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Buick Forum: 94 RMS in MT Progress Thread - Many Questions, Pics
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    94 RMS in MT Progress Thread - Many Questions, Pics

    This is very long, I marked my actual questions in red if you're not into novels. Thanks for any help!

    These are imgur links, click through twice for a big version

    Hi from Montana! I'm Sever, and I bought my RMS in March 2015. I've been lurking here ever since. I've never needed to post anything because the Roadmaster has been flawless! It had 135k miles, and I actually bought it at a local dealer along with a lifetime oil change scam. It works great for me; I only put about 1500-2000 miles on in 3 months but they're severe miles. I'm a snowcat operator and work year-round at a ski area. I come up before the road's even plowed, which can be a struggle. The road is partially unpaved and is badly washboarded. They're finally planning to pave it this summer, at which point I can overhaul the steering and suspension and stop beating the crap out of them.

    The Roadie started using oil in Feb. (I had no idea there was an idiot light for that, thanks GM) I just added a little until my scheduled oil change. I asked the dealer to specify what was leaking, and their response was 'Everything', and that they didn't really have time to look anyway. Sigh.
    I took it to a tire shop for an estimate. The sales guy called and gave the news like my dog had died: $1400. A lot of it was parts and I knew I could get better deals. My labor is free, and isn't worth much more than that, but with the internet anything is possible, right? I hate to use their free estimate as a shopping list, but it's the same place I got my $400 snow tires. The estimate included the oil cooler lines, timing cover seals, oil pan gasket, and rear pinion seals.

    I still tried to get the best parts possible for the money; I really don't want to do any of this twice. I'm on a little break but in 2 weeks I need the Roadmaster to be my dependable DD again. I did some research ahead of time on this forum and others, bought a useless Haynes manual for giggles. Trying to do this all at once while the fluids are drained.

    You see, I don't have a garage or much for tools at home. I'm using the shop at the ski hill. It has any tool you'd need, and a grease pit so I can get underneath. The air tools have been particularly nice to have on hand

    Pulled these bumper lip thingies off first thing. Major ground clearance upgrade, perfect for busting through snow drifts. They're reparable if anybody needs a set, there's a small crack in one and they need paint but all the hardware is there. Just pay shipping and they're yours.

    Started by pulling off the all of the little league gear. I had heard about deleting this stuff but didn't realize just how stupid it is. The LT1 looks cool on its own!
    I almost screwed up and ordered a new coolant reservoir, but luckily found out I had an irreplaceable 2-nipple reservoir. It was even in the trash can already. I've flushed the cooling system in this car twice; when I got it and again this Feb along with a trans service. The coolant looked horrible before both of them. It ran out of the car clean when I drained it just now, but I need to get this dex-cool sludge out of the tank. I did some reading on removing it, and plan to take it town and hit it with the home depot purple degreaser and the car wash hose. We don't have a pressure washer here. Any additional tips?

    Starting to look like a Porsche with all these engine parts back here.

    I tackled the oil adapter first. The adapter-block gasket seemed to be leaking more than the actual lines, but there's oil and dirt everywhere. Should have hosed it off in town before I started.

    I decided to grind the stud off, unlike this excellent write-up I'm following:

    I was extremely careful not to damage the oil level sensor while removing the adapter, and then broke it anyway trying to pull the plug off.
    If I buy this, can I still use my old sensor?

    It's $22 for the plug and another $30 for the sensor. I'll still need to solder the plug to the old wires, right? I'm leaning towards tying the wires together and just putting the plug in on its own. Will the oil level light be on? What is this red sealant I'm supposed to use on the sensor, red RTV?

    I scraped and solvented the gasket but eventually wire wheeled it, which left it smooth. I also dropped the thing and of course it landed on the oil fiter side. What grit should I use to prep these, and the gasket goes on dry, right?

    The felpro gasket overhangs the opening. This has to be the right part. Am I supposed to trim it, and the gasket goes on dry, right?

    The JB Weld is curing right now. I need to get all the stuff I don't already have from town tomorrow, so I need to figure out what that stuff is exactly. More to come!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Re: 94 RMS in MT Progress Thread - Many Questions, Pics

    Old water pump came off easily once I was done showering under it. Doesn't look like it was leaking. The bearings are a little rough.

    Gotta remember to get a new t-stat. What sealant goes on that temp sensor?

    The opti has an even coating of dirty oil on it, but I think it stayed dry.

    The worthless Haynes manual says you don't need a puller to get the harmonic balancer off. The youtube guide uses one. Either source doesn't seem to explain removing the pulley from the balancer.

    I removed the 3 bolts that hold them together, then the rest of the bolts for fun. Now what?

    At this point I was stuck so I took out my frustration on the air injection system. I didn't know you could get rid of these beforehand and I'm elated to not have to put that crap back on my motor. Using a cutoff wheel right next to the engine harness was exciting. I was ultra-violent with the passenger side tube and hope I didn't mess up a plug wire. How is there no room to work on a car this big?

    There's no water at the shop I survive on these things

    Once I get the balancer off I plan to use this great writeup as a guide for getting the opti off and back on.
    Do you recommend cracking open the optispark just to check it's condition, like he does in this video?
    How about cleaning it off safely?

    I don't have any reason to suspect mine is bad, and it also doesn't seem like the water pump was moisturizing it. Hopefully mine is one of the good ones, as I'm reluctor-ant to mess with it.

    Here's the parts I own but haven't gotten to yet. Let me know if anything's missing. I got the oil pan and timing cover gaskets from GM directly, hoping they'd be the best option. I got the WP, WP seal and seal installer from ebay. Good old Harbor Freight for the seal puller, per this forum's advice.

    Here's the stuff from Napa for the pinion seal. Think I have enough of each? It's an LSD equipped car.
    Last edited by Sever; May 19th, 2017 at 12:56 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Re: 94 RMS in MT Progress Thread - Many Questions, Pics

    Woohoo thanks for approving my post!

    So, I went to town and picked up the purple degreaser. It's about $10 a gallon and nearly perfectly filled my reservoir without diluting it. I'll add water later to get it totally full. It can soak until I get everything else done.

    I grabbed some 5/8" flare caps, and the setup on the manifold is slightly different from the Imapala SS in the video guide. I'll get a piece of female thread today.

    The Napa guy explained that the red stuff was just pipe tape, and to use the regular teflon stuff on the sensors. Sound right? I've got the WP and oil filter adapter ready to go in. There's 6" of water in the grease pit right now because it snowed and rained for a whole day.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Re: 94 RMS in MT Progress Thread - Many Questions, Pics

    Remove this ad
    OK, it looks like my posts have to wait for moderation if there's a link in them. I'll save the pictures until the restriction is lifted. How long does it take?

    I was able to get the pulley off the front of the balancer using a pair of wooden shovel handles and prying against the balancer. You can only pry at 3 and 9 o clock but it worked great. It came off with a splash, there's 2 feet of water under the Buick now, I'm gonna need a bilge pump. Makes dropping bolts and tools all that much scarier.

    I used a puller on the balancer and it came off fine. No idea what Haynes means when they say not to use one. Under that, the hub for the balancer is all set up with the puller but the manual says you need to immobilize the crankshaft by wedging a screwdriver in the driveplate. Why?? The cam and crank are staying tied together. I marked the balancer and the hub. There was a paint mark on the back of the balancer too. I already advanced it a few degrees snugging up the puller, then rotated it back. Stupid torque convertor, I forgot that putting it in park doesn't stop anything. Do I really need to worry about it?

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