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Valve cover gasket, throttle body, fuel injectors, rocker panels and more!

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Well, either my mom is going to get a new car or the Shadow will need some serious work done soon..either way it needs to be done, as I want to hang onto it as a first car for my brother or as a winter beater. Here's the major to-do list:

Everything probably leaks, with the exception the the head gasket (it was replaced several year ago). That being said, most are small leaks you could live with...but the vale cover gasket needs to be done. It's leaking badly these days, and it's evident as you can see oil all over teh engine and some on the transmission. oil needs to be added every few weeks or so. I have a reapir manual (liek all the cars I work on), and it doesn't look too hard to replace it, but are there any things I should be aware of and look out for?

Next up is the fuel injectors and/or throttle body. Basically, the car stalls when it's cold out, and going in reverse sometimes. It usually does this when coming to a stop (just before stopping) or just as you begin to accelerate. The throttle body has been mentioned. So whats better....replace it all together or try to clean it...and how do I go about cleaning these assorted components. If replacing them is the better option...will used ones do fine or do they need to be brand new...and how much would they cost used or new?

Mechanically, these are the biggest offenders...but there is some other stuff..

The wiper arm assembly below the cowl needs to be replaced, mainly because of an issue with the windshield washer fluid.

Next up is the body...

It has rust...and lots of it. That being said, I have a lot of spare parts for it. This includes:

Hatch (no spoiler)

Passenger Door

Passenger Fender (the current one was never replaced after the accident)

But the tough parts are the floor plan and the area where the rocker panel meets the rear wheel well (both sides). Those have been rusting for a long time, and at one point sheet metal was bolted onto it to cover it up...but on one side it has fallen off because teh rust spread to where it was bolted to. Should I go to the junkyard and see if I can get those sections cut out and bolt them to the car...or is there a better solution?

As for the floor...there's a whole on the driver's side...what's he best way to fix it (detailed instructions on how to patch it would be appreciated!


I know, it's a lot to do for a silly Shadow, but it's been around for a while and I have sentimental attachment to it...I learned to drive in it. And the Cudas aren't mine yet so I'm not going to put effort or money into them until that changes. That, and, what else is there to do? The intrepid is fine...the Prizm needs front rotors...if I can do it myself then I will but I've never tackled brakes before...is it hard?

On a side note...I'm looking at a `93 Buick LeSabre for $600 on Craigslist...it's actually close by and supposedly everything works...maybe we'll take a look. I actually know where it is...how are LeSabres with the 3800?

Yeah...it's a lot in one post...sorry!

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Oh yeah, if I do all of this, at the end I'll spray paint it all black..can't look worse than it does now!

That, and I'll actually put some effort into the paint job.

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Valve cover gasket: If memory serves the valve cover should be right on top in the K-cars. All you have to do is unbolt the cover, clean the both gasket surfaces, apply some Permatex gasket sealer between the gasket and the cover and torque all the bolts down in a star pattern until they are snug. Make sure no crud falls into the valve area while the cover is off as well.

Throttle body: You probably don't need an entirely new throttle body, just a new injector. They run around $200 depending on the quality. Don't rule out carbon build up as well. Take the car for an extended drive on the freeway and see if that doesn't help. If that doesn't work, try one of those fuel system cleaning services like oil change places like to offer. Don't try to clean an injector yourself since it usually isn't worth it.

Floor: Before you start make sure to pull the seats as well as the carpet out so you enough room to work and wire brush the whole area to clear the crud out.

First you want to cut out the bad metal on the floor with either a pair of tin snips or a cutting wheel. Don't use a Sawzall because it leaves the edges too rough.

There are two ways to finish the project now which I'll call "ghetto" and "correct."

The "ghetto" way is to find an old stop sign or other galvanized piece of metal and screw or rivet it over the hole, then spray the whole thing with undercoating and call it a day.

The "correct" way is to make a cardboard template of the hole you have just cut, go to the junkyard and cut out a slightly over-sized piece from a similar car. Test fit the piece and trim accordingly. Leave between 1/16" and 1/8" gap between your patch piece and the rest of the floor. Tack weld the patch piece in and adjust it until you are satisfied with its position. Lay down weld beads a few inches at a time and make sure to move to the opposite side of the piece after every weld to make sure you don't warp anything. After the weld has cooled wire brush the entire thing and spray some rubberized undercoating on the top and bottom to keep rust away.

Front brakes: Disk brakes are easy. Remove the tire and wheel. On the caliper there should be two bolts holding the thing on. Spray these with plenty of WD-40 and use a wrench with a long pipe to remove the bolts since they will probably be stuck pretty well. After the bolts are removed the caliper will slide off. There is nothing holding the rotor on so that should pop right off. If the rotor is stuck just pound on it with a hammer until it comes loose. This is one of the few times when you get to beat something with a hammer until it works right. Replace the brake pads while you are at it if they are worn out. Reverse the procedure to reassemble. If you have trouble getting the caliper on, use a C-clamp to push the piston down until there is enough room to slide the caliper back on. The caliper bolts just need to be snugged down since there is only so far they can go before they bottom out.

LeSabre: LeSabre's are basically Delta 88's in a different wrapper, and we all know how long my Delta 88 lasted. :ah-ha-wink:

Wow thanks, this is a lot of help! Yeah The value cover is pretty easy to get at...I will be tackling it soon.

The Injectors....hrm...maybe I'll try a cleaning first...I'm not spending 200 bucks on one for that car :P

The floor holes...maybe I'll have to meet the methods halfway :P I can do the "correct way" in terms of cuttung the rusted area, making a template, and getting the section from teh junkyard, but I have no experience welding, nor any of the tools...so maybe some JB Weld and some bolts? :lol:

So would I use the same procedure for the rear wheel well/rocker panel area?

Brakes...that sounds pretty easy! So I don't have to disconnect the brake lines (which would require bleeding)? If not then I'll definitely be tackling that soon....they are s o badly warped that the car shudders when slowing down above 45 mph...I usually engine brake with downshifting and light braking to compensate. I guess I should replace the pads while I'm at it.

Since your car was at like what, 300K miles? I think that'd be a reasonably say option so long as the car is in good condition...maybe today or tomorrow we'll drive down and take a look/test drive.

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The "ghetto" way is to find an old stop sign or other galvanized piece of metal and screw or rivet it over the hole, then spray the whole thing with undercoating and call it a day.

Somewhere, an intersection is missing signage...


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