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 Post subject: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:48 am 
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Year and Trim: 1996 Buick Lesabre Custom - metallic dark cherry
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I figure I might as well start a project thread for my new car. She's a 1996 Buick Lesabre Custom in metallic dark cherry w/ red interior. Because of the picture restrictions heres the link to my introduction
http://www.pontiacbonnevilleclub.com/forum/introductions-for-new-members/topic45411.html

I wasnt planning on buying a car but a friend at work started bugging me to buy my car. He wanted to use mine as a winter car... I told him no, I liked my car even though she needed some work, drive train was solid and I had rebuilt the car after an accident... But he offered me enough for the old girl (1990 Buick Century Custom sedan) and I began to notice I could get a much nicer newer ride for not much more.

I made an inventory of what I wanted and told my friend to wait until I found the right car.

I wanted another Buick and wanted a LeSabre or Park Avenue. The car was far roomier but I felt the park would be too big for my wife. I wanted red interior and no leather (for my wife as shes a vegetarian). I really liked the body style for the seventh generation however I wasn't that fond of the front end restyle that happened in 1997. And I wanted the Series II 3800 because of the horsepower gains and the ease of swapping in an L67 in the future. I wanted working A/C and good paint and body. I also was intrigued with steering wheel radio controls. I used to have twilight Sentenial and definitely wanted something above FE1 suspension.

I found almost everything I wanted for $1600 and the owner held it for me until I came up with the cash. So I bought it for the full price and during that time my friend had a set back so the new car sat for a couple weeks until he was able to take it.. She was buried in a snowbank because the huge storm hit the day after I purchased the car.

Image

Today I switched out the tires from my old car and have been driving the new girl for a week. Named her Maleficent (Mallie for short) because of the dark purple color and black theme I want to do. As well I researched the name and found it has Irish roots which seemed fitting as the key fob had the lone bit of embellishment on the car (a four leaf clover sticker) However "The Rum Runner" has become her nickname and as of this moment I'm quite happy with her.

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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:38 pm
Posts: 1664
Location: Cambridge, OH
Year and Trim: 95 LeSabre Custom
01 Bonneville SSEi
09 G8 GT
Beautiful LeSabre! Great color, too. I kind of have a thing for that body style, as I own a 1995 LeSabre Custom (L27 engine though, and currently is down for rebuild and restoration). I'd love to also get my hands on a '96, for the same reason you stated about an L67 swap! :lol:

Hopefully you will keep us up to date on all you do to the car, as I love seeing love being applied to older Buick's!

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1995 LeSabre Custom: 312K Miles | Custom K&N CAI | Edelbrock SDT Muffler | Camaro Tips | 180 T-stat | LED Interior
& Exterior | 20% Tint | PA Grill & Portholes | Limited Trim | GTP Rims | Ported LIM | Plus Many More Mods | Restoration Thread
2001 Bonneville SSEi: 211K Miles | Instense FWI | Intense MPS (3.6") | 180 T-stat | ZZP Plog | Ported Rear Manifold |
ZZP 3" Downpipe | Magnaflow High Flow Cat | Retrofitted HIDs | Cleared Corners | PIAA Bulbs | 35% Tint | Plus Many More Mods |
2005 Bonneville GXP: 90K Miles | Stock
2009 G8 GT: 85K Miles | 35% Tint | Roto-Fab CAI | SOLO Mach Exhaust | BMR Tunnel Brace | BMR Sub Frames | BMR STB |
Kooks Headers | QTP Electric Cutouts | BMR Sway Bars | Elite Engineering Catch Can | Innovative Dual Wideband Kit
1984 Caprice Classic Wagon: 86K Miles | Restoration Project


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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:34 pm
Posts: 174
Year and Trim: 1996 Buick Lesabre Custom - metallic dark cherry
Thanks, it does have lots of scratches everywhere but im pretty happy with how good she looks... I actually had a 95 Roadmaster Estate Limited in the same ext/int color so there's a bit of nostalgia for me right there.

As I said the cars not perfect and this is what ive discovered though the week. My goal was to flush out problems and deal with the ones i knew about. Ive aalready made a couple trips to the boneyards for little things here and there

The things the owner told me about...
-hood pull latch is temperamental
-rusty rocker panels
-tiny ding in metal trim (rear bumper)
-airbag light on most of the time
-will get a slight shudder when upshifting around 45-50 mph. He told me it was something with the torque converter and it has been doing it for 8 years and never got worse
-rear strut/shock/spring rubs and will make slight noises when cars weight shifts or goes over bumps
-Key fob doesnt work
-passenger front door doesnt lock when either power lock butten is pushed but will manually lock

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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:34 pm 
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Nice car and I love that grill. I just know you had soooo much enjoyment digging it out of the snow. Welcome to the club! - BC

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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:28 am 
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Year and Trim: 1996 Buick Lesabre Custom - metallic dark cherry
Thanks, i actually just got a grill from the junkyard with the giant button logo on it. It was from a green Lesabre just like yours Greg... I actually saw a picture of your lesabre on google before I joined the site... I eventually want the park ave grill but they are suprisingly difficult to find in boneyards. I picked up the alloys I wanted from someone who was parting one out but the hood and grill were already gone. The alloys are 15x6 "web" park ave rims... I plan to paint the wheels a gloss/semi-gloss black and leave the center caps chrome. It creates a dog dish looking wheel which I didnt think would work as well with my original rims.

When I dug the car out it wasnt so bad put a board under the wheels because there was ice everywhere and plowed the car out. The worst has been the temperatures which have been below zero last two weeks. It made pulling parts a nightmare. From what I can tell the grill I have is rare and im going to keep it and paint it black in case I want to do a "GS" theme later on. But for the vintage theme i'm doing, the grill must be chrome for now. I just did a "T-Type" theme with my last Century and want something different. :btruestory:

While at the junkyard I also picked up a trunk light bar and drivers door switch. My window switches chrome is peelingand I bought the whole part incase something else fails. I'm very lucky as all my window tracks work and work strong... I know they are prone to fail. The light bar is more of a mystery. When the car was buried in snow a hole the size of a tennis ball appeared out of no where. The only car that could have hit that high was the Jeeps bumper, which my wife had all week ( though I drove it a bit as well) as the buick was tucked behind the house in front of the garage.

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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:44 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:59 am
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Location: Portsmouth, England
Year and Trim: 1992 SSEi
Looks just right as it is. That is a great colour.


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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:52 pm 
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Year and Trim: 1996 Buick Lesabre Custom - metallic dark cherry
All-righty then... heres the things I found out after purchase...
-there was a pillow on the front seat when I test drove the car. I didnt think much of it until I drove home. The seat foam is almost completely gone from the front seat. I mean you can feel the metal support.. the armrest also falls forward and the cupholders arnt that great... im going to hunt for some earlier seats (red cloth not easy either)
-the motor leaks more oil than id like. Runs super smooth but I think the mechanic that redid the LIM gaskets didnt do a great job... I will redo them at somepoint and hopefully get better oil pressure... Im also getting an oily smell when the heat or defrost is on (not so much with Vent) which I assume is oil burning of the manifold
-the front drivers fender is off from the body near the base.. didnt want to mess with it in such cold weather. As well the cold seemed to make the poeer steering whine some... have to keep an eye on that
-lastly touch the brakes and the front bounces too much... will need struts at some point

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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:34 pm
Posts: 174
Year and Trim: 1996 Buick Lesabre Custom - metallic dark cherry
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This is a pic of Roxanne, the car the Rum Runner is replacing. The pic above is in her heyday, before the accident... But after I got a parts car and rebuilt the front clip I started really modifiying and upgrading things. Below is a pic of what she really looks like after the mods... I have since redone the two-tone and primered the front clip a light grey. Bonus this pic has Gertie, my good ol truck w/ 285k which I traded outright for my Cherokee last year

Image

I was thinking of painting my alloys just like this but black... if I redo them they might sell better. Those wheels look so much better on my Century then on a LeSabre

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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:38 pm
Posts: 1664
Location: Cambridge, OH
Year and Trim: 95 LeSabre Custom
01 Bonneville SSEi
09 G8 GT
Surprisingly, the last time I went to the Pick n Pull in Columbus, Park Avenue's outnumbered LeSabre's. That's actually where I got my last 3 PA grills (two have broken on me unfortunately). Of course, that was a couple of years ago. The pickings could have easily changed since then (I need to go part hunting there again this spring, and I guess I'll find out what offerings they have nowadays).

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1995 LeSabre Custom: 312K Miles | Custom K&N CAI | Edelbrock SDT Muffler | Camaro Tips | 180 T-stat | LED Interior
& Exterior | 20% Tint | PA Grill & Portholes | Limited Trim | GTP Rims | Ported LIM | Plus Many More Mods | Restoration Thread
2001 Bonneville SSEi: 211K Miles | Instense FWI | Intense MPS (3.6") | 180 T-stat | ZZP Plog | Ported Rear Manifold |
ZZP 3" Downpipe | Magnaflow High Flow Cat | Retrofitted HIDs | Cleared Corners | PIAA Bulbs | 35% Tint | Plus Many More Mods |
2005 Bonneville GXP: 90K Miles | Stock
2009 G8 GT: 85K Miles | 35% Tint | Roto-Fab CAI | SOLO Mach Exhaust | BMR Tunnel Brace | BMR Sub Frames | BMR STB |
Kooks Headers | QTP Electric Cutouts | BMR Sway Bars | Elite Engineering Catch Can | Innovative Dual Wideband Kit
1984 Caprice Classic Wagon: 86K Miles | Restoration Project


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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:34 pm
Posts: 174
Year and Trim: 1996 Buick Lesabre Custom - metallic dark cherry
Last night I installed the grill... two of the mounting points for the screw broke off but it should be easy to glue the such back together. Iwas going to take the "Buick" badge off but discovered it was a mess of glue underneath so back on it went. I still need to install my front licence plate holder which will cover the crack in the bumper cover

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Drove my Century for the last time today, I'm going to miss her but at least she's in good hands with her new owner

Image

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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:34 pm
Posts: 174
Year and Trim: 1996 Buick Lesabre Custom - metallic dark cherry
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Got my new alloy rims on and had them balanced. They are the "Web" style 15" Park Ave wheels. Even though the car is a salty mess I couldnt help taking a pic. No clear coat issues on these although the center caps need a little attention. Peeling a bit and one was missing so I had to replace it w/ a dent for now. I'll clean them up soon but for now looks much better

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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:34 pm
Posts: 174
Year and Trim: 1996 Buick Lesabre Custom - metallic dark cherry
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[URL=http://s1335.photobucket.com/user/thesam1984/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150307_183337_zps3xbut6fw.jpg.html]Image


A quick photo shoot... all of my best pictures are taken outside of car wash.

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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:56 am 
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Year and Trim: 1996 Buick Lesabre Custom - metallic dark cherry
Today I cleaned up the wheels to start the "Look" I was surprised how much I liked these wheels on the car and in a way, I wish I had a spare set that I could leave unpainted... So I pulled the caps and begun the first coat of paint on the rims. The "Web" spokes should evoke a black wire wheel look. Right now they look terrible because I hhavent hit all spots yet and painted on to the tires some (which wont matter as the white wall will cover in up... I don't know if I'll post a pic of the mess... right now she looks mean though..

Ive been figuring out little things, mostly research on how to fix things like my key fob, and hunting for the best deals for extra keys and such... white lithium grease on ever hinge has the car very quiet and smooth when opening the doors and such. And now the hood doesnt fight me with the same grease worked into the latch lol

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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:36 am 
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Location: Chicago, IL
Year and Trim: 2003 SLE
LeSabre looks great after the wash!

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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:29 pm 
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Year and Trim: 1996 Buick Lesabre Custom - metallic dark cherry
First few coats of the black on the rims... No turning back now! Used high heat engine enamel as the paint... looks nice and glossy, but I did an "adequate Job" when it came to runs after cleaning. Drove the jeep to let the paint cure

Image

I also sanded down the clearcoat on the centercaps. Ill use filler primer and a stainless steel look paint to clean them up. The big center caps will be my "dog dish caps". They dont look so bad compared to my poor Cherokee which the clearcoat got twice as bad this winter

Image

Doesnt look half bad from this angle. The white walls will cover my overspray on the tires. (You can see my weiner dog helpers in the pic... didnt even realize they were in the shot, lol)

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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:08 pm 
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Year and Trim: 1996 Buick Lesabre Custom - metallic dark cherry
My key fob works again!!!!

I was reading some repair fob forums and there were (2) things one could do to save them... first take it apart and clean it... mine looked like it was dunked in soda and smeared with peanut butter. Several wetnaps later it was clean and back together. I went out and programmed the fob. Had to press hard and hold it about 30 seconds but it works! The second repair was to add foil behind the buttons to get better contact with the motherboard. Looks like I'll be doing this soon, but for now, im very happy to not have to buy two and a second set of keys

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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:40 pm 
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Year and Trim: 1996 Buick Lesabre Custom - metallic dark cherry
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Took a photo with the dog dish caps... she's getting there
Kind of reminds me of an FBI car right now... They love Buicks there

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Last edited by thesam1984 on Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:30 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:15 am 
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Looking pretty good.

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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:34 am 
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Year and Trim: 1996 Buick Lesabre Custom - metallic dark cherry
Today had a strange issue... Lets just say I was going faster than the speed limit and at a higher shift point (around 70) the rpm guage jumped up to 5.5 for just a second while shifting (that is the beginning of the orange to "redline") and check engine light popped on. it suprised me and I let off the gas, but except for the CEL light, the car is running perfectly normal. I checked the oil, it was down 3/4 quart (but not low) so I filled her up a bit. Any ideas of whats going on ?

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 Post subject: Re: The Rum Runner
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:25 pm 
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Year and Trim: 1998 Oldsmobile 88 LS
^My Oldsmobile did that.

Its probably a code for the OD solenoid in the transmission. It's somewhat common for these to slip in then out then back into overdrive. lol. Be nicer to it. I didn't flog on mine too bad again after that. haha.

Also the color and the wheels are supurb!

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2002.5 Blazer - Stock Stuffing 30s, SLP ZR1 Replicas, Dynomax Catback, TONS of other mods. Click HERE for project thread. - DD


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