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Old 01-19-2015, 07:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Joan ('95 Buick Skylark) - '95 Buick Skylark Custom Sport
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Ohio, 16, and I have a Buick

So I joined this forum probably a year ago, I can't remember, but that introduction I posted was nothing but a pipe dream and a cry for making dreams come true. Now that I actually have my license and my car, it's time to get serious. So the car I picked up for a wallet-burning $350 is a 1995 Buick Skylark Custom Sport Coupe. I named her Joan because of the styling cues on the car (the pointed nose and grille is supposed to be reminiscent of a '39 Buick) and Joan is one of the most popular names in 1939, so it seemed fitting. The car has no rust apart from a two inch patch of surface rust just in front of the rear wheels on both sides on the rockers. I'll attend to that soon, but the car came from PA where I understand rust is basically forbidden, so underneath the car is immaculate. The issue is the head gasket; the car overheated on the old lady who owned it and her husband put it up for sale that day. Two weeks later and a Uhaul tow dolly, the car is sitting in my garage.

So from my understanding, the car will need (at the minimum)
-Head Gaskets/Intake Gasket
-Water Pump
-Thermostat
-Flush the oil system
-Bleed the cooling system

But most of us know that when the head gasket goes then the heads either crack or warp, so more than likely those will need to be sent to a machine shop. My dad and I can do the rest of it though.

So for future mods, I was thinking that I keep the appearance of the car mostly stock, because it's ridiculously clean and I think it's a beautiful car. So I'm thinking I'll:
-reduce the weight if I can
-block the grille partially from the inside (though overheating scares me because of how prone the 3.1 is to doing so)
-Make a front air dam out of something attractive and clean
-Inflate the tires to sidewall max

I might try a scangauge or MPGuino but I'm really kind of unsure how they help much (nor do I know which one I can use on my car). Any other mod suggestions just let me know. I have lurked for awhile but never really done anything. And now that I have a decently nice car, I don't want to ruin the appearance, though I know the least of most ecomodder's concerns is just that. I'm glad to be on this site and I'll maintain my fuel logs and keep posting.

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Old 01-19-2015, 09:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Are you sure it's a head gasket? At that age it could be the radiator or something else that just let the coolant level get low enough for it to get too hot. Do some tests before tearing it apart unless you have done them already.

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Old 01-19-2015, 09:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Joan ('95 Buick Skylark) - '95 Buick Skylark Custom Sport
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Yeah, I know it's the head gasket. It was notorious on these cars for it to overheat and the head gasket to go. There's definitely water in the oil it looks like chocolate milk.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Roger that, milk shake in the crankcase is virtually 100%.
I would have the radiator checked at that age, no sense in letting a clogged radiator ruin your head gskt job.

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Old 01-20-2015, 01:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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Congrats on the car.

I forgot how distinctive those Buicks looked:



Quote:
Originally Posted by 23baseball3 View Post
I might try a scangauge or MPGuino but I'm really kind of unsure how they help much (nor do I know which one I can use on my car).
Since it's a '95, you're probably out of luck on the OBD-II gauges (ScanGauge / UG). But an MPGuino will work. You just need access to VSS and one injector signal.

My view is: people who don't have fuel economy gauges tend to underestimate how useful they can be. Unless you spend nearly all your time at cruising speed on the highway, they're a game changer.

EDIT: though to be totally honest, as a new driver, I would hold off on getting a gauge. You have enough on your plate in terms of making good driving habits habitual before adding in the distraction of monitoring your on-road MPG too.

Quote:
Any other mod suggestions just let me know.
Your list sounds good. Start with that and go from there.

Good luck on the repairs.
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Old 01-20-2015, 01:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Maechunbu - Retired - '00 Kia Sephia 1.8I4 16VDOHC
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That is a nice looking car! It actually looks like the grill is already blocked!
Rear wheel skirts should be easy too! Looks like they planned them at one point.
I like how they don't have a massive gap around the tires. Really sets a nice look for the whole style of the car!
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The Q Sold - '02 Infiniti Q45 Sport
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Good first car! Pump up the air in the tires to 40+ psi.
Watching an instant mpg gauge is like playing a video game... You are always trying to win. Constantly watching yourself is the ONLY way to truely get better mpg.
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ECO MODS PERFORMED:
First: ScangaugeII
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...eii-23306.html

Second: Grille Block
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...e-10912-2.html

Third: Full underbelly pan
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...q45-11402.html

Fourth: rear skirts and 30.4mpg on trip!
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...tml#post247938
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Beater Echo - '00 Toyota Echo
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Nice! I remember when I was first-car shopping, these and it's sibling the Olds Achieva were two of the cars on my list. Pretty unpopular where I grew up though, so they were nearly impossible to find.

I think we forget that even in GM's doldrums of the 90s, they were trying some interesting things like this. OBDII might not be present on your car, but the OBDII connector was standardized around the GM diagnostic connector you probably have in your Skylark.

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