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Username Post: Bubble Factory Defects I Know Of        (Topic#331283)
Forum Newbie
Posts: 37

Reg: 11-18-15
12-14-15 07:59 AM - Post#2595414    

I think the bubbles mechanically are the best mass produced cars made so far. SB Chevy/700R4 - what's not to like about that? Finally they got the drive belt right.

But they, like all cars, were designed in just a few years and we've had 25 years now to scrutinize them.

The plastics, like around the speedo are so brittle it's a joke but I wouldn't really call that a factory defect, more a gripe. Squeak, squeak, squeak... I had to put Dr. Scholl's moleskin everywhere in the door panels (under the armrest etc...) to get mine quiet.

It's stupid they made the cowl overhang such that you have to remove the engine to put a common HEI distributer in but that isn't really a factory defect either but more a complaint.

The way they held the windshield in sucks.

But as far as flat out they-blew-it's, here's my list after owning 2 sedans and 2 wagons, all '92s:

The windows all fail because of the &#@%!!! football-shaped white plastic parts that run in the window channels and need to be replaced with the round Dorman 74444 part. Yep, did all 16 windows on mine. Nothing better to do so why not.

On the wagons, the cruise control fails because GM made the genius decision to ground the cruise control through the center mount brake light. Why? Crack? The fix is adding a $1 resistor as is detailed in a GM TSB.

The horn buttons in the steering wheel are made of cheaper plastic than your average breakfast cereal prize and I've never seen any that weren't broken. Nice. The solution to that (yes I put eight in the 4 bubbles I've had) is getting momentary contact switches from Ace Hardware and mounting them in there, which works great. Alternatively, you can take the vehicle to a mechanic who will replace the horn relay for $150 and then mount an Ace Hardware door bell button on the dash - that will give you a certain look.

After my recent ABS miniseries, I strongly suspect that the ABS systems in these vehicles is defective and makes your vehicle act like it's got a single brake master cylinder - if either the front or back brakes lose fluid, you have zero brakes. I thought we fixed that in the 60's, guess not. But I'm basing that on only two failures so it would have to be looked at further to absolutely know if it was a result of a defective ABS design or something else like both my ABS systems were simply bad, although there would be no warning they were bad and what are people supposed to do, do a bunch of testing on good working brakes every year in case there's a hidden problem?

I have no idea if these defects exist in the later bubbles or were resolved, I've only had 1992's.


Forum Newbie
Posts: 37

Reg: 11-18-15
12-14-15 10:02 AM - Post#2595429    
    In response to iRt

Just thought of another defect, would have added it to the above list had I been able to... not sure of the wisdom that puts a time limit on editing posts, I'd rather a typo not sit unfixed forever...

Yes, GM has saved $1 per vehicle for decades by not putting a drain plug on the transmission pan, we all know that.

But for some brilliant reason, on my '92's you have to remove or at least undo and move the crossmember to take the pan off of my '92's when you do a trans filter/fluid change.

It's really not the crossmember itself but the welded-on bracket for the transmission support that's in the way, and it actually looks like you could grind off enough metal to solve this, something on page 117 of my to do list.

I have a wrench I bent at an angle to reach the nuts you need to remove to move the crossmember. There's trans shops that charge extra money to do the trans maintenance on these vehicles because of this factory goof.

"5th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1718
Loc: SE North Carolina
Reg: 08-19-04
06-16-16 07:28 PM - Post#2634418    
    In response to iRt

These are interesting observations/comments that iRt has posted. Surprised that no one has responded to any of them, especially re the grounding of the cruise control and the rear transmission crossmember. For the latter I will try to remember to look under my 95 (which unfortunately is on jack stands any way while replacing head gaskets) in the morning and report back. Won't do the same for the 93 parts car as its summertime in NC and its sitting in Copperhead Road, so to speak. Besides, the 700R4 is now in a 63 Bel Air and the engine is on a stand in the basement.

Posts: 442

Age: 60
Loc: Woodstock, Ga
Reg: 12-03-08
06-20-16 04:28 AM - Post#2634956    
    In response to Highlander1

I agree with the list of badly made items. I have 2 of these cars, i trimmed the crossmember on both for the tranny fluid changes. Only had 3 of the 8 windows fail thus far. I have a 92 Roadmaster and an 94 Caprice. Both 350 cars.


1957 210 2d Post
1961 Bubbletop Impala
1965 Buick LeSabre
1968 327 Camaro
1968 427 COPO Corvette
1984 Monte Carlo SS
1969 RS Camaro
1969 GTO
1976 Camaro
1993 Silverado 3500 Dually 6.5TD
1993 GMC 1500
1994 9C1 Caprice
1997 Silverado 1500

#Member 76
Posts: 8590
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Reg: 01-30-00
06-27-16 04:59 PM - Post#2636467    
    In response to daustin

i've had at least 10 of them and never had any real gripes except the window rollers.

my only current one is a 95 SS. my dad has both of my old roadmonsters(92 sedan and 93 wagon).


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