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Things I should do once I get a Reatta?


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buggzy

Hey, everyone! I am proud to announce I am in the process of buying a Reatta. I have never driven one let alone see one in real life so I am super excited. Since this car is over 30 years old I want to take great care of it so I’m wondering how I should go about doing so. What do you guys use to clean your cars exterior/ interior? I want to keep the outside rubber from cracking which happens as cars get older and I want to clean the lights and keep the paint pristine. Any specific brands or cleaning processes would be appreciated.

 

also if this has been asked before or a similar thread has been opened then a link would work too!

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Padgett

Are a number of things you can do. Am sure Ronnie has a like of maintenance like flushing the brake system and use only DOT-3.

 

Other things is to protect when parked: seek shade when out and either store in a garage or under a cover.

Avoid high temperatures: crack windows or sunroof on a hot day

Protect the interior: sheepskin seat covers and a cover for the dash pad. I drop a towel over the steering wheel when parked in the sun.

30 year old headlights are often dimmer than desired: I like SilverStar Ultras.

Good tires are essential. I look only for tires that are superior in the rain like BFG Comp-2 A/S.

If an 88-90 then I replace the Magnavox ignition with a later Delco (bolt in) and keep the original for a spare.

 

That said I'd need only about an hours prep before leaving for California on the other coast.

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2seater

Keeping it out of the sun is probably #1 for preserving the interior, but of course if you are going to enjoy it, it can't stay indefinitely. One of the first things I did for mine was have window tint applied, 75%-80% rear window and 50% on the side windows. I am not a lover of dark window tints, especially at night, but it does serve a useful purpose on a vehicle with such a large glass to roof ratio. It has been over 25 years on the tint and needs to be replaced and have been looking for a gradient tint for the side windows. I park facing the sun when possible and use a reflective sunshield inside the windshield. This minimizes the UV exposure for the tailight. This is a summer only car which gets a twice a year application (at the start and end of season) of plain old silicone on all the door rubber seals, window surrounds and any other exposed rubber like material. The seats get a liberal application of leather conditioner as a last item when putting the car up at the end. Rub it in by hand. I have used various products but have no favorite.

 

I didn't mention other more mechanical maintenance as it was covered well above.

Edited by 2seater
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Ronnie

Padgett and 2seater gave you good advice.  I'll give you some tips on making sure the car is safe to drive.

 

Ask the previous owner how old he thinks the tires are. Reattas tend to sit for long periods without being driven and the tires can dry rot even though they don't have a lot of miles on them. After getting the Reatta closely inspect the tires yourself even if they look good at first glance. Look for hairline cracks in the sidewalls and the grooves of the tread. Tiny cracks in those areas can be the beginning of a bad situation where the tire can blow out. I say this because I had the same situation when I bought my Reatta. The tires looked good but they were old and dry rotted. One of them developed a knot on the tread about the size of your thumb that probably would have blown out if I had got up to speed. Luckily it happened as I was leaving my driveway. I felt it and I turned around before getting up to speed.

 

The Reatta has a unique brake system that requires special attention to keep it working properly. When you first start the car the yellow ABS light and red brake warning may come on and then go off after about 30-45 seconds. If the red brake warning light comes on and stays on when you are driving you could loose the power brakes making the Reatta very hard to stop. Be very careful of you see that red brake light come on.

 

Check out the How-to section here on ROJ for lots of info that will help you maintain the brakes. Be sure to read the article about the correct way to fill the brake fluid reservoir. It is easy to overfill the reservoir if not done properly.

 

Check the entire brake system over to make sure the brakes are safe. Inspect the pads for wear and the master cylinder and calipers for leaks. Also check the brake lines for excessive rust. Brake lines and fuel lines on the Reatta are prone to rusting if you live in the land of salt and snow.

 

Check the PARKING brake and get use to how it works. Unlike most parking brakes you have to pump the pedal several times to set the brake on a Reatta. The reason I stress "parking brake" is because it will offer very little emergency stopping power when the car is moving.

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Padgett

Well not that unique, the Teves ABS system was also used by Ford, Jaguar, and SAAB as well as Pontiac and Cadillac.

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buggzy

Thanks for all of the great help, everyone! I’ll be buying some things to keep it clean. I’ll make sure to post pictures on here once I get it. Great community

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Ronnie
2 hours ago, Padgett said:

Well not that unique, the Teves ABS system was also used by Ford, Jaguar, and SAAB as well as Pontiac and Cadillac.

I guess unique wasn't the correct word to use to describe the Teves ABS system. Odd ball might be a better description. 🙂

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Ron Walker

Depending upon mileage and use by its previous owner - you can tell if its been cared for. But, you may consider changing all fluids, including flushing and replacing the coolant, and, of course, change the oil and filter.

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Ron Walker

Just a quick follow-up. Since I purchased my Reatta  in 1996 from a dealer, the negotiations included the following:

1. Replace transmission fluid and filter; 2. Oil change and filter; 3. Change PCV valve; 4. Change air filter; 5. Change spark plugs; 6. Flush radiator and change coolant; 7 Change fuel filter; 8. Replace several burned out light bulbs (high mount brake light and front turn signal); 9. Replace leaking front strut. 

As to # 9., I had both front struts replaced at Midas with lifetime warranty. Since the front struts were changed in '96, I took advantage of a replacement strut again in 2018. The strut gave way and ruined the inside side of the drivers side tire. I had to spring for the cost of the replacement tire.

Had I purchased from a private dealer, the above may not have been handled but potentially the purchase price would have been negotiable. 

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Philbo
On 4/28/2021 at 12:47 PM, 2seater said:

This is a summer only car which gets a twice a year application (at the start and end of season) of plain old silicone on all the door rubber seals, window surrounds and any other exposed rubber like material.

where do you get said "plain old silicone" I've never heard of doing that before, but sounds like something I might start doing.  I got my reatta to drive, which means parking it in the south carolina sun frequently.  I regularly apply uv protection to the top and use a sun shade for the inside. But I worry about the weather stripping, which is currently in decent shape as the prev owner kept it in a garage.

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2seater
36 minutes ago, Philbo said:

where do you get said "plain old silicone" I've never heard of doing that before, but sounds like something I might start doing.  I got my reatta to drive, which means parking it in the south carolina sun frequently.  I regularly apply uv protection to the top and use a sun shade for the inside. But I worry about the weather stripping, which is currently in decent shape as the prev owner kept it in a garage.

I just use silicone spray on a rag and apply it that way. One of the few benefits of being from the north of the country is the lower level of sun damage, although it still occurs, it is a shorter season overall as well as the angle of the sun.

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Ronnie

I usually just rub a little leather dressing on the rubber door seals when I'm doing the seats. I noticed yesterday that I'm developing cracks in the top of my steering wheel. I put leather dressing on it. Don't know what else to do to stop the cracking. The car is in the garage 95 percent of the time out of the sun but the steering when does get a lot of sun when driving.

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Padgett

I usually put a towel on top of the steering wheel when need to park in the sun.

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DAVES89
Posted (edited)

The 'vert and the Red both have wooden steering wheels so sun is less of an issue.

Edited by DAVES89
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Padgett

Except for your hand.

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Ron Walker

I use this type on my weather stripping around doors, windows, trunk lid, etc. As above, spray on a cloth rag and apply liberally.WD-40 Specialist Silicone Lubricant, 11 oz Aerosol Can (6 CA/BOX)

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