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 New Member in Trenton NJ

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PostSubject: New Member in Trenton NJ   Fri May 22, 2015 8:36 am

HI All -

Just purchased my first RMW last week, a 1994 with tow package (but no hitch) with 104k miles on her!

Few things need to be done:

1. Fix HVAC system. A/c doesn't work and heater is only lukewarm
2. Replace passenger side inner fender (rusted through right behind battery)
3. Find two replacements for the cargo area light covers....which I broke...
4. Potentially replace the air suspension pump which, so far, works just fine but sounds like hell
5. Replace lights in the headlamps....a flashlight would be brighter
6. Figure out why she's stuttering right after startup and pullaway or backing up...fuel pump issue?
7. Fix that pesky fuel gage issue everyone seems to have
8. Figure out anything else that I should be looking at
9. Get the few rust spots sanded out and have the car repainted....maybe.

Until then, here's a picture.  Any tips or leads on parts would be a blessing!

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DBeaSSt
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Fri May 22, 2015 9:24 am

Congratulations on your purchase and welcome to Longroof! Check out the parts wanted and for sale sections. Some of our members stock a few parts and might be able to help you out. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Fri May 22, 2015 10:34 am

Welcome Trevor

Looks like you found yourself a nice low mileage wagon. Your list is all common stuff that we've all dealt with. Actually, you need to add #10, the "fly away" panel on the rear driver side door.

I see in your other post Fred Kiehl has responded to your parts inquiry. If you need anything he is the guy. All his parts are from FL with no rust and he is priced fairly.

Tom

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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Fri May 22, 2015 1:20 pm

Welcome to the party! Sweet looking ride....
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Sat May 23, 2015 6:55 pm

Thanks for the welcome, everyone. Tom, you are right. That fly away has flakes off all its paint. I'm debating just getting some similar colored spray paint and refinishing it that way. I hope to do a Maaco repaint at some point just to mitigate any rust.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Sat May 23, 2015 7:18 pm

Welcome Trevor,nice clean wagon you have.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Sat May 23, 2015 10:53 pm

Welcome to our little corner of the world! Not that mtrhead79 is just down the road from you. I am going to be our your way mid week next week. I get out there on business quite often.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Tue May 26, 2015 3:12 pm

Alright, progress already made:

1. A/C blowing cold after a can of refrigerant with sealant. Still need a little bit more to get the pressure up to the ideal spot. If it gives out again, then I'm gonna replace the system. I figure 21 years old it doesn't owe anything to anyone.

2. New passenger side inner fender procured. Friend of mine with a jackstand is gonna help me tackle the replacement sometimes this summer, hopefully sooner rather than later. Question; anyone have tips, pictures or schematics of how to pull the fender liners and replace? I'd prefer not to just hop into the project without some concept of what I'm doing.

3. Fixed the cargo area light covers that I broke.

That's all I've done so far. She's going on a little roadtrip to Knobels Groves in Elysburg PA in about 2 weeks, so I think I may order some replacement headlight bulbs before I undertake that (it's only about 300 miles round trip) and maybe address the oil leak at the oiler cooler line up front.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Tue May 26, 2015 8:33 pm

Keep in mind you are only one state away from Wagonfest 2015 as well. Hope to see you there.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Wed May 27, 2015 4:51 pm

Ok, so it looks like a few other items need to be taken care of on the car...almost makes me wonder what the hell I got into, gotta keep myself from getting discouraged:

1. New battery...ok no big deal, whatever
2. New drive belts...again, whatever
3. Adjust front wheel bearings...it's old, I get it
4. Steering damper donzo...take it off, toss it. Who cares about that thing?
5. Front shocks are leaking....Ok this is starting to add up...but I can probably do that on my own (I'm willing to do the work, I just haven't done it before)
6. Left side downpipe flange rotten and leaking....the what, what? I'm admitting ignorance here.
7. Oil cooler line leaking....ok, no biggie, but gotta fix it. Lost half a quart in a weekend.
8. Brake lines starting to rot....crap.
9. Rear main seal leaking....CRAP! Evil or Very Mad

Ok, I'm sure these combined really aren't that major to you all, and I have read that diagnosed rear main seals on these engines can actually be several other (less expensive) issues. But man, kinda puts a damper on my excitement.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Wed May 27, 2015 5:57 pm

Trevor, you need to stop complaining and start fixing. There's nothing that is that big of a deal. I would doubt you have a rear main seal leaking. They very seldom leak, check the rear bolts on the valve covers, they loosen up. When they leak it appears that it's the rear main seal.

Get in there and start crossing things off the list.

Tom
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Wed May 27, 2015 6:00 pm

Right. 7 of those 9 items will be done before the week is out. Just had a bit of a bitch session, back to getting things done.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Wed May 27, 2015 7:22 pm

Now that's the attitude!

Although we have the wagons looking and running pretty good now, believe me, it didn't start out that way. We all had lists, many would make your's look small.

If you have any questions ask, there's someone here who has done everything on your list.

My 2 cents on your oil cooler lines: eliminate them as they are a constant problem. Get an oil filter adapter from a 4.3 Chevy V8, usually found in Caprices. It eliminates those lines and leaks. I believe Fred K has them for sale.

For your info, even though it has a towing package, they didn't come with a hitch (atleast most of them).

After this weekend, let's have a progress report.

Tom

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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Wed May 27, 2015 8:27 pm

Welcome Trevor, don't get too discouraged, try to remember we are dealing with 20+ year old cars. Good luck and sounds like you are doing just fine with your wagon.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Wed May 27, 2015 10:38 pm

Welcome!
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Sat May 30, 2015 4:36 pm

Our little corner is getting BIGGER.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Sat May 30, 2015 6:19 pm

Those are just regular maintenance items that are required on much newer cars tooThe newer cars cost much more to work on too.An even bigger plus is how much safer you are in one of our goliath wagons compared to a fiat 500 or a mini cooper.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Sat May 30, 2015 7:30 pm

I will say, after a minor panic I then realized how inexpensive almost all of those things are my excitement was restored lol In fact I think the most expensive item would be the battery.

Does anyone recommend a specific battery brand? On my car a battery clearly leaked and rotted out the inner fender, so I'd like to prevent that again.

Another question; I cannot manually shift the level all the way down to 1. I can go to 3 and 2, but it just won't hit one. I immediately thought the linkage is probably worn - especially because sometimes it can look like you're in Neutral when you're in Drive. But was wondering if anyone else experienced this.

Lastly the car (her name is Anna-Mae) should have everything but the brake lines & rear main seal up to snuff next week.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Sat May 30, 2015 10:22 pm

Cant go wrong with the Optima battery,practically indestructible and you can mount it upside down and no leaking ever.I am running a red top but the yellow top is a good choice too.Sounds like your cable is out of adjustment but someone else will know more about that than me.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Sun May 31, 2015 9:21 am

Awesome, thanks, and I see Amazon has a great price on them.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Sun May 31, 2015 11:27 am

Optima red tops here as well.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Sun May 31, 2015 10:51 pm

Welcome aboard Trevor. You got a nice looking ride there. Had a couple of mine own so far and they all need something! my 94 RMW I dumped over 900 to get her ready for the road, but then got 95,000 fairly trouble free miles out of her afterwards (just more minor repairs). In the long run with proper maint these cars will sail down the road for years to come Smile
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Sun May 31, 2015 11:53 pm

Thanks! I was budgeting spending about 1k on her because the a/c wasn't working and from prior experience, it usually takes about that much to get it going. But as luck would have it, it just needed to be recharged and so far I've only spent 60% of my budget. I'm debating purchasing an air compressor for the suspension as a backup because the current pump sounds like hell. I have my eye on a 95-96 Fleetwood pump but I'm not sure of the interchangeability and it would still leave me with about 25% of my budget.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:21 pm

UPDATE

Ok, so she's back on the road with the following done:

1. New battery, old one was 5 years old
2. New drive belts
3. Adjust front wheel bearings
4. Front shocks
5. Left side downpipe flange
6. Oil cooler line

HOWEVER, now she's not idling well and stalling sometimes when she's warmed up. Also the air pump for the suspension is running all of the time. Guess my luck ran out on that. Fuse pulled for the air pump, I'm just gonna assume the air assist on this thing is now leaking and will have to be fixed, I want to maintain that. Maybe now is the time to purchase that 1996 Fleetwood air compressor I saw and just replace it along with the air shocks.

Mechanic thinks it's the Optispark "screwing up." So two questions:

1. Is there a "how to" on the forum of how to replace the OptiSpark? I did a quick search but couldn't find one and if possible (i'm a novice) I'd like to replace it myself to save some cash. I know this is one item I need to buy from Delco if I want a quality replacement that won't crap out.

2. Without the air suspension working properly, will I be able to put six people in this car without bottoming out? I'm supposed to take this on a 1 day road trip in a week and a half. I'd really prefer to keep the air adjusting suspension in working order since I bought this car to haul things.

I'm at 80% of what I was targeting spending to bring the car up to snuff. I'm willing to increase my budget, but I'd love to hear suggestions from you all since you guys know these cars inside out.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:15 pm

Check out the thread,"My 2015 Thread On My Pontiac Parisienne." He covers the freshening up of an Optispark.It should be what you need.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:55 pm

Awesome, thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:09 pm

Also unless you are regularly going to carry heavy loads in the back oor tow, I would dump the air compressor and go with the Monroe Severe Service shocks. Some on here say they are too firm, but I think they are perfect, especially in the rear. My aforementioned 94 RMW I had them all four corners.

Also if you haven't get a can or two of carb cleaner and clean out the throttle body. it's dirty. Smile

FWIW Delphi manufactures optis for AC Delco, so they are one in the same and usually a few $$ less than Delco. If you decide to do the plug wires, take off the water pump, it'll be ALOT easier on the passenger side. Also getting to the plugs between the frame and the wheel well (remove wheel), made a big difference for me.

Lastly, make sure the opti vent harness is clear and working properly and be careful of the clip on top, it's 20+ years old and fragile. If you break it like I did, Gary's innovative wiring will make you one (Gary is a great guy with quality that is worth the cost).
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PostSubject: Re: New Member in Trenton NJ   Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:50 pm

I'm trying to keep it as stock as possible and (for now) we really enjoy the floaty ride, it actually cracks me up while I'm driving it. I do actually intend on carrying heavy loads, we just purchased a 100 year old home so lots of furniture to move around, and other things that go along with home ownership.

Thanks for the tip on the OptiSpark!

Quick question; will the 96 Fleetwood air pump be a direct fit for the RMW?
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