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Old 02-27-2016, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default Old age gets second chance

....it'* been a while since I've posted on here.
New Years Day, 2015. I get to the airport parking lot and always smile at the 1990 Electra Park Avenue. Even though she'* old, she still looks almost new. https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...FZLU0xPZ25iM3c
I'm driving home from the air port and as I round a small curve in the highway and start to go up a hill (Avondale if anyone lives here or wants to Google it), the car starts to act like it'* missing. I let off the gas and it calms down. I push on the gas again and everything is fine. Ok, so it was one of those old age things.
About 8 miles from home it starts to act funny again and starts to miss. First thing i do is look at the temp light. Everything is fine. I look out the rear window. No smoke. I get off on my exit (and it'* out in the middle of nowhere), and come to the stop sign. NOW it'* really running rough. I figure with only 3 miles left it'* do or die. She gets me home, still running really rough. I turn her off thinking that'* the last this engine will turn over. I go out about 3 hours later, nope, starts right up but now has a clanking metal sound and when the car is off, the serp belt can be pulled with little effort and everything turns easy.
A friend of mine talked me into having thcar towed to the garage he goes to all the time. Fine. $432 later they tell me it'* the harmonic balancer, but it still is running rough and they can't figure it out. Rather than drive the car 8 miles back home and risk more problems, I have the car towed back home.
Mind you, I'm scared to work on these American cars. I'm a VW person. So the car sits in the car port for the rest of the year. Promise after promise is made that "Yea, I'll come out and help! Yea I'll fix your car for you" and so on. Nobody came out. I even tried to employ a GM tech to come out to the house and diagnose what was wrong. All he did was pull the #1 spark plug wire off while the car was running, and the car gave him the shock of his life! 9Yea, I thought you'd get a good laugh out of that too). All he wanted to do was charge me $125 a day to have the car at his shop while he plugged it into the computer to tell him what was wrong. 3 times I told him it'* an OBD I and it wouldn't tell him much. Yea well anyone that tries to unplug a spark plug wire while the car is on, isn't that bright! So he was a no go.
Finally I decided enough was enough and I miss my Buick! I dove into the project. I read the shop manual and the Chilton'* manual. That way I could get good information.
It took 2 days to get everything off and out of the way, and to take the heads off. I already purchased a rebuild kit from EngineTech. The way I saw this project was, the engine is 25 years old. Eventually SOMETHING is going to have to be replaced because of failure, most likely due to age.
Once the heads were off, and were on my workbench, I started looking. the #1 exhaust valve spring was broken.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...mxsRy1rWHQ5aHc
http://https://drive.google.com/open...XlJTHRLM21CWWM

Remember, everything was going to be replaced anyway, and yes, I know that the spring could have been replaced, and saved me a lot of time.
The car only has 110K. I've heard the head gaskets go out on these about 107K, either way this car has done excellent for it'* age.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...TBCUHNMYmF1Y28
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...2paYmZmc2RZd28
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...kVLV0k0MExCdlU
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...1lubFBGZDV0VWs
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...WtKRHlsSkFDYWs
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...jZGU3ZvRXI5WEU
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...zF1RV9yT19aTzg
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...UtGd2N3QVVhYU0
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...UJOVm5uek50MDg
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...G9HYWVNSm1aakU
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...Vd6RERQWEItRkE

So, the valves were pulled off last night, and the heads were taken to the machine shop this morning. Heads will be cleaned, and checked for warping. I doubt they would be warped, but one never knows, as I purchased this car from someone else, even though he was elderly and any sign of a ping or knock and it was in the shop.
SO, next on the list is putting the new valves, springs, and seals in. Meanwhile, I scrubbed the valve cover gaskets after letting them soak in oven cleaner for about 15 minutes. Also let the intake manifold soak too as it was pretty nasty. The intake gaskets were falling apart and oozing oil and coolant. The other gaskets broke or were cracked, so it'* a good thing they get replaced anyway.
I got all the little stuff like valves, springs, oil cap, and a bunch of other stuff from RockAuto. I bet I'm their favorite right now after spending $325, and another order on it'* way for $114. Otherwise these parts would have cost me well over $1000.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...kp0VGlKeGlJbmM
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...klJNFZFT3h1c2s
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...EVIVGZ4aGJ3Z3c

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...lR1TkVRZThWX3M
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...2dVbUc0cjdWaTA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...zNjQ0FCQlBKaE0

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...Fc5LXBxZmdRNU0
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...FB6UjQwamtlYk0
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...HU4ZDlEOWNBUDA

With this R&R, I want to also paint the intake and valve covers. Don't know what color(*) yet. Might just stick with the GM Beige, but if new parts are going in, I think a nice face lift is in order for these parts.
That'* what I've been up to other than working.

Here'* what the engine used to run like:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...1BsTW12Zi1LMkU

Valve removal:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...DB2UHUxTEREZEE
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...G9wbkpxNFNubUE
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...zI5U29zSHp6SG8
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...jN4dVV2NEQ5bTQ
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Old 02-27-2016, 04:32 PM   #2
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It is nice to see car owners take the time, and spend a little money to keep a car that has served them well on the road!
Hope the whole job goes well for you, and that it runs good after you are done.
Thanks for sharing the pics.
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Old 02-27-2016, 08:09 PM   #3
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That is a good looking car. I've always liked that body style, had a 87 Delta years ago that was one of the best cars I've ever owned.

A couple things while you're in this deep. Timing gear. My 87 had the nylon style and it was wore out at 90K miles. Not sure what yours has.
Are you going to have the injectors cleaned? Just thought I would mention this.

Good luck

Joel
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Old 02-28-2016, 12:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeld View Post
That is a good looking car. I've always liked that body style, had a 87 Delta years ago that was one of the best cars I've ever owned.

A couple things while you're in this deep. Timing gear. My 87 had the nylon style and it was wore out at 90K miles. Not sure what yours has.
Are you going to have the injectors cleaned? Just thought I would mention this.

Good luck

Joel
The '90 will have the LN3, which does not have the nylon gear set. What it does have however is a magnet on the cam sprocket that is held in by plastic that likes to break and fling the cam sensor interrupter magnet.

Also, I didn't catch if you still have the magnavox style ignition system, or if you have already switched out for the newer delco style.

It'* probably also too late to plant the idea in your head to switch over to the newer style 2 piece L27 heads and manifold setup to get a couple of ponies.
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Old 02-28-2016, 12:28 AM   #5
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You can DIY clean the injectors, I used a injector connector, a 9v battery, a 3 cc syringe, and some carb cleaner.
Here is a video to give you an idea of how to do it.

If you get STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS HP3980 from Rock Auto you can use that to attach to the injector, or just get some covered alligator clips like in the video.

You could just replace them, but they are 25.00 each, so that would add up, plus if they still pulse well after cleaning, and the solenoid click sounds strong on each, then there is no reason to replace them, I'll give you the part number just in case.
STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS FJ686 {#25531465} Multi Port Injector; w/ O-ring
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Old 02-28-2016, 02:40 AM   #6
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Hey William. Thanks for the compliment. I promised "grandpa" that I would take care of the car.
Hey Joeld. Thanks! The timing gear has already been replaced as of this morning. That was one of the many parts that came in the EngineTech rebuild kit. Again, I figured 'While I'm in here' type things.
Hey Randall! The ignition thing was replaced when I had that problem with the ignition switch smoking. That was when I posted I could shift into any gear without pressing on the brake pedal first. So the ignition switch has already been converted over to the magnavox style ignition system. As far as the injectors go. All new injectors. The old ones served an awesome 25 years worth of service. I just feel better about having new injectors in. The old ones will be cleaned, repainted and stored for "extra" or back up parts.
Another thing I wanted to add is that several people at work are telling me to get a new car. WHY?? Car payments for 3-5 years vs about a grand every 25 years or so for parts and R&R? HHmmmm. Besides. This car is now a classic. The end of next year I can put the Arizona gold classic car plates on it, and only pay $25 a year for the plates. Plus, I won't have to deal with the emission thing (not that I do now) and I can pay 5 for 5 years worth, rather than 1 or 2 years at a time. Another great thing about living here in AZ.
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Old 02-28-2016, 02:46 AM   #7
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Ahh a passed down car, totally get why you are putting the time, money, and love into it, totally respect that.

A lot of people always tell me I should get another car, and not put so much into my 96' park Ave, but it has been well cared for all its life, and it has had a lot replaced by me, so I know how good of condition it is in, if I get another car it is like throwing the dice, at least I know this car like the back of my hand, well almost, lol
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Old 02-28-2016, 02:54 AM   #8
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**EDIT** I meant newer Delco system, not that I switched over to the magnavox system. Old brain can't think this late. LOL
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