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 Hello from Syracuse NY

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Haze5736



Posts : 98
Join date : 2016-08-12
Age : 44
Location : East Syracuse, NY

PostSubject: Hello from Syracuse NY   Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:24 am

New member and owner here. I'll start off by saying I am disappointed to see I missed Wagonfest by about a month. It sounds like it was a good time.
Anyway, here's my story.

I live in Syracuse NY and just acquired a 1996 wagon with about 120k miles. I believe it has the tow package because of the mechanical cooling fan. There is no trailer hitch. I decided to roll the dice and purchased it sight unseen from a Florida dealer. I was provided a Carfax that showed the 2 owner history and where it lived it's first 20 years. Seven years in Iowa, ten years in California then three years in Florida. I certainly paid a premium for a rust free vehicle. There is a lot wrong with the car, but living in Syracuse finding a car without rust is almost priceless. Even on a five year old car. It is gold colored with tan interior. The wood grain is faded and peeling. I plan to have it repainted at some point. I'll need to decide what to do with the wood paneling. The engine bay is incredibly clean while the rest of the car is filthy.

Purchasing a vehicle sight unseen and 1500 miles away was certainly a nerve wracking experience but I really wanted a rust free wagon. I can't say I would never do it again but I would try a lot harder not to. I had it transported from Florida rather than take a chance driving a car of unknown condition. I don't think it cost me much more than driving since I can't make it straight through so have to factor in one way airfare, gas and hotel. This was my first time transporting a car and it was an interesting experience.

Being in Florida last, it appears the only repair deemed worthwhile was on the air conditioning. It is ice cold so i am happy because I don't repair that myself and is always expensive when I bring a car in for a/c repair.

I have a lot of work ahead of me but I'm happy because I love the car. Once I get the rear suspension done on my 94 DeVille I can begin on the Roadmaster. The things that I've noticed so far that need to be repaired are: hood release cable, oil leak (leaking down the filter, oil cooler adapter or rear main?), rear gate (won't open either way, acts like it is locked), shocks, cracked driver door panel, carpet replacement. I anticipate having to rebuild the transmission and rear end. Not because I notice any issues but seeing how it has been taken care of I expect it to be inevitable. I'm hoping for a little later rather than sooner, but I'm sure Murphy's law will surface. It always seems to for me when it comes to cars. I also factored it in when making the purchase decision.  I did call the last service station listed on the Carfax, Tire Kingdom, to see if they could tell me anything about the car. They were able to pull up the service history and say that it looked like it was being serviced regularly. I've done an oil change already and will be doing the rest of the fluids soon.

The next thing I need to fix is the tailgate, mainly because I want to see the RPO codes. I have most of the rear trim off the gate. I can't access the last screw on the left side. I'll have to break down and remove the left side trim to gain access. My wife and I spent a good hour on the right side trying to get something to budge, but no luck. It feels like it is locked. The lock rod does not seem to move up or down very much. It just barely moves. I tried to get anything in there to move but still no go. The key does pop the glass so I can open that. It also seems the lock actuator does not work. I can hear a clicking (relay?) from under the dash so I'm guessing the actuator is bad. But I'm also guessing that would not stop the manual locking mechanism from working (it didn't on my 02 Astro). I have the FSM, but the system seems very complicated and I can't quite figure it out. Looking at the FSM troubleshooting guide it almost seems like the door did not close completely the last time it was open by swinging out. The right side of the gate seems to sit a good amount proud of the adjacent body panel. I also tried pushing on it to see if I could get something to latch but that didn't work either. I don't see any dangling or disconnected rods (but I aslo don't have the greatest view without the trim panel completely removed). I do see some sort of plunger (electronically controlled), by the lock cylinder, just sitting where it shouldn't, loose. I can see the screw holes where it is supposed to go. I'm not sure if that alone would cause my problem. Anyway, this is probably a topic for its own thread. I wanted to introduce myself before posting anything. I also need to do some more extensive searching.

Thanks in advance for the help I'm sure to get from this forum.
Bill


Last edited by Haze5736 on Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:48 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : forgot picture)
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Syracuse NY   Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:44 am

Looks like a nice platform to start with. Happy modding!
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silverfox103
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Syracuse NY   Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:46 pm

Hi Bill

Welcome aboard, you'll like it here.  Like you said it's too bad you missed the WagonFest right in your backyard, but there will be more.

Your repairs:
1.  Hood release cable, not a bad job to do, I think I would put that on the top of the list as I wouldn't want to be locked out of the engine compartment.
2.  Oil leak...try tightening up the valve covers as they are notorious for leaking, especially the rear bolt.  I doubt it would be the  rear main seal as they never cause problems.  Oil filter adapter, possibly but doubtful.
3.  Rear gate, they can be a pain.  You may have broken linkage or part of the mechanism that needs to be re-riveted.  Not an expensive repair, but a pain.  Try pushing in the bottom right hand corner of the gate.  Sometimes that may help.  Also, sometimes you have to slam the gate.
4.  Shocks...easy, if you need suggestion we can help.
5.  Cracked driver's door panel...you have to learn to fix it, as they are next to impossible to find.  If you do find one, don't be fussy about colors, as there is SEM paint that can match your color.  Don't force anything.
6.  Carpet...Unless it's worn, I would rent one of those rug cleaners and give it a go.  On one of my wagons, I pulled the carpet out and pressure washed it.  It came out very good and looks decent 10 years later.
7.  Rear ends...seldom cause problems
8.  Transmissions...they are the weak point.  Either they last forever, had one last over 240K, and still was fine when I got rid of the car.  OR, they die an early death.  I had one go at 108K, 700 miles from home.

Good Luck & ask questions. You have quite a few wagon guys right in your backyard. I'm sure they'll pop in.

Tom
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Haze5736



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Join date : 2016-08-12
Age : 44
Location : East Syracuse, NY

PostSubject: Pics   Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:22 pm

I finally found the sticky on how to post pics. I have to wait a few more days before I'm allowed to post any.
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1993 Roady-man

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Syracuse NY   Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:23 am

Welcome aboard
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Haze5736



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Join date : 2016-08-12
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Location : East Syracuse, NY

PostSubject: Re: Hello from Syracuse NY   Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:03 pm

I'm on a roll. I replaced the hood release cable and got the rear gate working. It appears that there are no broken parts in the rear gate, so a cheap fix there. Except maybe the hatch lock actuator. It is just laying in the gate not attached. I saw a post that said that fastening the actuator to the door is also the ground. I'm hoping I can save some money here too, that reattaching it will get it to work.
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stewzer55

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Syracuse NY   Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:44 pm

Welcome!
I had a problem with my gate not wanting to pop the glass, turns out one of the rod clips had broken and the rod for the push button on the tailgate itself would bind up if you tried to push it or turn the key for it. Got it replaced and I can unlock the gate with my key and pop the glass to open the gate if its already unlocked.
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Haze5736



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Location : East Syracuse, NY

PostSubject: Re: Hello from Syracuse NY   Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:55 am

Now that I got the gate working I was able to get all the RPO codes. There are 4 that i don't know what they mean. 6tm, 7tm, 8rn, 9rn: spring, computer selected. What does that mean?
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kameron m



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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Syracuse NY   Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:22 pm

You should check to make sure that filter isn't double gasketed or doesn't have some crud on the filter face I think. Just replace the filter on principle too.
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Glide-Aways



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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Syracuse NY   Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:09 pm

Hi Bill,

I do not (yet?) own a '92-'96 wagon but am starting to look around for one. My current wagon is a 1987 ("box") Caprice Estate. But I wanted to welcome you here anyway, being a former Syracuse resident.

Hope your good luck stream of progress continues! Looking forward to seeing photos too.

Matt
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Rev Bob



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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Syracuse NY   Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:16 pm

""6tm, 7tm, 8rn, 9rn: spring, computer selected""

Those are the identifiers for the four coil springs. The two letter designators used to be on a tag attached to each spring. Originally, there was a large selection of springs for B-Body cars, the softest to the stiffest designated by the two letter code, which was all in the Parts Book.
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lakeffect
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Syracuse NY   Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:23 am

Welcome.. from one of your neighbors in Rochester. There are several of us in Central/Western NY.
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Haze5736



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Join date : 2016-08-12
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Location : East Syracuse, NY

PostSubject: Re: Hello from Syracuse NY   Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:47 am

I can post pics now so here's what I'm working with.











You can kind of see the cracked door panel here in the seller photo. They must have positioned it just right because it looks a lot worse now.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Syracuse NY   Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:57 am

Need some Ol'English for that tailgate. lol! Looks like a nice driver.
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silverfox103
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Syracuse NY   Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:40 am

Andy, would that be the dark or the light Ol'English?

Tom
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Syracuse NY   Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:37 pm

Thanks for asking,Tom. I would go,one coat dark,let it dry,then come back with 2 coats light. Laughing
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200OZ
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Syracuse NY   Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:24 pm

Welcome to the forum. I'm in Farmington, NY. just a bit east of Rochester. Feel free to pm if you need any assistance. I'll help if I can.

Mike
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Hello from Syracuse NY
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