: Got my "New" Limo Home



turbojimmy
07-29-11, 12:36 AM
So, as is usually the case, the car looked better in the pictures but overall I'm happy with it. The price was right - it was a better deal than my '96. The owner was honest about what it needed, so there were no surprises other than the A/C not working. I think it just needs charged. The car had been sitting for a long time. The owner hadn't registered it after buying it from its 2nd owner a few months ago. According to CarFax, the car has only been driven 7,000 miles in 10 years. It has 83,000 miles on it, which is an improvement from my '96.

The owner said he had "plans" for it, but they didn't work out. I think maybe the car needed more work than he could do himself or reasonably pay for.

Immediate needs are a thorough cleaning, repairing the load-leveling system, sealing up the exhaust, fixing a rich condition and the A/C. The car is sitting on the ground and the compressor isn't running.

When it was cold, just after leaving the owner's house, it ran strong. Once it warmed up, however, it was way down on power and was billowing black smoke at anything past 1/2 throttle. The SES light is coming on intermittently. I'll have to pull the codes in the morning....

The rear is sitting on the ground and the compressor isn't trying to run. I'll have to goof around with it to see what the problem is.

The body is in much better shape than mine with far fewer random dings, scratches, etc. There are couple of spots behind both front wheels where there is substantial damage to the inner fenders, just ahead of the frame rail. Hard to say what happened there but you can't see it unless you get under it.

The right front wheel is bent, but the full-sized spare is perfect. I'll just swap it out.

The vinyl roof was replaced by a hack. It's a disaster. Gonna be a pricey fix.

Both rear bumper fillers/tail light housings are toast. Back-up lights are trash too.

Trunk pull-down doesn't work. Go figure.

Fuel gauge reads full all the time. Must be the sender.

The good stuff:

At speed it's much smoother than my '96. I never did totally eliminate the vibration in that car.

It's far cleaner and pretty much rust free underneath. My frame had rotted through on the '96.

Everything works. All the stock stuff like the power door locks, keyless entry (thank gawd! my '96 didn't have it), power windows (no broken rollers), etc. and so on. All the limo stuff works, too. There are "mood lights" along the headliner, lighting in the ice chest and glass storage (each little cup holder has a light under it - pretty neat), rear climate control works and is plumbed better than my '96, the partition window works, and the rear audio system works.

It has 2 power antennas, one for the front audio and one for the rear. Someone must have had a TV in it because there's random RCA cabling laying on the floor.

It's a 6 door, but you can't tell by looking at it - there are no exterior handles on the center doors. There are buttons in each rear door frame that pop the middle doors.

The interior is near perfect, but missing floor mats. There's a groovy black shag rug in the back tho.

The middle seat flips, but the arrangement is less elegant than the Superior mechanism. It binds and requires that you remove some trim and replace it on the opposite side of the seat once you flip it. I don't think I'll be flipping it much anyway.

When my GF sees it, she'll think I've lost my mind. My '96 was really nice by the time I was done with it. Not many people realize the basket case it was when I first bought it.

I can't wait to begin tearing into it....I want to take it to a concert on Sunday so I gotta get to the running problem, A/C and suspension right away.

I'll snap pics tomorrow after I clean it up a bit.

cadillac_al
07-29-11, 08:47 AM
You sold your 96 with a rotted frame? I pity the fool that got stuck with that.....(unless you told him about it).

outsider
07-29-11, 08:50 AM
nice, sounds like you've got quite the project ahead of you. Can't wait to follow along and see all the great pictures!

turbojimmy
07-29-11, 08:57 AM
You sold your 96 with a rotted frame? I pity the fool that got stuck with that.....(unless you told him about it).

My choice of words: "rotted frame" was harsh. The car had sat a long time in a grassy lot in Camden. The coach builder's extension was a full D-channel frame. It had rotted through on the outside edge in a couple of spots from sitting in the grass. I had a body shop look at it and they said even if the whole bottom of that D-channel were gone, you could stack another limo on top if it. It's thick stuff, and the rot essentially made it a "C-channel" which most cars had anyway.

turbojimmy
07-29-11, 09:31 AM
nice, sounds like you've got quite the project ahead of you. Can't wait to follow along and see all the great pictures!

Yes it's a project all right. Here are pics. I've done nothing to it but drive it home and lose sleep over where to start. I started with fixing the hood latch so opening the hood is now a 1 person operation.

http://turbojimmy.4t.com/1994_Limo/1994_Limo_exterior-1.jpg

http://turbojimmy.4t.com/1994_Limo/1994_Limo_exterior-2.jpg

http://turbojimmy.4t.com/1994_Limo/1994_Limo_exterior-3.jpg

http://turbojimmy.4t.com/1994_Limo/1994_limo_federal.jpg

http://turbojimmy.4t.com/1994_Limo/1994_limo_interior-1.jpg

http://turbojimmy.4t.com/1994_Limo/1994_limo_interior-2.jpg

http://turbojimmy.4t.com/1994_Limo/1994_limo_interior-3.jpg

http://turbojimmy.4t.com/1994_Limo/1994_limo_interior-4.jpg

http://turbojimmy.4t.com/1994_Limo/1994_limo_interior-5.jpg


Center doors open with these nifty buttons at each of the other 4 doors:
http://turbojimmy.4t.com/1994_Limo/1994_limo_door_button-1.jpg

I've never seen this happen to an RPO sticker before:
http://turbojimmy.4t.com/1994_Limo/1994_limo_rpo.jpg

mjs182004
07-29-11, 10:35 AM
Cool man, That's looks awesome!

CADforce69
07-29-11, 12:34 PM
Congrats for your "new" limo. Looks even classier than your previous one. Youīll need some initial work but, as you explain, is a much better base than your '96 and when everything is fixed, itīll be even more valuable. Just sit down and write down a list of priorities. That will help you to manage your effort. Good luck with vinyl fixing. I hope itīs not very costly.

turbojimmy
07-29-11, 01:08 PM
Congrats for your "new" limo. Looks even classier than your previous one. Youīll need some initial work but, as you explain, is a much better base than your '96 and when everything is fixed, itīll be even more valuable. Just sit down and write down a list of priorities. That will help you to manage your effort. Good luck with vinyl fixing. I hope itīs not very costly.

Oh it'll be costly :-) It always is. I'm getting overwhelmed as I go over it, so your suggestion is good. Make a list. That's what I did with my '96 and I knocked them all down over time.

The friggin a/c compressor is bad. Big $$ setback. I was hoping just to charge it but as soon as there was enough pressure for the clutch to kick in it screamed and smoked itself to death.

Working on diagnosing the ALC now. I can hear the relay click under the hood, meaning the sensor is calling for the pump, but it's not running....

EDIT: Just had a moment of panic. Was at the DMV earlier and while I put "LIMO" on the title application, the clerk said the VIN is coming up as a 4-door sedan so that's how it had to be titled. I don't care either way, but when I titled the '96, I had the opposite problem. Put "sedan" and the clerk said the VIN says it's a limo. I figure it depends on what the coach builder started with. Well, I was looking at that shriveled RPO sticker and noticed the VIN on it was not the same as the title. Oh oh. So I checked the dash tag, which IS the same as the title. Whew! The decklid must have been replaced....

csbuckn
07-29-11, 01:17 PM
Just replace the clutch on the ac?

turbojimmy
07-29-11, 02:27 PM
Just replace the clutch on the ac?

Eh - I think the compressor is seized or sticky. When the clutch first engaged, it turned intermittently, which caused the clutch to smoke. I disabled it and let more of the refrigerant/oil charge go in. When I enabled the clutch again, it screeched and carried on but the compressor was turning...hmmmm. I may just have talked myself into a clutch. I might have smoked the clutch. I think the car had been sitting a looooooong time. Good news it wasn't in a grassy lot like my old limo.

Can I replace the clutch without removing the compressor?

ga_etc
07-29-11, 04:51 PM
Cool looking car. Hope it isn't too much of a basket case and doesn't drive you crazy. Best of luck. Looks like it'll all be worth it in the end.

csbuckn
07-29-11, 05:34 PM
Yea, you can do clutch only. Look on YouTube, it has a video of it and it looks very easy.

turbojimmy
07-29-11, 05:49 PM
Yea, you can do clutch only. Look on YouTube, it has a video of it and it looks very easy.

Thanks - I'll check it out. I tried it on my '01 Caddy and destroyed the compressor trying to remove the clutch with a puller. It was the newer style, compact units tho.

I was able to run the ALC pump by jumping the terminals on the relay. I pumped it up to what I considered a normal height. Either the relay is bad, or the sensor is unplugged in the back. It's been a couple of hours and I think it's leaking down. Someone probably unhooked the sensor.It could probably use shocks anyway, which will come with an air line kit. I'm going to pump it way up and see if the exhaust valve opens to let it down. If not, it's gotta be the ride height sensor.

I picked up the kids from their mom today and they LOVE the car. I'm super critical and was pretty bummed about all the work I had to do, but they thought it was exactly like the old one but tons better. Ahhhhh, to see things through a child's eyes....

csbuckn
07-29-11, 06:03 PM
Looking at the spid sticker, I'm suprised there's no posi or sport steering.

outsider
07-29-11, 06:26 PM
I think he said the SPID/RPO sticker is not original.

turbojimmy
07-29-11, 06:52 PM
I think he said the SPID/RPO sticker is not original.

Nope. It was from a '94 Fleetwood though. Caused my panic attack earlier today. The correct VIN brings up the following options:

UA6 THEFT DETERRENT SYSTEM ANTI-THEFT(UA6)
18,296
UW6 SPEAKER SYSTEM,6,DUAL FRONT DOOR TWEETER & WOOFER,DUAL EXTENDED RANGE 6 SPKR SYS(UW6)
27,473
UX1 RADIO,AM/FM STEREO,WEATHER,CASSETTE,EQUALIZER,ETR,INCLUDES CLOCK STEREO AM/FM W/CASS & EQLZR(UX1)
17,361
U02 CLUSTER,INSTRUMENT,KILOMETER AND MILES,DIGITAL DISPLAY DIGITAL DISPLAY CSTR(U02)
27,473
U75 ANTENNA,POWER(CHROME) PWR ANT(EXPORT)(U75)
ANTENNA,POWER(CHROME) PWR ANT(U75)
26,737
VH7 BUMPER,CUSTOM CUSTOM BPR(VH7)
2,483
VK3 LICENSE PLATE,FRONT MOUNTING PACKAGE FRT LIC PLT MTG PKG(VK3)
25,591
VM3 Unk. 4,380
VX5 FLEET PROGRAM - CASH ALLOWANCE
1,904
VY9 Unk. 944
V03 COOLING SYSTEM,EXTRA CAPACITY EXTRA CAPACITY CLG(V03)
23,376
V4U EQUIPMENT COACHBUIDLER(NOT TO EXCEED 7200 LBS) (V4U)
EQUIPMENT COACHBUILDER(NOT TO EXCEED 7200 LBS) LIMO PKG(V4U)
1,742
V73 VEHICLE STATEMENT - US/CANADA US/CANADA VEHICLE STATEMENT(V73)
25,999
YF5 CALIFORNIA EMISSION CERTIFICATION CALIFORNIA EMIS CERTIFICATION(YF5)
4,155
YL1 UPHOLSTERY,LEATHER/VINYL LEATHER/VINYL UPHOLSTERY(YL1)
25,514
YM0 PROCESSING - FACTORY SALES
1,634
YM2 FLEET PROCESSING - NATIONAL ORDERS
8,240
YN6 PROCESSING - DOMESTIC ORDERS
25,247
YN7 PROCESSING - CENTRAL OFFICE ORDERS
24,942
19I INTERIOR TRIM COLOR (19I)
INTERIOR TRIM,BLACK (19I)
4,881
192 TRIM COMBINATION,BLACK LEATHER (192)
2,741
41U EXTERIOR COLOR,PRIMARY (41U)
EXTERIOR COLOR,PRIMARY,BLACK (41U)
5,738
6TR COMPONENT-COMPUTER SELECTED SUSPENSION SUSP(6TR)
2,484
7TR COMPONET-COMPUTER SELECTED SUSPENSION SUSP(7TR)
2,484
8JJ COMPONENT- RR LH COMPUTER SEL SUSP (8JJ) SUSP(8JJ)
2,483
9JJ COMPONENT- RR RH COMPUTER SEL SUSP (9JJ) SUSP(9JJ)
1,844
AK5 RESTRAINT SYSTEM,FRONT SEAT,INFLATABLE,DRIVER AND PASSENGER DRIVER & PASS F/SEAT INFL RST SYS(AK5)
27,473
AM6 SEAT,FRONT SPLIT,3 PASSENGER WITH CENTER ARMREST FRT SPLIT ST(AM6)
9,679
ARL PLANT CODE-ARLINGTON TX, CPC ARLINGTON,TX ASSEMBLY PLANT(ARL)
27,473
AU0 LOCK CONTROL,REMOTE ENTRY(KEYLESS ENTRY SYS)(INCL REM HATCH CTL) REMOTE ENTRY LK CONT(AU0)
LOCK CONTROL,REMOTE ENTRY(KEYLESS ENTRY SYSTEM) REMOTE ENTRY LK CONT(AU0)
18,296
AU4 LOCK,SIDE DOOR,ELECTRIC,AUTOMATIC AUTO ELEC S/D LK(AU4)
18,296
A75 SPRING,SEAT FRONT,CUSHION AND BACK,HEAVY DUTY HVY DUTY FRT ST(A75)
8,552
CB3 ROOF COVERING PROVISIONS VINYL ROOF(CB3)
1,619
C68 AIR CONDITIONER,FRONT,AUTOMATIC,ELECTRONIC CONTROLS A/C AUTO ELEC CONT(C68)
27,473
DL8 MIRROR,OUTSIDE,RH AND LH REMOTE CONTROL,ELECTRIC,DEFOG ELEC R/CON HTD O/S MIR(DL8)
27,137
FE7 SUSPENSION SYSTEM,FRONT AND REAR,HEAVY DUTY HVY DUTY SUSP(FE7)
SUSPENSION SYSTEM,FRT AND RR,HVY DTY,MEX DOM USE ONLY HVY DUTY SUSP(FE7)(EXPORT)
2,483
GW9 AXLE,REAR,2.93 RATIO 2.93R(GW9)
24,325
IQ2 TRIM,INTERIOR DESIGN (IQ2)
8,688
J55 BRAKE SYSTEM,HEAVY DUTY POWER HVY DUTY PWR BRK(J55)
2,483
KC4 COOLING SYSTEM,ENGINE OIL ENG OIL CLG(KC4)
25,043
KD1 COOLING SYSTEM,TRANSMISSION OIL TRANS OIL CLG(KD1)
27,456
KG9 GENERATOR,140 AMPERE 140 AMP(KG9)
27,473
LT1 ENGINE-GAS, 8 CYL, 5.7L(5.7P),MFI,HO 5.7P(LT1)
27,473
MX0 TRANSMISSION,AUTOMATIC,OVERDRIVE(MERCHANDISING OPTION) A/TRANS PROVISIONS(MX0)
27,473
M30 TRANSMISSION,AUTOMATIC 4 SPEED,4L60E,ELECTRONIC 4-SPD A/TRANS(M30)
27,473
NA5 EMISSION SYSTEM,FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS FEDERAL EMIS(NA5)
23,906
NC7 EMISSION SYSTEM,FEDERAL OVERRIDE FED EMIS OVERRIDE(NC7)
EMISSION SYSTEM,UNLEADED FUEL(EXPORT) UNLEADED FUEL(EXPORT)(NC7)
2,057
NN5 EMISSION OVERRIDE,CALIFORNIA SYSTEM,FEDERAL OFFSET VEHICLE EMIS OVERRIDE(NN5)
2,012
NP5 STEERING WHEEL,LEATHER WRAPPED LEATHER WRAPPED STRG WHL(NP5)
27,473
NV7 STEERING,POWER,VARIABLE EFFORT P/S(VARIABLE)(NV7)
27,473
N08 LOCK,FUEL FILLER DOOR,REMOTE CONTROL,ELECTRIC ELEC R/CON FUEL FILL DR LK(N08)
18,296
N66 WHEEL,STYLED ALUMINUM STYLED WHEEL ALUM(N66)
2,483
N81 TIRE,SPARE(FULL SIZE RADIAL) FULL SIZE RADIAL SPA(N81)
TIRE,SPARE(FULL SIZE RADIAL)(EXPORT) FULL SIZE RADIAL SPA(N81)(EXPORT)
14,221
QHB TIRE ALL - P235/75R15/X WS2 R/PE ST TL ALS TIRE(QHB)
2,483
R1Q Unk. 2,305
R6B CONTROL - SALES ITEM NO. 02
1,583
R6U CONTROL - SALES ITEM NO. 20
2,424

Sorry about the crappy line breaks. Cut n paste sucks sometimes.

csbuckn
07-29-11, 08:37 PM
Cool options, except for the cali emissions..sounds like a pain. Anything special about cali emissions?

turbojimmy
07-29-11, 09:17 PM
Cool options, except for the cali emissions..sounds like a pain. Anything special about cali emissions?

I didn't even notice that. It's just like my '96 - except it all actually works.

Cadillacboy
07-30-11, 03:54 PM
Congrats , this limo is better than I thought .

turbojimmy
07-31-11, 12:53 PM
Congrats , this limo is better than I thought .

Thanks! It's better than I thought, too. Now that I've had a chance to look it all over, it looks like a great foundation for a fun project. And it is a project, don't get me wrong. But I feel better about investing in this one than my '96. The '96 was nice, but the 6-door will always have funeral connotations.

While this one is technically a 6-door, it looks more like a "real" limo inside and out, but without being crazy long. It's a big car, yes, but still manageable. I can't park in "normal" spots anymore though (I could get away with it in the '96), and it takes really wide turns. It's "only" 18" longer than my '96, but they make great use of the space. In the '96, you couldn't put the front seats back all the way because they would hit the middle seat. In this one, they use some of that 18" to allow the front seats to fully travel. The 18" also allows for the partition. They used up the rest of the space by moving the middle set farther forward compared to the '96. I would guess there's probably 4" or 5" more open space between the middle and rear seats.

cadillac_al
08-02-11, 08:34 PM
My choice of words: "rotted frame" was harsh. The car had sat a long time in a grassy lot in Camden. The coach builder's extension was a full D-channel frame. It had rotted through on the outside edge in a couple of spots from sitting in the grass. I had a body shop look at it and they said even if the whole bottom of that D-channel were gone, you could stack another limo on top if it. It's thick stuff, and the rot essentially made it a "C-channel" which most cars had anyway.

Yeah, it just sounded bad but I know what you mean. I will probably sell my rusty but fixed and treated Fleetwood to somebody someday . It will be perfectly safe and driveable but cheap because of the previous cancer issues. You definitely ride in style dude. Enjoy.