Buicknutty

1941 McLaughlin Buick Roadmaster

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 I'm once again reviving this thread, I've posted quite a bit about the car this year on the "have you driven..." thread, but not this one dedicated to my car. I have, once again been chasing my tail a bit trying to get it running well. I put a rebuilt distributor on, and it helped things a bit, but I was still having issues, mainly with higher speed driving, so I swapped carbs with a spare one I have, and it was an improvement, so I gave it to Doug Seybold to do a rebuild on it for me. The results, so far, after only a 10 mile est drive are really great. Smooth as silk at slow speeds, and nice up to about 50 MPH, as I didn't take it to the highway for a high speed run. Hopefully on the weekend I'll get a chance to do that. I had another strange issue, but not related to the engine, the trunk lock completely jammed, and I had to take the back seat, rear side panels, and the plywood pieces so I could climb through to the trunk and unbolt it from the inside. Not an easy chore! So I don't have all of this back together, and am not comfortable driving it much till I get things back together!

 The pre WWII touring group of which I'm a member is having a couple of events this month, and I'm really hoping that I'll have it ready to go. One of which is a weekend long event touring through some little used roads in Northern Ontario, it will be a great area to drive in and I'm really hoping that the car will be ready. This bunch brings cars that range from early teens Model T's on up, with mine and a '41 Ford being the newest. But the styling on the '41 Buick is such that it looks out of place amougst the others!

 Keith

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 We are moving in a few months and of course we're going through stuff, as one has to when preparing for a move, and I found a few pictures that I took of the car in the mid 90's. Even though I'd had it a 3-4 years or so by then, it still looks just as I bought it. So, I scanned them for all to see! In one, that's my daugther, Rebecca, about 3-4 years old standing in front of the car. Now she's taller then me.

 As you can see the lower part front quarters are missing, and the lowest several inches of what was remaining was too rotten to save, so they had to be fabricated. That was one of the hardest parts to do, to match the curve where it bends into the wheel well, and then joins up to the rocker panel.

 Keith

41Buick Before001_Sml.jpg

41Buick Before002_Sml.jpg

Edited by Buicknutty (see edit history)
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Wow, Keith, those pics really show how much work you had to do on this car!  I had no idea since this thread starts when it pretty much looked the way it does now.  When I see these "before" photos, I have such admiration for the amount of work and dedication you and others like you have lavished on your cars.  I feel fortunate to have entered the Buick world with such an intact vehicle, but it also makes me feel like a bit of a piker around here! :lol:

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 Thanks Neil, it was a long road to where it is now, and at times it didn't seem as though it ever would get done. I think that these pictures make it look better than it actually was, as a lot of work that the floor and structure required doesn't show.

 As I go through stuff I will find more of the "in progress" pictures I took, and will post them. Kind of a backwards progression on the thread, but much of the work on the car was done before I joined the forum here, and I was shooting film, so not so easy to post as well.

 Keith

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 Here's a little fix that I did on the '41 this week. Currently it is laid up awaiting the return of it's gas tank, which is at a shop having a liner put in it.

 I had installed new shock links when I put it together 5 or 6 years ago, but was still using the old shocks till recently. I got rebuilt shocks early this year, but had not put them in as I was planning to put the taller ratio gears (3.4's instead of the stock 3.9's) in, and much of that has to apart anyway to do that. To save my aching elbow, I had the work professionally done, much to my satisfaction I must say. So I had them put the rebuilt shock in at the time.

 Needless to say, the ride was considerably improved, till one day I heard a banging at the back. Sliding under in a parking lot I could see that the pin that connects the link to the shock had simply pulled out of the link, but it was still connected to the shock itself. Those readers that have worked on these units will understand, but for those that haven't, here's an explanation.

 The shock bolts onto the inside of the brake backing plate, and a link connects to an arm which comes out of the inside back of the shock itself, but doesn't attach to the frame directly, like modern ones do, but rely on a slim vertical bar, with two shortish tapered pins. The top one fits into a fitting on the inside of the frame rail, and the lower one into the shock arm. The pins in the link are set into rubber, much like a motor mount is, and it was this which failed, and let it pull out.

 Also, there seemed to be a bit of misalignment of the pin to the arm. I still had the old ones, and compared the two, but they were identical. I drilled and tapped into the inner side, and put a bolt in where it goes through the link, but it worked its' way out after a short while again.

 So I decided to create a new modified one on my lathe. When doing the careful measurements I found part of the answer, as the taper on the shock arm was a bit larger, which when tightened up, pulled it even further out of alignment. I think that since the old shock wasn't doing too much, it didn't put very much stress on this unit, but the new ones, did.

 So, when making it up, I increased the gap about 3/32nds, and made the taper a bit larger as well, so that when installed it would be more in line. The biggest change was to make a stud which goes out the inside end of the link, so that I can put a nut and then a lock nut on it. There is lots of space on the inner side, the there is no issues with the stud interfering with another component.

 I have posted a few pictures of the manufacturing progression.

 

 Keith

 

 

Shock pin1_Sml.jpg

Shock pin 2_Sml.jpg

Shockpin3_Sml.jpg

Shock pin FinalSml.jpg

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 As I mentioned a few months ago, I found some pictures I took during the restoration process, found during packing, but put in a box {or two}, now there're being unearthed, again. Lot aren't too good, just record shots, but here's a few. Taken about '07 or '8 I think. The first is of the passenger side of the back seat area, the second is obvious, and the third and fourth are also the rear floor area.

Keith

41BuickFloor1.jpg

41Buickdoor.jpg

Buick 41 Rest1.jpg

Buick 41 Rest2.jpg

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On 4/15/2017 at 11:18 AM, neil morse said:

 

This post is from a while ago so you may have gotten your answer by now from other sources, but I can tell you that I have a Pertronix unit on my '41 Super and it runs like a top.  I have only had the car now for a month, and I'm still finding out things about it.  I didn't know about the electronic ignition until I'd had the car for a few weeks.  I noticed the modern wiring and popped the distributor cap and found it.  I have since discovered that it was installed by one of the two dealers that the car went through last year before I bought it.

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I had horrible, horrible luck with one of these in my 1939 Buick.  It simply wouldn't run and I'd had it installed by a professional mechanic.  Put one in a your risk.

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1 hour ago, Dynaflash8 said:

I had horrible, horrible luck with one of these in my 1939 Buick.  It simply wouldn't run and I'd had it installed by a professional mechanic.  Put one in a your risk.

 

 Should have found another mechanic.  I have used these and had NO problem. Follow instructions and keep the voltage up.

 Don't mean to hijack your thread, Keith.

 

  Ben

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2 hours ago, Dynaflash8 said:

I had horrible, horrible luck with one of these in my 1939 Buick.  It simply wouldn't run and I'd had it installed by a professional mechanic.  Put one in a your risk.

 

Based on my own experience, I would say that your statement is accurate, in other words, you DID have "horrible, horrible" luck.  My car continues to run great with the Pertronix unit (although I have heard from others that they sometimes fail).

 

Getting back to your thread, Keith, I am again amazed at the amount of work you did on this car over many years.  Excellent job!

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1 hour ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

 

 Should have found another mechanic.  I have used these and had NO problem. Follow instructions and keep the voltage up.

 Don't mean to hijack your thread, Keith.

 

  Ben

He's a good mechanic.  As soon as the car got up to 180 the thing started breaking down.  I tried everything including there master blaster coil.  It was all caused by heat and I've had a number of mechanics tell me that the car wasn't providing enough voltage.  The junk worked fine in my 12v 71 Riviera, same mechanic.  Maybe a '50 produces higher voltage than a '39......but I through the whole thing into the trash.  Now the car runs just great!

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 I've never had a Petronix in my '41, but I had one in my '56 Roadmaster, and it ran great for several years, till it started running poor, then I went back to points, as I didn't want to spend the money on a new one. Being in Canada, the exchange on the dollar is sometimes not good, which adds to the cost, then plus shipping, then our fine government dings us tax on Canadian value, which combined, can add 50-70% to the cost of an item.

 I was having troubles with new manufacture points and condenser on my '69 Electra, so I bought one from a well known vendor at the 2016 National, installed it and it ran great for a year+, then started missing. One of the magnets fell off of the ring which mounts under the rotor, so I'm back to points, But I just had a condenser that was less than a year old fail!!!

 So, though I like the benfits of the electronic ignition, I am reluctant to spend the money on another one.

 I actually believe EVERYONE, as when these units work, the car runs very well, but that isn't always the case. Don't know if its' inconsistent build quality, or what, but this has been my personal experience.

 Really, I just want my cars to be reliable, with either/or.

 Thanks for the comments, folks.

 Keith

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 Does anyone know if a GM HEI module will work on 6V?  If it will, I may have an answer.    I had my Buick distributor modified with an HEI reluctor/pickup installed inside.  The Module is on the cowl. I did not hide mine, but it can be mounted anywhere. Of course, George was changed to 12V when EFI was added.

 

  Ben

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