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My 1962 Electra 225

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Even though I have posted numerous questions over the years about my Buick, I don't think I have ever bothered to post anything about it here. I have had this car for quite a while now, almost 16 years now. The car has spent nearly half that time in storage though, due to financial aspects related to being in the military for all but a couple of months of the time that I have owned it. Hopefully I can dig up some older pics of the car, but for now, I am going to share some of the pics that I do have now.

This first pic is of the car when I had it in storage in the late 90's. My father-in-law was nice enough to let me store it in his garage for the first couple of years I was in the Marines. In '97 or '98 he worked out a deal for me to store it in one of the neighbor's barns.

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The car stayed there until 2003 when I was relocated close to home to be a recruiter. A good friend from high school had a truck and trailer that would work to bring it to WI from my in-law's place in MN. The car needed some work after nearly eight years in storage. When I got it to WI I noticed that the years in the barn hadn't been completely kind to it. The barn was good, but to get it there originally I had to drive it down a wet and kind of muddy gravel road. I wasn't able to wash it real good before storing it, so that crud that was kicked up I think caused some rust behind the rear wheels. I have some pics of the damage later, which I got repaired a couple of years ago.

Here is a pic of it in my driveway in WI after getting it out of storage in MN.

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I drove the car for a couple of years while in WI, taking it to some car shows and using it as an ice breaker to talk to kids who might be interested in the Marines. In 2006 I was relocated again, this time to CA. I wasn't sure of what I where I was going to live, so the car went back to my father-in-law's short term until we got settled in. In 2007 I got the car shipped to me in CA. The funny part of the next pic is that the driver really thought my car was cool and took real good care of it. The white BMW 3-series in the background on the trailer was below my car for a while and well, you now how well old Dynaflows keep their fluids in. :D

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Continued...

Last year I relocated again, this time to SW Georgia. I had a quite a time trying to get the car shipped out of CA. Part of the challenge was a month a half gap between when I was scheduled to leave CA and when I was supposed to be in GA. I finally was able to ship it to a buddy who was already stationed in GA. He kept it in his driveway until I got to GA, found a place to live, and got moved in enough to have room for it. All together, he had it in his driveway for about 2 months. Here is a couple pics, the first showing it on the truck in CA all chained down and ready to go to GA, and the second showing how dirty it was after the cross country trip and sitting outside for two months.

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I have since gotten it washed and polished up, so it looks a lot better now. I have a nice big garage in GA where it fits nicely. I'm hoping to get a break from the near constant TDY trips this summer so I can get some work done on it to make it a little more road worthy.

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I forgot these pics.... A couple from WI after getting it washed and waxed.

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And a couple of pics of the rust behind the rear wheels in the body mount area that I think was caused by driving it down that gravel road years ago to put it in the barn for storage.

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And one last pic for now... A pic of the car in my garage in CA in 2007. Before getting it shipped out, I thought the garage was plenty big. When I got the car in there I realized I only had a few inches between the back bumper and the wall and only a few inches between the front bumper and the garage door. :eek:

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Lovely Car Brian!! I really like the color. It appears to be a well preserved original.

i doubt the rust in your trunk/body mount area was due to that one incident. That is a usual and common area for all the cars of the 60's and early 70's to rust, and even in really good clean seemingly rust free cars, it's not unusual to lift the mat and see the exact same thing.

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Very nice. Thanks for sharing Brian.

When we first moved here, the Wildcat was a similar fit as the garage you describe, except that there was a work bench at the front of the garage...I had to bow the door outward to get the joints to pass by the point in the Wildcat's bumper. That garage has been replaced....

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Cool pics Brian, I hope to see it in person some day. Hope to meet you in person some day.

I agree with Keith, that spot has been festering for a long time, I wouldn't worry about it much though. Unless you drive it through deep water often.

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brian,thanks for posting pics of your 62.looks very nice. we talked before you moved to ga,told you about my 62 invicta vert,not perfect but its a fun car. waiting to get it out and drop the top. good luck in the marines,4 bufords from ct

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Brian,

The body and paint look very good--I like the two-toning of the paint. Unusual to see one of these cars without tinted glass, at least around here. Thanks for the photos. Took mine out for the first time this year and put about 500 miles on it this weekend, going to the Buicks and Bluebonnets meet in central Texas--thanks to the Lone Star Chapter for their work in putting on this event. The '62 Electra did fine and even got 17 miles per gallon on the trip! Not bad for a big old beast that weighs in at about 4,400 pounds!

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

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Brian, it's a beautiful car, and I'm glad that you have hung onto it through all the transitions over the years. I love this particular model, and I hope you will keep us posted with your progress during the months ahead.

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Thanks for all the comments! I forgot to mention that the blue isn't exactly stock. It is originally Glacier Blue and Arctic White. The white seems to be close to original if not original. The blue however, is definitely newer. When they repainted at some point they didn't bother with the jambs, so you can see the original color in the door jambs.

The rusted body mounts I had replaced a few years ago when I came home from Iraq. My next project is to figure out what is wrong with the brakes and replace the shocks. That will go a long way toward making feel safe driving it.

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You should be proud of it, Brian.

It looks great. Don't sweat the small stuff, enjoy it every chance you get.

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Hi Brian, That's a great story, a lot of fun to read. Your history with that car makes it a "keeper". I can't imagine coast to coast and more with no additional miles on the odometer... I hope you get the brakes sorted out so you can feel comfortable driving it and I hope you get to stay in GA long enough to put a few thousand miles on it too.

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Well, seeing as I had to dig way back to find this thread it is safe to say that I haven't done much with my Buick in a while. Today I got off work early for the holiday weekend and I am between college classes so it seemed like a chance to get the brakes sorted out. A couple of years ago I took the front brakes apart, inspected everything, cleaned, and put everything back together...it didn't seem to help anything. So, today I decided to look at the rear brakes, and I am pretty sure I found the problem. It looks like a leaking axle seal...oil all over the backing plate, shoes, and drum. :(

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seals arent that big of a deal-pullers are avalible for rent at orielies aoutozone etc.from what youve been through and seen should be a piece of cake.want to thank you for your longevity of service to our country.t.nugent roa 12969.nice car-they dont build them like these anymore.

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I'll probably take it over to the auto hobby shop on base to work on it. They have a much more complete selection of tools than I do and they have a lift. I'll probably replace the shocks while I am at it because they look to be original, and even if they aren't they are pretty much shot.

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Anybody know of a good place to get the axle seal from?

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Brian, I was able to get rear wheel seals for my 1950 at my local auto parts store. Puller one seal, cleaned it up and found the part# stamped thereon and was able to cross reference. Good luck.

Ben

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Thanks Ben. After posting that I found it on RockAuto. I had looked there earlier, but must have been looking under the wrong category.

How much of a pain was it to replace the seal? In my manual it doesn't sound too difficult.

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Well, finally got around to ordering the new seal, along with new brake shoes for the rear brakes (the one on the leaky side is completely contaminated with oil), and some new shocks (what looks like originals are still on the car and look worse than rough). Half day at work tomorrow then a buddy and I are going to get to work on replacing that seal. Wish us luck!

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My buddy and I got to work on the car for a few hours this afternoon, and I have good-ish news. The axle seal is replaced (and it was a lot easier than either of us thought it would be). We got the rear shocks replaced, and only broke one lower bolt in the process. Then we moved on to the front shocks and they proved to be a lot more challenging than we thought it would be (oh the fun of working on a 50 year old car). We broke three of the four lower bolts on the front shocks and the nuts on the top were frozen solid. So, we called it a day and are going to the auto hobby shop tomorrow to finish it up. I figure we will cut the shocks out and have to drill out the three broken bolts at the bottom.

The really nice part about the whole thing, though, is that it was truly a pleasure to be behind the wheel of my Buick again.

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I made progress today. After firing up the torch at the auto hobby shop we got the front shocks out. The we turned to drilling out the bolts we broke off yesterday and running a tap through the holes. After that installing the new shocks was a breeze. Only took 3 hours. :rolleyes:

The good: With the new shocks (Monroe Sensatracs) the difference is amazing. The new shocks make the car much more enjoyable to drive.

The bad: I thought that all of the oil in the rear brake that had leaked out of the axle was what was causing the shuddering when I brake. I'm going to try adjusting the front brakes (we only adjusted the rears when we replaced the shoes after replacing the axle seal). If that doesn't fix it, then I think I'll be back at my original assumption, that I have a front drum problem.

Anyway, it is good to have made some progress, and that has helped my interest level and has gotten me excited about working on it again.

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Sweet car! Nice to have the Buick and a friend to help. Glad to see you are rollin again.

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I forgot to mention all of the compliments on the car that I received during the two days I had the car on base to do this latest project. I talked to the guard at the gate for a couple of minutes about the car. That was pretty cool. Now if I can just get the brakes sorted out...

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I ... Now if I can just get the brakes sorted out...

If you have not had the front drums "Turned" you may want to consider that. If you do consider that action, then also consider the minimum thickness of the drum material.

Your drums should be cast iron covered by a finned aluminum shell. The two are joined and become one part. The metal inside can usually be turned on a lathe, a few times, to take out warpage which causes the shuddering as the brakes are applied. The problem is you can only take out so much of the cast iron before it becomes too thin for service. I do not know what that thickness is. Your manual may show that minimum amount for a serviceable drum.

Apparently there are providers who will re line your aluminum drum. I hear it is costly. I don't know the amount. And if you go to buy used drums you should be careful to avoid getting ones which are already down to the minimum thickness. But serviceable drums are available, and in a side benefit to the latest dash to put disc brakes on everything, may be more readily available than one would think.

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