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Got me one after all these years.....


Pensive Scribe
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Hey there;

Greetings from Canada. It's been a week already and I still can't believe I am a Reatta owner.

I'd say the passion started back in 1989, the second year of production. I was in college, taking an aircraft structures repair course, and boarding with an aunt and uncle at the time.

My uncle and cousin let me tag along to the Vancouver Auto Show at B.C. Place stadium. We were checking out the new models and I came across the Buick section. Can't remember how the car caught my eye, but it was most likely the fact it was something different. I've been an admirer of form and function for many years. Most of the new models were still boxy and square, and I hadn't made up my mind if I liked the round dynamic trend of Ford or not. I'm sure they weren't the leaders of the change but they were certainly the most common of the time.

I started looking closer at the Reatta and the seeds of desire were planted. What was most attractive was the two place design. I remember thinking; now this is my kind of car. It bucked the trend towards "the most passengers the better" designs. I was wondering right away if it was a concept design? Oh, no it is already in production, cooool...

I was just at the beginning of a new career path, so considering such a luxury was impossible, but the dream moved forward with me as life moved on.

Fast forward to last week. I'd seen a handful of Reattas since, but I spotted and admired them all. Five to be exact. At one point I'd wondered what happen to them because I hadn't seen any since the auto show.

I was sharing my passion for the illusive wheels with a friend of mine and he started to notice them too. I've looked at the classifieds through the years and all the cars I'd seen so far had been un-obtainable. My financial goals continue to be a major challenge, and fall more on the side of stunted rather than bloomed. The wheels I drive tend to be more of the beater class, due to the fact that I'm also an antique car fanatic, not interested in buying new for status.

I got a call from my friend a couple of weeks ago. Do you still want Reatta? It's cheap! As most would do I balked at buying something sight unseen and extras are getting harder to justify. I was needing daily wheels, but a car that cheep let alone a Reatta, would lead to a lot of extra output.

I was helping a younger friend move his car from a storage yard and I spotted the back end of a Reatta on the other side of the fence. Hey a Reatta! "Aren't those a hand built car from way back?" he says. "They are kind of neat". It suddenly dawned on me this was the cheep wheels, previously mentioned. My daily routine brought me face to face with an illusive dream.

First thing Monday I grabbed some cash and went to the business where the car was kept. It took a few days to nail down the owner and get the scoop but, as of last Wednesday it is now mine for $600. Don't pinch me I don't want to wake up!

Here, see it for yourself.

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Everything but the AC is in working order. The service engine light is on and there is an electrical malfunction on the cruise control code, but cruise works. I've been ecstatic for days.

Thanks for listening.

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Very nice, and one of my favorite colors on the Reatta (inside and out). You got a heck of a deal it looks like, car seems clean from what can be seen in the photos.

The parts you need shouldn't be a problem to find. There are parts vendors on here (see the Reatta Resources thread), and there is always ebay as well if all else fails.

Keep us updated, always enjoy seeing the progress take place towards getting one back in shape. Make sure you post the year (looks like it may be an 88) as this helps us with troubleshooting.

KDirk

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Guest Mc_Reatta

Welcome to the asylum ...er forum for Reatta owners/lovers!

Go here and register for access to the online service manual:(Use the 89 FSM till you can pick up an 88 one. Very close)

http://reatta.net/docs.html

Go here to learn how to use diagnostics to troubleshoot and fix tons of things that go wrong:

http://reattaowner.com/roj/repair-information/computer-diagnostic-codes/how-to-access-trouble-codes#1-how-to-access-the-codes-for-88-89-models

Better get busy before the snow comes :rolleyes:

Edited by Mc_Reatta (see edit history)
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Guest PontiacDude210

Congrats on the great find! What a beautiful car, especially for a low dollar Reatta! I felt the same way when I got my 1990 red/tan coupe, I have been enamored with these cars since I saw one on the highway when I was thirteen. Good luck with your new Reatta, and keep us posted on your progress with it!

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Thanks PontiacDude210.

Here's where I'm at. If I follow the diagnostics on the CRT, that is, without the knowledge from the diagnostics instructions in the second link Mr. Mc_Reatta posted, the CRT says I have a disabled cruise control, but cruise works.

Following the instructions in the diagnostics link I get two different reads one is a blinking oxygen tab and a steady lit loop tab. O2 sensor maybe? Tried to reset, but it won't. The other is an "E" code-e014, which according to the 89 FSM is high engine temperature.

More information is needed at this time to clear my current confusion.

On a different matter, I talked to a friend of mine last night who is a Ford Dealer service mechanic (they do any car that comes in). He told me that one of the preventative measures on the GM 3800 engine is to change plug wires regularly to prevent coil failure. Has anyone else heard about this?

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Guest Mc_Reatta
Thanks PontiacDude210.

one is a blinking oxygen tab and a steady lit loop tab. O2 sensor maybe? Tried to reset, but it won't. The other is an "E" code-e014, which according to the 89 FSM is high engine temperature.

Blinking O2 telltale is a good sign as it indicates it is functioning normally as does the set Loop telltale which indicates engine is running in closed loop mode which it is supposed to do when when warmed up and all sensors are reporting.

As to E014,what engine temp is indicated when you set the CRT to Gauge mode? May be just a disconnected or faulty coolant temp sensor.

I was expecting you to get a cruise control trouble code (B660 thru 730). Don't know how you could get a warning message without at least one of them being set.

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Maybe this will help. When I first start the car the yellow Diagnostic light at the far right of the gauge panel comes on and the CRT tells me there is an engine electrical problem. I press return to get the regular screen and the yellow dash light goes out.

I'm going to go for a drive to see what the water temp gets up to.

I'm overwhelmed with your willingness to help, it is greatly appreciated. I hope this thread helps others somewhere along the way.

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Maybe this will help. When I first start the car the yellow Diagnostic light at the far right of the gauge panel comes on and the CRT tells me there is an engine electrical problem. I press return to get the regular screen and the yellow dash light goes out.

I'm going to go for a drive to see what the water temp gets up to.

I'm overwhelmed with your willingness to help, it is greatly appreciated. I hope this thread helps others somewhere along the way.

The next time this happens take a quick look at the oil pressure reading. One of the failure modes of the oil pressure sensor is it will briefly read extremely high and then return to normal. That will cause the electrical problem warning to be displayed briefly. I can't remember if it will set a history code the will show up on diagnostics or not.
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Guest Mc_Reatta

This is starting to get interesting and maybe not in a good way.

Displayed temp is very good. Looks like PO may have installed a 180 deg thermostat which is good.

Engine temp is one of the sensors that is monitored by both the ECM and BCM. ECM uses it for engine operation and the BCM monitors it for display.

How the programming handles this and a few other sensors is different between the 88 and 89 model years.

You obviously have a disconnect with the ECM setting an E014 temp high code, and the BCM displaying a good temp on the CRT. So some more diagnostics research is needed to see if you can get to the bottom of this.

My suggestion is to first confirm that you have the proper 88 PROM in the ECM just so that we aren't chasing our tail. ECM Data mode ED99 will display a code for the PROM ID that we can verify to show one of the 2 correct 88 PROMS is in place. I expect that this will check out OK but is worth the tiny amount of effort it takes to check it.

Next step would be to compare the coolant temp data info as seen by the ECM and BCM. This info is available by looking at both the ECM data and BCM data, and obviously should be the same in both places. These numbers are in deg C not F (BCM converts it to F for gauge display) To see the ECM temp data, look at ED04. If the ECM sees a maxed out reading it will set trouble code E014 which is what you report. Cold engine will be around 30C (86F) and a warm engine will be around 80C (180F). Then switch to the BCM Data mode in diagnostics and look at what it sees for the value at BD21. Should be the same as what ED04 reported. Is it? If the BCM sees a maxed out temp, it will set trouble code B450 which you are not reporting. It should also display a temp of 300F on the gauge which you also aren't seeing.

Looking at these items in diagnostics will aid greatly in figuring out why you are getting E014 and that electrical problem warning. Hopefully it won't turn out to be the ECM which would raise your cost of ownership by a large percentage since you got such a good deal to start with. :(

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Guest Mc_Reatta
There is a history code that has come up but is a "B" code: B132. Just started my car and watched the oil pressure. It doesn't appear to spike.

That's an oil pressure sensor fault with engine running. Would have shown as a spike as Ronnie suggested if you caught it real time.

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Guest Mc_Reatta
Prom ID appears 3524. ECM temp reads 71 degrees. BCM temp reads 69 degrees.

The temp readings are OK, but there is a problem with the PROM (SCAN) ID. I'll ask you to reread and repost that PROM ID again. As reported, it has one digit off from what it should be, so I need to know if it is a typo or the wrong PROM.

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Guest Mc_Reatta

Ding, Ding, Ding! You are correct sir. The proper PROM (Scan) ID for an 88 is 3534 not 3524.

You can verify this by pulling the ECM, taking off the cover, and reading the 4 letter code and ID # written on it. Supposed to be ANCX ID# 3559 GM part # 16123488.

The one you have will likely read ANCW ID# 3556 GM PN 16123487. This was used in two other 88 Buick models and an Olds model, but can't say which ones for sure. Did have same engine but at least different tranny. (Don't trust your speedo.)

The other PROM that was used in early 88 Reattas was ANBM. It was replaced by the ANCX to correct a problem with the mileage calculation. Here's a photo of that one. attachment.php?attachmentid=245197&d=1398736207

This one reports as 2544 looking at ED99. The ED99 # (Scan ID) is different than the ID # marked on the PROM.

You can either get a new PROM by doing a Google search for GM 16123488 and see if a vendor shows up, or see if someone on here has one they can provide.

Good luck and report back.

Edited by Mc_Reatta (see edit history)
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If you know you have a B132 (oil pressure sensor) that will cause the "electrical problem" warning, why would you move on to finding another problem before correcting that one? Replacing the oil pressure sensor is a 15-20 minute job.

BTW, I think the 3524 chip is for an '88 model.

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You called it Mr. Mc_Reatta. I've reverted back to calling you Mr. because you have my utmost respect. I may even like you a little. Took the ECM out and low and behold.

post-101885-143142633552_thumb.jpg The picture tells the story. Now Can I drive it until I find the right part? Other than the speedo being out?

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Who the h*** keeps subbing incorrect PROMS on these cars? I had his happen with my first 88, someone else on here had this problem a few months back, and now this one. And always 88 models. This is getting to be a recurring story and I'm kind of getting irritated at these shade tree morons who are doing this stuff then selling these cars screwed up like this.

I guess things like this are inevitable as these cars age and the needed parts are not readily available. Almost seems like verifying the ECM and BCM PROMS needs to be a standard requirement when inspecting a car pre-sale.

Hat tip to MC for picking this one up so quickly.

KDirk

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Guest Mc_Reatta

No need for the Mr.

Yes you can keep driving the car. Just ignore all the messages and codes until you get the correct one installed and reset everything. Then we'll see which ones if any come back. I just hope they didn't swap the BCM along with the ECM as there's less info about those PROMS. I have a feeling that E041 code will still hang around. That's the Cam Sensor signal dropping out and is a common problem with all variants of the 3.8 L motor. It's an easy fix to do and can wait for awhile as it's not a critical failure.

Here's some links that might be able to supply a PROM (proper nomenclature is a "Calibration Unit - IC"

http://parts.royaloakschevy.com/p/EPROM-Emission-Control-System/47305544/16123488.html

http://www.usaspareparts.com/parts/147-acdelco-spo/213950/16123488-calibration-unit-ic-conn3559ancx.html

There is no guarantee that either of these places really have one in stock and how much S&H would be.

Hopefully if someone here on the forum has an extra one they will offer it to you.

All I can find out what car your PROM came from was one of 2 88 Buick models or 1 Olds model that had the same 3.8 LN3 engine with the same F79 gear ratio tranny version. (Riviera? Trofeo?) So there may be no speedo error as I previously thought there might be..

In the mean time you can be working on those hub caps and seat belt covers you need.

Good Luck.

Edited by Mc_Reatta (see edit history)
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I've been impressed for years.

If Mc_Reatta, Ronnie, kdirk, Padgett, and a couple of others are on your case, you stand a very good chance of getting the problem resolved. Most of our Reatta issues are electrical and these guys are pretty sharp knives in the drawer...

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I am most grateful to all who've even just chimed in. I feel like I've just been welcomed into a big happy/helpful family. I've even found another "black 88 Reatta" owner within 20 minutes of me.

I figured I'd start my search local and spread out from there, increasing the radius as I go. I'm trying to nail down the specific cars the right prom came in. There are many auto wreckers with warranties that may be a source for this piece.

Meanwhile at least I can continue to enjoy my sweet ride. My car looks incomplete with two caps missing so that's what I'm going to try and fix while hunting the ECM. I have some 92 Oldsmobile rims I'm going to check for fit. If they work I'll post pics.

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Guest Dan Gibbs

Hey Pen :)

Now those Cutlass rims are interesting on the Reatta....I haven't seen a set of those roll down the road in ten years! I think they look better on the Reatta than they did on the Cutlasses.

Hey Dave :)

Yeah a lot of you guys are wizards on here everyday in my eyes for sure - but, diagnosing the eeprom ahead of time as incorrect for the year/model is coming from another dimension in my eyes. I troubleshoot for a living and Mc_Reatta calling that one was beyond hehehe.

Dan

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I'll assume few comments on the wheels is a good thing. I just threw them on for now but put some miles on them yesterday, one of them started flying apart on the highway. My choices were few, head home and put another inferior one on and waste an hour and a half or try to find a tire store with a good used one to get me home.

I chose to keep going, getting me farther from home. Eventually had to buy two new tires. just the safest thing to do tight budget or not. I guess the olds rims stay for a while.

While out and about my passenger opened his door before I could get the key into the ignition. ALARMING!!!! The key in the door lock trick failed miserably. I dimmed the horns by removing the horn relay. After a few minutes the other clicking stopped. I didn't have tools to disconnect the battery, and the ignition failed.

A young guy coming out of DQ asked if we needed help? Got tools? yup. Could use a 7/16 wrench. Got it. Problem solved. He started telling me where one of these is sitting. Hey that's not far. I'll go check it out.

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It was right where he said it would be. Just talked to the owner and got the whole scoop. He'd let it go for $1500.00 it sounds like, but then a few moments later he wants to drive it some more. The CRT works occasionally, but even dark he's managed to adjust the radio volume. He wants to see mine, so some day I'll go play on his for future consideration of ownership. Nice guy though, he didn't mind having someone to talk about his car with.

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Edited by Pensive Scribe (see edit history)
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Hey there; I'm still enjoying my car thoroughly, as well as getting to know it's quirks intimately.

This week I fixed the remote starter/entry key fob. Bad connection with the small onboard battery, and the plastic key ring loop was badly broken, as in non- existing.

I was also able to polish the oxidized tail light. I used a product meant for polishing metal called Autosol. It was originally discovered as a plastic polish and the results are night and day.

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I've also soaked the entire interior in Meguiars vinyl and rubber cleaner and conditioner. most of it now looks brand new. The Meguiars also works wonders on cracked and shrunken rubber seals, so all the door and window seals got a soaking. Wind noise has reduced, but I think more product will be required. I have a friend that soaks old weather stripping in a bucket of this stuff and it all comes out looking crack free and brand new.

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Guest tyrel

Black is the best color, looks pretty good. Although I haven't had a Reatta in many years, I still do a double-take whenever I see one, it is one of the most beautiful American cars I've ever seen. I fondly remember the first time I saw one in San Francisco, it was a brand new silver coupe rolling down Market street, I just stood there with my mouth open. I love the back end of these cars, it's simple, elegant, stylish, and timeless. I hope you enjoy your car, it's quite a set of wheels.

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Not that far off:

Code Year Release Eprom ECM Prom ID Scan ID Platform Engine Disp. Trans Trans Gear Ratio

ANCW 1988 32315 16123487 1228253 3556 3524 EB LN3 3.8 ME9 AUTO F79

That said, ANCX is the one to have in an 88 (can tell by the steering wheel). Know Sinister/GM Tuners has the bin since was part of the package I sent years ago. Might as well get the fans settings to match a 180 thermostat.

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Just a quick question for clarity purposes. I have the remanufactured ECM part #01228253 with the wrong Prom chip #ANCW 3556 in it as determined above. Do I just need to change the Prom chip in my current ECM to the correct Prom #ANCX 3359? Or does the ANCX 3359 have to be in the ECM #16123488 to work?

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Ok, first for some clarification; the ANCX PROM will report 3534 as the numeric ID in diagnostic readout ED99.

Second, if your ECM has two black and one orange connector cavities (these colors match up to the color of the three plugs on the ECM harness) it should be correct. Then, you just need the MEM-CAL (the carrier with the blue plastic cover on it) that has the ANCX PROM inside of it. You plug that MEM-CAL in and you are set to go.

If you can't source a correct factory MEM-CAL then I can modify one by installing the correct ANCX chip in it. Just PM me here if the need arises.

KDirk

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