Bought a Buick - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Bought a Buick

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






1997 Trans Am
2001 Grand Prix GTP
1995 Buick Roadmaster
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 06:36 AM
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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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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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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.



1997 Trans Am
2001 Grand Prix GTP
1995 Buick Roadmaster
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xDetroitMetalx View Post
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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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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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.



1997 Trans Am
2001 Grand Prix GTP
1995 Buick Roadmaster
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xDetroitMetalx View Post
Powertrain wise my biggest fear would be blowing a head gasket. Been there, done that, not fun.
Not on an B-car LT1 though, right ? It's an uncommon failure on these vehicles.

Jason
1996 Roadmaster Wagon
1995 Caprice Wagon
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 02:51 PM
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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.

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Toney
93 Caprice-165k miles- scrapped. ran 18 flat
78 Impala Coupe- Motor is worth more than the car. May run 13's


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonlachapelle View Post
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?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xx93_MISSLxx View Post
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.

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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.



1997 Trans Am
2001 Grand Prix GTP
1995 Buick Roadmaster
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 04:05 PM
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Gotta generate numbers!

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Toney
93 Caprice-165k miles- scrapped. ran 18 flat
78 Impala Coupe- Motor is worth more than the car. May run 13's


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 10:18 PM
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Welcome to the madness. Same reasoning I had when I needed something with 4 doors. Sucks about the rust though

96 White RMS, 146K and counting
93 Hardtop Formula, bolt-ons, tune, etc.
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