I don't blame ya. Allante ownership is not for the faint of heart, it is a special car, with many systems and components that were either industry firsts or "one of" when new, now more then 20 years later, it takes someone with the patience and the will to research how those systems are repaired, can't just run it by the local garage and have them fix it, unless money is no object and you have a mechanic willing to see how things WERE done when this car was new, as opposed to how they do it on your average newer car.
This was an exotic, hand built, limited production car when new, with unique integrated electronics, as well as one of the worlds first computer controlled anti lock break systems and requires some special handling now to keep it on the road, the electronics especially are very unlike most other cars, not necessarily difficult, but different, but they are very satisfying to those of us looking for a car very few others have, that can be driven in real world conditions and still be safe AND have trunk space. I am no mechanical whiz by any means, but now almost a decade into ownership of this little gem, I pretty much am not afraid of anything on it, I bought the service manual for my car before I even owned the car, so was already reading up on it before I got it. This site along with all it's members and Tom and Dick have been instrumental in keeping my car on the road ( now over 206,000 miles thank you very much) These cars are not a Camry or taurus, you can't just pop into your local parts store for cheep off the shelf items, and because of the integrated electronics, Replacing that $1200.00 plus (early 80's price) acoustically matched bose symphony sound system with some chain store radio and speakers and expect it to fit right in, just ain't gonna happen.
Sorry your experience hasn't been a good one, it's sort of a running joke that when you buy a used Allante, you must count on spending an additional $2000 for all the little nagging , no one can figure it out, what the hell were the designers thinking annoyances that you find as a new owner before you feel comfortable with your new car, we usually refer to that as the "initiation" fee, ask any long time owner's, we all went thru it.. I like my car alot, I still get looks and questions on it where ever I go, and that was why I wanted it in the first place, Would I own another Allante? probably, but I wouldn't ever make it may only daily driver, and just for safety sake, I keep a auto club premier membership, and typically don't drive any farther then the 500 miles from home that my towing plan covers.
Sorry to ramble, but this post just got me to thinking.
I appreciate your comments. I have owned this car for 2 months . Far too short for an educated opinion of its reliability . But, I'm not worried about replacing parts on the car. I just look for the same part from different GM cars such as GMC, Olds (which are a clone to the Caddy) and others. I have looked at parts prices at parts stores and they are reasonable . Except for the master cylinder. I have looked and I believe the Olds has one that will work. Just as long as I can get it to bolt up I can make it work. But I don't have any issues yet other than the radio and hard leather on the seats.
I drive the car everyday and it starts and goes all the time without problem. I am looking for some better looking wheels but haven't found any yet . I DO like the car . I had a 97 Seville SLS and I liked the looks of it so the Allante has the same lines. But, I am a convertible man and need my "fix" of wind and sun . This car does that. I also have a 1955 TBird and it does it too . But, insurance restrictions keep it in the garage a lot.
I am sure in the future if the radio dies I will rip it out and install an aftermarket one. I will fabricate a new tower and install the section for the radio and leave the top portion alone. I will keep the old tower and when it sells it can go with it.
My main concern is not being able to find parts (the petty stuff) and only have 2 guys that control the cost of them.
Example: I need the barrel end of the manual latch for my top . I cant find anything anyplace. I did today get a price of nearly 50 bucks for the part. That is absolutely crazy. I have some latches for my TBird and am fitting them onto the Allante top .
This car isn't going to be a show car or anything so my motto is "as long as it works" I'm good with that. But, I too ramble and I will move on. I will most likely proceed with the car until I get stymied and throw up my hands. Radio is back and will be installed tomorrow .
Thanks for comments
Automobile(s): 1988 Allante' (sold), 1984 Eldorado, 84 Sedan DeVille
Re: Radio woes
No other master cylinder will work! The only thing that's on another car is the ABS electrical pressure pump. It was used on mid 80's Chrysler Imperials and some New Yorker's. Any parts related to the Pinna Farina body will be expensive. You might try Delta Auto Wreckers in Stockton Ca. 209 948 6879. They have at least 10 Allante's.
I have made too many modifications to many cars in my 67 years. 95% of them didn't originally fit. Given time and supplies anything will fit on anything and work. GMC master cylinders will work. Possibly Buick and Olds.. When I say parts will work I am talking about parts. IE. brake pads wheel rotors, mufflers etc.. I am not talking about body parts . I have made many things work and have yet to find one that wont. But all I am saying is the interchange parts system is nearly the same for Olds, Buick , GMC and Caddy. Only names and maybe a part number by a number or two will be changed but they will work. I have already checked a lot of parts to see whats available.
My nephew is an engine builder for NASCAR and through him I have access to machinery, discounted parts and steel to made things work. I hate doing that so that was why I started looking at whats available . I did modify a set of TBird top latches to the Allante and they work quite well. If I knew how to post pics I would show you what I did.
I am mainly talking about the petty stuff one needs from time to time.