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89RedCoupe

New to me 1989 Coupe

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Questionable eBay purchase landed here in SoCal. Trucking company had to jump start it to get it going off the truck. Drove it home a few blocks, let it run for 10 minutes. CRT was displaying and most functions seemed to be going properly. Shut off and tried to restart, but battery was still too low. Put a 10amp charger on for over an hour and restarted but CRT was blank and hasn't come back on. Checked all the fuses which were all okay. Looks like perhaps a current surge might have taken it out, I guess. Will need to change the window motor/actuator (starts down then grinding noises). Edge buttons on the CRT display just beep when pressed. Nothing will bring the screen back up again. It did manage to pass smog test here in CA with no extra work! Car has 80k miles. Are used CRTs worth trying? Also the radio is clicking apparently due to the bad capacitors in the module... more $$$$ 

Car drives pretty well, but has a whine on the road that is tied to road speed. Could be tires or axle shafts... or ?  Also something is ratting down by the cat converter. Oh, and the ABS light is ON permanently.

 

Guess I have a lot to learn about Reattas now!

 

Edited by 89RedCoupe
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Welcome to the forum! Sounds like you have some work to do.  There is a lot of information here that you will find useful and friendly people here willing to help.  Did you buy the Reatta to drive yourself or to sell?

 

I would recommend you get the CRT going again first.  It is really helpful in diagnosing other problems.  It's possible you fried something with the charger but I would check fuses closely to make sure they are good before going any further. Info is in the How-to guides that shows the location of the fuses.  If the CRT is bad they can be had used for a reasonable price.

 

For the other problems I recommend starting a new topic for each one to avoid confusion with troubleshooting them.

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I hoped that this would be a "creampuff" car that I could drive and enjoy for awhile. I bought it from an eBay seller in SC and had it shipped to me in San Diego. I have been reading and copying as much of the appropriate information that I can find here so far. From what I can see I guess I have to remove the CRT from the dash and look for bad connections, perhaps. It was working properly before the battery failure issues. There doesn't seem to be a diagnostic routine that addresses a black screen CRT, so checking connections is probably all I can do before trying another one. Thanks for your reply.

s-l1600 (5).jpg

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7 hours ago, 89RedCoupe said:

so checking connections is probably all I can do before trying another one.

Did you miss the paragraph in my last post where I suggested you check the fuses?  Also try pressing the Radio button to switch the CRT to radio mode.  If the CRT comes on the CRT isn't the problem.  That is a good looking car.  With a little fixing up you should have a really nice car.

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UPDATE:  I noticed a coolant leak at the front left corner of the car, which turned out to be a broken drain plug that was being held in by only the friction of the rubber seal around the edges. The threaded screw part was broken off inside the fitting. That required draining the system, which had about a 1/2 gallon of coolant left inside, then removing the radiator to access the drain plug bits. Fortunately, these are nearly universal parts and the local auto parts store had DORMAN replacements in stock. Reinstalled the radiator and filled it with nearly 2 gallons of coolant. 

After reading the notes on the forum, I pried the speedometer bezel off and worked my way over to the CRT. I had previously checked all the fuses, which were good. I removed the CRT and looked it over. Nothing of note and it didn't smell burned up. I unplugged the 2 connectors and then plugged them back in again. Put the unit back in the dash with one screw to hold it in place, started the car and the CRT came back to life again! Yes!

The radio works, but has the crackle sounds of bad condensers so will need a module fix. I might just buy one that is already done. I saw them listed somewhere. The last audio problem is that the antenna isn't working when the radio is on.

ABS light issues seem to be related to BOTH rear wheel sensors, according to the trouble codes it is sending.

I ordered a whole window regulator from eBay seller and hope that this is the fix for the motor grinding noises after the window drops 4 inches. 

So far, the car has been pretty easy to repair, but the parts needed soon are a bit spendy. It's a comfortable little ride.

Amazingly, the car passed CA smog test in the first pass.....! The idle is a bit uneven at times. I cleaned the idle air solenoid and sprayed around the intake manifold because it acts like a vacuum leak of some kind. It seemed to pick up a bit when I sprayed the EGR stack.

 

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The radiator problem is consistent with buying a car off eBay.  As with any used car you are buying someone else's problems. Glad to hear you got the CRT working and I hope it continues to work.  The radio crackle is a common problem that is caused by old capacitors inside the radio drying out. The speakers in the doors have paper cones that go bad due to age too.  The tweeter speakers in the doors most always are good and should be used if you replace the other speakers. They add a lot to the sound you hear because they are mounted up higher than the large speakers in the doors.   Although these cars have a reputation for being overly complicated and hard to work on, the fact is they are relatively trouble free and easy to work on if you take the time to learn to use the onboard diagnostics to help find the problem.  We are lucky to have knowledgeable people who are willing to help solve Reatta problems and some good vendors who can supply good used parts that are no longer available new.

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Took it out for a 60 mile trip, mostly on the highway. Engine temp is running 140-165 on the highway. After I got home from the highway run, temp climbed back towards 192-195. It looks like there is RTV or some kind of liquid gasket sealer on the thermostat housing base, so I wonder if the thermostat was pulled out or a 160 installed. Some of the under-car rattle noises are attributed to the heat shield for the cat converter which basically fell off in 2 pieces when I pulled on it. Still some pipe contact on a rear cross-member brace. Gas mileage climbed up towards 20 for this round. Loud humming with vibration at the wheel seems to be caused by scalloped inner tire wear. Tires were date coded 2009. New shoes tomorrow and an alignment if they can do it. Probably needs new struts.  Even with all the tire road noise, the car tracks straight at freeway speeds. Getting to be a little more comfortable with it now that all the coolant is staying in place and the CRT is back to work again. 

 

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Firestone has a $200.00 unlimited alignment special. 

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1 hour ago, 89RedCoupe said:

Engine temp is running 140-165 on the highway.

I like a cool running engine but that is a little too low.   The ECM may not be going into closed loop operation which will hurt MPG and engine performance.  I would install a 180 thermostat.  Instructions for that can be found in the How-to guides.  Also, while the CRT is working you should check onboard diagnostics to see if you have any trouble codes stored in computer memory.  Instructions for doing that can be found in the menu at the top of the page under "Diagnostics".

 

 

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I would look into the thermostat as well. Cool is good up to a point but a wide variation like that doesn't sound good at all plus if there is some form of sealant, that doesn't belong there either. Being in southern California, 160* thermostat is probably acceptable but to keep it there properly the fans need to be reprogrammed. Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on things and are making progress. Good luck

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Will crack it open and install a new thermostat soon. Any good options apart from the $200 power OEM antennas?

 

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1 hour ago, 89RedCoupe said:

Any good options apart from the $200 power OEM antennas?

Barney Eaton can repair them better than new using a steel cable instead of a OEM plastic one. I think he charges about $75. Tell him Ronnie sent you.

 

Barney Eaton
20111 Deerfield Dr. Georgetown, TX  78633
Call: 512-869-5114   -    Email:  barney@texas.net

 

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So the ABS rear sensors are NLA now part number 1646478. My system shows issues with both rear wheel sensors. Could it be because the sensor wheels are all rusty or the sensors, themselves. I haven't pulled the wheels to see what it looks like in there. Still waiting for my FSM to come from eBay.

 

Antenna doesn't look like an OEM part to me... not even hooked up to the antenna lead because it is too short.

 

Front end howling noises stopped after 4 new tires (replacing 2009 tires) and 4 wheel alignment.

 

No thermostat found in manifold which explains the 140 degree readings on the freeway the other day.  The thermostat I got from auto parts is the same diameter as the hole in the manifold, but it appears to cause the housing to stand up and get cocked in the manifold. Are the thermostats supposed to fit down inside the recess end of the housing?

 

Undercar rattling noise was bent cross brace contacting the exhaust pipe.

 

Making progress a little at a time.

 

power antenna.jpg

alignment before.jpg

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Edited by 89RedCoupe
revised text and photos
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Well, it is STILL running about 155 degrees on the freeway even after a 195 degree thermostat was installed. Not even sure what to think now....

 

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56 minutes ago, 89RedCoupe said:

Well, it is STILL running about 155 degrees on the freeway even after a 195 degree thermostat was installed. Not even sure what to think now....

 

Is the rubber ring gasket in place between the outlet elbow and the 'stat? Some use a rubber holder for the stat but it will bypass badly without it

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57 minutes ago, 89RedCoupe said:

Well, it is STILL running about 155 degrees on the freeway even after a 195 degree thermostat was installed. Not even sure what to think now....

 

This has came up before.  2seater is correct. There is a rubber "seal" that goes on top of the thermostat with the water-neck pushing down on it to seal the thermostat to keep water from going around it. There is also an o-ring that goes around the water-neck to seal it.

 

The photos below might be helpful. in explaining how the thermostats should be installed.  The photo at the bottom shows a second style of thermostat and seal that was used in some early models.

 

post-30625-143138037008.jpg

 

thermostat_seal.jpg

 

My '88 originally had this style of thermostat that has a U shaped seal that goes around the thermostat flange to seal it. I don't think the thermostat and seals can be interchanged between the two different styles of thermostats.

thermostat_periphrial_seal.jpg

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Well, it is STILL running about 155 degrees on the freeway even after a 195 degree thermostat was installed. Not even sure what to think now....

 

The thermostat I got from the auto parts store is the same OD as the outer edge of the housing. When the housing is pushed down it stands up from the manifold because of the housing bottoming out on top of the thermostat edges. They sold me a thermostat gasket at the time, but it doesn't fit into the manifold when wrapped around the thermostat and the thickness would aggravate the gap between the manifold and housing. See photos above. The housing is cocked in the manifold because of it sitting on top of the thermostat edges. The housing sat flush with the manifold when there was no thermostat installed. Auto parts people showed me another brand that was listed to fit, but it was the same diameter as the first one. Gas mileage has inched up to 21 due to 25 mile highway trips. I'm sure it will improve if the motor can get fully up to temperature. What does the housing gap look like with a rubber seal atop of the thermostat? Single bolt attachment seems odd to me for the housing. What part numbers are you using for the thermostats and what are the sizes, please?

 

Edited by 89RedCoupe
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Your experience with everything installed is normal. The water outlet does not sit flat in use, nor does it sit all the way down. The water neck is sealed via the O-ring around the stem that inserts in the manifold. The rubber ring between the outlet and the thermostat gets squashed at an angle because the neck sits crooked but again, that is normal. You can help seat the neck by leveraging against the throttle body flange while snugging the bolt but if you try to pull it down flat it will break the neck. In other words it looks wrong but it will seal and work.

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Many thanks for the reply... 
Spent more time working on it today and find more mysteries and issues...

 

I discovered that the cooling fan blade was hitting the bottom of the framework (plastic on plastic). Removed the fan assembly and ground away some of the contact areas which seemed to have cured the interference issues. Bought a 180 degree thermostat and ordered one of the thermostat o-rings online, which will get installed on the next round. Fired up the engine and noticed that the upper hose started to get warm way before the thermostat was supposed to open... like 120 degrees. Went ahead and took it for a test drive for about 15 minutes. Temp readings were in the 170 degree range for most of the trip, then started to climb up towards 200+. Tried to kick the fan on with the AC, which really didn't work immediately. I had to put my finger on the fan blade and spin the fan to get it going, then it started to work intermittently with or without the AC on. I suspect that the fan hasn't been working for a long time due to blade contact, thus removal of the thermostat by previous owners. I can't be sure if the fan motor is getting weak or a relay or temp switch isn't functioning reliably.

 

That is really a funky thermostat housing setup, but it doesn't leak. It just seems like the gap between the housing and the manifold is going to be really big once an o-ring gets introduced into the overall stack height. 

I got a hopefully good used window regulator in from eBay seller and will tackle that chore in the days to come.

 

 

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56 minutes ago, 89RedCoupe said:

Temp readings were in the 170 degree range for most of the trip, then started to climb up towards 200+.

This might help explain what is happening: Why does my engine run so hot?

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