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Nas Escobar

Nas Escobar's 94 Cutlass Supreme build thread!

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Nas Escobar

Not much really to say... It's my build thread. Now that I have 2 cars again I can finally focus on getting the Cutlass where I want it to be without having to worry about having it good to drive when I need to go somewhere since my Camaro is now my daily driver. So far I've had the Cutlass sitting for about 2 months now since there's just a lot I need to work on that car, so without further ado this will be my build thread. Every mod and some fixes will go in here.

 

My ultimate goal is to have a cruiser for those days when I have people with me (the Camaro barely fits 4 comfortably) while at the same time modernizing the 1G W body into what GM should had made it the first time around. This won't be a night to day transformation but it might be entertaining for people to see what can be done with these cars... Plus with Cardomain being wack now I kinda wanted a place to talk about my car.

 

Here's some pics of the last time I washed the car in October or so. This is pretty much how she sits now.

 

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Nas Escobar
Well it looks like a good clean starting point to build on.

 

The body on this car is beautiful... it practically has no rust at all (rare for a East Coast car), it's the interior that needs the most work. The paint needs to be redone (most noticeable on the trunk lid, but DC living has messed up the paint some, not to mention the 20 years of use), it has a dent on each fender, which are fairly small but they bug me, other than that, the car doesn't need much except maybe a tune up.

Edited by Nas Escobar

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Nas Escobar

The car has been modded in the past 10 months. I've had the car since February. The sound system has been gutted (You can see the Alpine that's in the dash inone of the pics), it now resides in my Camaro. The head unit might go back in the Cutlass or it may not. I used to have JVC's 6.5's in the rear seat area and 2 12" Alpine type E's in a ported box. I had 4" Kickers in the dash but they kept blowing out so, idk what to do with that. As of now, the car has one working speaker in the dash but it will be taken out too.

 

I'll post pics if I find them, but this car has been modded based on necessity rather than "im bored, it looks good" type of thing.

 

My first mod was HID lights, I have 6000K 9006 bulbs retrofitted in my sealed beams.

 

Here's some pics of them, I'll find the comparo and the ballast stuff later on.

 

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I've also converted all interior lights to LED lights, which I custom made myself out of a LED roll I had originally bought for my old Grand Am, but that didn't quite work out.

 

I have deleted the power antenna. I bought the car with a broken antenna and I don't listen to the radio enough to justify buying a new (to the car) power antenna for $50. The sad part is that the motor works, but the mast was broken off after being too bent.

 

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As you can see as well, the top seals are shot to hell, and duct tape is the only thing keeping out the MAJORITY of the water (the car still leaks).

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Nas Escobar

The last thing I did to this car before parking it was a "SRI", commonly known as a "WAI". The tube was rotting where a hose goes in near the firewall, so I had bough the "CAI" kit to get the aluminum tube. It then turned out that the stock airbox wouldn't go in because the tube was too long, so I simply put on the cone. Not something I really like, but the car sounds more aggressive now that it has it in.

 

What I got in the mail

 

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The hose that goes in here was the whole purpose of this...

 

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Before and after...

 

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Nas Escobar
Nice! I think black is my favorite color for the Cutlass Supreme...even though I own a white one. :)

 

Wanna trade? Hahaha

 

I think the best colors for the vert are the Black one and the White one... The red one could be a couple shades darker and the teal one is just..... yeah

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Nas Escobar

I think it is the same. The only major difference is that my HUD doesn't work.... the lever on the center console doesn't move the mirrors inside the HUD up or down.... that and the dash is beat up to hell... I screwed it in but the warping is so bad that it actually shrunk.

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Nas Escobar

Well, I made major strides in the Cutlass today... or so I think I did.

 

So to start things off, I will start with a story. Once upon a time ago I bought a Cutlass Supreme convertible from a guy in rural Maryland. At the time I didn't really care that the car needed work because I was looking for drivable project car. For the price I paid, I thought to myself "well the broken stuff can be fixed, no biggie"... and I was right, I just didn't realize how fast the early 90's cars have disappeared from the junkyard. I also made the mistake of thinking that the 95-2001 Lumina was compatible with the first set of W cars so I thought whatever I needed I could get from a junked Lumina. When I had to fix my window switches on my Cutlass, I saw I was wrong. Thus I learned that most Cutlasses are gone now.

 

So now here comes the biggest issue I've had since I bought this car.... THE CAR LEAKS! I've had it rain so bad in this car before that the carpet is no stranger to being soggy. The kicker in all this of course is that the top seals are "discontinued", in other words rendering me screwed. My original seals were so shot that one day a chunk of it fell off from the passenger's side driver's window the same day a spring thunderstorm happened. Needless to day my passenger got soaked. I had managed to find a replacement seal but it too was shot... Realizing I was hella screwed I improvised.

 

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That's my old weatherstripping.... it was that bad. What I did was thicken the original seal by buying universal weatherstripping from Advance Auto Parts and then glued it on top of the original seal to tighten the gap between the rubber and the window. That worked perfect... no more leaks... until the window was opened then the window would unglue the added stripping when it was rolled back up. Then came in the duct tape... yes my fellow forum members, that is what held out water from my car for 6 months.

 

One day, after finding the whole rear area wet, I got fed up and said "no more"!

 

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That's the new weatherstripping hanging out with the old weatherstripping that goes on to the header bow. For those who may not know, the original seal is one big piece and it wraps around the whole front of the car and then seals the first half of the door's window. My replacement seal is not the same so I had to modify the "new to me" seal so it stops where the new seal begins... So I know some of you guys may be scratching your heads at this one so here's a fact list

 

  • The seal came from a 1995-2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible aka the Cloud Car
  • The seal comes from the middle portion of the roof... or the end, don't really recall which one it is, I'll post a pic next time I go to the yard.
  • The other seals from the Sebring will NOT fit as the design of the groove that holds it in is vastly different. This is the only one that is almost similar to our seals
  • The seal does fit without modification (you don't have to hack it up to get it to go inside the seal bracket)
  • The seal is longer than the stock one, so you do have to trim it (as you can see in the picture, I took out the 2nd set of seals so they wouldn't interfere with the "new" seal.
  • You can't just "pop" the new seal into the bracket. You have to slide it in, the only problem with that is that the seal from the Chrysler is wider than the stock one, so you can't just wiggle it in. The groove from the seal has to sit flush inside the little bracket that screws on to the top frame. The only problem is that it's so big and wide that it won't slide all the way through, it will simply pop out a quarter to a half way inwards... I got it 3/4 in before it popped off twice
  • The clear tape you see hanging from the bracket is tape that I used to compress the seal. It provided me with a place to grab the seal and slide it through the bracket without it popping off. What I did was pinched the seal from top to bottom so it would meet in the center. This in turned emphasized the groove for the bracket and made pushing it in easier.
  • The hardest part is the small bracket near the "A" Pillar
  • This is still a test, so I will report back when it rains whether or not this is an effective method of keeping out the water, as well as wind noise.
  • A how to will follow this, if it is successful for me and there is a demand for it.

 

Now enjoy the pics.

 

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Nas Escobar

Continuing on, I was fed up with my carpet. It was super stained, lost it's original color and it was too wet. Not only that, but the car had a strange smell that no one could pinpoint or figure out what it was. It was so bad, that my friends used to give me air fresheners for gifts on top of gas money. I simply wanted to clean the carpet and call it a day, so I took out the seats. Then I noticed there was water in there... upon further inspection I saw this:

 

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Your eyes do not deceive you. That's a puddle of water.

 

That's the same water that's probably leaked in the car all those times that it has rained while my car is parked. No garage, city living equals that. I also was rained upon during that thanksgiving weekend so that made the issue extremely worse.

 

So fast forward again, and this is how my car looks like now.

 

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After I took those pics, I put back in the driver's seat and passenger's seat for convenience. My car is now officially a rolling project car. I will also be looking for a new carpet soon.

 

The old carpet resides in my yard. It smells, it looks like it had mold, mildew, or some other type of bacteria growing on it and it's just not sanitary at all. I'm only keeping it to make a cutout of the holes when I get a new carpet.

 

Out of boredom, I also did this...

 

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I have a bunch of 194 hyper white LED bulbs laying around so I wanted to see how the dash would look in a different color. I eventually want to get Red, Orange, or Purple lights in my gauges... or some other color that will be pleasing to the eye. I don't like this set up because the gauges look Artic blue instead of hyper white. The last picture is less bright because I wanted to see whether or not the dimmer would work (it does). In real life, the shade of blue is more noticeable than in the pictures.

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rich_e777

Since you have your carpet out I it would be agood chance to repaint your interior floor. Might kep ay futhermoisture from startingtorust and It will help get the smell out, fresh paint always does. Ireally like how you brightened up your dash gauges. I wouldn`t mind doing the same thing if you wouldn`t mind sharing where you got the LEDs. Radioshak? Autozone? Interwebs? Nice job improvising on the seal, I kick myself for not pulling a good seal set of a black vert last year. If they do not work you might try looking at F-body seals as a few Firebirds and Camaros had convertible models. I think the Cutlass and 1stGen Regals are the most rare W`s still out there. I still see Lumina/Z34 Montes and 1st gen GPs all the time.

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Nas Escobar
Since you have your carpet out I it would be agood chance to repaint your interior floor. Might kep ay futhermoisture from startingtorust and It will help get the smell out, fresh paint always does. Ireally like how you brightened up your dash gauges. I wouldn`t mind doing the same thing if you wouldn`t mind sharing where you got the LEDs. Radioshak? Autozone? Interwebs? Nice job improvising on the seal, I kick myself for not pulling a good seal set of a black vert last year. If they do not work you might try looking at F-body seals as a few Firebirds and Camaros had convertible models. I think the Cutlass and 1stGen Regals are the most rare W`s still out there. I still see Lumina/Z34 Montes and 1st gen GPs all the time.

 

I'm debating that one right now. I won't be getting the carpet for a long time. I've seen it for $150 on stockinteriors.com, and the site claims the coupe carpet isn't the same as the convertible. So I'm going to clean the back area with brake cleaner (the water also looked oily) then I'll see whether or not POR15 would be a good idea.

 

I have no problem with that, I made this thread for a reason... to share! haha. Anyways, I got the bulbs on ebay. I got a set of 20 for $10, shipped from NJ. I linked one down, but idk if it will be live when you see it. The bulbs look exactly like that though. It's a 8 led bulb and it's flat. There's 5 194 bulbs in the back of the gauge cluster and they're polarized so if it doesn't work the first time, you have to turn the plastic piece where the bulb goes around.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/20x-T10-SUPER-BRIGHT-8-SMD-WHITE-LED-LICENSE-PLATE-LIGHT-BULBS-194-2825-921-168-/151180474459?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item23330ef85b&vxp=mtr

 

Haha I feel you on the seal thing. I kick myself for having the car leak so long. I looked at all the GM cars at first to look for a new seal. The problem with that is that the Camaro seal is extremely short for the top window BUT it might be useful for the triangle window where the seal is different, and closer to the Camaro's window considering that the glass curves towards the B pillar, so I'll see how it works. Incidentally, the Mustang convertible seals are more similar to the Cutlass in the way they are designed. I was originally going to take them, but thought they were too short. The Mustang also doesn't have a seal on the header bow, it has it on the "A" pillar like the Sebring, so I might play around with that to see if I can get it to seal better (I washed my car once with a pressure washer at a car wash and it leaked water from the bow as well).

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Nas Escobar
Will the 95 model seals work for the 94? If so, one just popped in my local yard.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

95 what? Cutlass Supreme seals? Those will work on your 94. The seals didn't change, and the roof is the same between the years 1991 and 1995. Be warned that the seals may not be (and probably wont be) in good sealing condition. If you could find a way to spray pressurized water at the seal with the window up that will be the best way to know.

 

Another warning... the seals are SOMETIMES glued in with double sided tape.

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j_mezz

Wait, so the bulbs you used for the gauge cluster, they were white or were they blue? I know the original ones are aqua, so I'd think that if you put in white bulbs your gauge lettering would be white, no?

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Nas Escobar

J_Mezz, they were hyper white LED bulbs. You can tell their color where my odometer is. If I'm not mistaken, the gauges have that blue tint gel to make the color look that weird green that you can't really figure out what it is. The only thing is, IDK how to take it off and make it fully transparent.

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2k2cse

The same thing happened to me when I put "white" led bulbs behind my gauges. Now I have blue bulbs in there.

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Nas Escobar
Interesting. I knew the bulbs were tinted, didn't think the lettering was too...

 

The bulbs really have no reason to be tinted, I put in a normal non tinted 194 halogen bulb as a test and the lettering was green again. I then put in a red LED bulb I had laying around and it looked okay... The gauges turn red but you lose the orange markers that denote limits on the gauges. It all looks red.

 

 

The same thing happened to me when I put "white" led bulbs behind my gauges. Now I have blue bulbs in there.

 

From what I've read around, every car comes with a "paint" or "gel" that goes behind the number so the gauges light up a specific color even though the bulb is a normal yellow halogen. The only solution is to sand off the gel behind the gauges or get aftermarket gauge overlays but IMO, they're not worth it.

 

The real question here is "Can we make our own overlays?"

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Nas Escobar

Well, the past couple of days have been good to me weatherwise, so I managed to take care of a lot of things on the Cutlass. Nothing major as of yet, the car is still gutted. This is just repairing the leak issue.

 

First thing was first... the weatherstripping. The weatherstripping on this car was so shot, that sometimes I would find water on my running boards. I didn't take pics of the before, but I do have pics of the old and new weatherstripping.

 

The one at the bottom is the new one, the top 2 are the old ones that have lost it's sponginess.

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Here's the car with new weatherstripping.

 

Passenger's side. Please ignore the piece of random rubber in between both seals. I had only done one seal to see if the car would leak.

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Driver's side.

 

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I also took the time to change my locks. I bought a set of black W body locks from eBay a couple months ago but never got around to installing them because the lock on the passenger's side door was missing the actuator that goes in the panel. For the whole year of 2013, I have been driving this car around with no passenger side lock and a busted driver's lock. The only working lock on this car was the trunk, but it would only work with the original. My copy struggled to move.

 

Hole for the lock. Not that hard to take off once you figure out what holds it in.

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New lock. It used to be the standard chrome beforehand.

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Passenger's side lock. There used to be nothing but a hole where the old lock went. Now here's the new discreet black lock.

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Edited by Nas Escobar

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