Buicknutty

Considering buying a Reatta

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 Hi Folks, I'm thinking of buying a 1990 Reatta convertible, white with red interior. I have many posts on other parts of the Buick section, and am an experienced car guy in general, but don't know too much about these cars.

This is a US car, not sure when it was brought into Canada, but it was a few years ago for sure. It has 160,000 miles on it, and looks good, but not perfect. I'm not looking for a top car, as I want to drive it quite a bit. That is one of the things I have to decide, as I've never driven one, or even ridden in one, so I have to see how I like it.

 The paint appears to be original, with a small rust hole about the size of the quarter on each side right, at the bottom right in front of the rear wheels. I am aware of some of the typical Reatta issues, and from past experience, the transmissions usually need work sometime around this mileage, but what are some of the other issues to check into?

 I was just reading about issues with engine cradle, can anyone give me more info about this? I will have a look underneath the car to check for other areas of rust, is there anywhere in particular to check?

 About the colour, my wife highly dislikes white cars, to put it mildly, so a paint job to a different colour, but within the Reatta colour pallet would be in its future if it were to make it to my garage.

 Thanks.

 Keith

 

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Is there something special about this particular Reatta that would make you want to buy it with rust issues and being the wrong color?

 The cradle bolts can go bad, tranny at about 150,000 miles or so. Spilkeces under the seat and being a convertible the top as well as the convertible weatherstrip. The weatherstrip for the top is pretty much unobtainium.

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 Two things, its' close to home, and the price is fair. Thanks for the info. I had heard that the weatherstrip is not made as well. What do you mean about "Spilkeces"?

 The other thing about this car being close to home, and for sale by a fellow local club member, is that I can kind of "try it out", a bit more comfortably, as I have no idea if I will like it. Being a Buick, I trust that it will be a comfortable and nice car to drive, but it is smallish, compared to cars like my '69 Electra.

 If the underneath looks very rusty, I will definitely pass on it. Though I don't mind doing some work on it, I want a car to drive, not another project!

 Thanks.

 Keith

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I did the front cradle mounts (there are 6, parts are easy to find) and it changed the car's ride for the (much) better.  Also did the splices under the front seat which got so many of the fun accessories back to work, in addition to much more things, one step at a time.  I have 135k miles and you need to be aware that you would be making a great commitment here.  "Everything" is gonna go eventually....all sorts of modules, engine parts, suspension,  etc.  I have a polo green 91 coupe, IMO the best Reatta color, but a repaint is due and thats gonna be several thousand.  You may be wiser to search  for a lower mileage and better condition car even if its further distance.  If you love the car, I understand, just get ready to pour $ into it.  I am also a Buick nut (the Reatta, 65 Skylark and 17 Envision) and the classic car hobby ain't cheap.  Even though the 65 is "done" every so often (like now) it needs to go in for a comprehensive look-over.  If you have the dough, great for you, just be aware.

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The time is almost past but if you can get a parts car that is the way to go. I have stripped enough cars to have back ups of my back ups, but I still get caught short once in awhile. Having extra parts softens the blow of the expense of keeping these cars up. 

 I drive one of two [the Red and Black] almost every day [with the 'vert for the really nice days] and average 30,000 miles a year on the two. Stay on top of the issues as they pop up and it won't be nearly that costly. 

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If the car is running and the price is right, you might consider buying it as a "entry" Reatta.........as a car guy, you know how to fix things and you could consider it a car to learn about Reattas.

Once onboard......you might find the color and maybe even a rust free southern car to buy as a permanent part of your collection.

Just keep in mind that this car may take some $$ and time and effort to make it to your liking, but you could sell it when the right one comes along and not loose anything.

 

Note the 1990 white/tan convertible I posted that is rust free and in San Antonio. TX for $6500

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 Thanks everyone for your opinions. Right now I am planning to look at and drive the car on Sat., today was wet and cold, but no snow, yet. When he first showed me the car on a warm Sept day., the A/C came on right away and blew nice and cold, it started and ran well, but I did not go any further at the time. It also has all of the factory paperwork to go with it as well.

 The current owner does drive the car, though he is the kind of guy that owns a car for a while, then sells it and buys another. He says he drives it from time to time and it runs well, but it does have a bit of cowl shake, which I understand is common in these. On the other hand, I have the '56 Roadmaster that I bought in 1976, and driven every summer since then, I've added about 105,000 miles to it so far.

 Barney, I was wondering about doing just that, but I kind of get attached to cars, I've found that buying them can be the easy part! Next year I'm moving to a much larger rural property, so then I would have the potential to have a parts car. Right now with the city house, I can't possibility entertain that option.

 I'll let everyone know how it goes in a couple of days

 Keith

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 Well guys, I decided to buy it!

 It goes for the certification and e test tomorrow morning, and hopefully the shop can get everything done quickly, and that no major issues show up during the process. It started and drove well, the trans shifted properly, cold and hot. I had it up to 75 mph on the highway, and it was smooth except for what feels like a bit of wheel balance about 60, then was gone by 70, and it settled in at an effortless cruise at the higher speed. A certain amount of wind and road noise from the top, particularly from the rear area. The seals look to be in decent shape as well.

 The interior shows wear and use, but no rip tears, or split seams, but the upper part of the steering wheel is discoloured and has a rough feel to it.

 It was a cool day, and after a few minutes of running, the heater came on and kept us warm. The other day that I saw it, the weather was warmer, the A/C came on right away and blew nice and cold. Everything else seemed to work. There's a bit of rust on the underside, but much more paint than rust. It also comes with all the shop manuals and original factory documents.

 The car was imported into Canada in 2014, so it hasn't been here that long, and before that it was a Florida car.

 I posted a picture of the worst of the two topside rust spots, and it is pretty small. The underside spots don't seem to go through anywhere, but I did not have the ability to put it an a hoist and look any closer.

 I'm hoping to get the license transferred this week, and then out to my storage garage for the winter. We are having what I sometimes call "bonus weather", as there has not been any significant snowfall in our area yet, so therefore minimal salt, and we've had rain so it has all been washed away. Hopefully the weather will hold till I can get it safely put away till spring.

 Keith

 

 

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I think you did good. The interior looks great for the year and the headlight switch button look good as well. Little bit of rust but you can get that cleaned up and you should have a nice car. 

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If you can post the last numbers of the VIN I may be able to tell you where the car was first delivered.

You can also pay for a CarFax and get a pretty good history of where the car has been.

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Congratulations! You got yourself a nice looking Reatta.  There are a few things I would do to it before driving it a lot.

 

1) I see some rust on the rear around the gas tank. You should inspect the brake and fuel lines in that area. The metal lines a prone to rusting when exposed to salt. Your fuel lines might be plastic.

2) Flush the brake fluid and bleed the brakes. This is very important on these cars. How To Flush & Bleed Brakes

3) Inspect the cradle bushings. If the bolts are rusted it could be a safety issue. Below is a photo that shows would can happen when they are badly rusted.

 

 

Cradle_bushing_rust.thumb.jpg.64c57abda6d2dc3aba2a001e72a4d348.jpg

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I have a 1990 headlight switch for sale for $4500,00 and you get a bonus of a free 1990 white/grey convertible. Car is in great shape.

contact me for further info

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 Well, an issue has come up during certification, the body structure and everything is still sound, though some paint loss from underneath as shown in the pictures, and it passed the e-test with flying colours too too, BUT the rear crossmember/axle has rust in the rust where the springs sit. Now I have a gentleman's agreement with the seller, that I could back out, and get my deposit back, so I'm not necessarily  stuck with the car, if I don't want to be. There is one in a junkyard in the area, but I don't know the condition of it, or the pedigree of the car. If its' been a northern car all of it's life, it likely isn't in any better shape than the one in the car. It could even be worse.

 My welding skills are good, you should of seen my '41 Roadmaster when I started on it, but right now I'm in the process of moving from one house to another, and doing some work on the new place as well. So I have no time or energy left over to get into the car till much later next year.

 Anyway, that's were it sits for now. We're trying to come up with a workable solution to this. I'd still like it, but I want to be able to drive it next spring, not the one after!

 Keith

Edited by Buicknutty (see edit history)

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I think the car looks great!  You might be surprised how a buff and wax will make a white car stand out.  Do the same with the wheels and I bet your wife will like it.  The white over red convertible has been a classic look for years!

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 Thanks AZVET, I've found that I'm quite looking forward to driving the little white convert. The car is at a small local shop having the spring perches repaired, hopefully it will be done today, then it has to get put back together and then it needs the safety finished. Of course, as we are enjoying some serious winter weather here, we need to pick and choose our travel days. Not the that car is incapable, but I don't want to get it covered top to bottom with salt and slush.

 Keith

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 Looking back at the date I started this thread I can't believe that its' been over 6 weeks!

 Everything is a go on the little Reatta, and am waiting for a dry day, hopefully that'll be Wed or Thurs to drive it the hour plus to its new home.

 I'll post some pictures when I get it home.

 Keith

Edited by Buicknutty (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Buicknutty said:

'll post some pictures when I get it home.

Great! We always like photos. :) 

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 I got the Reatta to its' new home on Wed. A nice clear and dry day, though a bit cold, the outside temp gauge read 18-20 F for most of the trip.

I took a picture of my(!) car in front of the house, then I went inside and my day went downhill real quick. An upstairs water line burst and water had being pouring out for many hours. A lot of damage to the house. So all thoughts of playing with the Reatta vanished.

 Later my daughter took a shot of me and the car inside the larger garage.

 As I mentioned earlier in the thread it came with the manual and factory folder with all its' doodads. I put new batteries in the flashlight, and it works!

 The drive was nearly 80 miles, and it was a nice enjoyable one, to get to know the car a bit better. A couple of issues, the radio, though it works, one or more of the speakers cut in and out from time to time. Also, to get the radio to turn on, one has to push the "rev" button on the tape side. I noticed this on the test drive too. Haven't had a chance to check out the tape deck itself, but I'd rather have a CD player.

 I'm planning to do some general things like, changing all the fluids, checking belts, hoses, plugs, etc. We are still at least 6-8 weeks away from decent driving, so I have a bit of time to get this done.

 Keith

 

 

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Edited by Buicknutty (see edit history)

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Sorry to hear about all the problems with the pipes. I think you will enjoy your new Reatta. I like white! The problems are pretty normal for a used Reatta.

 

Nice photos. Thanks for posting them.  That first photo would be a good one to post in the "Winter Buicks" thread in the Buick - General  forum. I'm sure the guys who frequent that forum would appreciate seeing it.

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Good looking Reatta! As Ronnie says fairly typical radio issues. You might want to send the radio in for a "rebuild" and then also have a jack installed to allow MP3 play or your smart phone.

 Good luck with the plumbing [in the house].

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Bummer on the pipes. I feel for you. I had a hard time finding the car in the first photo but I found it eventually-_- I too have a weakness for white cars and I think it looks great.

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At least the Reatta is ok (that's how I would feel anyway) :rolleyes: I'd pour a couple gallons of liquid Lysol down where the water went. Black Mold will make your house unlivable. You really can't open windows to air it out; the water will freeze, and jack boards apart, crack walls, etc.

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