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JohnD1956

56 Super

64 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

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Finally buckled down and polished my 56 today. I haven't done this completely for about two years now. Anyway, just wanted to add it to our library.

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The car has been running very well lately. I still have a slight hesitation off the line, but it is intermittent. I know I need new plug wires and that will be the next step.

post-31834-143139166548_thumb.jpg

Anyway, the more I drive it, the more I like it. Sorry to see summer end so soon.

Edited by JohnD1956 (see edit history)

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She's looking great John! Drive her while you still can. It gets cooler here every night. Winter is coming!

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Looking good, John. That's such a nice car, and as mine is almost the same, what else could I say!

Keith

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Oddly, I'm a sucker for pale yellow cars. Very fine.

Don't be giving up on summer just yet - we haven't even had our first frost up here.

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Don't be giving up on summer just yet - we haven't even had our first frost up here.

You're absolutely right Rob. Took it to another cruise last night and parked next to Ed's 54 Roadmaster. We were remaring how odd that Buick kept this same body for three years, because the changes were so significant that it appears they needed mostly new body dies, thus, how much of a savings could therte have possibly been?

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John, glad you are getting out and enjoying the 56. I envy all of you guys and gals that have cars that you can hop in and drive.....Winter will hopefully be catchup time for the 47 and I. Matt

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Nice pictures, John, keep driving it as long as you can into the fall.

Keith

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Thats pretty much my plan Keith. I am still amazed that you drove your 56 to California. I would love to get this car around to some more distant meets.

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Just do it Johnnie!!!

Couldn't agree more! My '50 made it to Concord and back, 2000 miles. Yours should do it as well. Jump in and get your feet wet.

Ben

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Couldn't agree more! My '50 made it to Concord and back, 2000 miles. Yours should do it as well. Jump in and get your feet wet.

Ben

Thanks guys but I have had this car to Flint in 75, Sandusky in 81, and back to Flint in 03. The last Flint trip resulted in a layover at Guy Bennett Buick in Wayland NY for a week. Since then I have been chasing several issues. I guess I'm just a bit older now and it's easier to remember the inconveniences of the last trip. rather than the first two. I would only take this car on another long trip when I get a few more issues addressed. But till then I can certainly drive it around town and am doing it as much as possible.

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What are those issues?

Dale in Indy

The two main issues are: it needs the core plugs replaced and I am not interested in pulling the motor to get at them easily, plus, I have economy tires on it that are 7 years old. They seem to be in good shape but when I pulled the wire wheels off in 2006, I had the tubes installed on my steel wheels in anticipation of returning to the wire wheels. I am not confident that the tubes will hold up on a long trip where the tires are liable to get much hotter than just some around town driving.

It also has little to no padding left in the drivers seat, and it has an intermittent click when warm and rolling to a slow stop. I was also having a problem keeping outer front wheel bearings in the passengers side. I think I have that resolved but I'm not going to know till I'm ready to put it up for this winter. That way if I pull the drum and I have another broken bearing l won't have this girl blocking up my garage or driveway. I am hoping that this is not the click because the only thing left to do up there is to replace the spindle. I really do not have the tools for that task.

I also want to replace my plug wires, and the wires to and inside the distributor. They have gotten stiff and I question their integrity. I want to see if this addresses the intermittent hesitation issue.

I know, it's a lot of little things. It would be one thing if that were my only car with issues, but trying to use and maintain 3 of em at once causes it's own set of issues.

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John..looking good!!!!!..Come on man, if I can drive Old Bessie to Concord, you can surely drive that Buick Beauty to South Bend this next year! Shoot, my house is on the way to there (if you go through Canadia :D That's for you Rob!) through Detroit. You can stop here and let her rest if you want to! She really looks good. I understand completely on those silly intermittent, hard to solve problems. Old Bessie has had her fair share of them, that is for sure! But at least you are driving the old girl, and they like the cool weather! Enjoy it now while you can, before the snow hits the ground and she is up for the winter.

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Recently I learned that a member of my Chapter also dabbles in old radios. I asked him to check out this radio which I picked up two years ago ( or more) at a swap meet. The seller claimed it was a working radio & I just placed it in the trunk for another day. But I asked Richard if he would check it out for me a week ago and he e mailed me two nights later that the radio was working after installing a few missing and bad pieces.

tn_img_4335.jpg

He also added a "line in" for my Sirrus sattelite radio.

tn_img_4336.jpg

I got it in the car today but had trouble with the power source for the Sirrus radio. But I did play a CD through a portable CD player and it was wonderful. I have yet to finish installing the switch, line and a fader and rear speaker, but it was so nice to drive and actually hear some tunes tonight.

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My Buick retains the original radio. AM. Under the dash was a CD player that the previous owner installed. It did not play. Anyway, I purchased a $35 radio/MP3 player. Slipped right into the old radio slot under the dash. I then loaded 400+ songs from the 40's, 50's. All genre(including original Bluegrass artists). Really takes the car back in time.

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Just an observation:

Yesterday I had the Super out for a breakfast run. This involved a 15 minute ride to pick up my son Doug (Redwind89), then a 25 minute run to pick up another member of my Chapter, and then a 25 minute run on a local highway to a Denny's. Since Doug and his wife Cindy bought me an IR Thermometer for Christmas, I took it along to try and document, for my own sake, the operating temperature of this car.

To summarize first, I figure when the entire needle of the guage is just below the "N" on the gauge the car is roughly 175*. When it is just above the "N" the car is approx 197*. And when it just crosses so that half the needle is red and the other half green, the car is at 208*.

Here is the data from the chart we kept.

[TABLE]

<TBODY>[TR]

[TD=class: table1column1, width: 16%]amt of drive time (aprox)

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column2, width: 19%]Gauge

reading

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column3, width: 14%]thermostat housing

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column4, width: 18%]head area next to temp gauge

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column5, width: 16%]top of radiator

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column6, width: 17%]bottom of radiator

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=class: table1column1, width: 16%]15 min

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column2, width: 19%]full needle below N

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column3, width: 14%]181

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column4, width: 18%]173

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column5, width: 16%]179

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column6, width: 17%]154

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=class: table1column1, width: 16%]40 min

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column2, width: 19%]just above N

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column3, width: 14%]195

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column4, width: 18%]195

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column5, width: 16%]180

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column6, width: 17%]156

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=class: table1column1, width: 16%]65 min

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column2, width: 19%]middle between N & H

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column3, width: 14%]199

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column4, width: 18%]200

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column5, width: 16%]192

[/TD]

[TD=class: table1column6, width: 17%]174

[/TD]

[/TR]

</TBODY>[/TABLE]

Notes: Ambient temp high 80's - low 90*

Suburban driving for first two stops , highway driving @ 55 MPH for last reading above

At home, about 3 minutes after turning the engine off, the gauge showed half red/half green and the area on the valve head next to the temp gauge bulb was 208*

Possible improvement might be observed if I removed my antifreeze filter, but with numbers like these I think I’ll leave it alone.

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John

That is a little less than what I saw on mine this morning (same outside temps), but I had the a/c running. Heat transfer will be better with less or no antifreeze. The 55 a/c cars used a 13# RC6 cap. For every pound of pressure created in the cooling system, the boiling point of the water is raised by three degrees. So mine should be good to 251* and for that you need an accurate replacement gauge (at about 230* there will be increased detonation "heat knock" from the higher cylinder head temps).

If it is not boiling over you are fine, but it is hard to look at that high reading on the gauge.

Willie

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Posted (edited)

John;

That looks like a nice conversion on your radio, the one in my '56 is still all AM, though a friend, a retired radio guy, completely redid it for me several years ago.

Those readings don't look too bad considering the ambient temps.

My car was something of a chronic overheater (I think due to the factory A/C) till I put a modern type high density core in it a few years ago, now with a switched rad fan it's nearly as good as a modern car (with a good cooling system that is!).

I had the original rad recored a couple of years after I bought it in '76, but like I said, I always struggled with the engine temps till I re cored it again around 2000.

Keith

Edited by Buicknutty
grammar (see edit history)

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Keith, the radio really works well. I was just using it on tonight's cruise and it's better than okay. It still has the original speaker too. Plans are to hide the switch and line in on a panel under the dash, I will also add a fader and a rear speaker.

Willie, I have a 7 lb cap on mine. No leaks and no boiling. I have had this car for 3 1/2 decades and it just seems to me that it used to run consistently with the gauge completely to the left of the "N". That may be a figment of my imagination though. Chances are I just did not use it on such hot days. But the temps have been much better since I replaced that heater core a few years ago.

Meanwhile I had the radiator recored in 2003 with a 3 row core. But shortly after that it clogged up from debris in the engine. I had it cleaned and then I put on that filter. Every time I use the car I clean the screen in there. At first I was astounded at what it caught, and I am still finding a few small bits of scale consistently. I'm sure that these would easily pass through the core at this point. But since these temps are of no concern, I'm going to just keep using it the way it is and reevaluate removing the filter screen later this summer. I want to run it a bit more for some highway speeds to see if anything else passes through the system. Meanwhile I used it tonight and it's a bit cooler out. The guage never went over the N". I just have to get my mind to realize this visual is okay for this car.

As a side note, we bought a new 1977 Ford Econoline conversion van. The temp guage always read just above the N on that thing. I questioned it at first but it also did not overheat even when we ran the dual A/C units. One day I read in the old Click N Clack advice column, that a writer had the same generation van and he was concerned about the same thing. Their fix was to get a ball peen hammer and bust that glass off the guage and then bend the needle to where you wanted to see it, cause it wasn't overheating and there was nothing to be concerned about. That still makes me laugh!

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Hehehe, JOHN, that reminds me of a buddy's solution to the always-on Check Engine warning in his '90s Buick Century - a strip of duct tape over the offending light. Car ran fine, until it didn't anymore.

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After imagining how to accomplish mounting the new controls for my radio, I dove into the project today. I got a piece of hobby circuit board at Radio Shack to mount the switch and Line In jack. These two switchs use a 1/8th inch hole for mounting and any existing hole in the bottom of the dash was much larger than that. I did not want to drill new holes in my dash, and I also did not want these switches grounding out by accident. But this circuit board seemed too likely to crack if I bolted that directly to the dash, so I embarked on making a bracket to hold the board.

As luck would have it there were a pair of holes just to the left of the dash center line, and there was plenty of room behind the dash in that area. After initial measurements I started with this piece of sheet metal:

tn_img_4348.jpg

and drilled the mounting holes:

tn_img_4349.jpg.

The lines for the bends I wanted were scored and then with a few hand tools I began cutting, bending and fitting the board. In a while the basic bracket was made and the circuit board could be slipped into channels on the side and rest against a stop at the back. My plan was to mount the controls in the plastic circuit board, then slip it into the bracket which would already be attached to the bottom of the dash.

tn_img_4359.jpg

The controls were mounted while the paint on the bracket was drying.

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In the end, I made an error in calculating how much depth I needed from the mounting holes to the bottom line of the dash, so the circuit board did not slip into my bracket all the way. I may re do the circuit board as I still have a lot left over. But this is how it looks from sitting in the passengers seat:

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And this is how it looks after too many beers:

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Yes, that is a late 60's fader switch which I must have put in the glove box decades ago. It will be used when I get the rear speaker in.

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here is a photo of the coolant filter and the scale I mentioned last night:

tn_img_4364.jpg

Two things about this: the scale is pretty small at this point but you never know when someething larger will break away and travel especially as I try to get a lot more time on this car. The second thing is the holes in the screening are pretty small, so this may be slowing the flow of coolant resulting in increased engine temps. Anyway, after a quick splash from the hose:

tn_img_4367.jpg

Then just slip it back in:

tn_img_4368.jpg

And screw on the cap:

tn_img_4369.jpg

Ready to go. Note , that scale was caught during 80 miles of driving. This filter really saved my radiator although I did have to cut my upper hose to get it in. But I think it was worth it.

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I like that idea for the switches JD.

I believe those may for the convertible top switch (that you don't need).

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