83 Buick Regal Estate Wagon 4.8 LS, bagged

vandall

vandall

Apprentice
Aug 3, 2015
58
80
18
Seattle, WA
#1
Hi, still new to this forum.. Since this build is pretty tame by most comparisons I was thinking of not even posting it, but I'm hoping it helps some prospective LS swappers. I had posted an intro in the Wagons section, so here's a quick history snapshot:

I've had this wagon for quite a while now, probably 7 years. It had seen some light duty in it's previous life, really decent shape overall. I had intended to use it as a driver and then a later project.. but the problems came quickly - it would smoke on start up sometimes, on hot days (not too often) if I drove it very far it might overheat, it pinged like crazy under heavy load.. it leaked coolant near the heater core..leaked oil.. leaked water in to the passenger footwell... and it appeared to me the A/C system had been hacked apart and then hacked back together (more on that). And it was just gutless because I can only assume the little v-6 had been punished with the overheating. So the poor car sat neglected and would see occasional use to justify it's existence. At some point I just got fed up and tried to sell it.. but think I was too honest and no one was interested enough to take this beast on. So, I said F it, I'm gonna build it how I want it!

Here are some pics soon after I bought the wagon:

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-3ZvGb6P%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_3041-X2.jpg&hash=da213aa5f3c279624bfcf5384db6d6d9

body and trim are pretty nice

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-s7vLmjr%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_3043-X2.jpg&hash=d10c9fbaab039e8653f2e56025dbaf0e

surprisingly nice interior

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-qrbdgHJ%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_3045-X2.jpg&hash=4421913cb2da12aa935afd5673e89955

twin pinstripes in maroon & even had the "Unleaded Fuel Only" sticker mostly intact on the filler door

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-MQQNhbv%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_3187-X2.jpg&hash=bc50d50ab1ecd73ed98bae56b6d4d8a5

rebuilt and painted some suspension components and re-did front brakes

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-hkH8vG5%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_3188-X2.jpg&hash=787a411cc48555ca154de89711ea629b

added some super sweet KYB shocks (it actually did ride very nice, felt light and nimble)

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-7nhbHvT%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_3195-X2.jpg&hash=d75d5e6315c2e972eaf58f741289e105

Unfortunately this is the car's fate for the next 5ish years
 
Longroof79

Longroof79

Geezer
Oct 14, 2008
9,837
5,533
113
Gainesville, Fl
#2
What do you mean by "this is the car's fate for the next 5ish years"? Does it mean you won't be able to continue on it for the next 5 yrs?
Being able to find a car with a great original body and interior is a score, despite the other mechanical maladies. It would be worth upgrading to a nice new engine and trans.
Don't give up on the old gal. It's got an enormous amount of potential to be a super sweet cruiser.
 
drogg1

drogg1

G-Body Guru
Jan 25, 2009
894
204
28
#3
That interior looks mint!
 
vandall

vandall

Apprentice
Aug 3, 2015
58
80
18
Seattle, WA
#4
No, sorry for the confusion... I was still in flashback mode - meaning the car would be off and on jack stands for those years to come. Along the way we had done some other work like tracing leaks, trying to get it running better, etc. One of the biggest hurdles was the dreaded headliner resto.. we chose to pull the headliner down and prep it for an interior guy to lay down new fabric. What a huge PITA. I broke some of the crazy clips that hold up trim, too, which I should have researched how to properly remove all of that beforehand. And the guy told us we should have just brought it to him to replace it with the headliner in place in the car. UGH :confused: Here are some more pics along the way:

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-wF84Z6Q%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_6512-X2.jpg&hash=646511166f3e143fa69e5e28b7f1f749



proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-BMnjBCt%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_6513-X2.jpg&hash=25f4ef72e6884605bec38c0dcb741370

You can see tape residue on the vent window.. a hint at another fun project

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-H6jXRq6%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_6514-X2.jpg&hash=82bdf0570adf8b0a64bde74062d5b997

The old thumbtack trick

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-Vgwnc9s%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_7576-X2.jpg&hash=06d103125d5aac03dce074c7fe20949b

it's a lot of stuff for such a small engine

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-tKbHZRM%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_7577-X2.jpg&hash=000ad3388886d7269b61d75210917a8b

I even rebuilt the Rochester 2-barrel to no avail

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-zXc9fLm%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_7583-X2.jpg&hash=d8e2b6742a3a8a7f0c43041e2706b4d4
 
Longroof79

Longroof79

Geezer
Oct 14, 2008
9,837
5,533
113
Gainesville, Fl
#5
Most guys would kill to have an interior that nice...and intact. I can't believe that the interior guy told you he'd be able to do the headliner while still in the car...
That board, or boards, have to come down to be able to do a decent job cleaning and recovering it.
So, what you were trying to say is that it will be an ongoing project for the next 5 yrs...gotcha!
 
oldmansmonte

oldmansmonte

Master Mechanic
Oct 29, 2010
497
228
43
Buffalo, NY
#6
Gorgeous car! That thing is like an assault on the senses for nostalgia.
 
liquidh8

liquidh8

Comic Book Super Hero
Feb 16, 2011
3,077
2,358
113
Yardley, PA or wherever the military takes me
#7
Very cool, can't wait for more updates.
 
vandall

vandall

Apprentice
Aug 3, 2015
58
80
18
Seattle, WA
#8
Well, that too. Haha.. it will be an ongoing project for some time. Here is one last look at the old set up after we had got the headliner buttoned up and detailed the car pretty well.. including removing all roof pieces before polishing and waxing. It looked great but no one was seriously interested in a car with mechanical issues I guess. I wasn't going to give it away but thought my price was fair. When I had posted it online someone noticed it and posted on stationwagonforums.com forum and they were talking a lot about the weird A/C system. I really hadn't thought that much about it except it looked like hell. Around that time I brought it down to our local Buick show in Puyallup that happens every June.

It was coincidental because at that show I met an older guy who claimed to have sold this very car when it was brand new at Cornforth Buick in Puyallup. I thought that was so cool! I wanted to get a pic of him with the car but couldn't find him later to do that.. I regret it. Anyway, I must have mentioned all the talk about the AC system because he told me that the dealership had actually installed the system after they took delivery! It was all very clear now - the hacked heater box, the giant iron bracket and weird pulleys, the mess of wiring running around the bay.. So that was an interesting how-do-you-do.

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-X4LPtBW%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_7585-X2.jpg&hash=5bcd177ac52ca9895843bd08645012e2

it had a very stock stance.. high and tight with a slight rake

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-vx4HpXw%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_7589-X2.jpg&hash=726dcaeb1ccd6b3a2f8db5d24cdf00df



proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-vZ2cPBq%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_7592-X2.jpg&hash=e0d000dbcc917eee1f86bba3f7f6666a

before polishing we removed the stripes and I had got new 3M double maroon stripes but haven't yet put them back on... it's just so clean without

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-LCvhhh6%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_7594-X2.jpg&hash=beff7f051d5d3fb6ddd4a266b60162ca

before my dad weed-whacked a rock in to the rear window it had the original Olympics sticker intact! I may find a replacement yet

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-8VgdPPL%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_7600-X2.jpg&hash=d179e5231d74803a4d699601d1d354e4

when I removed the ridiculous skater sticker from the rear spoiler it pulled paint off so we repainted in a close-enough white

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-DNfSghZ%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_7609-X2.jpg&hash=416120f05fdda8e7dd651c2b0f033b5a

this AC panel is what started the mystery conversation

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-FN7ZFJN%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_7614-X2.jpg&hash=1db3a01b0fe76ba07f96e474b5dc5f30

burgundy for days

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fgngs.smugmug.com%2FCars%2FThe-GnGs-Garage%2F1983-Buick-Regal-Estate-Wagon%2Fi-TN5cfMj%2F0%2FX2%2FIMG_7618-X2.jpg&hash=6f8fef63e8e3637bf8f0423326d90cf6
 
Last edited:
J

junkyard junky

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Jan 12, 2016
12
1
3
#9
Nice car!
 
P

Pasikiainen

Master Mechanic
Mar 12, 2014
250
128
43
#10
Super mint. Lovin these wagons!
 

Similar threads


Please support GBodyForum Sponsors

Classic Truck Consoles Dixie Restoration Depot Mike's Montes P-S-T Southside Machine Performance UMI Performance

contact [email protected]yForum.com for info on becoming a sponsor

copyright ©2018 Ripp Technical Services, All Rights Reserved.