Diseasewithnocure

1940 Buick Special 40C - Need help identifying engine year/carb type & getting running!

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I think you have found the fuel pump mounting spot. Good. As far as engine number, something looks fishy. Looks as if it has been ground off and another number stamped on it. May just be the picture.   And I think I see the 1948 and later four bolt mounting pad on the side of the block.  If it is a 1949 or later, you have a better engine than the 1940 engine.  Sure would like to see a picture of the lower front driver side below the generator.  263 started in 1950. A bit of trouble, but the engine number is stamped on the front of the block UNDER the water pump. Not below, under. Remove water pump to locate.   

 

  Ben

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Yes, that plate should be a fuel pump block off plate. When you buy the correct fuel pump, it should easily replace the block off plate and connect to the nearby fuel lines. 

 

When the electric pump was installed, they apparently removed the original mechanical fuel pump and installed the block off plate.

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I do not think there are any casting dates on the block. There may be casting numbers that would help determine which engine you have (248 or 263). As for the fuel pump, I beleve the pumps are the same for both small engines, others here might know for sure.  I think it is rare, but I have seen engine numbers ground off and restamped by hand to the origional engine number. Your "stamped" number seems correct for a 1940 engine. You really do need to find out what you really have. While the 263 is not origional, it is a very good engine. The rub is that if you get to needing any parts specific to either the 248 or 263 you will need to know that information for sure.  I would be very tempted to remove the water pump and have a look on the block behind it to see if there is anything stamped there.  The black engine paint is still a bit concerning considering it is definately not a stock 1940 engine color. At the very least it implys the engine has been out and repainted or replaced and restamped... who knows.  There are folks here that know much more about the telltail visual differences between years and sizes of the engines. I am not one of them.

   As for your earlier oil question, I will give my feelings for what they are worth.  I have been told by many people that modern detergent oils have two major properties that old nondetergent oils did not have. The first is additives to help keep deposits from sticking to the metal surfaces. The second, and more important,is the detergent additives work to keep particles, dirt, carbon metal shavings etc. suspended in the oil so that modern filters can catch them before they settle out to the bottom of the pan and nooks and cranies. Now as these engines normally did not have oil filters, and even if they did they were not full flow filters, the settling of bad things was wanted to keep as much as possible from being pumped through the engine. I have been told by engine rebuilders I trust that it is best to stay with what it was using unless you rebuild and clean the engine. Then you should use a high quality, modern oil and preferably a filter system if possible. My go to engine guy always uses either Rotella or Delo diesel engine oils after a full rebuild and swears by them. The bottom line about modern oils is that the worst you could buy today is most likely much better than the best available in 1940.  For right now, I would run a few hundred miles on what you have in the engine and then drain and refill with your choice of oil. Think of it as a cleaning run....

 

Best luck and please let us know what you figure out about your car and the fuel problems.

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Diseasewithnocure,  I am going to step in again. After inspecting the photos in your post #24 again, I will say with certainty you have a 1948 or 1949  248.  5th picture shows the top view of the water pump. This is a '49 or earlier.  Changed noticeably in '50.  Next picture, one can plainly see the 4 bolt engine mount pad just past the ground strap'  .   SO, first year for that is 1948.  Last year for the early water pump 1949.     First year for 263 was 1950. Therefore a 1948 or 1949 248. 

 

  Interestingly,  1948 , 1949, and 1950 248 were all one year engines.   1948= first year with the side engine mount and last year with babbitt   rod bearings.   1949= first year with the insert rod bearings and last year with the older water pump.  1950= first and only year 248 with the new water pump. It [1950 ] was the last 248 made.

 

  Now that we know the engine is a 248 and narrowed down to two years, there are two ways to determine WHICH year it is.  Easiest is the water pump removal.  I think no one would ever alter that number.  Harder would be remove the pan and then a rod bearing cap to see which bearing it has.  I expect it does not really matter as probably everything else is the same.

 

  OIL.  If 100-200 miles a year is all you will drive it, the cheapest oil you can find will do. Not that I would do so. But good enough.  Having said that, shame on you! Poor car!   100 or more a week would be better. I have driven mine 12,000+ in the last seven years, and feel as if I am dragging my feet.

 

  Open to questions , and if anyone sees anything wrong with my deductions, speak out.

 

  Ben

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I can answer your question on the heat riser tube that goes from the exhaust manifold to the choke spring.

 

Yes. You need it. Mine was toast so I ran a thin metal rod (thick wire or thin rod depending on how you look at it) up through it from the bottom, put the rusty tube back on gently around the wire, attacked it to the choke, and globbed a thick layer of stove putty or furnace cement depending on what you call it, around the whole thing. When it hardened I started the car to cook the putty and then pulled the wire/rod down through the bottom.

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On 11/17/2017 at 7:03 PM, MCHinson said:

Yes, that plate should be a fuel pump block off plate. When you buy the correct fuel pump, it should easily replace the block off plate and connect to the nearby fuel lines. 

 

When the electric pump was installed, they apparently removed the original mechanical fuel pump and installed the block off plate.

 

Good day Gents,

 

Good news - I purchased a rebuilt fuel pump from eBay for $55 shipped...installed it yesterday and everything works as I could imagine it would.  First pumped fuel from a pony tank and got a consistent and event amount of fuel delivery on each "lobe" stroke of the cam.  Later I bypassed the electric fuel pump and went straight to the tank and am still getting very even and consistent flow of fuel from the pump with the engine cranking over - so good news there!  I have to say, at first I was hesitant as since for as long as I can remember (to when I was 12 or 13 and the car was last running & driving) it has had an electric pump attached to it by whatever hack was too lazy or careless to rebuild the original, mechanical fuel pump.  I thought I was opening myself up to more problems and "well there had to have been a reason someone did this..." but after now installing it and everything hooked up, it looks and feels a lot better original than hacked...so thanks for pushing the issue everyone! :)

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On 11/23/2017 at 6:19 PM, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

Diseasewithnocure,  I am going to step in again. After inspecting the photos in your post #24 again, I will say with certainty you have a 1948 or 1949  248.  5th picture shows the top view of the water pump. This is a '49 or earlier.  Changed noticeably in '50.  Next picture, one can plainly see the 4 bolt engine mount pad just past the ground strap'  .   SO, first year for that is 1948.  Last year for the early water pump 1949.     First year for 263 was 1950. Therefore a 1948 or 1949 248. 

 

  Interestingly,  1948 , 1949, and 1950 248 were all one year engines.   1948= first year with the side engine mount and last year with babbitt   rod bearings.   1949= first year with the insert rod bearings and last year with the older water pump.  1950= first and only year 248 with the new water pump. It [1950 ] was the last 248 made.

 

  Now that we know the engine is a 248 and narrowed down to two years, there are two ways to determine WHICH year it is.  Easiest is the water pump removal.  I think no one would ever alter that number.  Harder would be remove the pan and then a rod bearing cap to see which bearing it has.  I expect it does not really matter as probably everything else is the same.

 

  OIL.  If 100-200 miles a year is all you will drive it, the cheapest oil you can find will do. Not that I would do so. But good enough.  Having said that, shame on you! Poor car!   100 or more a week would be better. I have driven mine 12,000+ in the last seven years, and feel as if I am dragging my feet.

 

  Open to questions , and if anyone sees anything wrong with my deductions, speak out.

 

  Ben

Ben Bruce,

 

Thanks for your awesome info on this...I think I will take some time to inspect these features with a little more of a critical eye and see if I can identify the exact year!  It has appeared so far that a lot of the parts I've been buying have been bolting up and working just fine but of course, it would be great to know for certain what it is!  Now with the (proper) fuel pump back in and working, I'm planning to rebuild the carb. next and then bolt everything back together to see if I can get a running car after all that...ashamedly, you are 100% right about the low mileage - I wish it were different but my father's health, the amount I work, combined with 5 months of Wisconsin winters make even 100 miles a stretch! But maybe with it now (hopefully) running it will change things!!

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6 hours ago, Morgan Wright said:

I can answer your question on the heat riser tube that goes from the exhaust manifold to the choke spring.

 

Yes. You need it. Mine was toast so I ran a thin metal rod (thick wire or thin rod depending on how you look at it) up through it from the bottom, put the rusty tube back on gently around the wire, attacked it to the choke, and globbed a thick layer of stove putty or furnace cement depending on what you call it, around the whole thing. When it hardened I started the car to cook the putty and then pulled the wire/rod down through the bottom.

 

Great, thanks for confirming this - I am going to bend and fabricate mine up with some brake tubing I think and make it more or less a nice tight press fit over the machined surface on the outlet on the exhaust...perhaps also then just use a small fuel hose clamp or something of the like to add some force around it for now.  I can't imagine that there's a lot of pressure coming out of that port based on what I see and what you've described...

 

The bigger bummer I found was the intake manifold having a crack about 1.5" in length near where the carb. bolts up on top of.  Luckily it looks like a hairline crack and has probably been there for many years (I'm guessing or assuming).  I think once I confirm the car starts consistently would be to remove it and try to JB weld over it, at least enough to keep it from drawing in any air, since it's more of a spider crack than anything.

 

In the mean time I've ordered everything to rebuild the carb. and hope that with the new fuel pump delivering the right amount of pressure and the carb. rebuilt it will be everything I need to at least get the car somewhat running and driving enough before snow fall to fix whatever it throws at me next.

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Those stamped engine serial numbers do not like they were stamped by Buick

The photo immediately above shows what may be 4 bolt heads (to the left of the breather).

1948 & later engines were mounted mid block and not from a plate at the front. But can be used on older Buicks

The dip stick it well to back. Buick moved the dip stick to the flywheel end over the years.

I suspect you have a later block that has been stamped with the 1940 engine number.

Is the car titled by chassis-frame number or engine number?  Some USA states used engine number on title.

 

You would get better answers if the thread was moved to here http://forums.aaca.org/forum/60-buick-pre-war/

Edited by 1939_Buick (see edit history)

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