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 A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari

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Lynol

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:49 pm

Mark 96 Roady wrote:
That interior is beautiful! I always laugh when I see an older car with the goofy option selections. Like on your car-power seat and windows, yet no tilt and a manual tail gate! At least you have the most important option (in my opinion) factory A/C so you can enjoy your new car in the summer.
Yeah, and no power locks either. And wouldn't you rather have the power tailgate and not the power seat? I would think the power gate would get more use. I can do without the tilt-wheel and the cruise control, but I tell you what, intermittent wipers sure would have been nice. But hey -it's got that optional secondary ash tray!
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MalibuSSwagon



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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:51 pm

All that vinyl, and no AC would have been most uncomfortable.
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Lynol

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:07 pm

MalibuSSwagon wrote:
Oh I see you have the "Radial Tuned Suspension" Very Happy But no gauges Sad
Yeah, no gauges. My '75 LeSabre is the same way. Who needs to be bothered with the advanced warning of a climbing/sinking gauge? Everything's A-OK until one of those idiot lights goes on to tell you you're totally screwed. Hey, why not just replace the whole IP with this:


Oh, and yes, my car has the Radial Tuned Suspension. You saw my giant dash plaque, eh?

I think this feature may have been standard on the big Ponchos in '76, but the '75 brochure lays out exactly what the RTS option package is:
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Lynol

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:09 pm

MalibuSSwagon wrote:
All that vinyl, and no AC would have been most uncomfortable.
Surely. My Mom had a '69 Nova with no AC and a black vinyl interior. It was almost dangerous in the summer!
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Lynol

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Sat Mar 05, 2016 4:51 pm

So this is why the radio sounds like a kazoo and/or bee hive...
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Sat Mar 05, 2016 4:53 pm

Lynol wrote:
So this is why the radio sounds like a kazoo and/or bee hive...
Wow, that speaker is in horrible shape! I'm surprised that made any sound at all!
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DBeaSSt
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Sun Mar 06, 2016 10:10 am

Congrats on the find! Great looking wagon. First car I ever drove was my Mom's '76 Grand Safari. Wish I has been able to keep it when she sold it off for a *shudder* minivan.
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Lynol

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:25 pm

DBeaSSt wrote:
Congrats on the find!  Great looking wagon.  First car I ever drove was my Mom's '76 Grand Safari.  Wish I has been able to keep it when she sold it off for a *shudder* minivan.
Boy that must have been an intimidating car for a new driver! Have any pics of it?
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DBeaSSt
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:31 pm

Lynol wrote:
DBeaSSt wrote:
Congrats on the find!  Great looking wagon.  First car I ever drove was my Mom's '76 Grand Safari.  Wish I has been able to keep it when she sold it off for a *shudder* minivan.
Boy that must have been an intimidating car for a new driver! Have any pics of it?

Had to dig to find this one. Picture of a picture but it's the only one I have handy. I called it fried chicken brown. Very Happy
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t136/dbeasst/Misc/grandsafari2.jpg
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Lynol

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:30 am

DBeaSSt wrote:
Lynol wrote:
DBeaSSt wrote:
Congrats on the find!  Great looking wagon.  First car I ever drove was my Mom's '76 Grand Safari.  Wish I has been able to keep it when she sold it off for a *shudder* minivan.
Boy that must have been an intimidating car for a new driver! Have any pics of it?

Had to dig to find this one.  Picture of a picture but it's the only one I have handy.  I called it fried chicken brown. Very Happy
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t136/dbeasst/Misc/grandsafari2.jpg
Nice. That's an accurate color description. That was a non-woody, right? Or is it just blending in in the far away pic?
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Lynol

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:21 pm

So I went about replacing the snapped U-bolts, and discovered that two leaves in this passenger's side spring are snapped! Looking at the point where they broke, I'd say they've been snapped for years. I've looked around online, having a hard time finding this cars exact springs (the heavy duty 7-leaf, 1,440 lb ones). I found one company that can make me one from original specs for $265 plus approximately $50 shipping but it will take a few weeks. I called another company that has one (just one!) in stock for $149 plus approx. $40 to ship. I think I may buy that one in-stock spring, so I can get this car back together and drivable soon, then deal with replacing the other side's spring after. I suspect the other side's spring is also going to have snapped leaves because of the one snapped U-bolt on that side as well, but for now, it's holding together. I don't know if it's just age that caused this, or if this car was grossly overloaded at some point. When I get home I still have to remove the very top leaf, it's stuck in the axle perch. Got the eye-bolts out no prob, but this one last leaf is being a PITA.


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silverfox103
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:18 pm

Lynol

Any spring shop, which there should be plenty in NJ, should be able to duplicate those springs.  The one for $149 might be hard to beat price wise.

Tom


Last edited by silverfox103 on Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mark 96 Roady



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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:11 pm

Did it ride weird with the broken springs?
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Lynol

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:26 pm

Mark 96 Roady wrote:
Did it ride weird with the broken springs?
Surprisingly, no.
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Lynol

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:40 pm

silverfox103 wrote:
Lynol

Any spring shop, which there should be plenty in NJ, should be able to duplicate those springs.  The one for $149 might be hard to beat price wise.

Tom

I called a bunch of spring shops here in NJ. Most laughed at my request, and the ones that could possibly make them, said that they could not come even close to the $265 price I had got to have them made up by a place out in PA (which would have to be shipped).

Did find two junkyards in Massachusetts. That have brand new old stock sets of springs; First place has, for $125 each shipped, two of the 7-leaf springs, but has no idea if they are the 1,440 lb, 6-1/4" arch height ones that my car needs, or the 7-leaf, 1,190, lb. 5" arch height ones the older clamshells used. The other junkyard has a new set of 9-leaf standard capacity (1,290 lb) springs my car could have come with (I guess it's got a trailering package or something) for the low, low price of $65 each. And that place is pick up only, which I could do. After all, I would be saving a lot of money.

Decisions, decisions....
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:31 pm

http://www.posiesrodsandcustoms.com/super_slide_springs/ Super slide,for a better ride...
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:56 pm

I really like your new toy. Needs Pontiac Rally II wheels!!

Keep the updates coming!
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Lynol

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:57 pm

Andebe wrote:
http://www.posiesrodsandcustoms.com/super_slide_springs/ Super slide,for a better ride...
Hmmm.... they're in PA, so reasonable close. I may give them a call. I found a few other places in eastern PA (besides Stengel Bros. which was the $265 price I mentioned before).

I also got a call back from one local spring shop. They can't get the springs I need, but suggested I bring the broken spring to them to have a look at; I described the damage (snapped leaves, rusted to hell center bolt), and they say they could probably repair it. Never thought of that before.
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Lynol

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:02 pm

81X11 wrote:
I really like your new toy.   Needs Pontiac Rally II wheels!!    

Keep the updates coming!
Body-color matched Rally II's were optional!
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:18 pm

I vote Rallye or Honeycombs!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:05 pm

Those snowflakes wouldn't fit... but they did do 15x7 5x5 flakes from 78-81!
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:09 am

Rally IIs would look really good here, but I really think cleaned, painted and polished the stock wheel covers would look really good on blackwalls .
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:34 pm

Wow, broken springs, never actually seen that...
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Lynol

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:15 pm

Dutch Pete wrote:
Wow, broken springs, never actually seen that...
Well, if you like that, you'll love this; Check out the driver's side -5 snapped leaves!
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:58 pm

There must have been some big kids in the trunk to break those springs.
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Lynol

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:11 pm

Lynol wrote:
silverfox103 wrote:
Lynol

Any spring shop, which there should be plenty in NJ, should be able to duplicate those springs.  The one for $149 might be hard to beat price wise.

Tom

I called a bunch of spring shops here in NJ. Most laughed at my request, and the ones that could possibly make them, said that they could not come even close to the $265 price I had got to have them made up by a place out in PA (which would have to be shipped).

Did find two junkyards in Massachusetts. That have brand new old stock sets of springs; First place has, for $125 each shipped, two of the 7-leaf springs, but has no idea if they are the 1,440 lb, 6-1/4" arch height ones that my car needs, or the 7-leaf, 1,190, lb. 5" arch height ones the older clamshells used. The other junkyard has a new set of 9-leaf standard capacity (1,290 lb) springs my car could have come with (I guess it's got a trailering package or something) for the low, low price of $65 each. And that place is pick up only, which I could do. After all, I would be saving a lot of money.

Decisions, decisions....

So I called a few more spring shops, and here's what I found (that's worth mentioning!):
No one else can get this car's exact spring (the 1,440lb one) except the one place in Mass that only has ONE in stock for $145, and that place in PA that wants $265 to make one. However, a couple shops can get some others that fit and are at or better than the standard 1,290lb spring rating.

-Espo Springs out in PA can get me a 1,340lb 8-leaf for about $200 each, shipped (they have them in stock, bit of a drive, but I could pick it up, save $70)
-ATS Springs, also in PA, can get me a 1,290lb for $225 each, shipped (or I could pick it up, save $70; they're not far)
And lastly, a local spring shop here said they could probably repair it, so I brought the first one in. They estimated $150 for that one with the 2 broken leaves. I didn't know the other side had FIVE broken leaves, so that one would likely run a bit more. I'm not thinking repairing them is such a good idea, or cost effective.

So I'm thinking the 1,440lb ones are not worth the trouble and cost. I think I'm leaning towards the the NOS $65 ea. ones up in Mass. Just too bad they don't ship! Although, from my Dad's house in northern CT, it's only an hour and half drive. I am due for a weekend up there, I reckon.
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:17 am

I love the simplicity and clearly labelled switches and knobs. Even when they resort to iconography, you get a picture of a Zippo lighter and flame!

I got into a 2016 rental car and was a full week om the learning curve trying to start it, turn on headlights, tune the radio, and in general control the car's features (most of which were annoying) and not crash it. Dumbass useless technology.
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:58 am


Lynol wrote:
So I called a few more spring shops, and here's what I found (that's worth mentioning!):
No one else can get this car's exact spring (the 1,440lb one) except the one place in Mass that only has ONE in stock for $145, and that place in PA that wants $265 to make one. However, a couple shops can get some others that fit and are at or better than the standard 1,290lb spring rating.

-Espo Springs out in PA can get me a 1,340lb 8-leaf for about $200 each, shipped (they have them in stock, bit of a drive, but I could pick it up, save $70)
-ATS Springs, also in PA, can get me a 1,290lb for $225 each, shipped (or I could pick it up, save $70; they're not far)
And lastly, a local spring shop here said they could probably repair it, so I brought the first one in. They estimated $150 for that one with the 2 broken leaves. I didn't know the other side had FIVE broken leaves, so that one would likely run a bit more. I'm not thinking repairing them is such a good idea, or cost effective.

So I'm thinking the 1,440lb ones are not worth the trouble and cost. I think I'm leaning towards the the NOS $65 ea. ones up in Mass. Just too bad they don't ship! Although, from my Dad's house in northern CT, it's only an hour and half drive. I am due for a weekend up there, I reckon.

Don't overthink this. Buy the $65.00 springs and move on.

For how the car is going to be used going forward, the standard springs will likely be more than sufficient for all situations.

If you really do intend to load the vehicle up, then there are other overload options that don't force you to live with a heavy spring pack everyday.

The loose / missing U-bolts are the most likely cause of your broken springs, but the truck guys often said that running leaf springs unloaded is when they will break.

In that the car is empty most of the time, it would imply installing a heavier spring might not beneficial as one would first expect.

Something to think about,

- J

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:37 am

I would think a heavier spring would also make the ride stiffer? The $65 spring sounds like the plan. I would imagine new shocks would be in order too. Are you sure you don't want to bring it to Florida wagonfest?? Smile
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:03 pm

I just watched both of your videos. That is a sweet car!
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:00 pm

Ugh... I just called the place with the $65 NOS springs. I asked if they had bushings in them, so I could order them from a spring shop today if needed. He said he'd have to check. He called me back; him and he guys looked all over no one can find them!! I told him to call me if they show up, but he thinks they're gone.
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:54 pm

I called back the other junkyard in Mass. with the NOS 7-leaf springs and asked them to measure the arch to make sure it wasn't the '71 to '73 springs or the commercial chassis springs. Good news, they're the exact ones I have now. So, for $100 each, I'm going to go with those. Going up to Pepperell, MA tomorrow to get them, because I don't want to wait for them to be shipped. I want to get this car on the road again! Gas prices are going up, and this car gets 7 mpg.
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:22 pm

Thats a bit of a trip. 7 MPG, and I'd thought my 454 Suburban would be bad...
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:39 pm

454 Suburban should be like 12. I'd expect the Grand Safari to be the same.
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:22 am

7mpg...with the wind at your back. pirat
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:03 pm

stewzer55 wrote:
454 Suburban should be like 12.  I'd expect the Grand Safari to be the same.
The DOE's 1976 Gas Mileage Guide rated it at 12 city 16 highway, but I'm not getting that...
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:25 pm

Maybe a tuneup is in order then?
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Lynol

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:51 pm

MalibuSSwagon wrote:
Maybe a tuneup is in order then?
Yes, actually, I just did that Friday. Everything I replaced was 20 years old or so. Haven't driven it yet on account of the missing rear springs, lol. I got one side done tonight though, hopefully finish tomorrow. Hey I just realized today is the first day of spring, and for me it was also the first day of spring installation... ha ha ha!
I crack myself up, I really do.
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:36 am

keep the main leaf,. install two firestone airbags,. it'll ride nice and carry what ever you can pack in there,.

fix the stuck power piston in the quadrabog,. fuel mileage will get,... better.
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:46 pm

Decent pricing...http://www.quadrajetcarburetors.com/
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:51 pm

Oh man, Nick, that's a good suggestion, but too late 'cause I bought the springs on Saturday.

The second day of spring installation, which very appropriately occurred on the second day of spring, was a success. Took the car to work today, it rides nice now (I also replaced all shocks). Here's one of the springs.


and here she is sitting nice and level, and at what appears to be the correct ride height.


Glad I got this done before my vacation, but more importantly before gas went back above $2 /gal. Just filled up last night for $1.59
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:20 am

It's too bad you appear to have rust in the rear wheel wells. That's not going to be cheap to fix properly. Still a really cool car though!
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Lynol

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:44 pm

Went to the DMV today for an emissions test. I was not expecting things to go well, what with the original catalytic converter, and the carburetor probably in need of a rebuild, but much to my surprise, this thing passed! As soon as I drove in, a whole bunch of inspectors came over to ask me about the car and started reminiscing about old wagons they or their family had. Funny thing is, they tell me that after May 1st, they won't be doing emissions tests on non-OBD-II vehicles anymore, so '95 and older are off the hook for life. Once your current inspection runs out, they'll be mailing you a paper to keep in the vehicle to show to cops that you're exempt.
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:50 am

your fuel mileage will improve like crazy if you put on a set on dual exhaust, with some high flow cats (so you can pass visual inspection?)

block off the heat riser passages in the heads and look around for an old edelbrock performer intake,
and then tweak your quadrajet, or get an edelbrock carb (if you can find one a carter 1000cfm thermoquad would work the best )
and put the lighter advance springs in the hei,.along with a stronger coil,.

you'll love the poer,. and be much happier with the fuel mileage,.

Lastly if you are motivated,. pull that gawd awful smog cam out and add a high torque low rpm cam,.

then you'll need a shift kit,. a posi,. some 3.55's,.
does it ever end? What a Face
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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Fri May 06, 2016 11:41 pm

I finally got some new rubber on the wagon. Those old tires were 25 years old! First though, take a look at my spare:

The brand will give you an idea how old were talking. When was the last time Sears had store-brand tires????


Anyway... I knew I wanted needed a whitewall, I knew I needed 235/75R15 but I hemmed and hawed over what brand to get. There's still a few whitewalls in that size, and I was about to go with the Hankook Optimo H724's, but in the end I felt I'd rather not go with a Chinese tire if I can avoid it. (although when it's 225/75 whitewalls I only have Chinese tires to choose from) I looked at the Mastercraft AS-IV, which I've had many of and liked, but then found the Cooper Trendsetter SE (which I have also had) was like $10 less for some reason. Cooper makes Mastercraft, and they look identical to the Coopers, so I went with those. Oh, and turns out these Cooper's are made in Mexico. I dunno if that's better than China, but I would have to assume so. I was able to get the best deal online from tires-easy.com (they've got the best S&H prices too), which meant no sales tax, so these actually cost $10 less for 4 than the Hankooks. I got all four shipped for $312, and installation and disposal at my local tire shop cost $107 with tax, so that makes for a grand total of $419 all said and done. Not too bad. I could have saved about $20-$25 if I had Wal Mart install the tires (they now officially install tires you bring in from elsewhere) however, the dealings I've had with the auto center before didn't give me the impression they knew anything about tires (they were trying to sell me all-terrian tires for this car), and they take forever to do anything, so for a little more I can be sure it's done right and done fast (whole thing took 20 minutes).

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Dropkick_Eddie

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Sat May 07, 2016 10:23 am

Awesome Wagon Lynol! That things a Brute! Smile
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Lynol

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Tue May 24, 2016 11:56 am

Got a Delco ETR AM/FM 8-track, CB radio from a '79 Caddy. Got it from a junkyard up in Massachusetts for $35. Bench tested it and it worked fine, just needed a little cleaning of the capstan to get the tape to play at the right speed (build up causes the tape to be moved too quickly). I got it a while ago but found out that the 1979 Delco ETR stereos use a one year only set of knobs -one kbow and TWO rings on each side, and all are specific 1979 only shaft sizes! When I pulled the radio, someone had already removed the dash bezel, and the knobs were on the floor, but the rings were no where in sight. Thinking they were standard size, I didn't bother searching for them. So... I waited until the next time I was going to be heading up that way (765 mile round trip last weekend to NH in this car!) and sure enough found them under the seat of that Caddy.

My car must have come with an AM radio before someone put in the Audiovox POS that was in there, so it only has the one speaker. I had to get a 4x10 to two 3.5" speakers adapter, and some new low wattage speakers.


I got the mic mount from the Caddy too, but I have to paint it to match, so I just got this clip-on hook for now.


Now I can have the aggravation and hassles of 8-track tapes while I drive!


And I even found a very '70s case for it that goes nicely in my car.
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dmg4

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Tue May 24, 2016 12:33 pm

Have you bought a leisure suit yet?
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Mark 96 Roady



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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Tue May 31, 2016 11:10 am

Where did you find any 8 track tapes?
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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: A Clamshell cometh... '76 Pontiac Grand Safari   Tue May 31, 2016 11:17 am

Goodwill is great for 8-tracks!
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