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Discussion Starter #1
I found a good deal on 1995 Buick Roadmaster and picked it up to replace my current winter vehicle (An oil leaking, trans leaking, oil burning, ticking, shuddering mini van). I am very familiar with the power-train of these cars as I've been building an LT1 / 4L60E F-Body for years. This just seemed like a perfect car to still get the LT1 experience during the winter months in addition to knowing the ins and outs of the engine and transmission if anything were to go wrong.

The Good:

The Buick itself had only one owner and was being driven by an elderly lady. It has 168k miles and runs extremely smooth with no miss, hesitation, ticks, leaks, or smoke. The transmission still shifts great without any slippage or clunks. The interior is cloth and looks great! No holes or tears and a non smoking car. All the major electronics seem work and it is equipped with climate control, which is cool.

The Bad:

Living in Michigan it's hard to find these cars without "B-Body Rust"... This car is not an exception. The rear bottom fenders are rusted. The hood and trunk have some rust. I bought it after a test drive and didn't bother to really look under it as the price was cheap and it ran great. When I got it home in daylight I checked out the back and the frame has a lot of rust, I'm worried what the rest looks like...

The exhaust is rusted apart. Resonators fell out, the muffler is cracked all the way around so that will need replacing. I have a stock system priced roughly at $340 at the local parts shop, I'll put it in myself.

The passenger mirror is busted off. I need to find a new one of those. Passenger side corner lens is broken. A lot of the molding fell off but the chrome is still there or discolored.

The engine bay has quite a bit of rust as well. No clunks in the suspension or drifting though so I'm assuming nothing has rusted off. Sway bar is still attached and not rattling around so that's good. I'm thinking about replacing the shocks and possibly springs... I'll also see what else I got myself into.

Overall:

I think it was a good buy. I drove it from Kalamazoo to Pontiac without any issues. Drives great down the highway and has some good get up. I got into it hard in first gear and it smoked the tires out, that was a good time. Right now it's perfect for taking me to work and back and other miscellaneous city running I need to do. As of now I'm unsure if I'm really going to keep it or not. In the spring I'll start really looking it over when the T/A is out and see how far the rust has ate it... Sad.

Questions:

Where are some decent places to purchase parts for these? If I decide to keep it I would like to fix the rear fenders and make it what it once was. If you have any suggestions to purchase parts for the bad I would love to hear them. I browed the FS section here and it looks like it's very active, so that's good!

The biggest questions I have is that it has a "Collectors Edition" hood ornament on it. I have no idea what that means. Doing a quick google search I found that only 1996 cars got that. Also looking at trims last night I keep seeing Aluminum Heads being standard. I thought all B-Bodies were steel? It's freezing outside or else I would go look.

Anyway, here are some quick photos after I got it home. I cleaned the engine bay out so it doesn't look as bad... Poor B-Body :(



 

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Welcome aboard and congrats on the purchase! To answer some of your questions:

The collector's edition hood ornament was strictly a 96 thing. If your car is a 95 that has it, someone replaced the original standard hood ornament at some point.

B-bodies strictly came with cast iron heads from the factory. No aluminum head cars will be found unless someone modded it.

Best place to find parts is in the FS section (make a WTB thread if you don't see what you need), or you could try local salvage yards. Part's Galore on 8 Mile usually has several Roadmasters and other b-bodies.

Also, from my experience with Michigan roadmasters, don't go too crazy trying to fix it up. They become huge money pits if you start trying to fix everything. Especially with high miles and lot's of rust. You easily sink 3 to 4 times what you paid for it and still come out on the losing end when it's over. I want to find another Roady, but next time I will try and get one from a rust free climate.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sounds like a plan... I'll just enjoy it for the winter and come spring get rid of it. I'll probably fix the exhaust, give a good cleaning and call it a day. I do want to find a nice LT1 wagon some day.
 

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Sounds like a plan... I'll just enjoy it for the winter and come spring get rid of it. I'll probably fix the exhaust, give a good cleaning and call it a day. I do want to find a nice LT1 wagon some day.
That's probably the best plan of attack. Try to drive easy and not to beat on it too much and you might get a few seasons out of it. They just get expensive when you have to start doing tune ups, suspension repairs, changing the fuel pump, replacing radiator and hoses etc. At 168K, if a lot of that stuff hasn't been done yet, it will need it soon enough if it doesn't need it already.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I hear you there. I don't know much about the cars mechanical history but what I've looked at seems to be new. Hoses, opti, and WP all look newer. Powertrain wise my biggest fear would be blowing a head gasket. Been there, done that, not fun. The thing I'm worried about is the suspension... It just wasn't prepped or taken care of during these rough Michigan winters. I'm sure I won't have any issues giving it a new home with all the B-bodies I see around here that don't run / shift / rust / crashed yet people are asking big money for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Not on an B-car LT1 though, right ? It's an uncommon failure on these vehicles.
Really? In my T/A I blew the head gasket at around 135k miles. Possibly due to aluminum heads vs steel heads?

If you're in the Pontiac area, stop by auto value (herks) on Walton and Baldwin. I'll give you the best pricing possible, OEM or aftermarket.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
Wow, that is very generous of you. I will have to stop by soon. I do need a few things for the GTP that I must complete very soon.
 

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Welcome to the madness. Same reasoning I had when I needed something with 4 doors. Sucks about the rust though :(
 

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Lol, well, the reasoning is already becoming valid. The car can't start in 10 degree weather let alone negative whatever the heck it's been all week. The starter is trying to engage but I get that dreadful "CLICK!" noise. After a couple tries and a slam of the door or hood the stupid thing starts.

I was hoping it was the battery as the owner bought some cheap rebuild to get her started. So I scavenged the T/A battery hoping it would solve the problem, nope. I'm going to go under it this weekend and see if it's a poor connection (due to rust) or the starter is bad. If the starter is bad I'm debating buying a new one or scavenging the stock T/A starter and then buying the T/A a nice high torque starter I've been holding off on (High compression and stock starters don't mix well).

So far it's been fun to drive with zero issues... When it starts :p
 

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A lot of people opt for the vette starter - its cheaper than the factory unit and sounds a lot cooler :) They are $120ish at Autozone. Just buy it first and pay the core charge, then return your old one later. They might give you **** if you take the core in at the time of purchase since they don't look the same. If you take it back later, they won't have anything to compare it to.

Duralast Part# 17124
Price:$118.99 Core:$42.00 Total:$160.99

You will have to unbolt the last frame clip on the +battery cable near the starter to make the cable reach.


 

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starter clicks...engine doesn't start
If you pm me your email address I can send you the 3 pages from the FSM that deal with this issue. I just made a .pdf of it for my brother.

In summary:

Check that starter solenoid terminals S and B and batt connexions are clean and tight
Check maxifuse #11 and I/P fuse # 24 are OK. If open, check for a short to gnd in CKT 142, 5 or 806
Check that G100 (Front of RH cylinder head) and G101 (RH front fender, near battery) are clean and tight. G101 is notoriously bad in our cars.


Then:
KOEO
using a DVM measure voltage from Batt + term to starter solenoid term B
a) Greater than 0.5V: replace positive batt cable
b) less than 0.5V:
KOEO using a DVM measure voltage from Batt - term to G100
a) Greater than 0.5V: replace negative batt cable
b) less than 0.5V: replace starter
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow... Wish I saw this earlier today before I swapped over the starters from the T/A to the Buick. The Buick's connectors had rust on about half of the connectors surface. The starter was replaced already by the looks of it. I cleaned up the connectors and threw the T/A starter on. The T/A starter does sound better, it's odd when you start judging a starter by it's sound...

Anyway, I took the Buick starter to see if it passed the little auto shop inspection and it did. I'm really hoping cleaning the connectors does the trick. It sucks I can't really test anything until it's near 0 degrees out... I guess I will have to wait

Good news everyone! I took a good look under the chassis, everything is really solid. If I give the car a good wire brushing and finish it up with rust preventatives in a can I think it will actually last a good amount of time. The exhaust was replaced before already as well. There is only one leak after the driver cat... Everything after the muffler is gone. The car will need shocks and springs next winter, they are worn. All the bushings seem to be in tact and nothing suspension wise is broken or rusted off. I'm very happy with the buy so far!

I took it to the oil change place down the street because a basic oil change is $20. The guy said the oil was really bad and recommend a flush. I told him no thanks, lol. The sticker on the window was 166k miles so it was only 2k miles over due. I'll take it back after 1k miles and get more clean oil in there.
 

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Hey instead of replacing the exhaust with stock why not get the jegs cat back kit i believe mine was 290 shipped then you save 50 off the stock. it comes with all the hangers and hardware and it sounds great but not super loud plus its a full 2.5 inch mandrel bent kit
 

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Cool thanks, I'll look into that. I def want to go the cheapest route with this car and keep it going. Right now I've been pricing tires but it's not easy to find them in the stock tire size. Plus this car really needs some white walls! Right now I've found some GT tires (never really heard of GT) and Coopers with white walls for $400 installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I forgot to update this... It seems the issue was bad connections to the starter. Once I cleaned them and swapped starters I haven't had an issue since.
 
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