LAS VEGAS DAVE

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LAS VEGAS DAVE last won the day on April 5 2016

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  1. Top Speed for '39 Special all standard

    Top speeds mean little as it can only be for a short time whatever it is. Cruising speed which is the speed a car can be driven for hours at a time with no damage to the motor is what interests me and is what normally matters in the real usefulness of a car.
  2. Top Speed for '39 Special all standard

    Matt, be aware that the gear vendor overdrive does not raise the ratio nearly as much as the borg warner. I have one in a 78 Ford pick up truck. The finicky electrics you refer to are not finicky at all if you have the new overdrive relay that is now being made and is available in 6 volt or 12 volt and your wiring is correct and proper size with good connections.
  3. Top Speed for '39 Special all standard

    We have a Borg Warner overdrive in our 38 Buick Special. It requires modification of the torque tube but is a worthwhile upgrade. Lloyd Young in Ohio did the torque tube modification and I did the install back in Las Vegas, best thing I ever did for the Buick. I had to ship the torque tube to Lloyd and he shipped it back with a Borg Warner overdrive bolted to it. Our car cruises along at 65 or 70 at the same speed the engine would be turning at 45 to 50 without the overdrive. As far as keeping the car original with modifications that were available when the car was manufactured the Borg Warner overdrive was available in 38 and could have been installed by an independent shop or even a Buick dealer if the customer wanted it. In those days it was rare to have that done as the roads were not like today and most cars rarely went faster than 45 or 50 mph. The good thing about an overdrive is the car can be used just like a late model car and driven daily if wanted and on hi ways and freeways for long distances without hurting the engine life or being a hazard to others on the road. The car still has enough power to climb long grades or steep hills and the motor loafs along in overdrive on the flats and the more normal grades. We only have a Special, it would be even better for a Century. We use our car weekly at the minimum and almost daily in the winters here in Vegas. We have driven about 6000 miles since I installed the overdrive with no mechanical problems, we did have to replace an electrical 6 volt overdrive relay with a brand new one about two weeks after the initial installation, since then it has been flawless. The Buick motors of 38 and 39 had babbit rod bearings and the motors have a long stroke with high piston speed, they are torque motors and should not be driven at high rpm's for any extended period of time. In my opinion the motors should stay under 2700 rpms at cruising speeds. Perfect for their day but not so good for today.
  4. 1937 Buick Model 48: RESTORATION HAS BEGUN! (Photo)

    QUOTE FROM PREVIOUS POST Turning everything on at the same time as a "test" probably isn't the best idea, because the real problem is heat from possible overloaded circuits. You'll never know if the ignition switch is being overheated until the contacts burn out, as others have shown. Have you felt the main feed wire at the ammeter with everything on? What does the ammeter read with everything on, with the engine not running? That will give a more accurate indication of total amps through the circuit, based on the accuracy of the gage. I have never felt the ammeter gauge wires with everything on but I would imagine it could be hot. I try it because I also would imagine that when Buick made these cars they would expect that some of their customers would be driving on a cold night with the heater and defroster on and of course the lights and many had a radio so it should be able to be used with no bad consequences. I have driven for more than a half hour like that and not had any problem. If the motor is not running the ammeter reads half discharge with the parking lights on and full discharge with the headlights and taillights and running lights on. We have driven this car over 6000 miles all together, probably 2000 or more at night without any electrical problems other than a non working gas gauge when I first got the car. Our car now has 24000 plus original miles. It surely has more than that as when its in overdrive it shows less miles than are actually being put on it.
  5. 1937 Buick Model 48: RESTORATION HAS BEGUN! (Photo)

    Our 38 still is wired as it was originally. It still has the stock generator and regulator. Our radio is working and all the light bulbs except the parking lights are now halogen. the ignition switch is stock and there are no relays. We drive at night almost every week. We also have the overdrive and overdrive relay but it doesn't go thru the ignition switch. I have turned on the heater and the defroster and all the lights and the radio and it still shows a charge when its moving, at an idle it goes to discharge but it does not seem to hurt anything. Normally everything is not on at once but I do that every once in a while for a test. We have new a new wiring loom made by an outfit in California so the actual wires are in good shape. Nothing wrong with relays etc but I am just saying the stock system is fine if the wiring is good and the switches are good and the connections are good.
  6. 1937 Buick Model 48: RESTORATION HAS BEGUN! (Photo)

    I am interested in seeing how you finally install the fender welting. I really enjoy this thread.
  7. 1937 Buick Model 48: RESTORATION HAS BEGUN! (Photo)

    There is carpet in the back. I don't think any was ever in the front.
  8. TIRE SIZES THAT WILL FIT 16" RIMS ON 1940 BUICK SPECIAL

    I bought the COKER white wall radials that look like bias (KIND OF) and they have worked out well so far. We have about 4000 miles on them and one quarter of that is high speed on the freeway (65mph to 70mph) because we have an overdrive. The tires are holding up great and I run 41 lbs of air pressure in each tire. In Las Vegas the roads are blistering hot in the summer and hi thirties into hi forties on winter mornings. The Cokers have handled these temps fine so far. I never give the story about rims needing to be RADIAL RIMS a second thought. As a kid we mounted radials when they came out on all our old cars with never a problem.
  9. 1937 Buick Model 48: RESTORATION HAS BEGUN! (Photo)

    Our 38 Special has a rubber mat but not carpet, did only the 37 have carpet?
  10. TODAYS PROJECT

    You are right Mark but I don't think I will live long enough to get it perfect.
  11. TODAYS PROJECT

    Mike, three different kinds were used, one with a high speed pad, two with low speed pads, and then finally one by hand.
  12. TODAYS PROJECT

    TODAYS PROJECT Today the old 38 Buick got clayed and polished. It took 10 hours non stop and many different steps. It still looks like an old car because it does not have clear coat. The paint was not perfect as it was painted in a temporary paint booth in the heat of summer and the tempory booth was on top of a dirt floor. The dirt floor was wet down and the car was painted. It came came out beautiful in my eyes and today its a year after it was painted so it was time to clay it and polish it.
  13. New Guy

    I see that the drivetrain is already out of it. Its going to be a complicated project if you want it to look original yet have a modern drivetrain. The cars of the late thirties and onward are a much easier project to add modern running gear to while still leaving it looking stock.
  14. 1937 Buick Headlight Bulbs

    We drive our Buick often and at least half the time at night. The halogen dash bulbs give out no heat that I can feel. Nothing is melted or discolored, you will have no problems and you will be AMAZED at the difference it makes. I have over 1000 miles of night driving with the halogen bulbs.
  15. 1937 Buick Headlight Bulbs

    I wrote an article about 37 and 38 headlight bulbs and tail light bulbs in a TORQUE TUBE magazine a few issues back which gave all the bulb numbers I used. I kept the 6 volt system and had the headlight reflectors restored which is imperative if you really want good lighting. We drive at night a lot here in Las Vegas and the lights in our car work great. No wiring was changed and we still run the stock generator with no problems. OLD CARS AND TODAYS PROJECT If anyone has driven the cars made in the late thirties or forties or fifties they remember when cars had six volt batteries. Everything must be like new for the headlights to work very good. The headlights back then were not sealed beam headlights, they had a bulb and a reflector and the bulb was only 6 volts. When the cars or motorcycles were new back then the reflectors were silver plated, silver reflects about 92 percent of the light that hits it. Even today that is one of the highest reflective surfaces there is. The problem is that when air hits silver it starts to tarnish and eventually it will turn black. In the old days you would remove the headlight ring held on by one screw and the glass lens to replace the bulb and at that time you would polish up the reflector once again giving you good light. This worked good for a few years but the the silver coating would start to go away with each polishing. Reflectors are conical in shape and thats why headlights make a BEAM. We have a 1938 Buick with terrible headlights, I replaced the bulbs with Halogen bulbs which are a little better but our reflectors silver coating was worn off in spots and thin in other spots. I found a place in Oregon that puts the reflective coatings on the parts of medical instruments used in laboratories such as microscopes. In order for them to do that the object they are coating first has to be polished and nickel plated. I sent my reflectors to a chrome shop where they were polished and nickel plated. I then mailed them to the UVIRA company in Oregon where they completed the reflective coating process. We don't have any of these problems today as the headlights are sealed (sealed beam) and no air gets to them. In any case here are some pictures of some original reflectors and after they were nickel plated. We got them back from the UVIRA company and they looked beautiful. I installed them today and I took some pictures for anyone that might be interested in doing this to their car. Its not a hard job but it requires some patience to get the socket removed from the reflector. I also used Halogen 6 vole headlight bulbs with the same base as the stock ones. These are available from THE LITTLE BRITISH CAR COMPANY, their part number is #170-756H it has a APF Base and its 6 volt 35/35 w. If your car is anything like mine was the instrument or dash lights do not light up the gauges very well. The same company also sells Halogen 6 volt dash lights, you will need two of them. Their number for the halogen dash lights is 170-155H. They also have Halogen Taillight bulbs that replace the stock 1154 bulbs. Their Halogen taillight bulb number is #170-706H. All the Halogen bulbs draw LESS current than the stock bulbs.