• Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by MCHinson

  1. It had the ring glands installed. The manifold nuts were quite loose when I removed the original gasket. I was able to remove them with a wrench easily. Somehow they were loose enough for the gaskets to sort of bunch up in several locations. I have never seen anything like it. I did not use a torque wrench. I tightened them down by feel based on experience. I suggested that he retighten them to feel good and tight after several heat/cool cycles. He is a bit older than I am and bought the car at an auction and I don't think he had ever done any work on it at all. I don't think that whoever worked on the car last tightened them as tight as they should have been, and apparently it was a short time before the auction so they were never retightened after the car was run.
  2. I have owned a 1937 Buick Model 61 for a few years. I enjoy driving it on a regular basis. I am also the newsletter editor for the 36-38 Buick Club. I arrived home with the project car on August 14th. This initial post covers the acquisition of this project and my trip home with the car. I have done a lot of work on antique cars and I have helped others with various antique car jobs. I have owned a number of antique automobiles over the last couple of decades but I have never completed a total restoration on an antique automobile. I have always thought that I should do at least one total restoration in my life. I blame Gary Wheeler for posting his amazing restoration work in the Pre-War Buick Forum. He makes it look really easy. He got me thinking that I really should restore a car. It also does not help that every other month, I have a deadline to publish the Torque Tube II and not enough other members are sending me technical articles, photos, or other Straight 8 material for me to fill the magazine easily. A fellow club member made me aware of a project car for sale. The car was a 1938 Buick Model 61. The price was really reasonable. Since I have a 1937 Model 61, it seemed a logical project for me to take on. It would mean I was working on something very similar to what I was familiar with, and it would be nice to have a pair of sequential year Model 61 Buicks. The story on the car is that it was purchased in the 1990’s by a retired police officer from Brockton, Massachusetts. He planned to enjoy the antique car hobby in his retirement. He took the car to Al Proctor, who had a garage where he worked on old cars at the time. Al went through the car and fixed everything it needed except paint, as he was not a painter. Al delivered the car to the retired police officer and never heard from him again. In 2016, Al and a friend were driving around scouting for old cars on a Sunday afternoon and happened to see an old Buick. Al eventually tracked down the property owner and got a chance to see the car closer. The more Al looked at the car, the more familiar it looked. It was the car he had worked on in the 1990’s. Al spoke with the owner and discovered that she was the daughter of the previous owner who had Al work on the car. Apparently, he died in 1993, and the family left the car outside on various family owned properties from 1993 until Al discovered it in 2016. The Massachusetts weather was not kind to the car. Al was able to convince the owner to let him buy and attempt to save the car. Cosmetically the car is a disaster, but mechanically it should be easy to restore. Al said he hooked up a battery and a temporary fuel supply and had the car running about 15 minutes after he got it home. After Al’s son sent me a few photos and videos of the car running and driving, I decided to buy the car. His asking price was so low, I did not even try to talk him down at all. The only problem that I had was I am in Southeastern North Carolina and the car was near Boston, Massachusetts. A few years ago, I had made a decision to sell my tow vehicle and trailer as I never intended to again have an antique car that I would not drive anywhere I wanted to go. I began searching for a vehicle that I can buy that can serve as a tow vehicle. I found a few Chevrolet Suburbans for sale locally, so after a bit of research, I was ready to buy a used Suburban. I had previously been offered the use of local AACA and 36-38 Buick Club member Jeff Oaks’ trailer as well as a trailer owned by another friend and former coworker. I was talking with the other friend and told him about the delay in being able to buy the motorhome and that I had decided I could not put the trip off much more and was going to buy a used Suburban. He told me, “You don’t need to do that. I just bought a 2012 Dodge Ram 350 truck that you can use. Why don’t you just borrow my truck and trailer?” I could not argue with his logic so I agreed. It takes a special friend to loan you a truck that was so recently purchased that it still had the temporary 30 day license tag on it and a trailer that he had owned for only a few months, for a 1,700 mile round trip. I arranged for some friends and neighbors to look after my disabled wife’s meals during my absence and planned the trip so that I could complete it quickly during a less traveled weekend to avoid traffic congestion, primarily in the Washington, DC and NYC areas. I picked up my friend’s truck and trailer on Saturday, August 12 and left Wilmington at 6 pm. I drove until about 2 am Sunday morning, stopped at a motel for a few hours of sleep. After that stop, I continued my trip making only necessary stops for quick meals and bathroom breaks as needed. I arrived in Abington, Massachusetts, at 3 pm on Sunday, August 13th. My friend’s trailer is equipped with E-track rails. He had a set of brand new E-clip straps that were still in the packaging. The trailer did not have any D rings so I decided to go ahead and use the E-track hardware and his new straps instead of my own straps. By 4:15 pm, we had the car loaded and strapped down, and I started south. At my first stop on the trip for fuel, a couple of hours into the trip, I checked the trailer straps and everything was OK. The station’s bathrooms were out of order, so about half an hour later, I made another stop for some fast food and a bathroom break. Being rather tired, I almost neglected to check the straps before driving away from that stop. Luckily, I checked the straps. The front two straps were OK but I quickly discovered that they were the only thing holding the car to the trailer. The back two straps had both snapped! I hesitate to think what would have happened if I had not checked those straps! I pulled out my good heavy tow straps and spent about an hour re-strapping the car to the trailer. I continued the trip south until 3 am, to get south of Washington DC, to avoid a lengthy delay on Monday morning with DC’s terrible weekday morning traffic congestion. As soon as I passed DC, I found a motel and got a much needed 4 hours of sleep. Monday morning, I completed the trip home, arriving at 1 pm, just in time to take my wife to lunch. After lunch, I unloaded the car. Being all alone and having a car with no battery, and no fuel supply made this an interesting task. Still being really tired, I might have not chosen the most logical way to do this but it worked. First, I removed all of the straps from the car. I then took one of the long tie down straps and secured it to the front bumper and to the trailer so that it would serve as a safety strap to stop the car from rolling much further than the end of the trailer. I simply pushed the car a little and it rolled off of the trailer, fairly straight. It stopped when it reached the end of the strap but the rear end was sitting a little bit out in the street, so I then simply pulled the truck and trailer forward a little bit to straighten the car up and get the rear end out of the street. I then unhooked the strap from the front bumper and tied a rope to the rear bumper. I then started using an old garden tiller to pull the car where I wanted it. That worked well until I attempted to pull it over the curb and into the driveway. The garden tiller simply did not have enough power for that task. I moved the tiller and pulled my 1937 Century out of the garage. I used bungee cords to secure an old tire to the back bumper of the project car to protect my 1937 Century in case of a collision. This proved to be an unnecessary precaution. With a few trips in and out of the project car to turn the steering wheel as needed, I was able to pull the project car into the place in front of the garage where I wanted it. This task was complicated by to the fact that the driver’s door can’t be used due to the top hinge being rusted away. My plan is to clean it up as much as possible outside and air it out for a few days before putting it in the garage. I have removed the remains of the trunk shelf from the car and removed the mouse nest from the glove compartment and taken a lot of photos to document the car’s condition. My plan is to use a pressure washer to wash the car inside and out. I think that most of the spiders got blown away on the trip home, but I will feel better going over every square inch of the car with some high pressure water anyway. The body is a mess. The good thing about this car is the mechanical condition. It was in good mechanical condition before the previous owner died and it got left outside for a couple of decades. Al actually had the car running and I have seen and heard video of it driving in his yard. I have to add a temporary fuel supply and a battery and the car should run. I have either taken on an ambitious project, or else I might be a little bit misguided or maybe a little bit crazy. Time will tell. I am going to let the photos tell the rest of this story for this issue. I have already called Dave Tacheny and given him a heads up on what I am going to need. As soon as it get it cleaned up and some disassembly completed, I will be able to give him a complete list of what I need to try to complete this project. After I got it unloaded, I started searching for the source of the mousy odor. When I opened the glove compartment, I found at least one source of the odor. After removing all of the mouse nest, I found the remains of a box of 4 headlight bulbs and the missing radio knob. I thought the tire pressure label still being intact beside that mouse nest quite interesting. I know that I am going to need some good photos of someone else’s 1938 Century Model 61 trunk. Lots of stuff should be quite similar to my 1937 Century, but that area is not. The trunk is what I think is going to be one of the most challenging thing for me to repair. Wish me luck, I am going to need it! The first few photos show the car at Al Proctor's house, including one with Al. The rest show the condition upon arrival at my home, up to the point that I was pulling it into its temporary parking position in the driveway of my house. For anybody who owns a Straight 8 Buick, I would invite you to join ther 36-38 Buick Club. Members of the 36-38 Buick Club will get a detailed view of the restoration of this car in the club newsletter. I will attempt to share a good portion of it here but probably won't have time to go into as much detail here as I do in the newsletter. I am also posting photos as things progress in a facebook photo album so that Al Proctor's son Chris can see them and share them with Al easily.
  3. He will probably chime in here. If not, you can send him a Private Message.
  4. It sometimes takes a while to reach Dave but he is the best source that I know of, so keep trying to reach him. If Dave does not have the top center piece for the hood, Brian Depouli should be able to help you with that. He has reproduced that piece.
  5. Dave Tacheny would be my suggestion. Call him between 4 and 7 pm Central at 763-427-3460. I would also invite you to check out the 36-38 Buick Club website at and consider joining the club. The club newsletter has varying advertisements in each issue. Please let me know if you have any questions about the club.
  6. No work on my Buick today but I did visit a local AACA Chapter and 36-38 Buick Club member who needed some help with 1937 McLaughlin Buick Special. He needed a new manifold gasket installed. The front and rear sections of the gasket had obviously been moving around a bit and deforming due to the manifold nuts not being as tight as they should have been. His car runs quietly now.
  7. MCHinson

    1937 Horn contact plate - Picture please

    The star washer is the lock washer for the steering wheel nut. I suspect a little bit of locktight would be sufficient to hold the nut in place. I would have to take mine apart to remember what size spring is on the horn button and exactly where it is. I am sure that Dave Tachney probably would have both of those (as well as about any other 1936-1941 Buick part).
  8. MCHinson

    1937 Horn contact plate - Picture please

    I assume you are referring to Part Number 263549 in Group 2.819 which is called CONNECTOR, Horn Cable (on column jacket).
  9. MCHinson

    1937 Horn contact plate - Picture please

    Without doing any research, I Assume the 1938 one is the same as the 1937 one. I can sell you the 1938 one for that same amount if it will help you out. I am fairly certain the 1941 one is larger. The ebay ad appears to show it being 4 inch in diameter. I don't think you can easily make that one work.
  10. I was able to prime the hinge pieces and later I was able to attempt to assemble it. I don't have any rivets available locally that are quite right. For the time being, I have temporarily attached the hinge pieces to the hood halves using a few machine screws and nuts. This enabled me to slide the chrome center section of the hood onto the hood and place the hood back onto the chassis temporarily.
  11. I have a standard "pop rivet" tool. I am going to see if some standard pop rivets will work. They are available in a size very close to the original rivet size, although not exactly the same size. For the purposes, I think they might work. If not, I will order some tubular rivets from Restoration Supply Company. I think that they would be a slighly more correct rivet for the job. Rivets are on page 38 and 39 of their online catalog:
  12. MCHinson

    1937 Horn contact plate - Picture please

    I suspect Gary has some better photos but here is what I have available. This is a spare 1938 metal button and inner contact plate that I picked up a while back. I don't remember what else should be between the two pieces but I suspect it is plastic. If Gary does not have any better photos, I can pull one apart and take some better photos for you. The contact plate appears to be 3 1/4 inches in diameter to me.
  13. I finally had an opportunity to work on the Buick project a little bit this morning. The hood hinge on the original 1938 Century hood was rusted almost to nothing. Luckily, I happened to pick up a 1937 Buick Century hood which has an identical hinge mechanism. I figured it would be easier to swap that hinge instead of finding someone to use a metal brake to duplicate it. This morning, I drilled out the rivets that hold the hinge pieces to the 1937 Century hood. I then drilled out the rivets that secured the remains of the original hinge pieces to the previously sandblasted 1938 Century hood. Removing the hinge pieces uncovered a bit of rust between the hinge and the hood. I cleaned up the replacement hinge pieces with a wire brush and a wire wheel and then applied a coating of Ospho to the hinge pieces and the edge of the hood where the hinge attaches to the hood. The last photo shows a comparision between the best one of the original hood hinge pieces and the replacement hinge pieces from the 1937 Century hood. Next I will prime over the Ospho and rivet the hinge pieces to the 1938 Century Hood. I still need to make arrangements for a body shop to do the remaining metal repair on the body. Hopefully, I will have that done soon.
  14. If you want to post this question in an appropriate forum, you have to register as a member of the forum. This forum is for forum software questions. If you are having trouble registering, let me know. If you attempted to register and did not respond to the email verification email, that might be your problem. If you did not see that email, you may need to check your spam folder for the email.
  15. MCHinson

    Hi-Flow vs Normal Thermostat?

    What do you know about the condition of the Bypass Valve? If it is not working properly, you will have an overheating problem even if everything else is fine.
  16. MCHinson

    Is this a problem?

    I reported a similar "Not Secure" Google Chrome warning to Peter Gariepy a while back. I don't know if it is a significant problem or not, but I still see that same warning.
  17. MCHinson

    1937/8 Steering wheel trim question

    I am fairly sure that either of these two should have the ivory colored plastic piece around the horn button available:
  18. MCHinson

    Question on 1938 Century Master Cylinder

    After driving my 1937 Century from North Carolina to Indiana a while back, I really have been thinking that I should at least check (and should change) the fluid in the brake system. I have really been planning to pull all of the wheels to check the brake system, but I am not going to admit how long it has been since I have done anything with the brakes on that car. It runs, drives, and stops just fine and the brake master cylinder is so difficult to get to, it is one of those "out of sight, out of mind" items on the car.
  19. MCHinson

    Question on 1938 Century Master Cylinder

    Stooge, I was thinking that the 1937 and 1938 60 Series used different master cylinders but it appears that my memory was incorrect on that point. From looking at my 1937 and the 1938 master cylinders and the spare one that I have and checking the chassis parts manual, it appears that they are all the same. I suspect Dave Tacheny will have one. Be sure to tell him that you need the bracket to attach it to the side of the transmission. The spare one that I have is just the master cylinder it does not have the bracket. These photos are the spare NOS master cylinder that I bought from Dave Tacheny.
  20. MCHinson

    Question on 1938 Century Master Cylinder

    Dave, I would suggest Apple Hydraulics for a rebuild of your master cylinder. Stooge, I need to look, I know I have a spare NOS Master Cylinder that I bought from Dave Tacheny. I don't remember if it is for my 1937 Century or my 1938 Century. The two are different, but I just don't remember which one that spare is. If I don't have one, Dave Tacheny would probably have one.
  21. MCHinson

    Pre War Cars - how fast is fast?

    In 1936 the Buick Century was introduced. It was named Century to recognize that it was capable of 100 mph. I have driven my 1937 Century at nearly that speed, but it routinely feels like 60 to 65 mph is its most natural normal every day cruising speed. I drove it in normal Interstate traffic on a 2 day trip from North Carolina to Indiana without problems while keeping up with traffic without any issues.
  22. I drove my 1937 Century to the local Cars and Coffee this morning. I will be driving it to lunch shortly, and then out to dinner later this evening. It is nice to have some lower humidity levels now here, although it will be even better when the temperatures get a little bit lower in the next month or so.
  23. Gary, Here are photos that show the inside door handles on the front and back driver side doors on my 1937 Model 61. Ignore the totally worn out eschutcheons around the vent window crank. I am sure your inside door handles should also be slightly off of the fabric door trim. I suspect thicker escutcheons would solve your problem. As for welting around the window garnish molding, on my car there is a piece of fabric that matches the door panel around the window, but I don't see any welting, unless that fabric is what you are talking about. I would assume that if that is what you are talking about, the short pieces they sent you would be the correct length for the front doors of a 4 door sedan but are too short for your two door sedan.
  24. Gary, I don't know if the door panel is slightly too thick, or possibly not quite seated in that area of the door, or if something is odd about your door handle but I don't think that the handle should rub the door panel.