Jump to content

Saving Reattas from the crusher is a family project.


Recommended Posts

2seater

Picked of the Reatta parts car from Dave's storage. Beautiful setting 35 miles out of town and a very capable and helpful friend there too. It has apparently decided it was time for the fuel pump to start failing but managed to coax it to start and drive thirty odd miles to my cottage storage. Fuel pressure so low the return line from the regulator can be removed while running. Another one of those project cars that an owner put a bunch of money in, struts, axles, brakes etc.. but other things keep cropping up. May be combined with my other '89 derelict to get a pretty decent car for my grandson. Probably will be a replace fuel tank, pump and all the steel brake and fuel lines rear of the driver to be considered good to go. Even with lousy fuel pressure it would run 65mph and the A/C blows cold air. What could be better? My other '89 has 149k and this one 179k miles, neither being high mileage but there is rust present being Minnesota and norther Wisconsin cars.

Link to post
Share on other sites
DAVES89

I think Hal's family is going to start calling me "Uncle Dave" as now Hal has two of mt Reattas both running and driving for less then $150.00.  However the '89 Red [not to be confused with Red my 1989 that I have had now for 12 years] did not go willingly. First it burst a brake line just behind the drivers door that were able to quickly repair and then as Hal mentioned the fuel pump. But Hal and I were at Bob's house and our three heads collectively figured out how to get it running and off we went. I hoped it would make 35 miles and it did, taking us to Hal's new garage and wonderful cottage on a great spot on the river. 30 minutes of visiting and getting the "Nickel tour" we were off for home stopping for lunch at A&W on the way back.

 This car while it needs work does have a lot of new parts in it and also has a working A/C system as well as a Teves system that works as it should with no warning lights flashing. After he does the brakes and a couple other minor things he will have a nice dependable car.

 I am now back to 3 Reattas [Hal now has more then me] and good for him and better for me.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
DAVES89

This is a recent photo of the three Reattas I have left. The Vert, the Red and the Black.

 

1150919892_davesreattas7-28-20-3.thumb.jpg.84833f11986ee86521ca63d05ddabf52.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
2seater

The cars are certainly a win for me and my family. One thing I forgot to mention about the brakes on the new machine: the repair consisted of folding over and crimping off the rear brake line for the drive to storage so there were no rear brakes at all. Granted, it was a cautious drive, but it was hardly noticeable all braking was up front. No brake warning lights either.

Link to post
Share on other sites
DAVES89

Regarding the brakes, I waited for you to say [or not say] anything about that.

 Seriously I am glad you have the cars and happier that your family has a need for them. 

 A side note; When I went to Minnesota to get the car, I really didn't want to buy it, but the guy was unemployed, and because it didn't run and was sitting at a repair shop he was going to be charged a per day storage charge as he didn't have the money for repairs.

 So as I had a tow dolly with me and thought worse case scenerio I could part it out and then tow it to the yard. So I got it back home, took a couple of parts I needed that were better then what I had [a perfect illuminated shifter, swapping back another one in, and a couple of other parts] and offered it to 2seater. If he wouldn't have taken it, it was the junk yard for it.

 So I like to think we all won...

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2seater

Just a quick follow up to the low fuel pressure Reatta. I put a gauge on the rail and the best it can muster is 33psi which bleeds off immediately. It needs a small shot of ether in the intake and it will start and run. Pressure right at 32psi, with or without vacuum connected to regulator. Left it run about 20minutes checking cooling fans, lights and misc. items. Fuel pressure slowly decreased over this time down to about 28psi and blipping the throttle would drop the pressure a pound or two. Runs well but the pump is clearly on the way out. I think the little trip Dave and I did a couple days ago is close to the maximum range it can manage🙄

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
2seater

The new addition was scheduled to get some disassembly started on Saturday. New parts from Rock Auto arrived earlier in the week. The car is slated to go to my younger son in name only as it will actually go to my college age grandson. I was a little concerned on how he would perceive the Reatta. Had lunch with son and grandsons today and found he finds the Reatta to be fascinating. Even though it is a decade older than he is, he is very much looking forward to getting into the Reatta style.

Actual work on the car started Saturday when both my sons showed up ready to get at it. My older son has Dave’s former winter car and pitched in to help with his nephews car but also gleaned a few parts from my parts car, which had become a donor now. 

The fuel tank was removed as well as the filler neck. The tank looks solid so will just get a new fuel pump but the filler neck looks pretty tacky so will be replaced. Surprisingly, all the bolts for sway bar, heat shields and even the tank straps were removed intact although the straps will be replaced. The donor car gave up a working power antenna, a tailight in good shape with all the chrome letters intact, a good instrument cluster and console lid. More things will likely be swapped but the donor car smells pretty heavily of moth balls, so we will see how that dissipates 😖. The fuel filler door hinge needs to be replaced but it appears the hinge is very rust prone while the recess it bolts into is in very good shape. Contacted Jim Finn for a good replacement.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
DAVES89

Glad you son and grandson are willing to help and probably more important want the car. Once you get the rear brakes and fuel issue straightened away I think you will have a nice running car. Of course as we spoke there is the dash issue that would take a couple of hours to do [[instructions on Ronnie's tutorial section and then a quick spritz with the carpet mix I made up all those years ago. Because that mix is water based I just used a spray mister bottle and wiped off the vinyl as I sprayed. Turned out okay.

 Keep up the good work and keep posting, it's interesting to hear how you are bringing it back from the shadows of Gibson's...

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ronnie

Sounds like you have a good family project going. Having someone to lend a hand makes it a lot more fun. Especially when it's time you can spend with your son and grandson.  The carpet mix Dave mentioned worked well for me. It still looks good and it's been several years since I did mine.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2seater

It is genuinely fun as a family project. Both my boys will be Reatta owners which should prove interesting. They actually pushed pulled and dragged my derelict turned donor car out of the corner of the shed so easier to access and hopefully let the mothball fumes thin out🙄 Now that it is sitting outside it doesn’t look too horrible, but I need to turn a blind eye to it or be distracted. 
 

Since it was easy stand up work, on sawhorses, started on the fuel pump replacement. Right away I noticed the lock ring and o-ring gasket has red grease on it, dirty but not dried out, making me suspect someone had been in the fuel tank even though I don’t remember any notation in the notebook history in the glove box. It looks like the Mobil 1 synthetic grease I use? After looking at the pump assembly it all looks clean but there was no factory installed pulsator and the short substitute hose had no clamps. Both the pump and fuel outlet pipe are straight fittings with no barb or expanded tip to retain a hose and the hose was an easy slip fit, which leads me to believe the hose leaked fuel pressure rather than the pump being at fault??

 

 

D546E076-CEE9-4426-8734-26FD9CC7EC44.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites
DAVES89

Sounds like you might get lucky and have it be an easy fix. Unless you are going to put new parts in anyway?

  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2seater

The joy of pulling a fuel tank is lost on me, so it is getting a new pump, dock filter and actual hose clamps on the outlet.

 

It looks like the fuel line may have been spliced in the past🙄

B70EA08E-75E5-4B4A-9DFB-499BBDF56A27.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites
DAVES89

I am almost to the age where even pulling parts is losing it's "joy" factor for me. Also doing repairs, which is why I was so interested in getting rid of the two cars your son/grandson got. When my new Black dies, it will be the Red's turn as a full time year round driver. It would have been the 'vert after the Red, but it dodged the bullet moving to Brownsville. 

 That is why I sprayed what I could with undercoating on all the cars [the Red, 'vert, and Black] to slow down the rusting on any car that ends up being driven in the winter.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2seater

Worked on a friends 1948 Ford Prefect with a couple of friends Tuesday so took a break from the Reatta but back at it today. 
 

Younger son came over today to continue the resurrection. He will be the paper owner but destined for grandson. He worked on swapping the best interior parts into the new car. Lots of small things so far, console lid, drivers door threshold, lower door opening trim etc. Would have swapped just the drivers seat back but lacked the large torx bit for the hinge bolt. Could swap the entire seat but the outer seat bolster is more flattened from use in the donor so a combination of seat parts would work best. Discovered the vacuum tee near the cruise module was missing a hose and then found the vacuum football nipple is broken off and will need replacement.

 

Son was in process of swapping the drivers door interior panel and discovered the reason the courtesy light in the door doesn’t work, the wire is broken in the harness at the hinge point. This is a typical failure that I actually repaired on what is now the donor vehicle, but it was the seat power. It is a poor design where the two ends of the harness and covering bellows are directly opposite each other forcing the harness to bend and flex each time the door is moved. The ends should be offset so the harness rotates rather than bends. The drivers door is actually a replacement from a 90 so hopefully there is a harness connection that can be opened to be able to remove the door intact to facilitate replacing everything shaky looking.

 

Meanwhile I removed all the rear brake lines, cleaned up and relocated the brake proportioner to the crossmember. New lines bent up and installed for both rear wheels and started the routing of the new line toward the front where a solid splice can be made. After cleanup the original fuel tank was sprayed with undercoating. Leaving it out until brake and fuel line repair is complete.

 

 I did locate a replacement fuel door hinge from Jim Finn, thanks Jim, and is on the way. 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
Ronnie

Looks like you're making good progress.  Bringing a car back to life can be a lot of fun.  Just be prepared for the day after.

Bengay ☑️  Ibuprofen ☑️  Neosporin  ☑️ Three days to recover. ☑️

  😆 😃

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1
  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
DAVES89

I think I want it back...

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2seater
Posted (edited)

Sort of slow progress the last two days. Thursday had to drive back home to retrieve items I forgot, pick up steel fuel line material at NAPA, load of laundry etc... When I returned, I started what turned out to be 24 hrs of trying to remove (without breaking) two small bolts that retain the parking brake cable under the drivers door. Apply PB Blaster, tap on bolt head with a hammer, and get slight movement, retighten, apply more PB and leave sit for a time before repeating. Two reasons this bracket needs to be reinstalled in original location as well as be removed intact is the four steel lines being replaced snap into a hard plastic tube separator sandwiched between the floor and the cable bracket and this locates the parking brake cable end coming from the foot pedal. The parking brake is fully operational too which was good to see. My patience was rewarded by being able to remove the bolts at midday Friday allowing the removal and replacement of the steel lines to continue.

 

It looks like my donor car may be giving up a few items to Daves89's black car as well. My older son texted that he found what was leaking in the a/c system and it is one or more hardline for the system. One positive is it appears both of these cars have previously been converted to R134.

 

Back to the red car slated to go to grandson: I was finally able to remove the rusted off fuel door hinge with a cutoff wheel and carbide burr by removing the left rear wheel and plastic splash shield to get better access. The pocket the hinge seats into is in decent shape and solid so it will get a bit of cleanup and undercoating inside and out. Once the parking brake cable bracket was removed the rest of the rusted lines could be removed all the way forward to under the drivers seat forward of where the lines jog back inside the frame rail where the tubing is almost pristine. Cut the lines in staggered fashion so the mending isn't all in line or it gets too bulky to keep the lines organized in the plastic separators. Brake line was completed first with proper bubble flares and mating couplings, and is the only splice in the long brake line. The steel fuel lines were next and have now been bent up and reinstalled with a little excess back by the fuel tank to be finalized when the tank goes in. Even though the lines were bent using a tube bender there are subtle reasons the lines need to be tweaked during the installation process and my fingers and hands will need Ronnie's Ben Gay and Ibuprofen tonight. The steel fuel lines will have short rubber hose couplings at either end and crimp type hose clamps which have worked well for me in the past.

 

One side note: #2 son has read through Daves89 tutorials for taking the dash apart and is making the suggested tool while looking forward to trying it out. Both my boys are older than the cars by more than a decade so they are familiar with mine and how it came to be an ongoing project and it appears they are both infected with the same enthusiasm🙂

 

Oh yeah, when I returned from my trip home yesterday, I retrieved my 90 which was too limited in space to bring all my stuff for a month long stay at the cottage. Will try to get the four cars together for a photo but will be a long shot.

Edited by 2seater
Link to post
Share on other sites
Ronnie

Good write up. I enjoy reading about the work you are doing.I've never been afraid of work myself. I can stand and watch someone do it all day long. 🤣

 

11 minutes ago, 2seater said:

My older son texted that he found what was leaking in the a/c system and it is one or more hardline for the system.

You kinda lost me here. Are you saying one of the metal lines is cracked? I'm interested because my AC has a slow leak.  How did he test for a leak? Dye and black light? I have one of those electronic sniffers and doesn't detect the Freon from the leak I have but over time it disappears.

Link to post
Share on other sites
DAVES89

This is real interesting and I am glad everyone involved is well... involved. The A/C line that leaks is the one along the firewall to the passenger side sensor. The dash tool is great, but make sure that he "lifts" at the measured places. You may not have noticed but the three screws are readily accessible as years ago I removed the top grill and drilled holes for the screws. So once he gets that off he is on his way with a quicker replacement.

 Congrats on your car and once again I am glad you got the cars.

 While I realize that with your Parts car Reatta you have extra parts, I am well stocked with a lot of extra parts included "A" arm covers and visors. The parts bin is always open to you.

Edited by DAVES89
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Ronnie
15 minutes ago, DAVES89 said:

The A/C line that leaks is the one along the firewall to the passenger side sensor.

As stupid as this may sound, I can't remember checking those lines or sensors. Surely I did. I will be doing it again to make sure there isn't a leak there.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Ronnie changed the title to Saving Reattas from the crusher is a family project.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...