: Took my limo to the top shop



turbojimmy
06-17-13, 10:38 PM
Remember about this time last year I had a new vinyl top put on the limo? New sunroof, too? The fargin thing is coming off. Wind is getting under it at speed and ripped it loose above the windshield. I'm fairly pissed about it, but the guy that the top shop was very apologetic and promised he'd make it right.

So my brother came to my house so we could travel to the shop together. He was in his '96 Roadmaster wagon. He got a bit of a head start because I had to maneuver the limo around my truck, which I had strategically placed behind the limo.

I caught up to him at a light. Side by side. LT1 vs. LT1. 7,000 lbs. vs. 5,000 lbs. Whatever gears the limo came with vs. whatever gears are in the wagon's towing package. Wagon transmission vs. wagon transmission.

I lined up in the left lane. I put the passenger side window of the limo down. My brother put his window down. Resisting the urge to ask for Grey Poupon, I asked my brother how he thought things were going to go. He said "poorly for you". It was on.

Light turned green and we both got a good start. By about 70 MPH (closed course, professional drivers) He had about half a car length on me. With another red light approaching and some traffic, I slowed down to let him in the open left lane. I chased him up the ramp to the interstate, gaining steadily above 70 MPH. We merged onto the highway at about 85 MPH and decided that was enough.

My girlfriend says I'm an idiot, but I told her it was a physics experiment. Identical drivetrains; weight and gearing differences. She still thinks I'm an idiot. Whatever. It was fun.

csbuckn
06-17-13, 11:15 PM
Pretty cool. Time for an intake. You think a cold air intake would make up that half a car length?

turbojimmy
06-17-13, 11:21 PM
Pretty cool. Time for an intake. You think a cold air intake would make up that half a car length?

I don't know what an intake would do. It would be nice to even up the score. I was surprised we were so close. I figured '96 vs. 94, him with less weight and better gearing would be a bigger difference. In the 1/4, it would have been very close. Which we will have to do because the local dragstrip has reopened after a brief hiatus (people build houses close to a dragstrip that's been in operation since the 50s and then complain it's too loud). I would think the limo would be fun to run, and the 4 or 5 people in the stands might like it too.

jamespowers
06-18-13, 02:22 AM
I don't know what an intake would do. It would be nice to even up the score. I was surprised we were so close. I figured '96 vs. 94, him with less weight and better gearing would be a bigger difference. In the 1/4, it would have been very close. Which we will have to do because the local dragstrip has reopened after a brief hiatus (people build houses close to a dragstrip that's been in operation since the 50s and then complain it's too loud). I would think the limo would be fun to run, and the 4 or 5 people in the stands might like it too.

Limo racing. Sounds like an interesting new sport---better than racing lawnmowers. :p

outsider
06-18-13, 10:01 AM
haah sounds like fun. Must have been funny for onlookers too...a wagon and a limo drag racing.

Keep us updated on the top situation. Hopefully they'll make it right!

Cadillacboy
06-18-13, 04:24 PM
This is where your gf is wrong , you are not idiot at all ;)
However though , I take my hat off to you (even though I rarely use it lol ) considering you hit around 85 mph where stupid speed regulations are . It was fun to read this topic as well :D
If it were 93 in other words as opposed to your LT1's mighty engine , the results would prove differently

83 Fleetwood
06-18-13, 10:42 PM
How about some pictures of the 2 cars next to each other

turbojimmy
06-19-13, 01:34 PM
I'll have to do that next time my brother comes over.

HUF
06-19-13, 08:45 PM
Girlfriends can be wrong occasionally. They are humans. :) Were not they supposed to glue the vinyl top?

turbojimmy
06-19-13, 09:28 PM
Were not they supposed to glue the vinyl top?

That's what I thought. There was no hint of glue along the front of it. All that was holding it down, apparently, was that rubber trim that runs along the top of the windshield. I'm surprised it stayed down for almost a year.

jamespowers
06-19-13, 10:28 PM
That's what I thought. There was no hint of glue along the front of it. All that was holding it down, apparently, was that rubber trim that runs along the top of the windshield. I'm surprised it stayed down for almost a year.

Is this a top shop or a chop shop?! Put your foot in their backside and make them fix it right. I hate when getting something fixed doesn't last.

turbojimmy
06-19-13, 10:38 PM
Is this a top shop or a chop shop?! Put your foot in their backside and make them fix it right. I hate when getting something fixed doesn't last.

I was shocked to see the lack of glue. They did an impeccable job otherwise - the stitching, padding, aluminum trim around the rear window, cutting in the sun roof, etc. They just didn't glue it down properly.

jamespowers
06-19-13, 10:44 PM
I was shocked to see the lack of glue. They did an impeccable job otherwise - the stitching, padding, aluminum trim around the rear window, cutting in the sun roof, etc. They just didn't glue it down properly.

Nothing the foot won't fix. :p

jayoldschool
06-20-13, 12:04 AM
Everybody has a bad day at work every now and then. It's good they are fixing it. Good thing they don't make parachutes.

jamespowers
06-20-13, 02:54 AM
Everybody has a bad day at work every now and then. It's good they are fixing it. Good thing they don't make parachutes.

Or do brake jobs.....

turbojimmy
06-20-13, 01:07 PM
Nothing the foot won't fix. :p

Or duct tape. I had to duct tape it to the windshield. It was hideous but effective.

jamespowers
06-22-13, 02:52 AM
Or duct tape. I had to duct tape it to the windshield. It was hideous but effective.

Oh geez! Get them to fix it fast!

turbojimmy
06-30-13, 01:17 PM
Still don't have the car back yet. Says he hasn't gotten to it yet, but really likes having it around. He said "You know what the best part is? It's not a Lincoln!". He talked about how distinctive they are to begin with, but a stretch is really unique among the sea of Town Cars that have essentially looked the same for decades. I guess I agree, but I'd like to have it back now, please.

jamespowers
06-30-13, 03:57 PM
Still don't have the car back yet. Says he hasn't gotten to it yet, but really likes having it around. He said "You know what the best part is? It's not a Lincoln!". He talked about how distinctive they are to begin with, but a stretch is really unique among the sea of Town Cars that have essentially looked the same for decades. I guess I agree, but I'd like to have it back now, please.

Put your foot in his butt and make him get to it. I give it to guys like that. I would call or go by every day to see the progress whether he likes it or not. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Squeak a bit. :p

talismandave
07-01-13, 02:02 PM
Tell him you have it hired for a paid gig by XX/XX/XXXX, and if it isn't done by then......

jamespowers
07-01-13, 05:24 PM
Tell him you have it hired for a paid gig by XX/XX/XXXX, and if it isn't done by then......

Then he owes you the lost income from the vehicle. :p

turbojimmy
07-01-13, 06:36 PM
Yeah, I've been cool about it so far. It's just another vehicle to put gas in. I really don't drive it much, but with recent graduations and other events it would have been cool to have. Funny how the kids don't appreciate it until it isn't here, then want to ride around in it.

jamespowers
07-01-13, 06:56 PM
Yeah, I've been cool about it so far. It's just another vehicle to put gas in. I really don't drive it much, but with recent graduations and other events it would have been cool to have. Funny how the kids don't appreciate it until it isn't here, then want to ride around in it.

I would have just went and got it if I needed it. I would bring it back when I felt like it too. :p

turbojimmy
07-06-13, 06:56 PM
Picked it up today. I popped in on him unannounced yesterday and he was actually working on it. He's a nice guy, or at the very least knows how to come across that way to stay in business. Fun to talk to. He admitted that he thought the way he had secured the front edge would be find, but in retrospect should have been sealed better. He put a lot of glue underneath it, tucked it under the rubber molding and ran a fairly inconspicuous bead of black silicone to hold it down. 90 MPH on the highway on the way home and it stayed down :-p (was trying to catch my brother in his wagon, but he had too big of a head start).

No air conditioning, though, and it is 90 degrees and stupid humid today. I put 4 cans of R134 in it when I got home and it's finally starting to cool off. At $10 a can, I'll be broke by the end of the season. I have an ultraviolet light so I can see where it's leaking. Just have to wait until dark. I think my compression fittings are holding - there was pressure at the low-pressure fitting on the accumulator. I think that schrader valve is leaking. Of course that's a brand new part. They don't make them like they used to....

jamespowers
07-06-13, 09:20 PM
Picked it up today. I popped in on him unannounced yesterday and he was actually working on it. He's a nice guy, or at the very least knows how to come across that way to stay in business. Fun to talk to. He admitted that he thought the way he had secured the front edge would be find, but in retrospect should have been sealed better. He put a lot of glue underneath it, tucked it under the rubber molding and ran a fairly inconspicuous bead of black silicone to hold it down. 90 MPH on the highway on the way home and it stayed down :-p (was trying to catch my brother in his wagon, but he had too big of a head start).

No air conditioning, though, and it is 90 degrees and stupid humid today. I put 4 cans of R134 in it when I got home and it's finally starting to cool off. At $10 a can, I'll be broke by the end of the season. I have an ultraviolet light so I can see where it's leaking. Just have to wait until dark. I think my compression fittings are holding - there was pressure at the low-pressure fitting on the accumulator. I think that schrader valve is leaking. Of course that's a brand new part. They don't make them like they used to....
Good to see that you have it back now. Enjoy it!

Cadillacboy
07-07-13, 03:11 PM
Good to see that you have it back now. Enjoy it!

+ Fleetwood Brougham lol

turbojimmy
07-07-13, 03:21 PM
+ Fleetwood Brougham lol

Thanks! But it's tough to enjoy without decent A/C on a 90-degree day. Freaking thing leaked down again overnight to where the A/C is not keeping up. Yesterday it was good and last night it was ice cold, but today it's actually cooler outside the car after driving around with the A/C on for 20 minutes.

I guess I'm going to have to suck it up and pay someone to find and fix the leak. The problem is that I'm reasonably sure it's in that custom-made line that no one seems interested in duplicating for me.

jamespowers
07-07-13, 03:42 PM
I guess I'm going to have to suck it up and pay someone to find and fix the leak. The problem is that I'm reasonably sure it's in that custom-made line that no one seems interested in duplicating for me.

Like I said give the problem to someone else. :p There are people out here who duplicate lines and hoses. You don't have any out there?! Gee that stinks.

turbojimmy
07-07-13, 09:09 PM
Like I said give the problem to someone else. :p There are people out here who duplicate lines and hoses. You don't have any out there?! Gee that stinks.

I may have to. I need someone to verify where the leak is. If it is the line I had to hack up, then I'll have to find someone to make a new one. If it isn't, that would be a good thing.

csbuckn
07-08-13, 12:51 AM
Did you do the black light thing yet?

turbojimmy
07-08-13, 01:35 AM
Did you do the black light thing yet?

Yes - just now because of your post :-) I had forgotten until now.

Blacklight shows a lot of dye on the new accumulator bracket with traces running down the accumulator itself. There's also some dye seeping from the compression fitting on the orifice tube repair kit. The compression fitting that I feared was leaking, however, does not appear to be leaking.

I think I can crank down that orifice tube repair kit fitting some more to see if it seals. It looks like the big leak is the low side Schrader valve on the accumulator, though.

I'll have to check the fittings on the expansion valve for the aux A/C. That's inside the car and harder to get at. It's too late and I'm too tired.

Thanks for asking, csbuckn. I'd have kicked myself tomorrow morning - I need to check it at night so the dye lights up.

jamespowers
07-08-13, 01:58 AM
Yes - just now because of your post :-) I had forgotten until now.

Blacklight shows a lot of dye on the new accumulator bracket with traces running down the accumulator itself. There's also some dye seeping from the compression fitting on the orifice tube repair kit. The compression fitting that I feared was leaking, however, does not appear to be leaking.

I think I can crank down that orifice tube repair kit fitting some more to see if it seals. It looks like the big leak is the low side Schrader valve on the accumulator, though.

I'll have to check the fittings on the expansion valve for the aux A/C. That's inside the car and harder to get at. It's too late and I'm too tired.

Thanks for asking, csbuckn. I'd have kicked myself tomorrow morning - I need to check it at night so the dye lights up.Now we are getting some place. :D

csbuckn
07-08-13, 11:04 AM
No problem, I've always wanted to do one. Does the dye really stand out under the light?

turbojimmy
07-08-13, 12:30 PM
No problem, I've always wanted to do one. Does the dye really stand out under the light?

Yes, but it has to be dark outside or in a dark garage. I screwed up, though, and didn't wash everything down with brake cleaner first. The guy at the a/c shop said to do that. The dye on the accumulator might just be spray from connecting and disconnecting the low pressure charge line. I'll have to clean it and look at it again tonight. I suspect that orifice tube kit fitting.

turbojimmy
07-09-13, 11:25 AM
Found the problem. My compression fittings appear to be holding. I washed everything down with brake part cleaner. While doing that, I noticed that the new compressor is slinging oil all over the frame rail. Mystery solved.

I bought it on FleeceBay and the warranty stipulates "professional installation". Let the games begin....

http://i1263.photobucket.com/albums/ii636/jestoltz/compressor_oil_zpscd3fba08.jpg

jamespowers
07-09-13, 01:40 PM
Found the problem. My compression fittings appear to be holding. I washed everything down with brake part cleaner. While doing that, I noticed that the new compressor is slinging oil all over the frame rail. Mystery solved.

I bought it on FleeceBay and the warranty stipulates "professional installation". Let the games begin....

http://i1263.photobucket.com/albums/ii636/jestoltz/compressor_oil_zpscd3fba08.jpg

Uh oh! :shhh:

turbojimmy
07-09-13, 01:43 PM
Wow I didn't realize how horrible that picture came out. The dark color on the frame rail is oil.

Cadillacboy
07-09-13, 04:44 PM
I am extremely happy you found the smoking gun , it really looks nasty lol

turbojimmy
07-09-13, 06:52 PM
Yes, it's nasty. The shaft seal is leaking and not only is it slinging the oil and refrigerant all over everything it's also blowing back onto the compressor and beyond. I just can't win with this a/c job. On the one hand I'm glad it's not something I did, on the other the whole thing needs evacuated, compressor replaced and recharged. Makes me tired thinking about it.

Naturally the vendor has not been quick to reply to my warranty inquiry.

turbojimmy
07-12-13, 07:58 AM
Much to my delight and surprise, the vendor acknowledged that they had a bad batch of shaft seals and I must have gotten one of them. They're sending me another compressor and a pre-paid shipping label to send the old one back. I'm a little peeved that I spent $100 on refrigerant trying to diagnose it, but stuff happens.

jamespowers
07-12-13, 12:07 PM
Much to my delight and surprise, the vendor acknowledged that they had a bad batch of shaft seals and I must have gotten one of them. They're sending me another compressor and a pre-paid shipping label to send the old one back. I'm a little peeved that I spent $100 on refrigerant trying to diagnose it, but stuff happens.$100!?:eek:

turbojimmy
07-12-13, 12:12 PM
$100!?:eek:

Yeah, $10 a can. I've put at least 10 in it trying to keep it charged up. At first it was a slow leak, but now it leaks out overnight so I don't waste my time or $$ anymore.

jamespowers
07-12-13, 03:30 PM
Yeah, $10 a can. I've put at least 10 in it trying to keep it charged up. At first it was a slow leak, but now it leaks out overnight so I don't waste my time or $$ anymore.

Definitely a good idea to put away the shovel and quit digging that money pit. :p
Oh and I forgot to mention that I am glad you are getting a new one without any wrangling over defects. :clap:

turbojimmy
07-12-13, 03:54 PM
The only bright side is that I don't have to evacuate the system to replace the compressor. It's self-evacuating.

jamespowers
07-12-13, 05:50 PM
The only bright side is that I don't have to evacuate the system to replace the compressor. It's self-evacuating.Well, at least you don't have to pay for labor. :p

turbojimmy
07-12-13, 06:17 PM
Well, at least you don't have to pay for labor. :p

Not directly out of my wallet, but I have to find the time to get underneath the thing and swap that compressor out. I'm getting good at it though. And I like working on it. The little victories keep me going.

jamespowers
07-12-13, 10:58 PM
Not directly out of my wallet, but I have to find the time to get underneath the thing and swap that compressor out. I'm getting good at it though. And I like working on it. The little victories keep me going.Well, having working AC would be a victory. We need pictures too. :p

jayoldschool
07-13-13, 12:26 AM
We need custom badges for everyone. You get "Official limo AC repair technician".

turbojimmy
07-13-13, 08:10 AM
We need custom badges for everyone. You get "Official limo AC repair technician".

That would be cool :)

The very first caveat in their warranty was "Must be installed by a certified mechanic.". So, the very first question the seller asked me was "Who installed it?", followed by "what else was done when you installed it."

I didn't lie or exaggerate, but I told them in great detail what I had done and the events that led up to my discovery of the seal failure. They responded with:

"I took all the information you gave me to my remanufacturing manager, and he said during the time in which you purchased this compressor, we had a run of bad seals from our supplier, and he thinks that's why your compressor became defective. He also thought you sounded very knowledgeable, and appreciates all the info. I can do 1 of 2 things at this point. 1. Send you a replacement compressor with a pre-paid UPS return label. 2. Email a return label for a full refund. Please let me know."

It really could have turned into a big fight, with them having the upper hand. But they were really cool about it. I'd definitely do business with them again. arcticblastaccompressor on eBay. They sell new and rebuilt compressors.

talismandave
07-13-13, 08:58 AM
Glad things worked out for you on the exchange. It is also great to hear about the seller being honest and not giving you the run around. It isn't as rare as people think, but the few bad ones give all a bad name.

jamespowers
07-13-13, 02:50 PM
That would be cool :)

The very first caveat in their warranty was "Must be installed by a certified mechanic.". So, the very first question the seller asked me was "Who installed it?", followed by "what else was done when you installed it."

I didn't lie or exaggerate, but I told them in great detail what I had done and the events that led up to my discovery of the seal failure. They responded with:

"I took all the information you gave me to my remanufacturing manager, and he said during the time in which you purchased this compressor, we had a run of bad seals from our supplier, and he thinks that's why your compressor became defective. He also thought you sounded very knowledgeable, and appreciates all the info. I can do 1 of 2 things at this point. 1. Send you a replacement compressor with a pre-paid UPS return label. 2. Email a return label for a full refund. Please let me know."

It really could have turned into a big fight, with them having the upper hand. But they were really cool about it. I'd definitely do business with them again. arcticblastaccompressor on eBay. They sell new and rebuilt compressors.

So I guess they certified you as a mechanic. :p Go out into the world and do good now. :p Make sure to wear the Limo badge. :p

Cadillacboy
07-13-13, 04:28 PM
Our Fleetwood also recently got a habit of insufficient cold blowing because of lack of use lol . Today, it was recharged with the stuff . They found some leak marks around the compressor and they fixed it our driver called me .At least, I know to whom I contact if they failed to repair it lol