JBP

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About JBP

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    Alberta, Canada

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  1. Thanks Aaron. This is my 5th summer since I bought the car, and it’s nice to see the repair list get shorter each year (until there’s new things on it to fix). While my car is just the basic sedan, and there are things about it that aren’t correct, it’s been great to work on and I love to drive it.
  2. Found a fully rebuilt correct Stromberg carburetor for the Special and installed it on Friday. It was like the car woke up! Very responsive, lots of power, smooth and quiet. Considering I live at an altitude that’s 3400 feet above sea level, the Buick now pulls a steady 15 inches of vacuum, which is great. The new carb was the last large piece needed to complete the puzzle. While I was road testing, I ended up behind a guy who was towing a small trailer loaded with grass clippings and small bits of lawn debris. After a few minutes of getting this stuff blown onto my car, I had enough. Passed him, while going up a long hill and pulled away, holding 65 with ease (which I could not do before on an uphill grade). The expression of surprise on his face was terrific. I foresee many, many tanks of gas this summer......
  3. Spent a few hours today with a friend dialling in the valve lash, and we got it running smoothly and quietly (funny how the manual is so casual in the description of how to do it, not really mentioning that you’ll be tightening and loosening set screws on a piece of rapidly moving machinery). Engine went from sounding like a muffled typewriter to a quiet sewing machine, very responsive to the throttle and running strongly. Will do some minor carb adjustments and fine tune my distributor, but overall very happy with how it’s performing. It’s a great feeling (that people on this forum can relate to) when you’ve worked toward something with your car, and you see the end result has made a vast improvement. Makes all the minor annoyances and setbacks fade away.
  4. Changed the oil this morning, refilled the coolant, checked all the lines and made sure the bolts were all cinched. Engaged the starter, and after a few cranks, the engine fired and ran! Was really happy to hear that sound! Valves were clattery, but let her run for about 20 minutes and made sure everything was warmed up and adjusted the lash. It quieted down quite a lot, but think I need to give it some more attention. Took the car for a short drive for a few blocks; the difference in power was quite noticeable, and I was amazed to see how cool the car runs now. Even after warming up and the drive, the temp needle was well below the “N” and angled down closer to the bottom of the gauge. Thinking that the flushing of the block and the cleaning of the head must have opened things up substantially. I’ll continue to tune the car this week.
  5. Installed the window frames today, and did some finishing assembly on some of the last pieces to go back on the block and head (water pump, new upper and lower rad hoses, copper manifold gaskets, new tappet cover gasket being torqued down a bit by the cover in the second photo, etc.). Aiming to light her up tomorrow morning. Anyone have any tips or advice on what to do or expect? Will have to adjust the lash tomorrow, but while I know (and hope) the engine will sound and behave differently now, not certain if there are any other hidden landmines to be avoided before I press the pedal on the mighty Fireball 8.
  6. Had my window frames blasted and powder coated, so I bought a new length of window channel “fuzzy” material and spent a few hours today cutting, shaping, and installing them. As the staples were trashed when I pulled the old strips off before sending the frames to be powder coated, I used stainless steel aviation wire, twisted the ends, snipped them short and tucked the ends under the frame. Worked really well. Kept the strip tight to the frame and looks like a staple.
  7. Accomplished a lot today, which was great. A friend came over to help me hoist the head back onto the block and the operation went well. I found a NOS head gasket unopened in the original packaging, unbent and in perfect condition. It was almost too nice to use......almost. Head went back on fairly easily. New lifters oiled up and inserted into place, and the push rod cover installed.
  8. Very good info to have, Aaron. Thanks for that. I was going by what the ‘52 shop manual outlines (which is the one us 1953 Special owners are to utilize), and it recommends that for the left side, the threads on the head bolts should be covered in sealing compound as they are open to the water jacket. Actually, I’ve not researched my engine serial number to see where it falls in terms of production. Hmmmm.
  9. Yes, it’s the liquid sealant. Photo attached.
  10. Thanks Dave; I was able to get them out, and the new ones are in place. Getting ready to put the head back on. In the manual it calls for the threads on the head bolts going in on the left hand side to be coated with a sealing compound, as they are entering the water jacket. I have some of the dark brown Permatex liquid sealant (form-a-gasket). Is this all right to use for this application, or is there a better product?
  11. Unloaded my rebuilt head today. Engine shop did a terrific job. New valves, guides, and springs. The head was magnafluxed for cracks and nothing found which was great. They also only very lightly decked the surface, as warping was not an issue. I was also lucky enough to source a NOS rocker arm shaft in the original Buick packaging tube from a gentleman whose father CLOSED the family garage in 1953! Been sitting on a shelf all these years, waiting for a customer. I couldn’t say no. Also hammered out all the core plugs; they did not go quietly, but they went! Coated with rust.
  12. Thanks for the spark plug advice, NTX5467! Yeah, it will be a contest of wills between me and the core plugs, but I’ll get them out (I have no choice now!). Thanks for your suggestion for using heat, Aaron. If they don’t move for me when I go at them again, I’ll give that a shot. Got a lot of blasting and painting done. Valve cover, spark plug cover, push rod cover, thermostat housing, air cleaner, top of the oil filter, and painted the water pump and put newly cad-plated fittings into them.
  13. Thanks, Ben. Not sure why they wouldn’t rotate for me. Tried working an edge first on each of them. I’ll be trying again later. Going to blast and paint some engine pieces today.
  14. Today’s task was removing the core plugs and flushing out the block. The front plug had been pulled and replaced with a rubber expandable plug at some time in the past (probably during the Johnson Administration by the look of it). Popped it out without too much trouble, but the others would not budge. Used a few different punches and punched holes through all them without much trouble (pretty thin and rusted backs), but the outer rims are still tight in the block. Opened them all up well enough to get the hose in and flush everything out, which was great. Anyone have any tips for popping the core plugs out? Josh
  15. Thanks for the recommendation, Chris. I pulled the water pump off today (as I have a rebuilt one from Bob’s that will be going on). If it had been off before today, it was decades ago. Bolts didn’t want to let go easily!