Bob H

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About Bob H

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  • Birthday 07/29/1934


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    79 years old and quite active, lifelong automotive and mechanical things interests, serious do-it-yourselfer, recently built a new home. Couldn't find an old collector Buick at the price I wanted so I bought three 1939s; a sedan, a coupe, and a convertible coupe, all specials.

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  1. New Owner Seeks Reatta Tech Help

    Thank you all for sharing your knowledge and experiences. Two weeks ago I had only a vague idea what a Reatta is and had never sat in one. Today I (we) own one. On the trip home we searched many times through the car's pristine owner's manual and obviously didn't find all the answers. My request was for help filling in the gaps and most of your answers have been right on. I have the feeling that I might have offended some gremlin fans and apologize for that. To me, "gremlins" caused problems that had no other clear and understandable explanation. As I remember they were especially common in World War 2 aircraft. Great advice on the shop manual, have one coming. The "Headlights Recommended" notice was happening in the middle of a bright sunny 105 degree day in the Arizona desert. The blocked photocell suggestion is spot on. Haven't taken much time to chase the continually running fuel pump, unless that is a state of the art 1990 feature, but we swapped the fuel pump relay with the fog light relay and the pump stopped running. Curiously, the fog lights work correctly with the fuel pump relay. More work to do. Those of you who explained the delayed shut-off of electrical system components cleared up a number of questions. Answered my own my own parts interchangeability question. The Craigslist seller I mentioned had an incredible amount of brand new Reatta parts, mostly chassis and suspension, I bought the entire lot. Intended to post an update but didn't get a good picture of the stuff. I'll try to do that tomorrow. Again, thanks! Bob H
  2. Hello all: I have been a BCA member for a few years hanging out mostly on the prewar forum with help requests and advice in return for my 1939 Special convertible nut and bolt restoration. Got a little panicked over the calendar and decided to buy a running and driving later model special interest convertible. Picked up a nice 32k (now 34K) mile 1990 Reatta convertible off the Phoenix, AZ Craigslist and drove it 1500 miles cold turkey back home to Oregon. I am a lifelong motor sport enthusiast, an expert mechanic, and experienced with body structural repair via a 21 year hobby-business buying insurance company "totals", repairing and selling them, nearly 200 to be approximate. Electricity doesn't scare me. Automatic transmissions are farmed out to experts. First off I would like a recommendation and source for a comprehensive shop manual (or manuals) covering all phases of mechanical repairs, body and trim, and electrical circuits. A few gremlins showed up on the trip home that maybe someone else has experienced. It almost seems like the ignition switch isn't turning clear off, the fuel pump keeps running and the radio plays with the switch off and the key removed. We stopped at an auto parts house, bought a battery terminal wrench, and disconnected the battery on long stops. The only tool we used on the entire trip. A warning light, for lack of better words, pops up from time to time on the instrument cluster, "Headlights Recommended", what does that mean? With the the battery connected and the car left standing for awhile the odometer shows up on the cluster, while the key is off. Any suggestions for tackling these problems? Thanks for your support, Bob H
  3. Looking for any history of a Buick Reatta

    Greetings: Thought I would put a little cap on this story. Last Tuesday, August 8, my bride and I flew to Phoenix, bought this car and drove it home north of Portland, Oregon, nearly 1500 miles. The one hitch that developed seems to be that the ignition switch isn't turning everything clear off. The radio stays on and the fuel pump keeps running after the switch is off and the key removed. Otherwise the car performed flawlessly. We stopped at an auto parts store, bought a battery post wrench and disconnected the battery at long stops. Our only tool the entire trip. We sort of felt sympathy for Scrapper who obviously had time and money invested and passed on the car. We probably owe him a thank you since the owner had substantially lowered his asking price. Felt especially bad for the knocks he got on the car by a local automotive service shop, none of which have proven yet to be true. The temperature on the first leg of the trip westerly across Arizona, into the California desert averaged well over 100 degrees with a high of 113, the AC performed flawlessly. Steering is precise with no slop, tight spots or fluid loss from the rack. Miles of stop and go traffic in the urban areas gave the brakes a thorough workout. They performed well. Don't quite haul the car down like I expected from four wheel discs but well up to the task. The faults pointed out by the pre-purchase inspection don't make any sense to me. The shop must have had a motive. We relied on our own examination, interview and test drive to reach our purchase decision. The biggest single plus being the really low miles (32K). When buying a used car the most important item is the unused miles and this car has lots of them. I will concede other flaws because the low mileage adds so much. The car also had a current oil change sticker. We found a couple of cosmetic flaws. The bumper cover on the left front is pushed back about 2 inches from a slight bump. Not into the tire but it's really close. Without making a political statement, the owner had removed a TRUMP sticker which took the paint with it. At least a $500 fix. I intend to make another post with questions about the car and sources of information, the first being a shop manual and electrical diagrams.
  4. 2017 BCA Roster

    All members including electronic only are scheduled to get hard copy rosters? Bob H
  5. 1939 Special running board installation

    Billy: The running boards are the radio antenna. I have not heard from any expert on how well they worked. Allan: I have four US made 1939 specials and scrapped a fifth, they all had the insulated running board/ radio antennas. Bob H .
  6. 1939 Special running board installation

    Billy: As you probably know, another of the unique features of the 1939 was the radio antenna which was also the running boards. This required that the running board support brackets and in turn the running boards were insulated from the rest of the car. There is an heavy black insulator, material not known to me, between the support bracket and the frame. Another circular insulator paired with a really heavy washer insulated the attachment bolts. I have attached some photos in an effort to show this assembly. The black paper looking "washer" was, in my judgement, used during the car's assembly to hold the insulators and fasteners together temporarily. The radio signal was transferred from the right running board across the frame to the left running board via a wire. Another wire from the front of the left running board sent the signal to the radio. Another picture shows the wire and hook up quite well. Also in the picture is a rubber boot, which I assume was original, that slipped over the frame ends of the running board mounting brackets. I have not seen these boots for sale anywhere. The running boards were fastened to the brackets with carriage bolts. I don't believe there is anything between the boards and the brackets. Enjoy, Bob H
  7. Want to buy a pair, left and right, of 1939 convertible coupe vent window regulators NOS, rebuilt, or really good used. Others probably fit but I don't have parts numbers or interchange info. These require complete door teardown to replace and I would like to replace them while the doors are apart. Photos for identification. Thanks, Bob H
  8. JRHaelig: I am sure i have the parts you need but will have to look tomorrow. FYI I have many brake parts for 1939 Special, new wheel cylinders and master cylinder, brake shoes that were installed and very little use, and very good hold down hardware. No brake lines or drums. Bob H
  9. Having new glass cut for my convertible project and wonder how the glass logos or labels should be positioned and read from. Have a sedan parts car with labels, photos attached, and wonder if their orientation is correct. I could find nothing in the BCA judging manual on the subject. If this topic has been discussed before does someone have a way for me to get to there? The left vent window label is on the outside of the glass and reads from the outside of the car. The right vent is a duplicate of the left, label on the inside reading from the inside. The drivers side door glass label is on the lower front corner on the inside and reads from inside the car. Passenger side door glass label is on the lower front corner outside reading from the outside. Couldn't get a photo of the windshield, the one I have (a left) is on the lower left outside corner on the outside reading from outside the car. Assume the right windshield would be on the at lower right corner reading from the outside. Help appreciated, Bob H
  10. 1939 Engine Mount Alternatives

    JRHaelig: 1939 Buick's engine alignment in the frame is critical to the proper operation of the torque ball joint used in the drive shaft. Shop manuals and others on this forum are helpful in tackling this problem. I have attached a couple of photos showing the adjustment shims needed to line up my engine properly. Roughly, the front mount height controls vertical or up and down adjustment of the torque ball and the rear mounts control lateral or left-right adjustment. Bob H
  11. 1928-1942 Buick Body Parts book

    Pete: Similar question to MCHinson's. Are there illustrations of 1939 Convertible coupe body and convertible top? If so, I'll take it, after the previous respondent decides. Thanks, Bob H
  12. Colin: Can't tell for sure but the headlight buckets look correct for the car. Also, have no idea how much they were butchered to install sealed beams. Someone who has done this conversion can tell you if it's practical to make them "original" again. The trim strip on top looks wrong, it is supposed to be a polished stainless piece. One solution would be to install 6 volt sealed beams if you are reversing the 12 volt conversion, replace headlights with originals at your leisure. Bob H
  13. 1939 Dashboard photos

    Colin: A couple of dash pictures from one of my parts cars. The lower left photo shows the dash-map light switch which was the subject of another post here, the heater switch, and the hand throttle knob in the upper left of the photo. The center of the dash photo shows empty holes where the radio goes, cigar lighter receptacle at the lower right, headlight switch lower left, the odometer reset knob is visible just below the headlight switch, and the wiper on-off knob upper center. Bob H
  14. Just bought a 1939 Buick 46-S

    CCB: I have three 1939 Buicks in addition to my convertible coupe project, a 4 door sedan, a 46S coupe and a convertible coupe. I have surplus parts that I sell or trade at times, prefer to trade but I don't need much at this stage. I really hate putting dollar values on old used parts. Think I have that radiator brace for example, know I have 5 or 6 decent 16" wheels, and a restoreable original air cleaner. I don't always respond to parts requests since I am a west coast resident, Oregon. Freight costs are expensive on bigger heavier parts. FYI all the parts cars are for sale or will be soon. Regards, Bob H
  15. New Carburetor Service Question

    I spent a little time on a couple of other forums trying to get a handle on this float and needle's reputation. By no means definitive, but it seems that those carburetors rebuilt by Daytona worked fine. Those with problems were rebuilt by do-it-yourselfers. I think the problem is the vague and foggy instructions in the kit. It's not clear what size gauge to use when setting the float level and it would be easy to set it too high An email to Daytona got me more of the same vague imprecise information. I have sent them one last request for an answer. That new unused standard seat and needle are looking better. Bob H