ol' yeller

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Everything posted by ol' yeller

  1. I've noticed lately a few questions about front license plate brackets. I shared some time ago my solution to the no longer available part. My local Buick/Pontiac dealer gave me access to his license plate holder bin and I found a replacement that works very well. It is not an exact replacement but it mounts up very well and with a little trimming with an exacto knife. It has a molded-in lower mounting that you can bolt in after you R&R the grille. It wasn't a big job and unless you were Barney, you probably couldn't tell it wasn't "factory". The best part is the cost, $15.50. I think it came off a Pontiac so make sure the dealer is a Pontiac dealer. The part number is 22551295 bracket-F 7.800. I did hear from several others who used this replacement successfully. I am pretty particular about appearance, almost as particular as the Washington cops are about the front license plate thing!
  2. I found the perfect way to put my Reatta away for the winter and not get tempted to take it out. As I only have a 2 car garage and I own 5 cars....and my neighborhood is almost Nazi-like in their CC&R enforcement, I had to pay to store my collector cars elsewhere. The plus side is that the person I buy storage from is a fellow BCA member and he only charges fellow BCAers $30/month per car. The downside is that he is a snowbird so he goes to Arizona in December and doesn't return until April. For that period of time, my collector cars are unavailable. I agree however that it makes it very enjoyable in the spring to unwrap them like presents and begin driving them like they were meant to be driven. In the interim, all I have is the screensavers of my cars that I installed both at home and work to remember them by.<P>Greg
  3. Bigrog, What do you have against Ebay? I bought my '90 on Ebay and am very happy with it. Of course, I had it inspected before I bid on it. Buying on Ebay is no more no less risky than buying from Hemmings or the local used car lot. You just have to protect yourself. First have the car inspected by someone you trust, not someone the buyer recommends. Second, get pictures from all angles and interior shots. Third, don't put down a deposit you can't afford to lose. I only put down a $500 deposit, the rest due when I picked up the car. Forth, pay for the airline ticket and go get the car yourself. If you have it shipped, nothing beats your personal inspection before it is loaded onto the transport. Factor in the cost of transport and the airline ticket into the cost of the car. If it isn't a good deal don't buy it. Don't be afraid to walk away if it doesn't feel right. I really wanted one of these great little cars but they just weren't available up here in the great Northwet (SIC). Ebay, Hemmings, the BCA, and other old car publications were my only resources to find what I was looking for. That gave me the whole country as the market rather than my own little corner of the world. I'm sure you can point out many postings where people feel they got taken advantage of on Ebay but when you buy a used car, it is always "Let the Buyer Beware". If you take simple precautions you can cut down the possibility of making a bad choice.
  4. The burgandy 90 coupe on Brad's home page is mine. I'd like to provide some enlightenment but it was installed on my car when I bought it. It does make the deck lid heavy but it does stay up with just the struts. It also clears the antenna. I don't think it was engineered for the Reatta as it contacts the deck lid in the middle. It only has 2 supports. I think it really adds to the rear look of my Reatta. I have some pictures of my car viewed from the rear but I am not enough of a techie to figure out how to post them here. I'd be happy to send them to anyone interested.
  5. Most older Jaguar owners would be happy to only have the problems you have listed. My '90 Reatta has under 90K and I have replaced all the struts (wear item could happen to any car, replaced all the brakes and calipers, no ABS problems (again wear item), Relaced a side mirror, (previous owner driving ability problem) and a power window motor on the passenger side. It still has a nagging turn signal problem, sometimes the indicators blink, soemtimes they don't but the lights outside always work, and one cornering lamp doesn't light which is probably due to a burned out bulb. I view all this as minor problems that could happen on any highly optioned car with 90k and 12 years on the clock. With all car makes and models, there are good ones and bad ones. I don't think that the problems of the Reatta are any better or worse than similar cars of the same vintage. Maybe I'll have a different opinion in April when I haul it out of storage and experience a new rash of problems.<P>Greg
  6. Dan, I'm not sure where the switch is located but I had a similar problem with my 90. It turned out to be the emergency brake cables were rusted and hanging up in the sleeve. My car came from Chicago so I expect that had something to do with it. We just don't seem to have those kind of problems here in the Northwest. The parts were readily available and not too expensive to fix.<P>Greg
  7. This is an "I'm just curious" suggestion/question. I know that the Reatta isn't a Ford but on some '90's type Fords there was a fuel pump shutoff valve in the fuel line that turned off the fuel pump when the car was in an accident. This kept the fuel pump from feeding gas to a car on fire. Not a bad concept. Is it possible that the Reatta has something similar? On my old Ranger there was a reset knob under the carpet on the passenger side. Of course here it is stated that the car backfires so that doesn't sound like a fuel delivery problem...Does the Reatta have something like this?
  8. CReichert, If I understand correctly, your problem is with the brake warning light, not the taillights for the brake. I had a similar problem with my '90 and I traced it to the emergency brake cables not releasing completely due to rust (car came from Chicago). New brake cables put that little light out of its misery. The price for them also wasn't too bad either. <P>Greg
  9. When I purchased my '90 coupe in May, I had to drive it over 2,000 miles home to Seattle. It had a set of those 4 for $78 tires on it and they were one size too small. The ride was terrible. Part of it was that the struts were completely shot but the tires were a big contributing factor. Upon arrival in Seattle I replaced the struts, tires and as long as I was throwing money around I bought some aftermarket wheels too. I then had a 4 wheel alignment performed. I also replaced all the brake components and flushed the system but that, of course, had nothing to do with the ride. The tires I bought were made by Toyo tires and they are their top of the line Z800 Ultras. What a difference. I learned a long time ago that it doesn't pay to cut corners on tires. Buy the very best you can afford. As for size, I stuck with what the factory put on. That way you don't get into issues over speedometers and suspension wear. If you want to see how they look, my car is posted on the Members Cars section of the Reatta home page. My car is now in storage for the winter and I miss driving it a lot. C'mon spring! <P>Greg Powers
  10. After responding to the "Other Side of the Garage" post, I got to thinking about my storage situation. Are there any members out there who currently use a car hoist (like the Backyard Buddy) to increase storage in their garage? I have almost a 12' ceiling in my garage which should allow storage of 2 cars on one side of the garage. Are there any pitfalls to consider? It seems like this might be a good solution for about $3,000. I'd appreciate your thoughts and comments.
  11. I was going to say I have too many cars but that isn't possible is it? What I am short of is space. I only have a 2 car garage so my daily drivers are a 1998 Regal GS and a 1999 Mercury Mountaineer. Fortunately a buddy in the Buick club rents me space in his barn to store Reeta, my 1990 Burgundy coupe, Ol' Yeller, my restored 1965 Skylark 2 door, and my 1969 Riviera is spread over 2 garages and one paint shop as it is in the process of a frame off restoration. My next project will be a garage with a house attached as soon as I get done paying for my eldest daughter's wedding and my youngest daughter's college. I hope there is some money left!
  12. Your car is pretty old so it isn't worth very much. Also it is probably pretty carboned up due to the low miles. Out of the kindness of my heart, I'll give you $100 for it. Email me to complete the deal.
  13. ol' yeller

    Paint Job

    It is good advice to put your wants in writing and have them sign it. If you want quality, you will have to pay for it. Don't just ask for reccomendations, go & look at those cars. Base coat clear coat is a great way to go. Don't expect a fast turn-around for a quality job. Few shops will guarantee their paint over someone elses bodywork, I wouldn't want them to. Finally this is not a cheap undertaking nor is it a time to scrimp if you plan to keep the car. My '65 Skylark cost $3,500 for the paint only (bodywork was extra) and I am very pleased with the end result. So pleased in fact that my '69 Riviera is in the same shop for about the same money. After the paint has cured and before you wax it for the first time, go over it several times with 3M hand glaze to remove any swirl marks or minor imperfections, then wax with a quality wax. I did this on my Skylark and the paint still looks wet after 17 months. A paint job is the next best thing to getting a new car. It will rekindle your love for your baby.
  14. If you don't have one, buy a circuit tester, they are very cheap. It looks like a pointed screwdriver with a bulb in the handle and a wire with an alligator clip coming out of the top of the handle. Any parts house should carry it for under $10. Then clip the alligator clip to a nearby ground and insert the pointed tip into the bulb holder making contact with the copper clip that the bulb goes into (of course you have the key and turn signal on). There should be 2 connections in the holder, one is a ground the other power. If one doesn't light try the other. If neither lights, then apply the clip to a 12V source and try again. If it lights on one lead and not the other then you have no power to the harness. If neither lights here then you have a bad ground. This little tool will prove invaluable to chase down power problems.
  15. ol' yeller

    Fix her up?

    Unless car restoration is something you really enjoy, you are always money ahead buying as nice a car as you can afford versus sinking money into ressurection of a trashed car. You also state that in Texas you can only get liability insurance on it so any money you put in it will be unprotected. I have personally restored 2 Buicks (65 Skylark and 69 Riviera) and can tell you that costs escalate faster than you think. In today's market you can get a pretty nice used Reatta for far less than you would spend fixing up your totalled one. Padgett has good suggestions as to where to buy from but I can tell you from personal experience that Reattas are hard to find here in the Northwest. I had to go to Chicago to find mine. Buying a car from the rust belt is risky but with proper precautions and careful questioning and inspection you can find a car that will work for you. Don't be seduced by a nice looking car with high mileage. The lower the mileage, the less problems it is likely to have. Ditto on having it checked out by a knowledgeable machanic. It seems that most of the Reattas I have seen for sale are in Texas and Florida. As to year preference, I like my '90 as I don't have the CRT problems many ask about in this forum and I like the added protection of an airbag. I truly don't mind the appearance of the steering wheel with the airbag. Happy hunting, I hope you find one that will make you happy.
  16. ol' yeller

    Venting

    Hey Wally, Maybe I didn't make myself clear. What I was addressing was those who join the Reatta division and then either don't join the BCA or let their dues lapse or complain about the cost. The cost of admission to the Reatta Division includes the price of a BCA membership. Those who participate here are under no obligation to join anything. I don't know if the BCA contributes anything other than a link to this forum. If they do fund it, you are still under no obligation to pay anything other than what your personal conscience guides you. I too probably should belong to the old farts club as I know I have paid those dues!
  17. ol' yeller

    Venting

    Go back and read what Barney said about what membership in the BCA brings to the Reatta Club. It is more than a page in the Bugle. Insurance for meets is near impossible without their clout. What the annual BCA dues get you is a better funded club (Reatta Division) with the resources of a large, well founded organization behind it. If we had to form a club without the BCA, the cost and effort would be beyond the few who would be willing to shoulder the burden. Too many people want the information and the social side a club brings without volunteering to provide the feet on the street it needs to be successful. Then they sit back and complain about how their particular pet peeve is overlooked. I know of what I speak as I write the newsletter for my chapter of the BCA and was in charge of organizing our annual Car show this year where we had over 150 Buicks in one place (3 Reattas). DON'T BE SO DAMNED CHEAP! BCA membership is only $35 annually. That is one rerason why your Reatta membership is only $10! I pay currently $35 for BCA, $20 annually for my local BCA chapter, $20 annually for the Riviera club and $10 for the Reatta division. I find that I get good value for my money and that is what keeps this hobby of ours going along with volunteering to help as much as I can. BCA membership is mandatory for the Reatta division to exist. If you aren't paying your BCA dues then you are a freeloader! Sorry about the strong language but people who expect something for nothing frustrate me beyond belief. Besides the title of this post was "Venting"
  18. ol' yeller

    Venting

    Everybody needs to listen to Barney on this one. It is resource intensive to start up a new club. Everyone wants to join but few want to do the work. If you enjoy this forum and the growing popularity of our Reattas, we need to pony up the money and the time. With respect to not being greeted and accepted, that is a 2 way street. You sometimes have to make an advanced effort to become part of a group. That is just human nature. I found last year at the Regional car show in Sacramento that many of my fellow BCAers were very helpful and friendly once approached. Like any human interaction, you have to give a little to get a little. Ask them about their cars and if they have any social skills at all, they will return the question. There are some who are unapproachable and close minded and I just forget them and move onto someone else.<P>Lastly around car bigotry. You will always find someone who thinks it is a crime to hot rod an old car or waste time restoring anything other than their narrow minded focus. These are the people who will kill our hobby if we let them. I see this same scenario played out in service clubs that cling to old traditions and lament over why they can't attract any young members. If we want this hobby to grow we all need to encourage anyone who shows interest. This forum is great for that.
  19. Strictly in the interest of increasing the value of Reattas for fellow owners, I would be willing to sell my '90 coupe for twice what I paid for it last May. That would be $11,000. Any takers?
  20. Padgett, I agree with your premise. Bottom line is that if you are looking to hook a fish, this ain't the best fishin' hole. If I were trying to sell my Reatta, I wouldn't list it here as it fits neither of the 2 scenarios you pose. The problem is that most of the listings I see here are people who are fishing. It is up to them to choose how to dangle the bait. If there is no response then they can go off and find another medium. No matter how much they disclose about their average car, they still won't get any bites. In fact it seems that it only invites ridicule. <P>BTW your last statement really hurts as it described my Reatta purchase to a "T" which I did buy off the Internet. Too bad I fell in love with it anyway and then discovered this site. The good news is that I am not too upside down on my purchase.....yet.
  21. If this is what it takes to sell a car on the Internet, I'll stick to the AutoTrader. These are all good and reasonable questions any buyer may want to ask a seller. Asking a seller to disclose all these facts without explaination may cause a buyer to overlook a car that is perfectly acceptable to him or her. I like the information I get from the Internet but sometimes it seems that people overlook the importance of person to person contact. Why force the judgement of paint quality or interior condition on the seller. Their opinion of excellent may not match yours. I'd rather ask a series of questions that outlines how I define "excellent". This questionaire takes up half a page or more. What I like to know, and make my decision of further pursuit based upon is; year, mileage, location, price, possibly color and contact information. If the seller wants to prick my interest by mentioning anything else interesting, I'm OK with that. If I'm interested, I'll contact them via email or phone and discuss it further. FWIW, today I am neither a buyer or a seller, just a happy Reatta owner.
  22. Hey Barney,<P>I got all those little pieces from my local Buick dealer. He even threw in several extra of the little springs as they tend to take flight when they are installed. I concur with the removal technique, although it is a pain to do, it is much easier on the blood pressure than having all those little parts whizz past your ear if you try to snap it on without removing the lock.
  23. Padgett, please be very careful crossing the street and on those frequent trips you take. We need the information that is in that head of yours. LOL
  24. My 1990 doesn't say to use premium fuel on the gas cap. When I purchased it in Chicago and drove it home to the Seattle area I found that the previous owner was correct to use premium when in the mid west as it pinged badly on regular fuel. Now that I have it on the west coast I only use regular (Texaco or Chevron) and it runs great with no pinging at all. I think it has something to do with the reformulated gas that some areas of the country mandate. Now if I could just get my '65 Skylark to stop pinging on premium, I'd be in hog heaven.
  25. I agree that holding onto a car to make money is shortsighted at best. However a low mileage car will always be worth more than a high mileage car. The supply of Reattas is limited as they aren't making them anymore. As they become used up and parted/wrecked or worn out, then those with low miles will be worth more than they are today. Are you going to make money? Probably not. Are you going to have the pleasure of its company and then be able to sell it if you want? You bet. Try that with a K car. So go ahead and run up those miles on your Reattas. I will keep mine to a thousand or two a year and then in a few years we can debate value.<P>As long as I am on a soapbox here, why do so many of you cry when someone lists their car for sale at a high price (even a ridiculous price)? If they get it, it only serves to increase the value of our cars. It seems many here want all the Reattas to be priced under $3,000 so they can afford to buy them up. If someone has the money, really wants a low mileage convertible, and can afford to pay $20,000 for it, why is that a bad thing?