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What did you do with your Reatta today.


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Just now finished with "rebuilding" the door lock actuator on the passenger side. After getting the door panel off I looked and the rubber boot on the actuator was torn. So I looked for a real small diameter rubber tubing and put that inside the rubber boot and then tried it on the actuator rod. It was a snug fit both on the rod and the boot. Checked the "action" and it really threw the rod well.

 Swapped out a speaker cover [mine had a small puncture hole in it] for a nicer one in the parts bin, put the door panel back on and all is good.

 Presently charging up the battery as I had to many accessories on and drained it down. But with the charger on 50 amps to test [now back to 10 amps to charge] everything works great.

 Also lubed all the lock pivots and the window track while I was in there.

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Another beautiful morning for a drive.  We left early and there was a cool feeling of Fall in the air.  Fall with all the beautiful colors is my favorite time of the year.  I can't wait for it to get here.  We put about 75 miles on the Reatta without a hiccup. I was afraid my solution to the code 24 would result in a new problem popping up. So far so good.  We found a shady spot to stretch out legs at Watts Bar Dam.  I tried to get a photo of the dam and the gates to the lock in the background but it didn't turn out as good as I wanted. Click on the photo and it will show up a little better.

 

watts bar dam.jpg

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I got up early with the intention of doing a simple tire rotation on the Reatta before it got too hot in the garage.  Well, the first wheel I took off had a dry wall screw in the center of the tread.  I usually plug my own tires but I couldn't find the tire plug kit anywhere.  I took the wheel to the shop where I purchased the tires. The last time (several years ago) I took a tire to them they plugged it for free. Well Reatta fans that's not the case anymore.  They told me their insurance prevents them from just plugging tires.   They said now they have to remove the tire from the wheel and put a patch over the hole from the inside... and that's not free.  After spending almost an hour waiting my turn to get a 15 minute job done I was headed home and my billfold was $14 dollars lighter.  When I got home I went back to work rotating the tires. By then it was about 90 degrees in the garage.  I was sweating so bad I couldn't hardly see. When I picked up a roll of paper towels to tear off one to wipe sweat with I discovered my tire plug kit behind it. Yeah, it's been that kind of day. 🤢

 

I guess I should look at the bright side. It's better to have to go through hell in the garage than it would be if the tire went flat and left me stranded on the side of the road. 🙂

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That's usually my story Ronnie. We did have a tire shop that to build business was patching tires for a buck to build business, but now it's $20.00 [which is why I now plug them] so you still got a good deal from where I sit. And the weather? We just had a week of 6" of rain and cool temperatures. I think I would like a 90 degree day right about now.

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The sad part of my story is I would have got the tires rotated in the cool part of the day and I would have saved myself $14 if I had put the tire plug kit back in the drawer where it belongs the last time I used it.  Be thankful for the cool weather.   We tied a record yesterday at 97 degrees with high humidity. Going to be over 90 again today. No rain at all so far this month and not much in sight. 

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This morning and after Church I decided to address my taillight. I refinished it 5 years ago using a Spar varnish and just about a month ago it started to "break down'. So I decided to refinish it. 

 After taping off the letters [glad there is only 5] I taped off the lower reflectors and then around each end of the taillight to protect the paint.

 I used 220 grit paper and sanded everything back to the plastic removing all the old varnish. I then wiped everything down with paint thinner and used air to blow any remaining dust and moisture off.

 As i had damaged the tape I used to cover the letters I removed the tape and redid the tape. I blew the taillight again and then applied my first coat of varnish.

 5 years ago I only did one coat and this time at least 2 and maybe 3. The directions say 3 coats and getting 5 years was pretty good. Hopefully with 2 [and maybe 3] I can double that. At 63 in 10 years I may just not care.

 Sanding took about 90 minutes [w taping and other prep work] and about 5 minutes to varnish. 

 So far it looks great!

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All within 2 miles of home.

 I stopped at a gas station to fill up the Red. One older [then me] guy walked up to me and said "Nice Car! I actually stopped for gas just so I could look at it". The other guy was just filling up and called over "What a nice car. I see it is a Buick, what make Buick is it"? 

 Pretty cool to have 2 different guys walk up and ask questions...

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I don't think I've had two of those in one day like you did.  When I recently drove the Foothill Parkway with my daughter I had a similar incident.

 

We stopped at a gas station before getting on the Parkway.  As I started filling my tank an old beat up Toyota pickup came driving up really slow and parked on the opposite of the pump from me.  After he got stopped I couldn't see the guy filling up because the pump was between us but I could hear him talking to someone. 

 

All at once this guy pops out from around the pump with no shirt and lots of teeth missing. 🤣   He says to me, "Hey buddy, can I ask you a question?". I told him sure.  He wanted to know if my car was an old one or a new one.  I told him it was a 30 year old Buick. He turned and yelled at the person that was with him in the truck, "I told you it was an old car!".  Then he told me they had been talking about my car as they were slowly pulling up to the gas pump and she thought it was an new car but didn't know what it was. He said he had bet his girlfriend a beer that it was older than it looked.   

 

He must have just been buying $5 worth of gas because he had his shirt on and came around the pump with a really good looking girl before I got my tank filled.  They both told me how much they liked my Reatta and she told me she thought it looked like a new car.  I thanked them for their compliments as they turned to walk into the convenient market.  When I went inside the convenient market to use the restroom he was buying a 12 pack of beer.  I've got a feeling the guy with no shirt and no teeth driving a beat up truck might have had more fun that day than I did. 🤣

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I spent a couple of hours this morning going over the Reatta to make sure it is ready for a driving tour with my AACA club.  I checked everything as if I'm going on a 1000 mile trip.  As I was sitting down for a few minutes to cool off I started wondering why I would go to all that trouble when I will be on the tour with a group of people who are driving older cars like A Models, Corvairs and the like that are much more likely to break down on the road.  I'll probably have the newest car that goes on the tour so what do I have t worry about?  I don't know if I'm obsessive-compulsive or just worried about missing out on the picnic that we are having after the driving tour. 🙂

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I am now carrying an extra alternator, ICM/coil pack, and serpentine belt in my car full time. I figure those are the parts most likely to fail and most easily swapped out by the side of the road. Of course I always carry my junkin bag so I will have the right tools with me.

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On 9/15/2019 at 1:16 PM, DAVES89 said:

This morning and after Church I decided to address my taillight. I refinished it 5 years ago using a Spar varnish and just about a month ago it started to "break down'. So I decided to refinish it. 

 After taping off the letters [glad there is only 5] I taped off the lower reflectors and then around each end of the taillight to protect the paint.

 I used 220 grit paper and sanded everything back to the plastic removing all the old varnish. I then wiped everything down with paint thinner and used air to blow any remaining dust and moisture off.

 As i had damaged the tape I used to cover the letters I removed the tape and redid the tape. I blew the taillight again and then applied my first coat of varnish.

 5 years ago I only did one coat and this time at least 2 and maybe 3. The directions say 3 coats and getting 5 years was pretty good. Hopefully with 2 [and maybe 3] I can double that. At 63 in 10 years I may just not care.

 Sanding took about 90 minutes [w taping and other prep work] and about 5 minutes to varnish. 

 So far it looks great!

After the second coat and the finish had dried the taillight didn't feel as smooth as I thought it should. So I got out some polishing compound and wiped down the taillight. It reflects as good as ever and is smooth to the touch. It had been [and still is] very humid and it seemed to take forever for the finish to dry. I would varnish at about 2-3 in the afternoon and it would still feel tacky the next morning. 

 I still drove the car however which is probably why the taillight didn't feel smooth.

 Another thing is that I was pretty far down in the can of Spar varnish and their was a skin of dried varnish on top of the liquid varnish. I had more then enough to do the project and still have about a half pint left. As luck would have it I had another can of varnish [in a half pint can] so I poured that out [on cardboard to dry and then be thrown away] and cleaned the can out completely and then poured the Spar varnish into the half pint can using a paint filter almost filling the can. This should give me all I need for any future taillight projects. 

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I'm going to have to do something to my daughter's Camry headlights that have gotten cloudy right in front of the projector beams that sit really close the the clear plastic covers.  It appears heat from the bulbs might have caused it.  I'm thinking varnish might not hold up. What do you think?

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I would look on E bay or Amazon for some after market ones. Not to much money and a lot easier to do...

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3 hours ago, DAVES89 said:

I would look on E bay or Amazon for some after market ones. Not to much money and a lot easier to do...

Do you mean new lights or a cleaning kit?

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Buy new ones. I've never been impressed with any cleaning kit I've seen so far.

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Went to where I have the '88 Black/Tan that I just purchased is stored. I had noticed that what the Previous Owner thought was the tensioner idler pulley was really the Harmonic Balancer. As I had extra in my parts bin I was only going to be out my time. 

 The old balancer did not come easy. I was under the car with a pry bar while a friend of mine was working from the top with a pry bar. After a few minutes of prying back and forth it finally gave up and came off. Sprayed a little rust dissolve spray at the key way only and it slid right on. Put the serpentine belt on and fired the car up. Started and ran great with no more noise. 

 I have to move it in about 2 weeks but I wanted it running good in case I need it this winter as it will be replacing my '89 Black when that one day fails.

 After that was done took my friend out for lunch to kind of pay him for his help and then off to the DMV  to do a title change because as of October 1 titles go to $167.50 up from $67.50.

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On 9/7/2019 at 12:22 PM, Ronnie said:

Another beautiful morning for a drive.  We left early and there was a cool feeling of Fall in the air.  Fall with all the beautiful colors is my favorite time of the year.  I can't wait for it to get here.  We put about 75 miles on the Reatta without a hiccup. I was afraid my solution to the code 24 would result in a new problem popping up. So far so good.  We found a shady spot to stretch out legs at Watts Bar Dam.  I tried to get a photo of the dam and the gates to the lock in the background but it didn't turn out as good as I wanted. Click on the photo and it will show up a little better.

 

watts bar dam.jpg

You are making me homesick Ronnie!  Grew up in Knoxville but stuck down here in flat, hot Savannah. Looking forward to coming up when the leaves change.  I want to ride both my Reatta and my bike.  I wonder if I can put a hitch on the Reatta so I can do both?!

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1.  My rear speakers are not working well at all so I went to LKQ and pulled speakers ($13) out of a Mazda 6 and installed them.  The Mazda speakers are oval but two holes at the top matched perfectly.

2.  Last night i drove to Hilton Head and it seemed like there was a little bit of road noise coming from the rear area.  So today I added a sheet of 8mm rubber from a fitness floor job to see if that will help quiet things down a bit.  Will test a little later today.

3.  Not today, but two days ago I installed a used set of 2005 Pontiac Bonneville wheels.  The tires are used but still have a good amount of tread. 235/55/ZR17.  They don't hit the strut tower but it is extremely close.  I did not think they were scrubbing, but there seems to be some on the right side if I make a full rotation left hand turn.  Other than that they have really improved the handling.  I can tell only a slight difference in the ride.  However, given that the tires that came on the car had a DOT date stamp of 2002, I felt it prudent to change them out and at the same time change the rims.  The old tires looked brand new and could not have had more than a 1,000 miles.

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