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About JohnO

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  • Birthday 10/27/1955

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  1. White Walls

    I would pass as well. I did order a set from diamondback for my 55 and was pleased. The whitewalls were really white. As noted in a prior post, something in the 2.5 inch range shows well for a car in this era.
  2. 1955 Buick starter question ?!

    I'm not sure what your plans are. In those years it is best to rebuild the starter that came with the car. I can't speak to the 55's but in 1961 Buick used three different block castings for the 401. So, even a starter that came off of one 1961 Buick with a 401 will not necessarily fit another. The same could be true for cars in the 50's, but I am not sure.
  3. 1957 Buick Roadmaster 75

    A beautiful car and a fair private-party price for somebody who wants a 57 Buick Roadmaster in that color combination. I did see it on Craigslist but not in Hemmings.
  4. I had my starter rebuilt and the problem is it keeps cranking. What I know: 1 - Even with a remote starter being used to supply voltage from the battery directly to the "S" terminal (bypassing the ignition switch) it will continue cranking when you release the switch. It is somewhat intermittent meaning that it will stop cranking on its own or keep cranking to the point where you have to disconnect the ground on the battery. It will not start cranking again once you reconnect the ground. 2 - I contacted the rebuilder. He installed a new solenoid and it does the same thing. 3 - There were no shims. 4 - It is the same starter that was rebuilt. Prior to the rebuild it always engaged smoothly. 5 - You can see on the starter gear where contact was made with the flywheel. It looks even enough and it does not clash. There was a new drive and gear installed. 6 - On the bench, the starter is fine. Possible options going forward: 1 - Remove the starter and grind the gear where the starter is making contact with the flywheel. The logic being the old starter gear and the flywheel were wearing at the same rate; however, the new gear is slightly larger causing it to bind in the flywheel. 2 - Wing it by trying some shims. I would start with a shim behind the top bolt. Conclusion: 1 - Definitely not the ignition switch. 2 - Highly unlikely that it is the solenoid as two new solenoids were installed. 3 - The problem is how the starter gear engages with the flywheel. If it was the generator it would not be so bad, but I don't like removing and installing starters. Any ideas? Thank you.
  5. The starter just grunts

    Great idea!
  6. The starter just grunts

    You don't need another jump. The "S" terminal activates the solenoid that makes the connection to engage the starter. The other terminal is the "R" terminal which if used, bypasses the ballast resistor to provide a full 12 volts directly to the coil while the ignition is in the start position. In laymen terms the "S" is an input terminal and the "R" is an output terminal. Now, my experience is limited to two starters that I tested. In my opinion, whether the problem is with the solenoid or the inner workings of the starter, I would take it to an electrical rebuilder.
  7. The starter just grunts

    Your will need: 1) Jumper cables 2) A fully charged battery 3) A wire to get voltage to the "S" terminal on the starter. My method for testing the starter off the car is as follows: 1) Connect jumper cables to the starter. The positive will go to the larger post where the original battery cable was and the negative will go to the starter housing (preferably around the holes where the starter bolted in to the block. Make sure the cable does not interfere with the starter gear. 2) Run the wire from the battery to the "S" terminal. I think the safest way to do it is to cut the wire in two: The first wire should have an alligator clip to clip to the terminal. The other a ring terminal to connect to the battery. Obviously the two wires have to be joined to complete the connection. I recommend a generic switch which can be purchased at an Auto parts store. I'm sure there are many other ways. If your sure your connection is good, the starter should function. If not, then the starter is bad.
  8. I finally completed the job. The sequence to install is in this order: First, the ball joint. Second, the rear bushing. Finally, the front bushing. A couple of other pointers since it does not go back in so easy are as follows: You may have to turn the wheel to find the best spot and after installing the ball joint and the rear bushing jack up the control arm numerous pumps to try to level the front bushing to the mounting bracket. Also plan on prying the control arm to get the bolt for the front bushing started.
  9. I am trying to replace my lower control arms in the front of car. No problems with disassembly. I have the ball joint and the rear bushing connected (the horizontal one). The front forward bushing (vertical one) is giving me the trouble to the point where I cannot get it centered to accept the bolt. It seems as though I would have to disconnect the strut to move the control arm upward or install the tires and drop the car. I tried jacking the control arm but that does not help. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
  10. Ignition Switch Removal - 61 Electra

    Cancel the call. I did tap it out with a hammer and screwdriver and it did not damage the nut - numerous soft taps did the trick.. Removing the tumblr was not all that easy. With the key in the ACCY position, I inserted the paper chip through the little hole to depress the latch and tried to turn counterclockwise without success. It took numerous attempts and a shot of PB Blaster to shake it free.
  11. I need to replace the ignition switch on a 61 Electra. The problem is the nut securing the bezel. I have already removed the tumblr. Does a tool exist to remove the nut as it needs 8 points of contract or can something be quickly fabricated? I presume it is the same setup as a 62 or even up to 64. At this point I don't want to go the hammer and screwdriver route. Thank you.
  12. It sounds more like gas than electrical. In my experience electrical problems result in a sharp miss or immediate stall with no in between. It does not hurt to have a spare carburetor. Even though they are usually reliable, I've had driveability issues on my 58 and 61 which I attributed to carburation. Both had Rochester 4GCs. I found some Carters on ebay and had success. Since you replaced the ignition system components it is unlikely that the problem resides there.
  13. I can't offer you any technical advice, but since you have time, noodle on it for a month or two and decide if you want to undertake a project will involve a lot of time and funds that may not be recovered should you decide to sell the car. I have five old Buicks and am perfectly content to drive them as they were originally designed. It is just an honor to be able to drive what was.
  14. Starter Removal - 61 Electra

    It's finally off. A straight 16 mm Snap On wrench did the trick. It is the same size as a 5/8 and was about the right length. I'm fortunate to know a retired GM Service Manager who has a good assortment of tools. It is too bad that you cannot just go out and buy a quality half moon (known as an obstruction wrench) when you need it. Instead, you have to wait for a delivery while your car sits outside. The exhaust had to be cut. The "candle wax" procedure worked just fine as the nuts to the manifold would not budge even after giving it the heat only. I removed the pipe to the manifold and cut the exhaust under the drivers door. The fix is to find a sleeve to clamp on. For anybody taking their nailhead Buicks on long trips without knowing the complete history, it may not be a bad idea to familiarize yourself on what to do should the starter fail. I think your fine from 1967 forward as standardization prevailed.
  15. Starter Removal - 61 Electra

    Thanks for the responses. Since the car is sitting outside there is a sense of urgency for me to get this done. Sears does not stock the obstruction wrench so there is a lead time for delivery and the same applies for those selling on ebay. I tried bending a 5/8 Craftsman straight combination wrench in a manner similar to the obstruction wrench, but this is not working as the MAPP torch is probably not hot enough even though it will turn the section of the wrench cherry red. Although, it did bend a little. The next step is to grind some of the closed end wrench away on the side that is closed to the starter housing. Hopefully, it will allow like a 1/16 inch of a turn to start. On this 61 there is no way an open end wrench will get in there. At least I got one bolt loosened. According to Tom Telesco, there were three different block castings that were used in 1961. So even within 1961, access can be slightly different and starters are not interchangeable.