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pfloro

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About pfloro

  • Birthday 05/30/1955

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    Tucson, AZ

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  1. The first thought which came to mind: "Put a penny in the fuse box, put a bolt in the fuse block". What would Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, and Nicola Tesla have to say...?
  2. Hi Kev, Congrats on owning this great old Buick... You know this already, but completely restoring the braking system should be a "Special" high priority. It's one thing to not get moving or konking out after you're moving, but not being able to stop that big gal is beyond scary. I would recommend replacing or rebuilding every hydraulic component in the system. This includes all the steel brake lines. They may look fine from the outside but DOT3 brake fluid absorbs moisture like mad. If not flushed regularly, the system will rust from the inside. We had a 1966 Mustang which underwent a cosmetic restoration by the previous owner. The mechanicals were a mess. Every wheel cylinder was full of rusty brake fluid but there were no leaks and the car stopped well. However, one of the steel lines broke when I removed it and folded it up as trash. The steel line was thin due to internal rust. Since you will be using your Buick as a daily driver at highway speeds, a well sorted brake system can't be stressed enough. The mechanical side of the system (brake hardware, shoes, drums, etc) should be completely gone over as well. As you have noted, the suspension, steering, and drivetrain will need attention too. However, the braking system is at the top of my list...! Please keep us posted. Paul
  3. I'm not an expert on the THM400 in your '73 Riviera but this may be something to check. The 3-2 downshift ("detent downshift") is controlled by a solenoid in the THM400 energized by a "normally open" switch in the accelerator pedal mount area (or at the carb ?). While cruising in 3rd, flooring the pedal closes this switch, energizes the solenoid, and redirects THM400 fluid flow to force a 3-2 downshift. I'm wondering that if that switch is permanently closed or if there is a wiring problem, the transmission thinks a detent downshift is always being requested. I believe this would prevent a 2-3 upshift. You can quickly rule out the above by temporarily disconnecting the 2 wire connector on the driver's side of the THM400. One wire is for the solenoid. The other is for the internal 3rd gear switch. This switch prevents vacuum advance until the transmission shifts into 3rd (TCS: Transmission Controlled Spark / early emission control technology). Hopefully others with more THM400 knowledge will chime in. Paul
  4. Wow..., An AMC Pacer...! I'd like to see some pictures of both the exterior and interior... Keep in mind, that with an overflow tank setup, the radiator should be filled right to the point where the overflow hose attaches. Of course, check this level when the engine is completely cold. As soon as the warmed coolant expands, it will flow into the overflow tank. The initial expansion will push the air out of the hose and into the tank. Once the coolant contracts, only liquid from the tank will be pulled back into the radiator. You can verify if the recovery system is working properly by checking the level in the tank when the engine is both cold and hot. The coolant level will be at the full mark when cold and above that mark when hot. Also..., make sure the the radiator cap's big open center gasket which seals the cap to the mouth of the radiator is not missing or cracked. Although not under pressure, this gasket insures that the expanded coolant flows into the tank and prevents air from being sucked into the radiator when the coolant contracts. Good Luck, Paul
  5. Most or all of the underdash wiring (non-computer) passes through the firewall by way of the bulkhead connector. On your 1986 Monte Carlo, this big square connector is probably located below the brake booster. One small bolt in the center (engine side) holds the male & female halves together. After 35 years, a small amount of oxidation may have formed on the brass terminals. It may be just enough to cause a voltage drop at the starter solenoid. There will be dried out dielectric grease covering the inside of the connector. I would suggest that you disconnect the negative battery cable, loosen the bolt, separate the halves, and then carefully reconnect. Disconnect and reconnect a few times and attempt to start the engine. After 24 years, the headlights on my 1984 Toronado (owned since new), wouldn't turn on. After some testing, I decided to look into the bulkhead connector. "Breaking and making" those connections solved the problem. While I had the connector open, I cleaned out the old dried dielectric grease and reapplied new grease. There isn't lots of room in that firewall area so be prepared to cuss a lot...! I kept my Toronado for several more years and the headlight issue never returned. Please keep us posted. Paul
  6. This is good news... As has been said, half of the problem is finding someone who has real field experience with the system in question. This system had it's idiosyncrasies but it worked reasonably well... Keep us posted.
  7. As "old car fan" said: Stop throwing parts at it. This is a random and expensive way to troubleshoot any problem. <begin soap box> I'm sounding like a broken record (actually it's called a "locked groove") but once again: Check the fuel pressure at the fuel rail. I did some research and too high a fuel pressure (everything else being equal) will squirt more fuel at the intake port during the period of time the injector is energized. The fuel pressure regulator might be malfunctioning. You need a mechanic who can think outside of the box. Remember, this is ancient electronic fuel injection technology (although it was sophisticated for it's day). There is no diagnostic port (OBD II) to which a scan tool can be connected to read out stored trouble codes and real time data. You can't even "flash out" the trouble codes (OBD I) via the Check Engine light because there isn't one. There is no CPU and there is no memory because it's an analog control system. That being said, there are ways to troubleshoot this system with a digital Volt / Ohm meter. I used to have more information about this Bendix/Bosch/Delco system and will search for it. </end soap box> I need another beta blocker now...! Paul
  8. As I mentioned in post #4, consider measuring the fuel pressure at the fuel rail. Won't too high a pressure cause more fuel to be injected during the pulse? I don't know.
  9. As I continue to ponder your rich running situation, two things come to mind: 1) As part of the 1977 emission controls package, your engine has the A.I.R. system. The Air Injection Reaction system pumps oxygen (~20% of our air) into the exhaust ports. This helps the combustion process continue after the hot exhaust gases have left the cylinders. I believe it helps reduce HC more than CO or NOx but I don't know. Making sure this system is working is simple. Rising up from each exhaust port on both manifolds is a steel manifold. There is check valve at the top of each manifold. The check valve (one way air flow) protects the air pump in case there is a backfire. Simply disconnect the hose from one of the check valves and verify that air is flowing at idle and part throttle. The only time air should not flow is during a high vacuum condition (deceleration). To prevent this flow, there is a vacuum actuated diverter valve which reroutes the pump's air into the air cleaner housing. Extra oxygen during deceleration (when the mixture tends to be richer) can cause backfiring because a richer mixture can explode in the very hot exhaust stream. See the attached image of YOUR passenger side check valve... 2) How do you know that at some time in the past, if leaded gasoline was put into the fuel tank. Granted, the restrictor in the gas tank filler neck would have prevented a leaded gas pump nozzle from being inserted but was the car at some point fueled from a jerry can? I don't think it took very long to coat the catalyst honeycomb with lead effectively neutering it. This might be a long shot but... I read that with the analog FI system, the engine ran so clean that a catalyst wasn't needed to meet 1977 emission standards. However, GM chose to install one anyway... Perhaps others can share their thoughts on these two points... You'll find the problem. Paul
  10. Hello MarkV: Your Seville is beautiful...! Let me first make a clarification and then provide some information. The fuel injection system in your 1977 Seville is not a throttle body system but a port injection system. There is a fuel injector at each intake port. Most cars since the '90s have a more sophisticated type of port injection technically called "timed sequential port injection". In these systems, the computer pulses each injector individually in the same sequence as the cylinder firing order. Each injector is commanded to squirt fuel into the intake port during the intake stroke of that cylinder. This technology lowered emissions during idle and low engine speed operation. On a GM V8 engine, throttle body injection uses two injectors mounted in the upper part of what used to be called the carburetor. DFI (Digital Fuel Injection / as GM called it) is sort of a stepping stone between a carburetor and port injection. The two throttle body injectors are alternately pulsed by the computer (both fire simultaneously during cranking). Your Seville uses bank firing to pulse the eight injectors in groups (probably 2 groups of 4). There is no coordination or synchronization between the timing of the fuel squirt and intake stroke of a particular cylinder. This less complicated system worked reasonably well and met the late '70s emission standards. Why all this background? Because... Your Seville uses an early analog electronic fuel injection system. It was a joint venture developed by Bendix, Bosch and (I believe) Delco. The system has no "digital computer" and no built in diagnostics. Specialized test equipment was developed to specifically service this fuel injection system. I suspect this equipment is now as rare as hen's teeth. Finding somebody who understands this technology and is able to service it is going to be a bit tough (IMHO). Your analog system was first offered by Cadillac as an option in 1975 on the 500 ('75 & '76) and 425 ('77 - '79). The downsized 1979 Eldorado (and 1980 in CA) used the Oldsmobile 350 with this analog FI system. I once saw a triple white 1979 Eldorado Biarritz in an Arizona bone yard with every available option and it had your analog FI system. It was a truly beautiful automobile. Beginning in 1980, GM began offering a digital throttle body fuel injection system. Although primitive by today's standards, it had build in diagnostics (OBD I). It was reliable and provided good driveability & lower emissions. GM throttle body DFI was used for many years across all divisions. There are companies who sell systems to upgrade carb equipped cars (Affordable Fuel Injection). Regarding your rich running condition: The first thing I would do is check the fuel pressure at the fuel rail. I suspect it should be around 40psi. If it's too high, more fuel than necessary will be injected and the engine will run rich (high CO). I don't know if there is any easy way to "micky mouse" the system to get it through the smog test. Hmmm..., I wonder if the fuel pressure can be adjusted downward to reduce the amount of fuel being injected into the cylinders. For the smog test, this just might get you through it. Your system must have a fuel pressure regulator but I have no idea where it is of even if the pressure can be adjusted. Below are links which might be of help in understanding your analog FI system: GM Analog Electronic Fuel Injection Cadillac Analog Fuel Injection Please keep us posted, Paul
  11. Thank you Matt for this pearl of wisdom... I feel that taking the time to learn how older systems work gives me a foundation to their evolution to newer systems... Paul
  12. I've waited to respond because I'm not an engine expert by any means. But..., after listening to this noise through a good set of headphones, it just feels external to the engine (as others have suggested). There is a certain crispness to the sound which I think wouldn't be there if it was coming from, for example, under a valve cover, etc. It seems as though above a certain speed, the vibrating engine is causing a resonance triggering some external engine part to hit another part which is too close. As suggested, power braking, a stethoscope investigation and belt removal are all in order to isolate this noise. Since the engine doesn't seem to shutter when speed is increased, I don't think a weak cylinder caused by a valve train issue is the cause of the noise. Please keep us posted. This is an interesting one. Paul
  13. Regarding those concrete walls: I don't know for sure but I suspect they were part of a now defunct water storage facility. Also in this area are partially exposed old galvanized water pipes on the ground and small concrete junction boxes. It's all very curious. A bit farther down the "road", there are two huge water storage tanks (each is ~212,000 gallons / according to the data plates). Wells are part of that facility too. The larger of the two "houses" between the tanks is the pump house / chlorination station... Attached are last year's pictures of the big water tanks. They supply most of the water for the Mount Lemmon community.
  14. Thank you, Victorialynn for starting this post and for everyone's sharing. It's great to see beautiful cars in autumn settings. The two pictures of my beloved 1984 Oldsmobile Toronado were taken in October 1999 in Harrriman State Park. Harriman State Park The park is about an hour north of NYC on the west side of the Hudson and a bit south of West Point Academy. I hiked there for many years when we lived in that part of the country. The Olds was my daily driver for 28 years and 200,000 miles. I do miss The Queen Mary's styling inside and out but I don't miss driving a sofa alongside today's distracted drivers. The other pictures were taken last week on Mount Lemmon (8000') in Tucson, AZ. We do have deciduous tress in the desert...! Enjoy...! Paul
  15. John, Your 'new' Eldorado is just magnificent. It is stunning in every way...! Those wheel skirts really add to it's class. I can't vouch for this vendor but they supply the bumper fillers for your car. '73 - '74 Eldorado Bumper Fillers Eldorado Bumper Filler Installation Keep us posted. More pictures please! Paul
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