1 2 3 ... 5
MailmAn
MailmAn New Reader
11/7/14 6:50 a.m.

As a direct result of this: http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/help-my-brother-for-i-am-his-keeper-and-his-merced/90687/page1/ happening to this: (File Photo)

While at around the same time this:

Happened to my backup vehicle with 297,000 miles on it: (File Photo)

I ended up in the unfortunate circumstance of needing another vehicle to perform daily driver duties until I could get one of my other vehicles repaired and roadworthy again. Since I already dumped pretty much all of my money into my Mercedes and it is still not running well enough to drive it, I needed a difficult to find mix of cheap yet reliable transportation. I started scouring Craigslist and eBay to try to find something suitable, but there are a surprising number of people trying to sell high mileage rusted piles of garbage for top dollar. It was starting to look hopeless.

But then, I happened upon this eBay listing: 1983 Oldsmobile 88 Custom Cruiser 4 Door Wagon Light Gray V8

For some reason, no one else decided to bid on it, so I did. $900 later (plus $188 for 2 year NYS registration and sales tax, as well as another $101.45 for insurance every 6 months), I am now the "proud" new owner of a nice example of an early 1980's family station wagon. Sure, it is no Wagon Queen Family Truckster, but it should get me by through the winter until I can get the engine swap done on my truck and get that back on the road again.

I haven't really had the time to take many good pictures of it yet since I bought it, but while I was filling up the fuel tank for the first time, I decided it may be a good chance to photograph my beast in its natural habitat - where I am sure it will be spending a good portion of its time. So, I pulled out my cell phone and snapped a few pictures before it galloped off down the road again:

Not too bad, right? (And yes, that is a small fuel puddle on the ground beneath the fuel fill neck. These old cars like to splash gas out the fill neck when they start getting full... plus I like to try to top off my tank and round it up to the nearest even dollar amount. I know, it is stupid especially when 50 cents worth of gasoline ends up seeping into the concrete. The baddies in the Road Warrior would have killed to mop that up with a rag and wrung it out into their gas tanks!) (Oh, and also, yes I did fill her up with Premium! That is why I always try to go to this gas station in particular, since they have the cheapest 93 octane fuel in the Capital Region.)

So, I know I already posted this in the other thread about my Mercedes, but I figure it bears repeating here in the thread for the Oldsmobile. Shortly after I bought the car, I started making a list of things that need immediate attention:

1) Rearview mirror fell off and needs to be reattached.

2) Driver's side door mirror is the wrong one and sits too low to see anything behind you and can't really be adjusted since it hits the door. It looks like it was supposed to have a mirror that is adjustable from inside without lowering the window, but someone broke it off and just slapped on the first mirror they could find at a junkyard that wasn't even for the car.

3) Figure out why the interior lights don't work. May just need bulbs. The front interior light was held in by the headliner, so I'll have to find a way to wire it up there. For now it is in the glove box.

4) Properly secure the spare tire in the back. While I was driving it, you could hear the tire rattling around in its compartment because it is just loose in there. I hope they didn't lose the mounting bracket for it or anything...

5) The engine needs a GOOD proper tune-up. I know those 80's 307 V8's weren't all that powerful, but this thing is about as doggy as can be! It was raining pretty good the day I went to pick up the wagon and I tried to floor the car at a light to see if I could break the rear tires loose in the rain and it couldn't even do that! The acceleration in that thing is glacially slow. I know it is a station wagon, but I should still think that the 0-60 time should be sometime before next week...

6) Figure out if I can easily fix the oil leak. I brought 2 quarts of oil with me to top it off before I drove it home since the valve train sounded pretty rattly on it when I test drove it. It was at least a quart low and the engine still sounded like it had a tick in it when I was driving it home. (It could have even been a pin-hole exhaust leak though.) But after running the engine for only a few minutes, you can already smell burning oil, meaning it is leaking pretty quickly.

7) Try to figure out how to fix the driver's arm rest on the door. Looks like someone had disassembled the door at some point to try and fix the power locks (yes, it does have power locks, but they don't work...). However, they lost some screws it looks like that hold the arm rest on, so it is just loose and wobbly right now.

I will be updating this more as I start making some progress towards fixing up my wagon. I'm going to also want to come up with an interesting name for her. The Oldsmobile is big, long, and grey. Kind of like an old Navy vessel, such as a battleship or an aircraft carrier. A good name might be something along the lines of the U.S.S. ___ (Fill in the blank with the name of some famous WWII ship or something along those lines...). I also kind of like referring to it as an Oldsmobile Battle Cruiser. I wonder if I could get new emblems made up for the side that say that instead of Custom Cruiser? hmmmmm...

wae
wae HalfDork
11/7/14 6:59 a.m.

One of those with the genuine imitation wood paneling was my first car way back when. We called it the Battle Wagon.

moparman76_69
moparman76_69 SuperDork
11/7/14 7:05 a.m.

You should get that oil leak fixed before it gets nicknamed Exxon Valdez.

TRoglodyte
TRoglodyte SuperDork
11/7/14 7:21 a.m.

Find one or twelve OldsMObiles at a U Pullit and start a parts hoard before it snows. Proper snow tires and a lack of power will be useful in the on coming snow typhoon. As far as a name how bout "BIG MO"

fasted58
fasted58 PowerDork
11/7/14 7:38 a.m.

Nice score.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UberDork
11/7/14 7:50 a.m.

Sweetness.

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 New Reader
11/7/14 7:51 a.m.

If you need any help with that thing, let me know. I'm rather well versed in box wagons:

Yours looks pretty clean, actually. Normal rust spots are front floor pans and the rear spare tire well holder, but otherwise they seem to hold up well enough. Snow tires turn these into beasts in the snow - RWD, relatively generous steering locks, and longish wheelbase makes for endless drifting. I've had mine stuck in about 2.5 feet of snow in a ditch after a CRV ran me off the road and I got out without shoveling, and mine doesn't even have a posi.

  • if you find a good way to reattach that rearview, let me know. I ended up making a mount to the header panel above the windshield, because all the glue fixes broke after a few weeks again. One fell and landed on top of the shift lever (mine's a stick) and broke the mirror...

  • If it had the adjustable mirrors, there will be a little chrome joystick sticking out of the door panel, and another in the dash by the steering column for the passenger side. They use a cluster of 3 braided cables to adjust the mirrors. I thought only the ones with the later aero mirrors were adjustable from inside, but I could be wrong.

  • When the dome light falls out, occasionally it shorts against the frame and blows the fuse. The light actually mounts to a bracket on the roof, but they fall out because the light is partially responsible for holding up the headliner. Creative use of rivets or a drill and coarse thread body bolts will get it back up there. The rear light in the trunk area generally shouldn't come on with the doors opening. My understanding is that this was an option, and most don't have it.

  • There's enough room for a full-size spare back there if you don't already have one. I recommend it, if you do much towing or hauling. You don't know terror until you get a flat while towing 5000 lbs and have to use the donut.

  • If you really want more oomph, there's not a ton you can do to the olds engine. The only stuff worth doing is flipping the air cleaner lid and making sure the carb is adjusted properly. Usually, the secondaries are set up to not open all the way, and it's possible to modify it so that they can. It makes a big difference. All the Olds V8s from that era are interchangeable - the 350 version drops right in. The 403 might too. SBC swaps are also (obviously) easy. The engine mount holes are already drilled in the front crossmember. With the 307 and a 2.93 rear end, I got my 0-60 down to about 11 seconds on slightly oversize tires.

  • There are a ton of screws in the door panel, and all thread into sheet metal, which means the PO probably stripped some out. The door pull strap thing is actually supposed to be riveted on, which means the rivets get drilled out to remove the door panel. Again, big body bolts can come to the rescue here.

  • Mine is named Humphrey.

They're actually really good vehicles, and you got a good deal on that one. If you decide to keep it, they can actually do well at an autocross with some parts-bin raiding. I usually run on par with the hemi chargers and challengers, CTSs, and the big BMWs, though I'm classed in SM so it's all really just for fun and games. Looks like a nice score, and it's good to see another being driven rather than sent to the derbies.

doc_speeder
doc_speeder Reader
11/7/14 10:10 a.m.

I learned to drive in a sedan version of that car. Dad's was a '79 with a 403. Not a rocket, but sounded good and would roast one tire fairly easily...of course I have a soft spot for them ever since.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy PowerDork
11/7/14 10:26 a.m.

Track down a 60's 425. My 66 Delta 88 had the best air cleaner ever- "Ultra High Compression Super Rocket V8" It went like hell.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Dork
11/7/14 11:50 a.m.

1) don't waste your money on high test. That engine had like 8:1 compression on a good day. Run 87 octane.

2) Quit topping off your tank like that. It wastes gas and, as you rightly pointed out, modern gas pumps hate older cars. Plus, if your tank is too full, it'll slosh out while you're driving.

3) Flip the air cleaner lid, I did that on my Suburban's 350 and it helped immensely. QJ's are pretty decent carbs, when rebuilt and set up properly.

If you want, my buddy has those Boy Coddington wheels, they're yours for $150, you can mount summer tires on those and put your 4 wheel snows on the stock wheels. Don't bother with studs, but snow tires or LT tires would be prudent. Does your truck have the same bolt pattern? Check it out, you might be able to run those tires.

You planning on selling the Benz?

pres589
pres589 UltraDork
11/7/14 12:07 p.m.

I support 100% of volvoclearinghouse's message. Save for the Boyd wheels, I have nothing to do with that part.

MailmAn
MailmAn New Reader
11/7/14 2:01 p.m.
volvoclearinghouse wrote: 1) don't waste your money on high test. That engine had like 8:1 compression on a good day. Run 87 octane.

True... But I'm more worried about the ethanol in the fuel today. There was no ethanol in 1980's gasoline, so the owner's manual even said you could run 85 or 86 octane fuel in the car! However, I have heard (not 100% how accurate it is) that some of the 93 octane fuel either has no ethanol in it or at least less ethanol than 87. I have also been told that the older engines will run better on 93 octane even with ethanol in it (like if you mix it with 87 that was already in the tank). It will also hopefully last longer before gumming up or separating. I only use 93 octane in my lawnmowers and snowblowers as well. Plus, it is only 20 cents more a gallon at the gas station I go to (many others are WAY more in this area though...), so it isn't THAT much more expensive. If I am on the road and desperately need fuel and it is 50 cents or more a gallon difference, then I will put in the 87.

volvoclearinghouse wrote: If you want, my buddy has those Boy Coddington wheels, they're yours for $150, you can mount summer tires on those and put your 4 wheel snows on the stock wheels. Don't bother with studs, but snow tires or LT tires would be prudent. Does your truck have the same bolt pattern? Check it out, you might be able to run those tires.

I thought I already told you that I'd take them. I think they would look good on the wagon! But I don't really need them now heading into winter, so set them aside for me please (or wrap them up for Christmas or something...). I doubt the wagon will have the same bolt pattern as my truck, plus I'm assuming that the wheels on the wagon are 14", not 15", so that also throws that idea out the window. My truck has a 5 on 5 bolt pattern, the wagon is probably 4.5 on 5 or something. I think I need new tires in general for it (or at least have them re-balanced) as the car vibrates like crazy over 50 MPH on the highway.

I also get a lot of rear end sway for some reason that has me a bit worried. IDK if it is just bad shocks, bad bushings (I thought the car had rear leaf springs, but I was told that is has rear coils actually... I originally figured maybe a leaf spring shackle was bad though.) It acts really odd though as it seems fine and stable at lower speeds, but once I get up to like 55-60 MPH on the highway, as I depress the accelerator, it feels like the back end of the car is pulling to the right. If I let up on the gas, then it feels like the rear end pulls back to the left. It is very pronounced if I snap the throttle a bit and then the rear end very noticeably wobbles around right to left. It is the most bizarre thing I have ever felt and it is very disconcerting. I have driven big cars before (and my truck, obviously) and I have never felt a vehicle to that to me before. It almost feels like the rear axle isn't fully attached the chassis or something. (Unless it is just sidewall flex from the tires or something? The tires are all inflated to the right pressure though.)

volvoclearinghouse wrote: You planning on selling the Benz?

Not at this point I don't think. I'm waiting to see what happens with the garage first. I'm still holding out on getting my money back, but I might want to hold onto the car for "evidence" and if I sell the car, I'm worried I may somehow screw myself if it goes to court. Plus, there is no WAY I will be able to sell it in non-operating condition to anyone for anywhere near what I have into the car right now and I don't want to sell it at a huge loss just to get rid of it. It is not taking up space in my driveway right now and it is parked in a safe location right now at the shop where my truck is at and it is not causing anyone any problems. So, I'm going to hold onto it for right now until I figure out if it is worth rebuilding the bottom end and keeping it or not. A large part of that will hinge upon how I make out with the garage. But, these are all discussions for the OTHER thread, NOT this one. I'm trying to keep things separated. So, Benz talk goes in the other thread and Olds talk stays in this one!

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Dork
11/7/14 2:02 p.m.

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 New Reader
11/7/14 2:24 p.m.
MailmAn wrote: I thought I already told you that I'd take them. I think they would look good on the wagon! But I don't really need them now heading into winter, so set them aside for me please (or wrap them up for Christmas or something...). I doubt the wagon will have the same bolt pattern as my truck, plus I'm assuming that the wheels on the wagon are 14", not 15", so that also throws that idea out the window. My truck has a 5 on 5 bolt pattern, the wagon is probably 4.5 on 5 or something. I think I need new tires in general for it (or at least have them re-balanced) as the car vibrates like crazy over 50 MPH on the highway. I also get a lot of rear end sway for some reason that has me a bit worried. IDK if it is just bad shocks, bad bushings (I thought the car had rear leaf springs, but I was told that is has rear coils actually... I originally figured maybe a leaf spring shackle was bad though.) It acts really odd though as it seems fine and stable at lower speeds, but once I get up to like 55-60 MPH on the highway, as I depress the accelerator, it feels like the back end of the car is pulling to the right. If I let up on the gas, then it feels like the rear end pulls back to the left. It is very pronounced if I snap the throttle a bit and then the rear end very noticeably wobbles around right to left. It is the most bizarre thing I have ever felt and it is very disconcerting. I have driven big cars before (and my truck, obviously) and I have never felt a vehicle to that to me before. It almost feels like the rear axle isn't fully attached the chassis or something. (Unless it is just sidewall flex from the tires or something? The tires are all inflated to the right pressure though.)

Lucky for you, the wagons are 5 X 5, just like your truck. Sedans got the smaller pattern.

It shouldn't feel loose, even on tall tires. Not like that. Some torque reaction twist with the soft stock suspension is normal, but not steering with the throttle like that. It is coil sprung, so that won't cause it. I would just give all the control arm bolts a once over (it's a 4 link with diagonal uppers) and check the bushings before doing anything else. I can't really think of anything else that would cause that. The control arms are just stamped pieces, and both them and the bushings are known to be a little weak.

MailmAn
MailmAn New Reader
11/7/14 2:27 p.m.
gearheadE30 wrote: If you need any help with that thing, let me know. I'm rather well versed in box wagons:

Where are you located? I may need some help with it eventually... Nice wagon BTW! That is the same as mine, right? (except for the color, obviously...)

gearheadE30 wrote: Yours looks pretty clean, actually. Normal rust spots are front floor pans and the rear spare tire well holder, but otherwise they seem to hold up well enough.

Yes, it is relatively rust free, which kind of surprised me for the age. I do have a small rust-out in the bottom of the spare tire well, which I guess is to be expected as that area tends to collect water and it will sit there. The rest is all just minor surface rust and very small rust holes in the bottom of the doors. As far as I can tell, the floor pans are all very solid. The plastic bumper fills are pretty well dry-rotted out though and brittle. I am missing a few already and the remaining ones seem like they may follow along disintegrating fairly soon.

gearheadE30 wrote: (mine's a stick)

How did you manage that? That's awesome. I would love a stick wagon. Did you modify it to make it a manual or is that some rare factory option or something? (American cars of that era seemed to all be automatic - however, there are some odd factory manual vehicles out there. I have seen 1980's Dodge Caravans with factory manual gearboxes before...)

gearheadE30 wrote: - If you really want more oomph, there's not a ton you can do to the olds engine. The only stuff worth doing is flipping the air cleaner lid and making sure the carb is adjusted properly. Usually, the secondaries are set up to not open all the way, and it's possible to modify it so that they can. It makes a big difference. All the Olds V8s from that era are interchangeable - the 350 version drops right in. The 403 might too. SBC swaps are also (obviously) easy. The engine mount holes are already drilled in the front crossmember. With the 307 and a 2.93 rear end, I got my 0-60 down to about 11 seconds on slightly oversize tires.

Well, there is a LOT you can do to the engine, but it is a matter of time and money. I'm going to just drive it for now. Once I get my truck back on the road, I MAY contemplate doing more to this car eventually. It depends how I feel about it in the long run and what I want to do with it. The guy who owns the shop where most of my vehicles are now used to drag race professionally back in the 80's and built race engines out of his shop. He was a wagon guy. His primary weapon of choice was a 1981 Chevy Caprice Estate wagon. It was black and had the original 305 V8 in it, granted it was worked over quite a bit. He said that big-ass heavy wagon with only a little 305 small block would run a 13+ second quarter mile! He was track champion several years in a row. He also ran a late 80's Malibu wagon later on that was around the same speed. So, you can get some decent power out of those small blocks... (Although I am sure a lot of that speed was also the rear end ratios helping out as well...)

Needless to say, he was very excited after seeing my recent acquisition! It brought back a lot of memories for him of his drag racing glory days...

gearheadE30 wrote: Looks like a nice score, and it's good to see another being driven rather than sent to the derbies.

Thanks! I thought so too. And yes, sadly enough, a lot of these old 70's and 80's big American cars were either crushed or sent to the demolition derbies years ago, especially the very sought after wagons! They do hold up really well as a derby car, but that seems like such a travesty! I can't tell you how many times people have asked me if I would sell my old Plymouth Fury to them for like $500 so they could use it as a derby car. I'm like "Hell No!! Piss off!!" I could never do that to my car. Then they tell me if I ever change my mind and decide that I want to get rid of my car to give them a call. I'm sure they are still waiting by the phone...

MailmAn
MailmAn New Reader
11/7/14 2:43 p.m.
volvoclearinghouse wrote:

Hahaha, close guess... I was actually thinking of this though when I came up with the title for this thread:

If you can guess why without doing a Google search or checking Wikipedia, then bonus points for you!

patgizz
patgizz PowerDork
11/7/14 3:12 p.m.

i had an 83 woody custom cruiser. it smoked for 30 minutes every morning, so if i did not wake up in time to let it "warm up" for half an hour before work, i looked like a crop duster going down the road.

EvanB
EvanB UltimaDork
11/7/14 3:24 p.m.
gearheadE30 wrote:
MailmAn wrote: I thought I already told you that I'd take them. I think they would look good on the wagon! But I don't really need them now heading into winter, so set them aside for me please (or wrap them up for Christmas or something...). I doubt the wagon will have the same bolt pattern as my truck, plus I'm assuming that the wheels on the wagon are 14", not 15", so that also throws that idea out the window. My truck has a 5 on 5 bolt pattern, the wagon is probably 4.5 on 5 or something. I think I need new tires in general for it (or at least have them re-balanced) as the car vibrates like crazy over 50 MPH on the highway. I also get a lot of rear end sway for some reason that has me a bit worried. IDK if it is just bad shocks, bad bushings (I thought the car had rear leaf springs, but I was told that is has rear coils actually... I originally figured maybe a leaf spring shackle was bad though.) It acts really odd though as it seems fine and stable at lower speeds, but once I get up to like 55-60 MPH on the highway, as I depress the accelerator, it feels like the back end of the car is pulling to the right. If I let up on the gas, then it feels like the rear end pulls back to the left. It is very pronounced if I snap the throttle a bit and then the rear end very noticeably wobbles around right to left. It is the most bizarre thing I have ever felt and it is very disconcerting. I have driven big cars before (and my truck, obviously) and I have never felt a vehicle to that to me before. It almost feels like the rear axle isn't fully attached the chassis or something. (Unless it is just sidewall flex from the tires or something? The tires are all inflated to the right pressure though.)

Lucky for you, the wagons are 5 X 5, just like your truck. Sedans got the smaller pattern.

It shouldn't feel loose, even on tall tires. Not like that. Some torque reaction twist with the soft stock suspension is normal, but not steering with the throttle like that. It is coil sprung, so that won't cause it. I would just give all the control arm bolts a once over (it's a 4 link with diagonal uppers) and check the bushings before doing anything else. I can't really think of anything else that would cause that. The control arms are just stamped pieces, and both them and the bushings are known to be a little weak.

Bad wheel bearings?

SEADave
SEADave Reader
11/7/14 4:18 p.m.

Sorry I don't have anything more to add, but I really like that generation of B-body wagons. It seems I only see them when they are in the junkyard now, so sad. On the plus side there are lot of parts to be had.

pjbgravely
pjbgravely Reader
11/7/14 11:04 p.m.

Most ethanol free premium is labeled as such. I buy 91 E0 for all my small engines, they run much better on it, and maybe so will your car if you can get it. Ethanol increases octane so premium is more likely to have it.

plance1
plance1 SuperDork
11/8/14 5:41 p.m.

how is it that the dude above has a "stick" in his wagon? They all came with autos right? Someday I hope to buy a replacement for my old ford wagon, so I support this thread.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Dork
11/8/14 8:28 p.m.

Bro:

Your Olds wheels are indeed 5 x 5 just like your trucks, so they should interchange. Stock GM bolt pattern for cars is 5 x 4.75, but the wagons got the truck bolt pattern. It'll be quite the sight to see that Olds rolling down the road on some white letter LT tires! ;-) DO IT!

I think the stock wheels on the Olds were 15". Didn't you check the tire size on the sidewall?

As far as I know unless the gas specifically says "Ethanol free" you can count on it having corn in it. In fact, the ethanol is used as an octane booster (since they discovered MTBE is kinda nasty stuff) so the high octane stuff might have MORE ethanol in it. Anyway, if you can find eth-free gas, use it, otherwise, stick to the 87 octane. I just tanked up my '66 Town and Country (with 8.5 compression), and got 87 octane.

Check your rear end attachment points for anything loose or broken. Being a wagon, there's a lot of weight back there, so it won't handle like a 'Vette, but it should be stable at speed.

"Bungalow Bill"?

MailmAn
MailmAn New Reader
11/9/14 5:39 p.m.

Well, so far items #1-4 on my list above have been addressed, so some minor progress has been made on the wagon. I don't have pictures of everything, but do you really need to see a picture of my donut spare? Mmmmmmmm... Donut...

Anyways, I did stop by a local True Value Hardware Store and took the spare tire mounting hanger in and we tried to size it up. I figured it was going to be a 7/16" fine thread wing nut, but it turns out that the sucker was metric! So, I got a 10mm wing nut and it spun right on the threaded hanger perfectly. Go figure... So, at least my spare tire is now mounted properly and not clanging about back there when I go around a corner. (At least the mounting wing nut was the only thing that was lost - everything else to mount the spare tire AND the chintzy looking all mechanical jack (that doesn't look all that safe to jack up a full size car with... ) was lying around in the back of the wagon somewhere.)

Next on the list was re-mounting the rearview mirror. I picked up a package of this stuff at Advance Auto:

For a one-time use product, I thought it was kind of pricey at almost $3, but it seemed to do the job well. It comes with a pre-moistened alcohol cleaning wipe to thoroughly clean your windscreen with before applying the glue. In reference to GearheadE30's comment earlier:

gearheadE30 said: If you find a good way to reattach that rearview, let me know. I ended up making a mount to the header panel above the windshield, because all the glue fixes broke after a few weeks again. One fell and landed on top of the shift lever (mine's a stick) and broke the mirror...

The important thing is to be sure that everything is clean, clean, CLEAN before applying the glue to the metal mounting shoe and then applying that to the windscreen. I used a metal scraper blade (the same one that I use to scrape my vehicle registration off with) to scrape the old glue off of the windscreen as well as off of the back of the metal shoe. I then cleaned the entire inside of my windscreen with Windex to get it ready and then used the alcohol wipe in the package to further clean and prep the windscreen area where the mirror was going to mount. Then all it takes is ONE tiny drop of the glue onto the center of the mounting shoe and you press it against the windscreen and hold it for about a minute or two until it is set. It may take an hour or two to fully dry, but I mounted the rearview mirror on the shoe 10-15 minutes later and it seemed to hold just fine:

Some close-ups of the mounting shoe:

From the outside of the car: (Photoshop does wonders to fix up bad window reflections!)

Next on my list was to install a dome light in the car and get the interior lights working so I won't be fumbling around in the wagon in the dark. I purchased an optional factory dome light on eBay last week that looked much better than the simple, small round dome light that came in the car: http://www.ebay.com/itm/331359529183 So, I split the factory wires where a previous owner had cut them and stripped the wires back so I could install crimp-on butt connectors. Then I crimped the other side to my "new" dome light. Since it was a factory option for this car, there were already screw holes in the roof at the correct spots so I could just screw the dome light frame into the roof and voila! We have dome light:

Almost looks like it was always there, right?

Unfortunately, the light did NOT just all of a sudden start working after I wired it up. Turns out it needed a new one of these in order to work:

(The fuse probably blew because the previous owner had just tucked away the loose end of the wiring into the roof above the windscreen and it shorted out by grounding to the frame.) All the lights turned on after popping in the new fuse:

Ah, now that's MUCH better! Here is a shot of my interior all lit up at night: (Sorry for the crappy picture quality, but it was pretty dark outside when I took the picture...)

So, it is coming along a little bit at a time... I'm really happy that I have interior lights now at least! I can't for the life of me figure out what the deal is with the rear dome light though. It is a long, narrow light that mounts in the rear cargo/passenger area that has a switch on it. The light does work if you flip the switch, but if the switch is off, then the light doesn't work at all. (Okay, I know that is how an on-off switch is SUPPOSED to work, but stick with me here for a moment...) However, I thought I recall reading in the owner's manual that this light is supposed to turn on as a courtesy light when you open the rear door, much the same way that the front dome light works when you open the front doors? Could there be a switch that is not working properly in the rear door? I may have some more digging to do to figure this out...

MailmAn
MailmAn New Reader
11/9/14 5:43 p.m.
volvoclearinghouse wrote: "Bungalow Bill"?

Yup! (More completely, "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill".) Honestly, not one of my favorite songs off of that album... I rather prefer "Happiness is a Warm Gun" over this song, but I didn't know how I felt about naming this thread "Happiness is an Olds Custom Cruiser". Well, actually, now that I think about it... Hmmmmm...

(I take it no one else cared to wager a guess on that?)

The_Jed
The_Jed UltraDork
11/9/14 6:05 p.m.

Need pictures of the wagon sitting on your truck's wheels and tires STAT!!

1 2 3 ... 5
Our Preferred Partners
arC3PXpkgCUs0UIydJxyLi4RozZ5XYHpIdLwoCuomK3Eo6NBBmt6D6aZoOtytUjR