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1993 Buick Century Build Ponderings

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  • 1993 Buick Century Build Ponderings

    I've had my 93 Century for about 4 years now and have done very little to it. The original owner took absolutely great care of it (used to ride in it when I was a kid). The second owner did routine maintenance and treated it very poorly. Seemingly permanent coffee stains, cigarette burn marks, dents everywhere, small chips of paint missing, and apparently 1 front end accident because in the last 6 months I've had paint peeling off the front left fender exposing a similar blue color underneath. However, I've kept it very clean and had only a few semi-large maintenance issues (money spent on these issues probably works out to about $50 a month over the time I've owned it, much cheaper than getting a new car and the payment).

    What I've Done
    As I said before, I haven't done much to it. I've covered up all of the rust spots with rust prevention chemicals. I got the windows tinted because I prefer the look and also the A/C had trouble keeping up on the hottest days of summer. I've begun giving it a very thorough waxing to remove all of the small pieces of dirt that have built up over time. Almost exactly a year ago the original 15 year old paper based speakers finally started to give out. I replaced both the radio (not even a tape player) and all of the speakers with a Pioneer DEH-P6000UB head unit and Pioneer 35W 4x6s and Pioneer 40W 6x9s (don't have exact model numbers). BestBuy did the install for free because I was only paying for half and the person paying for the other half had no faith in my abilities With the addition of a new iPod, these things have been some of the best purchases in my short lifetime.

    What I'd Like to Do
    I'm quite capable of simple fabrication and computer assembly but my electrical skills are lacking. However, I'm very patient and willing to learn. I'd like to give the car a full paint job to be able to fill in a all of the dents and cover the rust and fix the faded spots but my dad isn't to keen on that. I'd like to replace the stock hubcaps with some wheels. While I like the actual look of them I hate seeing the metal behind the hubcap. And finally the real reason I am posting here at all:

    CarPC Build

    I written so much all ready that I think I'll keep this part as short as possible. A 7" Lilliput 629GL-70NP should fit in the space currently occupied by my head unit (1.5 DIN) and the air vent. However, I'm not sure if I could move the vent or if I would just have to close it off... The head unit could then go where the existing ashtray is if I can build some kind of enclosure for it to move the mounting bracket. There is a lot more space behind the ashtray compared to the old radio slot so it would actually look a lot nicer without the goofy faceplate type extension deal. I've also considered putting the head unit beneath the screen and moving the A/C controls but that will be quit a bit tougher because the controls aren't electronic (geez, how did they get along in the days before cool air anyways?? ) they are a combination of vacuum tubes and a pull cable. As for the actual PC I have a 2 year old Dell small business style workstation that I'm not using. It could easily fit in my rather spacious trunk. However I would prefer to spend some extra money and go for a small laptop or a netbook stowed under the passenger seat as I feel like it would be a bit more durable and certainly more portable in case I had to leave the car somewhere for an extended period of time (paranoid, I know).

    In short, what do you think? Is it even worth the time/money to put this much work in to such an old car? I haven't bought anything at all yet so just trying to bounce ideas off of people.

    Pictures of the car and the dash area I'm thinking of at

  • #2
    oomwrtu, look at my Tercel, it's as old as your Century, but not built as well... I think if you have the time/effort/$$$ to do the CarPC, by all means, JUST DO IT!
    After a 2 year break, I'm back! There are so many new and familiar faces here!
    New vehicle, new ideas!

    Chryssi - The Changeling CarPC Project


    • #3
      old cars rule mate!
      do it i say.

      modernize a wonderful car


      • #4
        As someone whose first real car was a sibling of you Century (1989 Pontiac 6000) I'd recommend not putting a ton of time or money into it unless you are willing to pay for anything mechanical that might go wrong in the car. For example, the steering rack died shortly after I bought my Pontiac (in 1997), then I sold the car after the replacement also died (in 2002). There were other repairs ranging from alternators to the gas tank through those 5 years. As pretty much any custom work will be lost if you change cars, I'd only recommend getting into it if you are committed to sticking with this car.