1990 Cutlass Ciera SL that deserved a better life

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1990 Cutlass Ciera SL that deserved a better life

Post by occupant on October 18th 2010, 9:14 pm



This is about the worst of it. I have a lot of sanding to do. And then, I have a lot of sanding to do. After that, I might get to tape some stuff off, and keep sanding.

The car is a $225 police impound. A mere 135,000 miles on it but it ranks up there with plenty of 250K-mile cars I've owned as far as abuse and neglect. I'm fixing what I can. I made so much money off the guns and tools and car stereos in the trunk that I can afford to put some time, effort, and money into making it look at least decent before I pass it along to another owner. The previous owner lived in it. He got drunk in it. Willing to bet he got some in it, too. And probably plenty of illegal activities judging by the tools and the goods it had in it.

I tried to fix the steering column and failed miserably. Mechanic in town keeps promising to come over and fix it. When he's done, I'll be able to get started on this paint thing. There isn't a nice spot on the whole car. Even the door jambs are faded badly. The inside of the trunk lid is probably the shiniest thing on the car, and it doesn't even have clearcoat on it. It's been repainted once, badly, and they colored the mirrors and the window frames which are supposed to be semigloss black or something. I'll fix that, too.

I want to do a metallic. But seeing as there is none available pre-made in light, medium, or dark blue I might skip that and go with a navy blue, no metal flake, to match the dark sapphire blue leather interior. Then again the seats are garbage too. The towel is hiding the badly torn up seat, but you can guess how bad it looks by seeing how rough the rest of the dash, carpet, and door panel is:



So I might swap out for cloth seats or something else. Steering wheel has to change too. We'll see what I find junkyarding and go from there, but I think dark blue will be just right for the outside. Considering the Brightside stuff since I can get it locally for $39/quart, no shipping charges, just sales taxes. Less mixing mess, less hassle, right? Look, I'm a lazy &*@%$ and I don't want to come off as some kind of handy little everyman. I want to slap this thing together, apply for my title, and let it sit. When the title comes in 3 weeks later I want to rub it out, shine it up, take my pics, and put it up for sale. No fuss.
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Re: 1990 Cutlass Ciera SL that deserved a better life

Post by Tommy Hillbilly on October 19th 2010, 3:15 am

occupant wrote:Even the door jambs are faded badly.
LOLOL!!!
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Re: 1990 Cutlass Ciera SL that deserved a better life

Post by occupant on October 19th 2010, 6:50 am

I don't want to use the M-word, but, uh-oh, I think they did the door jambs too.

Either this guy who owned the poor car parked it in the sun with the doors open, or they didn't bother putting clearcoat on the jambs.
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Re: 1990 Cutlass Ciera SL that deserved a better life

Post by ANeat on October 19th 2010, 11:43 am

Heck man, I would get some paint on the body, put a seat cover on it and sell it.

Check with some of the local junkyards, you may luck out and find a donor car with a decent interior and a steering colomn.

Do something about that speaker as well, dont want your 6x9 flying out the window when you take a curve Wink
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Re: 1990 Cutlass Ciera SL that deserved a better life

Post by LARRYBOMB on October 20th 2010, 2:55 am

Do something about that speaker as well, dont want your 6x9 flying out the window when you take a curve
Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Re: 1990 Cutlass Ciera SL that deserved a better life

Post by occupant on October 20th 2010, 9:42 am

Yeah those are actually 5x7's and they normally reside on the floorboard. That's lots of fun. They're heavy, so when I was actually driving it, and had my foot on the brake to stop while turning, it would roll around my foot and hit the gas for me.

I scour the junkyard near me (note I said junk yard, not junkyards, all the good ones are up in Dallas-Fort Worth) and eventually I'll find appropriate boxes for those 5x7's. I may simply hang them under the dash. Or I might take them out, put the stock 4-inchers back in the dash and keep the Alpine 5x7's for myself for whenever in the future I buy a car that has that size hole.

The seats are torn front and back and the armrest is destroyed, it definitely needs seats. Thankfully seats are cheap. The steering column I'd rather not change out but it seems I may have to at this point.

Sonny Forelli wrote:...I seem to have this problem in my life with unreliable people...

If it needs to get done right at all, do it yourself. That's where I'm at. And the paint will go the same way. I don't trust ANY body shop to do a good job on this car because let's face it, it's a pile of junk to 99% of humanity. I think it's worth saving, mostly because I have very little money in it and it drives beautifully with low miles. No one will buy it as it is, because it looks like something straight out of "Escape From New York". Minus the chandeliers for headlights, of course.
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Re: 1990 Cutlass Ciera SL that deserved a better life

Post by retired plumber on October 22nd 2010, 10:20 pm

I've done that with a few cars. I buy wrecked ones and fix them, drive them a bit and sell. If done right there is money to be made and you always have a "new car"to drive. Laughing
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Re: 1990 Cutlass Ciera SL that deserved a better life

Post by occupant on November 14th 2010, 2:11 am

This car deserved better, but it's beyond my ability to fix it economically. I thought steering column, tires, and patch the radiator would do it for the big stuff. Re-attach the rear view mirror to the windshield, change out a couple light bulbs, the wiper blades, and rewire the stereo as to not drain the battery for the little stuff. But after FINALLY fixing the steering column, I went under the hood to pull and patch the radiator. Saw that the electric fan was all bent up and touching the exhaust manifold. I looked closer and saw the radiator was folded up under itself. I crawled under the car and saw the core support and engine cradle was bent up like this _/-\_

smash

Two phone calls and three hours later, the local UPI Auto Parts (that's a pick-n-pull-type salvage yard in central TX) came and gave me $150 for it as-is-where-is. I was nice, aired up the tires and used my Torino to push it straight so it could be pulled right out of the driveway. I figured, hey, I'll use that money, the money from the stereos and handguns, and the money I got from some other things I sold recently, and get another impound car to play with. Then I looked at the Baldyear Maypops* on my wife's Durango and thought, I can't do that just now. Four new Hankook H724's and $396 later, her baby has new shoes. Now I'm going to work on a side project that over the twoi months should earn me $2700 of extra spending cash over and above my normal income. That money will go to three things.

a) rebuilding or replacing the engine in my Torino (which currently has enough valvetrain noise to wake the dead, and burns a quart of oil about every 50 miles of gentle driving)
2) purchasing another beater A-body car, going to try for a 4-cylinder wagon this time around, impound or private sale, and this time I look it over better before I bid or buy
D) building a stupid fast six-core computer so I can waste less time waiting for my stupid computer while I get work done to make this kind of stupid money from home like I do a little faster

Next year will be a fun year as far as cars go. The next couple of months will be work work work work and as dull as that sounds it sure will be nice when I'm done to look back and think now that I'm finished, it's playtime.

cheers hey agree

*a brand name for tires that are neither black nor round, and you can dang near see the air inside of...in this case, they were still black, but no longer round and had a moon-like surface on them, about 66K miles on a 50K treadlife warranty, they had wobbles, they had shakes, it was more than I could take...
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Re: 1990 Cutlass Ciera SL that deserved a better life

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