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Moving to P.R.

92 Sunbird LE

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Salinas, Puerto Rico
Car has been running great the last month, I took my first vacation from the farm this week so I been running errands with the Bird while working on the house.

Was checking the car over today ( trans fluid was a little low so I added what I had left in the trunk. I do my usual check of all the fluids and I notice something dripping from the left front. I look under and see trans fluid on the cooler hoses. No big deal, put it up on the ramps and tighten the hose fittings to the trans........... ( overfilled the trans on a earlier post and loosened one to drain some out)

Tightened the fitting but it was still dripping, found out that one of the rubber and steel lines had a rusted pinhole in it and it was spraying a fine mist out.

In a earlier post , I mentioned that I replaced the trans with a used one I brought here from Arizona. Well it came with the like new hoses too still attached. but I didnt use them cause mine looked still good . I just grabbed them from under the old trans tarp cover and slapped the new one on in 15 minutes! Just changed the one for now ( top one) Couldn't of went smoother....................!

I was debating today also what to do with the ugly fake lights on the trunk lid, I took one apart and found that it is just a piece of silver sprayed plastic under the lens ( not even chrome - elcheapo GM !:mad:) The reverse light bulb is halogen but only shines a 3" square of light out even though the lens extends alot longer :)confused: )

Probally fiberglass in the whole fake taillight even with the fiberglass top panel ( with the red lens removed and all of the reverse but 3")

Not sure exactly how to do it, but anything will look better than it is now.I just dont get the huge taillights GM came up with in the late 80's-mid 90's.

I also routed the hose for the charcoal canister directly to engine ( tank vent) cause it stinks like real old gas and it isnt servicable like the old canisters that you could take apart .



The Sunbird adventures continue............Doug in P.R.:cool:
 
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92 Sunbird LE

Well-known member
2,015
31
48
Salinas, Puerto Rico
April Update:

Body damage! If the car wasnt beat up enough allready, I hit my gate on the passenger side and pushed the el cheapo door jamb/ quarter panel back about 3 inches! Mirror was dewed up and so were the windows and the bread delivery guy's car was in the way and I cut it too close.......:eek:

Had to take out the interior and cut out a 5" x 5" piece the inner panel from inside the car so I could knock it out, came ok after hammering about an hour, and went to get my Bondo I brought from AZ and found it was all dried up. ( brand new can, too) I had some used fiberglass bondo that I bought here in P.R., took it back to AZ, and brought it back and it was still good! Used that first and added some Acetone to the dried up Bondo and was able to use some of it. A little more sanding and some more primer and its ready for paint.

Had window washer problems also, motor would work, then not. Took it all apart again ( tank and pump) to see what the problem was. The pump came apart easy and the windings were a little rusty after 22 years ( original Delco ) a quick sand , lube and paint and hopefully good for another 22.......

My repair job on the Washer tank didnt last too long so I epoxied the hole this time and found out the factory installer had not centered the foam pad on top of the tank. ( pretty obvious it goes in the center of the dotted bumps on top) it snaps into a "C" clamp from the top and the metal wore a hole in the plastic. A quick spray of adhesive for the pad in the right spot and the tank is good to go.

Had the horn die on me again, had to sand all the connections ( power and grounds ) to get it to work again, was tempted to buy some GM horns off Ebay or another guy's parting out car on the Cadillac Power forums . Never had so much trouble with a horn ever... "Blazer brand" .........you really need one here cause of the bad drivers.

Other than that, the car is running great.............Doug in P.R. :cool:
 

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melsg5

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wow, not a good month for you. great that you can tackle these items as they come along. Having good weather all year round must be a terrific incentive to go out and get things done.
 

92 Sunbird LE

Well-known member
2,015
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Salinas, Puerto Rico
Any spare money we have goes into the house, Mel . (unfinished inside and out) I try to do auto repair stuff on the cheap. ;)

Weather here is about the same everyday. (sunny and nice, just have to dodge a shower or two...:)

Doug in P.R.:cool:
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92 Sunbird LE

Well-known member
2,015
31
48
Salinas, Puerto Rico
May 2014 Updade:

Car has been running great, had to use it more often last month due to hours at work being cut. It gets real great gas mileage compaired to Silverado, so I use it on more early morning runs before it gets too hot outside. Gas prices are on the way back up in May , so thats another reason I use it more , also.

Started sanding the back of the car ( rear end , quarter panels, roof) to get the old clearcoat off. Almost finished the body work on the passenger side quarter panel and door, had a few small dings and dents to fill in by the gas filler door and tail light and trunk lid.

Got all the peeling clear off the rear bumper too and clearcoated the license plate with rattle can clear as the paint was faded.

150 grit works best to blend in the old peeling clear to the basecoat, finishing it up with wet sanding with 400 grit. The clear is still on the hard side after all these years, but the 150 gets it done.

Pics are below, thats all till next month.......................

Doug in P.R.:cool:
 

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cammerjeff

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Belleville MI
Doug Glad to see your J-body is still serving you well, but you have to stop punishing it like that! I should talk, I left my 71 Catalina outside this weekend due to space issue's and a tree branch fell next to the car and put a small dent in the drivers side 1/4 and scraped the paint pretty good. That was the only body panel on the old Police car that did not have a small dent in it!!!! Well now it matches the rest of the car!
 

Evilcowboy420

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Glad to hear the ol sunbird is running well for you Doug.

I know I haven't been on in a while but I started a new job and was doing that.

As for my bird it was traded for a 89 pontiac bonneville. I just had to get my hands on a LN3 engine. Thinking about swapping the top end from a L67 Series I to the engine in there since its a pretty easy mod. Then I will probably cam it and use better pistons. I'm after that bigger cam sound with a nasty idle.

Unfortunately the guy I traded with spun a bearing so This is why I am entertaining trying to make the engine race ready. Mostly for curiosity sake. I think it will be a cool sleeper. The reason I traded my bird after doing all the stuff is 2 reasons. 1 it was all OEM and nothing more. and finally it wasn't turbo'ed so I was never gonna pull more that 90HP and 108 lb-ft of torque out of it. I think I gained 1 HP with straight pipping it and egr block.

But I will keep an eye out on this forum to see how your work is coming along Doug and to also answer some questions since I gained quite a bit of knowledge about the GM 122.

That body work is looking good as well Doug. The car didn't look too awful bad to begin with. But I can imagine it will look pretty good. Are you doing the painting with the rattle cans or are you gonna go with a spray gun job?
 

92 Sunbird LE

Well-known member
2,015
31
48
Salinas, Puerto Rico
That body work is looking good as well Doug. The car didn't look too awful bad to begin with. But I can imagine it will look pretty good. Are you doing the painting with the rattle cans or are you gonna go with a spray gun job?

Welcome back EC, glad to have you and your new Pontiac................;)

Maybe Rustoleum the top half black( like this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qPJTTRWttQ) and spray gun the rest with Bright Red 81 enamel instead of base/clear. Found out the price for PPG Omni is the same as it was in Arizona when I sprayed my truck's hood before I left.

The "a" pillars are starting to rot through, so not going to spend too much time on the top. Between all the Iguana and bird poop the car gets everday its going to need touch up once in a while. Figure paint job in a $8 qt can will take care of that.

Probally do the 90 Sunbird like black on the bumpers and wheel arches to match the mouldings. Finish off with a same like silver pinstripe currently on the car but maybe reflective type pinstripe separating the 2 colors.

So basicly, a 80's two tone Sunbird with a little 90 Sunbird thrown in and a Fox body Mustang GT hood / nose treatment also.

Just want a shiney car I can wax often............ On the Cheap.;)

Doug in P.R.:cool:
 

Evilcowboy420

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That sounds pretty cool. I like the 80's/90's sunbird mix. Love to see how it will turn out.


The video is funny because I have seen it before and is the method I currently follow.

Jst to make things cheaper (we all are looking for that) the walmart 97 cent spray paint holds up well to top end heat. I wouldn't spray a head with it but it is very easy to lay and make look great. I will get a picture of my engine cover for my 2004 Lesabre I got. I painted it being bored black with hand painted red lettering. It's still an L36 though lol.

The new pontiac I got I already got half of it apart. took about 2 hrs to pull the front head, intake, tb, header, alt, egr, fuel rail (kind of miss a TBI even though MPI is better lol TBI is simpler) and a few other misc items.

The head is all disassembled and cleaned as well. I am considering doing some porting and polishing. The lack of starting I am starting to suspect a broken or loose timing chain (non interference so no worries there).

All head surfaces measured 12 points of flatness at .0015 mm. Gotta love cast iron lol. I'll point you to my new thread of the rebuild when I start it.

Until then keep on truckin on that sunbird doug.
 

92 Sunbird LE

Well-known member
2,015
31
48
Salinas, Puerto Rico
That sounds pretty cool. I like the 80's/90's sunbird mix. Love to see how it will turn out.


The video is funny because I have seen it before and is the method I currently follow.

Jst to make things cheaper (we all are looking for that) the walmart 97 cent spray paint holds up well to top end heat. I wouldn't spray a head with it but it is very easy to lay and make look great. I will get a picture of my engine cover for my 2004 Lesabre I got. I painted it being bored black with hand painted red lettering. It's still an L36 though lol.

The new pontiac I got I already got half of it apart. took about 2 hrs to pull the front head, intake, tb, header, alt, egr, fuel rail (kind of miss a TBI even though MPI is better lol TBI is simpler) and a few other misc items.

The head is all disassembled and cleaned as well. I am considering doing some porting and polishing. The lack of starting I am starting to suspect a broken or loose timing chain (non interference so no worries there).

All head surfaces measured 12 points of flatness at .0015 mm. Gotta love cast iron lol. I'll point you to my new thread of the rebuild when I start it.

Until then keep on truckin on that sunbird doug.
Thanks EC , cant wait for your pics and your new post.:D

Doug in P.R.:cool:
 

92 Sunbird LE

Well-known member
2,015
31
48
Salinas, Puerto Rico
June 2014 Update:

Not much to report, finished sanding the clear coat and blending it to the rest of the car. Touched up a few small spots and just need some light weight filler on the passenger door/ quarter panel. So all the major sanding is all done.

Car is at 135000 miles, a little overdue for another oil change that I should get to this weekend. ( just cant get the filter I need close by)

Brake wheel cylinders need attention soon cause the drivers side is sticking a more lately.

Still running great and cruising the island...........Doug in P.R.:cool:
 

92 Sunbird LE

Well-known member
2,015
31
48
Salinas, Puerto Rico
July Update:

Finally got the oil changed ( 3500 miles 1.5 years!) , had to go to Pep Boys in Juana Diaz one weekend just to get the filter as no one carries the Fram Tough Guard in stock anymore. Picked up a Purolator Pure One as I only will use these 2 filters on anything. Picked up some Valvoline Max Life oil at Walmart, took a dollar off coupon off the regular Valvoline oil and it worked but it was too late for the free Jimmie or Dale hats offer. (expired)

Got a new old Gates serpentine belt off Ebay for $1.50 plus shipping as the 'Birds one was old and cracked. Its now the spare in the trunk. Belt was from a variety store that got it from a closed up autoparts store in Missouri.

Had cooling fan troubles yesterday, wasn't working when I got to work. Got out early and tried to jump it from the battery but no go. Took it out of the car to jump it but still no go. Took it all apart and looked online and found a new one at the local Autozone. Had to pick up a free dresser with the truck, so I let it sit. Came back and stared at the motor from a distance and said what the heck, I'll take it apart. Opened it up ,was like new inside, no broken wires, no burned ones either. Brushes looked good and not worn. Noticed oil residue on the magnets, wiped them off and put it back together. Noticed it was a replacement, not a Delco. Tested it with my battery charger and what you know..............It works! Put it back in the car and took it for a test drive to town , no problems.

Nothing done on the bodywork, but its knawing at me so I'll try to get to it next month . I still need to do the rear brakes and wheel cylinders too.

That's all for now, the Sunbird adventures continue.................;)

Doug in P.R.:cool:
 

92 Sunbird LE

Well-known member
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31
48
Salinas, Puerto Rico
August 2014 Update;

Well, where do I start ?............:confused:

Early August started out with the car not starting on the way home from work, had to call the other half to come tow me home with the Silverado.
Let it sit for 2 days cause I didnt have time to work on it. ( no spark) Found out that the ignition switch got loose and moved so the key rod wasnt moving the slider far enough, dumb me didnt tighten it enough when I changed it a year ago. And with the car getting vibration transfered from the drivetrain for a year probally didnt help the matter either.
A pain to get to and 2 different size nuts to tighten... Lesson learned.:mad:

The rear left leaking wheel clyinder finally gave up on the way home one day so I barely made it home when all the fluid leaked out. Got a new one at Autozone and fixed it the same day, took a while to bleed the brakes but finally got it done. Soaked all the brake hardware, shoes and drum in a cheaper SuperClean type of stuff they sell here at Walmart, and reused everthing.

Drivers side seat recliner lever's rivets came out so I found some bolts and nuts and put it back on.

No body work done, as August and now in September had been a rainfest.
In the week of the 21-23 we got 5 inches, with others getting 13. Plus I've had a slue of illnesses including strained back, pulled hamstring, sprained toe, Mango poisionng ( like poision ivy - same family) and finally some illness due to mosquito bite ( headache, fever , joint pain ,red spots ) It was either denge or that new chickugunya. ( no cure for either so it had to run its course)

I also put some STP fuel injector cleaner in and the "Bird is running like a top.

Washer pump got rusty inside on the motor windings so I had to take it apart and clean it agian to get it working, also cleaned out the nozzle as it was clogged.

I'm doing well now and so is the Bird......... Doug in P.R.:cool:
 

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melsg5

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thanks for the update, life in the tropics sounds interesting, up here have the heat on in the early morning
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92 Sunbird LE

Well-known member
2,015
31
48
Salinas, Puerto Rico
thanks for the update, live in the tropics sounds interesting, up here have the heat on in the early morning
I see that it was a cool summer up there also, Mel ( we get the NYC TV news here ) not too bad here this summer either , less humid, more breezy than last year. I think we had the the A/C in the bedroom on only 10 times this summer. ( the only one we have) Hardly any rain all summer this year other then Aug - Sept.

Doug in P.R.:cool:
 

92 Sunbird LE

Well-known member
2,015
31
48
Salinas, Puerto Rico
September 2014 Update:

Went on vacation for 10 days, was able to start on the the Rustoleum top half roller job. Roof is done along with the trunk and sides with 2 more coats needed on the hood. The trunk got messed up for some reason so it was done with 7 coats instead of the 5 as per the video mentioned before. It had too much orange peel so it had to be sanded down more times than the rest of the car.


Also I got better results with just using all 3 "drip" coats then with the last one with 4 "drips". Maybe its because the thinner isnt 100% but counldn't find any like that around here.

Used the 2X Rustoleum spray cans on the rest of the cars spots , works great but you have to hold the cans a bit farther away than normal not to get pinholes.

Was able to get something done with the fake taillights. I had some old trailer lights salvaged from an old trailer I had in AZ that I scrapped. Work great ( just taillights only )and I have another trick up my sleeve for them also.;)

Had some hard starting problems, pulled the plugs ( found they wore loose and undergapped - 30 instead of 45). Cleaned them and reinstalled. Found a vacumn hose broken also.



Pics added, the adventures continue...... Doug in P.R.:cool:
 

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92 Sunbird LE

Well-known member
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31
48
Salinas, Puerto Rico
October - Early November 2014 update:

All the black is done on the top half at least, weather hasnt been good the last month and a half. ( much rain) No painting at all for now.

The only other thing that was done was I was able to get a new brake pedal pad. One of the guys on the JBody forums found a one that fits since no makes them anymore. The old GM part # is 22566690 . The new ones # is GM 22701115 available at any GM dealer for about $4. It fits many GM cars.
The only difference is it doesn't say "ANTI LOCK BRAKES" on it like the original. Dont bother looking for one at autoparts stores either , Ebay has a match: Dorman # 20713. Again this for the automatic car's brake pedal pad.

Cars been running great, had some cold hard starting problems but everything is back to normal after a Seafoam treatment.


Thats all for now till next post..................

Doug in P.R.:cool:
 

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