1978 Toronado XS - back from the paint shop - Page 2 - ClassicOldsmobile.com


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Old July 14th, 2017, 10:47 PM   #41
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How about the full wheel covers and 225 75 x 15 tires are likely a better match for the car than the 215 size. I thought LR 78 x 15 converted to 235 75 x 15 tires from my Cadillac tires that were always L's. Regards, Trent in Los Angeles.
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Old July 15th, 2017, 04:33 AM   #42
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Your current tires look to be a bit small is why I asked. I'd go with white walls.
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Old July 15th, 2017, 06:23 AM   #43
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I recalled your wheels were rusty is why I suggested the full wheel covers. The chrome wheels were used on the first generation Toronados and don't think they were available for the later years. The set in your trunk are likely the correct caps anyway for your car. Good point about the sunroof being a part of the $2700 XS option which explains the high price tag. Great job fixing up this Toronado in a short period of time. I also have a set of Hercules Tires made by Cooper which are marketed at a lower cost point and also have many whitewalls available. Both brands are made in USA and I see Cooper starting to advertise that they are a long term USA company on TV commercials.
Regards, Trent in Los Angeles
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Old July 15th, 2017, 11:02 AM   #44
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Your current tires look to be a bit small is why I asked. I'd go with white walls.
You're right. The conversion to metric showed three sizes, none of which were as thin as 215. Like I said, the seller just slapped on whatever he could find that would hold the car up. I'm leaning to whitewalls, and I'm sure I'll have a good discussion about tire size with whatever shop I buy them from.
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Old July 15th, 2017, 11:04 AM   #45
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I recalled your wheels were rusty is why I suggested the full wheel covers.
Yes the wheels do have rust, and I plan to use the full covers once the new tires are on. The other issue with the smaller covers is that they don't fit on all that tightly, and whenever I would go over a rut in the road, it sounded like I was dragging a coffee can full of nails. Took the small covers off, and everything is quiet.
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Old July 15th, 2017, 11:19 AM   #46
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We now have a hood ornament. I used the base that was on the car, the ornament gotten from ebay that Allan suggested a few posts back, and the guts (spring, clip, retainer ring) of the ornament acquired from oldspackrat. So two ornaments gave their lives so that a third could live.

The ebay ornament isn't perfect, but it is correct, and it doesn't look too bad, especially if you stand a couple hundred feet away when you're looking at it.

By the way, those spots on the car in the first photo? It actually started raining lightly when I backed the car out of the garage to take the photos in better light. My brand new paint job getting rained on!









These are what I have left and don't need. The generic Olds hood ornament and the base that goes with it (plus the two speed nuts that hold the base on). If anyone is interested in these, PM me your mailing address and I'll get them right out to you. No charge. I just want to see them go to a good home as I have no need for them but they're NOS and too nice to throw away. I am planning to be in Albuquerque late next week, and if I still have them by then, I'll bring them with me and hopefully get rid of them there.

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Old July 16th, 2017, 01:32 PM   #47
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Dan,
VIN sequence for all models has different start numbers, which I believe you know. I'm inclined to believe that in order to get the majority share of G body and B/C car bodies out to inventory, the Toro likely was not in the category of getting production runs going. Anyway, that's my theory, and I will concede to being wrong if someone has a solid confirmation about the Special Order concept of assigning VIN when the order was processed.
BTW, I think the WW tires with the full wheel discs looks classy. And with a car like that, classy is the ultimate goal.

EDIT: Nice job getting the hood ornament installed!

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Old July 17th, 2017, 07:11 AM   #48
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Blackwalls or whitewalls?
I'm definitely in the white wall camp. My new car had a set on it when I got it. Hankook Optimo H724 in 225/75R15s are still available in white wall. I recently ordered one from tirerack.com for a reasonable price to go on my spare. I don't know that they are the perfect size, but my speedo is pretty accurate.

Here's a few from my car with those tires to give you an idea of the white wall width:


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Old July 17th, 2017, 07:18 AM   #49
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Thanks. Your car looks great! I'm pretty much sold on whitewalls.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 07:25 AM   #50
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Here is a picture from last year's Olds Homecoming show in Lansing. The two cars closest have two different widths of white walls.

The '77 seems to have Hankooks on it. I can't make out the '78's, but it has a cursive script near the white stripe.

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Old July 17th, 2017, 01:41 PM   #51
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Thought I'd post one more before/after photo set and more car history. Trent in Los Angeles (Visatcruiser71) found this at myclassiccar.com and brought it to my attention. The seller told a story about the car and its sale, and he posted a photo of the car being loaded onto a flatbed truck. This is a photo I had not seen before.

The car was in Hahira, Georgia, a small town about 20 miles north of Valdosta. It was first loaded onto a flatbed truck and transported to Valdosta, where it was transferred to the truck that would bring it to New Mexico.

Here's a photo of the car being dragged out of the dirt and loaded onto the flatbed. Below it is a photo of the car from the same angle as it currently looks.







Here's the seller's comments accompanying the photo. I actually learned some things about the car that I hadn't known before from these comments. Most significantly, I never could get a straight answer out of the seller as to precisely how long it had been since the engine was last started. The answer is here...2003, or 14 years ago. He did tell me that he had gone through it, replacing hoses, belts, fluids, etc. before storing it at his father's house and before the falling out.

I worked at Clark Oldsmobile in West Palm Beach, Florida, right after graduating high school in 1978. This (formerly) beautiful but still rare and unusual Oldsmobile Toronado came in for service and oil changes. I gave the owner my name and number and told him to call if he ever wanted to sell it. In 1980 he did, and my dad purchased it. They drove it very little. I purchased it in 1994 from them. In 2003, I went thru it as far as tune-up, tires, exhaust and other cosmetics. Other than that it was gorgeous and like new.

I made a move out of state and stored the car and other things at my parents. Unfortunately, my father and I had a “falling out” and he refused to let me get my cars (and four antique wood boats). After he passed away several months ago, I went to get the car and it was in pretty sad shape. Instead of being worth $8-10K, I have sold it for $2,450 to a man in New Mexico. It has surface rust on the whole top part of all the panels. It still is original paint but will have to be brought down to the metal and resprayed.

Here’s the wild part: I really never looked at the VIN until selling it to the new owner. The last five digits are: 00005. It was the fifth Toronado made that year. Incredible.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 02:14 PM   #52
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I remember seeing your car on Craigslist (Yes, I know, it's a bad habit). There is no comparison to what you've brought her back to from those pics.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 02:17 PM   #53
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I have all the craigslist photos, plus more he sent me when I was considering buying the car. The photo I just posted would not have been part of that as it was taken when the car was being loaded up for shipment. I had not seen it until Trent pointed it out to me, and I just think it's pretty cool. What I'd really like to see is photos of the car from back in the '80s and '90s, before it deteriorated. The seller has stayed in touch, and I've sent him photos of it after the repaint. (He's threatening to buy it back.) I'm sure if he ever comes across any other photos, he'll send them to me.

Thanks for the photos of the wide and narrow whitewalls. I think the narrows look a little better, but both look good.

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Old October 11th, 2017, 05:08 PM   #54
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It's been about three months since posting in this thread. Since then, I've had the transmission rebuilt (worked pretty well, but had numerous seal leaks, so might as well go all the way), a lower ball joint on the right side replaced, new rear shocks (made a huge difference in the quietness and firmness of the ride), a front-end alignment, and four new whitewall tires installed. Here's some photos taken today with the full wheelcovers installed.

The newest issue to crop up is the starter. It hangs sometimes and doesn't release when the engine starts. I think the only solution to that is to replace it.



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Old October 11th, 2017, 05:33 PM   #55
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looking good Jaunty.

re the starter i thought i read that shimming may help if the starter hangs ?
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Old October 11th, 2017, 07:41 PM   #56
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Actually, the service manual mentions shims and says to be careful in removing the old starter because there may be shims, and they need to be put back in the same places when a new starter is installed.

As far as shimming the starter that's on the car now, I would have no idea how to do that. I've never replaced a starter on a car before because I've never had a car that needed a new one. But I'm willing to tackle it. Certainly the step-by-step instructions in the manual couldn't be simpler: 1. hoist car, 2. remove two bolts holding starter in place, 3. remove wires, noting which wire goes where, 4. remove starter from car.

I think I can do that.
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Old October 11th, 2017, 07:56 PM   #57
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The shims ive seen fit between the starter and the block. On my aftermarket powermaster starter instructions they showed how to measure the starter gear engagement w the ring gear and depending on the fit shims may be required.

IIRC the shims may be able to be inserted between the starter and block w the bolts only loosened

careful that starter is heavy and hard to hold up while removing the wires so try to have something you can rst the starter on if you do decide to remove it.

powermaster install instructions



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Old October 12th, 2017, 07:45 AM   #58
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You should be able to add shims without removing the starter completely... Remove one bolt and loosen the other enough to slide the shim into place... shims are available most auto parts stores... The style on the left in the photo below is the type I have used on many occasions for Olds engines...

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Old October 12th, 2017, 07:52 AM   #59
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OK, here's a question. Why would the starter suddenly need shims after 40 years, assuming it's the original starter? (I assume it's not loose, but I have not checked.)
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Old October 12th, 2017, 11:54 AM   #60
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Don't think it needs shims. I think the spring inside the housing is about 40 years old and is tired. The spring kicks the starter gear back away from the flywheel. Rebuilt starters with a new solenoid (for sure replace this) at many auto part suppliers are not expensive. They will want a core back. You can decide if that is the original starter and might want to keep it. If it is original, you could have that one rebuilt which might cost more. Of course, this is not a Corvette, Hurst Olds, or W30/31 Cutlass so the need to keep the original starter might be overkill. Not a hard job to replace the starter. I would remove the wires first after disconnecting the battery. It is very heavy and greasy to hold with one hand and then try to disconnect small and greasy wires while still holding the starter laying on your back. Use good quality jack stands. Love the whitewalls with original hubcaps. Trent in Los Angeles.

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Old October 12th, 2017, 12:06 PM   #61
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That's my inclination as well. I did some checking around, and I went ahead and bought a rebuilt ("remanufactured") ACDelco starter from that business that is slowly taking over the world, Amazon. I'm getting it for a net cost of $13, which is hard to beat. Their regular price was $48, and I have free 2-day shipping because I am a Prime member. ACDelco is offering a $15 rebate, and I have $20 in credit card rewards points to spend on it, so $28 was charged to my credit card, and I'll get $15 of that back when I complete the rebate.

The other interesting thing is that there is no mention of a core charge with Amazon.

I also checked Amazon again just now to double-check the core charge thing, and it turns out that the price I paid yesterday must have been some kind of short-term sale, because the price today is $79.14, more than $30 higher.

I'm also not terribly concerned about originality as it's not like anyone can see the starter very well when it's on the car. Plus, I don't want to wait all the time it would take to ship the starter to a rebuilder, get it rebuilt, and then ship it back. I could see the car being laid up for a month or more if I went this route, and I don't want that.

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Old October 12th, 2017, 12:28 PM   #62
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Excellent. Even at $28 if the rebate does not work out it is a bargain. You can keep the original starter in case this becomes a high dollar collector car. Don't hold your breath tho. Nice job without leaving the air conditioning! Trent in Los Angeles
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Old October 12th, 2017, 12:30 PM   #63
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in case this becomes a high dollar collector car.
I'm expecting this any moment now.
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Old October 12th, 2017, 02:16 PM   #64
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When you find your high dollar collector car buyer, ask him if he'd like a ridiculously priced beige '77 Brougham to go with it!

We could be looking at tens of hundreds of dollars


+1 on trying your best to disconnect the wires while the starter is still held onto the engine. Once it is loose and trying to hang by the big cable, it's really hard to hold the starter up so it doesn't hang on the wires while also holding it still with enough grip so you can loosen said wires .... all while lying on your back under the car.

Not a bad job as long as you know ahead of time how much the starter weighs and if you can get to the wires before taking the bolts all the way out.

Good luck - you can do it!

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Old October 12th, 2017, 02:20 PM   #65
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Yes, we could sell our cars and become hundred-aires!
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Old October 12th, 2017, 02:26 PM   #66
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According to the Amazon website, the starter weighs 23.7 lbs.
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Old October 12th, 2017, 02:32 PM   #67
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That sounds about right. It's not like it's a ton of weight to hold in place, but after a few minutes, it's not exactly a paper clip, either.

Your car is looking awesome, by the way.
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Old October 12th, 2017, 02:40 PM   #68
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Thanks!

I've got another issue that perhaps you guys, especially if you have a sunroof, can help with. The weatherstripping on the sunroof on this car is falling apart. Is replacement weatherstripping available for this? If not, has anyone found something else that works? I would not leave this car out in the rain nor take it through a car wash because I'm certain I'd have water all over the interior.

I don't have many photos of the top, but in this one you can sort of make out along the lower right edge in the photo a little blue-ish tube-shaped thing along the edge of the sunroof. That's the cord that runs through the weatherstrip on that side flapping in the breeze. It's also visible around the upper right corner. Arrows are pointing at it.


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Old October 12th, 2017, 03:55 PM   #69
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You can try the weather strip suppliers like softseal or metro moulded parts, and see if you can match the profile of the original. Car is looking sweet btw.
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Old October 13th, 2017, 06:21 AM   #70
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I did check those weatherstrip sites, and none have anything specific for the sunroof, so, yes, I'm think that a last-resort option is to make something myself. But I had a thought of taking the car to one of those places that does custom sunroof installations and see if they have anything or have any ideas. I would think and hope that a place that specializes in sunroofs would be able to handle most any situation involving a sunroof, even if they didn't install it themselves.
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Old October 13th, 2017, 06:29 AM   #71
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I did check those weatherstrip sites, and none have anything specific for the sunroof, so, yes, I'm think that a last-resort option is to make something myself. But I had a thought of taking the car to one of those places that does custom sunroof installations and see if they have anything or have any ideas. I would think and hope that a place that specializes in sunroofs would be able to handle most any situation involving a sunroof, even if they didn't install it themselves.
Probably won't work as it makes too much sense...
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Old October 13th, 2017, 12:56 PM   #72
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Even though the new starter doesn't arrive until Monday, I took the old one out today just to see what's what with it. It came out very easily, and it turns out that it's not the original starter, anyway, so any concern about maintaining originality is gone.

Also, there has been some monkeying with the wiring as both of the wires have a connector in them as though new wires were spliced in. I wonder if this was done just to make removing and installing the starter easier. The CSM says to loosen the starter bolts and move it out a little bit to make it easier to remove the wires. Well, after I removed the wire from the battery, which was easy to do, the remaining wires had enough slack in them for me to pull the starter all the way out and set it on the floor under the car. That made getting the wires off very easy.

There's a sticker on the starter, too, and it shows a date of 4/27/95, which I presume is the date the starter was rebuilt, so it was probably installed some time after that if it didn't sit on shelf too long. So that means it has been in use only 22 years and not almost 40. But even that's not quite true as this car sat unstarted and undriven from 2003 to this past spring, so 14 years of not being started. So the starter was used only for about 8 years.

Yes, it is darn heavy. Must be made out of osmium or something! I figure I can try using the floor jack to support it up close to where it goes and then maneuver it by hand the last inch or so to get it in. We'll find out next week!


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Old October 16th, 2017, 02:58 PM   #73
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New starter arrived today. Won't have a chance to put it in until Wednesday.


On a separate note, I came to know that the second generation ('71-'78) Toros were discussed in a feature article in the June 2007 issue of Collectible Automobile. I bought that issue off ebay, and I've scanned a few pages from it below. It's a nice article, as CA often does. It's 14 pages total in length. I scanned the first two pages as one scan as the photo went across the crease.



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Old October 16th, 2017, 03:02 PM   #74
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Now here's the fun part. In the article above, at the first mention of the XS version of the Toro, there is a reference to the October 1992 issue of CA. So I bought that one, too (how did we ever survive before ebay?). There's nothing on the front cover of this issue that mentions the Toronado, but it is covered in the "Future Collectibles" column in that issue. It's an interesting read, but what's most fun are the comments in the "From the Back Seat" section on the lower right of the second page, which are apparently from other CA writers. They universally dislike the car, which makes it all the more fun to own one.

I'm going to have to find a way to fit "plushy box of Kleenex" on a license plate.


1977 and 1978 Toronado XS owners unite!



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Old October 16th, 2017, 03:53 PM   #75
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Why not take the other starter apart and see if its in good shape. They are very simple to rebuild and the parts are cheap. Make it a spare.
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Old October 16th, 2017, 04:34 PM   #76
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That's actually not a bad idea and would be fun. I'd have to decide, though, to forgo the core charge refund because I have found out that the so-called "rebate" I was talking about earlier isn't really a rebate at all in the traditional sense, it's just a refund of the core charge. But $15 isn't all that much to forgo, and trying my hand at rebuilding it and then having a spare on hand isn't a bad idea at all.
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Old October 16th, 2017, 10:06 PM   #77
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what brand & tire size did you end up with?

how are you supposed to return the core, who pays shipping on the heavy old one?
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Old Yesterday, 07:56 AM   #78
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what brand & tire size did you end up with?
I bought a brand called "Custom" from my local Big O Tire store. The tire is Custom 428 A/S, size P225/75R15. It's a 40,000 mile all-season radial that was not much money ($66 per tire before mounting, balancing, and all that). I don't need a long-mileage tire. I'll be lucky to put 5,000 miles on this car in the next 10 years, and I don't plan any cross-country trips in it, just an around-town hobby car. A decade from now it will be time to replace them again more due to age than due to mileage.


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how are you supposed to return the core, who pays shipping on the heavy old one?
A good question because I wasn't going to ship it back if I had to pay the shipping as that would easily eat up the core charge refund. But this is not the case. ACDelco sends you a pre-paid FedEx shipping label. You put the core in the same box the new starter came in, put that in another, larger box with some packing around it, seal it up, put the label on, and drop it at your local Fedex Office or wherever. They promise to mail back the refund check within two weeks of receipt of the core.

It's not like a local-bought starter where you can just return it to the store for the refund. If they didn't pre-pay the shipping, no one would return cores, and they'd have no supply of old ones to rebuild and sell to the next guy. But they can't be making much money on this starter. I paid $47 at Amazon. They give me back $15 of that as a core charge refund, and they pay the about $15 in shipping to have it returned. That leaves them a net $17.

But the price I paid has disappeared. It must have been a short-term sale or something, or a sale targeted at me because I have bought LOTS of stuff, including lots of auto parts, through Amazon over the last six months. When I go back now to the product listing to click on the link there to start the rebate process, the price for the starter is now $79, more than $30 more than I paid. That's Amazon for you.
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Old Yesterday, 02:09 PM   #79
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That's actually not a bad idea and would be fun. I'd have to decide, though, to forgo the core charge refund because I have found out that the so-called "rebate" I was talking about earlier isn't really a rebate at all in the traditional sense, it's just a refund of the core charge. But $15 isn't all that much to forgo, and trying my hand at rebuilding it and then having a spare on hand isn't a bad idea at all.
Dan, the starter is remarkably simple to rebuild. Chances are you only will need new bushings and brushes. Maybe a new solenoid, but don't dismiss the old one too easily. Solenoids are also easy to rebuild. Just be careful removing the nuts from the phenolic cover. The copper disc inside will need to be cleaned and lightly sanded to remove putting but other than that, ezpz.
The starter will use the same references as the ones in your 73 CSM unless I'm mistaken. I haven't seen many Oldsmobile starters that actually needed shims BTW.
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Old Yesterday, 02:59 PM   #80
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Thanks, Allan. I do have some (possibly dumb) questions. Where does one get rebuild kits for starters? I didn't search extensively, but I did do some searching, and nothing obvious turned up. While starters from different manufacturers are certainly similar inside, I'm assuming that they're probably not be identical, so wouldn't I need a rebuild kit for the particular model of starter I'm trying to rebuild? Or is there no such thing as a rebuild kit for a starter, and one just gathers the parts one needs from various sources?
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