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PROJECT ACHIEVA

It is coming up on 3 months since I bought my 1995 Oldsmobile Achieva S.

Here is an update on some of the things I have done in that time.

First up, was a complete cleanup of the engine bay.

Here is what it looked like on June 4th (2 days after I got it):

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And here it is August 15th (with new alternator and battery):

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I spent a few hours every morning cleaning by hand. A labour of love...and not quite finished yet.

The hood was the hardest part (in terms of bending to get to all the small spots)

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I also added some blue LED bulbs for the footwell lights. They add a nice touch complementing the cars colour.

I hope to get better ones that diffuse light in the future.

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Some nightime shots around Toronto...

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A few days ago, I started exploring the idea of adding racing stripes (something I had always wanted to do if I got an Achieva). Nothing rice, but subtle 442 inspired hood stripes...

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After buying some more electrical tape :wink: , I filled in the stripes:

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I also added side horizontal stripes to finish the look. Not too sure about these. I think it looks half-way convincing from far away. :smilewide:

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I am planning on trying a white stripe set soon.

Also planned is blue carpeting (the red '91 Achieva concept car had matching red carpet).

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Other stuff I would like to do include:

Getting the lower intake gasket fixed ($600$) :closedeyes:

K&N air filter

Finding a set of 16" Achieva SL wheels

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Maybe a Flowmaster Delta 40 exhaust? :smilewide:

So far, I am very happy with this car. It idles smooth, drives nicely, is comfortable, looks great and averages 22-23 MPG. :alcoholic:

For more Achieva fun, I have videos on YouTube.

Visit the official ProjectAchieva channel!

http://www.youtube.com/user/ProjectAchieva

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What about running the stripes a little farther forward, so they go right to the top of the grill? Then the grill(s) would sort of look like a continuation of the stripe....?

That would look interesting, but Im trying to stay true to Olds heritage. The stripes never (to my knowledge) connected with the (dual) grille.

I thought about this:

http://www.kerbeck.com/kerbeck/kerbeck.nsf...E/68olds442.jpg

I wonder how this might work?

1968_Oldsmobile_442_Hurst.JPG

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I saw a young man in an Alero coupe the other day. He had it looking very good, with factory-looking quad exhaust pipes, rims (not ricey), lowered just a bit... and it was shiny clean. Keep the faith.
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Looking very good,Ted!

You've done a great job with this car so far.

Just be careful not to leave that tape on too long, that water-based paint tends to be a bit weak.

I agree on white for your permanent stripes.

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Looking very good,Ted!

You've done a great job with this car so far.

Just be careful not to leave that tape on too long, that water-based paint tends to be a bit weak.

I agree on white for your permanent stripes.

All the ribbons of tape are attached to the 4 outline stripes, so it should peel right off. I hope it won't damage the paint.

I got some crazy stares at the local cruise night as I rolled by all the muscle cars with real stripes lol.

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What about running the stripes a little farther forward, so they go right to the top of the grill? Then the grill(s) would sort of look like a continuation of the stripe....?

I've seen a white Achieva w/ black stripes done that way, it looked OK but IMO Ted's 442-esque look in the pics would be less homespun looking.

Edited by fightingbee
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BIG PROBLEM! NEED HELP URGENTLY!

So, I wanted to remove the stripe job last night. The passenger side stripe (running the length of the car on the side) peeled off without issue.

As I was pulling the drivers side stripe...dissaster........

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I want the hood stripes removed, but now Im completely scared it will peel off the paint!

Is there a safe way to do this, or am I screwed?!

My grandmother passed away on Tuesday. It has been a hard time for me this week, so I havn't been around. This just really adds to my depressed state.

It is likely I will be driving in the funeral prossesion tommorow. I need to clean the car and remove the stripes.

Any tip or help in this matter would be HIGHLY appreciated.

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Thanks for the kind words fightingbee. -_-

wildmanjoe:

Peeling up a small edge is no problem.

Are you saying to let goo-gone somehow absorb under the tape (under the peeled part)?

Im still really scared. The hood is the hottest part of the car. It is likely the stripes have bonded under heat (am I crazy?).

It looks like I won't have to drive tommorow, a family friend is helping out.

I am one of the pall bearers...so too much emotion to drive.

If the tape does damage the paint on the hood, it looks like I will have no choice but to really do proper stripes. :(

Oh well...a good lesson learned about electrical tape and its long term effects on car paint...

Oh, and welcome to the Olds fold.

Its been my "Escape Machine" lately. Iv been feeling down, but the Olds lets me drive around and clear my head.

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Ted, man, I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother.

Your car appears to be a peeler. When primer issues were making paint peel off in big sheets, and GM was covering that under warranty (it was a paint manufacturer's problem, not the car manufacturers affected by the problem), we used "the tape test" to determine if a panel would eventually peel. You have an adhesion problem with your paint, my friend. I hope WMJ's solution works, otherwise, you'll be pulling all your paint off with the tape, I'm afraid. You could try a heat gun, or hair dryer, to soften up the adhesive... again, not sure if it will work.

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I didn't try anything yet.

Im a bit too scared really.

Plus Im dead broke after the funeral.

Thank you so much for all your recomendations though!!!

I will try it when I get up the nerves.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Achieva update:

On September 24, the Achieva rolled over 175,000 Kilometers!

You can watch this magic moment

Today was not a good day though.

The water pump seized, causing the tensioner to seize, causing the accessory drive belt to snap.

Limped it to Active Green+Ross (5 min from my home, and 5 min from where the belt snapped).

$610 later, and its all fixed (and an oil change!). My poor money. :alcoholic:

Total Achieva cost+repairs (not including insurance and fuel) is still below 3 grand (my initial car budget), so no harm done.

Runs like a champ now.

I did have to endure mocking from the youngest service guy about my "10 minute stripe job". :butthead:

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  • 1 month later...

Project Achieva update:

177,777.7 Kilometers achieved on December 3rd, 2008 at 7:22:05 PM.

Feeling lucky!

IMG_9717.jpg

Car is running great.

We had 3cm of snow not long ago, and I got to try out its winter handling.

Its a beast! It should be a fun winter!

Im currently playing around with some "soft dash" upgrades.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Project Achieva update:

BAD NEWS :thumbsdown:

The lower intake gasket has fully let go letting coolant into the crankcase. The result is an oil-coolant pudding.

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The car is blowing white smoke from the exhaust. I hope the headgasket is ok (!?).

VIDEOS:

As a neat secondary problem, it seems I am missing both front sway bar links!

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Needless to say I am heartbroken.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Hopefully it is just the LIM gaskets. :( As I'm sure you know don't run it much more w/ that **** in there.

The sway bar links are no big deal. They rusted apart at one point (as they often do eventually where salt is used) and someone must have just broke them off the rest of the way so wouldn't pop/bang when hitting bumps. New ones can be had for ~$10-$15 apiece aftermarket and are just basically a big bolt and nut, a spacer, some washers, and bushings (ala pic below).

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All you really have to do to install them is to pull the wheel off and use a jack to raise the control arm up a little so the ctrl. arm and stab. bar can be reconnected via the bolt/bushings.

Edited by fightingbee
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The links where there as of late October (last time I took under-car-pics).

They must have come of durring my snow fun (?). The ones that were there looked like OEMs!

I am not driving it at all. Its sitting parked awaiting its fate.

My mechanic recommended that I have the oil changed, add coolant, and get it to his shop (30 KM away).

Right now I can't really stomach any costs. I assume it will be at least $600 to get at that LIM.

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The links where there as of late October (last time I took under-car-pics).

They must have come of durring my snow fun (?). The ones that were there looked like OEMs!

I am not driving it at all. Its sitting parked awaiting its fate.

My mechanic recommended that I have the oil changed, add coolant, and get it to his shop (30 KM away).

Right now I can't really stomach any costs. I assume it will be at least $600 to get at that LIM.

Well you just have to ask yourself how much the car means to you. Take it from me, I should know, sometimes the money that your car needs may cost more than what its worth putting into, and other people might not bother. However if the car means enough to you, then fix it, or or wait until you can fix it. :wink:

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I had this crazy thought.

There was a Craigslist post for a 1995 Achieva identical to mine (loaded), with 171,000 KM (mine had 170,500 when i got it). It was listed as-is for $800 (I got mine for $850). From the pics, it looked clean, dent and rust free (bone stock).

The kicker? It was red with a spoiler. I always wanted a red Achieva lol.

It even had mud flaps on the front and a cracked licence bracket (like mine!).

Pics (I saved before the listing was taken down):

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I bounced around the idea of starting over for 2009, and using mine as a parts car.

But, I hesitated (damn I love my baby), and that car sold as of yesterday.

Im driving my moms '95 purple pearl metallic Lumina (50% my car actually). Man it handles poor in the snow. I have now learned brand new all seasons on all 4 wheels < 2 snow tires on the drive wheels.

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I like blue better anyway. :P

Iv grown very fond of the blue.

From what Iv read online, it is a rare '95-only color, Medium Cloisonne Blue Metallic. :neenerneener:

http://www.expresspaint.com/ProductCart/pc...;idproduct=6079

Here is a Grand Prix in this color:

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/835465

And a Cavalier:

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/161562

And look how sexy it is on a '66 Cutlass Conv.

http://www.realoldspower.com/phpBB2/viewto...dd1571f689bd1b2

...and a '70 Buick GS!

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  • 4 months later...

PROJECT ACHIEVA BIG UPDATE!

After sitting and waiting for 5 months, the Achieva is fixed and roadworthy again!

I didn't have the money to fix her, so she stayed parked since December 23, 2008.

My baby got sad...

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I then lost my job in March, so it complicated things further.

But, I got a nice severance package!

To the mechanics we go!

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After 7 hours of surgury, the Lower Intake Manifold Gasket was replaced with a Fel-Pro, and stabilizer links were put in. She was ready to drive again!

My mechanic could not believe that the lifters and head gasket were not damaged! Amazing!

The engine ran normal after the fix. Infact, it ran like nothing ever happened!

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The next day, after I took her home, I see this:

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God doesnt want me to drive!

Took it to a local garage, and had it patched. $15...whew!

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by...

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The Achieva is back at the mechanics today. Getting both front bushings replaced, and a passenger side front ball joint. Something Iv put of, but learned my lesson. Better to fix it all in one shot!

See the ProjectAchieva youtube account for videos!

http://www.youtube.com/user/ProjectAchieva

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PROJECT ACHIEVA BIG UPDATE!

After sitting and waiting for 5 months, the Achieva is fixed and roadworthy again!

I didn't have the money to fix her, so she stayed parked since December 23, 2008.

My baby got sad...

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I then lost my job in March, so it complicated things further.

But, I got a nice severance package!

To the mechanics we go!

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27.jpg

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After 7 hours of surgury, the Lower Intake Manifold Gasket was replaced with a Fel-Pro, and stabilizer links were put in. She was ready to drive again!

My mechanic could not believe that the lifters and head gasket were not damaged! Amazing!

The engine ran normal after the fix. Infact, it ran like nothing ever happened!

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The next day, after I took her home, I see this:

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God doesnt want me to drive!

Took it to a local garage, and had it patched. $15...whew!

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by...

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The Achieva is back at the mechanics today. Getting both front bushings replaced, and a passenger side front ball joint. Something Iv put of, but learned my lesson. Better to fix it all in one shot!

See the ProjectAchieva youtube account for videos!

http://www.youtube.com/user/ProjectAchieva

Glad shes running again.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The economic atmosphere is so stifling these days. Glad to see your continued optimism, Ted, and the resumption of Project Achieva.
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  • 1 month later...
The economic atmosphere is so stifling these days. Glad to see your continued optimism, Ted, and the resumption of Project Achieva.

...but it is creating nerw opportunities...

Glad to see her running again, !!!TED!!!

Chris

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Its been nearly 5000 Kilometers since the repair (yeah, fun June!).

She gets 23/24MPG city like clockwork, and Iv got her to 28.5MPG mixed!

But....

Theres a new problem brewing.

As of last week, it looks like transmission fluid is dripping out!!! :mind-blowing: .

:banghead:

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Is it leaking from the pan or the bellhousing?

Im not sure. She is due for an oil change, so when its on the lift will be the best time to investigate.

Im gonna take some pics today underneath.

Im not %100 sure if it is trans fluid, but its pinkish so seems most likely.

LOL

Ongoing saga!

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  • 3 weeks later...

While on vacation in Stayner Ontario, I visited a scrap yard, and got myself some nicer radio knobs, buttons and cigarette lighter from a 1990 Chevrolet Cavalier sedan.

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Before and after:

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A little classier, nicer tactile feel, and better visibility at night!

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I am not even going to mention anything about polished knobs in this post. But yeah, they do make a difference. Did you know you can get billet aluminum HVAC knobs that will likely fit your control unit?
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I am not even going to mention anything about polished knobs in this post. But yeah, they do make a difference. Did you know you can get billet aluminum HVAC knobs that will likely fit your control unit?

:scratchchin:

Ima hit some local scrap yards this week and see what else I can scrounge up.

I want to get some kick plates, and spray paint them silver (saving my originals). :scratchchin:

In preparation for this, the other day I replaced all the screws holding the kick plates down. Most were completely rusted and badly degraded.

Would you happen to know the correct size of screw (cause I kinda winged it and got simular screws at WalMart). I would like to replace the screws holding down the plastic panel around the inside (where the door meets the car). They are skinnier and longer (yeah, whata setup!).

Im not that handy, but Im learning.

Update about that leak: it seems to have stopped mysteriously. New cardboard last 2 days, and its dry. WTF? :confused0071:

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????

gmc-acadia-035-center.jpg

Maybe it was' the Acadia, I or maybe it was just the stereo knob. I can't remember. Basically you hollow out one of GM;s chrome ring knobs, then sand down the LH knobs and fit them in, securing them with epoxy. It was a really cool mod. I have to look for it again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Project Achieva update:

The leak, whatever it was, has stopped. I had an oil channge done, and the bottom of the transmission is clean, no signs of leakage.

All the oil was accounted for also. :scratchchin:

I was up in Stayner Ontario again, and went back to the scrap yard for some more pickins'.

It seems that I forgot the "front/rear/right/left" knobs (that go under the main radio knobs) the first time around. Luckily, the poor Cavalier was still there, so I got them.

Also got the kick plates and rear ashtray from a 1996 Buick Skylark.

The ashtray replaces the black one I have now (already installed, and looks great), while the kickplates will be painted chrome :AH-HA_wink: (to be done tonight).

I also got the HVAC knobs, but they don't really work in the pre-96 dash. May play with them in the 95 Lumina.

The Oldsmobile script is from a G-body Cutlass coupe front bumper.

The Olds rocket emblems are from the rear clip of a late 70's full size Olds (forgot what exactly). They are now installed on my front inside door panels (ala 60's Oldsmobiles). It also had some amazing interior trim, but was infested with bees! I woulda braved it, but I decided it was too nice to pilage (and risk getting stung).

The RAM badge will make a nice keychain for a friend with a '97 Ram short cab/long bed :smilewide: .

Pre-clean-up pic:

IMG_3103.jpg

I mainly want to add some brightwork to the Achieva interior. Something Oldsmobiles in the past always had.

The buttons/lighter and ashtray make a big difference, and I hope the kickplates come out looking ok.

Being a purist, I am keeping all the stock bits. Everything I am doing can be reversed.

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I know what you mean about wanting to add brightwork. Adding the chrome handles, switches, gauges and shifter really brighten up the cabin in my car.

What are you using to paint the kickplates? Last time I used chrome paint it was nothing more than silver, and wasn't durable at all.

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What are you using to paint the kickplates? Last time I used chrome paint it was nothing more than silver, and wasn't durable at all.

I don't have it infront of me, but its a tall can of spray paint, that is appearantly chrome colored.

It was $9 at WalMart.

If it doesn't work, I can always get more kickplates and experiment. :smilewide:

I wonder if I could use it to paint the engine cover?

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I don't have it infront of me, but its a tall can of spray paint, that is appearantly chrome colored.

It was $9 at WalMart.

If it doesn't work, I can always get more kickplates and experiment. :smilewide:

I wonder if I could use it to paint the engine cover?

You need to use high-heat primer, paint, and clear coat for that. I got away with using regular silver for the lettering, but it's just a small portion and I covered the whole thing with 3 coats of high heat clear.

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You need to use high-heat primer, paint, and clear coat for that. I got away with using regular silver for the lettering, but it's just a small portion and I covered the whole thing with 3 coats of high heat clear.

Yeah, I figured as much. Its actually very clean. I bet i could just polish it up actually. :scratchchin:

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The radio is now more inline with the Achievas fancier predecessor, the Calais:

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Complete radio knobs...classy:

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Door emblems:

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New rear ashtray:

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Spray painting the kickplates (it went pretty well, and looks alright. Shiny!):

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Now, gotta wait for it to dry and see how it looks on the car!

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Looks good, the radio knobs are much more classy. The "chrome paint" looks more like bright silver...but not bad. I would put several coats of clear on it to protect the stuff from rubbing off, which silver/chrome paint has a habit of doing.

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Hey not bad! Came out better than I though. Did you add some clear to protect the paint from coming off?

I'm actually pretty impressed with that chrome spray paint. They don't look chrome per say, but they do look like polished metal...which is nice.

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It doesnt really translate in pictures, but they look very shiny in person. At night, they are very visible under the courtesy lights. I didn't clear coat them. Im thinking of giving them a second coat of "chrome". First time Iv done something like this, so I dunno?

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  • 1 month later...

Project Achieva Updates:

The "chrome" kickplates are holding up OK. The drivers side (ie most used) did scratch a little. I didn't do a second coat, and no clear coat.

August 20, 2009:

1997 Pontiac Grand Am GT sun visors installed. My old ones had sagging straps. New visors have extendable sunshades too!

before:

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after:

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old (top), new (bottom):

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August 21, 2009:

Blue 1969 Ontario licence plates. Look cool at car shows!

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August 23, 2009:

The Achievas car show debut! 1st annual North York Chevrolet All GM show.

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September 29, 2009:

188,888.8 KM!

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October 7, 2009:

RIMZ!!!!!! 2000 Cavalier Z24 16"ers! Will get cleaned up and put on the car within the next 2 weeks!

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its gonna look awesome!

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October 8, 2009:

#1 Achieva on CarDomain!

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And the latest is that the AC compressor is crapping out.

Much more adventures ahead!

PS, heres something for dodgefan...

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Hope you get Olds center caps for those Cav wheels.

Thats gonna be a problem, as they are 2" centers, and as far as I know, there are no OEM Olds caps that size.

Plan B is custom stickers. Don't worry, Im all about the details! :cutlass:

First order of business is to sort out the AC compressor noise/any other possible issue. :explode:

I hope the end results are as follows:

9030_136716764169_518014169_2393074_4712

*photochop

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A tacky suggestion perhaps, but if anything else could you buy four of the Achieva hood badges and apply them over the bowties on the wheels?

Tried that already. I have a spare badge, and its too big. :scratchchin:

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  • 2 years later...

Time for a big update...since its been...2 years!?!

Where did we leave off...um...late '09 right?

The Achieva had a rocking 2010 season, travelling to many many car shows!

The Z24 wheels where installed in March...

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It turned a lot of heads!

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In August, the heater core blew up! I had it by-passed.

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Around September, the transmission failed completely....and the project was once again shelved.

I had an estimate of $1600 to install a new tranny!

After debating for months, I bit the bullet and saved the car!!!

On December 11, the Achieva once again roared back to life...

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...And was promptly put to severe winter driving!!! (WITH NO HEAT...remember...by-passed heater core! d'oh!)

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To be continued in 2011..................

Edited by !!!TED!!!
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Achieva in 2011:

The year started out hopefull.

I was attending classes for Automotive Engines....a course supplied by GM with 3100 V6's to dismantle (perfect!)

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In February, she was put back on the stock wheels, as the tires for the Z24's had gotten really bad...

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March 15 2011:

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At the end of March, I bought another set of Z24 wheels in mint condition, with near new tires!

On the car they went...good to go for the car show season!

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March 31, 2011:

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The Achieva ran flawless...and everything was peachy once again!

April 7, 2011:

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April 17, 2011:

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To be continued.....

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It was a beautiful, sunny spring day on May 7, 2011.

I had detailed the car, and went for a 100km drive on my favorite roads!

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I drove back to the city with a big smile on my face!

Before I got home, I decided to stop at the bank.

As tried to start the car again, it wouldn't crank!!!

After failing to boost it, and having it towed to a local shop..it was found that the starter had gone bad.

A new starter was installed...and she started....but to my horror.....puttered, and died again. Some piston rings had come loose on the #3 cylinder, causing the engine to fail!!!! &^$&*($&^$&^

What to do...what to do?!?!?

Project Achieva was ONCE AGAIN put on hold.

May 29, 2011:

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I had an estimate of $2200 to drop a new engine in!

It was very painful, but the decision was made to get another car.

Car searching commenced....

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