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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:03 am 
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Certified Bonneville Nut
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:32 pm
Posts: 4536
Location: Dearborn, MI
Year and Trim: '93 SSEi
'05 STS-4
'97 Camaro
'97 LeSabre
You probably guessed it by my post in my truck thread, but I picked up the next daily already. This one is going to be the official kiddie hauler for the next few years, should make holidays and other trips a heck of a lot easier on us.

Image

It was my parents, they bought it new, nearly fully loaded (didn't want leather I guess). It's the fabled minivan with hundreds of thousands of miles on it, somewhere between 50k-100k are undocumented as the speed sensor wiring broke at one point and it never got fixed for like 3 years or something.

The bad:
Lost all keys. So I bought a new ignition lock cylinder to replace the one it has - yeah, can't do that without the original key. Going to pull a door cylinder and have a locksmith make a key to match probably, in the meantime I get to tear down the steering column and figure out what exactly I broke to get it on the trailer - either the lock cylinder or the housing it locks into (to be honest, as easily as it turned, it was probably worn out really bad to begin with).

Trans (4t65e-HD swapped) needs a partial rebuild. It would go into gear and drive for about 5 seconds before dropping into neutral. That's what went wrong last time it was parked.

Engine is gutless.

Rockers are gone from rust. It was undercoated when it was new, aside from some broken clips and what I'd image are rusty brake and fuel lines, the underbody should be in better shape than most of my projects..

radiator lower support rotted.

Interior, while not abused, smells from sitting.

misc. broken bits.

Drivers side rocker and underbody:
Image

Passenger side:
Image

Rear end:
Image

Looking top down at the radiator bottom support:
Image

The spot, where it wasn't even a year old, when it got dinged by a door in a parking lot and never fixed:
Image


The plan:

First thing, I'm going to get underneath it and find out exactly how bad it is, and what metal is still available to fix the rockers. For the most part, on the trailer, it looks like it's only the rockers. But I've done enough of these to know what to look for and where I'm going to draw the line. If this one is too far gone it will become the parts donor for another one.

If it works out, then it's getting stripped down. Carpet, seats, pillar trim, etc. Everything has to get cleaned, the key situation fixed, nothing too extreme. While it's apart, I might just replace the sliding door with the rust spot (they are plentiful in the local u-pulls), and rebuild the door motor while I'm at it. The rear window motors need rebuilt, the rear wiper motor and hatch latch need rebuilt, etc. Just a bunch of little things that have worn out over the years.

Of course, all new brake lines and fuel lines, new brakes and hardware, shocks and struts, and check if anything else has worn out. For the most part, it's straight up going to be a repair all things broken and clean it up, make it look nice again.


But it wouldn't be one of my projects without a little something extra. First is going to be a 3800 swap. I happen to have an entire working drivetrain just sitting here that I was trying to sell, might as well use it. And of course I'll be top swapping it - a little wiggle room here is that if I don't have to use this van as a parts donor for another, I can get a W-body donor and use the L67 motor and get all the mounts and stuff in one go. But we'll see how that goes.

Another possibility is to pull a rear and diff for the AWD system. I need to look at the wiring, but the only electronic control of it is to disable it. The obvious benefit here is that it's the easiest way to get rear disc brakes. Depending on the budget, it will also get the F-body front brakes - or whatever else the W-body peeps used for dual piston front calipers with a 12" rotor.

Wheels and tires - this will be taking over for the STS in terms of winter driving, Plan is to use the 17" Aztek wheels I have with the snow tires on it. We'll probably end up using this for long road trips as well, so I'll likely end up putting all-season tires on the '97 LeSabre for winter and switch them over when I part the Lesabre for the fair-weather drivers.

_________________
Blow all the things! Wait, I meant boost. Boost!
Image

Runs:
'93 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi - Twincharged, manual, and lots more! Build thread
'97 Chevy Camaro - 3800 supercharged, T5, T-tops
'05 Cadillac STS - V8, AWD, her DD
'92 Olds Trofeo - Fair weather DD
'84 GMC Sierra Classic - Twin turbo 3800
'97 Buick LeSabre - L67 winter DD
'92 Pontiac Bonneville SSE future project

Doesn't run:
'87 Buick LeSabre T-type - future victim
'67 Buick LeSabre - future victim


Last edited by MattStrike on Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:10 pm 
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Certified Bonneville Nut
Certified Bonneville Nut
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Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:17 pm
Posts: 5762
Location: DeKalb, IL
Year and Trim: .
92 SSE
92 Lumina Z34
99 Tahoe
03 PAU
I can't wait to see what it ends up like!

I would think the GP GXP front calipers would bolt up to it, they fit on our PAU and STS, 12.7" rotor. They fit under the 17" wheels too.

_________________
Will
9x xxxxxx | ----------------- | --------------------- |
92 Pontiac Bonneville SSE | L67/4T60E | 74K mi | Med Slate Grey w/ Two-Tone Grey Int. | Low Miles Time Capsule / Storage Occupant
92 Chevy Lumina Z34 | LQ1/4T60E | 177k mi | Torch Red w/Grey Int. | Storage Occupant
03 Buick Park Avenue Ultra | L67/4T65E-HD | 194K | White Diamond Metallic w/Shale & Cashmere Int. | Rust Free Southern Sourced Summer Daily Driver
99 Chevy Tahoe LT | L31/4L65E | 240k mi | Spiral Grey Metallic w/Grey Int. | Daily Winter Rig / Tow Pig and Portable Concert Hall
04 Cadillac Seville SLS | LD8/4T80E | 212k mi | Red Jewel Tintcoat w/Shale & Grey Int. | Nicest Beater Around
09 Chevy Malibu LT | LE5/4T45E | 205K mi | Seafoam w/Blk Int. | Fuel Miser Daily
13 Ford Explorer XLT | 3.5/6F55 | 155k mi | Kodiak Brown w/Blk Int. | Unbreakable, somehow
James May wrote:
Hello.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:45 am 
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Certified Bonneville Nut
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:32 pm
Posts: 4536
Location: Dearborn, MI
Year and Trim: '93 SSEi
'05 STS-4
'97 Camaro
'97 LeSabre
Managed to get the van into it's new home for the next few years... I mean, weeks.

Got underneath, and I have to say I don't understand jack schmidt about the rust patterns. Bare brake lines are clean in areas where they should have rotted, but then entire sections of metal are gone right above them. The rockers are about 85% of the rot, there are a few spots in the sliding door lower runners that are bad, and some rot creep up from the rockers into the fender corners. The windshield needs to be removed to fix some rust along the top of the window frame, and some completely random rust spots near the rear hatch in the roofline area will need to be fixed.

Overall though I think it's worth the time and effort to cut out the rust and weld in patch panels and such. The plan is to start with the rockers and underbody. The interior will have to be stripped completely, except maybe the dash, to expose all of the metal. Everything underneath - fuel tank, gizmo's and doo-dads, brake lines, wire harnesses, etc, will all have to be removed. Body moldings, brackets, and what-have-you's... Then I can start really poking around at the rust spots while the interior is properly cleaned.

_________________
Blow all the things! Wait, I meant boost. Boost!
Image

Runs:
'93 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi - Twincharged, manual, and lots more! Build thread
'97 Chevy Camaro - 3800 supercharged, T5, T-tops
'05 Cadillac STS - V8, AWD, her DD
'92 Olds Trofeo - Fair weather DD
'84 GMC Sierra Classic - Twin turbo 3800
'97 Buick LeSabre - L67 winter DD
'92 Pontiac Bonneville SSE future project

Doesn't run:
'87 Buick LeSabre T-type - future victim
'67 Buick LeSabre - future victim


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:28 am 
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Resident Gearhead
Resident Gearhead
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Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 10:40 am
Posts: 1661
Location: West Point
Year and Trim: 2003 SSEi
Too bad you're not a little closer to Utah. You could probably pick this bad boy up for $200 and save a lot of time & effort in rust repair...

https://cars.ksl.com/listing/5831855?ad_cid=17

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gweg_b wrote:
People think I'm nuts, but Matt proved it.

Resident Tightwad
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Screw you, Photobucket.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:32 am 
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Certified Bonneville Nut
Certified Bonneville Nut
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:32 pm
Posts: 4536
Location: Dearborn, MI
Year and Trim: '93 SSEi
'05 STS-4
'97 Camaro
'97 LeSabre
Wow, I can't even come across a deal like that on rust bombs up here.

_________________
Blow all the things! Wait, I meant boost. Boost!
Image

Runs:
'93 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi - Twincharged, manual, and lots more! Build thread
'97 Chevy Camaro - 3800 supercharged, T5, T-tops
'05 Cadillac STS - V8, AWD, her DD
'92 Olds Trofeo - Fair weather DD
'84 GMC Sierra Classic - Twin turbo 3800
'97 Buick LeSabre - L67 winter DD
'92 Pontiac Bonneville SSE future project

Doesn't run:
'87 Buick LeSabre T-type - future victim
'67 Buick LeSabre - future victim


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 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:56 pm 
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Certified Bonneville Nut
Certified Bonneville Nut
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:32 pm
Posts: 4536
Location: Dearborn, MI
Year and Trim: '93 SSEi
'05 STS-4
'97 Camaro
'97 LeSabre
Stripped most of the interior out tonight. Aside from what appears to be a carpet soaked in rodent waste, looks like interior parts are all not broken, just a few clips popped. I'm going to pull the dash out, looks like the dang things got into some of the wire harnesses. The wires for the rear heat control are all destroyed. But man, that smell is something awful.

Image

Image

The floor pan looks like it's still in really good shape, which is a relief considering the things I remember being spilled in it :lol: There's some surface rust in the seat latches, but that should be simple to clean up.

The drivers seat base is worn out, and the foam broke the straps that went across. I intended to pull them apart anyway to clean them and add heated seats, so I should be able to fix it.

Already have a short list of clips and things that I'll have to replace, the years were not kind and the brittle plastic clips for the most part broke.

I still need to remove the door panels, get all the body cladding off before I start removing the stuff from the underbody.

_________________
Blow all the things! Wait, I meant boost. Boost!
Image

Runs:
'93 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi - Twincharged, manual, and lots more! Build thread
'97 Chevy Camaro - 3800 supercharged, T5, T-tops
'05 Cadillac STS - V8, AWD, her DD
'92 Olds Trofeo - Fair weather DD
'84 GMC Sierra Classic - Twin turbo 3800
'97 Buick LeSabre - L67 winter DD
'92 Pontiac Bonneville SSE future project

Doesn't run:
'87 Buick LeSabre T-type - future victim
'67 Buick LeSabre - future victim


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 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:32 pm 
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SSE Member
SSE Member
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Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:14 pm
Posts: 131
Location: Macedonia, OH
Year and Trim: 2002 SE, 2013 Regal GS
Good luck!! I'm enjoying the thought of what it'll be like when you're all done.

_________________
Image
'02 Pontiac Bonneville SE 108k miles, N/A, SSEi exhaust system, boat roller mount.
'13 Buick Regal GS 64k miles, 270 hp, 295 lb/ft of torque.
(yes, there is a story behind my avatar.)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:45 pm 
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Resident Gearhead
Resident Gearhead

Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:11 pm
Posts: 2515
Location: Alberta, Canada
Year and Trim: 2004 GXP, 2008 STS, 2008 DTS
I'm impressed by your ambition and effort. You certainly like to dig right into things. Well done!

_________________
Image

Bose Luxury Sound System w/Touch Screen Navigation, Addition of Factory XM, 2005 MY Antenna, OnStar Upgrade (3G),
RainSense Wipers, Backup Camera, '00 Style Door Panel Courtesy Lights, Heated Washer Solvent, 2X Remote Trunk Release,
Turn Signal Mirrors, Center Console Courtesy Lamp, Rear Outboard Heated Seats, PVD Chrome 18" Factory Rims, Upgraded
Carbon Fibre Appearance Interior Trim, Highly Modified Main Body Harness, Instrument Panel, Door, Door Panel & Headliner
Wiring Harnesses, Custom Fuse Box & Tire and Loading Information Decals, Additional Acoustic Insulation


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:05 pm 
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Certified Bonneville Nut
Certified Bonneville Nut
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:32 pm
Posts: 4536
Location: Dearborn, MI
Year and Trim: '93 SSEi
'05 STS-4
'97 Camaro
'97 LeSabre
Got the interior as torn down as I think I need to, still want to check above the headliner to make sure there aren't any nests but the dash is out and the cleaning has started.

This seems to be the extent of actual damage from critters eating car parts, at least inside the vehicle:
Image

I need to figure out what type of tubing is used for those vacuum lines, as well test each of the valves they control. I'd like to find a reel of the stuff and re-run all of the lines, but cost is going to be a major driving factor in this project so the cheapest way to do it right is what I'll end up doing.

I'm still working on the budget for this project. Timewise, I have a week off work coming up here that I plan to work on this to get a majority of the work done. But that has to line up with the budget too. I'm thinking I'll be able to get all the metal work done and the motor and trans swapped in that week. Once the underbody is done and it's able to roll around again, I'll pull it back into the garage to remove the windshield and fix the flanges and body metal along the top. Then I'll be able to piece in the other things as the budget allows.

The current list of things to do:
-Pull all the W-body 3800 mounting parts (engine brackets, SC belt tensioner, A/C manifold, PCM & harness, air filter box)
-find a few interior pieces to replace the ones that started to break (door seals, one door panel, etc.)
-New power steering pressure hose
-New LCAs
-KYB 339015 struts (GTP struts)
-Strut mounts and bellows
-Liftgate struts
-Muffler
-Cabin filters
-Wipers and arms
-Calipers and rotors and pads for the front
-3800 top end gaskets
-Timing set
-headers

Then I need to get the AWD stuff figured out.
-Rear axle assembly (can get cheaper on car-part than a u-pull)
--That determines what rear end parts I need (shocks, brakes, etc)
-2-piece driveshaft (has to come from a LWB van)
-transfer case (hopefully it doesn't need a different subframe)

Other stuff
-NiCu brake lines
-Convert to all-nylon fuel lines using the '93 H-body fuel filter
-Weld up the pieces needed to make the rear A/C connect to the W-body manifolds
-New windshield
-rebuild the power sliding door motor
-Paint
-Heated seat pads
-Remote start (I think I know what I need to do for this).
-Oil spray the underbody
-Speakers and basic subwoofer

Future stuff (cool stuff I should probably never do unless I decide to keep this long-term...)
-Bluray player to replace the outdated VCR. Would love to find a drop-in screen to replace the factory one, or an OHC that has the rear heat controls and headphone option less the VCR to make my own OHC bezel to fit a bigger screen.
-Power liftgate


I never liked the tan body trim panels. So I'm going the Olds route and painting them body colored. The rockers will get a coating of truck bedliner, and I plan to fix the seams on the liftgate and rust patches in the door and attempt feather in the new paint. I'll probably re-cover the roof rack as it's peeling, probably just going to go with gloss black.

_________________
Blow all the things! Wait, I meant boost. Boost!
Image

Runs:
'93 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi - Twincharged, manual, and lots more! Build thread
'97 Chevy Camaro - 3800 supercharged, T5, T-tops
'05 Cadillac STS - V8, AWD, her DD
'92 Olds Trofeo - Fair weather DD
'84 GMC Sierra Classic - Twin turbo 3800
'97 Buick LeSabre - L67 winter DD
'92 Pontiac Bonneville SSE future project

Doesn't run:
'87 Buick LeSabre T-type - future victim
'67 Buick LeSabre - future victim


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:42 pm 
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Certified Bonneville Nut
Certified Bonneville Nut
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:32 pm
Posts: 4536
Location: Dearborn, MI
Year and Trim: '93 SSEi
'05 STS-4
'97 Camaro
'97 LeSabre
I've made decent progress cleaning up the interior, the smell inside is almost completely neutralized. At this point it needs to dry out and see if there are any lingering smells.

Started getting things torn out and ready for the metal work underneath. All of this rot was caused by a hole the factory left un-sealed in the rocker right in front of the rear wheel well. Moisture and salt and dirt get in there and clog up the bottom seam of the rocker, rotting it from the inside out. Then, because it was undercoated, it holds the rotting metal and moisture in allowing it to creep along entire panels. I got to poking around with the pressure washer a bit, look like I'll have to fix an area along the base of the sliding door track too. Well, that's a good enough excuse for me to finally build a metal bending brake of my own.

Here's the concept:
Image

It's a cammed lever that allows me to use multiple different locking plates with different bending radii. Design is mostly bed frame angle, uses leftover bearings from idler pulleys, etc. There are many different DIY bending brake designs out there but none of them allow you to vary or control the bend radius. I initially wanted to make one with a 48" working area, but I need to find a local source for steel cutoffs and a place to mount it first.

_________________
Blow all the things! Wait, I meant boost. Boost!
Image

Runs:
'93 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi - Twincharged, manual, and lots more! Build thread
'97 Chevy Camaro - 3800 supercharged, T5, T-tops
'05 Cadillac STS - V8, AWD, her DD
'92 Olds Trofeo - Fair weather DD
'84 GMC Sierra Classic - Twin turbo 3800
'97 Buick LeSabre - L67 winter DD
'92 Pontiac Bonneville SSE future project

Doesn't run:
'87 Buick LeSabre T-type - future victim
'67 Buick LeSabre - future victim


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