'93 Buick LeSabre has plastic body parts

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Old 07-29-09, 06:31 AM
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'93 Buick LeSabre has plastic body parts

I saw this car parked next to me at a convenience store, and before getting out of my car, I sat staring at the chunk missing out of the upper fender, exposing what looked to be thick bondo.

Upon closer inspection, I found that it was plastic. And the lady comes out of the store, and sees me eying her car and we talk and she said yes, it has plastic body panels.

But she could not tell me how much of that car is plastic and how much is metal. I would have got out my magnet, but since most people do not even start up conversations with someone they do not even know(probably), over such matters, she may have thought I was some kook. So I'm asking you, out of curiousity--------------------

Frankly I'm surprised they had such a vehicle in '93. Well, actually I guess I do recall now about vehicles with plastic body panels. But it sort of slipped my mind.

Are the doors and roof metal?, and only say the fenders and quarters are plastic? What about the lids?

Did Buick discontinue this due to unthoughtout problems like -the panels would get brittle with age?, and crack up to easily?, costing owners too much to replace? Or do they still use this in some of their product lines?

I know Saturn has plastic panel cars. Even the doors are, with Saturns. But when did Saturn come on line and start doing this? Corvettes used fiberglass, but this panel I saw looked plain old plastic. Did they think this was some stronger composite?, or did they cheapen out?, and then pay for this (mistake?) in the end?
 
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Old 07-29-09, 07:02 AM
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Buick LeSabre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Scroll down to the correct model year...some info there. GM prob did it with all the similar models.

Gotta say I never knew it though.
 
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Old 07-29-09, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Gotta say I never knew it though.
I don't know what your feeling is on this, but once I thought plastic or fiberglass body panels had to be the greatset idea since sliced bread, especially for up here in salt country.

But now, after seeing chunks out of expensive cars and SUV's/vans, and whole rear combo rear bumper and rear quarter sections smashed or hanging down, I am now thinking - give me back good ol' metal, and let me just hammer out and fill the problem!

I have a hunch all those plastic panels cost a small fortune to replace. Maybe even from the junkyard?
 
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Old 07-29-09, 08:07 AM
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A couple months back, I slammed my [Sorry, Jenna, you're busted for advertising] into a pole, and obviously messed up the bumper a bit. Now that I've saved a few bucks I wanna know a decent reliable place in the Twin Cities area in Minnesota to go to that won't screw me over. I'm also looking for [Sorry, Jenna, you're busted for advertising] to pimp my ride if anyone from Minnesota has some advice, please let me know! Thanks in advance!
 

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Old 07-29-09, 08:26 AM
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Call up that extreme car makeover tv show to see if they will come do your car. Ever watch that show? The one guy that seems most in charge is like an Alan Iverson with the same type of hair style. The stuff they do to the rottenset of cars, and transform them to the most beautiful hightech gadgets on the highway. It is amazing!
 
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Old 07-29-09, 09:37 AM
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Plastic or metal, doesn't make much difference; I don't think many body shops are hammering out dents anymore in the replaceable panels because the panels are fairly cheap. Front bumper cover for the Eclipse is about $150; the R&R is pretty DIY-able, just have to get it painted.
 
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Old 07-29-09, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy View Post
I don't think many body shops are hammering out dents anymore ...........
In many ways I miss the good ol' days. I took pride in trying to do that kind of work on small areas. It was actually fun. So is painting and scraping houses (sometimes), and having it come out nice. Now they have all this plastic wood or cement stuff, and vinyl. I liked those real oldtime gas stations with those bubble pumps and some old geezer would come out and wait on you. And checking out Holley carbs at speed shops. And smoking without hearing every second how you are going to die by doing so (ah yes, Camel Joe and the Marlboro man). Etc. Heaven will be hell to me if they make everything last and there is nothing to work on/nothing to solve. How you going to impress the girls?

Just like how one guy I work for bought a new Ford truck with heated leather seats and sideview mirrors that telescope outward electrically and also electrically fold into the cab. And has rear bumper electric eye? that detects if you are going to back into another object and sets off the beeping sound. But the turbo-charged diesel requires the entire cab to be pulled off the chasis to work on it! Everything is packed in there like sardines. He is very mechanical -old school( he actually has huge outbuilding garage where he works on his own dump trucks or skid steer, his fleet of personal trucks and SUV and whatever - probably has as many tools as garages do. But says he hasn't a clue what all the stuff is under the hood. And hopefully when the time comes, he has the kind of money needed to pay those mechanic bills! Crazy stuff we got going on today. Pull the cab. Really!
 
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Old 07-30-09, 03:00 PM
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'93 Buick LeSabre has plastic body parts

The good old traditional American ways with the sounds and smells may be a part of the reason GM and Chrysler are in such a poor situation. Ford avoided this by planning, using international technology. Then Ford sold Jaguar and Rover for cash to a huge Indian company (Tata) that could handle the technology.

The old fashioned management, wrinkled tin marketing and low technology difference just caught up with GM and Chrysler. Even Daimler dumped Chrysler after the saw what they bought a few years ago.

When GM brought in lower level Opels or similar designes/cars and then dressed them up and called them a Cadillac Catera (or was it a Chevy?) was the sign of the end.
 
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Old 07-30-09, 04:37 PM
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I hear ya. And that is why we need to have the gov't step in and make corporations do things the right way and save the ecolgy while at it and order companies to go green.

They were on the right track I guess when they first started on this trend (that seems unstoppable now) when they made us stop burning leaves - and now no smoking, and now the mandatory seatbelt law, and how tall your grass should only get law, and the sidewalks must be shoveled in 24 hours law, and your pet can't poop on boulevard law, and your car must pass inspection law, can't shoot off neat fireworks like bottlerockets or M-80's or cherry bombs, if gas station had gas leakage they got shut down and had to dig up tanks and pay for clean up of the soil, law. And you have to stay out of public parks or pay if you want to get in, law(in places), can't pray in school outloud law, can't drink unless you are 21(now)..... but instead go get killed in war zone at 18 law, pay to hunt and fish law (although those have been on the books quite a while). I should have put that ahead of you can't burn leaves(without permit)-----

------ and anti-fat laws are next. And a host of other laws because we can't do things right. And for us to get the country back on track - since even corporations can't get it right - I guess the gov't has to take the lead and make us do everything the right way, to cut costs, and make us all live to be 125 years old.
 
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Old 07-30-09, 06:43 PM
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The government do things right? - It is run by a bunch of idiots in the Congress that know nothing and are supported by a sweet-talking president that only is looking for the image. The presidents change through the years but the same idiots are re-elected every 2 or 6 years and hide behind the group votes and never really vote on something important that they should know something about besides a 1200 page bill delivered a day before the vote.

I would hate to see those idiots be responsible for a complex engineering, production and marketing corporation that ultimately reports to the unions. In the end, all the good leaders will go elsewhere (Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, etc.) where they can do their job and get paid better and pay taxes elsewhere. - Toyota apparently pays more to production workers in the U.S. with benefits than GM.

To answer the original post, many Japanese cars have had a bad history of rust. The European cars do not have the same problem. There is definitely a place for "plastic" if it is the right type and used where appropriate. When I bought my Corvette, I lived in the rust belt (Michigan - but apparently the use excessive use of salt may have caused more new car sales in the past). My next car will the an Audi R8, but even with a major deposit it is at least a 2 year wait.
 
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Old 07-31-09, 01:28 PM
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My wife's Saturn (until she totalled it a few weeks ago), as you said, Ec, had plastic body panels. They were GREAT!! No dings, always a good looking finish. Only panel that was metal was the one below the tail light (the place she backed into a tree with). The front end and hood, on the other hand is metal, as we have evidenced. Body shops don't use hammers any more, they just call in and replace the entire panel. That's why the insurance company totalled it. More than 20% of the book value, and it is outta here!
 
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