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Thread: Introduce yourself thread! (56k warning!)

  1. #661
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    Lancaster, OH
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    1990 ciera international series coupe
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    Hey guys, just joined! Im Josh, and I will be bringing home from what ive gathered, is a rare one. A 90 ciera international coupe. Its been well taken care of since new, with the exception of the guardrail it got into a fight with. Minor damage at least...looking forward to resurrecting her...
    Last edited by 90interntlcpe; 02-01-2017 at 11:59 PM. Reason: not so smart phone auto correct error.



  2. #662
    Junior Member LG7rumble's Avatar
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    Aug 2016
    Location
    New England
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    89 Century 3300
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    13

    Default Time For Church!

    I needed a replacement for my 275k mile civic that finally developed a head-gasket leak.
    It was also on the road for over 6 years after a small accident _ still drove just fine, I couldn't justify killing the machine that saved my life :P


    So, I work at a junkyard and we had an 89 century come in about a year and a half ago...
    The short version of the story is my boss let me pay him what we paid to pick up the car, and it was mine.
    47,000 miles, reasonably clean interior, mostly clean exterior with just a little rust in the back quarters
    3300, 3-speed... and like 12 MPG less than my civic ;_; A small price to pay for a ludicrously cheap running vehicle.




    There's a lot of work that I want/need to do to the car. I've already skimmed the forums and found a lot of good insight and resources, so hopefully this place will be invaluable for a number of projects that I've got in mind

    Thus far I've already:
    - driven about 14,000 miles
    - replaced the heater core
    - replaced driver's door mirror
    - done a handful of oil changes
    - installed new plugs
    - swapped MAF to fix a nasty idle problem
    - swapped all door seals (and trunk seal) with slightly better ones from other a-body cars that have come through the shop
    - re-sealed all door vapor barriers with better goo
    and some other relatively insignificant things.

    current to-do list:
    - replace radiator, all cooling hoses, thermostat, potentially also water pump...
    - revamp the entire suspension components (stiffer everything, plz)
    - clean PCV and doing some other under-hood maintenance to hopefully improve fuel economy just a bit
    - fresh tranny fluid (I believe it needs to be done while hot, so I guess I have to take it to a shop that will do it properly?)
    - patch rust holes the rear wheel-wells where they meet the rockers (hooray new england road salt)
    - repair/repaint some rust in the rear quarters (again, hooray new england road salt)
    - I want to fix whatever is wrong with my wipers' park/off mechanism
    - maybe replace motor mounts?
    - refill A/C system and hope it works
    - get fully new door seals because I still get a few tiny drips, maybe some extra rubber to cut down on wind noise
    - install power trunk release mechanism
    - maybe get a higher amperage alternator
    - install a couple USB or 12v plugs up front
    - install a simple stereo+sub system.

    I still consider myself a "Honda guy," but not a lot of their newer stuff (too gaudy), and not a fan of the ricer scene.
    Honda always used to make practical, straightforward cars that were reliable and drove very well.

    But I've honestly fallen in love with this car, it's been totally unexpected. I love the visibility, it's comfortable to sit in, the interior doesn't feel claustrophobic like so many other newer cars, and even though my current suspension is shot (struts are weak, bushings a little rotted, etc) I still have a good sense of where it is on the road, and it drives pretty damned well. The exterior has grown on me, too... I used to loathe a lot of GM's styling from the 80s through the early 2000s, but I've come to see an understated class and simplicity to it. In a time when new cars have busy, ugly, swoopy and contorted bodywork, the sharp edges and broad surfaces on this thing don't cry for attention and it doesn't embarrass itself.

    Looking forward to read a lot more and maybe share some stuff here myself

    -----

    Quote Originally Posted by turbokinetic View Post
    ...
    One more thing to look at with your car; check the coolant. See if the antifreeze is clean or if it's starting to get dark. These cars are good about NOT leaking coolant. This leads to engines operating with too-old antifreeze. Because the engine has an aluminum waterpump, timing cover, and manifold; with iron heads and block - the coolant anti-corrosion additives must be in good condition. Otherwise there will be pitting and corrosion.

    Another good insurance point is to install the General Motors coolant sealant tablets to the system. This is not a leak stopper for when the system has already started leaking. What it does is prevent small, hard-to-detect seeping. This seeping can go into the oil, undetected, and cause a buildup of coolant residue and water in the oil. This will damage the engine over time. GM invented this tablet to prevent seeping around the liner o-ring area on the Cadillac wet-sleeve engines. Now most engine rebuilders recommend it for any engine. Here is an aftermarket equivalent tablet. Just use half the package (3 tablets) into the radiator for preventative treatment. For reference, here are the GM ones.
    ...
    Sincerely,
    David
    ...you don't say? >_<

  3. #663
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    Mar 2017
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    Married. 2 brats. Trucker. 85 Celebrity Eurosport. 76K on Odometer pretty sure its original. Car has been sitting for years. Lotsa cool stuff. Original build sheet. Delivery receipt to original owner. Owners manual and literature in good shape. Will post more when I am on hometime. Got her for 400 bucks. Me and my wife fell in love with it. Paint is Black over Silver. Maroon interior. Oh yeah its a 2 door
    Last edited by fantacmet; 03-20-2017 at 05:31 AM. Reason: adding photo

  4. #664
    Senior Member CorvairGeek's Avatar
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    Dec 2014
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    The Gem State
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    1992 Century Special 1996 Century Custom
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    Welcome! Nice looking car! If that is a Western Washington car, the maroon interior is probably not faded like most of them.
    Jerry

  5. #665
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    It is not faded. The interior is basically percect. No wear on the spot next to the windows where people rest their arms. No wear on the steering wheel either. Seats are not broken down. Carpet isnt al worn out. Leads me to believe its original miles. It was originally a Wisconsin car built in Oklahoma City. Once Im back I will get more photos as well as photos of the stuff that came with it. Car has 2 dents. Paint has been polished almost all the way through in spots. Needs 2 little taillight lenses which are sold locally. The fiberglass surround on the back has a chunk missing below the driver taillight. Needs trunk seal. Has a misfire that Im trying to track down. Other than that car is flawless. Best part is I paid 400 bucks. I think I scored.

    Still waiting on my Oregon plates.

  6. #666
    Senior Member Tyson's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
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    Scottsdale, Arizona
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    1992 Acura NSX
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    Quote Originally Posted by LG7rumble View Post
    I still consider myself a "Honda guy," but not a lot of their newer stuff (too gaudy), and not a fan of the ricer scene. Honda always used to make practical, straightforward cars that were reliable and drove very well.
    Same here, first car was a Celebrity but I've been in Hondas ever since. Still can't forget that Celebrity and I vow to have another! Been enjoying being a part of the forums and learning more. Glad there is still a community of A-body fans.
    1986 Celebrity Classic 2.8 (First car - sold)
    2013 Acura ILX
    1994 Acura Legend (x 2)
    1992 Acura NSX
    drivetofive.wordpress.com

  7. #667
    Junior Member
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    Apr 2017
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    san antonio
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    Cierra Diesel
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    Hi My name is Larry. Living in San Antonio, working in mainly residential HVAC, planning on retiring at the end of this month and soon moving to Alamogordo NM. I have some 6.2 and 6.5s, a 95 Dodge Cummins, a 5.7 Diesel Delta 88 and an 84 Cierra 4.3 Diesel. Oh yeah, my one gasser, a 92 GMC short stepside with a 4.3 v6. I am in several other Diesel forums, and think I recognize some here from them also. I was looking for info regarding the Cierra when I discovered this place. I have had it for quite a while but only drove it around the neighborhood for a while and it has been sitting for years. Fired it up anda moved it about a week ago- started right up. I did replace the IP right after I got it because it was leaking, and I think it has at least one bad injector, so I want to get them taken care of first. Anyway, the drive train seems good, but the car is not very pretty, The guy I got it from changed the whole interior to blue velour, and it is ok, but the car is a hideous dark brown. I was wondering about swapping the engine, or engine and trans, into something nice that has a bad drivetrain and is cheap, My questions are -how difficult, and exactly what cars would it be pretty much a bolt in swap. I look forward to reading more posts in here when I get as chance. Thanks!

  8. #668
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    Jun 2015
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    Colorado
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    1985 Celebrity CL 2.8 V6 Carb
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    Hey everyone, I'm Duke, I live near Denver, and I have an 85 Celebrity CL with the carb V6. My dad ordered it brand new from the factory, and it's been in the family ever since. It was a daily driver for over 20 years, and has driven cross-country several times (still just shy of 200,000 miles, though).

    I try to drive it at least weekly now. I had some issues with the carb, but I think I got that sorted out. It runs great, but has some small problems I'm trying to stop from getting bigger. My dad was always gentile with it and took care of the basic maintenance, but after 32 years, things crop up...

    As I mentioned, the carb might have some issues. I re-built it just fine, but adjusting it wasn't really "by the book". I have a dwell meter, so I'll work on that.
    AC doesn't work (and is physically broken), but that's not a huge deal.
    The rubber on the ball joints has been gone for several years now. I have replacement parts, but haven't gotten around to doing the work.
    The exhaust pipe is rusting (again). I've patched it, but I need to get it replaced at some point. The mounts are rusting out...
    As of today, I suspect there is an issue with the cooling system. Heading over to the garage section now...

  9. #669
    Senior Member CorvairGeek's Avatar
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    The Gem State
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    1992 Century Special 1996 Century Custom
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    Welcome, a CO car is probably still a pretty nice looking car.
    Does your carb have the throttle shaft/bushing wear that they were so prone to develop? You can change the idle all over the place just by wiggling the shaft, without opening the throttle.
    Jerry

  10. #670
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2015
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    Colorado
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    1985 Celebrity CL 2.8 V6 Carb
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    Quote Originally Posted by CorvairGeek View Post
    Welcome, a CO car is probably still a pretty nice looking car.
    It does look nice, but it's been repainted a couple times. It also lived in Virginia, Alaska, and Florida.
    Quote Originally Posted by CorvairGeek View Post
    Does your carb have the throttle shaft/bushing wear that they were so prone to develop?
    You know, I haven't checked that...Everything feels solid when I open the throttle manually, but I haven't paid attention for that wear. My issue was surging at cruise or light acceleration, which I determined to be a lean mix.

  11. #671
    Senior Member Tyson's Avatar
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    Scottsdale, Arizona
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    1992 Acura NSX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanscader View Post
    It does look nice, but it's been repainted a couple times. It also lived in Virginia, Alaska, and Florida.
    Nice, share some pics when you get the chance. Glad to hear of a survivor out there with 200k on it.
    1986 Celebrity Classic 2.8 (First car - sold)
    2013 Acura ILX
    1994 Acura Legend (x 2)
    1992 Acura NSX
    drivetofive.wordpress.com

  12. #672
    Junior Member PentaxPaul's Avatar
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    May 2017
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    Salem, VA
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    1996 Oldsmobile Ciera SL wagon
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    Hi there!

    I'm Paul, located in Salem, Virginia. I've owned a 1996 Olds Ciera SL wagon, white with light blue interior, 3100 V6, since September of 2014 and daily drove it until February of this year when the transmission started to misbehave.

    It was a one-owner car when I bought it, the first owner having bought it as a low-mileage ex-dealer demo just a few miles down the road from where I live now. They put just over 200k on it and I've added another 20k or so to that before having to park it up. It's been generally reliable and earned its keep hauling a great deal of stuff when we moved house last year.

    It has now gained official project car status, denoted by the fact that it is being used as storage for various replacement parts and the tools needed to install them, also the dashboard is mostly in the back seat except for the gauge cluster which as I write this is on my desk (I'm looking at replacing those old burned out bulbs with LEDs). I make sure to run it for a while every few days, and hoping there can't be too much badly wrong with that old transmission as I'm at least able to move the car around the yard under its own power.

    My immediate goal is to spend the summer getting routine service items and minor niggles dealt with, do as much of the work as I can in the driveway, then when I have the $ together tow it to somewhere that'll deal with the transmission, alignment and anything else which comes up to get it back into daily service. After that, who knows...

  13. #673
    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    Northport, AL
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    1984 Buick Century Olympia 3.8SFI Turbo V6
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    Hi Paul, welcome to the forum! You've got a rare car, with a last-year wagon.

    There are many folks here who have lost their cars because they chose to trade it for another used car when the transmission stopped working properly. Don't fall down this trap because any used car you buy for the cost of a transmission overhaul will surely have more problems than your car!

    I do a considerable amount of transmission work. Can you describe the failure mode of the transmission?

    Sincerely,
    David

    Quote Originally Posted by PentaxPaul View Post
    Hi there!

    I'm Paul, located in Salem, Virginia. I've owned a 1996 Olds Ciera SL wagon, white with light blue interior, 3100 V6, since September of 2014 and daily drove it until February of this year when the transmission started to misbehave.

    It was a one-owner car when I bought it, the first owner having bought it as a low-mileage ex-dealer demo just a few miles down the road from where I live now. They put just over 200k on it and I've added another 20k or so to that before having to park it up. It's been generally reliable and earned its keep hauling a great deal of stuff when we moved house last year.

    It has now gained official project car status, denoted by the fact that it is being used as storage for various replacement parts and the tools needed to install them, also the dashboard is mostly in the back seat except for the gauge cluster which as I write this is on my desk (I'm looking at replacing those old burned out bulbs with LEDs). I make sure to run it for a while every few days, and hoping there can't be too much badly wrong with that old transmission as I'm at least able to move the car around the yard under its own power.

    My immediate goal is to spend the summer getting routine service items and minor niggles dealt with, do as much of the work as I can in the driveway, then when I have the $ together tow it to somewhere that'll deal with the transmission, alignment and anything else which comes up to get it back into daily service. After that, who knows...

    Look me up on Facebook and CarDomain and My Webpage

  14. #674
    Junior Member PentaxPaul's Avatar
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    Salem, VA
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    1996 Oldsmobile Ciera SL wagon
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbokinetic View Post
    Hi Paul, welcome to the forum! You've got a rare car, with a last-year wagon.

    There are many folks here who have lost their cars because they chose to trade it for another used car when the transmission stopped working properly. Don't fall down this trap because any used car you buy for the cost of a transmission overhaul will surely have more problems than your car!

    I do a considerable amount of transmission work. Can you describe the failure mode of the transmission?

    Sincerely,
    David
    Sure thing David:

    It started out where accelerating hard while moving would cause it to drop into neutral (seemed to happen when it was going to shift either up or down; letting off the throttle for a few seconds would bring it back), then very quickly deteriorated to slipping and dropping out of gear while cruising. Limped it a few miles home that way, and found when it couldn't get any gears, shutting off the engine for a moment, then restarting, I could get moving again. I checked the fluid the next day, the level seemed OK but it smelled a little burnt.

    As of now, with the car running you can *sometimes* hear some sort of noise from the driver side, possibly around the torque converter area. Like a grinding or rubbing noise. Happens whatever position the shifter is in. Trying to keep starting and moving to a minimum but it will go into forward and reverse right now, and moves. Beginning to think I should not be doing that though, lest I cause any further damage. First time I've had a transmission go bad on anything so this is new territory for me.

    I'm getting a hold of an OBD-2 scanner to see what trouble codes are stored, maybe something transmission-related will be there.

    Didn't realize it was rare, but thinking about it as many A-bodies I still see around here, I don't see a lot of wagons and I think I've seen maybe one other "'96 not Cutlass" Ciera which was a sedan. Another reason to not just send it to the knackers yard for something that can be repaired.

    Agree on the economics, short term it looks better to sell and move on, but I've owned enough ageing cars to know that they all come with "character" and I at least know this car's particular eccentricities and issues. Plus I happen to like it; it's comfortable, can move a ton of stuff/people, is peppy enough to not embarrass itself in traffic, isn't terribly hard to work on, and looks good IMO.

    Had a random guy in the local Walmart parking lot compliment me on the car one time; turned out he was there in his '92 wagon. The only other car I've had that happen in was my old Pinto, which was a true rolling wreck, holes in the floor, holes in the body, used a quart of oil every hundred miles, and reminded every other person of the car they had in high school!

  15. #675
    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PentaxPaul View Post
    Sure thing David:

    It started out where accelerating hard while moving would cause it to drop into neutral (seemed to happen when it was going to shift either up or down; letting off the throttle for a few seconds would bring it back), then very quickly deteriorated to slipping and dropping out of gear while cruising. Limped it a few miles home that way, and found when it couldn't get any gears, shutting off the engine for a moment, then restarting, I could get moving again. I checked the fluid the next day, the level seemed OK but it smelled a little burnt.

    As of now, with the car running you can *sometimes* hear some sort of noise from the driver side, possibly around the torque converter area. Like a grinding or rubbing noise. Happens whatever position the shifter is in. Trying to keep starting and moving to a minimum but it will go into forward and reverse right now, and moves. Beginning to think I should not be doing that though, lest I cause any further damage. First time I've had a transmission go bad on anything so this is new territory for me.
    As for going to Neutral when accelerating, that could be a damaged roller clutch. This part is used in 3rd gear, and sometimes they get where they will hold some small torque then "break away" and slip freely when stressed.

    The second symptoms, the whining / grinding noise and losing all gears is almost certainly a clogged oil pickup filter in the transmission sump. When this gets too plugged, the pump will lose prime, causing all pressure to be lost. That makes it lose all gears. When there is reduced flow but still some flow, the pump will have cavitation noise that comes from the left side of the car near the torque converter. It's sort of a buzzing or rattling noise.

    If the filter is blocked, that means that one or more of the transmission clutch friction linings has deteriorated and become separated from the steel clutch discs. This could be related to the neutralizing when accelerating, also.

    Either way, you may be able to get some more use out of the transmission (as far as keeping the car mobile) by changing the transmission filter. But, before putting the car back on the road for extended use, it should have a full overhaul.

    I'm getting a hold of an OBD-2 scanner to see what trouble codes are stored, maybe something transmission-related will be there.

    Didn't realize it was rare, but thinking about it as many A-bodies I still see around here, I don't see a lot of wagons and I think I've seen maybe one other "'96 not Cutlass" Ciera which was a sedan. Another reason to not just send it to the knackers yard for something that can be repaired.

    Agree on the economics, short term it looks better to sell and move on, but I've owned enough ageing cars to know that they all come with "character" and I at least know this car's particular eccentricities and issues.
    Yep, people make foolish decisions all the time. In 2009, bought a 1987 Century from a junkyard. It had a stripped timing sprocket, and the engine needed about $500 worth of repairs. after doing that repair, the car has not let me down. In the 8 years I have had it, the clearcoat peeled off and I had it painted. It's had new brakes and recently a new radiator. When I got the car, the previous owner had put new alternator, A/C compressor, fuel pump, ignition coils/module, transmission rebuild, radiator fan (which failed after 8 years), and new tires. They stopped at 95% and lost all the money they had put in the car.

    Plus I happen to like it; it's comfortable, can move a ton of stuff/people, is peppy enough to not embarrass itself in traffic, isn't terribly hard to work on, and looks good IMO.

    Had a random guy in the local Walmart parking lot compliment me on the car one time; turned out he was there in his '92 wagon. The only other car I've had that happen in was my old Pinto, which was a true rolling wreck, holes in the floor, holes in the body, used a quart of oil every hundred miles, and reminded every other person of the car they had in high school!
    LOL about the pinto! I've never had a Pinto but have dealt with one of a family acquaintance. It was truly and completely a worn out, never maintained POS. It leaked so much oil that the oil was new all the time.

    One of our members has a Century wagon that he's done a lot of improvements to, up to recently installing a 3500 engine in place of the worn 3100. See his thread here: https://www.a-body.net/forums/showth...iel-and-George

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