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Saving Reattas from the crusher is a family project.


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2seater

I do not know what is leaking or how it was determined . Dave had told me there was a leak up in the firewall area so it wasn’t a surprise, however #1 son is a little sparse when it comes to communicating. He is more of a doer rather than a splainer 🤔 He will be here tomorrow to get parts, help on the red car and raid the beer fridge.

 

The parts car I have didn’t start out that way, much like the red car Dave had. I paid too much and a cloudy future for it. The combination of the two cars is almost like it was meant to be one. Haven’t done much of anything up front in the engine area or underneath, so I am sure there may be a need for parts from Dave’s stash.

 

 

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2seater

Saturday: A little information update on the a/c leak for the black car #1 son has. He added leak detection dye and showed me a cracked line right down near the compressor. If this is correct it is the pressure line to the condenser, part of the manifold attached to the rear of the compressor. He did say the sound of the leak gives the impression it is up on the firewall, probably a reflection, or there is more than one. Looks repairable to me with parts from the donor.

 

Back to the red car: Found four broken or repaired wires in the hinge area of the drivers door, main power and one function for the seat, power to the mirror and the courtesy light. A Carfax reveals the car was totaled quite some time ago, probably why the drivers door and front fender are from two other donors, but the title is clean. We found the door harness is full length from the door interior, along the rocker inside the car and then across to the console with no junctions to disassemble. The wiring used for the repairs was all black with the butt connectors in the hinge area and inside the car near the park brake. We pulled a short section of 12/5 cable through the hinge area and made the splices inside the car and inside the door itself so there is no stress on the repairs. All door operated function work properly now. 

          Swapped just the drivers seat back with the donor car to make a very presentable combination. Refilled and bled the brake system, found a couple leaks along the way, but the system is now leak free. Looking forward to be able to give it a good try. Reinstalling the fuel tank turned out to be an adventure. Even with two of us working on it, it just seemed like it was determined to snag on everything possible but we did finally get it approx. in place leaving on side loose to better access the fuel line connections. In hindsight the feed and return hoses should have been connected to the tank prior to installation but didn't want the unfinished extra long hoses in the way. Big mistake. Knocked off for the night.

 

Sunday: Working alone I installed all the connections to the tank. Had the hoses on the new filler pipe clocked 180* off so remove and repair to allow connection, then the fuel lines and charcoal vent tube. Very limited space to tighten the threaded fittings at the top of the fuel tank. You know the story, get the wrench on the fitting, but no room to swing the wrench. Finally seems tight, push the tank up and finish the second support strap. Add five gallons to tank, turn the key on, no indicated pressure on the gauge, and find a puddle under the car. Place fan blowing under car to dry and ventilate, clean up and go have a beer with the neighbor. Tomorrow is another day and the tank will need to be lowered to find the problem and repair. Oh well🙄 

 

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DAVES89

Thanks for the update 2seater! If you were to swap the column when you do the dash you should have cruise as well.

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Ronnie

Thanks for the update. You have given me new places to look for my slow freon leak. If my sniffer can't find it I will give some of the dye a try.  Sounds like you are having the normal bumps in the road as you go along. The fuel leak is a bummer. I don't like playing with gasoline anymore. A friend of mine got burned really bad from it.  When the weather turns cool I'm planning on changing the fuel pump in my GMC pickup because of a bad sending unit. I wouldn't do it if I had to drop the tank but I have discovered that most people tilt the bed up on one side and replace the pump without removing the tank. Only need to loosen three bolts on one side, remove three bolts on the other side, remove three screws from the filler neck, and jack up the bed. I think I can handle that without worrying about a fire in the garage.

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2seater

My Ranger is the same. Tilt the bed to access the pump. 
 

I am not too crazy about working on the fuel tank or with gasoline either. The rear sway bar under the rear of the tank and the exhaust heat shield under the front plus the fuel fill and vent line over the rear suspension crossmember make just lowering a little for access difficult to impossible. Oh well, I outsmarted myself🙄

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2seater

Interesting and also frustrating day today. Had to drive into town to replenish a little food and pick up some other supplies so didn’t get going until after noon. Shortly after getting back, #2 son and teenage granddaughter came by for the purpose of removing the dash from the donor car. The two of them worked all afternoon to get the entire assembly out by going back and forth to Dave’s instructions following the described order of operation. Minor issues but the tools and locations are spot on and my son was very complimentary of the accuracy and clarity of instructions. I was impressed myself but it was for the gumption to tackle that job. It is worth it as the dash is in great shape. A side benefit is the easy access to the boxes and wiring to maybe repair the dash failure of #1 sons black car?

 

The fuel tank story was less positive. If the fuel hoses were attached to the tank before installation I would have noticed the main pressure line from the tank was seized to the nut that couples to the hose running forward. Working with no space, what felt like the two mating pieces threading together, was actually the fitting end from the tank twisting off. The tank had to come all the way out so the steel pipe could be cut cleanly and it is getting pressure hose connected directly to the bobbed off steel line. The best repair would be to replace the entire in tank assembly but it simply isn’t going to be. I am sure this solution is secure but not perfect🤔 End is story for today. This is the donor dash on sawhorses for cleanup. My car in left background, donor in right background and rear corner of subject car extreme right. The other thing is of different manufacture🙈

B877DE94-9259-4AAB-8B42-4185DFE5267B.jpeg

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Ronnie

On the bright side, you have a really nice place to work. Lots of room is always nice when you're doing what you guys are. It's a shame that the fuel line problem popped up but that is the way is goes when you tackle a big job like you guys have. Number one thing is be safe and everything else will work itself out with a little time.

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DAVES89

Look at all those Reattas! Keep up the good work! And look at all the help you have. It is a real family affair!

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2seater

It is true everyone is pitching in and I am a very lucky guy, for sure. #2 son and granddaughter came back today. Son had the day off and granddaughter was planning on some school activity but decided she wanted to work on her brothers car instead. Hard to beat that. The two of them had the dash out and the replacement from the donor back in in about three hours, just as Dave said. While other things were going on, granddaughter worked on cleaning all the replacement parts, scrubbing the panels, bleaching suspect areas. A real trooper. 

 

Fuel tank finally back in place and no leaks. It did take four prime cycles to get the pressure up to full at the rail but everything was completely empty to start. The pump is so quiet, Delphi turbine, I will have to try with my hearing aids to see if I can tell it is running. I was under the car and the tank looking for leaks while priming and I couldn't hear it there either. The car now starts without external aid but it is not an instant response. A little lazy when blipping the throttle so things to look at next. Grandson arrived late after work and school. After pitching in to investigate and work on misc. interior items, we had the chance to start the engine, and I had the chance to walk him through some of the touch screen although I am not very well versed in the '89. He is looking forward to making it his daily driver. We noted a current 041 code, so with the miles, timing set, magnet and sensor on in the near future. Noted the engine never went closed loop and the O2 sensor was pretty much unresponsive, Integrator and BLM stuck on 128. Almost ready to get to the front end of the car so with much of the family working the middle and interior, I am free to look in depth. We want to get the car down and driving to check the cruise control before deciding on the whole column or just the steering wheel. Daughter in law came after work and she has been addressing the broken latches and mixing and matching parts from the two cars to get them all correct and keyed alike. The interior is looking very good indeed.

 

Side note: just received a text from #1 son about black car with the dash failure. He found the cps fuse was bad but in a strange way. Not blown in a conventional fashion but one side above a prong was sort of corroded looking. Swapped the fuse, and all functions returned. Maybe more collateral damage from the owner prior to Dave?? Will see if I can get the photo he sent me posted.

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2seater

Two photos: the fuse mentioned above. The CPS fuse for the black car. Odd looking failure. The other photo is of the relocated brake proportioner valve. I didn’t realize how poor it looks and will see if a better one can be taken but it is placed on the rear crossmember and one brake hose is eliminated. Third one done like this277F2073-481A-4078-BD3E-F128B5A3138C.thumb.jpeg.424f10e493dd8cd25a7bd0ebbfac8ebc.jpegDD10783A-6347-4C48-9B55-00C491C6731D.thumb.jpeg.633a641a5a88b886d8ce2878feca01c5.jpeg

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Ronnie

Good progress being made! Good find on the fuse. The left side of the fuse looks like it might have overheated even though it doesn't look like it's blown. I would check to make sure the slot where the fuse plugs in a holding the blade tight.

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DAVES89

I don't believe the cruise will ever work. When the cruise stopped working Bob pulled on the wire and found a break in the wire. He put a jumper lead from the break down to the switch. But of course as I later found out, the headlight switch that came with that car was no good. Also the cruise switch is disconnected at the brake pedal so you may want to check that. If you do swap the column could you consider letting the ignition module [that is located on the column] go? I would like to have one for my inventory. 

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DAVES89

Regarding that fuse. Once again I believe that is "fall out" from the arcing "Snowdrift" had when he shorted out the alternator. As you have seen it goofed up the headlight relay pins so bad Kendall had to pull the pins and move them so he could make them tight enough. There was talk at the time of getting a different fuse box and installing it, but because the headlights [and everything else] continued to work that all quieted down.

 I didn't see anywhere that your son resolved the fog light issue? I'm laying money on the switch [either the console or the dash]. I would start with the console. Take it from the "donor" maroon and try it as once again I don't believe any wire is going to be the issue.

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2seater

As I mentioned before, #1 is more a doer than explainer, and I see he posted a thank you in the other thread. I asked if all functions returned but did not receive a detailed reply?? He did say there is a lot on that fuse, interior lights as well, although I believe the actual loads may be handled by relays?? I am sure we will get better detail and post the results, probably this weekend.

Yes, we did notice the cruise dump switch hanging loose but assumed  we knocked it out in our disassembly so good to know it was already out. Hoping to try the cruise before deciding on swapping the wheel or column. 

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Ronnie
55 minutes ago, 2seater said:

Hoping to try the cruise before deciding on swapping the wheel or column. 

I would get the ECM to go into closed loop before swapping the column. I have in the back of my mind that the cruise won't work when the ECM is in open loop but I'm not sure that is correct.

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DAVES89
8 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

I would get the ECM to go into closed loop before swapping the column. I have in the back of my mind that the cruise won't work when the ECM is in open loop but I'm not sure that is correct.

That is what Padgett said over "there" and I didn't argue the point. I did try it on the Red at all speeds before closed loop and the cruise comes on at least 20 miles an hour and works when the engine still shows cold on the CRT.

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2seater

Thanks for the input fellas. I do remember that comment, over there, but have never tried proofing it out. I can’t try it on my car as I am a mile into the woods on a dirt/gravel road so mine would likely be too warm by the time I could engage. 
A quick note prior to the daily summation: the power steering cooler was slated for replacement as it is very crusty but apparently the stress of idling while showing the touch screen to grandson yesterday was too much😢 Found a spreading puddle this morning. The leak has moved it up on the list but have no supplies here to repair. Will make an early return home tomorrow for a few of my coolers stashed away, as well as fluid. On the bright side, it could have chosen to barf on the trip up or on a short test run slated for today. 

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Ronnie

I feel sorry for you guys having to fight the rust monster.  I'm glad that is one thing I don't have to think much about.

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2seater

Funny comments about others impressions. My grandson asked me why I started with a Reatta in the first place, and I mentioned because there wasn't one at every intersection, it feels good driving it, and there isn't one at every intersection 🙄  This is back when they were just a few years out of production, but admittedly, it's hard to explain, or to put it in simple terms; if you don't get it, you never will.

 

I wrote up about the PS cooler episode earlier and am going home in the morning to look at what I already have, but I did look at my donor car and was surprised the cooler looks to be in pretty good shape, so that will be my backup plan or I will give it to #1 son for the black. Worked alone today.

 

While it was a sort of slack day I looked over other items to put on the list to be addressed. The last thing under the rear was to bolt the rear sway bar back in place which was done. The front plug wires were out of the snap on loom and noted the rear plug wires are missing the additional loom covering. The wires themselves are pretty clean and appear in good shape. I simply pulled all the wires, added loom to the rear ones and correctly routed the front ones and snapped the organizer to tidy things up. While I was looking around I thought it would be a good idea to inspect the coil pack and ICM. The six assembly screws were extremely tight but one was mismatch with phillips head and one snapped the head off. Internally everything looks okay with no sign of overheating but having a tough time getting the screw out with the broken off head. It must be a high grade screw as even a real Vise Grip just slides on the exposed screw and won't bite. 

 

Has an oil leak somewhere, guessing it is the pan gasket as the bolts are very tight like someone has chased that before, but just cleaned it up and wiped off all the accessible areas so leak path should be more apparent. May have a leaky rear valve cover gasket but overall pretty clean up top. I noticed what appeared to be an engine heater in on of the rear frost plug holes but no cord, just bare electrical pins. When I can start it again, I can get it off of the full length ramps and just lift the front higher to explore underneath better. Supposed to have four of the six subframe bushings already replaced but need a better look. The rear sits very high making it more nose down than usual. 

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DAVES89

I agree on the "If you don't get it you never will". However as you might remember I didn't even know the Reatta existed until the guy pulled out on me on that snowy day. I had been out of touch with cars as the kids and family life got in the way.

 The power steering cooler was replaced on the Black but the transmission lines are badly corroded and should be checked. As you might surmise I have like new lines in the parts bin as well as extra Delco coil packs. However as the "junker" Reatta you have is being "stripped down" maybe those parts will work, if not let me know.

 I also want to caution you on the rear cradle mounts on the Red car, Bob removed them and either bent them back to work or fabricated washers [I don't know which as I wasn't there, and as you know the car was stored at his house] and will NOT last. As we discussed I have the Dorman replacement ones and the correct bolts.

 As a little side bar and to boost your confidence in the Red car you got. Bob considered titleing the car, getting plates and driving the car himself, but decided against it as he has always had trucks. 

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  • Ronnie changed the title to Saving Reattas from the crusher is a family project.

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