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Old 10-13-2010, 11:19 AM   #11
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Re: Project: 1980 Buick LeSabre, 4.1L V6, 5MT

I don't do much appearance stuff. Modifications will be mostly for functionality, like the transmission. It's going to be my daily driver.

If it would have gotten 20 combined with the 3 speed auto then I should be able to beat my goals and hopes easily.

I'm not sure what weight I could remove, apart from comfort stuff (which I definitely will keep). It's not equipped with much optional stuff. I could remove the trunk carpet and spare tire. I had planned on removing some emissions stuff like the AIR pump.

That reminds me, I want to remove the A/C belt until summer.
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:12 PM   #12
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Re: Project: 1980 Buick LeSabre, 4.1L V6, 5MT

Removing the A/C belt is a PITA on GM vehicles of that vintage. When changing belts, its the first one on, last one off. You will have to remove all belts to take it off, then remove all belts again in the spring. Not to mention, that the defogger/defroster will not operate properly with the A/C disabled.

Also, I have found that regular running of the compressor keeps everything working well. It keeps the oil circulating around the system, keeping O rings and seals moist and pliable. If the system isn't' run regularly be prepared for a lot of work to get it running again in the spring, to possibly include new O rings.

I remember years ago mentioning that I wanted to disconnect the a/c clutch in the winter so it would not run with the defroster, and dad cautioned me against it. He even mentioned that Chryslers used to run the compressor for 20-30 seconds each time the car is started for just this reason.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:02 PM   #13
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Re: Project: 1980 Buick LeSabre, 4.1L V6, 5MT

The A/C system needs to be charged and doesn't work. I'm sure it already needs new O-rings. Is there still any reason to run the compressor?

Removing all belts to get it off is not an issue. I need to replace them all anyway. Until I do I can just cut the A/C belt.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:35 PM   #14
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Re: Project: 1980 Buick LeSabre, 4.1L V6, 5MT

If the system is already nonfunctional, then just cut the belt. Be prepared for new O-rings in the spring, then pull it down for several hours on a vacuum pump. If it holds a constant vacuum with no loss of vacuum overnight, then you can charge it up. I recommend one of the butane based R-12 replacements. They work extremely well. If you convert to R134A you will be disappointed with your results.
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:58 AM   #15
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Re: Project: 1980 Buick LeSabre, 4.1L V6, 5MT

I had two very good 225/75-15 tires on wheels that came with the transmission donor vehicle that fit, and put them on the rear. The car's original tire size is 205/75-15.

They look ridiculous, partly because of the mismatched wheels, partly because they are larger, partly because they are blackwall while the fronts are whitewall, and partly because they tuck pretty deep (which itself is because of the shape of the fender cutout as well as sagging 30 year old coil springs).

Besides being larger and bringing the speedometer closer to accurate (haven't yet bought appropriate speedometer gears), they hold more pressure.

It seems to coast a lot better with them on, but that may be my imagination. I'll try the old ones again soon enough. All I know is it coasts WAY better than I expected...I figured that, with the aerodynamic qualities of a cinderblock, it would coast terrible anywhere above 20mph. Instead it coasts well up to about 50mph.

I tried EOC. The good news: Bump starting this car is way easier than I expected. The bad news: Shutting it off takes forever with the 53 pound flywheel. I'll need to install a kill switch for sure if I am to EOC.
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Old 10-17-2010, 02:40 PM   #16
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Re: Project: 1980 Buick LeSabre, 4.1L V6, 5MT

What's everybody's opinion on smog pumps? I removed the belt from it and if the car seems unaffected I'll remove the whole assembly.

I went to remove the A/C belt and saw that it is run past the fan pulley too. Another belt also turns the fan pulley. Is it just there for backup (or belt routing), or is it required to ensure that the fan operates?
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:10 PM   #17
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Re: Project: 1980 Buick LeSabre, 4.1L V6, 5MT

I dislike smog pumps, but here in Va if you disconnect it you will fail emissions, regardless of your tailpipe test.
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:29 PM   #18
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Re: Project: 1980 Buick LeSabre, 4.1L V6, 5MT

I have two years to worry about that, I can put it back together in 2 years if necessary.
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Old 10-17-2010, 04:27 PM   #19
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Re: Project: 1980 Buick LeSabre, 4.1L V6, 5MT

Is your Buick exempt from emissions yet? In VA vehicles are exempt after 25 years. I would take the one out of my Regal, but then it probably would not run right because it may force the computer to run in limp home mode.
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Old 10-17-2010, 05:12 PM   #20
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Re: Project: 1980 Buick LeSabre, 4.1L V6, 5MT

It is exempt.

Removing the smog pump shouldn't be noticed by the computer. Google tells me that even newer vehicles don't know when you remove the smog pump.

One post on a forum search result said that the cat would eventually clog as a result of removing the smog pump.
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