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chevy_dude97

1951 4dr Super project

64 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Well first off this is my first Buick restoration. I am no expert but have had a little restoration experience in the past. Mostly 60s and 80s cars.

When I seen this car on craigslist I could not pass it up.... looked like a chore but it fell into my lap just as I had been looking for a new project.

Having 3 kids and a more than full time job and a wife with going to school full time I get about 1 day a week usually sat to work on the Buick.

Looking under the hood I knew I would be spending the majority of my tour here on Oahu restoring and refurbishing back to stock. This is where I will focus on first.

On my test drive I noticed an exhaust leak, and upon further inspection I noticed a crack and a leaking gasket. First thing is first I ordered online a maintenance manual and sourced a new manifold. But as I peered into the countless forums and galleries online I noticed the colors under my hood not correct to any year super, and I dug further and noticed alot more stuff the previous (more like dubious) owner lied to me about....

I did alot more research and well I have come to terms that there is alot more stuff I will be doing to this vehicle before I can ride the family to the weekly car show.

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A little more back ground this car was from Wisconsin and the PO had driven it to Arizona where he drove it alot.... Thing is when tearing down the seats I found some wierd looking blue vinyl aligator skin (appeared to have been covered over the original seats) And close inspection the rockers had been addressed and appears to have been a really old fix/restore as the panels cut out where brazed and leaded. The upside to it is it had been pretty well kept clean, the motor and tranny leak and it appears the underhood never was touched. So that is where I started my restore effort. I did find what appears to be era correct owners manual and some really old AAA maps and a couple old gas receipts. My plan is to restore the engine bay and get the floors done prior to leaving HI.

Edited by chevy_dude97 (see edit history)

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post-85933-143139121318_thumb.jpg here is the engine bay as it sets today, 30 lbs lighter from road grime and getting clean

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looks like a really neat car,what are the colors?we all want more pictures,4 bufords from ct

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Its Barton Grey with a dark green top... The previous owner said the barton grey part is original paint, and the top and skirts had been repainted, he went with the same paint on top on the skirts as the paint would not match and it looks pretty good for factory paint.

Here is a link to more pictures.https://plus.google.com/photos/105003488661604985131/albums/5746356523976128433

I have already started the front end tear down, as I would like to remove any rust, or surface rust.

Hawaii is really bad to cars with small rust as it becomes large rust over night.(I live <1000ft from the harbor)

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Well I got the old intake/exhaust manifolds off yesterday.... as I thought they came off in 2 pieces and the working exhaust vlv had been tweeked so hard by the manifold it not only cracked but can only hold 2 bolts.... Good news is all the remaining studs came out so I only have to drill out the farthest front one since it is broken off inside.

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I totally forgot after all the scraping and brushing and wiping... that the bolt would need some heat to remove.... And I already painted the engine, I guess I will see just how high temp it really is when I go to remove it.

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I used these paints for the oil filter.... Not super sure but the orange looks maybe a little too bright. I couldn't really tell as the old paint was almost non existent.

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Lookin' good!! The oil canister top looks fine to me based on the many pictures I've looked at of these engines. On that broken manifold stud you're talking about, is that the one shown in the picture that doesn't have a stud or nut on it? If so, there is actually some debate among the owners of these straight eights as to whether or not there is actually supposed to be a stud there. I brought it up a while back and most straight eights don't have a stud in that location. Some people swear its supposed to have one and some people say it isn't. It could be that there is some kind of defect in these engines that causes that stud to break or work itself out. Who knows for sure? Are you going to order all of the stickers to put back on the engine? Anyway, everything looks good. Keep up the good work!

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Posted (edited)

Lookin' good!! The oil canister top looks fine to me based on the many pictures I've looked at of these engines. On that broken manifold stud you're talking about, is that the one shown in the picture that doesn't have a stud or nut on it? If so, there is actually some debate among the owners of these straight eights as to whether or not there is actually supposed to be a stud there. I brought it up a while back and most straight eights don't have a stud in that location. Some people swear its supposed to have one and some people say it isn't. It could be that there is some kind of defect in these engines that causes that stud to break or work itself out. Who knows for sure? Are you going to order all of the stickers to put back on the engine? Anyway, everything looks good. Keep up the good work!

Yeah I picked up some stickers from cars. As far as the stud goes... I have not seen one with the pin like in the farthest aft position one. My guess is becase it had frozen together intake/exhaust and gaskets and also looks like had been tightened down too much (see crack repair) I guess the previous owner did not have a maintenance manual, and never thought to check the edges for straightness. Just kept cranking it down as it leaked.... I figure he did this multiple times because I found another exhaust manifold that was in 3 pieces in the trunk. The main reason I believe this had a stud and not a guide pin is it is broke off, if it was a pin Im sure it would not break off so deep if at all, the long stud is not even bent nore is the rear pin.

My plan is to remove the broken stud, replace all of the studs with new hardware, plaine the exhaust and reinstall per manual. Hopfully this works, if not I guess I will try the loose bolts with gaskets. Or forgo that and put a custom exhaust/intake on it.... This car is not going into a museum but will be driven weekly to car shows.

I will be working today on clearing the rest of the debris from the frame and repainting under the motor, then reassembling the right side to then remove the left. I like to keep one side on as to reference reassembly. I figure once I get this car back to the mainland I can get it painted and shipped up to its final destination of Anchorage AK.

Edited by chevy_dude97 (see edit history)

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And yes that is Buick Turq from Hirsch

Your oil filter assembly looks great. As for the Hirsch paint, I've seen criticism of the color he markets for the 42-52 Buick but I like his paint and I like the color. My 49 restoration is being painted like yours. What remained of my engine paint on the 49 looked "more blue" but I can't be certain that someone didn't give it a few rattle cans in the 63 years since it popped off the assembly line. I think sometimes cameras and lighting tend to give it a more gray appearance than it really has. Personal preference. Looks great.

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Thanks for the kind words guys, I got the battery tray and inner fender well back on today, I really wish I had a sand blaster to get a super smooth surface but removing and treating the rust is my priority while on the Island.

Here are a couple snaps with the inner well on. post-85933-143139128999_thumb.jpg

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Filled up the right front shock absorber... seemed like it was bone dry. I guess maybe this could be why the car leans so much. When driving the car home my wife noted the car driving slanted to the drivers side. I hope it doesn't leak, but my guess by the amount of debris from that area I cleaned off it probably does.

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dude97, the shock has nothing to do with the leaning, but WILL allow the car to bounce and wallow around if not working properly.

Looking good!

Ben

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dude97, the shock has nothing to do with the leaning, but WILL allow the car to bounce and wallow around if not working properly.

Looking good!

Ben

Thanks, I guess maybe needs new springs. It doesn't really lean until I sit in it.

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Thanks, I guess maybe needs new springs. It doesn't really lean until I sit in it.

There are directions in the shop manual for checking the "ride height". This should tell you if a spring is weak. My '50 was still right in the center of the specs.

Ben

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Well Finally got back into the garage to work on the Buick today, I started to fit the Pass side fender back on which is more of a pita then previously thought.

I am just glad I left the other side on to sort of guide me back to where the hardware came from lol... I snapped a few pix

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I also cut the wires to fit and prepped the wire cover for paint... as I did this I thought it looked pretty cool on there bare metal, What do you guys think?

I was thinking of just shooting some clear over it... Or paint it when I do my touch ups when its been long enuff to call cured for the rest of the motor.

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Also a comparison from left to right, treated and untreated. Most of the etch will be hidden under chrome and the rest I will try to blend while color sanding the paint.

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Cant get away with driving her in HI with any rust as it will rot much faster here.

I didn't get around to checking ride height, I think I will wait on that till the fenders are all on and bumpers.

I just cant wait to get the other side done so I can start on the pans.

One thing I did do was get some of that Metal Rescue from HD to soak the manifolds in.

I had put it in a garbage bag and set on its side so I could cover the main parts.

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Ill let you guys know how it goes with that.

Also for anyone interested here is the paint I used for the engine

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And I just used some semigloss black for the HVAC components

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Just ran across my before pic of the headlight junction. I took it off and was thinking about fabricating a new one from phenolic but after a light sand and clear coat you can read the made in Chicago and manufacture stamp so I decided to leave it.

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Posted (edited)

I had a few extra minutes between getting the kiddos to bed and wife coming home from school to get the fender aligned.

I also got the head lamp and the hinges installed so I hinged the hood to the other side, making it easier to tear down the drivers side.

Looks like I will be waiting for chrome and real paint for the end of 2013 when I will have the car in CA. I just dont trust mailing any of my parts plus I have a trusted shops for the paint. And another member suggested a good chromer near LA which will be about 40 min away.

Edited by chevy_dude97 (see edit history)

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Just ran across my before pic of the headlight junction. I took it off and was thinking about fabricating a new one from phenolic but after a light sand and clear coat you can read the made in Chicago and manufacture stamp so I decided to leave it.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]151560[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]151561[/ATTACH]

Yours look very good. I've never seen a suitable repro for the passenger-side five-terminal junction as on my 49. The fifth terminal was to feed a ventilation fan housed inside the passenger-side inner fender. I don't know if your 51 has one.

I threw mine in a tumbler with walnut shell media for a few hours. They cleaned up very nicely.

Dan

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Posted (edited)

Dan, I bet the walnut shell tumbler worked awesome. I was told by another member that a quick media blast at low (20-30)PSI and a clear coat would make it look nice.

I just used a piece of wet automotive sand paper to get the roughness off and shot it with clear acrylic minding the contact points. The 4 terminals on mine are the 2 wires for the headlamp and 2 wires for the running lights or blinkers which ever they are. I do have a fan in the pass side airduct but I believe that to be the heater fan. I ended up tearing that down and the motor still ran so I cleaned it up and painted it along with the tunnel. For anyone who plans on doing that I sugest installing the fan prior to painting the inside as I had to go back over where the mounts had scratched the new paint.

As far as progress on my ride Im looking at this 4 day weekend to get some more stuff accomplished. It may be a pipe dream but I would like to have the drivers side removed and painted ready for reinstallation. But before I can paint I need to get the motor back together running so I can move the car out to paint the parts... We shall see the wife likes to make plans for my spare time :)

Edited by chevy_dude97 (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

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Here is a close up of the heavily rusted areas after a bath in metal rescue...

The rust appearing is flash rust.... maybe 5 min and it had flash rusted already. So I suggest if you use it not to rinse until after you are ready for paint.

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Here is the fender rust free and aligned, I got the hinges back on and was able to start on the drivers side.

The crack on the new intake looks allot smaller and I thing may be salvaged by just stop drilling it. Looks like it is on the exhaust re-circulation part,post-85933-14313915666_thumb.jpg

which makes me wounder if you can just put a plate on the exhaust manifold and completely remove the riser valve all together. Thinking about it more it seems that the intake would not heat up as much as the exhaust there for not expand as much and if they are not bolted together via the riser then they can both expand and contract at the different rates without pushing or pulling each other.

I did get them apart with my impact, I got all of them out minus one of the studs in the exhaust. I guess I will have the machine shop remove it when I have them plane it flat.

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Edited by chevy_dude97 (see edit history)

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Further inspection of the riser after disassembly there really is no way to bypass without custom exhaust. I was looking at the vlv assemblies at bob's and they completely leave out the door.(for performance/reliability reasons) not really sure how this would increase performance as it would always be heating the intake. one would think to leave the top where the exhaust would go into the intake closed to increase performance. Hot fuel is never advertised as a power adder. Mine looks well stuck in the closed position as to not rise into the intake so I think I will leave it as is. The fun part now is to remove the one stuck stud without breaking it and the one broken off in the exhaust manifold.

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Chevy_dude97 - what's going on with that rusted manifold stud? Any luck?

No the latest I did to that manifold was hammer out about 1/4 lb of rust and or carbon build up from the riser.

I had placed the thing in my van hoping to drop it off at the machine shop but I figured since I was leaving for vacation

I would wait till I get back just in case they fix it then lose it while waiting for me to pick it up.

I may give it another go as I had seen a video of bolt removal with a welder. By welding on a washer and a nut then impacting it out.

I have been spraying it with penetrator and rust remover so it actually may work. I was kind of at a stand still with the motor as I cleaned and repainted the frame.

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I really like your work on this Super. It is a nice looking car. I hope you get it back together and running very soon.

John DeFiore

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