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Thread: 1989 Cutlass Cruiser

  1. #31
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    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door 3.1, 1989 Cutlass Cruiser 3.1
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    Engine done. Got a drop of oil from the end of my funnel on the plenum, doh. Not getting the shiny reflections from my work light this time, but still looks way better than the old engine below:




    Wheels all cleaned up. Ready to get tires put on. I want it done right, with the beads ground and sealant applied so they don't leak. My buddy is service manager at a GM dealership so he said he would make sure his guys did a good job. I also have new chrome lug nuts and a nice set of brushed centercaps to go in them.
    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, summer daily driver
    1989 Cutlass Cruiser wagon, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, special summer ride
    1996 Cherokee XJ 4 door, 4.0, 5 speed, winter daily driver & towing vehicle
    1991 Tracker 2 door, 1.6, 5 speed, needs work
    Previously several Celebritys, 6000s, & 2 U-vans



  2. #32
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    Wheels on today. I think these wheels best define late 80s Oldsmobile. This car had to have them. I also made sure all my centercaps were oriented the same way.

    I also got started sanding out the rough spots on the Silhouette steering wheel. Oreilly's has dark blue vinyl/leather paint which I'll try. If it fails I can remove the leather, match the templates, and install blue leather.
    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, summer daily driver
    1989 Cutlass Cruiser wagon, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, special summer ride
    1996 Cherokee XJ 4 door, 4.0, 5 speed, winter daily driver & towing vehicle
    1991 Tracker 2 door, 1.6, 5 speed, needs work
    Previously several Celebritys, 6000s, & 2 U-vans

  3. #33
    Senior Member CorvairGeek's Avatar
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    1992 Century Special 1996 Century Custom
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    Those are nice wheels.
    Jerry

  4. #34
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    Feb 2019
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    1988 cutlass cruiser
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    What size and brand tires did you go with. Are those 14?s? I am going that route when I wear out the made in Japan Toyo?s on mine. They have some cracks in the tread bottoms but sidewalls are good. Did not find a date code in the new format on them. I also have new loaded struts but don?t want to mess with the alignment until new rubber and wheels go on. I would love to see some more pictures from various angles of the cruiser with the new wheels
    I did click on the image and saw the other picture. Did the 3.1 use the round air breather or is that a 2.8 holdover? Mine is missing whatever holds the cover on and is a duct tape nightmare. I need to address that also.
    Last edited by papawhellie; 04-07-2019 at 05:17 AM.

  5. #35
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    The wheels are 15", from a 90-91 Silhouette, also used on the 88-91 Cutlass Supreme. They used a basically identical wheel in 14" on the 89-90 Ciera/Cruiser (also used on the Silhouette and Cutlass Supreme). Oldsmobile used a variant of this wheel on almost their whole product line back then, which is why I say it defines late 80s Oldsmobile.

    I used a 205-65-R15 tire. That's the same wheel size and outside diameter as my old 90 6000 SE wagon. Nothing rubs, but it is pretty close to the strut tower plate, just like on the 6000. Since this will only be a leisurely summer driver, I used Westlake tires I got from Walmart. They're cheap but I saw a lot of good reviews, and they seem to be built pretty well. Time will tell. They ride nice and smooth. The old tires had good tread but had slipped belts or something, as they would waddle side to side at low speeds and vibrate at highway speeds.

    3.1 and 2.8 used the same round air cleaner. It's just a wingnut holding the cover on.

    I'll get more pics when I get the car out and get it washed real good, and the weather is better.
    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, summer daily driver
    1989 Cutlass Cruiser wagon, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, special summer ride
    1996 Cherokee XJ 4 door, 4.0, 5 speed, winter daily driver & towing vehicle
    1991 Tracker 2 door, 1.6, 5 speed, needs work
    Previously several Celebritys, 6000s, & 2 U-vans

  6. #36
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    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door 3.1, 1989 Cutlass Cruiser 3.1
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    Today I replaced the Cutlass Cruiser emblem that was missing from the passenger side fender. Then I installed my new Oldsmobile mudflaps, and fixed up the passenger side splash shield. Still broken but better than it was, it's not loose anymore.

    Then we got a heat wave of 70F and it didn't rain. It just snowed Friday and most of last week. So I hooked up my hose and washed the Cruiser. It was pretty filthy, and had green gunk on the edges of the trim, which I cleaned up. And a bunch of dark spatter marks which must have come from my diesel fuel heater in the garage, with some scrubbing all those came out.


    Mudflaps with era-appropriate Oldsmobile logo. Got these off Ebay.


    Driver side front.


    Driver side rear. My 300k Celebrity in the background which it looks I'll be taking out this week. The Celeb will still be my summer road warrior. I'll save the Cruiser for the more special times.


    Driver side.


    Front.


    Passenger side front.


    Passenger side rear.


    Passenger side. Need to find my rubbing & polishing compounds and remove the tire marks. At some point the previous owner lost the front right tire. The splash shield is cracked, frontmost rocker piece pushed in, emblem was torn off, mudflap was torn off.


    Rear. Still debating whether to paint another wing I have (which isn't peeling), or remove it and do a serious cleanup on non-wing hinges I have. Maybe I'll try both. Also noticed the top left corner of the license frame is broken off. I have a spare license frame that is fully intact but needs the black repainted.

    When I was washing the car I had a baby wolf spider get on it. There are tons of them at this house and I guess it's time already. So I got my spreader and laid down the granules that help keep them out of the house and garage. That's enough for one day.
    Last edited by tlc1976; 04-07-2019 at 11:08 PM.
    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, summer daily driver
    1989 Cutlass Cruiser wagon, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, special summer ride
    1996 Cherokee XJ 4 door, 4.0, 5 speed, winter daily driver & towing vehicle
    1991 Tracker 2 door, 1.6, 5 speed, needs work
    Previously several Celebritys, 6000s, & 2 U-vans

  7. #37
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    Oct 2013
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    Northwest Lower Michigan
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    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door 3.1, 1989 Cutlass Cruiser 3.1
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    Last weekend I painted up another wing I have that's not peeling. Turned out great, but I thought this car was Arctic white, which turns out is too white. The actual color for the car is discontinued. Looks like Stone white is a very close match. This coming weekend I'll have the next opportunity to repaint the wing.

    Meanwhile, I've been working on the interior. I sanded out the rough spots on the Silhouette steering wheel and it looks like it will clean up well, so I got some adhesion promoter and interior paint which I'll try this weekend.

    And I figured out what I will do to mount my CD changer control. I thought about designing a flip down bracket using the existing ashtray front like I did with my old 6000, but I decided to go with something simple and fixed and leaving the old parts intact. At least for now anyway. I used an appliance skin which has nearly the same material pattern as the ashtray front, and made a plate that will fit over the existing ashtray bracket. Only modification is 2 threaded holes in the bracket, so I can easily put the factory ashtray back in if I wanted. The plate has a tab that hangs down at the same angle as the heater control area, for my changer control to mount to. I will also add the lighter socket in the lower sloped part of the bracket, possibly even 2 or 3 sockets since there's room and these days they're always useful. I spent tonight fabbing it up, I'll clean it up and paint it the same blue later on.


    2 holes in existing ashtray bracket. New bracket slides up behind the existing lower 2 tabs and uses those screw holes, and then screws to the existing bracket in 2 spots. Can't use the upper existing holes very nicely because they are angled in, but I did think about finding a way. I might replace the upper 2 screws with the flatter head phillips trim screws.


    Bracket roughly in place. Left side didn't go up all the way due to the flasher (fastens to left rear of the ashtray bracket) interfering with wire loom. Will mess with that later.


    View from lower, my CD changer control hanging down.


    About the clearest view I'm going to get with this cheap camera. The pattern is the same as the ashtray plastic, just slightly larger.


    Both brackets together.
    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, summer daily driver
    1989 Cutlass Cruiser wagon, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, special summer ride
    1996 Cherokee XJ 4 door, 4.0, 5 speed, winter daily driver & towing vehicle
    1991 Tracker 2 door, 1.6, 5 speed, needs work
    Previously several Celebritys, 6000s, & 2 U-vans

  8. #38
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    Northwest Lower Michigan
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    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door 3.1, 1989 Cutlass Cruiser 3.1
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    Friday night after work I painted the wing, steering wheel, and ashtray panel I made. I gathered up the parts today and put them on.


    Wing painted. Stone white is very close. Depending on the light, sometimes it looks a hint lighter and sometimes a hint darker, so it's a good average.


    CD controller bracket in place. I still haven't cut the hole for the lighter socket. It ended up being about the same color as the dash piece above it, but lighter than the ashtray face it replaced. This I could change, as it is steel and more colors are available. I just used leftover paint from the steering wheel.



    Silhouette steering wheel in place. This view really shows how much lighter it ended up. Unfortunately Dupli Color doesn't make a vinyl/fabric paint in a darker blue. Maybe it will darken over time, or with skin oils. Don't mind the mess on the floor, it's the tools and stuff I used today. I already cleaned it up. My other vehicles are a mess right now, and I don't want this one to get that way.


    Not as extreme of a color difference in this view from the backseat. Now I think about it, the Z24 wheel I put in my Celebrity was a darker shade of gray, and after awhile I didn't even think about it anymore. I'll run with it for awhile.

    Next is the windshield, and headliner since I'll have the trim out, and the dome light swap since I'll have the headliner out.
    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, summer daily driver
    1989 Cutlass Cruiser wagon, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, special summer ride
    1996 Cherokee XJ 4 door, 4.0, 5 speed, winter daily driver & towing vehicle
    1991 Tracker 2 door, 1.6, 5 speed, needs work
    Previously several Celebritys, 6000s, & 2 U-vans

  9. #39
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    Feb 2019
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    1988 cutlass cruiser
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    Looking good. Changer install is spot on. Been a long time since i used one of those. Why do you like the other wheel, more modern look?

  10. #40
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    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door 3.1, 1989 Cutlass Cruiser 3.1
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    Thanks. The changer itself fit perfectly and firmly in the glove box, with just a small area on the left to stuff the registration and insurance into. I have hundreds of CDs so I like my changer. I also have the same changer in the Celebrity so I can swap magazines.

    Just something about a handful of steering wheels that I fall in love with. Hard to explain. Possibly more modern. I like it because it is thicker, softer, and has some geometric lines to it, and doesn't look like a bunch of other wheels out there. It also feels smaller even though it's not. I also just had to have the Z24 steering wheel in my Celebrity (below). For the same reasons, but it also goes well with the thick rounded padding of the dash. With that wheel in my hands it feels so much sportier to drive. Also maybe it's because both were an option for their respective cars but not a lot of those cars came with them. I think the Silhouette wheel was used in some Ciera Internationals, and the Z24 wheel was used in the 90 Euro Celebrity, but maybe only in black?


    This also shows how I did my custom oil pressure gauge and the tach.

    Also discovered today that Colorbond makes a leather/vinyl paint in GM navy blue. So that might be worth a try in the future.
    Last edited by tlc1976; 04-24-2019 at 04:26 AM.
    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, summer daily driver
    1989 Cutlass Cruiser wagon, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, special summer ride
    1996 Cherokee XJ 4 door, 4.0, 5 speed, winter daily driver & towing vehicle
    1991 Tracker 2 door, 1.6, 5 speed, needs work
    Previously several Celebritys, 6000s, & 2 U-vans

  11. #41
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2013
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    Northwest Lower Michigan
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    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door 3.1, 1989 Cutlass Cruiser 3.1
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    I thought I didn't have a donut spare so I had been carrying around a full size spare in the back, with a jack and breaker bar in the 3rd seat footwell. Well I was mistaken, the donut is there. Just no jack and no center cone washer to hold the donut down. 2 plastic nuts were there however, along with the threaded rod in the center of the donut. It was the donut that had been squeaking all this time.

    So I started looking around the garage for something that would work. Contemplated fabbing up some cone shaped piece to hold it down. Then I found an old worn out distributor cap from my Geo Tracker. It was the perfect size! The center hole for the coil wire was already the right size, so I drilled it thru. Then sawed off the spark plug posts/bosses and filed them flush.

    Perfect fit, there is room to hold the donut down with the plastic nut. Totally free, and done in less time than it would have taken to drive the 40 miles to the boneyard. Besides it's high winds and supposed to snow this weekend again.





    The measurements on the notepad are for the side and tailgate panels. I want to carpet the panels like my old 6000 wagon was.
    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, summer daily driver
    1989 Cutlass Cruiser wagon, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, special summer ride
    1996 Cherokee XJ 4 door, 4.0, 5 speed, winter daily driver & towing vehicle
    1991 Tracker 2 door, 1.6, 5 speed, needs work
    Previously several Celebritys, 6000s, & 2 U-vans

  12. #42
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    Oct 2013
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    Northwest Lower Michigan
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    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door 3.1, 1989 Cutlass Cruiser 3.1
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    Underhood cleaned by hand.



    Been figuring out and fixing a lot of little things lately, in the attempt to figure out why it misfires only during very light load, like when the TCC is locked at 35 mph and 45 mph on level road. Idles fine, and performs fine under the same condition with heavier throttle, and every other condition. TPS reads normal. It also seems to be lacking just a hint of power, and really sucking gas. Now if I put in an EGR blocker plate, it runs much better and gets better mpg. No more misfire. With the EGR blocked, it also runs a little cooler on the exact same route and driving conditions. Which seems backwards, lack of EGR is supposed to run hotter, not cooler.

    I've been running an EGR blocker plate on the Celebrity for like 10 years, and did on my old 6000, neither of those changed how it ran, but figured it'd be a good idea to keep carbon out of the intake. Block learn on the Celeb is normal range. Same exact setup in that car. And gets 32+ mpg with over 300k on the engine.

    The trans modulator was sucking trans fluid into the intake. So I replaced that.

    Tested exhaust backpressure, there is little to none, flows great. Not even close to the limit.

    Put in a new fuel filter, but old one was fine. Found out the fuel pressure was quickly draining back to the tank when off (confirmed with line pinch test) but ran with good pressure. Sender lines were very rusty, even though everything else is excellent under there. So I got a new Delphi pump/sender assembly from a hidden Autozone deal for 60 some dollars. Upon taking the old one apart I found the coupling clamp had come loose. That's ok, I can use the old pump in my Tracker.

    Fuel pressure was still not holding. I set up the Tracker as a test jig, tested the new/old injectors with new/old fuel rail. None of the injectors were leaking on either rail. One of the regulators was draining back when shut off, other one held great. So swapped those, now it holds great.

    The original engine had a recent set of replacement Lucas injectors. With those, and the EGR blocked off, the block learn would peg at 156 and not change unless my foot was off the throttle, then it would be 128. When I put the Multec injectors in from the replacement engine, and keep EGR blocked off, block learn goes down to 135-150, and still around 128 at idle. So I'm running the Multecs. Both sets test at very close to 12 ohms each.

    I figure there must be something up with the EGR valve. I already had it out and confirmed it is clean and does not leak in the exhaust path one bit, nor does the diaphragm leak. But the pintle was stuck. No amount of compressed air would budge the pintle, but then I decided to poke a baby screwdriver into the hole, and it popped loose. I worked it and put in a dab of PB Blaster. It operates correctly now according to the tests in the FSM, and I've been checking it often. But the engine still runs the same unless I block off the EGR.

    I got a spark tester and coil outputs are good at approximately 25000 volts (it is a mechanical gap tester). I've got a vacuum gauge on order, as it would have helped me every now and then. But vacuum seems excellent. Perhaps the EGR is still operating at over 7 hg, where it's supposed to start bypassing. I've also got the EGR from the other engine, but they are a pain to swap so I'm holding off.

    So unless I figure something else out, I'm running it with the EGR blocked off, and it runs great that way. I'd just like to figure out why I need to keep using that as a crutch.

    Anyway, shocks and struts must be original. Front doesn't seem bad, rear vibrates over some bumps, but car is tight otherwise. So got new shocks and struts with another Autozone deal (one strut for free). Planning to put in the shocks tomorrow, struts at some point. Weather has been pretty miserable for weeks, been snow off and on, and temps in the 40s. Hope it gets warmer soon and I'll get to the windshield, headliner, touch up paint, other things. Not much left to do, it's a very nice car.

    And get on to the other vehicles because whenever summer gets here, it doesn't last long enough.
    Last edited by tlc1976; 05-04-2019 at 03:04 AM.
    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, summer daily driver
    1989 Cutlass Cruiser wagon, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, special summer ride
    1996 Cherokee XJ 4 door, 4.0, 5 speed, winter daily driver & towing vehicle
    1991 Tracker 2 door, 1.6, 5 speed, needs work
    Previously several Celebritys, 6000s, & 2 U-vans

  13. #43
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Northwest Lower Michigan
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    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door 3.1, 1989 Cutlass Cruiser 3.1
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    208

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    Weather finally got warmer Saturday and Sunday. Now it's 60 but that's still ok.


    Got the windshield in place. All sorts of stuff jerryrigged to keep light pressure at the top corners to hold them down until the sealant dries.


    Today I did the headliner. I use polar fleece and contact cement. My theory is that both are supposed to be water resistant so they won't break down with moisture. Which seems to be accurate, as I did the Celebrity the same way 15 years ago and it's still holding up perfectly. Even after the windshield leaked all over it for years.


    Headliner sitting in the car drying. Because my garage has a leaky roof. When it's dry I'll fold over the edges and contact cement them down.


    After I did the windshield I wired up the new dome light I got from SilverBullet1990. Looking forward to getting the car back together. Right now it will sit as tomorrow I'm going downstate for my daughter's graduation. It's been a long road, here she is at 2 years old back when I got the Celebrity in 2003.
    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, summer daily driver
    1989 Cutlass Cruiser wagon, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, special summer ride
    1996 Cherokee XJ 4 door, 4.0, 5 speed, winter daily driver & towing vehicle
    1991 Tracker 2 door, 1.6, 5 speed, needs work
    Previously several Celebritys, 6000s, & 2 U-vans

  14. #44
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    Mar 2012
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    Bala Cynwyd, PA USA
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    '96 Ciera wagon
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    I got a set of the 14" snowflake wheels, going to clean them up and install on my '96 wagon.

    The nice thing about 14s is I can just move over my existing tires and they were hella cheap.
    Daily: '93 Century, '96 Ciera Wagon, '96 Tahoe
    Project: '85 Monte Carlo SS, '91 Camaro
    Race: '81 "Frankenvette" Chevette (L67 swap 24 Hours of Lemons)

  15. #45
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Northwest Lower Michigan
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    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door 3.1, 1989 Cutlass Cruiser 3.1
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    I thought about that, but my tires were totally shot anyway. So I figured great time to upgrade to 15s.

    Yesterday I got the headliner edges glued down, and got the headliner back in the car. It's not the exact same shade as the original but it's the closest color fleece they had, I think it looks pretty good.


    New dome light in place.


    Rear view.

    Today I also carpeted the rear interior panels. Same thing, I used contact cement. The carpet was backless, so I could stretch and reform it to some degree, so I didn't have to cut it perfectly.


    I did the gate, spare tire cover, and compartment cover out of the car. I wasn't sure how to remove the lock for the lid, so I just slit the carpet and tucked it under the knob, which worked well.


    I did these panels in place. Was very careful to prevent drips of the cement on the carpet.


    Driver side done.


    Passenger side done.


    Tailgate done.

    While I had the gate panel off, I noticed some things. I wonder if the gate was replaced at some point. Either that, or shoddy work at the factory. For starters, two of the plastic panel clips were smashed down. This was because there was nowhere for them to go! Both those holes were taken by clips inside the gate to retain the wiring harness. And of the 2 small screws that hold the bottom edge of the panel, there was a hole in the plastic, but no hole in the steel. So of course the screw was missing.

    If the gate was a replacement, it had to have been during the first year of the car's life when it was an Avis rental. Because the "Grand Oldsmobile" sticker is still on the gate from when the original owners bought it a year old it after Avis was done with it.

    I have a spare gate out back also with a Grand Oldsmobile sticker, it's had good use. I got that gate in Zeeland back in 1997 or so. Put it on my 86 Celeb after it got rearended. Saved the gate before I scrapped the car. Later put it on my 89 6000 after it got rearended. Saved the gate before scrapping that car. Hope I never have to put it on the Cruiser.

    So what's next.... I really should remove the tire rub marks on the passenger fender, and touch up some little chips here and there. Oh and I've not got around to putting those shocks on yet.
    Last edited by tlc1976; 06-02-2019 at 12:08 AM.
    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, summer daily driver
    1989 Cutlass Cruiser wagon, 3.1 MPFI, 4 speed auto, special summer ride
    1996 Cherokee XJ 4 door, 4.0, 5 speed, winter daily driver & towing vehicle
    1991 Tracker 2 door, 1.6, 5 speed, needs work
    Previously several Celebritys, 6000s, & 2 U-vans

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