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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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