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1990 Reatta conv.


Phils38cpe

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I have a chance to pick up a 90 Reatta conv. I don't know much about Reattas (I'm into Fieros and Packards). Are there any common trouble spots that I should look at when inspecting this auto? Also I have a spare Supercharged L67 3800 series 2 motor in my garage. Is this a pretty much straight forward swap, I know the PCM will have to be dealt with.

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Guest Greg Ross

You'll be looking for Sun Visor Clips, they are available now from Kingsley!

Where's the car from-northern climates-look for corosion issues, from the South-more likely to have problems with UV damage, seals etc.

Body Mount isolators have gotten to be a concern the past few years, they tend to disintigrate from the inside-6 on the front sub-frame and 2 on the rear.

Teves ABS System-recommend you go to "Reatta.Net" and read up on the ABS system used from '88-'90. Copy off the Teves Brake Test and go thru the test sequence on the car you are considering buying. The Accumulator (most common defect source runs about $110. The complete Master Cylinder/ Boost Module is around $850. last I heard.

Headlight cover problems you're probably already familiar with from your Fiero experience.

Then it's just another 20 year old car that needs a going over, and the "Road Test" Just tooling around town won't cut it, you've got to get it out on the road.

Always advisable to take the car to a mechanic you trust and pay for 1/2 an hour of his time to look it over.

Padgett may have some insight for you, he's recently been thru the process of learning to love a '90 Vert.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: handmedownreatta</div><div class="ubbcode-body">the other problem is hardly any new parts are available unless they also fit other buicks. </div></div>

I'm very familiar with the parts thing - I have 2 Fieros that I have to keep running and a 38 Packard

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Like most collectibles "condition is everything". If you are used to "the car you wear" then the Reatta, especially a 'vert, will probably be in better shape but I'd suggest putting it on a lift and give the undercarriage a good going over for corrosion.

If this isn't possible, check the leading edge of the rear wheelwheels, cradle mounting bolts, under the battery, the trunk hinges, brake lines, seams at the bottom of the doors, and the gas tank straps for rust or recent replacement. If it is there, it will be elsewhere.

Other than that look for the same things you would in any car. Good news is the 3800 engine is very robust and reasonably economical - 30 MPG is common on the road, better than my Fiero GT (I plan to replace the trans with an Isuzu 5-speed, it has better ratios for me than the Getrag.)

As to dropping in an L67, it fits nicely but the electronics/computers will need "fixing" since most of the engine displays are transmitted in a serial stream from the ECM (engine control module) to the BCM (body control module) using the "P4" system, an 8192 BPS serial link. This is not OBD-II. You can use a 92-94 Supercharged 3800 computer as the basis but will require a lot of tweaking.

Frankly, you would be better off putting the L-67 in a Fiero and keeping the stock 3800 for the Reatta. The Fiero would be faster since it is nearly 1000 lbs lighter than a 'vert.

Finally to replace the top properly is $900 just for the parts so the condition of the top is important and the correct top has a full headliner and a glass rear window.

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Good info padgett. As for the SC3800 I already have one in my Fiero. In fact I just changed my Fiero from a 5 sp getrag to a 4 sp auto and picked up about 2 mpg over the 5 sp. Now I'm getting 30 mpg highway. Before the SC3800 was modified I got around 34 mpg but it dropped a bit after I "bumped up" the HP from the stock 240 to 320. The wife has a 4 cyl T Top Fiero with the 5 sp and we have gotten 40 mpg on a trip. Unfortunately the Packard get a strong 12 mpg.

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Understand, 12 mpg is about same as my 4-speed RA Judge (but it has a/c grin.gif ). It is the reason I have no desire to "improve" the Reatta powertrain but would like to put a 5-speed Isuzu in the Fiero (someday - have enough projects).

BTW the reason the MPG improved with the 4T (65E ?) was under 2000 rpm at 70 mph, Getrag is really not geared well for economy on the Interstate

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