Old March 13th, 2009, 12:27 PM
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I got what I wanted, a true muscle car, '69 Cutlass with a 455 and Hurst Dual-gate.
I have no history of its use/abuse care or lack there of.
Only documentation I have is a Title, no manuals, no parts diagrams.
Where do I start?
Engine, chasis, body....What do I check, in what order?
Drain everything? Replace with what?
Check seals, change seals?
Plugs, hoses, wires...
Forgot about brakes.....

My History.
I have not owned an out of warranty vehicle in 15 years. Other 4 vehicles in garage have OnStar with monthly diagnostic reports emailed to me.

I used to do my own repairs and maintenance through teenage and college years because I had to. Now I bought this one and I WANT to do it. Will be nice to be in a garage with real tools and not stranded at night on the side of the road like the old days with just a Bic lighter and a 4-in-1 screwdriver.

I want to get the knowledge back before I forget what little I had and show my kids that the front of the vehicle actually opens up like the trunk but groceries don't go in there. I don't think either of them has ever laid eyes on the engine bay of any of our vehicles, I'm ashamed of myself. Truth be told though, some of the parts under the new ones I could not name if they asked "what is that and what does it do?"

Sorry for the long post, but I just got the ability to start a thread outside the Newbie forum.

-the REV
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Old March 13th, 2009, 12:48 PM
71 cutlass convertible
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When I got mine. I checked all fliuds changed the oil. Took it to a garage I trust to check brakes and look over (another set of eyes). I don't trust myself with brakes. Then bought a service Manuel for it.
Made list of what needed to be done and another with what I would like to do if I win the lottery. Then decided how to complete the list.

IF YOU TAKE ONE THING FROM THIS POST BUY THE SERVICE MANUEL! It will tell you alot of what you need to know. This is the big one that was in oldsmobile sevice stations
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Old March 13th, 2009, 12:53 PM
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Types more better than moi

Look at it as a Bible for your car.
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Old March 13th, 2009, 02:22 PM
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X3 on the manual. You can buy them on ebay and they're called "Chassis Service Manual" They made one every year and it covers all Oldsmobile models for that year. They're the size of a big city phone book. Welcome back to scrapped knuckles and grease under the finger nails John
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Old March 13th, 2009, 02:44 PM
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Service Manuel is the illegal dude working at the garage down the street. Service Manual is the book and is much more helpful than that guy, and it's in English so he couldn't read it anyway.
Brakes and tires are most important to maintain your health and should be at the top of the list, all the rest just makes it go and do things.
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Old March 13th, 2009, 02:51 PM
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Rev, very cool you got the car you wanted. And also cool you want to do the work. You don't state how the car runs. If there doesn't seem to be a compression issue or you can't hear a piston missing or not firing, then I think you're safe to drain all the fluids, clean up the engine compartment, and then fill everything up. This way, you'll be able to easily check any leaks that might be current and needs attending to.

The rest of the advice the guys give is very sound advice. Good luck, and once you take a few initial steps, keep the post going. And provide pics. People like pics!
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Old March 13th, 2009, 03:16 PM
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Welcome aboard
Remember if its already broke you cant hurt it, so rip it apart and see if you can fix it
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Old March 13th, 2009, 06:50 PM
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You have logged on to a great forum with lots of smart Olds guys that can help answer your questions as they come up. Just keep posting questions as you work your way through the project, and of course post pictures. Good luck
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Old March 13th, 2009, 07:30 PM
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Take detail photos before you take anything apart and store on you computer. The digital world has helped that. It will make it easer to put back together. Also, use zip-lock bags for nuts, bolts, and label the location they came from on bag.
any buyer of a used car should:
change oil/filer, and trans filter and fluid
check all hoses for cracks, or dry riot. including brake hoses.
change all fluids ofter replacing any hoses.
change plugs - check gaps to specs right out of the boxes.
check plug wires for cracks, and burn marks. If old - replace.
check, or replace distributor cap and rotor. replace is best.
pull drums and look for wear, or broken parts. ie, springs, wet looking around wheel cyendlers is a notice to replace parts.
etc. etc.

Post photos.
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Old March 13th, 2009, 11:46 PM
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Welcome to the sight and good luck with your car! It is a beaut!
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Old March 14th, 2009, 04:33 AM
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Ditto on the above and don't forget to make sure you have decent tires and I mean the age of them. You don't want a blow out on the highway because I've paid that price before.

Welcome to the site.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 05:50 AM
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I'm ashamed of myself.
You should be. Get that service manual and jump into your car like a Wall Street CEO into a golden parachute.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 08:27 AM
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For those needing pics,

thanks guys for the ideas. It seems to run fine. Still changing fluids. Then will check for leaks. A few electrical issues are popping up with guages so I want to fix that so I have a better idea of what the engine is trying to tell me.

-the REV
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Old March 14th, 2009, 08:59 AM
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Rev, if that is your car in the photos? With 59K and a fresh redo, does not look like you are going to have a lot of problems. Electrical problems do a search on this web site for "your symptoms" and/or look under the electoral section. 69' should be basic, either voltage regulator, or generator/alternator, or battery. Or any combination of the three. Might be something with the fuse box, or wiring under the dash. I would check the VR first.
Post your symptoms (what is it doing) if you can not find it in a search, and I am sure folks will help with diagnosing (solve) the problem.
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Old March 15th, 2009, 04:24 PM
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good luck on your project
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