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What did you do with your Reatta today.


DAVES89

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3 hours ago, DAVES89 said:

That looks great! You did a great job.

Thanks… I was really happy with how close the paint match came out. 

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Looks good. What happened?

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3 hours ago, Ronnie said:

Looks good. What happened?

Previous owner was an older gentleman with a very narrow garage…

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     Decided to try and get some better braking performance on my Reatta. The brakes always felt kinda spongy and like the pads were sliding on the rotors. I have been changing the brake fluid every 2-3 years, but it never made much difference in the 11 some years that I have owned it.

     Last weekend I changed front calipers and rotors using Delco parts, and some Bosch QuietCast semi-metallic pads. The brakes are way better now. Brakes start grabbing much better without the slipping feel, and I think I must have got more air out because they engage with slight pedal pressure. I think the calipers I took out were originals. They were not leaking at all, but maybe just old and stiff after 35 years.

     I still have to do the rear pads, calipers, and rotors when time permits. Now that its getting warmer here in Nebraska, it should be soon.

 

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Replaced the 1990 (Black) Reatta's oil pressure sensor today.  Well, "today" is a bit of an exaggeration.  After seeing weird oil pressure spikes every few seconds, and doing some internet research on the Buick 3800 engine family, it seemed like the sending unit was the most likely culprit.  I ordered a "Universal" oil sensor socket, for 1" and 1-1/16" oil sensor bases.  It wouldn't fit over the replacement oil pressure sensor I had on hand, so I sent it back and ordered a 1-1/16" deep socket instead.  I wasn't sure it would be deep enough, but once on hand, it fit over the replacement sending unit perfectly. 

 

Unfortunately, the Reatta's oil pressure sensor is in an extremely awkward location.  No way my new 1-1/16" deep well socket was going to get lined up above the sensor enough to slide over and allow for removal.  Way too many hard lines and metal brackets in the way.  I was fearing having to remove the whole power steering pump assembly just to access the sensor.  Note that, as best I can tell, the 1990 service manual says absolutely NOTHING about how to replace the oil pressure sensor.

 

Finally, I resorted to removing the passenger wheel, one of the wheel well splash guards, and using a shorty pair of Vise-Grips to get the OEM sensor out.  It was a bit of a blind reach, but it worked, barely.  And lo and behold, the OEM sensor is 1-1/4" at the base, so the 1-1/16" socket I bought wouldn't have even cleared the sensor body, say less engage the base.  I installed the  new unit (1-16" base, for what it's worth) the same way, Vise-Grip from below.  Had I known this in the first place, the whole procedure would have taken less than an hour, instead of nearly a week of waiting on sockets that in the end contributed nothing to getting the job done.

 

If you have a crow's foot the right size (for both your installed and your replacement sensors) you just might be able to do this from above, without the hassle of jacking the car up, removing the wheel, etc.  But I've never seen an 1-16" crow's foot.  I was tempted to grind my 1" out to fit, but in the end I would have been disappointed since the OEM unit's base was a full 1-1/4" anyway.  

 

Test drive shows steady oil pressure, so the OEM sending unit does appear to have been the problem.  For which I am grateful, as all the other reasons that the oil pressure could be spiking the gauge to the max every few seconds would have been much more serious.

Edited by sarookha
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On 3/9/2024 at 8:10 PM, DPS.01 said:

Previous owner was an older gentleman with a very narrow garage…

I'm inspired!  My Black 1990 is very clean, inside and out, but suffered similar insults to the body moulding from a PO.  The paint overall looks like at some point, someone used a dirty rag to clean off an overly enthusiastic wax job.  Lots of micro-swirl scratches over the entire car.  And wax residue in every crevasse.  Looks great from 5ft away or more, but up close and personal it needs some love.

 

Anyone know of a handy way to get excess wax out of all the nooks and crannies?

 

Edited by sarookha
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27 minutes ago, sarookha said:

Unfortunately, the Reatta's oil pressure sensor is in an extremely awkward location. 

I guess it depends on how you look at it. When I changed the one in my '88 Reatta I removed the belt, leaned over the fender, and loosened the sensor with a pair of channel lock pliers. It has tapered (pipe?) threads on it. About 1/2 turn and it was loose enough that I could screw it out with my hand. Same method was used to put the new one in.  Maybe your '90 is different? The most important thing is to grasp the sensor with the pliers by the metal part at the bottom - not by the top that is made of plastic.

 

oil_pressure_sender.JPG

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Sarookha, the oil pressure sensor on the 3800 engines is notorious for failing.  Ninety-nine times out of one hundred the actual oil pressure is fine as is the instrument gauge.  In the eleven years I've owned my '91 Reatta, I've replaced the oil pressure sensor four times.  Had the same issue with my two previously owned '92 Rivieras.   

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The connector sometimes fails as well, in which case it will show a pressure a few bars below normal, and somewhat erratic.

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Thanks for all the input!

 

Sounds like I'd better get good at this!  Ronnie, I'll try the reach from above next time, though my channel locks are way too long to clear the abundance of hard lines and stiff rubber lines and metal brackets around that area.  I was surprised that the shorty vise-grips opened wide enough to grasp an 1-1/4" base.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Today (4/2/2024) I took the '91 Reatta out and had it run through the MA State Safety Inspection (annually @ $35) and an oil & filter change (10W30 full synthetic @ $70.53).  I also had them check the headlight alignment since I put in the LED headlights...all was OK.  The oil change price is worth it to me only because I can no longer get under a car for any repair work.  Reatta has been in hibernation since October 9, 2023, and is now ready for 2024 cruise-ins and car shows. 

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1 hour ago, ship said:

The oil change price is worth it to me only because I can no longer get under a car for any repair work. 

I'm  almost there myself. I still do it but my body is starting to say no. Working on the Mustang to get it into great condition has been harder on me than I expected. All I still have to do is change the oil in the differential and hopefully I will be done working on it for a while. I think it will be the last car I ever buy to work on myself.

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I was out on appointments today and thought I would stop in that You Pick yard I got all those Reatta parts from about 5 years ago. they are under new ownership now and while they still do You Pick they crushed all the old iron. Gone are all the Reattas, Rivs and even the vintage Regal I am driving [1997-2005].

Looks like Gibson's is the only yard left for me to shop...

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It's sad that they value Reatta parts more for scrap iron than for used parts people could use. Parts are going to get really had to find as more and more of this happens. The biggest yard close to me has done this for a long time with old cars since the original owner died and left the yard to his sons. The sons only employ a couple of guys who pull a few fast moving parts and store them inside the building. Then they have a portable crusher outfit come to their yard every so often that crushes them and hauls them off. Not many people I know go there to get used parts anymore unless they need an engine or transmission.

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Because very few Reattas and 7th generation Rivieras were sold in New England, I haven't personally seen either in the two yards near me since around 2015. 

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I go to the yard a couple times a month and am always amazed at the amount of wasted good parts that get crushed. I always haul out at least a thousand dollars worth that would have been smashed otherwise

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Today I change my brake accumulator. I tried changing my brake pressure switch but it didn’t want to budge so left it in for now. Now I got brakes and my pump doesn’t turn on every time I step on the brakes. I do see the occasional red brake light when driving but it disappears. I might look into getting a new fluid level sensor. 

Edited by ar_323
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1 hour ago, ar_323 said:

Today I change my brake accumulator. I tried changing my brake pressure switch but it didn’t want to budge so left it in for now. Now I got brakes and my pump doesn’t turn on every time I step on the brakes. I do see the occasional red brake light when driving but it disappears. I might look into getting a new fluid level sensor. 

I have tested numerous accumulators and pressure switches on my homemade test rig and I have found the pressure switches to be very reliable and robust, unless, they are leaking fluid through the electrical connection. If the connection is wet, replace the switch. The set pressures for warning lights and pump operation have proven to be quite accurate across switches I have tested. If the red brake light is turning on without activating the pump, odds are it is fluid level or likely the parking brake release. The set pressures in the switch for the lights and pump activation are a couple hundred psi, or more, apart.

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6 hours ago, 2seater said:

I have tested numerous accumulators and pressure switches on my homemade test rig and I have found the pressure switches to be very reliable and robust, unless, they are leaking fluid through the electrical connection. If the connection is wet, replace the switch. The set pressures for warning lights and pump operation have proven to be quite accurate across switches I have tested. If the red brake light is turning on without activating the pump, odds are it is fluid level or likely the parking brake release. The set pressures in the switch for the lights and pump activation are a couple hundred psi, or more, apart.

And actually 2 seater the switch he is looking to install were from my tested backstock inventory that you also tested with your "homemade test rig" so it's good. However from his post changing the accumulator is more likely what he needs to do. I have replaced the pressure switch twice in my 333000 miles on the Red. 

 The switches can be hard to remove because they are in tight, which is why I bought the specialty socket [they are thinner wall because of the lack of clearance] years ago for this purpose. 

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