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Everything posted by jbeary

  1. Appreciate your efforts Dave. I tried pulling the front leads from the 89 I'm picking over now and stopped because they seemed impossible to pull up without breaking the outter case. While the wire itself is cracking I have some very light weight coax that I wanted to try your suggested repairs with. If anyone has suggestions on how to pull these without destroying the plastic body please let me know. If you have any sensors that test good with an ohm meter where the wire is frayed, please pm me. If the price is right, I'd like to have at least one to play with.
  2. Hi Nic, I just pulled the carpet from my 91 and wish I could send or post pics but can't until next week. What I think you have was stuck together because there's no separate pieces that run along the sill's. The ones that fit and are cut like the footwells are actually two pieces glued together and the long rectangular piece (sounds like what you describe) runs horizontally across the middle and partly under the plastic wire channel. This is the channel that houses the power seat wires and runs under both driver and passenger seats. It sort of abuts the shifter mechanics. If I can correctly recollect, about an inch is tucked under the wire channel and the rest fits perfectly in front of a raised cross member. Take it out of the sill area and flip it to run across the car from door to door and you will probably be able to see what I mean.
  3. I tease my wife about her Subaru, calling it the "Ragin' Wagon" but have to admit that its 3 liter makes it a really fun car to drive. I was sold on the brand when my cousin brought home a WRX STI but my wife's prior Outback, a '97 with the same base engine, a 2.5 liter, was just plain anemic. Although, and no condescending slight here, I have a friend in town who's rabid about his VW Vangon and came by the other day to show me his tricked out version of a dual carb Subaru 2.5 liter engine swap. That thing has some get up and go and reminds me of that Chrysler Town and Country that you could order with a 2.5 liter turbo which probably wasn't as fast as I remember but I do recall freaking out because that thing could spin the front tires all the way down the street. Having lived in Manhattan for several years I can say the Crown Vic's you see thousands of are purely for the turistas. If you need a lift from the airport you'd order up a Lincoln Town car but if you're in the city and for some reason need to take a cab, I'd always hail a van because it's just a better ride (albeit just more utilitarian especially if you were taking the groceries home from Fairway rather than having them delivered). Yet I became pretty excited when I recently saw that Buick was offering a Regal GS with a 2 liter turbo "CXL" AWD with a six speed automatic. The thing about the WRX STI was the manual tranny which I've never been a fan of. And not to sound like a disparaging nitwit here, having driven around with some Chinese friends, and fearing for my life, the thought of riding around Shanghai with a Chinese driver having 285 hp with 295 ft lbs of torque at their disposal is dreamy. While it's just the wife and I with no kids, I think this new Buick could be the only 4 door I could feel good about driving. If you have to be like everyone else, buy a Benz or an Acura to avoid the "Ragin Wagon" stigma. And having owned a 78 Jeep Cherokee with a 401, I can attest these were far more destructible than IH Scout that I owned and could not beat to death even though I tried my best. While I don't have a time machine, I tend to believe that new Land Rover 110 Defender, which may be twice the price of any Jeep, this beast probably has three times the utility, fun, safety, and indestructibility of any Jeep too. Lose the hitch, sell the boat and buy one of these and then run over every H2 left on the road.
  4. I think I read somewhere that Bushwack had his steering wheel rewrapped. I had the one in my Grand National done a log time ago and it was about $200 then so the price could very well have gone up or maybe gone down... And I agree totally with johnemac. I think you'll find people out there who also would say the same about Leatherique. There's a huge leap of faith to take when you buy something really expensive that just does not seem like there's any way it could work. And like I was saying, the process is just batty. Leatherique recommends slathering this rejuvenating oil on by hand, "massaging" it in and then letting your car sit with the windows rolled up on a hot day. What you are left with is a sticky mess which you use the "prestine clean" to remove. Actually, this will come off with a little soap and water but like most leather freaks, using protein based soap on leather is a huge no, no. However, if you're not some leather freak and know little about caring for leather like someone like me, there's a very easy way to determine if your wasting your time with Leatherique, Lexol or any other product made to do anything other than act as a surfactant. I had to ask the guy at Leatherique but this test can easily be verified by a quick search on Google. If you put a drop of water on your leather and it beads and runs off, then you have some bi-cast or coated leather. Leatherique or Lexol will do nothing for this type of leather unless you remove the coating. If it sits and eventually soaks in slowly, then you have split or "corrected" grain leather, (probably semi-aniline dyed). If it soaks in right away then you have full or top grain and pure aniline dyed leather. There's a pretty good explanation of this on the Leather Magic website here: http://www.leathermagic.com/Pages/leathercare.html There's also some contradictoray information on this website too and I disagree that most auto leather is top grain leather. At least my seats are definitely split grain, corrected leather which is semi-aniline dyed and then pigment coated. European leather is top grain leather and I can see and feel the difference between the seats in our Subaru which originated in Japan. It's just better leather and when it get's a scratch, I see pigment underneath so something like Lexol works great and make the seats in the Subaru look new with a simple wipe. Probably johnemac had a similar issue that I had which was my seats were coated (with SEM paint). I think many people used scotch guard or some other protective coating on these seats and maybe even this was put on by the dealership, I don't know. But what I do know is the seats in my 89 which are blue are not coated and if they were the coating was rubbed off a long time ago. The 89 seats will soak up a drop of water no problem and have a similar pearl or buffed like finish like the seats in our Subaru while the seats in the 91 were glossy as all get out. I had to sand off the SEM paint that was on my seats with 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper before the Leatherique did anything at all. Once I did that, my seats went from feeling like cardboard to feeling like leather but I still have to patch the PO's repairs and then use crack filler on the cracks so the driver's seat is still far from perfect. I will try to post some pics on a different thread and let you all see what I am talking about. If you need to cut a swatch, I don't know the best place to remove even a 1x1 square, maybe the headrest? There's nothing extra left over from what I can see and I've practically removed the entire seat bottom and back covers. All of the cording is vinyl so if that's cracked (mine is) you are just SOL and all you can do is to use crack filler which isn't a permanent solution even with a good topcoat. Speaking of which, I can't be the only person who thought they maybe could swap seat covers from a good passenger seat to the drivers seat am I? I'm not going to do that but it sure seems like an easy and inexpensive alternative since I can find much better passenger seats than drivers seats. And I'm not talking about just swapping seats because I've already done that so I can drive around when I'm working on the drivers seat.
  5. I'm working on my crappy seats now using Leatherique products. This includes a leather cleaner and moisturizer which they call prestine clean and rejuvenating oil. I bought these with a kit that also includes a prep, water based dye & crack filler. These are labor intensive products and even if they can't spell all that great I've seen some pretty good results thus far. Having said that, the entire shebang was about $180 with color matched dye. This stuff is revered by many Mercedes and BMW groups and there's many people who will help as well as attest to the performance and color matching. There's another company, leather magic who also sells a water based dye but I haven't used their stuff, they also do color matching. My research indicated that a water based dye will attain the absolute best results when you dye or redye leather originally dyed using a semi-aniline process. Most us auto makers up until 1991 used this dyeing process but due to restrictions now use a solvent based paint process much like SEM. My seats were painted with the SEM leather and vinyl dye and you can have this paint mixed locally for about 1/2 the price of the full kit I bought from Leatherique but you will need to also buy SEM's prep to get their paint to really stick to anything flexible. I recommend using the SEM paint for any plastic or vinyl but this stuff did nothing but make what were dried out and cracking leather seats much worse and worse yet it's a pain to get off so I can do the job right with a water based dye. Best thing I can say thus far about Leathrique is their products do what they are advertised to do and my drivers seat now has the elasticity of new split leather. SEM paint would be great for newer bi-cast leather and that's about what every us car maker uses now. I am blown away by the quality of the leather seats in our 08 Subaru compared to even the best new us cars with leather interior I've been in. You can buy a steering wheel kit from both Leatherique and leather magic but for about $200 you can also get your wheel rewrapped with the same color leather and it will be like brand new. The blue in Reatta is pretty widely used but maybe Ronnie or Barney can correct me if I'm wrong. I had a hard time with the three shades of GM beechwood color (medium is correct) and had to have the correct interior color codes to have both the. Leatherique and the SEM paint mixed to the right shade. I had the steering wheel in my Grand National rewrapped and it was well worth the trouble of doing a "restoration". Since it'd be at least a couple thousand bucks to have new seat covers made, I'm trying this Leatherique stuff out. I figured I can't mess these up much more than they already are.
  6. That's a really beautiful car. Even if it had 61k miles, $5k is an excellent price for a '88 from California.
  7. Ronnie, I think you're seeing a horn of some type. It looks like an Ooogha horn and yeah the wiring is atrocious.
  8. jbeary


    Is it wrong of me to agree whole hearted with Keith because I also own a Subaru Outback L L Bean H6? Bushwhack makes a good point, that everybody drives a used car. This is also supported by Padgett. And while Harry makes a good argument, law of average suggests there is a best of everything. We probably all own the cars we own because of some personal preference. Even if I had all the time and money and flipped cars as a profession I'd certainly still have a favorite or best car. And of course that would be the car exuding the highest level of ownership. Having never attended a car show myself, I'd expect a car like that to beat out any number of similar cars even if it were by fractions of points. So I get what Jon is saying. Take any given number of 2008 Outback's to be judged solely on condition, detailing and cleanliness, one will rise to the top and there's a good chance, given many of them, it won't be the car with 1500 miles on it in five years of ownership. For the sake of Pete don't go into a critique with preconceived ideas because you will probably be proven wrong and Keith is right, a car contest needs to be about what would perpetuate the hobby no matter how high the stakes could go. Yeah, people get into the hobby for the money that's in it because we all know how much having and keeping something like a car actually costs us. And there's nothing preventing me from selling my cars if the right offer came along (but believe me you don't want my cars). Without the guilt of hijacking yet another thread with a lengthy boring diatribe, allow me to pose zoltanb's question differently: Do you guys who judge feel the prices realized at the recent Lambrecht Chevrolet dealership auction we're completely outrageous? I think time or timing will eventually effect value but scarcity trumps that every time. C'mon guys, Lambrecht was an accumulator of cars and not a collector. No way he and Jay Leno compare. Both Jon and Keith judge actively it seems so please tell me you guys, would you rather a 1958 Chevy pickup that's got 20 original miles but will still need a ground up restoration to make it more than a huge paperweight, or that GS stage 1 prototype listed now on eBay for $90k? The truck sold for $140k so is it better? And if Corvanti and Padgett would care to comment their opinions about these new car chaser shows or possibly your feelings about what a show like grease monkey garage has done to change what a "restomod" means, that would be great. Back when I was seventeen the kids who were modding their cars didn't have the internet, there magazines and books but these kids were learning from the guys who made up the "gasser" culture and these were the guys who collected cars and parts and traded more than they bought but they all had super nice cars whether they turned wrenches on all of them or were just constantly working to perfect one that was close but never perfect. When I was a kid, my friend who owned a 67 mustang with a 427 lived down the street and he came by one day in his beautiful car, I mean this would easily be a $30k car today, and we get in to ride down to Baskin Robbins and he's like, "I put a shift kit in". And I was like, well what's that do for you, and he's catching seconds all the way there. This was a guy who freaked when a leaf hit his car but here he was doing what he could to burn up the tires. When he sold that car, I guarantee no one cared about the shift kit. That car was way more about how it looked and drove and the fact that people could say, "that's just like the car from Bullit" and know they were riding around in one of about five of these that we knew about in our immediate area.
  9. Power steering leaking up front is probably from the cooler or a line nearby. You can get a replacement from Ronnie or just search Amazon for the currently least expensive transmission cooler and generally you can find something suitable for less than $20. If you don't find the leak and stop it you will not only burn up your pump but your rack and pinion will be wrecked too. Bought an 89 with same the intention. Lots of rust on this car will eventually make it a parts car but for now it's my second car after the 91 that I ended up buying as a daily driver because the 89 is simply a complete mess. Like you, I honestly would have driven the car around with bad brakes and not have a second thought but my wife's reasoning along with the problems (you'll also undoubtably find) with the fuel lines will prevent you from driving it for fear of dying in a flash fire. Yes, I'd rather run into a tree or even over a small child before I get trapped in a burning car. There's a switch that controls the brake accumulator motor and sometimes these are bad but you can jump the switch to find out if that's your problem. The failure of the accumulator is pretty predictable but generally you can tell if that part was ever changed out because an original one would never charge and the pump motor would run until the wires started smoking or a breaker is tripped. The switch turns the motor off if the accumulator reaches a specific pressure and it leaks when it's bad. I think I've had three accumulators on my Grand National which has less than 90k miles, so the nitrogen eventually leaks no matter. And that's why I'd be surprised if you have an original accumulator. The pump motor would have burned up a long time ago if that accumulator wasn't changed at least once at some point in the 180k miles or 25 some odd years it has. It took the better part of eight months for me to replace all of the brake lines, the calipers and hoses, and this included a tear down and cleaning of the entire Teves (master cylinder, pump, accumulator, etc) to get this car past inspection. Also put on a new fuel tank, straps, fuel lines, sender, pump, and neck so I wouldn't come out of the store to find the car ablaze or die trying to get there. I also put new struts on the back which I kind of regret because of the cost but this made major differences in the cars driveability . Seems to have a bad injector or a burned valve, or cracked spring or bent push rod because it's missing on #5 regularly. And I can't drive it now because the seat belt buckle just jammed. But when I can drive it I seem to enjoy it more than I do driving the 91. I just think the 89 was built better but what I have found lately is that the 91 was probably stored too hot for years and all of my rubber is effected and then a PO jumped a curb on the front right tire because that control arm is loose. So the 91 really needs all new rubber to make it right. My my advice is to do what you can to enjoy the car while it's untitled and uninsured and if you eventually do make it a daily driver, you probably will still have whatever parts you originally wanted. You can spend $8-10k on a car that seems perfect and still be left with a $4500 car, so why not $1200 on a wreck that you drop another thousand bucks into that you know you'll get back when you have to replace a windshield. Fortunately the 89 I have has perfect original glass and a really nice albeit faded interior. Lastly, I've had real good luck with Leatherique but that leather honey stuff works pretty well too. I just got better results from the Leatherique myself.
  10. Hey now JallopyBob, Magnavox made some super nice tube stuff back 60's but they always built in a critical failure point on the component chain. For instance they used crystal cartridges on their excellent console turntables and these failed with heat and humidity after a short period of time. Maybe their ICM was built with the same logic in mind so five years later you get the oozing PCB laden potting material and need a replacement. Lots of little things like this added up to GM's bankupcy. Makes me miss the 90's. BTW: just replaced the factory coil & ICM on my 89 and it was a real mess. This probably should be on a new Reatta owner check list of things to do.
  11. I'm looking for #'s 5,6, & 8. This is from the FSM 3C-4
  12. I've searched and searched again and I can't find any info on the bellows and lower insulator for the front struts on the 91. I have been able to buy everything aside from these two parts and I just want to assemble the new struts and swap them out without having to pull old parts from the old struts. I know that the struts on the 89's differ but can I use the same bellows as the 89 on the 91? The bellows for the 89 looks a lot like what I am seeing on the 91. I can't find any info at all on the lower cushion. This is the thin rubber circle that insulates the spring from the strut. I have what seems to be everything else but these two parts. When it comes down to it, I guess I could live without the bellows but not the lower cushion. Help is mucho appreciated.
  13. I removed most of the dash from my 91 and I can't say that the 89 is exactly the same but it's the clips on the upper panel that really were a pain. Most of mine broke and I had to rig it when putting it back on. That and you will most likely need to drop the steering column to pull the entire dash panel. Otherwise there are four or so screws right where the cowl meets the windshield so be very careful that you don't bust your windshield if you are using a ratchet. I used a cordless drill with an extention to remove these. When you get all screws out and drop the steering column, it should pull right out.
  14. My wife and I need to visit Austin one of these days. There always seems to be something fun going on there and done with an elegant flair. Linking the red swoosh tower very much. Maybe that would convince her to move west of the Mississippi. But how are the people? That guy in the Ford looks like he's flipping you off. Could be everyone who drives a ford is the same too.
  15. I had a couple of gallons of the maxxlife left out of the six I ordered to do the 91 and used that to do the filter in the 89. That transmission really came to life afterwards. Faster response & smoother shifts so I think it mixes okay. Valvoline claims that maxxlife has additives that help the rubber and that it's specifically designed for transmissions with mileage. I was looking hard at royal purple but the 91 has 80k. I decided to get 6 gallons of the maxxlife because it's half the price of royal purple, it's also synthetic like royal purple. And while I think royal purple is probably great, it's not "designed for" high mileage transmissions. And finally, I really didn't want to get stuck with only three gallons when I needed four to purge the 91. I was adding a cooler too which accounted for who knows how much. While, I didn't expect it, I was also hoping I could do a filter swap in the 89 so six gallons turned out to be enough to do a full purge on one and a filter swap on the other and still be less than going with royal purple at $140 for a case. Have to mention the thread trick here in case someone is reading and thinking about changing their fluid. Major difference in the size of hole between the 91 and the 89 pan gasket I received. Both were ac delco, filters seemed to be exactly the same. I didn't need to use the thread trick on the 91. The thread trick is where you wrap a four or five strategically placed bolts with thread or fishing line to hold them in place before crawling under the car with your pan and gasket. The bolts will keep the gasket lined up and after they are threaded cut the thread and make sure you pull it all out after threading in the other bolts. This "trick" will save you hours and with the chintzy gaskets that came with the sets I bought I have no leaks.
  16. Found the nipple on the underside of the neutral safety switch. This is hard to see and I had to pull the wire out the loom and then of the way so I could see where to put the new hose. Thanks so much for the help everyone. I never would have found this and the car runs better as a result. Curious about how this neutral safety switch works. Normally a nss allows cranking and starting in neutral and park only. I realize at least two of these wires provides feedback to the digital dash. This one looks like it does a lot more. Anyone care to comment on what the vacuum is used for? Would failure of this switch cause cranking but not starting?
  17. Just did mine and used Valvoline's Maxxlife. It's a reasonably priced full synthetic. About $64 for 3 gallons on Amazon. Reatta store has everything else.
  18. True dat Daniel. Thanks again you all. Will look this weekend and post a reply.
  19. You may also consider a coat of super corona dope in the crack before putting on the heat shrink. http://www.mgchemicals.com/products/protective-coatings/insulating/super-corona-dope-4226/
  20. Thanks for the feedback gentlemen. The modulator is hooked up to a short hose through a metal line going to the intake. This is the same on my 91 and 89 so that's not it Richard. And the vacuum line that runs to the purge canister runs in the plastic channel under the air filter so that's not it either. Again, thank you both. I should have mentioned these before along with the cruise servo. I also should have mentioned that the pics are with the driver side wheel off. The first pic is justified horizontally when it should be vertical. The second pic is justified correctly and you can see the cv boot on the left and the hose is hanging on top loose. The poly line is actually wrapped in with the wire bundle terminating at the transmission connector. Since I can see the linkage but no neutral safety switch I say that's a good bet. I will check into that and let you all know. I'd have to look at Barney's data to see if all of the polo green Reatta's were built about the same time and if that's the case maybe someone with a very late production model can confirm the presence of this line is on theirs. My 91 was in the last 150 or so built and I've noted that it has the extra wiring for the 16 way seats where my 89 does not. The build on this car is so different from my Grand National. Truly "hand-crafted". Thanks again for the help guys.
  21. Hi All, Wire loom replacement project wrapping on my 1991 Reatta. I found a loose hose and I don't know what to do with it. Please see attached pics. This is a rubber 1/4 vacuum hose that's attached to a poly line that runs with & to transmission wire harness. I think it terminates at the passenger side firewall but I could be wrong. Can't find any mention of it in the FSM and it's not on the EGR diagram. Nothing seems to be out of sorts with the cruise or heater programmer or any of the other vacuum actuators so I thought this may go to the transmission but can't find where. Any help would be appreciated. BTW: this same hose does not exist on my 1989 and the connectors are completely different. Thanks , Jeff
  22. Just did this myself and I cut up a large box and laid it underneath. Didn't get any spills until I flushed the converter. I picked up an old ice chest and put the gallon jugs in that but had the send and return lines reversed and that sprayed fluid everywhere. The gasket you get with the kit is kind of hard to work with, mine was the composite material. The other is made of metal and rubber and is supposed to be a better gasket. Search the forum for posts and look at what Ronnie has at the Reatta store. Consider adding a cooler. I did and also added an additional in-line filter and went to a full synthetic.
  23. jbeary

    Stubborn e041

    Hey GD, Jim Finn (who, along with Ronnie, is a great man) just did a post not even yesterday about this same thing. Look a few posts down called Cam sensor repair with JB weld and check out the link that Padgett (yet another great man) has posted with detailed directions for, what seems to me to be a solution to your issue.
  24. After buying two Reattas, both of which I still can't regularly drive, I can attest there's lots of sizzle in the car to sell one. Convertibles seem to present additional issues. The discretionary money is exactly what you're after. Males who probably can not only afford at least two of these cars but who also have the reasoning agility to justify the purchase to his wife as well as himself. I have four Buicks that are at least 20 years old and the time I spend with these is part commitment and part fascination and that's what you're selling. These cars trade hands all the time and this forum presents great support so I wouldn't get discouraged. Everyone is looking for a bargain so you may want to start there.
  25. Well, it's a good thing my dash is still mostly apart from having just fixed the defroster flap arm. Your advice is well taken Ronnie. With this car, I can only hope it's a something as acessiable as the solenoid. Thanks a hundred times over for the help.