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Everything posted by Beemon

  1. 1954 century sedan. GA to NC

    I found out these kids today with their Hondas and Subarus are deleting or disabling their anti-lock systems. I thought it was kinda ironic! All about "weight reduction".
  2. Do you take your car(s) to car shows?

    I'm not allowed at the local Wal-Mart drive-in anymore because the guy that built/destroyed my engine is a club member. They were boring anyways. The only other meets I go to are local school organized events, and those are mostly Subaru "mods" with 4" exhausts. Also boring..
  3. Me and my beautiful 1956 Buick

    The parts are on the car already new, the issue is that no one will align them for me so the front end has been a little off for over a year now. I'll talk to those boys tomorrow and see if they can help me out. Thanks for the tip! I found out today my choke is sticking, so I was most likely running rich the entire time coming back to school. I'm not sure what happened as that has never happened up until this point, but I found the choke dog leg rubbing against the side of the choke spring cover and binding. Took my trusty file and ran down that edge and it's smooth as silk now, but it explains the hard starting issues I was having before I left, too. Running rich going up and over hills at 70-75 MPH couldn't have been good. Checked the fluids today, nothing out of the ordinary so no leaks in the coolant system. Oil seems to be holding pretty good for now, will continue to monitor.
  4. 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. Oil drain plug

    19mm hex... must be close to 3/4" since I just did an oil change on Saturday, too. Glad it worked out for you.
  6. The spin on conversion? Been thinking about it myself, but then you lose the challenge of not trying to dump the canister when it pops loose at the top. Does that filter have a built in bypass valve? I feel you would have to remove the stock bypass valve and seal it up to get the most from the conversion.
  7. Try this place out or see if you can find a 59-60 oil filter housing to adapt to your 322.
  8. Spotted this ad today. This makes a great upgrade to 'lesser' Buicks in terms of stopping power. They swap from 52 to 56 and give you 12x2.5" brakes versus the 12x2.25" or less braking surface.
  9. How much? Asking for a friend
  10. John, those white walls really make your Super pop!
  11. Me and my beautiful 1956 Buick

    Thanks Willy! For headlights I run these DOT certified H4 conversions. They seem to work pretty well and the cut pattern is great. A lot better focus than the yellow seal beams. My radiator is 3 core instead of two but I was using a 7lb cap. I just checked tonight and I lost about a gallon of coolant. I filled back up and will be watching reservoir level. No coolant in the oil and no puddles under the car so head gaskets I think are fine. I have a 14lb cap but was afraid of the copper burst pressure limit - seems to be non issue so I may get someone to mail me the 14lb cap. Speaking of fluids, I was a quart low in both the engine and transmission. Transmission I've been lax on, but I neglected to check it at my oil change interval. Oil is much better than before. 300 miles I would go through 2.5 quarts. Now that I'm down to 1, I feel better. Sealing the oil pan seems to have done some good in this regard. I'm holding out because I love the car, but my luck with this thing has been terrible. People tell me I drive it too much, but that has not meaning as they were contemporary at one point. I'm hoping very soon to be financially stable to afford to restore the engine a second time... thats not something anyone should have to say unless its been some years and mileage...
  12. The 2018 - 2500 Challenge

    I just got back from my trip home last night and clocked 973 miles on the odometer. The bulk of that was the 304 mile way in (I went to I5 since Highway 18 and I405 were packed at 5PM) and 284 mile stretch back to school from home, totaling 588 miles alone. The extra 385 miles came from driving back and forth from Kent to Bonney Lake three times and just overall around town driving. Lots of driving this break.. So many things but not enough time. Anyways, I came back from home the start of this year adding an extra 284 miles, and then another round trip for 568. My total right now, not counting driving around town the last two times or on campus is now 1825 miles. You guys gotta put some more pep in your step!
  13. 55 roadmaster correct door handles ?

    Those are for 54-58? They don't look anything like my handles.
  14. Me and my beautiful 1956 Buick

    Tonight's Programs: Pegged Temp Gauge and Close Encounters of the Deer Kind Boy I tell you, driving 65-70 with high beams on and the critter darts out in front of you.. I was puckered pretty good. The hills between Vantage and Cle Elum were not kind, either. The temp gauge was almost pegged by the time I crested the high altitude desert. I recall this happening when I came out at the beginning of Fall, too. I think my next project will be cleaning water jackets.. Overall it was a smooth ride back over. A little shimmy in the front end, I wish I had time to do the alignment. Maybe I can talk a local into doing just tie rods? Might be too much for their computers to handle, though.
  15. Me and my beautiful 1956 Buick

    I don't think it ever has but I wouldn't be surprised if it did. My old 322 was ruining hard before I tore it down also. I guess you can't kill a Nailhead!
  16. Me and my beautiful 1956 Buick

    That is correct. The screws were buried in sludge in the picture above and no gasket, so I'm assuming it went through the engine.. I was still getting oil pressure so the pump must be deep enough in the sump. On the plus side I'm not seeing oil drips on the ground anymore. That pan gasket was a mess, I think that's where I was losing oil going up and down the mountain passes.
  17. Me and my beautiful 1956 Buick

    So no alignment.. I did however get the pan out. Crankshaft stopped at the right spot, I didn't have to turn it at all. The pan also separated of its own weight.. looking at it, it had massive amounts of fluid bypass and the cork gasket was brittle and cracked all along the pan. In the bottom of the pan was the pickup screen.. I found the two screws in the sludge at the bottom (it was actually really clean!) No gasket in sight. Thankfully, my grandfather was gracious enough to donate a RaisinBran box top. The pickup is now securely attached to the oil pump! The windage tray also went in no problem, as it should. I reinstalled the pan with black rtv on the pan to gasket and weatherstrip sealer from the gasket to the block, like I did my other engine. This gasket was half fused to the pan and block, but I did this procedure on my other engine and it sealed up great and completely separated the gasket from the block without mess when I had to tear it down. I don't have the luxury of waiting 24 hours to cure, however there was no signs of leaking after the oil change. Oil coming out could have been better to say the least.. some flakes. Checked cylinder walls, clean and shiny except for some piston slap. They look a bit tapered, as to be expected from a 60 year old virgin. I wanted to swap exhaust manifolds and pull the valve covers after the alignment, but I'm at the end of the road. Next break I have, I'll be sure to make time for me and not everyone else, scrambling to get everything done at the last minute. Still, I'm glad I found these issues and solved them. Even if I didn't cross everything off my list, I'm still happy.
  18. There were many vehicle usages for the spring, it was just the first one that came to mind. Its kind of cool, if you plug in the part number on NAPAs website and the click buyers guide, it'll list all applicable vehicles. Except for early to late 60s Buicks...
  19. Does anyone know where to find these override springs? I had one stretch on me while at school and being back for Spring break, I was going to repack the bearings and do a suspension lube job. All of the kits from vendors do not supply the override spring and no one sells them. I do not like using fatigued springs..
  20. My 57 Buick special project

    On 56, they are studs and nuts. My shop did not do the torque ball either because it does not come with the kit. However, after I had the car on the road, I took it back to them and they did the repair for free (also had the rear axle shimmed at the same time, took advantage of the free labor to remove the rear axle). The torque ball is not hard to do, though. The kit comes with shims, you need to read the shop manual and then determine by hand what the right clearance "feels like". Make sure to remove all the rubber from the torque ball, too. The new kits have the rubber on the retainer.
  21. Starter cover

    There's 4, three on the bottom of the frame rail and one in the side of the frame ahead of the starter. If I recall correctly, they are 1/4-20". Ill double check later since I'll be under later.
  22. Right Tire Pressure

    That's a little bit scary. Usually the psi value on the sidewall is the max tire pressure the tire can handle. The road heat will increase the internal pressure past the max pressure limit if inflated to the max pressure limit. I would check the OEM spec of a like sized SUV or truck (since cars these days run thin tires on big alloy rims) and see what they recommend. Unless it says max inflate pressure, I would cross check with a similar OE application. Max inflate pressure and max tire pressure are two different and very important numbers.
  23. Me and my beautiful 1956 Buick

    The early aluminum drums have the same backing plate stamp as the 54-56 Buicks, while the 61 and up are the thin stamped sheet metal. The channel between the fins and cast iron liner is deeper so you don't have to machine the backing plate down. You can tell the difference between the two by the absence of lug studs and the use of ball bearings - the hubs are completely different. 61-65 45 fin are also 2.25" thickness while 57-60 are 2.5" thickness. That's where the deeper pocket comes from. There's a lot of misinformation out there on the 45 fin drums.
  24. Me and my beautiful 1956 Buick

    Doug, sorry to be getting back to you so late! No, I did not change the shoes before - they had looked fine. They were also New, the Ultra Premiums from NAPA instead of the base Proformer (they were impregnated with metal). Kinda sad they went out like this but oh well, car seems to stop pretty good with these other, unknown pads. Speaking of, if anyone has been watching my override spring topic, I found the correct spring to be NAPA part number UP80579. I was pretty happy about that. With the self adjusting set up right, the brake pedal has a nice firm feel versus the manual way of things. Maybe I'm too lazy. Tomorrow I plan to do my alignment, thanks for the tips Bloo! I already know my rear end is sprung slightly since one of the torque tube arms is bent. I've also been put off schedule. I went to repack the bearings in the front and find the inner bearing race free floating in the hub. I'm using the National bearings from RockAuto and have had no complaints. I know there has been fear. regarding the plastic cage, but they have not broken on me yet. Anyways, I mic'd out the bearing race with another I had and they are the same. These hubs on the car I got from an eBay listing that I got my Roadmaster backing plates from. When compared to my original hub, the insides were off by a thousandth, so I'm not sure what happened there. I drilled out the rivets on my old drums and extracted and swapped hubs. Driving back home from dad's shop (and full after a cooked back strap dinner), the shimmy in the front at 65+ was gone. The ride was so smooth I couldn't believe the difference. Also not sure I'm doing this right, but I was told for ball bearing to preload by tightening the nut until the bearings are seated, then backing off and tightening by hand to the nearest cotter pin hole. I have set in motion a plan B to my hub problem. A year ago I bought 65 Riviera aluminum drums to upgrade my brakes, but turns out they will not fit the stock backing plates - 57 to 60 aluminum drums are different from 61 to 65 aluminum drums and the earlier years are the ones that fit. So I did the same as my stock drum, drilled out the rivets and separated the hubs from the drum. Once I solve the back spacing issue, ill have far superior tapered roller bearings that I can buy over the counter at half the price of ball bearings. Hopefully. Among other things, I have found slop in the drag link. When I do the alignment tomorrow, I plan on tightening that up as well. Hopefully it will reduce some slop at the wheel. Im also doing an oil change, and since ill be detaching the idler arm from the frame, I feel this will be a good chance to drop the pan and check the innards/ clean out any sludge. I'll also be able to install the windage tray I bought from Matt for that 100+up bolt on mod. I've also got gaskets for the valve covers as I want to check valve stem and rocker wear, as well as valve spring condition and do some top end sludge cleaning. Hoping all goes well! No compression checks planned, I do not want to disappoint myself!
  25. Squeak could be from worn through spring insulators. Curious about the Blistein shocks, because I have Gabriel classics on the front and Monroe on the back and the ride isn't what I feel is being advertised. Are they stiffer or is it more of a soft, controlled recoil action similar to the old oil filled shocks? How much did they run you?