1985 Buick Electra - Phase 1: Repairs

Discussion in 'Station Wagon Projects' started by Darcane, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Darcane

    Darcane Active Member

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    So, back to the actual subject of this thread. I found the RPO code listing, and deciphered as many as I could figure out:

    RPO Code Description
    AG1 ADJUSTER,6-WAY PWR,DRIVER ST(60-40)(VAR 2)
    AM6 SEAT ASM,FRT SPLIT W/CTR ARM REST(60-40)
    AT6 SEAT ASM,FRT SPLIT W/CTR ARM REST(60-40)
    AU3 LOCK,SI DR ELEC
    AU6 LOCK,TAILGATE REL,ELEC
    A31 WINDOW,ELEC CONT
    BC2 PANEL,INSTR(ELECTRA EST WAGON) (WOOD GRAIN)
    BS1 INSULATION,ACOUSTICAL
    BV9 ORNAMENTATION,EXTR,WOODGRAIN APLO(DLX)
    BW7 ORNAMENTATION,EXTR,PLR APLQ
    BY8 ORNAMENTATION,EXTR,FRT DECOR PLT
    B34 MATS,FRT FLR(CARPET INSERT)
    B35 MATS,RR FLR(CARPET INSERT)
    B51 MOLDING,RKR PNL(EXTRA WIDE)
    B85 MOLDING;BELT RVL(PASS CAR)
    B93 MOLDING,DR EDGE GUARD
    CD2 INDICATOR,LOW WSWA FLUID
    CD4 WIPER SYSTEM WINDSHIELD, PULSE
    C49 DEFOGGER,RR WDO ELEC
    C51 DEFLECTOfi,RR WDO AIR
    C68 AIR CONDITIONER,ELEK CLIMATE CONT
    C90 LAMP,CTSY & WRNG,DR
    C95 LAMP ASM,DOME & RDG
    C97 LAMP,08 CTSY LGT
    DG2 MIRROR,O/S RR VIEW ELEC REM
    D64 MIRROR,VISOR VAN ILLUM,RT SI
    D7S GEAR, SPEEDO DRIVEN
    E5Z SPEEDOMETER ADAPTER (DELETE)
    FAI PLANT CODE-FAIRFAX KS,BOC
    GMD
    GQ1 AXLE, STD RATIO
    GU2 AXLE,RR 2.73 RATIO
    G67 ABSORBER,ELEC LVL CONT SHK SYS/ LEVEL CONTROL, AUTO, AIR
    G80 AXLE,RR LOCKING TYPE
    G87 GEAR,RING 8.50 IN
    JA3 BRAKE SYSTEM,PWR EXTRA HVY DUTY
    KM9 MANIFOLD,INT(ALUM)
    K34 CONTROL,SPEED & CRUISE(INTEGRATED COMPUTER)
    K64 GENERATOR,78 AMP
    LV2 ENGINE, 307 C.I.0, V8 (307Y) / ENGINE, GAS, 8 CYL, 5.0L, 4BBL
    MW9 TRANSMISSION,4-SPD AUTO (THM200-4R)
    MX0 MERCHANDISING OPTION ONLY-DO NOT CATALOG
    NA5 EMISSION SYSTEM,FED REQUIREMENTS
    NK6 TANK,FUEL 83 LITER
    N24 WHEEL,15 X 7(CAST ALUM)
    N32 WHEEL,STRG(CUSTI
    N33 COLUMN,STRG(TILT TYPE)
    QEU TIRE ALL, P225/75R15/N WS2 R/PE ST TL ALS
    TT5 HEADLAMPS,TUNGSTEN QUARTZ HALOGEN
    T63 BUZZER,HOLP ON WRNG SYSTEM
    T82 SENTINEL,TWILIGHT
    T87 LAMP,CORNERING
    UA1 BATTERY,H.D.
    UQ1 RADIO,STEREO INSTL PROVISIONS
    UX1 RADIO,AM STEREO/FM STEREO, W/EQLZR,CLK,ETR
    U09 HORN,FOUR NOTE
    U23 SPEEDO,W/TRIP ODOM
    U41 INDICATOR,LOW FUEL
    U64 SPEAKER,DUAL FRT DASH,DUAL STO RANGE RR
    U75 ANTENNA,PWR(CHROME)
    VD6 REINFORCEMENT,FRT SPR(ALUM)
    VD7 REINFORCEMENT,RR BPR(ALUM)
    VK3 MOUNTING,FRT LIC PLT
    V08 RADIATOR,H.D. COOLING
    V55 CARRIER,RF LUG(CHROME)
    V73 VEHICLE STATEMENT, USA/CANADA
    WA8 VINYL TOP(DELETE)
    WB5 ELECTRA ESTATE WAGON
    WG1 SALES, PROCESSING FOR DR POWER SEAT
    W22 TRIM,CUST
    YR1 SEAT,FRT CUST
    YS1 SEAT,RR CUST
    YT1 BUILD-UP,CUST DR AND OTR
    YT9 OPTION PACKAGE, FISHER FURNISHED PARTS
    58L SECONDARY COLOR, EXTERIOR, LT SANDSTONE MET (91)
    58U PRIMARY COLOR, EXTERIOR, LT SANDSTONE MET (91)
    6PB
    62I INTERIOR TRIM, LT SADDLE (I)
    62N TRIM COMBINATION, VINYL, LT SADDLE (N)
    629
    7PB COOLING SYSTEM, ENG OIL, SEE KC4
    8DY
    9DY

    Lots of options I guess, but half of them seem to be for the "fancy" wood trim...


    The interesting ones (at least to me) are:
    C68 AIR CONDITIONER,ELEK CLIMATE CONT
    This must be the strange touchpad, automatic climate control. This scares me a little, but it still seems to work.
    GU2 AXLE,RR 2.73 RATIO
    Looking for economy, so I'm happy with the ratio.
    G67 ABSORBER,ELEC LVL CONT SHK SYS/ LEVEL CONTROL, AUTO, AIR
    This explains the air pump I hear running on the front left inner fender. I'm not sure I like this...
    G80 AXLE,RR LOCKING TYPE
    G80 for the win! One of my favorite RPOs.
    G87 GEAR,RING 8.50 IN
    8.5" Rear. Is this the strongest rear end put in these cars? Standard for a wagon?
    JA3 BRAKE SYSTEM,PWR EXTRA HVY DUTY
    Sounds good.
    N24 WHEEL,15 X 7(CAST ALUM)
    Missing. Steel wheels with Buick caps currently.
    T82 SENTINEL,TWILIGHT
    Didn't realize this option was available in '85.
    T87 LAMP,CORNERING
    This must be the large lenses on either fender right behind the bumper.
    V08 RADIATOR,H.D. COOLING
    H.D. is always good.
     
  2. Brad

    Brad Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The 8.5" rear is a very strong rear and is used behind many modern muscle cars, including the Grand Nationals ( and Buick T-types) as well as most any GM performance car built 1971 and later. You won't have a problem...
     
  3. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Always looking for old ford crew cabs

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    Well, I'd have to say you have what it takes to bring the wagon up to snuff. Looking forward to seeing it all unfold. :thumbs2:
     
  4. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    Oops, wrong user!
     
  5. Darcane

    Darcane Active Member

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    Battery was a five year old cheap Wally World special that had given up the ghost. Put in a fresh Optima.

    I bought six feet of vacuum line to repair obvious leaks....
    IMG_20190115_000711122-01.jpeg
    It was just enough. Pile of crusty old vacuum lines on the fan shroud. Hopefully it should idle better now.

    Also installed new plates.
     
  6. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    I'm wondering, based on those options you listed as 'interesting,' was this wagon configured for light towing? The axle ratio says no, but that doesn't mean it won't tow anything.
     
  7. Darcane

    Darcane Active Member

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    Well, HD Brakes, HD radiator, Limited Slip 8.5" rear end...

    No OEM towing package, but there is a Draw-Tite aftermarket receiver hitch. It looks pretty stout and has both a 4pin and 7pin connector. I'm half expecting to find a trailer brake controller hidden somewhere.
     
  8. Darcane

    Darcane Active Member

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    eBay part finally showed up:
    IMG_20190119_160447657-01.jpeg

    Looks like something that someone 3D printed but it fits and now my seat works! Success!
     
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  9. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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  10. Darcane

    Darcane Active Member

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    Idling is better... but still plenty of room for improvement. I'm sure there are still some vacuum leaks. It also seems to improve the more I drive it.

    First tank of gas: 240miles, 18.4 gallons: 13mpg. I expected low... but not quite that low.
     
  11. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    Remember, your in-town MPG will always be less, bringing your average down. What you need to do is fill the tank, drive 200 highway miles only, returning to the gas station you filled at, fill again, then calculate your MPG. Keep to a single highway with at least 55-70 MPH speed, and avoid hills as much as possible. That should give you some idea of the maximum distance and highest MPG to expect.

    As for further vacuum leaks, pull and cover the PCV valve--if the engine speed changes more than 50 RPM, replace it. Then, spray carb cleaner around the intake at both heads, around the EGR valve and the carb base/primary throttle shaft. Compress the main vac hose for the booster, and if the trans still has a shift modulator, pinch it off also. Note any major changes to engine speed.
     
  12. Darcane

    Darcane Active Member

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    This was about half highway and half dense traffic/city. I had a long trip planned, but it fell through. It's not worth making a long drive just to find out what it will get.

    There's still signs that I have vacuum leaks, I just haven't had time to tackle them. There's so many vacuum lines under the hood that it may be hard to pinpoint where the leaks are. Many of them are brittle enough that a pinch will cause a leak rather than find one.
     
  13. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    If a pinch causes a leak, you know to replace it. But what I laid out, is from a handful of years of dealing with carbed GM cars, and they all exhibit many of the same bad traits. Dualjet/Quadrajet carbs always wear the holes the primary throttle shaft goes through; thank God there is a fix that does not require rebushing, and I've used it on many carburetors. PCV and EGR valves have shelf lives, but no one ever replaces either as a preventive maintenance action.
     
  14. Fred Kiehl

    Fred Kiehl Well-Known Member

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    Put a few drops of dishwashing fluid in a squirt bottle of water (old ketchup bottle). Squirt it on the possible vacuum leak sites...any vacuum leak will suck the water in, giving you the location of the leak. Takes about 5 minutes.
     
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  15. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Always looking for old ford crew cabs

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    I hate vacuum leaks. I had so many vacuum leaks in the F-100 it's surprising that it ran as well as it did. Now that they have been repaired it's a night and day difference!
     

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