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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/15/2017 in all areas

  1. 20 points
    This past Friday I boarded an American Airlines plane for DFW connecting to Calgary, final destination Kelwona, BC. As is obvious from my handle I have a 1938 Buick Roadmaster Model 80C the convertible Sedan (of Phaeton as Buick referred to it) . What you may not know is that my father has 1938 Roadmasters as well. A Model 81 (Trunk back sedan) and a Model 81F (Formal sedan with divider window and the rarest of the 4 Roadmaster models produced). So that's 3 of the 4 '38 Roadmaster Model...The 4th is a Model 87, the sport sedan AKA a slant back sedan. Buick made 466 Model 87's in 1938 exporting ZERO. In approximately 15 years of looking I have come across 6 left know to exist. Some of you may be aware that you can save a search within Google and Google will email you if it finds new web pages with your search result. I have several setup searching for various Buick related rarities. In July of this year I got a result back on my Model 87 search, A model 87 for sale on Kijiji. The link was no longer valid but through google search results I determined that the car for sale was the same one I had documented for sale in 2011 and determined the phone number in the current ad ( no longer able to be viewed except in the search results) was the same as the one i had saved in 2011. A call to the owner and the car was indeed still for sale but the owner had gone on extended holiday and would not return until mid Sept. Side bar: My father at age 38 bought what is now my 80C...the original NYC sold car had made its way to North Bay, Ontario, Canada. My own 38th birthday passed and though I didn't forget about the car it was on the back burner of my mind until while coaching my son's soccer game I got a call and a VM. Long story short pictures were sent and agreement in principle made and the process of importing this car back into the US begun. History: The seller has owned the car for half his life and half the car's life ...39 years...he acquired the car in Guam. Apparently it was a Southern California car that was imported to Guam by an illicit drug dealer who forfeited the car during the seizure of his assets once he was caught. The seller eventually imported the car back to Oregon where it resided for many years and subsequently moving to British Columbia. The seller offered to trailer the car to the Border crossing at Sumas, WA. My plan was to then drive it from Sumas to a location in Seattle area where I could then have it transported back (less a border crossing) to NC. Where in Seattle was the question. A quick scan of the Roster and a PM to the Forum's own Brian Laurence (Centurion) and i had a destination. 150 miles in an 80 year old car I've never seen but in pictures and never driven. As the weekend approached I began to realize I'm out of my mind to do it, but it's gonna be a great adventure none the less. I packed up my tools, a tow rope, spare fan belt and other supplies. I considered the possibility of bringing a spare generator, starter, etc. and decided that would just be too much weight to carry for a car the seller swears would make it the journey no problem. So I checked my bag, something a I rarely do despite traveling a LOT for work ( any tool of 7" must be checked per TSA) and off I went to Dallas. And then the fun begins... We landed in Dallas about 10-15 minutes ahead of schedule, for which I was delighted as it was going to be a tight connection. HOWEVER, another plane was in our gate so 20 minutes after our scheduled arrival time we disembarked. For those of you familiar with DFW, it is HUGE, and i not only had to switch gates, but switch terminals (on the complete opposite side of the airport). So off to the races I went. I swear it had to be a mile run ( I just checked it on Google Earth and my path was 0.80 of a mile). About 2/3 of the way to my gate I hear the final boarding call for my flight to Calgary. I yelled at an unoccupied gate agent I was passing to call to my gate and let them know I was almost there. Boarding the plane last I got a large glass of water from the attendant and settled in to my first class upgrade seat for the 4 hr flight to Calgary. It was at that moment I realize that it was wonderful that I made it, surley my bag on a more direct path would make it too. A quick interrogation of the flight attended revealed that there were in fact waiting on ONE MORE BAG. Surely that was mine...the airlines ap has a bag tracker lets see what that says....Last update: "Loaded in Charlotte"...hmm. wait 2 minutes reload...Last update: Arrived in Dallas 5:25PM...Its 535PM ok that was 10 minutes ago, they are waiting for a bag i'm good...boarding door closes...update...hmm...update...ok supposed to have this phone off...update.... ok on the runway better turn it off...and we're off. Larger portable electronics are now free to be used...update...Last update: Arrived in Dallas 5:25PM. That update did not change until well into the following day ( more on that later). So 4 hours and many beverages later (at one point the stewardess had me double fisting, Amaretto in one hand and Tito's in the other) I had to formulate a new plan as i knew my bag would never make it to Kelowna in time as i had arrange for the seller to pick me up at my hotel 8AM the next morning and I knew i was on the last flights to Calgary and Kelowna and no earlier flights existed either. Well I'd just have to do it with out tools and if I ran into trouble I had my BCA roster and a AAA card...The rest of the day went without indecent (except for no phone signal in Canada) and I arrived at my hotel at midnight pacific time 3AM my time. I filed a lost bag claim in there as well and asked they either send my bag on to Seattle or back to CLT. The seller and his wife picked me up at 8AM sharp and off we went on the roughly hour and 40 min drive back to his house and the location of the car. Here are some photos from along the way. Merritt, BC in the Nicola Valley Welcome to Merritt! We arrived at the sellers house which was chock full of neat stuff and beside the '38 he had a 65 T-bird Convertible, a 51 Chrysler, a 40 Packard 110 and a few 70s era trucks. I looked the car over, test drove it and got ready to load it up for the border...Hey where is the spare tire, it's not in the trunk?? oh there isn't one... so no tools, no spare and we are behind schedule so I'll be running out of daylight at the end of the journey... ok I can do this, no worries. So we loaded up Seller had LOT of unique stuff Shortly after we depart the seller asks his wife if she has their passports. I thought this odd and inquired why they needed their passports and if they were going into the US after they drop me at the border. "We're taking you all the way to Puyallup". You're what? I thought you were only taking me to the border and I was on my own from there? "Well you can do that if you want, but we planned to take you all the way." I quickly considered my predicament and as much as I wanted to enjoy my planned country drive through northwestern Washington state, the thought of having to brave traffic looming in Seattle, and the lack of the various items I would need in case of a break down made it an easy choice. Here are some photos from along the journey from Merritt, BC to Sumas, WA and eventually at the border. US Border at Sumas, WA We, as I assumed, hit traffic on the 405 around Seattle, creeping past the site of the 2007 BCA National Meet and eventually Mt. Rainier off in the distance. More traffic in Renton, but at 6:15 with darkness setting in we arrived, unloaded and tucked the new treasure in Brian/Centurion's garage. Brian had some friends over for game night and it was fun to meet all of them, some who seemed quite shocked that I would travel all the way from NC for a car... Brian lent me his 96 Riv to get to my hotel and back, great car...and that blue is one of my favorites of that era Buick The next morning after breakfast Brian took me on a tour of Tacoma's amazing architecture and Historic Auto Row, after that we left for the airport and I was home to CLT around 9PM, my whirlwind weekend finally over. My bag however eventually made it to Calgary...from Calgary it somehow got to LAX and arrived in Charlotte today I hoping I get frequent flier miles for my bag as well as my own journey... Griot's Garage in a former Coca-Cola bottling plant The original auto row in Tacoma Mueller- Harkins original Buick dealership above and floor of it below. Mueller-Harkins eventually replaced their original store with this circa late 40's early 50's dealership a few blocks away Love the Terrazzo!! Brian said this neighboring building was the DeSoto dealership. Certainly a trip to remember and while not quite as eventful as my father's journey to Canada to get my 80C no less epic. Many many thanks to Brian/Centurion and family for their amazing hospitality. The BCA and the forum are lucky to have such a amazing man in our midst. That's it for tonight tomorrow I will post some photos of the car itself. It's certainly not a 400 pt piece, but it will be enjoyed!
  2. 18 points
    Thought this worth sharing with the Forum. This 1930 Lincoln model L engine has come back to life after 65+ years of being dormant. Now on to the rest of the car........
  3. 18 points
    Took a lot of these pictures over a year ago but just finding a rainy day to post them. This room use to be my son Jordan's room before and while he was in college. Then it became a "spare bedroom" but began collecting a lot of "pitch it in the door" junk. I finally decided to take it over for my office. After cleaning it of all the junk and repairing some of the mysterious holes in the sheet rock that had been hidden for years with Johnny Cash and Marine Corp posters (at least he had good taste in posters), Rita and Terry commenced to painting the walls in 1954 Buick colors of Tunis Blue and Malibu Blue. Note also the cabinets and tables are "Buick Engine Green" which I think goes great with the '54 Buick blue colors. Thanks for looking and hope you enjoy. "1954 BUICK HEADQUARTERS" That's sort of panoramic look. I can post some close ups and detail shots if any interest.
  4. 17 points
    Okay, so maybe not so good looking Buick right now, but it's about time I stop flooding "Post War" with topics and start my own Me and My Buick thread. A little bit of history: The car was purchased brand new as one of two, by my grandfather, from the Kessler dealership in Detroit, in 1956. A few weeks prior, at some point whether returning or going to the army base, my grandfather rolled his 1953 Buick Roadmaster off an embankment and came out with nothing but his life. He needed new transportation, and with the aid of his then girlfriend at the time, placed an order for one Buick Century with all the bells and whistles save AC, power windows and power seats. I'm told that my grandmother rolled the car off the assembly line, but it seems all flair considering assembly line cars had a special stamp on the firewall ID tag. Before leaving service, he purchased for his mother a sister Century (Red and Black) that had every accessory option available. The two of them then set out west, back to Seattle, where the Red and Black Century was gifted to my great grandmother, and the Blue and White Century started a family in 1958. Fast forward to 1978, the last year licensed. My grandfather is driving around a 1971 Estate Wagon 455, while his oldest son and daughter (my mother) are bombing around in the 56 Century. A good 20+ years of pampered service got my uncle through 2 years of community college (I got free parking when I went because it still has, to this day, the Green River Community College parking pass on it). One fateful afternoon, sometime after three teeth broke off the reverse ring gear in the Dynaflow, the front pump became plugged up on a rather large upward climb. My grandfather, raising a family of 5, had fallen on hard times and the car sat in a lofty car port from that day on. Fast forward to the mid 80s, where my grandfather's youngest son was in auto tech class in highschool. With good intentions, but misguidance, tore the still running 322 apart. Upon inspection, worn rocker arms were found and a few broken valve springs, among other common wear parts for a 200,000 mile car. The heads, timing cover, sprockets, chain, lifters, rocker arms and valve covers were stored in the trunk/front/back seat, the intake and Rochester 4GC left down in the basement, and the bock left bare with pistons and all to the elements, shielded only by the roof over it's head and the lofty hood. The car quickly became a pipe dream and was left in shambles. In 2010, my grandmother passed away and was the first time I can remember the whole family being in one place. My uncle (oldest son) moved to Oklahoma, and my aunt (youngest daughter) moved to Colorado. It was an unfortunate time, and while on her death bed, the car had come up in front of my grandmother several times. After she died, the house was quickly deserted and the question of who got the car was left unanswered. No one wanted it because it had zero value and was too much work. At some point around this time, and being close to graduation, I had shown interest in the car. It was my favorite since I first found it 13 or so years prior (then 18 at the time of 2010), and I had started doing a lot of research. My mother had threatened to scrap it several times during this point to clean up and sell the house, and I had pooled every thing I could save between going to the college part time and barely making enough money to pay for the classes. My saving grace was my first few tax returns, and I had saved up enough money to have the engine sent out for rebuild in 2013. Another year passes and the next tax return was used to cover the transmission. In 2015, I had amassed enough parts to finally fire the old beast off, and she awoke with the fire of a thousand suns. Her slumber was over, and it was the first time I had witnessed my grandfather cry after the passing of my grandmother. The herd came flocking, everyone suddenly wanted the car, and we got in notarized writing that the car had been gifted to me and was put in my name after a state patrol inspection October of 2015. Lady Century's legacy was reborn. Of course, most of you all are up to date with what the car has gone through, in fact, we've both gone through a lot. The 322 powerplant is now out of a 1956 Buick Roadmaster, salvaged from an LS swap after my original engine had torn itself apart on the grounds of poor workmanship. The rear end, as I found out from my grandfather, didn't have the correct pinion pre-load, which allowed the pinion to hammer the carrier and prompted me to find a rear end from a Special. The power steering box and pump, after being rebuilt, are still sloppy and the pump itself was put together wrong, which resulted in the pulley tearing apart the end shaft - also a junkyard journey. My starter flew itself apart, and eventually so did the generator to an extent, which prompted me to find a junkyard replacement for the former and a re-manufactured replacement for a 1956 Chevy for the latter. I have also upgraded the brakes on the front to Roadmaster brakes and repaired the master cylinder myself. The suspension from front to back, save the front coil springs, A-arm bushings and king pins, have been replaced completely. I also replaced the original Rochester 4GC with a Carter WCFB. I even rebuilt the power antenna, rebuilt the tube radio, and repaired the clock, blower motor and cigarette lighter. This car is fully functional front to back, with front and rear speakers and all the fixings of a 1956 luxury sports car. All that's left to do now is paint, glass, chrome and interior - the hard stuff. This car will be following me on my exodus over Snoqualmie pass, where I will spend the next two years at Washington State University, fulfilling my degree in Mechanical Engineering. This thread will be the continuation of my experiences with my Buick as I journey forward. I hope you guys enjoy the ride!
  5. 17 points
    I recently involved in the sale of a large collection of cars. I saw classic outstanding vintage cars nestled in with simple inexpensive cars in all shapes and condition. A massive collection of over 300 cars. There seemed to be no order, no theme. I talked with the manager, Jeff who had maintained these cars for about 24 years. This was the Collection of S. Truett Cathy, Founder of Chick-fil-a. Jeff asked Truett why he was buying so many different cars, and Truett responded, "For Investments." That made sense to Jeff. Investments in classic cars can often bring great rewards. But Jeff noticed that Truett had bought a car and paid much too much. Very much more than the possible value. Jeff thought he should mention this "mistake" to Truett? Maybe Truett didn't know he paid too much? But Truett had brought a small restaurant into a multi-billion dollar business and Truett had told Jeff that he was buying cars as investments and this made no sense to Jeff. Fortunately, Jeff needed to get some paperwork from the seller and the seller mentioned that Truett had really "blessed him." He went on to say that he had cancer. He was broke and could not continue treatments until Truett bought his car giving him enough money to pay his bills and get additional treatment and he was now cancer-free. Jeff realized that when Truett Cathy spoke about investments, he meant investments in people. The money flowed as well, but Truett Cathy's business was based on investments in people. Think about this if you happen to be in a Chick-fil-a restaurant. It is an enjoyable place for happy employees serving an experience. People connecting with people. It pays great dividends. Investments.
  6. 16 points
    My son and his fiancée made a very special request of me back in May of 2017. They asked me to chauffeur them in my '41 Buick Roadmaster sedan on their wedding day. I was thrilled to be given this opportunity. I was also quite anxious. My car is no beauty and it is on a constant repair and improvement schedule. A lot had to be done before the wedding date. I have chronicled the event on my WordPress blog and you are welcome to read the entire story. Just click the blue link to get there. I hope some folks enjoy the story and are encouraged to post their own story here on the AACA forum. Thanks! (Note: Photograph courtesy of Matt Ferrara Photography)
  7. 16 points
    Took the Roadmaster out to the last big cars and coffee of the season. Temps in the 70s today and tomorrow, first snow storm of the season on Monday. Had the Eldorado out too, just to enjoy the weather. Scott
  8. 15 points
    We need some positive posts on the Forum. The Buick Club is a great club with great people and this thread will prove that. This past month I've been helped by 4 BCA members and I want to thank them for what they have done for me and I invite you to thank a BCA member who has done you right. I'll start in chronological order for the past month 1. Lamar Brown - I asked if Lamar would be interested in trailering my 80C to Hershey. Without hesitation he was on board and sacrificed his time and drove significant distance to help me finally have my 80C on the showfield at Hershey 2. Bob Coker - When we found Lamar's trailer was just a hair to small for my 80C he lent Lamar and I truck and trailer to get to Hershey. 3. Brian Laurance - I asked Brian if I could store a to be purchase Buick at his place while I arranged for transportation back east. Without hesitation he agreed and then proceeded to remove his own car from his garage so mine could be inside and give me a tour historic dealership buildings of Tacoma. 4. Paul Haddock - Paul offered up his truck and trailer to me so I could take my 80C to Hilton Head for the Concours. While I've sent a personal thank you to each of them, I want to publicly thank them as well for their assistance. And while this is just a few great BCA members who've done something in the past month I can think of numerous others I owe a thank you to ( Ben Bruce, Brian Clark, Dave Berquist, Dave Tachney, and John Kilbane are a few that come to mind). Which BCA member has done you right and deserves a thank you???
  9. 15 points
    The colors haven't really arrived here in SW Ontario but will a corn field do ? I posted these on Me and MY Buick but they fit here too.The '25 is just getting it's legs back after a 37 year slumber. Jim
  10. 15 points
  11. 15 points
    Took the 56 on the After Tour for our Regional Meet. About 90 miles preplanned, add a few for when I got everyone lost in the hills of Rennselear, NY.
  12. 14 points
    Springfield Motors Buick dealership, Springfield, Oregon My wife and I were returning home from a road trip to some of the great national parks in the California Sierra Nevada range. Last Saturday morning, we crossed Willamette Pass Highway over the Oregon Cascades, and planned for lunch in the Eugene area. I spotted the sign to the Historic Downtown District of neighboring Springfield, and remembered that there was an old Buick dealership in the area. Following lunch at the The Plank, we drove a couple of blocks to the dealership, constructed in 1949 for Clarence Scherer. The dealership design incorporated features from the 1944 Buick Building Layout Guide, and the structure remains much the same 68 years later. While not as grand as some of the mid-century dealerships built in larger cities, the building has been meticulously maintained, and was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011. Springfield Motors is one of only about thirty remaining stand-alone Buick dealerships in the USA, and carries a large inventory of new Buicks. This was surprising, in view of the West Coast dominance by Asian and German automotive brands. The salesman with whom we talked, Victor, has been an employee since 1984, and conveys enthusiasm for Buick and the dealership's history. The dealership remains in the Scherer family, operated by Clarence's son. A glimpse into the service area revealed a superb, original 1966 Skylark GS convertible, traded in by one of Clarence's customers in 1967, and preserved ever since. I noticed right away the rarely seen 1966 GM headrest option! My accompanying photos show some of the enlarged photos from the showroom walls, including an image of the 1949 Roadmaster convertible that graced the showroom floor when the dealership was opened. I was particularly interested in the image of a 1949 Buick sedanette and a 1959 Buick Electra, photographed when the dealership was ten years old. A glass display case is filled with Buick brochures and promotional model cars from the 1950's and early 1960's. Clarence's father, Otto, opened a Buick dealership in Palmyra, Wisconsin in 1910, and some of the showroom images are historic photos of the early Buick dealership. Victor eagerly pointed out the large photos of Louis Chevrolet and the early Buick Racing Team. All of this was tremendously exciting, and I offered an early suggestion regarding a celebration of the dealership's 70th anniversary in 2019. What a great opportunity to gather vintage Buicks from around the Pacific Northwest to recognize this dealership's long-term dedication to Buick. I can only hope that the folks at General Motors who have been entrusted with the Buick brand can be as passionate about Buick as the folks at Springfield Motors.
  13. 14 points
    Fall is winding down here, and it actually snowed a little bit yesterday. It's certainly been cold! But today was another bright, crisp, sunny day and had a chance to get the 56 out for a breakfast run. After reading the positive review on this place on Sunday, Ed and I decided to meet here: When I pulled in I thought I was lucky to get this spot in front for a picture. But then I realized the place was closed on Tuesdays. Just my luck! So when Ed arrived we cruised over to another spot in town and got a nice parking spot right in front anyway. It was great to get the car out !
  14. 14 points
    As some of you know I had been accepted to the Concours in Boca and Pinehurst failing to make it to either due to various mechanical issues attempting to drive to each event. If not here are links to those to threads. So for the Hilton Head Concours D'Eelegance I broke down (instead of the Buick) and borrowed a truck and trailer from a local Carolina Chapter BCA Member, Paul Haddock, and trailered the Buick to the show. Here are some photos from the event. A big thank you to Paul for letting me borrow his rig! My detailer getting the car ready for the show A few of the cars in my class. The red '37 Imperial won Best in Class Carol Hughes's 54 Buick took a Palmetto Award in Class, Beautiful car with Factory AC Here are some of my favorite non-Buick's of the show After lunch I came back to find this hanging from my rear view mirror Driving on to the awards field Let me take a selfie! Back in my spot Headed home!!
  15. 14 points
    These photos or similar ones have appeared elsewhere on this forum but they fit here,too. The 1925 Standard Six Four Passenger Coupe was restored in the '70's and sat for 37 years.I bought it in July 2017 and just got it all sorted out in time to put it away again for the winter. The 1929 McLaughlin-Buick Master Close-coupled sedan underwent a ten year year restoration from cow scratching post to show winner.I bought it several years ago.
  16. 14 points
    Is that a 92 Buick Century?
  17. 14 points
    John, your Buicks are so photogenic! I finally have one to contribute:
  18. 14 points
    My wife and I took the '53 to the local antique festival, and I played around with the editing software when I got back.
  19. 14 points
    Always parked next to something fully restored. But she's front and center. The other buicks here:
  20. 14 points
  21. 14 points
    Flew into OKC about 9 pm on the 14th. Got to my storage unit late, past the 9 pm cut off line, to find the gate closed for the night. I jumped over the gate smiling at the camera and went straight to my unit. I rolled up the door and there she was. Last time she run was July 16th, and forgot to disconnect the battery before I left... She started right up, I pulled up to the gate, punched in my code and gate opened up for us. Stopped at the nearest Wally, got some coffee, food and a sleeping bag and I slept for two hrs. I hit the road at 1 am. Destination Boise, ID. My compression numbers back in June came low, 125 psi all across. Dry. The 4 qts of oil, in 1600 miles agree with the low numbers. Odometer shows now 170K miles. Dry as a bone. No engine noises, quiet lifters, white smoke at start up from the exhaust. The oil thing was a surprise to me, but I am glad I had bought a 5 gal 20W50 as a spare that night... She drove beautiful, we respected each other and got me home safe. Highest elevation I saw was 8900 ft. Got caught in a couple of huge rain storms, nothing but rain for 2 hrs, she did great. AM radio all the way. 91RON, nothing but a smooth ride start to finish. Beautiful country, risky trip, but it paid off at the end. Transport guys wanted $1000 to haul it. This was my third trip up to Boise this month. Tired, but both girls are home with me now.
  22. 14 points
    After 6 years on the forum I finally get to post here, and while today is Monday, being labor day and I'm off work, I'm taking the liberty of calling it the weekend! Thanks to everyone who helped me along the way.... one 15 mile round trip down and hopefully many more to go!
  23. 13 points
    RED (Remember Everyone Deployed) Friday HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARINES and don’t forget Veterans Day tomorrow
  24. 13 points
    Have wanted to add AC to the Buick for a number of years and finally took some time to figure it out and settle on an approach. Read numerous posts, some of the more informative ones on the AACA, HAMB, and Tri Five chevy sites, on everything from universal systems to custom (you pick and mix/match the parts) systems. Also picked Mikes (Buick5563) experience as I saw his underdash system at Charlotte and that it blew ice cubes. There are no prepackaged systems for a 55 Buick out there. My intent was to have an install approach that 1) didn't look too much like an aftermarket add on - keep the clean dash lines to the greatest extent possible (i.e avoid an underdash unit or generic component type brackets visible unless there was no other way to make this work), 2) avoid cutting or drilling the firewall or the dash 3) keep as much of a glove box as possible and sacrifice the factory radio if necessary (a hidden stereo installed since the 80s and the factory unit has only hummed unused for 30 years - I have no plans to restore it) 4) retain present dash control operation for defrost, vent, heat, integrate with the AC where feasible (intent to keep the cable controls), keep the factory heater system and 5) avoid adding any additional controls beyond what the factory would have used for AC in 55 (a fan and thermostat switch assy). I narrowed my choices down to Vintage Air (VA), Old Air Products (OAP) and Classic Auto Air (CAA). I'm not going to start a favorite AC supplier war, but suffice to say internet research and customer reviews are all over the map on everything from unit performance to service and there was no smoking gun winner. I think its safe to say any of the above 3 will cool a full size car and there are numerous variations that can affect performance from condenser sizing, airflow, proper charge, and much to be said for the condition of vehicles weather strips and interior insulation for the AC to be effective. So my intent is to share my supplier experience and what fit this car best. Tearing the dash apart (have had lots of practice at this), removing the glove box, ashtrays and clock, defroster air plenum and 4 defroster hoses, keeping only the head unit for the radio, and making some cardboard mockups gave a good idea of free space to work with: Below is a comparison of the Old Air Products Hurricane system and the Classic Auto Air system evaporators. And the Hurricane unit compared to a Mark IV underdash mockup just to get a comparison in case the in dash approach went in the ditch I looked hard at Vintage Air for the Mark IV and the Gen 2 as Jay Lenos 55 advertises a Vintage Air Gen 2 unit. For the life of me with a cardboard mockup and much swearing I could not fathom how they got it to fit behind the dash and both the lower radio chassis and glove box had to go to make it fit. A Gen 4 would not go either, and a Gen 2 compac would probably fit, but it was unclear to me from conversations with the supplier and researching posts if the compac had the same capacity as the full size Gen 2. My Q&A session on the phone with VA was fairly brief and I came away with no new information. My call to CAA was fairly informative, no real input on how to install it for the Buick but would help if I had issues, and was possible to integrate with the dash controls - details TBD. What the CAA had going for it was a shallow profile (depth and height), but it was wider (intrude more into the glove box where my stereo was) and the defroster ducts were facing front and back, necessitating a few inches of additional drop and forward positioning to make an S-turn to hook into the factory defroster ducts. It would fit behind the dash. The Old Air Products Hurricane unit fit well, only hung down below the dash about 4 inches (less than a underdash unit), offered a cable operated version, and didn't interfere with the passengers leg room or the glove box. Plus the defroster ducts conveniently lined up under one of the factory defroster ducts - straight shot with only 5 inches of hose. The OAP tech I spoke with, John, was very patient with my questions and although it was after his closing hours he stayed on the call with me and worked through my design details and concerns. He mentioned their sales manager, Rick, would be at the Syracuse Nationals and I could see one in operation there. I met Rick at the Nationals bringing my 3 pages of dash and wiring drawings, vent options, firewall and engine compartment measurements, hose routings, dash control push/pull to activate/inches of travel of each of the dash cables and the cables current and new length needed if integrating to the AC unit, water flow through the system for heating purposes, my proposed itemized parts list, and remaining questions. He got kind of quiet, tossed my daughter a package of Oreos and a free T-Shirt and said "better have a seat dear, this ones gonna take awhile". Almost 90 min later we were done and I was carting 3 boxes of AC parts home. Super knowledgeable guy - my experience with Rick and John was that both listened carefully taking a genuine interest in the projects design objectives and offered some good suggestions and concerns unique to the design (all which turned out to be accurate), gave me some extra parts "just in case", told me what I didn't need and why, and I saved shipping costs and got a show discount. Incidentally, VA was also at the show so was able to see how well the units performed and sounded side by side - I was pretty happy with the Hurricane unit. The unit was quiet and the only noise was the air coming out the vents in the demo setup with the blower on high. I felt this supplier took time with me where others either had not or simply quoted me general sales brochure information thus lacking fresh ideas or solutions to unique problems. One of my ideas which turned out to be a lapse in judgement was routing two of the centered dash vents behind and through the radio grill (where the speaker used to be), and there are designs that OAP has that do that effectively, however on the Buick Ricks concern was the radio speaker slits were so narrow they would diffuse the air creating a cool spot vs moving in and it might be noisy, vs a clean blast of air pointing up high that you want to circulate air through the vehicle and help cool occupants. I had calculated there was enough open free space through the grill so it "should work", but to be sure tried a more practical approach with a hair dryer on a hose through the vent for a test run and he was right - not much flow up toward your face - my hope was if I could block off the back of the speaker area in its entirety the CFM of the AC unit would push the air through and make a difference (it didn't). The "through grill" option OAP offers worked better on grills with much wider slots - one of those was on display. These are the two ineffective through the grill vent designs. Take the grill away and the vents airflow will knock you into next week. Currently left 1 vent behind the grill (can feel some air to the mid center) and put a slimline vent underneath the dash next to the lighter (that blows a force of air up to the roofline and to the back of the car). The 2100 series unit has plumbing mounts on the side vs rear. The install plan was to run the refrigerant hoses through a blockoff plate that would be added over the passenger floor vent door and through the vent housing that holds the deforster motor, having the hoses exit to the far left and lower part of the housing so the cutouts in the firewall duct would not be obvious. The defrost cable on the dash would go to the defrost lever on the evaporator (the Hurricane unit). What used to be the passenger vent control would be hooked to the factory defroster damper door outlet on the kickpanel. Removing the defroster plenum from the damper door outlet and slightly rotating the existing 4 inch hose routes fresh air toward both the passenger and the inlet of the AC fan. Provided the Ranco valve is turned off with no leak past the valve, the air should be the same temp as if coming through the floor vent. To mount the unit, I made up some brackets from 1/8 inch steel that used existing standoffs on the firewall. These standoffs used to hold the passenger vent grill, firewall insulation, and/or retaining clips to the firewall - all existing mounts that were within a few inches of the retaining pattern for the Hurricane unit. A 30 amp relay was added to the accessory terminal of the fuse panel and switched in 30 amp battery source jumped from the 10 gauge wire on the headlight switch - thanks to Willie for that lesson learned so the Ammeter works right (i.e - remember all loads should be downstream of the ammeter vs the typical initial thought of jumping off the battery switch block on the fender for 30 amp power). With power hooked up and trying out the fan, it verified the through grill design had to go. I kept 1 vent behind the grill and mounted one of Ricks slim line "just in case" vents between the control pod and the lighter. I made an engine turned control panel to match the engine turning on the dash. Also mounted 2 vent pods in either corner of the dash. The passenger ashtray had to be shortened a few inches so when retracted it would not interfere with the hoses to the center vents. The wires to the lighter, clock, radio dial light, and glove box had to be slightly extended to provide for better routing. The interior was done - the stereo and a new glove box liner design would come later. Wiring in the last picture is for the stereo, not the AC. Under the hood, the condenser made me loose my religion. The unit is 16 x 21 , biggest that would fit. Mounting it even with the outer edge of the radiator support was a fail as once it was all assembled, I found out the hood latch support wouldn't fit. Trashed a perfectly good set of stainless steel mounts that were thrown in the kit "just in case". There were a number of designs where the condenser was inches from the radiator and worked fine, however the research consensus was it should be 3/8 or so from the radiator to pick up the flow from the fan and maintain a smooth flow of air over the radiator - further away from the radiator was reported by some to cause cooling efficiency loss over the radiator due to air turbulence between the condenser and radiator, and not forcing the fan to pull air through the condenser at idle. Others said no issue. Closer seemed more practical to me - the radiator measured out at about a 2.5 deg angle tilted back toward the engine so I made some brackets to copy that alignment. I am quite certain the neighbor must have come in the garage when I wasn't looking, stole my beer and changed all my notes because at 3 am the measurements were dead nuts and at 8 am when cutting metal everything changed. There was no obvious reason to double check it (HA! - cut twice and still too short) It turned out 1/4 inch space between condenser and radiator on the bottom and about 1 1/4 inch on top. I may fix that later and can converge on the right dimensional fit. The drier was mounted to the left of the condenser behind the grill with the binary switch on the drier and in the moving airflow. The remote mount drier kit (mounts drier to condenser) ended up not fitting. When it was all assembled, the passenger horn didn't fit any more - the hoses were in the way, so got to do it over a third time and drop the drier down about an inch or so for the horn to fit. Last was the compressor. Thanks again to Buick5563 for the main bracket. I made up a support brace for the rear of the compressor, measured up a 13/32 x 61 5/8 belt at NAPA, and had the local shop add in about 1.8 lbs of R134, with the result in the last photo going full blast at idle (note it was only in the low 70s so not a hot day yet to test): Additionally, without linking to the dreaded fan clutch thread, that a 19.25 inch 6 blade Derale fan was added to the engine on a standard fan clutch and the radiator recored at a local Endicott shop from the standard 9/16 on center spacing (which was a current recore - not factory original) to 3/8 on center Heavy Duty recore. The 19 inch fan is the largest that will fit in the shroud and I had to adjust the shroud up a few tenths of an inch to center the fan in the opening and not rub. I may still opt for a HD fan clutch but will wait for a 85+ degree day to test it all out. My prior overheating issues have been solved with the increased capacity radiator and fan - if the temp gauge gets up past 200 (200 = N on my gauge) revving the engine brings it down - AC on or off. The fan will suck paper to the grill and to the condenser, so it seems to be moving the air pretty well. More checking to do. Once there are a few miles on it, will add in the second belt drive to the compressor pulley. Does not seem to be required but prefer the looks. It hasn't been hot enough here yet to really try the system out - I ordered some insulation for the floor - there is some "Reflectex" from Home Depot n there now and its not very effective. I also need new weatherstrip but not doing that until the door jambs get painted. Pretty happy with it so far - already experienced the evaporator freezing up through one of my "tests", so know how to avoid that if on the road. There will still be a few quirks to work out, like did we get enough charge in it (instructions say 28-32 ounces - we have the pressures on the low side - want to say it was 25 lbs on the low pressure side and it was about 60-65 deg ambient that morning). The dehumidified defrost is a big plus. I'm debating hooking the heater up - you can't "blend" heat and cool with this unit, you have to turn the AC off and then run the heat. I don't know why that would be needed unless heated defrost was wanted - actually to do that the passenger aux heater can be turned on, and with the vent control opening the old defroster damper door, the warm air blows right on the AC fan intake and it circulates the warm air to the windshield. Pretty neat. Anyone have tips for keeping the aluminum compressor looking fresh and not chalky? Its the raw unpolished finish version. Don't really want to paint it black. Hope this helps anyone considering AC for their car and perhaps they can improve on the design - was a fun project, very doable.
  25. 13 points
    Just got back from a week long trip to Geraldton, 310 miles north of here. Attended "Rally-west", the Western Australian national historic car rally. First time this year opened to newer vehicles, former years were veteran and vintage only (pre 1930). 140+ cars attended, was a great show and very well organised. Total miles driven just over 1000. Took a lazy 2 days up and straight home in a single stint. Travelled in our Electra with my parents in their very rare 1937 Chevrolet Master tourer (Holden body). First shots are a very friendly/curious emu at a fuel stop on the way and then some kangaroos hanging around our rooms early in the morning (note the joeys, one still in it's mothers pouch). Then our registration at Geraldton city later in the day. Next is the Day 1 drive to historic Greenough and nearby Walkaway, yes that is Spiderman in our car! I think he liked the drive, didn't say too much though. Visited a wind farm and a short dirt road trip to a local billabong (natural river pool).