2017 LaCrosse Build thread (GS tribute)

Ghosthawk

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Installed wing mirror decals :cool:
IMG_2869.JPG

And the grille badge overlay...
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I tried taking the pics with flash but they looked horrible, so while these are a bit dark, they show the decal color much better.
 

Ghosthawk

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Wheels and tires should be dropped off tomorrow but don't know what time.

The sport grille should be here end of this week. I tried installing a new gloss black grille in my 2018 Impala yesterday and needless to say it did not go well...at all.

I don't know who was responsible for coming up with this concept of removing the bumper and everything held in place with a 1000 plastic clips that break if you sneeze on them wrong and are as stubborn to install/ remove as trying to dance with a rhino. Whoever they are, a plague on all your houses!!

If anyone has some tips on how to make this process go smoother it would be greatly appreciated!
I've scoured YouTube and there are plenty of videos on bumper removal but zip on the grille part.
 

Ghosthawk

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The wheel/tire pkg arrived early! Custom Offsets did a great job on the order and delivery.
Shoebox.jpg

The packing work was amazing with cardboard and foam pads between each wheel to prevent damage.
My granddaughter even pitched in to help out!
ShoeLayla.jpg

The finished combo looks great! I love the deep lip and the fatter tire profile. The offset is +10 over stock but the effect is definitely aggressive looking.
SgaileNewShoes.jpg
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Shoe4.jpg

I am absolutely pumped to get started on the blackout mods and the rear spoiler. GS decals and pinstripe tape are on the way.
 
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Ghosthawk

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Did a little photochopping in PaintShopPro...added the spoiler and did the chrome delete. Added the GS side badge but didnt do the gold pinstriping (because that mess is hard to do! ) LOL
BlackoutGS.jpg
 

Ghosthawk

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I've bee having a difficult time finding pinstripe tape to closely match the gold tone of the wheels. The online color charts are not very accurate so I may be looking at try #3 if the next set doesn't work.

I'm almost finished with the spoiler pedestals and the sport grille should be coming today, even though I'll have to ship it right back out for hydro-dipping. In a happy accident, two of the hood scoops I tried to order went bust. One was out of production and the other I was warned off of the seller because it was made from blow-mold plastic (I used to make that stuff where I worked) and its a totally rigid material with no flex at all. Cross that one off the list. But, while I was cutting paper patterns to mock up the size/fit, I noticed a scoop I still had in the garage that was on my 2013 Ford Taurus. Just for giggles I laid it up on the Buick and was surprised how good it looked! It flows well with the hood lines and fits nicely in the center section without appearing too large. Bonus! I'll get that color matched and we're in business!

Now I have to figure out some way to bring that gold/tan accent color into the interior. My only regret of getting this used car was that it didn't have the Brandy interior trim package.
 

Ghosthawk

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Had a pretty productive day!
๐Ÿ˜Ž
๐Ÿ˜

Sport grille and fog light bezels shipped off for hydro-dipping, hood scoop cleaned up and boxed also for shipping. (Color matching w/ carbon fiber insert)
Happy is ready for the next cruise-in/show with his new crash helmet and Buick decals
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Last but not least, I got one step closer to finished prep on the spoiler pedestals. Did trim and fit on the mounting plates, bonded pieces together w/ JB Weld and filled the joint seams to create a molded look. Now I have to sand the JB down smooth and add a primer coat.
Itโ€™s gonna take some time to get all this stuff back from TN Liquid Imaging - Hydro-dipping and Custom paint but the finished product will be worth the wait
๐Ÿ‘
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Ghosthawk

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I re-routed the PCV lines today and bypassed the engine cover intake silencer. While I had the cover off I had to trim away some of the bottom to clear the new hose. I was curious anyway about what was inside and my suspicion was correct. No quasi-oil catch-can system, just an empty chamber with a couple baffles to kill sound. Granted, you canโ€™t hear a huge difference inside since this car was engineered to be quiet, but she makes herself heard at full throttle!
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Did a bit more on the garage clean up too. Thursday I may start wrapping some of the exterior trim
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richardnewton

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Looking nice. Those wheels are killer.

I know GM used some small PCV chambers and holes on the 2.4L engines (vs a simple PCV valve). There were various iterations with varying levels of success; on some models, the small PCV hole froze in winter, causing lots of rear main seal failures.

Part of the chamber system was buried inside the plastic intake manifold so tracing out the entire PCV systems was difficult; some seemed to incorporate small "catch cans".
 

Ghosthawk

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Looking nice. Those wheels are killer.

I know GM used some small PCV chambers and holes on the 2.4L engines (vs a simple PCV valve). There were various iterations with varying levels of success; on some models, the small PCV hole froze in winter, causing lots of rear main seal failures.

Part of the chamber system was buried inside the plastic intake manifold so tracing out the entire PCV systems was difficult; some seemed to incorporate small "catch cans".
Thanks!
I was actually pretty surprised when I cut the chamber open on the engine cover. The inside was squeaky clean...no oily residue whatsoever. I'm curious if the hose set-up I put on will provide more vacuum pull? Time will tell I suppose.
 

Ghosthawk

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Today was another productive day working on "Sgaile" I finally squared away all my paperwork with DMV and my plates are on the way.

I also installed a set of GM Sport Pedal Covers. These are the ones that come on the Regal GS but fit quite a few other cars (I have the same set on my Impala) They're a bit pricey at $125 but they fit snug with the factory style rubber backing that grips around the full perimeter of the pedal. The install wasn't too bad but a small flathead screwdriver really helps. AND...they look great! (Please forgive the dirty carpet)
Pedals.jpg

After much deliberation over color choice, I finally decided on painting the brake calipers glossy yellow (a bit of that Porsche vibe)
I did consider going with a gold color but that felt like too much and the calipers should stand out a bit I think.
I'll be adding PowerStop rotors at a later date but this adds a nice touch for now.
Calipers.jpg

Decals and pinstriping are on the way, as well as the hydrodipped parts (fender ports, trunk release button, spoiler & pedestals, hood bulge, fog light bezels, and sport grille) I may hold off on the chrome delete vinyl wrap until those parts arrive. I also have a replacement chrome spear for the front lower grille coming that I plan to wrap in satin black.
 

Ghosthawk

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Pinstripe tape finally arrived and its an almost exact match for the wheel color so I'm pleased with that.
Heard from my guy working on the hydrodipping and he's a bit backlogged at the moment so not sure how long those parts will be held up. I'm honestly not too concerned about that because I know the quality will be top notch when he's done.
Its just as well since I've also been cleaning out/rearranging the garage so when the parts do arrive I'll be ready with a clean workspace.
The chrome trim strip for the lower front grille arrived a couple days ago and I have to decide if I'm going to paint or wrap that. But again, I got time! LOL
I have to admit, not working on the car does get me antsy sometimes.
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Ghosthawk

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Tried to get out and do some vinyl wrap on the chrome trim but the heat got the better of me. Maybe Thursday when I'm off again? My official license plates finally arrive from DMV...about time!
 

Ghosthawk

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What a good day with my Sgaile! :cool: I installed the carbon fiber interior trim that came yesterday and moved on to the vinyl wrap on the exterior.
I basically just have the window trim and the lower grille spear left to wrap...everything else will be hydro-dipped pieces.
The overall look of the car is slowly getting there...
SGStrim1.jpg

I was very happy with the interior trim I got on eBay. Instead of the flexible vinyl/acrylic, this stuff is molded to shape and the fit has been excellent.
SGStrim5.jpg

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I did the door spears in a satin finish carbon fiber vinyl by Avery. Their product has been easier to work with by far than the 3M wraps. I also did the trim between the exhaust outlets in the same stuff.

SGStrim3.jpg

This was tricky but I figured why not give it a go? I bought a set of carbon fiber door handle covers but I like the color-keyed sections so I took a shot at wrapping the chrome trim. I have no clue if this will hold up or not and I left the lock buttons bare since I was sure the constant use would wear them off anyway. Even the molded covers leave the buttons exposed so its even money.

SGStrim2.jpg

I rounded out the day with smooth satin black wrap on the tail light trim. This will be the same wrap as the window surround moldings.

SGStrim4.jpg

I have to admit working inside the garage today, despite the heat was still better than being in the driveway in the direct sun. Granted, work space is a bit more cramped but even just the box fan blowing on low made made a big difference. Pretty sure I wouldn't have finished all this today had I been outside.

So, window surround molding still to go, and all the other hydro-dip pieces (trunk badge, fender ports, sport grille, fog light bezels, deck spoiler and hood bulge)....Then the GS decals and pinstripes!
 

Ghosthawk

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With only 37k on the clock, I doubt Sgaile actually needs brakes. BUT, I do enjoy my annual jaunt (when I'm actually off work) down to Danville VA for Laps for Charity at VIR. While technically not racing (no passing allowed) you can easily hit triple digits on the straights, and that requires some braking power to haul you down from speed before the next corner. I've cooked stock pads and probably boiled fluid on previous trips so now I make it a point to upgrade my whoa-power before heading to the track. Slotted rotors and ceramic pads improve braking greatly, both in stopping distance and temp control so I ordered up a set and will try to have them installed by fall.
Brakes.jpg
 

Ghosthawk

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Sadly, it looks like the tail light wrap is peeling at the corners. Oh well....round two!
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Ghosthawk

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Your car is sick: you somehow perfectly took the essence of 70's Buicks, and brought it into your current gen car.
Thank you, Sir! That was my intention. I hope the finished package will be equally impressive.
 

Ghosthawk

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Had a good day working on Sgaile. My custom decals arrived and I installed a few but some of the others will have to wait for the other mods first.

I started off with the new wheel center cap decals
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I had originally intended to replace the steering wheel logo with one matching the decal in the grille, but the badge was impossible to get free without removing the airbag. I opted instead to use one of the extra wheel cap decals and it covered the whole badge nicely
(I have a little glue clean-up to do)
IMG_3060.jpg

I removed the remaining "LaCrosse" lettering from the trunk and installed the "Happy the Hawk" trunk badge decal to match the wing mirrors.
The trunk release badge will be replaced with a carbon fiber piece as soon as I get it back from hydrodip
IMG_3064.jpg

I rounded out the day by replacing the vinyl wrap I did on the tail light trim. The satin black wrap was peeling around the corners (too much stretch) so this time I used the satin carbon fiber like on the door spears. Thanks to CKWraps for his excellent YouTube channel with lots of tips for us aspiring DIY folks!
IMG_3063.jpg

I still have the window trim to wrap and I ordered a set of Lloyds embroidered mats w/gold binding to bring a little of the theme inside the car.
Aside from those items, I'm pretty much waiting on the hydrodip guy. Just as well since we head out on vacation soon for a couple weeks on the West Coast.
 
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