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National Lampoon's A-Body Vacation

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    National Lampoon's A-Body Vacation

    So all this work I have been doing on my car lately has been towards one goal... we are driving to Jersey to see the Statue of Liberty, then Salem MA for a few days, and then back through Niagra Falls and home. Roughly 1500 miles for our vacation this year. Last year we drove about that and explored all of Michigan where I grew up in the Upper Peninsula.

    I figured I should make a thread instead of using the "what did you do to your A-Body today?" thread.. so I will be moving the posts there to this forum if I can... hopefully ill get some pics of Roxanne traveling through some interesting places.
    Roads.... Where we're going, we don't need roads.

    #2
    Today I did the last few projects in getting Roxanne up to snuff... And none of them went right.

    First I woke up early (got about 4 hours of sleep) and my repair guy came by my house work on my car... Usually I take my car to his house, but today we were going to try to save some money. I had already had great luck with the new quick struts and front sway bar... And my brand new tires were perfect as far as I could see. When installing the quick struts I discovered that the halfshaft on the drivers side was torn and leaking grease. I also discovered that the rubber brake lines were frayed and cracked... So I had ordered some brake rotors for $32 for a pair as well as mine weren't the greatest.

    Well to save money we pulled the halfshaft off my parts car... I had ordered one from AutoZone just in case something would go wrong... I'm glad we did because I discovered that even though both cars are almost identical, the halfshafts are not. (my car and parts car are both 1990 Buick Century custom sedans with 3300 and 3-speed.) I found it odd and the only thing we could determine was that my car was built Nov '89 and the parts car was May '90... the only differences Ive found are mine has no rear window defogger and the colors are different silver/gray int vs light blue/blue int.
    So that was a bust but at least the new halfshaft went right together.

    The brake lines went together easy and we got new pads to go with the new rotors... then we opened the box... I have JA2 brakes with the 5x115 offset. I could understand if they sent me JA1 by mistake, that would be understandable... but they sent me 4-lug rotors... I have no idea what they are off of or how they could have made that mistake. So I ended up putting the old ones back on. Oh well the brakes work much better now.

    So we removed the drivers quick strut to put the halfshaft in... no biggie it all went back together nicely... took her for a test drive and i was getting a noise. stopped at a gas station and bent the dust shield back to miss the rotor... problem solved. About halfway to work I smelt some rubber... oh no!!!! my tire is rubbing on the strut, I never realized it was so close or I would have ordered a size smaller tire.

    Once I got to work I decided to throw the spare on the front to save the new tire from more damage (there is a small groove where it touched the spring guard on the quick strut... Im thinking about getting very small spacers to not have to worry about rubbing again. my tires are 215-65 R15...

    Enough rant for today.. tomorrow will be better as I get an alignment and I will see if my extended warrenty covers that groove from discount tire
    Roads.... Where we're going, we don't need roads.

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      #3
      I'll be staying tuned for these adventures. Sounds like fun.
      1986 Celebrity Classic 2.8 (First car - sold)
      2013 Acura ILX
      1994 Acura Legend (x 2)
      1992 Acura NSX
      drivetofive.wordpress.com

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        #4
        To Thesam1984:

        I own an 85 Pontiac 6000 STE in which I had installed 225/55/14 on the car without any rubbing. I wonder if the Ciera can not take the tire size you mentioned because you have a different front suspension design in re. to the struts?

        Most Sincerely,

        Kristopher Gerbracht

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          #5
          Had an alignment done yesterday and no more rubbing the tire was hit in a spot that doesnt affect the tire in a safety way ( cut a small groove in the tread) so the tires do fit (just barely lol) on my Century... however I do not have the plastic mud guard/inner fenders installed and if they were there it might rub on sharp turns.

          I started to primer the front clip so it doesn't look so "ghetto" as my wife put it... death in the family cut short my getting it done today
          Roads.... Where we're going, we don't need roads.

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            #6
            This is about as far as I got on priming... looks like I did a much better job than I really did
            Roads.... Where we're going, we don't need roads.

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              #7
              Here's a pictoral recap of the things ive done to my car in preparation of our trip...
              It includes new quick struts/u-van swaybar/tires/alloy wheels/plugs and wires/brake pads/rubber brake lines/halfshaft and (2) alignments




              Last edited by thesam1984; 06-01-2014, 03:55 AM.
              Roads.... Where we're going, we don't need roads.

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                #8
                Great job well done

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                  #9
                  The front clip is no longer blue... heading towards one color again. Primer is better looking than spotted blue cow lol... im sure my wife will miss is 'uniqueness'
                  Roads.... Where we're going, we don't need roads.

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                    #10


                    Painted the two tone along the base... discovered that the VHT paint is the same as Dupli-Color and it seemed to spray on much nicer as well. ( I ran out and had to run to the store... I also ran over my front license plate bracket moving the car to get the truck out... now I'll have to pick one up before we leave town (oops)
                    Roads.... Where we're going, we don't need roads.

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                      #11
                      This is what I need to do. I just need a lot of masking tape and paper. Haha. Looks great. Thats next on the list for Slate. :P
                      Vehicles:
                      2013 Hyundai Elantra GLS (Daily).
                      1988 Chevy Celebrity Eurosport Sedan (Project).

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                        #12
                        Been VERY busy since we got home... haven't had time to chronicle the trip. it was about 1500 miles. We had a blast even though it rained 75 percent of the time... Tents are not as much fun in the rain...

                        The first day we loaded up the car and set off... The 80/90 Turnpike is borrrriiiing... Once we hit Pennsylvania the road was much more fun to drive with the curves and the mountains and the tunnels... It stopped raining just long enough to have a blowout with one of my new tires... roughtly 300 miles in, traveled the rest of the way on a too small full size spare... I would have had a larger one but it was all that would fit in the spare tire wheel well



                        Luckily I purchased the replacement tire warranty... replacement was $14. The tire got hot and making noise. I slowed down to 65 but before i could get anywhere it burst... Not sure what caused it, either defective or the light groove made when the alignment was off compromised the tire more than originally thought...
                        Roads.... Where we're going, we don't need roads.

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                          #13


                          Rode on the spare all the rest of the way... didnt handle as well but rode smoothly and easily... I was asked why I didnt put the spare on the back and a good tire up front.... uhhh... I didnt think of it at the time.. guess it would have been easier on the transmission but she faired with no issues
                          Roads.... Where we're going, we don't need roads.

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                            #14
                            All she still looks good sir glad she was a champ all the way mechanically little quirks is one thing but they always make it back home

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                              #15
                              Nice improvements and upgrades to your car. It's great to see an A-body brought back to life!

                              George

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