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Thread: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

  1. #76
    Maintenance Craftsman chevy_dude97's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    great looking car, and nice job getting her running! I recommend using drop cloths under the front end when working the suspension. I noticed I was tracking grease all over and had to do some pressure washing in my drive way... Scraping the gunk off and just folding up the plastic drop cloths it falls on is much easier. Cant wait to see a video of the car driving!
    1951 Buick Super 4D 263ci dynaflow "Under Construction"
    1968 ElCamino SS (SOLD)
    1972 Chevell Malibu SS Clone (SOLD)
    1984 Camaro F41 (RIP)
    1996 Camaro SS M6 (SOLD)
    1997 Camaro Z28 (SOLD)
    2008 Chrysler T&C

  2. #77

    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    Been kinda slacking this week. It's been around 90 degrees and I just don't feel like getting all THAT hot and dirty! All new brake lines have arrived, And I bit the bullet and ordered a set of new tires from Coker in the exact original tire size with 3" whitewalls. Tomorrow I WILL get the front up on the jack stands as well, and might even go so far as to get the front tires and drums off. then gotta get the old crumbling tires unmounted and get the rims cleaned up so I can paint them. We have a big community celebration in town this weekend -- and you know how really small town celebrations go... the whole town will be involved and I don't know if I'll get any work done over the weekend, we'll see. So, not quite at a standstill, but not moving at the full pace of the last couple weeks. Everything I need for front bakes in here, except drums as I haven't determined the condition of the ones on the car. Will know more later.

    Found another photo of the car -- it's from a somewhat blurry slide, but I did add a caption to this one:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    timinbovey

  3. #78

    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    Geeze -- the Roadmaster really beat me up today! Tires arrived from Coker on Thursday. Un wrapped them and set them in the other side of the garage (the non working side) until they're ready for mounting. Old tires are off the rims. Just gotta clean up and paint the rims and then can get the tires mounted.

    Decided to tackle the front brakes today. Drums came off just fine, passenger side came apart just fine. Of course the hose/line connection on the drivers side would not come apart at all. No amount of force or mind over machine ideas was going to get it apart neatly. Oh well, I HAVE all new brakes lines so time to decide I can just wreck the short metal line to the drivers side front, and even then it didn't want to come apart! Finally I won the battle, old line out, new line in (the fitting where the lines all come together isn't exactly handy to get to!) All the brake innards are cleaned up, new wheel cylinders are in along with new hoses. Turns out the brake shoes I got are 1/4" too wide! Went back to my FLAPS, they're ordering me the right ones and I won't get 'em till Wednesday. So the front sits apart. I did spritz the master cylinder bolts with penetrating oil so maybe by tomorrow I can get that out and the new one in place. Still plenty to do on brakes, need to get the new back lines in too. Amazing how sore I can get working on the car for a few hours, I'm way outta shape! Dad popped in the garage twice, once when I started and again about 4 hours later -- barely walking, with his cane, and he tells me "Don't over do it, you're not young anymore ya know". HA!

    Master cylinder tomorrow, and maybe back brake lines and hose. Did I mention I HATE working under the car? OH, and the good news is, the front drums are in excellent condition, barely showing any wear at all, so I won't need to be replacing them. One less part to wait for!

    Progress, slow but sure.

    timinbovey

  4. #79

    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    Dad popped in the garage twice, once when I started and again about 4 hours later -- barely walking, with his cane, and he tells me "Don't over do it, you're not young anymore ya know". HA!
    _________________________________

    Love that line! Made me laugh.
    Dave Yaros -
    '55 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe DeVille
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  5. #80
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    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    Just discovered your post about your car, really neat, thanks for sharing. I have to say that the photo of the Buick and the cabin is one of the best 1950's photos I have seen. Is the cabin still standing?
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  6. #81
    Satisfied Driver JohnD1956's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    Tim, I love this story! I am glad you never sold that car in 07. What a beautiful car, and a great family too! You may be sore from working on the floor, but you're a very lucky guy! Keep at it friend. Next years BCA National Meet is within driving distance for you.

    John C. De Fiore BCA # 3757
    56 Super 56R: acquired September 1974 :D
    69 GS 400: Convertible Added in 2003 :rolleyes:
    69 Electra Limited 2 dr. bought 1995 or so. Sold March 2009!
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    95 Riviera Supercharged: added May 1998. Sold September 2006
    06 Lacrosse CXL Purchased July 4th 2006. Traded in Aug 2013
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    "Yes! I'd really rather drive my Buick!"

    Member of the UPSTATE NY CHAPTER
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  7. #82

    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    I think I've been slacking off a bit on the updates here. Spent a good three days on my back on the garage floor working on the car. Damn my arms, shoulders, waist and everything else hurts! Not used to working above me!

    The last of the brake parts are in. All new lines, hoses, wheel cylinders, shoes, hardware, etc. New rear drums, front drums showed very minimal wear so they're going back in. Front drums aren't on yet as I haven't been in the mood to repack the wheel bearings yet! New master cylinder is in too. Next week I'll get the front drums on, make some preliminary adjustments, and fill with fluid, bleed, and see what happens. (That's the brakes bleeding, not me!)

    Wheels have been sandblasted and painted, hopefully sometime next week I'll get the new tires mounted. I also removed the broken stabilizer (sway bar) from the front, and have started checking around to find one.

    Turns out the guy at the sandblaster shop has an identical '51 Roadmaster sitting in his yard! It's really trashed, floor completely rusted out, front clip is off, hood is laying in the woods. But there's a tarp over the engine, and he said he's been letting his 14 year old kid take it apart and mess with it to see what he can learn about cars! I may see if he can salvage the stabilizer for me, although judging from how far it's sunk into the ground that may or may not be a good idea! But might be a source for a few other doodads as well, although our car is complete, but ya never know.

    Getting very anxious to get it back on the ground and start working on the top side of the car! Plan to order an exhaust system tomorrow. What's left on the car now is more rust than metal. In fact, it's barely more rust than holes! Sure is a lot simpler than exhaust on a modern car! Then I should have most of the under the car stuff done! (I hope).

    Tim in Bovey

  8. #83

    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    He's done more and not updated....bad!

    He realized the rear drums he got are too shallow when bolted on the hub so he's trying to get that situation sorted out. He tried twice to get a hold of someone at Kanter on the phone with no luck. Front bearings have been repacked and the front brakes are all on.

    I'd say I was jealous but I've got a 99 Jeep to deal with...haha

  9. #84
    Sr (grey-haired) Member Rob McDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    I have a pretty good idea of Tim's situation - his arms are so sore, he has to get a friend to post his progress.
    Rob McDonald
    1957 Buick Roadmaster model 73A, owned since February 1973
    1962 Valiant Signet
    1967 Valiant 100, daily driver

  10. #85

    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    You can see why I was surprised to learn the front stabilizer is supposed to be straight! (yes, that's the break at the left hand "corner") It's obviously been broken for a long long time.
    Promise, a better update tomorrow.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Tim in Bovey

  11. #86
    Satisfied Driver JohnD1956's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    Looks like someone once tried to tow the car by the stabilizer bar.

    John C. De Fiore BCA # 3757
    56 Super 56R: acquired September 1974 :D
    69 GS 400: Convertible Added in 2003 :rolleyes:
    69 Electra Limited 2 dr. bought 1995 or so. Sold March 2009!
    72 Electra Limited added July 2014...
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    95 Riviera Supercharged: added May 1998. Sold September 2006
    06 Lacrosse CXL Purchased July 4th 2006. Traded in Aug 2013
    2013 Regal GS acquired Aug 2013 ( thanks to the La Crosse)

    "Yes! I'd really rather drive my Buick!"

    Member of the UPSTATE NY CHAPTER
    check it out at : http://unybca.com

  12. #87

    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD1956 View Post
    Looks like someone once tried to tow the car by the stabilizer bar.
    That's exactly what I thought!

    Later today -- the brake and exhaust update. Going around and around with Kanter over rear brake drums that are wrong. They're too wide and snug up against the backing plate when installed. Last word from them was "It shows here that we sent you the right ones". But earlier he also insisted the car had 2 1/2" brake shoes, too. Been buying parts from them since I was in high school in the 70's, with never an issue about a part not being right -- so we'll see what happens today. I contacted them MONDAY and here's Thursday -- nearly a week of working time has ticked by, with no resolution proposed. For those who might know these things, the drums they sent are number BD 2010.

    Tim in Bovey

  13. #88

    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    Up-date, Up-date, we want an Update! :-P

  14. #89

    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    Nothing like having your own Son egging you on, eh? OK, here's an update.

    Kanter has told me I can return the rear brake drums that don't seem to fit right. I ordered and received a pair of NOS replacement drums from Bob's Automobilia, they're on, they fit, they look nearly exactly like the ones that came off the car. The brakes are done, bled, and working. Of course it's not on the ground yet, and I will do some final adjusting of the shoes before the car hits the garage floor again. But except for adjustments I'm done with the brakes.

    Got a new exhaust system from an outfit called Classic Exhaust Inc. Aluminized steel and only a couple hundred bucks shipped. Wrestled with that for several hours yesterday. Got the old system out with much less trouble than I was anticipating. The new pipe off the manifold fit perfect, and the new muffler fit just fine (they reproduce the long, round Buick muffler -- it's not some general replacement unit). Then just about drove myself insane trying to figure out how to get the next piece on, from the muffler over the axel. They sent that in two pieces with the joint at the top of the apex over the axel. I can't for the life of me get that pipe and the muffler to align straight enough to slide it in. I did have a hell of a time getting the old one out, too. I'm seriously considering one of three things. Removing what's done and starting at the back of the car and working forward, to see if I can get it all together. Or getting a short piece of pipe to connect to the back of the muffler (only need about 8 inches to clear the opening through the frame) then removing 8 inches from the tail pipe piece and attaching it to the short pipe (length would come out right, it's the ability to get the end to the muffler in position with all the weird bends etc on the rest of it hitting various parts of the car) or last option -- putting in a hunk of flex pipe off the muffler to the back half tail pipe section, which I really don't want to do. I believe what I'm actually going to do is pick up a short piece of pipe that I can connect to the muffler then through the frame, then adjust the length of the big pipe to fit and just piece it together there. It's making me crazy. I laid under that car in 40 degree weather all day yesterday trying to find a way to get it to go on, and it won't.

    In the meantime, a stabilizer bar should be on the way next week from a guy in California with a parts car. Once that's on (already got the old one and all it's mangled links removed) the brake shoes are given final adjustment, and the darn exhaust is pieced together, I just might put the tires on it and get it off the jacks.

    One question -- I noticed the T fitting for the rear brakes (where the rubber hose connects from the line from the master cylinder, and splits off to the two lines to the rear wheels) is not connected in any way to the car. It looks like there should be a bolt above (it's kind of a "C" bracket on the fitting) that holds it to the frame. Is this just a nut/bolt, or is that fitting threaded? Didn't get to continue investigating while sweating at the exhaust system yesterday.

    So there is your update!

    Tim in Bovey

  15. #90
    Senior Member old-tank's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    Tim, if it is anything like my 55's the tailpipe was shipped in two pieces to avoid oversize shipping charges. Also the only way to install as one piece or two pieces: the body has to be jacked up with the axle hanging. I never had trouble years ago when I used a bumper jack.
    There is also the possibility that it is wrong.
    Willie
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    1951 Ford F-1 with 264 nailhead
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    BuickRestorer

  16. #91
    Satisfied Driver JohnD1956's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    I was going to say that the last time I did my own tail pipes on my 56, I unbolted the rear axle spring and shock so I could get more space to twist the passengers side pipe on. You may even have to unhook the panhard bar too.

    John C. De Fiore BCA # 3757
    56 Super 56R: acquired September 1974 :D
    69 GS 400: Convertible Added in 2003 :rolleyes:
    69 Electra Limited 2 dr. bought 1995 or so. Sold March 2009!
    72 Electra Limited added July 2014...
    78 Estate Wagon: added 10-2008 :cool:
    95 Riviera Supercharged: added May 1998. Sold September 2006
    06 Lacrosse CXL Purchased July 4th 2006. Traded in Aug 2013
    2013 Regal GS acquired Aug 2013 ( thanks to the La Crosse)

    "Yes! I'd really rather drive my Buick!"

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  17. #92
    Grease Monkey shadetree77's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    When I had the exhaust put on my '52 Special the guys had some trouble getting that rear piece on too. I remember they had to twist and turn quite a bit before they got it to slide through. But they got it eventually. This may be different on the larger series cars. On the brake fitting, mine is a rectangular brass block with an L-shaped bracket on the end. The rubber hose comes into one side of the block and the two rear brake lines come out one of the other sides. The bracket attaches to a spot on the either the torque tube or one of the strut rods. I can't remember. I do remember that is is attached with a small, fat screw. Not a nut and bolt. I can take pictures if you need them. Again, this may be different on your Roadmaster. Let me know if I can help.
    ____________________
    Robert
    BCA #46402
    KFOCI #10647



    1952 Buick Special Deluxe 41D (Lucy)
    (My Dad And I Finally Have A Project Car)
    1953 Kaiser Manhattan (Linus)
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    1977 Thunderbird Town Landau
    (My First Car Given To Me By My Uncle w/ 20,000 Original Miles & Wrecked In 2004(not my fault) w/ 70,000 Miles, R.I.P.)


  18. #93

    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    B-F-H!
    Chris Gossweiler
    1954 Buick Special 48D. It is a 264 and nothing more.
    BCA#-46800
    I adore my 54!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jWYdKAIQX4

  19. #94
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    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    This is a great story,Congrats. I have some concerns as I also got one running after it sat for 20+ years. The oil in my '50 had turned to grease. The oil pan had spider holes in it from condensation(water) sitting in the bottom of the oil pan. The oil had dried in the rocker arm assembly and I had to take it all apart and cleaned it so it oiled the valvetrain. I know you want to get it up and going but don't get in a hurry or it may bite ya in the arse. Please look at my pics of oil in my oil pan pics. These pics are in my photos under "oldwood". Call me anytime if ya have questions.

  20. #95

    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    Finally had a day to work on the car. Progress has been made (slow but sure)

    Got the exhaust system to go together correctly. Lets just say things are not always what they appear to be. All parts fit fine once I stopped trying to put it together backwards :0) It's in, but not all securely clamped yet as I want to hang the tailpipe end and then adjust for best clearance before clamping. The pivot at the muffler and at the junction over the axel allow for quite a bit of movement so seeking out the best position.

    Mangled front stabilizer bar has been replaced thanks to a forum member who sent me the part from his parts ca in California. Very reasonable price, considering he had to remove it, pack it and ship it It's on, new bushings, new links, etc.

    Also did some more adjusting to the brakes. Decided too that the lower control arm bumpers are mangled to bits. One is split in half, the other is mashed flat and about 5/6ths of it is missing. So, guess I'll order up a couple. I keep finding things to replace that are preventing me from getting this bugger back on the ground!

    Hopefully tomorrow I'll finish up the exhaust if nothing else. Spent last weekend painting the interior of my folks house (the one they moved out of -- its a long story) and this Thursday it's off to Kansas to visit my Son and his family through Monday, so no work to get done over the weekend. Won't be long it's gonna be winter up here. We've already had nights where temps have dropped into the teens.

    Tim in Bovey

  21. #96
    Ben Bruce BCA# 44599 First Born's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    TIM!!
    Miss you!

    Ben
    1995 Park Ave
    1950 Super Mod 52
    1950 Special Mod 41D Second owner

  22. #97
    Maintenance Craftsman chevy_dude97's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    yeah, update w/ some pics of new exhaust
    1951 Buick Super 4D 263ci dynaflow "Under Construction"
    1968 ElCamino SS (SOLD)
    1972 Chevell Malibu SS Clone (SOLD)
    1984 Camaro F41 (RIP)
    1996 Camaro SS M6 (SOLD)
    1997 Camaro Z28 (SOLD)
    2008 Chrysler T&C

  23. #98

    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    really intresting,doing a fine job,4bufords from ct

  24. #99

    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    Just so ya'll didn't think I fell off the face of the Earth or something! Winter snuck up on me and hit me right in the butt. Been swamped with family stuff and the onset of cold weather (It's 11 degrees as I type this) so I haven't got anything else done. The exhause is still under the car waiting to be positioned and clamped, and the front suspension rubber stops are waiting to be put in.

    I did manage to get the car title transferred from Dad to me (first time since he bought it the title has changed owners) and didn't even have to pay tax, as we managed to do the transfer with the car as a gift from father to son! He has a collector plate on it that he got 20+ years ago but I found a 1950 plate - I'm assuming it's the original from when he bought the car - under the mat on the ledge in the trunk. It's in good shape so I'm planning on registering it, and using it when it's back on the road (we can do that here on collector cars).

    Other than that just waiting for spring and hoping I can get my Son up here at some point to pull off a marathon session to get it back on the road at least, so we know where we're at on the rest of the mechanicals.

    In the meantime, everyone have a good holiday!

    Tim in Bovey

  25. #100
    Ben Bruce BCA# 44599 First Born's Avatar
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    Re: Bringing Dad's 1951 Roadmaster Back!

    TIM!!!
    Good to hear from you! I for one am anxiously waiting for progress reports.

    A safe and Happy Holiday to you.

    Ben
    1995 Park Ave
    1950 Super Mod 52
    1950 Special Mod 41D Second owner

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