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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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New to me 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera Calais (LONG NAME!)


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16 replies to this topic

#1 l75eya

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 05:58 PM

So! I was perusing the list of craig. Craig's list as it's called. I was sorting through the vehicles listed near me in ascending monetary order. After weeding through all the assholes that set the price of their car at $1, and all the people who are asking 10k for their car but list it at $10, I finally started to get to the meat of what I was looking for. $300 and up I started seeing actual cars for the actual price, but at this range many of them are usually non-running and cottage cheese rust wise. Then I saw the oldsmobile listed for $400.00. One owner car, garage kept for many of it's years, got in to a minor accident but it is running and driving and the price is OBO.

So here's the pictures I saw in the ad;

 

olds%20drivers%20side_zpszjd0ho8i.jpg
olds%20damage_zpswk1bg2vo.jpg

olds%20rear_zps6ebp1q72.jpgIron%20Duke_zpsnegufasz.jpg

 

Not too shabby. Even has the venerable "Iron Duke" Pontiac motor.

Long story short, I went and checked it out and had the title signed over to me for $150.00 even.

120,000 miles. Drives straight, feels solid, 90 percent tread on all 4 corners. Front seats are good, armrest is torn, back seat is immaculate, though bent out of shape due to necessary removal to get into the trunk.

 

the bad is the front obviously. I'll have to source a headlight and a fender, and eventually a grille (why do all the cars I buy have broken grilles!?)

The hood is bowed ever so slightly and the radiator support is pushed back just enough for the hood to not latch.

The trunk lock doesn't work, that should be a simple enough fix.

The pass side door doesn't lock and the key cylinder on that door is destroyed from somebody trying to break in.

The headliner (as with all these GM cars of the time) hangs down.

 

Driver's side window doesn't go down (crank windows. Linkage?)

I aim to replace the damaged body panels and clean it up. Started this thread just to document pretty much.

 

Going for plates tomorrow AM and taking a train out to long island to pick it up.


Edited by l75eya, 13 April 2015 - 05:59 PM.


#2 MR_Loyale

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 12:44 AM

So Magpie is officially gone now?



#3 l75eya

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 07:33 AM

No, I still got her! Sitting in my father's driveway waiting to have the fuel system flushed :-\

#4 l75eya

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 07:15 AM

Updates!

I've put 120 miles on the Calais since Tuesday, it runs pretty good despite surely needing a full tune up. Idle in gear is a little rough, whole car vibrates a bit at red lights.

Idling in park it has an intermittent miss you can hear out the pipe. Another issue I'm pretty sure a tune up will cure.

So far I've;
Straightened the hood out enough for it to latch closed normally (yay)
Re-formed the back seat seat back and reinstalled it
Vacuumed the interior
Removed the trunk lock key cylinder and repaired the lock (can open it from the outside now. With a screw driver)
Repaired the passenger front door lock (couldn't engage lock, now it can)
Refit the pass front door arm rest
Wrapped the torn center arm rest in vinyl tape
New wipers (I swear I think the old ones were from 1991)
I'm not going to be able to repair the drivers side window very easily it seems though. I'll have to wait till I have time to look at that more in depth and drill out the rivets that hold the mechanism in.

#5 l75eya

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 03:41 PM

More progress. Got ahold of a universal GM trunk lock. Independent parts store. Love em! Had a few left in the back.
Popped that sucker on in about 25 seconds, pow! Now I have a key operated trunk lid! :)

Tore in to the driver's side door again, drilled out the rivets holding the regulator to the inside of the door. Turns out the tape had stripped out. See the way it works essentially is there's this strong plastic ribbon that has rectangles cut into the center of it and those holes mesh with the gears in the regulator. When you turn the handle it feeds the plastic tape through it clockwise or counter and lowers or raises your window. A 4 rectangle stretch of the plastic tape were ripped out, so the window couldn't move. Same independent shop that had an old GM trunk lock had the tape in stock too. Got both of those things fixed today. That pretty much takes care of everything that needs addressed simple-wise. Only thing left is the key cylinder on the pass door.

When all is said and done I'm going to have four keys for the car lol. One for the driver's side door and the glove box. One for the trunk. One for the ignition and one for the pass door. !!! Oh well.

 

Here's some pictures!
The good side. Note driver's side window down! Whoo hoo!:
20150418_1500411_zpsmhy3oo8q.jpg

The not as good side:
20150418_1501001_zpsioidqxbh.jpg

20150418_1501171_zps4wu3reyc.jpg

My fresh trunk lock cylinder :)

20150418_1502301_zpso1d9pvgs.jpg

I've probably invested into it what I paid for it already lol. Oh well.

Pass side cyl

Fender

Headlight
Tune-up. To do.



#6 l75eya

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 08:49 PM

I have put 1,000 miles on the car in 7 days this past week, and 2,000 on it since I acquired it. This is a solid running vehicle.



#7 l75eya

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 12:51 PM

Girlfriend called today while i was at work saying the olds crapped out on her. Said she saw lots of smoke. Sounds like a coolant line ruptured. On my way to check it out now. Now she knows what it's like when that occurs. Scary looking but relatively harmless otherwise. I shall put new upper and lowers on it and she will be soaking up more miles before long.

#8 l75eya

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 04:27 PM

Failure by design. The lower radiator hose rubs against the air conditioners compressor, wearing at the hose till it bursts. New hoses in place, good as new.

#9 Datsunrides

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 10:24 PM

My 1st new car was a 90' Calais, a quad 442 model. It had the 180HP quad 4 engine, black with a gold stripe. That car was such a blast and would run with the V8's of the era.



#10 l75eya

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Posted 13 August 2015 - 11:41 AM

Yeah, I can imagine near 200hp in this car would be pretty fun. Even with just the measly 100 +/- 10 that the iron duke puts out, the gearing is good enough for a 100mph cruising speed.

I can't believe how solid the cutlass is though, I'm used to my Subarus, when I close the door in this car it's like slamming a vault shut.

#11 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 12:50 PM

These are solid cars. I had one for a while. Similar to you. Bought it for $250 with a front fender bender and a blown brake line. Trip to the junkyard and had it fixed up and running well.

 

They don't earn a lot of style points but they are comfy and pretty trusty vehicles.



#12 l75eya

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 09:44 AM

It just pulled 220 miles sipping only a quarter of a tank AND passed inspection (by the skin of its teeth)! I think "oldsy" has earned itself a tune-up and oil change. From what I've read and heard, the iron duke is an unkillable motor.

#13 l75eya

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 04:40 PM

Well still haven't done anything to her lol. Found out it needs a new heater core. Car starts and drives even after sitting a month with no complaints. It's a solid back up vehicle.

#14 l75eya

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 03:17 PM

And it's gone. Oh well. Never did give it a tune up or even changed it's oil. Good car. Sad to see it go.

#15 MR_Loyale

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 01:37 PM

Gone? Sold it? Scrapped it? It all looked so rose and now it is suddenly gone?

#16 l75eya

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 12:40 AM

Scrapped. Damn shame, too. Here's the story! It's involved lol

I sold the car to a guy out here in Pennsylvania. He was going to give it to his daughter as a first car.
Turns out the car had a rebuilt title unbeknownst to me.
See when I bought the car myself, from New York, I brought the title to Jersey where I was living at the time and had the title transferred to my name. It was at this point that the lady that was processing my title was supposed to realize that the car had a salvage title and let me know that I have to take the car to get an enhanced safety inspection completed before New Jersey would issue me a certified reconstructed title. She was supposed to do this.
She did not do this. To my absolute luck (at the time) and to this future buyers dismay.

See what happened was the woman that processed my title at the DMV blatantly skipped over the whole reconstruction thing, in typical NJ inattention to detail, both saving me the headache of having to go through that process, yet also keeping me in the dark to the cars title status. I thought it was just an ordinary title and the P/O never told me the car was declared totaled.

So fast forward a year later. I sell the car, sign the title, dude goes to title it, Pennsylvania notices it's a reconstruct, notifies the new owner that they have to have the car put through enhanced inspection! New buyer tells me, I tell him I had no idea (I didn't) and offer his money back. He says it's no problem and he'll just have it inspected. It fails. For lots of things. He never gets it fixed, it sits and sits at my job (I work at a garage) and dude never does a thing with it. A year later landlord demands all non use cars get hauled away. Boss notifies dude that car has to go. Dude says just scrap it.
Boss offers it to me for scrap price. Being that I can still register it in Jersey, I'm tempted, but I really can't afford 4 cars on my policy so I pass. I TRIED to find a buyer in NJ but the logistics made it difficult.
So that's the story there. That's the only car I've ever had that I did absolutely ZERO maintainance to and drove the piss out of, and it took it like a champ. That car really ran really really good with God knows how old oil and plugs and wires and... It was just a beast. Damn shame.
Oh well. C'est la vie, RIP Angry Olds.

#17 Subabro

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 11:55 PM

aww. you're in a good progress. too bad you have to give it up






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