Bob H

New Owner Seeks Reatta Tech Help

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Hello all: I have been a BCA member for a few years hanging out mostly on the prewar forum with help requests and advice in return for my 1939 Special convertible nut and bolt restoration. Got a little panicked over the calendar and decided to buy a running and driving later model special interest convertible. Picked up a nice 32k (now 34K) mile 1990 Reatta convertible off the Phoenix, AZ Craigslist and drove it 1500 miles cold turkey back home to Oregon. I am a lifelong motor sport enthusiast, an expert mechanic, and experienced with body structural repair via a 21 year hobby-business buying insurance company "totals", repairing and selling them, nearly 200 to be approximate. Electricity doesn't scare me. Automatic transmissions are farmed out to experts.

 

First off I would like a recommendation and source for a comprehensive shop manual (or manuals) covering all phases of mechanical repairs, body and trim, and electrical circuits.

 

A few gremlins showed up on the trip home that maybe someone else has experienced. It almost seems like the ignition switch isn't turning clear off, the fuel pump keeps running and the radio plays with the switch off and the key removed. We stopped at an auto parts house, bought a battery terminal wrench, and disconnected the battery on long stops. The only tool we used on the entire trip.

 

A warning light, for lack of better words, pops up from time to time on the instrument cluster, "Headlights Recommended", what does that mean? With the the battery connected and the car left standing for awhile the odometer shows up on the cluster, while the key is off. Any suggestions for tackling these problems?

 

Thanks for your support, Bob H

 

 

Reatta Clean Front (Medium).JPG

Reatta Clean L Side (Medium).JPG

Reatta Clean Rear (Medium).JPG

Reatta Motor F (Medium).JPG

Reatta RH Uph (Medium).JPG

Edited by Bob H (see edit history)

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Try to find an owner's manual. Without going into detail some of those Gremlins are 1990 state of the art features. They are not gremlins.

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47 minutes ago, Bob H said:

I am a lifelong motor sport enthusiast, an expert mechanic, and experienced with body structural repair via a 21 year hobby-business buying insurance company "totals", repairing and selling them, nearly 200 to be approximate. Electricity doesn't scare me. Automatic transmissions are farmed out to experts.

 

First off I would like a recommendation and source for a comprehensive shop manual (or manuals) covering all phases of mechanical repairs, body and trim, and electrical circuits.

 

Get THIS and get at it then!

 

Welcome aboard;)

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As mentioned above, a factory service manual will be a wise investment. Most of the gremlins mentioned are probably normal operation, the radio and windows will work for a time after shutdown and is normal. They will stop as soon as the drivers door is opened. The fuel pump should not run with the key off and you may have a stuck fuel pump relay which is located in one of the fuse blocks on the sides of the console and seeing the passengers side cover missing may give a clue? Nice car.

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50 minutes ago, 2seater said:

Most of the gremlins mentioned are probably normal operation, the radio and windows will work for a time after shutdown and is normal. They will stop as soon as the drivers door is opened

 

THIS

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The "headlights suggested" prompt is triggered by the photocell up on the dash.  When it senses not much ambient light, it sets the warning.  If you place something on the dash over it, or if you have an ill fitting dash cover (which you appear to have), or if the photocell is defective, the warning is also triggered.  I also strongly recommend a Factory Service Manual.  Be sure Not to get the supplemental one which has red writing on the cover.  It only details the changes between 1989 and 1990.  It looks very similar to the real FSM.  Nice car BTW

Edited by ol' yeller (see edit history)
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Thank you all for sharing your knowledge and experiences. Two weeks ago I had only a vague idea what a Reatta is and had never sat in one. Today I (we) own one. On the trip home we searched many times through the car's pristine owner's manual and obviously didn't find all the answers. My request was for help filling in the gaps and most of your answers have been right on. I have the feeling that I might have offended some gremlin fans and apologize for that. To me,  "gremlins" caused problems that had no other clear and understandable explanation. As I remember they were especially common in World War 2 aircraft.

 

Great advice on the shop manual, have one coming. The "Headlights Recommended" notice was happening in the middle of a bright sunny 105 degree day in the Arizona desert. The blocked photocell suggestion is spot on. Haven't taken much time to chase the continually running fuel pump, unless that is a state of the art 1990 feature, but we swapped the fuel pump relay with the fog light relay and the pump stopped running. Curiously, the fog lights work correctly with the fuel pump relay. More work to do. Those of you who explained the delayed shut-off of electrical  system components cleared up a number of questions.

 

Answered my own my own parts interchangeability question. The Craigslist seller I mentioned had an incredible amount of brand new Reatta parts, mostly chassis and suspension,  I bought the entire lot.  Intended  to post an update but didn't get a good picture of the stuff. I'll try to do that tomorrow. Again, thanks! Bob H

 

 

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All of the manuals used to be online (as .pdfs) but GM lawyers changed their minds about permission. Are a number you need since sound proficient: Factory Service Manual for Riviera and Reatta (sometimes prices are less for a Riviera), E-Body Parts and Accessories Manual ('93 is best), and the Reatta Convertible Top Manual. Personally prefer electronic versions since easier to carry on a trip.

 

BTW the Reatta has something called RAP (retained accessory power) that can keep the radio on until you open the door. The fuel pump should shut off with the engine. Are two paths for power: through the fuel pump relay and through the oil pressure switch. Both get power through fuse 8 which only should be live in run, bulb test, or start. If hot all of the time there is an issue

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