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Everything posted by Human

  1. I have the same thing on the tops of my front fenders. The clear coat has separated from the color coat underneath but is still intact. It hasn't started peeling up. I guess it's only a matter of time before that happens.
  2. So ever since I got my '95 Cutlass Supreme convertible almost nine months ago, it's had an odd quirk in that it won't trigger the automatic shutoff at the gas pump. The first couple of times I filled the tank, I had a small fuel spill underneath on the passenger side--until today. I was very surprised when I was gassing it up today and the pump shut off! After the first two fueling mishaps, I had worked out a little procedure where I would put 10 gallons of gas in the car when the gauge was just below a quarter tank. Today, I was right at a quarter and the pump shut off just before the nine-gallon mark. When I got back in the car and turned it on, the gauge came up a little above the full mark so it was well and truly full without overflowing. Even better, when I got home there was no gasoline odor, which I usually experience when the tank is full. I'm thinking that when I got the rear struts replaced this week, the technician may have noticed a loose line and put it back in place without saying anything about it. If that's the case, I'm thankful but I'm not going to consider it permanently fixed until I fill up successfully a couple more times.
  3. I've noticed a few times that my '95 CS convertible has what I'd call a sloppy shifter. Sometimes when I put it in what I think is 'D', it's really in '3'. I don't really notice it until I get up to highway speeds (above 45 or 50 mph) and then I notice the engine is revving too high without acceleration to match. I can easily address the issue by giving the shifter a slight nudge forward and I'll instantly feel a little click as it goes into 'D' but the shift lever barely moves and the lighted gear indicator remains in 'D' before and after. The car has 122,000 miles on it and the transmission was rebuilt somewhere around 96,000 miles. Other than that little quirk, which I assume is a worn detent, the transmission works smooth as silk. I try to remember to give the shifter a little nudge whenever I put it into 'D' but I sometimes forget.
  4. Yeah, I got the oil changed in my '95 'vert last week and the guy down in the pit thought he was working on a Pontiac Bonneville--not a Grand Prix but a Bonneville. Business was slow so he came up and we chatted for a couple of minutes. He was in his early-to-mid twenties and thought any car older than a 2000 model was a "survivor". He said he's working on fixing up an "old school" Saturn coupe. As a community college professor, I find the perspective of the younger generation to be an endless source of amusement.
  5. Now that the spring semester is over and I have a few weeks before summer classes begin, I've been turning my attention to getting some things fixed on my '95 vert. After an oil change and a good washing to get the pollen off, I took it yesterday to get some new rear struts installed, which it desperately needed. The difference in the ride is night and day. Of course, as garages will do, they found something else to add to the laundry list. It needs rear brake pads and rotors really badly, so that's next on the list, perhaps along with getting the ABS system working again or maybe not. Looks like the air conditioner will have to wait a bit longer but it will all get done eventually. The good news is I got to see underneath the car for the first time and while there is some rust (the car came from Pennsylvania) it's not as bad as I thought it might be. It's more surface rust than cancerous rot but it still needs to be watched.
  6. So I tried to install the actuator last week and ended up bruising a rib on the center console, trying to contort myself into a position to get at it. I'm thinking I may have to remove the driver's seat to be able to get under the dash but I'm going to let my rib heal up first. What a pain!
  7. My dad bought a '94 3.4 coupe for my nephew about 10 years ago. I thought the rear bucket seats were the coolest feature of the car. I was mildly disappointed that my '95 has a rear bench seat. I doubt I'll ever find a rear bucket seat set--heck, I've only seen one Cutlass Supreme on a junk yard since I've owned my vert--but it would be a cool upgrade.
  8. Thanks for the heads-up on that. I'll check and make sure everything's securely in place when I replace the actuator.
  9. That's my thinking. I've ordered the part and will have it in hand late next week. It was less than $10 shipped, so hopefully that will fix it.
  10. Sunday evening, on a two-hour drive home from visiting family for Easter, the outside temperature was in the low 50s (got down to 48 by the time I got home) and I noticed I couldn't warm up the passenger side of my 2011 Impala. With the vents set to blow air out of the upper vents and two temperature controls all the way up in the 'hot' position, I could move my hand back and forth between the two sides of the center panel vent and the contrast in temperature could not be more extreme. The driver's side vent was blowing ice cold while the passenger side was blowing blazin' hot air. I eventually closed the two driver's side vents and aimed the passenger side vent my way to get some warmer air. Had this been January instead of April, it could have been a whole lot worse. A couple of years ago, I had to replace the vent door actuator on the far passenger side--the one that opens and closes the door that brings in air from the outside--when it started making the telltale clicking sound that indicates the plastic gears inside the actuator are stripped out. This time, there is no clicking. It just plain doesn't work. I'm assuming the little motor in the actuator just to the right of the steering column has failed. Am I correct in this diagnosis? The part is fairly inexpensive when ordered online (about $10 or so vs. six times that or more from a local parts house or stealership) YouTube videos I've watched show it to be a little bit of a PITA to get to but otherwise a pretty straightforward part swap. It seems these actuators are an achilles heel on this generation Impala and other GM cars that use this particular part. In five years of owning this car, this is the worst that's gone wrong with it so far, so I can't really complain. As the weather continues to warm up, this will be a less pressing issue for the next few months--and less irritating since it's not making that damned clicking noise--but it does need to be addressed. Can anyone confirm that I'm looking in the right direction with this?
  11. I don't remember ever noticing whether my '91 CS coupe had metal or plastic mirror housings. The '95 vert definitely has plastic. If MemphisMan's '91 had one of each from the factory, then '91 may well have been the year the changeover occurred and the switch to plastic happened as supplies of metal ones ran out, not necessarily at the same time.
  12. No, it was definitely not a grease pencil, it was from the same type of yellow paint pen they use at the u-pull-it type yards to mark parts when you buy them. I got about 97 percent of it off, but there's still a little bit visible, not that it's terribly noticeable at the moment with all the pollen that's on the car.
  13. So I got the mirror put in this morning. The more challenging part was getting the door panel mounted back in place. One piece of hidden damage that I didn't notice until I got the mirror put in is the metal backing plate is slightly bent so that two of the corners are out from the window frame by a few millimeters. I'm not really sure what to do about that since I'm sure the piece is made of the cheapest pot metal possible and will snap if I try to straighten it. Guess I'll put that on my boneyard shopping list. But right now, there's only one thing left to do and that's take the car out for a drive! @GabsOlds: Yes, GM was very late to the party when it came to folding mirrors. My 2011 Impala doesn't even have them. @vipmiller803: I haven't tried brake cleaner but I'm sure I've got some in my shed. I'll dig it out and give it a go. I have no idea whether the mirrors on a W-body Cutlass Supreme were ever made of metal, maybe they were back in the late '80s or maybe Buicks got metal mirrors as a way to position it a little further up the food chain from Oldsmobile. I had a '91 CS coupe a long time ago but I don't remember whether the mirrors were metal or plastic but I'm thinking they were plastic. The ones on my '95 Vert are definitely plastic, as is the one I just put on. The eBay seller didn't specify what year model it came off of. The listing just said it fit a '90-'97 model.
  14. So the replacement mirror arrived today, a day after eBay's "guaranteed delivery" date. It's in very acceptable condition, although not quite as nice as the original one was before I broke it. The only issue I'm seeing is an inventory number written across the glass with a yellow paint pen. I can't seem to get it to come off without scraping the glass with a sharp blade, which has left a few fine scratches. I've tried a range of things from Simple Green to acetone but nothing has really touched it. I'm planning to put it on the car tomorrow and to be a whole lot more careful backing out of the carport in the future.
  15. Fortunately, all W-body Cutlass Supremes had black mirrors from the factory, regardless of body color. I've already bought one off of eBay and it should be here in a couple of days.
  16. So here's a photo I snapped of the snapped-off mirror, taken just before removed it. I was pretty mad with myself when it happened, but I stayed surprisingly calm about it. I'll be glad when the new mirror comes and I can get everything put back together.
  17. I had a '91 CS coupe and my nephew had a '94 vert, so I know what you're talking about. I think you could swap the older style switches--and switch locations--pretty easily. Re-routing the wires shouldn't be that big of an issue but I have no idea if the two styles of headlight switches use the same plugs. Ditto for the fog light switches. If not, you'll need to splice in the necessary connectors. A minor technical challenge but certainly not insurmountable.
  18. I've already ordered the mirror and it's being shipped. I'll have everything back together in a few days.
  19. Yeah, I'm pretty bummed about it, especially since my mirrors are (or were, in the case of the passenger side) in unusually good shape for their age with the car having spent most of its life garaged. I went to a salvage yard last fall and spent an afternoon and a little over $100 scavenging parts I needed and thought I might someday need off of a '95 CS coupe but one thing I didn't bother with was the mirrors. because they looked so much worse than mine. I'm sort of wishing now I'd gone ahead and grabbed those while I had the chance. I'm getting ready to go outside and take things apart so I can try to repair it. I'll let you know how it goes. UPDATE—Once I got the mirror off the car, I found the damage was considerably worse than I had first thought. The three studs that hold the mirror in place were all broken out of the mirror with small pieces of plastic surrounding them and lots of little pieces of plastic missing. I was thinking it was a solid piece of plastic but I was wrong. What deceived me was the foam weather seal. Once I had that out of the way, there was nothing to hold the plastic. Those studs were a big part of the problem because I couldn't push them far enough into place to make the plastic pieces meet. So now I'm on to plan B, which is to find a replacement mirror. ONE MORE UPDATE—I took another look on eBay and found a used mirror in reasonably good shape for $40 w/free shipping and guaranteed delivery by next Thursday. I guess I know what I'll be doing next weekend.
  20. I can't freakin' believe I did this. I was backing the Vert out of the carport this afternoon, caught the passenger mirror on one of the support posts, and snapped it right off. The carport is only 10 ft. wide, so I have to pull the car way to the right to be able to open the driver's door and to get the garbage and recycling carts past the car on the left side. The last time I pulled it in, I just got a bit too close and wasn't watching closely enough when I was backing out. Dumb mistake on my part. I checked the inventories at the two salvage yards I use and they didn't have a W-body Cutlass in stock from which to harvest a mirror, but I've got a couple on my eBay watch list. Anybody know if any other W-body mirrors are compatible with a Cutlass Supreme? The nice thing is all the CS mirrors were black, so matching the color isn't an issue, as long as the finish is in decent shape; otherwise, I'll be getting a rattle can of gloss black and hoping for the best. My spray painting skills aren't exactly the best. As a short-term fix--or maybe long-term, depending on how well it goes---I got a tube of JB Weld this evening and I plan to try to glue the mirror back together this weekend. It looks like a pretty clean break along the base, so maybe it'll work okay. I certainly have nothing to lose by trying.
  21. Human

    Z34 swag

    Nice! I've always liked the lines of that generation Monte.
  22. Now that everything's buttoned up, there's really not much to see other than a button on the dash and cable hanging out on the passenger side where the console and dash come together. To me, that's part of what makes it an elegant solution. The modulator is an Eiger Vision EV-F120 (see link below). You can tune its output frequency anywhere along the FM spectrum. It does require a pair of antenna adapters to fit it into a '90s GM car. I think I paid about $20 for the modulator itself back around 2011. With adapters, switch and output cable, I think I may have $30, give or take, in the whole setup. The only thing I still have left to do—and it can wait until the weather warms up a little—is to pull the dash bezel back out and clean up around where I drilled it out for the switch. I've got some Rustoleum hammer texture black paint that's a perfect color match but a little glossier than the factory finish. That stuff is very forgiving and the texture will cover a world of sins. I'll probably just mask off the vents and paint the entire bezel instead of just spotting in around the switch. I've already painted the passenger side corner where I had to sand off a big glob of super glue where somebody had stuck on a belt clip for a cell phone. It was a cool idea but poorly executed. The new paint job will give it a subtle custom look. Meanwhile, the original dash bezel is stored in my barn for safekeeping.
  23. Yes. It connects physically to the radio's antenna jack and the car's antenna plugs into it, so when active it interrupts the antenna and inserts its own signal. It's the same principle that VCRs used back in the day. The unit is equipped with two RCA plugs to which I have connected a cable with RCA plugs on one end and a 3.5mm male plug on the other. I keep the cable tucked up under the dash when not in use.
  24. This was a little project I'd had in mind for a while to allow me to bring the OEM Delco radio in my '95 Cutlass convertible into the twenty-first century by enabling it to play music from my phone or iPod. I have this hard wired FM modulator that I'd originally put in a Pontiac Bonneville I had a few years ago and then later transferred it to the Olds LSS that replaced it. It works much better than the ones that plug into the cigarette lighter socket and use a low powered FM transmitter. I needed a few things besides the modulator to bring the project together, namely a switch to turn the modulator on and off and a second instrument panel bezel from the boneyard so I wouldn't have to mess the original one up by drilling a hole to mount the switch. Finding the correct spot for the switch required a bit of measuring to make sure there was sufficient clearance behind it. Positioning the modulator itself was much easier since there's a nice little alcove inside the dash, right next to the radio's niche that's exactly the right size for the modulator and its wires but it did take a couple of attempts to get everything sufficiently tucked in to allow the radio and dash bezel to go back into place the way they should. The only thing that didn't quite go as planned is the push button switch works backward from how I expected it to. Somehow, I've got it where the radio plays normally when the button is pushed in and its LED is lit and the FM modulator is activated when the button is in the "out" position with the LED off and the radio is tuned to 87.7 FM. I'm not sure what I did wrong but at least for now, I decided to cut my losses and leave it alone. Someday, when I'm really, bored and looking for trouble, I may try moving wires around on the power switch to see if I can make it behave the way I want it to. The modulator also acts as an amplifier so I don't have to crank the volume on my phone all the way up to be barely audible like I do when I play it through the auxiliary input jack on my Impala's Delco/Bose radio.
  25. You're absolutely right. It's always better to test things like that as a system.
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