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Newly minted, first time owner!


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fun car guy

Just bought my '89 coupe, black exterior/tan interior.  Very clean and rust free. especially for a 30 year old car!  Needs a little work and slight cosmetics and my son and I will have a great time!  BTW, wondering where I can get the original rims refinished, I'm near Lansing, Michigan.

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Ronnie

Looks like you have got yourself a nice Reatta. Don't sweat the brakes. It's probably going to be a pretty easy fix. Might be easier and cheaper to find some different wheels unless you are just wanting to keep the original design. You could refinish them yourself if you have the time for very little money. Look for aluminum wheels I refinished in the how-to guides here on ROJ.

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Philbo

You could go to a junkyard and snag a set of rims off a 98-05 park avenue. I'm pretty sure they are exactly the same as the 16in rims that came on the '91 reattas. They might have a different offset but they look the same and I do know they have the same bolt pattern.

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fun car guy

I and everyone in my family are thrilled!  But naturally, it has a few problems like the leaking brakes, the leaking power steering but also, the headlights can't seem to open even though I can hear the electric motors trying.  All just wrinkles to iron out.  Thanks for telling me about the DIY method of refinishing the wheels, always appreciate the feeling of fixing things myself.

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Philbo
2 hours ago, fun car guy said:

I and everyone in my family are thrilled!  But naturally, it has a few problems like the leaking brakes, the leaking power steering but also, the headlights can't seem to open even though I can hear the electric motors trying.  All just wrinkles to iron out.  Thanks for telling me about the DIY method of refinishing the wheels, always appreciate the feeling of fixing things myself.

For the headlights, before you go spending lots of money on  rebuilt motors, there are two common problems that you can fix yourself.  The first is the bellcrank. That is the arm that the motor turns that opens the headlights (see first photo). The bellcrank is made out of magnesium, which is quite soft and so the output shaft of the motor, which is hardened steel wollers out the keyway on the bellcrank over time. Mine had the same problem when I bought it.  The 2nd thing it could be are the 3 circular rollers inside the motor gearbox (photo 2). The original ones deteriorate and crumble. Mine were ok but I replaced them anyway.  There is a guy over on the aaca forum named Barney Eaton that sells a kit to fix both problems for $45 per side. Comes with detailed installation instructions as well. His contact info and parts catalog are pics 3 and 4.  Hope this helps.

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fun car guy

Thanks a bunch, Phil.  Once again, I'm grateful for all information.  Naturally, I haven't had a chance to do much of anything aside from charging the battery, so much fun to see things coming back to life as the battery was almost dead, and tucking the car away in the garage.  We're expecting about 4 to 5" of additional snow on top of the 10" we already had so I'll have to be content to clean and condition the seats, clean the windows and sit behind the wheel making "varoom" noises 😉 dreaming of spring and the fun I'm in for (said with a touch of sarcasm.)

I'll copy your post and put it in my growing file for when I get to the lights.

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Philbo

I love the black. I narrowly missed out on a black convertible before I got my red one. I'm glad I got the one I did ultimately, but I still think the black is really nice looking.

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fun car guy

Thanks, I agree though red would have been my first choice. 

As my first car, I had a silver '75 Datsun 280Z and then a brown/bronze '78 Buick turbo coupe which I still regret selling, in my bachelor days and eventually attempted to find and subsequently restore a couple more Z cars but time and money always stopped me.  Now the kids are grown, the mortgage is paid and I finally have the time so I began searching, never even thinking of the Reatta as I have so seldom seen one until a couple of weeks ago, while looking through Facebook Marketplace, I suddenly saw it and it stopped me cold. It filled all my requirements, good condition, great design, unique features, quality build at a buy-in price I could afford and, to top it off, all within 15 miles from me!  This car has always been in Michigan but you'd never know it, a testament to quality rustproofing and customer care, original finish. 

The thing that amazes me is the wide range of prices on them.  I see them for a few hundred to ten thousand or more in comparable condition to mine though with fewer miles. Just found a '90 coupe with 78,000 miles auctioned for $7,000 on Hemmings, also clean, fewer miles than mine but also showing some wear and tear.  Seems to me, values can only go up due to rarity and reputation but regardless, my son and I will have plenty of fun with mine. 

Now I have to name her!

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fun car guy

Phil,

In examining my headlights I can clearly see the motors and guess how they connect to the pop up lights.  My question is do the bell cranks affix to the motor shafts just by a flat side on the shaft or is there a set screw that might just need tightening?  On my car the right one jumps up and down while the other doesn't move at all.  I'd hate to spend $90.00 for new parts it they're not needed.

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Ronnie

Here are photos of the two main things that go wrong with the headlight motors. The flats wear out inside the bellcranks. No set screws.

 

bellcranks.jpg

gear-roller.jpg

Thanks to Barney for the photos.

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fun car guy

Ah!  So now I fully understand, thank you!  It's good to know what to expect when you're going into unfamiliar territory, now I fully understand how they work so most likely I will need the bell cranks and rollers.

as I tackle each issue throughout the spring, summer and fall, I'll try not to bother you guys too much but I sure appreciate you all!

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Ronnie

No problem. We all asked questions when we were new owners and learning about our Reattas. I think most people here are willing to help whenever they can.

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2seater

By the way, the nice thing about the "Barney" cranks is they are steel and not the factory die cast pot metal. 

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DAVES89

Make sure that when you do the "Barney Cranks" that you also take a look at the "up stop". That will correct any jiggle of the lights as you drive down the road. 

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