Drew Dowdell

Project Toronado

193 posts in this topic

Project: 1981 Oldsmobile Toronado

post-51-1279896656292.png

This is my project thread for restoring my 1981 Oldsmobile Toronado as close to factory as possible.

Immediate term:

Replace trunk struts - Don't always hold the trunk open.

Replace the hood ornament - this wasn't high priority, but current one is cracked and I found one in great condition on ebay for $15

Replace the rear air shocks and springs

Diagnose and repair the automatic leveling system (ELC), the compressor doesn't even kick on Fixed, was the ELC relay under the dash. NOS part found on E-bay for $20

Replace the front shocks.

Replace the catalytic converter and rebuild the smog equipment

Replace the tires.

Replace front floor mats. Again, not a high priority but found a proper color NOS set on ebay for $19.99

Replace various burnt out interior bulbs.

Replace leaking washer fluid lines.

Medium term:

P-N-R safety switch... it works, but is flakey, the reverse lights don't always come on. According to my service manual, this could be related to the ELC not working.

Remove subwoofer and associated wiring from trunk. The wiring is poorly done.

Replace air feeder tube to air filter

Replace valve cover gaskets

Remove "Thug Bug" aftermarket security system.

Return to stock sounding exhaust. I'd like to keep the current configuration with dual pipes, but I prefer my cars quiet. (Exhaust sound as purchased)

Replace every vacuum tube EVAR!

Replace missing hood insulation pad.

Long term:

Replace headlight switch. it's operation isn't very smooth. it feels loose in the dash.

Diagnose and repair power driver's seat/switches. Only operates in certain directions.

Replace power window motors, both sides. Bearing in the driver side motor is squealing.

Adjust/Repair/Replace remote mirrors. Mirrors are very loose and require constant adjusting.

Make a click free wire wheel.

Replace aftermarket stereo/CD player with OE unit.

Replace front and rear bumper filler panels.

Recover sun visors.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drew, you are doing a lot of the same stuff I had to do. I started in 2007 when I got the Toronado and I just finished this year. The only thing I need to do is get another OEM stereo. The one in the car works fine, I just do not have the top of the line unit.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shouldn't this be in the "project car" section?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's my site and I'll post where I want to. :neenerneener:

No, you're right. Moving it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to pick nits, but this section has such great stuff that I had to say something. :AH-HA:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually like the way the exhaust sounds. You could always add Damplifier and keep the exhaust. :P

I bet those old cars have about as much sound deadening as a piece of paper.

Seems like a fun project.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually like the way the exhaust sounds. You could always add Damplifier and keep the exhaust. :P

I bet those old cars have about as much sound deadening as a piece of paper.

Seems like a fun project.

I don't mind the exhaust sound, just not on this car. It doesn't fit the image, plus it makes the car all bark with no bite to back it up. Most Cobalt owners on here have more horsepower than I do.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't mind the exhaust sound, just not on this car. It doesn't fit the image, plus it makes the car all bark with no bite to back it up. Most Cobalt owners on here have more horsepower than I do.

Understandable... so as far as wanting to go w/ a vintage radio, is for the appearance or do you have a bunch of 8-tracks or cassettes you want to listen to? :)

I still have the original AM/FM/cassette unit from my '87 Mustang GT but replaced it w/ a Sony AM/FM/CD player and updated speakers back in '99.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Understandable... so as far as wanting to go w/ a vintage radio, is for the appearance or do you have a bunch of 8-tracks or cassettes you want to listen to? :)

I still have the original AM/FM/cassette unit from my '87 Mustang GT but replaced it w/ a Sony AM/FM/CD player and updated speakers back in '99.

For appearance. But almost all of my music is on iPod. I have a cassette adapter that works decent in the CR-V.

I actually like the way the exhaust sounds. You could always add Damplifier and keep the exhaust. :P

I bet those old cars have about as much sound deadening as a piece of paper.

Seems like a fun project.

Which reminds me I need to add this to the list:

Replace missing hood insulation pad.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The body appears to be in good shape. If you get the rest of the stuff repaired, you should take it to the Starlite car cruise in Wexford next summer. They already had Oldsmobile/Cadilllac night this year.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the tube grille Olds used those years...a bit of an homage to the '66.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What engine do you have in there? Please tell me it is the V8.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Other than changing the exhaust...I am pretty much down with it.

And did you mean vacuum hoses instead of vacuum tubes...perhaps a 1958 Olds had Vacuum tubes instead of transistors in the radio....

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, boo on the silent treatment, but the rest of the list sounds dandy. We'll be watchin' to check progress, Drewbert!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes we will..be watching...Sweet Ride!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate to think what the Buick V6 had for power, I think it was around 110. The V8 probably has respectable torque.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate to think what the Buick V6 had for power, I think it was around 110. The V8 probably has respectable torque.

The 3.8 used back then was 110 hp as you stated. this was the early days of the 3800 before it changed.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't love it for its speed. I love it for its sound. And the attendant attitude that goes along.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What engine do you have in there? Please tell me it is the V8.

Yup. The 307. No speed demon, but no slouch either. Unfortunately, it's only a 3-speed auto, so it's not great on the highway.

Other than changing the exhaust...I am pretty much down with it.

And did you mean vacuum hoses instead of vacuum tubes...perhaps a 1958 Olds had Vacuum tubes instead of transistors in the radio....

This (and all other 80s cars) are filled with a series of tubes!.... with vacuum!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a 307 4V in my Olds Cutlass...that's a fine power train...my girlfriend at the time, wife now...and I...drove that thing across part of Canada one summer when we were dating.

NOTHING at all wrong with that Olds motivation...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate to think what the Buick V6 had for power, I think it was around 110. The V8 probably has respectable torque.

The Buick V6 that was available was the 4.1 liter, not the 3.8. The 3.8 was never available in this body of Toronado. It was available in the Riviera in turbo-charged form with 185hp.

The 4.1 liter V6 had 125hp and 205 ft/lbs of torque.

My 307 is 148hp and 250 ft/lbs of torque. The 140 hp - 255 ft/lbs version arrived in 1985.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Buick V6 that was available was the 4.1 liter, not the 3.8. The 3.8 was never available in this body of Toronado. It was available in the Riviera in turbo-charged form with 185hp.

The 4.1 liter V6 had 125hp and 205 ft/lbs of torque.

My 307 is 148hp and 250 ft/lbs of torque. The 140 hp - 255 ft/lbs version arrived in 1985.

Strange they had power figures which were not multiples of 5.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strange they had power figures which were not multiples of 5.

Well if it makes you feel better. Since it doesn't have a catalytic converter, I can probably say it's got 150hp now.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now