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I finally got to drive

Old May 20th, 2019, 06:10 PM
  #1  
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I finally got to drive

Itís been 2 yrs of resto and this weekend I finally got to drive my 72 Cutlass s 350. Started right up body work completed, new front Wilwoods, new master cylinder, rebuilt rear drums, wheel cylinders, all good and about a hundred misc items all completed. Starts and stops as it should. Even has a nice aggressive rumble thru the headers. Happy Happy. Drove to local gas station about 3 miles round trip. It has a bit of a cough air leak between gears. Get home open hood just to look around and itís really hot. The radiator top plate is hot you can touch it but you canít leave your hand there. That seems too hot for a 3 mile ride. Also stinks to high heaven but I guess thatís to be expected with older gas and just getting to blow some carbon out. It doesnít smoke which has to be good. Just wondering about the hesitant air leak and is it normal to be this hot and what happens on a 100 mile run. Itís been off about 30 min and the main top hose to water pump is still too hot to wrap your hand around. Radiator Is full good green color. Temp light did not come on but might not be functioning.

First time out of garage in over 2 yrs
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Old May 20th, 2019, 06:22 PM
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Also after about 4 yrs still can’t understand why my uploaded pictures post sideways. My avatar sideways album pics sideways. Goes right up my ***.
Sideways of course.

Last edited by smash72; May 20th, 2019 at 06:23 PM. Reason: Add on
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Old May 20th, 2019, 07:10 PM
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I fixed your avatar and profile picture. The problem is your using an apple product to take pictures and they need to be edited before down loading. 180+ temps are hot to the touch and will remain hot for quite sometime. Its normal.
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Old May 20th, 2019, 07:47 PM
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I just went through the very simplest issue - bad radiator cap. Wouldn't hold pressure in the coolant system. I don't have a temp gauge only an idiot temp light on the dash. I noticed it was really running hot and when idling for an extended period of time (e.g. when setting dwell, timing, vacuum readings, carburetor tuning, etc.) coolant was running out the overflow hose (my '71 CS has no coolant overflow reservoir). Mentioned it to another CO member. Checked the radiator cap and sure enough, the little pressure spring in the dead center of the cap was no good. Seven dollars ($7.00) later, and the system is holding pressure. 180*F is certainly hot but one way you can tell if you're holding pressure is to check the upper radiator hose (thermostat housing to top of radiator). At temperature, the hose should be very 'firm', an indication water is flowing through the system under pressure. Before I changed the radiator cap, I noticed several times during one of these coolant outflow events and the upper radiator hose was mushy and could almost be squeezed in two. New radiator cap, and the upper radiator hose is completely firm and under pressure.
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Old May 21st, 2019, 04:54 AM
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Congratulations! Sure is a good feeling when it all comes together. Good job!
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Old May 21st, 2019, 06:33 AM
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Thx for swift responses and the avatar fix. That rad cap sounds like a possibility and will be replaced. Since I too had that soft upper hose and also noticed a slight leak of the water pump gasket or might be thermostat gasket. Very small amount of coolant was sitting in the little groove of the water pump. Could any of this be related to the hesitant air cough between gears or do I have a whole new set of problems. I plan to replace plugs and wires this weekend since plugs appear fouled. There new about a year old however the car has sat with only a start up ever couple weeks. So I’m hoping a tune up does the trick.
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Old May 21st, 2019, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Greg Rogers View Post
Congratulations! Sure is a good feeling when it all comes together. Good job!
Thx sure did feel great, even if only a short 3 mile run. Could not help myself and punched it a little, land got a little loose as well so that was enough of that until I get her all dialed in. My brother bought a 69 Chevelle had it for 15 min punched it, the *** got loose and wrapped it around a pole. Turned out the car had sat and simple tire pressure was the problem. Lesson learned and it wasnít gonna happen to me. Canít wait to get her right. Iím motivated again. The simple being able to drive in and out of my own garage is priceless making life so much easier to get work done.
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Old May 21st, 2019, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by smash72 View Post
...I too had that soft upper hose and also noticed a slight leak of the water pump gasket or might be thermostat gasket. Very small amount of coolant was sitting in the little groove of the water pump. Could any of this be related to the hesitant air cough between gears or do I have a whole new set of problems.
Replace the radiator cap first thing and determine if the upper radiator hose becomes firm and remains firm when the engine gets to operating temperature. If you do have a slight leak along the water pump gasket and/or the thermostat gasket one or both of those leaks might become a little worse as you now are holding pressure in the coolant system. Check the firmness of the upper radiator hose. It was Greg Rogers who reminded me of checking my own radiator cap which did the trick for me.

IMO, it's doubtful the coolant pressure has anything to do w/ the hesitant air cough between gears and you'll need to troubleshoot that by itself...throttle plate, accelerator pump, vacuum leak, timing, etc.

Nice you're finally driving it though!
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Old May 22nd, 2019, 08:01 AM
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If you don't want to put a temp gauge in the car pick up one of these infrared heat guns https://www.harborfreight.com/121-in...ter-63985.html they are pretty handy.
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Old May 22nd, 2019, 10:38 AM
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I am planning on reinstalling a triple gauge cluster soon. For now I installed a radiator cap with a temp gauge on top will get me through for now. Also plan on full tune up, maybe even electronic ignition eliminate points etc all this weekend and next. I’m pumped and will make time some how. Thx for all the help this site is always there for me and it’s much appreciated.
Cause I’m a moron except electrical.

Unrelated tid bit I stumbled onto a 69 Firebird TransAm blue stripes on white body with the HO 400 right in my neighborhood
the woman’s is downsizing. It was her husbands car who recently passed. Been here 20yrs never saw this car driven. Garage kept. She needs it gone no room for it at new place. Even has the outside tach on the hood option. Pretty sure there was less than 800 built this way with the HO 400 and only 8 convertibles. This one is a hardtop. I’m the only one that knows it’s for sale and thought I had her at around 15K then I heard the dreaded let me ask my son. That was yesterday waiting to hear back. I will post some pictures of the quick peek I got. Appears all original with console automatic. That’s a 50K car that’s all there runs and drives could not see the mileage.
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Old May 22nd, 2019, 10:56 AM
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At the right price, picking up the Firebird is a no-brainer.
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Old May 23rd, 2019, 08:11 PM
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X1000 on picking up that T/A I would love to have one from each generation. Way back in my teens a friend of my roommate had a '69 T/A convertible. This was in the early 80's I would bet that he still has it.

Congrats on getting your Cutlass back on the road. I'm sure you will have a blast this summer! I'm jealous - mine is likely to remain on the jack stands for one more season. But, I'm going to try real hard to get it done sooner - You have inspired me!
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Old May 25th, 2019, 07:23 AM
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Unfortunately the gentleman knew exactly what he has with the Firebird. In fact he bid 100K on one of the only convertibles that was also in my area. That sold for 125K I told him he should hang on to the hard top one he has but he will have no where to store it once he moves. He’s asking 75K all original numbers matching it’s too steep for me. I had offered his wife 15K on the spot she said “ ooooo that sounds fair but I have to ask my husband” that’s when I thought well maybe. Would have been better if he had passed away or something I’d be waxing that bad boy right now instead of posting a coulda shoulda woulda here at ClassicOlds. So I will head on back to the real world back to my now drivable 72 Cutlass and be happy. Sandpaper and beer instead of wax and wine is just fine with me anyway.
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Old May 25th, 2019, 12:54 PM
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Ah..yes, sand paper and beer, I can relate.

Enjoy the ride smash. I got to drive my car a lot the last couple of weeks and its been fun. Cheers!
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