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Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:33 am
by EPfiffner
I just checked and they have some good closeouts now. The rear springs are shot, and I can't go with OE replacements for fear it will sit like a donk. I need to do Canucks when I do the struts.

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:57 pm
by themixer
nice work!!!!

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:55 pm
by EPfiffner
Thanks man. I really enjoy practicing new skills, learning how to fab patches, weld, and do bodywork. I've been doing tons of perfecting panel gaps and alignment, and block sanding body filler and primer/surfacer. Here's a couple more pics.

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:03 am
by Bapsu
Looks great man. Hows retta doing for now as its has been a bit quiet here?

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:05 pm
by EPfiffner
Sorry Bapsu totally missed your post, I've been working so hard on the MG.
The retta's been great, put around 15k since I've owned it, no real problems. It's out of service right now for the winter.

Fun with the 3.1

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:13 pm
by EPfiffner
I dig the car, but I gotta hand it to you guys, these things are not easy to work on!
We had a dry day between Christmas and new years so I thought I'd take the Beretta to work. It was single digit temps. I'm on the highway and the dash starts getting dim, I see the volt gauge is on 8. Still close to home so I whip off the exit and try to make it. Nope, dies.
Long story, but after work I get a fresh charged battery and fire it up. At first its not charging according to the volt gauge, but after a few minutes I notice its up to 14 or so. I get it home and figure I'll dig in to it soon..

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:53 pm
by EPfiffner
So over new years I wanted to check the car out. I got the MG shoved out of the way and got it in the garage.

I figured now would be a good time to fix a few other things I hadn't got to. Oil leak at the back of the engine, figuring its the distributor dummy/oil pump drive. I noticed some coolant mixed in with the grime near the oil pump drive so I figure I need to check out the mess of heater hoses there too.

I pulled the alternator so I could get it tested, then I noticed the rear valve cover gasket was leaking might as well do that too. Here's a pic of how much I took apart to do the distributor seal. I even took the exhaust crossover off which I normally wouldn't mess with due to rusty studs, but they actually look OK and came apart easy with my impact.

I kind of needed to get all of this out of the way to deal with the coolant hoses. The pic doesn't show, but I believe the one is a quick-connect o-ring fitting from the factory. Someone had ditched this and put a regular hose nipple in the thermostat housing. They just put a short piece of hose on (too short) and 2 clamps.
I took this all apart once I had access. You can buy the quick connect fitting, but after inspecting the steel tube its pitted, and I figured the oring may leak. I chose to just put on a new piece of hose long enough to slip over the bulge in the steel tube and clamped it behind that.
Here's the distributor dummy/oil pump drive and rthe felpro p/n's I used. Unfortunately the o-ring is the black kind so it may be short-lived. I did a search here and found the p/n for the small-block Chevy distributor base gasket and used it as well (thanks 3x00 Modified and Geoff).

Rear valve cover

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:12 pm
by EPfiffner
Luckily you can slide the valve cover out without moving the power steering lines or the alternator bracket, it just barely clears. Speaking of power steering lines, the return line looks to have experienced an interesting previous repair. Not sure though, maybe its original. Anyway, the engine looks nice and clean inside for 154k.

Here's what I used for gasket. I also replaced the pcv grommet, it was hard as a rock. I should have, and will, pull the upper plenum and replace the pcv hose with something, the original one is hard as a rock. I think I can use straight hose and put in a 90degree pcv and make that work. I looked up the pcv valve for my 4.3 blazer and it shows the same diameter so I think that will do it.

I put a dab of rtv for good measure in the triangles where the head and the lower intake meet, but other than that the gasket stayed in place as I snaked the cover back in to position. I re-used the original valve cover grommets, we'll see how that goes..

Throttle body heater hoses

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:28 am
by EPfiffner
I found this nice felpro gasket for the coolant pipe, I had trouble finding the part so here's a pic of the p/n. I had to take this tube all apart to get in there to work on the throttle body heater hoses.

I couldn't find the right heater hose for the throttle body connections. A straight piece of 5/8" works for the one. There's a p/n I found on for the other, but I wanted to find something locally. I bought the heater hose that goes from the heater core to the pipe (it has a 90 in it) and just cut it to fit. I'm not totally happy with it, it seems like it needs more than a 90 degree bend.

Motor mount

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:54 am
by EPfiffner
I finally broke down and bought a serpentine belt tool too. This is the only car I have owned where I just couldn't get it with a 3/8 ratchet. After I put the alternator back on after having it tested, I couldn't get the belt on with a 14mm wrench like I had used to take it off.

Instead of using the right tool for the job, I wanted to get it done so I took the motor mount out hoping to gain access.
Still couldn't get it, but I found this, and this mount may be so sagged that it was making it harder to get to the tensioner. I do some research and find out that the mount is supposed to be swaged in to the housing! That explains all the orange rust dust, this thing was moving all over. It also explains the shuddering when I would let off the gas, and some random weird sounds when turning in to a parking spot..

I wish there was some heavy duty poly mounts still available, but those seem to be long gone. Rock auto has the front mount insert for like $8, it'll probably only last a year.. I hope not, it just seems like a bad design.
Looking further, I can seen that the inner CV boot is almost touching the subframe! I'm going to replace the dog bone too and hope that it brings things back in to alignment. There again, stuck with crappy rubber parts, but I'll just keep an eye on everything.

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:49 pm
by Oki_Hero
Have you considered making your own poly mounts?

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:52 am
by EPfiffner
Oki_Hero wrote:Have you considered making your own poly mounts?

I've read some about that here, most of the photos are gone due to photobucket bombing.

The way that the front upper mount is set up it seems like quite an undertaking.
I think I'll get OE replacements for now and keep my old ones in case I get creative.
I have a restoration project going on, so I'm not ready to sidetrack it for long enough.

In other words, I read everyone's posts on this forum and dream of making my car as awesome as other member's, but that's as far as I get lol

Struts and shocks

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:44 am
by EPfiffner
I really really wanted to lower this car. I was soooo close to ordering the springs.

Driving to work the last few days though in my 4wd blazer I realized nope, if I do the struts will blow in no time.

I hate the way it sits, but I'll probably put 10k miles on it over the spring/summer/fall months, mostly to and from work, which is a 2 lane 55mph country road.

Too many pot holes, etc here. I feel like something will break, the control arms on these cars look pretty wimpy too.

RA has some good closeouts so I'm ordering
Sachs struts for $28 ea
Kyb gas a justs for the rear
Delco mounts and isolators which are also on closeout

I'm going to re-use the OEM springs unless someone can talk me out of it, lol
New OEMS will make it sit even higher, and I can't take that. I'm hoping the gas a just's will help with the ass sag. Obviously its not going to raise the rear, but since they are stiff maybe it will allow me to put something in the trunk at least.

I'm going to save (obviously) the OEM struts in hopes that someday I can do the Koni's

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:41 pm
by Oki_Hero
Look in the wanted section I think someone is selling a set of cunucks can't remember the year though.

Also, I found this site that sells custom sized poly stock in different softness. Id assume it wouldn't take much to hack some of these up for custom mount inserts and the like.

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:57 pm
by heavywoody
Get a new motor mount, then get the polyurethane insert from here:

That should help with your situation!