New Member Help! 1978 Buick Electra Limited

Discussion in 'Wet behind the ears??' started by Reg Davis, Jun 20, 2021.

  1. Reg Davis

    Reg Davis Member

    My 93 year old, still driving Dad has been driving Buick’s since the 50’s.
    Of note 65’ & 68’ Riviera convertible’s. A 74’ Electra convertible, 76’ and 78’ Electra hardtop limited that he still has, and still under 100,000 miles, with original engine. Unfortunately, it seems she’s at that point where she’s starting to wear down a bit. But my dad refuses to give her up, but finding quality parts has been painstakingly slow and costly. Recently having to go through 3 EGR valves to find a compatible one. And just last week having to pay $1900.00 to seal a leaking radiator, carb spacer, intake manifold gasket and vacuum delay valve. The parts total was approx $500, labor and sublet labor, the rest. This took approximately 3 weeks to complete. Supposedly they had trouble locating parts. Here’s my question, does anyone know of a repair shop or service station in Northern California that works on vintage Buick’s or a company where I can get genuine GM, Buick parts? I’ve ordered several off eBay that was junk. Second question. My Dad insist that the vacuum delay valve was not an original component on the Electra, as the car is still idling high. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Even though I’m still reluctant about his continued driving, it supports his feelings of independence. And his 88 year old girlfriend loves going on Sunday drives in it

    Attached Files:

  2. Dragdoc

    Dragdoc Well-Known Member

    93? I’m sure he has stories to tell.

    Russ at Centerville Auto is a nailhead guy, but perhaps has a shop suggestion for your ‘78
  3. pbr400

    pbr400 68GS400

    Your best bet for a quality part is original equipment. If you have a factory parts catalog (with the illustrated ‘half’) then you can search the web by GM number. You can also call a friendly dealer and ask them to run a number on locator. (They generally are too busy to look it up for you but will check it if you have the number). It also helps with used parts (often used OE is better than new aftermarket) and can help you find what other vehicles could be donors. Lastly, some items like carburetors NEED to be rebuilt by qualified professionals, not replaced by ‘crap in a box with a warranty’.
  4. Reg Davis

    Reg Davis Member

    Thanks so much Patrick! Much appreciated! It’s still idling high, so back to the shop. Now they’re saying the EGR valve might be faulty. This is the third, two from autozone, one from Napa Auto. Now he’s talking about just replacing the car. I’m thinking, great finally a new worry free car, then he sends me a picture
    Yes he does, but needs to stop telling folks how I was conceived in the back of a Buick. The visuals I really don’t need.
    Thanks again Patrick

    Attached Files:

    PGSS likes this.
  5. CJay

    CJay Supercar owner Staff Member

    You csn just get an EGR block off plate and just eliminate it. Might be the easiest solution.

    A high idle is sometimes indicative of a vacuum leak. Have you put a vacuum gauge on the engine? Do you know where the timing is set at? Anyone adjust the carb mixture screws or are the plugs still covering them up?
  6. Dr. Roger

    Dr. Roger Stock enthusiast

    In California, I assume that you cannot just remove the EGR or it won't pass inspection... but that would be the easiest fix.
  7. GSX 554

    GSX 554 Gold Level Contributor

    You need to find a real mechanic that knows how to check an older vehicle . But these days most of us are few and far between . The "NEW " crew of " Technicians " only can run a scan tool until it tells them what they need to replace .

    Your problem could be a great number of problems that cannot be cured over the internet . From unnecessary equipment to aged rubber parts to a binding throttle . It has to all be sorted out . There is no " Quick Answer " for the fix .
  8. Reg Davis

    Reg Davis Member

    They said they used a gauge but I doubt it. This will be the 3rd time it goes back to the shop. First time they had it for three weeks! Said it was because they had to order a special part that was missing. A
    Vacuum delay valve. My dad looked through his GM service manual and could find no mention of this part ever being an original part for the 78’s. I found online that it was for cars driven in high altitudes. When he got the car back the second time, after they suddenly discovered a radiator that had to be replaced it was still idling high. My dad now smells gas, said something about the mixture being too rich. The problem now is, it start up okay, but after driving it for awhile, stopping at Safeway getting back to the car, it won’t star and has to be towed. I called the shop and was told it’s probably thr card selinod. It’s a mess, so back again. You would think there would’ve at least one mechanic in the San Francisco Bay Area that works on older cars
  9. CJay

    CJay Supercar owner Staff Member

    I should really offer my around the country fixing problem buicks ! Lol
  10. telriv

    telriv Founders Club Member

    Yeah Jason I've been asked the same. One way to see our country that we normally would not see.

    Tom T.
  11. GSX 554

    GSX 554 Gold Level Contributor

    You really have to access your situation . Not to be mean but a 93 year old guy driving a 2 ton car that has a high idling problem is just asking for trouble . Find a new shop . Follow some members recommendations for one in your area .
  12. dmfconsult

    dmfconsult Devil in a Blue Dress

    Yup, find a new shop for sure. It shouldn't be that difficult to find someone who can work on the car, and it sounds like the current shop is just throwing parts at it to see what works. What engine does he have in the car? Tell us what town you're in and then perhaps someone local can give you a few recommendations.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
  13. PGSS

    PGSS Gold Level Contributor

    """Yes he does, but needs to stop telling folks how I was conceived in the back of a Buick. The visuals I really don’t need.""""
    ^^^ ^^^

    This is just to funny!!!:eek::D

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