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Everything posted by factoryben

  1. Black was discontinued after the 1969 model year for Corvette. It returned in 1977.
  2. Wow. I have an 81 Eldorado with the 368 and i am familiar with all the problems in that engine. I have not had any Cadillacs with the HT4100. I have had 2 Cadillacs (a 2001 and a 2004) with Northstar engines. The earlier Northstar had many of the problems similar to those you related to the HT4100. Headgaskets, head bolts and many coolant leaks. Engine had to be fully rebuilt at 190,000. Not complaining but something was always going wrong. After the rebuild it has been fine. The 04 also has been fine, at least to 160,000. My only point is that it looks like Cadillac engineers designed at least 3 engines that had some serious shortcomings. At least that has been my experience with the 368 and the earlier Northstar.
  3. D Yaros: Think the engine you are referring to was the 368 engine offered in 1981 Eldorados. It was designed to run in either 4 cylinder mode, 6 cylinder mode or all 8 cylinders. Valves were rendered open or inoperable by electronic computer. Designed for optimum gas mileage or power as operator determined. Many owners complained that the transitions between the modes were jerky. Operation far from Cadillac smooth. After significant development costs Cadillac dropped the engine for 82. I have heard the HT4100 was considered low on power but otherwise dependable.
  4. The compressor in front of the power steering unit is for 58 Buick air suspension. It did not work well and most were removed and converted to spring suspension.
  5. WISCONSIN: Haven't seen this since 1974. Filled up for $10!
  6. Regarding functionality: The '65, '66 and '67 had slots that vented engine compartment air. Same with the '73 through '79. Don't know how effective these designs were. I am not very knowledgeable about Vettes newer than '82 so won't comment on those models.
  7. Great quiz. For the crazy Corvette aficionados #3 could be a '53 or a '54 (maybe even a very rare '55 six cylinder); #4 could be a '73, '74 or '75; #5 could a '58 (although the '58 red is more orange), '59 or a '60; #6 could be a "65 or '66. Keep us guessing. Loved the quiz.
  8. Just one interesting note on the 67 SS model. GM offered a bench seat option with strato backs on the 67 SS models. When ordered the SS car did not have a center console and the shifter was on the column. Had one of these, a 396. Picture of the car attached. Don't have any interior pics.
  9. True. Thanks for your input. I will let you know how it turns out.
  10. Thanks EmTee. That idea makes a lot of sense to me. I could just eliminate the attachment bolts which were badly rusted and had to be ground off. Only downside I see is future removal of the pad would be difficult. Good idea!
  11. I have removed the bumper pad from the rear bumper of my 74 LeSabre convertible. It looks fine but was lumpy. The cause was the metal strip the runs under the pad, which the pad is attached to and to which the attachment bolts run through. This metal strap was badly rusted. There is a fiber cushioning pad that runs between this metal strap and the bumper. I presume this cushion retained moisture and caused the severe rust. My question is if anyone has found a method to replace the metal strap. I am thinking of using a plastic strap, maybe 1/4" thick, that I can heat mold to fit the bumper. I could drill and insert connecting bolts. I would then glue the bumper pad on. The plastic would act as its own cushioning. Any one try something that worked? Thoughts on my suggestion?
  12. Regarding the top liner on the Centurion, the scissor tops from GM featured a "bladder" that was a liner like piece that went from the center bow (not from the header), expanded to cover the area behind the rear windows and to which the glass rear window was glued. It had drain tubes attached to the lower corners next to the window. Water drained off the exterior top fabric into these bladder/window drains and exited though the tubes out vents in the rocker panels. These bladders often showed wear due to being pinched when the top was lowered. When tops were replaced they were cut back to ease in the install of the new top I presume. I have owned many of these cars and this "cut off" appearance of the bladder is not uncommon. These modifications make for a "dilapidated" look on the inside and often cause water to drain inside the quarters rather than through the drains. A new bladder would have to installed. That would require the detachment of the rear part of the top fabric, pulling it forward to install the new bladder and re-gluing the window to the new bladder. Basic conclusion though is this top has been replaced. No surprise there.
  13. Don't know the specific years or the production numbers but I have seen Toronado convertibles in the 1982 to 1985 variety. I think they were converted by ASC as well.
  14. I have owned Chev, Buick and Eldorado convertibles from this time frame. 3 Eldorados (1972, 1973 and 1975), 2 Buicks (1974, 1975) and 1 Caprice (1974) have been relatively low mileage original cars. None have had headliners. I also have a 1984 Buick Riviera convertible and it does have the headliner. From my research I concur with Y-Job Fan that the 84 Riv was the first to have the headliner.
  15. There is a liner, or bladder (as some trim shops call it), that holds the rear window in place on these cars. The forward end attaches to the bow roughly above the back of the car's front seat. The rear attaches to the strip under the belt molding. The glass window is attached (thermal glued) to this bladder. It is completely under and separate from the top vinyl/canvas. This bladder/window "drape" can be purchased separately and can be installed with the main top vinyl remaining mostly in place. There are a few places where the main top has to be loosened by removing some attaching nails and the top does have to be operational (it is installed with the top partially down and then needs to be fitted/tightened with the top up). Adjusting takes a little patience (as well as moving the top up and down). Not sure what the cost of these liners with windows are but I would bet it would be a lot less that a complete top. Also a lot less work than a complete top replacement. Just putting this out there for information. I did have a trim shop replace one on my 74 Caprice. The car had a good back window but the liner was very worn and ugly to view from inside the car. The top itself was fairly nice. The shop replaced the liner and re-glued my original glass window into the new liner. Came out looking nice. (picture below - not of the top - just showing off my car) The scissor tops do have differences from "regular" convertible tops.
  16. I have had 13 GM's with scissor tops. About half were purchased with broken rear windows (or with replaced plastic windows). Most common reason for the broken windows were people stashing luggage, spare tires or packages on the rear forward shelf in the trunk (done while the top is up). Looks like a perfect storage shelf. Then the driver decides to put the top down. The back window lays into this storage area (and due to the obstruction the window does not rest as low as it should) then the rails come folding down on top of it. CRASH. The window is broken. GM does provide warning in the owners manual but there are no stickers in the trunk area. Another common cause is the removal of the two small lever action arms that pull the bottom of the window upward and rearward as the top goes down. Not sure why but many are removed and the glass is much more prone to binding on the belt molding area and breaking. I have known one example where the top irons were binding on one side, the top frame twisted sideways and the window exploded. Having replaced several tops the job is not that difficult if there is no need to adjust the frame structure. Check alignment very carefully before any replacing. If the side windows do not line up into the top or the doors are sagging or binding be very careful. The body manuals do not give much direction to adjust the frame (particularly the large "arms" of the scissor mechanism). I have had a vehicle where the top had been twisted due to lack of lubrication. I was never able to get it aligned after freeing up the joints (I am a novice). As was noted many trim shops will not even consider these cars. I could find none to attempt adjusting the frames. BUT if the frame is straight and you are at all familiar with how a convertible top is installed I say go for it. As always measure twice, (maybe even three times) cut once. Parts for these tops are readily available. It would be a fun driver. Ben
  17. I bought a 70 Impala convertilbe where the previous owner had lost the keys. I had to pull the steering wheel and disassemble until the lock cylinder was visible. There is a number on that cylinder that my locksmith was able to decode and cut a new key. I would think the 81 column would be same but I am not sure. Good luck. Ben
  18. I knew Ken well. Worked with him on the Old Car Price guide and researched prices for Corvette sales back in the late 70's. Never knew a nicer guy. He always loved to talk about his cars. While he seemed to know everything about old cars he was always humble. He was a true gentleman. Ken you will be greatly missed by this hobby.
  19. I have a 75 Eldorado convertible in Mandarin Orange. It has original paint and 79,000 miles. Paint is in poor condition and I am considering a repaint. I love the color. My late father bought a new 75 orange Eldorado coupe in 1974 and he received many compliments. Both dad's and my Eldorado had the matching orange interior. I knew that an orange color was available in 74 but I always thought it was a lighter shade. Obviously I was wrong on that thought. Beautiful car. I hope it finds an appreciative owner. I see many of these big old GM cars falling into disrepair and ending up in the salvage yards. They are a piece of auto history that will never be repeated. Save as many as you can. Thanks for your post. Ben
  20. It used the XS wrap around back window design It was a t-top design where the roof panels retracted on top of one another to form something like the C-3 Corvette t-top. I understand production was being considered (they printed some brochures featuring it). A couple were produced and one is in private hands (a guy in New Jersey I think restored it a few years back). Problems with the subcontractor producing the units or maybe quality control lead to it's cancelation. They did make a similar designed Eldorado in 77 or 78. Low production and without the XS window of course. I think the XS Toronado are really beautiful cars. Under appreciated in my opinion.
  21. Mirko: Wonderful, magnificent and fabulous. I am so jealous. I want your shop, your skills and your Buick! All kidding aside I have enjoyed all your restoration pictures of this beautiful Electra. It is awe inspiring to see what can be done by real craftsman. I am so glad that another fine 59 Buick is preserved. Thank you for your efforts and your dedication to perfection. Ben
  22. I have a 59 LeSabre parts car that I believe has these parts. PM if interested. Ben
  23. My father bought a new 56 Century wagon with three toned paint. Top was white, upper body was a light blue and the lower body was coral. I was just a kid but I thought it was beautiful. I called it our "happy" car. Those colors were so 1950's. He traded it on a new 57 Cabellero wagon that was two toned bronze and beige. The dealer that took the 56 in on trade promptly painted out the coral with white to make it a two toned car. He told my dad he could not sell it with those "gaudy" colors. I thought it became just an ordinary station wagon after the repaint. It no longer looked "happy".
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