JohnD1956

92 Century Wagon

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John,

 

If you find a car at a location which you can't get to, there's a link in the lower left of the page of pullers who work those yards. You could try contacting one of them and see what they think of the part and if they'd be willing to pull it and ship it to you.

 

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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Quick update!

The exhaust parts were bought over the counter.  Exhaust pipe, muffler, and tail pipe were all available,  and along with the one gasket between the catalytic converter and exhaust pipe and a hefty discount from a rewards program I was packing the parts inside the car for just over $115.00 .  This looked like a fairly simple job!  All the bolts holding the system in place looked to be in good condition and like they would come out.  So I was going to do it myself and argued the issue with myself for a few days while applying some PB Blaster on and off.

 

The weather has changed here and with no heat in the garage, and for some other reasons,  I decided to send the car up the road for the exhaust work, which turned out to be the right choice, for me.

 

As it turned out, the bolts all did come out.  But there is a separate bracket on the panhard bar that had to be loosened and pulled out of the way.   Those bolts also came out but took a lot of torque to get them free.  Not sure I could have got those out laying under the car and with my tool assortment.  Then it turned out that the exhaust pipe was bent perfectly, but it was two inches short.  This pipe extends in one piece from the converter, around the gas tank, up over the rear axle, through the gap formed by the body and that extra panhard bracket,  and then makes a 90* turn to meet up with the transverse muffler.   I don't have a welder,  so it would have been virtually impossible for me to get that system on.  As it was,  the work took a little over two hours with removal of the old stuff, assembly, mockup, disassembly, welding and then reassembly of the new.  But it is a very nice correction and assembly and the system is very quiet, with a slight Buick rumble at the tail pipe outlet.  It brings a smile to my face to listen to it there because the 3300 does not have the counter balance shaft, so at an idle it sounds like a little V8 with a seriously altered camshaft.  But under load it really runs smooth.

 

The rear quarter glass was also installed this week.  As it is I am expecting 1/2 from the muffler shop that caused the damage.  I also have plans to pursue the 2nd half when ( if) I get the first half. 

 

Next up will be replacing the door seals.  In heavy rains three of the doors are leaking and the seals look kinda odd.  #1, the seals along the tops are separate pieces.  Then they are cut on a 45 degree angle and on all the doors they do not meet the seals running down the pillars.  I am not sure these are the original seals as I can't image the car being built this way.   This seems to be the problem that's causing the odor in the car.  What with the rains we are getting here, just about every other day, the rugs are getting wet and then it's never warm enough to really dry them out.  I did try a temporary repair yesterday, as it will take me a while to get some new ones. 

 

Also, the alternator had to be replaced.  On the last day of the old one it began spiking to 18 volts again, and then, just as suddenly, it dropped to a steady 12 volts.  A replacement alternator appears to have fixed that issue and I have been really enjoying the car for the past few days.

 

Go Buick! 

 

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The wagon got it's first compliment today at the grocery store!   lol...  Go  Buick!

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Hit a temporary set back.  When I showed my friendly mechanic  the car initially, he said I'd have to replace the water pump as it is a "pattern failure".  Well, he was right, I think.  With just short of 500 miles of use I could smell the antifreeze steam outside the car, and Wednesday it marked it's parking spot with a puddle of green pee.  So I tackled the project yesterday afternoon.

 

At first the drain petcock turned with the expected amount of tension.  And it is plastic, so it began to move freely but not open the drain.  I could see it was unscrewing and returning to seat, so it wasn't stripped, just no fluid was coming out.  So I got it to the end of the open position and tugged a little.  The center guts popped out and it drained post haste.  It did take little over a half hour to get the plug back in, and I was sweating that I had broken the thing, which does not look replaceable.  But it finally did go back in.  Whew!

 

Meanwhile I had sprayed some PB Blaster on the front of the 3 small bolts on top, and in the open ports at the back of them. Prior to this I had dribbled some hot tranny fluid on these three bolts over a few days.  But each of the three were reluctant to budge.  Also when I removed the pulley I began to wonder if the pump had even failed.  There was no direct evidence of green stuff there, and the port in the shaft faced upwards, easily seen and it didn't look wet.  But there was some green stuff on the right side of the lower block case so  I decided to just go ahead with the replacement seeing as I had already bought the parts.

 

After close to two hours I was down to just one of those three small bolts that would not budge.  All else successfully loosened and worked with liberal amounts of blaster so they spun easily.  So I went with a little more force and the stubborn little thing finally budged.  Put some blaster in and tightened, waited a bit and loosened.  a little more blaster, and tightened.  Loosened and the head popped off.  Of well, I thought, at least there would be a lot of bolt to work with when  I got the pump off.

And I was right about that.  The thing on this car though is the left side of the pump is behind the idler pulley.  So you have to lift the idler and work the pump out from behind for clearance.  It's not hard, just awkward, and a reminder of how much strength is required for some seemingly simple tasks.

 

So after general clean up of all the bolts and surfaces, I finally got it back together, sans the one bolt,  after just 5 hours!  Sheesh! 

 

Anyway, I went to run it for a bit to check for leaks and was unsettled to discover a leak at the heater core location.  This area is in an inopportune spot. I cannot see if this leak is simply a hose clamp, or hose or if it is a bad heater core pipe.  The only thing I can say is the leak is on the engine compartment side and not the interior side. But it looks like a bear to get in there and get the screws loosened on the clamps.  The fact that there are screw clamps at the fire wall but the typical GM spring clamps at the engine side of both hoses tells me that the hoses have likely been replaced.  So I am hoping that it's just a loose clamp.  But it looks like the easiest way to access this is to pull the engine.  

 

Otherwise this is one sweet little Buick. 

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That's a really good option EmTee...Thanks for the idea!   And It does appear to be the clamps need an extra turn or two.  After ten miles of driving the faceplate of the heater core is completely dry, with no evidence of any leak. 

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Worm gear clamps do tend to loosen over time; particularly if they were originally installed on new hoses (which shrink with age).

Edited by EmTee
Updated (see edit history)

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Got at it easily enough.  It's tight but there's enough room to snake a flexible arm in there.  And these may be factory hoses yet.  I say that because of the orientation of the two worm clamps ( thanks for the nomenclature @EmTee).  They were both easy to reach with the 1/4 " drive ratchet, with a 5/16th socket.  Took up about a full turn on the one and a quarter turn on the other.  Will monitor for future developments. 

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Edited by JohnD1956 (see edit history)
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Being such a nice day ( relatively speaking) I decided to clean out the other three doors on the wagon, to see if that was what was causing the interior smell. I did both passenger side doors first and there was a lot of dirt in them. It was soaked from the rain yesterday and packed into the seam at the bottom.  But I was able to wash it out and the insides of the doors are fantastic. That left just the rear door on the drivers side to do. 
 
But I was cold and tired and decided to put all the tools away.  I figured since the Drivers front door wasn't all that bad when I did that a few weeks ago, that I'd do the last door another day.  But just after I got all the tools put away I felt like it was a job undone...so I pulled everything back out and opened the drivers side rear door. 
 
Well, jackpot!  Here's some pictures.  And another task done and done!  Note the condition of the insides of this door.  All the rest look just like this!
 
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I don't dare tell my wife that I need a winter car still!  :ph34r:
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1 hour ago, JohnD1956 said:

 

 
 
 
 
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IMG_1793.thumb.JPG.2c589dc0de6f44bd11a46846e0b7e9b6.JPG
 
I don't dare tell my wife that I need a winter car still!  :ph34r:

That looks an awfully like my house gutters' junk!!!

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24 minutes ago, DShip said:

That looks an awfully like my house gutters' junk!!!

 

I can see where that earthy rotting smell might linger there. 

 

Now, go get a few of those Christmas Tree air fresheners and you will think you are driving an "OLD" car every time you go to the store. :D

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1 hour ago, dei said:

 

I can see where that earthy rotting smell might linger there. 

 

Now, go get a few of those Christmas Tree air fresheners and you will think you are driving an "OLD" car every time you go to the store. :D

AutoZone also sells spray cans of "New Car Smell"....I have a couple.:rolleyes:

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Visit your local auto upholstery shop and ask them for some scraps of leather.  Throw those under the seat for that new car leather smell.

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Cleaning out the doors has made a major improvement, although the odor problem is not fully solved.  It may just be that the interior soaked in that foul scent for a long time and needs a little while to shed the stigma.  But as soon as possible I need to do the door seals. I still have wet rugs after rainfall. And  I have seen a few other cars of this era and lineage, which showed  the factory did indeed cut the door seals on 45* angles in the corners.  But the odor does go away after the windows are opened to let it air out.  It becomes unnoticeable very quickly when driving it. 

 

Meanwhile the last tank of gas resulted in 21.5 mpg,  and I think that may improve once I get new plugs and wires into it. 

 

 
 
 
 
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If you park it for the winter, open a bag of charcoal briquets and let the bag just sit on the floor board then close the car up tight.  In the spring when you open it back up, it will be fresh inside.  Don't be tempted to open the doors and check on it while it sits.

 

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On ‎12‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 11:18 PM, RivNut said:

If you park it for the winter

 

Unfortunately, that's not gonna happen.  lol...It's already saved 800 miles on the Regal GS.  And I love that I can park it anywhere and not worry that some inconsiderate individual will ding a door or whatever.  Plus I like the fact that it's 26 years old and is still willing to be driven daily with a top quality ride experience.  It really drives great and I am enjoying it immensely! 

Among it's few detractions are the fact that the seat padding has hardened and it's lopsided.  But a kitchen chair pillow has made that a non issue.  And the drivers door needs a new hinge pin and bushings causing it to strike the latches with a dull thud.  Minor stuff considering its accumulated mileage. 

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26 minutes ago, JohnD1956 said:

 

Unfortunately, that's not gonna happen.  lol...It's already saved 800 miles on the Regal GS.  And I love that I can park it anywhere and not worry that some inconsiderate individual will ding a door or whatever.  Plus I like the fact that it's 26 years old and is still willing to be driven daily with a top quality ride experience.  It really drives great and I am enjoying it immensely! 

Among it's few detractions are the fact that the seat padding has hardened and it's lopsided.  But a kitchen chair pillow has made that a non issue.  And the drivers door needs a new hinge pin and bushings causing it to strike the latches with a dull thud.  Minor stuff considering its accumulated mileage. 

Pretty much the same reasoning that I use for rationalizing having large Marge. I did have the padding in the driver's seat redone though.  

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Took a temporary step to combat what feels like a cross-fire issue.  I talked with the seller recently who indicated his aunt probably did minimal preventative maintenance and as such I should consider the plugs and wires as originals.  And since the car runs fairly well, with a bit of an engine rocking at idle only, I figure the wires at least should be replaced.  But I don't want to do that with old plugs and I do not want to break off a plug at this time of the year.  So I installed the plastic wire loam on the three back plugs today.  And it's already smoother.

 

 

Here is the product that I've bought in Walmart, in the auto radio section.  It's only a few bucks but these 3 wires and some extra little bits, took a package and a half to complete.  All you need for this assignment is a scissors and some work gloves.

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This is what I am facing.  The three wires to the left take a route that could lead to many places they could be cross-firing and or just leaking spark.

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The wire loam is split it's length so its a simple process to open the split to enclose the wire and just push it through to it's destination.

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And here is the finished package.  I added a zip tie to the separator because the top half of that is missing and I did not want these to come loose while they are so close to the fan of the alternator.

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Note in the picture above that I also put a short piece on the edge of the bracket  which is underneath where the wires sit.  Just added insulation from a heat source.

 

I went only so far as the 2nd factory separator as that one is still in one piece and it's too cold outside to mess with opening that up.  Besides, the separator appears to be a nice unit with an integral rubber insulator, and after this insulator the wires split up without crossing each other.

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The whole process took less than a half hour and resolved the rough idle.  And these loams are reusable when  (if) I replace the original wires. 

 

BTW, I did this on my 56 years ago.  All the way under the spark plug covers. I did remove the two insulators in the factory brackets so I could slot the covered wires back into their original position.  But I'm not worried about getting that, or any of my car, judged.  I just want them to go down the road with no issues.

Edited by JohnD1956 (see edit history)
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 2K miles saved on the Regal GS so far!  And it just seems to be better all the time.  I recommend buying one if you find it.  Although I'd try to stick with 92-93 for the 3300 engine. 

It has amazing pep and pickup and that's with a 180K reading on the odometer! 

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Posted (edited)

Finally started the spark plug replacement process.  With no other documentation available, it appears to me that the plugs had to be changed once, but probably before 2010.  At any rate, I broke one wire on the left side of the motor, which faces forward in this transverse power unit vehicle.   So I am waiting on a set of wires before tackling the right ( rearward) side since I was not able to get any of those wires off with a firm tug or two. 

 

The plugs I  am removing are clean burns, and the gaps have burned open by an additional 8 thousandths.  Even with the repaired broken wire and only 3 new plugs, it feel better and smoother.  So I am looking forward to getting the other three done soon. 

 

BTW, a few weeks ago I had taken the car out to Binghamton, which was about 300+ mile round trip, and averaged 26+ MPG.  It still has the snow tires on it.  Too bad it is too small to pull a trailer. 

 

 

 

Edited by JohnD1956 (see edit history)

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Hi John, those rear 3 spark plugs are a real pain!  For the 3.1 in my old Chev Lumina I had to unbolt the top engine mounts, put the car in gear (of course without it running) and let the car roll forward to tilt the engine forward. Still had to lay across and feel for the plugs but had just enough room to get my hands and tools back there. Have fun!

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It is not at all like that with the 3300 V6 Doug. There is room to see the rear plugs on this one. The problem is the connection boots are stuck on the plugs and the clip will likely break before the wire comes off. I had planned on new wires eventually but just wanted to be sure the plugs would come out without breakage before spending any more money on this car.  The front three plugs were very tight but did come out without breaking.  So hopefully the rear three will cooperate as well. 

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Can you twist the boots to break them loose?  I'd spray some WD-40 (or similar) around the base of the plugs while waiting for the new wires.  ;)

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