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Saving Reattas from the crusher is a family project.


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Ronnie

I hope Rock doesn't mind me using their photo for illustration purposes. After all it might lead to them selling you a switch. 🙂

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2seater
36 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

I hope Rock doesn't mind me using their photo for illustration purposes. After all it might lead to them selling you a switch. 🙂

I only saw a portion of the photo on my phone and the Rock Auto label didn’t show until I moved it and scanned the whole thing🙈

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DAVES89

Sounds like the last of the issues are in sight. I'm glad for you guys.

 I have a system for cleaning inside the plenum. I remove the fan and the module. Drop a light down through the module so you can see what you are doing and start by spraying the evaporator with carb cleaner. Then follow with a spray of water from your garden hose, then blow dry with the use of an air compressor. Repeat until clean. It works great and the change in air through the vents is great.

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Ronnie
26 minutes ago, DAVES89 said:

Sounds like the last of the issues are in sight. I'm glad for you guys.

 I have a system for cleaning inside the plenum. I remove the fan and the module. Drop a light down through the module so you can see what you are doing and start by spraying the evaporator with carb cleaner. Then follow with a spray of water from your garden hose, then blow dry with the use of an air compressor. Repeat until clean. It works great and the change in air through the vents is great.

I need to do that. Do you have any concerns that the carb cleaner and the water might end up on the carpet inside the car? Seems like if the drain got overloaded that is where the water would go.

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DAVES89

The carb cleaner as you know is just to loosen the gunk and then starts to evaporate off. The water then nuetralizes the carb spray and works off the gunk. The air is to dry everything so the next spray of carb cleaner works it's magic again. In my experience there isn't enough carb cleaner sprayed at any one time to get to the carpet.

 I wish I could take credit for this, but it was Kendall that showed me the system and how well it works. 

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2seater

Home stretch now. The agenda for today was looking into the heater plenum and cleaning it. After removing the blower motor and speed controller, I was surprised to find it was almost completely empty. The face of the evaporator was covered with fine dirt and general crud but nothing alarming like an oily spot from a leak. I did find one white plastic fin from a squirrel cage fan but this fan was fine so must be from a previous installation. I use a toothbrush and brake clean to do evaporator cores plus a vacuum. This time around, after #2 son and I did initial cleanup, we employed the one family member not directly involved so far, the youngest grandson, eight years old. He dived right in and his hand and arm fit right into the core where he cleaned in detail, photo below. We were rewarded with very nice air flow.

 

I looked at the parking brake cable situation again and it is as I surmised, something collapsed. Where the cables come together at the rear, inside the rear crossmember, is another setup similar to the adjuster under the floor by the driver. It looks like it pushes rather than pulls and the parts have telescoped together rendering it usable but it will leave the light on requiring a manual reset. Going to leave it alone.

 

We finally tackled the subframe bushings today, which was not as terrible as I envisioned. From the notebook in the glovebox, it appeared four of the bushings had already been done but what I found was confusing. I haven't fooled with these before so I have no frame (sic) of reference, but all four rear bushings appeared to be exactly the same. If one or more had been replaced, they must have used oem style parts rather than the Dorman replacements we have adapted, which are much heavier. I am including a photo of the parts removed. Two of them have the bolt stuck in the mount but I did not see any fasteners in danger of breaking. Two bolts did look fresher than the other two, but nothing appeared to be very recent. Again, I have no idea how fast these parts age? In any case, we did the four rear and most important bushings. Despite the lack of impending doom found, the replacement of the bushings has eliminated a mystery clunk sound while driving under certain conditions, so the new larger surface area bushings seem to have firmed up the connection from subframe to body. 

 

A test drive confirmed everything is working as it should, quiet and smooth, and with a cop driving, very elevated speeds. #2 wanted to take it home immediately but I prevailed on him to leave it through Friday so I can drain and replace the coolant, replace the thermostat and remove and clean the injectors. I noticed the running temperature indicated at a little over 200*F, unconfirmed with a heat gun, and it stays below fan cut-in but prefer a bit cooler. I will reverse flush the system first and go from there. 

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DAVES89

It really does sound like you are on the home stretch, good for you. Car now runs good with a new[er] BCM and timing chain, cam magnet, sub frame bushings, trans lines, radiator swapped. Then into the interior with swapped dash, drivers inner door panel, driver's seat, and shifter panel. Then cleaned and retinted carpet and the car is almost like new.

 We will have to get together and total up on the parts you got from me, and I have to ask if there is any carpet tint can I have it back so I can respray my carpet? After I saw yours I realize now that mine is fading.

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2seater

I forgot to mention a Thank You to Dave for many of the parts, Dashmaster for the clear bushing instructions as well as ROJ in general for the tutorials and support.

A small variation on the bushing compression was using an sae  bolt I had laying around which was a 9/16” nut and bolt from a trailer spring, and I did not need to loosen the top strut mount. In retrospect I probably should had loosened the strut as those fractions of inch may have been beneficial.

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2seater

End of the red car story. Pulled the fuel rail and did a homebased flush job on the injectors. Not scientific but sprayed them against a cardboard target to see if the individual spray holes were clear and all have a good pattern. I have a small handheld unit to cycle the injectors rapidly and with pressurized cleaner, everything looked as expected. I considered them good to go.

 

Did a reverse flush of the cooling system which was easy to do since there was a flushing tee already installed. Didn't find anything untoward during the flush process. The thermostat was removed, a 195* unit, and was replaced with a 180*. Installed antifreeze mix and brought it up to indicated temperature watching when the upper hose got hot which closely matched the displayed temperature. A heat gun indicates 10-15* cooler??

 

#2 son picked the car up about 5pm and reported the indicated temperature showed 183* on the way home which rose to 186* under acceleration. This may be my first attempt at burning a chip for an '89 to adjust the fan cut in temperatures. All told, this has been a success with everything operational except the parking brake, and a lot of fun too.

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Ronnie

Good job!  You have done more work to that car in a couple of weeks than I have done to mine since I owned it.

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2seater

#1 son and the black car came by today as planned. We had removed the a/c lines from the donor last weekend; compressor to the accumulator and condenser. He had found a leak in that area and during the week swapped the lines into the black. It turned out one of the lines was worn completely through from friction with the bottom of the engine compartment, photo below. I guess 300k miles will do that. He had installed the last of the can of R134 he had from the first try and my gauges read over 30 psi residual pressure that appeared to be holding. We started the process of determining why the compressor wouldn’t even click to engage with the pressure switch jumpered. Eventually it led us back to the ecm as all tests passed so we swapped in the partially defective one we had from the red. It has defects too, like no closed loop but the a/c worked. With it plugged in the compressor kicked in to confirm the ecm was the issue. Swapping ecm’s requires disconnecting the battery so when we restarted the car after putting the original ecm back it, surprise, surprise, the compressor started right up having defaulted to auto mode. Apparently disconnecting and cleaning the ecm connections cured the compressor malfunction. This week he will try the compressor operation for short bursts to confirm it wasn’t a fluke and we will evacuate the system and fill from scratch next weekend. Will need to prove it can hold vacuum first but it looks pretty good now.

The red car returned today also. #2 son reported the car worked well the previous evening but he had no backlights in the switches and the displays wouldn’t dim with headlights on. We determined the slide dimmer worked properly so that led to the photocell in the dash. The donor gave up it’s photocell, the Dave dash pad tool was employed and the donor cell swapped in just a few minutes. The cell proved to be good, the dash dimmed properly and the switch backlights turned on, winner winner. While we were going through the diagnostics checking sensor operation we noted a high side temperature fault, showing -37* upon checking, so hoping it is just a bad connection and not the sensor. Will look into this in the future but the a/c still works. Can that sensor be changed without losing all the refrigerant??

 

One item looked different today than previously: the subframe bushings we replaced. Upon close examination of bushings we removed, one had a paper thin washer under the rubber overcoat and a second was more corroded than it first appeared, so the advice to replace was accurate😖B72DB5FE-E1CE-4CF8-B1B3-F617032CECDE.thumb.jpeg.e0d36631646aa7e0a1be4c93216aaa78.jpeg

 

 

 

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Ronnie
35 minutes ago, 2seater said:

Can that sensor be changed without losing all the refrigerant??

No, you will lose the Freon but you can change it without pulling a vacuum as long as you have the replacement in hand and screw it in while there is still a positive pressure in the system. I have done that without problems. Not good for the environment but you have to do what you gotta do without a vacuum pump handy. If you are lucky it will be a bad connection but it is pretty likely the sensor is bad if the tests in the how-to guides don't pan out.

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2seater

I am hoping for a connection issue because we just worked in that area cleaning out the heater plenum.

 

 I just had a long post with detail disappear so I will post an abbreviated head scratcher I found  this morning. In the process of working with #1 sons black car I looked at the prom i.d. and searched for it this morning and it doesn’t appear in the prom listing in the tutorials of this forum. Doing a Google search for prom scan 8774 brought up a thread with McReatta back in April of 2014 where it was listed as for a 1991, letter code AWYZ. I looked further for corroboration and found AWYZ on gearhead_efi with matching scan number of 8774 for a EB platform but this is where the head scratcher comes in: it is for a manual transmission, issued in 1992, L27 engine and 16142470 ecm, which is not for an 89?? I don’t know if it is simply a reprogrammed chip with old info or indeed all different since we didn’t actually pull that ecm. Has anyone heard of such a thing??

 I looked at my scan on my 90 which has a modified prom (added chip socket) but the chip is my program and the scan shows 11? I don’t know where that id number is stored or if it can be changed as it was never a big deal but now?FE2B5B4C-2DCD-423D-B277-E2417E9863CB.thumb.jpeg.8f36b47973519d1df53932838dbd2c7e.jpeg

 


 

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Ronnie

As for the missing post, the website has been acting weird for a coupe of days. Sometimes it freezes and sometimes it's really slow so I image that has something to do with you post not showing up. Hoping is straightens out soon.

 

I don't know what is going on with your PROM.  I thought the '91 and later GM cars used a PCM instead of an ECM that control the transmission as well as the engine. I'm surprised that it will work at all in the ECM for a Reatta.

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DAVES89

Just back from a weekend away to the camper. I don't know anything about the prom in the Black car. I do know that the prior owner of the guy I bought it from swapped out the engine'trans so who knows? I did send you an e mail on that so maybe it is in there about a swap? I would think it would be a "rewrite" as I drove the car all those miles and never a hiccup [ecspt for that connection issue that turned off all the lights].

 Looks like everything else is turning out great, even getting A/C back, good for you.

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2seater

I am not sure about the combination unit, the pcm, starting in 91, but I didn’t think so. You raise an interesting question, how was the electronic trans controlled? In the years leading up to the obd2 in 96 there were some odd hybrid deals from GM, like changing to the obd2 aldl connection in some models but with obd1 programming and interface in the early to mid 90’s. We may never know what is actually in place unless we have to pull the ecm for replacement.

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2seater

Oh man , how do I dig out of this mistake. As Padgett so kindly mentioned to me, the code being displayed is for the BCM not the ECM as it should be. DOH!😖

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4 hours ago, 2seater said:

Oh man , how do I dig out of this mistake. As Padgett so kindly mentioned to me, the code being displayed is for the BCM not the ECM as it should be. DOH!😖

You just need to get some rest!!

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

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