SeanR

What did you do to your Reatta today? <ongoing thread>

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I have been busy on this one, but I will be on my 11th year soon with it and this car has been fun to drive and worth keeping. I have spent quite a bit of money in the last year [steering wheel, engine rebuild, tranny swap, rack and pinion, repaint front end and now the dash] but as I use the car also for work I have a lot of business miles that I can write off at 50 cents per mile so the hit isn't that bad. And I was at the crossroads of either redoing it or getting rid of it.

 But now with all the work done it looks and performs like a much younger car so I am happy. My wife in the last 11 years has had a Crysler mini van, Chrysler 300 and now a Buick Enclave. I spent way more money on just the purchase of her cars then I ever have on the Red.

 My other keeper car, the 'vert could use a bit of paint to fix some flaws but I just don't feel the same way towards it as I do the Red and I also don't want to get into the trap of making it so nice I don't want to drive it. As it stands it is a great looking driver that didn't cost me much and if I want to spend the money on some paint that isn't too expensive to do.The other reason why I don't want to do the paint is that the original owner of the 'vert was a Buick dealer in Janesville Wi. and purchased the car for his wife "Annie" and had put her name in the pinstripe. If I was to paint the car that would be gone, so I will wait until I think it really needs it.

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I feel like Dashes are Us.

 My friend and I started this morning at about 9:00 am and by 1:00 pm we had the old dash out and as I recieved a dash from Kdirk [ we agree3d on this]  wiring, HVAC duct work, and that little flipper bracket for the defroster vent swapped out  and dash installed only to find we had a dead short indicating a pinched wire. We trouble shooted a bit and decided to pull the dash this time R and R was two hours, still had a short. Pulled dash and checked connections and reinstalled this time about an hour. Turns out we had pinched a below dash courtesy lamp lead and after we fixed the lead, we then finished by  installing the IPC,CRT, Cassette Deck, Headlight and Wiper switches, glove box and then top panel and vent panel. Dash looks great and everything works. 

 I am now a certified '88/89 dash swapper and could probably do it in my sleep.

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I had some 1990 floor mats that were real nice but faded [got them from that '90 in West Bend I pulled all those parts from] and did the easiest job yet. I sprayed them with SEM "Camel" and they look real nice.

 I am done for the year with this car and looking forward to Brookfield/Bloomfield/Brooklyn [where ever Barney will be]...

Edited by DAVES89 (see edit history)
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45 minutes ago, DAVES89 said:

I am done for the year with this car and looking forward to Brookfield...

 

Oh, Brother- you're tap dancing in the minefield with them words:o

 

A Buick Reatta is never DONE.

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Well that is partially true, I need to change the tranny fluid and filter as I have 1500 miles now since the swap and then there will be future oil changes and car washes and detailing, but for the most part the stuff I set out to do this spring has been completed. The Red for a 263,000 mile car looks like it has about 50,000 miles or less on it.

 One could say with the money I spent on it this year it should look better, and you know they would be right...

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9 minutes ago, DAVES89 said:

One could say with the money I spent on it this year it should look better

 

Looks don't get you to work at our ages:lol:

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On 6/6/2017 at 10:23 PM, 89RedDarkGrey said:

Photos would've been nice...

 I sent some pics to Ronnie of the old dash. They will be posted soon.

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6 minutes ago, DAVES89 said:

 I sent some pics to Ronnie of the old dash. They will be posted soon.

 

593eae8da84d5_dashcracks-1.thumb.JPG.6639d07f4e47d1d0fac844f04445cedb.JPG

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That long diagonal crack to the left was from "rough Handeling" to either get the dash out or what happened when I removed the IPC/Headlight/Wiper pod. I will have pics of the other new dash soon.

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thanx to the excellent directions on Ronnies site I cleared the AC codes and charged up the borderline AC freon charge to the middle of the range.  Working like a champ again. Just in time for my IPC to start doing some wonky stuff...

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I was going to detail the Red for the upcoming BCA National meet in Brookfield, Wi but saw online that there was a you pick in Chicago that just got in a 1988 Reatta. So left this early AM to go get parts.

 Got back about 2:00pm and will do some things yet today and the rest tomorrow or Wednesday...

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Today, I started the car from its long nap since last Fall. Charged the battery and it started right up.

Now it needs some exercise. Maybe new tires as well, due to age, not miles.

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Hello! Today I put on new ball joints, CV Axle, and sway bar links. Oh plus a new brake job! Just waiting on the Tie Rods to come in and then I'll have almost the whole front end re-done! Next on the agenda is to rework those alloy 5 spoke rims! Just know that when things get tough and your car needs help, don't give up! Never give up on a classic like this :)

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I removed the original thirty year old ball joints from the lower control arms and installed new ones. The bolts supplied with the new joints are pretty much crap so I changed those out. I also replaced both CV outer boots. Now the parts are set aside waiting for me to get the transmission fixed then I can start re-assembly.

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23 minutes ago, fordrodsteven said:

The bolts supplied with the new joints are pretty much crap so I changed those out.

 

Why? What brand you get? When I did mine- had to drill out to 1/2", and came with nyloc nuts.

 

DCP_5469.thumb.JPG.4ee9af4765a7f4c30b9763b5b46f084b.JPG

 

I really like the convenience of 3 nuts vs. a boot-ruining picklefork.

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4 minutes ago, 89RedDarkGrey said:

 

Why? What brand you get? When I did mine- had to drill out to 1/2", and came with nyloc nuts.

 

DCP_5469.thumb.JPG.4ee9af4765a7f4c30b9763b5b46f084b.JPG

 

I really like the convenience of 3 nuts vs. a boot-ruining picklefork.

Don't remember the brand. I bought them from Rock Auto. They are the same in that you have to drill them out to 1/2". I set the torque wrench to 60 ft-lbs. One of the bolts stripped before I even got close to 50 ft-lbs. Then another was starting to feel like it was going to strip. I threw them all away and bought new bolts & nylock nuts at the parts house. I used grade 10 hardware.

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I went to the Buick Reunion yesterday and today. It was located in Brookfield a suburb of Milwaukee about 90 miles from my house. I drove down and back yesterday and today. There were at least 25 Reattas there and it was a real treat to see each car, Marck Barker brought his Maui Blue and Tan 1990 'vert [1 of 2] and there was another 1 of 2 there in a different color combination

 Mine stood out not because it was rare but because it had the 7 spoke LeSabre wheels and Alero Spoiler. After I popped the hood [this was on Friday] that also attracted a lot of attention because of the repainted intake shroud, intake, and valve covers.

 Randy [Manikmechanik] also was there selling parts. It was good to catch up with him. Randy has had some health setbacks but looks like he starting to recover some.

 Very enjoyable visit!

Edited by DAVES89 (see edit history)
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Woo hoo, it was only 98 degrees today so I decided to change out that second front strut. I used the Ronnie method on the spring, except my vise is a piece of fertilizer, so I had to do it when the rig was on the floor. Just went slowly and cautiously, the whole deal took about an hour, getting it back in is harder than getting it out but at least I didn't over-extend the CV joint this time. Hurray, I finally have all new struts in. Next is wheel alignment, I'm hoping to do it myself, I never had much luck with mechanics. Well, my sweat glands are in good shape that's for sure

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Had a "stutter" in the Red a real hesitation. First swapped out a MAF sensor, then the ignition/coil pack. Still a problem. Turned out to be one of the spark plug wires that goes under the alternator that got pinched. Swapped out all 3 of the rear wires and made sure the alternator didn't pinch anything when I put it back together.

 It was my fault as I had an alternator go bad on me a few days ago and when I swapped it out I probably didn't pay enough attention.

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   Just returned from a two week road trip from Kent WA to Colorado Springs.  Pike's Peak is no longer on my bucket list. Car ran perfect the whole trip including all the way to the summit at 14 ,100 feet. I was more concerned with whether or not I could breathe (barely). Linda and I stick to the back roads and scenic byways as much as possible. Whole trip was about 4400 miles.

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