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  I have been following this forum for a number of years and I need to finally speak up and thank all who contribute to this wealth of knowledge and experience. Thanx a whole bunch!

  After starting up and applying about half to three fourths power I hear a clattering noise that may be coming from the area of the cat converter. Could be something loose inside? Anyone had any similar issues? More issues and stories to follow. I'm an introverted two fingered typist.

Thanx

Dean Porter '89 Reatta

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It could be the harmonic balancer. Take the serpentine belt off [just put a wrench on the tensioner to release the tension and take the belt off the alternator] and start the car. It will run for a short time [you will get all kinds of warnings on your CRT but that is OK]. If there is no "clattering" noise that is what your problem is. Doing this test will also tell you if the noise is your A/C compressor, belt tensioner or alternator.

 Welcome and please report back with what you find out.

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I would concur with Dave89 on eliminating the harmonic balancer by removing the serpentine belt and starting the engine for a short time.  I chased a clattering sound all the way to the last thing remaining point meaning that I basically replaced ALL the other stuff before the balancer.  I DID do both a visual as well as a hands-on test for looseness of the harmonic balancer early in the process as I knew all too well that such a noise COULD be the balancer, but the balancer seemed to be intact (i.e. NO looseness of the pulley or visual evidence of the disintegrating rubber between the pulley and inner sections.  So I chased the noise elsewhere and wound up with a new tensioner, new idler puller, new power steering pump and as I had recently replaced the AC compressor, that left the alternator, which I took to my local auto parts store and had them test it knowing that if it was the culprit the noise would be evident while testing. Of course the alternator tested fine and ran quietly so that left me ONLY with the harmonic balance, so I replaced it and the job, while something of a PITA, was not as bad as I had feared.  Turned out the balancer WAS the issue.  Even on inspection once removed, the failure of the balancer was NOT visually evident but after replacement, the clattering noise immediately vanished and I have not heard a peep of noise since.  As for replacing all the other stuff, it was all 26+ year old OEM original, so I just considered it preventative maintenance.  

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  Good advice about the balancer test. I had it off a few months back to check the crank sensor. Found no issues and the balancer rubber looked OK but I'll do the test.

Another issue is occasional rough starts. I am suspecting a dirty injector. Overriding the injectors one at a time seems to show #1 a little rougher than the others. Fuel pressure is good - 44/37 psi. Vac at throttle plate is16 inches. I recently removed the throttle body and cleaned all the soot out completely.and reset the throttle closed position as close as I could. All the ECM parameters look normal but the IAC and fuel calculation seem to fluctuate more than they should which I think could be caused by an inconsistent injector. I think my local Doctor Injector will get some business. I won't be happy until all is perfect once again.

  More to follow after I do all this stuff.

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  Yesterday I had the injectors cleaned and balanced and the difference is quite noticeable. No more rough starts, stalls, or "hunting" for the right IAC settng to obtain a smooth idle.  So then I loosened the serpentine belt and started it and I could still hear a slight rattle coming from the harmonic balancer area. I will soon replace it. Does anyone have a recommendation for a source for that? i am concerned that a replacement, even though unused, might be as old as the car.

  Thanx in advance

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6 hours ago, Dsporter said:

Thanx Corvanti

After the harmonic balancer maybe I will run out of things to fix. But such confidence invites trouble......

 

Dsporter,

 

Perhaps knocking on wood will insure good luck!  

 

I second and highly recommend you spend some time at www.reattaowner.com aka Reatta Owners Journal, which is a collection of Reatta repair tutorials, how-to guides and other good stuff compiled by one of our members "Ronnie".   He has collected how-to's from past and current skilled Reatta mechanics and then added the Reatta Store where he has selected Reatta specific new parts for our cars from Amazon.  The neat part is that buying products at The Reatta Store is the least expensive prices available from Amazon and the minimal commission generated goes to support the costs of hosting the Reatta Owners Journal.  

 

If you look at the sticky entitled Reatta Resources you will find more reliable sources for new and used parts that are invaluable for anyone keeping their Reatta on the road!

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Welcome to the forum! I too live in the Great Northwet, a few miles from you in Redmond. I'd be happy to share whatever knowledge I have gained about these great cars if you wish.  PM me for my contact info. The local Buick Club of America chapter holds its annual All Buick car show in Puyallup in late June.  It is a good opportunity to meet up with other Buick and Reatta owners and compare notes. You car doesn't have to be a show car to attend. I have brought some pretty rattty cars in the past and still had a great time. To attend and even show your car, you don't have to be a member and if you don't want to have your car peer judged you can enter it as Display Only. If you are interested, I can send you more information.

 

I had my injectors cleaned at the Federal Way DR Injector store on a previous Reatta. I was amazed at the improved performance too. I was also surprised at how easy it was. I pulled the injectors and dropped them off.  A day or so later and they were as good as new.  

 

Ronnie's site is a great resource. I visit there daily.

 

Greg

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  Thanx Ol Yeller - Greg - for the heads up on the Buick Club of America annual All Buick car show in Puyallup.  That is right next door (the Fairgrounds I presume). Sounds like a fun event and at this time I can commit to attending.

 

  I hope people don't get to know me as newbie or dsporter so I am going to change my profile to Deano.

Best Regards

Deano

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You're welcome Deano. It is actually held in the middle of downtown Puyallup where the old Cornforth Campbell dealership was originally. It is held in conjunction with Meeker Days so there is plenty to do for the whole family as well. The show usually has anywhere from 100 up to 175 Buicks of all years. It will be on June 18th.  

 

If you are interested, our local chapter is a very fun group.  They try to arrange at least one Buick driving event per month. No pressure, I just thought I'd mention it. If you come to the show, ask for me at the booth and say hello, or I'll probably be hanging out next to my white '90 roadster.

 

Greg

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  • 4 weeks later...

   The new harmonic balancer was not a perfect fit. It extends outward about a quarter inch more than original and rubs the vibration damper bracket that bolts to the front of the engine block. Just one washer under the lower mounting bolt took care of it however. There is now about a 1/8 inch gap and no more clattering.

   Now I want to move on to the next issue. Apparently I did not knock on wood promptly. My ABS brake light (the amber one) will not go out. Gonna start a new thread on this one.......         Deano

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On 5/6/2016 at 9:08 AM, ol' yeller said:

Welcome to the forum! I too live in the Great Northwet, a few miles from you in Redmond. I'd be happy to share whatever knowledge I have gained about these great cars if you wish.  PM me for my contact info. The local Buick Club of America chapter holds its annual All Buick car show in Puyallup in late June.  It is a good opportunity to meet up with other Buick and Reatta owners and compare notes. You car doesn't have to be a show car to attend. I have brought some pretty rattty cars in the past and still had a great time. To attend and even show your car, you don't have to be a member and if you don't want to have your car peer judged you can enter it as Display Only. If you are interested, I can send you more information.

 

I had my injectors cleaned at the Federal Way DR Injector store on a previous Reatta. I was amazed at the improved performance too. I was also surprised at how easy it was. I pulled the injectors and dropped them off.  A day or so later and they were as good as new.  

 

Ronnie's site is a great resource. I visit there daily.

 

Greg

Just wondering what the cost was for this service. So you removed your injectors and dropped them off? What about the fuel rail? I am chasing a hard start condition. Does not want to start at first key b ump. 2nd one always starts. I am just thinking here. 195,000 miles and probably never cleaned.

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It was several years ago when I had this done so my memory is a little fuzzy on what I paid. I remember it was surprisingly low compared to what new injectors cost. I want to say it was $100-$150 for all 6. I didn't do anything with the fuel rail. I did just pull the injectors and dropped them off at Dr. Injector. I picked them up the next day and reinstalled them. Have you replaced your fuel filter recently?  You may also want to check your fuel pressure for a bad fuel pump.

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Greg was wondering what the injector cleaning cost. I took the whole manifold with injectors attached (which also preserves and identifies their order and location).

All six injectors were cleaned and flow balanced, manifold cleaned, regulator checked, and new seals supplied. All before and after results recorded. The results were in my case quite noticeable. It is now a month later and it still runs almost perfect.  $210 well spent.    Deano

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" harmonic balancer was not a perfect fit. It extends outward about a quarter inch more ". Your 89 uses a slip fit balancer. The 91 has a tapered shaft. I'd wonder if they gave you the wrong one.

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