Doin' a little J-Body stuff - First Generation Forum

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Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Sunday, January 18, 2015 2:49 PM
Well here we are in the dead of winter. Many J-Bodies are nesting quietly in Garages waiting for better times. I'm still tinkering around on what I can when I can. Finally got a couple of photos of the door I picked up a Pick N Save. Just a little rust on the very bottom edge otherwise in great shape. I sure wished I could have gotten the passenger side because the bottom was completely rust free - but it is pot luck and I am grateful to at least get the drivers side which was the most needed.

As you can see the outer window sweep on this door is in good shape. If I can get it off in one piece I am going to give it to Ron and rebuild me another on since these original pieces aren't as important on old drivers like mine.











Not surprisingly I just had a bit of the top peel on my the other day on the wagon. I keep an eye on it and jump in as soon as able. Lucky for me this weekend was a good one so in the Garage it went for a bit of repair. I have to say I am just way too comfortable at a repair job like this now. Taking a screwdriver and using it like a scraper I soon had all of the loose paint off and ready for some sanding. 15 minutes with 1/4 sheet sander and it was ready to paint. Hardly no rust and the sander took care of that , so I didn't even need to use any rust inhibitor. 3 coats of primer and 3 color and it is now drying and ready to get the groceries again next week. Yep - this ole wagon regularly does just that!








And a small salute to my low tech but very efficient heating system that keeps my butt comfy when working in the Garage, I just gotta comment here - with gas prices at crazy LOWS why on earth is Kerosene nearly 5 bucks a gallon???? Something just seems really off the wall with this - something just isn't real.






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Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Sunday, January 18, 2015 6:51 PM
Oh yeah, and other than a gallon or 2 of Kero the above repair only set me back $3.80!!! (The price of a 2-pack of foam rollers)


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Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Sunday, January 18, 2015 8:50 PM
I see your just doodling on some quick fixes.I am just waiting to start on my small touches on the cav after my safety inspection then dig into the rear end before spring.I am tired the day just drained me.



Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Monday, January 19, 2015 5:45 PM
Glad to see you scored a good donor door.

As always the roller paint looks great and you can't beat what it cost you.





Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Monday, June 01, 2015 7:26 AM
Just a little show n tell of my adventures.....

Freshening up the liftgate on the old Wagon. The old paint was a rattle bomb job done back on '07 - very pleased it lasted as long as it did though! Sure have learned a whole lot since those days.

















Next..... getting ready for my trip down to N.C. to pick up the Pontiac parts from good ole Ron! Cooked up this little idea to help carry more parts without scratching everything up. 2 shelves that slide out and back in for convenient loading. I can place the hood on the top shelf and the trunk lid on the bottom. Seats bottoms and backs will have to be separated but will fit nicely as well as the interior parts too. I do all kinds of crazy stuff with this old truck.

















Lastly Mike has inspired me to try out those Baretta wheels myself, although on Tammy's 3rd gen. So far I've only scored 2 but that was enough to try out one side. Tammy likes them so the hunt is on! These along with the wing on the back really transforms this Coupe.






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Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Monday, June 01, 2015 9:00 AM
I really like the Beretta wheels !
Wish mine weren't so bad that they only be used as winter wheels...
AND, the 16" tires are a good bit cheaper than the 13s & 14s that originally come on the first and second gens and are far more readily available these days. In fact, I am having a custom set of special offset 16" wheels made for my '70 Beetle project !
Hey, and if anyone is interested, I have in my possession, a TOTALLY RUST FREE driver's side red door that I intended on installing on my '92 Z24 before the firewall fell apart.
Can post pics if anyone is interested.






~ Mike ~


Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Monday, June 01, 2015 11:44 AM
Wagon looks GREAT and those Berreta wheels give that 2rd gen a whole new attitude!





Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Monday, June 01, 2015 9:52 PM
Cool stuff orlen.I have been thinking on when we should get together so,I can give you your Load of parts.I have them placed some in the garage and the big items like the hood and deck lid in my bus.I am hoping this week to get sunny out to take up the road for it's very delayed safety.The last couple of weeks I have just been buried in To do's around the home and otherwise.The normal tired day of 545miles and a 13hr day trucking is tough at times!



Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Tuesday, June 02, 2015 6:37 AM
A neighbor junked his Beretta a few years ago for a few hundred bucks. I mentioned to him afterwards how much some VW guys are paying for Beretta rims and he about @!#$ himself and wished he would have kept and sold the rims separate.

They look just right on that 3rd gen.








Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Tuesday, June 02, 2015 6:16 PM
WOW I LOVE the Beretta Rims!




Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Wednesday, June 03, 2015 7:17 AM
I've been trying to score some Beretta GTZ rims for a while now. I think they'd look great on my wagon !




~ Mike ~



Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 7:25 PM
Just a little show n tell. Been super busy lately , now with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gens to shop parts for. Learning to scout for vehicles on the internet now at the local Pick n Save and trying to target various vehicles for special parts as they come available. This yard usually has a 1/2 price sale each month so I am busy trying to coordinate a shopping list with what vehicles are available on the sale date. NOT everything goes as planned though in our less than perfect little world. Been waiting very patiently for this past Monday as that special day and taking a vacation day off to make the best of it. I cooked up a great idea to actually go all day the previous Saturday and turn wrenches all day long and get all my parts together so on Monday I could make a super score. Upon my arrival on Saturday I discovered that the Wagon I'd been waiting for had finally been place in the yard but had not been listed yet - my day had come!! I had been trying to save some money for the Wagon for some time and luckily I was ready when this came along.
Can anyone imagine my surprise when I toured this 31 year old veteran and discovered it had a WHITE interior. Didn't take me long to ditch my carefully planned shopping list for this trip and decide to tear into the Wagon with gusto! My plans are to take this white interior and 2-tone ole Blew-J. I'll keep the Dark blue Cimarron seats & Console, Dash, Carpeting and Headliner and swap in the white door panels , and side trim/moulding through the rear hatch.

So as the photos show, I scored a major run on the Wagon over those 2 days. I pulled the passenger seat out of the old Ranger and maxed out the available room for a BIG Haul. All this stuff was carried in one run! The guy at the counter just shook his head - I guess he was impressed with an old man's determination because he really cut me some sweet deals that day. It is so nice to be able to have these spares for the wagon I've had since 2001. I still have a second list of parts I hope to get off the wagon on a 2nd run next month IF there is anything left to score by then. Still I have a pretty good shopping list for the other J-Bodies since I do have.

Just as some advice to anyone with access to a good bone yard - if you have many J-s to get parts for, please consider used parts for a lot of things you normally would automatically grab new stuff. Lately I have been picking like new brake pads and shoes, rotors, drums and even wind shield wipers. Just think how many times we have bought used cars with all these kinds of used parts already on them and didn't automatically run out and buy new parts because the were not new allready. I am saving a lot of money that I can used for other things and am upgrading a lot of worn out parts I wouldn't normally have the money to work with this way. Heck, those premium platinum spark plugs are good for 100k nowadays, so chances are if you run across a set of these they will still have a lot of useful life left in them. All of that kind of parts that normally wouldn't be considered useful on these old junks will be crushed and wasted anyway, so it is just a loss. Also the quality of parts these days are getting so spotty that often , even if there is a lifetime warranty, you still wind up replacing some parts as often it seems as a used part should have lasted in the first place. So 1 lifetime $250 fuel pump vs. 25 - $10 yard pumps - the odds should be in your favor and extra money in your pocket. I know this is NOT for everyone, but folks on a budget can really stretch their fun factor this way. Sure is a boost for me! Heck I even scored a 16 month old Autocraft GOLD battery for just $28 - Perfect for the 2002 I just picked up!

So lots of J-Body stuff and a whole lotta fun this week for your J-Body NUT.......

No room for Momma, but then she wasn't panning on going along anyways.



What is in there?



J-Body parts heaven!






The head liner was a feebie!





2 fuel pumps for the 3rd gen - I dropped 3 tanks Saturday - the one on the Wagon a a rusted stinking tank from hell!





There be the precious Wagon doors! Finally!!!





Here is my $28 battery!!!





I was still all over the yard getting all kinds of J-stuff other than the wagon. Got a pretty big shopping list....




3 good tires, 2 J-Body 14" rims. Been trying to collect up a set of 185/70/14's These are getting incredibly hard to find here. So I found one of those and a pair of 195/70/14's




Lastly here are those precious doors carefully stored away in my shed. Years ago I built a shelf to store 4 doors on, and they take up very little space - double stacked 2 over 2.





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Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 9:00 PM
That in short is a large amount of goodie's.I have a back stock too and will not list or show,however that is off the charts on great save's.I like it and just burnt out from the yardwork and writing a novel on the oil pan gasket leaking drama.R



Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Thursday, August 20, 2015 6:47 AM
man I miss going to the junkyard, probably won't have the extra cash to make a jy run this year before winter anyways.

Awesome haul orlen








Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Thursday, August 20, 2015 11:14 AM
Great score. Nothing like good old fashion recycling. Have not been to the junk yard yet this year for j-body stuff. Was there in June for a Mustang rim and browsed the caddy and j-body stuff and not much new stock.



Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Thursday, August 20, 2015 11:18 AM
Kind of reminds of my adventures at a yard in Syracuse, they would have "All You Can Carry For $25" days twice a year.

My coworker and I would be there all day, first getting a hood , attaching a seat belt to it and dragging it all over the yard for the stuff to put on it. The guy at the end ( " two painted lines about 5 feet apart" you had to lift it up and carry the stuff over) seen us there so often, that at the end of the day he would let us just drag it over the lines.

Once got a rebuilt Pontiac 2.5 Iron Duke motor for my AMC Eagle winter car..............................

It was great times back then, I also miss the UPullit yards in Arizona, no such thing here............

Orlen , your the man....! Congrats !

Doug in P.R.


92 Pontiac Sunbird LE, 2.0, AT, Red / Black with Grey 143 K miles.Slowly getting back to a halfway decent car............in Salinas, Puerto Rico!




Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Thursday, August 20, 2015 7:51 PM
I had to go back and re-read your back story orlen.By the time I got done writing a novel on a oil pan deal,I was just running out of focus.That white interior is def rare as ----- as on recall the 1 and ONLY white interior I came across was that 84 vert cav I got John the doors off of like 2 yrs ago or more now.I will say I really do not bother with brake stuff as I am leary of used brake components especially pads/rotors.But as you said my friend this may not be everyone's desire on some specific parts savings.Either way your haul looks like some of my work from some past,past venture's when I went loco too finding a gem to just strip it blind.I personally just hate after I almost had that entire dash out of that bird for you the next week the yard crushed my good effort's to save a perfectly good item that is not so easy to remove.My fav yard has shown nothing in weeks worth diving for and I may once I get some vac time in sept go Beyond the norm to the off the charts place that tends to keep things wayyyy too long.Only downfall is there prices are not quite as good in some respects being a locally owned placed(however my last buys) there were more than fair.I am better today as I stayed indoors as much as I could and did clean house,grill out(yum) and not wiped out.Very good haul of parts.



Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Friday, August 21, 2015 7:55 AM
92Sunbird PuertoRico wrote:

Kind of reminds of my adventures at a yard in Syracuse, they would have "All You Can Carry For $25" days twice a year.

My coworker and I would be there all day, first getting a hood , attaching a seat belt to it and dragging it all over the yard for the stuff to put on it. The guy at the end ( " two painted lines about 5 feet apart" you had to lift it up and carry the stuff over) seen us there so often, that at the end of the day he would let us just drag it over the lines.

Once got a rebuilt Pontiac 2.5 Iron Duke motor for my AMC Eagle winter car..............................

It was great times back then, I also miss the UPullit yards in Arizona, no such thing here............

Orlen , your the man....! Congrats !

Doug in P.R.

We used to have a few of those junkyards around here before they became "outlawed" by the local hoighty toighty types that didn't want junk cars within their city and township borders. 2-4 times a year they would do $25-50 all you can carry sales. You could take a wheelbarrow or wagon in but you had to physically be able to carry the items between 2 poles and the front gates which was if I remember correctly 10 foot distance. I went the last weekend they were open to get some stuff and only came across 4 j bodies and of course they were scattered all over the place. I was exhausted by the time I made my way back to the front gate but I still hoisted the hood and my toolset over my head so I wouldn't have to pay full price for the hood lol.








Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Friday, August 21, 2015 9:11 AM
Yeah this yard has that deal also:





However I sat down and crunched the numbers and the 1/2 price sale is a lot better. See you still are charged core charges on what you carry so that adds to the total. $65 is pretty steep when you consider a hood being $45 is just $22.50 with half off. 2 seats would run $30 half off. In fact a FWD Automatic transaxle runs $105 + $16 core at full price. Why kill yourself to carry a 145 pounder 10 yards for $65 when you can roll it out for $52.75. It just doesn't add up. Finally I just am not getting any younger and the last thing I wish to do is throw money away in doctor bills so I definitely do not want to hurt my back trying to save a few bucks then wind up spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars at the hospital the day after! So I'll let the young bucks have at the all you can carry hands down!



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Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Friday, August 21, 2015 12:09 PM
Too bad I'm so far away , this looks good.... ( you got it made , Orlen)

http://www.pick-n-save.net/display-part-images/?st=SLS1165&yard=2&vehinfo=1990-PONTIAC-SUNBIRD-GMH14-167558

Real nice yard ............looks like junkyard heaven! ( lists and show pics of the inventory)

Doug in P.R.


92 Pontiac Sunbird LE, 2.0, AT, Red / Black with Grey 143 K miles.Slowly getting back to a halfway decent car............in Salinas, Puerto Rico!




Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Friday, August 21, 2015 2:00 PM
Yes Doug ,at last count there was something like almost 3 dozen J-Bodies there, but mostly 3rd Gens and some in holding. Such a shame the ragtop is there instead of a fixer upper. I did find one decent wheel off this, and traded out a badly rashed one in my collection.

Hahaa.....now ya know why I have been so busy lately!!

That website works both ways unfortunately though. Everyone else is targeting various cars and trucks in here as well. Hell in June on 1/2 price day I couldn't even find a parking place - that is why I decided to get my truck loaded up days early , leave early and get there when they open. Gotta make a priority list and know what I am after too. LoL....it is all in the game. The fellow at the counter told me a story about a customer that drove about 1/2 an hour to the yard the day after 1/2 price day to find the car he was needing parts on had been picked clean.

Some wag and myself have been trading days back and forth on a '93 sedan picking parts - never ran into each other , but every time each returns we can tell the other done been busy. Actually I had been hoping to pull the head off the '93 for experience on my head gasket job but the wagon popped up and drowned my plans. Heck for $32 a spare head just might come in handy. Also the 2002 is gonna need a heater core and I am hoping to get one of those along with the much needed experience pulling that as well since I am going to need to tear out the whole darn dash assembly to get to it.(Things didn't always get improved in later generations). I'd rather screw something up on my first rodeo with a yard car then bugger up something badly on my own ride.

It takes time to locate some of these cars in here as the location system inside isn't marked. I have also spent hours searching through all makes and models searching for tires. Many times I'll find a pair on one side of the yard and another on the another side - of course by that time I have all but forgotten where the first ones were at, and have to do a great amount of back tracking. Buying tires here is a blast in the dead of winter because no one is going to come here in the stupid cold and walk the yard for hours. I bundle up in 4 layers of clothing and a couple of coats and march around till I find what I am after. Also I have searched up all kinds of parts on the Auto Zone's website by years and have a pretty good catalogue of what part fits across what years - very helpful. Interestingly there has been a vast many different starters used along the years sometimes changing in the middle of a generation. What should be pretty standard because the basic blocks and transmissions didn't change seem to not make sense.

I've learned a whole lot since I've discovered this yard!!



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Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Wednesday, December 02, 2015 6:35 AM
Hey Orlen though this might interest you, found this while perusing a Hemmings magazine KBS DiamondFinish Clear. Can be brushed on or sprayed.








Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Thursday, December 03, 2015 7:38 AM
Thanks for sharing Spike!

200 bucks a gallon is a bit to rich for my blood ....Hahaa! Just a good ole country boy doing the best I can.

However I do think they got the name designed right - "Diamond" -



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Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Friday, December 04, 2015 9:12 PM
Older j bodies are really starting to become scarce by me. It's been well over a year since I've found one at my local junk yards. I'd like to find a good drivers side quarter for mine. She's starting to show her age and all I've been able to do this year is patch her up to keep her going. So far new front hub bearings, left side cv axle, right side lower control arm, fuel pump, and the power steering cooler rusted off and also the entire exhaust was replaced. $$$$$ I'm hoping in 2016 I can park her and begin restoring the body.



Re: Doin' a little J-Body stuff
Monday, December 21, 2015 10:14 AM
Well, finally got the '94 back together.

Sweated bullets while torquing down the head though - TTY Head Bolts only give you one shot at getting them right! Went through just about everything with my new Craftsman Tap / Die set chasing threads and cleaned up the bolts with drill and wire brushes. Repainted the rusted heater box with some personally mixed up Satin White from Wally World ( they sell satin white and black in Rustoleum cans) - I played around mixing in a tiny bit of satin black till I got it close to what it looked like under the hood. It will be the only white heater box you'll ever see on a J-Body.....Hahaa....

So the head and intake man. came off a '93 with old style fuel injection while the '94's switched over to sequential injection. I was shooting in the dark with how this swap would pan out. Used the '94 injectors ( replaced all the O rings too). Everything bolted up. When fist started I had a dead miss for about 30 seconds and then everything settled down and warmed up without anymore drama.

Been driving around the past week or so. In town it runs flawless, but once out on the highway it'll drop a code and glow the CEL after about 60 seconds of being up to highway speed. Everytime the engine is shut off , though, the light goes back out till I get back up on the highway again. (Interestingly - the daughters '94 Skylark wit 3.1 V-6 does the exact same thing) The Cavalier doesn't seem to have the power it had with the '94 head on it, but as long as it runs and drives I will thank my lucky stars I managed to get it back to this point and get all the use out of her I can get.

This certainly proved to be a big project for me to tackle. I wouldn't recommend that anyone regard this as a weekend project, but understand that many have had to to it just that way because they have simply need the car by Monday morning again. Take LOTS of photos too. I took a bunch, but not enough and had some interesting experiences after the engine being apart for many weeks. Another thing that helped greatly - was I bought a box of zip-lock bags and placed parts/nuts/bolts of each sub. along the way and wrote on each bag what they went too. The bags were Great for the rockers/fulcrums/pushrod sets!!








With that old A/C condenser pout of the way - the rad gets all that fresh air now. The engine runs nice and cool - I hardly ever have the fan cut on now!




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