Gary W

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Everything posted by Gary W

  1. 1937 Buick Model "48" (Two-Door "trunkback" Sedan) A Step - By - Step "Frame - Off" Restoration Thread Wednesday January 11, 2017: Today is the day the restoration starts. The Holidays are over, the tree cleaned up and my buddy Mike has graciously offered his vacant garage to store my Model "A" Fords for three months. This allows the Buick to take most of the garage, and puts me on an aggressive timeline so I'm not paying for monthly storage. So, with the Fords out of the garage, I parked the Buick perpendicular and began the assessment and started work. The Assessment: Here she sits all ready for restoration. Although the photo looks like the car is in great shape, I will post some photos of the issues I face: 1. PAINT All four fenders have chipping, cracking and "alligator" paint. Cowl paint is down to metal Trunk lid and rear deck is also worn down to the bare metal and flaking off. The roof paint is badly worn, and there is rust under the window rubber trim. 2. Mechanical Issues: All the body mounts, transmission mount and all four motor mounts are hopelessly dry-rotted and petrified. Every inch of wiring from the headlamps right on through the dash to the tail lamps is brittle, crumbling and exposed. Left rear leaf spring is cracked and the main leaf is protruding through the tin spring covers. 3. Interior / Upholstery Issues: Steering wheel rim is cracked all around, the plating is worn off. There is a distinct "clunk" and a heavy spot in the steering gearbox that needs to be addressed. The rug is worn out and rotted from water leaking in through the cowl gutter. The wood grain is sprouting rust blossoms. The upholstery is torn, stained and completely inhabited by mice. The smell is overwhelming. The headliner is also stained from mice living inside it. So today, Wednesday January 11, 2017 the restoration begins: After the car was situated, I started the restoration by removing the license plates and the Trippe Lamps. (They were strictly ornamental...never wired) Then the bumpers were removed by removing the medallions and the outer bumper bolts I had to use tons of PB Blaster to loosen all the rust and a breaker bar to get the nut to give up! Front bumpers off, then under the fenders to remove the bumper support irons from the chassis. Once the irons are removed, you can see some more of the chassis. I photograph everything as I go to make the build go easier. End of the day. Front and rear bumpers removed. I keep a notebook running with every part removed, bag and tag all fasteners and mark parts for location for easier reassembly. January 13, 2017: It took four of us to lift the hood off the car after removing the nut under the dash and the forward nut above the radiator. Then removed all the radiator and hood support irons Then off came the headlamps Next I removed the running boards entirely by removing the bolts that affix the support irons to the frame and the boards dropped right off into my head. Saturday January 14, 2017: I got a few hours in the garage today and got the front disassembled. I removed the fender lamps, the Front fenders, the lower radiator shield (or wind deflector), the grille halves, the front clip and the horns. I'm taking stock of parts that need rebuilding or replacing. I carefully labelled and photographed every step of the way. All nuts, bolts, washers are tagged and bagged in ziplock bags. I think I may have to replace some of the 80-year old bolts, as they are quite rusty and brittle. Here's the end result of today's work:
  2. Gary W

    Spark Plug Wires

    I've used RJ&L in New York for many of my wiring needs. They made all the battery cables for my Buick and they have some cable ends that you can't find elsewhere.
  3. That's ingenious! Simple but elegant solution ... doesn't get better! Gorgeous car! Dodge? Welcome anytime here. Thank you... appreciate your advice throughout this build. Gary
  4. I'm using the same hood prop that was on the car when I bought it. All I did was tighten it up and slid a heavier neoprene tube over the ends that support the hood. It's attached to the radiator support rods. I honestly think it's a generic hood prop. And although that Buick hood is heavy, the prop holds it up without a problem. I was actually thinking of stealing the idea and by using small channel steel fabricating my own version that holds the hood up a little higher and would be more heavy duty. January 11, 2017: I took this photo when I removed the hood so I had an idea of the angle of the cross over strut. But the photo captured the hood prop. I think its just this product. It has threaded hooks that hold it to the radiator support rods. This version has "u" bolts that hold it steady. But this is what's on it. Mine has the longer arms installed to reach the Buick hood. Gary
  5. YES!!! Forgot that part! All good now.
  6. Wednesday November 14, 2018: Some Before and After Engine Photos: Before I finish tonight, I want to share some before and after photos of the left side of the engine. These photos are exactly two years apart. BEFORE: 11/14/2016 AFTER: 11/14/2018 BEFORE: 11/14/2016 AFTER: 11/14/2018 BEFORE: 11/14/2016 AFTER: 11/14/2018 Love the transition and the final product. You forget what you started with after a couple years. Fun to revisit it and realize how much work is involved. Have a great night! Gary
  7. Wednesday November 14, 2018: Finishing up the carburetor swap You know how whenever you make a change, it can sometimes start a cascade of new issues to tackle? Nothing huge, but because the new Carter carburetor is different, there are a couple issues that I had to finalize today: This is the carburetor side of the engine just after I finished making the heat stove pipe to feed the automatic choke. Although it works flawlessly, I wasn't too keen on the appearance. I just like when things are tight. So, I took it all off, flipped the metal part on the manifold so the hole was facing front, not to the back and bent a new copper tube. OK.. to me it just looks so much better this way. I'm still waiting for the "asbestos" wrap to come in to finish it all. NOW... here's the cascade of events today.. I want to finish by installing the air cleaner. BUT, the diameter of the air cleaner and the top of the Carter are exactly the same! My air cleaner used to fit over the Marvel, but this Carter has a wider throat up there and the air cleaner basically just "sits" on top. Using a 1" wide by 1/16" thick aluminum bar, I wrapped it around a Rustoleum spray can to form the basic shape. I cut the inclines to fit under the air cleaner and drilled a 1/4" hole to accept the screw. After smoothing it down on the belt sander, my homemade clamp was ready to go...... Which immediately illuminated the next issue... This Carter sits higher! So, the hood wouldn't close with everything installed! The Carter is sitting on the same stack of gaskets that the Marvel sat on. I e-mailed Jon, and he told me the Carter only needs two gaskets. So, I figured I can easily find a half an inch by removing the large stack under there. Remove the air cleaner, fuel line, the heat line and the three 1/2" nuts, raise the Carter just enough to remove the stack, place only two gaskets and drop it down........... Which of course means I need some thick washers now, as the mounting studs stick up "higher" And two of the washers had to be custom made by clipping one side to fit within the parameters of the casting. Now we're cooking! But of course, the fuel line and the heat line had to be "reworked" to fit. Amazing how only a half an inch changes the geometry of everything. Here's my clamp, finally installed under the air cleaner. And now, I think I can finally say the Marvel to Carter transition is complete! I'll try to get to the painting this weekend. Gary
  8. Wednesday November 14, 2018: Front Door Armrests These installed nice and easy. LeBaron recovered them for me, and sent very large #14 X 2 1/2" screws to attach them to the door. I first rolled down the window. Then, you can easily feel the depression in the door panel and if you look down the inside of the door, it is easy to poke the awl through the fabric and watch it line up with the holes in the door. Remove the bottom trim piece. Again, run the large screws in at an uphill angle WHILE watching through the top of the door to align everything. At this point, run the windows up and down to be sure the screws do not interfere with the glass or mechanism. If there is trouble, you can trim the screws to clear. Reattach the trim piece and just like that, the door is finally finished. So, that was an easy and fun project today. But there's more...........
  9. Sunday November 11, 2018: The Marvel - To - Carter Carburetor Swap: (Part Three) The choke heat pipe This was the last thing to do to get the new carburetor installed and functioning. Luckily, Carl sent me his heater, and it worked out perfectly! From the last page. Here is the part I bolted to the manifold. The "U" bolt comes in from the back to hold it tight. Using an old piece of tubing, I made a rough template to follow. Carl's piece bolted in nice and tight, and the new copper tube exiting the hole and running up to the carburetor. This was actually a very easy tube to make. Again, flared it and attached it to the carburetor. I'm still waiting for the "asbestos" wrap to come in to finish it nice, but that's all it needs. Here's the overview of the completed conversion. I am going to paint some things now that I know it all works in there fine. So, I had to take her out and feel the difference. First.... after sitting for 5 days, I didn't pump at all. Simply turned on the key, stepped on the accelerator pedal and "boom" she fired right off! I ran her for a good 10 miles, and when I came back, the choke was fully open and that copper tube was too hot to touch! There is a noticeable difference in the idle. So much smoother and slower. The car has a little more pep. The accelerator pedal is nice and smooth. All the new linkages removed all the slop from the old ones. B E F O R E A N D A F T E R: B E F O R E A F T E R Have a great night! Gary
  10. Sunday November 11, 2018: The Marvel - To - Carter Carburetor Swap: (Part Two) Finishing the throttle rod and the new gas line: First I used an old brass rod to make a template for the new throttle rod. After I was satisfied, I heated and bent the stainless rod into a geometric "Z" pattern that fits nicely under the manifolds and looks nice and neat under there. Again, using the gas pedal to check the extremes of movement, I marked where it had to be cut and threaded for the attachment to the accelerator linkage on the firewall. You can see the rod just loose above. The stainless is pretty hard, but with some oil, it tapped. Then the adjustment part. And back to the car to adjust, install and cotter. Then I attached the return spring in a manner where it pulls back and keeps the throttle rod at a nice level position. On to the gas line. It is 5/16" Stainless tubing. First slip on the nipple. Line it up flush in the correct hole. John bought over his flaring stuff and taught me how to use it. Lock it in the correct hole... Then slowly turn in on the wedge and it creates a nice flare. First bend and flare done. I followed the original bends up the block and over the engine behind the water pump. But after that, every bend was done the same way: Attach the tube to the fuel pump, mark the next bend with a sharpie right in the car. Remove the tube, make the bend, check the angle.... mark the next one. Tedious, but the job came out nice and neat. So, at the end of part two, I have the throttle linkage all fabricated and hooked up. The new gas line and vacuum advance line rerouted and installed. And the wires from the vacuum start switch fit right onto the new carburetor without any modification. Next.... Part three the choke heat stove
  11. Sunday November 11, 2018: The Marvel - To - Carter Carburetor Swap: (Part One) First: To the VETS: THANK YOU all for your service and sacrifice. I admire what you do for us everyday. Today I finished the conversion from the original Marvel BD to my NOS Carter 608S. It really is not a big job to make the conversion, and after finishing, the difference in the idle and overall performance is noticeable. Here's what I did: The old, original, tired Marvel Carburetor. This was leaking gasoline into the engine. It always needed three or four "pumps" of the accelerator to start. Marvel gone and all its attachments are just hanging free. The NOS Carter 608S. Not bolted in yet, but in position so I can start making some preliminary measurements. I went to Home Depot and got some stock. Aluminum bar is 1 1/2" X 1/8". The Steel stock is 3" X 3/16". Using the carburetor, I measured from the center of the throttle plate to the link mounting hole. Being this carburetor works opposite from the Marvel. I had to make a new throttle linkage. I measured the 2 3/4", added a little for waste and made the cut. Again, I used the carburetor to mark where the holes go. Then I attached washers and outlined them as a guide for the trimming. I used a basic shape that "Car Geek" showed me on page 8 back on April 8, 2017: For the automatic choke unit blanking plate, I simply traced the back of the unit onto the steel as a template. I attached the plate with a paper gasket under it. Nothing is painted yet, I wanted to be sure everything worked as it should. At this point, the "divorced" automatic choke unit is gone, replaced with a steel blanking plate. The vacuum start switch is gone I moved the wiper attachment back to where the vacuum start switch used to be And the modified throttle linkage after trimming and smoothing on the kids belt sander. I had to also trim down the screws and nuts so they cleared that large screw back there. Next was to bend a new throttle rod, which you see above just beginning to get bent. I used 1/4" Stainless Steel rod. It had to be heated to make the bends. You can see the 1/4" brass ferrule. It prevents the washer from making the turn and sliding down the throttle rod and by it's shape keeps everything nicely centered there. Part two next:
  12. Gary W

    1938 66S Elec Fuel Pump

    Here's a 6V one from a Model "A" Supplier: Maybe it'll make the install a little easier?
  13. Gary W

    Music in a Pre-War Car??

    My '37 did not come with a radio, so I secured one with all necessary knobs, plates and do-dads from Dave Tachney. I then sent the radio out to "Bill the Radio Guy" who did the most wonderful job restoring the internal guts so now the radio is bluetooth compatible, there are hidden pigtails to charge a cell phone, and extra wires in case I ever want to install rear speakers under the rear seat. (I ran the wires while I was wiring the car) and he installed an upgraded speaker. So, now I use one of the kids old cell phones, (Of course, "OLD" cell phone to these kids is a 6S.....better than mine!!!), download a few playlists and artists and can listen to Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Glenn Miller all day via bluetooth. It adds an extra "authentic" dimension to the drive. (And the radio looks really cool in the dash vs the blanking plate) Have fun! Gary Here's the link to the radio build:
  14. Hi Larry! That photo you posted..... what is it that we are looking at? I can't make it out Thanks for alll your support throughout this build!... I really appreciate all your help! Gary
  15. That's what I was thinking of doing. I wonder if anyone has tried or done it this way? Remove the divorced automatic Delco choke unit, fabricate a blanking plate and tap a hole to attach the Carter choke. So... that choke unit pulls in hot exhaust fumes to make it work?
  16. Sunday November 4, 2018: Marvel vs. Carter I'm finally making the switch! Today marks two years of ownership. Boy has it been a steeeeep learning curve, I can tell you! So, my day started out with a 15 minute drive to enjoy the early fall air before the hurly-burly of the day begins. I got a couple of photos of the car in the fall colors. This is a fantastic time of year. You may recall that the car has "starting" issues in that it seems like the carburetor is running dry and the accelerator pedal needs "pumping" to get her to fire over. She fires off, always leaving a black soot mark under the exhaust pipe, and then she settles out and off we go. When the odometer read 20 miles, basically my first run out with her, I checked the oil and it was black! This was the expensive "break in oil" and it looked terrible. So I changed it. I wrote off the "blackness" to the moly-lube we used to smear on all the bearing surfaces during the build, and assumed it was mixing into the oil. Made sense to me. When I came home this morning, (the odometer has only 50 miles on it) I checked my oil again. It's getting very very dark for oil that now has only 30 miles on it. And the oil level on the dip stick is actually a hair above the "full" line, when it was exactly on it before. John came over, and quickly realized that I'm getting gasoline in my oil, and it's coming from the Marvel. It must be leaking out into the intake manifold and diluting my motor oil. So today I removed the Marvel and started making the necessary parts and stuff to convert over to the Carter that I bought last year from Jon the Carburetor King. I wish I did it last year. I just hope I didn't do any damage to the engine in the meantime. Day started nice enough, the cool morning and the time change made for a nice morning drive. When I got home, I checked the oil. It only has 30 miles on it, and it is getting very very dark already. Then I smelled gas, and when I checked the Marvel, the base was soaked in gasoline. It all started making sense why the carburetor always seems to run out of gas, even when sitting for a short time. I purchased this Carter 608S last year from Jon. This is an NOS carburetor that Jon went through and replaced the gaskets...... This has an integral automatic choke, not a divorced choke like the marvel set up has. It also has the vacuum start switch right on the unit as well. I already bought the new 1/4" rod to bend a new throttle linkage, and a stainless tube to bend a new gas line. When I removed the Marvel, you can see all the wet inside the manifold down there. So, this week I'll be bending a new throttle linkage, removing the vacuum start switch from the manifold being the Carter has that switch right on it. I think I'll move the wiper vacuum back to where the start switch is, and put a plug where the wiper line exits. It'll look cleaner. The vacuum advance tube fit right in with minimal bending into the new carburetor. I'm going to bend an all new fuel line from the fuel pump right up to the back of the Carter. All that seems easy enough to do. I'm planning on bending thin brass rod as a template before bending the final rods. *** But the question.... How do I make the "stove pipe"(?), Hot air pipe (?), Hot air feed(?) work the automatic choke? It looks like a vacuum setup, but where does it pull the hot air in from? (I was thinking of removing my automatic choke unit, fabricating a blanking plate there, and tapping it to feed the Carter automatic choke...... will that work?) Any photos of what you have, or how you hook that up, please send them along. Thanks! Gary (Time for another oil change!!!) Here's the link from the original carburetor conversation last year:
  17. Gary W

    1939 Buick Special restoration

    Do yours go in like the '37's? There is a locking pin you access through the door. I don't know if you have a similar setup.
  18. Gary W

    1939 Buick Special restoration

    It's just great watching how every part added back on makes her look more and more complete by the hour! Wish I was there! Really looks sharp! Keep up the great work Gary
  19. Gary W

    1937 Headlight switch

    Good morning Bobby! I had a very similar thing happen to my headlights as well. As a matter of fact, it started a whole discussion about the headlight switch as there were a few others that were experiencing the same issue. I'm sure you know how that switch is supposed to work when you depress the dimmer. The Guide "Multibeam" headlights have marked lenses for Left and Right. The "hot spot" of the left lamp illuminates the right side of the road, while the right lamp projects most of its light straight ahead and to the left side of the road. (The beams "cross") Between the dash mounted headlight switch and the floor dimmer switch, you can get three separate beams: 1. Fully Depressed. (what we would call Low Beam) illuminating the road directly in front of the car, city driving. The UPPER filaments of both lamps light to create this beam. 2. Upper Beam: The LOWER filaments of both lights illuminate for high speed country driving (what we would call High Beam). .......And then there is 3. The Asymmetric Passing Beam: In this mode, the LOWER filament of the drivers light and the UPPER filament of the passengers light illuminate. It is used for straight roads as not to blind the oncoming car. (** Your headlights look like the driver's light is in what we call a high beam, the passengers light is in a low beam. But, as the beams cross, this won't blind the oncoming car, while keeping the right side of the road bright for you to see the white line, the edge of the road....) So.... 1. When your dash mounted headlamp switch is in position three, "city", the floor mounted dimmer should toggle you between condition 1 and 2 above: Fully depressed to upper beam. 2. When your dash mounted headlamp switch is in position four, "country", the dimmer switch should toggle you between conditions 2 and 3 above: Upper to Asymmetric. First, be sure your filaments are lighting, and your bulbs are good. That both filaments come on when they should. If the upper filament in your passenger headlight is not working, then the light will go "out" when you depress the floor dimmer. Next, play with your dash mounted switch. Slightly pull the knob out a little, push it in a little, and see if you simply have "dead spots" or maybe the detents are a little off, preventing the triangles contacts to hit the circuit board contacts just right. When I completely rewired my car, my lights were doing the same as yours. My drivers light went out completely when I stepped on the dimmer. It turns out, that this was a concern with Buick going back to 1933, and they chalked it off to "hasty switch operation by the operator". Apparently there are "dead spots" within the switch that can cause this issue. So, before you go crazy like I did trying to locate the problem, first please try to easily pull, push your dash knob slightly in or out and see it the condition goes away. You might just be landing on one of the "dead spots" and the knob is a little off. Actually, every time I touched my battery cables to the battery, I was getting a spark. I basically unwired the entire car to ultimately find out that the headlight switch, when in the "off" position, wasn't off at all. The dash chrome ring was preventing the switch from fully seating! Drove me crazy! From Buick: From the 1937 Dealer Service Bulletin... Headlight fails to light. Here's the link to pages 34 and 35 from last year. (I was getting a spark from the battery connection at the end of page 33) You will get a lot of information about the headlight switch: (touch the little arrow in the top right corner): I hope this wasn't too long winded, but I had the same issue last year. Gary
  20. Thank you for taking all that time to measure, photograph and send these in. I truly appreciate the help! I'll get out there soon (as soon as the Trick-or-Treaters are finished ringing the doorbell!) You guys are great! Gary
  21. Wednesday October 31, 2018: Measuring for the Robe Rail: I want to show you what photos I have from the disassembly, and the trouble locating the outer mounting holes: This photo shows the outer passenger side attachment, but without perspective, It's hard to see where it actually goes. Again, this photo I thought would be the best help. But the photo looks "flat", the seat back curves and you lose all perspective. There is the metal back, then a heavy padding, then the fabric, so I cannot feel the holes through all that material. Then I thought this one would help if I just measure the wood blocks and make some lines, using my mountings as a fixed reference... Same photo: Believe it or not, those two red lines are parallel! So it's very difficult working off a photo. I measured my mounts and use them as a template. I'm pretty sure I found the inner mounting holes using push pins. But these outer ones are the issue. I really don't think they "wrap around" the curve... The mount is perfectly flat and won't work there. Thanks for all your help! Gary
  22. The rear leaf springs (from Eaton) not only hold the car at a perfect stance, but they ride like a dream. I just took her out for another 15 mile ride, and she takes the undulations beautifully. Measure your front coils. I had mine stretched to 14 1/2". R&H Spring Shop did a "cold stretch" on them and the front rides beautifully now. I honestly think I could have had them stretched to 15" without a problem. The new front coils I purchased from Eaton simply did not give at all. Way too stiff for the Buick front end, at least for my Special. Maybe a heavier front ended Century, Limited or Roadmaster would have a better chance of making them compress. She's sitting nice and level now. Thanks again for your help! Gary
  23. Please take some measurements for me! That seat looks exactly like mine. I really appreciate you guys helping me out. I don't want to take a chance ripping the fabric at this point..... You guys are the best! Thanks again! Gary
  24. Carl! Thats the measurement I need! Thank You so much. I really appreciate you doing this for me. I'm going to use your photo now and try out your measurements against my seatbacks. Gary
  25. I Need A Favor...... I want to install the robe rails on the front seat backs. Unfortunately, the seat backs were upholstered, and LBB did not mark where the mounting holes are. I've been trying to use a straight pin to poke, in a "hunt and peck" fashion to try to feel where the pin drops through. I think I've got the two mounts that are the most center, but I cannot find the outer mounting holes. I do have photos of my seats when I took them out, but photos are two dimensional, and it's really hard to find the exact spot. And you only get one shot at this, I don't want to mess up the finished seat. So.... If anyone out there has a Model 48, and can help with a dimensional drawing, a template, measurements.... even a better photograph, I'd be grateful! Appreciate any help. Gary