I hope this little thread might become really useful in the years to come.
I ran across a simple little issue yesterday and made me think some. Like most other owners I have tried to accumulate some spares I thought I'd need over the years. Having had the Wagon about 17 years now I have went from seeing everything everywhere to nothing nowhere along the way. As the old car (and myself) have grown old finding some parts get to be an issue for both of us
Recently I removed the coolant overflow tank and gave it a good cleaning along with a coolant change. Everyone guesses where this is going. I cleaned it up and managed to later discover a tiny hairline crack at the cowl side flange where the bolt holds the bottle to the body down near the belts. Just enough of a crack for a tiny bit of coolant to weep out, but something had to be done. Of course I jumped on EBay expecting to find a NOS laying around somewhere in Warehouse-land, but no no no.
I found several at the not-so-close Pick N Save in Lynchburg and am not dancing at the 2 hour drive out and back, but gonna do the gig. They have several 2nd Gens there and actually it seems the coolant tanks interchange from 1982 to 1994. Like a fool I collected up some extra washer tanks over the years but never considered coolant tanks which are the real show stoppers. The after market tanks are practically useless for FWD applications and if you choose to go that route your are looking at relocating the Charcoal Canister or trying to mount a coolant bottle behind the grill . I am not excited about buying up old plastic overflow tanks that , if aren't cracked, will probably wind up that way eventually. Still that seems to be the best solution for my situation especially since ironically the '94 Sedan, '86 Wagon, and the '84 Pontiac Coupe all use the same exact thing! Now how on earth did I miss this one????
So if you stumble across your type of overflow tank in a yard , it would be pretty good idea to snatch one up. The V-6's are different from the 4's.
My hope is that the rest of us can share our experiences with impossible to find issues that have become show stoppers , and would like to bring them to our attention. Some of this stuff isn't obvious until we go to try and find it.
Window run channels
My 88 coupe had a crack on a couple flanges too. I repaired it with epoxy and fiberglass. When I installed it, I put rubber washers between the metal and the flanges. I then put a little epoxy on the bolts and snugged them up. Not tight mind you, just enough to get the bottle secure. Once the epoxy hardened, the bolts will remain fastened. The rubber washers will help dampen vibration. It isn't pretty, but so far it has all worked well. It has been like that for a few years now. I've got some spares bottles if (or when) this one fails. Best to store them in a box. UV rays will make these bottles very brittle. I recall seeing one in a junk yard a few years and thought the bottle looked like a nice one. It crumbled to pieces when I touched it. Hard telling how long it had been sitting exposed to the sun though.
Here are some suggestions of things to look for.
Clips and fasteners for trim pieces
Air intake tubes
Headlights, turn signal lights, marker lights, tail lights
Shock bolt nuts with tab
Clutch reservoir caps
Manual shift cables
I'm sure there are many other things that might be wise to get. Some things you can still find NOS. Some things you can't. I try to get most anything that looks to be in good condition.
Here is a picture of the tank and the two sizes of washers I used to mount it.
- Recover Tank.jpg (430k)
There was some sort of gasket when rebuilding the throttle body on my 1.8 - I got one of two left in the country, and I don't remember where I found it other than it was at a dealership somewhere (my best guess is in northeastern PA).
I did have one of every body part other than quarterpanels, front and rear bumpers. I got extra glass all around, that overflow bottle, tail lights, and many other spares for a drying up market.