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DAVES89

Lurkers

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I understand someone new not wanting to post. I myself "lurked" for several weeks before I "jumped in". However what is troubling to me is why people, especially the real knowledgable ones turn to "lurkers" and don't post anymore. Guys that come to mind are Rawja, NCReatta, Padgett, Dave [the retired engineer in Texas], 63viking [to some extent] and lately Mc_Reatta. I know Rawja got mad and left, but why Mc_Reatta? One of the nicest, smartest guys I ever met. Has a witty sense of humour and as an engineer can explain things in simple terms. I have reached out to him via PM's and while I see he is on the website, has choosen not to participate.

Come back you guys we need you and most times need your help.

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Dave, I have the same concerns you do about this forum's best and most knowledgeable members going silent.

Sometimes I think others don't post because I'm here and I post so much. I realize that I sometimes appear to be harsh in my posts and come across as being an ass but I don't intend to be. Some people don't like me posting so many links to the Reatta Store and Reatta Owners Journal. A majority of the emails I get tell me the links are helpful. Every now and then I get an email critical of the links to my store. Just a few days ago I got an email that was critical of me for posting a link to a new starter in the thread "Starter Motor". The links I post help me illustrate what I'm trying to say in order to help someone solve a problem. I don't see my links as being any different from the links to AutoZone, RockAuto or anywhere else, that are routinely posted on this forum.

This is the AACA Reatta forum but it is also intended to be the Reatta Club's forum. If I contribute to the problem with people leaving this forum, or in any way keep them from wanting to post here, I will be happy to go to my forum and stay. I don't want to disrupt this forum. I want to make it better. Any comments on this subject about me or my websites are welcomed. I won't be offended. I would like to know how everyone feels.

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I have been around here for a long time and still do lots of post.....but I lay off many as they are well known problems, and maybe some of the members mentioned feel the same. I would like to see forum members giving out answers and new Reatta owners asking questions. One possible cause of the reduction in post is fewer registered Reatta remaining on the road.... plus with a little research and doing the search on past post, many of the questions have been answered and new owners can find the answer without the need to post.

I just check the bottom of the forum and there are 8 members online and 35 people looking

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)

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I think most people have some theory here as to what is going on. After a few PM discussions with some folks who I won't name, I've concluded that some people are bothered by all of the clueless new owners(I was one myself 3 years or so ago), while other people are bothered by seeing new owners put aftermarket wheels, exhaust, stereo, etc. on their cars, and still others find contention between their businesses and other vendors. There are those who feel every single discussion now is extraneous or rehashing, and there are those who feel they're not appreciated. Some people who are disappearing are the new owners who give up, but others are really knowledgeable, and I hope they come back.

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I guess I am guilty of being one of those "lurkers". I am very knowledgeable about cars in general but have found this forum and the Reatta forum to be very informative, well managed and easy on me and the computer. Many times when I would look at somebodies question a much more Reatta specific knowledgable person had responded. I have found many things by using the search function. I certainly hope those knowledgeable people don't leave us.

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Guest my3buicks

I think it's a little bit of about ever analogy that has been stated. Time of year often plays into activity as well. I think some of the more knowledgeable ones do get tired of answering the same question over and over when a simple site search could have answered the inquirers questions. Sometimes forums just dry up as well - the Centurion forum used to be a happening place, dozens of regular users, multiple posts daily, etc - now it's a ghost town with post occurring rarely.

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I think it is all of the above. I have not posted so much recently, but have had a spurt of posts in the past week. I try not to get so caught up in one hobby that I burn out. I do have other hobbies - vintage hi-fi, I play classical organ and am upgrading an older Rodgers 750BE organ in my basement, and I enjoy listening to quality music of many styles rather than watching movies or TV - so my time gets divided (not always equally) amongst them.

I know some here have other cars they collect so their loyalties are divided, so to speak. It isn't wise to be so focused and single-minded in one's pursuits that everything else gets shut out.

I will say the "noobs" can be trying on the good nature of long time members simply because we end up rehashing things that have been discussed many times before and that gets old after a while. I try to humor such new members as I remember coming in here with virtually np knowledge of the Reatta in 2007 and was lucky to find the forum in it's prime. I gained much knowledge and assistance, particularly with some stubborn tech problems on my first 88. So, I try to repay that to the extent possible.

I would like to see more activity here, as it is clearly off it's peak and that is a shame. But other than trouble shooting and the occasional obscure history thread (like the AGIP discussion presently going on) there isn't a lot left to say for us long time members besides the periodic "brag" thread in which we gloat about our latest upgrades or repairs. I don't mind seeing these, as they can be informative.

KDirk

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Some people move on or their priorities have changed. I know my visits to the forum have diminished greatly the past nine months. Also, most scenarios addressed in new posts have been asked. Might be where those who are knowledgeable are tired of answering the same questions over and over. When puzzled, search the forum or visit http://reattaowner.com/

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I hear "search the splices, search the bushings..." a lot. The issue I have is if you search "splices" you get umpteen million results on "search the splices, it gets asked all the time."

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Frankly, the search function is not very intuitive, which does make if difficult unless you know the exact key word(s). Probably many reasons, which is unfortunate. This thread is a good thing, at least I think so. It at least make some of us think about contributions and where we all were once upon a time.

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In fairness, a lot of the repetitive stuff is covered extensively at Reatta Owners Journal in the tutorials there. Much of that information was culled from posts here, some was submitted directly for publication there. In any case, more attention needs to be given to ROJ - especially for these matters - and the excellent effort Ronnie has made in building and maintaining the site.

I don't know the official policy of the AACA regarding linking to external sites, but unless it is specifically forbidden, I think there should be a visible sticky link to ROJ here for the value of the tutorials there.

Now, I understand this may be a bit tricky as there is a commercial component to ROJ and perhaps AACA frowns upon making an implicit endorsement of another site over which they have no control. If so, then I suppose that doesn't work. It would, if allowed, help relieve the re-hashing of common problems again and again; assuming new members could be bothered to follow a link. That may be a problem unto itself, but not much we can do to rectify a unwillingness to follow the path laid out for those unwilling to do so.

I expect the personality of this forum will change over time, especially if serious collectors take an interest in the Reatta. Real serious collectors tend to have a much more serious and stringent attitude towards the maintaining and preservation of cars that will likely clash with the more laid back style of the current and recent past membership here. Not sure I'd fit into such a place as I do here now.

KDirk

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I for one enjoy this site and the ROJ. The people seem much more receptive to ideas and changes to the cars. I have found purists at other sites (different car) pooh poohing when I mentioned some changes made to my other car. I also felt they really wouldn't be of much help. I want to do the body on my 55 Bird as a "frame off" but I get static because I have converted to 12V, have a 302 instead of the original 292 and I'm planning on changes to the brakes and the dashboard, I'll find my "frame off" help elsewhere or I'll learn by trial and error. I hope more successes than mistakes.

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I'm an 'old timer' here, having been a member since 2002. you'll notice I don't have thousands of posts, because I wanted to discuss what I felt were important things about Reattas, not that there's a $50 coupon for Chili's online.

even though I'm in the business of selling Reatta parts, I thought my best approach here in the beginning was not about selling parts, but about sharing knowledge about things I've learned about taking hundreds of Reattas apart. at this point, over 650 Reattas have rolled thru the doors here at buickreattaparts.com I thought that information would be appreciated; it was not.

the first problem concerned the subject of VIN numbers. as the former owner of a new car dealership, I learned early on that an VIN number is sacrosanct. our new vehicles arrived, and I required every new vehicle's VIN to be visually verified with the Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MSO) we received from Chrysler. guess what? about 40 per year were incorrect, and that was for NEW vehicles at a small dealership.

now let's look at that Reatta database. VINs are very casually gathered from online ads, newspaper ads, pennysaver ads, and wherever else a VIN can be found. police agences make it a habit be verify a VIN three different times, just to make sure it is absolutely correct. do you suppose this was done with the database? of course not. as our initial inventory of 100 Reattas arrived, I was anxious to share all this information for the database. imagine my surprise when I was told by "the keeper of the database" that my VIN information was "wrong" compared to what alleged information was already entered there. well, that ended providing any additional information from our inventory.

over the years, I've shared information about things like exact match SEM colors for Reatta interiors, complete with color codes for every Reatta interior color. was that appreciated? of course not! SEM costs more than 99 cents, and no one could seem to understand that an AUTO PAINT SUPPLY STORE (the place body shops buy paint) was not the same as AutoZone. instead, many "experts" found a "close match" with high gloss enamel they bought at WalMart. I can only imagine how good that looks on vinyl and leather.

I made friends with Steve Scott (reattapartswest)and Marck Barker (East Coast Reatta Parts); we are all still the best of friends today. both had asked if I would have a problem with them selling Reatta parts; I welcomed the competition with open arms. today, between the three of us, we have over 11,000 Reatta customers.

as time passed, we were trashed, vilified, and made unwelcome here on the forum. it was rare for one of us to post without another post appearing that said, "please PM me before you buy ANYTHING from them". Steve was banned altogether. none of the three of us do this as a hobby, or has a pension. this is our primary source of income, and I have no plans to just "get by", but to thrive and do very well, just like each and every one of you.

it seems many forum members parrot that Easter chick: "cheep, cheep, cheep". a good example was a recent post about the transmission shift cable. a bunch of "answers" of the Mickey Mouse variety, but not ONE single suggestion to REPLACE the cable with a good one. its interesting to see posts about "unavailable intermediate emergency brake cables" really? how many corrosion free ones do you want? how about the rear one? need a corrosion free filler tube or gas tank? rear axle assembly or front subframe, corrosion free? we have them all. no, they are not $2, but we have no problems selling them to dealers, shops, and customers who really care about their Reattas, with no interest in Mickey Mouse fixes that never work. we have no two dollar parts for ten dollar cars.

I learned a long time ago that before I trash a source, I'd better have a "plan B". with Mr. Finn essentially out of the Reatta parts business, it seems all of the "Plan Bs" have been run out of town. if someone turns to the forum here for a front clip, a windshield, an optically restored tail lamp assembly (this is done correctly to last forever, not a "forum fix" that washes off with the next rain), or a front fender that needs to be shipped and arrive on one piece, where would they go? nope, no Plan B here.

I've never seen any automotive forum anywhere were members DELIGHT in what they perceive as the "worthlessness" of their cars like they do here. of course, they could not be more incorrect, but they don't want to hear any of those facts. we have seen Reatta values in both NADA and KBB increase fivefold in the last three years. I had a customer last month with a rustbucket, 200,000+ mile Reatta in Pennsylvania that hit two deer; GEICO totaled the car, and gave their insured a check for $6,800. do you know a lot of insurance companies that overpay on claims? I don't! but keep telling yourselves that whoever buys a pristine, low mileage convertible for $25,000 got "ripped off". do you get upset when your neighbor sells their home for $50,000 more than the last neighborhood sale? why are increasing values on your cars such a problem?

when I look at the percentage of my sales from forum members (even when I was posting a lot, ten years ago). the best year (2003) was a whopping 2%, with the other 98% coming from dealers, shops, and non forum customers. still, I kept posting information until it reached a point that the relentless trashing convinced me to just not bother any longer.

Mike Rukavina

buickreattaparts.com

Edited by reattadudes (see edit history)

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dudes.i expect you and the other salers to make a profit.but some of us are on a budget and are trying to get replacement parts as cheap as possible.my car isn't a 1968 gto and i doubt it will ever be worth more than 2000 dollars.im just trying to keep it nice and on the road.

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I think the ROJ is a very valuable resource. I reference it many times myself, and it helps me keep 2 very aged cars starting and drivable any day of the week.

As far as Reattadudes post, I think there are a fair few of us who are less about purist restoration quality parts and more about enjoying a classic car before it is collectible. Is that relishing the worthlessness of our cars? Hardly. I love having a fun 2 seater that's fairly uncommon that I can still buy parts for without making 6 figures a year. Some of us don't mind fabricating a part, or "Mickey Mousing" it to use your term. I love my 200k+ rust bucket and I don't care that the tail light isn't optically restored. That doesn't mean I don't care about it, it simply means that it wasn't an investment for me to pull a return on.

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dudes.i expect you and the other salers to make a profit.but some of us are on a budget and are trying to get replacement parts as cheap as possible.my car isn't a 1968 gto and i doubt it will ever be worth more than 2000 dollars.im just trying to keep it nice and on the road.

Oh, come now. We'll see the day the Reatta is collectible enough to be worth a bit in one piece. Do you know how many 2nd gen Chargers my relatives' salvage business crushed years ago because they weren't ever going to be worth anything? With the rate that Reattas are being ripped apart, they'll demand a pretty penny some day. For right now, you and I can enjoy cheap parts and fabricating fixes. We may not be so lucky forever though.

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I admit that my posting levels have dropped off but I still frequent the site at least several times a week. This site is a gold mine of knowledge and a harbinger of what a Reatta owner can anticipate, as at this point, just about everything that can go wrong has happened to multiple members, who share. My Reatta, after I spent a solid 6-8 months bringing it back to daily driver condition has just been purring along.

If I see a post where I think I can add value to the discussion, I will not hesitate to do so.

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Guys:

Know I have not been very active lately (though am interested in the S60 in IA) & really threefold:

1) The "new generation" jumps in quickly.

2) Most of what I know has already been published & what I am doing is not exactly stock.

3) Was suddenly retired. Not a bad thing, after 30 years with a major DOD contractor, the benefitsd are quite good

That said for the last month I've been scrambling with things like Social Security and Medicare and COBRA: nothing problematic just time consuming. Also am no longer setting the alarm clock so usually awakened by paw-in-face. And I've been installing solar panels on my travel trailer since now can realize dream of cruising the US...slowly.

So have not been here as much as some other sites since my Reattae are all well.

Also find I now need a lawn tractor that can also move a 3500 lb trailer around the back yard and cut grass.

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... I expect the personality of this forum will change over time, especially if serious collectors take an interest in the Reatta. Real serious collectors tend to have a much more serious and stringent attitude towards the maintaining and preservation of cars that will likely clash with the more laid back style of the current and recent past membership here. Not sure I'd fit into such a place as I do here now.

I would like to think that this forum is welcoming for all Reatta owners - regardless. I always cheer, though mostly privately, when folks manage to keep yet another one on the road, solve vexing problems, and find great workarounds for others. (So keep up the good work!) But I would also like to think that those of us who are blessed/cursed with fairly pristine specimens can occasionally discuss items that may seem esoteric to others without seeming off-putting.

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Mike R.,

I didn't know you guys were still in business. I will certainly keep you in mind for my next parts search.

I may have you confused with another provider down there but, I was looking for a front bumper not too long ago, called and spoke with someone named "Roger" or some such. He took my info down and said he'd get back with me. Never did. Tried a follow-up call, all went to voicemail. Quit trying.

Regarding the Tx shift cable. I posted a fix that I perforned on my '89 almost a decade ago and it still functions as it should today. The cost was under five bucks and took about two hours tops. It took me longer to write up the procedure than to actually perform the task and, I didnt have to tear into the console to remove the cable from the shifter assembly and pull through the firewall. Just say'n.

But hey... What are you asking for one of those Intermediate Cables anyway?

John F.

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I've been a forum member since the late 90's. I used to visit the forum almost ever day. The great members advice helped me do a lot of the repair work myself, or 0 in on problems to have fixed elsewhere. I hope over the years I might have provided some help in return. Sadly, in 2008 my Reatta died. With the car's demise, I stopped visiting as often. I still visit from time to time, such as today. I doubt I will have a Reatta again, although I did enjoy my car for the almost 10 years I had it. I suppose you can say I've loss some interest since I don't have a Reatta any longer. When I do visit, if there is something I can add to my two cents in, I will do so. Anyway, that's my explanation, for the lack of visits.

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Sometimes doing the same thing for a long time just gets old. I started showing my cars in April 1967 at the AACA show in Grayslake IL, usually the first show of the year, and held at the old Lake County Fairgrounds. I was 16, and it was the opening of an exciting new world for me. When one has done something for a long time sometimes like the rose, the bloom fades away. The same way with forums, I think, for some people. Generations fade away, and the change comes when the younger ones have other interests than ours. Hopefully this type of forum will not just fade away as well.

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Guys:

thats funny. since i got the check for my camaro ive bought 3 100 watt solar panels and a controller as a start to try to screw the power company out of a bit of money and to have a backup for power during an outage.its replacing a harbor freight 45 watt system i may install in my travel trailer.

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I like Renogy mono panels but just have two 100 watters to keep the two GC2s up. Since the fridge can run on propane and need either shore power or use a generator to run the AC (would need about 20 panels and a heck of an inverter to run to run the AC from solar and it is only a 13.5, home has a 4 ton unit. Possible but even at $1.50/watt gets expensive fast).

Have always thought a solar car was possible but with current technology would need to pull about a 40 foot flatbed behind to have room for enough panels.

Nice day so took the 'vert out shopping but is now just a case of turn key and go. Have about another month of topless weather becore an air conditioned coupe becomes the vehicle of choice.

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