KDirk

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KDirk last won the day on November 19 2015

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About KDirk

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    St. Louis, Missouri

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  • Biography
    A technically minded perfectionist who has found Reattas to be a perfect outlet for applying those characteristics. I also collect and repair vintage Sansui hi-fi gear (from late 1960's to late 1970's primarily) and dabble in pinball machine repairs. I play classical organ and like to mess around with electronic design as it relates to embedded systems. Am a capable mechanic ; and getting better by sheer necessity.

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  1. I don't believe a specific paint 'code' has ever been found for the 1991 stock wheels. There was an old GM TSB I posted about here probably 10 years ago that outlined wheel repair, prep and painting Reatta wheels and my recollection is the suggested paint color was 'sparkle silver' but no manufacturer code was given. Three differenet paint suppliers were mentioned; Spies-Hecker, PPG and can't rememebr the third off hand. The needed aluminum prep products and primers were mentioned in the TSB, and that's about as specific as it got. Honestly, you are best off getting all four wheels and center caps redone together in a good quality metallic silver basecoat/clearcoat by either a wheel refinisher or body shop who is up to the job. The machined beauty ring is a problem also, as the black '"rivets" need to be removed for proper refinishing. There was/is a source on ebay selling comparable rivets but I'll need to dig that up to link it here. I think a bag of 100 had to be purchased, but not terribly expensive as I recall.
  2. KDirk

    surge or miss

    Agreed with Padgett on this, igntion problems will generally not set codes, particularly ICM malfunctions which are often thermal in nature (only evident when the ICM is hot). Have had this issue myself with both the Magnavox and Delco ignition setups so can vouch for how frustrating it can be to troubleshoot. About the only way to prove it out is to swap on known good parts. Coils can be tested for resistance and such, but the OBD system on the Reatta doesn't catch most ignition faults.
  3. I can't add much new that hasn't already been said here, but this comes down to a judgement call. Do you want a nice Reatta, or do you want THIS Reatta to be nice. The former you can do for probably $7000-9000 as the market sits now, with the understanding it is still a ~30 year old car and no matter how nice will end up needing things repaired and replaced as you go unless the previous owner was obsessive in their maintenance and upkeep routine. If you are breaking on the side of sentimentality and want to restore the one you have, it will be much more costly whether you do it all at once or in phases. A decent paint job (not concourse quality, but probably almost as good as factory) can likely be done most places in the US for under $5000. You will save some if you can strip things exterior badging, locks, door handles, window sweeps, mouldings and lamp housings yourself. There are a lot of labor hours in that part of the disassembly and reassembly; I know as I've done it. Of course to really do it right, the windshield and back glass need removal as well which is costly and risky (easy to crack the glass while removing even for a professional). I've poured more money into my cars than I'll ever get out, but I didn't go in expecting to sell them at a profit. I was collecting for the long haul and wanted nice cars I could be proud of and would provide reliable service. Thus, much mechanical and electrical work was done as well. Granted, I've done a lot of the work myself and that makes a huge difference. If you lack the tools, facilities and/or talent to do much of this work (outside of body and paint) you will have a fortune in it, assuming you can even find someone you trust to do it right. Many restoration shops won't touch it because the Reatta is too new or too obscure and will likely be concerned about a customers commitment to dropping the money needed to do it right. Any old hourly mechanic will not generally do restoration grade work, and many are slip shod outfits anyway. If you have the money and are really attached to this car, then have at it. If you think you can be happy with another Reatta purchased in much better condition, that is the more fiscally sensible solution by far.
  4. May I point out that the LED headlights significantly reduce the total load on the switch. Stock Guide brand halogen low beams were 35w each, most modern halogen lowbeams are 50w each, with high beams being higher still obviously. That said, going to LED headlights takes a lot of the heavy load from the headlight switch to begin with, leaving only the taillamps, license plate, and front running lights as conventional lighting load. I've used LED 194's for the license lamps, and have fitted amber LED 194's for front running lights on one of mine so far, and reduced the load that much more. Tail lamps and running/turn lamps up front generally need to stay incandescent due to the blinker load sensing problem and complexities of the dual voltage design of the running/turn signal halogen lamps up front. There are workarounds for using LEDs in the tail lamp, however I still like the harness idea better as a more comprehensive solution, but the soltuion offered by DS-Porter is a good one as it is. If nothing else it lets one use LED headlamps immediately without the added work and cost of the harness retrofit needing to be done right away, and can always be fitted later as time and funds permit. Getting the immediate improvement in light output is a big plus.
  5. The entire vanity mirror assembly can be removed from the visor. Both light lenses and bulbs get removed and there are screws underneath that once backed out will permit removal of the whole assembly. I've not encountered this particular problem on any of mine yet, so will need to dissect a spare visor here to see what may be causing the problem being asked about. I'm guessing there is a snap spring and possibly a plastic tang that holds one or both ends of the spring in place that get broken resulting in the cover getting lazy. Will do some looking and report back.
  6. I figured they were either discontinued already, or on the way out. Get 'em while they're hot, I guess.
  7. I've removed a few successfully by using a pair of dental picks. One to hold the carrier contact in place, a second to gently pry the IC pin and break the solder joint. I've found no good way to unsolder these so far. I have a hot air rework station and couldn't get the solder to melt temp without damaging the carrier assembly. Even with the smallest tip, using a soldering pencil to melt the joints is next to impossible. Good luck.
  8. A couple of notes to add. A failed SES bulb in the cluster WILL cause a QDM fault on all model years, which automatically sets an E026 code as current. Other failures can also set E026, but the first thing to check when that code sets is the SES indicator. If it doesn't light, that is your very first matter to address. It is possible that the ECM failure itself on your 91 Caddy caused the SES to light (basically the ECM self identifying the fact it has had an undefined internal malfunction) although failure of the RAM that holds the codes would also account for the light setting with no codes stored, if there were some other actual fault that triggered the light to begin with. So, kind of a needless distinction in root cause. Finally, on the 3800 engine, and the Reatta specifically, a failure of the ignition control module will NOT set any codes or trigger the SES telltale in almost all cases, making the on board diagnostics pretty well useless for identifying an ICM failure. Bottom line, if you are running rough, or have bad shifts/clunks that fell like a transmission shifting poorly - but no codes set - suspect the ICM. About the only way to prove that failure out is to swap with a known good spare (which I heavily suggest all Reatta owners keep on hand at this stage) to see if that clears the symptoms. Otherwise, you can end up chasing a whole flock of geese around wildly trying to pin down the cause. Been there and done that..
  9. Barney, just FYI. Strattec (F/K/A Briggs and Stratton - lock division) has been the manufacturer/supplier for these parts for years after GM SPO generally stopped dealing with older design lock and key parts directly. As an aside, there are two versions of the shutter assembly. The correct one has the slot offset slightly to one side. There is another version that has the slot (and spring loaded slot cover) dead center. This latter design will fit the Reatta trunk lock, but will not allow proper insertion of the key as the slot on the shutter cap doesn't line up to the keyway in the cylinder correctly. Be sure the ones you are getting have the offset slot, or they won't work right once installed. Ask me now I know (heh). Further, both versions are available in black finish (correct for the Reatta) and bright stainless (which will also work but is non-stock on a Reatta, of course). I was talking to a locksmith about an unrelated matter a few months back, and he hooked me up with a few extra sets of the correct parts kit in matte black when he saw I was driving a Reatta and we got to talking about them. I am wondering now if these parts are officially discontinued, and we are simply drawing down stock on hand, or if Strattec is still actively making these. The last GM vehicles that used these old 5 pin key systems were made mid 1990's now, when they changed to a ten pin keying system, and are going on 30 years old.Therefore, I'd not be surprised to see support for these parts being withdrawn.
  10. Be forewarned with regard to reprogramming that the original EPROM may not always reliably take a new image due to age. We are now finding that some chips past the 25-30 year mark exhibit a tendency to have bytes that simply will not hold data for a new write cycle, even when properly erased (which is required before writing a new ROM image to the chip). Hopefully you will not find that to be the case, but putting it out there as it is becoming a more common problem with legacy hardware like this. Anyway, if you get it re-programmed, will be interesting to see if that corrects the issues you are having.
  11. KDirk

    Did you know?

    Ronnie, your "rant' is spot on. The only reason for the apparent popularity of the Facebook group is collective laziness. "Everybody is doing it, I need to be there too", is the prevailing attitutde that permeates almost everything now. Id point and laugh if it weren't so pathetic. Now, I haven't been very active here for a while due to extenuating circumstances, but that fact notwithstanding, I still consider this place to be the defacto standard for Reatta related discourse. With what we now know about facebook pimping the personal data (willingly supplied by the careless masses I needn't add, but will anyway) of every one of its users - among other distasteful business practices - there is no reason at all to be there anymore, except for the fact that the place still has the momentum created by having the critical mass of users in one place. I remember a hypothetical question about what one would do if everyone else was jumping off a bridge...well, lemmings [almost] one and all apparently. So, we who hang out here as our principal resource for the Reatta will persevere without the involvement of those who wish to go second rate at "creepy Mark Z's den of deceit and discontent". Remember: trends aren't smart, they are just popular. Often they are quite stupid in fact, but that is the way of the world. I will never go near Zuckersperg's spy and propaganda operation on principal alone, and know that I'm missing nothing at all of importance. And while I clearly run contrary to the crowd, I still insist that the less people know about me, the better. Going along just to fit in is for suckers. Really though, I know that I'm fighting a lost cause. I have no issue at all with anyone wanting to setup other Reatta related groups. It just shouldn't be done at facebook, as it is the worst possible venue for any number of very good reasons that have come to light. Of course, regret comes most strongly at those lacking foresight. Before this era of big social media finally crashes and burns, there will be enormous consequences for countless people who played along because it was the path of least resistance. And that's a damn shame, because it didn't have to be this way.
  12. OK. Gonna throw in on this. First, the memcal contains two components within the carrier. First is a 27C256 UVEpsom, soldered to the contacts in the carrier. Removal of this IC is difficult and it best, if reporgramming one, to remove the UV block sticker and use a UV eraser chamber and then reprogram. This IC contains all the operating code for the cars engine. The second component is a dual inline package circuit board with some surface mount components on it that serves as backup logic for limp home mode in the even of a EPROM failure. This part stores nothing, and there is nothing to reprogram. I honestly don't know what, if any, effect it would have on normal operation if the backup logic failed but the EPROM was still good. All that said, have you already replaced the ECM? I have seen ECMS that exhibit failures on only one input/output port while remaining normally functional otherwise. I had the happen on one of my 88's where the O2 sensor already read open, and was the ECM , rather than the sensor or wiring. If you have the correct MEM-CAL for the year and model, there shouldn't be issues like you are having excepting a ECM or MEM-CAL defect. And just to clear up one detail, this is a 90 your are working on, correct?
  13. I have spare vent windows if you still need one. Can message me here.
  14. Daniel, i am in for two sets (or more if supply/demand permits) if you have another batch run. I've done two of my four cars with the bushings you had produced and will need to do the other two at some point, plus would like at least one extra set in reserve in case I break down and buy another car at some point. Really, I'd buy four sets provided you make another batch large enough that no one else gets shorted were I to buy that many. If you decide to do another run and need a deposit pre-production, let me know.
  15. A Reatta hatchback? That's a bit interesting, but I can't say I like the way it changes the flow of the body lines. The green one is pretty close to production appearance, save for the gauges. I do really like the modernized red and black one (oblique rear view).