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Buick Park Avenue for sale - 7 tickets left

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OK, apologies if this thread is even more half-arsed than my normal for sale threads, but my heart really isn't in it.  This is very much a head over heart sale as I really do love driving the old crate.  I even enjoy seeing it sitting outside the front of my house (now it's working again at least).  However my head is saying it's not got long left on the MOT, it's going to need some work, and I currently have four cars ahead of it in the MOT queue, at least two of which (Innocenti and Rover of Doom) are almost certainly going to need money spending on them, so if I keep it it's probably going to end up sitting around for months until I get round to getting it sorted, which would be a bit of a waste.

 

Having said that, if it doesn't sell I certainly won't be shedding any tears.

 

Anyway, let's start off with the good bits.

 

-Starts every time since I fixorated it, and goes pretty well now the gearbox is working properly - I took it up my private* test track last night and it recorded a 0-60 time of 9.6 seconds, which is only 0.1 sec behind the official quoted figure. 

 

-Not too bad on fuel on a steady run for a 3.8 V6, although obviously not quite so good round the houses.

 

-Just about the ideal size of Yank IMHO - big enough and wallowy enough to feel like a proper American car, but small enough and wieldy enough to be usable in this country.  It'll even just about fit into a Tesco parking space.

 

-Lights, wipers, horn, indicators etc. all work.  I've fitted new wiper blades as they were utterly shagged.  I've also fitted LED reversing lights as the original reversing lights were repurposed to work as indicators when the car was brought into the UK.  Climate control works from a heating point of view - no idea if the aircon works.  Original stereo is in working order and doesn't sound too bad.  Electric seats work (or at least the driver's one does, not tried the passenger one).  Interior is a nice place to be, in a slightly tacky American sort of a way.

 

-Seems generally pretty solid, drives straight and true with "no knocks or bangs" as they say in the eBay adverts.

 

-Actually handles reasonably well - it wallows and bounces and there's bugger all feel through the steering, but it clings on through corners better than I'd expected.

 

 

Not so good bits:

 

-MOT runs out on 19th March.  It'll definitely need a repair to the battery tray to pass, and something doing about the ABS light which stays on.  You might get away with removing the bulb - the ABS pump is down below the air filter so not immediately obvious upon opening the bonnet, although might be spotted when checking the brake pipes.  Also the fact that it has the words "Anti-lock braking system" embossed into the brake pedal rubber, and a further "anti-lock" badge on the dash, could be a bit of a giveaway.  You could potentially wire it in to the oil pressure light, or do something clever with a timer chip (one of which I will include if you fancy it).  Or, Heaven forbid, you could actually try and fix whatever the issue is, although I have no idea how you'd diagnose an ABS fault on a car this age other than by trial and error.

 

-The MIL also stays on, although I don't think that's an MOT issue on a car this age, and it says "Service engine soon" rather than showing a picture of an engine, so a tester might not pick up on what it is anyway.  I interrogated the on-board diagnostics but they didn't show up any fault codes, so not sure what's going on there.  The "Change oil soon" light also comes on, but goes off after a bit.

 

-Central locking doesn't work from outside, and only two of the four doors work on the inside button.  Boot and fuel flap releases don't work either - boot has to be opened with the key, and fuel flap released manually (oh, the ignominy).

 

-Electric aerial is temperamental - it comes up OK, but needs a hand going down and doesn't seem to know when to stop retracting sometimes.

 

-Headlining has been removed by a previous owner (the one before Bramz) - apparently it was sagging so they just ripped it out.  :?

 

-Think it needs a wheel balancing as there's a bit of a vibration above about 65.

 

-Radiator lower mount is quite rusty, although don't think this counts as structural for MOT purposes.

 

-Paintwork is typical of a Florida car - quite faded.  General bodywork condition is also typical of Floridian giffer ownership - couple of scuffs and scrapes and a couple of bits of chrome trim missing.  Still looks respectable enough from a short distance away though.

 

-Cruise control doesn't work.

 

-It could do with a set of plugs (they're not expensive, only about a tenner for a full set) and one of the HT leads has seen better days, although that doesn't seem to be affecting the running at the moment.

 

Think that about covers it.  It owes me £600 [plus the odd little bits I've spent on it since and the two weekends of my life I lost fixing its running issues], and I'd like to see that back.  It's in NE Norfolk, delivery may be possible.

 

Pics:

 

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As much as I would like, I have no spare dosh.

 

Talking of Caprice's, my sister was an undertaker in Germany and she had a Caprice hearse, huge fucker of a thing, the only hearse at the time (so she said) that you could get two coffins in side by side. She did her shopping in it.

 

I really would love this after failing to re-obtain my previous olds.

 

Bugger. Unless Rover 45 perhaps?

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Is that battery tray unboltable?  Some older yanks are.  Might be relatively cheap for a replacement for you or new owner.

 

Think its welded. There's a really naff video on youtube of someone fixing the tray by basically bolting what appears to be a plastic tray to whats left and then securing with bolts;

Had hoped to get an idea, and a rough price of whats involved to fix it.

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How deep is it? A vauxhall meriva battery tray bolts to the front end metalwork and self contains a clamp. Might work? 406 one does too thinking about it, I've got to take mine out to run ratchet straps under it, bolt it back down then strap the battery down so it's not a fail

 

Assuming it's a boggo battery and not some huge yank special thing?

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No, it's a normal battery - in fact it's on the small side for an engine this size (think it's an 065).  I did think about fitting a larger one, but a. this one starts the car perfectly well and b. I think a heavier battery would fall through the tray.

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Third gen, so 77-90, but within that the later the better IMO, ideally 87-90.

 

It's a loooong way off though.

 

It's 77-78. The later ones are shit.

79 the front became ugly, 80 they scrapped the 350, 81 the entire car became ugly and they made them ever more firmly sprung and shit from then on.

The 78 is the best of the bunch, by far.

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Random point... depending on what type of setup it uses, it's entirely possible that the dead cruise control and ABS light being on are due to the same fault.

 

Not by any means guaranteed, but possible.

 

If I had space on the drive I'd have your arm off at the asking price. That looks a lovely comfy thing to waft around in.

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Could well be - I'll have a poke around at the weekend, could even be something blindingly obvious like a broken wire or something.

 

Good shout re the battery tray too - it might well be possible to chop out the rotten tray and then bodge in carefully fit a bolt-in tray from another vehicle - I don't think there's anything in the rules that says it has to be welded, is there, as long as it's secure?

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Good shout re the battery tray too - it might well be possible to chop out the rotten tray and then bodge in carefully fit a bolt-in tray from another vehicle - I don't think there's anything in the rules that says it has to be welded, is there, as long as it's secure?

 

Just secure as far I know.

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