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Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:04 am
by EPfiffner
Hey all, new member here. I had a '90 base back in the late '90s until 2000 when I had to have an s10 blazer (which I still drive today).
My wife and I were discussing how we needed better gas mileage and how we both had Berettas and thought they were awesome.
So I wake up the next morn and check CL and find this '93 GT. She was game to check it out so off we went. Dude was out in the middle of nowhere on a farm. The history of how he ended up w/ the car is sketchy, but we found the orig window sticker and some old registrations in the glove box. Car spent its life in Oregon & Washington until 2010. Being in OH this seemed a plus. I spent like an hour crawling in the mud and checking it out. Amazingly clean. The seller was trippin about how anal I was being but I didn't care. We took it home. Brakes were hosed, sound from front of engine (belt tensioner), soaked carpet. Until I found this site I didn't understand the magnitude of the wet carpet, many thanks for the info. I have spent the last 1.5 months going over the car, excited to get it on the road. Laid down the seam sealer on the cowl and firewall last weekend. Here's some pics the day after we brought 'er home.

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:26 pm
by mike88gt
Welcome to the site.

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:43 pm
by woody90gtz
Berettas are like herpes, they never really go away! Haha. Looks like a pretty clean car. I like it.

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 7:01 am
by Money pit Beretta
Nice find! It's good that you took the time to really look it over.

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 2:39 pm
by 1988GTU
that beretta is very familiar...

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:01 pm
by EPfiffner
Thanks guys. @Woody, herpes, ha ha wondered why I always feel itchy around it.
@88gtu, someone on here has very similar rims as I recall. They let me title it so it must not be stolen.
I'll get some more pics of my sandblasted and painted spring perches and my drivetrain-in firewall sealing adventure.
I put a SK125 Transgo kit in the 3t40, well, just because. Aaand I won't like it and I will want a 5 speed.

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:41 am
by EPfiffner
I should have introduced myself in my original post. My name is Eric, I'm 40 years old, live in Canton, the pro football hall of fame city. Funny because I have no interest in football. I'm an electronic tech by trade, I work for genie company (garage door openers) in the engineering group. Wow sounds like a personal ad, sorry

Here's some pics of my efforts

I pulled the springs and gas tank out, blasted the perches, cross member, and surrounding areas. I sandblasted the fuel and brake lines from just behind the front wheel back to just behind the door under the rocker, knowing I was going to replace all from there on back (except the vent line, it looked pretty decent so I just blasted and painted).
Pretty tough to get a photo of the area. I used a paint called zero rust I found while researching, I brushed it on. This project is about longevity not aesthetics.
I blasted and painted the top of the gas tank, replaced the fuel pump, and used hard nylon for the pressure and return lines, joined them to the original lines mid-rocker with compression unions. I had never used this product before, but I stopped and asked a local mechanic and he highly recommended. At the fuel filter you can get short steel lines with the proper quick-connect crimp and the 16mm nut with the o-ring seal. You join the repair pieces to the nylon w/ compression unions. If I had to do it over I dont know if I would do it the same, its too piecemeal, but it came out very nice, all in the factory clips.
For the brake lines I used cunifer (nicopp). I joined to the factory lines mid-rocker with double flare nuts and screw together couplings. I don't know about the cunifer line either. It bends easy but I felt like the double flaring was way harder. My flares on the factory lines came out great but I had trouble with the cunifer. I didn't like that I had to use adapter fittings at the wheel cylinders and hoses either.

All seems well though, no leaks noted on my hoodless, drivers-seat only, no plates test drive. I did see a state trooper and miraculously he must have been texting or something so I got that thing home, put it away, changed my shorts, and decided it would have plates next time.

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:04 pm
by MY91GT(Z)
Nice find looks good... good luck with your ventures with this car

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:40 am
by weba
Good luck with the car, wet carpet is never an easy fix..

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:53 am
by EPfiffner
This weekend I finished reassembling everything I had removed/dismantled to repair the cowl and firewall leak. Tricky job, it was in bad shape. Since the car spent most of its life in the pacific northwest I have to assume that is a worst case scenario for this type of leak. I pulled the blower motor housing (which required partially removing the rack and pinion to get to the one nut at the bottom), the alternator, pulled the engine forward, pulled the wiring harnesses out through both bulkhead connections. Good thing I did because it was rusted pretty good around the drivers side bulkhead. I pulled down the flanged end from under the dash and scraped/wire wheeled/cleaned everything and painted it with 2 coats of the zero rust paint I have been using. In the engine compartment I sandblasted the worst of it, and then scraped/wire wheeled the rest. It was bad around the hood release cable also, I basically had to glue it in with seam sealer which I'm not proud of, but I'll do a proper repair when its time for a drivetrain swap. These shots are prior to reassembly.



The seam sealer I used is Lord Fusor 804EZ. It is a 1part product that you can use in a standard caulk gun. 2 part product is excellent, but for this repair I felt that the 1 part would give me more time to work the product with an acid brush, etc. The other stuff kicks off in just a couple minutes so with so many obstructions in the engine compartment it would be tough.
I'll post up a couple pics of how it looks reassembled. I used black paint and grey seam sealer which is ugly, but the contrast allowed me to be sure I didn't miss anything.

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:59 am
by 3X00-Modified
You could have found cunifer metric lines and made the GM bubble flare instead of doing the double 45* flare... That is always an option if you don't like having adapters on the hoses.

For some doing metric bubble flares aren't easy but I have a Master Cool hydraulic flare tool and I can do pretty much any type of fitting.

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:54 pm
by Cliff8928
It's nice to see someone use an appropriate product to seal these areas and not RTV. I did a similar repair to my old GT years ago with 3M 1-part sealer, still leaked through the wiring on the passenger side. The newer years have a rubber boot over the wiring to seal out the water.

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:59 pm
by EPfiffner
Thanks for the info on the flaring tool 3X00, I read about those and they definitely would result in a factory quality repair.
Cliff you know I looked at that passenger side harness and wondered if it would leak. It looks like they inject p!astic around the wires and then wrap the entire thing with tape. Mine doesn't have the boot but its good to know that's a leak point. I'm going to water test it prior to putting the interior in so I can always pull the harness back out and come up with something if I get the leak. Or just give up and live with it lol

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:19 am
by EPfiffner
This weekend's task, as I was missing Bfest, was to try and do some rust and dent repair on the body. The paint job on the car is all original and decent for 23 years old. 2 areas that had to be addressed: drivers front fender, someone bottomed the car out or something and the front bumper cover pushed upwards in to the fender cracking the paint. This had peeled and slightly rusted.

#2, and the thing that I have been totally bummed about since I looked at and bought the car: the previous owner ( a real character as I had mentioned) somehow backed up with the drivers door open and overextended it, crunching the front of the door and breaking the detent. The hinges are tight and the door still lines up and shuts great, it just mangled the sheetmetal directly behind the fender.

I have been agonizing over how to deal with this for 2 months. I know the correct way to repair it. Pull it with a stud gun and fill, or replace the door, prime, blend the base in to the original, and clear the entire panel. After looking the car over, it has plenty of stone chips, dings, etc and the clear delaminated from the rear wing and parts of the front and rear bumper...
The goal is to prevent the car from rusting more than cosmetic perfection, and the door is likely damaged beyond repair. So I went to the body and paint store and in the end I decided, and am embarrassed to admit, to spot the areas in with spraybomb paint and clear...I know, I know...
The pics below are after I straightened the door so the front edge matches the fender as best as I could get it, and before I completed the sanding and painting.



I took the fender off, sandblasted the rust, feathered the bare spots on the door and fender with 320 then 400, brush applied 2k etch primer, sprayed the rattle can base, allowed it to dry and scuffed the overspray and existing clear with 600, and then sprayed the rattle can clear. I'll reassemble and wetsand with 2000 hopefully over the holiday weekend.

Re: Back to Berettas after 15+ years

Posted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:17 am
by EPfiffner
I'm sure you all were jonesing for updates on this POS so here goes: I prepped a few spots on the body (lower drivers fender, front edge of drivers door, pass rear wheel well lip, and the seam on the front underside of the hood). The fender is shown in the prev post, I took it off and sandblasted. The hood as well, the seam had bubbled out with rust but never came through the outside so I sandblasted that as well. The front of the drivers door was mangled from a DPO's shenanigans. The pass rear wheel well had a stone chip that someone had brush touched at one point and it was just starting to surface rust.
I feathered everything in to the factory basecoat and primer w/ 320 then 400, then I scuffed the surrounding existing clear w/ 600. I brushed some nason 2k etch primer on the bare metal. I sprayed rattle can duplicolor, 5 or 6 light coats. I then sprayed 5 or 6 coats of spraybomb clear. It turned out fair as expected, better than rust. The reflection in the pic makes it look worse.

I also drilled some holes in the rockers and door pillars, temporarily seam sealed the drain holes, and dumped quart after quart of used oil in. MAN that job sucks!


Aaand the big one: first water-test with the garden hose, FAIL! All of you veterans are saying "told ya so!"

Hilarious example of "use what ya got" ingenuity: I took a 12" length of 4" rain gutter I had leftover from house repairs and trimmed it all up to cover the top of the fresh air vent loosely. The plastic cowl cover completely hides it. So embarrassing i couldnt even bring myself to shoot a pic of it. The sides are open but it stops water from dripping directly in the vent, or so it seems. Time will tell...

Here's a shot of getting ready to put the carpet back in so it can hopefully not get soaked. You can see where I painted up a few spots where surface rust was starting from the inside. Also I must be pretty confident because I welded up the drain holes that were drilled in the floor as the water leak repair. Can always drill em again..


Here's the interior coming back together.