1978 Oldsmobile Toronado XS

Discussion in 'Car & Truck Talk' started by jwdtenn, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. jaunty75

    jaunty75 Middling Member

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    The other thing I'm working on with regard to the dashboard is trying to clean up the instrument cluster.

    The clear plastic lens came off with no trouble (just remove three screws and lift it out), and it cleaned up nicely.

    The situation isn't quite as good with the instrument cluster faceplate as it's called. It fairly heavily pockmarked with rust. It doesn't look that bad when it's installed and you're sitting in the normal driving position, but it definitely needs help.

    cluster faceplate 1 (Large).jpg


    Here's closer views. They give a much better sense of the rust issue.

    cluster faceplate 2 (Large).jpg
    cluster faceplate 3 (Large).jpg


    It's impossible to sand off that rust without damaging the paint underneath. Everything gets scratched. If I could find replacement decals for the "PARK R N D S L", the white trim, etc. I could just sand everything and repaint it. But I don't think new decals or whatever you'd call them are available. I've got some leads on a better quality piece, so I'm hoping I'll find something to replace this. The range of possible parts cars is pretty wide as this was used on all '74 to '76 full-size Oldsmobiles (Delta 88, 98, Toronado) and all '77 and '78 Toronados.


    Here's the instrument cluster partially disassembled to get the lens and cluster faceplate out. The speedometer itself has a few rust spots as well, but not enough that I'm going to worry about it.

    speedometer disassembled 1 (Large).jpg
     
  2. jaunty75

    jaunty75 Middling Member

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    Thanks! I may give this a try.
     
  3. jwdtenn

    jwdtenn Well-Known Member

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    It's kind of amazing that moisture can get that far in.
     
  4. jaunty75

    jaunty75 Middling Member

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    The car sat outside for many years. It was under a car cover, but covers can trap moisture. Plus, you get a humid day down there in Georgia followed by a cool evening, and you've got moisture condensing on every surface. It's actually probably amazing that things are in as good a shape as they are.
     
  5. Poison_Ivy

    Poison_Ivy The crazy kid in the sandbox

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    It's even more amazing that nobody designed the unit to allow moisture to exit
    That's probably the deep South's version of Michigan's yellow snow. I heard about a car owner who somehow hooked up an ignition coil to his vehicle, for the purpose of training dogs to not instinctively mark their territory on his car
     
  6. jaunty75

    jaunty75 Middling Member

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    Just scored this piece from a guy parting out a '75 Delta 88. Should have it in a few days.

    In doing some more research, it turns out I was not quite right when I listed the years of compatible cars. It turns out that the faceplate on the '74 Oldsmobiles is slightly different in that it does not say "UNLEADED FUEL ONLY" under the fuel gauge. The unleaded fuel requirement started with the '75 model year. So the '74 faceplate would fit, but it would not be 100% correct.

    cluster faceplate.jpg


    The photo quality is not the greatest (I didn't take the photo), but here's a '74 instrument cluster. No "UNLEADED FUEL ONLY" on the lower right.

    1974 faceplate.jpg
     
  7. Poison_Ivy

    Poison_Ivy The crazy kid in the sandbox

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    Grammatically, it would still have been correct. Since leaded fuel is no longer available, there's no longer the danger of filling it up with leaded. There's no such thing as a guage labeled "LEADED FUEL", as far as I know, since it was taken for granted that lead oxide was automatically mixed in. If it wasn't a decision based solely on originality, I would have taken the decision purely on aesthetic grounds. All in all, it's still your car. If you were to someday sell it, I doubt that the buyer would notice the difference, if he hadn't been looking for it
     
  8. jaunty75

    jaunty75 Middling Member

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    It doesn't matter that leaded fuel is no longer available. It has to be period correct!

    I believe the additive was tetraethyllead, not lead oxide. That's the origin of the phrase "fill 'er up with ethyl!"
     
  9. Leadslead

    Leadslead Well-Known Member

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  10. Krash Kadillak

    Krash Kadillak Well-Known Member

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    I'd be willing to bet those yellow blotches on the wheel cover are road-striping paint. Tough stuff......... maybe a sharp xacto knife to gently scrape it away?
     
  11. Poison_Ivy

    Poison_Ivy The crazy kid in the sandbox

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    Darn! I was waiting to see the coil he would have hooked up to his car:sour:
    I think, I'll pull up to the unleaded pump, afterall:whew:

     
  12. jaunty75

    jaunty75 Middling Member

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    New faceplate arrived yesterday and installed this morning.

    new cluster installed 1 (Large).jpg


    For comparison, here's what things looked like with the old faceplate and the lens not yet cleaned.

    dash center.jpg
     
  13. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ There's rednecks north of the Mason-Dixon

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    Looks good, I like it.
     
  14. jaunty75

    jaunty75 Middling Member

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    Thanks.
     
  15. jaunty75

    jaunty75 Middling Member

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    I've seen the occasional craigslist ad where the seller takes some photos in the twilight with the headlights and such turned on, and I think it looks pretty cool. I thought I'd try that myself, and I finally got around to doing it early this morning.


    Here's the photo that inspired me.

    photo3.jpg



    Here's a few I took just before 7 a.m. today when the sun was just coming over the horizon. At that time there's enough light to photograph the car but not so much that the headlights and other lights don't stand out. I think it looks pretty good.

    The wheelcovers are the NOS pieces I bought about a month ago.


    DSCN6081 (Large).JPG

    DSCN6061 (Large).JPG

    DSCN6082 (Large).JPG

    DSCN6071 (Large).JPG

    DSCN6074 (Large).JPG


    As my wife likes to say, I entertain easily, and "if you're going to go out that darn early, bring me back a Starbucks coffee!"
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
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