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FIXING OUR OLD 1996 BUICK ROADMASTER

In August 2017 our Roadmaster was due for its annual technical inspection and unfortunately it did not pass… It needed brake work and there was some corrosion in the rear wheel wells. To make things even more fun, it also decided to develop a leak in the heater core…
So we decided that we wanted to restore our beloved car during the winter to get it back onto the road for next summer. Then we accidentally ran into our brand new low mileage 1996 Roadmaster…

I now had to decide what to do with the "old" one.
I had already bought all the spare parts before we found the new one, and my dear friend Lucky was so kind to offer me his help and let me do all the work in his fantastic workshop…
The plan now is to sell the old one, but of course nobody wants a car with all these things that need to be fixed. And to be honest I do not want to sell any car in this condition.

My friend Lucky helped me for a full day to fix the Roadmaster.

First we started to replace the heater core, which is a huge pain in the a** to replace on these cars. Everything is hidden away and access to the heater hoses and the heater core itself is very limited and tight.
The heater core is hidden behind the glove box and the two hoses going to the heater core can only be un-tightened with a special hose clamp plier I had to buy. We then did not get the hose off the heater core… Several hours later, after lot of cursing, twisted and bloody fingers and a sore back, the heater core finally was out and the new one in. We pre-filled it with fresh coolant and it works perfectly again. No more fogged up windshield.

At the technical inspection the inspector noticed that the front brake rotors needed to be replaced, as they were slightly vibrating during hard stops. So I ordered new ones from AC Delco. We replaced those as well and cleaned up everything and re-greased the wheel bearings as well.
In the front wheel housings we cleaned up some corrosion and welded some fresh metal in.
So we managed to fix a lot of things during this long day at the shop.

Next time we will rebuild the rear brakes, replace the wheel cylinder and a brake hose. Then the car is back in perfectly working order again technical wise. We will then fix the corrosion the rear wheel well and I can then do the technical inspection again and it should pass it without a problem.

I will then offer the car for sale and drive it until a new owner takes over… If I would not need the money I would just keep this car, as it drives beautifully and I like it verrry much…

Unfortunately I did not take many pictures of the heater core removal process, but there are a few videos on youtube showing how to replace the heater core on the 96 Roadmaster.

Thanks again for a great day in your shop Lucky!

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The old heater core is out - it had a small leak. Luckily the coolant did not drain into the car but escaped through the drain hose on the firewall.
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My friend Lucky working in the wheel housing…

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I BOUGHT A NEW 1996 BUICK ROADMASTER LIMITED ESTATE WAGON WITH 23K MILES!

Almost exactly on this day 10 years ago my wife and I bought our first 1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon. We really love these cars dearly and we think that they are some of the best cars ever produced from a practical point.

In August 2017 our Roadmaster was due for its annual technical inspection and unfortunately it did not pass… It needed brake work and there was some corrosion in the rear wheel wells. To make things even more fun it also decided to develop a leak in the heater core…
So we decided that we wanted to restore our beloved car this winter to get it back onto the road for next summer.

The other plan we had in mind was to find a really good one in the USA and import it to Austria. As we soon found out there are some extremely high taxes involved doing this.
A $ 5000,- car in the USA would cost at least $ 15.000,- until its on the road in Austria, and it is very complicated to have it registered… While we were looking, we also could not find any other Roadmaster for sale in Europe, as they are very rare over here and were never sold in Europe when new.

So we were ready for the restoration and I ordered all the necessary parts.
Shortly after everything arrived, we found an ad for a Roadmaster for sale here in Austria.
I immediately called and got in contact with the owner.

The car has only has 23k miles and was collector owned from day one. The first owner bought the car and never drove it during the 9 years he owned it, and he stored it in his climate controlled garage. In 2005 a new owner bought it and only drove it in summer on dry days and maintained it carefully. It also was always garaged.
Thats why the car is still in fantastic condition and looks and drives like a new car. It has zero rust and the woodgrain is in perfect condition. It's a "Limited" version with all available options ordered for it except the CD radio. Everything works as it should. It is in beautiful "Adriatic Blue Metallic"

After a couple of weeks of negotiating we bought the car almost on the same day in December as we bought our first 1996 Roadmaster 10 years ago. Coincidence has it that we also found this one in the same district in Vienna (Austria) as the last one. I know of 5 Roadmaster Wagons in existence in Austria - so they are pretty rare here.

The previous owner had a very "special" taste, and he glued a couple of decals, emblems and other things onto the exterior and interior of the Roadmaster which I could not live with, as they were absolutely not my style.
With the help of a heat gun and some WD 40, I luckily could remove everything without leaving a trace. I just warmed the decals and emblems with a heat gun on the lowest setting and applied some WD 40 and it came right off. The remaining residue could also be removed with the help of a paper towel and WD40.
Works great!
Our new car will now get a full detail and I will change all fluids and it will then be ready for the road next spring. I also plan to install white wall tires instead of the blackwalls it came with. They are a "must have" for the Roadmaster IMHO.

Our old Roadmaster will be for sale, I will fix it up during the next few winter months and it will be available around May 2018…edge
10 years ago and now.
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Strange items were glued onto the car…
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… but everything came off easily.
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While I can agree with what is written here: "Life is too short for small ugly cars" I wanted to remove the decal…
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The previous owner had an eclectic taste…
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Thanks for your help WD40
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A few of the things I had to remove
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In my garage now.

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