-end torque gets you. Perhaps that additional torque was needed to possibly compensate for the "no gears" automatic transmission? There had to be a reason for the reliance upon the torque tube set-up as other GM divisions were using multi-piece open driveshafts (with their own unique problems). In the DeLorean book, it's mentioned that Chevrolet was planning to use their PowerGlide "forever", until GM management said they would stop building their PowerGlide and transition into TurboHydramatic automatics. Possibly similar with Buick and DynaFlow? The "future" was in step-gear three-speed automatic transmissions IF a car company wanted to remain competitive. As many solid Buick customers had known about "variable pitch" this or that over the years, the Switch-Pitch THM400s bridged that gap, until the 1968 model year when the fixed-angle stator in the torque converter "decreased operating temperature" (from the sales brochure). For many, the electric wipers was a luxury item, which quickly became a SAFETY item in later years. After electric wipers were standard, the upgrades became "variable speed" and later "interval" wipers. The "booster" fuel pump was supposed to make the vacuum wipers more consistent in operation. But as those vacuum systems aged, it probably made less difference. One of our late chapter members mentioned the brake fluid trick to get the grease and leather in the vacuum wiper mechanism to work better. He did that on his '58 Buick, but did the Newport Engineering upgrade several years later, raving about how it worked well (installation) and made the wipers more modern in operation. Which brings up "the issue" . . . should we use the older cars in a manner in which they were designed for . . . OR should we upgrade them to be more fitting for "normal use" of a 1990s vehicle? As traffic is now full of smaller cars with smaller engines that our older cars "slow down", it can be challenging to drive and enjoy the older vehicles when everybody else around us on the road gets irate at their slowness or longer stopping distances . . . which is tending to get worse with time and newer generations of vehicles AND drivers. Making chassis upgrades should be doable with the correct items without getting into the restomod or custom orientations, using OEM-based items of sufficient durability. What can't easily be addressed is the "slowness" off-the-line compared to vehicles with "more speeds" automatics. Even my 2005 Impala is slow compared to many of the newer cars, so a DynaFlow Buick quickly becomes a "profiler" rather than a "quick" car. Over the years, I've heard and read stories of how fast the '56 and later DynaFlow Buicks were, especially compared to the "hot rod" Chevies. I'm not doubting those accounts from back then, but just don't challenge a 2017 Chevy Equinox 4cyl in one at a red light. Sometimes, it's best to tweak and tune to enhance what's already there rather than to try to make something into something it was not really meant to be. Build that relationship with your car. Pay attention to what it's telling you when it feels good and enjoys what its doing. And IF you're paying attention, it'll tell you when you want it to do something it was not designed to do, too. DON'T make it perceive your are an opportunistic "surgeon", either! You'll BOTH smile when it makes those "happy sounds"!! NTX5467
  14. I've found some YouTube vids of upgrade headlight installations where the Before and After night driving was compared. I just don't see any big advantage in what I see there, just brighter and not much more. The advantage of the E-code lights is their beam pattern, NOT specific brightness per se. MORE light down the road for better/safer high speed night driving. AIM is important, too! The sharper horizontal beam cut-off allows the light to be aimed more level on low beam, so visibility is improved. Compared to the factory sealed beams they replaced, you'd be surprised how many turns of the adjusting screw it took to get the E-code lights to where they lit up more than 25' in front of the car (7" lights). I ended up with them just a little "down" from horizontal to a flat road and a little "to the right" . . . on low beam. Seeing how the light hits the car in front (as you approach a stopped vehicle at a stop sign/red light can verify the "good" aim needed. On low beam, with that aim, no real need for high beams, but high beams "light up the night" when needed. I've found some 7" replacement lights which are projector beam lights. THOSE might work pretty good and look neat, too. But it should be more about the beam pattern rather than a trendy light source. NTX5467
  15. (I don't believe you understand, Beemon. It's those "dynamics" I mentioned a while back in this thread. Something about where "your date" sat in the front seat, back then.) In the earlier days of motorcars, it was a big PLUS if you could drive the car in town and not shift once underway. That meant having a rear axle ratio deep enough to be able to use "high gear" from any speed from about 2mph upward. The additional cylinders of the V-12 and V-16 motors ensured smooootness. One reason those older cars had such deeeep rear axle ratios, it seems. But until I got to know many '57 Chevy drag racers that I came to realize that all of their "fast cars" usually had 4.56 rear axle ratios, which made the higher rpm capabilities of the small block Chevy V-8 necessary, rather than a slower-turning larger motor from a big luxury car. The deeper rear axle ratio also made it harder to kill the motor with incorrect clutch technique, too. The "granny" 4-speed transmission is NOT a performance piece! "Second gear" is the normal starting point from a stopped position. IF you try to start in 1st, you're out of revs in about 15 feet and then the inertia of the gears makes it hard to shift quickly. By the time you can de-clutch, get the shift done, and re-clutch, the vehicle is pretty near stopped again, by observation! Better to use the clutch and start in 2nd. The 1st gear is "occasional use" only. Whether in 3 or 4 speed manuals, smaller/lower power engines had deeper low gears than the more powerful "racin' type" engines did. Having more gears made for a better spread of the gear ratios between "low" and "high" gear to better keep the engine in the power band in racing situations. The close-ratio transmissions usually started at 2.20 for low and 3rd was about 1.20, with high gear being 1.00, but they usually had rear axle ratios of 4.11 or so in the mix, too. NTX5467