Sep 10, 2013 update to the Pontiac Catalina Safari project car

Safari Service

Open up and say ah. The car got a clean bill of health.
Orlando & Sons Repair Center didn’t find too much wrong with the car, so now we get to start ticking off the items.

The day after we picked up our 1975 Pontiac Safari Catalina, we visited Orlando & Sons Repair Center, our local service station. The shop owners worked on these barges when new and always give us great advice and service.

Rossi, one of the shop owners, gave us a simple assignment: Drive the car for a while to see what knocks loose. After replacing the alternator and radiator, everything seemed solid, so we left the car with him for the day. The car didn’t need much, but we wanted someone with a bit more experience on this model to take a deeper look.

While the car was on the lift, they also did an oil change. Our friends at Red Line Oil recommended their 10W40 oil, so that’s what we used. The car also received new belts while there.

Rossi’s to-do list for us wasn’t too bad and didn’t yield too many surprises:

The brake linings are low, so we’ll get those replaced soon.

The rear shock absorbers look to be original.

A power steering hose is weeping a bit.

The thermostat housing gasket shows evidence of having leaked in the past.

A few heater hoses look a bit old.

The a/c compressor is leaking; before we do any other air-conditioning unit work, we’ll need to replace it.

All four door striker bushings are missing.

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View comments on the CMS forums
PS122 Reader
9/10/13 10:48 a.m.

Keep the updates coming.!

I bet a fair number of CM & GRM readers have, what might be considered 'distinctly un-MC or -GRM cars". For me it's my smog-era 1976 Gran Torino - painted red w/ a great big white stripe by Ford (as a way to cash in on a certain mid-70s cop show).

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/10/13 8:30 p.m.

Thanks, glad to hear that you're enjoying the updates. We realize that this one isn't too sporty, but it's been a fun (and practical) way to play with an older car.

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