MCHinson

1938 Buick Century Model 61 - Four Door Touring Sedan - Trunk Back

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Yesterday afternoon, I spent a few hours helping a friend work on another friend's 1970 Chevrolet Truck. Pulling the driveshaft for a bearing replacement was not the quick and easy job he had hoped. The truck is a bit of a rusty mess. My friend has rebuilt the rocker panels and it really needs a bed.  Removal of the driveshaft to be able to press the old bearing out and press a new bearing in was worse than expected due to how rusty everything was but we got it done.

 

Today, I decided it was time to spend some time cleaning up the garage. It is in much better shape for restoration and other work now. I also did solve the light bulb issue for the lighted switches. At the recent Auburn AACA Meet, I bought a few odds and ends in the swap meet. Included in a bundle of stuff that I bought was a box containing a bunch of 6 volt bulbs of various sizes. I checked the bulbs today and found that every one of them was actually good. I found three that would work in the lighted switches and now the lighting on the switches look like it should. I then repackaged all of the spare bulbs in a plastic bag.

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Matt...what bulb did you ultimately use in the switches?  I have the same issue, very dull "HEAT" and a bright "LITE".  Is there a number on the correct bulb you used?

 

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I think they are #51, which should be the same one as used in your clock light.  

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Today, I did not have any time to work on the 1938 Buick. The new LED tail light bulbs for my 1937 Century arrived today so I installed them this afternoon. I should have taken some more before photos. I had recently made a lot of improvement to the tail lights by cleaning up and changing the various terminals in the wiring harness. 

 

The first photo shows the tail lights with the original 1154 bulb on the left and the new LED bulb on the right. 

The second photo shows tail lights with both LED bulbs.

The third photo shows brake lights with the LED bulbs.

The last photo shows what the LED bulb looks like.

The tail light and brake light photos are taken with no flash in the garage with the lights off but a bit of natural sunlight filtering through the windows. I am much happier with my tail lights and brake lights now. 

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On 5/18/2018 at 8:47 AM, r1lark said:

Matt Harwood, thanks for the real-life info and pics on these LED taillights. I've been looking at the various options and companies that have these available. My '54 Studebaker needs 6V, and my '64 Studebaker needs 12v which SuperBriteLEDs can supply. I think I'll get them on order today.

 

I've already ordered a 6v LED 3rd brake light from J & L Enterprises (http://jandlenterprise.com/products/brakelighter.htm) but it just came a few days ago and I have not had time to install it.

 

EDIT: Unfortunately my '54 Studebaker takes a 1154 bulb which superbrightled does not offer :(.  Matt Harwood, what bulb number did your '41 Buick Limited take for the rear?

 

 

Paul,

 

I followed Matt Harwood's link to their website. I was originally a bit confused too because I was looking for an 1154 bulb as well. All I could find listed on their website was 1157. The 1154 bulbs and 1157 bulb use the same base. They just call them all 1157's on their website. You select the 1157 and then check the blocks for 6 volt, red, and 15 degree beam angle and what they send works on 6 volts in place of an 1154 bulb for tail/brake lights. It is part number 1157-x19-xV-CAR. 

 

I think this link will take you to it: https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/tail-brake-turn/1157-led-bulb-dual-function-19-led-forward-firing-cluster-bay15d-retrofit-car-classic-car-bulbs/508/

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Thanks Matt Hinson, I understand now. They kind of hide that 6v LED don't they? I did click on Matt Harwood's link, but didn't notice it said 6v, especially since it also said 1157 which to me is a 12v bulb.

 

Got a set of 6V on order for my '54, plus a set of fancy 1157 12v bulbs for my '64.

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This morning, I removed the two rear vent windows. One of them has a broken handle which will require a replacement vent window assembly and the other will also need to be either replaced or replated. While in the area, I also removed the remains of the rear vent window drain tubes. The upper sections of those tubes came out easily. The bottom section that is hidden within the bottom of the body frame near the rear doors was a bit more difficult. They were both quite dry rotted and fragile which means that efforts to pull them out of the confined space resulted in most of the tubes simply crumbling and breaking. Attempting to grip that portion of the drain tube with needle nose pliers and pull it out resulted in the need for a bandaid when my finger hit a sharp section of the body under the vent window.

 

Recently my friend loaned me his plasma cutter. I have the required 240 voltage circuit in my garage but, of course, that circuit did not have the same style of plug as the plasma cutter. I was able to make up an extension cord for the plasma cutter with the required two different ends which enabled me to use the plasma cutter. This morning, I used the plasma cutter for the first time. I was able to cut out and bend the two pieces of steel required to patch the trunk tool tray. While my plasma cutting skills seem to be related to my welding skills, I think that with a bit more experience, I will develop the necessary skills to do that reasonably well. For today, my plasma cut lines were not quite as clean and straight as I would prefer, but I think that the patch panels that I cut should work fine.  

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This morning, I treated the area of the trunk that needs to be repaired with ospho. I then welded one side of the trunk repair in place. I did not take my camera out to the garage, so there are no photos. I will have to do a bit of grinding to clean up the welds a bit before I will be done with the repair of that area.

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I welded the other side today. I still need to do some more grinding before I am going to bother with any photos. 

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While it is not the prettiest repair, the trunk tool tray is now solid again.  Last night, I finished the grinding the welds on the trunk tool tray repair. I then primed it and applied some seam sealer to the area where I welded the patch panels in to make sure that everything is completely watertight. This morning, I painted it semigloss black. 

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This morning, I installed a starter button so that I have a backup method of starting the car when in those times when I would prefer to not press the accelerator pedal to start it. In some conditions with today's modern fuels this would be an easier way to start the car without being as likely to flood it while attempting to start it. I reused a starter button that was on the Buick Special body donor car and some cloth covered wire recently purchased on ebay. 

 

I have decided to farm out the door bottom and rocker panel repairs. A friend of a friend has a metal fabrication shop set up with all of the tools to do a better and quicker job on these repairs than I do, so this morning, I reinstalled the doors in preparation for driving the car to his shop. Unfortunately, in addition to today being a holiday, it is also very wet here today. We have already received 2 1/2 inches of rain this morning and I don't know if the weather will clear enough to make the trip today. My friend is also in need of some short term storage/work space for one of his cars, so I will have a Corvette in the garage instead of the 38 Buick while the door and rocker panel repairs are being completed. 

 

Before delivering the car to someone else, I really wanted to have a spare key available since I don't want to have to worry about someone else having the only key. Luckily, the original owner never knocked out the key code knockout on the original key. Using the key code, I was able to look up the key cut numbers and input it into my Curtis Model 15 key cutter and produce a perfect duplicate key. The reproduction key blanks are not totally correct, as they use the GM design on both sides of the key while the original has the GM design on one side and the Briggs and Stratton design on the other. The key cutter is a fun little tool to have. I don't use it much but I am set up and have blanks to cut GM and Ford keys from about 1935 to probably sometime in the 1980's. 

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Originally they used two different shaped key blanks. The keyway on both are identical. As far as I recall they only make the one reproduction blank, as they will work with all of the locks on the car. Over the years, most of these cars seem to have been rekeyed so that the ignition, doors, and glove compartment are keyed alike. It really makes it easier anyway.  

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2 minutes ago, MCHinson said:

 As far as I recall they only make the one reproduction blank, as they will work with all of the locks on the car.

I have both types. Years ago, there was indeed only the octogonal one available but now I have from both types.

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Actually,

I just checked the owner's manual. While many years GM used different keys, it appears that in 1938 all of the locks were keyed alike. That would explain why they all seem to be keyed alike today. 

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Matt, noticed that you have a Curtis key clipper. I have a Curtis Model F key cutter, do you know what those are used for (year range, type of keys, etc)? Have not been able to find a whole lot online.

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Sorry, but I don't know anything about the Model F. A few years ago, I read something here on the forum about a Curtis Model 15 and was intrigued. I had never heard of them before. I did a little bit of research, found one on ebay and purchased it. I bought a supply of blanks and have made a few keys for myself and a few fellow club members in the past few years. It is a neat tool.

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I am back in Pennsylvania again. I am in Altoona tonight. I drove up today and will be headed back home in the morning. This is either a sidemounted fenders and runningboards donor car for the 1938 Model 61 project, or else it is my next project. I have not quite decided yet. Luckily, I was able to drive this one onto the trailer instead of having to winch it up.

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My friends and I have not had very good luck with trucks lately. In the past few weeks, three of us have had four breakdowns on out of state trips with 3 different trucks. The 2012 Dodge 3500 made it back to Richmond Virginia before I was stranded. After a few hours on the side of I95, I was able to get the truck (and trailer with the 38 Buick Buick parts car) towed to a repair shop. Hopefully the truck will be fixed in the next few days and the truck owner and I can make a trip up to retrieve it. 

 

On each of those 4 recent breakdowns, everybody has managed to make it home with fairly minor delay and inconvenience. In this particular situation, I had some other local AACA Chapter members who were coming back from the Grand National Meet in Pennsylvania who picked me up and brought me home. Instead of arriving home at 5 pm on Saturday, I got home at 3 pm Sunday morning.  

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Nothing to report on the Buick project. We are still waiting for the truck to be repaired so we can go back to Richmond to pick up the truck, trailer and the recent Buick purchase. I have also been busy with engraving, which will at least help pay for the Buick project. After we get the other car here, I will do some cleaning and closer evaluation of it but I am currently thinking that I will use the Side Mount Fenders, Running Boards and any better wheels off of the Model 67 on the Model 61 and offer the Model 67 with the non-sidemounted fenders and worse running boards and remaining wheels to someone else in search of a project. The Model 67 does appear to have a good running engine, so it has that going for it. 

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On the way to pick up the truck, trailer and 1938 Model 67 tomorrow. Assuming everything goes better this weekend than last, I should be able to get started on unloading, cleaning and assessment of the Model 67 on Monday morning.

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On 6/3/2018 at 8:40 AM, 38Buick 80C said:
On 6/2/2018 at 11:34 AM, MCHinson said:

I am back in Pennsylvania again. I am in Altoona tonight. I drove up today and will be headed back home in the morning. This is either a sidemounted fenders and running boards donor car for the 1938 Model 61 project, or else it is my next project. I have not quite decided yet. Luckily, I was able to drive this one onto the trailer instead of having to winch it up.

 

On 6/2/2018 at 12:35 PM, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

Good score, Matt!   Looks like you are trying to corner the market on  these Centuries.  Ben

 

On 6/3/2018 at 8:40 AM, 38Buick 80C said:

Someone's got the bug...

 

Too many (pre war) Buick's is never enough

 

Hope the truck does not break down for you.

 

Edited by 1939_Buick (see edit history)

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