88 LeSabre T Type Rebuild - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 03-29-2008, 03:57 AM   #1
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Default 88 LeSabre T Type Rebuild

You guys don't seem to have a lot of rebuild threads going on.... plenty of pictures with pretty scenery and whatnot but theres not enough....messiness for my taste :P

So.... I thought I'd share some progress pics of my current progress. IIRC, I have to keep the pic limit under 25 per page and this is the proper forum as these are pics of my car (in progress, granted) and its 3800 powered Mods, move this if I'm wrong....

A bit of backstory: LeSabre T Types are rare. Only 15,000 were made between '87 and '89 and I happen to have two. I got my black one two years ago from a field and my red one a couple months ago from St. Louis MO where it had been just shipped from Florida.

I decided to fix it up and these are pics of my progress. I've got an entire thread (4 pages now) over at my "home" forum at www.lesabret.com so I'll keep this one brief (thread at lesabret: http://www.lesabret.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=6113)

First off were some cosmetic clean-ups. I repainted a dash and put it in, painted the grille, put in a factory radio, swapped in an '87 console armrest, and painted some trim.
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One of the worst parts about the car were water leaks.... the windshield was poorly sealed and the door seals were shot and poorly "rigged"... so water got in under the carpet and corrded all my ground busses.

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So.... I decided to gut the interior to clean up corrosion and get all the water/musty smell out.

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And while I've been waiting on new seals and other misc. parts I decided to do some maintenance work.

First off, repalce the tranny fluid... see anything mising?

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No? How 'bout now?

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Someone didn't put the bloody magnet back in!! So...hard drive magnets are goign to be stuck on the bottom of the pan for a few thousand miles till I change the fluid and filter again.

And then replaced some motor mounts...

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And then the rear drums, sway bar links, and some other stuff.

Today is the most recent work... I got the windshield resealed. The PO used some kind of caulk that trapped water under the windshield instead of having it fixed correctly.... this resulted in several....um.... vent holes?

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I used a drill and wire wheel to get most of the loose stuff, then hit the rest of it with inhibitor before filling the holes. I know thats not the ideal way to fix it, but if it lasts me 5 years till I"m done with school and I have a garage to properly slice and dice in some new metal then thats OK.

Heres the fix. Needs some cleaning up and touch-up paint, but its definately better than the huge gaping holes that were hiding behind the trim and caulk...

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Next up is replacing my door seals and rear trunk emblem (recently painted the chrome to match the original blacked-out look)

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Thats it for now.... more pictures in a few days as I get more stuff cleaned up and installed.... in the mean time enjoy some LeSabre-ness on the board :P
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:48 PM   #2
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Wow its coming along good! You got the tranny pan looking real clean now lol
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:33 PM   #3
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Yes! I've been waiting for this!


Wheels?
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Old 03-30-2008, 02:14 AM   #4
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I like putting clean parts back onto my cars :P It actually cleaned up pretty well with just paper towels and a bit of water from a nozzle on a garden hose. What I really need to do is get the car up on ramps and degrease the rest of the bottom of the motor.... its Nasty! :(

Radomir: Wheels are still sitting under my table :P

I probably won't get to painting them till I'm done with everything else for the red T (carpet, headliner, column, steering wheel, killing some rust, fixig some paint, etc). The bonnie crosslaces I got from you are going on my black '89 after I'm done with rebuilding the red '88. Well.... they *might* go on the red '88 while I work on fixing up the black '89 some more this summer, but time will tell :P

GIve me about a month and I'll have black rims :P

Here are pics of what they will look like when they're done though:


I just don't think they look quite right on a red car...
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Old 03-30-2008, 02:22 AM   #5
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Your cars are going to look awesome! That picture is amazing to me, so I can only imagine how you see it.
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Old 03-30-2008, 02:34 AM   #6
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Pictures like that make me want to get my cars to look like them :P

That particular one belongs to a college student in Pensylvania I believe. Its his second T Type.... his first was equally well taken care of except the transmission grenaded on him and ended up selling it on Ebay. It hopefully went to a good home....

I know that if I keep at it and keep putting parts and work into it, my car will eventually clean up like theirs are. My problem is that I don't have a full sized garage or help.... but it makes for an interesting challenge/hobby so I'm not complaining...

It just gets expensive in a hurry! I'l probably have $3000-3500 in my car before it looks like that one but it'll be built up to my standards and my tastes so it makes it worth all the trouble.
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:32 PM   #7
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More work has been done to the car recently.

First off, I've recently received my stock-styled aftermarket rear spoiler. The OEM versions were made out of urethane on a steel mounting plate.... the problem was the the plate would rust if a hole was made in the urethane and would not only rust apart but would also warp the entire spoiler. Not good.

....so one of our members took a good spoiler and had fiberglass copies made. The process took over a year but we now have NEW rear spoilers. And I has one! I primered and painted it so I'm just waiting for the paint to dry so I can mount it to the car.

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My other recent project has been to bring my paint back to life. I've found a technique thats actually working. Its a repaint job under a layer of nasty oxidation and debris. From sitting out in the Florida sun, lots of oxidation formed and the lack of a decent wax allowed nasty crap into the pores. So heres what I've done so far:

-wash car with regular car soap.
-Wash car with Dawn detergent to remove old wax and silicas.
-Rub down with Turtle Wax Polishing Compound. Let sit overnight.
-Use adhesive Tack Cloths (about $1 ea at Wal Mart) to buff off compound and debris layer underneath compound.
-Wash with Dawn detergent to get rid of adhesive residue.
-Use a sanding sponge (320 grit, $3 at Autozone) and plenty of soapy Dawn water to wetsand entire car. Take lots of time and keep sanding till the surface is smooth. Enjoy red soapy mess that kinda looks like curdled blood.
-Wash car again with Dawn.
-Rinse with Hose water.

....and thats as far as I've gotten. My next step is to take it to a car wash and wash and rinse it again to get more of the paint debris off. Then I'm going to fix some of the paint chips as best I can (since I don't have a 100% paint match anymore), and then coat it in this stuff:

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Its called liquid glass and its very highly thought of here on this forum so I thought I'd give it a shot. Its also expensive at $23 a can, but I hear it should last me 5-10 years so I think its a good investment.

Anyway, here are a couple pics of the car after wetsanding. I managed to get most of the oxidation off and some paint that must have rubbed onto the fender from another car. Cleaned up nicely, methinks.

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And a spot on the door thats been scratched up pretty bad... its getting painted, maybe today even.
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As you can see, the paint on the plastic filler panel on the rear bumper is really coming off in huge flakes. For this, I'm going to just drop the entire bumper, disassemble into its components, and then repaint it all. Then it'll go back on. Looks like crap right now, but it'll be alright after its painted up.

My next couple things to do are are going to be mounting my rear spoiler, tack clothing the car again to finish getting the debris off, one more Dawn wash, and then Liquid glass. After that, the rear trunk emblem that I Sharpied is going on and then I'm going to focus all my energy on the interior... just waiting on parts for that right now though.

Edit: And the spoiler is mounted. The color is definately off from the rattle can being the factory Duplicolor and the car being a bad repaint. Oh well, I'll live.

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Old 04-11-2008, 08:12 PM   #8
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Still very very cool. Those look awesome
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:58 PM   #9
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That is amazing! You are putting a ton of really hard work into that car. Good job, dude. All that work has already done so much. The car looks excellent!
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Old 04-12-2008, 04:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radomirthegreat
That is amazing! You are putting a ton of really hard work into that car. Good job, dude. All that work has already done so much. The car looks excellent!
i wouldn't say excellent....

but he has in fact covered a lot of the road needed to make the journey to having hte car look good again. i've always had a thing for those cars personally, it'sj ust that.. well you can't find em in nice shape!

alibi, great job so far.
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