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Thread: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

  1. #1
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    1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    I bought this car back in the fall of 2000. It fulfilled my obsession of owning a nearly mint 86 GLHS (started looking around 96-97). Back then, most of the East Coast cars were trashed and/or rusted and the only nice ones I found were half way across the country. Then one day in the local paper I found an ad for one that was only 20 minutes away and the ad said: rust free Texas car, 48K miles, all original with stage II logic module. Bingo!

    I went and drove the car and it was the best handling 4 door L body that I had ever driven (owned 3 GLH prior and had driven at least a half a dozen more). The car was as advertised, we struck a deal and I brought 86 GLHS #141 home with me.

    Fast forward nearly 17 years later and I haven't done anything with the car except wash/wax, oil changes and tune ups, and taking it to the occasional car show (drove it to SDAC-13 in MD back in 2003, took it to several local SDAC-NE club events, local car shows, etc). The car has been turn-key and is nearly exactly as it was when I bought it and I have only put about 5K miles on it over the last 17 years.

    A few years ago I had the Koni shocks and struts restored by Koni and I also cleaned up the suspension. Now, I think it's finally time to freshen up the rest of the car.

    Today I started to pull out the interior to freshen it up. It had the usual yellowing of the plastic parts, so the plan is to clean everything up and give the yellowed parts a quick mist of plastic paint. Also, the car has always had a pretty nasty mothball and dead rodent smell (helped me negotiate the price down when I bought it way back when...LOL), so I wanted to eliminate whatever that is. Well, I started at the back of the interior with the C-panels and the source of the smell became obvious. Pictures of the fun below!

    Here's shots after I pulled the seats out:





    Not too bad. Carpet is pretty clean, the plastic pieces show the typical yellowing, and the restored headliner from when I did it back in 2005 seems to be still holding up nicely. The tops of door panel pieces are yellowed but still nice and pliable/uncracked so they should clean up nicely. This old hellion has just under 54K on the clock.

    Here's some shots of the interior stripped:




    Nice and clean! I think the only thing I'll do on the floor is clean up some of the scratches in the spare tire well. Everything else looks pretty much perfect. I was hoping to find a build sheet, but no luck!

    Here's all the of the interior parts ready for cleaning/freshening up:



    I'm planning on getting most of them cleaned up tomorrow and then spending the rest of the day pulling the dash. Yup - pulling the entire dash. The source of the smell is a rodent nest up in the dash. When I pulled the rear c-panels, the nasty rodent smell was revealed. It seems the path was up from the dash, up the A-pillar panels, along the edges of the headliner, and then the main defecation zone was on top of the C-pillar panels. Nasty!!! When I pulled the center console, mothballs and acorns fell out! Ever since I owned the car I would always see an acorn or two drop onto the sliding center console lid whenever I drove it...LOL. I can see jute padding material and acorns up in the ac/heater box area under the dash pad (looks like they pulled it from the rear tailgate padding - you can see it in the second to last pic). So I'll be pulling all of that out and cleaning it up tomorrow. Pics to follow!
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  2. #2
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    Wow. That's going to be super nice when you're done.

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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    Wouldn't it have been a bunch easier to throw a few more scented trees under the seat? I'm partial to the Vanilla ones

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  4. #4
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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    LOL - I've been buying a new 3 pack pretty much every year for 17 years.

    One under the drivers seat, one in the center console and one in the cubby below the radio.

    Today I ripped the dash and ac/heater box out, cleaned them all up and then reinstalled everything. Here's a pic of the mother load:


    They chewed off all the sound deadening material on the top of the firewall and loaded the top of the ac/heater box up with acorns and poo. Luckily they didn't inhabit the ac/heater box so it was fairly clean inside and it was an easy clean. Also, they didn't touch the main firewall mat so all I had to do was scrub that down. Here's a pic of everything reinstalled with sound deadening material added back in (stole it from an old shelby charger carpet...LOL).


    And here's a shot of dash reinstalled and all assembled:


    After looking at the floor a little closer, I saw that there was indeed a build sheet under the carpet at one time. It looks like someone installed wiring for an amp under the front passenger seat carpet, and I'm guessing they beat me to the build sheet and pulled it when they installed the amp. Here's a pic of the remnants of the build sheet and the amp install:



    I removed the wire and sanded down the surface rust on that spot as well as the couple other dime spots on the floor, and then applied rust converter. I also misted some paint on the rough spots in the spare tire well. Tomorrow I plan to caulk the holes from the amp and install the rear hatch area carpeting and spare tire accessories. They're all in great shape and only need a minor cleaning before they are installed.
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  5. #5
    The moderately moderate moderator Turbo Mopar Staff
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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    What #161....my car....is supposed to look like. Actually, for a rust belt car, mine is closer to yours than it has a right to. Nice car.
    Bryan
    86 GLHS #161, 2016 Impala
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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    Subscribed, looking good!

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  7. #7
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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    Quote Originally Posted by black86glhs View Post
    What #161....my car....is supposed to look like. Actually, for a rust belt car, mine is closer to yours than it has a right to. Nice car.
    It's been a while since I looked at or quoted the history of this car, but I believe it goes something like this...

    Owner #1 - Ordered car and picked it up at Stew Hanson's Dodge City in Des Moines Iowa unprepped (window sticker in tact, etc.). Owner was from Houston, TX and the car lived there from Aug 30, 1986 (why I remember that date I don't know...LOL) until sometime around 1992 I think, and I believe it only racked up a measly 12K miles in those first 6 or so years. Based on all the receipts and early documentation I have, I think the first owner kept the car in pristine condition and was meticulous in the care of the car.

    Owner #2 - Bought car from original owner sometime around 1992 and had it shipped from TX to MA. Put 12K miles on it and sold it to car reseller to buy Viper in 1996. I believe this owner also kept the car fairly pristine.

    Owner #3 - Bought the car in 1996 with 24K miles on the car. Lived in central CT and daily drove the car for a period, as well as modified a few things (ECU, shocks/struts, valve cover). Kept the car in good condition, but parked it for a period in 98/99 and I believe it was at this point the rodent infestation started.

    Owner #4 - Me! Bought the car in 2000 with 48K on it and did a few things to clean it up (headliner, new tires, redid Koni's), but only put about 5K miles on it over the last 17 years.

    I believe the car has always been garage kept and the care of owner #1 and #2 is why it made it through the dark times and is so clean and turn-key today.

  8. #8
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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    Gonna add the extra 2 braces to the roof that the factory left out? You'll need some nut clips from radiator fans, the factory screws off the braces and the braces themselves and they'll go right in. Makes the car much more solid especially when closing the doors. They thunk closed like a Mercedes.

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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    Quote Originally Posted by GLHNSLHT2 View Post
    Gonna add the extra 2 braces to the roof that the factory left out? You'll need some nut clips from radiator fans, the factory screws off the braces and the braces themselves and they'll go right in. Makes the car much more solid especially when closing the doors. They thunk closed like a Mercedes.
    Never heard of that! I don't plan on doing it to this car, but I may look into it for my other GLHS.

    Picked up a quart of SEM 4194 today. Just got home from work and heading out to garage now for a bit. Planning on doing a first pass of scrubbing and cleaning all the plastic parts that need paint and also installing all of the spare tire items and carpeting. Hoping to do a second cleaning and spray all the parts tomorrow, then get most of the interior installed Wednesday.

  10. #10
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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    Quote Originally Posted by GLHNSLHT2 View Post
    Gonna add the extra 2 braces to the roof that the factory left out? You'll need some nut clips from radiator fans, the factory screws off the braces and the braces themselves and they'll go right in. Makes the car much more solid especially when closing the doors. They thunk closed like a Mercedes.
    What braces are these that you speak of good sir....lol. Seriously, I would like to see if I have them in my car or not and had not heard of these. You have any pics or links to other threads showing them?
    Bryan
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  11. #11
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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    When you pull the headliner down there's a brace that goes across the center of the roof where the pin in the headliner pushes in. Front and rear of this brace there are 1 spot each for another brace. Go to the j-yard, find 2 Omni's and pull their center braces and bolts. Get the nut clips off radiators that the fan bolts to because the factory welded the nuts onto the center brace mounting points but didn't on the outer 2 braces. So the clips allow you to bolt the 2 extra braces up since they're small enough and the right thread size and pitch. It's all pretty obvious once the headliner is down. It also gives you 2 more spots to hold the headliner up just like the center piece.

    It's obvious that it was going to originally have 3 braces, but the bean counters threw the 2 out. The mounting spots are still there they just need bolted up.

  12. #12
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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    Awesome. Thanks for the info.
    Bryan
    86 GLHS #161, 2016 Impala
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  13. #13
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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    Was running around like crazy for last couple days getting ready for our NESDAC summer bbq that we have at my place every year, so I haven't had time to update this thread with the finished product until now.

    Here's some shots of the cleaned up spare tire well and reassembly (can't believe how nice and shiny all the jacking components still are!):



    Here's a shot of all of the interior components cleaned and taped, and waiting for final prep and paint:


    As usual, I wanted to take more pics, but once I get into the work I always forget! So I don't have any of the pieces all painted before install, but here's the shots of some of it going together.

    Carpet and center console installed:


    Door panels and all pillar panels installed:




    Love that last pic of the door panel! All shiny new looking! Here's the back seat installed:


    And here's some shots of the front seats going in:




    And voila - interior freshen up complete! There's only one item remaining: I dropped one of the screws for the dash plate cover (part that goes over the defrost vents) down into the defrost vent!!!! Argh! I have a long flexi-magnet that I can hopefully use to fish it out. Otherwise, it's time to disassemble the dash again!!!

    Here's two comparison shots that I spliced together. Amazing how the headliner looks like new compared to the yellowed pillar panels in the before, and then it looks all old and yellowed in the after. The flash on the camera really brought that out, but in person it's barely noticeable.



    Next up is the engine compartment, but I probably won't start that until later this fall/early winter.
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  14. #14
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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    Looks great. Hoping mine can look half that good.
    Bryan
    86 GLHS #161, 2016 Impala
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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    Looks fantastic! Can you give some details on which plastic paint you used on the armrests and interior bits as well as what reducer/catalyst/technique/gun/tip size you used? I haven't ever sprayed any interior parts(have plenty of yellow/gray pieces on three different L bodies though ) so any advice and details will be appreciated.

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    Slugmobile & MeanMini Caretaker Turbo Mopar Contributor wheming's Avatar
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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    Jon, you don't dissappoint!
    Well done!
    Wayne H.

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  17. #17
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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    Quote Originally Posted by 2.216VTurbo View Post
    Looks fantastic! Can you give some details on which plastic paint you used on the armrests and interior bits as well as what reducer/catalyst/technique/gun/tip size you used? I haven't ever sprayed any interior parts(have plenty of yellow/gray pieces on three different L bodies though ) so any advice and details will be appreciated.
    Post #9! LOL!

    Seriously though, for interior plastic and vinyl, I use SEM Colorcoat. It's a single stage paint for plastics and vinyls - no reducers/catalysts required. For L-body gray/silver interiors, 4194 is the SEM formula code that you'll want to get. I've also used their color coat in a spray can for smaller parts. For example, on this car, I missed the coat hooks when I sprayed everything else, so rather than having to clean the gun again, I busted out a can of SEM 15183 Warm Gray. That's the same color code, just a different part number for the spray can product. For spray gun, I use Devilbiss Finishline - it's a fairly low cost, but decent gun.

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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    Quote Originally Posted by wheming View Post
    Jon, you don't dissappoint!
    Well done!
    Thanks!

  19. #19
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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    Took the car up to cars and coffee at Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA (Boston) yesterday. I met Seth there and he was in his 89 CSX. Both cars got plenty of attention, but I guess a lot of people watched that episode of Jay Leno's garage (I haven't seen it) because many mentioned it and said they only knew what the GLHS was because of seeing that show. I was also asked if I changed my engine because it looked different than the one on the episode...LOL!

    We got there a little late and were parked off the main show field, but that was fine with me - more space between cars. Here's a couple pics of the GLHS and CSX (we just parked and you can see people coming over smiling at the cars already...LOL):



    Larz is set on beautiful grounds and I always enjoy the events I go to there. This was the second time I have gone to a cars and coffee event, and this one was packed! They had an exotics row, but there was just too many people to get any good pics of the cars lined up. Here's a panoramic shot, but you can't really even see the millions of dollars of vehicles lined up in this spot because of all the people around them:


    And on the ride back home #141 rolled over to 54K:
    https://youtu.be/91lhByFhaq0

    All in all a good day!
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  20. #20
    Slugmobile & MeanMini Caretaker Turbo Mopar Contributor wheming's Avatar
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    Re: 1986 GLHS #141 Freshen Up

    Hope you didn't pick up any field mice as passengers...
    Wayne H.

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